[lug] "First Central Lab for Linux Research Planned "

bill ehlert bill_ehlert at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 30 23:09:37 MDT 2000

          from the New York Times  30 August 2000

          First Central Lab for Linux Research

          A Popular Operating System Picks Up
Support From Big
          Computer Companies 

          By MATT RICHTEL

               SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 29 --
               Thousands of computer hobbyists
          and software developers who together
          honed the Linux operating system from
          homes and small offices could soon have
          their first central physical lab for
testing new
          versions of the operating systems and
          application programs built to run on

          In a validation of the growing
popularity of
          Linux, Intel, I.B.M., Hewlett-Packard
          and several other computer companies
          to announce Wednesday that they will
          jointly create and finance a laboratory
          developing and testing advances in the
          onetime renegade operating system. 

          Working with prominent Linux developers
          and promoters, the companies said, they
plan to open the Open Source
          Development Lab in Portland, Ore., by
the end of the year, then create
          several satellite offices around the
country to support it. 

          The companies were vague on details,
like the size of the lab, how much
          it would cost and how much the
project's backers would invest. The
          backers said the lab would be run by an
independent director who would
          essentially choose which projects would
be emphasized and which
          software would be tested, although they
suggested that the laboratories
          would be accessible to Linux developers
at large. 

          And they have said the lab will be
designed in particular to create
          Linux-based versions of software to be
used on superpowerful servers
          that automate corporate financial and
human resource and customer
          service backbones. 

          These functions, known as enterprise
software programs, are one area
          where Linux has not made significant
inroads in the last year, despite
          strong growth over all in the operating
system's market share, which also
          includes World Wide Web servers and
servers for small and
          medium-size businesses. 

          Linux developers, industry analysts and
participants in the project said a
          leading reason Linux had not been moved
onto these superpowerful
          computers was that Linux programmers
have not had access to the
          hardware needed to experiment with and
test new programs. 

          "When you look at what it takes to
build a true enterprise solution, the
          typical Linux developer does not have
access to that kind of hardware,"
          said Michael Tiemann, chief technology
officer of Red Hat Inc., a
          leading Linux company, based in
Research Triangle Park in North
          Carolina. "This is an opportunity to
extend our success and results." 

          Linux is what is known as an
open-source operating system, meaning that
          the code that underlies it is publicly
available. That contrasts with
          proprietary operating systems, like
Windows NT, whose underlying code
          Microsoft does not publicize. 

          Advocates of the open-source movement
in general say that making the
          code available permits hobbyists and
professional engineers to tinker with
          it, find bugs and improve the software.

          Mike Balma, the open source marketing
director at Hewlett-Packard,
          one of the investors in the lab, said
the far-flung contributions had made
          Linux a very stable operating system,
and one in increasing demand from
          customers. He said, however, that Linux
developers' lack of access to
          high-end hardware had meant that Linux
was not built to be scaled to a
          level needed on the high-end enterprise

          But Will Swope, a vice president at
Intel, which proposed the idea for
          the lab, said its creation would
accelerate development of Linux-based
          enterprise software. 

          Generally, Linux's share of the server
operating system market has grown
          strongly. In 1999, it held 24 percent
of the market, up from 17 percent
          the year before, said the International
Data Corporation, a
          Framingham, Mass., market research
firm. International Data found that
          the market share leader both years was
Microsoft, with 38 percent in
          each year. 

          Dan Kusnetzky, vice president for
system software research for
          International Data, said that beside
helping Linux, the lab might also
          benefit Intel. He said Intel had not
been perceived as a leader in the field
          of enterprise servers and that it could
help its reputation by promoting
          and financing the development of stable
Linux-based systems. 

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from anywhere!

More information about the LUG mailing list