Linked by David Adams on Fri 28th May 2004 21:24 UTC, submitted by Chuck Talk
Novell and Ximian OrangeCrate has an interview with Matt Asay, Director of Novell's Linux Business Office. He talks about Linux strategy, the GPL, partnerships, and Linux on the desktop.
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No he didn't!
by Anonymous on Fri 28th May 2004 22:03 UTC

And I quote:

"Does it have shortcomings? Sure. But so does the Windows platform (like a virus for every minute of the day and grain of sand on the beach)."

Harsh!

RE: No he didn't!
by Anonymous on Fri 28th May 2004 22:49 UTC

Yes, this is why I'm glad Linux does _NOT_ have binary compatability, and why I will fight to see that it stays this (posting anonymously because I'm a glibc dev). You know why Linux does not have any viruses today? Because it simply cannot! You try making a binary virus that will run on any Linux computer. Guess what?! You can't, because of the binary incompatability we have fought so hard to maintain.

Others, who don't understand the entire philosophy of our movement, might think this is a bad thing. You have the source to your programs, so you can simply recompile them. The virus does not have such luxuries, and this the only reason why worms and viruses are non-existant (and never will be) on the Linux platform.

Works only in America
by Russian Guy on Fri 28th May 2004 22:53 UTC

Me quote too:

"We can GPL something and still expect a significant portion of the buying public to come to us to make that purchase, even though they can readily download GPL'd code for free."

Not in Russia, my American friend! Not in any country other than America, to be precise.

God bless America!

Anonymous @ comcast
by Bitterman on Fri 28th May 2004 23:08 UTC

What about things like exec-shield which randomizes the stack. Not always applicable of course but neither is binary incompatibility.

I've seen exploits for Windows that have different code for each OS, NT/win2k/xp/2003 Why couldn't someone do that with SuSe, RedHat, Debian and Mandrake?

v RE: Anonymous (IP: ---.client.comcast.net)
by karl on Fri 28th May 2004 23:22 UTC
@Anonymous
by Rayiner Hashem on Fri 28th May 2004 23:32 UTC

Maybe a bit harsh, but Windows seriously does have issues with viruses. I'm typing this from a machine that's so infested with spyware (and random software faults in general), that its desperately needs a reinstall. My boss got a virus two days ago (which, thankfully, Norton had a quick removal tool for), and I'm going to somebody's house tomorrow to remove a virus from their computer. I'm glad to see that even with the desktop versions of SuSE 9.1, having an unprivleged user account is still the default, which mitigates a lot of problems like this.

@By Anonymous (IP: ---.client.comcast.net
by Anonymous on Fri 28th May 2004 23:41 UTC



Hi

its not really funny for those who follow glibc development and read the discussions on the amount of pain in maintaining ABI compatibility across minor revisions. the rapid development model combined with highly modular and diverse systems is pretty much painful for this

Re: Russian Guy
by chemicalscum on Sat 29th May 2004 01:48 UTC

No not only in America - but here in Canada and also in western Europe will corporations "come to us to make that purchase, even though they can readily download GPL'd code for free"

Big corporations want to pay for support. SUSE is German and knows the german market - I am sure this approach will work in Germany and the rest of western Europe.

Nice Interview
by Roberto J. Dohnert on Sat 29th May 2004 04:01 UTC

I especially liked the last part where he pushed SuSE as being ready for the desktop, who was he aiming for tho? Consumer or developer, for a development platform I do agree but for consumers I think Linux still is not ready.

really
by Anonymous on Sat 29th May 2004 04:50 UTC

"Consumer or developer, for a development platform I do agree but for consumers I think Linux still is not ready."


i think you are confused. everyone who uses linux is a consumer. millions and millions are using linux from the consumer side.

if you meant to say home user desktop then i will tell you one thing - there is noone here to declare that it is ready now or next month or anything like that. users will have to decide for themselves whether they are ready to use the system for whatever purpose they want to.

if you cant use it fine try later.

