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Business Considers Open Source on Par with Commercial Software

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the about-time dept.

Businesses 121

quad4b writes "At the International Conference on COTS-based Software Systems in Spain last week, representatives from organizations such at the Software Engineering Institute (remember the CMM), National Research Council of Canada and the European Software Institute discussed the inclusion of Open Source Software for the first time on the conference agenda. COTS software includes stuff like commercial operating systems, desktop software, and ERP systems among others. The conference examined best practices for integrating these pre-built components in systems development efforts. They conceded that open source software is essentially no different from commercially built software and that both types have their risks in terms of supportability and security. (what opponents of OSS say is its weakness) Interestingly enough, a senior representative of IBM was present and discussed with some of us, over lunch, how IBM is determined to move to an open desktop based on Linux and OpenOffice within about a year."

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Figures it would be in spain (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679288)

That's the new hippy communist capital of the world.

Re:Figures it would be in spain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679339)

As a country, Spain does not qualify to be the "capital" of anything. Perhaps Madrid?

Re:Figures it would be in spain (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679345)

Yee-Haw. I love Bush, too.

I get all wett and stuff.

Should I send him my panties?

Re:Figures it would be in spain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679430)

Should I send him my panties?

No. Instead, post an mpeg of you eating a panty-salad sandwhich (ingredients: one pair of panties, shredded; two tablespoons mayonnaise; two slices bread, preferrably a nutty whole-grain bread).

Repetition (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679331)

Didn't IBM say that LAST year? Do they mean it this time?

Re:Repetition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679413)

Yes mom i'll clean up my room tomorrow! Yes I'm going to begin my diet and stop smoking next year!

Re:Repetition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679481)

Do you have experience migrating >300,000 users from one operating system to another? If you know of a faster way to do it, then by all means lets hear it. Otherwise, STFU.

Re:Repetition (1)

supremebob (574732) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679733)

The point is that they don't even seem to by TRYING to do it right now. Hell, it has been years since IBM started supporting Linux on servers, and they STILL don't have a decent Lotus Notes client for Linux yet.

Re:Repetition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679759)

"they STILL don't have a decent Lotus Notes client yet."

there, I fixed up your sentence for ya!

Re:Repetition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681095)

"they STILL don't have a decent Lotus Notes client yet."

...they don't have a decent Lotus Notes client yet.

There you go.

Yours, Grammar Nazi

Re:Repetition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11680011)

FWIW, Notes runs perfectly under Wine. It's fast and stable. The only drawback is that it uses DOS letters instead of standard unix paths.

Re:Repetition (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680170)

Heheh, they still don't have a decent Notes client for Windows either.

Same risks? (1, Interesting)

null etc. (524767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679335)

Oh my, I guess Bill Gates will have to find another message to preach besides "OSS is unsafe, unsupported, and costs more than Microsoft products."

High Security Computing & China (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679429)

I hope that the conclusions of this conference in Europe are not published for the entire world to see. High security computing is vital to the West, for that type of computing dominates in Western militaries. We definitely would not want to see China (which includes Taiwan province and Hong Kong) accessing such technology [phrusa.org] .

Re:Same risks? (4, Insightful)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679437)

Why? The truthfulness of those statements hasn't changed, nor has the fact that repeating something enough times will make some people believe you.

Re:Same risks? (1)

takeya (825259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681579)

not if it's bill gates repeating it so many times. then people just end up hating you more.

That's funny... (5, Interesting)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679348)

I thought I'd read that IBM wasn't interested in OpenOffice - at least for their own use and that they were going down a different path. Go figure. I guess it shows how OOo has really matured lately - 2.0 is indeed really looking good.

At any rate, it's always been my opinion that OSS programs can only get better when people are forced to USE them. When we see IBM forcing their employees to go down that road, I have no doubt that we will see some positive improvements in the way these programs operate.

Years ago, Atari sold a line of personal computers and tried to promote them for business use by porting programs like Visicalc. Later it leaked out that all of Atari's corporate machines were PC's. No doubt this was true. There is a saying for this, it's called, 'Eating your own dog food'.

