Novell touts Linux as force for innovation

Open-source technology will force software vendors to create better products, but will not be its downfall, according to a Novell executive.

Matt Asay, Novell's director of Linux business office, said Tuesday at the Linux User and Developer Expo 2004 in London that Linux threatened the proprietary software industry with innovation, rather than extinction, and accused companies such as Microsoft of failing to come up with exciting new applications. "When was the last time that Microsoft Office got significantly better? It's been pretty much the same product for a while now," Asay said. "As things stand, creativity has gone, and that's one reason that Linux on the desktop makes sense. It'll be good for Microsoft, too. They won't like it, but it will force them to innovate," he added.

In recent months, Novell has been on the offensive against Microsoft's desktop stronghold, with a heavy emphasis on the Linux operating system. It has also been doing battle with Linux nemesis SCO Group.

Asay compared people who say that open source is bad for the software industry to captains of the entertainment industry who opposed new technologies, such as the cassette tape and the VCR--both of which generated billions of dollars in new revenue for their companies. One of the key questions being addressed at the conference is the extent to which Linux can dominate the desktop PC market. At least one speaker felt that Microsoft had a few things to teach the open-source community.

News source: Zdnet

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