Red Hat and Novell are two pioneer companies who have made money from open-source. Novell with its Suse Linux distribution has received an offer from Elliot Associates to buy its stock for $5.75 per stock, a total of $1 billion dollars. Novell shares closed today at $4.75. After hours trading are above $6.
Meanwhile, Redhat’s market capitalization is at $5 billion. This is more than enough proof that companies can make money from free, open-source products.
Here’s an interesting article comparing 8 Linux distributions. The distros reviewed were Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSuse, Knoppix, Ubuntu, PuppyLinux, Backtrack and ArchLinux. Surprisingly, Fedora got the highest grade of 28/30, while Knoppix posted the lowest grade of 23/30. The specialty distros: PuppyLinux, Backtrack and ArchLinux were not given grades.
It certainly is a good idea to try other distributions. It gives you an idea of their look and feel, and how they work and behave. You will also get to know their quirks. I personally like Ubuntu. Mandriva used to be my favorite. I have Fedora now on my laptop. I haven’t tried OpenSuse in years. The last 3 specialty distros, I’m not too excited about.
So, here’s my advice. Go with a distro that floats your boat. One thing I’m glad of is that, there are many, many choices for Linux users. And that’s a good thing.
Here is another small win for Linux. HP just announced the Probook, a new line of inexpensive business laptops. The ProBook comes with a 14-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch screen sizes with prices starting at $529. The Probook comes pre-installed with Novell Inc’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11.
I took a quick look at HP’s website if the Probook has been updated. It’s not. HP does a horrible job of promoting Linux. They have been selling the Mini pre-installed with Linux for several months now. Unfortunately, Linux is not one of the pre-configured models. You have to customize the Mini if you want the Linux platform.
If a casual buyer visits HP’s website, chances are, they’ll never find the Linux systems. They are tucked and hidden away from sight. You won’t even know HP sells them if you happen to be just browsing. You really have to be looking for Linux to find them. I am not a bit surprised since the words “HP recommends Windows VistaÂ® Business” are blasted on the screen.
Nevertheless, having Linux pre-installed on HP line of business laptops is a still a win. At least, it’s an available option. Albeit, a hidden one.