I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy — but that could change.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Economist: Ubuntu is the source of Linux's rise

There seems to be a bit of a feud between the Ubuntu and the Redhat camps. There is no question that Redhat has done most of the heavy lifting to contribute to the cause. Fedora 8 absolutely rocks.

It’s also true that Ubuntu is getting a lot of publicity and attention both from the media and the lay users. There is no denying that Ubuntu hardware support is great (many other distribution improved a lot as well!). It’s simpler to manage and a great looker.

I have been a Netscape partner in my past life. I have gone up against Microsoft, selling Netscape browser to businesses at $75 a seat (discounted from $150) with Microsoft browser costing my clients nothing. So, I’d like nothing better than to pay back Microsoft in the same currency.

What both camps miss, however, is this: As far as a regular Joe is concerned, swapping Microsoft for Linux is not going to happen unless there is a very compelling reason to switch. The Linux community should look for the proverbial killer App. Just doing what Microsoft has already done, but free, is just not enough. The developers should ask themselves: what can we do that Microsoft can’t or won’t?

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I am a cantankerous man living and working in the Silicon Valley where reading books is an abomination that is virtually unheard of, frowned upon and may be detrimental to one's career. I avoid censure by never conceding that I ever read or owned a book in my life. If anyone accidentally glimpses my scant proficiency in any subject matter, I immediately accredit it to having glanced at DrudgeReport that day.

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