[sf-lug] nobody gets fired for buying IBM / was Re: OLPC info for the frustrated (Kristian Erik Hermansen)
jim at well.com
Fri Jan 25 16:24:26 PST 2008
no, no, it's the nigerians and laotian
generals they take to golf.
On Jan 25, 2008, at 3:48 PM, Nathan Hoover wrote:
> 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
>> > apparent, and apparently non-trivial, delivery problems.
>> > At the last OLPC meeting, I was *hugely* impressed with the design
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > the most technically compelling (the company generally preferred to
>> > sidestep or befog A-versus-B performance comparisons), but because
>> > company offered customer service and support that was far superior
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> > but I believe it to be of some relevance. Open source -- especially
>> > Linux -- is a lovely thing, but too often considers user and
>> > needs to be annoying distractions from the "interesting"
>> > bits...
>> > Cheers,
>> > Riley
>> > SFO
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