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INDUSTRY ANALYSIS

The Money Bet: Solaris on Sparc

I've been puzzled by Sun's Linux strategy for a long time. On the software side, things make sense: Linux is Unix, so supporting Linux in the short term brings new value to Solaris in the long term. On the hardware side, however, I couldn't see any logical reason for Sun to sell x86 boxes until just...

Linux Security Holes Opened and Closed

In stark contrast to the long waits typical for Windows users wanting to patch software vulnerabilities, recently discovered security weaknesses in the core of the Linux operating system were addressed by major vendors in a matter of just a few days this week. Two security vulnerabilities in the Lin...

OPINION

Fighting Outsourcing with Unix and Strategic IT

One of the unfortunate realities of the Wintel monoculture is that expectations are set mainly by ads, the Sunday supplements and stereotypes like TV character Marshall, the supertech on the show Alias. But delivery is constrained by reality. As a result, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engin...

Linux Distro Numbers Differ, Depend on Metrics

Red Hat can claim it is the top distributor of Linux software. But the Debian Project can retort that it is really the leading distributor because it is the fastest-growing outfit in the Linux market. Which organization is right? That depends on one's source of information. A report by resear...

BEST OF ECT NEWS

Beyond Software Quality: The Ethics of Freedom

Eric Raymond, like most advocates of "open source," argues that allowing users to change and redistribute software is desirable as a way of producing technically superior software. That is the general position of the open-source movement, which was launched as a reaction to the free-software movemen...

BEST OF ECT NEWS

Microsoft Loses to Linux in Thailand Struggle

To prevent Linux from running away with Thailand's subsidized "people's PC project," Microsoft has dropped the price of its Windows/Office package from nearly $600 to $37. Other Asian countries are lining up to duplicate the Thai program. As a result of the events in Thailand, analysts have begun to...

IBM Taking MS Office to Linux

IBM reportedly is working with Microsoft to port the Redmond, Washington-based company's popular Office desktop software to the Linux platform, a platform that IBM has wholeheartedly endorsed and leveraged to win market share in the enterprise-computing space. Although open-source alternatives such ...

OSDL: Ignore SCO’s Linux Legal Threats

Based on arguments that The SCO Group is spoiling its own legal efforts, Linux backer Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has indicated most companies are ignoring the entire matter. Referring to a position paper written by Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen and published by the Linux con...

Mozilla Foundation Releases Rebranded Firefox Browser

Open-source developer the Mozilla Foundation has released a new version of its next-generation browser, dubbed Firefox after a name change and the addition of new features that bring the browser, according to the group, to "the bleeding edge of Internet technology." The browser was formerly known as...

OSDL Releases Data Center Guidelines for Linux

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has released a set of guidelines aimed at helping users deploy Linux in corporate data centers. Following a process that mirrors the open, ongoing development of Linux software itself, OSDL is inviting feedback on the Data Center Linux Technical Capabilities 1...

MandrakeSoft Nears Release of Mandrake Linux 10.0

Looking to head off bugs and to allay fears that its software is not as robust as its competition, MandrakeSoft announced a new development process this week that the company hopes will broaden the appeal of its software. According to the company, which is known for its Linux distributions targeted ...

OPINION

Is Linux Unix?

My Web logs show that somebody asked Google an interesting question sometime just before 08:03:41 Eastern on January 24th and then again sometime before 04:54:29 Eastern on January 26th. As entered the first time, the search was for "linux to unix relationship," although that became "relationship of...

OPINION

Software Vulnerabilities and the Future of Liability Reform

If you were to make up your own list of the top 10 issues likely to affect computing over the next five to 10 years, would you include liability reform in the American legal system? I think you should, even if you live, as I do, in Canada or some other country where American law doesn't apply direct...

SGI Launches Initiative To Improve Linux Visualization

Silicon Graphics this week launched an initiative that will bring the company's graphics technology to computers running Linux. The initiative consists of two elements: SGI's collaboration with various open-source graphics projects, including Chromium, and SGI's release of a tool kit for developers....

SuSE Linux on IBM Hardware Earns Higher Security Cert

IBM and SuSE Linux -- now owned by Novell -- announced they have reached new heights in Linux security with a standards certification that the companies claim will boost Linux adoption in government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense. The newly earned Common Criteria for Information ...

OPINION

Wintel Doesn’t Matter: Gaining Strategic Advantage with Linux

The publication in the Harvard Business Review of an article by Nicholas Carr titled "IT Doesn't Matter" raised much controversy. Carr's fundamental argument is that every widely used business technology conferred significant strategic advantage on early adopters but lost that potency as it m...

Novell Indemnifies Linux Users

Novell has announced it will indemnify users of its newly acquired SuSE Linux software systems. Following the lead of Hewlett-Packard, which was praised for its savvy in being the first Linux vendor to indemnify customers in the face of SCO's source-code claims last September, Novell said enterprise...

SGI Intros Low-Cost Linux Server to Technical-Computing Market

Silicon Graphics has been struggling to regain its dominance in the high-performance technical-computing market. Now, with the release of SGI Altix 350, a new Intel Itanium 2 and 64-bit Linux OS-based server, SGI is trying to make a major impact on the landscape of the $2.6 billion midrange segment ...

Low-Price, WiFi-Ready Linux Laptops Coming to US

Mixing two of the hottest tech trends -- notebook computers and the Linux operating system -- Taiwanese computer maker EliteGroup and San Diego, California-based Lindows have announced the deployment of more than 300,000 Linux-based laptops to the U.S. market. The $700 machines -- preloaded with Lin...

OPINION

Technical Change, Humiliation and the Macintosh

A few years ago, the only IT system I wasn't responsible for at a multimillion-dollar company consisted of a SCO server with an ancient accounting application maintained by the remaining representative of the company that had originally sold it. At the time, I thought old Vitki (not his real name) w...

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