Aharonian is an ass, AOL == retards, and crond must die (was Re: [linux-elitists] [ruben@mrbrklyn.com: Microsoft proposing Free Software ban])

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Fri May 4 20:44:25 PDT 2001


on Fri, May 04, 2001 at 02:08:31PM -0700, Don Marti (dmarti@zgp.org) wrote:
> begin  Karsten M. Self quotation of Fri, May 04, 2001 at 01:31:31PM -0700:
> 
> > A few interesting responses.
> > Greg Aharonian/PATNEWS:  This isn't MS v. Free Software, it's MS v. IBM:
> 
> Aharonian is making an ass of himself here. You could say "they have a
> secret plan to kill Linux" about anybody, and without specifics it's
> worth nothing.

I think Greg's fearmongering on IBM is probably misplaced, but worth
consideration.  Keep all options in mind.

I think his assessment that this is more an MSFT v. IBM battle than an
MSFT v. Free Software battle is well taken.  The problem, for Microsoft,
is that there is no "free software" to attack directly.  There are free
software developers, free software users, and free software vendors.
IBM is the largest single instance of all three classes.  IBM's own
intellectual property background pretty much shoots MSFT's arguments to
shit though:  IBM has more patents than anyone, bar none.  Their
software copyright library is probably up there in size.  IBM's also
seen how the proprietary and open games play out.  IBM's lost every time
they bet on closed.  They've had a fighting chance playing open.

The IP background also illuminates Greg's stand on IBM.  He's gone up
against IBM in patent battles more than once, and simply doesn't trust
the company.  Personal history.  That wasn't the part of his article I
meant to emphasize.

> Watch:
> 
> Wal-Mart has a secret plan to wipe out Free Software and make RMS get
> a job as a waiter, as soon as they wipe out Amazon and Home Depot.
> 
> See how easy that was?
> 
> >     http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/18746.html
> > 
> >     AOL is considering what amounts to all out war on Microsoft and
> >     Legacy MS Windows XP
> 
> All-out war?  They're not reading any Sun Tsu books I know.
> "Warner Music endorses Windows Media format"
> http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-3350083.html

AOL is doing what AOL considers to be its interest.  My lesson from
Lettice's article was less that AOL is our friend in opposition to MSFT,
and more that it covets the spot held, by scorched earth tactics, by
MSFT.  AOL, per the memo, is looking at using similar tactics.  OEM
coalitions, default application set specification, alternative OS
adoption.

In other words:  Microsoft's scorched-earth policy begets AOL's
scorched-earth policy.  It's an "us or them" mentality, and the guy on
the top is just the biggest target (note that my own ISP is the #2
access provider -- haven't heard anything out of Earthlink regarding
strategy, unless it's knocking off top brass via Scientology ties).

But, in this "us or them", one of the alternatives is free software. 
The "think different" option would include a possible GNU/Linux desktop.
Which is one of the reasons free software has staying power -- even if
GNU/Linux doesn't make life better for AOL directly, AOL perceives that
it puts the top dog, Microsoft, at a disadvantage.  This is a part of
the rationale driving IBM.  Expect to see similar reasoning from AT&T,
Disney, and the other key players in the communications, media, and
hardware space.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>    http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/         http://www.kuro5hin.org
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