December 11, 2000

Weekly news wrapup: Still more Linux doubters

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross-

A pessimistic attitude about Open Source, Linux companies in particular, didn't abate this week. In response to this down cycle of news, a column at questions how Linux companies are positioning themselves in the market, going after the consumer market, instead of focusing on their traditional strengths.

Another sign of the time?

Red Hat closed its San Francisco office, laying off half the staff there. According to the company, the layoffs were caused by redundancy created by recent acquisitions and have nothing to do with the Linux market.

Better signs of the times?

The Linux-on-handhelds market continues to create a buzz. A story at showed readers how Linux on Compaq's handheld, the iPAQ, looks and works. Also, Hitachi has recently rolled out a Linux-powered Internet appliance, to good reviews.

IBM also announced a Linux initiative this week, making available the DB2 Universal Database for Linux on IBM zSeries and S/390 mainframes. And computer-maker Dell announced a partnership with desktop gurus Eazel.

Even the big announcements have their downsides, it seems. A ZDNet column asked why Open Source advocates aren't afraid that big companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard will dictate the Open Source market. That came on the heels of news that HP hired Open Source activist Bruce Perens for its Linux initiative. NewsForge's own Tina Gasperson talked to Perens about his decision to sign on to HP's payroll.

India's praised HP's Linux initiative, even though "no major Linux company has ever earned a dollar of profit." The story says profitable companies can use Linux to their advantage.

Linux, with double cheese

A story based on an odd trend: Apparently, pizza makers are early adopters of Linux for point-of-sale applications. Maybe it's all those sausage-mushroom-and-double-cheese pies delivered at 3 a.m. to Linux programmers.

This week at NewsForge

Jack Bryar says that companies can really make money on Open Source. He even gives examples.

Dan Berkes challenges the Java Community Process as being too cumbersome. Apparently, some Open Source community members agree.

Julie Bresnick chats with Jay Fenlason, the creator of what evolved into the popular Nethack game.

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

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