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Linux.com: Is Linux the VAR's Dream?

Jul 03, 2000, 12:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Phil Hughes)

"As soon as computing started to get commercialized, Value Added Resellers (VARs) appeared, helping to integrate computers into traditionally computer-free environments. My standard example is a dentist's office. The dentist doesn't care about software, operating or computers; he only cares about getting patients scheduled and billed."

"Back in the old days, meaning the 60s and 70s, operating systems were simply necessary evils to make it possible to sell hardware. You could get source code for the OS because, after all, what would someone do with an OS that ran only on a $5,000,000 piece of hardware that you could buy only from one source? Even in the 80s, getting at least a linkable version of the kernel and source for the device drivers wasn't uncommon. I remember getting this in 1983 when I was starting SSC and we bought a Codata 3300 system."

"Then along came Microsoft and, on the UNIX side, SCO. Computers were relatively inexpensive and the OS was made by a different company than the hardware. In order for these independent OS software companies to pay the bills, they needed to sell their OS. Thus, the inside of an OS became a big secret in order to keep the money flowing."

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