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Microsoft Isn't Slowing Down

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the how-are-your-brakes,-sir? dept.

Microsoft 329

An Anonymous Coward writes: "According to this Business Week article Microsoft is stronger than ever. Considering this is typical of the kind of Microsoft Rump-Swabbery that Management often use to 'enlighte'" themselves, it's little wonder that so many are of the opinion that if you can't give Microsoft money for it, it must be no good." Of course, did anyone expect Microsoft to just roll over?

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businessmen & journalists have one thing in common (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192903)

This just echos what I once read in linux journal, and that is businessmen and journalists have one thing in common; they love big numbers. Notice how this article stated that there were 20000 microsofties at the baseball stadium for the annual meeting. Couple this with all the stories of bill gates wealth(and the size of his house), and microsofts marketshare and I guess an article like this is par for the course for a publication like businessweek.

Same old same old? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192904)

Its not business as usual at MS. Their current earnings estimates are based on revenues from the new project to strong-arm holders of their "enterprise" licenses into buying more at a higher cost. MS is phoning up enterprise license holders and saying, "well, we don't think your actually living up to your end of the contract and we're going to come and audit you since the license you signed gives us that right. Now if we find that you've got stuff installed that isn't licensed we'll follow the license and you'll have to pay a huge amount or stop using our software immediately. Now of course, if your willing to pay for N licenses right now on this new agreement then we won't bother to audit you since it'll be a good sign that your trying to be honest with us."

Where I work (20,000+ employees) the policy is, "give MS whatever they ask for, because we don't understand the terms of the license, and don't have a clue what an audit means or what it would turn up and we don't want to go to court against MS". The policy is also, "find new vendors in the medium term and drop MS as soon as we safely can"

Now ask yourself, "how many times can MS pull this kind of extortion off before their customers find new vendors?".

MS is looking really rosy now, but they are using desparate measures to keep up appearances.

Learning Strategy (5)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 13 years ago | (#192923)

I am learning to play the game of Go [] (kind of an oriental version of Chess, only much cooler.) One thing I have learned along the way is that its very easy to make strategy against where your opponent is -- and lose. You need to be planning for where your opponent is going, anticipating his moves and taking the places on the board he wants before he can get them. Otherwise, you will inevitably get slaughtered.

It seems to me that the open source community has not learned this lesson -- possibly because we are so unstructured. Like it or not, open source has not generally produced fundamentally new technologies at the rate Microsoft has. The one exception would lie in the Internet server market (and it is not coincidental that that is the main market where OSS is successful). We tend to spend all our time catching up in other areas.

For example, Microsoft has had a component based desktop for years, and we are just now starting to get workable ones. Microsoft has had easy GUI design for trivial apps (VB) since the early 90's -- and we are just starting to get it (QT Designer, Kylix). Microsoft still has us totally slaughtered in the groupware arena because we can't seem to really understand that groupware and email are not quite the same thing.

When Microsoft *does* miss a beat -- as with the Internet -- they follow up quickly. Once again, this is like Go. If your opponent gets you in an awkward strategic situation, you can often play through it tactically. Essentially, you end up playing just to stay in the game until your opponent makes a mistake. Then you strike out ahead and hopefully recover your strategic error. This is Microsoft's well known practice of always being the second-best product on the market until the competition screws up.

Anyway, one wonders if Bill Gates plays Go. It's relatively popular on the west coast thanks to the large oriental population. It's truly an awesome game -- the Japanese maintain that it teaches character and strategic thinking for real life. And, I think they're right. It penalizes both cowardice and foolhardiness equally, encourages you to think ahead, and has rules simple enough to teach my three-year-old with permutations complex enough to take a lifetime to understand.



Mommy, Mommy, I'm Scared! (2)

jonabbey (2498) | more than 13 years ago | (#192924)

And so should anyone be, to read that set of articles from BusinessWeek. They paint a picture of a Microsoft without limits to its control over the industry, and without limits as to its profit making power, feeding into greater control, feeding into greater profits..

Of course, the article doesn't even whisper the word 'Linux' or 'OpenSource' or, heck, even 'Java' anywhere. The picture they paint of Microsoft run rampant across the industry would be a completely, perfectly accurate one were it NOT for Linux and the Open Source world in general. Throw in the fact that XP will have the yummy corporate 'rights management' stuff built in, and you've got our biggest nightmare, right?

If the article had talked about how Linux has blunted the Windows 2000 server initiative, or about how Apache still runs most web servers, or about how there are dozens of manufacturers selling Java platforms, this would have seemed a good bit less scary. Fortunately. In my view, this article paints a clear picture, that we have three choices. One, the government slaps Microsoft down in some fashion, to impede its monopoly creation and maintenance ability. Two, Microsoft gets ever more powerful and buys pretty much whatever it wants to. Or, three, that everyone else involved in the industry works together on common standards for fear of their lives. That means Linux, that means Java, that means Mozilla, that means Ogg Vorbis, that means XML, that means an open AIM, that means standardized commodity streaming MPEG2 and MPEG4. And all of that might not be enough to forestall Microsoft if they become or remain the only ones with the ability to monetize the net effectively.

When it comes to service provisioning, the openness of the underlying software doesn't matter so much. Like Tim O'Reilly says, it's the openness of the web services that will matter greatly in the next phase of the net. If Microsoft makes their XML/SOAP protocol based services open enough that a Novell or an AOL or an IBM or an Amazon or a Walmart or a Palm can compete to provide Passport-type services integrated with XP, then perhaps Microsoft won't be such a threat to competition. Anyone feel hopeful?

- jon

Time to dust off our Microsoft Exit Strategy... (5)

gdav (2540) | more than 13 years ago | (#192927)

A few years back, I was one of the people involved in drawing up a plan for our university [] 's choice of desktop OS and office software suite. For the office suite we looked at offerings from Microsoft (the incumbent), Corel and Lotus, and for the desktop OS... well, that quickly came down to an all-Microsoft choice. I should point out that our student labs run over 400 apps used in teaching, mostly win16 but a few win32 (and one or two DOS!)

We consulted our users about the office site and they quickly voted for Microsoft on the grounds that it would be a sheer bloody pain to shift. Corel was on the ropes and Lotus cost almost as much as Microsoft. So we signed Campus Agreement, and it made life a lot simpler, and Mr Gates a lot richer.

I was the local Linux zealot and I did try long and hard to convince myself that:

* We could offer a Linux desktop, with linux-native office apps and browser, and run all 400-odd teaching apps under Wine.

* We could offer a Linux desktop, with linux-native office apps and browser, and run all 400-odd teaching apps under VMware.

* We could offer a Linux desktop, with linux-native office apps and browser, and run all 400-odd teaching apps on a Citrix app server via the linux ICA client.

And the I thought - why?

Once the decision was made, we all thought - "Don't worry, we don't need to renegotiate for a few years, and the DOJ will have broken Microsoft up by then - or at very least imposed regulations to make Mr Gates tame, polite and meek in all his dealings". This did not turn out to be true, did it?

So I suppose it's time to look at putting together a strategy to make Windows 2000/Office 2000 our final Microsoft platform - there's no way we're touching Windows Xtra Pain, that's for sure. Since we last looked at the problem, Staroffice/Openoffice has become pretty viable, many of our teaching apps have been replaced by web-based teaching aids, many new apps have appeared that have linux ports.

Are any other universities thinking along these lines?


It's a GOOD thing, believe it or not (5)

Xunker (6905) | more than 13 years ago | (#192934)

I know it's essentially suicide to mention anything PRO-Microsoft, but I'm going to take the leap.

As much as some of the 'harrier' open-source and free-software supprorters deride large Close-Souce Companies. the truth of the matter is that having companies like them around *does* foster quality development.

