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Microsoft Won't Vouch For Linux

CmdrTaco posted about 5 years ago | from the maybe-uncle-sam-could dept.

Microsoft 208

theodp writes "Gov. Christine Gregoire applauded Microsoft's job training partnership with WA state and county government agencies, which calls for the distribution of 30,625 training vouchers statewide during the next 90 days. 'This program [Elevate America] is all about equipping people with the new skills they'll need to get a job in the changing economy,' said Microsoft Counsel Brad Smith, who also made it very clear that getting 'workforce ready' won't involve acquiring any Linux skills. At least this offer appears to be no-cost, unlike the $35 Microsoft requested in an e-mail come-on for 'The Stimulus Package for Your Career' (so much for Smith's and Gregoire's war on spam)."

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208 comments

They ought to provide training for Linux (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#27574113)

Next year could very well be the Year of Linux on the Desktop.

All these people with their outdated Microsoft training. Whatever will they do?

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (1, Interesting)

Hmmm2000 (1146723) | about 5 years ago | (#27574501)

The year of the Linux Desktop has come and gone without much notice .. it was 2008. The desktop will be windows/mac for the foreseeable future, unless something new and compelling takes the stage, which is very possible. Just look at the iPhone - Apple came out of nowhere to dominate the smartphone market in a 2 year timeframe. We may see a yet-unknown or underrated player do the same with the desktop. Microsoft has stumbled with Vista, leaving an opening.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (5, Informative)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | about 5 years ago | (#27574843)

Just look at the iPhone - Apple came out of nowhere to dominate the smartphone market in a 2 year timeframe.

Actually, no they don't. Nokia dominates the smartphone market with almost 39% marketshare. Apple was 2nd last time any sales figures were released at around 17% followed by RIM with around 15%.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (0)

chaim79 (898507) | about 5 years ago | (#27575339)

Not so much a domination of market share (though it is growing rapidly) but of market direction. Since the iPhone has been announced how many smart/touch/etc phones have been shipped/announced as "iPhone killers"? How many "app store" rip-offs have been announced? This is simply because the iPhone has changed things and set a new high-mark that everyone is now trying to reach/pass.

The iPhone is not perfect, it's not the absolute best thing out there, but it's changed the market direction to it's whim, I'd consider that a valid definition for "dominating" the market.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575553)

The iPhone is not perfect, it's not the absolute best thing out there, but it's changed the market direction to it's whim, I'd consider that a valid definition for "dominating" the market.

Just like Microsoft did with desktop operating systems. OS X and Linux are STILL just playing catchup to where Windows was 5 years ago.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 5 years ago | (#27575737)

OS X and Linux are STILL just playing catchup to where Windows was 5 years ago.

That could be a good thing. Vista wasn't around 5 years ago.

Dominating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574971)

To make a misquote, your statement holds for very small values of dominating [wikipedia.org] .

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575003)

excellent point. Notice that apple didn't make a blackberry clone. The Linux desktop is a poor clone of windows. "Hey guys! Let's make a copy of this proprietary program, but give it a derogatory name and not implement most of the features!" Sorry, but "linux" (which actually means kde, gnome, x, etc) needs to be better. There is a pervasive attitude that what we have is "good enough". It isn't.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575137)

Sorry, but "linux" (which actually means kde, gnome, x, etc) needs to be better. There is a pervasive attitude that what we have is "good enough". It isn't.

I agree. Despite being faster, more secure, easier to use, nicer looking, more stable, more configurable, smaller and cheaper it still needs to be better.

There is still plenty of room for improvement.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (2, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 5 years ago | (#27575085)

I wouldn't be so sure. Right now, Windows XP is dominating the desktop, both in the home and in the corporate office. That's right, an obsolete OS which MS is desperately trying to EOL. Vista came out a couple years ago, and no one wants it, especially not corporations which are refusing to give up XP for their workers' desks. Now they're going to try to push Windows 7 and finally kill XP. Will it work? Who knows, but it's a big gamble. With this shitty economy, this is a great time for businesses to make the move to Linux desktops and stop pouring money into MS's coffers.

