Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 20:11:57 -0500 (EST)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LXP] Linux Pipeline - 02.22.2005 - Seven Isn't Lucky For Firefox Linux Pipeline Newsletter | Seven Isn't Lucky For Firefox | MO.DD.2005
Linux Pipeline Newsletter
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

In This Issue:
  • Editor's Note: Seven Isn't Lucky For Firefox
  • Top Linux News
        - Gates Drops Browser Bombshell In RSA Keynote
        - Firefox: Over 25 Million Served
        - Xen Makes Unlikely LinuxWorld Star
        - More News...
  • Editor's Picks
        - InformationWeek 2005 National IT Salary Survey
        - Opinion: Who's Buying The Firefox Hype?
        - Preview: Red Hat Brings Power At A Price
        - More Picks...
  • Voting Booth: Is Laptop Linux Ready For Prime Time?
  • Get More Out Of Linux Pipeline
  • Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

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    Editor's Note: Seven Isn't Lucky For Firefox

    When I downloaded Firefox 1.0 last November, I assumed the process of moving my bookmarks--and, more importantly, my work habits--would take weeks, if I decided even to finish the job. The 70-30 Opera-Internet Explorer combo that I used on my main work machine wasn't perfect, but it was familiar and it worked.

    Two days later, I had already forgotten about Opera and now used Internet Explorer for exactly one thing: to access a content management system which, like so many other enterprise apps, can't seem to kick its annoying dependency on Microsoft mediocrity. For everything else, I had settled into Firefox and a small but important set of extensions, all as if I had never used anything else.

    What's the point of this chapter from yet another Firefox hagiography? There isn't one--you've heard all of this before, and none of it is useful. You probably haven't heard anyone criticize Firefox or (perhaps more tellingly) the policies that may have helped it make small but significant inroads into large academic institutions, government agencies, and corporations. How many Firefox boosters within large IT departments, for example, typically avoid version 1.0 software releases like the plague--but quietly shepherded one particular exception around the rules?

    Guest columnist Rob Enderle isn't a terribly popular guy among Linux Pipeline users; in the past, he hasn't hesitated to declare Linux unfit for enterprise use or to defend some of the most unpopular elements of Microsoft's market hegemony as both necessary and desirable. As far as I'm concerned, though, one devil's advocate is more valuable than ten pollyannas for keeping everyone focused on solving problems and moving ahead, rather than passing the time patting themselves on the back.

    Firefox is a promising and incredibly useful example of the open-source model at work. It has also encouraged a lot of people to cut corners, make dangerous assumptions, allow others to think for them, and above all to conclude that Internet Explorer is dead but just doesn't know it yet.

    When I wrote my 2005 predictions column earlier this year, I noted that the "old" Microsoft--the one whose leadership reduced IBM's executive suite to a bunch of blubbering babies--would do whatever it takes to get an Internet Explorer update ready this year. It looks like the old Microsoft decided to show up for this party after all, and there's a certain open-source Web browser in its sights.

    Compared to what's ahead for Firefox, Rob Enderle is just offering some gentle constructive criticism.

    Matthew McKenzie
    Editor, Linux Pipeline

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    Top Linux News

    Gates Drops Browser Bombshell In RSA Keynote
    Microsoft's chief tells a RSA keynote audience to expect the company's answer to Firefox this summer, instead of next year, and says a new anti-spyware tool will stay free.

    Firefox: Over 25 Million Served
    The open-source browser continues to roll, even as Microsoft puts the hurry-up on Internet Explorer 7.0 and other firms eye the spoils of a splintered market.

    Xen Makes Unlikely LinuxWorld Star
    HP, Novell and AMD shower praise on an open-source virtualization spec with a funny name and big plans--including a spot in the next Linux kernel release.

    Software Patents Provoke Demonstrations In Europe
    Microsoft leads a lobbying effort to place EU software patents on a firm legal footing, while demonstrators take to the streets with a very different point of view.

    MySQL Sweetens Its Deal For Enterprise Push
    The open-source database firm changes its licensing and pricing, revamps its support plans, and adds a security alert system to fuel its drive onto enterprise turf.

    Firefox, Mozilla Updates Disable IDN
    Upcoming versions of Firefox and Mozilla drop support for a domain scheme with a serious security flaw. One developer says the system's overseers were always aware of the risks but never fixed them.

    Patents Could Make Or Break Open Source, HP Executive Says
    The open-source industry can't afford to ignore either the rewards or the risks software patents create, HP Linux chief Martin Fink said in a speech Tuesday at LinuxWorld.

    SCO Faces Nasdaq Delisting
    The SCO Group's stock faces the axe after the company fails to file its 2004 annual report.

    Governments Start Sharing Open-Source Software
    A collaborative created to give governments an alternative to proprietary software has received its first code contributions.

    IBM, Veritas Prep Linux Resellers For Enterprise Push
    IBM and Veritas think their Linux storage solutions are ready for the business big-leagues--and they aren't the only LinuxWorld storage vendors looking to deliver the message.

    Novell's 'Hula': Poison Pen For Proprietary Groupware?
    Novell, faciing competition from Red Hat and other rivals, targets mobile devices with a lightweight, open-source collaboration server.

    Editor's Picks

    Survey: Does Your Salary Stack Up?
    How do your job satisfaction and salary compare to those of your peers? Find out by participating in the InformationWeek 2005 National IT Salary survey. The study, now in its eighth year, tracks more than 20 IT job functions. It's fast, it's easy, it's completely confidential--and it's just one click away.

    Opinion: Who's Buying The Firefox Hype?
    Too many IT shops are bending their own rules--and risking their careers--to fawn over an untested, unproven browser, says columnist Rob Enderle. And soon, Firefox won't even be the best alternative to Internet Explorer.

    Preview: Red Hat Brings Power At A Price
    RHEL 4 offers solid stability, excellent security, and a host of attractive new features, but spotty documentation and extra complexity are also part of the deal.

    Enterprise Linux: Signs Of Maturity
    Linux is marching the last mile to maturity, moving past edge and infrastructure services into core middleware, application, desktop and data center functions.

    IBM Makes $100 Million Desktop Linux Statement
    Big Blue says it will spend $100 million on desktop Linux over three years, including updates for Workplance and Notes, giving ISVs vivid proof of its commitment to the platform.

    Trends: Internet Explorer Crashes Foxfire's Party
    There's another browser war brewing--or maybe it's really a battle over paid search services. At any rate, with Google, Yahoo, AOL, and others joining the fun this time, you'll need a program to keep track of it all.

    Opinion: Open Source Walks The High Wire
    Linspire is pitching its desktop Linux distro to a tough crowd. Is it also courting trouble by bending a cardinal security rule? Or do the old rules no longer make sense in a market where many desktop Linux users are buying their first computer?

    SPECIAL REPORT: The Firefox Guide: You Want It, We Have It
    One-stop shopping for all of your Firefox needs: Tips, tricks, extension picks, and a soup-to-nuts review of the world's most popular open-source browser.

    Voting Booth: Is Laptop Linux Ready For Prime Time?

    Cast Your Vote Now!
    A few months ago, I asked Linux Pipeline readers to share their experiences with Linux-based laptop computers. The verdict was mixed: Many of you had great things to say about your Linux laptops, but some of you were far from happy.

    This time, we'd like to hear from anyone with an opinion, whether you're a laptop Linux user, know someone who is, or simply stay current on the latest Linux hardware trends: Is Linux on the laptop ready for mainstream, everyday business use? Let us know, cast your vote!

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