A year ago, the term “Linux business” was something of an oxymoron. Business? With “free software”? Well, that was before the Red Hat IPO, which was when the world changed. By the time 1999 was out, “Linux business” included VA Linux, Andover.net, Cobalt and other relatively new publicly traded companies whose combined market value totaled in the dozens of millions of dollars.
Suddenly the question was, “Who are these guys going to buy with all this new market cap?” Red Hat started with Cygnus. VA started with Andover (which had its own spectacular IPO at about the same time as VA's). All eyes turned toward a pair of well-established PC software companies that had recently repositioned themselves as Linux businesses: Corel and Inprise/Borland.
Both looked like they would help fill out the product portfolios of either Red Hat or VA Linux. Neither Corel nor Inprise would be easy to buy: both were profitable, with revenues in the hundreds of millions despite relatively depressed market stock values. But it looked do-able.
Then, on February 7, the two companies did something no one expected: they merged with each other. The new company looked to boast total sales of over $400 million, profits of a quarter that sum, and a market cap at merger of $2.44 billion. It would be called Corel, finally retiring Inprise/Borland's identity crisis (though key Inprise products would still bear the Borland brand).
Olive branches were immediately extended to the rest of the Linux community. In an interview with Linux Journal, Dale Fuller (the Inprise interim president and CEO who will become chairman of Corel's board of directors) declared his intention to partner with all the other Linux players, as well as its growing legion of developers. “We want to work with all the distributions and with all the development communities,” he said. “They'll all need applications and development tools. That's our business. We're here to help.”
The true test will come when Corel finishes coming out with its complete office application suite, and Borland's Kylix project completes the Delphi and C++ Builder development products for Linux. With all those products ready, Linux will become truly competitive (as well as compatible) with Microsoft on the desktop. Will customers buy it? Stay tuned.
DataViews Corporation announced an open-architecture HMI software development tool for Linux, allowing developers to create highly customized user interfaces for the monitoring, control and simulation of dynamic data.
In cooperation with SuSE, the developers' group at Hans Reiser and Chris Mason have expanded the high-performance ReiserFS (file system) with a journaling function. The release for SuSE Linux 6.3 can be downloaded from ftp.suse.com:/pub/suse/i386/update/6.3/reiserfs
Corel Corporation announced its Corel LINUX OS desktop will be able to run Windows applications seamlessly over any connection. A release containing both Linux client and Windows NT server licenses for GraphOn Bridges is scheduled to ship in mid-2000.
The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) announced the immediate availability of the first exam in its Linux certification program. The exam, which covers Linux basics as part of the program's first level, is now available worldwide at testing centers affiliated with Virtual University Enterprises (VUE).
TSCentral, the Internet's most comprehensive business and professional event directory, has launched a new industry section devoted to Linux at http://www.linux.tscentral.com/.
QLogic Corporation, a provider of Fibre Channel host bus adapters, and SCSI connectivity solutions, announced it has purchased AdaptiveRAID from Borg Adaptive Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of nStor Corporation.
Microsoft and Caldera announced they have reached a mutually agreeable settlement of an antitrust lawsuit filed by Caldera in July 1996. The terms of the agreement are confidential.
Red Hat, Inc. announced the appointment of Michael Tiemann to the position of Chief Technical Officer. Tiemann is replacing Marc Ewing, co-founder and former CTO of Red Hat. Ewing will remain as a member of the board of directors of Red Hat, Inc.
To meet the growing demand for Linux solutions for the enterprise, Atipa Linux Solutions announced the opening of three new offices in New York, San Francisco and Austin.
Knox Software, a supplier of backup solutions for Linux, announced that Arkeia 4.2 has earned IBM Netfinity ServerProven1 Solution validation.
MontaVista Software Inc., developer of the Hard Hat Linux for embedded computers, announced it has hired Kristin Anderson as director of support.
Corel Corporation announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire up to a 30 percent stake in OE/ONE.com, a start-up company developing an “Information appliance” platform or thin-client Internet Appliance platform.
Digi International announced an agreement with Red Hat, Inc. to join in marketing programs that will enable distributors, resellers and integrators to offer Linux-based communications servers designed specifically to suit the needs of small- to medium-sized businesses.
A new strategic partnership has been established between Minolta and SuSE to facilitate printer support. Linux users can now enjoy high-quality output from the Minolta PagePro 8, 18 and 25 monochrome laser printers.
SpellCaster Telecommunications Inc. has acquired MediaGlobe Networks, giving it full ownership rights to a Linux-based server software family.
iNUX Inc. announced the release of a small business desktop computer utilizing Linux to deliver easy and intuitive access to a broad selection of pre-loaded and pre-configured applications and content.
Linsight, an on-line Linux information resource, announced E. J. Wells is now its co-director. Dave Whitinger, founder, believes promoting Wells within Linsight, which already provides an authoritative resource of all Linux upcoming events and available Linux training, implements a new beginning.
Collab.Net, provider of scalable services and infrastructure for the development of open-source software, announced the appointment of James Barry as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Frank Hecker as Systems Engineering Manager and Jason Robbins as Senior Software Engineer.
At the PHP Developers' Conference last week, the PHP Group made a number of decisions and established working guidelines for the continuation of code development for PHP.
SpellCaster Telecommunications Inc., a developer of ISDN and remote access technology for Linux, announced it is releasing the source code for its Babylon software under the GPL. Babylon provides point-to-point remote access to and from Linux systems using PPP.
Creative Computers announced the change of its name to IdeaMall and the launch of eLinux.com, which will provide products from distributors, multi-vendor Linux solutions and custom configurations of Linux systems through a secure web site.
Atipa announced that Marc Torres is now the Chief Technology Officer of Atipa Linux Solutions. He brings to Atipa thirteen years of multi-platform UNIX experience, including specialties in Network Management and Systems Architecture, having previously served as President of SuSE Inc.
GraphOn Corporation announced it is providing the National Research Council of Canada with GraphOn GO-Joe connectivity software to enable researchers around the world to access the hundreds of applications and databases at the Canadian Bioinformatics Resource over the Internet and Canada's CANARIE Optical IP advanced network, CA*net 3.
Netizen, a Melbourne-based IT consultancy specializing in open-source software, announced it will be offering system support contracts for Linux, FreeBSD and other open-source systems for Australian clients.
Alpha Processor, Inc., a developer of high-performance Linux solutions, and Red Hat, Inc. announced a technical partnership to create a world-class center for the development of Linux clustering technology. The new clustering facility will be located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Factoid: Penguins' tongues are covered with many little spiky spines that all point backward into the throat, so that when a penguin catches a fish, it is gripped by the spines and cannot escape.
Trivia: What was the first Linux distribution to be certified Posix-compliant? Lasermoon Linux FT
Rumor: Linux Journal is being sold—and it's just that, a rumor.
Link of the Month: www.gnu.org/brave-gnu-world/brave-gnu-world.en.html
Practical books for the most technical people on the planet. Newly available books include:
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- DIY Commerce Site by Reven Lerner
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- February 2016 Issue of Linux Journal