Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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8/10/2005
11:38 AM
David  DeJean
David DeJean
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Out-In-The-Open Source

The news from LinuxWorld in San Francisco this week makes a very interesting point: Linux and open-source software seem to be making gains in the enterprise. IBM and Novell kicked off the Linux lovefest with major declarations of support for the OS, and the president of Oracle delivered the keynote. Those companies, some of the biggest in the business, wouldn't have done that if Linux weren't working for them. And were it works is serv

The news from LinuxWorld in San Francisco this week makes a very interesting point: Linux and open-source software seem to be making gains in the enterprise.

IBM and Novell kicked off the Linux lovefest with major declarations of support for the OS, and the president of Oracle delivered the keynote. Those companies, some of the biggest in the business, wouldn't have done that if Linux weren't working for them. And were it works is services.Charles Phillips, the Oracle president, said 1,500 Oracle ISVs are working with some form of Linux. Novell launched an openSuSE that will make the distribution available for free this fall. IBM, a company that knows from services, announced it was changing its focus on Linux from turning into products to embedding it in industry-specific solutions. Linux is an OS IBM can make its own.

Of course, on the desktop it's another story. Linux is far more popular as a server operating system than as a personal operating system. But I can't say that too loud, or the LinuxHeads will be down on me. (2005-08-11 -- They're going to be down on me anyway, for posting Companies Snub Linux Desktops.)

In the Editor's Note I wrote for this week's Desktop Pipeline Newsletter (please subscribe if you haven't already; my children need shoes) I whined about problems with updating the software on an old laptop. I expected the usual barrage from the MacHeads, the same kind of thing I've gotten for years: "That wouldn't happen if you had a Mac, yadda, yadda, yadda."

I got it from a couple of people, but what surprised me was that the responses from LinuxHeads: They outnumbered the MacHeads roughly three to one. That's new. And they were specific about what to get: Robert Franklin wrote, " I highly recommend SimplyMEPIS Linux. It's a live CD, so you can run it from the CD to check to see if it has drivers for your hardware before you install to your hard drive" (http://www.mepis.com).

Hugh Dean recommended Ubuntu Linux, a distribution that also has a run-it-from-a-CD trial available and one advantage over SimplyMEPIS -- it's free (www.ubuntu.com).

Steve Ankeny mentioned Mono and referred me to a recent interview with Miguel De Icaza, one of the sparkplugs behind GNOME.

De Icaza is working with Novell, and Novell has its eyes on the desktop, too. David Patrick, the company's general manager for Linux, said at LinuxWorld, "We've focused so far on the data center, high-performance computing and workstations. We see opportunities on the desktop, but that's a longer road for us; we're planning to use the momentum for desktop Linux that exists outside the U.S. to build momentum here."

Indeed, momentum seems to be building.

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