Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
Acquisitions and consolidation appear to be the theme of the week.
Expect to see many more of these in the near future. Post-IPO companies
have a strong need to put their high-priced stock to work and grow. And
even pre-IPO companies can make use of their presumed future value and bulk
up to look better before that S-1 filing - look, for example, at
Linuxcare's pre-IPO acquisitions.
Linux has changed business in interesting ways, but "bigger is better"
appears to have survived unchanged. As long as advantages are seen in
greater size, companies will continue to merge and acquire. It's worth
remembering that most of the companies in the Linux sphere are still small
by the usual standards.
Anyway, this week's acquisitions include:
Anybody wandering the LinuxWorld floor could easily pick out a large list
of future acquisition candidates. The consolidation in the Linux business
arena is not likely to slow down anytime soon.
- VA Linux Systems' high-profile purchase of Andover.net. The deal
values Andover shares at 0.425 VA's, or roughly $50/share. VA claims
that the deal will give it "nearly two-thirds of the total traffic of
major Open Source sites" - a substantial bit of traffic.
Conversations on the LinuxWorld floor after the announcement revealed
a certain amount of confusion. It's not clear to many people that VA
and Andover make a good match. Andover's sites are now placed in a
position of perceived conflict of interest - a problem even if nothing
actually changes in their reporting. VA gets a network of sites that
does little to enhance its core business, and which puts it into the
web advertising business as well.
Larry Augustin, VA's CEO, described Slashdot as "the town hall of the
open source community," and seems to view it as a good complement to
VA's other community-oriented sites. We will see, over time, how well
this mixture works out in practice. (See also: the
open letter by Larry Augustin and Bruce Twickler published in
Slashdot, and VA's
press release on the acquisition).
- Atipa has announced
the acquisition of Enhanced Software Technologies, the makers of the
BRU backup utility. Atipa is the Linux box vendor whose logo seemed
to be everywhere at LinuxWorld - to the point that some surmised they
had hired a couple of taggers from the New York streets. They also
are the sponsors of Dave Whitinger's Linsight project.
The emerging picture here is of a Linux hardware company that is
trying to branch out into other areas - much like VA before it. With
the EST acquisition, Atipa has become a provider of commercial Linux
software as well (no mention has been made of open-sourcing BRU).
Backup software is an important component of enterprise systems, and
enterprises are the pot of gold that all Linux companies seem to be
- Corel jumped in on Monday with its announcement of a merger with Inprise/Borland. At first glance,
this looks like a good match. Corel and Inprise both have strong
development capabilities, but focused in different areas. Corel's
desktop applications will likely do very well in the Linux market -
once they finally find their way to market. And Corel's Linux
distribution appears to already be a success. Inprise, instead, works
in the development area - C++, Java, Delphi, Interbase, etc.
Corel's strategy thus far in the Linux world has been to push solidly
for the desktop - an approach that is quite different from Red Hat's
server-centric and Caldera's "e-Business" models. The Inprise
acquisition would seemingly prepare Corel to push back into the
back-end server side as well.
Both companies also pointed out, during their press conference, that
they do substantial business in the Windows world. Given that their
products work with both Windows and Linux, they see themselves as
ideally positioned to help Windows users transition over to Linux.
Migration from Windows will only become more important if Linux is to
continue to grow; companies that can help that process may find
themselves in a good position.
- LinuxMall.com and Frank Kaspar and Associates have announced
a merger as well. LinuxMall.com has been at the top of the retail
side of Linux almost since the very beginning; Kaspar, instead, is one
of the largest distribution channels. Together they will control much
of the process of getting Linux into the hands of end users. Getting
a better handle on the distribution side was probably crucial for
LinuxMall.com; if your business is delivery of the goods you are
better off controlling more of the process.
The Linux Fund on the IPO path The Linux Fund has announced
that it will do an initial public offering of its stock soon. The IPO will
be run as a self-underwritten dutch auction via MainStreetIPO.com. No
actual IPO registration has been done at this time, so the IPO is a little
ways off yet.
The Linux Fund is a venture capital operation which seeks to invest in
startup Linux companies. Perhaps their highest-profile investment is in
HelixCode, the company created by Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman. They
claim to have another six (unnamed) companies in their portfolio, and to be
in negotiations with yet another six.
The Fund is also collaborating with MainStreetIPO.com to create
Linux-IPO.com, described on this page.
Linux-IPO.com sets out to exactly what the Linux Fund is doing - create
open-access initial public offerings on the net. It looks a lot like the
OpenIPO process that Andover.Net
used, but with an emphasis on Linux companies only. It is perhaps fitting
that the Linux Fund would go through its own process before offering it to
TUCOWS forms the Open Development Advisory Council.
TUCOWS.com Inc. has
announced the formation of the Open Development Advisory Council
(ODAC) to examine economic models for open-source software programs.
Members of the council include Dave Whitinger and Red Hat's Howard
OpenSales ships alpha release. OpenSales has announced
that an alpha version of its OpenMerchant e-commerce system is available.