Just think: suppose MS died, and there was no one controlling the desktop market? I'm willing to bet you a herring that feature development on ye' olde' favourite Free OS would slow. There would be no need to improve it at the current rate because you're not racing anyone.

We in the Open Source and Free Software communities would like to think that we're immune from such normal things like sloth, but believe it or not, we are human, and are at risk of getting sloppy if there is no one prodding us on.

Why must they act like it's a fight? (2)

Griim (8798) | more than 13 years ago | (#192937)

Like Ali, Microsoft had absorbed some bruising body blows in its own Rumble in the Jungle, Ballmer told the crowd. "We were getting shots from everywhere. Maybe we even had a little fear in our eyes." Then his voice suddenly rose to a shout: "You know what I say? I say we're off the ropes!" The Microsofties roared.

This statement in a nutshell embodies everything I despise about Microsoft; that they treat everything like a fight.

It reminds me of the old comparison, you stick a PC floppy in a Mac, and it tells you it's a PC floppy and shows you the files.

You stick a Mac floppy in a Windows box, and it asks if you want to format it.

If they could just learn to 'play nice' with the other guy, or at least not break things (I fear bringing active directory up on our network here) it wouldn't be so easy to dislike their products.

The statement that bothered me... (3)

banky (9941) | more than 13 years ago | (#192941)

(I think I can get flamebait and troll all in one post)
"There's no block to people putting features on Windows," he snaps.

Isn't that part of the problem?
1. Putting a feature into Windows means its now a target for embrasure (is that a word?), extension, or imitation. You have just decided to compete with MS. Somehow I doubt their "shared source" will help. Ask Stac how much success they had in putting features into a Microsoft product.
2. This statement is, to me, implicitly saying that innovation is dependant on Windows in the first place. Wasn't it Jackson who said (paraphrased) MS makes a barrier to innovation with this kind of thinking? They hammer the doors shut if you aren't talking Win32?

Re:Microsoft will die, just give it time (1)

Lupus Rufus (11262) | more than 13 years ago | (#192943)

<i>The problem with your argument is that Communism never made anybody rich. The forces that caused the collapse of the USSR were economic more than political; they were just bankrupted by their "business model" of oppressive centralized control.

But this is exactly my point. Microsoft exercises oppressive control over the programming powers of its employees, and when the computer industry becomes conscious of the fact that the bubble has burst, Microsoft won't make anyone else rich. Microsoft is well on its way to being the AT&T of computer software, only without the scarcity of resources. Eventually programmers will realize that working on contract for corporations (like a mechanic) will be the option offering them the most money, more money than central software houses like Microsoft. To put it another way, Microsoft will eventually be revealed to be the inefficient middleman that it really is, and then its fall will not be far behind.

Quite frightening... (2)

Vapula (14703) | more than 13 years ago | (#192945)

When I see all this, I find it quite frightening...

I heard that MS planned for XP an online activation of the program (or phone activation ?)...

UCITA provides big software companies with the right to remote-disable pograms and thus, with the right to insert these remote-disable facilities...

Year X : MS Windows 95, MS Windows 98, MS windows NT, MS Windows Me and MS Windows 2000 are not available anymore... By some licencing tricks as well as unneeded compatibility glitches, peoples are forced to switch to XP

Year X+2 : About everyone uses XP. US Law dept decide to start a new anti-trust against MS... MS Answer : "Drop that lawsuit or we'll disable all XP in USA"... US Government can't do anything anymore, fearing that the whole US inductry would fall apart and USA returning to technological Middle Age

Year X+3 : MS controls the world.

This scenario is a little pessimistic... But with more and more being done using computers... and MS Windows... Many monopolies aren't as critical as Computer... A Monopoly in Film, Music or such couldn't destroy the economy of a whole land and make all stop working...

When I see the future, I'm quite frightened...

But, there is another point... Laws were done to protect the people... Now, they become protections of the revenues of the big companies, thanks to lobbying and pots-de-vins.

People stealing other were shown by everyone... Now, people "steal" music (Napster and such) but these are usually not shown as doing something wrong (except by RIAA and such).

When something don't seem fair to people, they don't respect it. And in these times, we see more and more people copying music, films (Region Playback Control enhance this), Software (overpricing and bad quality enhance this one)... They REALLY DON'T THINK THEY DO SOMETHING WRONG... So, it shouldn't be wrong in the laws... When everyone breaks some law, that law becomes unenforceable...

We risk to reach a big crisis in the next years... And it may be sooner that we could think...

By the way, Bill Parish ( had an article telling how MSFT is showing increasing wins but in reality has increasing losses. He tells that by using a pyramidal system in which stock options take a great part, they can do that trick... It's also scary as pyramidal systems will ALWAYS collapse (due to their exponential scheme)...

Ancient greeks knew steam engine (Zenon), knew how to make the big doors of a temple open when someone approach,... then we drooped in Middle Age... Will history repeats itself ?

Re:Microsoft != Windows (1)

RedGuard (16401) | more than 13 years ago | (#192948)

No it wasn't and Yahoo removed the story that
claimed it was.

Re:Continued Growth (5)

KFury (19522) | more than 13 years ago | (#192951)

Nah. Before that happens they'll devote billions to R&D to find new markets.

Face it folks, Microsoft may be our best bet for interstellar travel, if only so they can find other civilizations that need Windows machines!

Kevin Fox

Same old tactics (1)

toofast (20646) | more than 13 years ago | (#192953)

David vs. Goliath []

Microsoft still beating up on everyone, including the small guy.

Re:It's a GOOD thing, believe it or not (1)

MrNixon (28945) | more than 13 years ago | (#192956)

Precisely why we had the whole antitrust lawsuit....

Re:Why exactly did you post this? (2)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#192962)

True. There was an report on one of the busines programs on TV the other day about the latest version of WordPerfect which acknowledged that features or quality are now immaterial to it's success, since Microsoft is now so entrenched. People buy Windows, Word etc because they are the standard - not because they are the best. Of course these things never last - the same was true of IBM at one stage.

Microsoft != Windows (5)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#192964)

While you may be of the opinion that Windows sucks more than ever, or that linux/OS X/BSD/BeOS/AmigaOS is more threatening than ever, that's largely irrelevant. Microsoft is a business, and their strength is reflected by business forcasts, price-to-earning ratios, and other financial indicators.

While Eazel is going out of business, Mandrake is asking resorting to donations, and countless other tech companies are hurting, Microsoft is doing just fine. They're not instituting mass layoffs. I know people who work there, and things are the same-old, same-old.

Linux may be a better OS, but it's not a better business plan, unfortunately.

Re:Why exactly did you post this? (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 13 years ago | (#192965)

They're the biggest and most profitable software company out there.

Dosn't the kind of stock market "game" Microsoft are involved in require showing constant expansion. Here being the biggest can be a disadvantage.

International Aspects? (1)

DrKirwin (38614) | more than 13 years ago | (#192969)

What I don't see mentioned in the article or in discussions here are other national governments. Will they allow a US corporation to be at the centerpoint of all internet transactions, to have more information about their citizens than they do?

Might other governments institute some sort of tariff whereby it's more expensive to use do business the MS way as a means of fostering local industry?

Clearly, competitors in MS's chosen markets are unlikely to overcome MS anytime soon, but what about non-business aspects of all this? (Government, culture, anti-US imperialist concerns, etc.)

What do yout hink?

Continued Growth (5)

west (39918) | more than 13 years ago | (#192972)

Microsoft has indicated that it is intent on continued growth of 20% a year.

Has anyone calculated just how many years it will be before Microsoft corporate strategy requires that they own everything? :-).

