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The Return of Microsoft

JonKatz posted more than 12 years ago | from the -the-company-formerly-known-as-America- dept.

Microsoft 674

This week, Microsoft unleashes a virtual onslaught of new products and initiatives, from gaming to small business software that will likely leave the company dominating the world of computing for years. Bill Gates, on the ropes just a year ago, is now the undisputed King of the Net, the CEO of the Corporate Republic. He's created the first but surely not the last truly Unaccountable Corporation, a vast entity that is, in fact, above the law and more powerful than the government which enables it. If you thought Open Source was a good idea a few years ago ... (Read more.)

Remember that scene in The Return of Frankenstein where the terrified villager spots the monster, years after he's been burned alive and buried below the rubble of Victor's castle? He rushes back to town, shrieking "He's back! The monster is alive!".

"But that's impossible!," thunders the incredulous mayor. "I saw him killed with my own eyes!"

"You fool," retorts the villager. "Don't you know he can never be killed?"

Bill Gates, exposed just a year ago as a ruthless and less-than-candid corporate predator, is today the King of the Corporate Republic, the CEO of Internet, Inc. He and his company are about to launch one of the most ambitious campaigns in the history of business, one that should leave him firmly in control of the digital universe.

If everything works as planned, Microsoft software will shortly control nearly every point at which a consumer or business interacts with the Web. That puts Microsoft at the center of all computing. And soon, the company may even escape the break-up threat hanging over its head. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule momentarily on the company's appeal, and based on the questions asked during oral arguments, the court is expected to reverse Judge Thomas P. Jackson's findings that the company illegally "tied" its browser into its operating system, and acted illegally to maintain its Windows monopoly.

This, say competitors like Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, is where we started, only more so. "It appears they're doing all over again what they did when they previously went into foul territory," McNealy told congressional investigators, according to Business Week. Microsoft's new Internet strategy is the boldest move yet, he says, to leverage the company's Windows monopoly to create a bottleneck that will constrict the Internet.

McNealy might as well be talking to himself -- the Bush administration is hardly going to curb Microsoft's new juggernaut, which can proceed unimpeded for at least four years, by which time the company may well be beyond any control, if that's not already the case.

Microsoft has transcended the economic realities of our time. Even with the NASDAQ down 9 per cent, the company's stock price has risen more than 60 per cent this year. In the quarter ending March 31, MS earned $2.45 billion on sales of $6.46 billion.

And thanks in part to a media that has utterly failed to grasp or cover well the real issues involving the soft- and hardware that governs the Net and the Web, the public has no idea that they will be spending billions for years on things they could have -- ought to have -- for free.

There are now real questions whether corporations like Microsoft, Disney, and AOL Time-Warner are vulnerable any longer to government regulation, or to any other kind of curb. Microsoft seems to have convincingly demonstrated that is is, in fact, above the law, and means to stay that way.

Even bitter critics of the government's attempt to break up Microsoft concede that Bill Gates was arrogant and dishonest in his Federal court testimony, and whatever the ultimate judicial ruling, mountains of evidence presented at the antitrust trial showed how Microsoft squelched competitors and discouraged both innovation and competition. Yet it all seems to have had no more impact on the company than a pea bouncing off an elephant, or a torch on the monster.

We saw this company humbled and carved up with our own eyes, and celebrated it's being brought down to size. Boy, were we dumb. Microsoft is stronger than ever, and, as a consequence, so is Linux and Open Source.

Just a year ago, Microsoft was so embattled -- its revenue growth had slowed to 8 per cent, Jackson had ordered the company split in half, $250 billion had vanished from the company's market value -- that Microsoft called 20,000 of its employees together at Seattle's Safeco Field. There it showed a motivational video that included scenes from a documentary about the mythic l974 title fight between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.

But on the Net, a year might as well be a century.

So the monster isn't only alive, he's stronger than ever. It's the Microsoft Era, Part Deux.

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Department of the Internet (3)

Wansu (846) | more than 12 years ago | (#171992)

I can see it now. Bill Gates will get a cabinet post as the head of a new federal agency. If you like the EPA, you're gonna love this.

Disgreement... (1)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 12 years ago | (#171998)

From the article:

Jon Katz: the public has no idea that they will be spending billions for years on things they could have -- ought to have -- for free

Normally I'd agree, but in this case, I'd have to say that the customer is getting what they pay for. Users want a easy to use environment that scales well enough for small to mid-sized businesses, yet allows them to go home and play games on it. With a common interface and easy to program api's, Windows takes the lead, at least in the public's view. Microsoft has spend untold billions in developing and continuing to develop this product, and for a vast majority of the computing public, it works. Sure everyone complains about the lock-ups and blue-screens, but for the most part, we're all fat and happy, and would be more than happy to contiune this way. Am I saying that we're all wasting our time working on Linux/*BSD/whatever, because it has the potential to prove that there is a potential for those platforms to let the public know. My point however is that after spending billions to produce something, why give it away for free? It doesn't make business sense.

