It's time to embrace change in the IT world. Linux, for many, is ushering in a new age of reason. Its cost, stability, and open licensing make it a clear choice for those wanting to save money or shore up their service offerings. Companies, large and small, are turning to Linux to lower costs, leveraging existing hardware with virtualization, and making better use of people resources through cross-training on Linux systems. There's no denying the recent 'move to Linux and open source' trend.

VMware, Dell, and Microsoft are the most recent converts to the whimsical world of Linux and open source. In fact, Microsoft is totally committed to its deal with Novell and support of the SUSE Linux lineup.

But why the sudden move this direction? Is it a trendy move or a paradigm shift?

I believe that it's a true paradigm shift.

In the 1980s, there were SCO Unix computers everywhere. In the late 1980s, everyone moved to Novell servers from SCO Unix. In the mid-1990s, Novell was out in favor of Windows servers and now the trend is toward a Linux model. Novell abandoned its NetWare software in favor of Linux and Microsoft is also making progress in the Linux realm.
This is one trend I foresee sticking around for more than just 5 years or so. Linux is still growing and becoming--yet to reach its true destiny although I think that cloud computing is close.

Change is what the IT industry thrives on and will continue to thrive on for years to come. Embrace it and thrive. Deny it and perish. Innovation and change drive each other. Linux is innovative and changes with our needs.

How are you embracing change and the Linux paradigm?

If there's anything I can't stand about Linux, it's the culture behind it. The GPL would be a large part of it, and, among other issues, is one of Linux's largest flaws. I find it somehow ironic that a license claiming to give 'freedom' to its users and developers actually becomes far more restrictive than many other 'free' licenses out there today. In my opinion, the only true 'free' license is the public domain, and right now the Linux crowd doesn't seem to be embracing anything close to that.

I understand that and have had similar complaints myself.

That's not an article, it's a Sermon.

@John A
It is apparent that you disapprove of the GPL and what you call the "culture" of Linux and the "Linux crowd". They are, of course, not the same. The GPL is the brainchild of Richard M. Stallman, as you know. When Linux Torvalds reached a certain beginning point on the Linux kernel he chose to license it under GPL, again something you know. Had Linux put the kernel into the public domain there is little doubt it would remain quite obscure. Freedom is relative. It always is. Absolute freedom is likely not freedom at all, but rather anarchy. I don't know the reason so many chose to work within the constraints of the GPL, on Linux (or gnu/Linux as Richard Stallman insists). I do know that each one was free to choose to work on some other project, some of OS or app or utility, some other kernel. As you say, there are other licenses in existence. What you see as a major flaw some others must see as an opportunity. GPL has been called viral and communistic. Neither is true in any reasonable sense. No one is forced to participate. Yes, upon choosing to participate there are a set of rules one is expected to follow. If they were as restrictive as you seem to say, it would be hard to imagine the broad spectrum of distributions and businesses using Linux as a base. There are complaints that Linux and GPL are too restrictive and equally there are complaints they are too loose.
Regarding the culture behind Linux. Perhaps I misunderstand completely. However, I don't see one culture or one Linux crowd. There are those who adhere to a balance of freedom and then there are the freeloaders. Richard Stallman's four freedoms don't even mention money; the market will take care of that. You are free to view and modify software licensed under GPL to your hearts content. As long as you keep those modifications in house you don't have to share your changes with anyone. In fact, it is expected that numerous changes and entire apps are kept within the confines of personal and company walls. Also, you may mix software under GPL and other licenses. You may mix free and non-free, both monetary and code. And you are free to pursue other projects under other licenses as long as you adhere to the license existing code is covered under. And as with the *BSD's, Gnu utilities and apps, the Wine Project and others, I expect you are free to write code from scratch that accomplishes the same ends. Heck, the *BSD's are just crying for further development. Plan 9 could use some work. Public Domain may be the most free, but it is likely the least likely to evolve into something very useful. It is difficult for me to see Red Hat or Novell or IBM or Mandriva or Xandros or Linspire even attempting to form a business around public domain software. Or Sun or the *BSD's I venture you will see what you look for. I see a marked degree of freedom, on innovation, of changes. Some software that was closed source has been opened. Some that was non free has been made free. I see some two tier licensing, one tier for personal or GPL and another for commercial uses. Linux should have died at birth but it didn't. I personally encourage users and developers to examine and delve into projects based on other licensing and other code. The more the better. If GPL is a large flaw then perhaps the *BSD's will gain ascendancy. Maybe Plan 9 can begin to gain share. I don't rule anything out (Microsoft benefitted greatly from IBM clones, non IBM compatible MSDOS machines faired poorly). People will apply their labors where they see fit.
Linux and Gnu have fought an uphill battle against better established players. Had they been in the public domain their progress would have barely begun .


Not a sermon but an observation.


Wow! What an awesome analysis. Thanks for that--very well thought out and written down. I first learned of Plan 9 several years ago when attempting to learn as many OSs as possible. I'd love to see it take off like Linux has.

@Ken Hess
Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. And, hopefully Linus doesn't mind being called Linux :)
I don't know if you are aware but there is a group that has based their work on Plan 9. Their web site is:
It is an interesting effort. Also, Plan 9 makes its appearance in university classes and labs. Lastly, in Japan there are Plan 9 users groups.
I am not trying to make much of this, but I do think it is worth noting that there are persons and groups that are still seeing what they can make of the OS.
Best to you.