Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Thoughts on Bad Vista...
FSF program administrator, John Sullivan was quoted as saying:
- Vista is an upsell masquerading as an upgrade. It is an overall regression when you look at the most important aspect of owning and using a computer: your control over what it does. Obviously MS Windows is already proprietary and very restrictive, and well worth rejecting. But the new 'features' in Vista are a Trojan Horse to smuggle in even more restrictions. We'll be focusing attention on detailing how they work, how to resist them, and why people should care
Open Source and Free Software ultimately loose whenever the representatives of the community resort to throwing daggers. Maybe the community should collectively fire John Sullivan and instead spend more time not only catching up to Microsoft but out innovating them as well.
In terms of my day job, I am firmly against the usage of Linux on the desktop and believe that MS will always own this space. If the GNU community wants to beat Microsoft, they need to get started on the following functionality:
- Group Policy Objects: The ability within an enterprise to centrally specify policy is vital in terms of complying with various legal and regulatory mandates.
- Full Disk Encryption: Surely, the GNU community respects the privacy of individuals. Have they been paying attention to how much data that resides on laptops gets lost or stolen? The only solution is to build full-disk encryption into the product. I suggest the folks who have stewardship over Grub take this on
- Better Integration with MS: Like it or not, some aspects of Windows are here to stay. Consider integrating with Active Directory and not just via Samba and Kerberos but actually being able to participate and delegate authentication / authorization of PAM-enabled applications to Active Directory. Have you seen the work of folks such as Vintella and Centrify. Consider development of open source equivalents.
- Operating Systems may no longer be relevant: You may have noticed that a trend is starting whereby folks may not require an operating system to run server-oriented applications? If not, check out BEA and their Liquid VM
- Industry Analysts: Linux is losing the mindshare of industry analysts and the only way to recover is to enlist the help of large enterprises who have the patience in working with them to make their contribution to the community by helping tell the GNU story. You need more than just insiders telling the story, as current approaches simply don't scale. Consider figuring out ways to get the CIO's of every large enterprise to tell the GNU story on your behalf...
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