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SearchWin2000.com: Open-Source Vendor: 'Microsoft Will Try to Kill Us'

Oct 08, 2002, 19:00 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Margie Semilof)

"Is it showtime for Linux on the desktop? There are plenty of IT administrators who're ready, particularly in the wake of Microsoft's Licensing 6.0. But there's work to be done before the penguin is ready for its desktop close-up. Ximian Inc. in Boston is pushing for the adoption of the GNOME desktop, an open-source platform, and is developing application productivity software and development tools. Nat Friedman was one of the architects of the GNOME Foundation's proposal and charter. He is also co-founder and vice president of product development at Ximian and a spokesman for the open-source movement. Friedman recently talked to SearchWin2000.com about the state of the open-source desktop.

"What are some myths about desktop Linux?

"Nat Friedman: 'Linux is a hodgepodge and therefore more expensive.' Linux is not a hodgepodge. We've done a lot of work in the past 18 to 24 months. Our goal is that you have a desktop and not a collage. A desktop is aesthetically harmonious. There is a similar theme--you can drag and drop, cut and paste. These things are not hard to do, and we've achieved them all. 'Where do you need integration? Between the word processor, e-mail and the browser?' We've solved them. We have an integrated set. We had the release of OpenOffice from Sun, the release of [the Ximian] Evolution 1.0 groupware suite. It's totally integrated. Then you have the Connector [Ximian Connector for Microsoft Exchange], which lets someone with a Linux desktop use an Exchange Server as a first-class citizen. There is Mozilla, a standard Web browser. From the component standpoint, there's been a lot of convergence during the past six months. On the marketing side, Microsoft is driving everyone to dial our number. With Licensing 6.0, Microsoft has their finger on the pain dial, and they can dial up to whatever they want to. Microsoft won't change its licensing plans, though it may yield in some small ways. Microsoft has to maintain insane levels of growth, but the fact is people don't need more functionality from their software..."

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