Pundit: Linux independence needs guarding

Linux is endangered by the popularity of the businesses formed to sell and service it, he said. Red Hat, Caldera Systems, TurboLinux, and other Linux vendors can potentially stifle its development by packaging a single standard for the OS, he said.

"The problem is it's their standardisation," said Petreley, a contributing editor to InfoWorld, founding editor of LinuxWorld, and a Linux evangelist for Caldera Systems.

"The distribution model is to sell the latest version [of the OS]," he said. "They crank out updates, and it's easy to do because Linux innovates so fast."

But the distributors threaten to create their own standard by the power of their sales channels. "There are so many updates that I don't know what's happening with my system," Petreley said.

The Linux Standards Base, a group formed two years ago to set standards to encourage compatibility among different Linux versions, has moved too slowly, Petreley said.

"The Linux Standards Base is not proactive about defining standards and moving Linux forward, so it doesn't solve the Linux problem," he said.

Nonetheless, market forces are moving to encourage continued development of Linux specifications, he said.

The Open Source Development Labs, formed in August by a consortium of businesses, including Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, as well as Linux vendors, will create nonprofit laboratories to fund Linux projects from the development community.

Support for Linux from industry giants such as Intel should help guarantee compatible Linux development, he said.

"I'd like to see enough people like Intel adopting Linux in a big way for what [benefit] it can do for them, and because it will level the playing field so open standards can be adopted," Petreley said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jack McCarthy

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?