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Inter@ctive Week: Disrupter

Apr 05, 2000, 00:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Charles Babcock)

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"When IBM executives describe Linux as a "disruptive technology," as they started doing a week ago, they don't mean that it breaks a tried-and-true pattern on a spot basis, although Linux skeptics might say that's exactly what it does. Rather, when Irving Wladawsky-Berger, general manager of the Internet Division at IBM, or John Patrick, vice president of Internet technology, refer to the operating system as disruptive, they mean it will change the rules that have governed technology selection and use."

""Linux has all the characteristics of a classic, disruptive technology on a big scale," says Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative."

"Raymond says the first mention of the term disruptive technology was in the book, The Innovator's Dilemma, by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen. In it, Christensen argues that successive waves of dominant technologies are passing through our society: The next one builds up beneath what appears to be a long-lived, enduring technology but is suddenly toppled by the unseen challenger."

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