Top Ten Features Linux Will Need To Compete With W2K

Column written by Paul Ferris on Monday, August 30, 1999

from the don't-forget-the-dancing-tux-assistant dept.

Top 10 lists have been popular lately. Nick Petreley has his top 10 list of excuses needed for implementing W2K. Then, this OS Opinion contributor put in his $.02 on why Linux would be a desktop success.

I've decided that a more technical analysis of the subject is in order. Neither of you jokers (and I use the term correctly here for all of us) has addressed the features that Linux will need to catch up to the Redmondites new operating system offerings. We Linuxites get accused of just playing catch-up and only copying features all the time, so I figure we'd best get a list together, so we can Innovate(tm) with the big boys.

Since some of these new "features" are likely to be viewed in a negative light, I've included the marketing plans for implementing them, where possible.

I hope RedHat doesn't get too upset with me for detailing their secret marketing and technical plans *wink* ....

Top ten features that RedHat 2000 will adopt to catch up with Windows 2000:

9) CD auto-run install that simply destroys Windows by installing Linux over the top when user selects a friendly looking button that says: "I want to learn more about RedHat 2000".

8) Registration "Blizzard" ask for detailed marketing and user information, all the while scanning for products loaded on the hard drive. Every time the user connects to the Internet, RedHat 2000 secretly sends this data back to a database in Raleigh, N.C. Ralph Nader is likely to write CEO Bob Young with concerns, but Bob's gonna blow them off saying that the data is needed to better support his customers, and RedHat wouldn't dream of using the data for marketing!

7) /etc no longer a directory. Instead, it will be a hidden file system that is only available through a program called "EtcEdit64". EtcEdit64 use won't be recommended by RedHat. Still, it will be required on a daily basis to fix a multitude of problems.

6) All existing software will have to be re-written to use the new proprietary etc system calls.

5) Only Intel i386 hardware supported. The spin: "It will help us speed development!"

4) Exclusive graphic mode system boot-up. Without a valid graphics adaptor and mouse, the system will be unusable.

3) 128 megabyte RAM and Pentium III required for minimal system. Why? 3 Words: init in Python.

2) Proprietary source code. The system will be billed as Open, but the source code will obviously not be available and buggy as all sin. Pushed to release the source code by some developers in the community, CEO Bob Young will just get angry and say "What the @!#^$@ do you know!?!"

1) New, expanded product line. Newer distribution will be split into 18 different products, each one available at a different price and installing various combinations of Samba, Apache, NIS, KDE, GNOME and sendmail. Older distribution will be still be available and called "RedHat 2000 Classic".

And the number 0 feature that RedHat 2000 will adopt?

0) Extreme instability billed as: "50% more stable than Microsoft Windows NT 4!"


0) Paul Ferris uses RedHat, both at home and at work, because he likes it. Yes, he's used Debian, Slack, Suse and some others too, so lay off!

1) None of the above is true, meant to be true, or even hinted at as being true. Technical inaccuracies will be output to /dev/null

2) The tone and unfairness of this "feature set" may piss off some people at RedHat's secret PR agency, "Wagon-Wheel EggStorm". Paul says, "That's just too darn bad."

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