by Chris Koch

Three Strikes on Unix

Mar 15, 20031 min
Open Source

Strike one The Unix market is shrinking as Intel-based machines, which already cost a fraction of Unix machines, become even cheaper and more powerful.

Strike two Each of the major Unix vendors created its own proprietary, incompatible versions of Unix, locking CIOs into systems they could not change unless they bought new machines. This artificial lock-in has kept Unix hardware prices higher than they need to be.

Strike three Linux is based on Unix, so converting Unix applications to run on Linux is relatively straightforward and Unix administrators can easily learn Linux, providing a ready base of support for CIOs who want to make the switch.

If Unix has any remaining advantage, it’s that Linux can support only eight Intel processors stuffed into a single computer, while Unix can support 32 (or more) powerful RISC chips in a box. But Linux (and Windows) development is not standing still and neither is Intel’s. The Unix hardware vendors, with their shrinking customer bases, will have less revenue to invest in R&D, while Intel’s war chest continues to swell.

Unix? Yer out!