After reading colleague Alexander Wolfe's piece about a Linux distro called "Vixta" that apes the look and feel of Windows Vista, I confess to having mixed feelings about the whole thing. Mostly negative ones.
Here's the big reason I feel as uneasy as I do: It's tantamount to an admission of defeat. The only way Linux can "succeed" is if it looks like Windows. And frankly, isn't there something hypocritical about railing against Microsoft for not innovating and then turning around and mimicking them, right down to the chrome on the user interface?
This comes back to a question many people have asked before. Does Linux have to look like Windows to work? Not "beat Windows at its own game," which if you ask me is a red herring, but work. Granted, the Windows UI is familiar territory for most people with at least some degree of computer use, but that doesn't mean it has to be the be-all and end-all of UI design.
I think part of the problem is that starting from absolute scratch with a UI is a terribly daunting project -- why reinvent the wheel when there's plenty of them already around? -- and I can see why that would cause someone to simply reach for what's handy and available instead of trying to break the mold.
It's a temptation that needs to be fought. Even if it's just incrementally and over time, Linux needs to step completely away from Windows as a paradigm for success and see what it can accomplish on its own.
My feeling is that if Linux users create something that is useful and attractive on its own merits -- and that doesn't slavishly owe Microsoft a debt -- it will succeed. I'd rather see more time and effort invested in making Linux the best thing it can possibly be on its own terms, not something that feels obliged to play catch-up at every turn. I want to see more diversity between OSes, not less.
In a court appeal, ex-Qwest executive Joseph P. Nacchio says the company was in line to get lucrative NSA work, but was rejected after Qwest raised questions about the legality of some of the agency's work.
Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.
The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.
Given that Symentec already licenses Vontu's data loss prevention technology, the rumored deal isn't entirely unexpected.
Watching Oracle Try To Acquire BEA Beats Reruns Of Dynasty
The IT world has its own versions of young, hot celebrities (Google, the iPhone) and they often take attention away from the less flashy yet equally important world of business software. Thank goodness we've got Oracle to keep things interesting.
Do You Use Vista Or Does It Use You, Continued
Open the pod bay door, HAL. There are stories from a couple of sources about Windows Update automatically updating and rebooting users' systems even when they thought they'd disabled automatic updates. And Microsoft hasn't said anything much about why.
Mobile Gmail Just Got Better
For the free mobile e-mail lovers out there, there's good news. Google has updated its mobile Gmail client and there are a host of improvements. The killer new feature? Search, of course.
Intel Flirts With No-EMail Fridays
OK, so Intel hasn't actually asked employees to take a permanent e-mail break one day a week, but the chip giant -- like several other forward-thinking companies -- has been pilot-testing temporary moratoriums on time-wasting communications. The idea is gaining ground in Corporate America, as noted recently in The Wall Street Journal.
How Network Admission Control (NAC) can apply to branch endpoints
How to deploy Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) in a branch architecture
How to address branch content and messaging security vulnerabilities
Independent Research Firm Uncovers BPM Trends You Shouldn't Miss Join this interactive web seminar hosted by BEA Systems, featuring Forrester Analyst Colin Teubner as we explore why organizations are seeking to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and strategic value of key business processes. Find out where BPM is going next and where it can have the greatest impact across your organization.
Putting A Price On Document-Based Business Processes
-- Hewlett-Packard IPG
The first step in increasing the efficiency of document based
business processes is to get a handle on the cost, risks and
value associated with your business documents. This paper
outlines some key facts your company should know about the
significant savings opportunities of streamlining document
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.