As always, redirect flames to /dev/null

Secret windows code

Re:Why do we have to bash Microsoft? (2)

ultrapenguin (2643) | more than 12 years ago | (#172008)

And gosh, why does every post that says something positive about Microsoft *immediately* gets moderated down as Troll?
I am surprised why I still waste my time here.

Why do we have to bash Microsoft? (4)

ultrapenguin (2643) | more than 12 years ago | (#172009)

Why is it that every Slashdot article posted related to microsoft always talks about how they are stomping on our rights, choking innovation, killing off Linux, etc etc. Perhaps its "cool" to bash Microsoft these days but do you people actually USE some of Microsoft products? Their office suite cannot be matched by anything available for Linux in stability, user-friendliness, and many other factors. Remember, for most people cross-platform means it runs on Windows and Mac, and they could care less about other things. So stop bashing and start using Microsoft software because believe me, they are NOT going away anytime soon. And if you really want to make Linux software as usable as Microsoft one, Linux UI designers might want to check out http://msdn.microsoft.com/UI.

Bleep! (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#172042)

And thanks in part to a media that has utterly failed to grasp or cover well the real issues involving the soft- and hardware that governs the Net and the Web, the public has no idea that they will be spending billions for years on things they could have -- ought to have -- for free.

Oh give me a break! This is so friggin' inane it really brings into doubt the rest of the article. That's right Jon: You know the righteous way and all us uninformed masses are stupid ponying up for Windows 2000. Please guide us in our ignorant ways and bring us enlightenment. The real cream on the cake was using Scott McNealy for quotes...wait isn't that the "no one should expect privacy" gentlemen? Gosh, he's got some negative things to say about Microsoft? Egads! What a great surprize! Surely such a credible source adds such foundation to this article.

Don't blame the press for the continued success of Microsoft, because if anything the press has been down on Microsoft for years. CNN (notice that CNN has the big Netscape banner, and the favicon.ico for CNN for the longest time was the Netscape logo...rather disconcerting) has been slamming Microsoft for years. Every other print organization has tried to be hip by hyping the dream world of open source and Linux. There have been countless "Microsoft is doomed because of the march of network appliances/Java/Linux/PS2/etc". Movies like AntiTrust are ridiculous, foolish Katz-type mass media pandering to the foolish that believe an argument without a foundation. So don't tell me the media is the reason that Microsoft is successful: Microsoft is successful DESPITE the media.

What's the BS about OS? (5)

uradu (10768) | more than 12 years ago | (#172047)

I guess I'm confused about what exactly JK's opinion regarding OS is now--or did he merely throw in the terms as a checklist item?

I think he's drawing some premature conclusions about Microsoft's imminent success. There are two major bet-the-farm strategies Microsoft has embarked upon, and they could succeed or fail to various degrees: .NET, and compulsory registration. If .NET fails or doesn't take off as imagined, Microsoft could be in serious poo-poo.

Regarding compulsory software registration, that's yet another case of sticking the head in the sand: large corporations like MS simply refuse to acknowledge how much of their market share is really due to full on or gray piracy. Once you will literally be forced to buy a copy of Windows and Office for EACH machine in your household, rather than just using the CDs that came with one of them, let's see how many people will still have the latest Windows and Office on all their machines. And that's not even considering the Big Brother aspect of it. I think Microsoft will get a sobering reality check within the next year or so (especially after Windows XP turns out not to be the expected cash cow).

Open Source method a weaker argument than Freedom (5)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 12 years ago | (#172050)

If we are going to argue this from the open source perspective (peer reviewed methodology produces better than secret sourcecode) rather than the Free (as in freedom) software perspective (free software is about fundamental freedoms), then we will find we are playing Microsoft's game on their own terms and our arguments quickly become moot. Microsoft can and, if dubious reports are to be believed, may perhaps actually be getting their software reviewed by other professionals, peers if you will, in a source-available-under-onerous-conditions approach, with the result than Windows 2000, while still inferior to GNU/Linux/FreeBSD/etc, is vastly improved over its predicessors. The open source argument can and likely will be made moot by a little agility on Microsoft's part coupled with a tremendous amount of cash.

That does not, however, affect the underlying issue of freedom at all, which actually has much more compelling business implications. One of the major reasons my employer moved away from Sun and Microsoft products and toward free software (Linux and GNU software in particular) was not because the software was technically superior (although it was), but because we would no longer be beholden to our vendor and have dictated to us when and to what we would upgrade.

Many people do not realize just how onerous and expensive such lack of freedom is for a company. When you are developing in house software for mission critical systems and you are told "platform x will no longer be supported as of this date, port your stuff to our new platform y" this can result in deployment delays and huge amounts of money spent on hiring enough staff to get the changes made in a reasonably timely manner. The cost is very real, and very significant. By switching to Linux and GNU we enabled ourselves to deploy in-house apps in a quick and timely manner, and we upgrade when we decide we need to, not when our vendor decides to pad their bank accounts at our expense.

