ShadowRAM: July 21, 2003

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At CA World last week, Sanjay Kumar basked in the reflected glory (or is it ignominy?) of Henry Kissinger, diplomat extraordinaire or war criminal, depending on your point of view. Never thought I'd get to ask Dr. K about the state of the channel, but that's exactly what happened at the big CA confab.

In politics of a different sort, Kumar had this message for EMC's Joe Tucci, who has proclaimed that the storage giant is going to turn itself into a software solutions company: "I'm going to give him a run for his money."

At the risk of offending the "Linuxerati" (can that term be coined now?) here's a former colleague's Top 10 Reasons We Love Linux:

10. It's just like Unix, only free. Well, not exactly, but sort of. Not really. Er.

9. Writing printer device drivers helps me forget I'm a complete tool.

8. So many different flavors! None quite the same!

7. Microsoft sucks, dude.

6. Red Hat gear guaranteed to impress the ladies.

5. Steve Jobs fan club getting boring lately.

4. Eric Raymond and Sam Palmisano forced to play on same Ultimate Frisbee team.

3. Penguin T-shirt makes me look thinner.

2. Once, at a trade show, I took a photo of Linus, and he was totally cool about it.

1. Did I mention that Microsoft sucks?

OK, no more Mr. Nice Guy. PeopleSoft has gotten a pass thus far on its rather abysmal PR efforts. But it's time to speak out. PeopleSoft's exec team built the company on HR management expertise. One could infer from that a certain knowledge of human nature and motivation. Still, CEO Craig Conway's flacks stiffed reporters who flew cross-country for his biggest news of the year last spring to brief non-traveling journalists, who turned around and broke the embargo on news of its big Linux push.

PeopleSoft's response to the irate,and jet-lagged,press corps? It was IBM's fault. Yeah, good luck on the Oracle fight, guys.

Symantec CEO John Thompson is remarkably cavalier about Microsoft's antivirus moves. He told employees the company is actually better off competing against a big fish like Microsoft rather than a bunch of "ankle biters." You listening Sophos, Panda et al?

When will BEA finally get real about the midmarket? Most agree its channel efforts there have been half-hearted. And the new WebLogic 8.1 pricing,ranging from $50K to $80K per CPU,keeps that offering squarely in the enterprise space, observers said.

Former Oraclean Jeremy Burton, now chief marketing officer at Veritas, chuckled a bit about Oracle's hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft. "There's never a dull moment [at Oracle]," he recalled fondly. But, the way to do an acquisition is "friendly," Burton advised.

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