Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Linux Uprising

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the when-penguins-attack dept.

Linux Business 406

ballpoint writes "Business Week is featuring a list of articles under the header 'The Linux Uprising' including topics like 'Red Flags for Red Hat' and 'A Bad, Sad Hollywood Ending?' touching everything dear to the Slashdot community. A good read to align yourself with what mainstream businesspeople are fed."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

the first post uprising (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355672)

it could happen

Re:the first Ninnle uprising? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355733)

Never happen!

All is well on Planet Ninnle!

Oh, BTW, FIRST NINNLE POST!

postus firstus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355674)

probably not, but it's worth a try

POSTUS FIRSTUS? MORE LIKE FAILUS VOMITUS! (-1, Offtopic)

I VOMIT ON FAILURES! (652124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355743)

You so failed it, boy! Better luck next time, but for now, taste my half-digested lunch!

zog (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355676)

moose flavored pants all the way

mondo is my favorite 80's drink !!!

"Hollywood Ending" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355679)

if that means the end of Hollywood, fine with me. Oh, and fp.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355684)

first post?

Did someone say Steak?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355688)

A good read to align yourself with what mainstream businesspeople are fed.

I could sure go for a tasty steak right now! I know business people eat steak a lot... mmmm... steak!

I'm a business man... (4, Funny)

jpsst34 (582349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355689)

No time to read the articles, just gimme the jist.

Re:I'm a business man... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355725)

Well sir, the jist is that linux will make your company more attractive to sexual deviants, whereas putting some Macs in a prominent location (ie; the lobby) will make your business more attractive to homosexuals.

It's funny... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355781)

Because it's true.

Re:I'm a business man... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355798)

Your implication is that homosexuals are not sexual deviants. You must believe that homosexuals are normal. Ergo, you, yourself must be a homosexual. QED.

Fag.

Re:I'm a business man... (-1, Troll)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355812)

Sure, just open your mouth and close your eyes...

*unzips*

Oh, sorry, you said jist!... my mistake!

Daniel

Re:I'm a business man... (5, Insightful)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355891)

The jist is,
You can no longer play the "blame it on Microsoft game". You have to get up your lazy a$$ and do some research before recommending a m$ product next

Coz, next time you recommend a m$ solution, chances are your customer will ask ..Whats this linux thing We are hearing about ?

And if you say , "Oh its just some geeky thing used by hackers ." Chances are they might ask, "Oh yeah then how come IBM and HP and so many other big guns are supporting it ?"

Re:I'm a business man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355978)

"Before using open-source software, tech companies must sign a license in which they promise to give away innovations they build on top of it."

Oh boy...

Linux Uprising? (5, Funny)

kevinvh (652481) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355698)

Guess Business Week's next story will be about the dramatic increase in the stock price of companies that manufacture Suspenders..

Re:Linux Uprising? (5, Funny)

fiftyLou (472705) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355913)

From the B. Perens Interview:
The only way to stop open source is to make it illegal. If they're not going to make it illegal, it's pretty hard to stop it.


Hey Bruce, you givin' away the play book now? ;-)

Quick! (3, Funny)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355708)

grab your torch! I need help storming AMD's HQ to "convince" them they need to release the Athlon64 now, and not on Microsoft's timetable. Think more favorable Businessweek articles.

A bit dramatic? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355711)

You read the first paragraph of the article and you get the impression of Linus, Alan and RMS just limping down the road with a torn GNU/Linux rampart and whistling the *nix equivalent of Yankee Doodle. Not really a bad picture but what's the *nix equivalent of Yankee Doodle?

Re:A bit dramatic? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355779)

...what's the *nix equivalent of Yankee Doodle?

My dick.

In your ear.

Re:A bit dramatic? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355864)

Yankee Linus came to Redmond
Riding on his pony
Shoved a.....
errrr ohh you mean the real version?
I was thinking about the one I sang on 5th grade.

Re:A bit dramatic? (1)

VP (32928) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355997)

but what's the *nix equivalent of Yankee Doodle?

I don't know about *nix in general, but for GNU/Linux this [gnu.org] is probably appropriate...

The Romanticizing of "The Linux Uprising" (5, Interesting)

sidvishus9 (652515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355716)

I think it's pretty funny how everybody is trying to make this whole topic into a "underdog is always the good guy" Rebel Alliance versus Evil Empire thing. I think once mainstream people understand that big businesses use linux, lots of it's out-of-the-way appeal will be lessened.

The penguin force: (1)

incom (570967) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355964)

Nooo... Resist the Dark side, the evil emporer gates musn't prevail.

next article ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355740)

how to structure your comapany just like Eron using linux..

Re:next article ..... (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355887)

Do you mean Enron?

So nearly "Funny", but you cocked it up with a typo - Doh!

Re:next article ..... (4, Funny)

spotlight2k3 (652521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355970)

maybe he just shredded the "n" to hide the evidence

you guys never amaze me (-1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355741)

I like this site enough to hit it everyday, but you seriously need to get over yourselves. Everything Microsoft does is not bad, and everything about Linux is not good. Linux is a decent file and web server, and thats about it. Its not a revolution, it has not become what it was so hyped to be. It just may be possible that what 'mainstream business america' is being fed about Linux is closer to the truth than you would ever admint.

Re:you guys never amaze me (0)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355756)

YES, there are other sane people who read this site!!!

Re:you guys never amaze me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355788)

It's obvious you never got past the a) install linux; b) exclaim loudly "it's not Windows!"; c) remove linux phase.

Linux does a hell of a lot more than file and web serving and it does all of them a lot better than Windows.

Better? Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355971)

"Linux does a hell of a lot more than file and web serving and it does all of them a lot better than Windows."

If that were true, hardly anyone would use Windows. The fact remains that more people do choose Windows because it does a lot of things better than Linux. Linux does do a few things better than Windows, of course. But only some.

It is much more a matter of suitability to task than it is a matter of some vast conspiracy pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.

Re:you guys never amaze me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355820)

Not only that, your post is not a troll! Yet it becomes so on slashdot.

Everytime linux is criticized, all its zealots clamp their hands over their ears and start screaming 'LALALALALALALALALALA'.

