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The Next Generation

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It had been a while since I had seen these folks, which was too bad, because on the in-law scale, these particular relatives are okay. In fact, the last time I had seen them, I was still writing Linux books full time. So it was of interest to my cousin-in-law Andy, a software developer who'd just sold his business and was looking to start something else up, that I was more in the thick of things as a full-time journalist covering Linux and open source.

We geek-talked for a while over eggs and coffee, with me explaining how Red Hat is not the only profitable L/OSS vendor out there, and running through how the open source model wasn't antithetical to business. There seems to be a pervasive attitude out there that Red Hat is some kind of fluke amongst Linux vendors, and open source is simply not a profitable model. I gave him the point that the margins with an open source company were a lot tighter than a proprietary company (since a proprietary can start making revenue just by selling a box), but listed several companies I was aware of that were making a decent living.

But what really floored me was Andy's youngest son, 10-year-old Greg, who chimed in the middle of the conversation and asked me (and I quote): “how hard is it to run Windows programs, like executables, on Linux?”

What the--?!



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