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Editor’s Note: A Chance For Greatness

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 A couple of days later, the offers were rescinded.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.