Sun Microsystems announces that it will release the source to Solaris under the Sun Community Source License. The actual release drew criticism: “In a move aimed at Linux, Sun said it will announce Wednesday that it is making the source code for its new Solaris 8 operating system 'open'. Webster's has lots of definitions for the word, including 'not sealed, fastened, or locked'. But when you dig into the details of Sun's announcement, you'll find that what it is offering doesn't come close to meeting the dictionary's definition, let alone that of the Open Source movement.” —Lawrence Aragon, Redherring.com, January 26, 2000
“...if there's one thing about Linux users, they're do-ers, not whiners.” —Andy Patrizio,
Red Hat buys Cygnus for almost $700 million in stock. Rumors of other acquisitions by Red Hat begin to circulate and show no signs of stopping.
VA Linux Systems goes public after two repricings (originally priced at $11-$13/share). The final IPO price is $30/share; that price rises immediately to $300 before closing around $250. It sets the record for the biggest IPO rise in the history of the NASDAQ.
“Gee. Remember when the big question was 'How do we make money at this?”' —Eric Raymond
VA Linux Systems announces SourceForge (although the site had actually been up and running since November 1999). SourceForge also makes the code for its operation available under the GPL. By the end of the year, SourceForge hosted over 12,000 projects and 92,000 registered developers.
Version 1.0 of Red Flag Linux is released in the People's Republic of China.
Transmeta breaks its long silence and tells the world what it has been up to—the Crusoe chip, of course.
The Linux Professional Institute announces the availability of its first Linux professional certification exam.
Linux wannabe press releases flow from companies trying to ride on the success of Linux stocks. Vitamins.com, for example, posts the following: “Vitamins.com has further distinguished itself in the competitive Internet health industry race by being one of the first to integrate the Linux Operating System, produced by Red Hat, the leading developer and provider of open-source software solutions.”
The latest IDC report suggests that Linux now ranks as the “second-most-popular operating system for server computers”, with 25% of the server operating system sales in 1999. Windows NT is first with 38% and NetWare ranks third with 19%. IDC previously predicted that Linux would get up to the number two position—in 2002 or 2003. The revolution appears to be well ahead of schedule.
VA Linux Systems acquisition of Andover.net in a high-profile purchase that values Andover shares at 0.425 of VA's, or roughly $50/share. Andover.net is the owner of the popular web sites Slashdot.org and Freshmeat.org.
LinuxMall.com and Frank Kaspar and Associates also have made plans to merge. LinuxMall.com has been at the top of the retail side of Linux almost since the very beginning; Kaspar is one of the largest distribution channels.
Red Hat wins InfoWorld's “Product of the Year” award for the fourth time in a row.
“The law in open code means that no actor can gain ultimate control over open-source code. Even the kings can't get ultimate control over the code. For example, if Linus Torvalds, father of the Linux kernel, tried to steer GNU/Linux in a way that others in the community rejected, then others in the community could always have removed the offending part and gone in a different way. This threat constrains the kings; they can only lead where they know the people will follow.” —“Innovation, Regulation, and the Internet” by Lawrence Lessig for The American Prospect.
A new version of LILO is posted that is able to get past the 1024-cylinder boot limit that has plagued PC systems for years.
The latest Netcraft survey shows Apache running on just over 60% of the Web.
Caldera Systems goes public after a short delay, on March 21. The stock, which was offered at $14/share, began trading at $26 and closed at $29.44. It thus registered a 110% gain on its first day.
“Caldera knows of no company that has built a profitable business based in whole or in part on open-source software.” —Caldera SEC filing
Walnut Creek (the parent company for Slackware) and BSDi announce their merger. Yahoo! will be taking an equity investment in the new company.
Motorola Computer Group announces the release of its HA Linux distribution. This distribution is aimed at telecommunications applications that require very high amounts of uptime; it includes hot-swap capability and is available for the i386 and PowerPC architectures.
The Embedded Linux Consortium is announced. Its goal is “to amplify the depth, breadth and speed of Linux adoption in the enormous embedded computer market”. The initial leader will be Rick Lehrbaum, the man behind the LinuxDevices.com and DesktopLinux.com web sites, among other things.
Ericsson announces its “Screen Phone HS210” product—a Linux-based telephone with a touchscreen that can be used for e-mail, web browsing, etc. Ericsson and Opera Software also announce that Ericsson's (Linux-based) HS210 Screen Phone will incorporate the Opera web browser.
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