Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 15:08:58 -0500
From:"Linux-Pipeline-Newsletter" <linuxed@TECHWIRE.COM>
Subject: [LPN] Linux Pipeline Newsletter - 1.6.2004
Tuesday, January 6, 2004
The film critic Roger Ebert once said that lists are a lazy editor's
way of creating something that looks like a story, but isn't. Ouch.
And here's a list of predictions for Linux and open source in 2004.
1. The SCO lawsuit will simply disappear: It's becoming more and
more clear that SCO simply has no significant evidence of
infringement. If SCO had hard evidence of infringement, we'd have
seen it by now, either disclosed by SCO or leaked from some third
party; there are plenty of people with knowledge of both Unix and
Linux code. SCO has disclosed some code that it SAYS is evidence,
but it's been pretty tepid stuff.
I have no idea how the lawsuit will disappear. What the Linux
community would like is for a judge to throw the case out with some
scathing commentary, and for SCO management and lawyers to face
significant fines, jail time, flogging and being forced to sit
through repeated showings of the Ewok sequences of "Return of the
Jedi." Well, that's not going to happen. The case may be thrown out,
but SCO's management and lawyers will emerge unscathed -- for better
or worse, the American courts are set up to make it easy for someone
with money to sue with impunity. SCO management, lawyers and
investors are going to make a ton of money off of this, and live to
laugh another day.
SCO might be bought up by someone with a stake in keeping Linux
viable. The company will almost certainly not be bought up by IBM;
if that was going to happen, it would have happened by now. Hewlett-
Packard would be another candidate -- I have no idea whether they
are interested, and, if interested, whether they have the resources.

There might be a management change at SCO, followed by a fast
The lawsuit will have no long-term effect on Linux and the open
source community. Despite the lawsuit, Linux adoption is growing,
and will continue to do so. The lawsuit has not dissuaded users from
deploying Linux, Linux users fall into two camps with regard to the
lawsuit: the ones who don't care, and the ones who hate SCO.
Now, some of you are saying, "Mitch, weren't you haranguing us all
last year about how we should take the SCO lawsuit seriously? Did
you change your mind about that, fella? Hoping we wouldn't notice
the switcheroo?"
My response: No mind-change at all. You SHOULD take the SCO lawsuit
seriously. After all, I could be wrong about all of this. As a
matter of fact, I'm a little bit nervous about including this
prediction, because it gives me the opportunity to be SPECTACULARLY
wrong come Jan. 2005. However, I have a plan in place if that
happens: I'll lie like a rug. I'll claim I never wrote this at all.
I'll blame it all on Bill Gates.
2. Despite the collapse of the SCO lawsuit, we will see the first
major court test of the General Public License. Somebody who's not
SCO is going to sue to get the GPL overturned. That entity will,
unlike SCO, have enough facts and law to back up its claim to make
the lawsuit viable (although maybe not enough facts and law to win).
That lawsuit may well not be resolved by Jan. 2005; when it is
resolved, the GPL may have to be modified significantly, but the
basic spirit of the GPL will stand up.
3. We'll see the first major pilot of desktop Linux in deployment to
general business users by a U.S. Global 2000 corporation. The
company will roll out a few dozen or a few hundred seats to see if
Linux is a viable alternative to Windows on the desktop. I don't
THINK that we'll see a major corporation standardizing on Linux on
the desktop -- but it could happen.
The penguin is the mascot of Linux, and when it comes to trying out
new technology, big companies are like penguins. Here's how a flock
of penguins jump into the water: They all stand around on the edge
of a pool, shoulder to shoulder (do penguins even HAVE shoulders?
Never mind. Stay with me on this), and jostle and bump each other.
Eventually, one of the penguins is knocked into the pool. The other
penguins watch for a little while to see if the first penguin gets
eaten by anything -- if it's safe, the other penguins jump in.
As soon as the first big company has a successful, widespread Linux
deployment on the desktop, others will follow quickly.
4. Linux won't gain significant desktop market share in 2004, but it
will in 2005. That's when the fun REALLY starts, as Microsoft faces
its first real competition for the desktop market since the 1980s.
5. Linux will continue to be Public Enemy Number One for Microsoft,
but the competition won't hurt the Linux community. Indeed, both the
Linux community and Microsoft will be stronger for the competition.
6. Mozilla will not gain significant market share against Microsoft
Internet Explorer, but Mozilla users will continue to love their
7. Proprietary vendors will borrow techniques from the open source
community, including code-sharing and bringing users into the
development process. Microsoft has already started that.
My next three predictions are pretty obvious. We'll look back a year
from now and they will be right, but I won't deserve any credit for
making these predictions, because they're as easy as predicting the
sun will rise tomorrow. Nonetheless, I'm including them anyway
because they'll be stories to watch in 2004. Also, they round out
the prediction numbers to an even 10, which pleases my fussy little
8. Novell will emerge as a Linux powerhouse after completion of the
SUSE acquisition. That pleases me, I like Novell, they're a nice
company to do business with.
9. We'll see distros based on the new 2.6 kernel, making Linux even
better for desktops and enterprise applications.
10. Linux will continue to grow and gain market share.
--Mitch Wagner, Co-Editor, Linux Pipeline
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1. Only The Best Linux And Open-Source News
2. How-To: Find Open-Source Documentation
3. Trends: Linux Gaining Support In Embedded Systems
4. Voting Booth: What's The Best Linux Distro?
5. News/Analysis: SCO Faces Deadline In IBM Case - Rooney
6. Expert Views: Opinion: Enterprises Must Embrace Linux And Grid
Computing - Bertin
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Israel Stops Buying Microsoft Software In Favor Of Open Source
     In an apparent showdown over price, Israel's government has
     suspended purchases of Microsoft productivity software and is
     encouraging the development of an open source alternative.
BEA Bolsters Workshop With New Tools
MySQL 5.0 Alpha Available For Download
MySQL Nails Bugs In Maintenance Release
Details Emerge About SCO's Copyright Violation Warning To Linux
Microsoft Polls Linux Users
SCO Sends Warning Letters To Linux Users
Check Linux Pipeline's News page for the latest news:

2. HOW-TO: Find Open-Source Documentation
     Think open-source apps have terrible documentation? Think
     again. You just need to know where to look.

3. TRENDS: Linux Gaining Support In Embedded Systems
     Vendors such as Wind River Systems are scrambling to support Linux
     for devices ranging from cell phones to airplane navigation gear.
4. VOTING BOOTH: What's The Best Linux Distro?
     Is it Debian? Red Hat? SuSE? Mandrake? Or none of the above?
     Come cast your vote on the best Linux distribution provider.
5. NEWS/ANALYSIS: SCO Faces Deadline In IBM Case - Rooney
     Even as it considers filing a legal claim against a Linux customer,
     SCO has until Friday, Jan. 9 to produce some proof to support its
     lawsuit against IBM.
6. EXPERT VIEWS: Opinion: Enterprises Must Embrace Linux And Grid
Computing - Bertin
     Look ahead to grid computing and open source or you'll be left to
     deal with a morass of legacy systems.
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