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VA Linux Systems Leaving The Hardware Business

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the official-word-from-from-higher-ups dept.

VA 281

The subject pretty much says it. You can read the announcement over at Yahoo, but the short and long of it is that VA, the company that owns OSDN which owns Slashdot, Freshmeat, and assorted other Linux web sites, has announced that it is leaving the Hardware Business to focus on SourceForge OnSite, OSDN, and Linux development and consulting. Slashdot should be unaffected.Update: 06/27 08:43 PM by H :It's also relevant to point out this statement from Richard French, the General Manager of OSDN, which is a message to the Community.

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Will there be a closeout sale? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#124442)

Some of their hardware was sweet.

Oh no. . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#124443)

This totally sucks. Midway, VA, who's next? Oldsmobile?

When dealing in commodities... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#124444)

...lowest cost provider will always win.

All your base are belong to Dell

Re:who next (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#124445)

Not if you need an expensive mac to run it on.

Re:Let's get this straight... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#124446)

They're leaving the business that made them rich, in favour of a business that nobody else has succeeded in getting rich in.

Um, some VA employees may be well off by well-timed sale of their stock, but VA the company is hardly rich; they are losing money and have little prospect of changing that situation by selling largely undifferentiated hardware when they can't compete with Dell on margins.

IBM is doing quite well with its service and support business, and other vendors are following suit in deemphasizing their hardware business.

This is a sound business decision. (4)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#124453)

We've decided to exit the volatile hardware industry to concentrate our efforts on the more stable "internet banner ad-funded website" industry.

--

I assume that you'll have a tremendous debt... (2)

emil (695) | more than 13 years ago | (#124461)

...how long will it take to work it down with (measly) banner ad revenue?

How many people will be let go?

Is Raster and/or Mandrake still working for VA, by the way?

Tremendous condolances, in any case. It's hard watch a dream die.

ummm (4)

Nate Fox (1271) | more than 13 years ago | (#124464)

Slashdot should be unaffected.

Riiiiiight. Now is this what you think, or what they're telling you? Cause I had the CEO of the company stand in front of the entire Corporate office and say that we had enough money to last us till at least June (this was in March). Then this [fuckedcompany.com] happened. In March. March is a bit before June.

The PHBs always tell you that the company will be fine. Could you imagine if they said otherwise? ;)

-----
If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...

Re:Today.... (3)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 13 years ago | (#124466)

the TiVO -> VA commute (8 miles approx.) used to take 45 minutes to an hour during rush hour.

Yeah, it takes me a while to get off my butt from in front of the TV when there's good stuff recorded on the TiVo as well.
:-)
--

How can I give back to VA Linux now? (2)

Omega (1602) | more than 13 years ago | (#124467)

As an open source developer, I've made extensive use of the services offered by sourceforge [sourceforge.net] in building and releasing my open source project [sourceforge.net] .

When I graduate from college (assuming I get hired somewhere [psu.edu] ) I wanted to give back to VA Linux for all they've given to me by purchasing a VA Linux workstation. This seemed like one of the best ways I could say thanks, but now that they're leaving the hardware business, what can I do?

Let's get this straight... (4)

jd (1658) | more than 13 years ago | (#124468)

They're leaving the business that made them rich, in favour of a business that nobody else has succeeded in getting rich in.

Does anyone else spot the teensy little flaw in the logic?

Collect the whole series while you still can! (1)

talks_to_birds (2488) | more than 13 years ago | (#124469)

http://images.slashdot.org/banner/vali0034en.gif? [slashdot.org]

I'm gonna put my collection up on eBay, Real Soon Now(tm)!

Oughta fetch a pretty penny...

t_t_b
--
I think not; therefore I ain't®

Re:and the stock goes... (2)

Adnans (2862) | more than 13 years ago | (#124471)

Never buy stock based on your religious believes.

-adnans

It turns out... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 13 years ago | (#124472)

There was one person qualified to make the hardware and she quit.

This actually makes sense now (5)

jht (5006) | more than 13 years ago | (#124474)

When VA (and Penguin, and a few other companies) got into the hardware business, there was a small market niche for boxes that were optimized for Linux, and preconfigured/tested appropriately. Once the bigger vendors (with drastically lower costs) stepped into the marketplace and Linux itself became a product that could be sold and installed straight from the box, the niche companies were doomed. When Linux servers become a commodity, then only the vendors with economies of scale will thrive. VA can't play that game.

