A team of open source hackers, usability experts and seasoned
executives, including former Apple and America Online employees
want to overhaul Linux's graphical shell.
The management team of startup Eazel is made up of president and
chief executive Mike Boich who joined Apple in 1982 as the founding
member of Apple's Mac software group. Andy Hertzfeld, co-founder of
Eazel, worked for Apple in 1979 designing and implementing the
original Mac system software, including the User Interface
Another Apple veteran, Bud Tribble, manager of the original Mac
software team, joined as vice president of software engineering.
Eazel's board also includes Mike Homer, a former marketing
executive at Apple who went on to become executive vice president
at Netscape and is a senior vice president at AOL.
Eazel is working with volunteer programmers around the world
to give Linux a point and click interface for managing files and
folders. The team plans to take some of the best ideas on
computer ease and blend them with a new visual desktop interface
for Linux. The project is an extension of the Gnome user
The team originally intended to provide its software as an
alternative, but recently decided to join the international team
working on the second version of Gnome. The product, called Gnome
2, will be released this summer. It will be distributed under the
open source licence and will be free to users. Its source code will
be available to programmers who want to improve or customise
The company said the software will include icons, menus and
multiple windows along with the ability to view the contents of
many kinds of files in the folder windows that contain them.
Other companies are also working on an altered graphical look
for Linux software. Corel is bringing Wordperfect Office to Linux
and a startup called Helixcode is developing a Linux equivalent to
Bart Decrem, co-founder of Eazel, said: "Linux for your mum is
where we want to end up,but for the next year or two, Linux users
are our market."
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