Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Game Over

"Schwartz's deal is to ride the Linux magic bus straight through IBM's DB2 and WebSphere revenue, and take a slice out of Microsoft along the way. "We will go drive Linux like a wedge. We will go hollow out DB2 and WebSphere with either a free database or a free app server," Schwartz recites. "We can give away the Apache Web server, Postgres, a free directory, a free messaging system, a free calendar and free portal, a free infrastructure. All of it for free for 100 users, and we can still make money. Microsoft can't."

Schwartz is on a roll. "So what happens to Dell now? Where are they going to go get [the software] from? They have to pay Oracle, they have to pay Red Hat, they have to pay somebody, so they are going to get squeezed." And here's Johnny with the punch line: "We can make life really hard for Microsoft by giving away the software. Dell has got to find that software from somewhere and, believe me, when they come to me and ask for it, it ain't going to be free."

"But my, isn't it interesting that the largest single open-source activity is StarOffice, followed closely by Mozilla?" Schwartz arches an eyebrow. "Wouldn't it be interesting if something interesting happened with Java, too?"

Open sourcing the Java desktop stack would certainly be a logical next step, and stitching together Jini and Jxta would present the Liberty Alliance with a HailStorm doppelganger."
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