To:"Mike Swier" <mswier@YAHOO.COM>
Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 13:57:16 -0400 (EDT)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LPN] Linux Pipeline Newsletter - 5.4.2004 - Desktop
Tuesday, May 4, 2004

In This Issue
1. Editor's Note: 
  - Desktop Linux: Some Opportunities, But Don't Hold Your Breath
  - In Linux Pipeline This Week
2. The Kernel: Top Stories This Week
  - Red Hat Sees An Opening In Its Windows Battle
  - Linux Emerging As A Cell Phone Platform
  - Review: Colinux Allows Windows, Linux To Share Pc
3. Only The Best Linux And Open-Source News
4. Interview: Jboss Ceo Marc Fleury
5. How-To: Basic Samba Configuration
6. Voting Booth: Cast Your Vote On Open Source Java
7. Shameless Self-Promotion

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I am not generally impressed by my fellow journalists. We're an
unsavory lot, with poor grooming habits, bad teeth and halitosis.
The only time we move fast is when the bartender brings the check
- and then we move in the opposite direction. 

However, I did get a chance to meet Doc Searls at the recent
Linux Desktop Summit, and I was pretty impressed.

Doc, a contributor to LinuxWorld, respected blogger, and co-
author of the marketing best-seller, "The Cluetrain Manifesto,"
gave a presentation at the conference about opportunities for
Linux on the desktop. 

But first a few words about Linux Desktop Summit. Or, rather, one
word: Depressing. The conference was tucked away in a corner of
the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, with a few hundred
attendees, and a few rows of exhibitors (this year's news:
exhibitors had actual booths! instead of just tabletop
displays!). Presenters all spoke about the same handful of Linux
deployments in some small cities around the world. I did not come
away with the impression that Linux was poised to challenge
Microsoft on the desktop - indeed, I came away pretty
discouraged, thinking Linux was unlikely to even muss Bill
Gates's hair. 

(Full disclosure: I only stayed for most of one day of the two-
day conference. Still, as the saying goes, you don't have to eat
a whole egg to know that it's bad.)

But Doc was a day-brightener. He gave a lively and funny talk
describing where Linux is likely to gain traction on the desktop,
and where it is likely to face problems. 

But first, he described where the PC market appears to be going.
He said the market appears to be splitting in three directions.
First, corporate desktops are becoming commodities. IT managers
are looking for PCs to be cheap, standardized, and
undifferentiated. When a company hires an office worker, the new
employee gets a standardized cubicle, desk, chair, and phone.
Nobody cares who makes these things or - in the case of the phone
- what software it runs, except for a very few specialists who
are paid to care. 

That's the direction corporate PCs are going, says Doc, and I
agree: The main criteria for commercial PCs are that they're
cheap, easy to maintain, and can do a few basic things like e-
mail and run a web browser. Nobody will care who makes the PC or
what software it runs. These thing are starting to happen

The second PC segment is the home PC. Microsoft and the mass
media companies are attempting to take over home PCs and turn
them into video and music servers, running software and files
protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM), Doc said. 

The third market is the traditional, general-purpose personal
computer market. That's increasingly becoming the domain of
notebook computers, Doc said. 

Of the three markets, he said Linux is likely to get the best
traction in the commodity corporate desktop, where low licensing
costs will be a big factor, and users don't need all the rich
features that proprietary desktops offer. Notebook PCs will be
harder to gain a footing in, because notebooks lack a single,
standardized configuration across vendors - a "white box"
notebook - and Linux developers, to date, have not cultivated
close ties with notebook peripherals vendors, like NVidia and
ATI, as Microsoft has. 

How likely were these things to actually happen? Doc didn't say.
And I noted that he himself was using an Apple notebook computer
to run his presentation, which was done using Microsoft


One perennial obstacle to Linux on the desktop is application
support. The Linux community spends a good deal of energy
attempting to get Windows applications ported to Linux or - as in
the case of - replicating the capabilities of the
Windows application on Linux. 

A few weeks ago, the mainstream press was all abuzz about an
astonishing! computer! breakthrough! - an Israeli kid had
developed an open source application that allowed Linux to run on
top of Windows, supposedly without any significant performance
degradation. Intrigued, we asked reviewer Ross Greenberg to look
into it - he says it's not revolutionary as the mainstream press
claims (the mainstream press hyping up a technology story?!
Golly, that NEVER happens!) but it is, nonetheless, pretty
impressive - and it's only in early beta stage. 

My pessimism about Linux replacing Windows should not be
construed as a gloominess about Linux overall. Far from it: only
a fool can deny Linux's strength on the server, and in new
classes of devices and embedded applications, including smart
cell phones. New contributor Ron Miller joins us this week with a
look at the cell phone market, where Linux offers a vendor-
neutral alternative to Windows and Symbian and is gaining
traction, especially in Asia. 

And millions of people do use Linux as a desktop. Many of those
use Red Hat, which has introduced a new desktop version. 

Look for links to those stories in about one press of your "Page
Down" button. 

P.S. I only used the word "traction" three times in this piece.
It just seems like more. 

--Mitch Wagner, Editor
Linux Pipeline

For more commentary and links from Mitch Wagner, see Wagner's



Red Hat Sees An Opening In Its Windows Battle
Scheduled for availability by month's end, Desktop Linux includes
Evolution E-mail, Mozilla browser, and OpenOffice 1.1 office-
productivity software. 

Linux Emerging As A Cell Phone Platform
Cell phone managers are looking to Linux to fill the need for
more sophisticated software that's not attached to major vendors
like Microsoft and Nokia.

Review: CoLinux Allows Windows, Linux To Share PC;jsessionid=0JT1IVLBSB2BQQSNDBCCKHQ?articleId=19205491
The open source coLinux was hyped by the mainstream press as a
revolutionary breakthrough. Our reviewer finds that's a tad
exaggerated - but coLinux is pretty impressive nonetheless. And
it's only in beta. 


Red Hat Desktop Launched With Backing From VMware, Citrix, Adobe,
Based on updated Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 code due within
weeks, it will be bundled with Red Hat Network security and
management features.

Universal Business Language Approved As An OASIS Committee Draft

EU: Court Ruling On Monopolies Doesn't Undermine Microsoft Case

4. INTERVIEW: JBoss CEO Marc Fleury
JBoss CEO and founder Marc Fleury recently spoke with CRN Senior
Editor Elizabeth Montalbano about why he's committed to open
source as a lucrative business model and how things have changed
between his company and Java steward Sun Microsystems since JBoss
Inc. became an official J2EE licensee.

5. HOW-TO: Basic Samba Configuration
Samba is popular open source software to allow Windows clients to
access files on a Linux server. Here's how to get it running.

6. VOTING BOOTH: Cast Your Vote On Open Source Java
Should Sun Microsystems release Java as open source? 


Yes - 72% 76 votes out of 106
No - 28% 30 votes out of 106


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continuing commitment to Linux innovations, visit


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