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LinuxQuestions Members Choice Awards: KDE kleans up

Author: JT Smith

Dre writes, “The Dot is running a story about LinuxQuestions.org‘s Linux desktop poll, in which KDE made a great showing.
It came in first in the Desktop Environment of the Year category
with almost 69% of the votes. In addition, KDE standouts
Konqueror tied with
Mozilla (22%) as Browser of the
year
; KMail
took top honors as Mail Client of the Year (beating
Evolution
by a large margin); and KOffice
earned second place (substantially behind
StarOffice) as
Office Suite of the Year. Check out the
complete
results
.”

Category:

  • Migration

The need for Linux marketing

Author: JT Smith

Joe writes: “Taken from a thread at: http://www.mandrakeuser.org/mub/viewtopic.php?topi c=8201&forum=12&4.
Linux software is in the same place now that DOS software was in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The trend then was shareware (Doom and Wolfenstein come to mind) and freeware. This trend went the way of the Dodo when the market was opened up by Redmond. It became obvious that there was a profitable market in the PC area because a little program called “Windows” was going to make PCs easier to use. Prior to that only geeks, colleges, businesses and the military were really ‘into’ PCs. Shareware of old transformed into what we know now as demos.

If Linux is to succeed in gaining it’s deserved place in the market a few things need to happen.

  1. An all out attack on the U.S. desktop market via an assertive ad campaign (i.e SuperBowl spot)
  2. Big money investors that will sink big money into it in hopes of an even bigger return.
  3. A distro that will not only attack the desktop environment to make it absolutely usable by all user but one that is willing to develope bundled software of it’s own (Office and Quickbooks like), not to mention aggresively making internet bundling as IE did….charging websites to be added into the bookmarks folder by default.
  4. If any distro is to take on this task then it must address these issues inhouse. A) Easier installation. B) The desktop. C) Office Suite D) Financial Suite E) Games (not the soltaire variety but Sierra and Apogee variety). F) Attract the attention of major vendors like Apple etc.

Why are companies like Loki going belly-up? Because they limited themselves. Loki’s development of Linux games was a noble cause but because they ignored th mainstream Windows users in their campaign they lost. If they wanted to develope games just for Linux then what (IMHO) they should have done was attacked both markets using mainstream sales to propel the company, then once the Linux market grew big enough to support them soley…dump Windows development. Which would do something else, attract even more users towards Linux for their beloved games.

In the 80’s and 90’s I played a lot of Sierra titles because their games challenged my intellect (yeah I’m the geek variety). But recently Sierra dumped it’s Adventure genre because there wasn’t a huge demand for them in comparison to other genres……PCs were no longer just for intelects and geeks. If someone could convince a company as big as Sierra that this genre has a place in Linux (and it does in my opinion) and if we will pay to for these game then perhaps other companies would follow their lead.

Attacking only one small part of the market and ignoring the larger more profitable side is nothing short of shooting yourself in the foot. And with the recent financial woes of certain companies I think it is time we rethink the marketing of Linux Distros.

Let’s face it, I go into a large software store and I see aisles and aisles of Windows software. But when I ask do you have any Linux software I get pointed to two boxes….one a copy of RedHat 7.2 and Mnadrake 8.1. Why is this? Because Linux distros literally pull each other apart. Now I love freedom of choice just like the next TuxHead, But what needs to happen….no, what has to happen is each of the distros needs to consolodate into only One company. No more distros targeting a small sector, but One that will target the world market.

If each of these distros would simply meet in one place and consolodate their efforts then the market will be stood on it’s ear. Financial centers would start to drool and Silicon Valley would start to think “Micro-who?”.

I don’t think this will happen overnight, but I hope that this idea is passed on to those in charge of heading distro managment and they give it some thought. Hell, I’d even be willing to attend the meeting and give my 2 cents worth……Scratch that I’d even take on the task of leading it…I’m brash enough to give Steve Ballmer a run that he wouldn’t soon forget.

Category:

  • Linux

Will Linux find a home in handhelds?

Author: JT Smith

ComputerWorld Singapore (on CNN.com) reports that Linux is making inroads into the PDA market with “a number of handheld companies announcing support for the open source operating system. Lineo, which supplies the operating environment for a number of mobile devices, is upbeat about both its and the open source operating system’s prospects in the handheld devices space.”