Jess, I agree
by Anonymous on Sat 29th May 2004 05:06 UTC

It looks like the users have decided:
http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/apr04_pie.gif

Been steady at 1% since the beginning of zeitgeist, I think it goes back a little more than a year. Looks like Linux is poised to overtake Windows 95 soon.

v Update:
by Anonymous on Sat 29th May 2004 05:29 UTC
That was awesome!
by Moochman on Sat 29th May 2004 06:40 UTC

I especially liked the part where he says, "I think [Microsoft}'ll find, however, that the ultimate lock-in they're seeking to foist on the market will prove their undoing."

This man is my hero!

RE: Update:
by Code_monkey on Sat 29th May 2004 07:11 UTC

User agent data is probably the most unreliable source for OS/browser info available. One example is Opera, which acts as a fake IE so that some sites will allow it to access the site. I use the user agent switcher extension for Firefox so I can access some IE-only sites that I come across.

@Nice Interview
by Q on Sat 29th May 2004 07:15 UTC

I especially liked the last part where he pushed SuSE as being ready for the desktop, who was he aiming for tho? Consumer or developer, for a development platform I do agree but for consumers I think Linux still is not ready.

When is ready ready? Just use Linux on the desktop and deal with all its pros and cons. Ask an athlete whether he/she is ready to run the 10k; those who say "no" are likely to win ...

RE: RE: Update:
by Anonymous on Sat 29th May 2004 08:10 UTC

OK, I'll make a mental note to subtract you and and the three other people who spoof IE from the google stats.

Checking... According to my math, the percentages are still the same.

@ American Guy
by dpi on Sat 29th May 2004 12:12 UTC

"We can GPL something and still expect a significant portion of the buying public to come to us to make that purchase, even though they can readily download GPL'd code for free."

Not in Russia, my American friend! Not in any country other than America, to be precise.

God bless America!


ROFL. Oh, that's why ALL Linux distributions do not make ANY sellings in any country OTHER than the USA.

Congratulations for stating this laughable patriotist theory.

RE: Update: Lies and Damned Statistics
by chemicalscum on Sat 29th May 2004 13:10 UTC

The way google rounds its browser statistics is such that 1% could range from 0.5% to 1.499...%

Effectively a factor of three therefore between 2002 and 2004 Linux usage at google could have increased threefold or declined threefold, done something in between or just stayed the same. The google statistics therefore do not show the underlying secular trend.

Be warned Windows fanboy this could be exponential growth and Windows could soon begin to see a significant dent in its percentages.

BTW browser spoofing is certainly more than just three users but it is probably compensated for by the small number of Windows users who are dumb enough not to have discoverd Google and search by MSN as the IE default.

Doubters, read this:
by Anonymous on Sat 29th May 2004 14:26 UTC

For people that still doubt that Novell is 'getting' it, read this:

http://www.novell.com/collateral/4621391/4621391.pdf

Extremely nice. Also very professionally done. The document was produced on a Mac, but I don't think that changes anything.

Re: RE: RE: Update:
by David on Sat 29th May 2004 17:37 UTC

OK, I'll make a mental note to subtract you and and the three other people who spoof IE from the google stats. Checking... According to my math, the percentages are still the same.

Where do you get your fugures from to back that up then?

@Russian Guy
by A nun, he moos on Sat 29th May 2004 18:24 UTC

"We can GPL something and still expect a significant portion of the buying public to come to us to make that purchase, even though they can readily download GPL'd code for free."

Not in Russia, my American friend! Not in any country other than America, to be precise.


First, you're exaggerating. There are a lot of countries where people buy GPL software: France, Germany, the UK, Brazil, to name a few.

Now Russia is a special case, given that it is one of the worst offenders when it comes to piracy. So, people don't pay for GPL software? That's fine, they don't pay for proprietary software either!

