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2006 Software War Map between FOSS and Microsoft 311

Ant writes "Neatorama mentions Steven Hilton's Software War Map that depicts "the epic struggle of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) against the Empire of Microsoft. It was updated in 2006."
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2006 Software War Map between FOSS and Microsoft

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  • Just Wait till Vista (Score:3, Interesting)

    by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:03PM (#15585071)
    Just wait till Vista enters the picture! Then there'll be total chaos!
  • I love it! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i_finally_got_an_acc ( 861122 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:03PM (#15585072)
    I love that this is presented as a serious piece of news!

    This belongs on webcomic or something.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:05PM (#15585083)
    Isn't it a bit early to feature this on Slashdot?
  • I don't know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by honestmonkey ( 819408 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:05PM (#15585086) Journal
    It seems to be missing some things. Surely some of the Companies shown fighting MS are also fighting each other? And who says it's a war anyway? Some things are just good ideas, and lots of folks are going to come up with variations. Does that always mean a battle? It seems silly to me, rather than informative.
    • Re:I don't know... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SQLGuru ( 980662 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:16PM (#15585175) Journal
      "It seems to be missing some things."

      Why isn't Visual Studio going toe-to-toe with Eclipse?

      Where's VBScript vs JavaScript?

      What's Web / AJAX services doing in the corner? MS has that capability, too.

      What about DirectX vs OpenGL?

      I'm sure it's missing quite a bit more, too.

      • Re:I don't know... (Score:4, Informative)

        by TedTschopp ( 244839 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:36PM (#15585287) Homepage
        OpenGL and DirectX are in the bottom left corner.
      • by joggle ( 594025 )
        Not only does MS have that capability, they fully endorse it from what I understand. Didn't they help get the initiative off in the first place, like they did with SOAP? For that matter, where is SOAP on that diagram?
      • Re:I don't know... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        Where's VBScript vs JavaScript?

        Perhaps you somehow missed this, but both IIS/ASP and the Windows Scripting Host (WSH) support both VBscript and Jscript out of the box. I am responsible for the website for a Califonia tribal casino, and I am developing it entirely in ASP+Jscript since we were already on IIS. It's not my first choice, but actually it has turned out to be a surprisingly competent environment - I'd certainly choose ASP long before, say, CFM.

        What about DirectX vs OpenGL?

        He thought abou

      • To continue the whole "battlefront" analogy, Microsoft has basically captured AJAX tech and is forcing it to work for them, while I would say open source (and Google and Yahoo) are far more on the cutting edge of expanding the AJAX boundaries.

        In another very real way Ajax is working against Microsoft because it is enabling the creation of apps that are truly OS independant in a way that was not as true or as easy before. So even if Visual Studio ads a lot more AJAX support (which they are, I know they also
      • Re:I don't know... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Daath ( 225404 )
        Why isn't Visual Studio going toe-to-toe with Eclipse?

        Seriously. I am not being sarcastic or obnoxious (you may interpret it that way, if you're a FOSS-zealot), but Visual Studio 2005 is without comparison. Eclipse is stone age compared to Visual Studio. A while ago (pre-Visual Studio 2003), MS didn't have a decent IDE. Borland had the best IDE around, but like it or not, VS2k3 changed that and with VS2k5, noone, not even Borland, came close. I'm not particularly happy about it, but it *is* the best and coo
        • Re:I don't know... (Score:5, Informative)

          by PeeCee ( 678651 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:02PM (#15586194)
          but Visual Studio 2005 is without comparison. Eclipse is stone age compared to Visual Studio.

          Whaat?? As a full time Visual Studio developer (no zealotry here), I find that 2005 is far superior to previous incarnations(*), and quite decent in its own right, but it doesn't hold a candle to Eclipse. Note that I'm talking about the "native" VS-C# vs Eclipse-Java development here, because obviously both (especially Eclipse) are capable of a lot more.

