Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 15:43:01 -0400 (EDT)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LXP] Linux Pipeline - 04.05.2006 - Nice Shot, Bill Linux Pipeline Newsletter | Nice Shot, Bill | 04.05.2006
Linux Pipeline Newsletter

In This Issue:
  • Editor's Note: Nice Shot, Bill
  • Top Linux News
        - Beta Version Of GNOME-KDE Linux Interop Software Due In May
        - Microsoft Shows Linux VM Support, Open Source Wares At LinuxWorld
        - Negroponte Knocks Bill Gates For Low-Cost Laptop Remarks
        - More News...
  • Editor's Picks
        - Firefox Essentials: Fixing The Fox
        - A Linux Alternative To Windows Media Center PCs
        - Virtualization Vendors Jockey For Advantage
        - More Picks...
  • Voting Booth: Firefox Faces The Future
  • Get More Out Of Linux Pipeline
  • Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

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    Editor's Note: Nice Shot, Bill

    A while back, I decided that Bill Gates would almost certainly place Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child project above Microsoft's usual rivalries and cutthroat competitive tactics. Negroponte had already shown Gates a prototype of the laptop computer; even though it will run Linux, at least initially, I figured Gates own, highly impressive philanthropic tendencies would matter more than whether a laptop design that simply can't afford Windows runs a competing operating system.

    I was wrong: Gates' own hyper-competitive nature, combined with what appear to be permanently retarded social skills, still reign supreme. That was the only reasonable conclusion I could draw, when I read last month that Gates had subjected Negroponte's laptop design to an extended, undeniably mocking critique in front of a conference keynote address audience.

    This week, Negroponte asked Gates, if only rhetorically, the same thing a lot of us would like to ask him: Why knock the thing in public? What possible competitive advantage -- what advantage, period -- could Gates hope to gain from a laptop built, from the ground up, to bring opportunity to kids who might otherwise never get it. Even if Gates really considered the design fatally flawed, that's an issue he could address by picking up the phone and calling Negroponte -- not by making a flat-out ass of himself in front of the world.

    Perhaps it's the money rotting Gates' brain -- or, more to the point, his humanity -- even more quickly than he can give the stuff away. I'm waiting to see if he begins referring to himself by the "Royal 'We'" (a privilege historically reserved for European monarchs, star NFL wide receivers, and terminally wealthy whack jobs) before I make the final call on that one. In the meantime, whoever handles Gates' spin control at Wagg-Ed these days should fire themselves, because they blew this one on an epic scale.

    In the meantime: Down in the trenches in Redmond, they're doing more than just calling for Steve Ballmer's and Jim Allchin's heads on sticks at the Redmond city limits .(If you're reading this over lunch -- sorry about that.) They're also doing things with open-source virtualization software developers and enterprise Linux distributors that Steve Ballmer and Jim Allchin would never think to do. Call it "coopetition," call it crazy, call it downright odd to read about Microsoft throwing down on the LinuxWorld expo floor, call it whatever you want. I'm calling it a whip-smart move from a company that hasn't looked either very quick or very smart lately.

    Now, let's see whether Microsoft can parlay this opening gambit into some new, and potentially interesting, business relationships; or whether Redmond's Old Guard decides that it's time to send in the tanks and crush the company's Linux Spring, before it starts giving people too many crazy ideas.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, and stay in touch.

    Matt McKenzie
    Editor, Linux Pipeline

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    Top Linux News

    Beta Version Of GNOME-KDE Linux Interop Software Due In May
    Vendors involved with the "Portland" Linux-interop project say it will eliminate one of the biggest and most visible challenges to Linux desktop deployment--by closing the compatibility gap between GNOME and KDE desktop distros.

    Microsoft Shows Linux VM Support, Open Source Wares At LinuxWorld
    On Monday Microsoft said it had developed virtual machine additions for Red Hat and Novell Suse Linux distributions, as well as demonstrated some of its new open-source wares at the LinuxWorld trade show.

