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Unisys: We No Longer Have A Way Out

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the change-of-heart dept.

Unix 196

rbochan writes "Some of you may recall a couple of years back when Microsoft and Unisys decided that a multi-million dollar ad campaign against *nix was in order, dubbed 'We Have A Way Out.' The results weren't what they'd hoped. ZDNet is now reporting that Unisys has done an about face and is now touting Linux as 'a mature technology and the right cost-effective option for many companies.'"

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Is the market really moving? (2, Insightful)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958074)

Is it just me and all the articles I'm reading on slashdot, or is the market truly getting ready for a serious Microsoft ousting? All the things are lining up...google, new Firefoxes, OpenOffice...

The world follows the tech people, and the tech people say its time to ditch Microsoft. I see something happening.

Mature is right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958122)

Linux is based on 1960's mainframe technology, which in computer terms means 'Jurassic'. (Mainframes are the computers that you sometimes see in the movies with flashing lights and reel-to-reel tape decks). XTerm, the Linux equivalent of cmd.exe is based on something called a 'vt100 emulator' which is another ancient piece of hardware invented by DEC back in the 1960s.

So when someone touts Linux as 'mature' you know what they really mean is "old".

Don't get me wrong, Linux and other hobbyist shareware operating systems have their place, but that place is not running cutting edge web service based applications. For that you need something a bit more up-to-date than 1960 technology, and in the modern world, that means Microsoft.

I really wish it wasn't the case, but you have to agree, Microsoft is the only practical game in town for this sort of thing.

Also the world does not 'follow tech people', it spends much of it's time cursing them and the 'technologies' such people foist on them.

Re:Mature is right (1)

Olix (812847) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958167)

By "Linux" do you mean the kernel, the GNU elements or what? I think the Linux Kernal makes up 3% of the code, and GNU about 23%? I am sure I read something ot that effect on some site. Anyway, methinks that If a small percentage of these small percentages of the code originates in the 1960s, it doesn't represent much in the grand scheme of things.

Re:Mature is right (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958652)

Odd. The first Fast Fourier Transform function written in C was in the 1970s. It's still the best one to date for processing large-scale spectral analysis.

Besides which, non of the Linux kernel code could have originated before Mr. Torvalds sat down and started his hobby.

As for the GNU portion of the code... When's Grub 2 coming out?

that would be nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958184)

For that you need something a bit more up-to-date than 1960 technology, and in the modern world, that means Microsoft.

You are absolutely right that Linux is largely 1960's and 1970's technology. Unfortunately, Microsoft is the same thing, only that their implementations are worse and they cost more.

As long as I have to use outdated technologies, at least I'm going to pick the ones that are cheap and open.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Olix (812847) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958131)

Until GNU/Linux and other Free Software programs can provide the same quality of service for "Normal people", (that is to say your Mum or your Granddad) Commerical Software like microsoft will always be the mainstream. Perhaps to an extent free software already does this, but unless Linux, Open Office etc can afford to spend money on advertising, I don't think the bulk of the non-nerd masses will realise this.

Also, I do not approve of the way you group "google" with Firefox and OpenOffice. Remember, Gates was a good guy once, too.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958175)

Until GNU/Linux and other Free Software programs can...yada yada yada blah blah blah

I hope you at least have that saved to a file you can cut and paste from, so you don't have to keep retyping it.

Re:Is the market really moving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958193)

Until GNU/Linux and other Free Software programs can provide the same quality of service for "Normal people", (that is to say your Mum or your Granddad) Commerical Software like microsoft will always be the mainstream.

I certainly hope Linux NEVER provides 'the same quality of service' as Microsoft.
Granpa's heart couldn't stand the strain of all those viruses and blue screens of death.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Olix (812847) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958250)

I was referring to many proprietary products being much more accessible than Linux. I don't like Microsoft, and I use Linux myself, but to people who are less technologically able the Microsoft "package" is better.

it's kind of like (if you are British) going on holiday. You can go with a package airline, or you can book everything yourself. If you go with the package airline it is easy: You may some people a bit of money and everything is sorted for you - people meet you at the airport and tell you where to go, you get coached to your hotel and have someone to complain to if everything goes wrong.

If you book the holiday yourself, though, you have the freedom to go where ever, whenever, its cheaper and to a lot of people it is the better way of doing things. There is still a lot of people who go with those package Holidays though, even though they cost more etc, because they make it very easy for the people going on them. You don't have to think or try to work anything out yourself.

hopefully that works as a bit of a metaphor for Windows vs. Linux. Linux is loads better, cheaper and gives you more freedom, but people still go with Microsoft because it is easier on them.

Games! (4, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958309)

Need I say more?

Re:Games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958634)

No, just grow up.

Re:Games! (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958687)

Haha, now I'm informative. /. is getting funnier all the time. It was a serious comment, but informative? Come on!

