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You've Got Linux

2002-01-20 07:30:14-08 by TC 8 comments

The rumors are getting stronger and more frequent that AOL will be acquiring Red Hat. I was going to write a rant about this but it was full of technical terms like bad and officious and stoooopid but I found a much more eloquent rebuttal penned on the O'Reily Site

[ related topics: Current Events Free Software Weblogs Business Open Source moron ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:38-08 by: Larry Burton

Well, at least maybe one distribution of Linux will have all the digital rights management requirements to continue to be available.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:38-08 by: TC

That's an intertesting point Sethg(I really should read the thread before posting into it). I think the way AOL has handeled netscape & mozillia are better examples of how AOL would do with another very public end user product. Nobody knew about or used AOLserver except Greenspun (and a few others) and AOL didn't really care about it as a product, they just gave it a few (really bitchen) engineers to keep improving it for their own use and didn't try to whiz bang it.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:37-08 by: TC

The rumors keep coming and coming. I've thougt about this quite a bit and AOL getting into the Linux biz would probably be a good thing. They are the wizards of customer service, dumbed down interfaces and comunity building. Now all the H@k0r$ out there are cringing and thinink that all the Clues in Cluesville will need to leave and head for the hinterlands. I say nay, this will be a good thing, hardware vendors will really pay attention and perhaps real business modles will emerge. Why did I start this thread bitching about the deal you ask? Because the whichever distribution is aquired by AOL will be ruined and Ret Hat is my personal distribution of choice. I would be very happy if they snapped up one of the others. We'll see how this plays out and I would suspect that if AOL aquires a linux distribution they will probably snap up Ximian.....sigh

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:37-08 by: sethg

After AOL bought NaviSoft (a Web-tools company) in 1994, renaming the NaviServer Web server as AOLserver, they gave away AOLserver binaries for free. (NaviSoft had been licensing the server for $5K per machine.) After a nudge from Philip Greenspun and some clean-up of the code base, AOL released AOLserver as open-source software in June 1999.

So AOL, having had previous dealings with the open-source world, might be able to absorb Red Hat and still provide the sorts of useful contributions that Red Hat has provided. In particular, a Linux distribution with the AOL brand and market penetration -- if it were possible to build on top of that distribution without using non-open-source libraries or tools -- would be very useful for Linux-on-the-desktop application developers.

Of course, the TW end of AOL/TW might feel compelled to follow Hollywood tradition and hang onto every snippet of intellectual property unto the ninth generation....

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:36-08 by: ebradway

It would make sense, financially, for AOL/Time-Warner to shift all of their IT systems to Red Hat and push their software vendors to port their apps to Linux. Time-Warner has the size to push alot of video manipulation software onto Linux. As far as support goes, they would have excellent in-house support.

I guess the real question isn't why would AOL/TW want Red Hat but rather what they intend to do with it.

#Comment made: 2002-01-20 15:10:46-08 by: Shawn [edit history]

This news knocked me back in my chair when I saw it the other day at OS News. But what left me even more dumbfounded was the number of visitor comments cheering and celibrating this as some kind of a victory for Linux. These klubags (("cluebags" = ("cluebies" = "clueless" + "newbies") + "meatbags") | l337haxorize) are seeing this as some kind of joyous legitimization of Linux as a mainstream OS. And in the same breath they're pointing out how well Mozilla has done after it was purchased by AOL (huh???)

I'm quickly loosing faith in the mental capacity of the OS News userbase.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:36-08 by: Mike Gunderloy

My favorite part of the Tremendous Outcry so far has been reading comments like "I was going to switch to Linux, but if AOL buys Linux I'll never install it!"

Um. Red Hat != Linux, you twit.

It would be a pity to see Red Hat go down the tubes, but I can't imagine any other outcome should this actually happen. Then again, maybe the RH founders deserve to cash out at this point.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:35-08 by: Pete

One interesting twist I've seen has to do with the question of "who has the resources and interest to force GPL compliance by AOL Time Warner?"

The answer is Microsoft.