"Are you concerned about the Time Warner-AOL merger? My
feelings about it are mixed."
"On the one hand, the Internet box they are introducing will
run Linux, which warms my Penguinista soul. If you think about
it, they didn't have a wide range of choices. Microsoft views AOL
as its biggest rival, and surely would not have cut them a deal on
WinCE. Epoc is not sufficiently sophisticated and Apple has shown
no inclination to port OS-X. And Linux is free, which is a
consideration if you are planning on giving away the 'Net boxes for
free and then charging for 'Net access. If you also Communicator,
the software won't cost you a dime. I expect they chose Linux over
*BSD because Linux has achieved greater exposure."
"On the other hand, 55% of 'Net users are already AOL
customers and AOL stands over them like a bull elk guarding his
cows. There has been a lot of hand wringing over AOL's refusal
to open up its instant-messaging software. That does not augur well
for its treatment of other entities on the 'Net. But a large part
of Corporate America still regards Open Source with fear and
loathing. The thinking in the boardroom was probably that if they
published the standard, the spammers would have a field day and AOL
would lose customers. They could allay some fears (and avoid some
lawsuits) by reversing their stand on AIM and making some or the
entire source code available under the Gnu Public License."
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