I guess it would take a Russian equivalent of the BSA, with former KGB agents and/or mafia muscle, to enforce software license compliance in that former superpower. That's okay - Russia isn't the world.

@Anonymous (IP: ---.client.comcast.net)
by A nun, he moos on Sat 29th May 2004 18:27 UTC

Using the Google Zeitgest as an indicative of Market Share is very inaccurate. That argument has been utterly demolished in these comments sections quite a few times already.

Linux marketshare is probably at about 3%, ready to overtake Mac OSX.

desktop
by Anonymous on Sat 29th May 2004 18:49 UTC

"Linux marketshare is probably at about 3%, ready to overtake Mac OSX."

linux desktop market share you mean. there is really no way to estimate that

@Anonymous (IP: 203.197.157.---)
by A nun, he moos on Sat 29th May 2004 20:16 UTC

linux desktop market share you mean. there is really no way to estimate that

Actually, there are ways to estimate it, but no way to get an accurate figure.

(And yes, I did mean desktop market share. For servers the figure is a lot higher.)

RE: By chemicalscum (IP: ---.hwcn.org)
by Russian Guy on Sat 29th May 2004 22:45 UTC

Big corporations want to pay for support.

Right! They can't sleep until they find someone to pay for support. Anyone. Please, take our money now! Take more!

Really, what kind of "support" you need with most of Linux servers? Virus protection? Nope. Worms and remote exploits? Not if you can manage to set up firewall properly and patch all services that are exposed.

Hint: if you run DNS server, you only expose BIND and sshd (if you do remote management). Get their patches for free, they are available.

Pay for improvements? If it works- it works, why change it? Thanks, but no thanks.

Help with installation? P-h-lease!

So, what is left?

I can tell you what: your Oracle database server because you are forced to pay Oracle for support and have to pay for Linux support for just one server- one that runs database.

You think that all those companies who jumped UNIX 'cause they can't afford it would run around throwing money like mad just because they are in love with GPL they just downloaded?

You must be American. Russians don't mind NOT paying for Windows, why should we pay for GPLed Linux? Same goes for Chinese. Same goes for... everyone except America, as it looks.

You want to give us free of chrage software? Be our guests. We can even send you "thank you" note.

You want us to "come to you to make that purchase, even though we can readily download GPL'd code for free?" Dream on!

@ Russian Guy
by chemicalscum on Sun 30th May 2004 01:15 UTC

You must be American. Russians don't mind NOT paying for Windows, why should we pay for GPLed Linux? Same goes for Chinese. Same goes for... everyone except America, as it looks.

Wrong again Russian Guy - I am a joint EU/Canadian citizen. I have only spent two weeks living and working in the Evil Empire south of our borders in my entire life. However I work for a medium size multinational corporation and have observed the obsessions of its IT depts. as an amused outside observer (I am a research chemist with a background in computational chemistry not an IT professional) and as a self appointed Linux evangelist.

Anyway you haven't understood why companies like Novell and IBM use "viral" open source licences like the GPL and CPL and it isn't out of altruism.

Yeah any fool can set up and administer a Linux file and print server even I can. Novell and IBM are hunting bigger game - large heterogeneous networks with mixture of Linux and Windows clients and servers for a complex range of services where there is a market for support and consultancy.

Support is payed for
by cendrizzi on Sun 30th May 2004 04:12 UTC

The larger the company becomes and the more that things can't go wrong the more you need support. I once thought the same way and wondered why people would need it but as the company grows that I manage computers for I'm seeing that I will soon be in the position of wanting support too since the complexity of my network has increased five-fold (and now down time just isn't acceptable). There becomes a point of where it simply makes sense to get support over hiring additional staff (which would be much more expensive).

"Evil Empire" chemicalscum? I hope that was a joke.

@cendrizzi
by chemicalscum on Sun 30th May 2004 16:34 UTC

"Evil Empire" chemicalscum? I hope that was a joke

No.

