This is G o o g l e's cache of
G o o g l e's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the web.
The page may have changed since that time. Click here for the current page without highlighting.
To link to or bookmark this page, use the following url:

Google is not affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content.

Anti-Linux Comments Rile Supporters
Anti-Linux Comments Rile Supporters

Send this Article
Print this Article
Related Stories
By Vincent Ryan
NewsFactor Network
June 19, 2003

Linux already has a mature software and services ecosystem in place with the likes of IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Dell and SAP supporting the operating system in some way, Jon Perr, vice president of marketing at Ximian, told NewsFactor.

In This Story:

Vendor Comeback

Missed Issues

Valid Points

 Related Stories

Linux does not belong in the enterprise. It is immature, primitive, and puts too much power into the hands of software developers. Besides, the people who espouse Linux use unprofessional language to defend the operating system's business benefits, and people like that do not belong in an enterprise setting.

That is the upshot of a recent editorial by Rob Enderle, a respected research fellow for Forrester Research, who made his comments "not to get people to stop using Linux but to really think through the decision, and if they decide to deploy the platform, be better prepared to defend it and protect themselves and their company."

Enderle's criticism of Linux set off a firestorm of protest on Internet message boards, many noting that he did not base his arguments on technical points but on "fuzzy" issues, such as the risk surrounding the intellectual property suit brought by SCO and the foul language used by Linux supporters.

Vendor Comeback

Some Linux vendors refused to be pulled into the fray. "I'd really rather not debate Rob point for point," Joseph Eckert, a spokesperson for SuSE Latest News about SuSE Linux, told NewsFactor. "He's got his opinion and we disagree with it, as do many of our customers."

But others were happy to poke holes in Enderle's argument against deploying Linux in the enterprise. "My initial reaction is that I would strongly but respectfully disagree with his piece," Jon Perr, vice president of marketing at Ximian, told NewsFactor. "It doesn't accurately reflect what's already taken place in the market."

Linux already has a mature software and services ecosystem in place with the likes of IBM (NYSE: IBM) Latest News about IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) Latest News about Oracle, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) Latest News about Dell Computer and SAP (NYSE: SAP) Latest News about SAP supporting the operating system in some way, Perr said.

Missed Issues

Enderle's article focused on the benefits of the open-source model instead of what enterprise customers see as the primary benefit of Linux: cost and control, Perr said.

"There are many areas of computing both on the server Latest News about Servers and desktop side where being able to deploy a low- or no-cost Linux OS on commodity hardware can bring great savings to organizations," Perr said. And Linux gives the enterprise choice in terms of vendor ties, he added.

"It's not merely a question of companies accessing source code or having better leverage in their relationship with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Latest News about Microsoft, but having the ability to work with multiple vendors. With Linux or the open-source model, you can work with multiple OS vendors and have options in terms of service providers," Perr explained.

Enderle's criticism of Linux's suitability for the enterprise minimizes the progress Linux vendors have made in understanding the importance of interoperability and standards for the enterprise, according to Perr. "We're doing a much better job with enterprise customers than 12 or 24 months ago," he maintains. "Centralized control in a decentralized development model was a challenge in the past, but that's rapidly changing."

Valid Points

Despite his overall disagreement with Enderle's opinions, Perr said the analyst did make some valid points, such as the need for the Linux industry to be very clear on what the business justification is for running Linux in the enterprise.

"The freedom and value of the open-source model are important, but at the end of the day, lowering the total cost of ownership Latest News about cost of ownership and streamlining support and management costs are essential to enterprises," Perr said. "At times, some of the figures in the open-source community get sidetracked on philosophical issues about the value of open source Latest News about open source as opposed to the concrete benefits to enterprise customers."

Linux vendors have to "speak the language of benefits that enterprise customers understand, Perr said. "That part [of Enderle's article] is a helpful piece of advice."

Enderle could not be reached immediately for comment.

Talkback: Click here to add your comment about this story...

See Related Stories
SCO Ups Ante in Dispute with IBM
(2003-06-17 11:52:37)
Intel Benchmark Test: Linux Goes to 600,000
(2003-06-06 12:22:05)
Is Global Linux IBM's Holy Grail?
(2003-05-27 04:00:00)
Is There Any Reason To Buy Microsoft Anymore?
(2003-05-09 04:00:00)
Linux Desktop Myths Exploded
(2003-05-05 11:29:41)