Linux Motor provides all distributions with technical support

Author: JT Smith

From LinuxPR: Linux Motor purposes different GPL’ed distributions (Red Hat, Mandrake, FreeBsd, Debian…) with technical support for a unique price 19.95$ for 60 days by Mail or 29.95$ by phone and E-Mail.

Visit the Web Store store.linuxmotor.com

Mozilla’s revenge

Author: JT Smith

From Salon.com: “‘ Hebrew is now supported on Solaris.’ Thus reads the first line of the release notes for the most recent version of Mozilla, the open-source Web browser born out of Netscape’s decline. And right there, you can learn all you really need to know about why free, or open-source, software is so vital — even after being declared a has-been by its competitors, or even worse, un-American.”

Category:

  • Open Source

The threat of a Linux generation

Author: JT Smith

Newsweek International (on MSNBC.com) reports that oung programmers turned off by Microsoft?s anti-piracy policies are looking to alternative software. “One of the burning issues in computer circles is whether servers ? the fastest-growing segment of the computer business ? are going to run Microsoft software or an alternative, Linux, in the future. Microsoft?s selling point has been its universe of tightly designed software that fits together like a puzzle, from the basic operating systems that make each computer run to software that controls networks to programs designed for specific tasks. But lately Microsoft has been placing more and more restrictions on how its software can be used. That bothers programmers, who crave the freedom to use the tools of their trade as they see fit.”

Category:

  • Linux

Lineo announces next PDA to run Lineo Embedix Plus

Author: JT Smith

From PRNewswire: Lineo(R), Inc., a leading innovator of embedded operating
systems and host development environments for vertical-specific markets, and
Infomart today announced the continued development and expected Q2 release of
the Kaii personal digital assistant (PDA) utilizing the Lineo Embedix(R) Plus
PDA vertical software stack. This follows the announcement of Embedix Plus
PDA integrated to run the Sharp Zaurus SL-5500D.

Embedded Linux market enters era of standardization

Author: JT Smith

Anonymous Reader writes, “The Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC) will hold an open
technical meeting tonight in San Francisco, during which the
two-year-old organization will move beyond its initial role of primarily
evangelizing the adoption of Embedded Linux, to one of creating a
unified Embedded Linux “platform specification”. . Among the over 100
attendees expected are representatives of many of the world’s largest
and most influential software, semiconductor, and electronics companies:
HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp,
Sony, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Wind River.”

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS6526424457.html

Category:

  • Linux

Survey: Cost the key factor in pushing business to Open Source

Author: JT Smith


By John Lettice
of The Register

Major businesses could well be poised to embrace Open Source software, with cost, control over development and “an alternative to the status quo” being prime considerations, according to survey data released today by OpenForum Europe. OpenForum, which aims to accelerate the deployment of Open Source software in business and government, jointly funded the survey with the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry.

Over three months, 79 CIOs and financial directors in financial services, retail and public sector were interviewed, and the results suggest both a receptiveness on their part to moving to Open Source, and problems ahead for Microsoft’s “upgrade escalator” sales model. Perceptions actually varied surprisingly little between users and non-users of Open Source software. Some 64 percent of users felt a benefit of Open Source was to decrease general costs, against a still substantial 49 percent of non-users. This was by far the biggest perceived benefit, with development control (23 percent and 14 percent respectively) and lower software licensing costs (23 and 24 percent) coming next. Licensing costs are the major issue as far as total cost of ownership is concerned.

Then comes “an alternative to the status quo,” with 23 percent and 14 percent, and we think we know who they mean here. Access to source, cross-platform capabilities and customisability come fairly low down, which suggests that they really just want a cheaper, commodity alternative, rather than to be able to sing and dance as well. Another item of concern for Microsoft will surely be that reasonable numbers of them (26 percent in the retail business) propose slowing down the upgrade cycle as an important part of their licensing cost strategy.

So why don’t they jump? Availability of support is seen as the major challenge, and beyond that they’re all over the place. Cross platform compatibility also comes second in the challenges section (23 percent and 16 percent), but there’s a whole raft of other concerns of a similar order. Here, though, the users and non-users diverge most clearly, with non-users worrying hard about no track record (24 percent), “due diligence process unproven” (a legal thing) 19 percent, and credibility of supplier (19 percent).

So there’s still a sales job to be done on the people who haven’t bought into it yet, and over at the purse strings of the banks we barely seem to have started yet. Only 6 percent of bank financial directors admit to having heard a little about Open Source from their IT departments, while the balance confidently assert “none.”

