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Rant Mode Equals One: Software that works anytime, anyplace, any device

Aug 26, 1999, 16:52 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Ferris)

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By Paul Ferris, Staff Writer

These are some thoughts that were running through my mind recently as I was reading Bill Gates comments and Microsoft's' new motto. To quote directly from the article:

Microsoft's next move is to help revolutionize the workplace by creating software that works anyplace, and on any device.

I like that. It's an opportunity to explain some strengths that Linux today has over Microsoft's current offerings, and even future ones.

First: The Revolution. Linux and Open Source/Free Software make up the true revolution. It's a revolution in software design, both in content, and in method. Those that wish to say we lack innovation are only kidding themselves: the Linux movement is extremely innovative and allows creativity on the desktop by enabling people that know how today, and those that want to learn tomorrow.

Second: Software that works anyplace. It's nice how I can login to my Linux box at home, and run a word processor loaded there on my workstation at work. It's done with a tried and true protocol: X Protocol. Too bad Microsoft didn't think of something like that, even though they were initially involved with the X consortium way, way back (hard to imagine how they could have missed this cool functionality).

Today, if you want anything similar to this technology from Microsoft, you must purchase, at extra cost, Terminal server. The product has limitations and cost that Linux does not have.

As for remote managability, this is a huge issue that is a strength for Linux. It's simply unbeatable in this area.

Third: Any device?!? Who are we trying to kid here Bill? You say this as the sole remaining hardware platform for Windows 2000, besides Intel, is dropped. Now, there's real choice: Do you want Intel/Microsoft, or real choice? Linux and whatever hardware - there is choice in that arena.

Are you going to jokingly suggest that the Palm PC running Windows CE is going to "revolutionize" anything? What about scalability now that all other platforms but Intel have been dropped from the equation? There are even rumors that Win64 won't even run on Merced.

But the quote I adore, however is this one: "We still have a lot of work to do, The end is not in sight."

I think an end is in sight here, but I won't expand on that analogy, no sir.

But I will agree totally with the first part of that sentence. Microsoft, you still have a lot of work to do. Without a doubt. Where do we want to go today? Let me tell you, we're already there.