It's not perfect, not in form nor function. Not in usability, portability, scalability nor practicality. Thats not saying its awful, but its not what slashbots wish it was.

It's a great server, sure. Should you throw out your Win 2k domain controllers in favor of SAMBA? Not IMO, since you'll give up a lot of functionality (active directory, remote administrations) and create a lot of headaches.

Should you redevelop your enterprise website for Apache? Maybe, if the benefits outweigh the cost.

These are things businesspeople understand and propellerheads dont. (Propellerhead is a more apt word than geek, as it connotes the attitude but not insight or intelligence)

Red flag linux (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355750)

Is a chinese linux distro [redflag-linux.com]

Date of the article? (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355752)

The date of the article is March 3, 2003. Is this the short term future of Linux? I wonder if the stock market info on the sidebar is from that date as well!

Re:Date of the article? (1)

__drewmerc (642198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355769)

it's a weekly publication, and the web sees things before the newstand gets them... this is next weeks coverstory

Re:Date of the article? (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355794)

The date of the article is March 3, 2003. Is this the short term future of Linux? I wonder if the stock market info on the sidebar is from that date as well!

And what would you like to tell your ($ageInDays + 13)-year-old self? ;)

Re:Date of the article? (2, Funny)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355911)

Hmm.. Good question!

($ageInDays + 13)-year-old =
( 12156 + 13 )-year-old =
12169-year-old

I'd like to tell my 12169-year-old self:

"Hey, good job on staying alive so long! I'll bet that 666th year was a killer!"

Oh, to be alive in AD14172. Can you imagine my Slashdot Karma by then? Of course, the conversion to IPv32 was a real pain...

making chips for linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355758)

Corporations under intense pressure to reduce their computing bills began casting about for low-cost alternatives. Second, Intel Corp., the dominant maker of processors for PCs, loosened its tight links with Microsoft and started making chips for Linux.

what exactly is "making chips for linux?" i've never heard of any special linux processor...

Re:making chips for linux? (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355890)

does the reporter think that "originally" intel would only run MS or something? Prolly the same guy that asks "how do i put columns in my word document?" .. "Ah see the little picture of the columns, click on that.."

Chips for linux? (5, Funny)

macshune (628296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355760)

"Second, Intel Corp., the dominant maker of processors for PCs, loosened its tight links with Microsoft and started making chips for Linux. This made it possible for corporations to get all the computing power they wanted at a fraction of the price."

Specialized linux chips? Why didn't I see this posted on /.???? This is possibly the biggest story this year!

Re:Chips for linux? (1)

Athrawn17 (626453) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355790)

So does this mean that since they now make chips specifically for Linux, that previously they made chips just for Microsoft???

They screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355801)

They meant to say "Doritos ... started making Linux flavored chips."

Re:Chips for linux? (1)

jda487 (646991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355826)

funny... i thought we wrote software for a type of hardware, not designed hardware for a type of software...

Re:Chips for linux? (2, Interesting)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355924)

Java chips? Though thats kind of cheating, since it's just making a Virtual Machine concrete.

This is quite easy to explain: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355977)

reporters are ignorant, lazy mutherfuckers.

Re:This is quite easy to explain: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5356023)

mod parent DOWN off-topic and flamebait but UP fucking insightful.

Great... now the PHB will never go for Linux... (4, Funny)

Dman33 (110217) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355966)

Me: Read this article on Business Week... it outlines the history of Linux and it's increasing presense in corporate America, at least on servers...

PHB: Intel chips for Linux? No way! I would rather pay the licensing for Win2k Server than replace all of the hardware with special Linux chips that I have never heard of!

Me: Linux chips? Wait... Mmmmmm... chips. Mesquite chips.... or salt-vinegar chips.... okay, going to the cafeteria... you need anything?

PHB: No thanks.

No wonder nothing ever gets done around here....

That's for the new LSI project. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355974)

The Linux Salsa Initiative.

intel making chips for linux (2, Insightful)

charmer (205543) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355777)

you can see for yourself that the article is so shallow: Here is a quote in the context of why linux is becoming popular: "Second, Intel Corp., the dominant maker of processors for PCs, loosened its tight links with Microsoft and started making chips for Linux. This made it possible for corporations to get all the computing power they wanted at a fraction of the price. "

Edited to make RMS happy. (-1, Troll)

Pay The Fuck Up! (563397) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355782)

The GNU/Linux Uprising
How a ragtag band of software geeks is threatening Sun and Microsoft--and turning the computer world upside down

Meet Nicholas Walker, digital nomad. Like blues musicians who once wandered the South singing for their supper, this 18-year-old high school dropout lives out of a suitcase--sometimes trading his software programming skills for a place to crash or some spending money. His travels have taken him far and wide, from a programmers' confab in Istanbul to Massachusetts Institute of Technology's famed Artificial GNU/Intelligence Laboratory. Walker's fresh, earnest face tells all: He's an idealist. He believes in sharing his software innovations with others. "I'm not comfortable with selling the things I do and making money from them," Walker says during a stopover at his parents' home in New Hampshire.

Three hundred miles to the south, on the 12th floor of a Manhattan office tower, Walker has an unlikely soul mate. Jeffrey M. Birnbaum, 37, is managing director for computing at brokerage giant Morgan Stanley's Institutional Securities Div. He's so buttoned-down that he wears a suit on Casual Friday. You would think this cog in the capitalist machine would have nothing in common with young Walker. But Birnbaum is betting Morgan Stanley's (MWD ) technology future on the kinds of software projects, called "open source," that Walker participates in.

Birnbaum has fallen hard for GNU/Linux, a penny-pinching open-source alternative to computer operating systems such as Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT ) Windows and Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (SUNW ) Solaris. He's busy replacing 4,000 high-powered servers running traditional software with much cheaper machines running GNU/Linux. Projected five-year savings: up to $100 million. Does it bother him that counterculture kids like Walker have a hand in GNU/Linux? Not a bit. "We see their work, and it's good," he says.

