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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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  • Rocket Rick (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:18AM (#4880137)
    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.

    "Rocket" Rick Belluzzo is also the man responsible for SGI's disastrous attempt to drop IRIX and MIPS in favour of x86 workstations running Windows NT. He also dropped the uber-groovy SGI cube logo for the lame "sgi". His "reward" for almost destroying a competitor was a cushy job at Microsoft. SGI have yet to recover and it's by no means certain that they will.

    Does Linux really need supporters like this?
  • Big story... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NightRain ( 144349 ) <ray@cyron.[ ]au ['id.' in gap]> on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:18AM (#4880143)
    Man works for MS uses Windows, moves to Quantum, now uses Linux! Film at 11!

    Sorry, but I just don't get the big deal. He worked for a company that made Windows. Of course he will use it. He then moves to a company that uses Linux for a lot of their operations, and now uses Linux. I mean, who'd of thought? :)


  • MS Approach to Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by schaefms ( 633516 ) <junkNO@SPAMmarkschaefer.org> on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:22AM (#4880173)
    Interesting that the "company line" on Linux is to stand up and yell at their customers about it. I've dealt with some reasonable MS employees, but I haven't dropped the "L" bomb yet.
  • by burninginside ( 631942 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:24AM (#4880182)
    guy used to work at ms and now uses linux...

    i'm still waiting for the interesting part...
  • An Interesting Q&A (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TrollBridge ( 550878 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:24AM (#4880189) Homepage Journal
    "Would you consider yourself a Linux advocate now? I consider myself an advocate of whatever allows us to achieve our goals most effectively."

    Notice Mr. Belluzzo didn't tack on "as long as it's open source" at the end of his answer. I think that is exactly the right position that business leaders should be taking when deciding what software to use. I think that many times, the more zealous OSS activists refuse to acknowledge that commercial, closed-source software can sometimes be the most appropriate solution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:26AM (#4880199)
    Dedicated to teaching quality Trolling skillz

    STEP 1 : Pick a story and search through for a highly-rated or otherwise prominent comment in which someone uses a nubmered list. For example, you want to find something like this:


    1. Blah!
    2. Blah!
    3. Blah!
    For example, I selected this post [slashdot.org] as a prime target. There are only a few things to keep in mind: pick an active story and a comment that'll be seen by a lot of people as the target of your troll. The comment MUST contain a numbered list, similar to the above, although the exact style of numbering can vary. Also, try to pick a comment that hasn't already been trolled this way. Every comment with a numbered list will eventually get hit, so you want to be quick.

    STEP 2 : Take careful note of the method of numbering that your target post is using. It really doesn't matter, as long as it's numbered. For example, in this post I use text like "STEP 1", "STEP 2", etc. Note this carefully. This method of trolling makes the most sense when the list is a list of ordered steps (such as this vary document you are reading), BUT if the numbered list is something different, such as "REASON 1:", "REASON 2:", etc., hit it anyway! Your troll will be more esoetric and non-sequitur, but all the better: trolling doesn't always HAVE to make sense. Sometimes it's fun to confuse people.

    STEP 3 : Now you'll put the information gained from step 2 to good use, as you attack the target you selected. This is where it gets complicated, so pay attention. This is easiest to explain with a couple of examples. Let's say your target looks like this:


    • 1. I am a Slashbot!
    • 2. Gosh, I hope I don't get trolled!
    • 3. Blah blah blah, whore for karma!
    • 4. In conclusion, I'm SO smart!

    Now, to pull off your masterfult act of trollage, you'll want to sneak in, post a reply, and do this:


    • 4. ???
    • 5. PROFIT!
    Let's say that the post you're replying to is a bit more complex:

    Reasons Linix is so great!
    *REASON 1: My allowance won't cover expensive software.
    *REASON 2: Completely off-topic rant about Microsoft.
    *REASON 3: I love Linix!!

    Now you want to come in and do this:

    *REASON 4: ???

    Note what I did there: I emulated the exact style of his numbered list, and then added to it in order to cleverly troll him. THAT is the key. If he numbers his list using bold, use bold. If your target uses all caps, use all caps. If he uses Roman Numerals, use Roman Numerals (hint: I II III IV V VI VII VII IX X, then everything repeats from there), etc. Make YOUR list seem like an naturally-flowing conclusion to your TARGET's list. Then give him HELL! Here's the general key:

    1. Blah!
    2. Blah!
    3. Blah!
    X. Blah!

    X+1. ???
    X+2. PROFIT!

