The LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, which opened yesterday in San Francisco, will host two of the strangest bedfellows ever to lie down with a stuffed penguin: Microsoft and Sun. These are companies that once referred to Linux as a "bathtub of code" (Sun) and "a cancer" (Microsoft), according to Sun's hometown paper the San Jose Mercury News.
Both companies are taking Linux seriously despite the absolute numbers. By January 2, 2001, Microsoft had made as much on server software as all Linux vendors put together would reap in the entire year.
Honors for the best attention-grabber on Microsoft's presence at the show go to Brier Dudley, who opened his piece for the Seattle Times this way: "Microsoft executive Peter Houston wasn't too worried about the reception he'd get at LinuxWorld ... until he heard about the pie cannon."
Wired informed us that the section of LinuxWorld where Microsoft will be holding the fort is dubbed the Rookery -- "a place where you can watch companies hatch and grow right before your eyes," deadpanned reporter Michelle Delio, quoting Microsoft's Houston: "Hatching isn't exactly on the agenda, but I certainly hope to grow."
Turning to Sun, Unspun notes that five years ago a joke press release circulated on the Net claiming that Linux creator Linus Torvalds, then still living in Finland, was moving to Silicon Valley to work for Sun. The joke was that Sun had decided to scrap its Solaris operating system and instead concentrate on a version of Linux, to be called "Solinux." How time does make April fools of us all: Linus Torvalds is now thriving in Silicon Valley (at Transmeta), and yesterday Sun Microsystems demonstrated Sun Linux 5.0. and introduced its first general-purpose servers running Linux.
The Merc ran a comprehensive wrap of Sun's evolving attitude toward the upstart operating system. Sun has little choice but to embrace Linux, wrote reporter Therese Poletti, because some of its traditional Wall Street customers were deserting it. "Several investment banks have tossed out whole sections of Sun servers and replaced them with Intel-based servers running Linux," Poletti reported. And you thought Microsoft hated Linux? - Keith Dawson
Linux expo has come a long way
Microsoft changes its tune toward Linux (Seattle Times)
Microsoft Puts On the Tux
(Hoax press release on "Solinux")
Sun to name Linux-Solaris chief
Sun Microsystems flexes Linux to jab at Microsoft (Seattle Times)
Microsoft and Free Software at the Same Show? It's True
Linux begins its descent into the enterprise