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Liam Slider (908600) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958431)

Until GNU/Linux and other Free Software programs can provide the same quality of service for "Normal people", (that is to say your Mum or your Granddad)
Does for my Granddad...has for years. He used to use SuSE, now he runs a Mepis box. And no, he's not a techie, he's a fairly typical clueless user.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Svippy (876087) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958142)

Everything must come to an end. Surely Microsoft will too someday.

Besides, I am not entirely sure when it will happen. Since it still covers over 90%* of all desktop PCs, I am that sure it will happen any given day, but I can only support moving in the right direction.

*note: I don't have a source for this, but that's what I'm told. :o

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958345)

It wasn't too long ago that Intel covered 90% of all desktop PCs as well.

Re:Is the market really moving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958554)

They still do! AMD, like Linux, is a hiccup in the computing marketshare.

Re:Is the market really moving? (5, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958156)

You said it, but I don't think you understood it -

The tech people say it's time to ditch Microsoft.

The business people don't necessarily get it. I talked to a guy yesterday who owns a group of companies such as an ISP, a computer repair shop, computer retail sales shop, web design firm, and business tech consulting company. He was showing me a home-grown web application that was quite impressive... until I asked him if it worked on Firefox. He laughed, looked at me and said, "No. Why would I support a browser with less than 1% of the market share?" I corrected him - 11% according to recent articles and as high as 40% on many of my clients' websites. His response was something along the lines of "when it gets to 40% across the board, I'll consider supporting it."

The point is, he's a business owner in our industry. He's a smart tech guy, but he's fully adopted Microsoft and defends its use. He can make a strong case for them to his clients, which are many. Business people don't see the world the same way that the tech folks do.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

ScottyH (791307) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958240)

Man does that make me angry.

lol. that's why he'll never be really big (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958247)

Someone's always going to be one step in front, ticking that extra box. It's fine if you're happy with your business ticking over.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

The Lerneaen Hydra (885793) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958301)

Well then it will obviously be his app that is ditched in favor of a more open app by /.^H^H the masses when they say "dammit this doesn't work. Oh well, lets find another that works correctly."

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958398)

The business people don't necessarily get it.

Business and engineers are usually directyl opposed to eachother. At my place of business, I am currently debugging a real time data acquisiton system written in visual basic. I shit you not. Needless to say it is extremely ugly. People have a very hard time thinking outside their (sometimes small) range of knowledge.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958455)



For the record, I have a lot of experience programming real-time systems. Mostly to do with haptics, which always has a fairly high-speed servoloop running underneath a graphical 3D interface. The low-level stuff... it was in C++, i completely re-coded it in C just so I'd be able to port it to RTLinux. So I know what I'm talking about. And when I read your comment about debugging a real-time system written in VB.. well... I just had to say:


Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958620)

yea its bad ... whats even worse is the main app is written in VB, which calls a communications library written in python, which makes up to 6 copies of ANOTHER library written in VB. The whole thing was cobbled together as a proof of concept because a very good engineer decided to quit, and the company said to him "instead of quitting, tell us what YOU want to work on" (which was actually quite forward thinking). So he invented this software and a fairly amazing test fixture which automates a lengthy manufacturing process which until then was being done by hand. So the automated process was producing way better tolerances than the by hand method, so our customers started demanding that all units pass through the process. So management decided to deploy the system even though it was a protoptype, and it actually worked sort of ok for awhile. But clean room space is very expensive, so someone had the bright idea of, well, we can connect more then one test fixture to a computer and save that space (saves about 50k for each fixture that doesn't need its own computer). So at that point the prototype VB real time application was extended to work with more than one fixture, and thats when all hell broke loose :)

Re:Is the market really moving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958501)

Agreed. I just went from a 50 person start-up, just beginning to make money, to a 5000 person company. Guess what expertise is no longer required since we're "no longer supporting a niche market", and I'm on a contract to port over everything to their "main market", while the people who assured their jobs by never completing or documenting their projects are now guaranteed work for the next 5-year "business plan" whose only use is to draw investor money and has nothing to do with what the market will actually be by then?

Using Microsoft and the heavy-weight Oracle database is fine for a 20,000 person company when you have budget to hire 5 people to run the back end anyway. It's no good for a small business with 5 employees: they need something lightweight and robust and without expensive proprietary licenses that only run on big iron, and their market is ripe for the next start-up. I'd create it myself, but I'm terrible at getting funding.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958545)

"The tech people say it's time to ditch Microsoft."

If I were a business person, and the guy running everything it took to make my business work said "you need to switch to this new system and learn a few basics" I'd definitely consider it.

If they say "OMG WTF get ridz of MS it is teh EEEEVIL"
I'm going to ignore them.

