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Paul Ferris -- All Apologies

Sep 03, 1999, 19:20 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Ferris)


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By Paul Ferris, Staff Writer

It's here! September fools day. I've decided that I should retract a few incorrect comments that I've made in the past, for the benefit of Linux Today readership. I've always wanted to be fair, impartial, non-partisan, androgynous, somber, sober and level-headed. Well, this is my attempt.

First, I'd like to apologize to Microsoft. I thought that they were trying to divert attention from their client side problems by staging a server challenge a couple of weeks ago. Basically my argument was that their client problems were much worse, and by making a lot of noise about how good their server was doing, they could divert attention away from that area.

Well, given the recent Hotmail scandal and surrounding controversy, I guess I was wrong. It looks like their server problems are just as bad as their client problems. Worse maybe. Yeah, I know that Hotmail is rumored to run on FreeBSD and Apache. I also know that I can purchase the best darn alarm system for my car, and leave it parked with the door open and the keys in it in downtown Cleveland.

Microsoft I'm so sorry, I guess I misjudged that one!

Second, I'd like to apologize to Microsoft. I suggested that their Intel Merced port wasn't going well in another one of my articles, based upon some rumors. They demoed the system the other day and promised that the beta of the operating system would be available by early next year. God knows what they will ship in the mean time for people wanting 64 bit technology. Yep, their Merced port is right on schedule. Even if you may want true 64 bit technology and it's available multiple places, you might wanna wait a bit and become a beta tester before you go out today and buy say, a 64-bit Compaq Alpha system or some other proprietary Unix.

Gee, I guess I shot my mouth off there!

Third, I'd like to apologize to Red Hat. Seems I was pretty down on their IPO and wrote, get this, a cook-book on how to write an anti-Linux-IPO. Well, the stock exceeded all expectations, so I guess I have egg all over my face.

Red Hat, sorry you guys are doing so well. Geeze!

Fourth, I'd like to apologize to Microsoft (again). Seems that I was suggesting that they really didn't support software that runs on any device. I went as far as to suggest that the remote management capabilities in Linux were superior to Microsoft's Windows NT. Then it turns out that their Java machine is so good, heck it even allows remote management capabilities. Talk about software that works! Any Place and Any Time you could be accessing a foreign web page and the guys supporting that page could remotely manage your PC! Microsoft promised a fix, but I have to ask why they are removing functionality that CEO Bill Gates was just bragging about days ago? Go figure!

Golly, I guess I was wrong again!

I'll tell you, It's horrible, having a conscience like mine. I feel so guilty... Geeze. I had the gall to suggest that Microsoft might just possibly, I know this is a stretch here, announce products that either they have no intention of producing, or that they are just beginning to work on to catch up with their competitors. I call these tactics Smoke-Ware and Stall-ware respectively. Well, I guess I'm once again to be educated in the ways of Microsoft. Recently, when Sun announced a free office suite with a Web-based future, Microsoft was hot on the heals of that announcement with one of their own.

I was tempted to write a story about it, but Amy Wohl of Wohl Associates, added that Microsoft wasn't just announcing their product to confuse the marketplace.

I'm glad she cleared that up. I guess I'm just confused about the way they work, and the amazing coincidences of the software world. It's probably some kind of group conscious mind that has had Microsoft and Sun both working on the same product and announcing it almost at exactly the same time!

Man, do I have egg on my face with that one.

Fifth, I'd like to say I'm so sorry to Microsoft (surprise!) again. I've made the suggestions over and over that they have somehow singled us out for destruction. I made it sound like I believe that Microsoft thinks that the Linux community is their worst enemy.

Well, rest assured, I've come to the conclusion that we aren't Microsoft's worst enemy. Nor is AOL, even though right now Microsoft is locked in a real fist clencher with them as well. Nor is Sun. No, Microsoft's own worst enemy seems to be Microsoft. Any more security breaches, holes and PR boon-doggles and I think that their PR agency will have to obtain divine intervention to accomplish their tasks. It's getting to be so many in a row that the negative Microsoft press releases are almost exceeding the positive Linux ones.

It's one thing to point out positive features in your product that will help it sell against the competition. It's another thing to point out negative features in your competitors product that help sell yours (there is a difference, but it's subtle). But right now, it's just getting down right unsporting to kick them. Heck, reality is dealing some serious blows to the head, so it's no use me kicking anywhere else. Not that I would dare mind you.

Well, there you have it. This was an attempt, as I said, to make up for all my misgivings and inaccuracies. But, you know what? One of my close friends just read over this and had the gall to suggest that I was being sarcastic! You try hard to be fair and unbiased and what do you get?

You get accused of being an unfair, sarcastic, Linux-biased, drunken, angry male! Geeze.

After I crack open a couple of Fosters I guess I'll have to apologize to him too....