I will reiterate: the major cost isn't the "upgrade cost," it is the actual time, effort, and work involved in moving an entire codebase from platform x to y, and being forced to do so over and over again every two or three years at the behest of one's vendors. Whether it is Sun, Sybase, Oracle, or Microsoft doing this is irrelevant, it delays important work and sucks up valuable resources.

The freedom of free software in allowing a company to preserve its own autonomy and not be beholden to its vendors, and to have a free, competitive marketplace in which to obtain and/or provide its services (as opposed to a monopoly) is IMHO a much more potent argument that the "peer review makes free software better than proprietary software," since, as Microsoft is showing, they can at least create the perception (and, if they wish, the reality) that proprietary software can also be peer reviewed.

I think sometimes we loose sight of real value of using free software vs. proprietary alternatives: the freedom itself, and how it enables us to do business and lead our lives in a much less encumbered fashion. Technical superiority is nice, and certainly important, but even in a case where proprietary and free software are both peer reviewed and a parity in quality is achieved, the free-as-in-freedom is still preferable because of the significantly lower drain it places on a companies resources and IT personnel, and the greater flexibility and choice it affords its users.

Yes, why are you posting ? (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 12 years ago | (#172055)


I am surprised why I still waste my time here.

I wonder about that too, perhaps you're a masochist ?

Any ways, I don't like Katz and his horrible articles, but c'mon, you're upset because people bash and flame a corporation ?

What's the matter, are we hurting the corporation's feelings ?

Oh my ...

Re:why so bad? (1)

No-op (19111) | more than 12 years ago | (#172067)

really, nobody ever said you had to use whatever MS has to offer. neither you nor anyone else is being forced into that situation, and if people wanted something different they could use something different.

I prefer different operating systems, so I install them, and the world is good. when I'm at work, I use microsoft, so I can actually share information with the other 95% of the lemmings out there like myself. Just because they or I use it doesn't mean we are oblivious to the issues of monopolies or anything of that nature- it's just convenient and lets face it, business is about making money, not bandying about social issues. But maybe that's just my opinion from actually working for a living instead of being an intellectual recluse like many of the readers here :) *shrug*

Re:Oh please... (1)

Hugonz (20064) | more than 12 years ago | (#172071)

Hey hey.....please stop. I do get upset when someone pretends to limit our right to illustration. It would be probably worse to control the information than anything else.

Believe me, if you're not illustrated and you're unaware, you might as well not care about all that sort of things (pollution, toxic waste, weapons). The power to exert propaganda into the population is far worse than any isolated toxic-waste-throwing company.

Guess who's getting that power....

Other "stupid" things (5)

Hugonz (20064) | more than 12 years ago | (#172072)

Yeah, right.

It was once stupid that MS could dominate the OS space: "look, there's PC DOS, DR DOS, CP/M, MacOS, and eventually we'll be using some kind of UNIX". Look what happened (well, they were partially right on the UNIX thing, only they expected it in 1986, not 1996)

It was once stupid that MS could dominate the application space: "look, there's Quattro Pro, Ami Pro, WordPerfect, Lotus 123, Paradox....Netscape... all of them are BETTER than the MS alternative" Look what happened.

I don't see why the Internet could be any different. Customers are clueless. For them, the Internet is that nifty little AOL or whatever icon you click, as well as explorer.

Just my two céntimos


stock price is a red herring (2)

novarese (24280) | more than 12 years ago | (#172080)

Katz points out that MSFT is up 60% this year, but doesn't mention the fact that it is almost exactly where it was one year ago today, and comfortably below its 52-week high of nearly $83/share. See Yahoo's one-year chart of MSFT [yahoo.com] for the real story.

You make a good point. (1)

ArchMagus (32772) | more than 12 years ago | (#172090)

Their browser is much the same though, albiet they did bundle it into the OS, which does make it a bit different. I think a lot of people just dropped the other browsers (Netscape) because they plain sucked. Netscape crashes *way* more than IE, and is slower. Office is the same. I used Wordperfect for a very long time, but it just wasn't as stable (I never though I'd hear myself saying that about an MS product either.)

What?! (4)

ArchMagus (32772) | more than 12 years ago | (#172091)

Ok, I'm not that big of a Microsoft fan, but some of the things Katz says aren't really that strong, especially without backing up. I'm going to be inviting the flames with this, but ah well, here goes...

Katz calls Microsoft the first company that exists above the law. Where does he get this. They were taken to court in an antitrust suit because they bundled their *free* web browser in their OS. I admit that this is a bit of an underhanded move, given that it pushed Netscape out, but what market did they push them out of? Browsers had been free for quite a while prior to the bundling, so Netscape wasn't making any money there (I know netscape made cash from selling ads on their homepage, but people could reassign homepages quite easily, so that one doesn't stand up that well.) The point I'm making in this is that the antitrust case for the browser is pretty weak. More powerful than the government?! What exactly makes him say this, the fact that they lost one antitrust suit? "Undisputed King of the Net"? What about the big-wigs at AOL-Time Warner? They're pretty high up on the food chain themselves, not to mention they're also monopolistic whores who have their sights set on MS. While I agree that Micro$oft is too big for its breeches, and probably should be broken apart, the efforts put forward thus far to make it happen have been pathetic at best. Why not go after Office for it's monopoly instead? It's not free, and MS sure did drive the competition out of that space.

