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15 June 1998

Microsoft is running Linux. It's been running for a while, since Linux merits a little competitive analysis for the folks in Redmond. A reader sent us the following note:

Today I discovered that Micro$oft have set up a Linux server. Although I first thought this was a joke from someone, the result of a traceroute makes clear that this server must be in the same network as www.microsoft.com.

It's webadress is linus.microsoft.com.

The server runs a www server, an ftp server, and sendmail. Unfortunately there is no telnet service. Anonymous logins on the FTP server are allowed.

The Economist, one of the most responsible of the news magazines, has, in Microsoft's eyes, found itself on the side of the DoJ more than once. In fairness, it has given Bill Gates a forum for rebuttal. Gates' editorial is masterfully crafted for maximum effect. You make the call.

MSNBC declared that Linux is "ready for prime time." Specifically, Red Hat Linux 5.1 is easy to install, powerful, fast, and full of features. The article admits that it's not for everybody. But don't make that judgement intil you've tried it.

Ralph Nader is attacking Microsoft again. According to a news.com article, Nader is urging the Justice Department to take action. "Microsoft uses its market power to discourage PC manufacturers from offering computers with non-Microsoft products, including non-Microsoft operating systems," the letter charges. "There exist several promising non-Microsoft alternatives, including free software such as GNU/Linux or Free BSD, or new systems like BeOS."

Researchers are studying using chemistry to build computer circuits on a molecular level, according to a ZD Net article. If they are successful, this could result in much faster computers, because the limitations involved in current semiconductor technology could be bypassed.

A Computer Reseller News article covers the alternatives to Windows, many of which, it says, are viable and even superior for some tasks. the article covers Novell NetWare, Rhapsody/Mac OS X, Linux, and Be, in addition to mentioning the other major alternative OSes. The article makes no recommendations, but lingers on the promise of Linux.

QNX, maker of the small "real time" operating system, has announced that it has developed versions of its OS for PowerPC and MIPS processors. This should dramatically expand the OS's options for the embedded systems market. The new versions should reach beta in the next few months.

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