Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux Business

Wall Street Embraces Linux 505

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-time-for-different-reasons dept.
Brian Stretch was among several who sent in this story about Merrill Lynch switching to Linux, this is interesting because it's actually companywide. Talks about Red Hat, Linux threatening Unix and so on.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wall Street Embraces Linux

Comments Filter:
  • by RasputinAXP (12807) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @04:54PM (#3236767) Homepage Journal
    CSFB's Yatko was just as direct. "We don't treat Linux as a toy. We've got real business problems that we need to solve."
    I've all of a sudden got this mental picture of a little squeaky Tux toy. You know, the ones that your dog would just LOVE to chew on for a while before swallowing them.
  • by Ctrl-Z (28806)
    Quoth the column:

    Also, contrary to popular belief, Linux is not really "free." How are large-scale licensing agreements to be worked out?

    "Some of these things make us very uncomfortable," says Carey, who is trying to hammer out the details.


    I don't understand how Linux could be much more "free". Maybe Forbes has a different definition of "free" than the rest of us?
    • by Kevbo (3514)
      Perhaps that's what they mean by "Even more important, who is accountable?" I am guessing that the costs are support costs to (ostensibly) RedHat, so that they can, indeed, call someone when it breaks.

      Seems to me this article wasn't very well written, you have to read between the lines a lot. I'd like to know more about how they're implementing it: distribution, updates, standard image, etc
      • by cavemanf16 (303184) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @05:13PM (#3236934) Homepage Journal
        I read Forbes all the time. I have a subscription to it, after all. Basically, understand that every part of a business is considered an asset, so logically, software is an asset of a company. So like the previous guy said, when Forbes talks about Linux not being "free," they mean that just like any software, there are add-ons, customizations, and DBA's that all need to be purchased and hired to implement and support the software, be it Linux or otherwise. What's notable is that Merril Lynch must have found it much more cost effective to switch from their previous software to Linux for certain tasks. Considering they are a top securities firm, I'm sure the money factor was analyzed much more closely and accurately than the "principal of the thing" or "useability" would have been in a more IT related company.
    • Quoth JWZ: Linux is only free if your time isn't worth anything...

      Damn those pesky business men and the concept of time equalling money. Damn them all.
      • by Anonymous DWord (466154) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @05:07PM (#3236874) Homepage
        I hate that fucking quotation. If I never heard it again, it would be too soon. It's not like I boot into Windows, say "Computer, write the year-end fiscal report," and go golfing for the afternoon.
        • It's not like I boot into Windows, say "Computer, write the year-end fiscal report," and go golfing for the afternoon.

          I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. :) grnbrg

        • by Petersko (564140) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @07:58PM (#3237742)
          It's not like I boot into Windows, say "Computer, write the year-end fiscal report," and go golfing for the afternoon.

          Thankfully, you can do just that with our new project, "Year End Fiscals" for linux. Currently in Alpha, version 0.000121001, it'll allow you to simply type "fiscals -yearend" (at a minimum) and walk away while it generates your documents.

          Try it out. Features 1,2,3,5,7-22 and 24-492 inclusive have yet to be implemented, but it will properly accept the first of our command line parameters (of which 132 are planned).

          We don't have a completed plan, so if anybody can lend a hand, we'd appreciate it. We need coders, project managers, and economists.

          At some point in the distant future, when things are working perfectly, we'll also need documentation specialists. Oh, wait - I've been informed that the coders can write the documentation as they go.

          Oh yeah - no reliability, no support.

          Note: tongue firmly in cheek!
    • Not free as in beer, free as in free market, ergo free as in pay. Weird, I know, but it makes sense if you're a Capitalist Tool.
    • Investment banks think like this

      $$$$$$+$$$$$-$$$$$=$$$$

      LInux is NOT free as in 0$ (beer)

      They are free as in Red Hat + Effort & $ = Merril Lynch Linux. Or Big Money Linux. Or I Am Free To Customise The Code Any Damn Way I Want To Because the Code Is Free As In Speech Linux.Good Move ML. I hope to see the other big firms follow suite.

