"Who are you, and what have you done with Lou Gerstner? The
ex-cookie peddler turned high-tech wunderkind has been talking
crazy this past month or so. At least you'd think so if you still
subscribed to the now-dated IBM product plans of previous decades.
Gerstner, as it turns out, is now the most ardent defender of open
systems. Gerstner says Linux is the future, and those
proprietary systems from Sun Microsystems and Microsoft are the
last of a dying breed."
"I saw a headline describing Gerstner's attacks on proprietary
systems, and I wondered what he was talking about. Before reading
the story, I figured he was going after EMC for its proprietary
storage systems. While waiting for the Web to spit forth the text
of the story, my brain wandered to Microsoft and middleware. Maybe
Gerstner was talking about the evils of COM or the goodness of
everything Java. But, no, within a few seconds, there it was in
white and black -- he was talking operating systems."
"Before we open-software aficionados get all misty-eyed, I need
to point out that Gerstner didn't actually mention Microsoft. He
talked very specifically about Sun and "other Unix vendors." I
still believe he was clearly taking a swing at Microsoft, but
didn't want to mention the company by name. Outside of the Linux
platform, Gerstner's IBM has a stable of proprietary operating
systems that puts the rest of the industry to shame. So instead of
directly chiding Microsoft, he mentioned that "some" estimate Linux
could overtake Windows NT/2000 by 2004. Makes ya wonder who "some"
might be, huh?"
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