The home desktop doesn't really matter as much, since so many people pirate Windows, and others get it pre-installed. It'll definitely be the last place to abandon Windows if that day ever comes.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (2, Insightful)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | about 5 years ago | (#27575179)

I don't think that's what businesses are thinking. I think businesses are thinking lets hang onto our obsolete desktops running XP until the hardware itself physically breaks.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 5 years ago | (#27575285)

Not exactly. They have to buy new ones sometime, and then they have to choose what to install on them. For most companies, that means XP, because they have a standard build that everyone's computer runs. They can't have some people running Vista when all their other infrastructure is set up for XP (all their various little utilities that their IT department uses to monitor everyone's machine, for instance). If they change OSes, it has to be done for everyone, so they can't use something that won't run on every computer.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575279)

Can I have the tech support phone number of "The Linux Community", when you can give me that, there may be a Linux on a desktop in a corporation. Until then, Well we know where to get Apple's number and Microsoft's as well.

 

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 5 years ago | (#27575313)

Hey stupid, Red Hat, Novell, and other all sell professional support for their versions of Linux. Stop trolling.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (3, Insightful)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | about 5 years ago | (#27575473)

Wrong again, for the reasons you state.

Vista came out a couple years ago, and no one wants it, especially not corporations which are refusing to give up XP for their workers' desks

So why, pray tell, would they give up XP (when you say the don't want to) for Linux? Why do they want to keep XP? Application and infrastructure compatibility. You're not going to get that (even make it worse) by going with Linux. I'm sorry, but 2009 (nor 2010, 2011, etc.) will not be the year of the Linux Desktop. The only way people would be jumping off the M$ ship is if Redmond were to suddenly implode, sucking into its massive black whole every installation of Windows with it. And even then, companies would still be using XP with bootlegged copies.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 5 years ago | (#27575563)

It's a bit of a stretch I admit, but the thing is, if a company migrates to a totally different MS OS, and has to pay a bunch of money to do it (because it won't run on any of their older machines, because the apps aren't quite compatible, etc.), then why not just dump MS altogether and get Linux? It'll still cost some money because the in-house staff likely isn't familiar with it, but you won't have to replace 10,000 machines either since Linux will run just fine on them as long as you're not expecting to play 3D games.

Depending on how bad Win7 turns out, some companies might just take the plunge.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (2, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 5 years ago | (#27574803)

All these people with their outdated Microsoft training. Whatever will they do?

You're right!!! We need to wipe Linux off the face of the face of the earth and what better place to begin than by destroying those smug penguins. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all /. readers with outdated Microsoft training to sign on as commercial Penguin hunters on my upcoming expedition to Antarctica. I need lots of people with deadly chair throwing skills.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (1)

al0ha (1262684) | about 5 years ago | (#27575273)

"Microsoft Counsel Brad Smith, who also made it very clear that getting 'workforce ready' won't involve acquiring any Linux skills."

MS is afraid; very afraid and Smith gave it away. Nobody would even bother to mention a competitor who is sub par.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (1)

exley (221867) | about 5 years ago | (#27575615)

That's not exactly an earth-shattering statement there. It's well known by now that MS considers Linux to be a legitimate threat. Next thing you'll tell us that they're worried about Google, too.

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 5 years ago | (#27575789)

Next thing you'll tell us that they're worried about Google, too.

Didn't Ballmer *BEEEP* kill it already?

Re:They ought to provide training for Linux (4, Insightful)

filthpickle (1199927) | about 5 years ago | (#27575709)

Nobody would even bother to mention a competitor who is sub par.

probably not...(he didn't mention Linux in TFA either.)

Plenty of reasons to hate MS if someone wants to, but their stance of 'we aren't spending our money training you how to use someone else's software' isn't a very good one.

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574121)

Again!

FAIL! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574647)

Again!

And you expected something different? (5, Insightful)

Admodieus (918728) | about 5 years ago | (#27574125)

The theory of common sense states that if a company is paying to offer you training, then the training will probably focus almost entirely on, if not exclusively on, their own products. Does anybody really expect any company, Microsoft included, to pay for you to undergo training to make them obsolete one day/

Re:And you expected something different? (4, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | about 5 years ago | (#27574265)

Not only that, but honestly, if people are getting training in Microsoft products, that probably means... Windows, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.? I'm thinking it's not so much Visual Studio / MCSE type stuff, but I could be wrong.

I'm guessing this is aimed at people who are considered unskilled, and after training, will now be able to work in jobs that require basic computer skills that we take for granted. This is not exactly a segment of the population that needs to learn how to use a command-line, or to manipulate strings with sed and awk.

Re:And you expected something different? (2, Funny)

Jonner (189691) | about 5 years ago | (#27574643)

Yeah, you're right. All GNU/Linux users use command-line interfaces and manipulate strings with sed and awk. Mere mortals should be confined to the Microsoft sandbox. They could never be expected to be productive with anything but the quality products from Redmond.

