Thursday, November 08, 2001

Single vs. Multi OS companies Flipping through today's (11/8/01) Wall Street Journal Marketplace section I saw two remarkable full page ads. The first was by Sun, stating "If you ask IBM, e-business is complicated and hard...with their closed complex systems, they control it all. Which means you'll pay--and pay--for their monopoly on service." IBM's ad was about "myths and facts about Linux in the enterprise" and discussed how GNU/Linux was well supported, would do the job, and cut costs.

Sun lied in its ads. IBM's GNU/Linux platform is anything but closed, anything but only controlled by IBM, and anything but a viable base for monopoly services. In fact, what Sun was describing was its own Solaris platform, or Microsoft's Windows platform. It's pretty natural for the fragmented server market to consolidate around GNU/Linux, a platform without a platform vendor, which is bad news for Sun. Microsoft's desktop monopoly insulates it from this competitive threat.

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