    Negroponte Knocks Bill Gates For Low-Cost Laptop Remarks
    Nicholas Negroponte responds to Bill Gates' recent criticism of the $100-laptop Negroponte's organization is developing for poor children, asking rhetorically why Gates felt the need to attack the project's hardware design, which will run Linux instead of Windows, in a public forum.

    XenSource Licenses Microsoft Virtualization Format
    As Linuxworld and Open Solutions World get under way in Boston, XenSource unveiled a deal to license Microsoft's VHD format for its open-source virtualization server, and VMware announced the availability of a royalty-free virtual machine disk format specification.

    Embedded Linux Still Hard Sell -- Survey
    Only 17 percent of embedded systems designers are currently using embedded Linux, and 66 percent say they are either not interested in using it or do not expect to be using it anytime soon, according to the results of a survey released here at the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley.

    IBM Teams With Novell On Linux-Based Middleware
    The bundles--geared for the SMB market--are easier to integrate with Windows than were past offerings, the vendors promise.

    JPEG Patent Claimant Drops Suit Against Xerox
    Forgent, a company that has made millions threatening companies over the use of what it alleges to be its JPEG image-compression patent, says it has settled such a lawsuit on mutually agreeable terms with imaging giant xerox -- although neither side will discuss settlement terms.

    Intel, Red Hat Hook Up For Virtualization, Grid Computing Efforts
    Intel Corp. and Red Hat have launched a global program to accelerate virtualization and enterprise-grid computing and to integrate Red Hat Enterprise Linux more thoroughly with Intel-based hardware platforms.

    Editor's Picks

    Firefox Essentials: Fixing The Fox
    Trouble with Firefox? Never fear: We'll show you how to keep Firefox running its best -- and how to isolate, identify, and fix problems when they do crop up.

    A Linux Alternative To Windows Media Center PCs
    Digital integrators looking for an inexpensive alternative to Windows Media Center PCs may want to look at the MediaReady 5000 from Video Without Boundaries. The Linux-based system offers media distribution, PVR, Internet and other capabilities.

    Virtualization Vendors Jockey For Advantage
    Microsoft delays update for its Virtual Server software, and licenses its Virtual Hard Disk format to XenSource: proof that being the biggest act in town won't automatically make you the star of the enterprise virtualization show.

    EU-Microsoft: The Wrong Fight, For The Wrong Reasons?
    At least one analyst has concluded that the European Union is just barking up the wrong tree in its latest pursuit of Microsoft. Worse, the EU regulators don't even have a valid reason for taking on the software developer.

    FeedDemon 2.0: Nourishment For News Junkies
    The second version of FeedDemon offers a variety of options in a variety of styles for serious RSS and blog readers.

    Free DBs Put SQL '05 in 'Check'
    The latest moves and counter moves among the three major database players--IBM, Oracle and Microsoft--look like a three-way game of chess.

    IT Gets Creative At DreamWorks
    Computer-generated (CG) filmmaking consumes an extraordinary amount of computational power. Rendering an entire feature-length animated film like Shrek requires more than 10 million CPU hours to complete. And with more than 10 films in various stages of production at any one time, the demand for high-end computing is one of the most challenging parts of our technology mission.

    Voting Booth: Firefox Faces The Future

    Cast Your Vote Now!
    This week's poll question: What will happen to Firefox when Internet Explorer 7 is released later this year? Will Microsoft finally squash Mozilla with a quality Web browser, or does Firefox still have plenty of tricks to keep Redmond second-guessing? Let us know, cast your vote!

    Poll Results: Is DRM DOA?
    Last week's question: Will the Sony BMG court settlement discourage other music and digital media companies from experimenting with digital rights management technology?

    Yes - 15 percent
    No - 71 percent
    Who cares? DRM can always be broken, anyway - 14 percent

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