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discussing flavors of POSIX [was M$ && Sending files back?]

Well said. I'm going to snip it all since the archives are all online. 
Personally, I've been involved with Unix since about 1980, on PDPs and 
other systems, most recently Alphas and Itaniums. 

A business's goal is always the bottom line. So, what a Unix vendor wants 
to do is to not only provide interoperability and portablility but also to 
differentiate itself in the marketplace. As PCs became useful as 
workstations (Linux and FreeBSD) the commercial Unix workstation market 
started drying up. Who wants to buy a Digital (or Compaq or HP ) Alpha 
workstation for several thousand when they can get a PC running Linux for 
several hundred. Today, with virtual machine technology available, you can 
run both Linux and Windows concurrently on one machine costing under $1000. 

Linux on the desktop can now provide many of the same tools (same 
functionality) that you had with Microsoft. Star Office 6.0 at about $60 
vs. MS Office at about $300. So, the commercial Unix market is now on the 
high end where Linux is not yet ready. The major commercial Unixes (Tru64, 
HP-UX, Solaris, AIX) all scale up in multi-CPU clustering environments with 
big Oracle databases. But, even Linux is starting to make its way into 
decent multi-CPU environments (eg. more than 4 CPUs). Vendors, such as HP 
and IBM are investing very serious $$$$, and those $$$$ are going into 
Linux. Why Linux and not BSD, I don't really know. Linux got a very big 
boost when AT&T was suing BSDI, although it AT&T won, it would have shut 
down Linux and possibly even Minix as well. The popular perception was that 
FreeBSD might need to be withdrawn, but since Linux had no AT&T code, that 
they could use Linux legally. Perceptions count more than quality in many 
cases. Solaris is certainly not the best Unix, but it has the best market 
share (which they are starting to lose). 

The other issue is that PC vendors are starting to provide Linux PCs. 
WalMart for one, but both Dell and HP (Compaq) have also done that in a 
small way. Microsoft has been able to push Dell and Compaq since both are 
major Windows vendors also. 

In any case, in the future, Linux market share is going to continue to grow 
at the expense of both Windows as well as commercial Unixes. In a few year, 
AIX, Tru64, and Irix will be things of the past. Windows will continue to 
host a lions share of the PC market. The only two commercial Unixes will be 
Solaris and HP-UX (on Itanium). Tru64 and AIX will remain as legacies for 
at least the next 10 years.   
On 18 Jun 2002 at 15:44, Bill Bogstad wrote:

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Associate Director
Boston Linux and Unix user group PGP key id:C5061EA9
PGP Key fingerprint:053C 73EC 3AC1 5C44 3E14 9245 FB00 3ED5 C506 1EA9

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