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osOpinion: What OS/2 and Linux Can Learn from *Survivor*

Jul 17, 2000, 07:28 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Nadeau)

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"Despite all the hokum and cultural self-deception that we live in a "meritocracy," the truth is that the mediocre, the weak, and the ignorant have always found a way to survive by ganging up against the wise and the good. In the software industry, we have seen Microsoft's anti-excellence brigade dominate through clever alliances with such PC makers as Packard-Bell, NEC, and Compaq -- makers of proprietary, wimpy machines that are difficult to maintain and service and are subject to all sorts of goofy failures. Weak-minded consultants who cared only for cash instead of providing quality to their clients -- well, they jumped on the bandwagon as well. Wimpy software is the perfect match for wimpy PC's and wimpy minds, of course, since there are plenty of blameworthy people to point the fingers at...."

"In the real world, reliable and flexible platforms like OS/2 Warp and Linux are seen by many mediocre programmers and highly-paid but overrated consultants as threats to their carefully arranged hegemony of mediocrity. There's nothing like being able to tell the client, "Sorry we had to come by today and charge you $800 to restore your data on your PC, but that's Windows. There's nothing we can do about it. Oh, well, too bad." There's nothing like having a steady stream of "maintenance" income from systems that collapse like a house of cards when you push them at all. There's nothing like the handy treadmill of ever-more-expensive "upgrades" in software, that coincidentally also require "upgrades" to the hardware. Nobody will "die" in this scenario, because the current regulatory regime will just rubber-stamp a takeover by a bigger company that has more resources to donate to the cause of maintaining mediocre systems, just like the producers make sure nobody will "die" on the television program."

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