[svlug] Gates on Linux, browsers

David E. Fox dfox at belvdere.vip.best.com
Sat Apr 17 00:08:27 PDT 1999


> you can't measure that purely by how many copies of linux have been sold
> through Dell or IBM, either.. how many people can now go to their boss and
> convince them to give linux a shot on their servers, or whatever they want
> to run it on, because 'dell and IBM are supporting it', that gives people

True, but one can see IBM and Dell's support as a catalyst that will in
part (for want of a more precise term) 'skew' the graph of linux instal-
lations over time; in other words, the number of linux systems deployed
per month will start to increase even more.

> something to go against the idea that linux is small-time, not to mention
> that companies like Dell and IBM bring a lot more media attention than
> RedHat does, even if they bring more than anyone else in the linux

That is true. While on this topic, did you (or others) see the ZDNet
video on NT vs. Linux? I forgot the URL, but I saw it on RealVideo
earlier today. ISTR Bob Young was there along with some other "pundits"
of the industry, such as John Dvorak. ISTR Bob Young saying something
about Red Hat needing to double, or even quadruple its business, and
still not really make a dent -- but he said that the endorsement of
Red Hat by Netscape and Intel would be of much help.

> community.. people at large computer magazines and other technical
> publications seemed to give linux a 'whoop-dee-doo' attitude until at
> least some major support was hinted at.. not all publications, of course,

As most do, I think the major computer magazines are advertising-
driven in terms of what they will review or otherwise feature in
their magazines. PC Magazine has historically only wanted to 
mention PC hardware and commercial major market software: even the
shareware/freeware that was prevalent at the time I was in the DOS/
Windows world wouldn't get anywhere near PC Magazine's pages, and the
only freeware they would write about was developed in-house.

As such, PC Magazine (and others, like PC World, PC Computing) will
continue to remain Windows-centric for the foreseeable future. It
is too bad though. ZDNet is starting to mention Linux, but not
in the magazines, at least not yet. I don't expect Linux to get
much mention in Windows Sources, for instance, but that publication is
intended for Windows users. PC Magazine is (or should be) intended
for PC users; and an ever-increasing subset of these are Linux
users.

> system with THEIR OWN operating system on it, but they offer Linux, that's
> a hell of an attention getter.. as Linus once said, he noticed it more

Now that's really an interesting point. That means OS/2 is essentially
dead. As will BeOS, sooner or later. I remember one prediction made some
years ago in Usenet: it was predicted that in five years, the only OSes
with real userbases would be Linux and whatever Microsoft came out with.

> afaik you can't get a VA box at any store, though you may be able to in
> SV, (I don't know) I know you can't here, and doubt you can anywhere
> else.. of course afaik, you can't get a Dell or IBM or anything else in a

Well, there's always mail order, I guess. But you are right -- Dell is
mainstream, as is Gateway, Compaq, etc. And Linux will be seen as
mainstream too.

> -Justin
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