If there's any market to be had, it's in selling software and services (though probably not enough to justify the insane valuations that were taking place last year). In essence, Andover was onto the right idea for long-term sustained profitability, but VA wasn't. However, since Andover had much shallower pockets at the time, VA bought Andover instead of the other way around. Stock was cheap then. In the long term, VA was fated to be Just Another Box Company, and there's no money in that anymore (maybe a small shop can make money selling custom boxes, but big companies won't buy from a tiny boutique shop - just from the Dells, Compaqs, IBMs, and HPs of the world, cutting off the air supply of a small public company like VA).

As a software/services/portal company they should have a lower cost basis (building, selling, and supporting boxes is expensive) and, more importantly, lower their cash burn a whole lot. After all, there are portals that make money, software vendors that make money (including Open Source software vendors), and services companies that make money. And there is some synergy between all of them (except for maybe ThinkGeek, but ThinkGeek probably doesn't cost a lot to operate and earns them enough street cred to be worth it). So even though VA's insane valuation was based on their being a hardware company, dumping hardware was probably the right move at the right time. Of course, in another year or so we should know for sure.

- -Josh Turiel

Big deal (3)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 13 years ago | (#124480)

It isn't as if VA made the hardware in the first place. Someone else made it for them and slapped their label on the front. I've bought six machines from VA, but I'll have no problem buying the same hardware at the same price from someone else.

Their sales staff were dumb as stumps. Troy T., I'm talking to you.

great plan! (1)

banky (9941) | more than 13 years ago | (#124483)

Rather than continuing to compete against the likes of Sun, Compaq, and IBM, VA Linux has decided to compete against the likes of... Microsoft, Yahoo!, and other properties. WONDERFUL plan.

Actually, all saracasm aside, I think its a decent plan. Really. Microsoft is doing the services thing; IBM does the services thing; why not focus on the services thing? Shure, why not.

Re:huh? (2)

deeny (10239) | more than 13 years ago | (#124484)

What? They are going to fire 140 of their most profitible employees? Is there some PHB type who can make sense of this for me?

No. They're going to lay off 150(ish) of their *least* profitable employees.

Note that revenue != profit. While they received the bulk of their revenue from hardware, that was also a disproportionately large share of their loss.

Ergo, they expect, ultimately, to make more money as a software company. Worked for NeXT.

_Deirdre

Today.... (4)

deeny (10239) | more than 13 years ago | (#124487)

Today, between the time when I know that there will be an impact but I don't know how many of my friends will be jobless, I hope that any who need to find a new job will be able to. The valley is pretty scary right now.

For example, the TiVO -> VA commute (8 miles approx.) used to take 45 minutes to an hour during rush hour. Yesterday, it took 23 minutes from two miles further.

If there are layoffs, some of the VA guys came from other places (like Linuxcare) and may have the pain (as I did) of having been downsized in more than one Linux company.

Hang in there guys.

_Deirdre

What was the point of VA Linux? (2)

Detritus (11846) | more than 13 years ago | (#124490)

I never understood the rationale behind VA Linux. I can get better prices at the local screwdriver shop. If I want support and better engineered hardware, I can buy a server from IBM. In fact, that is what I did when I bought a low-end server last year.

isn't that sort of backwards? (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#124496)

It seems like you'd be a lot more likely to make it in the hardware market, rather than selling ads on /. and SourceForge Onsite. At least you can charge money for hardware.

Is this because Penguin Computing drove VA under, or are traditional PC manufacturers like Dell turning the screws? I was planning to buy a nice VA workstation/light server sometime in the next couple months, so I'm disappointed to see that I won't be able to.

I'm amazed that any company would voluntarily leave the market that made it the most money. There's got to be more to the story...isn't there?

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:ummm (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#124497)

Should I be worried that f*ckedcompany is blocked as an "inappropriate use of resources" from my job? I wonder if there's something up there about my company that we aren't supposed to know about :)

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:No more Hardware (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#124498)

Yup, writing software and delivering pizzas will be what we're all about. And considering the car that Hiro Protagonist gets, I think I'd rather deliver pizza.

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Who bought who? (5)

GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) | more than 13 years ago | (#124506)

Wait... I thought VA bought Andover.net...
Looks like the other way around

Wow, those guys at Andover are a sneaky bunch

Re:I can't understand. (2)

trcooper (18794) | more than 13 years ago | (#124508)

I can't understand their decision. They just can't *loose* money. VA Linux hardware is expensive compared to the same hardware built by your own. And it's selling. And well, according to what I saw in racks.

