I couldn’t resist this post from Jaime Cardoso, ranting about yet another questionable Gartner claim.
“Some people say that Gartner should start blogging and join the conversation. About this, I say Thank God for small favors since I believe engaging a conversation with a drunk in the nearest bar would be far more profitable.”
What triggered Jaime’s ire?
Donald Feinberg, vice-president of Gartner, just claimed: “Linux is coming, Unix is dead.” Apparently this is an “absolute”.
So Unix is dead, eh? More binary reductionism. Ever hear about the Long Tail? Ever looked at the history of IT industry, and the fact platforms hang around for an awfully long time, establishing valuable ecosystems in their own right? Ever considered that making claims like this might affect your credibility?
Its clearly factually incorrect to say that Unix is dead in 2005, and its highly likely Unix will win some new production workloads in 2010, particularly in scale up, OLTP scenarios. The IBM mainframe after all is still winning new workloads, and it has been “dead” for a long time…
“Linux and Windows will be the only two operating systems left in five years.”
Its surely dangerous for analysts to fall into the trap of binary thinking. It doesn’t make for nuanced analysis, just FUD heavy headlines. My biggest question though is just how does such a statement help the end user community? If you’re a Unix exponent you just got shafted by the biggest analyst firm in the business. By all means recommend that enterprises should apply more resources to Linux and Windows, but why play the dead card?
As Stephen says:
On one level, the problem with such arguments is obvious: they simply do not reflect reality. Enterprises, for example, do not typically use a single platform – Java or .NET – for their development needs. They’ll use both, leveraging the different strengths – not to mention a host of other languages and platforms like Perl, PHP or Python. Distilling the question down to Java v .NET has the benefit of focus at the expense of utility.
Even worse, however, is the fact that binary arguments tend to obscure the fact that in many real world implementations, so-called oppositional technologies will compliment rather than annihilate each other. At the very least, they provide each other with the competition that drives innovation.
Competition driving innovation. Like Linux communities attempting to emulate DTrace in Solaris 10, say.
IDC is tracking OpenSolaris. Is Gartner? We are – here is a Q&A. In order to understand a platform’s potential longevity its surely important to consider things like the strength of the community, and the platform currency of customers. Brandon Werner is having so much fun with OpenSolaris that he has renewed his vows to C++. Being in love with one “dead” platform is unfortunate, but to love two “dead” platforms surely smacks of carelessness…
So is Unix really dead?
HP? Who is “the face of HP-UX”, anyway? [Could be a problem for HP. We know who Martin Fink is but...]
I am little worried that RedMonk’s industry analysis is off the mark, though, given we think IBM and Microsoft are going to play industry shaping roles for years to come. Jaime has his own dead platform 8-ball:
Wait, wait, don’t go away right now, I’m having a vision, I’m having a vision, … I see, … I see, … IBM is DEAD and, so is Microsoft!