Recently, a significant change occurred in the GNOME community: the purchase of Ximian by Novell. This brought up some interesting possibilities as Novell positions itself to become a major player in the Linux market. One of the first Novell projects was the Desktop Integration Bounty Hunt, where Ximian offered cash bounties to developers who improved the integration of certain specified collaboration features into the GNOME desktop, an interesting idea whose success is hard to measure in the short term. Novell’s contributions to GNOME are probably still in their infancy, but we expect a lot from them. In the meantime, Red Hat has not been sitting still either, as they continue their push into the corporate market, going so far as to open an office in close proximity of Novell/Ximian’s offices in Boston. It is apparent that Boston is becoming the center of GNOME corporate activity.
GNOME has seen significantly wider adoption during the past six months. One of the largest announcements was China’s decision to adopt Sun Microsystems’ GNOME-based Java Desktop System on as many as 200 million desktops. The UK Government has also announced plans to use JDS over the next 5 years.