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Linux Is Going Down 629

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-of-course-it-is-duh dept.
villoks writes "Doug Miller, Microsoft's group product manager for competitive strategies is trying desperately to find arguments against Linux." Many really good points, and many other equally bad ones.
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Linux Is Going Down

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  • by digitalhermit (113459) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @01:32PM (#466772) Homepage
    That was nicely worded, but doesn't reflect what I have seen.

    I install networks for small business (10 - 100) users. I do install NT for those customers that demand it.

    Let's look at some problems with your reasoning:

    NT admins cost (at least in South Florida) more than $30,000 a year. You can probably get a very good help-desk person for this salary though. With an MCSE and a CIS degree, $40K is closer to what you'll pay. Add in the cost of the site license, SMS, your mail server and so on, and this figure quickly eclipses a Linux solution. I won't bother with the extra hardware resources needed for a workable NT solution versus a Linux solution.

    A Linux admin for $60K? Sure, if she also knows Sun, IBM and HP, and she has a couple years experience. True, unix admins get more money on average, but they also generally take care of more users. But it's deceptive to claim that a Linux admin is $60 and an NT admin is $30K..

    As for the remote user machines, I had not even added *client* licenses into the above. Factor that in and your costs go way up. But what difference would it make for the server? A Linux install would be transparent to remote users. They wouldn't have to relearn anything. On the same token, I can't imagine anyone preferring to remotely administer a Windows box versus a Linux box.

    I guess it does come down to what the users and company will tolerate. Does a 20 user company want to hire an NT admin or would they prefer to install a Linux machine once and forget about it? Or are they under the delusion that, because it's NT, they can take someone part-time to service the box.

    If they want support, I'll sell them a service contract for $15,000 a year (potential savings for a 30 user company is close to $100,000 vs an NT solution). For NT it's more because I need to send someone on-site because even a driver update requires a reboot.

  • 700 mhz PIII, 192 MB of RAM, 20 GB hard drive, 8 meg video card.

    It's strong, but not a monster.

  • VALinux has a great business model - they sell hardware to a niche market and make sure the proper software runs on it. How is that a bad business model? The only problem VA has is that they were over-ambitious as to how big the niche was, and how big a piece of pie they were going to get.
  • For enterprise elements, I'm not sure what he could be talking about in terms of the kernel ... For kernel services, I'd say he's wrong. But without the word Kernel in there, he's right. Enterprise means management of several hundred installations of an operating system, which is something that Linux doesn't yet have an elegant tool for. Also, the ActiveDirectory feature of Windows is actually really cool, if properly implemented.

    Regarding Linux on notebooks, I think you're missing the point. People tote around notebooks to do write memos while on the plane and do Powerpoint presentations at client offices. It's not that you can't install Linux on notebooks -- it's that the common applications and functions that you'd use a notebook for are better developed for Windows.

    BTW, your sig no longer works.

  • by sharkey (16670) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @12:02PM (#466793)
    Q80520 - How Microsoft Ensures Virus-Free Software [microsoft.com]

    Not Linux, but UNIX is being used to master/duplicate their distro CDs, for a very specific reason. AFAIK, Hotmail runs their web servers on BSD, and uses Solaris for the email handling.

    --
  • I will definitely tell you that as a workstation, Win2k still doesn't match up to Linux in stability. I use both for very similar things, email/groupware junk, lots of emacs, lots of web browsing, listening to MP3s, lots of compiling and building Java apps, running and testing Java apps. I do as you said have to reboot my Dell Win2k development box at least once every week or two due to sudden bizarre failures of IE and/or Outlook that seem to have systemic effect (i.e. even killing the processes does nothing to make them run again).

    My Linux box on the other hand has the occasional XFree86 4.0.2 crash which seems to be a weird interaction with my USB optical Intellimouse Explorer, but I can always kill the X process and restart X. I use ReiserFS so even the two or three times I have had to reboot it comes back up real fast (like when I kicked the power cord out of the wall by accident).

    I haven't seen Win2k run as an active server really other than the low-usage PDC we have in the office here. It has gone down only once as far as I know in several months of usage, but then again, it doesn't do very much work. :)

  • Aha! It appears you are correct. I was reading the same document, but mistook "The Journaled File System (JFS) provides a log-based, byte-level file system that was developed for transaction-oriented, high performance systems" as meaning that it was a log-structured filesystem. However, if you read on, you find that you can get essentially data-level integrity using synchronous writes. I don't know how this affects performance on that filesystem, though. The same _probably_ applies to XFS, but I am unsure now.
  • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @11:01AM (#466798)

    Problem one: when all the Linux companies go "Tits up", hardware companies will no longer feel a need to release a few drivers for their products. They are only catering to the niche right now because they think that niche is growing.

    Almost none of the drivers I have are written by companies. The best companies ever do is release register information, and sadly, a lot of the time it's reverse engineering work that gets things running. I don't buy this arguement for a second, and you should have a poke around in the kernel source sometime. Companies that are friendly to linux now have largely ALWAYS been friendly to linux, and I don't see any reason to think that anything more than goodwill is the cause - I doubt linux support affects huge percentages of their general revenue (linux users excepted).

    Problem three: if we lose these companies, we will be losing many of Linux's best programmers. Reasoning: while some of the better ones are hobbists, a lot of the best coders work for money.

    I work for money; I even make a pretty good wage. Even to the point of developing on microsoft APIs and microsoft platforms! I can say that some of the best code I've ever written has been for free or with an academic interest, and had very little to do with money. Most of the code I write for work is pretty mundane. This arguement doesn't hold weight. Back-in-tha-day, there was no commercial incentive, and there was still plenty of development. Although, XFree and Linux sucked more then. The suck less now, and will suck even less in the future! I love it!

    They are coming to Linux not only because they see a development challenge, but a monetary opportunity through companies.

    I laugh at you loudly. There are few if ANY jobs out there developing linux software. Mail me some information. They don't exist (relative to the opportunities doing embedded work, windows work, or generic network code, which I guess could be done in linux, but not exclusively for linux). Don't underestimate the 100-million-plus seat windows market, that's why you don't see games for Windows; Nice or not, we're not statistically relevant in that game.

    Problem three: You seem to have many hours a day where you can code programs to give away for free. I don't. Most of us don't. Right now I'm going to college, but even now I'm swamped with work and expenses necessary to keep food on my table. I can only imagine it getting harder when I leave. That's why I can't help you in your idealistic ways.

    I have very little time to work on free projects; That's why I hand stuff around - maybe someone else can do something with the little tidbit I wrote. Much of what I do is of little interest to anyone but myself - playing with genetic algorithms and 3D, for example. I do it for the love of the art, not the money. Linux was written by people that did it for the love of the art, and would do so regardless. There are very few things in this world I have any natural aptitude for, and coding is one of them. Why waste that gift?

    That's why I can't help you in your idealistic ways.

    Maybe I'm idealistic, but it doesn't change my original statement that if all the linux commercial involvement went tits up, very little of what I do would be affected in Linux. Linux exists outside of the traditional commercial world, and I see no problem with that. It will continue to evolve, and improve, with out without Redhat, VA Linux, etc. That's why we'll win (Eventually).

  • And Linus saying so himself.

    Torvalds on Linux (Q&A): They aren't laughing now [techtarget.com]
  • That may be true.

    But it's important to examine all your options. Running down the dual boot Linux path is something of a pain, especially if it's not the best solution.

    Students receive substantial discounts on software, no need to pirate.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What do you expect them to say? Nothing? Only nice things? This is Microsoft, they're competitive. Judging from most people's attitudes on this particular website, so are Linux advocates. How many positive things about Microsoft/Windows do you read here?
    Stop yer bitchin already. MS will never stop talking down their competition, and their competitors will do likewise to them. This isn't communism.
    Posted anonymously for a reason. Duh.
  • by unitron (5733) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @07:58AM (#466809) Homepage Journal
    "There really isn't much value in free," said Miller

    Except, of course, to the recipient.

  • Doug Miller certainly has the Microsoft party line down cold.

    Wondering: Is this the guy Microsoft hired for that Linux position that they had posted on their site around, oh say, a year ago? (If so, perhaps this sort of attitude is what got him the job :^) )



    --

  • IBM, Compaq, HP, SGI, Sun, etc.

    No matter what happens to the specialized Linux vendors, it is in the long-term interest of hardware vendors that currently support their own Unicies to reduce their development costs. Linux and the GPL allows these hardware vendors to implicitly pool their development efforts with each other and with a volunteer programming community, reducing costs.
  • what about next month when intel's 64bit proc comes out? microsoft won't have a product while linux is already there...
    golgotha
  • Hey, neat! How'd you get your head that far up there?!?! Would a glass stomach help? :) Windows NT, up to and including 4.0 SP6.1a, does *NOT* support PCMCIA hot swapping. Linux, as far back as my experience goes (three years on notebooks), has supported PCMCIA hot swapping rather nicely. It's incredibly useful to, say, pop out a SCSI card to add another device to the bus and pop it back in. No reboot. No Windows warnings about "You shouldn't do that!" It just works. Blow.
  • by Moderation abuser (184013) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @02:06PM (#466827)
    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win." - Gandhi

    I think Linux is just about to get to "Then you win".

    Bye bye Microsoft. I'd like to say it's been nice but I'd be lying.

  • Win95/98 are an extension of the DOS/Win 3.1 path. Win2K is more NT ish. Using the FAT file structure for one, NTFS for the other. There are some real differences in how things run. For instance, I can kill 99% of the background garbage in Win95, haven't figured that out completely under Win2K.

    Heck, I only gave up on DOS a while back ... you oughta see how fast some programs run on the latest chips, when you don't have bloatware sucking back all the improvements.

    There are also real reasons for having different versions of software ... WordX does not, in fact, actually save stuff properly in the WordX-1 format when you select it. There are a few glitches here and there, so running two copies makes sense. Even OS have the same problem.