    • Linux is free (as in beer) if your time is worth nothing. Since we can assume Merril Lynch has to pay someone to install, configure and administer their Linux boxes, they will have to pay for someone's time. If Linux is easier to administer that the systems they are replacing, they will save money. If Linux is difficult to work with, it will cost them more money than the alternatives.

      This, I belive is as good an arguement as any for improving the user interface of Linux. We are not trying to make Linux a good choice for dumb administrators, we are trying to lower the intellectual barrier to entry for adoption of Linux wherever it could be used, which is anywhere, as far as flexibility of the OS is concerned.
      • ...lower the intellectual barrier to entry ...


        Are we talking about servers or desktops? In the case of desktops I would agree in the case of servers I beleive it would be more expensive to clean up than to do it right the first time.

    • This is definitely weird. Okay, so Linux is not free as in zero cost, because everything has a cost of ownership. Even with closed source software, license fees are only the beginning.

      But, the column explicitly mentions "large-scale licensing agreements". Huh? Support agreements, sure, but licensing? The software is already available under a very large-scale licensing agreement: the GNU General Public License.

      I'm confused.

      • Not all Linux software is Free Software. Things like StarOffice or whatever might be considered as essential elements in this sort of move on the part of a large company-- somewhere in there I'd guess there is going to be one piece of licensed code. They might also obtain some custom code from a Linux development shop that they have the source for, but is not free in any sense of the word. Plus the cost to customize and burn "official" install CDs for the enterprise is not free of some cost.
      • by iceT (68610) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @06:31PM (#3237188)
        Try to get a copy of Suse Linux for S/390. They charge for the distribution per CPU. Like $6000 per CPU.

        Sure the software is free, but you still pay for the bundling and the distribution of the software, and there is no specification as to how or how much they charge for those services...

        • by anpe (217106)
          I'm not trying to troll here ... but how about buying a 1 CPU license and install it for x CPUs ? The SMP stuff must be part of the kernel so it must be GPLd in any way ? Or did I miss something ?
        • Try to get a copy of Suse Linux for S/390. They charge for the distribution per CPU. Like $6000 per CPU.

          BS. You can download it here [suse.com]. See the ISO images? ;-)

    • Despite how large costs can seem when it comes time to negotiate a new Enterprise License Agreement with Microsoft, the really substantial costs are not in the software.

      It's in the support.

      I suspect most organizations spend several times as much on support as they do on either software or hardware.

      But at least they know how expensive it is under an MS centric environment. They don't know how expensive it is under a Linux environment. Linux techs are rarer and higher paid than MCSEs at this point, so they have a right to be nervous. OTOH, they could win big as the number of required techs goes down. It's anyone's guess what the real costs will be and it depends critically on how the deployment is done and how much planning has gone into it.

      Check back in a year and let us know.

      [But we'll probably never hear about it either way because: failure is an orphan and success will become a prized business advantage not to be disclosed.]

    • These same people would whinge that free beer isn't really free, because you have to expend energy lifting the glass in order to drink it. If I was doling out the free beer then I'd be really pissed off if people started demanding that I had to pour the beer into their mouths for them as well.

      Next time you hear the "Linux isn't really free" rhetoric, snap back with "How much less than $0 does Linux have to go?". Linux is free. The TCO of Linux isn't free but that's only because TCO includes the cost of your own time. People who think that this proves Linux itself isn't free need to be hit with the cluestick.

  • "Would I put an air traffic control system on Linux right now? No," says Carey.
    "But can it get there within five years? Absolutely."