What are "Linux skills" (4, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | about 5 years ago | (#27574845)

Well, that brings up the question, what exactly are "Linux skills"? I mean, if it's using a desktop, moving windows around, learning about files and directories, word processing, and spreadsheets, those aren't Linux skills, they are generic computer/office skills, in which case people are better off learning those skills in Windows, since at that level, that is what they will be using in their new job.

When I hear "Linux skills", I think "skills you need to use Linux but don't need to use Windows/Mac." So, yeah, command-line. Man pages. If you can't use a terminal or man pages, you're not going to get far with Linux. Maybe it's possible if you're using Ubuntu on very popular hardware and you never do anything exciting with your computer, in which case the skills you need are just as easily learned from Microsoft.

Re:What are "Linux skills" (2, Funny)

Jonner (189691) | about 5 years ago | (#27575299)

Yeah, now that I think about it, I was wrong. Training from Microsoft is the best way to learn to use word processors and spreadsheets.They did invent them after all.

Re:What are "Linux skills" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575411)

Riiight... Either you're being sarcastic or clueless... Which is it, then?

Re:What are "Linux skills" (1)

exley (221867) | about 5 years ago | (#27575583)

Training from Microsoft is the best way to learn to use word processors and spreadsheets.They did invent them after all.

GP made a reasonable point that "people are better off learning those skills in Windows, since at that level, that is what they will be using in their new job." You are just being a passive-aggressive douche.

Re:What are "Linux skills" (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | about 5 years ago | (#27575345)

If you have an average Linux sysadmins at your office you won't need to do anything with the cli. In a work environment you can easily use Linux without stepping away from gnome. In fact using the cli could be seen as you trying to break out of your approved environment. I've been lucky enough to have Linux desktop (and plenty of Macs) and the Linux(or same applies to mac) users are usually a lot more self sufficient.(And trust me they aren't geniuses).

At home, well, I'm sorry but I see plenty of people who have to hack up their windows install to get it to work half way decently. Reinstalling windows isn't as easy as it's put out to be. That's why the Geek Squad makes a killing. Imagine if they started supporting Ubuntu. The average home user wouldn't care.

Most people use the windows installation on their system from the factory and when that craps out they buy a new computer or call some techie friend.

For those who will say "But I tried Linux and I had to do XYZ" You're not an average user and you have been with windows long enough to learn how to get it to work for you. You ignore all the hiccups because it's now natural to you. Linux is foreign and it requires you to change your usual fixing methods. You will have a learning curve th same as when you began using windows

Re:What are "Linux skills" (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 5 years ago | (#27575517)

The people who in an office would on Linux use the command line and Sed/awk are the same people use the command line, edit the registry etc on Windows, they are called network admins or developers?

The people who actually use the computer, use a word Processor, spreadsheet, email, web-browser and various other apps, the operating system is largely irrelevant to them, and the technical parts, are often too technical for them no matter what operating system is underneath

Re:What are "Linux skills" (2, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | about 5 years ago | (#27575627)

The people who actually use the computer, use a word Processor, spreadsheet, email, web-browser and various other apps, the operating system is largely irrelevant to them

That's exactly the point I'm trying to make. If the OS is irrelevant, then what will they gain from training on Linux with OpenOffice? Nothing. In fact, they will be better off training on Windows with Microsoft Office, because that's what the vast majority of offices use.

Re:What are "Linux skills" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575859)

The UK government under Blair did a similar thing - free computer training... aka how to use Word and Powerpoint.

Tidying up those who missed out on the UK education system's saturation by Microsoft's products and giving them the skills they need to compete in the modern world. Or just giving them a reason to nip down to PC World and buy a new Windows computer.

In the UK the government involvement gave an air of respectability to what was little more than a marketing exercise in which the main beneficiary was Microsoft. Whether it gave any useful skills to anybody is debatable.

Re:And you expected something different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575255)

The difference between Unix/Linux consultants and Windows consultants has been, Unix/Linux consultants tend to know a *lot* and believe they still have a lot to learn. Windows consultants tend to know less than I do, but seem to believe they know everything.

YMMV I guess (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | about 5 years ago | (#27575899)

This sounds more like a belief system than a fact. In both cases the consultants know a lot of stuff that is Windows specific or UNIX specific. If you spend most of your time with one or the other you might confuse OS specific knowledge with general computer knowledge.

The best example I can think of is how some people believe that knowing a CLI means you know more about computers.

Re:And you expected something different? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 5 years ago | (#27574731)

I'm glad to hear the MCSE program has gotten more restrictive.

At the peak of the diploma mills basic computer usage was not guaranteed in a certified individual.

