I know you guys like my archeology posts, so here is an interview with Robert Young, Red Hat’s CEO (back then), ten years ago:
13th June 2000
The best parts:
Yes, this explains why migrations from Linux back to Windows never happened:
Once the Open Source fruit is tasted, you can’t go back.
This is one year before Ballmer called the GPL cancer by the way. It’s noteworthy that the leaders in the Linux world are never held accountable for their words. They are almost treated as children, who can’t be held responsible for their antics. (in opposite to the CEOs of MS and Apple)
A You’re going to have to invite me for a couple of beers for me to justice to that question, and after a couple of beers I might be able to answer you. Red Hat’s success comes not from our ambition to dent the desktop market. The desktop is 1980s technology, designed around the 8086 architecture and they’ve tried to drag this technology model screaming and kicking into the Internet age and that’s why you have the I Love You virus.
So, the desktop is old technology? But Red Hat sold and still sells primarily desktop and server systems!
Today’s Linux desktop is 80s technology as well (as it was ten years ago) there is nothing more innovative in KDE than in Windows or Mac.
To borrow from the linux hater blog: LinuxIsInnovation™. ALWAYS. Even if it is exactly the same.
The hypocrisy is astounding. As if Linux is not designed for the 8086 architecture.
A Information appliances are the future of computing and they’ll be talking to the server. The growth in PC desktops is slowing dramatically and the growth in server business is growing dramatically. John “Mad Dog” Hall, who is now running Linux International, and who does drink beer, said: “Don’t worry about the 400 million PCs out there — there are six billion people on the planet, worry about the other 5.6 billion people.
A fine example of the awesome power of Linux foresight:
January 8, 2002
Speaking of accountability again: Failed tech predictions of various CEOs are remembered for years and years:
This is not true for the Linux world. Key figures there can say the darndest things, and give horrible predictions, and are still regarded as know-it-alls by the tech media. Seems like a very bad case of the ugly baby syndrome.
With CEOs like these it’s no wonder why Linux didn’t capture the desktop market back then, despite the massive hype in the late 90s/early 2000s. Their answer to all questions was just “it is Linux”. As if “Linux” is magical and works outside the worldly realm.
“Journalist: How do you want to capture the desktop”?
“Linux company CEO: Well, with our Linux technology of course! Our competition still uses technology that is optimized for the 80386!”
“Journalist: But wasn’t Linux made on a 386?”
“Linux CEO: Well, yes, but we are talking about Linux technology here”
“CEO: LINUX! Don’t you get it?”