Re:That's funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679425)

OpenOffice is Sun's dog food, not IBM's.

Re:That's funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679542)

OpenOffice WAS Sun's dog food. Now it's OpenOffice.org's dog food.

Who's dog food is it really? (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680314)

"OpenOffice is Sun's dog food, not IBM's."

Perhaps, but being the huge promoter of open source software that they are, OOo might as well be IBM's if they mandate and deploy it in their company.

After all, any changes they need to make to the code are strictly their own deal.

Re:That's funny... (1)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679877)

I wish they would throw SmartSuite (or whatever it's called these days) into the mix.

That would impress me (well that and a native linux Notes client). Me and a quite a few businesses.

Re:That's funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11680909)

You're misreading the difference between "selling" and "using." IBM plans to sell a linux/open office desktop for businesses to use. That doesn't mean they'll use it internally--in fact, I think history weighs strongly against that,

I recall when IBM finally site-licensed MS Office--this was in 2002. Before that, it was all SmartSuite. We finally dropped it because people were finally enlightened by 2 things:
1.) nobody new in the company had ever used SmartSuite--everyone knew Microsoft. There's a benefit to not making every single person who joins your organization learn a new office suite, and
2.) All IBM's customers used MS Office. So, if you create a document in Lotus WordPro, and then sent it to anyone external, the response would be "er, that's great and all IBM, but how's about sending me a document I can open?"

Basically, even IBM gave up on SmartSuite, not because it was ipso facto worse, but because it was non-standard in the marketplace. So I find it hard to believe they'll go back (of course, I no longer work there...)

Re:That's funny... (1)

mofochickamo (658514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681003)

There is a saying for this, it's called, 'Eating your own dog food'.

My company is trying to get everyone to switch from saying 'Eating your own dog food.' to 'Drinking your own champange.'

Those yellow bellies in marketing probably spent sleepless nights thinking about how customers would find out we internally compare our software to dog food. Pussies.

Do accounting firms recognize Compierre? (4, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679357)

Some countries require that one's acounting system (subset of ERP) to be certified. Has Compierre met this requirement anywhere to date? Do the Big 4 in the US recognize that it has the proper controls?

IBM Open desktop still alive? (2, Informative)

damm0 (14229) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679371)

This was a rumour started by an internal memo that had no followup. Is IBM really going to push this all the way?

I can't get this tune out of my head... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679660)

"Oh, the sun'll come out tomorrow,
So you gotta' hang on till' tomorrow,
Come what may.

Tomorrow tomorrow, I love you tomorrow,
Your'e only a day away!"

It's been in there for like 10 years!! It's driving me nuts!!

The lines are blurrier, now (4, Insightful)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679373)


With IBM-backed Linux, OpenSolaris on the way, decent open source J2EE along side commercial J2EE, etc. the lines between suitable commercial software and open source software are somewhat blurry. The bar where someone has to start paying for their software is much higher, now, than it ever used to be, that much is certain.

What are these institutes? (5, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679385)

Software Engineering Institute (remember the CMM), National Research Council of Canada and the European Software Institute

Uh... so, at least for us who are not in the software business but are interested in OSS anyway, it would be nice to know how much influence these institutes actually wield. Are they really "the business" as the subject let's us to believe or something else?

Re:What are these institutes? (2, Informative)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679496)

Are they really "the business" as the subject let's us to believe or something else?

At least for the Software Engineering Institute, they are clearly "the business." IIRC, even the government has CMM requirements for some contracts. Management salivates over the SEI daily in many companies, at least until they finally understand the CMM provides no process at all but only recommendations.

Re:What are these institutes? (2, Informative)

REggert (823158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679783)

FYI, the Software Engineering Institute [cmu.edu] is Carnegie Mellon University's Department-of-Defense-sponsored research center whose "core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their software engineering capabilities and to develop the right software, delivered defect free, on time and on cost, every time."

Re:What are these institutes? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11680183)

  1. Management salivates over the SEI daily in many companies, at least until they finally understand the CMM provides no process at all but only recommendations.