Just when it seemed the technology world had lost its fizz, a powerful movement is on the rise. A ragtag band of open-source programming volunteers scattered around the globe--and hooked up via the Internet--is revolutionizing the way software is made. At the heart of what they do is GNU/Linux, an operating system flexible enough to run everything from an GNU/IBM supercomputer to a Motorola (MOT ) cell phone. Because it's open source, GNU/Linux can be downloaded off the Web for free--though it's typically bought by corporations as part of a package that includes service.

The computer realm may never be the same. Imagine the havoc in the energy business if some newcomer started giving away gasoline. GNU/Linux is bringing on a convulsion of that magnitude in tech. Practically every tech company is being forced to figure out how to take advantage of GNU/Linux--or to avoid being swept aside by it. And don't be fooled by GNU/Linux' harmless-looking penguin mascot, Tux: This stuff is shaking up the balance of power in the computer industry. It poses the biggest threat to Microsoft's hegemony since the Netscape browser in 1995.

Backed by technology titans such as GNU/Intel (INTC ), GNU/IBM (IBM ), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ), and Dell (DELL ), GNU/Linux is just now going mainstream. From DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) to Tommy Hilfiger (TOM )--not to mention just about every major brokerage on Wall Street--GNU/Linux is gaining ground. Coming from near zero three years ago, it has grabbed 13.7% of the $50.9 billion market for server computers. That figure is expected to jump to 25.2% in 2006, putting GNU/Linux in the No. 2 position, according to market researcher IDC. And get this: Starting this year, No. 1 Microsoft's 59.9% share in the server market will reverse its long climb and slowly slide backwards, predicts IDC. Meanwhile, GNU/Linux is finding its way into countless consumer-electronics gizmos, including Sony PlayStation video-game consoles and TiVo TV-program recorders (TIVO ). "Has GNU/Linux come of age? The answer is absolutely, positively, unequivocally yes," says Steven A. Mills, group executive for GNU/IBM Software.

No one could have seen this one coming, not even GNU/Linus GNU/Torvalds, the young Finnish programmer who wrote GNU/Linux as a cut-down version of Unix for the PC in 1991. GNU/Torvalds figured it would be a free plaything for computer hobbyists who weren't satisfied by what big tech companies like Microsoft and GNU/IBM produced. "If someone had told me 12 years ago what would happen, I'd have been flabbergasted," says GNU/Torvalds.

How did GNU/Linux make the jump into the mainstream? A trio of powerful forces converged. First, credit the rotten economy. Corporations under intense pressure to reduce their computing bills began casting about for low-cost alternatives. Second, GNU/Intel Corp., the dominant maker of processors for GNU/PCs, loosened its tight links with Microsoft and started making chips for GNU/Linux. This made it possible for corporations to get all the computing power they wanted at a fraction of the price. The third ingredient was widespread resentment of Microsoft and fear that the company was on the verge of gaining a stranglehold on corporate customers. "I always want to have the right competitive dynamics. That's why we focus on GNU/Linux. Riding that wave will give us choices going forward," says John A. McKinley Jr., executive vice-president for global technology and services at Merrill Lynch & Co., which runs some key securities trading applications on GNU/Linux.

Microsoft takes the threat seriously. While it is holding on to its monopoly in desktop systems, GNU/Linux' march into servers threatens a key growth area--one that controls much of the Internet. Microsoft Chairman William H. Gates III and CEO Steven A. Ballmer decline to answer questions on the subject. But James Allchin, the group vice-president who runs the Windows business, calls GNU/Linux "the No. 1 competitor for this company," ahead of even GNU/IBM and Sun. Because it's free, GNU/Linux is undercutting Microsoft much the way Microsoft has gutted its rivals with lower prices for the past two decades. But Microsoft insists that Windows is more capable than GNU/Linux and argues that innovations--such as its Tablet PC technology--will keep coming from commercial software outfits.

Frustrations, though, run high. One Microsoft executive, chief strategist Craig Mundie, even calls GNU/Linux unhealthy for the technology industry. "It ultimately is a question about whether societies are going to value intellectual property or not," he says.

He has a point. The computer industry has been built on a simple premise: Companies invest to create software, sell it, and pour a good part of the proceeds into building more. Now, with the open-source philosophy, that stream of revenue is threatened. And it's not just because the GNU/Linux operating system is free. Before using open-source software, tech companies must sign a license in which they promise to give away innovations they build on top of it. "The business doesn't go away," says Eric von Hippel, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management. "But it changes forms. Instead of making money from the operating system, you are going to have to make it elsewhere."

For tech companies to thrive in this new world, they'll have to operate differently. This could mean building businesses around selling services, as GNU/IBM does, or creating software that runs on top of GNU/Linux, like Oracle Corp.'s database (ORCL ). Dell Computer Corp. benefits from GNU/Linux and sidesteps its dangers by staying out of the software business altogether.

Longer term, the open-source movement threatens vast sectors of the software industry. True, since the volunteer programmers often lack specialized knowledge, complex business applications are probably beyond their range. But basic open-source databases and e-mail are already available. What happens if corporate customers begin gobbling them up? While no one knows how far open source will go, it could deflate profits.

Like all big shifts, the GNU/Linux phenomenon will produce winners and losers. Likely winners include GNU/IBM, which specializes in high-performance computing and is selling twice as many GNU/Linux servers as any other computer company. Processor maker GNU/Intel is riding GNU/Linux' coattails into the world of high-powered computing. And Dell is pumping out low-priced GNU/Linux servers and selling them directly to companies via the Net.

While Microsoft stands to lose from GNU/Linux, the movement is inflicting far greater damage on Sun. Some of Sun's customers are migrating to GNU/Linux machines, which perform similar tasks at a fraction of the price. Online stock trading site E*Trade Group Inc. (ET ), for example, replaced 60 $250,000 computers that run on Sun's Sparc chip with 80 GNU/Intel-based GNU/Linux machines costing just $4,000 a pop.

What could derail GNU/Linux? The biggest risks are intellectual-property issues. SCO Group, holder of the original patents for Unix software upon which GNU/Linux is based, has announced plans to form a licensing division and hire superlawyer David Boies to press its claims against sellers of GNU/Linux. Another potential problem: There are a handful of commercial versions of GNU/Linux. If they evolve into substantially different programs, software companies that sell applications might have to create a separate version for each type of GNU/Linux.

