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Unisys: We No Longer Have A Way Out 196

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the change-of-heart dept.
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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Unisys: We No Longer Have A Way Out

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  • 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.
    • 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

      • 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.

      • Games! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tsa (15680) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @02:05PM (#13958309) Homepage
        Need I say more?
      • 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.
      • 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.
        You haven't used KDE much, have you? ;)
    • by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:28PM (#13958156) Homepage Journal
      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.
      • 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.
      • 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.

        • Dude.

          Wow.

          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:

          "Ouch."
          • 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 man
            • So management decided to deploy the system even though it was a prototype Oh god.... I feel for you. Seriously. But ah... just so you know, we've all been there. Sigh.
            • "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 "

              Can't you just make the connections longer, put the computers outside the clean room and give each fixture its own computer (I'm assuming PC type hardware which is cheap)? If the speed of light is too slow for that, then odds are your computer would be too slow to handle multiple fixtures too.

              Anyway, your experience underlines how Software Engineering
      • 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.
        • Its like an invisible wall, where suddenly the same effort to win early customers no longer works but you can't understand why. The fact that you immediately write off 11-40% of your (possible) target doesn't dawn on most business owners.

          The frustrating part, though, is that he's probably making good money in the meantime. Ignoring 11% of the market because you can save on hiring extra "FireFox" expertise probably makes sense to a lot of small -to -medium businesses. In fact, I'm sure some businesses ar

      • 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 sa
      • Dont forget the home user too.. realistically they have little choice.
      • by asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:57PM (#13959146)

        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."


        He doesn't have to "support" firefox, or IE or any one browser. He just has to write standard, correct HTML and do a little more testing in different browsers.

        Really, what costs more, loosing even 1% of his online sales, or doing the above?

      • "Why would I support a browser with less than 1% of the market share?" [...] He's a smart tech guy

        No, he really isn't.

        He has to no more support firefox than he has to support the Ford or Chevy vehicles that his customers drive. Why would any smart businessman choose to exclude customers (no matter how small the percentage) when it costs them no more to allow access to everybody?

        He has one of two choices: he can choose to use flexible, standard methods that work for everybody, or he can choose to customize
    • World events (Score:3, Insightful)

      by matt me (850665)
      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
    • 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.
    • 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

    • It's just you in a bubble. When you're a 286.14 BILLION dollar company (larger then many countries) - there are a whole lot more people out in the world that feed off the Microsoft economy then there are technically frustrated people that are venting on slashdot. Something may be happening, but when you count the slient millions of people that are reliant upon Microsoft to be successful; you realize that they will handily dismiss any threat against their livelihood that is introduced and prolong their Micro
  • It didn't? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:16PM (#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.
    • by Frankie70 (803801)

        closed and proprietary world of Windows.


      I didn't realize Solaris was open & non-proprietary.
      • Re:It didn't? (Score:4, Informative)

        by illumina+us (615188) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @02:52PM (#13958500) Homepage
        Well... it kind of is [opensolaris.org]
    • Re:It didn't? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by photon317 (208409) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @02:27PM (#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).
      • Maybe this is true in the circles you travel in, but I'm afraid the facts are a little different. Here is an exerpt:

        According to a recent TechTarget survey of IT professionals, 30% said that Windows already dominates their data center.

        From here:

        http://search400.techtarget.com/originalContent/0 , 289142,sid3_gci968400,00.html [techtarget.com]

        You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
    • The majority of Web servers are Apache, and most of those are Linux .

      All the insurance companies I have spoken with about network jobs, have
      used IBM RS series or other similar IBM gear with cisco networking gear, not M$.

      The city of houston as a whole ousted M$ out the door, it has moved to Linux .

      Alcoa Aluminum, AutoZone, Bank of America, Bloomington, Indiana(city),
      Boston Stock Exchange, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Cambridge Health Alliance (partially),
      Chicago Mercantile Exchange, City of Austin, Tex, Cendant
  • by krygny (473134) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:19PM (#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.
    • The funny thing is, they didn't use IIS. They used FreeBSD/Apache, and changed the configuration to make it report itself as W2K/IIS. There was a thread on here about that at the time. You could wget the "IIS" machine. I managed to wget /bin/ls from it myself. A quick check with file revealed that it was a FreeBSD binary. All of the files that you could get to were FreeBSD binaries. They eventually changed the Apache configuration to not allow that anymore, but it was still amusing.
  • Bloody twits. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hiro Antagonist (310179) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:21PM (#13958121) Journal
    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.
    • 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
    • Re:Bloody twits. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Evro (18923)
      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
  • by klingens (147173) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:21PM (#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!
  • by Slashdiddly (917720) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:27PM (#13958150)
    Well, it's possible they meant it as in "suicide is a way out". It's true!
  • by rsax (603351) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:28PM (#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.

    • It is. They were also doing:

      BackOffice/NonRealtime infrastructure

      Mainframe manufacturing with all relevant support and consulting

      PC manufacturing

      So on ad naseum...