In most cases, management is forced to be "SEI CMM Level II/III/... compliant" by some customer who wants that.

CMM -- as it should be -- doesn't dictate process. It does say that there is a documented process and how it should behave. This allows each project or group to choose how to be compliant. That takes work.

As management often is looking to tick off a check box, they will do just enough to hit the high points outlined in CMM. That's good, though, since it's usually an improvement over the old methods.

That said, there are a multitude of abuses that occur under the name of SEI CMM so it tends to get a bad rep by association. The ideas, though, are simple and correct in most situations where software will be used over years or decades. It's overkill for small groups that require quick turn-around and where the code is not intended to last forever -- in most cases.

SEI CMM is a tool. Ignore it or use it as is appropriate. Not knowing it at all is a problem in itself.

Re:What are these institutes? (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681259)

From what I've been able to ascertain, at least through our company, we had to be at least CMMI Level 3 certified before we (continued) to gain new government contracts.

Re:What are these institutes? (2, Interesting)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679506)

The National Research Council of Canada is a federal government department, very influential in their own minds (but maybe not in anyone else's).

Can't tell you anything about the others.

Re:What are these institutes? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679507)

National Research Council of Canada and the European Software Institute

... with a combined research and development budget of $128.95 Canadian! Yesiree, the euro-weenies and the snowbacks are juggernaughts of the software industry!

Re:What are these institutes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679994)

yeah but we're damn efficient with that $128.95. Maybe we'll find a cure for Americianitus and do the world a favour(note the correct spelling). So STFU and go have another cheeseburger.

Re:What are these institutes? (2, Interesting)

Mad Hughagi (193374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679539)

National Research Council of Canada [www.nrc.ca] :

NRC is composed of over 20 institutes and national programs, spanning a wide variety of disciplines and offering a broad array of services. We are located in every province in Canada and play a major role in stimulating community-based innovation.

NRC institutes and programs are organized into three (3) key areas:

* Physical Sciences and Engineering
* Life Sciences and Information Technology
* Technology and Industry Support

Re:What are these institutes? (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680699)

There are a couple posts here about NRC Canada. What kind of influence you say? I'd say a hell of a lot since they give out loads of grants and loans every year. Much of the work I do for my employeer is funded via tax grants.

What I would like to see is OSS specific tax breaks for companies.

What is this? (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679392)

OK, I read the CMU COTS [cmu.edu] site, and their overview [cmu.edu] and still have no idea what the term means. (Some consolation is that the submitter himself, who seems to have attended the conference, doesn't seem to understand it either, judging from the assertion that there is "COTS software", not just software that can be implemented in a COTS approach.)

Two things, though:

1) This is hardly a declaration that "Business Considers..."

2) There is a complete confusion of licensing ("open-source") with development practice ("commercially built").

Re:What is this? (1)

flacco (324089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679443)

let the wild-ass guesses begin!

COTS: commercial off-the-shelf?

Re:What is this? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679521)

Yup, a few levels down I ran into a definition. I guess the submitter was correct in referring to "COTS software" (I'll let the redundancy police worry about the S in COTS), but his explanation still doesn't inspire much confidence.

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679701)

Commercial Off The Shelf software.

What redundant S?

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679712)

Hmm, you're right. That's why I leave the redundancy policing to others.

Re:What is this? (4, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679479)

Try Googling:

COTS = Commercial Off-The-Shelf

I think CMM = Capability Maturity Model, but I still have no idea what it means.

ERP = (probably) Enterprise Resource Planning

OSS = Open Source Software (but you probably knew that...)

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679575)

Obviously, I Googled -- do you think I linked to the CMU site through ESP? (Extra Sensory Perception, if you're wondering.) The links that came up, at least with my Google settings, didn't provide a definition. Thanks, though, and yeah, I'm sure they mean Enterprise Resource Planning.

Re:What is this? (3, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679596)

CMM is in fact the Capability Maturity Model, from the SEI.
Here's more info [cmu.edu] .

