AOL in Negotiations to Acquire Red Hat

Gary Lawrence Murphy garym@canada.com
21 Jan 2002 01:23:32 -0500


>>>>> "J" == Justin Mason <jm@jmason.org> writes:

    J> Linux is Linux, for the most part.

Let's look on the bright side: OS/X is definately a shocker for any
die-hard unix people (like me) who never looked at a Mac -- regardless
what the Gnome/KDE people claim, and keeping in mind that two months
ago, I'd never seen an OS/X command prompt and still have never seen
the actual GUI interface, my call is that OS/X is the only Unix I'd
dare set in front of my mother.

AOL has much the same reputation as Apple: Take something too geek'ed
for its own good, make it into something people _can_ use, and
surprise, people actually _will_ use it, they will even _pay_ to use
it, and they will even use it a decade after you've ceased to support
it.  Now that BSD is already done (or nearly done), there's no reason
why AOL should not take Linux and AOL-ize it, thereby generating the
community support (ie cash) necessary for the ex-RedHat people to
continue developing the server side.

Given their roots (and setting aside the Time Warner aspect), AOL
might invent some means for people like my mother to _participate_ in
open source. Lets face it, geeks may participate in open source, but
they're really tight with their cash (as too many dot-coms found out
way too late), and while the unwashed masses have coins to share in
their pockets, they need to be led gently into user-base participation
paradigms (although, if you look around, there's lots of Windows
peer-support, and MSDOS freeware is legendary).  IMHO, fostering that
paradigm jump (from consumer to participant) is the only way open
source is going to make the leap into mainstream computing, and if I
had to bet money on someone likely to have a business plan to do that
fostering, AOL Time Warner is as good as any.

I also think AOL Linux should be license Pingu as their trademark

-- 
Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
What happens on Groundhog Day?   http://www.teledyn.com/fun/GroundhogDay
"There are many things which do not concern the process" --- Joan of Arc