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

Re: Linux don't blink

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:7/4/1999; 7:37:13 AM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 7/2/99
Msg #:8151 (In response to 8150)
Prev/Next:8150 / 8152

PS. Yes, I am aware that the cost of Linux is not that big a factor in running a server, and the biggest cost is paying people with the necessary expertise. But this applies to NT as well. NT administrators don't grow on trees and they don't come cheap. Some people like to say that "it doesn't matter how little Linux costs because expertise is expensive", as though this somehow validates shelling out all that extra money for NT licenses. I've heard this argument before and it's valid, but it cuts both ways.

It's not so simple..

I met with the technical team at XOOM.COM a couple of months ago. Over 7 million users, but only 80 people in the *whole company* (and a market cap in billions). Money for server OSes is not their concern, smoothe upgrading of their LAN is key. They opened my eyes to Linux's economies from top to bottom.

The economics are changing very rapidly, I think Microsoft will have to respond. It doesn't really matter, they've been buying so much stock in the new Internet economy that they could just turn into a holding company and still return historic value to their shareholders.

Think outside of the box, the old boxes don't work anymore.

One more thing, don't overlook the cost of lock-in. That's one of the reasons I recommended TCP-level services only. To compete with Linux, Microsoft must offer a product that functionally does exactly what Linux does, it must be an Internet server and nothing more. No chance of lock-in. That also probably gives them price protection in their current market, if anyone wants to accept Microsoft-proprietary systems, they can pay the premium. Internet-level services is a commodity now, and it will only get more so in the future.

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