"This year was a year that wasn't exactly how we might have
hoped, but overall, the state of GNU/Linux was overall better at
this side of 2003 than it was at the other. In our annual
tradition, what follows is a look at the ups--and downs--of
GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software in 2003.
"The year started hopeful--in our last year-end article, I said,
'all indications seem to suggest that 2003 might just be even
better [than 2002].' However, our hopes were temporarily dashed. By
the end of January, one of the key players in the GNU/Linux desktop
market--MandrakeSoft--had entered bankruptcy protection. Nearly a
year later, Mandrake appears to be poised to reemerge in much
better financial health, but at the time, many thought it might end
up being liquidated.
"It was about this time that rumors first started to circulate
that the SCO Group had hired Boies, Schiller & Flexner. By
March, SCO Group had taken away the air of mystery and announced
their intent: to sue IBM and argue that the Linux kernel contained
code illegally stolen from SCO's UNIX intellectual property. This
suit quickly became a large scale 'war' between SCO and the Free
Software community as SCO broadened its range of attack and even
started selling 'licenses to use Linux...'"