About

Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed

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Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 15:48

GNU/Linux out-competes another company ...

So Sun has cleared the final (?) hurdle to being bought by Oracle. Well good for them, a lot of smart cookies will keep their jobs to feed themselves for another day. I do feel a bit sad about it - like many, SunOS was my introduction to Unix 19 years ago, and Sun was always one of those 'cool' companies, they made nice looking hardware and weren't just about marketing hype; they had meat under those feathers too. Were they the last true technology company?

In less than 10 years, they've gone from basically running the .com bubble to running out of money, and here's one major reason: GNU/Linux.

Oh sure they could've done things a bit differently - such as free Solaris or Java a bit earlier, but I don't think it would've made much difference in the end. As microsoft are finding - it's pretty hard to compete with `everyone', particularly when it's free. And it's not just the price - free also to take mind-share which is the real killer for any technology company. That GNU/Linux was pretty much a 'Solaris clone' from the start surely didn't help either (I did much of my earliest GNOME code on Solaris - the code was easily ported to Linux).

I wonder which company will be next?

Tagged philosophy.
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