[SunRescue] 5 major manufacturers?

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Wed Sep 27 17:19:11 CDT 2000

On September 27, Brian McCloskey wrote:
> >   I don't see anything wrong with pushing 3 different OSs, really.
> the problem with pushing 3 different OSs, is that each one requires a 
> development team, testers, software to be maintained etc. in short, they all 
> require resources that are finite for any company, not least of which being 
> money. in companies where this is going on (ibm, sgi etc.) these teams tend 
> to vie politically for the lion's share of these resources which tends to 
> produce a fluctuation in support for the varios OSs. this in turn is not 
> entirely encouraging to most consumers, but also forces them many times to 
> make decisions they should not have to make. while there shouldn't be 
> anything wrong with a multi-platform environment, this is not something that 
> any business strives for. most businesses will go to surprising lengths to 
> stay with a single vendor in order to realize a return on their investments 
> in support staff and end user training etc. this is one reason why sun does 
> so well. all of their hardware (except the very ill-fated javastations) runs 
> solaris. they developed the ultrapenguin linux kernel, and they don't have a 
> problem with you running it, but they did this as a convenience to their 
> user community, and after turning it over to the open source community they 
> no longer devote significant (AFAIK) development resources to it. you also 
> need to take into account mindshare. a companie's OS is a very significant 
> part of their identity, especially for those who don't really understand 
> what it is, but all too often are the ones paying for the product.

  You make an excellent point...I think, though, that the identity issue
is much more important in this case than the issue of infighting and
competition for resources.  SGI is a *big* company, and sometimes it
suffers from "the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing"
syndrome.  I suggest that such an environment may be conducive to
parallel (even divergent) OS development.

               -Dave McGuire

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