[sf-lug] nobody gets fired for buying IBM / was Re: OLPC info for the frustrated (Kristian Erik Hermansen)
nathan at foo-o-rama.com
Fri Jan 25 15:48:21 PST 2008
Damn, I work in a Microsoft shop and billg doesn't even take me for golf,
let alone bribe me while we're there.
What did I miss?
On 1/25/08, jim stockford <jim at well.com> wrote:
> IBM was famous for making its deals on golf
> courses: "nobody ever gets fired for buying
> IBM", which meant the guy who bought
> honeywell or perkin-elmer was gonna get
> talked about if the systems screwed up even
> a little ("talked about" == "likely fired").
> MSFT's tactics seem similar, at least if court
> cases in USA and EU are an indication.
> seems similar backroom/golf course tactics
> going on with the target markets for OLPC.
> i.e. seems like deal making and even outright
> bribery are at work. the big difference is that
> these days there's a well-organized open
> source community, thanks to internet
> communications. ergo, defending this medium
> and using it seems key.
> On Jan 25, 2008, at 12:55 PM, RBV wrote:
> > Hi:
> > If I can be allowed to make a small side observation about the OLPC's
> > apparent, and apparently non-trivial, delivery problems.
> > At the last OLPC meeting, I was *hugely* impressed with the design and
> > operation of the OLPCs that Jim brought in for us to examine. The
> > OLPC is not only an exemplar of brilliant design, it's a testament to
> > the ability of non-proprietary technologies to fulfill such designs.
> > But those with a historical perspective on technology can remember
> > many instances in which superior technology was trumped by superior
> > pre- and post-sales customer support.
> > For example, IBM became a mainframe giant not because its systems were
> > the most technically compelling (the company generally preferred to
> > sidestep or befog A-versus-B performance comparisons), but because the
> > company offered customer service and support that was far superior to
> > its competitors', albeit in sometimes heavy-handed ways.
> > Intel learned from IBM, and so commandeered market share from more
> > elegantly designed chip products by offering superlative design and
> > manufacturing support.
> > Like many, I'd be genuinely unhappy to see malicious proprietary
> > vendors -- including, not incidentally, Intel -- undermine the OLPC
> > idea. But I'd also say that the critical challenge for OLPC is not
> > one of technologies but rather support. Given that OLPC seems to be
> > antagonizing those who've voted with their pocketbook for the system
> > and its goals, one can but wonder if anyone at OLPC is prepared to
> > understand and react the importance of that support challenge...
> > Sorry if this submission seems a bit to the side of the central issue,
> > but I believe it to be of some relevance. Open source -- especially
> > Linux -- is a lovely thing, but too often considers user and customer
> > needs to be annoying distractions from the "interesting" technological
> > bits...
> > Cheers,
> > Riley
> > SFO
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