There are 5 levels. It's damn near impossible to get a level 5. IBM Federal Systems (later Loral) was certified Level 5. They did shuttle avionics. When I worked for a major defense contractor, it was a huge success when we were certified Level 3.

Re:What is this? (2, Interesting)

irritating environme (529534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680024)

I was in a CMM L3 center in Minneapolis. They got certified at L3 at first review, an impressive accomplishment. My project was the case review for the cert.

Notably, I wrote a lot of code on that project, maybe 25% overall, including much of the hard stuff, and my stuff was pointedly hidden from the reviewers, because I was bypassing paperwork in order to meet our strict deadline. But I eventually backfilled the most important stuff, and I would say that the certification was accurate.

I have to say that any project that wants to work at CMM3 or higher had better have deep pockets. As they say, faster, cheaper, better, pick two (expect one). All of the personnel overhead to do process doubles your headcount, and slows the development time.

CMM's main purpose is to measure the reliablility of the software produced by organizations, so I guess it implicitly selects faster better and chucks cheaper.

Re:What is this? (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680607)

I thought the point of CMM was to chuck cheaper, sacrafice faster, and replace "better" with "reproducible". The part that it does do well is demonstrate that all problems are the customers fault for not providing coherent specifications.

Re:What is this? (4, Funny)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679525)


COTS is the term people use when they say they are saving money by spending millions of dollars on commercial software and spending more millions customizing it for their business.

Re:What is this? (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679741)

Well, when most business or academic administration types talk about open source, what they mean is "OpenOffice and/or Apache running on GNU/Linux systems." So in some publications, if you see "open source," read "Linux."

Re:What is this? (1)

TheUncleBob (791234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679823)

COTS = Commercial Off The Shelf

eg COTS Software = Commercial Off The Shelf Software

Re:What is this? (1)

quad4b (858152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679999)

COTS is software that is general purpose, packaged by a third party and generally offered for sale. Windows XP is COTS, SAP is COTS, Siebel is COTS, MS Word is COTS. What's there not to understand?

Perhaps you are confusing this with a system that can be made up of COTS, OSS and custom software.

In terms of "Business Considers" I know a bank that uses OSS (not just Linux but Perl, JUnit and other Java stuff) for building production systems. There are many other examples.

IBM switching exclusivly to Linux and open office? (4, Informative)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679403)

I thought IBM was having trouble [slashdot.org] doing that?

Software (-1, Troll)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679408)

Software is software.

Ouch (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679419)

Software Engineering Institute (remember the CMM)

Ouch

If there's one thing everyone at SEI is tired of if the CMM thing.

If you've ever met someone from SEI you've probably blurted out "Oh, the CMM people", and got a response "We do more than CMM!". I know I've done it, and got the impression that they're sick and tired of it

Just something to keep in mind if you meet one of them. Of course, I still don't know what else they've done :)

Re:Ouch (1)

REggert (823158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679810)

The same applies to CMU in general. It seems that people think that every person who graduated from CMU spent their entire time as a student hanging out at the SEI building learning about CMM.

That, or you get the 'Carnegie What?' response (1)

phish (46788) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681650)

When I was a student there (early-mid-nineties) there used to be a shirt that said "MIT: the CMU of Massachusets".... aah, pre-slashdot nerd humor...

Haleluja ... (4, Interesting)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679420)

how IBM is determined to move to an open desktop based on Linux and OpenOffice within about a year.

It's about time IBM took another whack at you know who .....

Now let's hope this gets upgraded from the lowly status of a mere rumor to the lofty status of a fact and results in a flood of out-of-the-box fully Linux capable of Laptops. :-D

Re:Haleluja ... (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679568)


With Sun, IBM, Novell, Linspire, Xandros, and others catering from ol' granny to Fortune 100, Linux + OpenOffice.org is a good thing. Microsoft is probably in a delusional fantasy about MS Office, right now. Poor guys...not!

Re:Haleluja ... (1)

4of12 (97621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679694)


how IBM is determined to move to an open desktop based on Linux and OpenOffice within about a year.

