Lotus chief scorns Linux

OS acolytes declare fatwah, burn copies of SmartSuite

A dissenter has emerged among the host of industry bigwigs shouting their support for Unix derivate Linux. Step forward Jeff Papows, president and CEO of Lotus. Asnwering questions after giving the keynote at an event staged as part of UK Technology Week (see UK Tech Week off to a feeble start), Papows said: "All my engineers tell me this is a sound platform, and I'm a great believer in the model Linux exits in [ie. it doesn't cost anything, which is more than you can say for Lotus' offerings]. "But to me, at this point in time, I just cannot say Linux offers a viable proposition. There are just so many Unix variations." While Papows didn't rule out a move by Lotus to port Notes over to Linux and thus follow similar programmes recently put in place by Oracle, IBM, Netscape and others, he did suggest that an immediate conversion to the Church of Torvald was unlikely. "We'll be looking at a point release for Notes by the middle of next year," he said. "But at the moment Linux is just too risky." According to Meta Group analyst Ashim Pal, quoted on ZDNet UK (which, incidentally, has also begun quoting its own staff as industry visionaries), Papows is correct in his appraisal. "There is not a single enterprise vendor supporting [Linux] and there are no compelling benefits for spending millions of research dollars porting [Notes]," he said. "You're looking at two to three years before Linux will be viable for most companies." The Church of Torvald was unavailable for comment, but expect vast outporings of anti-Lotus flame-mails real soon... ® Click for more stories

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