Re:Continued Growth (2)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 13 years ago | (#192977)

At 20% a year;

in 10 years they would have grown 519.17%
in 20 years they would have grown 3 733.76%
in 50 years they would have grown 909 943.82%
in 100 years they would have grown
8 281 797 352.20%

<Insert witty comment about MS owning all of our grandchildern>

Re:Why must they act like it's a fight? (2)

Multics (45254) | more than 13 years ago | (#192979)

Answer. Their Chairman views everything as a very high-stakes competion. It is how he is wired. As a result the entire company is built off of the, "If they are not for us, they are against us" philosophy.

Get a clue folks. The richest person in the world by a wide margin dislikes "Open Software". He is unrestrained by any single national government and will do whatever it takes to make sure "Open Software" goes exactly no-where.

No amount of whining on /. is going to change that. You want "Open" to win? Get off your asses and write some totally killer Applications and relase them under a license that will keep MS from theaving the entire thing. All it took were four applications from MS to own the desktop. There are enough brains here to write four *new* applications that will pull the desktop back.

-- Multics

Re:Microsoft will die, just give it time (2)

Multics (45254) | more than 13 years ago | (#192980)

Of course, in the mean time an estimated 350 million people were killed or starved to death.

Ever ponder what would have happened if IBM had not been a monopoly for 20 years early in the computer industry? Where would we be now? I'll bet a lot further down the road.

Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Most /.ers are not wise enough to learn any history.

-- Multics

Crazy Like a Fox (4)

Multics (45254) | more than 13 years ago | (#192981)

My expectation is that they think:

With W in office, their legal troubles will fade away. It certainly didn't hurt that the first-level judge was at least unwise about his comments. If applications had been peeled off of Windows the world would be a different place. The probability of that happening is about 0.0001 now.

They are talking up Linux to make sure everyone thinks that they are all worried about an O/S with no significant applications that anyone cares about. They are worried like my grandfather (who is 92) is worried that 10 nymphomanics are going to attack him every Sunday.

They will finish their take-over of the web, but getting Steve "kingdom builder" Case to throw away Netscape. Already places like Weather Channel [] are difficult to use in Netscape and that trend will accelerate violently this year. (And yes, macromedia flash is part of WC's problems)

So what if XP is a failure. They'll change the license for Win2k to a time-based one and poof the monopoly is complete. These guys are classic Monopolists and as soon as they can lock everyone one into their party (they are very very close now), innovation will nearly stop. No monopolist will invest in his marketplace when he has absolute control and a reliable income stream. That is what XP is about. The terminal technology while MS goes off and attempts to dominate all the other software marketplaces. Ever consider what it would take in terms of cash for them to buy Palm and Handspring and just close them?...

The only thing that will stop this mess is Bill quitting and he can't just about as any human can't taking in O2. I wonder if he is at all happy... I'll bet not.

So kids, we're in deep trouble. "Open" people have failed to provide things people want enough to switch away from Windows on the desktop. If "Open" doesn't own the desktop, it is likely that "Open" doesn't own anything.


The Entire US Navy Will RUn Microsoft (3)

superid (46543) | more than 13 years ago | (#192982)

Ever heard of the Navy/Marine Corps Internet [] ? Pretty soon every sailor and government employee "from the desktop to the warfighter" will be using MS exclusively (at least officially). Desktops are mandated to be Windows 2000 and end users cannot install any software or maintain their machine. This includes laptops and even classified networks and communications. It's a $6B contract to EDS and I think it will either be a dramatic failure or a dramatic flop. I'm not sure there can be a middle ground.

Free Database Hosting []

money and persistance is hard to beat (4)

soldack (48581) | more than 13 years ago | (#192983)

This king of leads to the MS 3 rule; no MS product works at all well until version 3. MS can just throw more and more money at a problem until it goes away.
Very few other companies in the world could have afforded or would have wanted to keep MSN going. MS is different though. Once they attack a space, they just keep fighting (and spending). They will not allow defeat.
Take a look at embedded software. Another version of WinCE, 3.0 (aka PocketPC) is trying to push forward and staring to do better. At the same time, NT Embedded has finally spawned Windows XP Embedded (Win2k Embedded never made it out of the gate).
MSNBC keeps pushing forward. The mighty CNN (backed by AOLTime) is now struggling to fight off this (and Fox). Spend enough and keep trying and people watched.
Enterprise software? They have Win2k running on 32 processor intel based systems with 64 gigs of RAM. Exchange is all of the place. SQLServer use is growing.
As a business they do some many things to make sure they win. Every piece is tied to all the others. They tell you that "If you run windows and office at home, you should use a PocketPC! It runs all the same stuff!" They say that "If you run Win2k, than Exchange, SQLServer, and IIS run the best!" They want everything to tie to them. Your windows login becomes your "Passport". Now they own part of your identity. Pretty soon you will have to pay to use your own passport. Just a penny a login...
The fact is that they are just too damn good at this capitalist game. In order to protect the people and not stiffle innovation, the playing field has to be made a bit more fair. The government no longer seems up to the task. Our only hope is that MS's enemies gang up on them. Can even AOLTimeWarner, Sony, Sun, Oracle, and IBM combined beat them? I don't know. I sure hope so because I would have rather have a bunch of powerful companies in specific sectors than one all powerful company in all sectors of the economy.

Re:Crazy Like a Fox (2)

Knobby (71829) | more than 13 years ago | (#192991)

... my grandfather (who is 92) is worried that 10 nymphomanics are going to attack him every Sunday

Damn, it's good to know that I'm not the only one out there worried that a angry hoard of nymphomaniacs are going to attack me..

Nice Margins (1)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#192994)

Due to its monopoly on office software and residential OS's, Microsoft enjoys the highest margins in the industry. However, I'm not sure if I'd invest right away. Odds are that .NET is going to flounder. Java has a major head start over the .NET folks as far as courting the developers. Microsoft pissed off a big chunk of its developer community by dropping J++ and moving away from C++. .NET doesn't offer anything that Java isn't offering, except that it is pretty much incompatible with any non-Windows box unless you go to the trouble of exporting XML interfaces. XBox is a mystery question where I doubt their huge cash box will help much. The competition is Sony, who has just as big of a cash box and a lifetime of experience in consumer electronics. I love how every new OS that Microsoft offers is reviewed as the greatest event in History. I'm having a hard time seeing the difference between XP and win2k. Frankly, I'm still having a hard time seeing all of that much difference between win2k and NT 4. Ok, so XP means the death of the old win95 kernel (win95, win98, winMe) for residential users and small businesses. Wow, big deal. I mean who cares about XP? It's just a continuation of the monopoly. Don't get me wrong, Windows is an excellent desktop platform (arguably the best) and many Microsoft products are excellent. But, as soon as they stray from what they know (desktops), they start to suck real bad. DCOM, MTS, COM+ welcome to the hall of losers. My prediction: BizTalk checks into Hotel NoUsers. This whole thing about Windows leaping into the high end server market is laughable. Samba on Linux for Christ's-sake runs faster than NT 4.0 as a CIFS server (an CIFS is in the kernel space on NT). And as for IIS, I can only wonder about what idiots actually use that rat trap. IIS is as secure as convertible parked in the Watts District of LA around 3am. SQL-Server is fairly reliable, but it has its upper limits, and certainly is no gem compared to the other proprietary jobs out there. Think about all of the other crappy products Windows has, like Visual Source Safe (pitty to all who have to bear that piece of shit). Really, it comes down to IE and Office. I'd even throw MSdev in the mix as a great IDE (although the build system sucks and NMake is fucking useless). I wish Microsoft would just say fuckit and drop everything except for OS work, Office and IE work. Those are good products. Skip the rest. Trim out the lame shit. Whatever happened to that forced break up plan? I liked the idea of the Offic stuff being seperate because it would translate into Office for Linux.

