January 22, 2001

Weekly news wrapup: IBM to dominate Linux market?

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

A Gartner Group report saying IBM's investment in Linux could have negative impacts on the operating system put the computer press in a bit of a snit this week. A
report at VNUnet suggested IBM is poised to gain a "stranglehold" over
Linux.

The VNUnet report quotes George Weiss, research director for server and operating systems at Gartner: "The biggest problem IBM has is that it appears to the Linux
community that it is trying to take over the Linux momentum and grab what this OS has to offer."

Following up on the story, Upside.com advised current Linux companies to get
their poop in a group so that IBM doesn't dominate the market.

IBM and Gnome

IBM's everywhere! The director of the IBM Linux Technology Center said late last week that the Gnome desktop will "legitimize Linux as a viable desktop." Big Blue certainly
seems sold.

Meanwhile, the folks at Gnome's commercial side had good news this week. Ximian, formerly called Helix Code, found $15 million to continue its efforts, courtesy of Charles River
Ventures and Battery Ventures. Gnome guru and Ximian CTO Miguel de Icaza told NewsForge that the next steps are to make Gnome easier to use for those of us who
aren't expert Unix sysadmins.

Score another one for the good guys

Another company does the right thing. The DivX people, makers of video compression software, announced this week they're taking the project Open Source. The DivX people tell
NewsForge: Open-Sourcing the project will help make DivX the video
compression standard.

Speaking of Open Source technologies that Hollywood might not fully appreciate, the
distributors of the DeCSS DVD-playing code got help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation
recently. The EFF filed briefs saying the DeCSS code does, in
fact, have legal uses, like allowing your Linux system to play "Fight Club." Just because you can do something nefarious with a program doesn't make it bad, right?
It's like the old saying, guns don't kill people, people kill people.

What are they smoking?

A guest columnist at ZDNet advocated Bill Gates for president this week, calling
him "persistent and capable" and someone who's demonstrated "ruthless competitiveness when dealing with adversaries." In other words, someone who knows how
to screw over his neighbor. That's nice -- you know, in the grand scheme of things, I'd rather have a guy who gets it on with his intern.

Linux for business

InfoWorld reported that version 2.4 of the Linux kernel should help the operating system break into more businesses. The new version boasts
"wider hardware support, superior scalability,and reliability improvements," so says InfoWorld.

New in NewsForge this week

First Linux laptop maker Tuxtops suspended laptop sales, then news editor
Tina Gasperson got the inside scoop on what the company may be doing next.
Could custom configurations for laptops be in the company's future?

We also tried to find out what controversial Linux company LinuxOne is up to
these days
. They're talking merger with another company but keeping a very low profile.

Guest writer Tim Hanson reviewed StarOffice and comes to the conclusion
that it's getting a bad rap from many users.

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