          VS 2005 only just incorporated refactoring support, and it's still pretty limited. It also catches a lot fewer errors (helped by the fact that Eclipse background-compiles your code all the time), and doesn't have half as many smart code-completion features (yeah, it has plenty of "dumb" completions, but Eclipse sometimes feels like it can pretty much write all your code on its own while you just wish it into existence).

          That said, I find two big advantages to VS2005: its learning curve is a lot less steep (remember the first time you actually tried to run your program in Eclipse?), and its GUI (WinForms) editor is very simple+powerful (as long as you don't want to dig too much inside the code it generates).

          But seriously, I'm interested: What do you find is so much better in VS2005 than Eclipse?

          (*) Note: VS2005 is pretty cool when it works. Aside from Windows ME, it has got to be one of the buggiest pieces of software ever to come out of Redmond. In the past 8 months I have bumped into innumerable problems all around: the IDE, C++ and C# compilers, libraries... you can tell they rushed it out the door. I had found plenty of bugs in MS development tools before, but never so many in such a short timespan. Also, it's bloated, but I guess when comparing it to Eclipse that doesn't count :)

          • of reasons why visual studios is a better IDE than eclipse.

            >That said, I find two big advantages to VS2005: its learning curve is a lot less steep
            >(remember the first time you actually tried to run your program in Eclipse?), and its GUI (WinForms)
            >editor is very simple+powerful (as long as you don't want to dig too much inside the
            >code it generates).

            but here's the main reason visual studios outclasses eclipse. Visual studios provides uniformly good support for whatever programming needs you have
        • Re:I don't know... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Idaho ( 12907 )
          Eclipse is stone age compared to Visual Studio.


          Muahahahaha, whahahahahah. *drags himself back to chair*

          OK seriously now, can I have some of what you've been smoking?
    • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:35PM (#15585284) Homepage Journal

      It seems to be missing some things.

      Yes, the war includes all kinds of media and it's creators. Programmers have been joined by all kinds of artists and creators. There's a free media revolution going on. The incumbents have shown their hand and it stinks.

      And who says it's a war anyway?

      Microsoft and big publishers say it's a war. The goal is TV and Radio broadcast style control of all media. They will sue you in your home (RIAA), at your business (SCO), and at your kid's school (BSA). They don't really care what you do, but they will try their best to have you do as they say.

      The goal is to take your money without your consent for any information exchange. You will pay for a M$ license each time you buy a computer. You will pay per minute or byte of conversation on any electronic device, per play of your music, movies novels and textbooks. Your taxes will pay to encoded your information into secret formats and pay again to retrieve it. The new media, paradoxally, will be more expensive and restricted than it's analog and physical predecessors. All of these intentions have been openly declared and loudly demanded by all of the bad actors.

      If that's not a declaration of war, I'm not sure what is. The less you know and care, the easier it will be for them to make the world as they wish.

      The world does not have to be that way. People do not mind sharing if it cost them nothing and brings greater returns. Excellence thrives in competition and everyone prospers. Success stories are the whole free software movement, which has obliterated the need for non free, and free media: and creative commons instead of the big three music publishers; YouTube instead of TV; VOIP instead of Telco; Wikipedia instead of expensive paper publications. The economics of electronic data exchange doom the monopoly publishers unless they pass truly unAmerican laws. Fight the bastards by not giving your money to those who would enslave you.

      • Time to see the doctor. Something is wrong with your sense of perspective. It's turning into hyperbole.

      • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @06:24PM (#15585538)
        They will sue you in your home (RIAA), at your business (SCO), and at your kid's school (BSA).

