(Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself putting those two words into one headline, but leave it to the world of open source technology. . .) Much has been made of Wal Mart’s move of the Linux $199 notebook from in store Wal Mart to online sales. At first I was shocked by the attention, wondering how the story was placed in the first place. (I can guarantee Wal Mart didn’t call the AP or write a press release on this change. They’d have to employ an army of thousands to keep track of their stock changes day by day.)
The weather forecast pages are quite kernel centric - that’s the area I know best. There is a user-space page, though, featuring a few important components. Many of those have been revised in recent times:
There’s a new way to collaborate out there. It’s hard to believe but email with attachments is old. You can store your documents centrally, set permissions on multiple user edits, handle concurrent editing, send out email alerts. Imagine the advantages in never bringing up an old version of a document to edit. Or waiting for your colleague to finish their edits. Many people probably haven’t totally switched over yet, because they’re stuck in a decade-old style of work flow. But the next generation coming along will have switched.
Much has been made of the recent decision by Wal-Mart to sell Linux based PC’s exclusively through their web site and to pull the computers from their store shelves. There is no spin here. It is disappointing that consumers didn’t run into Wal-Mart, pick up a jumbo sized bag of Doritos, a case of Coke, a three month supply of CheezWhiz and a Linux PC.
TechCrunch’s Duncan Riley published an interesting post on the emergence of a dual personality at Microsoft. He describes it as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The reason that this is important for open source and Linux is because Microsoft is starting to recognize the world is shifting to one where “open” is a criteria for success; re: Wikipedia, Google, Linux, Flickr, Second Life, MySpace, InnoCentive, Human Genome Project, YouTube and more.
In a turn of irony Microsoft is starting to feel the pain of Moore’s Law that Sun has felt for years. A pain that largely led to the departure of Scott McNealy and to Jonathan Schwartz efforts to open up the company.