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Ex-Microsofter Rick Belluzzo Prefers Linux 380

keird writes "I'm sure you all remember Belluzzo being pushed out of Microsoft earlier this year. ComputerWorld has a short, but interesting interview with him where he talks about why his new employer, Quantum uses Linux in their appliances." From reading the interview, Belluzzo seems to be pretty amicable to whatever will get the job done, and in this case, it's Linux.
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Ex-Microsofter Rick Belluzzo Prefers Linux

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  • Make a Change :-) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:16AM (#4880125)
    This makes for a bit of a change since a long time ago when he destroyed SGI by persuading them to drop MIPS and IRIX and move to Windows NT.
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:17AM (#4880134) Homepage
    Wow, Linux is being used in a product that Windows isn't even targeted towards. I don't think that Microsoft cares too much if linux is used in these types of devices. Especially when they still own 95% of the desktop market.
  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UnknownBeetroot ( 633876 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:19AM (#4880151)
    ...from his picture [computerworld.com], that would appear to be because he's on the Happy Stuff.

    But seriously, he's a CEO. He couldn't care less what they use, as long as they pay him. he'll still use windows at home. Irony of the article? No, just practicality.
  • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:23AM (#4880177) Journal

    It isn't a big deal. Just like if he worked at Apple he would advocate Macs. He has no "loyalties". He even implies this himself;

    "I consider myself an advocate of whatever allows us to achieve our goals most effectively."
  • by tomk ( 20364 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:27AM (#4880212) Homepage
    In the interview he states:

    Do you think Linux will be an obstacle to an effective partnership between Quantum and Microsoft? If Microsoft gives us a better idea and a better alternative, we could change.

    I'd say it's pretty likely that MS will use a carrot-and-stick approach to force him onto Windows. Quantum is looking for a big deal with MS and with a high-profile ex-microsoftie singing the praises of the competition, I'll bet there's a threat that the deal will fall through: that's the stick. MS will probably also offer Quantum a much-discounted price on embedded Windows NT: that's the carrot.

    In the end, Quantum will do whatever they need to do to help their bottom line. (not that I blame them.) If the deal with MS is worth more than the cost of Windows licenses, they'll be on Windows before you know it.
  • low life... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by johnliscombhotmail.c ( 631121 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:27AM (#4880213)
    I was going to say, isn't this the guy who used to be CEO of SGI and sold out all kinds of IP to M$ and moved the company to NT shit a few years back? We all know the financial problems that surfaced for a once great company after that. I get the feeling that this guy would sell his own soul for a few extra bucks, much like Bill Gates has.
  • by gazbo ( 517111 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:29AM (#4880230)
    Also, the bit that was cunningly not mentioned in the excerpt:
    I don't think Linux is going to be successful as a desktop replacement. But Linux is going to surround new appliances...
    Exactly what the more rational and less rabid of us have said all along. Linux has its place, which for most people is not the desktop.
  • by schaefms ( 633516 ) <junkNO@SPAMmarkschaefer.org> on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:31AM (#4880238)
    Those definitely were some stupid things, but I remember SGI was trying to get into the big internet server market. At the same time, they were selling us buggy hardware and saying "well, if your running the bleeding edge, you're going to have some hiccups." In some ways, the move away from the ultra cool looking computer that's unreliable for everyday work to the servers they're putting out now that are more reliable was a good move. They weren't going to make money on the year they had before their super-cool, super-fast architectures became mainstream. At least selling the machines at 10x the price an equivalent machine would cost a year later.
  • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:34AM (#4880253) Homepage Journal
    Wow, Linux is being used in a product that Windows isn't even targeted towards.

    Well that isn't entirely fair: Microsoft has made embedded [microsoft.com] operating systems for embedded and/or appliance markets for a while (at least four years), to mixed success. Personally I think they'll succeed eventually: Already PocketPC PDAs, a vision that was originally called bloated and overpowered, are absolutely storming the market (and the new ultra-low cost Dell ones pretty much ring the bell or doom for Palm and friend).
  • by PhoenixFlare ( 319467 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:45AM (#4880309) Journal
    "It isn't a big deal. Just like if he worked at Apple he would advocate Macs. He has no "loyalties"."

    Having no loyalties != switching loyalties to blend in.

