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Linux and the Giant Killer
Douglas Chick


Red Hat, (RHAT:Nasdaq) the Linux market leader upset analyst projections and is doing very well against Microsoft stock. (MSFT:Nasdaq) Even Novell looks like its making a comeback since it decided to incorporate Linux in it's own operating systems. Linux isn't taking Microsoft's market share as rapidly as Microsoft took Novell's, but it is making steady inroads that are gaining momentum with strong staying power. The same computer hardware giants that made Microsoft will also ultimately defeat them as we are beginning to see with IBM and other computer makers that have adopted the Open Source technology. 

On CNN today I watched Bill Gates state that one-day computer hardware will be free and you will only have to pay for the software? After blinking a couple of times in silence I thought, for that to actually happen Microsoft would have to: 
  • Move all computer manufacturing jobs to India and China.
  • Offset the cost of hardware by charging more for software
  • Have the government subsidize the cost of the hardware.
  • Become a giant monopoly.

I just shake my head. Isn't what Bill Gates said the exact opposite of what we already have? Isn't Linux free and you only have to purchase the hardware? 

At a Microsoft seminar on Monday my wife heard the speaker say: "Nobody is going to pay you $100 to install $50 software." 

I disagree; in an economy where computer people have been hurt the hardest, I offer that there are many companies that will pay you $1000 to install free software that will save them $5000 in licensing. 

Time is against all tyrants, dictators and bullies. What the revolutionist can't liberate, fate and peasant technology will overcome. As the corporate lawyer army forced Lindows to withdraw from three countries and SCO charge against IBM/Linux, Microsoft suffers a larger fate from the European Union. But I don't think it will be time that breaks Microsoft's hold on the computer operating system, it will be the lowly computer administrator and his or her decision on where to spend their company's money on new hardware or software? My beat is on the hardware.