December 6, 2007
Is saving Linux mission impossible?
In a previous post on Interop News Jeff Gould argued that desktop Linux has slim prospects for ever becoming more than a niche alternative to Windows unless it can somehow come up with a viable business model. Free as in beer doesn't cut it. Judging from the reader responses to that post, it looks like some Linux fans are joining Tom Cruise and Peter Graves in taking on an impossible mission. They are betting that Linux can succeed simply by beating Microsoft in the marketplace of ideas, without getting real traction in the more humdrum marketplace of dollars and cents. But this is not going to happen. The software market regrettably does not belong to that fantasy world where Hollywood scriptwriters make the rules (when they're not on strike), where superspy heroes are rescued from impossible situations with a clickety-clack of the keyboard.