    If he got your hypothetical job at Apple, I wager he'd stick with Linux if it still got the job done, switch to OS X if it did things better, or even work to get MS software ported if needed.

    He wants to use the best tool for the job, not go "Oh crap, better appease the natives...." everytime he enters a new environment.
  • Exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rgraham ( 199829 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:45AM (#4880311) Homepage
    From reading the interview, Belluzzo seems to be pretty amicable to whatever will get the job done, and in this case, it's Linux.

    Yes, use what will get the job done. People (pro-MS/anti-Linux, anti-MS/pro-MS, repeat for Solaris, Mac, BSD...) get so blinded by their allegence to one type of technology they don't realize or refuse to accept that there might be something better out there for a given use. Sitting on my desk right now I have machines running Win2k, OSX and RedHat 7.1 all of which I use for different tasks. Could I use just one OS for all my tasks? Sure, but I perfer to use what works best in a given situation.
  • by More Trouble ( 211162 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:47AM (#4880322)
    closed-source software can sometimes be the most appropriate solution.

    Right up until the company goes out of business. Or decides that they need to increase the price by 2000%. Or decides that they don't want to license to you. Or calls the BSA in for a little "accounting"!

    Or, maybe, closed-source software can never be the most appropriate solution, if there's any alternative available.


  • by kin_korn_karn ( 466864 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:11AM (#4880489) Homepage
    How did I know you'd have .edu in your homepage link?
  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:24AM (#4880628) Homepage Journal
    It think you are onto something. The reason Linux is disapointing many, is because people say it is ready for home desktop use, and it is not as easy to install or configure as Windows is.

    Everyone is so desperate for a Windows substitute that doesn't BSOD and run email worms, that we are willing to praise even lackluster software that makes us pull out our teeth.
  • by doodleboy ( 263186 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:34AM (#4880726)
    Exactly what the more rational and less rabid of us have said all along. Linux has its place, which for most people is not the desktop.
    Well, I'm pretty sure I'm not rabid or irrational. But I still think linux will eventually take over, even on the desktop.

    Why? Because most end users are cheap. Imho they don't care what operating system they're using, as long as they can get it to do what they need: writing, finances, websurfing, etc. Free software is rapidly improving, and it'll soon be (if it isn't already) usable enough that even Aunt Betty will balk at paying hundreds of dollars extra for Windows and Office. Especially once she realizes that without the expense of these two fifty cent CDs, she can get a computer [walmart.com] that will do everything she needs for a measly couple of hundred bucks.

    Corporations looking to cut costs will lead the charge. But eventually all non-specialized software will be commoditized and general users will not pay big dollars for it. Imho.
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:35AM (#4880735) Journal
    Rick started at HP and at point ordered 350K engines from canon. He then later went to canon and apologized to the workers who were being laid off. For that screw-up, HP promoted him to being in charge of HP' desktop computers, where he merged the unix desktop and desktop system together. He managed to kill the Unix desktop, while saying that he would build it up. When his division was headed down, he went to SGI, where he did his best to destroy irix and SGI. He left MS when their numbers are starting down (yes profits are up, but numbers are down). Now, he is at Quantum, where he has sold off half the company, and it was running Linux. MS is knocking on the door. Guess which road rick will go down? I predict that Quantum will be gone in about 2 years or less.
  • *sigh* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by John_Renne ( 176151 ) <.zooi. .at. .gniffelnieuws.net.> on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:43AM (#4880809) Homepage
    All too much these discussions become one big linux-commercial (or even some kind of holy war between Microsoft and GNU/Linux users). I guess the man is right when he says use the right tool for the right job. If the GNU/Linux OS on one point will satisfy your needs better than a Microsoft OS use is. On the other hand if a Microsoft OS fullfils your needs, use it too

    Why can't we all just get along?
  • More BS stories (Score:1, Insightful)

    by gordgekko ( 574109 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:55AM (#4880921) Homepage
    Wow, a ex-M$ using Linux...what a non-story. We going to see any stories about Linux users who dual boot over the lack of quality Linux apps or would that be too controversial? Yeah, mark it as a troll...consistency is worth it.
  • by Planesdragon ( 210349 ) <slashdot@castlesteelst o n e .us> on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:17PM (#4881091) Homepage Journal
    If he got your hypothetical job at Apple, I wager he'd stick with Linux if it still got the job done, switch to OS X if it did things better, or even work to get MS software ported if needed.

