December 25, 2000

Weekly news wrapup: Linux invades large corporations

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

Open Source news doesn't only revolve around falling stock prices, the technology media decided this week. Indeed, there were stories that could be considered good news, like a TechWeb story about Open Source software creeping into large corporations, often from the bottom up.

NewsForge's business columnist Jack Bryar wrote that large corporations seem to have an all-or-nothing attitude about Open Source products, with IBM investing billions of dollars, and Corel ready to dump its Linux products. Who's right?

The mainstream tech media can turn good stories into bad ones, as evidenced by Sm@rt Partner's followup story on IBM's decision to invest more than $1 billion in Linux. The story caught one Linux company executive griping that "Linux helps IBM sell things, but IBM doesn't really help Linux companies." The executive didn't explain what he expected IBM to do for its potential competitors.

NewsForge's editor in chief Robin Miller responds by saying IBM's investment will be good for smaller hardware manufacturers. "A rising Linux tide lifts all boats, and large ships make waves big enough to swamp small boats, but skillfully-handled small boats can catch and surf the waves created by the big ships," he writes.

Score one (finally) for Linux

Sick of Microsoft getting all the games and hardware support first? Score one for Linux, as Intel's upcoming high-end Itanium chip will be available for Linux first.

Linux overwhelming to users?

Linux must "become less overwhelming in order to capture the desktop," so says a column from ZD Net, which wonders if Linux is ready for widespread desktop use. "Linux is too bountiful for most computer users," says the article. Gee, too many applications is a bad thing? It's like having 157 TV channels -- just ignore the ones you don't care about.

The writer of one story published this week thinks Linux is overwhelming in a different way, installing the darned thing. The writer, who says he or she has user experience with DOS, MSDOS, Unix, and Windows, puts it this way: "As of this morning, I have not been able to *ever* successfully install a USEABLE Linux system."

Nearly everyone covered the story this week that Sun plans to adopt Eazel's Nautilus desktop environment for Solaris. If it's good enough for Linux, it's good enough for Sun.

New in NewsForge

A Linux user has organized a petition protesting British Telecom's decision to sue over its claim that it owns a patent on hyperlinks.

If you're hoping for all the latest desktop games to be available for Linux, don't hold your breath, say gaming enthusiasts and Linux fans. Most think desktop gaming parity with Windows is still a couple of years away.

News editor Tina Gasperson reviews the Linux Knowledge Base. There are some parts to recommend, including but not limited to the fully clothed woman in the logo, but the site is tough to navigate.

NewsForge editors read and respond to comments posted on our discussion page.

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