If they behave like real people and not dungeon trolls, then I, (as the business person in the example) would most certainly consider it.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

stewby18 (594952) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958548)

He may be a smart tech guy, but I have to wonder about the business acumen of someone who is willing to simply write off 11%-40% of all potential customers.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958570)

Wow, I guess he won't be getting any business from me, my employer, or any of the people for whom I consult. Most everyone I know uses Firefox (or Safari), including all my hardcore Windows-geek friends. They know a good thing when they see it.

Whenever I see a general-purpose application that is Windows-only, Linux-only, or Mac-only, I see a basic lack of respect for the end-user. Why the hell should I have to wrap *my* business model around *your* IT choices? I also don't understand the mindset that says it's okay to be an ass to potential customers. I mean, seriously, it's a *minor* time investment, compared to the time spent building the app, to design your web apps with standards in mind, and by doing so, you give yourself Another Competitive Edge over the competition. Even more importantly, sticking with standards makes your *more* portable in the future, so while your competition is struggling to adapt to the Next Great Thing, you can make a quick and smooth transition.

Basically, for all the sales-types out there, which of the following would YOU rather pitch to a potential customer?

1. Our product gives you X, Y, and Z!

2. Our product gives you X, Y, and Z! Plus, it works on anything, so no matter what your future IT direction, we'll be along for the ride!

World events (2, Insightful)

matt me (850665) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958172)

Ok, lets put the fall of Microsoft in line with world events.

Peeps returning to the moon - before.
The US pulling out of Iraq - after.
The Hitch-Hiker's guide is edited to read 'a species so primitive they still think iPods are a pretty neat idea' - before.
Wikipedia acquires the majority of human knowledge, only to be wholy corrupted by mass spamming (like our current web) - after.
The collapse/reformation of the record industry - around the same time, I reckon. Possibly related. It's a similar idea.

(Ok I have a screwed concept of world events. Real suggestions?)

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

dioscaido (541037) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958276)

At the same time, Microsoft is lining up to have the largest release schedule in their history. In the 2006 fiscal year we'll see -- Xbox 360, Visual Studio 2005, SQL Servier 2005, Office 12, Vista, and new versions of quite a few other smaller properties. They are forecasting double digit growth in revenue.

Whatever is going on in the market, it's going to be a really interesting 2006.

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Botty (715495) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958510)

Holy crap their revenue is going to grow by $10-$99?! :)

Think percentage... (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958618)

Their revenue is going to grow by 10 to 99%

Re:Is the market really moving? (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958666)

* Due to release delays, this entire schedule is to be moved back and average of six months.

Re:Is the market really moving? Intel Too?? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958329)

The world follows the tech people, and the tech people say its time to ditch Microsoft. I see something happening.

Gee, can we ditch Intel too? All I'm seeing these days is Intel being trounced by AMD in yet another benchmark.

Personally I'm happy to see this happening because I remember when Intel completely controlled product release cycles, and was in no hurry to bring out the next generation until they'd wrung the last dollar out of the previous one. AMD came on the scene with a 386DX-40 and things have never been the same since. Even IBM competed with Intel at that time, but dropped out soon afterwards. Competed with Microsoft for a bit (OS/2) before dropping what was really a better OS at the time.

Re:Is the market really moving? Intel Too?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958579)

Mmmm. Smell that fanboi revisionist history. Ain't it grand?

AMD was a bubblegum and duct tape operation until about 1998, well after Intel had advanced the industry well past the 386DX-40. IBM was the primary motivating factor until then, and OS/2 was always a fraction of the functionality of even what DOS/Win16 provided.

Re:Is the market really moving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958505)

I see something happening.

I do, too. On a really low level, which is the only way in which a major shift will truly happen.

I've noticed that many of my friends use Firefox and really like it, mostly after me or another of their computer-knowledgeable friends told them about it.

In school yesterday, a guy said to a girl that he'd switched to Mac (it may not be Linux, but at least it's something), citing viruses and hackers (apparently his box got used repeatedly as an "offsite backup") as the main reason. She replied that she considered doing the same.

Maybe Firefox is the catalyst for this? It shows the average Joe that there are alternatives to Microsoft products.

Convictions (1)

Nifrith (860526) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958075)

It's nice to know Microsoft can trust companies with 'strong' convictions.

Unisys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958084)

Don't they supply my cafeteria hardware? Forks and spoons an shit?
Without proper expertise how can you conquer unix guru's armed with tools like
su - root and cd / ; rm -rf *?

Never ever deal with Unisys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958092)

or buy their products. We must make these bas*ta*ds pay!

I wonder... (1)

serlaten (619839) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958383)

what does the first asterix hide?

It didn't? (3, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958096)

From the article:

The same ad depicts a scene in which a computer user has painted himself into a corner with purple paint. Sun's servers are manufactured in a shade of purple similar to that in the ad.