You won't see an VA boxes in our shop. Why pay twice the price of a local company that gives better turnaround and service? There's not a compelling reason. Things are tight for everyone out there, and if you can save some bucks by not buying overpriced (but prettily cased) equipment, that's a bonus. I think I'd have to punch anyone who bought a VA linux box in the face, right about now, because it just doesn't make sense.

Obviously they're not selling enough hardware right now to cover their overhead. The future doesn't look too good either... Staff, Advertising, space, all these cost money. Unless you're selling A LOT of hardware, or have a very low overhead, you can't make money, and VA met none of these.


Re:Maybe They'll Make SourceForge Not Suck (2)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#124511)

Yeah, I hear you. I was going to put one of my projects on SourceForge. Their info sheet and FAQ made it sound like the next best thing since cheese-whiz. Then I started looking at all the projects hosted on SourceForge, and got really cold feet...

Re:huh? (2)

flimflam (21332) | more than 13 years ago | (#124517)

Just because they brought in the most revenue doesn't mean they were the most profitable. In fact, they never made a profit at all, which means that cutting the division will cut expenditures even more than it cuts revenue, therefor benefiting the bottom line.

Re:Workstations - server prices were great, though (3)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#124522)

I don't know about the servers, but their workstations were really overpriced. Same goes for Penguin Computing.

Wow, it was definitely the other way around for the servers - they were incredibly reasonable. We just decided to pick up about 40 1u servers from them, and then today's announcement hits. So much for that plan. Nobody could even come close to touching their 1u prices, and the hardware was phenomenal. Single-CPU 1u units could be had for about $1,000, and you sure can't find that at Dell (except with the crappy Celeron units).

Is it too late to post a question to IBM? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#124523)

So, how stoked are you guys that you frightened VA out of the hardware market? Did you beat up nerds in high school?

Re:I guess I shouldn't be surprised. (1)

msaavedra (29918) | more than 13 years ago | (#124525)

Redhat bought companies (like cygnus)that make money.

And VA Linux bought companies (like Andover) that don't. ;-) That's why I thought it was extravagant.

Seriously though, does anyone know how much of Redhat's revenues are owed to Cygnus? There were lots of jokes about flash-in-the-pan internet companies becoming profitable by spending their IPO money on real businesses. Has Redhat actually done this? I would like to think that Redhat's business model (charge for support) has proven itself successful, but does anyone have any numbers?


--------------------------
"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. (4)

msaavedra (29918) | more than 13 years ago | (#124527)

Anyone remember when, during the big IPO craze, that lots of people were saying that VA was the Linux company most likely to succeed in the marketplace? The rationale was that VA actually sold real, physical products. Unlike, for instance, Redhat, who was spending a bunch of money on software development and then giving it away for free in the hopes that people would sign up for support.

Now, VA's hardware business is gone, and Redhat is on its way to becoming a profitable company. What happened?

I guess that, strangely enough, VA has become a victim of the success of Linux. As industry giants like IBM and Dell have jumped into the Linux business, VA has seen its market share erode, apparently to the point where it is no longer reasonable for them to continue.

It's a good thing they didn't have all their eggs in one basket. All of their purchases and investments after the IPO seemed a bit extravagant to me, but now they may be the only thing to keep the company alive. Sourceforge is a great product, and hopefully it is enough to alow VA to eke out a modest existence.

One thing is certain: that 300 dollar share price on LNUX stock a while back sure seems pretty silly now. I suppose it seemed silly even then.


--------------------------
"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."

Re:I assume that you'll have a tremendous debt... (3)

sugarescent (30924) | more than 13 years ago | (#124529)

Is Raster and/or Mandrake still working for VA, by the way?

Mandrake is most definitely not, as you can find out by reading his web page at http://mandrake.net/. Raster appears (from his webpage, http://www.rasterman.com/) to still be working there, albeit it in Australia.

-sugarescent

This is unfortunate... (3)

gbr (31010) | more than 13 years ago | (#124530)

I purchased several VA systems when I was at Videon here in Winnipeg. The systems have proven to be stable and reliable.

I'm sorry to see this hardware resource go, and wish them the best of luck in the software world.

Ironic (2)

D3 (31029) | more than 13 years ago | (#124531)

That when I refreshed Slashdot and got this story the banner ad was for VA.