RE: By A nun, he moos
by Russian Guy on Sun 30th May 2004 18:03 UTC

Now Russia is a special case, given that it is one of the worst offenders when it comes to piracy. So, people don't pay for GPL software?

You sound like it is illegal not to pay for GPLed software. That there is some license attached, and you are limited by number of computers you can install GPLed software freely.

Let me give you eye opener: in Russia you can hire a competent UNIX/Linux administrator for $6,000/year. Now, assuming some American entity wants to charge $100/year per desktop for some kind of imaginary support or so-called entitlement, for Russian company with over 60 desktops it makes more sense to hire local person.

That is the benefit of GPLed code: no more American collected software tax.

Even for American company, assuming $60,000/year salary for UNIX administrator, it makes more sense to hire extra one if you have over 600 desktops that to pay mone for support and still hire UNIX admins.

Speaking about Canadians, I've been two weeks ago at one company that very much embraced Red Hat Desktop Linux when it was free and supported. Now they are in transition. Where? No, not to Windows, but not to Lindows either. Not to RHWS as well, costs too much.
They are deciding if they will move to FC or LFS. Both are still free as in free of charge.

Will they be interested in Novell or Sun offering, with annual fee which is an equlvalent of license fee?
You tell me.

That's okay - Russia isn't the world.

Well, America isn't the world either. Besides, there are more Russians in America that Americans in Russia. We can teach you that it is OK not to pay for GPLed software sooner than you can teach us that non-GPLed software must be paid for.:)

there are alternatives
by Anonymous on Sun 30th May 2004 22:10 UTC

"Speaking about Canadians, I've been two weeks ago at one company that very much embraced Red Hat Desktop Linux when it was free and supported. Now they are in transition. Where? No, not to Windows, but not to Lindows either. Not to RHWS as well, costs too much.
They are deciding if they will move to FC or LFS. Both are still free as in free of charge. "

caos
whitebox
taolinux

these there are redhat enterprise clones. you get the same software with no redhat support. pretty cheap

@Russian Guy
by A nun, he moos on Sun 30th May 2004 22:33 UTC

You sound like it is illegal not to pay for GPLed software. That there is some license attached, and you are limited by number of computers you can install GPLed software freely.

Not at all. What I'm saying is that the culture of "paying for software" isn't very widespread in Russia, therefore people aren't likely to pay for GPL software any more than for proprietary software.

I understand what the GPL is, thank you very much. If you didn't take such an adversarial attitude, you'd actually understand what I'm trying to say to you.

Will they be interested in Novell or Sun offering, with annual fee which is an equlvalent of license fee? You tell me.

Well, that's the beauty of choice with GPLed software, isn't it? You can either hire someone to support it in-house, or you can pay an commercial Linux distributor for support. You can even imagine third-party companies offering support. Wherever you go for that support, it creates jobs. Of course, Linux distributors won't get all the support contracts, but the idea is to get enough to generate profit.

Remember that some companies won't want to hire extra staff for plenty of reasons (overhead costs, difficulty of finding and/or attracting qualified personel, etc.). Also, lots of CEOs feel a lot more secure with having corporate contracts with "name" ISVs - it's not necessarily a rational phenomenon, but it happens.

Meanwhile, some companies have IT budgets they must fulfill for tax reasons. Licenses (and potentially, support contracts) already figure in their budgets. There are a variety of reasons why a company would pay for GPL software and/or support. Choice is good for business.

Well, America isn't the world either. Besides, there are more Russians in America that Americans in Russia. We can teach you that it is OK not to pay for GPLed software sooner than you can teach us that non-GPLed software must be paid for.

I'm in Canada, so...

BTW, I occasionally pay for GPL software (either by buying distros or by donating to GPL software project), because I value it.

To Russian Guy
by Coral Snake on Mon 31st May 2004 00:54 UTC

A lot of people on other nations don't pay for their PROPRIETARY software either. Therefore I don't think commercial GPL software is much different in that respect except that its use is legal.