Gartner's Advice on SCO, vs. the Real Story, per Netcraft

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Tim O'Reilly
Aug. 02, 2003 04:32 PM
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I had an interesting email the other day from Mike Prettejohn of Netcraft, in which he contrasts the "go slow with Linux" advice of the Gartner Group in the wake of the SCO lawsuit with the tale of the tape as Netcraft sees it:

    Have you seen the amount of mileage Gartner's recomendations are getting?

    "Gartner Group recommend that companies delay deployment of critical Linux applications, determine "whether Unix or Windows will provide functions equivalent to those of Linux deployments", and take a "go-slow" approach to Linux in high-value or mission-critical production systems."

    (Quoted on Slashdot and in The Register.)

    As it turns out, as far as their internet presence goes, big companies are doing the exact opposite; over 100 enterprise sites run by probably the very same Fortune 1000 and global near equivalent companies that recieved the SCO letter have switched to Linux since May, including Schwab.com.

    It wouldn't be the first time that Gartner have been completely ignored - remember eighteen months ago when they recommended everyone should ditch Microsoft-IIS [because of security loopholes], and so far I don't think many people have changed their behaviour. Basically people are less jumpy than Gartner expects."

I've thought for a long time that Netcraft represents a real revolution in market research. Firms like Gartner can tell you what they think people are going to do. Folks like Netcraft can tell you what people are actually doing. To be sure, Netcraft is just looking at what's web-visible, but as technology progresses, there is going to be more and more types of data visible, and this will lead to a revolution in market research.

Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to Foo Camps ("Friends of O'Reilly" Camps, which gave rise to the "un-conference" movement), O'Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the Web 2.0 Summit, the Web 2.0 Expo, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, the Gov 2.0 Summit, and the Gov 2.0 Expo. Tim's blog, the O'Reilly Radar, "watches the alpha geeks" to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim's long-term vision for his company is to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. In addition to O'Reilly Media, Tim is a founder of Safari Books Online, a pioneering subscription service for accessing books online, and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, an early-stage venture firm.