VA Linux entering the "new new" economy (1)

evin (31167) | more than 13 years ago | (#124533)

Like so many other companies, VA Linux Systems has found that in order to remain competitive, it must dump its revenue sources (hardware sales) in attempts to reduce expenditures. In the short run, this means VA Linux will lose much more money per year, but in the long run, they're hoping to keep their losses to a minimum by replacing all of their functions with Cowboy Neal (as various scientific polls have demonstrated possible).

Re:This is a sound business decision. (5)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#124534)

How long before we're hitting a PayPal button to pay ESR's salary?

Maybe we could strip him naked and put him on a webcam like that guy on the Japanese TV show...

Hit the PayPal button and watch ESR dance around as a small piece of cheese drops out of a chute into his rice bowl.

With Solaris (licenses, anyway) (2)

Sun Tzu (41522) | more than 13 years ago | (#124536)

With [sun.com] Solaris licenses. I'm not sure you get a media kit though -- it'll probably cost you another $us60 or so, if you need the actual CD's. Sun traditionally includes an unlimited-user license for Solaris with every box they sell. The price is $us995.

I can't understand. (5)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 13 years ago | (#124537)

How can OSDN earn money ? Web banners ? Ad banners on Slashdot and Freshmeat are all for other OSDN services (valinux, sourceforge, thinkgeek or free software) .
And OSDN needs a lot of bandwidth. I guess all that bandwidth isn't provided for free.
On the other hand, when I walk through alleys of server farms, I always see a lot of VA Linux racks. They are easy to distinguish with their blue leds. So I thought that VA Linux was selling a lot of hardware. And selling hardware bring money. SGI is also selling VA Linux hardware (they just add their sticker) .
I can't understand their decision. They just can't *loose* money. VA Linux hardware is expensive compared to the same hardware built by your own. And it's selling. And well, according to what I saw in racks.
Compaq drops Alpha processors, Mandrake runs out of money, Netscape focuses on a stupid web portal, VA Linux stops hardware... That's bad. Really bad times for the world of Unix and free software.

-- Pure FTP server [pureftpd.org] - Upgrade your FTP server to something simple and secure.

VA Banner ad.. (4)

mjh (57755) | more than 13 years ago | (#124542)

Does anyone else find it funny to see the very first /. article talking about how VA is going to give up their HW biz, and then right above that is a banner ad extoling the virtues of a VA 1RU or 2RU server?

Ooh... now it says, "Need a VA Linux server? GREAT DEALS on VA Linux servers - CHECK 'EM OUT!". Well, yeah, I'd think if you're getting outta the biz, that you should be offering tremendous deals!
--

In related news... (1)

rwg (59312) | more than 13 years ago | (#124543)

...Akamai Technologies figured out they can build their own rack-mounted computers a lot cheaper than they can buy them from VA Linux.

"Doh! What the hell were we thinking?" an anonymous Akamai executive told reporters.

Re:Workstations (1)

cetan (61150) | more than 13 years ago | (#124545)

Not to nit-pick but I will (all in good fun) :)

Apple makes Personal Computers.

Personal Computers = PC

Apple makes PC's.

Re:I guess I shouldn't be surprised. (1)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 13 years ago | (#124549)

It seemed even sillier when I purchased shares that day for $237 and they are now at $3.26. At least I learned my lesson

Re:Let's get this straight... (5)

rkent (73434) | more than 13 years ago | (#124551)

Yeah, no sh*t...

The financial impact of the new VA Linux strategy will be significant. Historically, VA Linux has generated a significant majority of its revenues from the sale of its hardware products. VA expects its revenue to significantly decline with the elimination of the hardware segment.

Here's the gun, here's the bullet, now where's my foot again?

But one of the "new revenue streams" they're pursuing is this OSDN OnSite thing, which I guess gives people OSDN-like functionality on their own networks. Has anyone out there used this? Not just posted a project on OSDN, but actually paid for the OnSite product/service? Does it actually make your development more "efficient"? Do you use it to coordinate with development outside your corporate walls? Sounds like a neat idea, but are they really gonna make any money with it?

---

The Dell of the Linux World (3)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#124556)

A while back someone (I forget who now) said "VA Linux is trying to be the Dell of the Linux world. Unfortunately there will only be one Dell of the Linux world and that will be Dell." Wish I could remember who it was who said that. Damn...

