Subject: Poor showing of (Linux) Video Network Computer on Corel's Web site
From: "L. Peter Deutsch" <ghost@aladdin.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 97 08:17 PST

> > If you mean that Corel does their development using Linux ...
> 
> they do more than that : they just produced a network computer
> with  @ Linux Inside @ ... and are very proud of it in the press release.

I just visited Corel's Web site to find out more about this product.  None
of the many product-related menus and links on Corel's main Web site mention
this product, nor do any of these menus or links mention any products
available for or related to Linux.  The only way to find out about the Video
Network Computer is to use the "Search" facility.  The press release came
out on Oct. 28, so they have had over a month to update their site; in fact,
their "Corel WEB and Internet Products" page was updated on Nov. 26, and
doesn't mention this product.  Maybe they are "very proud of it in the press
release", but they aren't making it easy for potential customers to find out
about it.

The press release also contains several pieces of significant
misinformation.  Its Linux section says:

          Corel Video Network Computer Operating System

          The underpinnings of the network computer are based on
          Linux, a publically available operating system developed by
          Linus Torvalds in 1991. Based on the same code as the UNIX
          operating system, Linux is continually being improved by
          developers, administrators and users around the world. A Java
          Virtual Machine (JVM) from JavaSoft Corporation will work in
          conjunction with the operating system. Java byte code is
          interpreted and translated into native Linux instructions via the
          JVM.

          The Linux-based operating system in Corel Computer Corp's
          Video Network Computer offers the following benefits:

              Highly stable - ideal for enterprise computing 
              Powerful and robust 
              Multitasking and multithreading capabilities 
              Real-time services 
              Widely supported: more than 100,000 developers
              worldwide sharing code and advancements 

Linux is not "based on the same code as the UNIX operating system": in fact,
Linux can only be libre because it is *not* based on the AT&T code.  I don't
even know whether it has a significant amount of BSD code in it.

FWIW, "JavaSoft Corporation" is Sun's JavaSoft division, and its JVM is, of
course, not libre.

There is no such thing as "native Linux instructions".  Linux does not
define an instruction set.

I can't imagine that there are 100,000 Linux developers -- that is, people
who have contributed code that is distributed with some Linux release --
worldwide.  Perhaps there are 100,000 active Linux users?  But that number
seems too low.  So I wonder where the 100,000 number came from.

The bottom line: I agree that Corel's choice of Linux is an important step,
but based on their Web site, they don't seem to be going about marketing
this product in a very serious and professional way.

-- 

L. Peter Deutsch         |       Aladdin Enterprises :::: ghost@aladdin.com
203 Santa Margarita Ave. | tel. +1-650-322-0103 (AM only); fax +1-650-322-1734
Menlo Park, CA 94025     |        http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/index.html
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