November 13, 2000

Weekly news wrapup: Transmeta has big IPO amid mixed news from manufacturers

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross-

It was a big news week for chip maker Transmeta, employer of Linux godfather Linus Torvalds. Probably the biggest news item: The maker of chips designed to make your laptop batteries last longer bucked the recent tech stock trend in its IPO. The price of the company's stock in first-day trading rose more than 100 percent.

However, some in the press questioned the company's success, saying "investors bought blindly." Another writer, noting IBM's recent decision to drop Transmeta from its laptops and Intel bringing new chips to market, wondered if Transmeta is running on vapor."

Indeed, the news isn't all good. Also this week, Compaq first said it won't use Transmeta's Crusoe chip in its next generation of laptops. Compaq later denied that it was dumping the Crusoe, and Transmeta still plans to go forward with partnerships with Gateway and Microsoft.

Transmeta also picked up a few cool-factor points this week when wearable computer maker Vio announced it was planning to use the Crusoe chip in its belt-attached computer. The U.S. Army will test the Crusoe-powered Vio.

America Online: A Linux convert?

News reports in recent months have the propriety Internet service AOL flirting with Linux. This week, AOL and Gateway announced a Linux-based, AOL-oriented 'Net appliance. Apparently, proprietary companies like an Open Source product when it serves their business interest.

AOL may not be the only company seeing the light. A Zona Research study says the adoption of Linux will boom in the next year, with half of large companies saying they expect up to 25 percent more Linux users in their ranks during the next year, and small companies, which want low-cost computing options, expecting an even greater adoption rate.

Mixed news among Open Source giants

Bad news this week for hardware maker VA Linux (also the parent company of NewsForge). VA's stock tumbled more than 40 percent Monday when the company issued a warning saying its sales weren't going to grow quite as fast as expected. Revenue for fiscal year 2001 should be 225 percent higher than in 2000, instead of the 250 percent growth the company first projected.

Red Hat, the giant Linux distributor, got some good news this week, when investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs declared that the Red Hat Network shows some promise. Another story noted Red Hat is on track for 100 percent revenue growth by the end of 2001.

New in NewsForge

Tina Gasperson reviews the Unofficial Mandrake Linux page, saying it provides great step-by-step information for newbie Linux users.

We talk to developers interested in working with the Indrema gaming console after Indrema recently announced its Indrema Developer Network. Some developers say they have concerns about how to develop games for the Linux-based console, but many hobbyists say they're excited about getting the chance to write games for what may be a major player in the gaming world.

Jeff Field reviews the Belkin Omnicube 4-Port KVM and says the switch makes it easy to run multiple computers off of one set of mouse, keyboard and monitor.

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

Click Here!