We all know we're already geniuses (just look at what OS we use—our IQs must be over 2000), so now we're ready to go out and conquer the world (a tad gruesomely at that). There are dozens of strategy games for Linux; these are only a few highlights. All these games and more can be found, as usual, on http://happypenguin.org/, or you could try http://linuxgames.com/ for general gaming information.
On November 15, Red Hat announced they were buying Cygnus Solutions for a reported $674 million (US) in a stock-for-stock merger. I don't think anyone was surprised to hear that Red Hat was acquiring a company. Ever since the IPO, people have wondered who it would be and when it would happen. After all, what else were they going to do with all that money? Plans consisting of building a bigger and better portal and nothing else is certainly not the way to inspire confidence in your investors. However, I for one was certainly surprised that Cygnus turned out to be the company Red Hat bought. Of course, I had recently heard the rumor and hoped it would prove to be false.
Cygnus Solutions has been in business for ten years now. They are successful. They market good products based on open-source software, mainly the GNU tools such as gcc and gdb. Recently, they have marketed an integrated developer tool, called Code Fusion, which won our Editors' Choice Award for Best New Application for the Developer. They have always been vendor independent, ensured all their products ran on all Linux distributions and given back to the community. Their improvements to GNU tools have always been open source, giving everyone the chance to benefit from the advances rather than just those who could afford to pay for them. For these reasons, they have held a high standing in the regard of all those in the Open Source community. They have held this same high regard in the business community, because they have shown that you can indeed make money from open-source software.
Now that Cygnus is owned by Red Hat, what will happen? Will Cygnus products become vendor specific? Will upgrades always be available to Red Hat first? Will they continue to give back to the community? At least for this last question, I don't think we have cause to worry. Red Hat has been good about giving to the community too—I don't think that is going to change. But I do worry about the first two. Now that Red Hat has stockholders to report to, changes are inevitable—a definite market edge must be demonstrated and profits must be made. Red Hat's commitment to the Open Source movement is going to be put to the test.
They have bought a good, strong company, one that will help them show profits and continue to grow. It was a good business decision on their part. Still, I wish they hadn't made it so soon. I have no doubt that Cygnus is only the first company to be bought by Red Hat—there will be others. I feel it would have been best if they had first acquired a company that was not as strong; that is, one that would have benefited more from the merger. Let's not kid ourselves; Cygnus doesn't need Red Hat to be successful.
This merger looks like a bid for money and market domination, not a step taken to further the future of free software. Still, only time will tell if the Linux community has actually been slimed or if it just feels that way.
Corel announced an alliance with PC Chips to bundle Corel Linux with more than 20 million PC Chips motherboards. PC Chips will also ship Corel WordPerfect 8 for Linux and WordPerfect Suite 8 OEM for Windows with its motherboards.
SuSE, a distributor of the Linux operating system, announced an agreement with IBM to distribute, market and support selected IBM e-business software solutions for the Linux platform. SuSE is working with IBM to meet the demands of its customer base for software products running on the Linux platform. Initially, SuSE will concentrate on the following IBM and Lotus technologies for the Linux platform: Lotus Notes/Domino, MQSeries, Transaction Series, Component Broker, IBM Data Management Software, Websphere Family, IBM Electronic Commerce Software, VisualAge, San Francisco Framework and SecureWay.
Motorola announced the appointment of Metrowerks' two most senior executives, Jean Belanger and Greg Galanos, to strategic roles within Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) and the appointment of David Perkins as President of Metrowerks. The changes in these executives' roles were made to expand Motorola SPS' software expertise and accelerate the integration of Metrowerks and SPS. Belanger, Galanos and Perkins all remain on the board of directors of Metrowerks Inc., which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola on September 24, 1999.
Caldera has announced they have chosen Multi User Solutions to be their first Authorized Support Center. Multi User Solutions has over nine years of experience in supporting the UNIX environment, and currently supports over 10,000 sites nationwide. They offer a unique solution covering both OpenLinux and hardware support, and thus will be able to give Caldera customers the extensive coverage they need in phone, e-mail and on-site Linux and hardware support.
Ariel Corporation announced that the source code for its Linux remote access drivers is now freely available to the public through the Open Source Initiative. The drivers make it easy for service providers, OEMs targeting service providers and corporate enterprises to add high-density V.34, 56K and ISDN remote access to a broad range of PCI- and CompactPCI-based Linux systems.
Linuxcare announced an agreement with TurboLinux to partner on enterprise support, services, training and hardware certification and testing for TurboLinux software, including TurboCluster Server. Linuxcare also announced it will be providing technical support in Japanese for Linux software developers at NEC Software.
esoft Inc., a developer of Linux-based Internet appliance solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses, announced a distribution agreement with IT Resources Pte Ltd., a Singapore-based distributor. IT Resources will distribute the TEAM Internet family of products and will be selling them to value-added resellers throughout Singapore and India.
Intel Corporation announced it will bundle the Red Hat Linux operating system with its server platforms marketed through its recently created Internet Service Provider program. The inclusion of Red Hat Linux with Intel's ISP program offers customers the power of open-source software in the demanding Internet server environments in which it performs best. Comprehensive services and support will be provided by both organizations.
Activision, Inc. and Loki Entertainment Software announced they have joined forces to bring more PC and Macintosh games to the Linux platform. Loki will be developing, publishing and supporting the Linux ports of five Activision games, including Heretic II and Heavy Gear II, over the next two years.
National Semiconductor Corporation has appointed INFOMATEC AG/IGEL Technology Labs to serve its Asia Pacific customers. INFOMATEC/IGEL will develop Linux-based firmware to port to National's set-top box and thin-client platforms, providing highly integrated solutions for the information appliance market.
TurboLinux announced that Sanyo Electric Co. in Japan will be using TurboLinux as the base operating system in 20,000 Newve medical workstation products expected to ship over the next four years.
SMC Networks, a manufacturer and supplier of LAN products for small- and medium-sized networks, announced they will be providing a complete TurboLinux workstation solution to North American resellers and end users with every SMC single-pack network adapter purchased.
SCO and TurboLinux announced a worldwide services initiative to provide TurboLinux customers with Linux Professional Consulting Services from SCO. SCO will support TurboLinux customers in planning, cost analysis and deployment of their systems. SCO will also develop specific service offerings for the newly announced TurboCluster Server.
Dell Computer announced it is shipping its Precision WorkStation series in Japan bundled exclusively with TurboLinux. Customers can also purchase Linux support services from TurboLinux through Dell's DellWare program.
Covalent Technologies, a supplier of commercial software for the Apache web server platform, announced the availability of several commercial support options for the Apache web server.
Fujitsu Ltd. announced it will be distributing Caldera OpenLinux 2.3 (and future versions) on many of its servers, including the GranPower series. Both companies will work to provide a comprehensive hardware certification program for OpenLinux products on Fujitsu systems.
Red Hat announced an expansion of its services program that will provide the consulting, and support enterprise organization's need for nearly all popular, powerful, open-source software applications. As the first step in the program, Red Hat's worldwide services group will immediately offer expanded Service Programs for popular open-source software solutions, including the Apache web server, Sendmail and Postfix.
Quote: I am basically a very lazy person who likes to get credit for things other people actually do. —Linus Torvalds (The Cathedral & the Bazaar by ESR)
Factoid: Pierre Laffitte, a French senator, has proposed a law that would make the use of open-source software mandatory for most government use! (Slashdot, October 28, 1999)
Joke: Windows 2000 is set to debut February 17, 2000—Groundhog's Day. If Windows sees its shadow, expect six more weeks of beta testing! —Patrick Hair, Panama City, FL.
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