    I know I would feel safer if the air traffic control is on Linux rather than any version of Windows...
    • The Blue Sky of Death!!
    • And I'd feel safer having some sort of reliable mainframe or embedded system running air traffic control than Linux. Don't get me wrong; I love Linux and all that, but I'm rather glad that ATC systems are largely mainframe-based still. (I could be wrong about that, I suppose.)
      • And I'd feel safer having some sort of reliable mainframe or embedded system running air traffic control than Linux. Don't get me wrong; I love Linux and all that, but I'm rather glad that ATC systems are largely mainframe-based still. (I could be wrong about that, I suppose.)
        As we used to say when I worked at the grocery store: there are some things it is better not to know. Do a little Google'ing on the existing ATC system and you may never fly in the US again. Don't get me wrong: there is plenty of reliable IBM 1401 assembly code out there. It's just the age of the people who understand that environment tends to keep going up...

        sPh

    • I know I would feel safer if the air traffic control is on Linux rather than any version of Windows...

      God yes. On the other hand, even as a GPL bigot and Linux zealot, I wouldn't want Linux running air traffic control stuff either, not yet anyhow. This is what QNX, et al, were *made* for.

      On the other hand, who knows? One of the great things about Linux is that in a few years it may just be good enough for air traffic control, etc.
    • I know I would feel safer if the air traffic control is on Linux rather than any version of Windows...

      Considering the failure rate of most hardware - including expensive Sun or HP servers - I would hope that any truly mission critical system does not rely on a single system staying in operation. No matter how reliable the OS is, there is no hardware with redundant CPUs or RAM. You can reboot your E4500 with a system board disabled, but that doesn't stop it from crashing when a CPU fails or a SIMM has more than a single-bit error.

      Sun servers do not report single-bit corrected ECC errors, unless they happen repeatedly on the same bit. RAM bits randomly get flipped (whatever the reason, be it cosmic rays or tiny aliens building their nests on the electrons, it does indeed happen). If a Sun machine crashes due to two bits in an ECC chunk getting flipped ("uncorrectable memory error"), and it only happens once, their first level support will not want you to have the RAM replaced. (They will of course do so if you insist.) That is, even with a perfect OS, and even in the absence of faulty hardware (which can and does happen all the time), machines will STILL crash!

      As long as it is very reliable (causing a random crash on average once a year, say), the reliability of an OS isn't much at issue. Systems where lives or massive amounts of money (the same thing to a corporation!) are at risk - like trading systems - are built to withstand the failure of any one server, router, or massive multimillion dollar disk array - without a moment's downtime. Building a reliable air traffic control system should be simple compared to a reliable trading system. Especially when you consider that the reliability requirements for air traffic control are much less significant (look at the unreliability of our current ATC systems, and consider how rarely this causes death or destruction).

  • Easy Slashbots (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheGreenLantern (537864) <thegreenlntrn@yahoo.com> on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @04:59PM (#3236796) Homepage Journal
    Before all you Slashbots start screaming "Windoze Suxors!", read the article, and realize Merill is replacing their UNIX systems with Linux. There is no mention of replacing any Windows systems.
    • Re:Easy Slashbots (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theCURE (551589)
      I did read the article, and no where does it state that Merrill is using UNIX systems. The article does not state what OS's Merrill is currently using, it simply states references to unix systems and transitions to linux in general.
      • Indeed, one of the big benefits that Carey sees is that Merrill can write an application once and then deploy it with minimal work on mainframes, minicomputers, desktops, laptops and handhelds--whether it be on Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people) hardware or something else.

        This contrasts with Unix in that developers write software for every version of Unix, including for tools and patches. This approach, says Carey, is time-consuming and expensive. If a Unix project doesn't work out for some reason, the technology is rarely transferable to another project.

        "When I have proprietary hardware and proprietary software, I have sunk costs into that project that I can't recover," says Carey, adding that commodity technologies are more easily transferable. "Unix took Wall Street fifteen years to master. Nobody has time for that."