Re:Nice Margins (3)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#192995)

What you said is interesting but I strongly disagree about your analysis of Java with regards to web apps. Java GUI perhaps is clunky. However, Java rules the networking middle tier as perhaps the most scalable, well structured and speedy platform. Simple servlets (no EJB) are very fast, very easy to learn, and very powerful. All C# will bring to this equation is native interfaces to the OS platform. Java lacks this (file permissions, etc) because Java tries to be too pure in its platform independence. .NET's biggest challenge, is that vetran C++ network coders who played with MTS and COM+ had bad experiences. The shit didn't work and didn't scale. While Microsoft may get it right with .NET, that taste is lingering, and those guys have moved on to Java Servlets.

The Dogs of War Don't Just Roll Over (3)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 13 years ago | (#192997)

Of course, did anyone expect Microsoft to just roll over?

When the east coast establishment simultaneously:

  • In conjunction with Netscape, activates the antitrust powers of the US Government against Microsoft.
  • Agglomerates the AOL/Time-Warner/CNN/Netscape behemoth with the approval of said powers of the US Government.
  • Commits institutional investors to purchasing the initial public offerings of almost anything capitalized by Silicon Valley venture capitalists.
I think it is safe to say that no one with big chunks of capital and/or US Government power thought Microsoft was going to "just roll over".

Rump-Swabbery ????? (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 13 years ago | (#192998)

What the heck is that? I have a feeling I not want know?

Re:People are stupid (1)

diablovision (83618) | more than 13 years ago | (#192999)

And just because it's free doesn't mean it's good either.

Even the "techs" don't always make wise choices... (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 13 years ago | (#193000)

Where I work, I'm constantly trying to promote Linux in places where it would be beneficial.
We're a relatively small company, with roughly 250 computer workstations/notebooks and about 20 servers, spread across 7 locations. Right now, everything is running Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 (except maybe 2 or 3 notebooks with Win '98).

I seem to be the lone voice in favor of Linux, though. The rest of the system administrators and support people I work with do nothing more than poke fun at me for trying to stir up trouble with the whole Linux thing.

Their biggest argument against Linux is that it will muddy up the environment. They're afraid of having "oddball boxes, running something completely different than the rest of the systems run". (Translation: We're too unsure of our own abilities to administer a Linux box, and don't want to be forced to learn something new.)

Our company is surprisingly willing to let the techs make the tech decisions. Management isn't forcing us to use MS products at all. They just want to see results, and being rather computer illiterate to begin with, don't care how the results are achieved. The techs themselves are keeping Linux out of our company!

Re:The Entire US Navy Will RUn Microsoft (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 13 years ago | (#193001)

I don't see it working, really. If it does, that speaks really poorly of the PC support and server support folks working in the Navy.

Here in St. Louis, I used to have friends working at the Army facility (now moved to Huntsville, AL) - and they went through a similar fight. The decree came down that the entire complex would be switched over to Windows. This was despite a whole group of people happily running their applications under Unix and X, and another dept. having great results with a Novell server.

Well, it never quite worked out as planned. Each non-Windows dept. made a huge fuss and refused to migrate to Windows. Since all of the OS's in question were interoperable on the LAN, it wasn't really possible for one person to tell what the other person was running as their file or print server, anyway. Engineering could say "Sure, we complied with the request and now run Windows here." and could keep on serving their files from another platform, on a PC hidden in the corner with the monitor turned off.

Granted, the average sailor who doesn't have access to install software might be forced to run 2000 - but the people maintaining the computers need to be the ones fighting this.

Microsoft isn't slowing down? (3)

AirLace (86148) | more than 13 years ago | (#193002)

Not surprising for something that has never moved.

Re:All your business press are belong to us... (1)

wannabe (90895) | more than 13 years ago | (#193005)

"Face the reality: MicroSoft is a damn effective company, that makes good software and knows, how to sell it"

Although I don't agree with the makes good software part, I do agree with the fact that Microsoft has done its homework on business and marketing. Their software is adequate for the most part. I would love to tout Linux as the end-all be-all but just as a saw cannot drive a screw as good as a screwdriver, there are somethings windows is better suited for.

Microsoft is the champ in marketing. Does anyone remember the hype around windows 95? I remember the story of people without computers asking for windows 95 because they thought they needed it. That's marketing.

Re:The american way (2)

wannabe (90895) | more than 13 years ago | (#193006)

I'm sure if they're going to loose that much money, we could start sending donations that way a la Mandrake.

(For the sarcasm challenged, this was a pitiful attempt at humor)

Re:It's a GOOD thing, believe it or not (1)

rapett0 (92674) | more than 13 years ago | (#193009)

No you wouldn't because then they would have nothing to emulate :) Seriously, seems the goal lately of most unix development is to emulate what MS is already doing, but in a supposedly more stable manner. I run linux, 98se, os9 and X, etc, and I am sorry, between all the them, the linux stuff while serving its purpose, is just well, not revolutionary.

Anyway, M$ is a business, and they are damn good at the business they do. I think if the Open Source companies stop emulating the code and at least made some semblence of emulating a successful business, they would be much better off.

Enemies are forever (1)

bug1 (96678) | more than 13 years ago | (#193010)

Friends come and go, enemies are forever. Most people that use MS's product arent happy with it, that isnt a good situation for any buisness to be in. MS makes more and more enemies all the time, eventually they will get draged under, its inevitable. Ever hear of someone choosing to switch to windows ?

Re:It's a GOOD thing, believe it or not (1)

bug1 (96678) | more than 13 years ago | (#193011)

"There would be no need to improve it at the current rate because you're not racing anyone." So what reason does MS have to improve the desktop, who are they racing against ?

Re:Microsoft != Windows (1)

11thangel (103409) | more than 13 years ago | (#193016)

Of course. In the business world, nice guys finish last. A truly good business man would sell his best friend for a profit. Of course, the key is to get a good balance of good businessman and good human being. Some people just take one of the two to the extreme and either a) get their butts kicked (the good human beings) or b) get shunned by everyone else (the good businessmen). And people think life is simple.

The Microsofties roared... (2)

Domini (103836) | more than 13 years ago | (#193018)

But in space, no one can hear them scream...


I'm finally going to convert my standard general purpose machine (Desktop PC) to Linux or BSD...
(From win2k)

I'm not interested in XP.

Hey, what? (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 13 years ago | (#193021)

The article says: "Indeed, there are dozens of markets where Microsoft doesn't play, such as online stock trading and e-tailing"

Wait a minute here. Don't Microsoft own Expedia and others?

Only two examples as well? Wow, a non Microsoft opurtunity of one! Count me in for online stock trading! I'll make Billions!

So I guess Microsoft isn't a monopoly after all. I'm glad thats settled!

Free==no good! (3)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 13 years ago | (#193028)

I have a client that was just bought out by a company making business based on what a bunch of clueless execs decide in a little office, somewhere far away. I look at this situation, and understand perfectly well why MS is going to continue to steamroller over everyone they can. Here are some policies.

1) Thou shalt use no free software, because it's unsupported and will therefore break.
Now their main app is serving data up through samba, but because Mother Corp. says so, they're going to have to find something else. The stupid part is, they're outsourcing support anyways, and the company (mine) doing support _will_ support samba! There's just no vendor to blame when it breaks.
2) Thou shalt use (backup product A), despite the fact that (backup product B) is better, cheaper, has been successfully implemented across the company for several years, and is the only supported software for their large tape library.

