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12 February 1998

Sorry for the lull in the daily news, but the flu hit our office full force. Make no mistake, there's plenty going on in the OS front.

Caldera, makers of the OpenLinux Linux distribution, won the first round in a lawsuit against Microsoft. The lawsuit deals mainly with issues surrounding MS-DOS and Caldera's DR-DOS, which they inherited from Novell. The big win for Caldera is that a federal judge ruled that they can bring new evidence pulling Windows 95 into the suit as well. Essentially, Caldera attests that Microsoft illegally tied DOS to Windows95. In the words of Caldera CEO Brian Sparks, "Windows 95 is a walking antitrust violation."

A Byte Magazine article covers the trend toward super-inexpensive PCs and even less expensive computing "appliances" which threaten to topple the PC-centric technology world that we have today. It mentions that soon Microsoft will be leading the pack with seven not-quite-compatible operating systems, none of which will be especially well suited to the average user. The article mentions that the major alternatives are waiting in the wings and could very well provide what people are looking for if Microsoft can't.

PC Week published a totally uninformative article on the Be OS.

A very interesting Sydney Morning Herald article compares Windows NT to the British dreadnought battleship, which ruled the waves but was craftily and soundly outmatched by the aircraft carrier, with its "portable applications." Java and Rhapsody's "Yellow Box" applications, which will be able to run on an NT box, could steal the thunder out from inside Microsoft's crown jewel, according to the article. Java, the article admits, is still to slow to pose much of a threat, but the applications developed in Rhapsody are another story, and Microsoft should keep an eye on the horizon.

Wired News is covering the InfiniteOS, a powerful, modern OS which promises to run on Apple hardware. Though Mac programs would have to be ported, Infinite's designers claim that the ports will be very easy. Unlike the probably vaporware COS from Omega, these guys have a downloadable demo, though it's only a command line so far. Though Wired interviewed OS News' David Adams for the article, they reported on it first. I guess they win.

A group of software engineers has organized to port the Netscape to the still-fledgling Rhapsody OS. Noteworthy is that Netscape engineer Chris McAfee is on the team, though not assigned to it by Netscape.

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