Linux Director Claims Bashing Microsoft Akin To Kicking A Puppy

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News Posted: Thu, Apr 7 2011 3:56 PM
In a recent interview, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin declared Linux the victor in its decades-long war with Microsoft. Asked about the importance of MS as a continuing rival, Zemlin stated, "I think we just don't care that much [about Microsoft] anymore," Zemlin said. "They used to be our big rival, but now it's kind of like kicking a puppy."

From Zemlin's perspective, Microsoft's continued domination of the x86 desktop/workstation market isn't the rule, but the exception. "I think that on the 20th anniversary, it's worth reflecting back on where we came from," Zemlin said in an interview with Network World. Linux had a "humble start as a project for a college student in Helsinki, to something today that runs 70% of global equity trading, something that powers, really, the majority of Internet traffic, whether it's Facebook, Google or Amazon."

What makes Zemlin's comment interesting, whether one agrees or disagrees, is the way it illustrates the tremendous change in the computer market. Ten years ago, Microsoft and Linux fought over a tripartioned battlefield of consumer products (desktops & laptops), workstations, and servers. Back in 2001, the phrase "the year of Linux on the desktop" was still being written with a straight face, but conventional wisdom held that Microsoft would continue to dominate the desktop and workstation markets.


Not pictured:  Bill Gates

Conventional wisdom proved right—and wrong. While Microsoft continues to dominate its traditional strongholds, it's playing catchup in phones and has no credible tablet OS. There are cracks in the Wintel Alliance and the company faces established opposition from both Google and Apple.

Evolution of An Ecosystem:

Neither Apple nor Google have perfect open source track records. Google's decision to not release Honeycomb's source code has rankled many in the OSS community, while Zemlin acknowledges Apple's spotty record in particular: "Apple is your worst enemy and your best friend if you're an open source guy... Apple in many ways has done a lot of good things for open source and for Linux. It changed the definition of what client computing is... Apple also has a lot of open source components within their products... But I'm not going to argue that they don't have a very closed system as well."

While neither is perfect, the open source involvement of both came about because Linux provided the FOSS community with a practical development framework it couldn't create on its own. Its existence  challenged conventional paradigms of software development.  Zemlin really does have a point when he claims Linux has taken the fight to Microsoft everywhere
but the desktop.

It would, however, be unwise to consider Redmond out of the fight. Microsoft's recent deal with Nokia is proof of the company's financial strength. Windows Phone 7 needs work and we won't see a solid tablet-specific UI until Windows 8, but no one at MS is worrying over whether or not the company can survive such inconveniences. If Zemlin's words paint Microsoft in an amusing light, they also contain a seed of warning. Puppies, after all, eventually grow up.
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I don't have anything relevant to say I just had to lol at the separated at birth picture!!!!

Now you're just mashing it!

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Specjre replied on Thu, Apr 7 2011 6:02 PM

Not if you kick them enough.

note: I do not support kicking puppies.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Apr 7 2011 6:26 PM

This is actually pretty true in many circumstances. Most corporate networks have a Linux, Solaris or other form of Linux in the background. While the consumer desktop may basically be Microsoft generally we all know business is where the money is unless you look at it from a mass consumption perspective. So even though all or most consumer desktops have Windows, Linux is pulling the big money on the servers for all of those desktops predominately in one form or another. So this is an interesting way to look at it to say the least if not utter truth.

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I look forward to Linux moving in on the consumer desktop (if this happens). I really like linux however there is little support for the common games so I must have windows on my PC for all my non work related material.

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Thats one PUPPY i don't want to kick... lol

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OSunday replied on Thu, Apr 7 2011 9:08 PM

Linux is pretty much the foundation for mobile platforms like tablets and smartphones that are out and I'd like to think the number of active linux based mobile devices alone can rival the amount of active windows computers.

Instead of fighting microsoft on their playing field, Linux simply moved to a whole new one

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Linux has spread like wildfire and it's gravitated to all of those pesky places that Microsoft didn't see as being important, or even relevant. But time has altered relevancy in many markets and there is real money being made in a lot of places that didn't seem important to them. Microsoft may be privately kicking themselves in the rear for being shortsighted, while at the same time proclaiming that Linux is still not relevant. Nope, not at all,........

Note: Linux is now a viable desktop alternative if your not heavy into PC gaming. (they're making great strides in gaming too) My (FREE) Ubuntu boxes work fast with fewer resources and slower, older processors and very little RAM. (You should see it go on an i7-870!) They are totally reliable and the OS has everything you need at home or in a small business environment. Drivers are not a problem for me and everything updates better than Windows does. There are free software programs that will utilize every aspect of your PC's features too.

If it wasn't for my gaming addictions, I'd drop Microsoft and never look back.

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rrplay replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 7:29 AM

seems that both MS and Apple have taken 'drop - kicks ' at Linux over the years. Know how could they kick the adorable Puppy Linux ? that a 5 year old could run on some outdated hardware or an old laptop that mom and dad no longer used...come to think of it Puppy Linux based on DSL had quite few derivatives like Chubby Puppy [included office apps]as well as and others for a MacPup?? experience.so over the years the Linux Desktop has been kicked around & usually by those that do not know any better.

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Go Linux and go Zemlin for having the cajones to make that comment :) I recently started playing with Ubuntu and man it is really awesome especially when you consider it is free.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Apr 9 2011 12:37 AM

Rofl it is really funny especially on Apples side as there own OS is pretty much a Unix based Frankenstein anyway. Since it was written by them over a Unix shell I guess it could even fit the original definition for Linux in all realities. I think Microsoft has really dropped the ball here personally. Think about it if what I said about Apple is even just partially true almost ever single mobile smart device runs on a variation of Linux no matter whether it is a iPod, a Android smart phone or a Slate/BB tab or probably even a WEB OS device.

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