I guess there really is no great point to the above, except that Katz should learn that using adjectives doesn't make his point any more solid...he should use facts instead, they work much better.

Shades of Napster? (1)

coldhatred (38432) | more than 12 years ago | (#172097)

Doesn't this sound a little like what people were saying a year ago when Napster (and p2p in general) was taking off? There were a lot of smug proclamations that p2p was "unstoppable", and the government was powerless to the stop massive, open exchange of digital content.

Well, it sure didn't take long to push it back underground, once the RIAA set its mind to it. If Microsoft did something to *really* anger the government, the table would turn rather quickly.

Fool! (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 12 years ago | (#172110)

Fool! Plenty of political parties have no campaign money. Know what that means? No votes!


Until someone comes up with a legitimate political party that is willing to do the job of governing the American society rather than pandering to anyone willing to write it a check

Until we basically have a coup ('pander to corps->money->get elected->govern the country' is broken, probably by cutting out the election part and inserting the 'right' guy in charge)...
the general public has to be want it to happen. Right now they are fat, dumb and happy with life a it is, so as a whole they are unwilling to rock the boat.

And people aren't starving or miserable.

Normally this would lead one to conclude that Microsoft is *not* the greatest evil since Chairman Mao, but not you, my intrepid fellow slashdotter!

Pah. If you all would take five stinking minutes to think about these beliefs you're so fervent about and the solutions that seem so obvious, you could learn a lot.

-grendel drago

'grow up' (2)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 12 years ago | (#172113)

Uh, no. This is not worthy of a 'grow up':

Microsoft: Raa, woo, blugh! Linux BAD!
Katz: Microsoft is wrong. Here's some good, well-thought-out reasons why, without a lot of painfully old rhetoric. I refuse to sink to their level.

This is:

Microsoft: Raa, woo, blugh! Linux BAD!
Katz: Doody-heads!

See what I mean?

-grendel drago

Ha! Irony! (2)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 12 years ago | (#172114)

that they are not immortal, like governments.

Ha! Bwa ha ha! Sniffle... giggle...

Immortal. Right. The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire! Tee hee...

-grendel drago

Re:Above the law? (3)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 12 years ago | (#172115)

if they were doing seriously Wrong things like killing people then they would catch heat.

Ha! Ever heard of Union Carbide and what happened in Bho Pal?

Of course, Microsoft doesn't do that sort of thing, but corps *can* and *do* get away with it.

-grendel drago

pointless mudlinging (4)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 12 years ago | (#172116)

First we get mad when MS calls us a 'cancer'. Then we call MS an evil, unkillable menace.

Yeah, real mature.

Grow up, Jon.

-grendel drago

Re:Yeah... look here: (2)

cxreg (44671) | more than 12 years ago | (#172122)

MS is not even on the list

Bear in mind, that those numbers were all from a time before Windows 95 existed. Until then, MS was still a middle sized (But growing quickly) company.

Oh, PLEASE. (3)

xtal (49134) | more than 12 years ago | (#172128)

Get a grip, Katz. I can't handle this drivel much longer. Bill Gates is not the frigging antichrist, and Microsoft is not the only point of contact between business and the web. Companies may choose to make microsoft their only point of contact with the internet, just like they might chose to use nothing but custom developed IBM systems. If it's cost effective, all the power to you.

The internet can't be "taken over" by Microsoft. That's just stupid. If you want to use the services and products provided by Microsoft, then do so, but there's lots of alternatives, and if there aren't alternatives, then go write your own! Maybe it won't have all the bells and whistles, and it might cost an arm and a leg, but you can do what you want. Microsoft has a long way to go before you have no choice - and the open source movement has come a long way towards guaranteeing that.

Nobody said computing has to be easy. Bah. Microsoft fills a need just like linux. Get over it.

So what if microsoft dominates those segments? (4)

xtal (49134) | more than 12 years ago | (#172129)

You're missing my point. It doesn't matter if Microsoft has a dominant share of the OS market. If for some reason you feel constrained by Microsoft, be it in the OS, Browser, Office Software, Development Tools, Gaming, whatever, arena, go write your own stuff. If enough people dislike what MS is doing, then your stuff will get better and have more features, like linux.

For most people, Microsoft is fine. There's nothing wrong with that. Antitrust issues aside, most people just want a simple OS that they can use to do a few things. I want a complicated OS that gives me a lot of power, and I want nice development tools. You might want somthing different.

It's about choice. You're free to choose to not use MS stuff, and use something else instead, or write that "something else" from scratch. Contrary to what most people thing, programming is not rocket science. It's more time consuming than anything else.

I'm sick of people whining about MS dominating this and dominating that. Spend less time whining and more time working on things you wouldn't like to see dominated by MS, like Mozilla. Nobody said the choice had to be easy.