None of this, though, looks likely to halt GNU/Linux' advance any time soon. So far, the threat of patent claims is not deterring customers. And sellers of GNU/Linux vow to keep their versions compatible with one another. A recent survey by Goldman, Sachs & Co. shows that 39% of large corporations now use GNU/Linux. While many companies haven't tried it yet, analysts expect an improved version coming out this year to tempt a new wave of corporate tech buyers.

The GNU/Linux phenomenon spreads like water--finding its way into all sorts of surprising nooks and crannies. And that's by design. When GNU/Torvalds started writing the operating system on a $3,500 computer while a graduate student in Finland, he made it both compact and flexible, so it could be used in a host of ways. He also decided to share the technology freely with others. The idea: Take it, build something, share what you make. Within weeks of the now-auspicious Aug. 25, 1991, date, when GNU/Torvalds first posted the bare bones of his little program on the Internet, dozens, then hundreds, of people from Japan to New Zealand to the U.S. were responding with encouraging words, fixes, and new features. He had tapped into a vibrant underground community--true believers in the principles of open-source software--that would help him build GNU/Linux into a global phenomenon.

GNU/Torvalds, now 33, still orchestrates this digital quilting bee. He has final say on everything that goes into the updates of his operating system--and doesn't mind being called the "benevolent dictator" of GNU/Linuxland. These days, GNU/Torvalds' day job is programming for startup chipmaker Transmeta Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif. He speaks at GNU/Linux conferences from time to time. But for the most part he prefers to stay in the background, writing code, exchanging e-mails with his comrades-in-arms, and spending his free time with his wife, Tove, the six-time women's karate champion of Finland, and their two daughters.

GNU/Torvalds appears unspoiled by success. While he makes no money directly from GNU/Linux, he cashed in on the boom modestly by selling some stock he was given before the 1999 initial public offering of GNU/Linux seller Red Hat Inc. After that, he traded in his old Pontiac for a sporty BMW Z3. Mainly, he says, he just wants to have fun, which he considers a prerequisite for good programming. "People need to be able to goof off," he says.

The open-source movement's roots are decidedly more radical than GNU/Torvalds'. In this software revolution, Richard Stallman, a former programmer at MIT's Artificial GNU/Intelligence Lab, plays the role of Karl Marx. The 49-year-old Stallman, with his flower-child hair, has long believed in free software, uncontrolled by copyrights. Back in 1984, when he set out to build such a system, it seemed downright utopian. But Stallman persevered. With a small group of programmers, he started building free software programs. Stallman also created the licensing system on which GNU/Torvalds would eventually base GNU/Linux.

Open-source software programmers say they're different from Stallman in one major way: They don't have a problem with people making money off their work--or making money themselves. Miguel de Icaza, the Mexican programmer who created GNOME, software that makes GNU/Linux easier to use, in 1999 co-founded Ximian Inc., a private Boston company that sells software for making GNU/Linux easier to install and update. Still, de Icaza says it's passion for the work and not the prospect of riches that drives him. "I can't tell if I have worked all my life or if I have never worked a single day of my life," he says.

But if GNU/Linux' surge continues, it will be due in large part to the Goliaths of the tech industry. Companies including GNU/IBM, GNU/Intel, Oracle, and Dell have thrown their weight behind it--and have given the technology credibility with corporate tech buyers. GNU/Intel, for instance, interested in expanding its role in the corporate server market, convened a meeting of Wall Street heavy hitters to consider GNU/Linux on Dec. 6, 2001, at the Michelangelo Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Gradually, GNU/Intel and the Wall Streeters persuaded software makers such as storage specialist VERITAS Software (VRTS ) and financial-information suppliers such as Reuters Group (RTRSY ) to up their commitment to GNU/Linux. "GNU/Intel's muscle on this was incredible," says Bridget E. O'Connnor, chief technology officer at Lehman Brothers Inc. (LEH )

As it happens, GNU/Linux fits comfortably with the strategic imperatives of many of the industry's behemoths. Take GNU/IBM. For a change, it's on the cutting edge of a technology shift. That's because in late 1999, Samuel J. Palmisano, then head of GNU/IBM's server group and now the company's CEO, asked his staff what the next big trend would be in servers. Their answer: GNU/Linux. Within a matter of weeks, intensifying during what became known as the "Christmas meetings," GNU/IBM decided to make GNU/Linux a pillar of its strategy. During the next year, it earmarked $1 billion to retool its software and computers to run on GNU/Linux and devoted 250 engineers to working with the open-source community. With GNU/Linux, GNU/IBM was able to put tremendous resources behind the trend toward lower-cost GNU/Intel chips without becoming ever more dependent on Microsoft, its archrival in corporate computing.

Today, GNU/Linux and GNU/IBM are as inseparable as Las Vegas animal tamers Siegfried and Roy. Big Blue has more than 4,600 GNU/Linux customers. About 15% of the GNU/IBM mainframe capacity shipped in the first half of 2002 ran GNU/Linux. And in the fourth quarter, GNU/IBM sold $160 million worth of GNU/Linux servers, equal to the combined tally of its nearest competitors, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, according to market researcher Gartner Inc.

Get caught on the wrong side of GNU/Linux, though, and you take a pounding. Scott G. McNealy's Sun Microsystems, for example, is losing contracts to rivals who embraced GNU/Linux first. "Clearly, GNU/Linux poses the greatest threat, at least in the short term, to Sun," says Thomas P. Berquist, of Goldman Sachs.

McNealy is using a two-track strategy to grapple with GNU/Linux. For the top of the market, Sun is racing to keep its own Solaris software a step ahead of GNU/Linux. At the same time, it's selling basic machines running GNU/Linux for simple tasks such as serving up Web pages. "We have a very deliberate plan here. We're going to stay focused. We're not going to do what GNU/IBM or HP are doing--abandoning a 20-year investment in mission-critical Unix operating systems. They're marooning customers," he says.

While McNealy donned a penguin suit during an analyst's conference on Feb. 6, 2002, to show his love for the operating system, the penguin has yet to return the love. Sun just started selling GNU/Linux servers last fall. In the fourth quarter it racked up just $1.3 million in GNU/Linux server sales in the U.S., compared with $675 million in sales of its Unix-based servers, according to Gartner.

