Expectations rising over Linux desktop

Interview with Nat Friedman.

>The No. 1 misconception is that usability is a major barrier to adoption and that’s not true. It used to be. There was a study done recently with a group of 20 users who had never used a computer before. Ten were put at a Windows PC, 10 at a Linux PC and they were given a list of simple tasks like sending an e-mail, surfing to a Web page and the usability results were pretty much the same.

A prediction

I’m going to go out on a limb and make a prediction: in the near future, Microsoft and Novell will announce that Microsoft is opening up all or most of .NET and chunks of the Longhorn technologies. This will include submitting Avalon/XAML, Indigo , and the rest of .NET to ECMA as standards. Furthermore, royalty free grants to all relevant Microsoft-owned patents will be issued. Here’s my evidence: first, Novell is implementing Avalon and Indigo. They wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t have a reasonable expectation of being able to distribute it legally. Second, during the recent GNOME Mono/Java argument cryptic statements like this were made: “The Mono/Java argument is a real mess in this respect – we discussed it some in public, but it turns out all the relevant facts aren’t public.” What relevant facts are those? A Microsoft patent grant would be very relevant. Third, Microsoft continues to insist that they’re not going to be Evil anymore (really, you can trust us this time). But keeping Avalon/XAML proprietary (and trying to proprietize the web) would be _proof_ of Microsofts continued Evilness. And finally, there’s this very incriminating photo of Novell’s Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza participating in a chorus line with Microsoft’s CTO. What more proof do you need that some sort of (unholy?) alliance is afoot? You heard it here first, folks.

__More:__ This may only refer to the C#/ECMA patent grant but Miguel has also said this: “As previously reported we (Novell) are working on the legal items
ourselves, and will have an official statement when we are done.”


Dr. Menlo has a new blog with a scary premise, or is it a year-long April Fools joke?
>Timelock: if by April 1st, 2005–one year from the formal launch of this site–I don’t sell a book, script, ten short stories, get a play produced or get a decent job writing, I will commit Hari-Kiri live on the net. Sounds gimmicky, doesn’t it? This is the daily one-year journal of that gimmick.