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The Ultimate Internet

Network World asked me to write an 850 word summary of my view about the future of the Internet. The story appears in the November 10 issue of the magazine and also online at NetworkWorldFusion. They named the story "The Ultimate Internet". I don’t know if "ultimate" is the right term, and 850 words isn’t much space to describe something as broad and deep as the evolution of the Internet, but I did my best. There were some other things in the news and a few thoughts I wanted to share.

Desktop Linux

There is a lot going on with desktop Linux. The Associated Press reported today in an article called “Brazil Leans Away From Microsoft” that Brazil has decided to encourage all sectors of their government to move toward open-source programs. They believe that the low cost of Linux and open-source applications can enable them to close the digital divide in Brazil — a country of 170 million people where only ten percent have computers at home. The motoviations vary from country to country but the trend to use Linux is clearly building.
Earlier this month, Novell acquired the SuSE Linux, and has now made it clear that it intends to be become a major player in the Linux market. Amy Wohl wrote quite a bit about it in her Amy Wohl’s Opinions. In her article, Amy reported that the CEO of Novell believes that "Linux is the future of computing". That kind of vision, plus the portfolio of Linux technology they now own, plus the $50 million investment from IBM, adds up to a very strong position. Amy says, "One thing is sure. With Novell’s purchase of SuSE, the Linux market is now definitely out of the niche and into the mainstream".
My own conversion to the Linux desktop is progressing. I have VMWare running on Redhat Linux with Windows XP as a separate application. This allows me to switch back and forth between Linux and Windows without having to re-boot and if I need to re-boot windows (which happens very frequently) I can do so without actually re-booting the ThinkPad. Linux and VMWare continue to run independently.

ENUM

There has been a lot of feedback on the patrickWeb story about ENUM. Most people agree that will be one of the important elements in the merger of the PSTN and the Internet. Thanks to Mike Nelson for sending me a link to an excellent paper on ENUM called "Lord of the Numbers" by Geoff Huston.

VoIP

IBM is a believer in IP telephony and plans to convert most of its more than 300,000 employees to voice over IP over the next four to five years. With nearly one thousand PBXs in more than 100 countries, the conversion is a big job. The benefits will include cost reduction but also enable integration of applications with voice. IBM’s IP telephony platform will run on Linux servers.

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