nettime's_digestive_system on Wed, 24 Mar 1999 18:44:27 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Linux will [not] be assimilated digest

Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 13:29:33 +0100
From: Frank Fremerey <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> MSNBC on Win32-Linux

Florian Cramer wrote:
> > My prediction for this years CeBIT was that Microsoft will even do
> > something much more intelligent: They will implement their whole set of
> > APIs for Linux to get themselves into the position of selling
> > "MS-enhanced Linux" (i.e. a commercial desktop for the free OS) to OEMs
> > for the same price they sell the Windows-OEM-licence.
> Why should they do that when the WINE project is already doing it (as Free
> Software) since years, nowadays with the active help of Corel Inc.

Also have a look at:

I think that corporate customers will probably trust the Office Authors
to develop a good port of their product. They have inside knowledge the
WINE (or TWINE?) developers do not have. I would of course prefer the US
DOJ to require Microsoft to open the Win9x-source-code as I said before.
Then it would be easy for WINE developers and for the kernel team to
port the APIs to Linux. Then we would have a fair competition between
WinNT/2000 and Linux. Note that I do not think it is necessary to open
the NT-source.
> But I would go with your statement if it were put into a metaphor. MS - or
> rather - MS paradigms already _do_ reign the Linux desktop if you look at
> both look'n'feel and internal architectures of KDE and Gnome, at such
> popular window managers as fvwm95 and icewm, and at the majority of current
> X11-based applications.

I think there will be two approaches toward Linux use in the future. 

First will be people who are sick and tired of crashing machines and
just want to get their work done. They will not ask about the OS-Engine
or hardware-achitecture but about an intelligently pre configured system
which is easy to use as a tool for writing, emailing, surfing the Web &
News & Chat Areas with the underlying technical details completely

Second are the people who use Linux today, who will still be very much
interested in the technical details, who like the computer to be as
individual as it can be, who compile their apps and modify their source
code to fit their personal needs, who configure their Graphical User
Interfaces (GUIs) to be unique. Some of these people can not live
without Linux running on their Playstation and Palm Pilot as well as on
their Fridge. 

I personally like both kinds, but since I am not a programmer myself,
but a writer covering science and technology as well as their effect on
society, my heart beats for the consumers who see Computers as some kind
of advanced screw-drivers.


Frank Fremerey
Bonn 24 March 1999

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Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 15:21:35 +0100
Subject: Re: <nettime> 'MS Linux'?

the roving reporter sent us a copy of
-->> > How Microsoft Plans to Drive Linus Torvalds Insane ...

Seen the replies I guess its useful to add that the article is a parody
triggered (in my opinion) by Apple's new 'Open Source' policy.

Of course there's a serious undertone:
Companies formerly opposing 'Open Source' trying to hop now on the bandwagon,
Open Source isnt a protected trademark (yet)

So we see and will see a few more of those 'Open Sources' with some tiny
additions and restrictions - like in the case of Apple's OS-X server.

It's not be done with the advice to read the fine print,
there are some standards established in a more or less closed community of
nerds, hackers, a.s.o. and now these standards are under pressure -
the agreements become contracts and the lawyers move in.

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