It handles order and inventory management, and many other things; the
system is written in Perl and has an open source license. A beta release
is expected later this month.
Meanwhile, it's already shipping, even in alpha form. TurboLinux has announced
that OpenMerchant will be bundled with its "TurboLinux server 6.0" release.
Ucentric Systems announces financing round.
Ucentric Systems has announced
the receipt of $10 million in financing from Polaris Venture Partners.
Ucentric is developing what appears to be a Linux-based server for
household "home area network" applications. If this company succeeds,
Linux may soon be the glue that ties together your refrigerator, toaster,
eOn Communications announces IPO.
eOn Communications, a maker of Linux-based server systems, has announced
its initial public offering of stock. The offering went out at $12 on
Friday, February 4, and closed at $23. We'll be considering this one for
the LWN Linux Stocks Page once the price has settled
down a bit.
Tarantella announcements from SCO. SCO made several announcements
about their Tarantella web-enabling serverware for leading Linux
Section Editor: Jon Corbet.
Open Souce Products:
Hewlett-Packard Company announced that it will offer
hardware-accelerated OpenGL on HP VISUALIZE fx+ graphics and that it
plans to release the company's large model-rendering toolkit to the
a press release from IBM, listing its recent Linux moves. These
include its ViaVoice voice recognition system, the contribution of the
JFS journaling file system, the availability of a NetObjects TopPage
beta, and its Network Station products running Linux. IBM is also
distributing an application developer's kit via Caldera Systems.
Commercial Products for Linux:
ACCPAC International, Inc. announced that it has released an
e-business and accounting solution for Red Hat Linux.
Alpha Processor, Inc. introduced its Alpha Linux Developer's
Program. This initiative offers developers of Linux software and
hardware the opportunity to qualify for discounted UP1000 Alpha-based
Advanced Visual Systems Inc. announced the release of Linux
versions of AVS/Express and OpenViz technologies.
Computone Corporation is shipping its new line of high performance
Gold Card RS-232 serial PCI controllers with Linux device drivers.
Corel Corporation announced plans to preview Corel PHOTO-PAINT for
Linux and CorelDRAW for Linux at Seybold Seminars in Boston.
Enhanced Software Technologies, Inc. launched its new Web site
that lists Linux-compatible tape devices by manufacturer and model.
Enhanced Software Technologies, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Company
announced that HP's SureStore DAT/DDS and DLT tape drives are now
certified to run under the Linux operating system.
IBM announced a new thin client computer and voice recognition
software for Linux, as well as new contributions to open source
- IDG Books
announced the expansion of its "Linux for Dummies" book series
into nine languages, and the addition of new titles (including "Linux
Programming for Dummies" and "Slackware Linux for Dummies").
IDG Books has also added three new titles to its Red Hat Linux
IEA Software, Inc. announced the availability of RadiusX software
for dial-up authentication, authorization and accounting for ISP's
running on Cobalt Networks' server appliances.
Integratus, Inc. announced the introduction of a Linux version of
its landmark Universal High Availability (UHA) application software.
Magic Software Enterprises announced Magic Enterprise Edition V.8
development environment for Linux.
MathSoft, Inc. introduced S-PLUS, a new academic site licensing
MTI Technology Corp. announced that its Vivant storage solutions
are now supported on the Linux operating system.
Newlix Corporation announced its Newlix Omega VPN Server.
Rebel.com Inc. announced that the NetWinder product line is now
available from TheLinuxStore.com.
Rogue Wave Software announced two new products, XML-DB Link and
XML-CORBA Link (XORBA).
SGI announced several additions to its growing portfolio of Linux
operating system offerings, including the introduction of a new SGI
Internet server, SGI Advanced Clustering Environment and global Linux
- Zortec International has announced that their fourth generation language, System Z, is now
supported on Linux, good for people wanting to move over older
Products Using Linux:
Patmos International announced the Perpetua, a Linux-based
Novell, Inc. announced the availability of eGuide.
Persistence Software announced that it is porting PowerTier for
Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) to the Linux operating system.
SoftBase Systems, Inc. announced the release of NetLert 2.0, the
latest version of its instant messaging software for corporations and
Products with Linux Versions:
Addonics Technologies announced an Internet sharing device for
Ethernet networks that allows multiple users to simultaneously connect
to the Internet over a single DSL or Cable Modem, using one Internet
Apogee Networks, Inc. announced a high-value solution for
capturing and utilizing information from Cisco NetFlow-enabled
Applix, Inc. launched a free trial program for their Applixware
Office product for customers of IBM's Network Station Series 2200 and
2800 thin client solutions.
Asante Technologies, Inc. announced a new Gigabit Ethernet over
copper solution for workgroups.
Computer Associates International, Inc. announced Ingres II Linux
Edition, a Linux-compatible version of CA's high-performance,
enterprise-class relational database management system.
Computer Associates International, Inc. announced that it has
extended the functionality of its comprehensive eTrust Access Control
for Unix solution to support Red Hat Linux.
DataMirror Corporation announced the availability of
Transformation Server for OS/390 V4.2.