But the good news: 86 percent of CIOs intend to run Open Source at infrastructure level, 17 percent will use it for business critical apps, and 14 percent apiece reckon it will play on the desktop and handhelds. So we can’t expect a major desktop and device rollout soon, but the server end of the business looks plausible, which is of course as it should be, given the current nature of the platforms.

Unlike the more overtly geeky Open Source organisations we’re familiar with, OpenForum Europe has set itself the tricky task of evangelising the software in business and government, which means having a few suits on board itself, and working the line between suit and geek. As we’ve suggested previously, blood may well be spilt on this one, but the survey is a credible first effort, and more details are available here. The next stage, spokesman Graham Taylor told The Register, is to get together some credible case studies, and a migration guide.


All Content copyright 2002 The Register

BRU-Pro 2.0 backup and recovery solution for Linux backs itself up

Author: JT Smith

The TOLIS Group, Inc., a Talented Organization Leveraging Intelligent Solutions, today announces BRU-Pro[tm] 2.0 will begin shipping to customers on March 19, 2002. The advanced features of BRU-Pro 2.0 running on a cost effective, reliable Linux box provides ultra-reliable backup and data recovery services on medium to large heterogeneous network systems. Introductory pricing will be in effect for the first 30 days of product availability.

“The market need for the functionality of BRU-Pro 2.0 is clear. The importance of data and its availability has never been greater, and the impact of interrupted access spans from disruptive to catastrophic. But what if the backup system fails? BRU-Pro 2.0 literally backs itself up,” said Tim Jones, president of the TOLIS Group. “BRU-Pro 2.0 running under Linux provides a most compelling backup system argument.”

In addition to storing archive catalogs on the server disk like other backup applications, BRU-Pro 2.0 also writes the catalogs and indexes to tape along with each archive. The redundant locations are critical since the server disk drive is the device with the highest failure rate within the backup management system. Should that hard disk fail, simply replace the drive, reload BRU-Pro, and the catalogs and indexes are automatically recreated on the drive. In contrast to alternative approaches, the renewed availability of archived data is not measured in terms of lengthy downtime and expensive, manual rebuilds of the catalogs and indexes.

Additional key features of BRU-Pro 2.0 include: encrypted data streams from the client to the server, client-side data compression to optimize use of available network bandwidth, NFS/SMB mounts to backup NAS boxes on the network, QFA (Quick File Access), native SCSI library support (no costly add-ins) and the ability to backup multiple clients to multiple tape destinations simultaneously for optimized throughput.

BRU-Pro 2.0 was carefully designed to assure the accuracy of archived data, and the ability to successfully recover it. The tape format of BRU-Pro 2.0, unlike tar-based products, allows verification that audits the first bit of data taken off a client system to the last bit written to tape. Since recovery can only be as accurate as the backup, this approach assures the accuracy of the backup and eliminates the 30% – 50% data recovery failure rates users typically experience. Should a tape be damaged following a backup, advanced BRU-Pro 2.0 error detection and recovery schemes assure the maximum amount of data will be recovered.

BRU-Pro 2.0 is priced at $999 and ships with 3 client licenses. Additional clients are priced on a cost-effective sliding volume scale. For the first 30 days of shipping, BRU-Pro 2.0 will be available at a special introductory price of $699.

An annual, post-warranty Extended Support Plan that provides unlimited access to expert technical support for one year via phone, fax, and email is priced at $499. The coverage also includes free updates as they may become available.

ABOUT THE TOLIS GROUP, INC.

The TOLIS Group Inc. a privately held business located in Scottsdale, Arizona, is dedicated to provide leading-edge products to OEMs and end-users that are effective, reliable, and of excellent value for computer users. Product focus centers on data protection solutions, and our service mark of “Software You Can Trust” guides our business.

The majority of TOLIS’ products are based on the BRU backup engine, an elegant piece of software first developed in 1985 that has evolved and remains on the leading edge of backup technology to this day. Numerous product excellence awards have recognized BRU.

TOLIS is a Corporate Supporting Member of Linux International and the Linux Professional Institute. TOLIS is also the sponsor of the Linux Tape Device Certification Program (www.linuxtapecert.org). Contact the TOLIS Group at PH: 1.480.505.0488, FAX: 1.801.327.6177, E-mail: info@tolisgroup.com, or visit TOLIS on the Web at: www.tolisgroup.com.