Behind the provocative headline, there are some rather
thought-provoking quotes from Japanese business executives who say
that IBM is trying to hijaak Linux for its own ends, and in the
process take control of Linux from the core Linux developers and
the greater Linux community. The article also blames the "casual"
attitude of Linus Torvalds as one reason why investors and
corporate customers are losing interest in Linux.
"An executive of one of three Japanese firms talked
about the undersurface activities. He said: 'In November 2001, IBM
approached us all of a sudden about making this tie-up. I had
understood the purpose of IBM as to develop the 'enterprise-use
Linux' market so that large-scale corporate users could adopt Linux
more easily. To realize it, according to IBM, we have to motivate
the community to modify the kernel of Linux; and the cooperative
action of four firms will be more effective than suggestions made
by IBM alone.'"
"An executive of another affiliated company said that he felt
the passion of IBM, which is determined to invest US$1 billion,
this year alone, in Linux. 'IBM's passion really dragged us into
this movement,' he added."
"He also said: 'I can get a glimpse of the strong will of IBM,
which has recently regained its business strength, with an
indication that 'there shall be no free ride on Linux to be
enhanced by IBM investing a huge amount of money.' In the 1990s,
just like IBM, we suffered from the business offensives of
Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., Oracle Corp., EMC Corp.,
and others. However, we hope that we will come back to be a leader
in the next round by leveraging our services. This kind of change
symbolizes the history of IT industry, where Linux, open-source
software, happens to exist as a tactical tool."