Oh please... (4)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 12 years ago | (#172130)

"the CEO of the Corporate Republic. He's created the first but surely not the last truly Unaccountable Corporation, a vast entity that is, in fact, above the law and more powerful than the government which enables it."

Oh please, we have the LEAST to fear from Microsoft of all corporations in the "Corporate Republic". Oh no our software won't be Free! Millions will starve! No way, Microsoft is FAR from the first. The ones we have to fear are the ones that bury toxic materials and cover it up (*cough* Erin Brokovich *cough*), destroy the environment, fund wars, sell weapons, imprison people, control the food supply, etc.

The issue with Microsoft is a fairly obscure ideological issue. The Corporate Republic has been around far longer than Microsoft, and has much much scarier players.

Re:why so bad? (1)

AnalogBoy (51094) | more than 12 years ago | (#172132)

If cars were invented today, there would be people who would get angry that most cars will be using this "Internal Combustion" engine that uses this proprietary "Gasoline" substance.

(And before you go off saying "well, the car would explode every 3,000 miles.." to quote someone who flamed me earlier - that statement is "so 1996". I dont know what you guys have been doing, but i havent had windows (NT/2k/XP) crash on me - ever. Of course, most of my hardware, and software, is of decent quality and not made-on-east-jesus-pike, BFE.

Correction, John. (1)

AnalogBoy (51094) | more than 12 years ago | (#172133)

Without dissecting your statement too much, which i can't, because i have a real job to get to, Bill Gates is no longer CEO.

Chairman and Chief Software guy, yes.

But not CEO.

What happens when Bill Gates dies? Except of course for the OSS Zealots throwing huge parties and desecrating his grave, i mean. What happens if MS continues being a "Big Bad Monster".. will you still villify Gates, and directly blame him for everything wrong with the [computer] world? He shares in the blame for many things, yes. But he is not singularly responsible for every evil thing on the planet.

Linus Torvalds is not a prophet,
Bill Gates is not satan. Thats rediculous, anyway. Everyone knows satan is Dr. Laura. =]

correction daniel.. that's Jon, not John (1)

AnalogBoy (51094) | more than 12 years ago | (#172134)

He has to be different. :)

Just correcting myself.

Am i the only one who wishes /. had a spell checker, too? :)

What a bunch of Crap (1)

Caball (58351) | more than 12 years ago | (#172144)

"We saw this company humbled and carved up with our own eyes, and celebrated it's being brought down to size. Boy, were we dumb. Microsoft is stronger than ever, and, as a consequence, so is Linux and Open Source."

Carved up with our own eyes? When? What the hell you talking about? They were never carved up anywhere, other than in jealous competitors dreams.

Any reference to Scott "Mr Bill Gates Wannabe" McNealy is laughable. He is nothing more than a jealous competitor.

And to say Linux and Open Source is stronger than ever realy hurts your argument. Linux companies are failing by the dozens, and Linux is still 5 years away from even having a shot at being accepted as a desktp OS.

what a tripe commentary from a no-nothing blowhard.

Success From Human NAture (1)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 12 years ago | (#172147)

MS's success is from preying on the weaknesses of human nature: herd mentality and laziness. Until people in the US get off their butt and do something other than worry about theirs and start acting in a socially meaningful way, nothing will change.

Laziness and the herd mentality are instinctual. That MS and other big companies rely on that for their income is no surprise. What is a surprise is to think that anything will change until US citizens want a change. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in the next 5 years.

Instead of just bitching, go do something or suggest an alterntative. Then you too can make money.

Wow (2)

The Musician (65375) | more than 12 years ago | (#172150)

My God. I thought I'd read Katz again after a break; give him a chance. But THIS! It's worse that the John Dvorak trolling that slashdot regularly links to. Maybe he just doesn't have anything real to write about, so a stir-the-flames MS troll will still keep him employed. Ugh.

Above The Law? (1)

blazerw11 (68928) | more than 12 years ago | (#172156)

No entity or person can truly be "above" the law. Really, they are just "unnoticed" by the law. If everybody (or at least a majority) of voters in the US see or believe that what Microsoft is doing is illegal, then they will pressure lawmakers, judges, etc. to act. If those government officials do not act, they will not get re-elected. If a majority of people are mad at you because you didn't do what they wanted, then that majority will probably vote for somebody else. Majority wins.

Katz is only exaggerating a valid point. (1)

blazerw11 (68928) | more than 12 years ago | (#172157)

Eric S. Raymond wrote about "Homesteading the Noosphere", which is basically creating an Open-Source project and making it available to the world. If Microsoft controls how you see the Internet (browser), they then can easily control how it is displayed (web server), then they can easily limit who can display it (server OS). It's not a huge jump. These are big Open Source/Free Software projects that are threatened by Microsoft. Katz is simply responding like anyone that supports open or free software. He, as I do, feel that someone is trying to steal our homes.