With decisions like this, it's no wonder that companies (i.e. MS but not exclusively them) can get away with increasing their market share with a crappy product over and over again.

Here's an idea: Let the techs make the tech decisions for tech reasons, then watch bad companies rot and productivity increase immensely!

Due to MS' concerted effort? (5)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 13 years ago | (#193031)

I wonder if MS' continued growth is due to their being able to have a unified front against other companies? MS acts as one while Linux has numerous groups all with the same core beliefs (basicly) but, with their own idea of how things should be done. When MS puts out a piece of software, there is only one version at a time. Often in the Linux world you will have a free* version, a open* version, a gnu* version, etc... MS is once again able to use its unified front against these other (and often times better) products to give the impression that it's product is more popular and thus (in their eyes) better.

Why exactly did you post this? (5)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 13 years ago | (#193032)

Did anyone really expect Microsoft to start slowing down? They're the biggest and most profitable software company out there. The quality of what they sell is really irrelevant from a business standpoint. What matters is that they know how to sell it, keep selling it, and make large quantities of money from selling it. They do that well. Very well.

How many people here DIDN'T know that Microsoft was going strong?

Honestly, I don't think this article was posted to inform us of anything, or to be interesting. I think the sole reason that this was posted was to see the flames fly at Microsoft. If that's the case, you really need to grow up.

-- Dr. Eldarion --

Re:People are stupid (1)

Walterk (124748) | more than 13 years ago | (#193039)

I prefer the voices of insanity.

Re:Microsoft will die, just give it time (2)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 13 years ago | (#193041)

The problem with your argument is that Communism never made anybody rich. The forces that caused the collapse of the USSR were economic more than political; they were just bankrupted by their "business model" of oppressive centralized control. People seem to have much more patience with repression than with starvation, and I'm not seeing too many economic problems over at MS.

I think that's partially right: the problem with communism was more that it didn't make the right people rich. By allowing only politicians to get rich (i.e. have the perks of society,) you disenfranchise many of your most talented citizens. Microsoft has always been a very talent-based organization, and this has allowed them to prosper (they hired smart geeks when geeks were very unfashionable, and really believed in talent over schooling/family, etc.) Organizations seem to die rapidly when people

  • see that the organization's goals and their's are not aligned
  • when they have a choice of going elsewhere.
As long as Microsoft continues to shower riches on the employees that do well, I don't think they'll have a problem.

MS will probably collapse in time, as do most huge organizations, but it probably won't be because they're evil. It will probably be more like a shift in the economic climate, such as the one that did in the great rail companies.

I think two other scenarios are more likely:

Bill Gates leaves. The power vacuum is filled by politicians and sycophants. Employees see that talent and hard work are less important than politics.

Microsoft uses lawsuits and the courts to such an extent that employees feel their technical work is less important than the business/legal side.

Both these situations might cause the firm to collapse, and if it does, the collapse might to surprisingly rapid.

All your business press are belong to us... (1)

clevershark (130296) | more than 13 years ago | (#193050)

Typical, I'm afraid, of business reporting... Hopefully their tune will change once M$ comes in for a torrent of bad customer reactions and reduced expectations due to the XP product line, but until then we'll have to put up with very uncritical reporting.

Wonder if this has to do with the millions that M$ plans on spending to distribute trial versions of Office XP in with several popular newspapers and mags. It's all a conspiracy, I tell ya...

Re:All your business press are belong to us... (1)

clevershark (130296) | more than 13 years ago | (#193051)

In the word of John McLaughlin, "WRONG!"

Microsoft's market position has little or nothing to do with the quality of their software. If it did they would be somewhere behind the BeOS in terms of installed seats.

What Microsoft has is a lot of inertia, marketing bucks and FUD about alternatives going for them. This is a group of people that haven't had much of an original idea since they produced BASIC for the Altair -- which was admittedly a very well-done and cleverly-designed program. Largely they are where they are because of shrewd acquisitions, the first and most brilliant of which was QDOS, which they modified slightly and released as MS- (and, for IBM, PC-) DOS.

They're a very smart business company, no one will contest that. Hell, they were smart enough to trick IBM into paying them for a new-generation OS while they were making their own, er, next-generation OS! Of course IBM at that point evidently wasn't led by Einstein, but one gets the picture fairly quickly.

Personally ever since I decided to run a Microsoft-free home I find myself cursing at my systems much less. Interesting coincidence.

Microsoft's biggest competitor... (5)

big.ears (136789) | more than 13 years ago | (#193061)

Microsoft's biggest competitor isn't Linux, Mac, OS/2, Sun, Oracle, Beos, etc.--its themselves, because they have to give people a reason to buy new versions of their old products. They do this in several different ways--one is by adding features (e.g., they added Explorer to their OS, and XP has built-in .zip and mp3/wma support. These additions weren't necessarily motivated by the need to kill off netscape/winzip/winamp,--they were motivated by the need to get users to upgrade.) Another way is to make their older products subtly incompatible with their newer products (Like all the different versions of Word that didn't work well with eachother, or the criminal differences between Word format and their Works format. For a long time, it was impossible to read one with the other. A third way is to make it difficult, impossible, or illegal to move old software to a new computer.

Their .net strategy is a way to avoid all these games. Instead of having to produce a better word processor to convince people to upgrade from Office 97, they develop a steady revenue stream by offering their product as a service, and charging monthly. Its brilliant, and they probably have the power to do it. Fortunately, as long as their are free alternatives out there (mozilla, abiword, openoffice, etc.), they will not be able to capitalize entirely on their position, EVEN IF THOSE ALTERNATIVES ARE NOT USED BY THE MAJORITY OF COMPUTER USERS. AOL funds Netscape development but uses Explorer because right now, Explorer is a little better, and if they don't have an "Ace in the hole", Microsoft will no longer need to give away Explorer. Microsoft's strategy can be successful at quashing competing companies, but the open source alternatives don't play by the same business rules, and are thus very important for keeping Microsoft in check.

Re:It's a GOOD thing, believe it or not (5)

KingBozo (137671) | more than 13 years ago | (#193063)

The problem is I can say good things about linux and don't have to back them up, or I can say bad things about MS and not have to back them up.

What does that have to say about the Slashdot crowd.

Not anonymized for your flame throwing skills.

Re:All your business press are belong to us... (1)

kableh (155146) | more than 13 years ago | (#193072)

If they write something that contradicts the colective opinion of slashdotters, it is 'typical of business reporting', and obviously has something to do with 'millions, that MS...'.

Let's rephrase that to "When a story reads like a press release" it is "typical of business reporting". The article sounds like Microsoft's PR department wrote it themselves.

M$ (1)

Twiddle (160467) | more than 13 years ago | (#193074)

The beat goes on MS sucks most are too lazy to stop pirating there software. Lets face facts the 20 somethings will agree we grew up Microsoft. It's not hard. Linux is fantastic I us3e as much as Ican but it is a microsoft world. I don't make the rules I just break em. Twiddle

Why does this bother Linux users? (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 13 years ago | (#193076)

The linux community in general has no intention of marketing to or designing for the core Microsoft markets - home users and business desktops, so why all the hubub? Linux is making impressive progress in the market for low to mid-range serving, and the geek market.

There is still plenty of time to compete in the web services sphere, unfortunately the non-Microsoft world is divided (Sun, IBM, and the open communitieis each taking slightly different approaches), which makes Microsoft domination easier over time.

Re:All your business press are belong to us... (1)

motek (179836) | more than 13 years ago | (#193085)

I have to admit: the word "adequate" seems to be more adequate in this context then "good".