Sun responded to the campaign in a statement. "Sun still does not see Microsoft as a real threat in the datacenter market where reliability, availability, serviceability and security are key," the company said. "As for Unix being 'inflexible,' 'expensive,' and 'complex,' we feel those are terms much better suited to the closed and proprietary world of Windows."

Well, if the target was Sun as the article suggested, it seems to me things worked out just dandy from Microsoft's perspective. I would venture to say that Microsoft's market penetration in datacenters has grown quite a bit since 2002, while I'm equally certain Sun's has faded.

Re:It didn't? (1, Troll)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958244)

  closed and proprietary world of Windows.

I didn't realize Solaris was open & non-proprietary.

Re:It didn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958433)

By Sun's definition of 'open' it is. That is to say, they support agreed upon standards for protocols and interfaces and programming languages, etc. Which is good as far as it goes. It's open in the sense that anyone can design to the standard and interoperate.

Re:It didn't? (3, Informative)

illumina+us (615188) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958500)

Well... it kind of is [opensolaris.org]

Re:It didn't? (4, Interesting)

photon317 (208409) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958382)

Sun has lost datacenter shares to Linux, not to Microsoft. Windows just isn't even in remotely the same ballpark as *nix for the kinds of things most people deploy *nix for in datacenters. I've never really heard of any significant cases of people migrating significant services from *nix to windows in the datacenter, other than "business" windows desktop services like company email, company file sharing volumes, etc. At most companies that matter, internal business services are just a small thing running in the corner somewhere compared to whatever domain-specific thing it is they really do with most of their hardware.

Even on the business desktop services side, I suspect we're (finally) seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. As more US states, foreign governments, and eventually the US feds adopt document standards like OpenDocument that OOo uses and start embracing the idea that government software must be open-source, the effect will filter down to private business. First to those that contract with the government directly, and then to businesses that in turn contract with them, etc. The net effect of that change will be that the typical corporate desktop will be running OpenOffice, Firefox, Evolution/Thunderbird/Sunbird/etc (or similar in nature/compatibility) software, and the data being interchanged will be flowing in open formats on open protocols (even if, at least initially, the desktop OS itself is still Windows).

At that point the momentum builds strongly for converting the backend business services off of Windows servers and onto Linux, and off of Windows and onto something better (maybe a future better Linux corporate desktop, or OS/X for x86, or god knows what).

Backing Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958103)

I think that Unisys is awesome for embracing Linux. It would be pretty nice to have more backing behind development of open source projects. This is a very good thing.

I remember when ... (4, Funny)

krygny (473134) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958111)

... the site first went up. IIRC, it was hosted on Apache on Solaris (or some such *NIX). A day or so later, it was pulled and replaced with IIS on Windows [NT|2000]. After that, I never payed it no nevermind.

Re:I remember when ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958159)

I also seem to remember the site being down for a while shortly after the switch to IIS.

Bloody twits. (5, Insightful)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958121)

This is why running a smear campaigain is a bad idea. Every now and then, it works, but it more often than not comes back to bite you in the ass. You're much better off to say nothing, or to say something that just casts yourself in a positive light.

Think about it -- you're interviewing two guys for an important job. One talks about all the good things he's done at his last job. The other talks about how screwed up things were and how he 'fixed' them. Who are you going to hire?

OT: People do this, too; there was an individual (name and gender withheld) at a previous place of employment with a resume filled with things like "Took a mis-managed department and brought it to productivity." Not only was this one of the worst employees we ever hired, but said employee got canned after six months because they did *nothing* but complain about how other departments were stopping them from doing their job.

The replacement had a more positive mindset, and caught up on the backlog within two months. Needless to say, he got promoted a couple of times.

Re:Bloody twits. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958211)

Yea they are people like that especially in government. They spend so much resources finding roadblocks to doing their job and less time working around them and getting it done. There will always be roadblocks sometimes they are so big that they need attention to be fixed but most of the time you need to know they are there and around them. If I am working in a windows show that will not allow any Linux/Unix systems on the network and you are unable to install unix tools to get your job done faster, Use what you have and get the job done don't just stick there and say I can't do it because it is so much faster to grep then to open in notepad and do a ctrl-f. It will not be a perfect world live with it. As for unisys you better be sure what you say is the absolute truth before you begin a smear some one else because like the guy who works around roadblocks will use that tiny flaw to their advantage.

Re:Bloody twits. (2, Interesting)

Evro (18923) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958229)

Think about it -- you're interviewing two guys for an important job. One talks about all the good things he's done at his last job. The other talks about how screwed up things were and how he 'fixed' them. Who are you going to hire?

Well, if you're looking to hire someone to fix a problem, experience fixing those types of problems seems like something you'd look for. I worked at one place where I literally fixed everything - the production web server was rooted and they had no security features in place, at all. I cleaned everything up, built a firewall and a sane security policy. At my next interview, while I didn't dwell on how bad things were before I started, I made it clear that I "fixed" a lot of stuff.

