FOSS Week in Review
There was plenty of FOSS news this week, but in many ways it was just more of the same — the more things change and all that. Unfortunately, some of the news harkens back to the dark ages, when armour clad knights from Redmond seemed to be hiding behind every tree…
Is Ubuntu the new Novell? It probably wasn’t news to anybody when Microsoft failed to renew it’s deal with SUSE when it expired at year’s end. Many with long memories will remember that way back when SCO was still a viable company, Microsoft inked a deal with Novell, which was then the proud new owner of the SUSE Linux distro. Among other things, the deal gave SUSE users a free pass against getting sued by Microsoft for infringing any of its patents. As part of the deal, Microsoft purchased tons and tons of SUSE support contracts to sell to enterprise customers who might need to keep a Linux machine or two running, which were reportedly given away. Mainly, Microsoft was using SUSE as its official Linux distro, and as a testing ground for Microsoft’s attempts to get Windows to work and play well with Linux.
These days, Microsoft doesn’t need SUSE anymore, partly because the once number two Linux distro has fallen way down on the list of popular Linux distros, partly due to the old Novell’s ineptitude and partly because of the deal with Microsoft, which as you might imagine, didn’t sit well in FOSS circles. These days, behind the practically-one-and-the-same one-two punch that RHEL/CentOS brings to the enterprise table, there’s a new number two in Ubuntu, with Canonical seemingly intent on replacing the old Novell in the we’ll-sleep-with-Microsoft-if-it-keeps-the-rent-paid department.
Actually, Ubuntu seems to be a cheaper date than SUSE ever was. We’re not hearing anything about millions upon millions of dollars being poured into the Isle of Man the way Microsoft poured money into Utah back when Novell was still hoping for a Netware comeback. Nor are we hearing about Redmond buying thousands of support contracts to
sell give away to it’s customers. What we are hearing is partnership after partnership after partnership between the company that loves Linux and the distro that thinks it is Linux.
I know this isn’t exactly a smoking gun, but when pieced together with Ubuntu’s other Microsoft partnerships…. Maybe the speculators are right by predicting that Microsoft will eventually buy Ubuntu. Stay tuned
Linux in a win over Windows: Meanwhile, the once and future telecom monopoly AT&T has decided to bet on Linux. In an article published Wednesday on BetaNews, we learn that Canonical and AT&T have teamed-up to leverage Ubuntu for the telecom’s cloud, network and enterprise applications.
This announcement has AT&T singing the praises of open technology.
“We’re reinventing how we scale by becoming simpler and modular, similar to how applications have evolved in cloud data centers,” said Toby Ford, who is AT&T’s assistant vice president of cloud technology, strategy and planning. “Open source and OpenStack innovations represent a unique opportunity to meet these requirements and Canonical’s cloud and open source expertise make them a good choice for AT&T”
I guess we’ll hand Canonical a +1 for this feat.
Competition for Android? On Thursday we learned that Samsung, the longtime king of Android devices, has plans to market the Samsung Z3 Tizen Smartphone in a big way in both Russia, the EU and elsewhere. The phone has already been successful with business and government users in Russia, as it’s obtained a security certification for corporate and government use. Now Samsung has plans to take it to Russian consumers as well. In addition, the handset maker will introduce the Tizen device in Indonesia and in ten European markets, perhaps as early as the first quarter of this year.
In case you don’t know, Tizen is a Linux based OS designed to be used on a wide variety of devices, with development supported primarily by Samsung, the Tizen Association, Intel and the Linux Foundation.
Does this mean an eventual move by Samsung away from Android devices, the OS which has become its bread and butter? Who knows. Time will tell.
Another day, another distro: We learned today that KaOS is out with 2016.01, which isn’t really so much a version number — KaOS is a rolling release distro — as an ISO image number. Anyway, it has all the latest features you might need and can be downloaded from the distro’s website…. Also, the GNU folks would like you to know they’ve released blob free Linux-libre 4.4, which as the name implies is a remix of the Linux kernel sans proprietary blobs. Downloads are available on the Phoronix website.
Quick takes: A zero-day vulnerability has been found in the open-source multimedia framework, FFmpeg. The vulnerability, discovered by Maxim Andreev, affects the current version of the software and can be exploited with a specially crafted video file. You can find more details on Softpedia…. Larry Cafiero’s off to sunny Southern California to wear his hat as the head media honcho at SCALE 14x and rub shoulders with the likes of Maddog Hall, Corey Doctorow, Mark Shuttleworth and others. He’s also taking with him his reporters hat, and will be offering extensive coverage of the event here on FOSS Force starting Thursday morning.
One more thing: As we go to press, the FOSS Force
bake sale Indiegogo fundraising campaign is at $860 — thank you to those who’ve contributed — which is 23 percent of our goal. We’ve got a lot of great perks, and we really need for this fundraiser to be successful. Please go to our Indiegogo campaign page and make a contribution.
Well, that does it for now. Until next time, may the FOSS be with you…