Contrary to just about every other tech company and sage, Sun insists that the biggest impact from GNU/Linux will come on the desktop. It's tooling up to begin selling desktop computers loaded with GNU/Linux and its own GNU/Linux-based StarOffice suite of word processor, spreadsheet, and database programs. Yet analysts say Microsoft's Office software, with better than a 95% share of the market, is so entrenched that it will be hard to supplant. Faced with the costly prospect of converting vast terabytes of Word and Excel documents, desktop users will likely stick with Microsoft, predicts analyst Al Gillen of IDC. "Microsoft won the desktop battle a long time ago," he says.

Still, large companies are jumping on the GNU/Linux bandwagon for servers. And with so many bruisers aboard, there's scant room for startups. Among them, only Red Hat is a bona fide success. Like a half dozen other upstarts, it sells packages including GNU/Linux software for desktop computers and servers. But because of the ban on selling GNU/Linux itself, Red Hat is essentially selling related software, ongoing technical support, and maintenance for corporations. Three years after going public, the company made its first-ever profit in its third quarter ended Nov. 30--a scant $305,000, on $24.3 million in revenues. It seems to have staying power, though, thanks to distribution deals with the likes of GNU/IBM, HP, and Dell. And it got certification on Feb. 11 to sell to the Defense Dept.

While a host of GNU/Linux-oriented startups were launched in the late 1990s, most of them were geared to selling to dot-coms--many of which have since gone out of business. A dozen GNU/Linux companies failed in the past two years, including Loki, a gaming company, and Eazel, which was making GNU/Linux easier to use. VA Software Corp. (LNUX ), formerly VA GNU/Linux Systems, a maker of GNU/Linux-based computers, is just hanging on as a seller of software-development tools--this only three years after it broke all IPO records with a share price that soared 698% on the first day of trading.

A handful of industry giants can make the market grow faster than an army of startups ever could. That's especially true internationally, where the big companies can afford to operate sales forces in all the major countries and many minor ones. GNU/IBM, for instance, sold GNU/Linux computers to China's postal service for 3,200 post offices in a single province. Last June, Germany's Interior Ministry and GNU/IBM signed a contract to enable the public sector in Germany to buy GNU/Linux.

It's no surprise that industry giants such as GNU/IBM, GNU/Intel, HP, and Dell dominated the GNU/LinuxWorld conference at New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in January. Their huge booths crowded out the more modest digs of Red Hat and Ximian on the show floor. During a ride down the escalator on the way out of the building, three Gen Y guys dressed in black and sporting multiple facial piercings seemed to represent a passing era. One of them, talking on a cell phone to a friend, called the gathering "boring." Down-escalator, a young woman dressed in a camouflage shirt and pants and a pink babushka heartily agreed. "It's all Big Business now. GNU/Linux has been taken over by the suits," she sneered.

Her name was oh-so avant-garde: Scirocco Six. Yet it turned out she was working for none other than Microsoft.

These days, even the titans of industry are hurrying to act like rebels. But as the GNU/Linux movement continues to push its freeware into the world, a delicate balance is forming. Its success hinges on keeping the peace between two extremes: the volunteer programmers like Nick Walker, who pull all-nighters writing code to change the world, and the commercial types like Morgan Stanley's Jeffrey Birnbaum, who use the software to save money. It's a weird twist on capitalism. But it just might work.

Hrmph. (-1, Flamebait)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355793)

Linux is dead to me. Long live FreeBSD. (But seriously ... I don't like desktop Linux. It rocks for servers, though. It just doesn't float my boat ... I mean ... why would I use Linux/X11/KDE|GNome as my desktop, when I can just use Windows XP?)

Re:Hrmph. (1)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355848)

The whole point about Linux is the ability to choose. Which is better, being able to decide between XP and Linux or being forced to use XP because all competition is gone?

Re:Hrmph. (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355936)

FreeBSD.

But yes, I understand your point. Currently I dual boot Windows XP and BeOS. Tears my heart out that Microsoft squashed Be :(

(Admitedly, Microsoft isn't the only thing to blame.)

Re:Hrmph. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5356011)

There has been, and there always will be alternatives to Windows. Just because windows has won 95% market share doesn't mean that the "competition is gone".

Re:Hrmph. (4, Insightful)

Rojo^ (78973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355895)

Someone just asked me this not too long ago. Here's what I emailed her back:
No Microsoft for many reasons, really. I view Microsoft as the Borg (Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.), so anything Microsoft says can be done with a highly restrictive license scheme, I try to find an Open Source method of accomplishing the same task. OpenOffice or KOffice instead of Microsoft Office, Apache with php3 / Washington University FTPD instead of MS Internet Information Services, etc. The Open Source community also seems to be in closer compliance with net-standard RFC's than MS proprietary products. For example, Mozilla has much better handling of cascading style sheets and web page icons than Internet Explorer, and includes some really nice features such as mouse gestures for page navigation. I use a variant of Mozilla called Phoenix on the help desk. Open source instant messengers, ssh (secure telnet), network protocols, all that stuff can be more easily and cheaply implemented in Linux than in Windows. Avoidance of malicious programs is another reason. Viruses are spread in Windows. How often do you hear about a Mac virus? Malicious web applets targetting Internet Explorer, spyware (a biggie) targetting Windows, having to patch security flaws every week or two because of skript kiddies playing with toys that break into computers, all that gets old. Finally, freely available software.
www.freshmeat.net [freshmeat.net] and www.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net] are good examples. Besides all that, I already have a Windows computer as a desktop that I can play games on. For what I would use a laptop for -- DVD's, music, diagnostic / data recovery tool, etc, Linux would better suit me.

Mac viruses??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5356021)

"Viruses are spread in Windows. How often do you hear about a Mac virus?"

I heard about Mac viruses before I ever heard of them on Windows. Now, the Mac is so obscure I don't hear of anything running on it, let alone a virus.

Re:Hrmph. (3, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355941)

I mean ... why would I use Linux/X11/KDE|GNome as my desktop, when I can just use Windows XP?)