        I guess it's more implied than explicitly stated they're running UNIX right now, but it seems pretty clear to me they are.
    • Re:Easy Slashbots (Score:2, Interesting)

      by GT_Alias (551463)
      He is the person in charge of a top-down implementation of Linux software at Merrill Lynch.

      and
      one of the big benefits that Carey sees is that Merrill can write an application once and then deploy it with minimal work on mainframes, minicomputers, desktops, laptops and handhelds

      Sounds to me like that means top-down. I doubt most of the brokers were using Solaris 8 (or whatever) on their local handheld.

    • Re:Easy Slashbots (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shotgun (30919)
      From the article:

      Indeed, one of the big benefits that Carey sees is that Merrill can write an application once and then deploy it with minimal work on mainframes, minicomputers, desktops, laptops and handhelds--whether it be on Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people) hardware or something else.

      You're right they didn't mention Windows systems.

  • Im not trolling... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xtermz (234073)
    ... But it seemed like only a matter of time before the major players in the business world adopted linux. Hate to jump on the 'Hate MS' Bandwagon, but MS has really fumbled the ball lately. As Linux becomes more widespread, and more competent people who know how to install/run/use it get into the job market, we will see more of these types of stories being commonplace.

    The problem I see is, so many people are trying to force feed the linux solution down peoples throats. Yes, advocate linux, but dont throw your hand. Managers and the ones who make business decisions like thinking they stumbled upon a great idea. For the most part, they wont take kindly to some geeky kid in IT telling them "we can save bunches of money with linux"... they have to talk to their buddies on the golf course, etc etc..

    To sum it up...dont fret, in time, linux _will_ dominate
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @05:05PM (#3236857)
    "Would I put an air traffic control system on Linux right now? No," says Carey. "But can it get there within five years? Absolutely."

    Actually, I work in the aviation sector, and we've been using Linux for years for computing flight plans and relaying AFTN messages.
  • Also, contrary to popular belief, Linux is not really "free." How are large-scale licensing agreements to be worked out?

    Perhaps what they meant to say is "not all software that runs on Linux is free"
  • Merrill Lyrnch? (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by sharkey (16670)
    Any relation to Merrill Lynch?
  • "Initially it was about cost savings but it has been a benefit to the business because we're profiting from being more flexible," says Steve Yatko, chief technology officer of securities IT at CSFB. "Our trading volume has increased [twenty-fold], and our customers are seeing better pricing. And things that used to take days [like installing applications and doing management tasks] now take minutes."

    That's a great quote to take to the PHB's. What's even better about it is that it isn't limited to Linux's benefits vs. any particular platform, but against the whole universe of closed source.

    But then there's this:

    Also, contrary to popular belief, Linux is not really "free." How are large-scale licensing agreements to be worked out?

    Umm, how about like this. Buy or download a copy, modify however you like, and install it everywhere you want. As long as you aren't releasing it outside the organization (and there's no way they would) they don't need to worry about licensing or IP.
  • by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @05:10PM (#3236906) Homepage Journal

    Thousands of copies getting potentially used means revenues of, what, about $150 for that single copy?

    Marge, CALL MY BROKER AND BUY RED HAT! BUY BUY BUY!!

    • Yep, $150 for that copy, and a huge pile of money for support contracts. You really think Merrill Lynch is going to just "go it alone" in their migration? Not a chance. Red Hat is getting megabucks from this transaction, I'd bet. (That, and I'd bet they'll score quite a large number of sales of their "Advanced Server" product from this, too: http://www.redhat.com/about/presscenter/2002/press _advserver.html)

      Looking through the posting history for the "Reality" "Master", I'm starting to wonder if he wasn't layed off from a company whose product was made obsolete by some weekend hacker's OSS project, and he's damn bitter about it.
      • You really think Merrill Lynch is going to just "go it alone" in their migration?

        You don't think Merrill Lynch has a fairly significant IT staff? Not to say that Red Hat won't get any support money (they probably will), but it's not as much as you seem to think.

        I'm starting to wonder if he wasn't layed off from a company whose product was made obsolete by some weekend hacker's OSS project, and he's damn bitter about it.

