So here we are -- Y2K in all of its glory. The calendar turned from 1999 to 2000 and a funny thing happened -- Nothing. We were all sitting around waiting for every computer in the world to blow up or the whole Internet to fuse, or something, and instead everything just kept humming along like it normally does. Maybe more people are running Linux than we at first believed.
|All Tied Up: Red Hat Chairman Bob Young demonstrates how the DOJ has Microsoft’s hands tied.|
So here we are — Y2K in all of its glory. The calendar turned from 1999 to 2000 and a funny thing happened — Nothing. We were all sitting around waiting for every computer in the world to blow up or the whole Internet to fuse, or something, and instead everything just kept humming along like it normally does. Maybe more people are running Linux than we at first believed.
As is so often the case when everyone is anticipating a known event, Y2K was a letdown (for IT contractors, at least). But maybe we were focusing on the wrong event. Change is afoot everywhere — both within the Linux community and in the technology world in general. While the whole Y2K event itself may have seemed anticlimactic, there is action brewing everywhere.
In January word leaked out that the DOJ was considering a breakup of Microsoft, and in a bizarre coincidence, Bill Gates stepped down as CEO the very next day. From now on Steve Ballmer will be running the show. Yeah, right. In reality, I don’t think that Gates’ handing over of the reins to Ballmer had anything to do with the government’s case, but it doesn’t do much to help with the perception that Microsoft is a company under siege right now.
They really are taking it from all sides. As Bob Young, the CEO of Red Hat, Inc., mentions in our interview with him on page 52, the DOJ has completely tied Microsoft’s hands and prevented them from responding to Linux with their standard tactics. At the same time, they’ve got this totally new type of threat to deal with in open source, which completely confuses them.
Meanwhile, Linux continues to gain momentum, and every day more and more people are coming to see it as the “One True Alternative” to Windows. IBM made a very strong statement supporting that view in January, when they announced a whole new division within IBM that would be focused on Linux. They intend to have it working across all of their network and server product lines.
Needless to say, with that kind of endorsement from Big Blue, it’s hard to argue that you are not in the big leagues now.
And we are. From multibillion-dollar-market-cap corporations to scrappy little start-ups, everyone is beginning to realize that Linux is here to stay. And I think that is going to be the biggest and most fundamental change we see taking place as the year 2000 unfolds.
Sometimes when you focus too hard on something, you lose sight of the bigger picture. The big picture for all of us this year is to live up to the promise that Linux holds out for us.
See you next month,
Adam M. Goodman
Editor & Publisher