    My original comment was more pointed at WinMe. Why anyone would play Russian Roulette with their machine is beyond me. M$ won't give out the figures, but somewhere between 15-30% of all users have their machines totally fried by this 'upgrade' ... and the 'restore' feature (to be used when this happens) is even worse (seems to be working less than 50%).

  • Enterprise means management of several hundred installations of an operating system, which is something that Linux doesn't yet have an elegant tool for.

    The problem with buzzwords like "enterprise" is that they have no hard and fast definition. Is an e-commerce (another buzzword, sorry) site that depends on a couple of Web servers an "enterprise" operation? I don't see any common usage of the term that restricts it to shops with hundreds of installations. In this respect I have to agree with the other poster .. in lieu of a better definition, "enterprise" can only mean one thing: "the ship in Star Trek."

    You're right about Linux not having standard, mature, large-scale administration tools, though.

    Regarding Linux on notebooks, I think you're missing the point. People tote around notebooks to do write memos while on the plane and do Powerpoint presentations at client offices. It's not that you can't install Linux on notebooks -- it's that the common applications and functions that you'd use a notebook for are better developed for Windows.

    Read the article. His specific assertion vis-a-vis Linux and laptops was that Linux is inappropriate for laptops because it has poor hardware support. This is not true. I would also contend that you are pigeonholing laptop users; certainly there are many laptop users who use them primarily for things like PowerPoint, but there are scads of them who use them for things such as Web browsing and catching up on e-mail on the road (which can be done equally well in either Windows or Linux.) Then there's people like me who do Perl hacking and C programming on them.

    At any rate, his objection was primarily related to hardware issues, not software issues.

    BTW, your sig no longer works.

    I know it doesn't. This is blatant Google censorship, and is an act of sheer, unadulterated hatred towards freedom-loving people everywhere. I can only hope that those responsible for this little "intercession" are located and made to pay for what they have done. Perhaps we should all write to Google and complain about how we don't like the way they index other sites, and can they pretty-please change their database for us? Morons, all of them.
  • Why are you expecting masses of spangly new goodness?
    Because MS expects me to lay out a
    significant chunk of change for them.

    Nothing major has been added (IE could be installed seperately) because nothing major was missing (or broken (to be polite) like the linux VM) in the first place

    Hmmmm, let's see stabilty and security were definately missing in my book.

    Finally:Yes, the old VM wasn't that hot. But look at it this way. With Linux I get my bugfixes/redesigns for free, with MS I have to lay out $89+ every year to two years for them.

    Plus, With Linux, if it's broke, I can fix the durned thing myself.

    It doesn't take a economist to figure this one out. There is a large value to being free.
    ---
    RobK
  • I was reading the same document, but mistook "The Journaled File System (JFS) provides a log-based, byte-level file system that was developed for transaction-oriented, high performance systems" as meaning that it was a log-structured filesystem.

    No, those are hard to find nowadays. Off the top of the head I can't think of any that are used in production.

    if you read on, you find that you can get essentially data-level integrity using synchronous writes. I don't know how this affects performance on that filesystem, though.

    The effect on performance would be pretty horrendous - worse than data journaling, for most access patterns. Databases and such, which have their own ways of doing caching and logging and so on, use sync FS writes, but it's pretty bad for anything else.

  • by LordNimon (85072) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @12:18PM (#466849)
    NT doesn't have a journaled file system. BeOS does. I'm not aware of any other x86-based OS that does.

    OS/2 Warp Server and the upcoming eComStation [serenity-systems.com] (which is a repackaged OS/2 Warp with extras). In fact, the JFS that IBM is developing for Linux is actually the OS/2 version being ported.
    --

  • Have done a bunch of hot swap stuff on Linux.

    A trivial search on google finds loads of stuff.

    Here's the URl to the motorola site: It's a crap URl so I'll let you sort it out.

    http://www.mcg.mot.com/cfm/templates/swdetail.cf m? PageID=682&PageTypeID=10&SoftwareID=6&ProductID=17 2

    Hmm?
  • If you use the language of a champion, you will project the fact you are the winner by default and people will all beleive you are the winner. That's the best advertising anyone can get. "Use Window2k, it's the future".

    And that "language of a champion" is exactly how Microsoft got to where it is today. 2 years ago it was "UNIX? Oh, you're still running that? Expensive isn't it? Shame on you! We can help you get off that legacy platform and onto NT."

    Unfortunately for Microsoft that attitude worked against Novell and OS/2, but it isn't working against UNIX. Microsoft thought that Windows 2000 would put them on the offensive against Sun (the company they hate the most) and other big server companies. Now, a year into it, not only have they not made any traction against Sun, they are fighting a defensive war against Linux in the small server market. This apparently has left them so confused that all they can do is babble about how bad UNIX and Linux is.
    --
  • A $6 license would be hard to believe, unless the college/university has bought a site license cheap from Microsoft (and I would doubt they'd buy a site license for Win2K -- MS Office is a much more likely candidate). The regular educational discount for Windows 2000 Professional would be more in the area of $40-60, and for 2000 Server around $100-200. With the educational software, you're not legally bound to destroy the software when you leave campus, as you are with site licenses. You own the license for the software, although you often can't sell it outside of the academic community.
  • Well. Let's see. I use NT every day at work.

    It simply does not have the kind of stability for me to lay out that kind of money (anything over $100 had better be worth it, since I can get a fairly stable OS for free).

    However my wife wants windows, so we get the consumer version to save a buck.

    In my book NT4 is not incomparably better. It is better. But from my experience the diference in the down time (a factor of about (nt crashes/98 crashes)~1.5) does not
    justify the difference in price (about ~2 or more). [Same hardware with same software installed].
    ---
    RobK
  • by WolfWithoutAClause (162946) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @12:28PM (#466871) Homepage
    "a static growth rate"

    I actually laughed at that one. Not a flat market share. A static *growth* rate.

    e.g. Linux is growing at 5% a year; i.e. exponential growth

    That's a sure sign of impending doom if ever I saw one. (NOT!)
  • Whoever bought Win98
  • >> I'd ask him how well does Win2K run DNS? And if he can make it work better than the company that wrote it?
    > Bra-vo. Way to rise above.

    Aw, shucks, you missed my best shot: mentioning Steve Bartko.

    In case you're too lazy to Google that name, take a look at http://lists.essential.org/1998/am-info/msg01529.h tml. It tells most of the story, but leaves out the fact that the reporters who uncovered it all found themselves unemployable within 12 months.

    Geoff
  • Uhh, the point of enterprise-class hot-swappable storage and other componentry is that you *can* do just that with total confidence.

    Can you really see a reason why computers can't have their parts swapped out on the fly, or is it a Pavlovian thing, caused by years of psychological abuse at the hands of Microsft and Intel?

    public void writetodisk(DiskArray d, byte[] mydata) {
    try {
    d.writeblock(mydata);
    }
    catch (DiskNotPresentException) {
    sleep(100);
    d.getAvailableDisk();
    this.writetodisk(d,mydata);
    }
    }

    obviously thats insanely inefficient and simplified, and probably just plain wrong from a systems engineering viewpoint, but if your hardware takes care of these kind of checks, you can just pull out bits, plug new ones in and the computer keeps running.

    The x86 PC isn't actually the culmination of 50 years or so of continuous research into the production of robust, reliable and fast digital computers, and you certainly shouldn't assume that everyone engineers their computers so they need a reboot even to change their IP address.

  • by Sabalon (1684) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @12:32PM (#466890)
    I just went and tried to swap the ram in my win2k/nt box since that is something they said Linux doesn't do - I assume they must do it.

    Well, once I popped that CPU out (and burnt my hands) the machine kinda died. Hmmm....guess NT couldn't deal with it either.

    I had a similar problem with trying to hot-swap the ram.

    :)
  • linux can do hibernation/sleep. I do it all the time.
  • http://members.nbci.com/ikekrull/tux.gif
  • It also has a much greater cool factor than Linux, which is important when in college.

    Oh yeah, using the exact same shell UI that's been around for 6 years is way, way cooler than, say, KDE2 [kde.org].

    OOH! but Windows 2000 has fady menus!!

    Please.....


    --
  • But it IS a lot more familiar to many users.
  • I wish this was my quote, but it isnt, and I don't remember whose it is:

    Microsoft is an advertising company that just happens to sell software.


    --
  • by detritus. (46421) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @02:52PM (#466922)
    "And the recent security problems [securityfocus.com] with Linux, coupled with the lack of key enterprise elements in the new kernel, really call into question whether Linux should be used at all," Miller added. "

    I find it quite amusing that Miller is citing examples based on 3rd party applications, commonly bundled with the Linux kernel. Microsoft should be eating it's own words -- I have no doubts that the security advisories for ActiveX, IIS, etc... definitely exceed those of the Linux kernel itself.. It's funny how MS really has no choice but to point the finger at Linus Torvalds, when third party applications make up the popularity of Linux (distributions), while Win2K, IIS, Exchange, etc. flaws all point back to MS.

    - Slash
  • Heck, RedHat's doing pretty well for a company that literally started in someone's closet. I would agree that they will never have Microsoft-like profits, but neither will the Food Service company I work for. I imagine that they will manage to send their kids to college.

    Linux is becoming popular enough, at this point, so that it is beginning to take a profound effect on the software industry. SCO is already gone, and who knows who will be next. Operating systems are becoming a commodity (and Office suites are right behind them).

  • Has everyone seen the new adds that MS is running.. trying to give people the impresssion that it works well with other system. That's a joke!!

    I have installed a win2k server with Services for Unix on it so it could 'co-exist' in our environment, mostly Sun equipment. That server does not want to play nice.. it's ME ME ME.. i have to be the Master DNS server, MASTER NIS server, Master DHCP server.. ME ME ME .. Active Directory!

