Clueless? You Decide

Friday, 2007-February-16 at 19:02

But come on. Is there anyone left in the world who really believes Linux is cheaper than Windows? (Red Hat on the server actually costs more.) Does anyone think the way to make life easier is to go from dealing with Microsoft to dealing with Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat and Novell?

What’s In A Name? – Forbes.com

In this article, Daniel Lyons provides us with the same kind of “astute analysis” that shows how he so easily accepted The SCO Group’s claims of copied code in Linux. Let’s see. First of all, anyone that actually works with servers knows that Linux is cheaper to run than Windows. First of all, there is the unplanned downtime issue, then there are the mandatory reboots every time there is a patch installed. Then there are the various anti-virus, anti-spyware, and other such processes. Then there is the extra cost of nearly every piece of software that is installed (such as SQL Server). Then there is the need for more servers for a similar workload. Yup, this guy is seriously clueless.

I haven’t had to work with Notes, but I have had to work with the diabolical duo: Exchange and Outlook. Outlook is a joy to work with–NOT! Imagine coming to work after some time off, turning on your computer and starting Outlook, and having to hard reboot the computer after nearly an hour of sucking up all of the bandwidth and CPU cycles available. At this point, one has to use Outlook Web Access, because it doesn’t take nearly as much of the network and computer resources. This is common enough that our IT staffers often recommend that if you’ve been off, don’t start Outlook until you are ready to leave for the day. That way, it should be ready to go when you come in the next morning. Now how is that for a pleasurable e-mail client?

But then, if you want a pleasurable client, you use Pegasus or Thunderbird (possibly with Lightning added for calendaring ability) for your e-mail. If you want a slow, bloated, hard-to-use client, you use–well, choose one of the “enterprise” clients–and your users will suffer for it.

Mr. Lyons, since you seem to have forgotten at the time you wrote the article, the “decrepit” DR-DOS was the premier DOS clone on the market. It was far more capable than Microsoft’s product. In fact, the only way that Microsoft was able to kill it was to put a check in some versions of Windows that would warn that DR-DOS wasn’t compatible. (It was, of course, except for the check code, designed to end the sales of a competing product.) All of this information, I believe, came out in court, which was the reason why the suit was settled.

Here we are, four years after The SCO Group article. Everyone on the planet can see that SCOX has no case. It remains now for columnists and analysts such as yourself to finally admit that you were wrong.  It needs to be in one of your regular columns, in the same size and typeface constraints as any of your regular columns.

Here’s a marketing challenge: What do you do when you’re trying to put a fresh look on a 20-year-old e-mail system? Well, if you’re IBM, you start calling it “Open Client”; you hype it as being Linux-related; and you throw in a bunch of smack-talk about helping poor, oppressed customers throw off the yoke of Microsoft.

Mr. Lyons, didn’t you gush like a schoolgirl over obfuscated (Greek letter) BSD code, supposedly copied into Linux from The SCO Group’s System V Unix (which now looks like it was never owned by them in the first place)? Didn’t you recommend that Linux vendors settle quickly, before The SCO Group won outright?  Wasn’t this the same article where you hinted about financial shenanigans in SCOX’s parent company? While readers of Forbes may not know any better, we in the tech community (at least the community of Linux and open source “crunchies” as you called us) cannot believe what you say anymore.

It feels weird to be in the position of defending any big company, since I advocate and believe in small business as the engine of the American economy. In this case, I’m not really defending them or their product (which I haven’t used). Instead, I’m objecting to your pontifications from an obviously uninformed perspective to an audience that relies upon your articles for investment decisions. Perhaps you need a vacation. I just hope Forbes doesn’t run Exchange + Outlook…😉

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