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
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
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
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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