    Fsck MS.. they suck ass.. shitty software that costs way too much and doesn't do what they claim.

    bitter!

  • In my institute, we have 14 or so Unix boxes (Linux/IRIX/ULTRIX) and 7 NT boxes. Our admin spents his ENTIRE day fixing the NT boxes. In three years, I have seen ONE unix box crash ONCE . In the past week, I have seen WinNT crash on 2 seperate machines. Noone uses the NT machines, except for web browsing and printing.

    If you are a cook and your 1 year old oven immittently dies for no reason, you have the stove replaced. If you new car decides every now and then to shutdown at stop lights, you would return it. If this happened to a LOT of people, there would be a class action lawsuit. Then why pray tell would you buy a computer that intermittently dies for no reason and let your customers business rely on it?

  • Me: "Corel did, but they weren't contributing anything."

    AC: "Corel _did_ contribute a _lot_ to the wine project"

    True, I had forgotten about this. I guess what I meant was that they were not strongly committed to Free Software - they were a traditional software company, not a Free Software company.
  • I have read a lot of material from Microsoft that is directed at Linux. Various Microsoft employees have said to the effect, Linux is not ready for the enterprise, it doesnt scale, major players don't support it, It's not really free, etc... Well, I did some research and while I see some of Microsofts points, the majority of their rhetoric is either pure FUD or libelous marketing because that's the only thing Microsoft can do now. Microsoft can't buy Linux, can't "embrace and extend", can't buy a company and put it out of business, and basically can't do anything. I will now list a series of excerpts from various articles suggesting that linux is ready for prime time. I have also put in the links if you want to read the whole article. Here are some strong backers of Linux and various contributions and/or excerpts:


    IDC
    has predicted that Linux will hold 38 percent of the market by 2004. Interestingly enough, Microsofts group products manager, Doug Miller, claimed that recently released numbers from IDC System Software Research show that "Linux growth in server OS share has been flat for two quarters, and Unix and Novell continue to fall." Even more interesting is that IDC manager, Al Gillen, would not confirm Miller's analysis. Wired News [wired.com]

    IBM
    Big Blue committed to spending $300 million on Linux services over the next three years. IBM has already committed to investing $1 billion in Linux over the next 12 months. President and COO, Sam Palmisano, said "IBM has made our choice....we put a significant amount of IBM's future prosperity behind Linux. We don't invest a billion dollars casually. Lou [Gerstner] and I don't write those checks without, shall I say, some engaging meetings." Big Blue also unveiled Linux-based network processor software development tools and services for ISPs and networking equipment vendors, including:

    Domino Workflow on Linux -- software which enables customers to build, modify and improve business processes like employee hiring and CRM by streamlining and automating interactions

    Plans to expand Linux support for Tivoli Systems management software

    IBM Director for advanced systems management software available on Linux for the IBM eServer xSeries product line, including a "self healing" feature to predict server failures

    Availability of the NetVista Thin Client, the N22001, running Linux

    Linux-certified IntelliStation Z Pro workstations based on Intel's new 64-bit Itanium processor.

    Citing such real-world Linux customers as Weather.com, Shell Oil, and National Center For Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Palmisano said people who doubt that the operating system can scale to the biggest of applications are just wrong. Weather.com, one of the Web's most popular sites, supports anywhere from 5 million to 27.5 million page views per day running Linux and can scale even higher to 40 million per day, according to the company's CTO Mark Ryan. Techweb [techweb.com] or eltoday [eltoday.com]

    Oracle
    Has ported Oracle 8i already to Linux. They recently released "Oracle Internet File System" and "Oracle Parallel Server" for Linux. If this isnt a major move by a major company then I don't know what is. Databases need to scale and thus if Linux can scale then Microsoft is full of it... Read on. "Oracle Parallel Server is the most mature and trusted high-availability database technology available for the Linux platform. It provides sub-minute failover capability, allowing Linux environments to achieve significantly improved levels of application and data availability. Oracle Parallel Server allows applications running on any server in a cluster instant access to all data in a database, and will support up to a 4-node, 8-way cluster." Hello Microsoft do you see this?

    "Oracle has announced all of its major Internet Platform software products on Linux, including Oracle8i(TM) Release 3, the latest version of its database; Oracle9i(TM) Application Server; and Oracle JDeveloper with Business Components for Java and Oracle Forms, two popular Oracle application development tools. In August 2000, Oracle announced an industry first with the shipment of the first enterprise-edition application server on Linux. Oracle adds to its firsts with Linux with the addition of Oracle Parallel Server and Oracle Internet File System." So much for the myth of no vendor backing. eltoday [eltoday.com]

    SGI
    Is looking at linux as the future. Much of SGI's work is underground and less advertised. Much of it is kernel level enhancements, such as scalability, NUMA, big memory support, etc... SGI has released several of it's graphical products for linux such as, Open Inventor, Open GL Performer, and many other high end development tools. In the filesystem arena, XFS is in stable beta and is very promising for mass storage management and reliability. Open Source at SGI [sgi.com]

    Dell
    "Dell Computer and Oracle agreed Wednesday to establish a Linux center in Austin, Texas... Dell will use the facility, which is scheduled to open in the spring, to test and tune Oracle databases running on Intel-based systems running Linux. Oracle also agreed to use Dell's servers and storage products for building the Oracle 9i database on Linux, the companies said." CNet News [cnet.com]

    Not enough corporate backers? Think again. Here are some other companies who have started partnerships with linux companies, cooperated, released specs, or released products for linux: Informix
    Compaq
    HP
    Sun
    Cisco
    AMD
    Intel
    IDG
    Adaptec
    O'reilly and Associates
    Nokia
    Tivo
    NeTraverse Inc.
    3dfx
    Nvidia
    Creative
    this list goes on and on......
  • This has been a symptom of Microsoft's lack of comprehension, or of their FUD campaigning, for a while now. They seem to be claiming that an operating system developed by hobbiests around the world is in fact some sort of buisness move against them.

    Obviously, there are the buisnesses who try to sell 'solutions' based on linux, but instead of attacking them, Microsoft seems to want to instill distrust of linux in everyone - potential clients, users, everybody.

    Linux might fall in the buisness world if Microsoft's aggressive tactics triumph once again, but Linux can't 'die' simply because it isn't a product, it's a hobby, and is -abolutely- nothing to do with any sort of buisness.

  • The problem with Linux is that companies can't back it.

    Exactly what stops this, they can't have a monopoly on what they do, which may really be where you are comming from.

    There are a few companies that will be successful at supporting open source software, but for the most part, they need to rely upon individuals, either in-house or otherwise, to maintain the code.

    As opposed to relying on nameless individuals at one company.

    They want someone to be responsible and they're willing to back it -- someone so willing that they're going to put their money (their entire business) on it.

    Companies don't expect this in any other area. Indeed many have explicit rules about avoiding single suppliers. Why should software be treated any differently.
    In just about any other area a company betting their business on how another company behaves would be laughed at. That's what they have their own employees for!
  • To the ability to change it to meet your personal needs.

    More to the point the ability to adapt the software to the needs of a business, rather than adapting the business to the needs of the software. Twenty or thirty years ago this was a major part of IT, called "systems analysis".
  • not that 'commercial' (proprietary) software is better tested or documented. they don't pay people very much to do it, apparently.

    More a case that it probably isn't that cost effective to properly test and document much commercial software. It only really matters in a highly competitive market where lack of quality (or documentation) will lose sales. In a captive market or a monopoly the customer dosn't have the choice. So you can push off more or less any rubbish.
  • So, assuming you weren't being subtly ironic, I would like to point out that Linux has pretty much everything NT has. (Does NT include support for hot-swappable CPUs and memory? I know Linux does not, currently, but Solaris (for instance) does).

    Also an admin familiar with Linux is going to find using Solaris several orders of magnitude less difficult than someone familiar only with NT.
  • "a drop in Linux-based companies stock value" -- again, very important if you're an investor in one of the Linux-based companies. All that means is that it's hard to make money selling something that's free. Bad if you're a shareholder in an overvalued "it had 'Linux' in its name!" company.

    Though remember the entire "internet related industry" appears to have been overvalued by more than the amount of currency the US has in circulation.
  • by Stickerboy (61554) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:17AM (#466986) Homepage
    ""There really isn't much value in free," said Miller..."

    ...as opposed to paying $100 for the latest and greatest bug fixes?

    Or maybe Doogie was referring to the value in paying hundreds of dollars per machine for a halfway stable OS (Win 2000).

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:35AM (#466999)
    First they ignore you,
    Then they laugh at you,
    Then they fight you,
    Then you win.
  • by laetus (45131) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:21AM (#467000)
    His indicators:

    1. a static growth rate,
    2. lessening mainstream interest in the open source operating system,
    3. and a sharp decline in Linux-based companies' stock value.

    I'll address each.

    1. Static growth rate - that's going to eventually happen with any software. Look at adoption of Windows as a internet server system. But here's the kicker, if anything, there's nothing to indicate that Linux's growth rate is doing anything but expanding.

    2. Lessening mainstream interest - what a self-serving circular prediction! He's basically saying, one indication that buyers won't be buying Linux is that they're not interested in buying Linux! Umm, excuse me, but that's a) obvious if it happens, and b) again, there's no indication of that happening.

    3. Sharp-decline in Linux-based stocks - wow, what a prediction of something already happening. Of course an industry in it's infancy such as Linux is going to spawn new companies that live for a while then die, some stocks will shoot up and then go down. But compare that to every other fledgling industry. Anybody see the same thing happening with some overpriced biotech stocks? But no one is predicting that biotech overall is going to die. If anything, it's going to explode eventually.

    All in all, BIG CASE OF FUD.
    ----------------------------------
  • by Erasmus Darwin (183180) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:35AM (#467002)
    I'm sure there'd be a lot of unhappy investors - but let me say it again, Linux is not about money.