        Almost. The correct way it was said is as the following quote:

        We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in courts, we shall fight on the Web and Usenet, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in cyberspace, we shall defend our Imperium, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the portable, we shall fight on the games boxes, we shall fight on the desktops and on the handhelds, we shall fight in the media; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Imperium or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our bought senators, armed and guarded by the BSA would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World Order, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
      • See, I agree with about half of that, because pretty much the same arguments have been going on for centuries; I was going to say back to the birth of the printing press, until I remembered the Gnostic gospels, and even earlier Bible fragments. That tradition of the underground press has carried on through the centuries, but there have always been many reasons - sometimes things are uncommercial, sometimes things are actually bad but vanity rules, and sometimes they are suppressed by society.

        Where I depart
    • There is definately a war going with MS and the rest of the IT industry. Anybody who ignores that is doing so at their own peril. MS doesn't give quarter in this war. They are make a product in virtually every category of business and they are giving them all away in order to kill the other players in the market.
  • ...from the lower left corner what with filing Chapter 11 and all. Such a pity []...
  • Confused (Score:3, Funny)

    by dedazo ( 737510 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:09PM (#15585105) Journal
    Is this supposed to be news? Funny? Interesting? Engaging? If I create one and put a picture of Stallman in saint drag humping a penguin will Slashdot publish it for me?
  • Mono and .Net (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Matt Perry ( 793115 ) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [45ttam.yrrep]> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:09PM (#15585110)
    Pardon my ignorance, but isn't Mono on the wrong side of the fence? I thought that it should be pictured alongside .Net trying to move into the Free Software camp (or circling around the back to take Free Softare from behind). I mean, isn't Mono just an implementation of a MS technology that's already encumbered by many patents?
    • Re:Mono and .Net (Score:5, Interesting)

      by linvir ( 970218 ) * on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:14PM (#15585152)
      I think you mean "Pardon my poorly thinly veiled bias". But yes, there is a lot of ignorance in there as well. From wikipedia:
      . The patent concerns primarily relate to technologies developed by Microsoft on top of the .NET Framework, such as ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Windows Forms, i.e. parts composing Mono's Windows compatibility stack. These technologies are today not fully implemented in Mono and not required for developing Mono-applications. Not providing a patented capability would weaken the interoperability, but it would still provide the free software / open source software community with good development tools, which is the primary reason for developing Mono.
      • I think you mean "Pardon my poorly thinly veiled bias".
        Do you care to state bluntly what you mean?
        • Re:Mono and .Net (Score:2, Insightful)

          by aramael ( 892701 )
          I think linvir meant "Pardon my bias, which is thinly veiled, poorly."

          Does that help?

          So much for brevity. Mono allows a lot of things to run on Free software platforms. You chose to ignore this in favour of a vague appeal to untested patent problems. Many people would see this as bias masquerading as insightfulness.

          Also, you're kinda defensive.

          • Re:Mono and .Net (Score:3, Insightful)

            by alext ( 29323 )
            Mono allows very few things to run on free software platforms that were not expressly written for Mono, brings nothing not already available with Java or Python and hands direction of technical policy to Microsoft.

            Nevertheless, Mono is as lazy and blatant a rip-off of chunks of Dotnet as it is possible to contrive, so if Microsoft choose to make use of the large number of patent lawyers they have hired recently I think it's possible to guess what might be an open goal for them.

            You can choose to ignore this
          • Re:Mono and .Net (Score:3, Informative)

            by Matt Perry ( 793115 )
            I should clarify first that I'm talking about everything below in the context of where things are placed on the map that the article links to. The core of my argument is that Mono needs to be placed elsewhere on the map, maybe in the Novell front lines. It shouldn't be in the Free Software front lines on the map.

            I think linvir meant "Pardon my bias, which is thinly veiled, poorly."

            Does that help?

            Not really. It's still oblique wording that doesn't communicate well what he was he's trying to say. It ins

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Java is encumbered by patents. The Linux kernel is violating patents. Openoffice and Mozilla is violating patents. Microsoft Windows XP is violating patents. OpenBSD is violating patents.

      WTF do you think free software people are freaked out about it? BECAUSE YOU CAN NOT NOT AVOID PATENTS.

      Mono is actually using patents legally, at least as far as known patent issues are involved.

      Mono is definately on the side of Free software. It's Free software through and through.

      It's a hell of a lot better then Java, whic
      • This is why it's time to get out of the computer industry. The net has been cast wide and far, and now all that the major corporations have to do is pull it tight and all of the niche OSS freaks will be caught up in a legal quagmire that will end this 'free as in speech' nonsense.

        Sure, IBM might bitch a bit, but they'll get consessions from intel and MS and eventually they'll get over it.

        The net has been sold down the river, DRM is going to take over the next generation of desktop computers and MS and Sun w
    • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:44PM (#15585339) Homepage Journal

      Pardon my ignorance, but isn't Mono on the wrong side of the fence? ... I mean, isn't Mono just an implementation of a MS technology that's already encumbered by many patents?

      It's more of a damaged weapon than anything else. Use it if you can and fight to keep it. It might be loose, but you can't just surrender everything that's challenged. The whole point of free software is to be able to use your computer as you see fit. That includes running whatever code you want for whatever purpose you have. I don't have any use for Mono, but others might and I'm glad someone is working on interoperability.

  • by linvir ( 970218 ) * on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:10PM (#15585113)
    What happened to the in-fighting between KDE and GNOME? It was included in the old version [].
  • Completely surrounded will Microsoft discover another _dark_ way of winning everything or is the giant starting to feel the weight of time as some current moves in its staff shown ....
  • by posterlogo ( 943853 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:11PM (#15585128)
    ...against Microsoft. Look at the names: Apple, Novell, HP, Sun, SGI, IBM -- various combinations of these guys have bumped heads a few times also. And, not all of those names are exaclty pro-FOSS either, maybe they are just anti-M$.
  • by masterzora ( 871343 ) <masterzora@ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:12PM (#15585131) Homepage
    I love how the /. crowd needs a Wikipedia link to remind us what Free and Open Source Software is. We'd all be in the dark without that!
    • What's a wikipedia [] link []?
  • Is there a key? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dragoonmac ( 929292 )
    I'm having trouble understanding what all the little explosians are... some make sense as software market clashes (IE v. Firefox) but others are scattered around for no apparent reason.

    It also seems top be very LOTR where it's the alliance of MAC, JAVA, and GNU against Microsoft. I dont think thats the way its actually happening.
  • google and apple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    since when are companies like apple and google considered FOSS?
    • Apple is not FOSS but it is part of for OSS movement.
      • by quanticle ( 843097 )

        Apple is not FOSS but it is part of for OSS movement.

        Since when did releasing a proprietary OS that happens to include an X Server and FreeBSD userspace tools make Apple a part of the open source movement? Sure, Apple benefits from OSS, but they hardly do anything to give back to the community.

  • by SwartKrans ( 758994 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:15PM (#15585161) Homepage
    So why are they on that map?
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:15PM (#15585165)
    ...with pitting Windows XP against all of the UNIces and other Network Operating Systems. I mean, HPUX really isn't tailored to end users, and Windows XP isn't a server-grade OS. Windows Server 2003 is at least marketted to servers...

    I was expecting something more like the Eric Levenez's UNIX Timeline.
  • It is a Good Map (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Herkum01 ( 592704 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:15PM (#15585168)

    One thing that this map conveys, is that Microsoft, as a company, has its products and markets all over the place, it is just not focused on doing one thing well. It is competing against dozens of other companies that are working on only the piece of the business that they want and are ultimately making their products better than Microsoft.

    If you throw in some other stuff, like the entertainment division with the XBOX-360, you can add another 2 big competitors in Nintendo and Sony.

    Also notice that some of Microsoft's competitors may compete against each other, but their focus is entirely on Microsoft, they cannot get a break anywhere. Though this really their own fault for not focusing only a few markets.

  • by Ruie ( 30480 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:16PM (#15585171) Homepage
    Looking at the older maps, it is curious how much space that was occupied by proprietary software got replaced with GNU based offerings.
  • by SubOptimalUseCase ( 927514 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:20PM (#15585198)
    ... smells like victory."

    (apologies to Robert Duvall & Francis Ford Coppela)
  • Room for improvement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Silent sound ( 960334 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:21PM (#15585202)
    Problems that stick out with this map, off the top of my head:
    1. It does not include any indication of the convoluted Sony/Nintendo/DirectX/XBox 360/Bluray/HD-DVD/Windows Media Center conflict; the DirectX vs OpenGL battle is listed as a "front" but OpenGL is depicted as coming from SGI, an irrelivant company who is literally currently in the process of filing for bankruptcy
    2. In general lacks any sign of WMA/WMP, or the European legal issues currently related to them
    3. In no way indicates Sun's bizarre pseudostalinesque trying-to-simultaneously-ally-with-and-fight-both- sides, -and-failing strategy as regards the GPL and Open Source
    4. "Trusted Computing" references fail to note that Apple, who is listed as Microsoft's enemy on this chart, is now using Trusted Platform Module chips
    5. ODF/OASIS not included
  • by Kesch ( 943326 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:30PM (#15585251)
    Linux seems neat. Conventions like Penguincon support it. Those in the "Know" know it's better. Still, other OS's dominate. Until someone finally argues their point with the undeniable logic of guns and explosives (because guns and explosives trum everything. Duh). Now it's an OS battle in the street and Linux has a penguin's chance in Hell of surviving.

    Until YOU arrive on the scene. Sure, you'd rather have the OS wars conducted peacefully via Blogs, one user at a time. But someone just took a shot at you from the iPod-controlled building across the street. And that nice bald guy in suspenders just handed you a loaded missile launcher. Screw logic. This thang is ON!

    Taken from the Sluggy Freelance Grand Auto Theft Shirt []
  • Where's the crack squad of chair-throwers?
  • So lets see how long before the MS boys and Linux boys deface and re-store the site (and repeat)
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:36PM (#15585288) Journal
    The good pragmatic folk of the real world will continue to use the tools best suited for the task at hand.

    The rest find themselves at the end of the unemployment line.

    Why no highlights on the war against Apple, Sun or IBM? They weren't always OSS "good guys", and IMHO, still aren't. Just corporations with their own particular strategies.

    So go fight your imaginary "war". Convince yourself that the next version of KDE will totally "kill micro$oft w00t we so rock" and then get all angsty and whiny when it doesn't.
    • Luxuries (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The good pragmatic folk of the real world will continue to use the tools best suited for the task at hand.

      It would be nice if that could be the case. Unfortunately it is not possible as long as a company wields as much monopoly and market leveraging power as Microsoft does in the software space. At the moment, otherwise pragmatic people find themselves in situations where due to the various systems of lock-ins and anticompetitive actions Microsoft has assembled, they absolutely must use Microsoft products w
    • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @06:25PM (#15585547) Homepage
      I agree with you, this is stupid. But it was Microsoft who declared this a war []. So if you're going to blame someone for being stupid, at least blame the right party.

      I would love to continue to use the "tools best suited for the task at hand". Unfortunately, in many cases, Microsoft has, or is trying to, drive the "tools best suited" out of the market. No FLOSS developer has ever tried to prevent me from using MS tools (in fact, many bend over backwards to provide compatibility with MS), but MS is trying to deny me the option of using any other tools, FLOSS or not.

      The real war is between Microsoft and the free market, and in that war, I am solidly on the side of the free market.
    • The good pragmatic folk of the real world will continue to use the tools best suited for the task at hand.

      Well done, dipshit, at least you were right about something. Thing is, this "war" happens to be a competition to build the best tools.

      You know perfectly well that FOSS is competing to build better tools than Microsoft, and that the "fronts" vary greatly depending on whether you look at servers or desktops.

      Please try not to post anything this stupid again.

  • Suggestion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pingrequest ( 937333 )
    They should base arrow boldness on adoption... oh wait, that would show that IE 6 still has a majority market share. It looks like from the diagram that it is puny compared to the double defended bold line "POW" of Firefox. Dont get me wrong, I love firefox... but... To take the war analogy a bit further. If you don't have accurate intelligence then you cannot grasp the battle, cannot fight the battle, and cannot win the battle.
  • I thought Microsoft wasn't releasing anything this year... :^)
  • Where's Gentoo?! This map is false, inaccurate, misleading, and false! And inaccurate to boot.
  • by Mayhem178 ( 920970 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @05:59PM (#15585416)
    Is it bad that that map reminds me of the last mission of Starcraft: Brood War? I mean, you play as the Zerg and start in the middle completely surrounded, and have to wipe out all of your opponents. Does that make Microsoft the Zerg? Bill Gates would be Kerrigan?!!?!

    Well....the Zerg infest, assimilate, overpower, and outnumber their opponents, and are led by a single all-powerful Overmind bent on galactic domination. That sounds like Microsoft to me.
  • by miyako ( 632510 ) <(miyako) (at) (> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @06:16PM (#15585496) Homepage Journal
    I'm a little disappointed. What I was hoping to see was an actual look at some of the roadmaps of various F/OSS projects, and to compare that with the timelines for various Microsoft projects. Perhaps as a point of interest it could also include the roadmaps from other companies.
    I actually think it would be pretty interesting if someone did this - maybe once every 6 months or so- and kept track of it over a several year period. I think it would give a lot of insight into the complicated dynamics of the relationship between open and proprietary software, between Microsoft and some of the big Linux distributions, and between Microsoft and Everyone Else.
    It would at least help to settle the question of who rips the most off of whom.
  • Maybe it's just my imagination or psyche doing this:

    All the OS software has those friendly icons. Tux smiles, the GNU gnu smiles, the mozilla dragon smiles, heck even the SuSE animal smiles.

    The Closed source software, doesn't want to have anything to do with animals. The Windows "flag" looks kinda like a torn battleflag, the SCO tree looks like you have been drinking for a while and then looked at the tree, passport looks like it wants to invade your wallet. That's just what I noticed...
  • Apple's so tiny.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rootneg2 ( 984395 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:42PM (#15586408)
    shouldn't iTunes be a fortress by now?
  • by the_REAL_sam ( 670858 ) on Friday June 23, 2006 @01:52PM (#15590979) Journal
    They overlooked computer games, and games are the MAIN reason to buy Microsoft OS.

    Linux / Apple / Solaris, etc don't have much vs windows in the games department, and, even if they did, there's still a 15 year legacy of windows/dos game supremacy, and alot of those games still WORK with newer MS OS.

    The funny/sad thing is that microsoft operating system "game supremacy" (in terms of overall game availability) has been evident for a very long time, yet none of the other operating system developers have done anything (with their knowledge of that fact) to boost their own OS sales. (unless i'm mistaken?) They could have opened game houses of their own, for instance.

    Anyhow, it's silly to look at Microsoft as the enemy even if you don't like their prices or their policies. Like em or not, microsoft made a good, reliable operating system, and they maintained it, (unlike amiga, or next or be-os or any of the dead os's), and grew it over the years. You might complain about bloat, or pricing, or historical policies / unfair competition, but they've done alot of good things, and I believe that the fact MS is still around is GOOD for us, even if we don't use their OS. (which I DO use)

    At least I can play Half Life 2 and WarCraft3 on Windows. Those are nice games, and there's no linux equivalent. Kill MS? Can you linux zealots spell "Don't shoot yourself in the foot"? Kill MS and you can't play half life.

    Microsoft is large, it contains multitudes. =)

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972