[lug] Why Linux will win and Micro$oft will lose

David dajo at frii.com
Sun Nov 11 20:19:23 MST 2001

> So why is it that the US still doesn't use the metric system.  It's free,
> it makes more sense, it's easier to use, etc.

Once I was told, by a fairly respectable source, that the reason
America ("they" I suppose) decided not to adopt the A1, A2,... B1,
B2,... paper size system was indeed the cost of converting.
Apparently, the standardization benefits were not deemed to be worth
the (enormous) cost.  There are other examples too, that I shall not
give in the interest of brevity.  The point, which was something of an
eye-opener for me, is that, when you look beneath the surface of some
"obvious" action, you find that economics is the, non-obvious, driver.

I am european in origin and have lived here and there for extended
periods.  My personal opinion is that, *in ordinary life*, the metric
system offers nothing whatsoever as an advantage over a time-wrought,
practical system.  Temperature scale is a good example.  Here is one
question: have you ever considered that 0-100 on the Fahrenheit scale
is a very good approximation to the range of temperatures we see in

Sorry Hugh, but I totally diagree with the blanket nature of your
assertion.  In my experience, in everyday life, the metric system is
not free (to convert to), it usually does not make more sense, and is
not easier to use.

In technical arenas, particularly the hard sciences, I take just the
opposite view: the metric system is vastly and obviously better.
Perhaps that is what you meant, but that intention is not clear.

There was a posting in the last week or two from someone who had
persuaded his boss to go Linux; my recollection is that the cost of
130 (?) licences was one of a just a few factors mentioned.

I suspect that the original poster will turn out to be dead right,
and for this key reason that he gave.


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