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SubjectRe: If Linux is to succeed
In article <9701231427.ZM8441@platypus>,
Jason Benderly <jbenderl@PaineWebber.COM> wrote:
>Sorry for the waste of bandwidth but the subject is
>the most important one facing Linux, and it has been
>mentioned on the list.

I second the motion to have a separate list for Linux advocacy
("linux-future"); I'll probably be subscribed the same day it's created,
unless I've missed it already. All this *technical* discussion about
the Linux kernel gets in the way of the interesting topics. I assume
that everyone who doesn't care has killfiled the subject by now. ;-)

>The Linux community should also shed the notion that everything
>should be free. Prices should not be what they are for Sun or HP
>products (multi thousand dollars for a GUI painter) but should
>be similar to PC market prices. I know I am willing to spend some

Adobe, Sun, and HP get most of their business from large customers;
they don't really have the infrastructure for dealing with millions of
individual users.

Quote from my boss: "What the hell is taking [the WINE project] so long?
Can they solve their problems if we just gave them money? We have to pay
for dozens of Win95 licenses *anyway* so it's not like it makes a
difference to us to give the money to someone else."

It will be interesting to see if non-MS implementations of MS API can
compete at all. I wonder how much real financial loss MS incurred when
people gave up on MS and switched to something else because the new
Win95 apps wouldn't run under WABI or OS/2? Until Microsoft has market
pressure of this kind, they aren't going anywhere.

The big problem for Windows clone vendors is that there's very little
profit margin in it and a lot of risk. The cheapest working Windoze
implementation is still a PC running Microsoft you-know-what (remember
that the reason Microsoft did so well is that the clone vendors took over
the lionshare of PC sales from IBM by selling much cheaper machines).
OS/2's Windows implementation is sometimes better than rebooting the
machine into Win95 and costs less than keeping extra partitions around if
you *must* run or develop OS/2 apps. Sun's WABI is cheaper than buying
thousands of Windows boxes for your company, if you already have Sparcs
with X terminals lying around. Administration also scales better;
WABI can maintain the low sysadmin-to-user ratios customers are used
to with Unix. WINE is free software and the same cheap hardware, but
it was incomplete the last time I checked.

>Microsoft operating systems are second rate. Everyone knows that.
>Microsoft applications and applications architectures are the very best.

Half of the Microsoft applications are horrible, and the other half only
exist to solve problems created by the first half. Several application
features in Windows don't exist in other places because the problems they
solve just aren't there.

>Everyone knows that too, and that is why they hold 90% of the market.

There isn't much space in business plans for explaining why, despite
holding 80-90% of the software market, Microsoft is not better.

Zygo Blaxell. Unix/soft/hardware/firewall/security guru. 10th place, ACM Intl
Prog Contest, 1995. Admin Linux+Solaris for food, Tshirts, anime. Pager: 1613
7608572. "I gave up $1000 to avoid working on windoze... *sigh*"-Amy Fong. "smb
is a microsoft toy, like a "child" protocol that never matured"-S Boisjoli.

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