I use Linux/X11/KDE|GNome on my desktop because that's where all the apps I use are. If all your favorite apps live on WinXP, you should probably be using that instead, naturally. And, if/when everybody's favorite apps are on Linux/X11/KDE|GNome, that's when people will put it on their desktops.

It's all about the apps.

Re:Hrmph. (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5356026)

Exactly! That's why I use Allaire HomeSite 4.5.1 for PHP development, and Mozilla for web-browsing. I also use MS Office 2000 for word processing/spreadsheet (Upgrade to Office XP? NEVER!). And (*shudder*) I use Outlook Express for e-mail. I suppose maybe I could use Mozilla for e-mail, but I'm too darn lazy (see my firstpost yesterday where I reveal that I haven't upgraded my server to SSL yet - although I did that today).

If I ever fully switch to the Eclipse platform for PHP coding, then I might install FreeBSD on my desktop. But that's a ways off in the future. Until then, my LAN consists of 1 GUI-Less FreeBSD Server, 1 Windows XP Pro workstation, 1 Windows 2000 Pro workstation.

Re:Hrmph. (1)

Leers (159585) | more than 11 years ago | (#5356003)

because when xp has no crash recovery. Win2k is more stable then xp. Yes, I admit it does seem to shutdown and restart nicely, but restarting your computer is just so 90s.

survey says? (2, Funny)

macshune (628296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355806)

"Frustrations, though, run high. One Microsoft executive, chief strategist Craig Mundie, even calls Linux unhealthy for the technology industry. "It ultimately is a question about whether societies are going to value intellectual property or not," he says."

No, they don't! Evidence: Napster, Kazaa, et al. Casual piracy in the workplace. Mix-tapes. etc.

Art (4, Interesting)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355817)

I like the Bruce Perens interview, Programmers are like Artists, where he explains the motivation behind open source from a developer's viewpoint. Imagine you're a talented painter, but the only way to make a living at it was to work on a corporate art assembly line, where each artist is responsible for a few specific brush strokes in a particular color (which is actually how "starving artist" paintings are done). Of course you'd be working on your own canvases in your spare time, and giving them away if that were the only way to be seen.

Re:Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355896)

I dont like his assessment.

I view what I do for a living as an engineering task, largely, and not an artistic one.

I have specs and requirements to meet, I'm not trying to express myself or invoke feelings in the end users.

There's some creative thought involved, but I'm not creating art - I'm creating a product.

When you follow his 'programming is art' argument you drag every coder into the pretentious arthouse bullshit. The guy starving in the gutter for his 'art' is good, the graphic artist who makes money designing magazine ads is a 'sellout'.

Fuck Bruce Perens and his pretentious ideas. No wonder he's out of work.

Art is anything (1)

OmniVector (569062) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355965)

that contains beauty. Programming is very artistic if you look at it from the right perspective. (Perhaps the obfusicated coding contest is a bad example :)

This is the motivation behind many OS programmers. The people who love to code are the ones who don't need money to do it. They code because they love to.

Who Cares? (0, Flamebait)

reallocate (142797) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355819)

Who cares? This is just reporters and editors conjuring phony contests and trumped up stories. Car magazines have been doing it for years. Ditto the computer press. (I'd include Slashdot, too, but that would demean the other members of the media.)

Linux IS mainstrem (5, Insightful)

argmanah (616458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355834)

The only thing bothersome with the articles is the idea that Linux is still something that's "rebellious". It's not. No, it doesn't have the market share that some of the other operating systems out there has (ahem), but just because you're not #1 in market share doesn't make you a niche technology. Linux IS mainstream. It's proven itself time and time again.

Just because Ford (or whatever car comany) has market share, it doesn't make my buying a Honda "rebellious". It just might be the choice that fits my needs better.

Executives need to know that Linux isn't a rogue OS. It's a choice you can make that provides different features. For those whose requirements would be better by Linux, they need to know they are simply making another mainstream choice.

Business Week needs to catch up to the present.

Re:Linux IS mainstrem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355951)

So what you are saying is Linux is mainstream even though it isn't used by very many people? Perhaps you should look up the definition of 'mainstream', moron!

The process not the product (4, Insightful)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355963)

Linux is certainly mainstream, but the process behind Linux (OSS) is certainly not mainstream, especially to a business audience, hence the "rebillious" description.

Re:Linux IS mainstrem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5356024)

Mainstream: [reference.com]
Representing the prevalent attitudes, values, and practices of a society or group

Newsflash- a bunch of pasty white, pear shaped loser nerds do NOT represent the 'prevalent attitudes' of society.

ooo... "e-mail" ! (4, Funny)

kevinvee (581676) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355836)

... since the volunteer programmers often lack specialized knowledge, complex business applications are probably beyond their range. But basic open-source databases and e-mail are already available.
Beyond the obvious argument about specialized knowledge, I'm really interested in this complex business application they call "e-mail." Has anyone else heard of this? I hear It's making waves through the internet.

Re:ooo... "e-mail" ! (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355906)

Everyone knows that Microsoft invented e-mail! Those Unix/Linux programmers must have reverse-engineered it or something...

Linux keeps on winning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355838)

Everybody likes a winner. And as the saying goes, nothing succeeds like success". There's no doubt about it, Linux is the winner.

Linux is good karma. It is true that success breeds more success. Of course we can all think of examples of failures where each passing day brings news of more failure. You can't buy good karma. Either you have it or you don't. Thankfully, Linux has plenty of good karma, and how!

Re:Linux keeps on winning. (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355934)

>> Thankfully, Linux has plenty of good karma, and how!

Linux only has good karma because the brainless slashbots keep modding up his comments without reading them.

It's the Mascots (5, Funny)

Nikk Name (649179) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355843)

It all boils down to the mascots. Right now, the Linux symbol is a cute cartoon penguin.

For Microsoft, the symbol right now is a fat guy in a skintight butterfly suit.

Now, which mascot is more appealing?

Re:It's the Mascots (1)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355993)

Actually I think Darwin's Hexley [http://www.hexley.com/] might give your damned penguin a run for his money. I mean we dont have "Platypus Racer" running on embedded ATM displays yet but there is definately potential.