    Yes, but business is about the money. And with the exception of individuals who're independently wealthy or have someone paying all their expenses, most of us have to work in some sort of business.

    As the viability of Linux in a business environment increases, so does my ability to deploy it where I work. The more Linux boxes and less Windows boxes I have to worry about supporting, the more my job becomes less "work" and more "fun". It's true that there'll always be a degree of work involved, but to get paid to do stuff you enjoy doing on your own time is a lot better than getting paid to do stuff you don't enjoy at all.

  • by Shoeboy (16224) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:22AM (#467009) Homepage
    I'm a fan (and occasional practicioner) of the noble art of trolling, and this one is amazing.
    The second paragraph is the best:
    These are three key Linux trends to watch for in 2001: a static growth rate, lessening mainstream interest in the open source operating system, and a sharp decline in Linux-based companies' stock value, said Doug Miller, Microsoft's group product manager for competitive strategies.
    This is beautiful. It's irrefutable.
    Obviously linux growth will slow, you can only grow at an exponential rate for so long before you run out of servers and people to run them.
    Similarly with "reduced mainstream press." At linux ceases to be a novelty, the mainstream press will start giving it normal coverage.
    Finally, the bankruptcy of linux companies will be a side effect of the venture capital spending spree having caused some linux companies to get funding without a solid buisness plan. With the bursting of the internet bubble, they'll have trouble making that second round of financing.
    All three trends are clearly in evidence and obvious.
    The clever thing is to use them as proof that linux is doomed.
    Doug Miller, I salute you. You have a gift for inciteful comments that appear logically sound at first glance.
    If you ever want to start trolling slashdot, let me know. We can hook you up with a low user id account with plenty of karma.
    --Shoeboy
  • by GypC (7592) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:23AM (#467017) Homepage Journal

    You didn't support MS.. you basically just proved that Miller is a liar for falsely implying that Linux has a worse security record than NT.

    "Oh twap!"

  • by Majix (139279) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:23AM (#467020) Homepage
    The DNS servers where not running Linux before the crash. Why they are running it now is because Microsoft outsourced the DNS handling to Akamai (you know, the distributed content serving network) to prevent this mistake from happening again. Akamai is one of VA Linux's biggest customers and run virtually all of their servers on Linux.
  • by Elbereth (58257) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:40AM (#467023) Journal
    The problem is that "real" enterprise servers don't ever go down, even when they change the hardware. Linux doesn't support many of the features that have been in more traditional UNIX servers for a decade already. Likewise, there are several companies making PCs that have hot swapable PCI cards, CPUs, etc. Does Linux support any of those? Nope. Does Linux support disconnection and reconnection of SCA hard drives? Does it even have a completed journaling file system?

    Don't kid yourselves, guys.

    Linux is awesome for hobbyists, good for workstations, and debatable for enterprise servers.

    OpenBSD doesn't even support SMP, so don't feel all bad. Nobody has every feature. It's just a matter of priorities. Linus hasn't put enterprise features as his number one priority (yet?). Maybe in the future, Linux will compete better.

    Get out into the "real world" and see what a real server can do before you start talking about Linux taking over.

    (not a troll) (--- that is how you can tell it's not a troll) (would I lie to you?)

    Seriously, I'm just trying to inject a little reality into the blind advocacy. I've run Linux for some 7 or 8 years now, so I obviously like it well enough.
  • by sceptre1067 (197404) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:43AM (#467039) Journal

    Some nits to pick...

    "The problem is that things are getting more and more complicated - very soon, things like SMTP will be obsolete, and only groupware like Exchange will be viable - simply because it's more productive for a company to have groupware."

    Exchange is not groupware O.K. I'm biased, as and ex Lotus Domino/Notes programmer. But Exchange does not, in itself, contain enough to be groupware (add on VB and MS .Net, then it gets somewhere.)But this is similar too the O'Reilly book on groupware. In said book the author shows how to use various open source applications towards of the goal of creating groupware.

    "There isn't the money in open source to be able to afford to produce things like this - because there's no revenue in giving things away, companies can't afford the programmers to produce the complicated products of the future."

    IBM, amonst others would disagree with you. MS's revolution was showing that one can make a lot of money off selling software, regardless of platform. I think Linux will show one can make a decent living off services supporting software. For example, IBM will happily set up Linux and an Apache web server for you. Integrate that with a legacy database, and show you how to develop applications (preferably with Webshpere of course.) Now the OS and web server software are free, but how much money is IBM going to make helping you to set all that up, quite a nice profit. It these sorts of services where companies that support open source software will succeed. Companies, of various sizes, will always need and be willing to pay for experts that can walk in and help them out.

    "Even Netscape, bankrolled by one of the world's largest companies, AOL, can't keep up, via open source, with expensive protocols like XSL and so on."

    Errr... irrelevent, I would contend that AOL doesn't really care that much about Netscape, execpt to own the technology (hedge against MS) and to own the programmers that go with that tech (another hedge.)

    This will take a while though - the first thing to happen will be the death of consumer open source. I posted an article on this to Kuro5hin, and although the poll died, the majority of people agreed with my conclusion that open source isn't viable for consumer software.

    Here we somewhat agree, I don't believe open source will every take off for end-user applcations (The Gimp excetped of course).
    But I do think it will continue with the writing of drivers and improvement of applications that provide services (like Apache, mySQL, in other words applications used to make end user applications, or provide services, via the web to end users.)

    With the rest of your points (lack of funding, lack of innovation, etc.) I think your off base. Similar to Java applets will run everywhere, I believe the open source movement has moved passed the users will update/change etc. the code on thier machines. I think r+d will continue on those applications that provide services (again web servers, db's, etc.) and that the commercial potential will be in tying it toghether as a solution for a customer. The end user won't know what's going on because they'll access these applications via a broweser, or some other interface. Even MS believes this is the future, look at .NET, another attempt at distributed computing.
    This is where the battle will be fought next. Will MS be able to market .NET as a unified solution, or will companies like IBM be able to market a collection of open source applications that can do similar things.

    The future will be fun... pc
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:27AM (#467049)
    "There really isn't much value in free," [said the MSFT flack]

    Funny, I think "free and it runs pretty well on an old PII-450" is pretty good value compared with the costs of four Athlon-class servers and four Win2000 server licenses, a MSexChange license, and another $500 per user for Orifice, $200 per user for the OS, when all I need to do is give my developers to send email to each other.

    But let's take a closer look at his points:

    • "Static growth rate" -- umm, first off, measured by what, and second of all, while that may matter to RHAT and LNUX shareholders, it doesn't change the value equation at the CTO level.
    • "lessening mainstream interest [in Linux]" -- if the end user only needs email and they do it in Nutscrape 4.71, what do they care about what OS they run? Is there mainstream interest in Win2K or Win98 as compared to the enormous hype (sorry, "mainstream interest") there was in Win95? Again, sounds like he's more interested in the lack of hype resulting in a more realistic valuation of the stock price of Linux companies, not technology.
    • "a drop in Linux-based companies stock value" -- again, very important if you're an investor in one of the Linux-based companies. All that means is that it's hard to make money selling something that's free. Bad if you're a shareholder in an overvalued "it had 'Linux' in its name!" company. But utterly irrelevant if you're making a technology decision.

    Think about the pointiest-haired boss you ever worked for.

    Now imagine him as CTO of your favorite bank or brokerage, and running into a board meeting, hollering "Oh my God! SUNW and ORCL are down more than MSFT from their 1999 dot-com-hype highs! Throw out that obsolete Sun E10K server running Oracle and get me a farm of Quad-Xeons, we need .NET, M$Exchange and M$Access!"

    OK, maybe there are some PHBs dumb enough to base technology decisions on today's stock quotes, but not many. Evolution in action, and all that.

  • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:59AM (#467058)
    "So I'm a Linux user. But I don't think Microsoft cares. The reason is simple: both of my copies of Windows (one 95 and one 98) are licensed, as they came with my computers (both Dell). Microsoft is getting paid even if I don't use their software. Most of you probably know the name this has been given: the Microsoft tax."

    Oh, I think they care. Did you get a complimentary copy of Office with those machines? Are you signed up with MSN? Are you creating content in their proprietary file formats or are you using your Linux box for that? Do you surf the net with IE or Netscape? Do you use Real Audio or whatever that Microsoft format is?

    The operating system license is just the tip of the iceberg for Microsoft. They wouldn't be after their competitors so viciously if all they wanted was operating system money.

    Microsoft wants it all. Right now, they're spending stupid amounts of cash on engineering and QA and just giving stuff away but, as they say, free is a pretty shitty long-term business model.

    Of course, Microsoft and many others still don't seem to have grasped the free part. Nobody is trying to make money selling Linux. Linux is an operating system kernel and is freely available to anyone who wants it. People are making money selling Linux products, services, hardware, appliances, etc. These people aren't using "free" as the business model, they're using "cheaper, faster, better".

    c.
  • by mr (88570) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:47AM (#467080)
    Microsoft must be able to use short sound bites and attack Linux at its 'core strengths' that will be hard to impossible to change. It will not be on obscure technical issues, or saying "no, the Microsoft product doesn't suck in stability like the Linux zelots claim."

    A perceived positive for Linux is the GPL license.

    And it is the one thing that can not be corrected for with the addition of more code.

    Another perceived positive is the wealth of distributions.

    Again, this is fine point for Microsoft to point out. What 'linux' do you choose? None of the linux distro companies are going to say "Oh, gee, for the unification of the Linux market to protect it from Microsoft, we are going to close our doors"

    Like the "free has no value" argument, the arguments have to be simple and reduced to non-technical reasons.

    The final method will be the courts. They will beat others over the head with software patents/NDA's/the courts.

    And, face it. The 'geeks' don't do well VS non-technical and legal based arguments.

