Wednesday, 27 January 2010

GNU/Linux out-competes another company ...

So Sun has cleared the final (?) hurdle to being bought by Oracle. Well good for them, a lot of smart cookies will keep their jobs to feed themselves for another day. I do feel a bit sad about it - like many, SunOS was my introduction to Unix 19 years ago, and Sun was always one of those 'cool' companies, they made nice looking hardware and weren't just about marketing hype; they had meat under those feathers too. Were they the last true technology company?

In less than 10 years, they've gone from basically running the .com bubble to running out of money, and here's one major reason: GNU/Linux.

Oh sure they could've done things a bit differently - such as free Solaris or Java a bit earlier, but I don't think it would've made much difference in the end. As microsoft are finding - it's pretty hard to compete with `everyone', particularly when it's free. And it's not just the price - free also to take mind-share which is the real killer for any technology company. That GNU/Linux was pretty much a 'Solaris clone' from the start surely didn't help either (I did much of my earliest GNOME code on Solaris - the code was easily ported to Linux).

I wonder which company will be next?

2 comments:

sinaisix said...

Microsoft. That is the company I expect would be the next to fall to the power of the software development model of the 'masses.'

It may take a long time, but it certainly is coming. The upcoming release of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx is set to be a game changing one.

The only thing I can foresee that can stop the seemingly unstoppable of GNU/Linux is the very people who work in int.

NotZed said...

MS has too much momentum. Sure they're hurting but it'll take a while for it to eventuate.

A Novell or smaller-sized company is more likely to be the next fatality. Novell are still a proprietary software company at heart, despite their purchasing of Suse - their mindset is proprietary and most of their revenue still comes from their ever-shrinking proprietary business.