This Week in Open Source News Mar 6 – Mar 12

Mozilla Confirms Making Millions of Dollars from Firefox

Earlier this week, I blogged about this story, and now Mozilla has officially confirmed that they have made millions of dollars from Firefox. The $72 million figure reported on Digg was not correct, but it was not off by much. As I mentioned earlier this week, being able to generate this kind of revenue will help Mozilla increase the resources available to make Firefox even more popular.

Novell Unveils More on Upcoming Linux Desktop and Appoints New Linux Executive

The new Linux desktop is designed for general office workers and has an animated user interface, desktop search, support for Excel macros and pivot tables in, and better plug and play support for devices.

“We have made a big investment taking the Linux desktop past everybody. The usability work we’ve done is not to reinvent Windows, but to reinvent a better desktop,” Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, Novell’s director of marketing for Linux and open source, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday.

“When Microsoft Vista ships it will catch up to us in a number of areas, but we’ll enjoy six months where Novell’s Linux desktop is in the lead,” he said (CNet).

The innovative approach that Novell has used with this new Linux desktop is what makes it so interesting. Too many people think of Linux as a Microsoft clone or technology follower; however, in this case, Novell is innovating ahead of Microsoft in a manner similar to how Firefox has innovated ahead of Internet Explorer.

In other news, Novell hired Roger Levy, previously from Lucent, to replace David Patrick as the general manager of the Open Platform Solutions business unit.

IBM Uses Linux and Windows on the Desktop

Earlier this week, there were rumors that IBM was moving all of their employees to Linux on the desktop and was not planning to renew their contract with Microsoft. While IBM is moving some users to Linux desktops, they are not planning to get rid of Microsoft Windows. Software developers and designers who need to use Linux as part of their jobs will be moving to Linux; however, the general population of IBM will not be switching to Linux on the desktop.

Australia Interested in Open Source Software

The New South Wales Department of Commerce signed an agreement this week with Novell that will provide government agencies with access to Linux and open source solutions. Security, cost, scalability, and access to open solutions were all factors in the decision to allow government departments to use Linux and open source. This is just one more example of how governments are considering open source, not just for cost reasons, but because it offers more choices, security, and other benefits.