Second, Linux and possibly the BSDs will get a lot more attention and updates this year. The long-awaited Linux 2.4 kernel was just released, and minor kernel updates are sure to follow quickly. Watch for a flood of new versions as the commercial distributors line up to get their versions of Linux with the 2.4 kernel out the door. Expect a second round of bug fixes to be distributed later this year. Shoot for that round of updates. If you can finish and test your compiler optimizations by midyear, you'll be perfectly positioned to flaunt benchmarks at the fall Linux trade shows. Make a compelling pitch to buy and use your hardware to get the best performance from the latest versions of Linux and the BSDs.
Finally, do it now because you can. This strategy would be unthinkable with Windows, because nobody's free to rebuild the Windows 2000 operating system with special optimizations and offer the optimized version for free. To get started with Linux, submit patches to GCC (for more information about the GNU compiler collection, visit www.gnu.org/software/gcc/gcc.html).
Admit it. It's a compelling strategy. Now, let's you and him fight.