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Letter to the Editor: An Open Response to Ronny Ko

Apr 30, 2001, 18:30 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Adelstein)

Opinions expressed by contributors to Linux Today's 'Community Column' and Letters to the Editor are not necessarily those of LinuxToday's staff or management.


By Tom Adelstein

I find Ronny Ko's article self-serving, a writer looking for backlash hits from the Linux community.

At my job with Bynari, we see the inside of the Linux movement very clearly. Our primary business takes us to the Fortune 1000, various global organizations and large school dsitricts like the Los Angeles Public Schools.

Microsoft on the desktop has held its market share. Microsoft has let its server share slip dramatically. NT workstations have major competition from Linux, Sun Solaris, HP UX and AIX especially with GNU program support. Every major UNIX distribution has fresh ports of GNU disributions on their web sites.

IBM, Compaq, Sun and Dell could write their own versions of Linux. But, they have no plans to do that. These OEM' support Linux companies, have alliances with them and plan to expand those alliances. How do I know this, by doing business with these companies at the product management level. My information comes from the mouths of people with P&L responsibility and a budget.

Linux and GNU have made exceptional strides in the workstation space. Additionally, our OEM partners say the take rate on Linux high-end notebooks for developers runs high

As I wrote in an article on Osopionion.com , "Paying to Use Free Software?" Microsoft's XP strategy looks similar to IBM's attempt to capture all PC Sales back in the 1980's with the PS/2 and MicroChannel architecture. They bet the farm on it and lost the farm.

Similarly to IBM, Microsoft has lots of cash to regroup, but with XP, they're making a "take it or leave it" statement.

As I wrote in my article, "The Free DCE Project," Microsoft uses UNIX DCE from the Open Group as the basis of their OLE and Active X strategy. With this technology they could strand users with their workgroup technology. The FreeDCE Project can allow Linux to catch up quickly. XP isn't a "no hope" philosophy. Au contrare, they left the door open just like IBM of the 1980's did. Neither can unseat such large installed user bases when those users have legitimate alternatives. One can easily call Linux a viable alternative.

Linux companies, in the shadows where the press doesn't venture, have put our industry in much better shape than the PC industry of the 1980's. Oh, for those who were too young to remember, companies like Dell and Compaq were merely gleams in an investor's eye.

If Ronny Ko wants to say good-bye to Linux and the FSF, I understand. We journalists make such mistakes. In the heat of making deadlines, we sometimes fail to do the research necessary to write clear and accurate articles. It's the pressure of the job.

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