Re:And you expected something different? (1, Flamebait)

mysticgoat (582871) | about 5 years ago | (#27575597)

Yes, I've had the unpleasant experience of providing this kind of training through a state agency (not Washington state). The training material will be from existing companies that are Microsoft-approved to do the teaching; the dollars Microsoft pays out will stay within the Microsoft ecosystem. The training will cover basic Windows operations and portions of MS Office (typically Access training is weak or non-existent, while PowerPoint is unduly emphasized). Graduates will have skills in such things as creating form letters and mailing lists, and doing arithmetic operations in a spreadsheet. The result is similar to training someone who has never driven a vehicle in how to "drive" a truck-- turn the wheel, work the pedals-- without actually teaching them how to back up to a loading dock, what adding 10 ton of gravel will do to their stopping distance, or what common road hazards they need to know about. (I'm so sorry, my fellow slashdotters, but I couldn't think of a car analogy.)

It should be noted that these training materials are tightly integrated into the version of MS software they were developed for. That is, the materials for MS Office 2003 cannot be used effectively with MS Office 2007, because they identify tasks by keystroke and menu selections that change with each version, leaving students hopelessly confused. So undoubtedly all these training vouchers will need to be used on Win7 computers loaded with Office 2007. Graduates will need some retraining if they are hired by employers using WinXP and Office 2003.

Graduates of these courses are definitely better off than they were beforehand. But there are really serious questions about whether this level of "pull the blue knob A until the yellow dial C shows 950 rpm" is the most effective way to prepare someone for the work force. There are probably less costly and more effective ways of making someone employable. Most of the good the students I've worked with have received has been in secondary benefits (improved self-confidence; how to actually follow instructions, learning to get along in a classroom / office setting, etc), and these would be part of any other training program. It takes about 6 months to bring someone through all the MS courses, and even if the courses are free, that's 6 months State paid benefits and support invested in the student. Which far outweighs the costs of the training itself. If that much is going to be invested, maybe there needs to be some serious evaluation of whether the training is actually going to make student more job-capable than putting him or her through other training.

In under 6 months, I could train someone who had never sat at a computer to maintain and develop effective web pages using commonly available tools like Firefox and a text editor. By the end of that time, these students would be competent at repurposing word processor documents into web pages, constructing simpler web sites, applying CSS, and working with Javascript to achieve common DHTML effects. They would have skills in breaking down jobs into constituent tasks, tracking their progress toward completion, and finding resources and assistance as needed. If they could not find a full time employer (can be difficult for a single mother with tots at home), they would be capable of free lance work from a low cost computer on their kitchen table.

Wouldn't touch Linux with a 10 foot pole (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574321)

Full of holes and viruses...

Re:Wouldn't touch Linux with a 10 foot pole (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574387)

Microsoft: Full of holes and viruses. Like a broken condom.

Re:Wouldn't touch Linux with a 10 foot pole (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574755)

I always knew Vista was an unwanted child.

Re:And you expected something different? (0, Flamebait)

Smidge207 (1278042) | about 5 years ago | (#27574709)

Does anybody really expect any company, Microsoft included, to pay for you to undergo training to make them obsolete one day

I hate to break it to you nickle-dick, but they offer an MCSE in administration of XP Pro...

=Smidge=

Re:And you expected something different? (2, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | about 5 years ago | (#27575023)

Apple trained me on not only their products but how to make them work in Unix and Windows environments to the point of explicit Active Directory and LDAP integration a couple of months ago despite having their own directory service called Open Directory (which is basically LDAPv3).

And they did it for FREE to boot

What Will Canonical do? (5, Insightful)

Leafheart (1120885) | about 5 years ago | (#27574145)

So a company is giving training on their platform, and this is wrong how? Specially, if I understood correctly, it will be "free" (as in, neither the state nor you will pay with money for it, and not the "but they will be brainwashing the masses" type of cost)

What about Canonical try to partner with a state to offer training vouchers statewide and train people on the ways of Linux? That would be sweet, and awesome. Only think would be try to get Linux users with teaching skills for the non-technical. After all, your public wouldn't be grad students.

Re:What Will Canonical do? (3, Insightful)

Grant_Watson (312705) | about 5 years ago | (#27574299)

Perhaps the objection is that the state partnership gives it the appearance of neutrality? Not sure.

Re:What Will Canonical do? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#27574799)

So, as an outreach to all the potential Linux users out there, why don't all the LUGs volunteer time to teach people how to use Linux? Hook up with state resources, threaten to sue if the state refuses to commit resources equal to those given to MS.