Re:Bloody twits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958359)

If you're not actually from England, why do you try to sound like you are?

Unisys needs more PR (3, Funny)

klingens (147173) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958123)

One issue is that the company does not have great visibility outside its core markets. "Customers say, 'We wish you were better known,' and we have to address that," he said.

That's an easy request: just patent more popular graphics fileformats with submarine patents and then start enforcing them a few years down the line. Instant Press!

Word. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958304)

I thought people had already forgotten this. What they did with the GIF format is plain evil and quite frankly unforgivable. Anyone who owns Unisys shares deliberately ie, not through a mutual fund) is owning a share with the devil. At least RSA did the right thing and released their patent into the public domain as a gesture just before the patent expired although quite frankly their patent should have been rescinded when it came to light that the idea was non unique because it had been invented previously by British Intelligence / NSA). Unisys however, acting bitter, did no such thing.

Re:Word. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958534)

[OT, I know, but I just have to ask]

Does owning shares indirectly through mutual funds make it any better?

Campaign slogan (4, Funny)

Slashdiddly (917720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958150)

Well, it's possible they meant it as in "suicide is a way out". It's true!

Unisys' strategy for growth (4, Funny)

rsax (603351) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958158)

He said the enterprise services company is now focused on four core areas: Enterprise security, real-time infrastructures, open source and the Microsoft market.

Way to narrow it down.

Just a Thought (5, Insightful)

Edunikki (677354) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958163)

As much as many are devoted to Linux here, isn't this a case of Microsoft has not had a real OS refresh in years while, during that period, Linux has been constantly improving?
As much as it appears Unisys was in it for the money, it could just be they have reached some kind of tipping point where they believe that Linux now is a viable alternative to MS where they didn't previously. You know, opinions changing when the facts do . . .

Re:Just a Thought (1)

botsmaster25 (463073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958478)

"isn't this a case of Microsoft has not had a real OS refresh in years" No it isn't. Windows 2003 was released two years ago.

Re:Just a Thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958617)

And XP service pack 2 was a substantial update.

Smear campaigns (0, Troll)

cnerd2025 (903423) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958164)

Smear campaigns only work a) if you are M$ and that is all you are capable of (can you blame them? They can't seem to make any good software, so smearing the other guy is the only acceptable solution) or b) you are against SCO, in which case nothing is actually accomplished. Well, the only thing that is accomplished is lawyers have more job-security. Smear campaigns don't work when in business. It's not like an election, when the choice is made only every term. People choose to buy or not all the time. So if you say something like Satan uses Linux, and then a few years later you state that Linux is (of course) a very good OS, then people will take it and your own words will bite you in the ass. Businesses should spend more time training the troops rather than shouting from the bleachers. If they just made reliable goods or rendered useful service and used decent marketing to inform about each, we'd have a better market economy. But as long as monopolies like M$ are able to coerce, it is a lost cause...

Re:Smear campaigns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958314)

"Satan uses Linux"

Everyone knows Satan uses daemon approved BSD. jeeeezzzz.

Condemned clerks use Windows Millenium Edition, though.

uni..who ?? (1)

teaDrunk (849107) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958173)

Unisys who ?

Re:uni..who ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958225)

Unisys Corporation. They run everything you can possibly think of in the shadows. They do grunt work and high end work for lots of other companies as well as have their own line of enterprise mega-servers. They just don't have that good of marketing team. (According to this article, looks like things are changing.)

No Way Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958208)

That was evident when they partnered with Microsoft.

No one ever gets out alive.

Re:No Way Out (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958294)

That's not true ... some make it out alive. But for some reason they never talk about the experience, and are often missing limbs and other body parts.

insider viewpoint (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958214)

A disclaimer: I am a Unisys employee.

Unisys is definitely making a move towards widespread adoption of Linux (Red Hat and SuSE) as a development platform, and various other open source development tools (eg, Maven, Eclipse, various parts of Apache Commons, etc). Regardless of current marketing hype from Blackmore and McGrath (the CEO), this is very much a bottom-up driven initiative. Open source software is finding itself in an increasing number of Unisys solutions, to the occasional consternation of management. So what you're hearing from the Unisys management publicly now is "hooray, Open Source," but what you would have heard a few years ago was... well, nothing, unless you worked for Unisys, in which case you probably would heard "stay the hell away."

Note: when I say "finding my way into," I don't mean "being stolen." Unisys is being extremely careful as to what the various license requirements are for the things it's using, so developers and architects are cognizant of the implications of the GPL and other similar "sharealike" licenses where their efforts are concerned. My experience with the developers here has been that they are pretty agnostic about everything except efficacy - they just want the stuff to work, and they want to get it done right for as little money as they can spend. I find that to be a healthy attitude.

