Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Response Tuxmachines.org, okay why Linux and Open Source will not take MS
I got some interesting feedback on tuxmachines.org about my Linux article. Either I was not clear enough on my article, or some people have simply not read it, so let me make my points even clearer for those who choose not to read the whole article.
Firstly I love Linux, it is better technology. Let me make it fully and totally clear it is my Opinion that many of the Linux distros I have used are vastly superior than Windows FULL STOP. Linux is technologically far far better.
Also let me state that I use Open Source tools over Microsoft tools myself, and that there is no question of doubt that an Open Source innovation model will produce faster "progress" (which in IT is just change) than one dominated by 2 companies like Microsoft and Google.
The point of my article, which no one even seemed to come close to addressing is that IT is not ONLY about getting as fast a change as possible. The fact is that IT change rate presents both a risk and a threat to Capitalists planning for the future and what Microsoft presents is change in a managed slow rate.
Perhaps the most unique part of the feedback I received was that it confirmed the key element of my entire post which is that most Linux and Open Source backers fail to understand the Economics working against better technology.
As for specific points:
Yes I am aware that many companies are using Linux and Open Source today, but 10 years ago many companies were using Unix and Custom Code, in fact when I started work in web development the server universe was entirely Unix and custom code. In reality Microsoft is advancing into more domains. In the past 10 years Linux and Open Source have really made no impact on business user desktops whereas Microsoft has moved in to databases, web servers, CMS and other areas it had no position in now.
As for my reference to the geek gap, when I meet two business people, or even one, who don't express confusion about technology in their organization and frustration with the geek gap I will reconsider this issue. But I regularly hear from business decision makers that they feel confused by technology and find technology experts are of little help.
Again I will try to make clear that I am trying to produce an economic behavioral account of something I have seen over the past 10 years. The key question I have is why SharePoint has taken off the way it has. The product has exploded in the middle of a massive recession in a way I have seen very few new technologies take off. I hope to understand why this is and what the role of Microsoft is in the industry.
I find assumptions that IT is always about rapid innovation to be wrong and am trying to form a more valid understanding of the role IT technology plays in our economy and the reasons that you "can't give it away" seem to be true as the vast majority of businesses continue to roll out Windows XP, IE 6 with Outlook and MOSS 2007 when they could get a massive part of this stack for free at better quality.