Complacency and bravado
Sun Aug 8 12:08:19 2004 Complacency
Posted by Tony Lawrence
Search Keys: sco lawsuit,microsoft
There's a longish thread in comp.os.linux.misc ( starts at
) about the Linux patent threat issue.
Two common themes I see there are complacency and bravado:
there's a "we have nothing to worry about" attitude mixed with a
strong sense of "you can't hurt us because we're too tough!". I see
the same attitudes at Groklaw.
At one level, I do think that the threats are more FUD than
reality. if you are going to pull your gun, pull it, don't tell me
how many bullets are in the clip. If any of these patents were
really strong, someone would be asserting their rights. And there
is our big buddy IBM who would likely step in to counter threaten
anyone who went after Linux.
But: one thing not to forget is that IBM and other Linux friends
don't see Linux in the same way most of us here do. For us, there
is a large political component: we believe in open source as the
right thing to do. IBM believes in making money. If Linux helps it
fight Microsoft right now, then Linux is the favored son. But that
can change, and IBM and the others can become just as much an enemy
It's just money: I was reading this morning ( http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1630623,00.asp
) that HP is still quite cozy with SCO - because SCO makes them
money. When that stops, HP will drop them - though even now the
flow of cold cash can't be entirely cooling the burning of that
particular hot potato.
So I don't think Linux should be entirely complacent about this.
The bravado is another thing that disturbs me. Bravado is
indicative of immaturity: only the young think they are invincible.
Microsoft is not going to just roll over and die: they will fight
tooth and nail, fair or foul. The most dangerous thing you can do
is underestimate your opponents strength, and I see a lot of that
in the Linux community. Comments like "Microsoft loses all its
lawsuits" are just foolish.
Back when George Bush was ramping us up for the Iraq war, I
happened to talk to a young man who had just joined the Army. He
had the typical confidence of the young: "We're going in there and
kick their butts; I'll be back here by September". That's the same
kind of attitude I see toward Microsoft.
If this page was useful to you, please help others find it:
More Articles by Tony Lawrence
- Find me on Google+
Have you tried Searching this site?
Unix/Linux/Mac OS X support by phone, email or on-site:
This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more. We appreciate comments and article submissions.
Publishing your articles here
Jump to Comments
Many of the products and books I review are things I purchased for my own use. Some were given to me specifically for the purpose of reviewing them. I resell or can earn commissions from the sale of some of these items. Links within these pages may be affiliate links that pay me for referring you to them. That's mostly insignificant amounts of money; whenever it is not I have made my relationship plain. I also may own stock in companies mentioned here. If you have any question, please do feel free to contact me.
Specific links that take you to pages that allow you to purchase the item I reviewed are very likely to pay me a commission. Many of the books I review were given to me by the publishers specifically for the purpose of writing a review. These gifts and referral fees do not affect my opinions; I often give bad reviews anyway.
We use Google third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.