Linux rolls on in SF
- By John K. Waters
Despite the flagging economy, the annual LinuxWorld Conference drew an estimated 25,000 attendees and 150 exhibitors to San Francisco's Moscone Center last week. The list of exhibitors ranged from mainstream IT brand names (IBM, H-P, Compaq) to established open source stars (Red Hat, Caldera, VA Linux) to up-and-coming Linux innovators (Ximian).
A slew of products and services were unveiled during the event, including:
Hewlett-Packard's bundled Secure Operating System Software for Linux. The package includes a modified version of the Linux operating system kernel 2.4 along with various programs and utilities, tools to prevent unauthorized communication between programs, networks and files and detects hacking. Secure OS is priced at $3,000 per system.
Several new programming tools from Intel Corp. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker demoed new compilers that translate Linux applications written in C++ or Fortran into commands that Intel Pentium 4 or Itanium chips can execute.
IBM disclosed some successes from its decision to spend $1 billion on Linux this year. Said Ross Mauri, vice president of development in IBM's server group, "Linux is no longer on the edge. It is moving into the mainline." New customers of IBM Linux-based systems include Securities Industry Automation, now running Linux on a mainframe, The SIA system lets stockbrokers check that buy and sell orders on the New York and American stock exchanges really took place. The system, which went into use about a month ago, formerly ran on servers from IBM rival Sun Microsystems.
IBM also told attendees that a version of its WebSphere Commerce Suite for the Zseries Linux mainframe platform will ship this fall, priced at $45,000 per processor.
Ximian Inc. brought out two new services based on its Red Carpet software management application. Red Carpet Corporate Connect lets companies manage and control Linux desktop software and versions used internally. And Red Carpet Express provides customers with priority, high-bandwidth Internet downloading and updating of Ximian and third-party software hosted by Ximian.
Ximian also announced the availability of two new shrink-wrapped software products that contain the latest version of the Ximian flavor of the GNOME desktop environment. The Ximian Desktop Standard Edition and Desktop Professional Edition includes a preview release of Evolution, the company's personal and workgroup information management tool for Linux and Unix-based systems.
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John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached