Everyone Wants to Be Seen With the Penguin

HP's and IBM's claims of huge Linux revenues detract from the real business of open-source development.

eWeek will do $4 billion of Linux business this year.

Hey, only kidding! But who would ever know? No one checks out these claims, and if they did, would you believe them if they used Generally Accepted Accounting Principles? I didnt think so. So Carly Fiorina is free to trumpet HPs $2 billion in Linux business to trump IBMs paltry $1 billion, announced by IBM software head Steve Mills at LinuxWorld last week.

Everyone wants to be seen with the Penguin on his or her arm, but who is really making a commitment? Dollar debates are a distracting disservice compared with development tools. As Darryl K. Taft reports, SuSE is set to bundle IBMs open-source Eclipse integrated development platform with its Linux distribution in a little more than a month. Windows has always had the tools; now Linux is getting them.

Intent on proving it is not feckless where Linux is concerned, Sun announced at LinuxWorld an impressive array of software for Linux, including Sun ONE Application Server 7 and Sun ONE Directory Server 5.1. A year ago, if you wanted Linux, Sun would sell you a Cobalt box for the low end, and that was it.

But wait, theres more. PeerDirect is offering its PeerDirect Distributed Enterprise suite on Linux; IBM and Voltaire are enabling DB2 on Linux to scale to new heights.

Even Microsoft is making nice. While not yet porting Office to Linux, the company was at LinuxWorld and wasnt touting funny-smelling market studies proving Windows is cheaper. Still far from a commitment, but in a year, who knows?

It was a year ago that Microsoft announced the Trustworthy Computing initiative. What was talk then is now action, as Dennis Fisher reports. Dennis gets inside Microsoft to reveal the company is ready to fire programmers if their code has holes. If Windows Server 2003 stands up, well know the plan worked.

And talk about committed relationships. Should corporations devote skilled IT pros to head-in-the-clouds standards efforts? The answer is yes—if the standard fits your technology mission. Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the Web, tells how in a must-read interview with Anne Chen.

Linux? Commitment? Are these vendors for real? Tell me at stan_gibson@ziffdavis.com.