Originally published in the May 1995 issue of Advanced Systems.


Taking on Microsoft

It's time to rewrite the rules of the game. Here are some ideas that don't depend on the Justice Department.

By Karen Linn

I'm no fan of regulation. I think it impairs progress, letting the players figure out how to fight today's battles while the rest of the world marches on to the next competitive grounds. If the software market as a whole, and the Unix vendors in particular, want to take on Microsoft, it's time to re-invent the rules of the game. Here are some subtle but crucial shifts in the industry that should force us in that direction.

Regulation scares me because it sets a bad precedent. Does the government have a place in regulating the best Internet providers or the best cross-vendor interoperability tools? Unix came into the mainstream market through technology leadership: It lowered costs and provided flexibility. The Unix industry needs more of that leadership to compete with Microsoft.

About the author
Karen Linn is the pseudonym of a Unix professional working for a computer vendor.

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Last updated: 1 May 1995.