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From: Jim Allchin
Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:20 PM
To: Brian Valentine, Paul Flessner; Bill Veghte, Bob Kefly; Eric Rudder, Dan
Cc: Michele Freed
I am travelling as you know. I have had many VAP round tables (both partner and
not), met with many enterprise customers, had many roundtables with the
field - both sales roundtable and technical roundtables. I also met with the
US seminar group I have seen a tot of customers this week.
My conclusion: We are not on a path to win against Linux We must change some
things and we must do it immediately. The current white papers, etc. are too
high level and they are not going to cut it. Here are specific actions that I
have concluded that we must take.
1. bill’s team must get a couple more hot resources assigned to it immediately
who can do a tear down of Linux. This resources must help do the items I
outline below together with other teams. I am not sure who might be best to
assign here. Michele and I have been brainstorming and we don’t have a long
list. One person that I think we could consider recruiting to help would be
vicg. Another person might be brian hall. These guys aren’t super technical,
but they are both good at distilling the essence and packaging stuff. Vic
would be better than brian, but I wanted to throw both names out. I would only
pick one of them. Just as importantly we need a kynl type of person - someone
very technical. I insist that we find someone within a week and assign them on
this for the next 2 months. I am not sure who to pick on the technical side.
Once you read below I would like some suggestions. I think can be done in 2
2. We need a paper which outlines technically how our system (kernel, web
service, file server) is better. I think we have Mark R signed up to write
this (robs was supposed to engage him on this). This paper needs to cover
things like the facts that we have a preemptive kernel, asychronous I/O, etc
Facts… that go to the core of why windows is different and Linux is old unix.
Facts. I would have the technical person help with this. There was a technical
wrlteup a few years ago by Mark in Windows NT Magazine. We need more on this.
3. We need a comparison of the security issues published from some place like
CERT for Linux vs Windows 2000 or Windows XP. We need to be sure to count all
the component pieces of Linux (e.g., apache, samba, navigator, etc.). This
needs to be fact based. It should be short and sweet. A table would be great.
I think Mikenash owns this.
4. We need the technical resource / strategy resource to look for fundamental
issues about Linux that customers might not know. One that I thought of while
on the trip that I used dealt with the fact you need to recompile your apps,
etc when a new release of Linux comes out. I don’t think anyone wants to
recompile their apps when they are running them in production, etc. I am sure
if we put serious IQ to the situation we can think of many issues.
5. We need someone to tear down the indemnification offered from RedHat and IBM
to customers. We need to understand exactly the risk a customer is under if a
patent lawsuit happens and Linux is challenged. I’d like Dan to own this.
There MUST be risks to customers that are being passed on. I want this
understood precisely. We need to get the license from IBM given to customers
6. We MUST get a TOC study done. Cost is a first thing on everyone’s mind right
now given the economy and pressure on cost reduction. I am not sure what the
final decision was on the IDC study. We REALLY need some here. I think
billv/bob own this. If the IDC report won’t cut it, then we get another one
done. Some customers know that Linux isn’t really free, but we need to help
the other customers see this.
7. We need a paper (which we may already have) on the productively gains
possible on with .NET development over php and j2ee. This must have examples
of how productive development is, performance, and operational capability.
Eric owns getting this down if it isn’t already.
8. We need a paper explaining how we do scale up. Linux is getting in some
places based on the fact that customers are trying to scale up and they can’t
run applications independently/safely on Windows. I will be writing mail about
this separately. The paper would explain how to do it on Windows. Customers
are very smart about the problems (eg., registry issues, lack of support from
3rd parties if more than a single app is running on the system (even though it
works), etc.). We need a story here. I think this has to be someone as smart
as davidds, I am not sure who should own this. It is possible that someone
like blaing should do this. Maybe someone in Paulfle’s team can do it. We must
address MSFT server products in this (e.g, sql, exchange, etc.). Customers are
very disappointed (outright angry!) in how our apps interfere with each other.
9. I think we need a paper on SFU and interop. Customers believe that unix
systems are more compatible with each other and more interoperable, I was
stunned at the number of customers who had no idea about what SFU could do, We
must promote this much more. Billv owns ensuring this is done.
10.. We need to put together a single short paper (just a couple of pages -
maybe a single sheet) for a leave behind for customers of the 10 questions
that they should consider before adopting Linux This should be based on the
learnings we get from some of the items above and well as others that we find.
These should be as hard hitting as we can be, BUT they need to be factual
based, We should be thinking about howto put things like Red Hat’s server
price In it to show where it’s going, etc, The paper we have today as I said
was laughed at in one place. (I am not sure what one they had seen,) I think
Billy needs to figure out who should own this I think someone like vlcg would
I know there is a lot in this email, I am sorry. It is serious guys, The field
does not feel supported by us. We are not giving them what they need to win
Bill/Paul: I need to ask you to take ownership of driving this ahead What I
want to see is a package including ALL of these items that we can provide to
the field within 2 months (MAX). I am scared. Again.. I want the two people
assigned within a week. I want to know who the people are. Eric please help
thinking about who the right people are. Please remember NO marketing. Facts.
No anger toward Linux. Just facts. Please understand this isn’t up for
discussion. I want some solid people assigned ASAP.
I would like a review in 1 month on the progress on this.
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