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Salon: Can’t buy Linux love

The stumbles of a Kleiner Perkins-funded Linux start-up
prove that money isn’t everything in the world of free
software.

“The news that Linuxcare and its CEO Fernand Sarrat were
“parting ways” sparked a predictable hubbub in the Linux-watching
community over the weekend — kind of like a beehive poked with a
stick. Never mind that Linuxcare co-founder Art Tyde is calling
Sarrat’s departure a “non-event.” To put it mildly, it is never
good news when a start-up loses its CEO just before it is scheduled
to go public. Potential investors are unlikely to be amused.”

“The wider community of Linux enthusiasts is also unlikely to be
impressed. In the current stock-market climate, when nearly every
public Linux company is trading at an all-time low, Linuxcare’s
stumble, at first glance, seems to offer yet more ammunition for
anti-open-source snipers. Now that the euphoria encouraged by last
year’s Red Hat and VA Linux IPOs has faded like the buzz from a New
Year’s Eve party in the cold light of a hangover, an impressive
amount of doom-and-gloom is billowing out of open-source hangouts.
Sagging stock prices are taken as evidence that there is no viable
commercial model for open-source software. And the unseemly events
at Linuxcare — did Sarrat resign or was he axed? — are being
hailed as the clearest signal yet that the Free Software Emperor is
buck naked.”


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