The next battle: Microsoft vs. Linux? GPL Corel?

I Find Karma (
Fri, 3 Apr 1998 14:06:28 -0800

Thanks to Jack Levy from Gee pointing out the PC week article

> Last month, CPT sent letters to six of the top PC makers, requesting
> that they offer customers a choice of operating systems.

I wonder how many people, given a CHOICE of operating systems, would
choose a non-Windows platform at this point (April 1998). One percent?
Two percent? Three percent?

Perhaps they'll discuss this at the Freeware Summit next week

It's pretty clear that whatever the number of nonWindows users will be,
it's sure to go up if Corel GPL's its Office Suite as slashdot suggested
a month ago

> Contributed by CmdrTaco on Tuesday March 10, @10:10
> from the damn-fools-idealistic-crusade dept.
> Corel is Cutting Costs on software these days. Garrett sent us this
> note. Ready for a crazy idea? Corel is the best company to try GPLing
> (or NPLing) their office suite. Think about it: WP already has a unix
> port, so it has appeal to typical FSF junkies. The primary issue here is
> how Corel can make money- Netscape has revenue from Servers, but
> WordPerfect is a major cash cow. Hit the link below to read about the
> latest concept in my damn foolish idealistic crusade.
> The way I see it, Corel is losing market share fast, and they need a
> boost. GPLing their suite aligns them with the same audience that made
> Linux. This audience is growing into positions of purchasing power in
> many corporations. They need to release their suite- source code and
> all, but with a plug-in API and missing features (Thesaurus, Statistics
> Module, WordArt?) so that it was similiar in power to MS Works. The
> commercial version would essentially sell these modules to provide the
> remaining (less needed, but still important to business) features.
> Maybe instead of a plug-in API Corelcould only charges businesses.
> There has got to be a reasonable way to make a profit at this. Free or
> heavily discounted software for home and educational use should be a
> cornerstone of any company anyway. Autodesk did this with Autocad, Apple
> did it with the Mac, even MS does it. This gets your foot in the door
> with the students and computer geeks who go to work and buy software.
> I know there are other suites for Linux, but none of them are free,
> have available source, and have the ease of use and power that allows
> Corel a position similiar in the eyes of business to Microsoft Office.
> This would provide new users a good reason to use Linux, as well as
> promoting Corel. They would move tons of software- both on Unix (which
> needs a good word processor like I need beer) and Windows (A GPLd office
> suite is perfect for all those companies riding the anti microsoft wave
> that has recently become so publicized).
> So what do you guys think? I've seen plenty of Corel machines in my
> logs so somebody out there must have a connection.

Oh, by the way, here's the whole PC week article mentioned above:

> The next battleground: Linux vs. Windows?
> By Mary Jo Foley, Sm@rtReseller
> 04.03.98 9:50 am ET Commercial software is often rushed to market.
> Support is questionable. Would you consider freeware as an alternative?
> The increasingly vocal freeware community has championed Linux as a
> real, viable alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and NT for years.
> But the lack of a single, large backer has hampered the operating
> system's acceptance among many corporate customers, integrators and
> resellers.
> That dynamic may be changing, however, in large part thanks to
> Netscape Communications Corp., which officially joined the freeware camp
> as of this week by putting its Communicator 5.0 source code into the
> public domain.
> Netscape's Executive Vice President of Products Marc Andreessen, who
> spoke earlier this week at the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group meeting,
> went on record espousing the potential market benefits of a Communicator
> plus Linux combination. Andreessen also reportedly committed to making
> Linux a reference platform equal in stature to Windows for future
> Netscape product releases.
> Netscape's move couldn't have come at a better time for the freeware
> community. Next week, some of the leading voices in the freeware
> movement are slated to hold the first-ever Freeware Summit
> in Palo Alto, Calif. Representatives affiliated with (the
> Netscape freeware arm), Apache, Linux, Perl, Python and Sendmail,
> among others, are slated to meet to discuss strategies for increasing
> public acceptance of their wares at the conference, which is being
> hosted by freeware advocates O'Reilly & Associates.
> The freeware community is also gaining additional backing from some
> unlikely places.
> "A year ago, Linux was seen as too much out of the mainstream. The
> lack of a single backer has hampered it getting a lot of notice. But now
> it's looking more interesting," said Jamie Love, director of Ralph
> Nader's Consumer Project on Technology.
> Last month, CPT sent letters to six of the top PC makers, requesting
> that they offer customers a choice of operating systems. CPT suggested
> Linux, BeOS and Apple Computer Inc.'s Rhapsody as possible alternatives
> to Windows that companies such as Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer
> Corp., Gateway 2000 Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Micron
> Electronics Inc. could offer.
> Love said Nader's organization is testing a number of Linux flavors on
> different machines at its own offices.


In today's automated labs, drug researchers can produce thousands of
compounds that promise relief for various diseases. But about 98%
eventually fail due to toxicity, high production costs, or
ineffectiveness in human trials. So the challenge is to determine which
candidates are in the other 2%.
-- BusinessWeek, March 23, 1998, page 89