Re:Workstations - server prices were great, though (2)

carlhirsch (87880) | more than 13 years ago | (#124557)

Well, Sun sells a UltraSPARCIII 1U server for $999...

-carl

oops (1)

Stephen VanDahm (88206) | more than 13 years ago | (#124558)

I bet VA's founder wishes he'd stayed with his buddies when they were starting Yahoo.


========
Stephen C. VanDahm

Re:I can't understand. (5)

god_of_the_machine (90151) | more than 13 years ago | (#124561)

And OSDN needs a lot of bandwidth. I guess all that bandwidth isn't provided for free.

Well... if they can't pay for bandwidth they could always shut down for a weekend and blame it on an incompetant female Cisco tech. I hear that works....

-rt-

I'm puzzled too (2)

Arker (91948) | more than 13 years ago | (#124565)

From the article:

The financial impact of the new VA Linux strategy will be significant. Historically, VA Linux has generated a significant majority of its revenues from the sale of its hardware products. VA expects its revenue to significantly decline with the elimination of the hardware segment.

So, they're pulling out of the area that was making the profits, to concentrate on the loss leaders? Someone explain this, it looks totally insane to me.


"That old saw about the early bird just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

Remembering The Hype (2)

quakeaddict (94195) | more than 13 years ago | (#124568)

...it was supposed to be the next Dell.

Flame out.

It always seemed odd to me that adding a free OS to a box seemed to make it cost more than a Windows box.

not a big suprise... or deal (1)

cheezus (95036) | more than 13 years ago | (#124570)

Its not like VA is like Sun or even Apple, who make their earnings through selling propreitary hardware which is backed up by their software and services. There is just too much competition in hardware for the decreasing amount of it that people are buying. The compelling reason to buy hardware from VA? Linux support. Since that's what they were really selling anyway, why not just focus on that as a core business. I know the people that only read slashdot because they hate it are going to gloat about this being the end of VA, and OSDN, and oh look their stock is going to be worth half a penny instead of a whole one now, but lets face it - all PC makers are feeling this slump. So yeah, this is news for nerds, but it doesn't really matter. Its nice to see that VA isn't using their media outlet for spin control, too.

---

Re:This is a sound business decision. (1)

Lish (95509) | more than 13 years ago | (#124572)

Heh. Stable, in the sense of "unchanging," is actually pretty apt for the situation. The market might not go down, but it sure ain't goin up, either.


---

Re:Does this mean outsourcing? (1)

DeePCedure (99267) | more than 13 years ago | (#124577)

My bad. Here's the fixed link [slashdot.org] .

No longer a niche market (3)

Shagg (99693) | more than 13 years ago | (#124578)

When VA first started, there was basically no one else that was offering an "out of the box" linux installed hardware system for business use. The fact that they offered support and pre-installs, taking care of hardware integration and drivers, for linux was a pretty cool thing. Their uniqueness is what brought them alot of business.

However, with the popularity of linux as a server system rising, we are starting to see the big boys such as Compaq and Dell get into the act. I'm guessing that VA has seen that they will not be able to compete with the larger hardware vendors, and are opting to stick with linux consulting/development roles. In one sense it's a shame to see VA driven out of the hardware role by the larger corps, but on the other hand it's a strong indication of linux's success.

--

huh? (2)

twitter (104583) | more than 13 years ago | (#124580)

Yahoo sez:

Historically, VA Linux has generated a significant majority of its revenues from the sale of its hardware products. VA expects its revenue to significantly decline with the elimination of the hardware segment.

What? They are going to fire 140 of their most profitible employees? Is there some PHB type who can make sense of this for me?

and the stock goes... (1)

esoteric0 (105786) | more than 13 years ago | (#124581)

um, yay, now my LNUX stock can lose even more value. hurray for linux.

Weird and kind of scary ... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 13 years ago | (#124582)

... to contrast this story with the one immediately preceding it, an announcement of a Q&A with IBM's director of Linux marketing. Once again, the revolution gets hijacked.

Even weirder and scarier is that I generally think of IBM being in the Linux business as a good thing. Wintel, Inc. may no longer be the monolith it once was, but it's still so big and dangerous that companies like IBM (and Sun, and Oracle, and Apple, and AOL) seem like allies to the little guy by comparison.

Where is the Microsoft Bashing? (1)

KingAdrock (115014) | more than 13 years ago | (#124583)

Taco- The only reason I read anything you write is to enjoy some good ol' Microsoft bashing.. Where was it this time? I don't know what to do with myself... This calls for a 3 part series on why Microsoft is the antichrist! Arrggghh...

