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The same day as it went gold with its free software file manager, Eazel has shed over half of its 70 staff. Eazel's marketing VP Brian Croll told CNet that the cuts would be concentrated in business development and marketing.

Eazel will retain 35 staff, which is perhaps 20 more than a free software file manager might reasonably be expected to support. Eazel's business model involves promoting Nautilus as a kind of portal through which services such as upgrades can be sold. But it's not the only game in town - Ximian, the company founded by leading GNOME developers Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza is also monkeying around with the same idea, offering updates through its Red Carpet software. And it's an idea that every commercial distro worth its salt should recognize as a revenue opportunity too, with or without Eazel; Red Hat for one is partnering with Nautilus to pipe services through Nautilus.

Croll is a former Sun engineering VP who testified on behalf of Sun in the Microsoft antitrust case, and a Reg reader with an encyclopaedic recall of previous headlines. And although he won't thank us for mentioning it, it was Croll who led the counter-rebellion inside Sun's Engineering Group at that shot down plans to make the source code to Solaris freely available. ®

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