For a guy like me whose roots are pretty heavily in open software, there's more than a little irony here. You may recall Unisys' spat with the Free Software Foundation [gnu.org] , or... well, really a whole bunch of people, including Accuweather [com.com] , over software patent issues.

One last thing: Peter Blackmore has identified outsourcing as a major component of the Unisys strategy. He's not kidding. Tons of Unisys developers have been axed over the last few years, and much of the development activity has been given to Caritor [caritor.com] employees, based either locally at Unisys offices, or in India. The ones I've worked with are good guys, but there's more than a little discomfort between the two groups. Many Unisys folks see his biggest impact on the company as having been the guy who sent Unisys jobs to India.

Re:insider viewpoint (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958249)

Apogigies about my rant in another post...

http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=167419&c id=13958221 [slashdot.org]

I only have respect for anybody that works at UNISYS...historically it's been a horrible place to work. Don't feel bad though, the contract where I worked on Unisys equipment was for EDS.....which might even be worse...

Re:insider viewpoint - Say this with great care !! (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958391)

A disclaimer: I am a Unisys employee.

Not a statement I'd be making casually about any employer these days. With the way the current laws are, companies have been able to mis-use the court system to get subpoenas issued forcing providers to reveal anonymous poster's real names with the alleged intent to pursue a court suit for illegal activities, only to drop said suit once they've identified the poster. Then they harass/fire the formerly anonymous poster.

One such case can be found here. [theregister.co.uk]

This should be a Slashdot article of its own since the person is now suing for this misuse of the court system -- and I hope he wins big!

Re:insider viewpoint (2, Informative)

The GooMan (892098) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958407)

We just got rid of 4 of the new Unisys Dorados and a couple of Unisys ES7000s. The Dorados were running OS2200 I assume but the ES7000 is loaded with Microsoft stuff. There was Server 2003 on it and a couple of XP instances. At my job I am labeled the Microsoft stooge (just because I don't think that MS and/or Gates is responsible for every bad thing that has ever happened in the history of the world) but I have to admit those ES7000 were total garbage. They replaced some older ClearPaths but everybody yearned for the ClearPaths back. The Dorados were absolute garbage right out of the box. The Unisys field engineers were constantly in to replace boards and stuff. The exec level folks were not happy.

I have several personal friends who work Unisys and I used to sub-contract for them but the paths they take seem to always be wrong. This brings back memories of me providing Exec, MCB, DPS and TIP support for Unisys.

Re:insider viewpoint (1)

bananasfalklands (826472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958419)

I kept 'bumping' into unisys staff at novell training events (owners of Suse). None of them used anything except Microsoft. Not quite sure why they tuned up perhaps they where bored?

It did not leave me feeling confident about unisys.

Re:insider viewpoint (2, Interesting)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958425)

Nice to see the change of heart. A few years ago we wanted an Itanium system for HPC use, and You (you unisys, probably not you personally) had a new SMP box that looked promising. Our code was tuned for SMP, and we wanted to move it off Suns with as little pain as possible.

LSS: I called up, asked about the machine, got a nice salescritter, and mentioned we wanted to run Unix on it, and the conversation suddenly became a Microsoft sales session. You critter couldn't possibly understand why I wouldn't just rewrite a quarter of a million lines of code so that it could run under an experimental version of Windows, rather than use a non-Microsoft OS. In the end, we bought HP Itania, put up with MPI, used RHEL, and the 6.0 series of Intel compilers, and never looked back.

Just a touch of vision, and you guys could have been Sun-killers. You could have established yourselves as a reliable supplier of mid-sized 64-bit SMP boxen. As it was, IBM and HP pushed Linux on biggish iron, Dell pushed Win2K on small boxen, and people thought, "why do I want a computer that uses vacuum tubes" when the name Unisys came up.

You sound like a sane and intelligent person. My best wishes to you (seriously) at Unisys. I worked for a sinking barge once, with a sharp disconnect between the top and the bottom, so you have my sympathy.

Unisys = hoars (3, Informative)

Danathar (267989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958221)

You may label this as a rant.....

I worked on Unisys Sperry Mainframe equipment for almost 7 years. I can tell you categorically that Unisys tried every possible way to kill products it's customer wanted. When IBM was bleeding money Unisys had the better Mainframe OS (OS2200). Since then IBM has done more to innovate the mainfame market (moved to CMOS, embrased UNIX/LINUX, enabled OS390 for the Internet world). Meanwhile Unisys tried to get in bed with Microsoft and changed their product line so that anything that was not MS centric was basically a "legacy" platform where they just wanted the old Sperry/Burroughs customer base to dump their investment in older technologies and move to WinNT/Win2k servers.

The history of Unisys is that they put their finger in the wind see which way it's going and join the crowd YEARS after the initial party is over.