      It is in fact a serious cutdown. It is quite strange to see the BackOffice and Batch Processing services go. They were doing it for a very large proportion of the banks on the UK market at one point.

  • Just a Thought (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Edunikki (677354) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:30PM (#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 . . .
    • [...] 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.

      Maybe after seeing that Linux can scale to 1024 processors [computerworld.com] that it can scale to 32 processors on their systems. I'd like to see Windows "Enterprise" Foo do that.
    • 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

      No, the campaign was not like that and not much has really changed as far as Unisys should be concerned.

      Unisys did not directly compare M$ and Linux, they ran a foolish smear campain on Unix for M$. Everything they derided, from Sun purple on the floor to the "Mysteriousness" and cost, was aimed at closed sou

    • While Linux most certainly is a viable alternative to Microsoft wherever it is used, that's not why Unisys is jumping on board. Unisys has come to this point because they finally realized that Microsoft isn't going to do anything important with large servers. They already ruined any credibility with the Unix crowd, so Linux is their only option. They could use FreeBSD, but Unisys management is obviously not smart enough to realise that BSD is in the market.
      • They've also ruined their credibility with Linux users who have any memory. (Remember, they were, among other things, the people who tried to profit by a submarine patent on gifs. [See "Burn all gifs".])

        I may have been a legal patent, it certainly wasn't challenged and overthrown, but the way they used it was totally immoral, and they've never so much as acknowledged that their campaign was wrong (as in "immoral and evil", not as in "illegal").

  • insider viewpoint (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:40PM (#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.
    • 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...
    • 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

    • Re:insider viewpoint (Score:2, Informative)

      by The GooMan (892098)
      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
    • 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
  • Unisys = hoars (Score:4, Informative)

    by Danathar (267989) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:42PM (#13958221) Journal
    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!
    • The 2200/500 was a CMOS version of the 2200/900, and both ran OS2200. Their newer Clearpath boxes still run OS2200, and have a JVM as well as other interesting things (native CIFS support, etc.).

      The newer Clearpaths also have x86 processors on the same box as the 2200 processors, and can run both OS2200 and Linux concurrently. Hopefully someone will find that architecture combination useful.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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.
  • by johansalk (818687) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @01:59PM (#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.
    • While I appreciate the irony, I'd consider this more humiliating if MS were actually in the wireless LAN software business. A better example is the internal use of Source Depot/Perforce, which, while it runs on Windows, has all the design sensibilities of a good Unix app.
  • One Case Study (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @02:08PM (#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.

    • Why not just buy a Dell with Red Hat Enterprise 4.0 pre-loaded (extra cost of $350).
      • Why not just buy a Dell with Red Hat Enterprise 4.0 pre-loaded

        You clearly haven't tried to buy a Dell with a non-MS operating system. Let's just say they don't make it easy. In one case recently they even were charging $50 more for the Linux option without Windows.

        In may ways Dell is becoming a niche player. Sure Intel and Microsoft are still a big niche, but not the only choice they once appeared to be.

  • by argoff (142580) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @02:16PM (#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.
  • The Way Is Shut (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drj826 (5854)
    The way is shut. It was made by those who are free, and the free keep it. The way is shut.
  • by idlake (850372)
    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.
  • Why did this remind me so much of Silicon Graphics?
  • by krray (605395) * on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:18PM (#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. :)
  • by crucini (98210) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:41PM (#13959052)
    The ad was targeting commercial Unix, and asserting that it's expensive and inflexible compared to Wintel. In fact, the ad was right.

    Intel/AMD is advancing much faster than proprietary RISC. PC-based servers deliver much better value. Don't use Windows where you can use Linux/BSD (slashdotters cheer); don't use Sun where you can use Windows (slashdotters boo).

    So there's not really an "about face" in Unisys's later support of Linux - its a continued drive away from expensive, proprietary and inflexible systems.
    • You do realise the Solaris runs on Intel systems?
    • So there's not really an "about face" in Unisys's later support of Linux - its a continued drive away from expensive, proprietary and inflexible systems.

      My employer is moving from (dec-compaq-hp) to Linux on generic systems purely because dec is on the way out.

      This makes marketing harder for us because the competition run Sun, and advertise that they have "real" unix, not a unix clone.

      For us, there is very little difference between Tru64 and RHEL. I don't think Linux is more flexible, at least the way we

  • Did no one notice that the original campaign was against Unix, then the current article was Unisys praising Open Source, and Cowboy Neal interpreted that as an original campaign against everything-nix and a current article pro-Linux? There is just no logical flow to all that.

    Unix, *nix, Linux, and open source are all different subject, and if Unisys hates Unix but likes open source in general, that does not mean they now like Linux. I'm pro-open sourced software because it's good and cheap. That does not
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @06:18PM (#13959588) Journal
    "Computer, Arch"
  • It's not an about face, years ago Linux sucked for Joe Average. Only now has it become a mature product.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission

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