Hell freezing over or just another day in corporate candyland

by Walter V. Koenning for reallylinux.com OP/ED section

Perhaps the real shock is not so much the announcements as the surprise so many have in reference to the recent announcements. Here in a short span of time we have Microsoft and Novell getting flirtingly close, and Oracle giving a one-two to RedHat, while we get SUN's announcement about JAVA, making some squeamish and others wagging their tails.

What in the world is happening to our world?

It's reasonable to view these announcements as substantive, if for nothing else than their impact on the future of the corporate landscape.

Ironically, even in the context of Microsoft's announcement regarding Novell (or was that Novell's announcement regarding Microsoft), the only thing we can be certain is that the future landscape is now more uncertain.That's about it.

What these things actually will mean in the context of Linux endeavours and future expansion is unknown.I actually wonder if they mattered in that context to begin with.

Perhaps what all of these recent corporate announcements simply prove is that Linux is well and certainly prime-time (speaking of Time, remember it's not everyone who makes the European Time magazine listing).

What they also prove is that the magnitude of the Linux movement world wide is unlikely to even bat an eyelash.What the corporate biggies will never understand is that the movement, the very reason Linux is used so ubiquitously has nothing to do with them, their strategies or their announcements.

They may desire to try shaping the future, but it's still guys like my good friend Jeremy, a corporate system administrator, who hold a lot more of the future.

Jeremy and I were walking briskly to the office building when he shared his enthusiastic use of the CentOS for almost all of the corporate servers.As we get on the elevator, he keeps buzzing about how it's "fully binary compatible" and has been a totally reliable Linux for their entrerprise systems.

As I bid him farewell, Arlene calls me on the cell phone to tell me about her plans for using Ubuntu Breezy (she's not ready for Edgy, but that's for another time) on the company desktops."Sheesh, they're already running Firefox, Thurderbird, and OpenOffice on the Windows systems.I finally convinced them they actually don't need Windows to do all that."

I congratulate her and then begin fumbling about for my PDA.I have a meeting with a faculty member who began using Moodle on Fedora Linux systems.His little experiment now has expanded to the entire campus.He's trying to figure out how to scale the thing now, when only a few months ago he was scrapping for a server to test run this on.

Then there are folks like the editors here at reallylinux writing about how entire governments are with open arms buying in to the Linux and Open Source concepts.

Somehow, the many corporate announcements miss the point, that one person at a time, one day at a time, Linux is making its way (through one flavor or another) into just about every conceivable server room and office on earth.

Linux did not become a world-wide phenomenon because of corporate power plays, nor will it continue to expand and benefit millions globally for any reason other than what began the revolution in the first place.

Individual people working together one day at a time.

Walter V. Koenning is a technology and trends writer and contributes occasionaly to the Opinions section.

This brief opinion piece should not be construed as factual information, and only contains the opinions and personal experiences of the author at the time of publication. It does not necessarily convey the views of reallylinux.com. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Microsoft, Microsoft Windows and WindowsXP are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation both in the United States and Internationally. RedHat is a registered trademark of RedHat Inc., SUN and JAVA are registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks in this opinion piece belong to their respective owners.