The only GOOD thing I can say about Unisys is that my contract (I was a Lead computer operator/batch scheduler) ended as a result of them promising equipment to the customer at cut rates that they then dragged their feet delivering...and as a result I quit and found a better job, doing LINUX!....thank you UNISYS!

Re:Unisys = hoars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958260)

did you quit and find a better job or did you find a better job then quit?

Re:Unisys = hoars (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958266)

contract ended, then I found another position doing HP-UX, which led to LINUX work

Re:Unisys = hoars (1)

The Shrewd Dude (880136) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958313)

Unisys = hoars

It's actually spelled "whores".

Re:Unisys = hoars (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958325)

oh I don't know, both probably work

Re:Unisys = hoars (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958557)

not really:

Noun: hoar hor

      1. Ice crystals forming a white deposit (especially on objects outside)
            - frost, hoarfrost, rime

Adjective: hoar hor

      1. Showing characteristics of age, especially having grey or white hair
            "whose beard with age is hoar"

  -- wordwebonline.com

DUH? (1, Redundant)

netkid91 (915818) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958235)

The Linux movement wil never be complete until the normal(how do I browse the web?, J/K, but you get it) people can use it without EVER needing the command line, the average user is uncomfortable and afraid of it, and everyone has grown up(well, most) using M$'s GUI control panel that makes everything 'so easy', hell most people even think of this when they think of Linux.

[Root@localhost ~]$

They think that Linux is STILL command line only, hell I just impressed the librarian at my school by booting up a LiveCD, asking her what OS she thought it was, and as soon as she said "Windows" I about burst a gut. Until sterotypes are removed, and Linux can be run by a novice it will not become mainstream.

Re:DUH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958261)

Most librarians know they can't go wrong marrying a dopehead
conservative scion with a silver spoon up his/her tuchus and
a major hardon for the prevailing party theory with an iq 110.
So what is your point?

Re:DUH? (1)

netkid91 (915818) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958288)

This is why I hate you trolling cowards, we can't damage your karma, honestly because of you we should force you to register just to post a comment....

Re:DUH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958506)

Rubbish. I deal with your average users every day. (5000 students who don't have much of a clue - it should just work). Every PC is privately owned and each one is badly set up by the user. No one knows how to use their PC - even with the shiny MS GUI's. Instead people just get confused when you start speaking to them about viruses, windows update, spyware, rootkits etc... These are more confusing to most people than Linux is.

I let a friend borrow my laptop with ubuntu installed on it so they could do some work whilst travelling - the only thing I had to show them how to do was unmount a usb key (not command line, but in Gnome). They settled right in using OpenOffice and I didn't hear a peep from them for the week they had it (compared to the usual 'why is my computer so slow' style questions I receive on a daily basis from them).

It is a simple case of fear of change - nothing else. People are happy stuck with the crap they put up with and can't be bothered with the effort of asking someone to fix it properly for them.

Microsoft in the DataCenter? Not reliable! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958246)

You can get certified Unix that is carrier telecom grade certified reliable (99.999%). Same for Linux and Linux embedded. No version of Microsoft operating system has been carrier telecom grade certified. Even though Microsoft in their old 1998 print advertising claim that their NT operating system was 99.999%. So far, Microsoft has never tried to get its current operating system certified for carrier telecom grade use, because it will fail.

I wish I posted this one earlier in the thread (-1, Troll)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958252)

Everyone break out the hand lotion and tissues, because this story is definitely meant to be a weekend wankfest.

Both would have their own place ......... (1)

meshweta (928769) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958256)

I think both microsoft and the *nix family of OS will have their own place in the market. We all will have to agree to the fact that Linux is meant for "intelligent" users, as for Windows, it would still rule the market as OS for the masses.

The relative business expansion would highly depend on the business strategies of what good they propogate for themselves rather than how bad the other is. Both the tech as well as the business community knows the power of both in todays market.

I just like the expirience an Open Source OS like Linux has to offer, which makes a simple task of writing a min functional driver an njoyable task.....

Re:Both would have their own place ......... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958531)

Lindows/Linspire is for the masses.

But how does M$ do it? (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958282)

How does M$ keep its website secure? With all the millions of Windows systems out there getting updated all the time, and generating traffic for other reasons, I wonder why M$'s website has never been taken down - never! How does M$ do it?

Re:But how does M$ do it? (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958327)

For their site to work proper, you have to use IE.

How? Linux. Duh. (2, Informative)

Tony (765) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958374)

By using Linux [aaxnet.com] , that's how.

Yeah, I'm a Linux fanboy. Sue me.

Re:How? Linux. Duh. (1)

saitoh (589746) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958476)

uh huh... [netcraft.com]

No idea about the stuff on the inside, but the front lines *seem* to be towing the corp line.

Re:But how does M$ do it? (2, Funny)

abigor (540274) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958436)

I guess you're too young to remember "Hacked By Chinese".