    I know it gets complicated when you throw in the algebra, but you should be able to do it. Keep track of the numbers on a piece of paper if you have to. It's vary difficult, but once you try it out, you'll get the hang of it. It's an aquired skill that can only be improved through hard work and practice. So get out there and troll!

    Here's a summary:

    STEP 1 : Pick your target (active, contains numbered list)
    STEP 2 : Gather information (style of the numbered list)
    STEP 3 : Nail the target by adding on to his own list!
    STEP 4 : ???
    STEP 5 : PROFIT!

    See, I even did it to my own damn list! That's how easy it is once you become a master at this discipline of trolling! Good luck, young Jedi!!! Go out and troll the world, you motherfucking cuntrag bitches!! [www.ghg]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:39AM (#4880284)
    I didn't get an error message but I did go to Netcraft and they are definitely using Windows 2000 and IIS5. Go figure.
  • Re:Make a Change :-) (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:56AM (#4880384)
    Ha, and not just SGI...he was a big-time pro-Microsoftie during his time at HP.

    If memory serves, I believe he was the one behind HP's humungo-blunder of saying that they were going to "dump HPUX in favour of Windows NT" (which was followed by the biggest backpeddle I've ever seen).
  • Microsoft's Style (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mephie ( 582671 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:01AM (#4880420) Homepage
    If you're familiar with Microsoft's culture, my style is very different from Microsoft's style... I'm less confrontational. I'm more win-win, working with people, working with partners. People outside the company liked working with me.

    How's that for a candid look inside MS's culture? The guy likes to work with people, likes to talk to people and doesn't explode in an irrational fit when someone says "Linux." No wonder he didn't fit in.

  • Visiting www.quantum.com currently gives me:
    [Close Window]

    We have determined that your Web browser and/or computer's operating system may not support the navigation system of Quantum.com. We recommend that you either upgrade your Web browser to the most recent version or use our site map to browse our site.

    Thank you,

    --- The Quantum Web Team ---
    If that's Quantum's support of alternatives to Microsoft I'm severely disappointed.
  • by Troed ( 102527 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:26AM (#4880652) Homepage Journal
    I get a completely empty window. I'm running Opera v7 beta 2 on Windows 2000.

  • Re:Make a Change :-) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BigBir3d ( 454486 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:29AM (#4880672) Journal
    What he tries to accomplish is based on where he works.

    If he can only push a Microsoft product, then he will.

    If he can evaluate each job and use what they specifically require, then he will.

    No different than any of us. We do what we can when we can.
  • Re:That's GNU/Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wilhelm ( 5091 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:58AM (#4880948) Homepage

    It's pretty likely that since they're working on embedded systems, that they don't include any of the GNU tools. So Linux (the kernel) is the right thing to say.

  • Re:Make a Change :-) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ReelOddeeo ( 115880 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:28PM (#4881168)
    What he tries to accomplish is based on where he works. If he can only push a Microsoft product, then he will.

    Some of us actually have morals, ethics and values that don't change based on where we work.

    It is enough for me, in my business, to be successful. I don't have any requirement that everyone else must also fail in order to measure my success by.

    Let me put it differently with a hypothetical example...

    Today, suppose I work for a church/charatible organization/etc. so I do good deeds. Tomorrow I get a job working for the mob, so I kill people.

    What he tries to accomplish is based on where he works.

    What I try to accomplish, helping people, or killing them, is based on where I work at the moment.

    If he can only push a Microsoft product, then he will.

    If I can only kill people today, then I will. (Or destroy other businesses, destroy competition, remove opportunity from an entire industry, etc.)

    If someone can be so two-faced, then you probably shouldn't trust them. They probably have no genuine interest in your company if they work for you. Their interest changes at the whim of who they are whoring for at the moment.

    Maybe it isn't this way with Rick Belluzzo, but on the face of it, but it is one plausible interpretation of the facts. So does this guy really prefer Linux?
  • by Twirlip of the Mists ( 615030 ) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:39PM (#4881255)
    Because most end users are cheap.

    This is a common misconception. 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.

    Most end users are impatient and lazy. (Not in the derogative sense; I, too, am impatient and lazy, and chances are you are too.) They run Windows or Mac OS for the same reason that they buy their computers pre-assembled: because they can get up and running faster and with less work.

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

    I think there's one scenario in which Linux could become a viable desktop alternative. A large and profitable company could adopt Linux, base a business plan on it, and make the necessary changes to make it easy to use and easy to learn. The company would have to be large and profitable because Linux would require a great deal of work to get where it needs to be, and the company would have to be able to survive spending a fortune on Linux for a few years while they do what they need to do.

