Open source about vendor choice?

Open source about vendor choice?

Summary: Speaking at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, Peter Schay, executive vice president of The Advisory Council, made the case for Linux versus Windows in simplified terms: avoidance of vendor lock-in at all costs, even if on paper or whiteboard TCO a Microsoft deployment is less costly than Linux.

TOPICS: Open Source

Speaking at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, Peter Schay, executive vice president of The Advisory Council, made the case for Linux versus Windows in simplified terms: avoidance of vendor lock-in at all costs, even if on paper or whiteboard TCO a Microsoft deployment is less costly than Linux.

"The economic value of 'open' is in the ability for users to walk away from onerous vendor pricing and licensing,"

Topic: Open Source

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  • Just replace Linux with

    *NIX and this was the EXACT SAME THING that pundits said nearly 20 years ago! Client-server will kill the mainframe! Well in a way it did - colleges dumped their mainframes, and NOW the 55+ year old COBOL programmers need to be replaced - but NO ONE has been taught on a mainframe for, well 20 years!

    The promise of client-server and UNIX was destroyed by high costs and forking. The UNIX OS STILL offers those features of which you speak - and have since Ritchie wrote it.

    The GPL may work against Linux becoming mainstream. The fact that OS/X uses BSD instead of Linux is an indication of what may happen in the future.
    Roger Ramjet
    • I was

      "but NO ONE has been taught on a mainframe for, well 20 years!" And only about 6 years ago. Not that I want to go back to CICS or COBOL though.
      IT Scion
    • Mainframes are back

      A lot of companies are buying big iron again. But this time they are partitioning them into numerous virtual servers than run Linux. The sales pitch is "Why run hundreds of x86 boxes when one big mother of a mainframe can do it more reliably and at a lower cost."

      This is one reason IBM is such a big Linux supporter. It allows them to sell hardware and services.
    • BSD problematic

      The problem releasing something under BSD is that you build a road for your competitors and allow them to charge you for using it. In GPL you build a road for your competitors, but they are not allowed to charge you for using it, and they will help you maintain it, and you both probably make money by running a bus on the road with paying passengers probably offereing different services and price.

      Licenses like BSD promotes incompatible forks very similar to what happend in the old Unix days. You seam to think that propriatory software can't run on top of Linux.
      Think againg. Just look at Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase, IBM Websphere, SAP,... As you can see,
      on the server side Linux is allready mainstream.
      There is nothing that will prevent that from happening on the desktop as well. The only reason it hasn't happened allready is that in the old days usability was not a cool thing to do among open source people. This have changed, and in just a few years free GUI framworks that can rival both Apple and Microsoft have been developed. It just take a couple of years for the rest of the industry to realize that, just like it took the industry quite some time to realize that Linux could be used for server side stuff.

      Apples choise of BSD for Darwin was probably a mistake. A GPLed backend would have required higher separation between the propriatory GUI parts and the base Unix system, but such separation would probably have been an advantage in the long run as it would have made porting to other hardware platforms more simple and less expensive.
  • People don't want to build a watch, they

    just want to know the time. The half billion or so users today mostly want to use their computers and the internet, they don't want to "extend" it or make any changes in any way, shape, or form. The popularity of an OS platform will depend more on which vendor can reach more people than the others than on any minor differences in operation. A few bucks on cost is not going to matter either.

    Progress will matter, though, and it is hard to see where the hand to mouth poverty of linux is ever going to enable it to publicize and reach the mindset of the mass market unless it becomes a commercial product generating cash just like Windows. Meanwhile, Windows has an awesome lead on the rest that it is not likely to give up.

    Linux fold are living in a dream world.
    • People don't want to build a watch

      You're missing the point's not about what generates cash, it's about what allows the intermediary companies to generate cash in the most efficient manner.

      Intermediaries don't want to be forced into giving MS money for every device that they produce. If the use embedded Windows, that's effectively what they have to do. Witness the significant movement of cell phone manufactures to Linux-based phone OSs. The same will hold true for future embedded systems.

      Don't underestimate the power of the market with regards to adding features to Linux, especially for niche areas like embedded devices. This is far from a 'hand to mouth' scenario for Linux, and IMHO the are where it will have the largest impact in the future.
      • Different markets

        Embedded system OS is not the same as the PC desktop in terms of marketing. There is no "market" for the embedded system OS.

        Using some portions of linux in an embedded system is a faceless, costless exercise and the importance of the finished system is a matter for the equipment vendor and does not involve linux even as it does not involve Windows.
    • Linux is the accurate watch!

      Users don't just want to know the time, they want to know the correct time and not have it served up with a pop up, spyware, and a fresh new virus. Linux is the accurate watch and the opensource development model is the only way that people will get what they want. People no longer need training wheels on thier computers.

      Those that know what they want will pick to be masters of thier computing and chose Linux and those who don't will let someone else tell them what to do and allow microsoft to hold thier hands for a fee and then send them into the street to be smashed by the newest virus.

      Linux is like a stern parent that may not let you do everything you want until you are responsible enough to handle it, microsoft is like an irresponsible parent that gives you everything you want and then you end up spoiled and dependant expecting everything to be fixed for you by those around you that know what you should.

