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

Re: Linux Don't Blink

Author:Paul Reiber
Posted:7/7/1999; 1:12:32 PM
Topic:Re: Linux Don't Blink
Msg #:8296
Prev/Next:8295 / 8297

Hi Dave,

I have a couple of items here in this message. First, [assuming no-one else has extended an invite] consider yourself invited to tonight's SVLUG meeting in San Jose. With LinuxWorld just around the corner, this ought to prove to be a high-energy meeting. ( for directions)

Second, I'm really happy to see you working with Linux, and touting it's virtues, but it pains me to see you giving strategic advice to MS on how to "deal with Linux"... Unless, of course, they're paying you the half-a-billion dollars+ that it's easily worth to them.

They're asking you for advice on how to navigate near Linux; that's clearly an indication that they don't intend to keep a respectful distance from it. My only free advice to the MS-cruise-ship about how it should deal with the solid rock shores of the continent of Linux would be "throttle down and learn how to aim, or get ready to abandon ship".

You're sort of like a passenger on the cruise ship standing up at the front, yelling "turn right!"; The Captain might take your advice, but odds are good he won't give you half the ship even though you just saved it from a collision. Why bother then? Just jump to shore.

There are some much more appropriate and effective "win-win-win" types of actions that MS could take to embrace and support Linux; I'm sure that some well-paid analysts have tried to convince MS of most of them, but they don't listen, probably because win-win-win involves the other guys winning too. Bill wants "Windows on every desk".

Lastly, You wrote: > If Microsoft won't give us the server > platform we need, it's sitting right here on > Linux, ready to go, for a very reasonable price, > without any lock-in. (None of the analysts > include that in their reasoning, how many > dollars is the lack of lock-in worth?)

That sentence indicates that you believe that *if* MS released a server OS that was price and feature competitive with Linux, that it would somehow be preferable to use it rather than an open source alternative. Think about it; that'll never be true.

No matter how close MS comes to competing with Linux, MS will never represent your best interests unless they think (right or wrong) that they correspond with their own best interests. Since anyone can modify, improve, and extend open source products, you'll never have this problem with Linux or any other open source component.

In the open source environment, you represent your own best interests, and if you want to have someone else do some modifications for you, it's trivial to make it happen. With a closed source "product", you have to convince the vendor that you are one of many who have similar needs, and then your request gets prioritized along with everyone else's. Highly non-optimal.

Regards, and thanks for doing DaveNet! -Paul Reiber, long-time DaveNet reader.

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