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LinuxWorld: Why the Best for Linux is Still to Come

May 30, 2003, 01:00 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

[ Thanks to Joe Barr for this link. ]

"Hidden away in a seemingly routine industry news story by John Spooner at CNet last week was the most important PC desktop news of the year. Maybe of the past ten years. Unfortunately, the story was wrong. Michael Kanellos, Editor of Enterprise Computing and Personal Technology at CNet, told me that IBM did not [get] its story right the first time. IBM won't preload Linux after all.

"The announcement--had it been true--would have been a much more important one than Microsoft signing an SCO Unix license. It would have represented a frontal assault on the most sacred ground of the Microsoft monopoly: preloads for desktop computers. It's been a long time since a major OEM has had the courage to preload something other than Windows, even in dual-boot configurations. Don't write to me about Dell. Dell was never in the game to play. If you did manage to special-order from Dell a Linux laptop or desktop you still paid for Windows even though Dell didn't load it.

"SCO's pathetic attempt to grab a golden IP parachute on the way down is newsworthy, and I'm not saying otherwise. However, an IBM announcement to preload Linux on the desktop would have signaled the official beginning of DW II--Desktop Wars continued. The real struggle is not between SCO and IBM. Neither is it just between IBM, SCO, Novell, and Microsoft. The real struggle is between Microsoft and Linux. The monopoly is desperately trying to fend off the inevitable and prevent free/open source software from ending its monopoly..."

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