From:"Open" <> 
To:"" <>
Subject: The Bill Joy of it all
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 15:00:41 -0400
May 19, 2003

Sometimes you wonder if IT vendors learned marketing at business 
schools or Estonian sanitariums. All the big players now diagnose their 
competitors as having some sort of disease. Topping the WHO's WHO list for 
ministers of medical metaphors has to be Microsoft's chief executive, 
Steve Ballmer. He early on made headlines when he likened Linux licensing 
to a cancer that attaches itself to everything it touches. And just 
this month, Craig Conway, CEO of PeopleSoft, said that NET is toxic and 
that the cure for Microsoft's death grip of technology dependence is an 
alternative operating system.

How will PeopleSoft support the cure? David Sayed tells Open about 
PeopleSoft's move to port all of its applications to Linux. And from the 
ashes of Great Bridge comes another health advisor dishing out a lot of 
ERP attitude: True freedom from proprietary blisters doesn't end with 
Linux, according to Ned Lilly, CEO of OpenMFG. Lilly makes his case with 
impressive TCO numbers showing ERP customers can find true TCO value in 
software beyond Linux that's built on Open Source. 

Meanwhile, a remark by Sun's Bill Joy has triggered an episode of 
dementia praecox in the Harvard Business Review, and Open is stunned.  An 
article in that hallowed publication declares the strategic importance of 
IT is over. The analysis rests on the principal delusion of proprietary 
software: To be strategic, a resource must be scarce. As a result, IP 
must be owned, controlled, and kept far from competitors. By its logic, 
knowledge can never be strategic and IT can be nothing more than 
glorified data processing.

For this week's antidotes, click on to go straight to the subscriber 
home page and story links. And remember to send a copy to your friends 
mired in proprietary systems.


The editors of Open magazine