Jon Katz, King of Hyperbole. (4)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 12 years ago | (#172174)

Jesus Christ, man, has someone stolen your lithium?

.NET will not even approach the internet development being done in Java today. This year's JavaOne conference in San Francisco had too many attendees for the space. They're pursuing battle on grounds that are unproven, uknown, and largely already taken up by Sun Microsystems.

Look, here's Windows 2000... no, wait, look, here's Windows Me, no, wait, OVER HERE! It's WINDOWS XP!

Open your eyes, they're running scared and pursuing a business model that, in all likelihood, will drive them out of the industry if they stay with it. Noone wants to pay a monthly fee for software. It's hard enough being a specialized ASP in today's business world, nevermind trying to be an ASP for virtually *every* application on a single computer.

Personally, I believe that they're shooting themselves in their collective feet.

McNealy (1)

szcx (81006) | more than 12 years ago | (#172184)

McNealy might as well be talking to himself
No, he might as well be talking about himself.
Are folks hatred of Microsoft so consuming that they ignore the history of companies like McNealy's Sun?
There's no doubt that Microsoft has done some (a lot of?) questionable things, but don't kid yourself. Scott McNealy and Steve Case aren't lobbying congress for justice, it's all about cutting the tall poppy that is Microsoft and increasing their own market share.

Re:Why Read Katz? (5)

webword (82711) | more than 12 years ago | (#172190)

Doc Searls [weblogs.com] writes:

"Here's something else to consider: Microsoft has so rarely had worthy competition from other Big Boys that the total rounds down to zero. They had it from Novell when Craig was running strategy there (one Microsoft guy told me "he kicked our ass"), but that was back in the 80's. They had it for a few minutes from Netscape when that company creatively ubiquitized LDAP. But they never had it from Apple (which for the Jobs interregnum was more of a bad partner than a good competitor). For brief and shining quarters they had it from Borland, Lotus and WordPerfect; but all of those companies lacked the endless supply of adrenalin a company needs to stay in the game. I'm not saying those weren't valuable companies (some still are); just that they were never in the same league. Frankly, nobody is. And that isn't Microsoft's fault, any more than it was Michael Jordan's fault that nobody could take him one-on-one or Mozart's fault that he was surrounded by Salieris. As competitive companies, Microsoft is in a league of its own. If you're like the other 99% of PC users out there, the proof is right there in your pixels."

It's kinda what The Emperor calls a Fully Operational Battle Station [weblogs.com]

...man, Doc has a way with words.

Re:So... (1)

B1ood (89212) | more than 12 years ago | (#172199)

Gates & Co. have learned the real way to take over the world, keep people employed and happy and they will over look each little step on the long journey to where ever they are being led.
This may be true, but I don't see how Bill Gates & Co. can do that for America, let alone the world.


Motivational Videos? (3)

BoyPlankton (93817) | more than 12 years ago | (#172209)

Can someone please explain to me why Katz has a problem with Microsoft showing their employees motivational videos?

Re:Why do we have to bash Microsoft? (2)

Crixus (97721) | more than 12 years ago | (#172215)

Why is it that every Slashdot article posted related to microsoft always talks about how they are stomping on our rights, choking innovation, killing off Linux, etc etc.

Ummmm.... because they are?

So stop bashing and start using Microsoft software because believe me, they are NOT going away anytime soon.

The ends justifies the means. You gotta love it. (until it happens to you, anyway)


They are not indestructable Jon. (5)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 12 years ago | (#172222)

I must admit, this one hurts.

Microsoft is not indestructable. They are powerful yes, but not indestructable. The king of the Corporate Republic? No. Gates is merely a prince. The people that control Pharmacutical companies, the oil industry and the auto makers are far more evil.

For once we need to think outside of the box. Form grass-roots advertising campaigns. Its not that expensive either. Local LUGS hold community conferences and put up some signs. BANG! Instant linux users. We have something M$oft will never have: a world-wide loyal developer/user base. Most people use M$oft because they think its the only thing there is... we need to show them otherwise! If we listen to Katz we might as well take our programs and go home.

<sarcasm> Lets take our programs and go home, M$oft has won, no way we can beat them </sarcasm>

Seriously Jon, you've had some much better articles lately but this isn't one of them

"One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

Re:Above the law? (1)

EvilAlien (133134) | more than 12 years ago | (#172267)

Of course they can... hell, Canada likes to sell fucking nuclear reactors to developing nations so they can get materials to build nuclear weapons. Corporations are nothing... the damage the idiots WE elect is a bigger deal. Hate to break it to y'all, but if you thought IRC was a nasty place then check out the real world.

Its not all suburbs and Walmarts. Microsoft is a lesser evil. They make people stupid, but at least they aren't making GUIs for weapons...

Or are they? Heh.

Re:Welcome to the Shadows (1)

EvilAlien (133134) | more than 12 years ago | (#172268)

You know that's just a game right? And that the real world is far more complex, even more than the ShadowRun system?

Then again, I think I saw a woman who looked like a troll pushing a cart around downtown the other day...