The Linux Uprising? (3, Interesting)

macshune (628296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355846)

Mildly off topic I know, but it's strange when events like open-software gaining acceptance in the marketplace are called 'uprisings'(as though open-source programmers are so terribly disenfranchised) while real uprisings, like the 'L.A. riots' that happened in part to bring about social change for increasingly disenfranchised and marginalized groups have less grand language applied to them (e.g. 'riot').

Re:The Linux Uprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355967)

Probably because the riots in LA, Seattle, etc. were more about looting and destroying than they were about making a political statement. In every protest you have 10% people who are truly looking for change, 40% who are pretending to be looking for change but don't really want it because they might have to stop wearing Gucci, and 10% who are just waiting to smash the windows of a shop owner who is barely able to support his family.

gross margins (4, Insightful)

InodoroPereyra (514794) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355858)

An interesting figure from one of the articles [businessweek.com] :

It will be hard to replace the 50% to 80% gross margins of the software business with the 20% or less gross margins typical for software-service companies.

This is the main issue in open source: using open software for your business is a no-brainer (unless there is no open source solution for your problem), however developing open source software and making a living out of it is not easy. I am not saying it is impossible, it is just pretty difficult.

I have the feeling that the next main contribution to Free/Open Source Software will come from a business person, not from a developer. We need to find a way so that people can make money producing (as opposed to "using") free software, without compromising the spirit of free software.

Red Flags for Red Hat (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355859)

When I first saw the title "Red Flags for Red Hat", I first thought they were referring to this [kuro5hin.org]

Turns out, it's just talking about how they don't make much money.

Intel making chips for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355861)

Intel Corp., the dominant maker of processors for PCs, loosened its tight links with Microsoft and started making chips for Linux

What chips did Intel make for Linux?

They still don't get it. (4, Insightful)

auferstehung (150494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355863)

Open-source software programmers say they're different from Stallman in one major way: They don't have a problem with people making money off their work--or making money themselves.

Implying that Free Software has a problem with people making money which isn't the case given:

Since "free" refers to freedom, not to price, there is no contradiction between selling copies and free software. In fact, the freedom to sell copies is crucial: collections of free software sold on CD-ROMs are important for the community, and selling them is an important way to raise funds for free software development. Therefore, a program which people are not free to include on these collections is not free software.

found here. [gnu.org]

It might be said that Free Software has a problem with how you go about making money off of software not the fact that you do.

Problems with Stallman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355917)

Stallman himself has an ill-informed and extremist political agenda. When you get right down to it, he does have a problem with people making money off of their own work and trades.

Poor Tux (0, Flamebait)

BenSite85 (550659) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355866)

No wonder those business folk don't get Linux. The pic of Tux holding the 'Linux Power' sign looks like a dim-wit.

Modding Down Trolls - ahhhh, so satisfying! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355894)

I just spent all five mod points nuking troll posts from ACs and idiot logins. Ahhhhhhhhh. That felt GOOD! Rob, gimme some more points! I'll keep nuking trolls like splattering newbies with a rocket launcher! HA!

Monkeys flinging shit! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5356032)

So good that you could find some no-good-shits to dump on!

Slashdot wouldn't function correctly if moderators used their points to elevate underrated posts!

Not All's Well that Ends Well ... (5, Insightful)

Jack Comics (631233) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355914)

Here's a quote from one of the linked articles that I think sums up what most Linux advocates fail to realize:

"The revenue growth isn't particularly impressive," says Paul McEntire, portfolio manager of the Marketocracy Technology Plus Fund (TPFQX ), which has owned the stock in the past. Moreover, he says, Red Hat's financial results don't persuade him that it can be solidly profitable in the future. Mostly, he worries that it would take only a little price competition from Microsoft (MSFT ), which goes up against Linux in the operating-system market, to see the return of red ink. Notes McEntire: "Microsoft hasn't really responded to the Linux threat yet."

Should Microsoft ever truly respond to the Linux threat, say by slashing their prices of Windows XP/Windows 2003/Windows Whatever in half, and slash the prices of Microsoft Office in half (much as they have already done in a recent promotion for Apple Macintosh users), it's game over for Linux on the desktop. Xandros is $100. LindowsOS is $130. Hardly anyone would be willing to switch to Linux, when for just $20-$50 more, they can buy the latest and greatest version of Windows, and avoid that steep learning curve and lack of "critical applications" that Linux tends to bring.

I especially see this coming as the other divisions of Microsoft, such as MSN and the XBox, while still losing money, are not losing as much money as they used to, and thus Microsoft would no longer have to rely on Windows and Office as their cash cows so much as they have done in the past.

Re:Not All's Well that Ends Well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355943)

I installed Linux in my butthole and it has worked wonders as a file server and feces-management system!

Of course more rhetoric (0, Flamebait)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355927)

And don't be fooled by Linux' harmless-looking penguin mascot, Tux: This stuff is shaking up the balance of power in the computer industry. It poses the biggest threat to Microsoft's hegemony since the Netscape browser in 1995.


You'd figure they'd heard of MOSAIC... being Businessweek... and doing their research and all...

Besides Tux is cute.

cognitive dissonance - linux needs microsoft (1)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355942)

The only thing linux has going for it IS miscrosoft. without the upgrade tax, proprietary everything, kludgeware and the ususal but pervasive anti-MS sentiments I honestly don't see linux making any buzz outside of the geek community. Now that you have achieved admirable underdog status is it only a matter of time before the mainstream press picks up on the infighting and anti-red hat and general holier than thou sentiments. Keep this in mind, circle the wagons, and make corporate inroads while you can.
(Oh and you had better thank god for Apple's proprietary hardware or Linux wouldnt even get the occasional thought.)

So was google (4, Insightful)

pb (1020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355947)

Although you'll also see articles like this [vnunet.com] out there.

I thought the "Red Flags for RedHat" article was actually pretty good--after all, investors are cautious now, and for good reason; also, Linux distributions haven't been making money, especially when compared to sales of other server operating systems, and a lot of people are looking at the bottom line now, after getting burned.

So, yeah, RedHat is a great company with a solid product... but always, always do your research first. I think that's a very responsible position to take. If you believe in RedHat, buy some stock--but don't bet the farm on it, especially if you might need that farm someday.