Thank you,


Re:All your business press are belong to us... (1)

motek (179836) | more than 13 years ago | (#193086)

Your insistence on deluding yourself is quite amusing. Go on!

Metadiscussion note:
I didn't write, they innovate (although I think, they do - not that much, so this is beside the point). I have written, their products are of good (pardon, better word suggested below: adequate) quality and they know, how to peddle it.
It seems, that to succeede in the businessplace you need both, with emphasis on the latter, unfortunattely.


Re:All your business press are belong to us... (2)

motek (179836) | more than 13 years ago | (#193087)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. If some other business magazine puts forward an article that concludes: "Microsoft is bad" (vide "The Economist"), they are righteous 'free press'. If they write something that contradicts the colective opinion of slashdotters, it is 'typical of business reporting', and obviously has something to do with 'millions, that MS...'.
Face the reality: MicroSoft is a damn effective company, that makes good software and knows, how to sell it.
And for the zealous ones: I didn't say, they were moral and nice. I have just stated the facts.


The Rumble in the Jungle (2)

gwjc (181552) | more than 13 years ago | (#193089)

It's hilariously short sighted that they would use Ali as their metaphor - I guess they forgot who's in better shape now Ali or Foreman. It's almost as wise a choice as using "Start me up" and forgetting the chorus...

Also startling:
Microsoft has woven rudimentary natural language into such products as Office. The next step is delivering more advanced capabilities in the version of Windows due out in two years or so, codenamed Blackcomb.

Man, hear that all you programmers; in two years you will be obsolete - Billy-bob in his trailer will be able to tell his computer.." Gawd PC, I said I want the Boss on this level to look more like Baal on that diablo game.. but not too much I'z don't wanna get sued or nothin.."

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Re:Microsoft != Windows (1)

JamesOfTheDesert (188356) | more than 13 years ago | (#193093)

A truly good business man would sell his best friend for a profit.

Er, no. A truly good business man knows that trust and reputation count, and screwing people catches up with you pretty fast. Do some folks get away with it? Yes, but they're the minority. It need not have anything to do with altruism or being a "good human."

I can only assume that you've never run a business.

And people think life is simple

As you've proven.

Re:It's a GOOD thing, believe it or not (1)

Some Dumbass... (192298) | more than 13 years ago | (#193097)

I know it's essentially suicide to mention anything PRO-Microsoft, but I'm going to take the leap.

I keep seeing highly-rated articles which start like this. It's like everyone has some sort of psychosis. People, you can say good things about MS here on SlashDot - you'd just better be able to back them up.

Re:Free==no good! (2)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 13 years ago | (#193099)

It's even more simpler than how you described it, which is even more scarier.

A lot of people (especially people who aren't into the area or industry in question) have the opinion that if it costs more it must be of better quality.

It's true. When you are grocery shopping and you see two kinds of butter. One is more expensive than the other. You may buy the least expensive one, but isn't there a little voice inside of you that says that the more expensive one was probably of better quality? Even if you know better, the feeling is still there.

When it comes down to it, support usually has nothing to do with it. The attitude is usually something like:

  • Since it is free it must be crappy since people weren't paid to make it.
  • It must be crappy because the people who made it aren't capitalizing on it.
  • It's no good, so they're giving it away for free.


Corparations (1)

Cow_With_Gun (204379) | more than 13 years ago | (#193115)

The biggest problem with companies basicly being counted as people by the law, is that they don;t die like most humans.

Re:All your business press are belong to us... (3)

Philbert Desenex (219355) | more than 13 years ago | (#193125)

The business press (local, national and international) has traditionally been very nice to companies that are currently on top, but the kind of 100% criticism-free reporting [] that Microsoft gets is just astounding.

No business reporter ever got fired for kissing Microsoft's butt, I guess. This article [] from Brill's Content describes what happens to reporters who don't toe the M$ line.

Re:The american way (1)

The Troll Catcher (220464) | more than 13 years ago | (#193126)

1.) Buy as many Xboxes as possible (loss liter, MS will loss billions)

Loss liter? I think you mean loss leader, unless...

Hey, that's not a bad idea! Maybe we should get every Softie to donate a liter of blood! :)

duh (1)

jobber-d (225767) | more than 13 years ago | (#193127)

I wouldn't have expected anything less from the behemoth Microsoft. When a company becomes that big, it'll do anything in its power to stay that big, whether by friendly tactics (constant new products and new services) or unfriendly tactics ('nuff said)

The american way (2)

clinko (232501) | more than 13 years ago | (#193128)

"Merrill Lynch estimates that Microsoft will lose $800 million on Xbox in the next fiscal year. "

DAMN!, how about Microsoft just give a country 1% of that, and they'll be set for life.

But I hear those graphics are sweet. I'm gonna go drive my big car to the store, buy it on a credit card, and polish my big american gun.

Microsoft Everywhere (3)

iomud (241310) | more than 13 years ago | (#193134)

If everything works as planned, Microsoft's software could be at nearly every point a consumer or corporation touches the Web. Since the Internet is now the backbone of most computing, that puts Microsoft at the center of all things digital.

Does anyone else find that deeply disturbing? I certainly do.

Re:Time to dust off our Microsoft Exit Strategy... (1)

civik (244978) | more than 13 years ago | (#193135)

I was the local Linux zealot and I did try long and hard to convince myself that:

* We could offer a Linux desktop, with linux-native office apps and browser, and run all 400-odd teaching apps under Wine.

* We could offer a Linux desktop, with linux-native office apps and browser, and run all 400-odd teaching apps under VMware.

* We could offer a Linux desktop, with linux-native office apps and browser, and run all 400-odd teaching apps on a Citrix app server via the linux ICA client.

And the I thought - why?

Why is right, why the heck would you even think of such crazyness?

* Wine runs apps 75% of the time, and thats being forgiving. What happens when someone wants to run an app with unsupported API's. Say 'Too Bad'?

* Just because you have VMWARE doesnt mean you get to run Windows for free, you still need licences. So whats the point? And having to boot that VMware session will go over lovely with users. "You mean I have to boot 2 computers to run Excel!?!!?"

* CITRIX? Do you really want to enter the era of the mainframe again? Citrix has its advantages however. Being cheap is not one of those advantages.

* Staroffice SUCKS ARSE -- Theres no talking anyone out of that. Staroffice better than Microsoft Office? LAUGHABLE! It would be better to use a web-based office like

You need to lose your politics, and figure out what is best for the user, before you lose your job.

They have internet on computers now!?-HOMER SIMPSON

Don't be afraid, look at the real fact! (5)

CrazyLegs (257161) | more than 13 years ago | (#193144)

Look, M$ produces suck-ass products and we all know it. But they figured out how to market hard and own the markets they choose. However, the Business Week article - besides being an overt blow-job for M$ advertising dollars - is almost science-fiction in its analysis.

M$ will continue to make lots of money, no doubt. But there are a few issues that need to be understood:

  • M$ will NEVER make significant money from Internet-based subscription services. People don't like to pay for stuff they think they can get for free off the Web. Lots of companies have tried this route and failed - and M$ doesn't seem to have more clues about the Internet-as-a-business-model than anyone else.
  • M$ will NEVER make any serious inroads into the big corporate datacenters - contrary to what their PR and the press will tell you. I work in Big Corporate Land and can tell you that any M$ technology that's snuck onto the raised floor is going buh-bye in favour of Unix.
  • .Net is a junky vision and is just a rehash of ActiveX, DNA, and whatever other names they've used in the past. It's more marketing concept than it is a set of solutions. The folks who adopt .Net in any meaningful way are the same folks who develop with ActiveX, OLE, MTS, etc. today. I don't see any new markets opening up with .Net
  • Finally, M$ on everything we touch? Don't make me laugh! They have screwed up more often than they haven't - settop box software, PDAs, phones. Need I go on?