Re:Why do we have to bash Microsoft? (1)

EvilAlien (133134) | more than 12 years ago | (#172269)

Ya, except you got moderated up, so quit whining =)

Its been cool to bash MS for some time. That's the role of the underdog. Its only cool to bash MacOS because its a has-been. Speaking of trolls...

Above the law? (3)

EvilAlien (133134) | more than 12 years ago | (#172270)

I think not... if they were doing seriously Wrong things like killing people then they would catch heat. Merely doing business like cutthroat bastards is the American way. Enough jealousy over MS's successful exploitation of the ignorance of the masses.

Besides, without Microsoft, who would we use as a baseline of evil to make us feel elite and pure?

General Motors is considered the biggest corp. (1)

Karrade (137360) | more than 12 years ago | (#172282)

And no, profit != evil.

Just like guns != evil. And code != evil ...

These are just inanimate objects. Its how we as people use them that determines their alignment to good or evilness.

Re:Why do we have to bash Microsoft? (5)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 12 years ago | (#172295)

Idiot. Sort the posts by score and then check which ones are moderated highest. Pro-Microsoft astroturf. The worst part is that most of it is probably not even paid.


Re:MS more powerful than government? Nonsense. (1)

illuvatar (146312) | more than 12 years ago | (#172296)

Corporations have come a long way since the EIC. New, fascinating advances have been made in Marketing. One suspects that a corporation as big as Microsoft has the capacity to influence the zeitgeist, to create demand where none was before. that, would be truely dangerous. I wonder how many of microsoft's employees are affected by groupthink? just my 2 cents. chuys

The Trend Will Continue....... (1)

LISNews (150412) | more than 12 years ago | (#172300)

Until it doesn't. While I like what Katz says here, he is falling into the same trap that has caught folks for years, even decades. The current trend (whatever it may be... stock prices, weather, M$ power, etc...) will continue just as it is. If he was writing this 80 years ago he would be saying the same thing about Standard Oil, and we all know what happened to them. Let's just hope the Government will smarten up, and this trend will stop. Trends do not go on forever, this one won't either.

I use to ... (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 12 years ago | (#172316)

I use to find Katz mildly entertaining ... but this ?!?

It makes me wonder about the fellows at Slashdot who decide what gets posted.

sniff-sniff (smells payola)

TOTAL NONSENSE - Look at history... (2)

RobertAG (176761) | more than 12 years ago | (#172332)

Standard Oil, US Steel, AT&T, General Motors... All of these companies ran a monopoly or totally controlled the markets they competed in. All were put down, no matter how powerful they became.

The same WILL happen to MS, just give it time. This isn't to say that we should all sit back and ignore it. We should all keep up pressure - write our senators, congresspeople, business leaders, media personalities. Let's keep an active discussion going with real statistics and real intellect. No one is going to seriously listen to a 1/2 baked reactionary drivel. We need a sensible, coherent alternative for MS. Complaining that they're evil just because they make a lot of money won't get us listened to by anyone. We have to build our own coalitions, just as MS is doing now.

And about the "cancer" statement made recently - this is just the tip of the iceberg in the propaganda war that is starting to unfold. Statements like that made in the mainstream will be listened to by the mainstream. A few small lies here and there will snowball into an avalanche of disinformation. The Soviets and the Nazis knew this. Microsoft doesn't need to sell technology to win; they need only sell the message.

Wrong about 64-bit. Re:the day is coming ... (2)

firewort (180062) | more than 12 years ago | (#172337)

They did the same thing with USB 2.0, changing their minds...

But you have it wrong about 64bit-

At the Office XP launch, here in Raleigh, I heard the talking head (Shawn) specifically say that they were developing for 64-bit.

If Office is 64-bit, then the OS will be 64-bit, because you know for *damn* sure that there won't be Office running on anything other than Windows or MacOS X.

I heard it straight from the mouthpiece of the beast.

A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close

Why oh why? (1)

sbriggs (188256) | more than 12 years ago | (#172349)

Jon Katz is clearly a tunnel-vision writer. All it seems he is capable of is supporting narrow views on the poor man. Microsoft is a smart company, but they will go away one day. I think ol' Jon needs some Prozac. The world still has choice, we're not locked into Microsoft products only.

Re:why so bad? (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 12 years ago | (#172359)

The first think that come to my mind is the freedom of initiative, of speech, of discovery.
I want to have the choice.
I want each software editor to have concurrents because this is what stimulates innovation.
Instead of this, we'd have one productivity suite running on one OS with one browser and so on.
Then, we'd have one computer language, one way of developing, and one unique way of designing programs.
So : no.
I prefer the "Vi vs Emacs" war which at least offers one choice.
but maybe I'm answering a troll.

M$ can alread make laws... (1)

maddogsparky (202296) | more than 12 years ago | (#172365)

Now that shrink-wrapped licenses have the force of law behind them, they can put whatever conditions they want in a license -- and people will agree.

If you don't agree to tax law and pay the taxes the IRS says you owe, you can get tax-auditted and have to pay any fines they impose, or the government will take it from you in a criminal action.

