Citaat uit "Open Sources"
Zoals ik al zei ging ik een citaatje uit het boek Open Sources, dat ik vrijdag kocht, posten.
In de inleiding vragen de auteurs van het boek zich af hoe bedrijven als SCO zich in de toekomst gaan rechthouden. SCO biedt immers een closed source UNIX aan waar je voor moet betalen, terwijl je gratis Linux kan gebruiken... Ik vond het wel opmerkelijk dat de auteurs juist SCO als voorbeeld namen in 1998, terwijl net dit bedrijf nu de grote boeman is in de Linux wereld... Enkele citaten:
In fact, proprietary software vendors have already suffered a number of quiet casualties. Linux and Free BSD have really eliminated opportunities to successfully sell a proprietary Unix on PC hardware. One such company, Coherent, has already foundered. The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) has gone from a leading Unix vendor to an afterthought in the span of a couple of years. SCO, the company, will probably find a way to survive, but will its flagship product, SCO Unix, be another casualty of Open Source?
SCO, on the other hand, makes money by selling the SCO Unix operating system, programs like compilers and servers, and training and education on the use of the SCO products. So while SCO has a nicely put together organization, it is in danger the same way that a farm with one crop can be vulnerable to a single blight destroying a harvest.
SCO, on the other hand, has a less flexible model. SCO's pricing model sells the OS first, with additional costs for tools that the Linux user takes for granted, such as compilers and text processing languages. This model simply can't be sustained in the face of competition from a robust free OS. Unlike Sun, which has added value in its broad hardware line, SCO has no hardware to tie profits to. Their OS is essentially all they have, and in SCO's case, that's not good enough. What will SCO do?
Their response so far has not been enlightened. In the beginning of 1998, SCO sent out a letter to its vast mailing list of users slamming open Unixes like Linux and FreeBSD as unstable and unprofessional while offering a reduced price on the SCO base OS. They were widely scorned for this move and had to do some serious backpedaling. The letter insulted a number of people by blatantly lying about the credentials of Linux. SCO didn't give their customers credit for being smart enough to see through the FUD. SCO eventually published a retraction on their web site.
In late 1998, SCO sent out a press release talking about how SCO Unix now has a Linux compatibility layer, so that your favorite Linux programs can be run under SCO Unix. The response was underwhelming. Why spend money on an OS just to make it compatible with a competitive free offering?
SCO is in a unique position to benefit from the Open Source movement. SCO has some very valuable intellectual property that they can leverage into a real position of power in the Open Source future. They must, however, make a leap of faith. Instead of seeing Open Source as a threat that would erode SCO's intellectual property, they need to see Open Source as an opportunity to bring innovation to that intellectual property.