In the end, M$ makes loadsadough and will continue to do so. But they're not poised to dominate the world, me buckos. They're big, they're bloated, and not every pie in which they currently have a finger will taste very good to consumers. 'nuff said.

Re:The american way (1)

codingOgre (259310) | more than 13 years ago | (#193145)

Hmmm, 2 steps for Sun to topple Microsoft:

1.) Buy as many Xboxes as possible (loss liter, MS will loss billions)

2.) Turn those Xboxes into Cobalt cubes :^) or give them away with Sun Enterprise [3-6]500s

Re:Nice Margins (1)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 13 years ago | (#193146)

I wish I could believe that. C#, which is MS's Java killer, will have a lot of adherents because it's C++ made nicer. Far less overhead than Java; which is still klunky and hard to learn and use, worse than learning MFC. XP will be broadly adopted and used. Sure, we laugh now, but we laughed at Windows 1.0. IIS is being used because of its perceived ease of use.

The XBox will probably win out because Microsoft wants to win badly, and Sony's the company that lost the Beta/VHS war. Microsoft wants to license the hardware to anyone to make an XBox; Sony is still proprietary up the kazoo. The one hope is Microsoft will have failed to learn a lesson from Nintendo and Sony (unlikely): both N & S learned that quality control is exceptionally important on game consoles. They strictly control what games can be produced, and they independently test those games to make sure they run as bug-free as possible. Yes, there are some crashes here and there, but far rarer than your average MS release.

MS (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#193147)

The article could be a reflection on a simimlar article written before Win95 came out, describing MS' monopoly power. Here, this pre WinXP article is describing the comeback kid that MS became.
If MS gets off the hook here, then expect a battle at the Supreme Court, which will have a huge impact on all software because, they'll most issue a blanket ruling on MS which will make sure such cases are brought up again.
The XP suite won't be that successful this year, because no one will want to upgrade their computers for those projects. The XP projects will be more successful in the next two years or so.

Re: Well, on second thought (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#193148)

It can fall because of the net intivative, the rental plan. And as for the net becoming stagant, it is quite fresh, everyday brings something new online, a new page, a new chatter, etc.
MS is another IBM, just in the software sense, and Linux is the Compaq :-)

Re: Well, on second thought (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#193149)

I get free MS software, so I don't pay for it and I don't care about it. I don't intend paying MS any money for their products, EVER, unless I have to buy a PC, which now I'll most likely build my own. (Btw, my university gives out free MS-licsensed software, just so if anyone thinks im a warez dealer, you're wrong! lol)

Re:All your business press are belong to us... (2)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#193151)

Its a reflex, and plus, look at what MS wanted to do with their products: rental fees, restricting certain files, overy security features. I don't know about you, but I don't a OS with backdoors, pay a yearly fee for software which you paid for the in first place.
As for the history and criticism of Linux: at least we can ADMIT our mistakes, MS takes longer than a Florida election recount to solve their software bugs.

And if they aren't? (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 13 years ago | (#193154)

And, soon, Microsoft might not have a breakup order hanging over its head. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule any day now on the company's appeal.
Maybe I'm just being a tad conservative, but before I accept that Microsoft is doing well, I'd like to actually hear the appeal court's decision.

Re:Free==no good! (2)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#193156)

There's just no vendor to blame when [free software] breaks.

Is there some way to get the management to _read_ the EULA's on commercial software? They amount to "sold as-is" at best (the vendor is not responsible at all for the performance of the software), and often there are even worse clauses. Maybe someone ought to let the corporation's lawyers know that every time you install software, you are agreeing to a contract on behalf of the corporation -- so they'd better be reviewing it... I can't imagine a lawyer approving signing onto the "customer" side of a typical EULA without looking for alternatives.

Re:Continued Growth (2)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#193157)

What, no Microsoft meets the Borg jokes? Or maybe Microsoft _is_ the Borg. It would explain how Picard and Janeway kept getting away "You will be assimilated. Resistance is ... General Protection Fault in Unknown Module" 8-)

Re:Microsoft Everywhere (1)

bigbadwlf (304883) | more than 13 years ago | (#193159)

Yeah..... can you imagine not being able to use anything without it crashing?

Re:Continued Growth (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 13 years ago | (#193160)

This is a good quiz. The back of the envelope was just big enough to contain it.

I did it two ways (UPS ground and Fedex Overnight) and came up with between 1210 and 1230 years, depending on whether human bodies average 125 liters or 75 liters, respectively. (We're slightly less dense than water, and the average mass is somewhere in [75,125] kilos).

Hmm. Maybe I should divide Vo by two, since most humans are children...okay...I get [1235,1253] years.

Dang. That's somewhat outside most corporations' 500-year plans.

"You do the math."

Re:It's a GOOD thing, believe it or not (3)

ryants (310088) | more than 13 years ago | (#193176)

There would be no need to improve it at the current rate because you're not racing anyone

We aren't racing anyone except ourselves right now, as it is, anyways.

GNOME and KDE race against each other, but neither really pays attention to what comes out of Redmond... nor should they.

If MS vanished, this race would continue, and we'd all continue to benefit from the meme battle.

Ryan T. Sammartino

Re:Microsoft != Windows (5)

ryants (310088) | more than 13 years ago | (#193177)

Mandrake is asking resorting to donations


It was the users who asked Mandrake to set up the donation system; it was not Mandrake's idea.

Sheesh. How many times must this be repeated before it sinks in?

Ryan T. Sammartino

Re:Microsoft != Windows (5)

ryants (310088) | more than 13 years ago | (#193178)

but the growth of the PC has been in direct relationship with the growth of Windows, and related M$ products

I think you have that backwards.

MS grew because the PC grew, not vice versa.

The so-called IBM PC is as prevelant as it is because of the reverse engineering of the original BIOSes and the relative openness of the PC versus the Mac (for example). Anybody could build a PC, but nobody except Apple could build a Mac.

It's just one more lesson from history where being open is better than being closed.

Ryan T. Sammartino

Re:All your business press are belong to us... (1)

terrymah (316545) | more than 13 years ago | (#193181)

Microsoft hasn't had an original program since BASIC? Huh? They have made dozens of programs that are spectacular. You're aware that Microsoft is a large company, and does a lot more than operating systems, right?

Microsoft Excel is spectacular, and there are tons of original ideas packed into that. In fact, Microsoft Office in general hasn't become the defacto standard for 90% of companies out there because it was made by Microsoft, it got that way because it's damn good and better than anything Corel or other competing companies could come up with. Microsoft's flight simulators were the best around at one point. I was fond of DOS 6.22. Encarta was a well designed program as well.

Not to mention Oni and Halo, which are technically microsoft products. :)

Re:Continued Growth (3)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 13 years ago | (#193187)

Microsoft has indicated that it is intent on continued growth of 20% a year.

Has anyone calculated just how many years it will be before Microsoft corporate strategy requires that they own everything? :-).

If calculated literally, not very long. My calculus 101 professor once worked through a similar example: if the current human population growth of 3% per year continues unchecked, ignoring relativistic factors, how long will it be until the expanding sphere of human bodies reaches the speed of light?

IIRC, the time was surprisingly short (on the order of a few hundred thousand years or something).

The Microsoft example would probably take only a few decades.

Re:Microsoft will die, just give it time (5)

s20451 (410424) | more than 13 years ago | (#193190)

Microsoft will eventually fall victim to the same forces that destroyed the Soviet Union as well as the old-world monarchies in Europe.

