VA drops Linux name, boots out Kuro5hin
Reshuffles OSDN deckchairs
VA Linux Systems wants to drop the 'Linux' from its name, less than three years after it added it. The new name of VA Software is thought to better reflect the company's new business of selling software, rather than Linux-tuned hardware and services.
The company began life as 'VA Research' in 1993, and #included Linux into the moniker in April 1999 in the run up to its then record-breaking IPO. Changing the company's LNUX stock ticker might prove more difficult, we guess.
There are also moves afoot, but as yet unannounced, to resuffle VA's OSDN assets. The enviable portfolio of Linux-related websites includes Slashdot, Freshmeat, NewsForge, themes.org (currently) and Kuro5hin. But not for very much longer - from January Kuro5hin will go it alone.
VA describes Kuro5hin (pronounced 'Kewro-five-hin') as an "experiment" that didn't fit in with the other OSDN portfolios, and wasn't devoted to hardcore Linux-based information.
So as VA drops the Linux name, it er, ... drops Kuro5hin because it isn't Linux-y enough. Make of that what you will, dear readers.
K5's founder, Rusty Foster, told us there was "no fear" that the site would not continue. K5 is looking to adopt the classified advertising model that's proved pretty successful so far for the MetaFilter blog.
The other major change over at OSDN, sees VA capitalizing on its long-neglected asset, the linux.com domain. The plan its to turn it into what it always should have been, the first port of call for Linux information. Editor in chief Robin 'roblimo' Miller said it will be news-driven, taking many NewsForge stories, and target enterprise IT users as much as home users.
"Whether you're a home user or the Department of Commerce, you expect linux.com to be a site that takes you to information about Linux," Miller told us.
He added that the possibility of Slashdot adding subscription services was just that, a possibility, and no firm commitment had been made. Salon, with its much higher cost-base and lower page impressions, has been pulling more of its content into a premium subscription-only service, but it remains a model that smacks of desperation, and not something Slashdot would appear to need right now. Even though many would doubtless pay for good money for a version free of Slashdot's tenured comedian, Jon Katz. ®
Full disclosure blah blah: El Reg has a content sharing agreement with Newsforge.
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