Linux has already sewn up the Internet, so the next step is to take over the enterprise server market and then the desktop, according to Eric Raymond, self styled PR officer of the open source movement.
"I think it would be nice to win on the desktop in the near to medium term, but we've already taken over the Internet and effectively own it, and the next step is business server farms. We'll then push at the desktop real hard," he said.
"Fortune 500 data centres are really important because where they lead, ISVs and resellers follow. They have the largest concentrated chunk of money and so we need to change their practices and market Linux's stability, quality and low cost of ownership to them. But I've found that bottom up evangelism doesn't really work. It's totally doomed, so we need to reach the strategists that control the business issues and enlighten them," he explained.
But while Raymond acknowledged that 100 per cent penetration was not a realistic option, he said he would consider that Linux had won when either market share hit 50 per cent or Microsoft's stock price crashed - whichever came first.
He continued, however: "Destroying Microsoft is not the goal, but when its stock price crashes, the resistance to doing things right goes away. No organisation can promote creativity, it can only promote the creativity of the individual. Microsoft can't do it and to that extent, it's innovation depends on being responsive to individual insights."
He added that historically, empires rose and fell in geometric progression and they needed a lot of intelligence to evaluate their strength, which was a risky procedure.
"People tend to look and see what their neighbours think and what they think compounds their views. As a result, when an empire starts to decay, it causes cracks in universal confidence, which hastens its decline. And the fall of Microsoft has already begun. One characteristic is that it's putting huge amounts of money into strategies that produce no return at all," he claimed.
And he attested that Linux was hitting on Windows NT more than any other operating system. "We're not taking seats away from Unix and we're not interested in doing that. Most of the surveys show we're taking seats away from NT - and Novell has been affected too," he concluded.
Microsoft was unavailable for comment.
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