Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Darwin and Linux

Author:Eric Kidd
Posted:5/14/1999; 9:46:19 AM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 5/14/99
Msg #:6226 (In response to 6223)
Prev/Next:6225 / 6227

Lesson learned. The IBM PC was a consensus platform. When a consensus forms, it sucks up everything in its wake. The weakness of Unix now is so many almost-Linux systems.

My picks for the winners: Linux. RedHat. Intel hardware. Anybody who is fully compatible with the first three will survive (we still have a PC clone industry, after all). There will be some interesting noise from Corel and Debian, of course, and if somebody else is sufficiently gutsy, we could see RedHat stumble.

But if I were a Linux distributor, I'd be making my distribution bit-for-bit identical to RedHat's with some nice added value. See CheapBytes for a nice example. If I were a Unix vendor, I'd be porting my technology to Intel Linux. See SGI and Sun for nice examples.

In the end, Linux is important for just a few reasons: it's cheap, it's fast, it runs on your legacy hardware and it's vendor neutral. Oh, yeah--and all the hackers like it, so it gets a billion dollars in free R&D every year. Microsoft has the advantages of money, superior desktop technology, some benchmarks on upscale hardware, and centralized control.

As somebody who owns a dead Mac can tell you, centralized control and superior desktop technology do not (by themselves) make for a winning hand. Been there, done that.

Cheers, Eric

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