Linux Makes Strides, Microsoft Fear Climbs

The open-source model sparks concern at Microsoft about its enterprise business.

Last week in an SEC filing (as detailed in a story by Peter Galli), Microsoft raised a warning flag over open-source software. Microsoft execs fear the open-source model is about to start eating into the companys enterprise business. Far be it from me to remind anyone of Microsofts development and pricing of the Internet Explorer browser (the key version was 3, and the price was, well, zero) to deep-six Netscapes $50 contender, but there are parallels. This weeks issue includes important eWeek Labs reviews of some of the open-source products that have led to Microsofts warnings, and an interview with the executive leading IBMs Linux efforts.

eWeek Labs Senior Analyst Jason Brooks reviews two new Linux desktop offerings. SuSEs Linux Office Desktop and the KDE Projects KDE 3.1 continue to make strides in performance and function. Both have glitches and user interface challenges but continue to rise toward enterprise-level quality with each revision. Senior Editor Peter Galli interviews IBMs new general manager of Linux, Jim Stallings. IBM claims to have built a billion-dollar business out of hardware and services for Linux. Is Linux simply IBMs way of getting back at Microsoft after being snubbed all those years ago? Is Linux really ready for the most demanding enterprise applications? How can IBM push Linux while being committed to its Unix-based AIX product line? To find out, see Peters interview.

Budgets and spending are not only on the minds of vendors such as Microsoft these days. Figuring out how to stretch your scarce technology budget dollars has become a top priority. In "Budget Boosters," youll find our guide to products that can get you the most budget bang for the buck. While some would argue that the grumpy economy has stifled product development, Id direct those folks to this report, which outlines a way to build a decent infrastructure at bargain prices. And most of those products have been developed during the tech downturn.

One technology product that may not survive the downturn is Comdex. As John S. McCright relates, the bankruptcy filing by its corporate parent has already drawn at least two competitors eager to capitalize on the once-giant trade shows misfortunes. Can a locale that may be unable to support one IT trade show be able to support three events at once? You dont need to be an accountant to answer that question.