Bruce Perens: the Linux colonel talks (vnunet)
Posted Sep 9, 2004 0:17 UTC (Thu) by hppnq
In reply to: Bruce Perens: the Linux colonel talks (vnunet)
Parent article: Bruce Perens: the Linux colonel talks (vnunet)
A lot of folks in the IT world only speak what marketing communications puts in their mouths. You can expect more plain talk from me, and when I think there's a problem that needs fixing, you can expect me to lay it at the doors of the people who could fix it. I'll talk about it in front of the rest of the community too, so that maybe someone there will solve the problem.
There's nothing wrong with plain talk. I'm all for that. ;-)
Regarding RH and SuSE, I had talk with HSBC, the huge international bank, a few years ago, after RH went to its Enterprise Linux marketing. HSBC had at that time decided to place a Linux migration on the back burner, because they felt that now, Linux is as expensive as Windows. Ignoring the complaints of big potential customers is not a good way to promote Linux.
In the interview you explicitly relate the success of Linux to the Open Source development process. I couldn't agree with you more.
RedHat has managed to build a business on top of that process, while at the same time supporting it in a way that, I think, has yet to be rivalled. So, by bluntly dismissing their rather succesful business model, instead of pointing out possible flaws in the Big Plan, you are running the risk of being suspected of promoting your own business at the cost of your competitors. Which doesn't contribute anything to widespread adoption of Linux, or Open Source in general.
The HSBC example is of course a quite weak one, for one because of an inconsistency that creeps up everywhere in the interview too: apparently RedHat is just not aiming for early adopters, so why would you or potential customers hold this against them? You realise of course that the two kinds of support you are (or seem to be) talking about are completely different beasts, each with their own organisational and financial requirements.
You also seem to suggest that HSBC was in for a big migration. I am curious as to what exactly they had in mind regarding support, since it is highly unusual for huge companies to not entertain long term support contracts. When they said "Linux is as expensive as Windows", I hope and trust you said: "I'm very sorry, but you seem to miss the point. RedHat might be expensive, but Linux is not. Not in beer, nor in freedom."
(I am just taking RedHat as an example here, of course. You can substitute any Linux vendor you like, although I do think that RedHat is ahead of others in some respects. I am not associated with them in any way -- in fact, I work for a top 10 global financial player and am involved in Unix management.)
to post comments)