        Actually, I using Linux every day as a development platform for my product, while using Exceed from my rock-solid Win2K box. Two points to make: 1) I'm not a zealot, and 2) I have a sense of humor (unlike you apparently).

  • Merril London Office (Score:2, Informative)

    by terracon (70374)
    My Brother works for Merrill Lynch. He is in the London office. I was there on vacation a couple weeks ago and I had the oppurtunity to visit the new Merril Office there. It's very cool btw. What I saw on my brother's desk was 2 machines. One Sun and one dell, both dual head, flat panel. As it says in the article, Sun is being displaced on the desktop in this particular instance. It will be interesting when I visit him again and I go to the office. What will I see? One Windows machine or one Linux Machine, or just Linux replacing Sun and Windows staying as is.
  • Favorite quote (Score:4, Interesting)

    by johnlenin1 (140093) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @05:17PM (#3236962) Homepage
    But there are risks in putting so much behind Linux. For starters, there are legal implications. Does anybody own the intellectual property of the "open-source" software? How exposed are companies to patent violation?

    Obviously Lisa DiCarlo [forbes.com] really understands the comcepts in the story she just wrote. Yeah.

    • Re:Favorite quote (Score:4, Insightful)

      by isaac (2852) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @07:12PM (#3237462)
      But there are risks in putting so much behind Linux. For starters, there are legal implications. Does anybody own the intellectual property of the "open-source" software? How exposed are companies to patent violation?

      Obviously Lisa DiCarlo really understands the comcepts in the story she just wrote. Yeah.

      If you're just being sarcastic, she seems to have a better grasp on the risks of using Linux than you do. The question of ownership is sticky - the owner of any particular bit of code might be difficult to determine and impossible to track down. This has some bearing on her question about patent violations which is frankly quite legitimate. Consider a company that is using open source software and has made changes to it to meet internal requirements. Suppose then a software company comes along claiming infringement of patented methods in that software package - is the company using the software liable if the software is found to be infringing because in changing the source they have become authors of the software? (Obviously not the sole authors, but said company may have much deeper pockets than the original authors.) I don't think this situation has yet been litigated, making the risk of liability difficult to quantify.

      Basically, if you think current copyright law has a chilling effect on open source development, wait until the big dogs break out their patent portfolios. It's gonna get ugly.

      -Isaac

    • Re:Favorite quote (Score:3, Insightful)

      by foobar104 (206452)
      I don't understand why you have a problem with her statement. IP law makes it very easy to protect what you own, and very difficult to surrender the rights to it. And rightly so. If it were possible for the tiniest slip to render your claim to intellectual property invalid, then the law wouldn't really be protecting you at all, would it?

      I think there are lots of legal implications of open-source software that just haven't been thought out, or tested in court. It's not hard to imagine a scenario in which some previously unthought-of aspect of IP law renders the GPL invalid. Suddenly everybody who uses open source software must either stop using it, or pay a licensing fee to the license holders.

      Don't brand it as FUD; I don't intend to make people afraid of open source software. I'm just trying to say that the lady has a point.
  • But I hate to see people moving to Red Hat based distros. I know they have the support network that compaines of that size need and all. But, I think that we risk building another monopoly in the linux market. There are already tons of people who think that Red Hat *IS* linux. Personally I can't stand Red Hat distros with all of their default bloatware. I would love to see a good comercial support company for Debian.
    • Most of the debian-based commercial distros have either failed, or are struggling (see: Corel, Stormix, etc.) On the other hand, rpm-based distros (Red Hat, Mandrake) seem to keep their heads above water. I wonder why that is?
  • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @05:18PM (#3236967) Homepage Journal
    First, Merrill Lynch praised the portability of Linux applications and their ability to scale across the enterprise, with a swipe at proprietary applications. Maybe they'll wake up for a moment, and realize what their most locked-in platform is.

