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ZDNet: My way or the highway

Jan 23, 2001, 20:26 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lee Schlesinger)

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"Linux and Palm OS are both good operating environments, but both have distinct drawbacks. Most expert users of both platforms, if they took a dispassionate look, could probably outline those drawbacks better than anyone else. But the moment they hear a discouraging word, some of these OS partisans get lathered up and have to fight back -- even if no one was really challenging them."

"That kind of response is counterproductive to these users' causes. Rational discussion of pros and cons can lead to incremental improvement in products. But when extremists attempt to bury that discussion under a flood of peripheral issues, they quash the opportunity for improvement. They also weaken their case among dispassionate observers; if their favorite operating system can't stand up to constructive criticism and reasoned discussion, it must have flaws that such discussions would uncover."

"The trick for IT departments is to figure out what tool is right for a particular job, and use that tool. In some organizations, particularly centralized organizations that have standardized on certain hardware and software, that task may be easier said than done. In those cases, sometimes it takes a zealot to prove that the unconventional choice is the right one. That's fine -- but confine the arguments to the specifics of the situation, and don't bring up arguments that degenerate to 'Mom always loved you best.'"

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