Nothing to see here
A company boss always has to think about his customers first, and the opinion of Linux advocates on the Internet second. If it was the other way around, he'd better apologize.
It was a short presentation that focused dryly on "opportunities" for open source in something he called the "service-driven data center." But when he turned to the need for Linux to inter-operate with Windows in this service-driven data center, Novell's chief executive Ron Hovsepian delivered an apology - of sorts - for his …
I've just bought the new carrera turbo with MS installed. Its got the best maintanance I can pay for. Its got the best garage I can keep it in. Its got the best interface for new fittings like expensive DRM radios and CD and video players. The windscreen wipers are the best. Its got the best filing cabinets to keep my documents in and the leather upholstry....
When it needs updating it can drive me to the bank to get a new two turbo version. Its brilliant!
So where do you want to got to today? I'll ask the computer - I cant drive, it doesnt want me to learn.
I believe that 'grass roots' MS advocates are generally either MS, paid by MS, or unaware of the facts. Obviously since I'm a FOSS advocate (oh, all right, fanboy) you could be forgiven for having a chuckle at that paranoid-sounding statement, but there are plenty of well-documented cases of MS astroturf and anyway, this doesn't need to be an accusation of foul play. MS has a marketing budget, and FOSS effectively doesn't - most of its advertising comes from its advocates, who advertise it for free.
Of course, sometimes we're more part of the problem set than the solution set. I'm not an advertising type, I'm a software developer, and because I feel strongly about FOSS as a concept I know I rant a bit. If I was good at pushing a product, I'd probably be more diplomatic and be better at avoiding sounding like I was suggesting that users of MS software are idiots.
Finally, that there are advocates for both sides does not mean the sides are of equal merit. Consider the fact that there are people who believe, and work to spread the notion, that a sky fairy takes an interest in their daily lives, while others argue that there is no such entity; each side has advocates, but one is clearly more correct.
I suppose it comes down to whether you would prefer to be tactlessly given good advice, or diplomatically manipulated into a particular choice by someone who is very good at it, and does so for financial reward, regardless of their actual opinion (if they have one).
I wish I could say I could see both sides of this argument, but an efficient, stable and moderately secure OS you can use, modify and redistribute as you wish, and for which you need not pay, is vastly superior to a defective, fundamentally insecure, expensive proprietary system with outrageous hardware requirements you need to pay to use and never own and may not copy or fix.
The customer only knows best when they are led to believe that what was said to them in the pass still holds true with today. If open-source and linux are to be accepted they need to be marketed in the correct and current venue. Todays visual market media is still TV, and like in realestate it is location, location, location. There needs to be a major campaign to bring opensource and linux out of the dark and into the spot light.
The Linux zealots who instantly flamed this whole deal between Novell and Microsoft don't want to face the realities of the business world. If a company wants to stay in business, they have to listen to their customers.
Doing any kind of deal with Microsoft is like making a bargain with Satan. The devil is in the details. I think Novell has learned that lesson over the years because of Microsoft's history of stabbing their partners in the back when they find it inconvenient to be honest. It was a risk that Novell was willing to take in order to please their customer base.
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