Sunday, January 20, 2002

what's hot what's not

You've got Linux, Welcome!

According to a Single Source unconfirmed, AOL is in talks to buy Red Hat, probably the most recognizable Linux company on the planet.

Holy Panic, Pixelman! The last time I remember this much traffic about a single web issue was the Web Standards Project Upgrade Campaign. The comments range from the end of life as we know it, to this will get linux on the desktop for sure.

AOL on Linux? Get Serious. Linux is an operating system for general purpose computing machines. It is beginning to receive acceptance as a serious contender not only on the individual level, but as a robust network level operating system. The applications that most people use on a computer are coming online now in Linux versions with the same growing pains that windows users suffered when they switched from DOS.

AOL is nothing but propriatary software. From the browser itself, (built on the Internet Explorer core) the  image formats, mail services, instant messaging and all of the other components that make up the AOL universe. NO clearer indication of the clash of culture between Open vs Closed Source computing exists than the Mozilla Project. With AOL's purchase of Netscape, the Mozilla Project was underway. It didn't take long for the corporate culture to gut the core of the Mozilla Project. A lot of the best programmers left the project. It continues, but it's future is uncertain.

Red Hat is a company attempting to make the Linux experience as painless as the Windows experience has become. Red Hat is a service company just like AOL. It packages components and sells service for them. Businesswise, this is an attractive match, as AOL would like nothing better than to be the Internet gateway for everyone on the planet at 20 bucks a month. Add Red Hat support for an additional fee of course and investors will weep with joy, business publications will profile these visionaries, and the face of personal computing will achieve a new level of world peace and understanding. Yeah Right!

The average Linux user has a higher level of  geek than an average  Windows user. The last thing that Linux users would accept would be proprietary applications that were not able to be futzed with. The last thing AOL wants to do is allow anybody to futz with it's vision and software.  Just think back to every attempt to integrate other instant messaging with your AOL "buddys".

I see this report as FUD from AOL to hammer Microsoft and it's MSN network.

Speaking of MSN...

Microsoft's drive to become the worlds Internet Service Provider is in peril. MSN is offering Broadband with it's alliance with Qwest. Qwest is one of the largest phone companies in the US, with operations across the west and midwestern portions of the US. Qwest was also one of the major infection points for the Code Red and Nimbda viruses.

Qwest's alliance with Microsoft has shopped the customers to MSN. This gave MSN a big jump in subscriber numbers, as most folks were not aware that you do not have to accept this but can use another ISP. The Minnesota Attorney General  is having a problem with this.

Qwest is having problems in Arizona as well.

Previously January 18, 2002

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