    If he's working for Apple, Microsoft, Red Hat, or any other system vendor, he should use his employer's products when working whenever possible. If it doesn't work but should, then it's an incentive to fix the problem.

    If it SHOULDN'T work like the "competition", then it's not a bloody competitor, is it? ;)
  • by tshak ( 173364 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:25PM (#4881141) Homepage
    Right up until the company goes out of business.

    Even during the .COM days it was generally trivial to select companies where this wasn't a problm. I'm not worried about IBM or Microsoft going out of business any time soon. This argument just isn't practical. Sun, well, that one I'm a little more worried about!

    Or decides that they need to increase the price by 2000%.Show me evidence that this is anywhere near common? Competition prevents this. Even with Microsoft's monopoly this doesn't happen.

    Or decides that they don't want to license to you. Again, this isn't practical. In my 6+ years this has never happened, nor in my Dad's 30+ years at Boeing (everything is proprietary, and many times from smaller niche software houses). I'm not disagreeing that it's not possible, but again, I doubt IBM's all of the suddon going to pull Websphere from under me, or that Windows 2000 will expire in an unreasonable amount of time. Plus, it's THEIR product, if they choose to screw me over by not licensing it (or writing a crappy license), then I go to the competition, and so do their customers.

    Or calls the BSA in for a little "accounting"!Although the BSA pisses me off, what pisses me off more is companies with no backbone to prevent the BSA from doing what they don't have the power to do. And again, practically speaking, if you aren't stealing software you won't have the BSA down your throat. Don't get me wrong, the BSA has BS as it's first to letters for a reason.

    You don't go out and buy any other product demanding full specifications of the innerworkings, why do you with non-trivial software? Plus, most of your arguments could be applied to vendors like Red Hat. Red Hat could pull the plug, and I'm SOL because A) some of the code is copyrighted to RH so I need a license for each desktop, B) I need RH's support, because Debian won't support me on RH's distro (and it's not trivial to convert when you have 100's of machines, trust me), C) RH could choose to increase it's price at any time - maybe right after I custom configured it and installed it on 100-200 desktops.
  • by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:31PM (#4881191) Homepage
    Right up until the company goes out of business. Or decides that they need to increase the price by 2000%. Or decides that they don't want to license to you. Or calls the BSA in for a little "accounting"!

    Which are things you throw into the cost, benefit, and risk analysis when choosing your tools. And you know what? Sometimes closed-source commercial software still wins.

  • by commbat ( 50622 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:27PM (#4881715) Homepage
    From the interview, when asked how his style, while at Microsoft, was different from others:

    People outside the company liked working with me. For example, if someone raised the subject of Linux, I didn't jump up and scream. I said, "Talk to me about why you like Linux, and let's talk through this."

    This is telling. IMO, if 'linux' is a scream-inducing word at Microsoft, then the company must be really scared. After all, screaming is an irrational, emotional response that doesn't lend itself to effective problem-solving.

  • by rseuhs ( 322520 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @02:04PM (#4882035)
    I'm so tired of those prejudices.

    What changes dammit?

    The ONLY thing missing for desktop Linux is apps, especially games, but also some business apps.

    There is NOTHING wrong with KDE/Linux itself. A good distro like SuSE or Mandrake will be as easy to use as Windows and even a mediocre distro like RedHat made huge progress lately in that department. There is no desktop-centric setting left that can't be configured with the mouse. That you have to mangle with text files is about as likely as having to mangle the registry in Windows (that means: It can happen in some cases but normally shouldn't)

    Absolutely no big change is needed to Linux itself.

    What we need is better marketing, less "Linux is sooo hard" prejudices and especially more apps.

    In the end, Linux will go the same way as Windows NT, the home-desktop will be the last step, not the first.

  • by frotty ( 586379 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @02:54PM (#4882443)
    I generally TALK LIKE THIS when something is CRUSHING MY BALLS randomly.

    That aside,
    You're off base just a bit.

    Here comes the trusty ol' Nazi/Volkswagen story.

