Letter to the Editor: An Open Response to Ronny Ko
Apr 30, 2001, 18:30 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Adelstein)
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I find Ronny Ko's article self-serving, a writer looking for
backlash hits from the Linux community.
At my job with Bynari, we see the inside of the Linux movement
very clearly. Our primary business takes us to the Fortune 1000,
various global organizations and large school dsitricts like the
Los Angeles Public Schools.
Microsoft on the desktop has held its market share. Microsoft
has let its server share slip dramatically. NT workstations have
major competition from Linux, Sun Solaris, HP UX and AIX especially
with GNU program support. Every major UNIX distribution has fresh
ports of GNU disributions on their web sites.
IBM, Compaq, Sun and Dell could write their own versions of
Linux. But, they have no plans to do that. These OEM' support Linux
companies, have alliances with them and plan to expand those
alliances. How do I know this, by doing business with these
companies at the product management level. My information comes
from the mouths of people with P&L responsibility and a
Linux and GNU have made exceptional strides in the workstation
space. Additionally, our OEM partners say the take rate on Linux
high-end notebooks for developers runs high
As I wrote in an article on Osopionion.com , "Paying to Use Free
Software?" Microsoft's XP strategy looks similar to IBM's attempt
to capture all PC Sales back in the 1980's with the PS/2 and
MicroChannel architecture. They bet the farm on it and lost the
Similarly to IBM, Microsoft has lots of cash to regroup, but
with XP, they're making a "take it or leave it" statement.
As I wrote in my article, "The Free DCE Project," Microsoft uses
UNIX DCE from the Open Group as the basis of their OLE and Active X
strategy. With this technology they could strand users with their
workgroup technology. The FreeDCE Project can allow Linux to catch
up quickly. XP isn't a "no hope" philosophy. Au contrare,
they left the door open just like IBM of the 1980's did. Neither
can unseat such large installed user bases when those users have
legitimate alternatives. One can easily call Linux a viable
Linux companies, in the shadows where the press doesn't venture,
have put our industry in much better shape than the PC industry of
the 1980's. Oh, for those who were too young to remember, companies
like Dell and Compaq were merely gleams in an investor's eye.
If Ronny Ko wants to say good-bye to Linux and the FSF, I
understand. We journalists make such mistakes. In the heat of
making deadlines, we sometimes fail to do the research necessary to
write clear and accurate articles. It's the pressure of the