IIRC, initiatives like this are occurring at other businesses, like Sun and Novell.

I'd be curious to know how things are going. While things are constantly getting better and better, my memory was that interoperability for Microsoft indoctrinated office workers was enough of hurdle that roll-outs tended to be mostly voluntary, mostly within the ranks of technical staff like programmers, or for dedicated applications (eg, phone banks) where the underlying OS makes little difference.

I'd be interested to see when managers and secretaries can start using Linux with a minimal acceptable transition, i.e., comparable in magnitude to the transitions inherent in Windows OS and Office upgrades.

Re:Haleluja ... (1)

DiniZuli (621956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680443)

Oh yeah! Give me that CELL based Linux desktop right away! I sure hope that is what they will launch :) - next year :(

Not surprising at all (5, Informative)

scenestar (828656) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679447)

Ill assume that with "os" they mean free.

It isnt very surprising that a lot of companies are switching from expensive propietary software to freely distributable OS software.

A good example why, are companies that use photoshop for some basic image editing. They are paying huge license fees for software that isn't even used for its full potental.

For them it doesnt matter that GIMP has "less" features, since most of them aren't needed.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679961)

Yeah, but I don't think "Fark GIMP competition" has quite the same cachet!

Re:Not surprising at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11680193)

Actually, that's not a good example of companies switching from "expensive properietary software" to OSS. For one, Photoshop is not expensive. What is it, $650 per user? That's less than a week's salary for the software's user and the investment will last for at least a year if you aren't committed to the upgrade treadmill.

I also don't buy the argument that companies are buying licenses for everyone who asks for one; people in the art or marketing departments are probably the only ones. I wouldn't want my secretaries or other low-level personnel playing with image editing software, the cost of such activity being much greater than the cost of a few PS licenses; would you?

Makes sense with ERP (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679463)

Most companies will pay multiples more in support than they ever do licensing run-time and source code. In some cases the out-of-the-box functionality is even less important than the support role since most ERP implementations are customized at some level. In many ERP cases, you are buying into a support relationship to run a critical aspect of your business. The actual software/platform is secondary.

Summary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679480)

2005 will be the year of Linux on the desktop!

(I wonder if I will get moderated Troll for this?)

Re:Summary (3, Interesting)

rpozz (249652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679762)

Yes, you got a Troll mod.

I don't think there will, as such be a "year of Linux on the desktop". It will slowly crawl its way in. Firstly, to corporate desktops running nothing other than a word processor and spreadsheet, and then it'll make its way to the 'average' home user who uses it at work.

That's how Microsoft took over, anyway. Would be nice if they got screwed in exactly the same way. However, hopefully it doesn't totally take over, so we're all left with a choice of OS.

IBM? (4, Funny)

kaleco (801384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679502)

IBM moving to open source desktops within a year?

Obviously they're just angling for a discount from Microsoft ;)

Re:IBM? (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679925)

>Obviously they're just angling for a discount from Microsoft ;)

No, from Sun - for the new Star Office 8! ;-)

"Open Sores".. (1)

newr00tic (471568) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680204)

-

I think it's meant to spell "Open Sores"-software, which is Microsoft..

.

EDMS. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679504)

So were are all the good open source EDMS [state.ny.us] ?

Business Considers Open Source on Par... (4, Funny)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679546)

What...you mean most open source software is also a buggy resource hog and doesn't live up to the author's exagerated claims?

Re:Business Considers Open Source on Par... (2)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680850)

What...you mean most open source software is also a buggy resource hog and doesn't live up to the author's exagerated claims?

And it costs too much! X-P

IBM is a good barometer (4, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679594)

IBM has historically been a good barometer for change. Generally, if a company as big as IBM is going for it, a lot of other people will go for it. They adopted MS-DOS for the PC, and look what happened with that!

Re:IBM is a good barometer (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679669)

And IBM's PC division chose Windows 95 over OS/2 Warp.

Re:IBM is a good barometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679722)

Yes, IBM is a good barometer for change.
They adopted OS/2 and everyone went Windows.