This could be a great way to use grassroots education (open-source education, if you will) to increase the Linux userbase. Also some great PR, as the LUGs get to put a face on Linux users -- some facetime with Joe Sixpack could really help bring Linux into the mainstream.

[remembers what everyone looked like the last time I went to a LUG meeting]

On second thought, maybe we can set up a foundation to pay professional trainers...

Re:What Will Canonical do? (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | about 5 years ago | (#27574879)

Well if it IS giving the appearance of neutrality, then what is the problem?

But I understand you point... however, do you REALLY, REALLY, think it would be smart of our government to provide computer training on ANYTHING BUT the OS that has 90% market share (yeah, out of thin air, but it has to be close, especially for business). I would argue that giving Mac training would be a considerable waste of tax payer money, and it is probably far more familiar to these people than Linux.

Re:What Will Canonical do? (3, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | about 5 years ago | (#27574331)

Yeah, Canonical needs to hurry up and sell it's own version of education exploitation.

You teach someone to breath your brand of air, they might be skeptical to try someone else's.

Re:What Will Canonical do? (1)

downix (84795) | about 5 years ago | (#27574527)

Teaching Linux to the masses?  Sign me up, I'll get on the plane tomorrow...

Re:What Will Canonical do? (2, Informative)

crizpiz (960300) | about 5 years ago | (#27574631)

Well actually there is a new start up type company called "Stuph Labs" that offers Linux training to the unwashed masses. they tend to focus on teaching secretaries and the like, but its for anyone really. Check them out if your interested. http://www.stuphlabs.net/services/crash/ [stuphlabs.net]

Re:What Will Canonical do? (1)

nightsweat (604367) | about 5 years ago | (#27574849)

With all that sweet, sweet money they're making sending out free CD's? What is their business model anyhoo?

Evil infidels (-1, Troll)

hwyhobo (1420503) | about 5 years ago | (#27574217)

This is awful. US is refusing to train Al Qaida. Oh the injustice, the inequality.

Mod Whoosh (1)

WED Fan (911325) | about 5 years ago | (#27575067)

This is awful. US is refusing to train Al Qaida. Oh the injustice, the inequality.

You know, I think someone missed your point when they modded you down.

Someone either has no critical thought skills, or, so insecure about the superiority of one OS over the other that they must mod down comments that fly against their preconceived notions.

Your pick.

Re:Mod Whoosh (0, Offtopic)

hwyhobo (1420503) | about 5 years ago | (#27575785)

This is nothing new. I've had comments modded down by militant cretins on /. before. We really should have a scoring systems for moderators. Let's call it "IQ". Every member eligible to mod gets 100 points in a year. For each verified dumb mod you lose 5 points. You then better hope someone marks you for an especially clever catch and good mod, cause if you end up with a deficit at the end of the quarter, you are ineligible for another 3 months, at which point your score resets.

learn PowerPoint and Access skills (2, Insightful)

viralMeme (1461143) | about 5 years ago | (#27574225)

"The news conference included comments from Joy Waynewood, a 46-year-old Seattle resident who was laid off from her job as a customer service receptionist in December and plans to use the voucher program to learn Microsoft PowerPoint and Access skills"

She'd be better off learning a scripting language, that way she won't have to sit there filling in click boxes. Instead let the computer do the job, instead of what invariably happens under the Microsoft paradigm, helping the computer do the work.

Re:learn PowerPoint and Access skills (5, Insightful)

Ahnteis (746045) | about 5 years ago | (#27574385)

Yeah, the lady who doesn't know how to use POWERPOINT is going enjoy learning scripting. [huge eye-roll]

Re:learn PowerPoint and Access skills (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 years ago | (#27574495)

Yeah, the lady who doesn't know how to use POWERPOINT is going enjoy learning scripting. [huge eye-roll]

Better to have somebody spend years trying to pronounce "grep" than creating another marketing droid spewing out stupid PowerPoint presentations. Lesser of two evils and all.

Re:learn PowerPoint and Access skills (4, Funny)

Dr Caleb (121505) | about 5 years ago | (#27575225)

How do you pronounce 'grep'? I've always just said 'grep'. But I've heard some from out east say it like 'grep'.

One guy from Europe even goes so far as to emphasize it as 'grep'.

Re:learn PowerPoint and Access skills (1)

vivin (671928) | about 5 years ago | (#27575535)

Sup dawg, we heard you like 'grep' so we put 'grep' in your 'grep' so you can 'grep' while you 'grep'

Re:learn PowerPoint and Access skills (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 5 years ago | (#27574827)

hmm, my scripting skills are not so bad - but I need help for a decent presentation...

