Sun's Jonathan Schwartz closed yesterday's conference with a pitch for Sun's white-box Linux desktop. On the Linux versus Windows cost-comparison chart, there was an empty space which indicated that it costs nothing to manage a Linux desktop. I'll grant that a Windows PC is, like a boat, a kind of hole in the water that you pour money into -- and that most of that money goes for support. And I've always thought that desktop Linux's best hope was to float that boat. But...zero-cost support? That's not what Tim O'Reilly's informal survey of OS X switchers suggests:
Here's a typical comment: "It's just like having a Linux or FreeBSD box, except it all Just Works."
The other puzzling aspect of the strategy was its notion of platform. It's Linux. No, wait, it's Mozilla, GNOME, and Evolution. No, wait, it's Java -- you know, the Java platform on which Linux, Mozilla, GNOME, and Evolution were built. I'm so confused.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/09/20.html#a417