Just make sure you read the barometer properly.

Like in the old Hogan's Heroes episode...

Klink - "Why did you ask me which wire to cut when you didn't take my advice?"
Hogan - "I didn't know which wire was right, but I knew you'd pick the wrong one."

Re:IBM is a good barometer (3, Insightful)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679885)

Apple is a far better company to watch for change. They were the first to manufacture a useful PC (the Apple II). They were the first to manufacture a PC with a GUI (the Mac). They were the first to make PCs with a network connection by default (the Mac). They were the first PC company to move to RISC CPUs (the PowerPC). They were the first to remove the floppy. They were the first PC company to ship and OSS-based OS on all their machines.

While IBM may have more clout in the business world, it's Apple that sets trends. Watch what Apple does.

Re:IBM is a good barometer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679970)

While IBM may have more clout in the business world, it's Apple that sets trends. Watch what Apple does.


How long untill Apple's 2% market share trend catches on?

Re:IBM is a good barometer (2, Informative)

darkstar101 (84676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680398)

Actually, the first company to ship a computer with a GUI was Commodore with the Amiga. It was also the first PC with true multitasking, and the first PC with dedicated hardware processors for audio and video. The Mac came shortly after, and magazines at the time rated the Amiga higher then the Mac. Unfortunately Commodore totally sucked at marketing and did not further develop the Amiga much beyond its initial release.

Re:IBM is a good barometer (1)

ReelOddeeo (115880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681159)

Actually, the first company to ship a computer with a GUI was Commodore with the Amiga.

What year?

Apple shipped the Lisa in January 1983. I am not aware of what year the Amiga was first shipped. I thought it wasn't until at least 1984 (or later?). I would be interested to know if the Amiga truly beat Apple to the GUI.

The Lisa was the predecessor to the Mac. A sophisticated GUI. Actually superior to the original Mac in many ways.

IBM is not a barometer... (2)

zarr (724629) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680236)

a barometer doesn't create pressure, it just measures it.

fr1st psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11679666)

For OSS, COTS = Complete-Off-The-Server (2, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679707)

It may not be "commercial", but OSS is more complete than its proprietary competition. All jokes about self-documenting code aside, I'd rather have access to the source code than to some vendor's documentation of what they think their code does. Seeing inside the box is useful when an API contains undocumented "features."

Linux Desktops @ IBM ? (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679709)

There's certainly a few as noted here before, perhaps 10,000 albeit not well supported and still some birthing pains as well you could imagine with VPNs, Wireless, Lotus Notes, net meeting type apps and internal Web apps and Web Java apps. Just like any other large company with a large suite of internal applications.

Moreover you could guess that taking machines out of service before end of lease, to replace the entire suite of software on them, then send them back, train people and staff a help desk for it is not really a rational goal.

I don't think anyone thinks that migrating everyone or a large chunk of everyone from Win to Linux is going to be any easier than the migration from OS/2 to Win several years ago. And that was quite hard.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your most difficult desktop users, the ones with the most complicated and inflexible requirements are the executives and if they have an app on Windows that absolutely must run the way they want it to run then that is what will happen. Period.

Plus you'd be wasting all the monies you invested in desktop tools for AV and spyware if you suddenly didn't need or couldn't use them anymore.

I think it's bravado to claim that there will be nothing but Linux desktops inside of one year.

Re:Linux Desktops @ IBM ? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680049)

If you didn't need AV anymore, it's not a waste of the AV nonsense - it's saving, as you don't need the AV anymore. Use your head here.

Corps pay for AV, often by the month. Why would they want to keep paying for it if they didn't need it anymore?

Re:Linux Desktops @ IBM ? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680102)

Because large companies enter into long term agreements with companies to provide tools and services with payments predicated on the projected useful economic life of that tool or service. What kind of sense would it make to suddenly end a muliyear agreement with a vendor and buy out your own contract just because you didn't need it anymore? Not much, that's what.

Transition costs are enormous, you use your head.

