Wall Street Journal artical regarding BSDi and FreeBSD Merger
roger at cs.strath.ac.uk
Wed Mar 8 15:25:24 GMT 2000
Here is the artical which will appear in the Wall Street Jornal.
(forwared to the committers by Jordan himself)
Berkeley Software Purchase of Firm
May Speed Acceptance of FreeBSD
By LEE GOMES
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Berkeley Software Design Inc. announced a definitive agreement to
acquire Walnut Creek CDROM, a move that could accelerate the
acceptance of FreeBSD, a free operating system that is a rival to
Berkeley Software of Berkeley, Calif. (www.bsdi.com), which sells
operating-system software, is providing an undisclosed amount of
stock for Walnut Creek CDROM of Walnut Creek, Calif.
(www.cdrom.com), the main distributor of FreeBSD.
Both companies are closely held, but once combined, they are
expected to try to take advantage of the current investor interest
in Linux and free software by moving toward issuing stock as a
public company. That would give the FreeBSD movement, which now
relies on a global army of volunteers, the backing of a public
company with money to spend on development work. Jordan Hubbard, who
will be chief technical officer of Berkeley Software, said that
could give FreeBSD a leg up as it competes with Linux, the free
operating system that has spawned a number of popular and highly
valued companies, including Red Hat Inc. and VA Linux Systems Inc.
The acquisition joins two of the scattered offspring of the
pioneering work on the Unix operating system that occurred at the
University of California, Berkeley during the 1970s and 1980s.
Berkeley Software sells a commercial version of Unix called BSD.
Walnut Creek CDROM is a distributor of FreeBSD, which though not as
well known as Linux is well-regarded technically. FreeBSD is used to
power a number of major Internet sites, including Yahoo Inc.'s
Internet portal and the Hotmail free e-mail service of Microsoft
Besides FreeBSD, there are two other free Unix-like operating
systems that are considered rivals to Linux: NetBSD and OpenBSD. All
three are older than Linux, and all are maintained by a global army
of volunteers. Collectively, they operate an estimated 15% of all
Internet sites. While FreeBSD is the most popular of the trio, all
three risk losing developers and users to the Linux bandwagon, not
to mention to the commercial versions of Unix, including Solaris
from Sun Microsystems Inc.
While FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD are very close to each other
technically, the three communities of programmers developing them
are somewhat balkanized and competitive. Mr. Hubbard said that once
the Berkeley Software-Walnut Creek CDROM acquisition is completed,
he hopes to begin working on collaborative projects with members of
the NetBSD and OpenBSD communities.
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