    The Volkswagen itself: neutral, technology has no 'moral ramification' itself, without use

    Being the scientist/engineer team who invented the Volkswagen for the Nazis: "EVIL." (by majoritiy's opinion, at least) They did it to help the Nazis win.

    Let's get specific:

    Windows itself: neutral, technology

    The team behind windows: Possibly EVIL. They support, to be polite, a questionable agenda.

    So, this guy might be proving to be a slut for his local master.

    We 'should' all quit our jobs if we really have problems with what are employer is doing, unless we think that the power & resources gained by working with something we don't like will fix the harm done by helping the possibly evil entity out.

    IE, it'd have been ok to have become a nazi and done things to HELP them if you eventually used that power & proximity to overthrow them.

    from the looks of it, this guy is just soft-shoeing whatever minstrel show fetches the most $$$$$$

  • by ReelOddeeo ( 115880 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @03:42PM (#4882838)
    compare buying Windows to Killing

    I did not compare Windows to Killing. I merely used a higher contrast example of what my entire point was about. Not having any beliefs in anything. Doing whatever is profitable at the moment.

    this is FUCKING TECHNOLOGY you nut
    Technology is not a RELIGION
    it's not IMMORAL for me to install Windows

    I'm not the one yelling and screaming.

    The facts about what Microsoft has done speak for themselves to anyone who has been around longer than the dot-com boom. We're talking about a company that has been convicted of criminal conduct and upheld on appeal. This is NOT about technology. This is about people and ethics.

    I have these conversations with a coworker of mine who defends Microsoft no matter how indefensible the particular point may be at the moment. Is there no limit to how people should conduct themselves in pursuit of profit? Is there no low too low? A company that will sign a contract that stipulates in writing that they will not alter certian api's, and then turn right around and violate the very letter (not just spirit) of that contract in order to kill Java.

    This is a company that blatently rips off disk compression technology and bundles it into DOS, and is later called on it. Settle or pay a fine. Either way it's still the cheapest technology they ever stole. In the end, a profitable venture, so it must be okay.

    You're right about one thing. This is not about technology. This is about people and their behavior. <insert silly name calling and insults here> That is the whole point of the thread beginning with the top level post. Finally, you said nothing that disputes my remarks about people, which was the entire substance of my post.

    In case the point is lost on you, I'll repeat it, but without charged examples such as killing. Some of us have ethics, morals and values. If I work for company XX, who makes product xx, and then promote xx as being the best solution, I would not then go work for YY who makes product yy which is a direct competitor of xx, and then trumpet yy as being the best. One or both of my statements concerning xx and yy must therefore be a lie. Black and white. Some of us see conduct in terms of right and wrong, not profit or less profit. This was the entirety of my point.

    An alternative hypothesis, but not one that seems warranted by the actual interview article, would be that a person became enlightened that xx was not the best and that yy was.
  • by UncleRage ( 515550 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @03:58PM (#4882952)
    Sorry, I know this is way off topic... but I've gotta get this off my chest.

    Why do so many people hype the idea of Linux on the desktop? Linux has survived (and grown for nearly 12 years) simply by appealing to a niche market of computer enthusiats who didn't want to play ball w/ the big guys.

    In those (nearly) 12 years, non-enthusiasts have seen that they could put this particular product to use as a development/admin/server tool. Meanwhile, the enthusiasts have continued to tinker, modify and play w/ their "toy" (I do not use the term "toy" in a derogative sense!) to the point that it has become an alternative to computing standards (i.e. Windows/Mac OS).

    But, that does not mean that the burden of responsibility to change YOUR feelings of computer use falls into the hands of the Linux development community.

    If you don't like the way Windows works -- contact Microsoft. If you think that the Mac OS is too/not enough something or another -- contact Apple. Vote w/ your credit cards. Don't demand that Linux eradicate your unhappiness with whatever system you've chosen to use in the past. It 'aint gonna happen.

    Look, in the long term, 12 years is an awfully small amount of time for a hobby project to become what it is today: A very robust operating system w/ practical applications for software development, systems administration and networking solutions. It also happens to make a damn fine desktop for someone willing to put the time and energy into it. But it's completely unfair to expect the hard working development community (who rarely sees any compensation -- other than kudos from their colleagues) to create a perfect desktop environment for every technophobe on the planet.