    Second, this seems to be largely a matter of Linux moving into Unix turf. I expect to see some minor disasters happen with this type of migration, and that's a Good Thing. Why, because part of the savings is moving onto dirt cheap PCs from expensive hardware. Part of the expense of that old hardware is the label, but part is genuine quality, too. After someone starts to get a handle on money lost because PCs are too cheap, causing down-time and even some erroneous data, there will be a move to put some quality back in. We will all have a better quality spectrum to buy from, and it will be better labeled and reviewed.
    • I seriously doubt they are going down to Joes Pawn Shop and buying someones P133 and expecting it to run on that. Or even buying a Dell Dimension desktop for $1K.

      PC servers have come a helluva long way. Hot swappable drives, power, pci cards. Remote management even without the machine being booted into an OS. I don't really see what our big HP boxes offer that our Dell poweredges don't offer, other than a builtin modem that goes into the diagnostic unit.

      The HP is on software RAID1, the dell hardware RAID5. HP has 4G of RAM, Dell has 2G, but can go up. Both have 2 CPU's. Both have hot swapable drives. We had a power supply go one the Dell, and have had a memory carrier go on the HP. HP required downtime.

      Your argument makes sense for people ditching high-end workstations for run-of-the-mill desktops to do the same thing, but not for going from a high-end server to a high-end server class of machine.

      The costs still add up on the PC servers, but not as high as on the big Unix boxes.

  • by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @06:24PM (#3237140)
    Actually, the only thing surprising here is that they're talking about it. Wall Street firms usually consider things like this their "competitive advantage" and don't want everyone to know what they're doing. They wouldn't mind if their competitors kept using more expensive proprietary hardware/software solutions...
    • Read the article. Do you really think Merrill Lynch is revealing something here? Trust me, every major financial institution are doing some form of linux project, in order to evaluate the costs of migrating to the platform. And if Merrill is utilizing IBM consultants, the fact they are using linux would not be secret for long.

      The reality is that most financial applications running off a database backend will be processed using UNIX (or mainframe). Its a hell of lot easier to display those remote windows to UNIX platforms than M$ platforms. And since stock broker/analysts do not require Counterstrike to run on their machines, I would imagine quite a few desktops will be replaced as well.

      What is driving this actually Microsoft .NET and its licensing costs. With the recession this year, a lot of managers are looking to shine. Upper management may consist of assholes, but rarely are they actual idiots. Alot of them in the tech departments may even have been system admnistrators at some point in their lives. This is totally doable, and management knows it. The problem is risking their ass to make an implementation attempt.

  • by burnsy (563104) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @06:39PM (#3237238)

    I guess they are playing both sides.

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2002/fe b0 2/02-13revolutionpr.asp

    "At Merrill Lynch we've found that .NET is allowing us to get products to market quicker than we have historically. And ultimately this drives the bottom line impact," said Byron Vielehr, chief technology officer, private client technology, at Merrill Lynch.
    • In any large company you are going to have a large variety of technologies.

      Notice how Mr. Vielehr is identified as CTO, but there is the phrase "private client technology" behind that... That's probably a separate division of the company and they do things differently than other divisions.

      The way this Linux article is worded, they are replacing some of their systems with Linux... most likely existing Sun systems from the sound of it. But that doesn't preclude that they also have a great many Windows systems, both desktop and server.
  • by neoevans (179332) <neoevans&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @06:41PM (#3237251) Homepage
    I work for one of the largest banks in the world (Top 5) and we almost ditched our entire Windows Server infrastructure in favor of Linux. Why? Not because it wasn't working.

    Unlike a lot of MS haters, we know how to use Windows. Strangely enough, when used the way MS intended it works pretty well.

    Instead we considered Linux for similar reasons as Merril Lynch. When we asked MS for a deal on licencing our 300+ Windows 2000 Servers the way they did for Windows NT4.0, not only did they say "No" they auditted our current licences and told use we owe them money! They were the ones who sold us the licences in the first place!