    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.

    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.

    Server operating systems, naturally, don't have to be easy to use or to learn at all. That's why companies like IBM and SGI are shipping big servers that are built from the ground up to run Linux: they only have to make a few changes to the OS to get it to do what their customers need, and their competitive advantage is the hardware, so releasing the source code of their OS is no big deal to them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:29PM (#4881744)
    Ah but your wrong. Look at the desktop distros. They are increasingly trying to emulate windows' ease of use (with some success...mandrake is one of the easiest to transfer to from windows. What will mandrake 9.1 look like?) All that needs to be done is to make it increasingly idiot-proof. I mean, look at windows. How long did it take before it was really usable by just about everyone? Win 3.11 was a horror for net access. I say, now that the linux distribution community is looking at the interacting part as the most important, in a year or two linux will be comparable to windows. (Think of where Wine and CrossOver Office will be by then! Ok so wine may be evil to some people, but it is really advantageous if you have a windows app that will never be ported to linux)
  • suure. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kguilber ( 586327 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:42PM (#4881842)
    Yet Quantum's site launches a popup window to tell Mozilla users their browser may be incompatible. If they are going to use Linux, shouldn't they support the popular Linux browser?
  • Apple certainly could have used the Linux kernel and much of the GNU software rather than BSD. Which by the way, you are incorrect in stating that it was based on FreeBSD. Only with the newest darwin release (used by OS 10.2) is it actually based on FreeBSD code. Previously it was based on a much older branch of BSD and Apple brought in some features from FreeBSD.

    In any case, the point is that if Apple had used Linux and GNU then they would have to release their modifications to GNU utilities and Linux under the GPL rather than taking BSD licensed code, modifying it, and releasing the changes under the more restrictive APSL. They would still have been completely free to run their own windowserver and other proprietary software on top of Linux.

    What exactly is it about the GPL that seems to just scare the shit out of most commercial developers? Please quit spreading FUD about how we should all make our code "free in the truest sense of the word" under a BSD license. The arguments have been gone over several times, and the only thing I've ever gotten out of them is that as a free software developer I'm supposed to be a charity to everyone in the world. Sorry, that's not how it works for me-- I expect in return for showing you some of my code that you show me some of yours.

  • by drive ( 621617 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @03:32PM (#4882767)
    this is just my understanding of the grandparent's post and the GPL versus the BSD license. i don't intend to start a flame war, ok? if i'm wrong, correct me. it's the only way i'll learn... if a large company was to do what with linux (under the GPL) what Apple did, they would invest a signifigant amount of cash into development costs to produce a desktop focused, user-friendly OS. under the GPL they would have to release their source. this would put competitors at an advantage and also allow a free release of their OS making it difficult to profit. for free software and open-source developers the GPL is great. it allows us to learn and grow from the existing codebase. but for a publicly traded company, it simply does not make sense. why would i spend money on OS X if i could get all the source for free? or for that matter if another company could get Apple's source (Apple is only an example) and produce a similar product which they release for free. again, if am i wrong correct. but this is why i think the BSD license is more attractive to commercial developers.
  • by Alex Belits ( 437 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @09:19PM (#4884823) Homepage
    Rick Belluzzo at different time was a head, and had destroyed Silicon Graphics/SGI and HP. Then he went to Microsoft, did nothing of value but was paid a giant amount of money as a "loan" that was promptly "forgiven", and Rick himself was gently kicked out when the "loan" story became widely publicized.

    Both HP and SGI were Microsoft's major indirect competitors -- they were producing large servers along with Sun and IBM, and now neither HP nor SGI have a working servers division, their native architectures are abandoned, their servers are not anymore significant players anywhere. SGI also was a direct competitor to Microsoft in workstation business, now workstations are no longer produced, after a major fiasco with an attempt to produce a Windows-based workstation using SGI technology. Also I am not sure what role Rick Belluzzo played with selling SGI patents and software to Microsoft that is now being used to prevent the development of OpenGL, and leave Microsoft at the controls of pretty much everything 3D.

    All this looks like he either was Microsoft's puppet from the very beginning, or that he is clueless moron who can't make a single business decision without being influenced by Microsoft. Since at Microsoft he did precisely nothing, "loan" looks suspiciously like a payoff for this shining example of service that he did for Microsoft while being a trojan horse in other companies.

    I have no idea what mentally deficient people can place him into a CEO position anywhere -- and I should better steer away from anything that Quantum will produce under the management of this crook.

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend