Update: More like lip service to reality

I find it interesting that common opinion is that some play lip service to Linux while others are whole-hearted backers. Here is another column that brings this up. Here is the quote:

Which companies stand behind Linux today? I mean really stand behind it, and not just give it lip service? It's companies such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell and Oracle. We're talking the who's who of American technology vendors.

So Sun is missing (yet again) from Linux backers (and missing as a who's who of American technology vendors). By our absence (and the columnists history), it is safe to assume Sun falls under "lip service" in this column. Why? Well, that's up to the columnist to say.

Let's do some brief research a couple of these Linux backers. Seems that HP and IBM both resell Microsoft server technology (click on the operating system pulldowns). Good luck finding Microsoft server technology for sale on Sun's web site. Hold on, I'm looking for where Sun sells Microsoft operating systems .... wait .... hold on .... still looking ....

Let's see, IBM offers Microsoft Authorized Premier support. Holy cow, HP has a global service center for Microsoft and touts being a worldwide Microsoft prime integrator and has the largest Windows 2K certified workforce.

Do those links show a lack of commitment to Linux? No. But they sure as heck don't show a lack of commitment to Microsoft either. I think it is safe to say that neither IBM nor HP think Linux is the solution to all problems. Do they get charged with lip service?

Now you can hit Sun.com and blogs.sun.com to see Sun touting Solaris \*and\* Linux. Heck, I am running the Linux-based Java Desktop System. Hey, Sun's Scott McNealy and Jonathan Schwartz run the Java Desktop System on laptops and use Sun Ray's (Solaris based) at work (and Macs at home). Would anyone like to guess what Carly Fiorina and Sam Palmisano run on their desktops at home/work/mobile? Sun is not showing a lack of commitment to Linux just because we push Solaris as well. The Java Enterprise System supports Linux. So do our developer tools. So does our Sun Ray thin client technology. The investment it takes to support Linux with virtually our entire software product line is \*not\* lip service.

Sun bloggers have documented on blogs.sun.com many times our involvement in open source and Linux. I sure would like to compare the percentage of Windows desktop users at Sun to the percentage of Windows desktop users at HP and IBM. Sun has done (by far) more than HP or IBM on proving that Linux is a viable alternative on the desktop. I would like to compare the percentage of Linux desktop users at HP and IBM with the percentage of Linux desktop users at Sun. Take this comparison and run it on the server side at the two companies. I don't think it would be all that different.

Update: I must say that it is amazing how two people can look at the same situation and parse entirely different results. No topic is immune as we all have our pre-dispositions. Here is an example from the 2004 Waters Editorial Award:

"The editors of Waters are pleased to present the award to Sun for its complete portfolio of new products that Wall Street appears to have embraced over the past twelve months," said Phil Albinus, editor of Waters. "Sun's adoption of Linux has peaked the interest of financial leaders to warrant this esteemed title of 'Best Server Solution.'"

Waters doesn't seem to think Sun is playing lip service to Linux, and neither do our customers. You can read the Sun press release to hear more.

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