Re:learn PowerPoint and Access skills (1)

BunnyClaws (753889) | about 5 years ago | (#27574425)

She'd be better off learning a scripting language, that way she won't have to sit there filling in click boxes. Instead let the computer do the job, instead of what invariably happens under the Microsoft paradigm, helping the computer do the work.

She probably doesn't want to get laid off again. Filling in click boxes will give her the appearance of being busy and needed.

Re:learn PowerPoint and Access skills (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 5 years ago | (#27575167)

Huh? I'm a big proponent of Linux and scripting, but this is silly. Creating PowerPoint presentations is not something that can be automated, just like any other artwork. Yes, PowerPoint is evil, and PP presentations are mostly completely useless, but still, someone who makes PP presentations is not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination.

This is like saying photographers should learn a scripting language so that they don't ever have to use Photoshop. Yes, some repetitive tasks in PS can be scripted (with its built-in scripting language), but overall you can't get around using it manually.

Re:learn PowerPoint and Access skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575321)

Sure!! So the employer keeps the script and she can be safely laid out again.

What a myopic governor, kissing ms' ass just (1, Flamebait)

davidsyes (765062) | about 5 years ago | (#27574233)

Because it's her own state's most famous industry. Obviously, people in such positions don't do this out of selfLESSness.

What the hell will some 35,000 vouchers for msoft training do for these people? The ONLY immediate TWO advantages they have that comes to mind:

-- trainable monkeys, as in likely not yet corrupted with their own ways of doing things for a very long time
-- entry-level pay

The disadvantages to/for existing, qualified cert holders:

-- insulting influx of competion, further invalidating prior certs and attendant costs
-- perception as being too expensive or too stuck in old ways
-- terrible economy for attained income level expections

I dare say that ms is:

-- just doing "make-work", and threatening the very people who already DO NOT NEED more, unjustified competition. Giving out 35,000 training vouchers is likely to ultimately prove to be a boondogle of taxpayer money (unless msoft wants to foot the bill and get the money back when these "trainees" buy ms training materials AFTER successful graduation...AND NOT ONE DAY BEFORE!)

-- facilitating a governer looking as if doing good when in THIS economy, it's likley just giving false hope to MANY people who'll get hired because HR can punch a ticket for a qualfied person; Accounting can sign off on lower pay; IT can chime in with HR on having obtained a qualified person

Just my off-the-cuff assertions.

Re:What a myopic governor, kissing ms' ass just (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#27575027)

-- insulting influx of competion, further invalidating prior certs and attendant costs

Freudian slip? It is true, though: nothing would be more insulting to a skilled nerd than to be replaced with somebody with nothing but a Microsoft voucher being paid 1/3 the salary!

LOL (5, Interesting)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | about 5 years ago | (#27574243)

Okay this doesn't make any sense from that "stimulus package for your career" spam:

Get a FREE retake of a failed exam plus an E-Learning Collection for just $35 USD

Now how can it be a free retake if you have to pay 35 dollars to get it? Is this the same scam like "Free" Credit Report.com that actually requires you to buy a subscription to their site to get the "free" credit report?

What would Linux skills be? (1, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | about 5 years ago | (#27574259)

Really, what would Linux skills be? The only things that are really uniform between different Linux distributions are the same elements that are already present in Windows anyway.

And, in general, the common applications available on Linux are also available on Windows. Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, etc.

Re:What would Linux skills be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574383)

Here's a hint: if you're comparing windows GUI vs Linux GUI, you're not thinking of the right jobs.

Re:What would Linux skills be? (3, Insightful)

viralMeme (1461143) | about 5 years ago | (#27574389)

"The only things that are really uniform between different Linux distributions are the same elements that are already present in Windows anyway"

For server skills, learning scripting is de rigueur if you want to be a serious techie. As Cisco would attest to with its Cisco IOS [wikipedia.org]. The Windows click->select->click_down->select_again->fill_in_a_text_box, is confusing at best, at worst it's difficult to trouble shoot.

Re:What would Linux skills be? (4, Informative)

jonnythan (79727) | about 5 years ago | (#27574679)

But as far as I can tell, this Microsoft program is focused on the basic use of standard GUI office applicaitons, not server administration, installation, command line use, tweaking, etc.

The Elevate America program isn't about churning out techies who can troubleshoot network problems, it's about teaching people to use Word.

