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VNU Net: Products take centre stage at LinuxWorld

Aug 15, 2000, 14:19 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Geralds)

By John Geralds, VNU Net

After a year of debating the business case for Linux, followers of the open source operating system (OS) will get a look at some real products this week.

From watches to supercomputers, companies will show the 17,000 delegates at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Jose the products they have only talked about in the past year. Linux executives and analysts will also focus less on stocks and business models, and more on new products.

Bill Claybrook, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group, said the talk "has gone away from Linux itself to what applications are running on Linux".

Among the expected announcements is the promise of build-to-order software from VA Linux Systems. Larry Augustin, chief executive at the company, said VA "will do for software what Dell has done for hardware".

He said that with VA's software, customers can choose from more than 700 pre-installed packages, and two flavours of Linux - Red Hat or Debian - at no extra charge.

News is also expected today from the Gnome Project, with major hardware vendors (including Compaq, IBM and Sun Microsystems) and Linux firms (including Red Hat, VA, Eazel and Helix Code) expected to adopt Gnome as a framework for next-generation internet access devices.

IBM plans to release several new software packages, including one for sharing files across a network and a dynamic probe system that uncovers bugs in software. The company also plans to demonstrate the Linux OS on a watch device.

Corel will market its WordPerfect office suite for Linux, and America Online's Netscape unit will be demonstrating a Linux version of its browser. Sun will be showing a Linux version of its Star Office suite of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.

Motorola hopes to challenge Palm's dominance in the handheld organiser market with a Linux device, and a team of former Apple executives are expected to show off Eazel, a Linux browser that might be adapted to desktop uses in the coming months.

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