Re:Surprising... (1)

chez69 (135760) | more than 13 years ago | (#124597)

when Redhat's stock price was high they bought a couple of companies (cygnus) that would actually make them money.

VA bought a whole bunch of websites.

Re:I guess I shouldn't be surprised. (1)

chez69 (135760) | more than 13 years ago | (#124598)

Redhat bought companies (like cygnus)that make money.

Re:Ouch... (1)

bapink01 (137229) | more than 13 years ago | (#124599)

The article explains how they expect to stay afloat. The post was modded down because the "discussion" was shorter than the sig. If the question was accompanied by some guesses to the viablilty of what was proposed in the article. If I didn't post I could have modded your guesses up.

Personally, I do believe that their strength has been their software expertise that sets them apart from the crowd. I would rather see another strong software company that is sheilded from the razor thin margins in the personal computer hardware industry. Remember IBM has pulled out of the retail PC. That market is tough.

Their hardware installation has been a problem domain where their designers have created interesting solutions [valinux.com] .

No more Hardware (1)

ritlane (147638) | more than 13 years ago | (#124605)

First Compaq, now these guys.

Maybe one day the industry will evolve to the point that all companies only make software.
What a golden utopia that would bring.


---Lane



---Lane

Slashdot Unnaffected??? (1)

CakerX (149266) | more than 13 years ago | (#124606)

Don't you know what this means??, since VA is leaving the hardware buisness to focus on the websites like /. and freshmeat, don't you think that /. is going to have to be pulling MORE money weight?? And how would they do this?? probably start by letting coperate sponsors do editorials, covering non-geek stuff to attract more people, and starting a pay service??? is this what /. is about...NO!!!!, I don't know what should be done here, as I am just a reader, and no one EVER listens to the guy with the mohawk and the DKs shirt!

This means two things... (2)

green pizza (159161) | more than 13 years ago | (#124609)

First of all, it proves how big business (big scared businesses) can drive the little guy out of his own business.

It also shows that the future of hardware is -not- from commerical organizations, but rather from truly open, not-for-profit vendors. The only way we can continue to grow is to abandon the old idea that somone has to get rich by selling things at an inflated price. VA has proven that a vendor need not make a profit to better the world. Expect the concept of free, open hardware (and not just open software) to grow over the next few years.

How will this affect SGI? (3)

green pizza (159161) | more than 13 years ago | (#124610)

How will this affect SGI?

That may sound like an odd question, but if you look at SGI's Linux offerings over the past 12 month, you'll see that they resemble a (poor) attempt at being a VA Linux wannabe.

Also note that some of SGI's Linux servers were OEMed from VA.

It will be interesting to see how this affects SGI over the next 6 months... will SGI's Linux offerings be better or worse as a result?

Crap... (1)

cat5 (166434) | more than 13 years ago | (#124615)

And I just received 3 VA Machines..
1* 2251 - Dual Proc 1Ghz/1G Ram, with attached 9008 storage (for /home :))
and 2x 1221 for other assorted tasks, same procs/memory.
I home support won't be affected.

Re:Let's get this straight... (1)

cactopus (166601) | more than 13 years ago | (#124616)

Yep... the same business CornPack wants to up to a third of their business and sold the only thing that made them special for... Oh and Acer too... wants to go entirely services based.... ahhh today is the major cleaning up of the PC market... consolidation... look out for falling PC vendors! AJ

Re:Workstations - server prices were great, though (2)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 13 years ago | (#124624)

Solaris is free for machines with less than 8 processors. Has been for some time.

You can even download ISOs there.

Re:How will this affect SGI? (2)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 13 years ago | (#124625)

SGI is through. Their mainstay MIPS servers are so behind the curve it's not even funny.

They'll be featured on www.fuckedcompany.com

Let's start a Slashdot deadpool! (3)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 13 years ago | (#124628)

What date will Slashdot disappear?

My guess: February 16, 2002

Won't affect Slashdot.. (1)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 13 years ago | (#124641)

I hope NOT. I'm hoping you guys can get some leftovers so the /. servers don't rank up there with personal webpage in China as the slowest sites on the planet.

Hrmph. (2)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#124646)

I'm still waiting for the announcement that this is somebody's idea of a practical joke. Just the other day I got an email from them saying there were dual Athlon systems coming from them, and I still see old VA hardware ads on the site. Oh, well. Best of luck to y'all.