Re:What would Linux skills be? (2, Informative)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | about 5 years ago | (#27574391)

Really, what would Linux skills be? The only things that are really uniform between different Linux distributions are the same elements that are already present in Windows anyway.

Any Linux training would be for a specific distro such as the training provided by Red Hat or Canonical which could encompass a whole wide variety of topics. Here's a list of the courses from Red Hat's training course site: https://www.redhat.com/courses/ [redhat.com]

Re:What would Linux skills be? (3, Informative)

Aphoxema (1088507) | about 5 years ago | (#27574409)

The basic concept of a bash shell.

The structure of a typical distribution.

Why exactly a distribution doesn't have to be typical, what makes things appear to be uniform.

The server/client model.

Elements of security.

Logic.

Doing shit yourself.

Re:What would Linux skills be? (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | about 5 years ago | (#27575531)

I know I shouldn't feed trolls, but ...

Let's see, things that are uniform across Linux distros:

-The great majority of them use either KDE or GNOME by default

-The great majority use either RPM or or APT for package management

-All, or nearly all, use BASH as the default shell

-Networking

-Compilers and interpreters, except for differences in version (but .Net programmers don't find the same version everywhere they go, either)

-Firewall

Those are just the things that come to mind offhand. Those things are especially uniform among the most popular ones, so if you have experience in Red Hat, you'll be comfortable on any RH-like distro. If you have Debian or Ubuntu experience, you'll be comfortable on any Debian-based distro. Right there, that covers the great majority of the Linux installed base.

And of course, going from Linux to *BSD or vice versa isn't very difficult, either. A lot of Linux skills also translate to proprietary UNIX flavors, or at least make using them a lot easier. Solaris, for example, is much farther away from any Linux distro than any two Linux distros are from each other. BSD even feels more Linuxy, even though Solaris uses Sys V inits like Linux, rather than BSD-style inits.

Your comment about training on things like browsers, email, office apps, looks like it's just a straw man, too. Training on those things won't get you a better job, unless the job you have now is at a fast food restaurant. Not knowing those things will keep you from getting a job that requires you to use a computer, because those are skills that are just expected going in. If you don't have them, someone who does will be hired. That training is also already available cheap/free through many sources.

But as for the broader topic at hand, I can't believe this article even got past the editors. Of course Microsoft would only pay for training on Windows technology. They'd be idiots to pay for training on a competing product. I work for a well-known hardware vendor, and if we were giving away free training to the public, either directly or in vouchers, I rather doubt it would be training conducted using our competitors' products. That would be foolish.

Slashdotters: regard this as a GOOD thing (5, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | about 5 years ago | (#27574307)

Why you consider this bad, I don't understand.

Linux is taking over in the data centers of America. You don't WANT competition from voucher trained indviduals. The free market will value your Linux skills, and the scarcity will drive your value up.

Look what MCSE boot camps did to Windows SysAdmin salaries. Just historically chart them with Janco data or Salary.com historical data.

Personally, I want EVERY government training program to be training people is skills the real free market considers useless. Don't you?

Re:Slashdotters: regard this as a GOOD thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574429)

not if we the taxpayers are paying micro$oft for conducting this "training".

Re:Slashdotters: regard this as a GOOD thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27574735)

we ain't

Re:Slashdotters: regard this as a GOOD thing (1)

langelgjm (860756) | about 5 years ago | (#27574597)

Personally, I want EVERY government training program to be training people is skills the real free market considers useless. Don't you?

Your point is well taken, but I think you underestimate the value of basic computer skills that Microsoft is offering training in. I found the list of stuff they're offering (three [microsoft.com] different [microsoft.com] tiers [microsoft.com]).

So apparently they are offering some more advanced training in stuff like .NET, Visual Studio, etc., but I'm betting that the vast majority of people who find this useful are going to be learning basic computer/MS Office skills, and those are things the free market values highly - in fact, they're pretty much taken for granted in a lot of jobs.

I also suspect that Microsoft is probably going to be getting a tax break out of this, somehow...

Re:Slashdotters: regard this as a GOOD thing (5, Funny)

skathe (1504519) | about 5 years ago | (#27574733)

Agree with the above.

Being a "guru" has historically meant you will get paid well for doing a job that isn't all that difficult.

I once heard a story (can't cite a source sorry) about a computer tech working in an office for a cable company. Another computer tech from a different office had shown up, and something prompted one of the ladies in the front of the office to reboot her computer. The computer tech from the other office told the lady he could help her reboot (read: windows 98 was the OS), at which point the lady almost had a panic attack and said that John (the computer tech from this office) was the only one that could reboot the computer. John is called on the intercom, comes to her workstation, fiddles with the underside of the keyboard, the back of the computer, and finally restarts it. When asked later why he did all of that just to hit Start->Shutdown->Restart, he replied "job security."

