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InfoWorld: IBM's Gerstner warns of proprietary 'trap'

Oct 11, 1999, 18:13 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Garretson)

"In several thinly-veiled references to Microsoft during his keynote address at Telecom 99 here, Gerstner warned against efforts to dominate the Internet with proprietary technology and urged telecommunications companies and computer companies to work together to hasten the Internet "revolution" that promises "a fundamental transformation in the way that things are being done in the world."

"Going forward we have a great opportunity to bring forward the best of the telecommunications industry and the best of the computer industry, and we also have an opportunity to ensure that we don't drag the worst of our industries into this new world," Gerstner told the gathering. "Now the worst of my industry -- the element that we must leave behind -- is the mentality that seeks to own and dominate standards, and to establish a choke hold based on proprietary technology..."

"The good news is that movements like Java and Linux are powerful reminders that those who bet on proprietary standards are not going to win in a heterogeneous, open, networked society," he added. "And any customer or nation who gets trapped by a closed architecture runs the very real risk of being left behind."

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