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Paul Ferris — All Apologies

[ The opinions expressed by authors on Linux Today are their
own. They speak only for themselves and not for Linux Today.
]

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….