DataMirror Corporation announced a special pricing promotion on
its High Availability Suite for IBM AS/400 in conjunction with IBM's
High Availability Rebate Promotion.
Ensim Corporation announced that ServerXchange, a comprehensive
service deployment platform, is now available in Europe.
Entera, Inc. unveiled its TeraCAST Streaming Server family.
Etnus has started shipping TotalView 4.0, a parallel debugger.
Generix announced VSI Fax version 4.0.
GraphOn Corporation announced it will release OEM beta versions of
its web-enabling software Bridges for UNIX and Linux.
Kasenna, Inc. announced a broadband media platform for Linux.
Mentor Graphics Corporation announced the availability of IC
Station StreamView, a high performance, high capacity physical layout
database visualization and debugging tool.
Merlin Software Technologies announced PerfectBACKUP+ 6.2 for for
all major versions of Linux.
MP3.com, Inc. released a Linux client version of Beam-it, its
proprietary software that allows consumers to store their CDs on
NetDIVE announced SiteSticky 4.0.
OnStream announced its new ADR50 Digital Tape Drive.
ThinkFree.com unveiled ThinkFree Office, a new Web-based
productivity suite, available free to consumers.
Partnerships, Investments and Acquisitions:
1mage Software, Inc. announced the signing of an international
reseller agreement with Black Tusk Technologies CC, located in
Parkhurst, South Africa. Under the agreement, Black Tusk will license
1MAGE products in South Africa, primarily on the Linux platform.
4Front Technologies, Inc. announced that it has become a US
service partner of Red Hat.
ApplianceWare Inc., maker's of an intelligent server appliance
software layer that runs on top of Linux, announced a strategic
alliance with Kerbango. See also this
press release about Kerbango's upcoming internet radio.
Birdstep Technology AS, developer of Ultra Small Footprint
database technology, has signed a Developer Partner Agreement with Red
Hat Inc. to port its patented data management software to Red Hat
- Red Hat, TheLinuxStore.com and TurboLinux have signed up to
Premier Sponsors" for the
CNET Linux Center.
Cobalt Networks, Inc. and Chili!Soft announced a strategic OEM
eSoft Inc. announced the signature of a multi-country distribution
agreement with ACA Pacific Technology (Singapore) Pte Ltd. and the
expansion of its Asian operations with the opening of their
Asia/Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore.
GoAhead Software announced that MontaVista Software Inc. is
shipping GoAhead WebServer with Hard Hat Linux.
Hewlett-Packard Company and Loudcloud, Inc. announced that they
are working together to help high-growth Internet businesses get to
market faster and scale to meet their customer needs.
Hummingbird Communications Ltd. announced that the Hummingbird EIP
(Enterprise Information Portal) core engine will be included in SuSE's
Hyperion announced the signing of a developer partner agreement
with Red Hat Software, Inc., under which Hyperion will deliver a new
version of Hyperion Essbase OLAP Server optimized for Red Hat Linux.
Insignia Solutions and MontaVista Software Inc. have reached an
agreement for MontaVista to distribute the Jeode platform to its
embedded Linux customers.
- Linuxcare has
announced a deal wherein it will provide back-end support for
Maxspeed Corp. announced platinum sponsorship support for Linux
Professional Institute (LPI).
Merlin Software Technologies announced the signing of an ISV
Business Partner Agreement with Caldera Systems Inc.
- Rebel.com and JetNet have
announced the "Business E-Connector" product. It appears to be a
combination of a Netwinder and dedicated ISP service.
Red Hat appointed UniDirect, as one of its official channel
SGI announced that IBM's DB2 Universal Database is now available
on all Linux-based SGI 1000 series servers.
TradeMark Computers announced a deal with Red Hat, Inc. to provide
Certified Systems to resellers, OEMs and system integrators.
Ucentric Systems announced the completion of a $10 million first
round of venture capital from Polaris Venture Partners. Ucentric will
use the proceeds to continue development of its home server product,
comprised of Ucentric-developed software atop a Linux OS and standard
Wave Technologies International, Inc. has teamed with Sylvan
Prometric to launch the Sair Linux and GNU certification.
Corel Corporation announced that its Linux Professional Services
Program is now in place.
IBM announced a program, with free developer kit, for small
Linux-based businesses. Distributed by IBM and Caldera Systems, Inc.,
each kit includes messaging, collaboration and dynamic web application
serving capabilities, and more.
- According to this
CNet article, Infostrada Communications, publisher of the Linux
Magazine, picked up the Linux.net domain.
Red Hat, Inc. announced an offering of 4,000,000 shares, priced at
$95.00 per share.
- Administrators at
Training Pages have
identified a change in the pattern of demand for IT
training. Today the word "Linux" appeared on the site's real-time
graph of its most popular keyword searches at the same time as no
Microsft-related word (e.g. "MCSE", "Microsoft", etc) was listed at
- TUCOWS.com Inc. has
announced the formation of the Open Development Advisory Council
(ODAC) to examine economic models for open-source software programs.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
February 10, 2000