    If you want the perfect Linux Desktop solution -- Take the time to learn to do it; that's the beauty of Linux. If you don't have the inclination to do that, then hire a (team of) Linux developers to design one for you. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the show.

    Computers should be useful. Using computers should be fun. Linux is useful and fun. Where's the problem?

  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) <`gro.uaeb' `ta' `sirromj'> on Friday December 13, 2002 @04:17PM (#4883131)
    Because the smart ones among us know that if we can't get a critical mass of users in the next couple of years the game is over. Microsoft IS going to try closing the platform which means we won't be able to 'free ride' on the commodity hardware market which built up around DOS/Windows. If we don't have enough users willing to fork over hard currency to keep the Taiwainese and Chinese board makers going we are all hosed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @04:17PM (#4883132)
    If most end users were cheap, they'd build their own computers from parts instead of buying a Gateway or a Dell or a what-have-you.
    Um, that is a lot more expensive than just buying a cheap box. The last peecee that I bought cost around $650 and it was only that expensive because I wanted to buy it from the closest place not the most cost effective place because I needed it that night.

    So, if I spend more than 3-5 hours building my peecee and choosing the parts then by my billing rate I have spent more than the cost of a new computer---not even including actually buying the parts.

    Don't misconstrue appropriate cost benefit analysis with laziness, we each have tradeoffs to make in this life. And perhaps making more money is more important..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @05:02PM (#4883403)
    > Wow, Linux is being used in a product that Windows isn't even targeted towards. I don't think that Microsoft cares too much if linux is used in these types of devices.

    Windows (or MS in fact) is taggetted towards _everything_. From PDAs, phones, terminals, games consoles, through entertainment centres, ATMs, blades to server farms and data centers, MS wants it all.
    There is not one segment of the market that MS isn't interested in and trying to move into. It needs them all in order to meet its revenue growth targets over the next few years and to keep all competition out.
  • by Micah ( 278 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @05:26PM (#4883536) Homepage Journal
    *sigh* ... this is starting to get tiring.

    If most end users were cheap, they'd build their own computers from parts instead of buying a Gateway or a Dell or a what-have-you.

    Until you remember that Gateway/Dell get volume discounts and can build a box cheaper than you can.

    Linux is not easy to use (making it unappealing to the lazy), and what's worse it's not easy to learn (making it unappealing to the impatient). Giant changes would have to happen before Linux could become any of those things.

    Complete BS. Linux is *not* inherently more difficult or harder to learn than Windows. It's a bit different, but not harder. OK, *some* things are harder in most current distributions, but no "big change" needs to happen in Linux. Areas where Linux might still be harder are dropping like flies.

    The people who work on Linux have no motivation to make those giant changes. So I don't see it happening.

    What "giant changes"? And sure they do. Do you know how many people are involved in KDE, Gnome, Gnucash, Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, various open source games? They all want to see Linux, or at least Open Source, succeed on the desktop, and are putting in tremendous effort.

    There's one big thing, I think, that will prevent this from happening: the GPL. Any company that does any proprietary work on Linux will be forced to give its source code away to anybody who asks for it, making it impossible for that company to have a competitive edge in the marketplace. That takes the wind out of the old business plan.

    You're assuming that they'll have to modify the kernel or other GPL software. That is unnecessary. You can make all sorts of changes to the Linux environment without doing that. And although I agree that companies putting effort into making Linux easier is useful, it is by no means the only way that Linux on the desktop could take off.

  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @05:30PM (#4883556) Homepage Journal
    Actually, this is more of a glimpse into why Belluzzo is a more adaptable businessman than anyone at Microsoft, apparently. It seems he has the capacity to negotiate and build relationships. That's valuable, and it also seems like Microsoft thoroughly lack this quality.

    It's like, if you don't do what Microsoft wants, on some level they will throw a fit- their basic response is screaming and ranting like a two-year old. They are not in the slightest bit interested about why you might want something non-Microsoft- not on an emotional level- their only real interest is in making you behave according to what they want, and you are to succeed and thrive on THEIR terms and in the way they expect. This is limiting.

    Belluzzo seems more inclined to be inquisitive- more likely to figure out what a customer's real terms are. That does not mean that he has more clout or power than Microsoft, because Microsoft's approach is geared to a straight power struggle in which they can generally win by sheer force. Belluzzo is more likely to win people's loyalty, and build relationships.

