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LinuxWorld: The terminal market [Dave McAllister Q&A]

Jul 08, 2000, 02:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rawn Shah)

"Dave McAllister, former CTO of MaxSpeed, Inc., is making a headlong charge into the Linux desktop market. With a background working for Digital Equipment Corp., then SGI, McAllister has a history of interesting product development. At SGI, he was instrumental in helping the company develop its Linux server products."

"LinuxWorld: Why did you move to MaxSpeed?

Dave McAllister: I went to MaxSpeed for two reasons: One is that they have a definite commitment to Linux and [particularly] Linux on the desktop. [President/CEO] Wei Ching has a vision that within five years, Linux will control 30 percent of the world's desktop marketplace in the home, in the office, everywhere. And that's the missing piece of our Linux revolution right now, so I'm really thrilled to be over there now, driving that vision."

"LinuxWorld: So instead of making a desktop Linux distribution, as most other companies are trying to do, you are going for the terminal market?

Dave McAllister: Yes, the low-cost hardware [market]. The barriers to entry for Linux have been threefold: One is the distribution ease-of-use -- the user experience, if you will. Two is in the applications -- we are still working on that. And three is the cost of hardware entry. ... Well, the thin-client space, in conjunction with this new ASP model that is rolling out, says, "why does it matter what operating system the application is running on?" You want the application sitting on your desktop to be reliable, scalable, and work 100 percent of the time. So Linux and solid-state electronics seem to be [the right] match to make that happen."

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