    Congratz! You have poked the 8000 kilo gorilla with sticks long enough that now its mad. The only thing to be resolved is, while poking the gorilla with sharp sticks did you just anger it, or will the blood loss slow the gorilla up?

  • by Hard_Code (49548) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @09:25AM (#467096)
    Ok, it may sound like a buzzword, but I think what a lot of popular (commercial) operating systems (including Unix) have, and what Linux will need, is this gestaltic "consistent user experience".

    What I mean by that is that the operating system feels self-contained. Each program, each application, works in a consistent fashion. The standard command line syntax, utilities, and man pages seem to fulfill part of this. But what about configuration files? Init methods? Filesystems? Desktop? (yes, we are finally getting this, albiet with two de facto and only partially compatible "standards"). Each part feels like it goes with each other. Currently, IMHO, Linux still feels like a kernel plus a bunch of utilities and applications which may come in any permutations...but not yet like an entire unified "system". When you talk about Linux, you are really only talking about the kernel...everything else is pretty much up for grabs, and dependent on distribution. And while you may justly counter that Open Source is all about flexibility and choices, I think that if Linux is to break into the mainstream (if that's actually what we want...I do), then it's going to have to pay attention to what the mainstream wants. I think this feeling as an integrated, unified system is what the mainstream, in which "user" may not be synonymous with "developer", wants. They don't want a kernel from here, and utilities from there, and applications from over there. And I understand organizations like the LSB are trying to do just this. I just hope they have some teeth.
  • by dlkf (261011) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @09:26AM (#467097)
    When you include support, development, administration/operation, etc. of a system, the OS price (free or not) is nearly insignificant.

    MS recently "donated" about $50,000 in OS licenses to the university I attend. By not having to pay for the OS on some of the machines they can now do one of the following: build a new lab, hire another tech support person, support four more grad students for a year, remodel the office of the department chair, etc.

    The cost of the OS is only insignificant when you only have a couple machines or you use pirated OS software anyway. For large institutions, with hundreds/thousands of machines, two to three hundred dollars per machine every two years to upgrade the OS can be very significant regardless of how much money you are paying for support, development, administration, etc.

  • by seizer (16950) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:00AM (#467119) Homepage
    "...recent security problems". Compare NT vs Linux intrusions here [attrition.org].


  • by beebware (149208) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:00AM (#467121) Homepage
    It's quite a good article, but I re-read it mentally changing Linux with Windows and the arguments still stood. This time against Microsoft...

    If you want to make a convincing argument against something, first make sure that the reasons can't be turned against you...


    Richy C.
  • by Samrobb (12731) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:34AM (#467127) Homepage Journal
    For the moment, companies are happy to except vanilla products like Apache and qmail, which do something simple, but do it efficiently.

    Whoa, there - Apache is most assuredly not simple software. Companies prefer Apache, qmail, BIND, and the like on the server side because the cost/benfit ratio for server-side OSS is so blindingly obvious that even an accountant can't ignore it. $10K+ for an unlimited IIS license vs. free for Apache? $20K+ for an enterprise Exchange license compared to 0$ for sendmail?

    Sure, if you want a commercial support service for Apache, you're going to have to pay for that. But... you do realize that the base license for most "enterprise" level software, including Microsoft's, does not include support, don't you? That's typically another %10 - %20% of the base cost, per year.

    That doesn't even get into the "not supported here" syndrome you'll find from MS. "What? You installed a third party CGI program under IIS? Sorry, sir, we don't support that configuration. You have some in-house monitoring software on your Exchange server? Sorry again. Rebuild the machine from scratch, and then we'll talk."

    I agree with your points about client-side software - MS and other commercial companies have capabilities there that give them a definite advantage over open source projects with the same general goals. As far as server-side goes, though, I think MS and others will just have to admit that open source typically offers the same or better capabilities for a heck of a lot less.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:51AM (#467137) Homepage
    I thought that was wierd, too. Tandem and Stratus machines used to support that kind of thing, but it's rare today. Windows NT/2000 doesn't support hot-swappable CPUs and memory. Besides, nobody does it that way any more. The unit of hot swapping today is a computer in a cluster, not a CPU or memory board. Hot swapping of RAID disks is more useful; that's where the state is.

    There's even a school of thought, lead by Inktomi, which says that you don't repair at all; when a machine in a cluster fails, you remotely power it down and go on; when enough machines fail, you replace the cluster with newer, faster, cheaper machines. Once a machine is installed, it isn't touched again. Clusters are configured with enough extra hardware to allow this. Hardware is cheaper than techs, and a big fraction of failures are maintenance-induced anyway.

  • by mlamb (303474) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @09:07AM (#467144)
    Actually, they're using NT servers. They just forgot to remove the linux identifiers from the stolen code. I'm surprised it doesn't say "Stacker".
  • by SimplyCosmic (15296) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:02AM (#467146) Homepage
    Pepsi issued a press release noting Coca Cola's weaker product points, while Ford shocked the world with the stunning announcement that Chevy "sucks".

    Over to you, Bob . . .

  • by Fervent (178271) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:52AM (#467151)
    The "free" Balmer was talking about had nothing to do with the user's standpoint. He was referring to the Linux business model which (he is at least partly correct in saying so) is difficult because you can get the product for free.

    Right now, companies like RedHat make a majority of their "good" cash off of support plans. The problem, though, is two fold:

    1.) As anyone who's ever been to a CompUSA knows, most people hate support plans.
    2.) Developers and Linux/FreeBSD users especially hate support plans. Why need support when all of the tools are already available.

    There's the flaw. Most Linux companies are catering to the wrong niche. If RedHat worked more for companies like AOL, who are going to try to bring Linux to the "I'm an idiot how do you turn this thing on" masses, they will inevitably make more money, as the product they are selling will be more wanted.

  • They can ask for such things as support for hot-swappable components, or whatever, but they cannot demand or compel it.

    And how, pray tell, is this different from buying from a closed source vendor like MS? It's not as though my company can go to Microsoft and demand that they implement feature X in the next service pack, or at least not demand it and expect it to happen. With Free Software, at least, you can develop it yourself and implement it if it really is crucial. You are correct that it may not be merged into the main source, but again that's not as big an issue as you think. If it's a big enough problem that a closed source company would actually integrate it into their produce, the chances are that, given the code to do it, an open source project will maintain it, too. That's particularly true if the company is willing to devote some minimal resources to maintaining that bit of code in the source tree.

    Linux development can be community driven, but that may not be good enough for customers with specific needs that aren't currently focused on by said community.

    Again, this is true, but you could just as easily replace Linux with [closed source company of choice] and the concept wouldn't really change. If there's not a market for it, there's not a market for it and you'll have to pay the costs of maintaining it yourself, whether that's in the form of custom built closed source software from a commercial company or paying your own developers to maintain a fork from an open source project.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:53AM (#467159) Homepage Journal
    Ironically it being free should be the least of their worries. Maybe they play up it being free so much because they can't really compete with Linux in terms of stability, support or security. So they throw "Free" out there, say free doesn't really matter all that much, and hope that everyone ignores everything else.

    I'm much more worried about MS tying up the hardware. They can spread all the FUD they want. FUD worked on OS/2, but it won't work on Linux. But if they start making it impossible to drive the new hardware, we'll be in trouble.

  • by warpeightbot (19472) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @09:36AM (#467161) Homepage
    Microsoft admitted defeat a while ago, when the BSD Inet Daemon (complete with "Chuck" icon) showed up in the W2K Server control panel. They committed seppuku last week when they nearly simultaneously gave up all pretense of ever doing Java again, and admitted tacitly to the world that they needed Linux technology in order to do business in a secure fashion (i.e. hiring Akamai to do DNS for them). Only thing about seppuku is that sometimes it takes a while for the abdominal infection to set in....

    Without a standards-based, crossplatform language, any hope of "taking over the Net" is so much vaporware. Such an effort is even more pitiful when you have to contract out to the competition for basic services.

    The irony of the situation is that IBM, the company Bill nearly killed off in the 80's, is at the vanguard of the host of companies set to sweep the 800-pound gorilla off its feet of clay. Big Blue has spent the last 20 years turning itself into a 600-pound Rocky Balboa, a lean, mean, fighting machine.... and, at the end of it all, Tux is their mascot.

    But as I said, it's not JUST IBM, not JUST Linux even.... it's BSD, and Apple, and the Alpha platform, and Sun.... and the fact that Windows STILL doesn't run on ANY 64-bit platform and at this rate may never....

    Open Source has been around a lot longer than Linux. (I remember downloading "less" in 1986... and the comp.sources.* archives were pretty huge even then.) It's not going to die anytime soon. Furthermore, IBM is not stupid, not anymore. It wouldn't have put such a huge investment into this if they thought it was a short-lived technology. You don't see IBM stock losing 80% of its value, do you? In fact, IBM is outperforming the S&P, the NASDAQ, and the Dow. The Street prides itself in being able to predict future performance very accurately. (Please also note that MSFT does none of these things...) So I'm not just blowing smoke here... IBM will have its revenge - living well while a greying Bill stands off an I-405 exit ramp holding a sign, "I will code for food"...

  • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:05AM (#467178)

    I'm shocked that people that high up in Microsoft and other "consultancy" firms completely miss what Linux is about. It's not ABOUT money. It never WAS about money, and frankly, redhat, VA Linux, and everything in between can go tits-up tomorrow and it won't make a lick of difference to me. I'm sure there'd be a lot of unhappy investors - but let me say it again, Linux is not about money.

    Linus Torvalds did not write linux because he wanted to be rich - although a nice side effect - he wrote it because he wanted to do something; he wanted an operating system that just sucked a little less than all of the other ones out there. That's the beauty of the GPL. That's why I give code away - It did what I wanted, and if someone thinks that it sucks less, then all the power to them!

    I use linux because it does what I want, and so do a lot of other people. Linux won't lose because a bunch of ill concieved business models go up in smoke - all that GPL'd code will be there, waiting for the next Linus Torvalds to hack on it and make it suck less. Those drivers weren't written by people who wanted money; they were written by people that just wanted their hardware to work. There's no rocket science in there - just a pile of time.

    Unless microsoft is proposing that they ban free development - free as in speech - then there's a segment of the market that they'll never, ever get - and that's the real linux mainstream, the core of people that use it because it sucks less and makes their lives easier. Does anything else really matter? If you're happy with MS, fine. Enjoy. I'm not.

  • by matth (22742) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:05AM (#467179) Homepage
    So if Microsoft is so against this horrid O/S because of security problems.. why are they using some Linux DNS Services?

    Look Here For The Info [linuxjournal.com]

    Let's see which name servers Microsoft is using right now: microsoft.com. 1d20h7m8s IN NS DNS4.CP.MSFT.NET.
    microsoft.com. 1d20h7m8s IN NS DNS5.CP.MSFT.NET.
    microsoft.com. 1d20h7m8s IN NS DNS7.CP.MSFT.NET.
    microsoft.com. 1d20h7m8s IN NS DNS6.CP.MSFT.NET.
    microsoft.com. 1d20h7m8s IN NS z1.msft.akadns.COM.
    microsoft.com. 1d20h7m8s IN NS z2.msft.akadns.COM.
    microsoft.com. 1d20h7m8s IN NS z6.msft.akadns.COM.
    microsoft.com. 1d20h7m8s IN NS z7.msft.akadns.COM.

    Let's do a queso on the last four.

    $ sudo queso z1.msft.akadns.COM:53
    216.32.118.104:53 * Linux 2.1.xx/2.2.xx
    $ sudo queso z2.msft.akadns.COM:53
    32.96.80.17:53 * Linux 2.1.xx/2.2.xx
    $ sudo queso z6.msft.akadns.COM:53
    207.229.152.20:53 * Linux 2.1.xx/2.2.xx
    $ sudo queso z7.msft.akadns.COM:53
    213.161.66.158:53 * Linux 2.1.xx/2.2.xx


    It's Linux, all right.

  • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:05AM (#467180) Journal
    And, on slashdot, Chevy responded with "friends don't let friends drive Fords"
  • by irix (22687) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:14AM (#467183) Journal
    Apart from hardware that supports it, how does NT support hot swapping CPUs and memory?

    AFAIK, NT does not support swapping CPUs and memory. To get that kind of stuff, you have to move up to very high-end Sun gear or mainframes.

    Swapping hard-drives from a RAID array is supported through hardware drivers on NT just like it is in Linux. As someone else has pointed out, with people like Compaq supporting Linux you'll start to see more of this type of hardware support on Linux.

    Mind you, I've seen somone pull a "hot-swappable" drive from RAID array on a Compaq box and NT froze solid, so YMMV.

  • by Plankowner (165802) <Peter@Berghold.Net> on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:17AM (#467197) Homepage

    Your comparison between the costs of supporting NT and supporting Linux are completely wrong.

    In your analysis you forgot the cost of the acolytes of BigShaft that have to run NT. From what my experience has been supporting both the Unix environment and the NT environment has been you end up needing more NT folks to support the same number of Unix machines.

    In point of fact at one place I worked the ratio of NT admins to machine vs. Unix admins to machines was staggeringly out of sync.

    We had roughly 8 NT servers and 4 NT admins. We had 4 Unix admins to service nearly 100 unix servers.

    If I add in desktops then there were more like 16 NT admins with the same 4 Unix admins taking care of both servers and desktops. There were half as many Unix desktops, granted, but still the numbers don't jive.

    Part of the reason you needed more NT admins in proportion to the number of Unix admins is there was more for the NT admins to do. Always some machine or other was screwed up and the NT guys had to straighten things out.

    Now if you add in the fact that I was helping out the NT folks and I'm predominately a Unix guy then there were 17 NT admins and 3 Unix admins...

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @09:46AM (#467205) Homepage Journal
    If you're looking for real reliablility, are you going to call some limp dick PC box, even one with 4 xeons in it? No. You're going to go for a big hunk of Big Blue Iron. There's simply no comparason with an IBM S390, which tend to measure their uptime in decades, RAM in double or triple digit gigabytes, and hard drive storage in double or triple digit terabytes.

    Oh, and that S390 will run Linux. So if you want a true enterprise OS, it seems VM/CMS, MVS or Linux are possible choices.

  • by kaisyain (15013) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:09AM (#467214)
    That is hinted at is that in the free software world it is often much harder to get "big" features implemented in a timely fashion. (In the article they are specifically talking about enterprise features but those are just one particular kind.) I mean, take a look at how quickly commercial operating systems like BeOS and Windows NT supported journalling file systems. Then take a look at how widespread it is among free operating systems. How many clustering solutions are there for linux? Now compare that to the number of mp3 playing front ends. The easy stuff gets done over and over again while the hard stuff gets done once. If it gets done at all.

    With free OSes there is often little in the way of financial backing for more ambitious undertakings. Look at who extraordinary the recent support of the perl hacker is. I mean, it makes front page news that some guy gets to spend 100% of his time working on improving the product. When was the last time you saw Microsoft trumpeting the fact that they had hired a person to work full time on Visual Basic?

    Of course, it's not IMPOSSIBLE to get good funding to implement more difficult features in free software. IBM and SGI are both doing so, more or less. However, the article does mention that many/most linux based companies are suffering from financial difficulties, which in turn will make it harder for people to get the kind of funding they need to do more ambitious work.
  • by Lover's Arrival, The (267435) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:09AM (#467218) Homepage
    Before this point, Linux could wallow in its obscurity. But now it is being attacked by marketing. Marketing will be the death of Linux, from within and without. Within, Linux is mainly promoted by marketing companies these days. The ere of the lonely advocate is gone.

    Problem is, the marketers always make unfounded claims. Hence, the promotion of Linux is gradually deviating away from what it can actually do. This puts off the core group that would be interested in Linux.

    From the outside, it is being attacked by the mighty marketing machines of MS, Apple and Sun. This two probged attack is bad news.

    Perception id the most important part of making something popular. When the perception varies from the performance, people get disappointed. This is beggining to happen with Linux.

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

  • by nagora (177841) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:55AM (#467219)
    In an astounding move today the head of a large company stated that people really should buy their computers from them. When pressed as to why this was he said "I dunno, really. Perhaps our competitors are no good. Yeah, that's probably it."

    He then went on to say that he had heard that quality assurance costs money but was not clear as to where he was getting his figures from. "I think we tried it on one of our early products," he said, "But, of course that was before we realised that IT Managers would buy our stuff no matter how many bugs it had. Linux is at a disadvantage because people expect it to work."

    MSFT shares did exactly nothing at all on the breaking of this news.

    TWW

  • by llywrch (9023) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @09:50AM (#467225) Homepage Journal
    Miller's interview in Wired is not FUD. It is nothing more than trash-talking. The same thing Larry Ellison indulges in when he talks about Sybase or MS SQL. Or Larry Augustine or Robert Young might do about a Linux competitor.

    Trash talking is not FUD. People laugh at trash talking, but are not convinced. FUD attempts to convince its hearer.

    FUD is subtle & shadowy. It is the voice of anonymous cowards or people with made-up names like Steve Bartko, who descries himself

    > As someone who used to love Linux a lot more than Windows,

    but has found that

    > I have no come to see that they are both neck and neck in stability.

    And characterizes his opponent as

    > Here we obviously have a foaming at the mouth Linux zealot. Careful,
    > don't touch that white foam coming out of his mouth, it is contagious, and quite possibly deadly. Let us look at Mr Celtic's claims now. They are all
    > (not suprisingly) unfounded. He even has the wherewithall to make certain claims bold.

    Wow. This guy reads a lot into a simple post stating that

    > but the bottom line is that Linux is more stable, more flexible and more secure! Let them attempt the FUD.. it won't work and
    > they know it. -Celtic

    Maybe Mr Celtic is wrong. But this two line post doesn't strike me as coming from a frothing at the mouth zealot. (Well, maybe a zealot.)

    Our FUDster tries to appear more rational than his oppenent with a carefully qualified statement:

    > With Win2K, I think I've had 1 lockup in 6 months,
    > and that was my fault for installing 7 year old ASPI drivers.

    If Win2K was truly as stable as Linux, why isn't he telling us what he is using it for? More than surfing the web & writing the occasional email? Is he running an enterprise-level application (e.g. a multiuser database, or a webserver)?

    (Hey, if I wanted to really slam this poster, I'd ask him how well does Win2K run DNS? And if he can make it work better than the company that wrote it?)

    And notice how he discusses security:

    > Ah security, one of my pet
    > hobbies. I've come to the final conclusion that you spitting zealots don't even have the slightest clue about security, so I'm not going into details.

    Oh wow, have we've been dissed! We might actually feel more than slightly miffed if this poster could give any examples that he knew what he was talking about.

    A note to those who want to defend Windows here or anywhere: provide specifics, provide verifiable facts to back up your statements. I won't deny some people are very happy with Win2K, but unless you explain why, you're going to be dismissed as another troll earning a paycheck from Ballmer & Co.

    Geoff
  • by cje (33931) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @09:15AM (#467235) Homepage
    Microsoft's typical method of dealing with competitors has been to either buy them out, strong-arm them, or yank the carpet out from under their feet with shifting standards and "embrace-and-extend" scenarios. Now that they have a competitor that they are virtually powerless to do anything about, there is little left for them to do than to try to spread a little bit of FUD around. This isn't new, after all. Microsoft realized (perhaps wisely) that attacking Linux's image is probably the only viable means that they have to go after Linux. We've seen this for a couple of years now.

    So let's see where we're at:

    • "The Linux kernel lacks key enterprise elements .."

      Reeeeeeaaalllly. What "key enterprise elements" are those? With the latest Linux developments, we've got everything from a journalling filesystem to enhanced multi-processor support. Sure, it's tough to make the claim that Linux is going to be superior to Solaris or other "big-iron" Unices for "big-iron" applications, but IMHO it's tough to make that claim about Windows, as well.

      This, of course, conveniently ignores the fact that the vast majority of Linux installations (just like the vast majority of Windows installations) do not require these "key enterprise elements" that Ballmer is bleating about. And what are these elements, anyway? Mindlessly throwing out buzzwords might make "PC Magazine" swoon, but people who are interested in specifics are going to yawn and be on their merry way.

    • "You wouldn't want to install Linux on a laptop .."

      Is that so? Funny; I just installed Mandrake 7.1 on a Dell laptop last week. The installation went flawlessly. I was up and running and connected to the Internet, reading Slashdot, within two minutes of finishing the installation. As a matter of fact, the PCMCIA modem that I'm using with the laptop was not recognized by Windows. Linux didn't have any problems with it. What was this nonsense about lack of drivers again?

    • "Free does not sustain a business .."

      Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the business. But the real issue here is the one that they missed; if every Linux-based business goes belly-up, that does nothing to hamper the continued development and release of the Linux system itself. Sure, companies such as Red Hat have got people working on value-added software such as RPM, but if Red Hat were to vanish from the face of the earth, it would not prevent the Linux kernel from evolving and undergoing continual development.

      I think we can chalk this up to simple ignorance; people just don't get that there is no single, controlling corporation behind Linux. They look at Microsoft and see them as the source of the software that runs their computer(s). They don't understand the Linux development model (or if they do understand it, they don't like it because it is so far removed from their expectations.)

    • "Linux growth is leveling off .."

      Show me the numbers, baby. At my workplace [usgs.gov], we've got Linux replacing Windows NT on many of our development workstations. We've got Linux servers coming in the door to handle many specialized data applications. We're putting together Beowulf clusters to do distributed data processing. We're getting rid of clunky Oracle Forms-based user interfaces and replacing them with ones developed using Troll Tech's Qt toolkit. In short, we've seen a Linux explosion over the past year or so, and I know that the same is true of several other places.
    I think the CEO of LinuxCare said it the best: the significant thing here is the degree to which Linux is registering on Microsoft's public radar. We must be doing something right, folks .. because if we weren't, they would be better off ignoring us. The challenge that we have to accept is combatting FUD like this in a logical and reasonable (read: non-emotional and non-combatative!) way. If we do that, Microsoft will remain as powerless to stop Linux as they are today. And that is a Good Thing (TM).
  • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:28AM (#467264)
    Howdy. I work for MontaVista Software. We support embedded systems development on Linux. Incidentally, many of our full-time employees are among the core developers of Linux/PPC. Many of our clients use PPC-based systems. Thus, we pay these folks to work on the issues our clients experience -- but the source goes out to everyone.

    I package and port applications. Should I make a significant portability fix, it goes back to the author as a matter of course, to be included in the next version.

    This isn't an unusual thing; not only do we operate like this, but Lineo (our primary competitor) does the same. I expect that non-embedded support companies also have very large numbers of individuals doing linux full-time.

    Why some other companies put out press releases when they hire folks to work on open source full-time is something I don't understand. We do it as a matter of course.
  • That's not quite the same as saying that Microsoft uses Linux. Microsoft has outsourced certain functionality to Akamai, which uses Linux. The reason the distinction matters is that Microsoft gets a bunch more from their deal with Akamai than just a bunch of Linux boxes. They get a certain level of guarantees regarding functionality, and it's up to Akamai to make good on those guarantees regardless of the quality of the underlying technology.

    Microsoft may in fact use Linux in other areas - I've heard that Hotmail or some such was Linux-based - but this particular piece of information about Akamai DNS servers doesn't really mean much.

  • by smartin (942) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:10AM (#467269)
    Doug Miller does not have a great track record at predicting the future, considering that M$ scoped up his previous company Softway Systems for a song.
  • by Salamander (33735) <jeff@[ ]atyp.us ['pl.' in gap]> on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @11:24AM (#467278) Homepage Journal
    I believe XFS and JFS are both journaled in this way.

    And based on what do you believe that? Here's an excerpt from an IBM document [ibm.com]:

    First, JFS only logs operations on meta-data, so replaying the log only restores the consistency of structural relationships and resource allocation states within the file system.

    I can't find anything quite as authoritative for XFS, but there is this, from an SGI document [sgi.com]:

    The log section (or area, if it is internal to the data section) is used to store changes to filesystem metadata while the filesystem is running

    If the log section contained data, one would certainly expect them to mention it. There's also this, from a copy of the Fileystems HOWTO [yolinux.com]:

    File systems update their structural information (called metadata) by synchronous writes...A journaling file system uses a separate area called a log or journal. Before metadata changes are actually performed, they are logged to this separate area

    Again, the reference is to metadata but not data. As a professional filesystems developer, I know that even the overhead of journaling metadata is a big problem for journaled filesystem implementors trying to provide performance competitive with non-journaled filesystems. Journaling the data as well would be absolutely horrendous, and I certainly think I would have heard if there had been some breakthrough allowing this to be done efficiently.

    There are some filesystem technologies that do provide safety for data in addition to metadata. Log-structured filesystems can include this feature, though they're somewhat out of vogue right now. The only current effort I know of in this direction is the atomic update ("phase tree") methodology in Tux2.

  • by Chris Johnson (580) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:31AM (#467280) Homepage Journal
    _Stop_ the presses. My god- Microsoft says Linux is going to fizzle! This is clearly hot breaking news worthy of a special story.

    Next, a special exclusive in which tobacco company execs shock everyone by suggesting smoking isn't that bad for you really!

  • by rgmoore (133276) <glandauer@charter.net> on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:11AM (#467294) Homepage

    From the article:

    Lately, Microsoft has vacillated between dismissing Linux entirely and seeing it as a vast and looming threat on the competitive landscape.

    That's not Microsoft vacillating. That's MS's typical FUD machine in action. They've decided that Linux is a serious threat, so now they're trying to undermine it with vague fears. This is typical Microsoft in action. The more they fear a competitor's product, the more they try to dismiss it publically as a credible product, claim that its suppliers are going into the tank, etc. Vigorous blasting by MS is just evidence that it really is a threat.

  • From the article:

    Doug Miller, Microsoft's group product manager for competitive strategies,says, " the new Linux kernel lacks some of the key elements required for enterprise use".

    Well, there it is right there. Now we know why there were so many problems with the Enterprise: Starfleet was running Windows.

  • by sheldon (2322) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:04AM (#467325)
    Microsoft didn't subcontract to Akamai to manage their DNS servers.

    They subcontracted cached content delivery to Akamai, basically as a means to reduce the effects of DoS attacks by distributing their content across multiple Akamai servers across the globe, thus preventing an attack against one machine from taking everything offline.

    So now when you contact the microsoft web site to grab something, instead of going to Seattle it may be routed to a Akamai server in Chicago which has the content cached.

    Obviously in order to do this, Akamai has to be able to manipulate DNS entries for Microsoft's web servers, thus you now have Akamai DNS servers listed as authorative for Microsoft.com.

    This was all discussed in numerous news articles this week, which you apparently missed.
  • by dboyles (65512) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:13AM (#467330) Homepage
    I'm probably a typical Windows > Linux convertee. Up until about 18 months ago I used Windows and Windows alone. A few months before I switched to Linux I started a private FTP server (for legal files, mind you) on my computer that was in my dorm. Well I got tired of rebooting every day, so I made the Big Leap. I started off dual booting, then moved to a Linux-only system about a year later. I recently got a laptop that dual boots, but only because I have to use certain Windows applications for school.

    So I'm a Linux user. But I don't think Microsoft cares. The reason is simple: both of my copies of Windows (one 95 and one 98) are licensed, as they came with my computers (both Dell). Microsoft is getting paid even if I don't use their software. Most of you probably know the name this has been given: the Microsoft tax.

    So I really don't think Microsoft gives a damn about the desktop market, for the most part; they've got it locked up. Server market is a different story. The article makes some good points. I don't think there's much of a market for "Linux companies," perhaps with the exception of the well-knowns like Red Hat. But does Microsoft really have to fear Red Hat? I don't think so.
  • Please tell me where Linux people make that much money. Where I work, UNIX admins make about 30K. Where I used to work, Linux admins were hired from the local college for about $10-$20/hr. Also, if you run a Linux box, chances are you won't need an admin. In my last job, I set up scripts according to my employer's business practices, and he hasn't needed an admin since. By the way, he runs a small-time hosting business. I gave him the following scripts:

    adddomain
    addemail
    adduser
    probably one or two others I can't remember.

    which did everything he needed for our setup. He's only had to call me once, and that was because the ISDN line wasn't working (yes, I _meant_ small-time), and it turned out he hand't paid his bill.
  • by twitter (104583) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:40AM (#467342) Homepage Journal
    OK, but why be rough about it?

    OS....cracks.%share..cracks/%..normalized:
    nt......4750...0.59...8050.84...0.9630
    linux...1750...0.21...8333.33...0.9967
    solaris..700...0.08...8750.00...1.0466
    bsd......500...0.06...8333.33...0.9967
    others...500...0.06...8333.33...0.9967
    average: 8360.169492

    It looks a little odd, but those are the numbers. No numbers, however could make me use MS junk. There's always more than numbers to think about.

  • From time to time, I am given the task of making recomendations for small and medium sized orginizations. I tell them to use NT.

    Often I will hear this: "What about Linux? I hear it's better then NT". I have to explain to them that it is better, but it will cost them too much. Any trained monkey with a community college degree in computer science can keep NT running (albeit not with the relibility of Linux). But it costs a lot more to find a Linux system admin who knows what he/she are doing.