Re:Slashdotters: regard this as a GOOD thing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575045)

While that's all quite true, our objectives are very different. You're after the green stuff, we're after a better society. Thus this deal is rotten.

Re:Slashdotters: regard this as a GOOD thing (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 5 years ago | (#27575365)

Personally, I want EVERY government training program to be training people is skills the real free market considers useless. Don't you?

As a citizen, I would say, "no." I don't want the government to waste effort training people in skills that are useless in the marketplace. I do not, in general, want the government to do stupid things. I fail to see how that would benefit me at all.

School house versus library (1)

fermion (181285) | about 5 years ago | (#27574459)

Solidworks is not giving away Autodesk Academy. Autodesk is not giving away Solidworks. Both are giving away academic versions to people who are unemployed. Solidworks is also giving away version of their software(including stuff one could get for free, like blender and sketch-up) to academics. Why would anyone expect MS to train people on Linux? It is insane.

I like these responses to the current unemployment situation. It is a easy way to get people retrained on your product, which may result in corporate sales later on. More importantly, most of this is a defense against free software.

Without such give aways, how many people would simply go to the library a check out a book on linux. How many people would download free software and learn to use it. One can learn to animate on the free version of blender or learn to code using eclipse or learn general IT skills on Linux. I would say enough that we might see small businesses start that are based on OSS, and that could be a problem to firms that are based on customer support, but selling licenses, like you know who.

In any case, i still think these programs are good. The number of people who can educate themselves are limited, and we have formal schools to help those who need a formal setting. It would be nice, however, if formal schooling did not so often involve closed source, draconian licensed, software.

The "duh" tag is appropriate (1)

S7urm (126547) | about 5 years ago | (#27574639)

I think the only way something like this would come as a surprise to anyone would be if a respected company that had no relation to a certain OS made this kind of comment.

I mean did anyone really expect Microsoft to help sell/train/promote their competition?

It can't be any other way (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#27574663)

Read the classified adds.

Visit your state employment office. Talk to a temp service. Look at the number of jobs which demand competence in MS Office and Windows.

Look especially closely at entry level jobs. Re-entry jobs for retirees and others long out of the job market.

The Linux market is in the back office. Where you will be expected to deliver the sun, moon and stars at the deep-discount price.

This isn't entry level employment. It isn't even your basic up-grade.

It's for the guy with five to ten years experience managing really, really, big, mission-critical networks and systems.

I must have missed the memo... (2, Insightful)

McNihil (612243) | about 5 years ago | (#27574921)

bust isn't Microsoft's Windows being sold as if "grand ma can even use it" all of a sudden one needs to learn how to use a computer... what happened to intuitively poking around and make things work?

I find it VERY ignorant of anyone (including some family members) not having realized that the computer revolution that started in the 80ies is actually something that they need... whether they LIKE it or NOT.

Now a company like Microsoft needs to give incentives to make people use computers? Common... wtf... talk about living under a friggin rock.

If people did not start to use computers by 2000 and they were about 50 then they shouldn't even start now... too much of a culture shock. They have the smart-phones though... thankfully!

IMHO Microsoft is doing worthless pandering about this.

What is being done vs how it is being done.. (4, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | about 5 years ago | (#27575007)

First off, extra caution should be kept in mind in dealing with actions from a convicted monopolist.

That said, two aspects worry me:
-Government endorsement of the program. This is just so very peculiar and even outside of the monopolist context, kind of disturbing.
-I suspect they'll be able to write off expenses incurred in this as a donation. However, MS extracts a non-trivial amount of marketing leverage and as such, expenses should not be considered charitable in nature. As anyone who has undergone MCSE training, MS training programs are comprised of a significant amount of salesmanship.

This just in... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575447)

Microsoft perpetuates lock-ins with "free" certification training for its overpriced moderately functional software.

Believe it or not (0, Troll)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 5 years ago | (#27575657)

Linux still needs some work in the area of user friendlyness.
Now, most of it is because of lack of native support, but some of it is by design.

Really, most of the community is focused on the core of linux. Very few people have concerned themselves with user experience, as the assumption has been that most people using linux are savvy enough to figure things out for themselves.

Microsoft Won't Vouch For Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575717)

They're too tied up "vouching" for the Xbox.

Say What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27575807)

Microsoft Won't Vouch For Linux

This is news?

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