Uh.... (1)

Saint Mitchell (144618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355950)

The biggest risks are intellectual-property issues. SCO Group, holder of the original patents for Unix software upon which Linux is based, has announced plans to form a licensing division and hire superlawyer David Boies to press its claims against sellers of Linux

I didn't think Linux was based on UNIX. BSD was, but not Linux. It's a UNIX work-a-like, I'll give them that. But based on code from it...maybe 1% if that. Am I way off here?

Re:Uh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5356027)

Linux was based on (a copy of) Minix, which AFAIK is a UNIX(tm) OS.

Call it a night, KY cowboy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355955)

I'm around 52 now and this got me to thinking about what advice i'd give myself as a 25 year old. for some reason, it was amazingly difficult to come up with anything except:
(1) don't stay in a relationship that's anything less than euphoric for at least the first 3 months and
(2) don't stay with anyone you (majorly) fight with more than twice a year. (yes it is possible).
I'm thinking that the reason there's so little advice to give is that by 25 there's a good chance that you have learned not to have regrets. and once you have no regrets, its difficult to say that you would have changed anything.

Pretty weak... (4, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355968)

I read over the "Red Flags for Red Hat" article, and I have to confess I found it pretty weak.

The notion that a company which went from a $2m loss to a $300,000 profit, which has a clear majority in terms of install base and which is the only company making money in its segment is headed for trouble seems like seriously flawed thinking to me.

It seems pretty clear to me that Red Hat has the rare gift of competent management. Maybe RH isn't going to see a big pop in the next quarter, but it's hard to see how the "next five years" view isn't looking pretty rosy. I don't see the fact that it's not back to it's stupidly high .com-era stock price as any sort of a reasonable warning sign.

Anyhow, I own a couple thousand dollars worth of RH shares, so maybe I'm just believing what I want to.

On the other hand ... *BSD is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355972)

Elegy For *BSD

I am a *BSD user
and I try hard to be brave
That is a tall order
*BSD's foot is in the grave.

I tap at my toy keyboard
and whistle a happy tune
but keeping happy's so hard,
*BSD died so soon.

Each day I wake and softly sob
Nightfall finds me crying
Not only am I a zit faced slob
but *BSD is dying.

Why don't things evolve? (2, Interesting)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355973)

THIS ARTICLE IS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO BE VIEWED BY ADULTS AND THEREFORE MAY BE UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 17. THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: PROVOKING THOUGHTS (PT), EXPLICIT SARCASM (ES), OR CRUDE INDECENT SPELLING (S).

Why don't things evolve?

I keep thinking about the space shuttle, and open-source, and Microsoft; also of tiny winged dinosaurs recently found in the Mongolian Highlands. All these controversies and discoveries start me thinking -- but mostly the dinosaurs. Why did those little dinosaurs sprout wings? What was the point? Don't they know that was a greater wind resistance drag, making it even harder to escape predators? Why did the space shuttle, built in 80's never upgrade? One could talk of the government and the fact that they never, ever, upgrade unless it's tanks or grenades. But the space shuttle, with it's aging tape-to-tape flight computers, and it's spray on foam insulation, and it's glued on tiles -- why evolve to serve this niche, then never evolve? Was it laziness, stupidity, or some perceived fecundity that we've reached the promised land?

I can feel there is a tipping-point here, some wisdom I'm about to understand, and yet it eludes me. Back to Microsoft. Why couldn't Novell evolve? Did they think that a different password for everything was better than one password to rule them all? Why continue to chew the prehistoric cud whilst the meteor streaks across the sky - moocow!. Now it's Microsoft, you might argue, that is starting to run a little slower, a little more gamely, who sees the big game cats bearing down in their proverbial rear view mirrors. Will they evolve? Can they evolve? What will they become?

And so open-source sits too at the precipice, but its penultimate creative spark blew apart at its evolution, splitting into various organisms wading the primordial ooze. Fascinating stuff: evolve now or later, but why not right at the beginning? Evolve on the starting line! It's a pretty awesome strain of thinking. Keep trying to get it right on the starting line -- holding back some DNA -- shooting off ideas that might work. Hyper, hyper-parasitosis. I believe it's the way of informational beings. Even WOPR decided [sciflicks.com] that there might be a better way.

So why can't Microsoft evolve? I believe they can, but it must happen while, and before, the energy required to evolve is still greater than the remaining energy it has to sustain life. Can they evolve a hybrid, become open-source (you heard it here first!), jump from the abyss, sprout wings, and fly?

HUH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5355990)

[ [ Reply to This [slashdot.org] ]

Perspective (4, Interesting)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5355996)

According to the article, Morgan Stanley is saving roughly $25,000 per server over 5 years by moving to Linux. Since it's a financial firm that knows howto account for evey obscure penny saved, this is most likely highly accurate. I have seen reports of German financial companies saving something like 6 million dollars by switching to Linux (over the course of the usual 4-5 year estimate). CGI shops are enthusiastically promoting open source solutions as a means of cutting costs.

It is amazing that with such astounding real world examples of the cost benefits of open source (not counting all of the other benefits), Microsoft and Sun can still find ways to convince suits that the cost of Linux/open office/etc training outweigh the license and support savings made by dropping Microsoft or Sun. Reports and estimations of rapidly gaining Linux market share always bolster my hopes, but sometimes I just can't see it.

Quality before credibility (3, Insightful)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 11 years ago | (#5356028)

But if Linux' surge continues, it will be due in large part to the Goliaths of the tech industry. Companies including IBM, Intel, Oracle, and Dell have thrown their weight behind it--and have given the technology credibility with corporate tech buyers


Ok that's it... people use things cause they're good, and cause they work. MAYBE the reason Linux works is because PEOPLE made it work... and PEOPLE use it.... and corporations are coming in now that it DOES work.... and not back when the kernel would segfault every 5 minutes.....

People hopping on the bandwagon now, are behind the curve. And some device they use is probably already running it, and they don't know it.

Now maybe that all these companies are recognizing linux I can get some drivers for my USB camera......

Bunch of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5356031)

This article is so full of disinformation, it's a shame it got published in the first place. Obviously, the author was too lazy to even browse on the internet to verify the things he was talking about.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?