Post by Simon Clubley
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative to windows
having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
Sure, a browser and an office suite were probably enough to be decently
competitive in the desktop market back early 1990s. DEC had some of
that then, too. DECwrite, DECcalc, DECscan, et al. But DEC and
others were then clobbered in that market by the rise of Microsoft and
of Windows. Which was cheaper, and worked well enough for what most
folks wanted and needed back then.
Post by Simon Clubley
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Ayup. Linux, macOS and the BSDs all have this now. Two of those
are free, and the third is giving away a quite-functional and
quite-compatible office suite and related tools with the hardware
That's before we start looking at what else Windows offers, and at what
else Linux, macOS and BSDs also offer. That — in various cases —
OpenVMS does not.
That's also before we look at the Windows desktop commercial market —
which looks to be a replacement market and that's been shrinking for a
while, and certainly not a growth market — and before we look at the
explosion of mobile clients and devices over the past decade.
That's also before looking at the infrastructure and the APIs — giblets
beyond the graphics controller support — that's necessary to port
OpenOffice or (probably more likely) LibreOffice over to OpenVMS, too.
VSI has the right strategy here. Servers only, and — beyond keeping
X11 working, and hopefully eventually updated to current X11 — no
desktops and certainly no desktop apps. Get the software updated to
current security, get the compilers and core tools updated, get the
platform ported to x86-64. Get the customers migrated from HPE
releases to VSU releases, and get the revenues stable and preferably
growing. Get more third-parties engaged. Then start building the
go try installing and configuring OpenVMS — including adding the
network stack and configuring that — and patching OpenVMS to current —
all from the GUI, without resorting to the command line. There's
way more necessary for a desktop product here than an office suite and
a web browser. Gotta get the box installed and working and networked
and keep it secure, after all. Remote system support via VNC/RDP/ARD,
and remote system management. Provisioning requirements, just as soon
as more than a few client deployments are considered. Remote backups.
Then go try this on Windows or macOS.
Sure, it's possible to hand-roll some of this on OpenVMS, but... it's
either already part of Windows or Linux or macOS or such, or it's
already available from third-parties.
I'd also suggest learning about mass deployments and provisioning and
related tools, about what's involved with end-point security and
network security, and about the level of integration that's
increasingly expected of desktops within corporate environments — what
Microsoft Office did back in the 1990s for uniting writing and
spreadsheets and such into a suite of tools is now happening at far
larger scale with Active Directory and SharePoint and other services as
well as with hosted services that most sites are at least partially
adopting; Office365 is increasingly popular, after all.
If I want an office suite and a web browser, I can buy an iPad tablet
and get all of that, and rather more. And that iPad is a whole lot
easier to use and to carry around than OpenVMS ever was, too. Or I can
get a Microsoft Surface or one of many cheap Windows boxes, if I want
the canonical office suite on the canonical platform. Or I can
acquire a Dell XPS laptop or desktop running factory-installed Ubuntu,
for that matter. Or a Pixel or Chrome OS device, for that matter.
And there are many other competitors.
We are not in the 1990s. Prices and expectations and features have
changed. Revenues are key. VSI is all about the installed base of
folks already using OpenVMS. VSI seeks to acquire and stabilize the
installed base, and then seeks to build on the installed base. On the
folks that are looking to avoid the costs of porting their existing
server apps else-platform. Folks already on other platforms aren't
inclined to incur similar costs moving over to OpenVMS, either. Over
time, VSI then seeks to add additional folks and new deployments that
are looking for what OpenVMS provides for servers, and particularly
with the updates that VSI provides.
Going directly against Microsoft Office? Or competing against other
commercial and free platforms with LibreOffice, which is already
available for free on other platforms and thus not even remotely close
to differentiating feature? That seems unlikely to be a viable
commercial strategy, and a good way to waste a whole lot of money on
the way. Money that could have been spent making OpenVMS a better and
more competitive server platform.
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