The problem with your argument is that Communism never made anybody rich. The forces that caused the collapse of the USSR were economic more than political; they were just bankrupted by their "business model" of oppressive centralized control. People seem to have much more patience with repression than with starvation, and I'm not seeing too many economic problems over at MS.

MS will probably collapse in time, as do most huge organizations, but it probably won't be because they're evil. It will probably be more like a shift in the economic climate, such as the one that did in the great rail companies.

why do you persecute microsoft? (1)

Richthofen80 (412488) | more than 13 years ago | (#193192)

Bill Gates defense should read as follows, but doesn't.

"No, I do not want my attitude to be misunderstood. I shall be glad to state it for the record. I am in full agreement with the facts of everything said about me in the newspapers - with the facts, but not with the evaluation. I work for nothing but my own profit - which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage - and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner. I am rich and I am proud of every penny I own. I made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with - voluntary consent of those who employed me when I started, the voluntary consent of those who work for me now, the voluntary consent of those who buy my product. I shall answer all the questions you are afraid to ask me openly. Do I wish to pay my workers more than their services are worth to me? I do not. Do I wish to sell my product for less than my customers are willing to pay me? I do not. Do I wish to sell it at a loss or give it away? I do not. If this is evil, do whatever you please about me, according to whatever standards you hold. These are mine. I am earning my own living, as every honest man must. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence and the fact that I must work in order to support it. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people - the fact that my work is of greater value than the work of my neighbours and that more men are willing to pay me. I refuse to apologise for my ability - I refuse to apologise for my success - I refuse to apologise for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it. If this is what the public finds harmful to its interests, let the public destroy me. This is my code - and I will accept no other. I could say to you that I have done more good for my fellow men than you can ever hope to accomplish - but I will not say it, because I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognise the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life. I will not say that the good of others was the purpose of my work - my own good was my purpose, and I despise the man who surrenders his. I could say to you that you do not serve the public good - that nobody's good can be achieved at the price of human sacrifices - that when you violate the rights of one man, you have violated the right of all, and a public of rightless creatures is doomed to destruction. I could say to you that you will and can achieve nothing but universal devastation - as any looter must, when he runs out of victims. I could say it, but I won't. It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own - I would refuse. I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being's right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Tactics? (1)

Richthofen80 (412488) | more than 13 years ago | (#193193)

I hate to say it, but I don't know the "nuff said" part... please let me know the unfriendly tactics.

The truth is, when a business becomes as big as microsoft, it cannot afford to stand still. The software industry moves at lightspeed, and either you're an innovator or you're dead in the water. I praise MS for being on the ball and willing to grab standards by the nuts and push them forward (like XML). Microsoft's a "take a chance" kind of company, and while they may not always win, they are refusing to let technology stagnate.

That's what I think Netscape did... it relied so heavily on being the only game in town, plus the geek favorite, that it never bothered to expand its capabilities as a broswer... meanwhile Microsoft supports XML/XLS and came up with Active Server Pages. Microsoft may be big, but they aren't slow. I just wish win2k had better driver support.

Re:Microsoft will die, just give it time (1)

Dstrct0 (442821) | more than 13 years ago | (#193196)

I don't see a problem with the USSR analogy. You mention oppressive centralied control. Everything I have read about XP sounds like oppressive centralized control to me. You wanna make an MP3? Too bad, you're gonna be using M$ proprietary format by default. Wanna upgrade your hardware? Oops, time to re-register your O/S, and so on and so forth. Granted, they're still raking in tons of cash, but there are still, and always will be, some very definite flaws to the way of thinking in Redmond, and (hopefully) that will bring about their ultimate downfall, the sooner the better

Re:Microsoft is getting a bit megalomaniacal (1)

warmiak (444024) | more than 13 years ago | (#193203)

Heh, you blaim Microsoft for other people failures?
Everyone had a shot at this. Some companies even had a head start and still lost.

Re:People are stupid (1)

warmiak (444024) | more than 13 years ago | (#193204)

A voice of sanity.

Re:Microsoft Everywhere (1)

DarkWinter (445854) | more than 13 years ago | (#193205)

dunno. seems alot like a sweeping generalization.
"The Internet is now the backbone of most computing"? Seriously. Think about that statement.

Re:Microsoft != Windows (3)

DarkWinter (445854) | more than 13 years ago | (#193206)

Microsoft is a business, and never was a truer word spoken.

And not only are they a near monopoly, but they have become one as a result of the buying patterns of the masses, and the fact that most competitive products were indeed quite poor during the early stages of Windows (as far as ease of use)

I'm sure it's been said before, but the growth of the PC has been in direct relationship with the growth of Windows, and related M$ products. It made the PC accessable, and as a result the PC became more available. The growth of M$ has been the growth of the PC

We all know it's not a better product, but it's growth and that of the PC are so interwoven that it will take time to seperate them. Or money. Lots of money. And no single company can raise the capitol to dethrone the king, so we're back to the first choice, time.

To defeat (or effectively compete) with M$, will take a business plan based on slow, steady business growth, focussing on strengths over M$'s weaknesses. The sudden growth of the Linux dist markets got them a little too eager, and they over-reached.

A new plan is needed, and sadly, one of these dists needs to be run like a ruthless company, something we nerds don't take well too. Either that or we have to settle for a smaller piece of the market.

Any how, I live for the day I can shout, "The king is dead, long live the king!"

Well Shiet... (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#193208)

Microsoft is the defacto standard in so many realms. Why WOULD it fall?
The net is STILL growing! We just find it becomming stagnant because we've been here for so long, and it's not new and fresh.
The future IS Microsoft. The question is, will it become another IBM?

Only time will tell.

Ugh... (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#193209)

Linux is the Compaq :-)
Very true.. but not a comparison I wished to hear.

Homicidal Microsoft Cult (1)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#193221)

From the BusinessWeek article: "the loudspeakers resounded with a new chant: "Microsoft, bomaye! Microsoft, bomaye!" (bomaye means "kill him".

I always knew Microsoft was a ruthless competitor, but murder? Will hitmen now need to buy Microsoft Silencers to remain competitive?

Re:Microsoft is getting a bit megalomaniacal (1)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#193222)

No, I don't blaim MS for other people's failures. What I do blaim them for if balatantly trying to invade the privacy of their users passport, ignoring court rulings by intergrating more stuff in WinXP, and using a series of EULAs that are illegal in a large portion of Europe, for crying out loud. There's a difference between competition and anti-competitive practices.

The DoJ will love this (2)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#193223)

"With XP, Microsoft can finally harness its battery of products and Web sites, feeding customers from one product into another in a chain reaction with a potentially explosive result. Test versions of Windows XP include quick access to an easy-to-use browser that has a button that starts Microsoft's Windows Media Player. That browser zips you to Microsoft's MSN Web portal...What's more, Windows XP offers to plug you in to altogether new Internet services, such as Microsoft's alert system that e-mails or pages you when a flight is late or a stock dips low enough to buy."

Um...If the DoJ thought binding IE into windows was illegal, what the heck are they going to think of this?

Microsoft is getting a bit megalomaniacal (2)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#193224)

After reading the businessweek article, I find myself with a pronounced feeling of dread. People used to worry about the government invading their privacy, but there's no check on Microsoft. If the MS split decision is overturned (and it seems it will be) Microsoft seems bent on controlling every aspect of the internet, despite their denials.

Just for starters, the passport "service" scares the heck out of me. Oh yes, let's give windows my personal information and credit card number, and any site that wants it can just access it like a cookie. Good idea!

It seems clear that MS cannot be trusted to control internet standards. Viva Linux!

Re:No, they're not slowing down (1)

Pablo Escobar - RIP (455333) | more than 13 years ago | (#193226)

Or Solaris...
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