    So on top of each Windows 2000 Server licence, they want client access licences for EVERY computer (6000+) and a yearly subscription fee for god knows what!

    I mean, what's the point of a server if no one can access it? Per-seat licencing for 6000+ workstations?

    It wasn't until we weighed it against the cost of redeveloping 120 applications for Linux that we decided to cave. MS knows this. They waited for companies to become dependant on their OS before jacking up the price. What Merril Lynch is doing is not whoop-de-doo! another company went to Linux!, it's truly amazing. For such an enormous organization to revamp on such a huge scale takes cahones.
    • It wasn't until we weighed it against the cost of redeveloping 120 applications for Linux that we decided to cave. MS knows this.

      What about CodeWeavers and WINE? CodeWeavers can modify WINE for you to run your applications at a cost hopefully much less than re-developing them all for Linux.

  • ...since this came from Forbes. Not exactly where one would expect to find the most accurate information about technology.

    When I read:

    ``Even more important, who is accountable? Linux is an amalgamation of the input of many companies and individual software engineers. So whom do you call when it breaks? Also, contrary to popular belief, Linux is not really "free." How are large-scale licensing agreements to be worked out?''

    I found myself laughing out loud.

    Has anyone successfully found Microsoft accountable for broken software? Or CA? Or any software vendor for that matter?

    Has anyone heard of Red Hat or any other Linux distributor making people pay licensing fees for the use of the software? Of course, Forbes is confusing a license to use the software (the sort of license that Oracle, for example, makes you pay for) with a support contract (which companies like Oracle make you pay for in addition to the usage license).

    The day when Red Hat starts asking people to pay for license keys that have to be loaded on each system or pieces of paper that they need to keep on file is the day they should put a big ``Going Out Of Business'' sign in front of their corporate offices.

    Not that I'd expect an old money magazines like Forbes to really understand the difference between Linux and other software products but how difficult would it have been for the writer to have called up someone in the OSS movement to get a comment and, perhaps, make sure the article didn't come off sounding like it was written by someone totally clueless.

    Jeez...

    • Has anyone successfully found Microsoft accountable for broken software? Or CA? Or any software vendor for that matter?
      Actually, for large corporations, MS and CA and a number of large software companies build out custom versions of the softwares than the ones that you buy at the computer store. In addition, they sometimes post MS Consultants [microsoft.com] onsite to deal specifically with that one client. For clients with 1000+ worldwide installation, they would want to keep you very happy.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @07:17PM (#3237488)
    Financial firms were the primary customer of NeXT Computer (absorbed into Apple, or the other way around). Having been the first commercial object-oriented GUI, it allowed quick development of interfaces for financial software. NeXT would have failed long before, even with Steve's millions.
  • Consider this phrase from the article: [...]
    the argument that Linux can be used in place of more established technologies like Unix.


    I get a bit annoyed at the way all the PHB rags keep using "Unix" to mean "Unixes other than open source ones". The whole notion of picking between "Linux and Unix" just sounds utterly silly from the outset. It's like asking someone if they use NT or do they use Windows.

  • About Two Years Ago (Score:4, Informative)

    by Uart (29577) <feedback@NoSPaM. ... rty-property.com> on Wednesday March 27, 2002 @08:08PM (#3237814) Homepage Journal

    About two years ago I met some people in the tech dept. at Merrill. Most of them were very aware of the cost savings involved, but were concerned about how well it would integrate in with their trading workstations, which were all SUNs. The software that was run on those workstations was closed-source, and therefore could not be easily ported.

    Since that meeting, I learned of two things that happened. One is that Merrill has moved towards Microsoft Windows 2000 for their trading workstations, because software from Instinet, Reuters and Bloomberg is easily available for that platform. The other thing is that SUN has been using strongarm tactics to try and keep Merrill (and probably other companies) buying their hardware.

    I don't have any details on what tactics were being employed, but apparently it lead to this switch to Linux.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

Working...