    So the question is, do you want to pay for an NT site licence and $30,000 a year for a decent NT admin, or do you want to get a free OS and have to pay $60,000 a year to a good Linux admin to make sure it's run right? Oh, and did I mention, your good Linux administrator will not want to be bothered with servicing the users' windows machines?

    And of course, speaking of the users. I manage quite a few remote user machines. I would never recommend putting Linux on those machines. I'd spend all my time trying to teach the users how to do things all over again.

    The thing is, Windows is EASY. People understand when something goes wrong, you just restart it. Something breaks badly, I just backup the important files and reload everything off a disk image. Sure, Linux doesn't break as much, it's more secure, it's more stable, and is great for mission critical applications, but unless you really have a genuine need for that type of reliability, Windows will always win.

  • by update() (217397) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:14AM (#467354) Homepage
    Many really good points, and many other equally bad ones.

    Honestly, I don't see much in the way of either. To summarize, with my take on them:

    Free software is not turning out to be profitable for developers

    I'd say so far no one has proved him wrong. Hell, the distro makers are selling software someone else writes and they can't make money.

    The 2.4 kernel is "raw technology" and not "ready for business use"

    I'm not sure what he meant by that -- he and the people responding to him seem to be confusing the kernel with the platform.

    IDC says Linux server growth has stopped

    IDC suggests otherwise.

    "Microsoft is leading the charge with .Net. Linux is not leading anything, it is simply providing a 'free' operating system."

    Well, Linux certainly is never leading anything except for ever more ornate window managers. And MS is blowing their usual hot air with .Net.

    Linux development is slower than Windows development.

    Probably true for developers with Windows experience, not true for Unix developers.

    Linux businesses are doing badly. "For a so-called exploding market, this should not happen. Sales of actual products are relatively flat."

    If we're talking about desktop software, that's certainly correct. Corel Linux apps, Applixware, Quake III - pretty much all bleak news on that front.

  • by Auckerman (223266) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @08:15AM (#467363)
    THis reminds me of George W. Bush's campain for the Republican nomination. Vote for me, I'm a winner. You say it long enough, people beleive it. Take this comment from the Troll quoted in the article:

    "So in some senses (that) puts the Linux phenomenon and the Unix phenomenon at the top of the list"

    Unix phenomenon? You mean the fact that most servers run Unix and not WIndows? This is very telling. An uneducated businessman will read this and think, "Gee, Windows must be under attack by this thing called Unix." which by impication means Unix is the minority.

    If you use the language of a champion, you will project the fact you are the winner by default and people will all beleive you are the winner. That's the best advertising anyone can get. "Use Window2k, it's the future". But the problem is, there are a lot of people who don't know that Microsofts future is Unix's yesterday...

  • What Microsoft is afraid of here is a de-centralization of technology. You see it's a very old war. One that I have seen fought at least twice on a grand scale. It's a war that is only now is starting to expose possible Information models. This profound impact on a info culture could be better understood by once again looking at how it was when Microsoft was fighting the good fight against centralized Technologys. Yep thats right. There was a time when people toughted MS as the savior of the age of computers.s

    So what do i mean by centralization of technology? I'm talking about the way one group can control the use and propagation of of technology. Back in the day when hooking a computer to a TV was a neat idea. IBM ruled the jungle of technology. It did this because at that time no one shared computer design. IBM won the hardware war and as a spin off also dominated the bussiness software side too. One thing that IBM did was to aquire companys that had solutions that IBM could put to advantage. Yes even Microsoft was looked at as a possible purchase solution. What Microsoft used was the fact that everyone ( I say that very loosly because only a few people were real excited about the pc revolution back in the early eighties ) wanted there own computer. It was not good enough to run down to the campus (school/work) inorder to get computer time. Accountants could not work at home with the latest marvel spreadsheet. But we have this theme of wanting a personlized and handy form of computing. It was this notion of not personal use but personalized user of the computer that took IBM by surprise.

    Microsoft provided what seemed like the greatest solution. A OS that ran on the cheapest computer hardware. ( sound familar? ) Apple showed the market existed and only controled it till someone did it cheaper. Also lets look at the competition. To the public at that time which computer to get was confusing. ( I had a Vic20 ). When IBM backed a cheap off the shelf based computer the bussiness world made the plat-form stick. ( how many times have you heard RISC is better and wondered if it was better then why don't we use it). There is a push for the home computer not because everyone wanted the same thing but because everyone wanted the convence of personal computing with out the access restrictions of central computing on MainFrames.

    What changed? Well we have had may years to enjoy the advantages of cheap hardware that has de-centralized our need for large computer with less then friendly access restrictions. Now we have this great platform to automate our more mundane calculations. But it's the thing we would not give up that gave MS it's power. That thing was interoperability ( sorry but I'm not going to correct spelling on something this long when i should be working ). with other computers. We all wanted to run the same programs. Share files and print with the same fonts. This translates into centralizing the software as a trade off for computers in the home. And for the most part its a great trade for everyone.

    Microsoft is now the target of de-centralization of Technology. Well we all have cheap computers. And they all come with MS because everyone wants to shop at the same place and eveyone wants to send there thought to others that will be able to understand them. But wait! What about the people that are looking for a different way? The Heretic of centralization in all of us looks around and thinks that maybe I want it to do this. And I want it to do it this way. When your a developer this seems to come up more then when you bought your computer for e-mail. but as more people start wondering what they want to do with there computers they are finding out that it can't be done like that. The reason is allway because the central controling forces just don't have the resources to make everyone happy. "Do you want one thing done right? or Manythings done half assed?" The people that want one thing done right are not happy with a Operating system that wants to do everything you can think of and not let you see the gears.

    Does the fact that Microsoft is the largest mean that Microsoft is the best? I don't think so. I think i means they were able to take advantage of the fact that they did not have to worry about the Heretic in the early days. And why would they? At that time I had to go to the local college or too my mothers place of work to get computer time befour the Vic 20.

    Do i think linux will ever "Go Down!" ? No I don't. and here is why. Opensource packages like linux distributions come with source code. that everyone knows. But what makes source code valuable? It opens up the software for de-centralized evolution. This is the same de-centralized evolution that gave us leaps in Video card technologies. The more people find out that they can do exactly what they want instead of what the instructions will let them do the more de-centralization wins.

    So we get to the linux changing the world part. With out the cost of a centralized Operating system companies now have a choice to invest licence fees into people instead. People that can get technology to do that one thing really well. If you have ever had a Microsoft consultant come out to look at a deployment the first thing you will mostlikly notice is that person doing all the things you've been putzing with for the last few weeks. This is because the world of Canned software does not have much in the way of configuration choices. This is great if your people are not so brite. It also helps bring the cost of people down. One reason why I saw IBM's OS/2 lose it's base was because of a lack of people to write code and admin. Actually there were people there. But Microsoft knowlege was cheaper then IBM knowlege.

    What you get with the Microsoft solution is the same solution that your competor has. You will be more at the mercy of MS for inovation then your own IS staff. You will have to spend more money on software that could go to keep people and hire new people.

    The winning motion of linux is the ablity to foster real inovation from the ground up. Take what you need from the CVS repositorys. Beat it into submission till all the data is processed right and you have inovation. Real inovation. And Technology is fed with de-centralized revolution not centralized predicted evolution.

    I don't think linux will ever die. And I know it will not get less "market share" in future years. I'm sure that de-centralized revolution will change linux well beyond what we know as linux. If linux did go away then I'm sure that instead of MS saving market share it would be because a new and more malable Operating system grabed the attention of the inovators.

    When I grew up and went to school I was taught that a good programmmer writes portable code that was expandable. To me portable meant any operating system and expandable meant being able to be used for purposes that I did not forsee. Linux lets me see things that windows hides from possiblity.
  • by WasterDave (20047) <davep&zedkep,com> on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:43AM (#467373)
    I know I'm late to the fight, and can only cite the fact the earth is more or less spherical and rotates as a reason, but...

    This pissed me off:
    Miller also believes that Linux has hidden costs, something he believes is particularly true in the embedded device market, where developers need to get their products to the market fast.

    "Using Linux does not help the developer deliver their product faster," Miller said. "In fact, it can actually take longer due to platform development work that would not be necessary with a platform like CE."

    Look, I develop embedded software using BSD. There is NO FUCKING WAY it would even be POSSIBLE under CE. None. Forget it.
  • by renaudw (62190) on Wednesday January 31, 2001 @10:47AM (#467389) Homepage

    I've worked with Douglas Miller while at Softway, when he and his team were developing OpenNT (later renamed Interix, and then quickly bought out by Microsoft before it could do any real damage to their market share).

    OpenNT (Interix) was about porting the Unix (POSIX) environment to Windows NT. There was some heavy wizardry involved, and the OpenNT crew had to rewrite most of the NT POSIX module (with source code available compliments of Microsoft). But it worked, and you could build & run Apache/bash/sendmail/gcc/etc. on OpenNT with minimal effort. Sort of like the Cygnus thing, or the MKS toolkit, but this was no emulation, rather true POSIX compliance brought by building the necessary layers above the NT kernel.

    The market was there, and OpenNT (sorry, Interix -- never got used to it) started taking off, mainly in the governmental/educational markets, people with Unix apps that they didn't want to let go off, and at the same time pushed to NT for multiple reasons. But before Interix could really penetrate the market in any significant way, Microsoft quickly zeroed on it and swallowed it whole. Quite typical really.

    Doug's background is fairly technical, and he was a Unix freak for years before moving on to the Dark Side. :) Coming from someone with that experience and broad knowledge of the Industry, his argument cannot be readily dismissed. Even as I'm reading this thread I see some heads, colder than most, agreeing to at least to some of his points. Do not make the mistake to dismiss Doug as yet another Microsoft flack. After seeing the Unix market fragment and ultimately fail in the 90s, he knows what he's talking about.

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