Thursday, November 03, 2005

In the Center Ring: O'Reilly vs. Schwartz

During the Web 2.0 conference this year there was a talk titled "Open Source and Web 2.0," where the panel included Tim O'Reilly, CEO of O'Reilly Media, Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, and Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation.

During the discussion there was this bout between the CEO of Sun Microsystems and the CEO of O'Reilly Media.

Tim O'Reilly: "When there was a time in the 90's, when you could legitimately make the claim that Sun was the power behind the Internet, and I think you can't make that claim anymore. Linux has really taken over."

Jonathan Schwartz: "You mean RedHat."

Tim O'Reilly: "No, I don't mean RedHat. I don't think Google runs RedHat."

Jonathan Schwartz: "I'm sorry, Google built their own computers."

Tim O'Reilly: "That's right."

Jonathan Schwartz: "I don't see a lot of customers doing that."

I'm not too sure what point Jonathan Schwartz was trying to make. Is it that people that build their own computers use RedHat? Or is it that Linux and RedHat are synonymous? Or is he just trying to point out that he knows more than Tim O'Reilly?

I'm not sure what happened there, but it wasn't pretty. A serious discussion about Open Source and Web 2.0 is hardly the place for a pissing match.

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