    It's rather telling that the qualities of building loyalty and relationships are sorely devalued in modern-day corporate capitalism: in fact, the way things work today, Belluzzo's skills are 'worthless'. Yet at the same time this same value system is producing a self-destructive downward spiral of reduced functionality (see the thread on worsening consumer electronics!) which is unstoppable under the corporate capitalist 'rules', and to a point will continue to be rewarded just as, to a point, the dot-com excess was rewarded.

    Belluzzo apparently adheres to an older school- one that has difficulty competing in the winner-take-everything corporate capitalist arena, but which has hidden advantages.

    Basically, this is the guy who winds up with all your customers- when you push the profit motive too far and slip up. You can go corporate Darwinist and produce junk and rig the market so there's no choice and get yourself in an IBM-like position where you're the only option, but all this really does is starve potential competitors of the ability to thrive with largish marketshares. Instead they become like Apple, thriving with a splinter. When you slip up, or your contempt for your customers becomes too great, guys like Belluzzo are there building loyalties and relationships and they are positioned to capitalize on your mistakes.

    The next guy who comes around leveraging the market and jumping up and down on tables screaming when he doesn't get his way- that guy might well grab those customers away from Belluzzo again. But not for long- only until he too screws up.

  • by BigBir3d ( 454486 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @05:40PM (#4883621) Journal
    The company as a whole has been convicted. This does not mean all people that work there are evil, immoral bastards.

    This is no different that saying all priests are homosexual, child screwing rapists.

    Neither of the above statements is true. Our emotions might sway us to think otherwise, but our rationality is supposed over-ride that.

    Unfortunately, the time for being on top of the ivory tower of ethics is gone. Most people are just happy to have a half-way decent job right now. Those of us that are the most adament about ethics are either students, or lucky enough to have kick ass jobs. Me, I am in the second group, but not in the tech sector.
  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:27PM (#4883876)
    Actually, I'd say most users are cheap AND lazy. If they can get something as good as what they've got, for less, they'll go for it.

    I think there's one scenario in which Linux could become a viable desktop alternative.

    And why exactly does a big company have to do this? KDE and GNOME are building all we need to make an easy to use desktop. They are being helped by companies, and of course people like the guys at Xandros bring it all together and make it a cohesive whole, but the idea that after all that's been achieved, of course only a big powerful corp can make Linux workable on the desktop is ludicrous.

    Never forget we're in this mess in the first place because big and powerful corps don't throw money into the black whole that is OS development. Not even Apple - if they didn't sell hardware with huge margins, OS X wouldn't even exist, and they're finding it hard going as it is.

    There's one big thing, I think, that will prevent this from happening: the GPL

    How many times does this have to be thrashed out on slashdot? It's worse than the "X is slow" thing - look at Xandros: XFM is entirely proprietary, yet they do not violate the GPL, and they still give code back to the community. The idea that the GPL makes something uncommercialisable should have disappeared 5 years ago, but still it persists, despite the existence of companies who've been around for years and make money out of free software.

    Of course, Apple already did exactly this. They just based their OS on FreeBSD instead of Linux. So the idea is sound; it's just that in GPL-land, there's no possibility of commercial motivation, which means no reason to invest the necessary time and work.

    Please, this is just pure FUD. IBM, RedHat, SuSE, Xandros, Sun, TiVO, Sharp etc are not basing their products on Linux because their top execs are all high on crack.

    This whole post is just a total troll. Every point has counter examples. It rolls the Linux Desktop up with the BSD vs GPL, along with a healthy dollop of FUD as well.

  • by yomegaman ( 516565 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:28PM (#4883885)
    Every product can be "the best product in its class", you just have to carefully choose the evaluation criteria. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:47PM (#4884389)
    ...you cannot build a computer from pieces at the same price as Gateway or Dell. This is not even including the software (OS/apps) factor.

    The $120 HD you buy retail costs Dell maybe $50 in lots of 10000. The $60 power supply we can buy costs Dell maybe $30, again, in large lots.

    Add to that some time possibly spent putting things together and running them through some sort of basic quality check before boxing it up...
    the automation of being able to build system installations from a ghost image instead of install OS, install video card drivers, install any applications, etc...

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.