[conspire] FUD nonsense or words of wisdom: You decide!

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 22 14:26:34 PDT 2005

On Thursday 21 April 2005 19:51, Daniel Gimpelevich wrote:
> This list sees many links and quotes from pro-Linux articles.
> Here's an example of what's being said to counter that:
> http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/04/13/16OPcurve_1.html

I wouldn't say that this article is FUD, so much as it is merely 
poor analysis.  Linux and OSS (notice I didn't say FLoss, heh) are 
disruptive technologies, meaning that the best customers of Linux 
products and services are currently price-sensitive customers who 
are not willing to pay a premium for the added "functionality" that 
this author discusses.  

Steve Ballmer has criticized OSS as mere copying.  He's almost 
correct.  The point of Apple products and Microsoft products is to 
solve integration problems for customers who are willing to pay a 
premium for integrating with all of the locked down content and 
data and interoperating with other locked down software.  

But an increasing large segment of society will "hire" the software 
which is good enough to get a basic job done easily and is 
convenient to acquire and use.  So in Asia, the client is becoming 
the cell phone, and many of those are running on Linux.  In the 
developing world, such as the favelas of Sao Paulo, Brazil, there 
are many residential neighborhoods with in adequate power supplies, 
and so people go to local neighborhood telecenters to get their 
computing needs met.  So while the developed world is sharing 
software, the developing world is sharing software AND hardware, 
and increasingly, the software they are sharing is open source.  

What the author of this article doesn't get is that 5 billion people 
live in countries with annual incomes below $10,000.00 USD 
annually.  Those people need flexibility, low cost, and ease of 
acquisition more than the kind of functionality he is talking 
about.  To understand the future of computing, you really need to 
look at the developing world.  Sure, the developed world will 
always have a perceived need for Office 2003 in certain 
circumstances, but for most people in the world, OpenOffice.org 
will do just fine, and is actually preferable, since it is easier 
to share legally.  

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