(On a side note - does this mean that ThinkGeek start selling software too? :-P)

Re:ummm (2)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#124647)

Hah. Same here too. Guessing it's just the URL.

Re:Will there be a closeout sale? (1)

MCZapf (218870) | more than 13 years ago | (#124651)

I'm guessing the closeout sale has already started. I'm seeing lots of VA Linux ads at the top of Slashdot (the past few page views, anyway). They don't actually have the words "closeout" though.

Ouch... (1)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 13 years ago | (#124655)

Someone care to explain how does VA expect to stay afloat?

What I find Strange.... (1)

V50 (248015) | more than 13 years ago | (#124659)

What I find Strange is that right now, as I post this there is a VA Banner suggesting I buy 2GB or RAM or something (it doesn't say). If they have quit the HardWare business then why are there still VA ads?

OT: And why are there Intel Ads in Flash? .GIF wasn't good enought for Intel?

--Volrath50

Re:Let's get this straight... (1)

kireK (254264) | more than 13 years ago | (#124662)

If they got so rich from hardware... why did the hardware unit loose so much money?

Workstations (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#124663)

I don't know about the servers, but their workstations were really overpriced. Same goes for Penguin Computing. You cannot sell a $1000 PC for $2000 unless you're called IBM or Apple (I know, Apple doesn't make PC, but don't tell me that they don't have very fat margins).

Re:Workstations - server prices were great, though (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#124664)

That's cool, but it didn't seem enough. Last week a customer wanted to buy a 1U server from Dell and he showed me the ad: Ouch, $1200 for a Celeron 733 with Redhat. Oh yes, with 'Dell Web Management System', ie Webmin not even in disguise.

BTW, what are VA gonna do now?

Re:Workstations - server prices were great, though (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 13 years ago | (#124667)

With or without their "real UNIX"?

--Blair

From NASDAQ (2)

MSBob (307239) | more than 13 years ago | (#124668)

It will reduce its work force by about 35% from the fiscal third quarter level of 436 employees. The majority of the layoffs will occur during the current fiscal quarter, with the remainder over the next several months.

Trading in VA Linux was halted for news. The issue last changed hands at $3.26

Why was trading suspended. Is it such bad news that they think investors may freak out?

This means one thing... (3)

MSBob (307239) | more than 13 years ago | (#124669)

That slashdot and other OSDN sites bear the main responsibility for generating revenue. Slashdot in particular as it's frequented by so many people daily. One way to do it may be to insert [valinux.com] some extra data (such as tags) into comments and help boost revenue [thinkgeek.com] and creating some subtle albeit effective advertising [mcdonalds.com] . Something akin to SmartTags [microsoft.com] should go a long way towards compensating for the cut revenue from hardware [dell.com] sales. How big a job would it be to implement that in slashcode?

Um... did that router fell on their head? (1)

Ayende Rahien (309542) | more than 13 years ago | (#124670)

What is the *point* in leaving their main revenue steam? You can make money out of hardware, out of ads?
Hardly.
Especially when most of those ads are from *other* OSDN sites.
SourceForge pays SlashDot that pays NewsForge that pay themez.org that pays SourceForge, ed infintium.

Hello? Can anyone find bussiness logic here?

--
Two witches watch two watches.

SourceForge OnSite?? (3)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 13 years ago | (#124672)

I don't see how the sale of one product(namely SourceForge OnSite) is going to keep VA Linux afloat. This is not to rip on them, but I just don't see it happening. Slashdot probably should start making contigency plans when(notice not if) VA goes under. Hmm... at least I will be able to get a pretty decent tax write off on the few shares that I own.

Re:Let's get this straight... (1)

ByTor-2112 (313205) | more than 13 years ago | (#124674)

Made them rich? You forget that they still lose money hand over fist. Anyone who didn't see this coming long ago was kidding themselves.

Overpriced hardware doesn't build an empire. Their sagging stock price has lead to drastic cuts. And the easiest way to cut is slash the whole hardware division...

Did anyone actually think of VA as anything other than a hardware company? I know they have bought some 'Net real estate, but I certainly don't think of VAL when I think software. Guess we should expect the VALinux Distro next week...

Best of luck...

Re:Surprising... (1)

ByTor-2112 (313205) | more than 13 years ago | (#124675)

Hi,

Red Hat didn't actually turn a profit. The same funny accounting rules that let Microsoft report enormous profits by excluding certain things (stock options etc) let Redhat report a profit. There was an article on it somewhere. The 'pro forma' numbers are not actually the official SEC numbers. According to the SEC they lost their pants!