      Maybe I'm ranting too much but I spend too many hours fixing other microsoft problems that I never have on my linux computers for people who confuse complexity for lack of sophistication and adaware/spybot for computer use necessities.
    • Watchmakers care

      You miss an important point. Linux isn't the
      watch, it's a) the mechanism that makes the watch
      work (kinda like a battery), and b) the mechanism
      that the watchmaker uses to build new watches.

      Linux runs on everything from watches to xbox to
      huge mainframes (many more hardware platforms
      than Windows, which is largely intel-bound).
      That means your watch can be based on whatever
      the engineer decides makes sense, not just the os
      vendor's limited choices and limits. For
      instance, what if I don't want a mouse and
      keyboard on my watch? Being 'headless' is a
      reasonable requirement, and reduces the amount of
      hw required to tell the time.

      Extensibility is important to those who build new
      things -- it allows creativity and optimization.
      It allows things to be much smaller or larger or
      smarter than they were before.

      Now, some end-users like to mod their devices --
      like the after market mod chips for many cars
      internal control computers.

      Other end-users like to get new stuff.

      Extensibility allows the creation of new stuff,
      and the ability for those who care to mod their
    • Mass market?

      It may be "hard to see where the hand to mouth
      poverty of linux is ever going to enable it to
      publicize and reach the mindset of the mass
      market" -- because that's not a necessary goal.

      Linux doesn't need to reach the mass market and
      make money. It's not a company. It doesn't have
      any $$/Time pressure. It can last indefinitely
      with no money being generated at all. It's okay
      to not have much, if you don't need much.

      But it is important for "the future platform"
      that it works and becomes ubiquitous in other
      products, which may be profitable. Like... well,
      your routers and switches - probably Linux or
      BSD. Your bank's systems (very likely), the POS
      systems being deployed by 10Ks (yes), google, the
      internet. Car CD players, net storage, etc.

      You are already using it.

      And you know of companies who are using it
      successfully. It is proving its worth, and
      spreading like crazy. Now it's a matter of time,
      and it doesn't matter if it's 2 years or 200.
      It's going to be there.
  • Great, more Big Brother

    That's just what we need...
    • It Doesn't Have To Be What You Get

      Big brother predictions are made for every new technology.

      But think about the benefits.

      One of the most important is keeping track of your health. If you have a heart condition, you are less likely to die if you're monitoring it and can identify precursors of a potentially-fatal attack. Such attacks kill millions each year, but they don't have to be fatal.

      Your body does give warning of such attacks. That's why the first thing hospitals do after you have an attack is hook you up to monitors that can tell if you're about to have another one.

      Well, now that monitor can be built into your shirt, and that shirt can be connected wirelessly, and you don't have to die.

      That's what I call a killer app.
      • Death happens for a reason

        overpopulation and overuse of stressed resources are due to humans tampering with the natural order of life and selection. We have altered what nature placed as a balance, and because of that, now the strain is telling.
        Linux User 147560
  • Running all systems on Linux

    I'm running all my systems now on Linux. Finally, we can break from Microsoft's Monopoly, Marketing and Flawed Products. Oh, by the way, it did not cost me anything for software and it even runs great on older hardware. Never going back to Microsoft!
  • People will still run the future no microsoft

    Linux is surely the way of the future and open source is the reason. Everyday we are more and sharing what we learn is the reason.

    I use Linux on all my computers except at work where they are considering it strongly for the desktop. We use AIX on servers but Linux will be our next upgrade. The wifi strength that Linux has will surely make it powerful for rfid and wireless networking devices. The "always on" technology that the writter is describing is perfect for industrial applications where hazardous, and extreme locations have been harmful for people to operate in. The fact that that linux can fit anywhere and is so flexable and stable will certainly drive industry to seriously consider the mistake of microsoft's licensing structures and instable/insecure systems. Microsoft will always have a place but it won't be as inflated and oligarchial as it has been.
  • Longhorn is the platform...

    Linux is not a platform. It is a hack job of crude code and unrefined interfaces. My MCSD's were debating this the other day: The question was "When will Linux go away and when will the world adopt .NET as THE platform?". Answers varied anywhere from 2 months out to a year. Either way, the glue you are looking for is not Linux, it is Windows powered devices programmed to accept .NET interface calls. My rep told me MS is working on several books about this and I suggest you folks read these works before wasting time on Linux. Writing a book on Linux now is like writing a book about the Whig political party. It was applicable 100 years ago but not today.
    Mike Cox
    • Your rep and Microsoft?

      Your rep and microsoft have a lot of reasons to have you convinced of your opinion. My wallet and time developing and using Linux have proven differently. .Net is promissing as a developent layer and linux already has the tools to enjoy it-Mono a big thanks to Novell. Hack job of crude code and rough interfaces? I'll discount your comment as simply ignorance since you obviously haven't seen Linux lately. I have my desktop 100% more attractive than any Windows box I have ever seen and with KDE 3.4 I am enjoying now the fancy transparent layers that Longhorn hopes to provide. Linux Is ready folks! Instead of fearing it its in your best interest to simply take a look. What can it hurt to have more choices? How can competition be bad for Microsoft? It'w worked for evolution let the natural process go on.
    • 8.75

      You're gettin' it back, Mikey. Good to see you hook another one...
      Real World
    • No objection

      I have no objection to Windows being a possible platform, in this case. And no objection to the Mac being the platform.

      Fact is, all three major platforms today are built on *nix. The software has been around for 40 years. Everything else is just an interface.