This is even more humiliating for Microsoft (3, Informative)

johansalk (818687) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958286)

http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;75408 4996;fp;16;fpid;0 [computerworld.com.au] It's unofficial: Microsoft bets business on Linux Rodney Gedda 04/11/2005 08:31:35 The next time Bill Gates sends an e-mail through Microsoft's shiny new Wireless LAN it will be passed through a behind-the-scenes Linux-based network appliance. Earlier this year Microsoft and Aruba Networks jointly announced the two companies will work to replace Microsoft's existing Cisco wireless network with Aruba's centrally-managed infrastructure, which eliminates the need for individual changes on the access points. Aruba Networks was selected to provide the networking equipment for what is considered to be one of the world's largest next-generation wireless LANs, serving more than 25,000 simultaneous users a day in some 60 countries. According to an Aruba press statement, Microsoft's new WLAN will be deployed in 277 buildings covering more than 17 million square feet using Aruba mobility controllers, mobility software and some 5000 wireless access points. What the press statement didn't mention is that Aruba mobility controllers run the Linux operating system which Microsoft has aggressively targeted as being inferior to Windows as part of its "Get the Facts" marketing campaign. Mark Robards, Aruba Network's Asia-Pacific vice president, said the company's mobility controller switches provide integrated security, including a firewall, VPN, and hardware encryption, and they are "all Linux-based". Robards said the network rollout with Microsoft is going well and is likely to take two years to complete and will contain as many as 7000 access points. Indeed, Aruba is recruiting Linux developers to work on its mobility controller software. In an advertisement on the company's Web site, Aruba is seeking a senior Linux software engineer with "expert knowledge of Linux and extensive Linux kernel experience". Sunjeev Pandey, senior director of Microsoft IT, said the company is "pleased to be partnering with Aruba in the upgrade of Microsoft's next-generation wireless LAN". "This partnership will allow Microsoft to leverage a cutting-edge wireless and mobility platform that provides us the scalability, performance and security that our environment demands," Pandey said. Pandey's appraisal of Aruba's technology is in stark contrast to Microsoft's "Get the Facts" rhetoric which places Windows as a more secure, and higher-performing choice over Linux.

One Case Study (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958316)

My wife has been looking these last few weeks for a fileserver for her small business -- three empolyees performing accounting and tax preparation. She considered possibly wanting an application server as well as fileserver. The Dell "solution" was close to $3000, with nearly half of that the cost for Microsoft Server 2003. Ouch!

Have gotten her to finally consider that maybe all she needs is a good chunk of network storage. I've shown her how she can put 400GB of mirrored storage onto the network with long warranties on the disc drives using a NetGear SC101 for $600. She's considering it right now.

While Unisys may aim towards the higher-end markets than this, a Linux solution with good multiprocessor support and zero cost can make a significant difference in this ever increasingly competative environment -- especially if you're flogging Intel iron against AMD Opterons.

Besides, some things really do run better on Linux. IIRC Oracle 9i is a prime example.

Punishment for the GIF patent? (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958344)

IMHO, the same forces that caused them to be such jerks about the GIF patent are the same one that caused them to miss the boat with Linux. What many businesses don't understand is that there is far more money out their to be made with IT related services than IT related licensing. To be successfull in the information age, you need to treat the free wheeling free copying nature of the internet like a benefit, not a competitive threat.

Unfortunately there are still all to many businesses who think that the way that they're supposed to make money is by selling information they create like a boxed product and choking off how it's used. Since their business model is incompatable with the Linux business model, there will likely be far more attcks on Linux, and especially freedom in software and information distribution, down the pike.

IMHO, copyrights can not survive the information age.

Re:Punishment for the GIF patent? (1)

goanooky (672571) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958569)

About your statement of copyrights, I also hope that it will not survice the information age. I still don't know why, but can shake of that feeling that there is something wrong with copyrights. One day ...

Good Thing (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958354)

Good thing i read slashdot. I never saw that add campain. then again it it was online i likely ignored the add.

Missing Poll Option: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958362)

This poll is so old that WAP is obsolete.

The Way Is Shut (2, Insightful)

drj826 (5854) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958447)

The way is shut. It was made by those who are free, and the free keep it. The way is shut.

stages (1)

idlake (850372) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958482)

I see that Unisys is now at the "we are going to be using Linux and open source in a big way" stage of failing companies. Just remember that Unisys was in trouble before they adopted Linux; you can't blame Linux for their almost inevitable failure.

Talk about Deja Vu (1)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958549)

Why did this remind me so much of Silicon Graphics?

I found it funny (3, Funny)

krray (605395) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958606)

I remember when they first came out with "WeHaveTheWayOut.com" campaign.

I dutifully registered (expired last year) "TheyDoNotHaveTheWayOut.com"
and merrily pointed it to go to FuckMicrosoft.com [fuckmicrosoft.com]

Now you know how I feel. :)
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