Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:13:19 +0100

On Sun, Oct 27, 2002 at 04:05:36PM -0800, Tim O'Reilly wrote:
> On 10/27/02 12:59 PM, "Benjamin J. Tilly" <> wrote:
> > This is great for most of us.  But why should ANY
> > established business which understands Clayton
> > Christensen's thesis not see this as a damned good
> > reason to run screaming in terror from free software?
> Well, if someone else is going to do it to you anyway, better to be in the
> driver's seat, especially if you think through the long term consequences.
> If IBM had understood what they'd unleashed with the commodity hardware of
> the PC, they could have become both Dell (the company that best realized the
> low-cost potential of commodity hardware) and Microsoft (the company that
> best realized the profit potential of monopoly software on top of that
> commodity hardware platform).  Not to mention Intel.  But they turned the
> genie loose and let someone else realize its potential.

I believe not ... because the hardware strategy was open, while the
software one was closed.  Which was a succesful combination because
harware was the higher cost where competition was most needed.
   It is quite unlikely that IBM would have chosen the right mix of
open and close strategy that we have seen.
   The open part made the success of the PC, and the fortune of Microsoft
who held on the closed part.
   If both has been open, we would have what we strive for: open
source on commodity hardware.
   If both had been closed, it would have been like Apple, which was
a better product  (as so was the Amiga, I am told), but did not succeed.

  Furthermore, people had the feeling that power was shared between
Intel, Microsoft and Dell.  So they were less distrustful.
   Not to mention that IBM was then seen as the monopolist.

         Non aux Brevets Logiciels  -  No to Software Patents
           SIGNEZ    SIGN             ,_  /\o    \o/    Tel  +33 1 3963 5644  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  Fax  +33 1 3963 5469
            INRIA / B.P. 105 / 78153 Le Chesnay CEDEX / France
         Je n'exprime que mon opinion - I express only my opinion