Re:Linux Desktops @ IBM ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11680257)

Why wouldn't they still need AV? You are still going to have people sending files around and there are still going to be Windows machines around no matter what. I'm not sure how the site licensing of AV works but it seems like you would be provided software for whichever platforms you use; in any event, there will be no cost savings because AV is going to be required for network-connected workstations, no exceptions.

it depends on your needs (3, Insightful)

m2bord (781676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679735)

sometimes open source software works better than a commercial product...ie...the gimp, apache, open office.

and sometimes non-open software is better...i.e. macromedia's flash.

and until someone creates a non-open or open equivilent.

gimp is a bad example... (1)

Run4yourlives (716310) | more than 9 years ago | (#11679887)

I'm not sure what you're comparing to, but very few designers would say that the gimp is better than photoshop.

Same goes with open office.

Apache though, won't get a complaint from me.

Re:gimp is a VERY bad example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11680059)

not a patch on PS. OOO still quirky. Apache rox.

What will IBM do instead of M$ Project and M$ Visio? The 'comparable' applications are still not at the races.

Commercial versus open source? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11680098)

Open source software IS (or can be) commercial software. The dichotomy is open source vs proprietary.

Get it right next time please.

And on that note, free software is (or can be) commercial software. If you don't believe me ask Redhat, Novell and Sun. They have been selling free software for years.

Good Open Source Dev Software (1)

boeserjavamann (655642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680154)

Netbeans, JBoss, JUnit, Jonas, Stuff from Apache, codehaus.org,... I don't know where to start or to end. Nowadays, one can build, deploy and run an entire Enterprise App with OS Software.

Re:Good Open Source Dev Software (1)

carabela (688886) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681087)

However much I would like it like that, please name one enterprise that has done it. No, not only implementing Linux, but actually run the entire enterprise with FOSS.

I for one, don't believe that an enterprise (that typically want profit) has a strategy to buy/build/blend FOSS. They want stability, performance and even security(!) in their systems, not FOSS for FOSS sake.

If a certain FOSS application/system fits the picture, fine, but it appears that it still doesn't apply for an entire enterprise suit.

and why not consider open source == cots? (1)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680176)

in planing sw dev for a defense project, the build vs buy criteria for systems that will be put to life and death use includes a "trust" criterium. Leaving aside Microsoft bashing, the rationale used in assessing that criteria is "how could there be malicious features in code that is already in use by millions of people?...it must be ok". Whether you consider that a valid yardstick is beside the point: OSS is only the more trustworthy because you can and hundreds have examine[d] the code.

Re:and why not consider open source == cots? (2, Interesting)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680457)

In case you are wondering why one would bring DOD software acquisition practices into the comments here:
  1. COTS is DOD-speak for "boy are we ever glad we don't have to pay Raytheon's salary scales just to get a damn editor and OS". ...they invented the term.
  2. Guess who ulitmately puts up most of the money for and pays the most attention to guidelines promulgated by the SEI?

IBM Has A Lot of Work to Do (2, Informative)

Leghkster (603558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680918)

I'm running a Linux desktop at work (I'm allowed some freedom - nobody else is doing this) and it's mostly IBM tools that force me to include VMWare in the setup.

Particularly annoying examples in our ERP's iSeries (AS/400) environment are the iSeries Navigator tool, and Websphere Dev Studio for iSeries. More and more OS/400 functions are only managable through Nav, and the CODE/400 components of WDSCi make source patching for the ERP a breeze. But the only discussions I've seen of integrating RPG editing into Eclipse (or the WDSC client's version) basically just end with "why bother?" CODE is a stand-alone Windows program is my answer to "why?". If the webfacing tools were all integrated in WDSCi it'd help people undertaking those efforts as well.

Uhhh, thanks? (1)

Mannerism (188292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11680981)

I believe this one should be from the "damning with faint praise" department.

Equality (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681021)

So, businesses understand that OSS is just as good as commercial software and we didn't even have to sell out [slashdot.org] to do it.

LK

that bad? I think not. (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11681243)

I would have expected much better than "on par".

Fp TrooYlkore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11681714)

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