Re:Let's start a Slashdot deadpool! (1)

mkelley (411060) | more than 13 years ago | (#124684)

November 27, 2001

m.kelley
www.mkelley.net

Re:isn't that sort of backwards? (1)

KilljoyAZ (412438) | more than 13 years ago | (#124685)

I think it's because Dell is turning the screws. Dell recently announced they were going to slash prices to gain market share. Presumably when the PC market rebounds, the high market share will lead to higher future profits. I'd expect other major PC manufacturers to follow suit.

Dell, Compaq, and Gateway have the cash to burn for a period of aggressive pricing. VA Linux doesn't. I think the higher-ups at VA saw the writing on the wall and saw that the hardware won't bring in the revenue it once did.

Damn. (2)

HisMother (413313) | more than 13 years ago | (#124686)

So I'm typing this on an orphaned box.

This is really quite sad, but maybe my emotional response is tied up in historical beliefs that no longer hold. We've been buying VA boxes where I work for some years, now (y'all know they used to be "VA Research") because there historically wasn't any other place to get preassembled boxes made with bleeding-edge SMP mo-boards, certainly not with Linux already installed.

But these days, you can buy SMP from Dell, and with Linux installed to boot. Was VA's hardware business, then, a victim of Linux's success?

In related news (1)

Magumbo (414471) | more than 13 years ago | (#124687)

OSDN is switching to win2k due to it's superior reliability and Microsoft's strong market share. "Meltdowns" and other network sluggishness on all OSDN sites should disappear. Also, slashcode will soon be released under a shared-source licensing.

--

New Income Stream (3)

SaturnTim (445813) | more than 13 years ago | (#124701)


Actually they are going to make money from configuring Cisco equipment for Exodus...

oops.

--T

Plans for VA Linux Distro? Debian Based? (1)

idonotexist (450877) | more than 13 years ago | (#124703)

VA Linux once had a debian distro --- I think. Based on this change in strategy with a non-hardware focus, any rumor to VA getting (back) into the linux distro business?

Agreed (3)

kraf (450958) | more than 13 years ago | (#124704)

They should definately concentrate on their core business, which is buying websites to raise awareness which in turn helps them to raise more VC which helps them to buy more websites...and so forth.

Re:Let's get this straight... (1)

gnurd (455798) | more than 13 years ago | (#124706)

yeah, if your company has a bunch of developers incapable of setting up OSDN or OSDN like stuff, i think you have more problems then dev environment.
---

uh-oh (1)

gnurd (455798) | more than 13 years ago | (#124707)

time to start moving the ol' project offa sourceforge. perhaps i can buy a discounted VALinux system of my own to host it on...
---

hardware alone! (1)

gnurd (455798) | more than 13 years ago | (#124708)

and how much money will sf and /. make when they have to pay *market* prices for their hardware?
---

I can't do it Capt'in (1)

TrollMaster3000 (457831) | more than 13 years ago | (#124710)

I just can't do it captain... I don't have the power!


1. Chinese food. No soul food here.
1. I'm no punk bitch !!!
2. I'm no punk bitch neither !!!

Surprising... (3)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 13 years ago | (#124712)

I had thought that the value-added hardware sales, which VA had focused on, would have the best chance at generating a positive cash flow.

I thought that selling a 'free' OS like Red Hat would be more difficult, but these announcements(this and RedHat's quarterly results) seem to show just the opposite..

Oh, well, What I'd really like to know is if there will be any really good sales on VA Equipment?

Re:Workstations - server prices were great, though (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 13 years ago | (#124714)

The Sun Netra X1 [sun.com] is an excellent uniprocessor sub-$1000 1u unit. It runs a real Unix, on reliable non-PC hardware, and the vendor will be around for decades to come.

Re:Workstations - server prices were great, though (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 13 years ago | (#124715)

UltraSPARC III? The Netra X1 specs page [sun.com] says it uses a 64-bit UltraSPARC IIe...is there another server I don't know of? I'd be delighted to order US-III servers for $999...

VA Linux System's Warp Core Breached. (1)

USS Enterprise (462656) | more than 13 years ago | (#124716)

VA Linux Systems: "Sir, Im giving her all shes got, if i give her any more, shes gonna blow sir!"
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