Well, it seems like this one is almost over. This has been a thorn in the sides of everyone who’s even remotely interested in Linux. I remember when it was first announced. I was using RedHat 7.x and thought “Oh no, I need to uninstall that.” Then, as I started reading things about the suit, I realized that SCO didn’t have a leg to stand on. That was three years ago. And, in reading articles from then on, I realized it only went downhill from there for SCO.
Originally, SCO had said that any user of Linux owed them $667 or so in licensing fees. Then they relented and said “Only Enterprise users have to pay the fee.” Then it started going to court. I have my opinions about why the trial played out the way it did. But, they’re just my opinions with no credible evidence to show. Such as that IBM’s version of Unix/Linux was more successful then SCO’s. So, SCO forced them to show the source code, and used that to fix their versions. (I realize that IBM isn’t creating “UNIX” but the Operating Systems have enough similarities, that it shouldn’t be too hard to convert code from one to the other).
As for this lawsuit though, I’ll be glad when it’s over. Of course one of the points at the end of the article is really valid. If the lawsuit ends, SCO may be forced to pay all of IBM’s lawyer fees. Personally, I’d like to see IBM acquire SCO at the end of this. IBM should make them a deal. You give us controlling shares in SCO (or outright let us buy you out) and we’ll drop the lawyer fees and pay you some money to get back on your feet.
Any way that you look at this though, it’s going to be better when the whole thing is done. Linux can start worrying (as if they were worrying about this anyhow) about things that are more important. Like Standardizing the Operating System enough that your average every day Windows user can switch (if they want to). And convincing hardware and software vendors to port their products over to Linux. There’s quite a good start right now, but it needs more.
In a hopefully perfect world, we’ll see an open choice between Windows and Linux. Maybe having distros devoted to certain needs. For example, enterprises would prefer a distro that’s more server based and less flashy (such as RedHat Enterprise for example). Gamers would want one that’s low on overhead, but can run almost any game (whether it’s native linux or a windows ported over using Wine or Cedega). End-users who just want a version for surfing the Internet or reading their E-mail would want a distro that’s not so much server-capable and game-ready, but is easy to use.
I realize that almost every distro has variations for each (server, workstation, desktop), but right now there’s too many distros and people looking at it get confused. Right now, the choices seem to be based on whether your computer is modern, or needs a smaller, more scaled-back distro. Competition is good. But, I think in this situation, it’s overkill. No one is really saying “This is a great distro to use in this situation.” Aside from the latest articles about Xandros being a perfect choice for people who have Windows 98/ME machines. And variations like Damn Small Linux and Slackware being noted to run on older machines (pre-Windows 95 and Windows 98/ME machines with low memory).
I’d love to hear from people who have ideas about which distro is best suited to specific needs. Right now the four needs that I see most are “businesses (servers and workstations)”, “gamers,” “Internet and e-mail users” and “home financials”. The last two can be combined into one, as people will probably do both their home financial tracking and surf the Internet/Email on the same machine. If you can think of other needs (and the distros that are best suited to those) please comment also.
Until next time, have a great day everyone.