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Editor's Note: A Chance For Greatness

Apr 14, 2006, 23:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

By Brian Proffitt
Managing Editor

It's pretty much an open secret that the DCC Alliance is planning on announcing a new product release at the upcoming Desktop Linux Summit in San Diego. After releasing DCC 3.0 in December, there's always the possibility that we'll see DCC 3.1. Or something else.

The reason that this is such an open piece of knowledge is that just before LinuxWorld in Boston, the DCC's PR agency notified a number of reporters to set up briefings regarding an announcement at that show. A couple of days later, the offers were rescinded. It's never a good idea to run stuff like that past the media--we tend to get more curious that way.

The most popular two theories are a DCC 3.1-like release and/or some sort of announcement regarding a code/business merging between some of the member companies. The most looked-for alliance would be between Linspire and Canonical Ltd, the corporate backers of Ubuntu.

Admittedly, that kind of alliance would certainly be high up there on the wow scale. But I have to wonder, what good will a stronger DCC do for Linux?

Here's my problem: I am all for a strong, Debian-based distribution or distro-group. I personally like the technology and it never hurts to give users more choices. But which users, I must ask, will benefit?

The DCC distros seem almost uniformly geared towards stronger desktop offerings. But their tarket market seems a bit... vague. Linspire has specified a desire to reach the home- and small business-channel through retail and direct distribution. Xandros has stated the same, though lately they have expanded their target to larger businesses with their server product line. Ubuntu would be happy to just be installed everywhere.

Maybe vague is the wrong term to use. Perhaps I should say "flexible." Except flexible isn't going to get things done in this market. Red Hat and Novell have said that the enterprise is their path to commercial Linux deployment. The other companies have been fiddling around trying to decide whether to jump in and follow their lead or blaze a new trail.

I am personally hoping for the latter. I think the DCC brings great technology to the table. But above even this, these companies need a definitive market plan. That will bring a a greater benefit to Linux as a whole, not DCC 3.1 or a "Lin-buntu."

Stop settling for the fringes, DCC Alliance. You have a late Vista, a fed-up IT market, and best of all Linux on your side. Now is the time to be bold and decisive and make users notice what you have to offer.

Otherwise, we're just in for more of the same.


A brief program note: earlier this week, many of you noted some "blasts from the past"--stories from 1998 popping up in the Linux Today feed. After some scrutinizing, the cause was discovered. A new site that's under construction and uses LT content management code was inadvertently touching LT's live story database with its test code. The erroneous link was removed, and the problem solved. Thanks to all on our team that found the glitch, and to the many readers who helped me know when the problem occurred.