If you don't agree to M$ licenses and pay the fees M$ says you owe, you can get license-auditted and have to pay any fines they impose -- or else they will have the government take it from you in a civil action.

From what I've heard, the IRS and M$ audits can really hurt a business if they find enough infractions. Even if you do follow the rules, the audits can me a killer. The only difference is that M$ doesn't target individual users much...yet.

Re:Welcome to the Shadows (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 12 years ago | (#172368)

I've always wanted to be a street samurai...looks like I will get the chance....


Re:I use to ... (1)

sabine (206851) | more than 12 years ago | (#172370)

"It makes me wonder about the fellows at Slashdot who decide what gets posted."

Isn't it obvious? Everyone disses Jon Katz but EVERYONE READS HIM.

I disagree with a lot of things he says, but you can't tell me his articles don't get widely read and discussed.


Microsoft (1)

slutdot (207042) | more than 12 years ago | (#172372)

I just turned off the filter to allow me to read Katz's articles yesterday and I'm met with this mindless dribble...

Katz (and I suspect a few other people out there) needs to get over Microsoft. They're here to stay and all of your comparison's to the Borg or the evil empire won't do much other than make you look like a bunch of whiners that attack whenever they can't win. Like it or not, Microsoft has made the PC more accessible to the average person with Windows and whining about it won't change things.
Yes, I wish Microsoft would subscribe to the Open Source concept but it appears that they're not so we all have to move on.

So... (3)

Mactire_Dearg (211446) | more than 12 years ago | (#172381)

...what do you do about it? Until someone comes up with a legitimate political party that is willing to do the job of governing the American society rather than pandering to anyone willing to write it a check we are SOL. 'course in order for that to happen the general public has to be want it to happen. Right now they are fat, dumb and happy with life a it is, so as a whole they are unwilling to rock the boat.

Gates & Co. have learned the real way to take over the world, keep people employed and happy and they will over look each little step on the long journey to where ever they are being led.

Oh please, spare us the FUD (5)

Dan Hayes (212400) | more than 12 years ago | (#172384)

What mindless, pathetic drivel. This is a new low, even for Jon Katz.

Microsoft are guilty of several dubious business practices (the OEM lockin for instance) but their core business has succeeded by a shrewd knowledge of what their customers want, a cunning marketing campaign and quality products. Yes, that's right, quality products.

The reason the Court of Appeals will reverse Judge Jackson's rulings is simple - they did not act illegally in tying IE to their operating system. Quite simply, having IE as part of the OS makes it a better product for users! What a concept!

Quite simply, we live in a capitalist system and corporations making money is good for everyone at the end of the day, as it benefits us in services from tax revenues and general growth of the economy. Without companies like Microsoft, AOL, Time-Warner and Cisco, do you really think we would be able to maintain the world dominating position we are presently in?


And if Microsoft come to dominate a set of new markets (a hell of a lot less likely than it made out here), then it'll be because they've again produced what the customer wants.

Microsoft is not "above the law". How foolish. They're nothing more than one of our great success stories, a hugely visible embodiment of the American Dream.

Clive Barker's "Microsoft Undying" (2)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 12 years ago | (#172389)

I saw this in a movie once. You have to put the stake all the way through his heart. Otherwise, the guy shows up five minutes later uglier and more blood-lusty than ever.

The DOJ lawyers start congratulating one another as they leave the crypt. Suddenly, the cold pale hand of the "undying one" grips one on the shoulder. Never confuse Jobe's Tree Spikes with the wooden dracula killing kind.

In other news: Napal Ragecide Blamed on "Cl4n W4rz" [ridiculopathy.com]

Microsoft is not more powerful than the Market! (1)

blab (214849) | more than 12 years ago | (#172390)

Microsoft is an economic entity & must be fought that way.

Help us create demand for open-source'd products.

If markets demand open-source than companies must comply.

http://opensourcedirectory.org [opensourcedirectory.org]

Do YOU work for a corporation, Mr. Katz? (4)

Deskpoet (215561) | more than 12 years ago | (#172393)

Jon, you have an amazing grasp of the obvious, but your lament falls short of placing the blame where it really exists: the System Itself.

The giants you mention--Microsoft, Disney, AOL--and the literally thousands you neglected are only doing what they were desigined to do: create profit for a few without concern for the Whole. Corporations are the greatest creation for social and economic control ever created, and their success at manipulating governments (which isn't difficult, as they are little tyrannies in their own right) has only increased over the last 100 years as their powers have expanded. They are doing what they were designed to do.

The real question is: what do you do to reverse the trend? If corporations are the problem--which they are; one doesn't need the remedial Business Ethics class to see that (which is something most MBAs blissfully ignore, anyway)--then they should be removed. But are you going to do that? Aren't you wringing your hands in public for PAY from one of these evil monstrosities?

Re:MS more powerful than government? Nonsense. (1)

anpe (217106) | more than 12 years ago | (#172394)

It brought taxation and simple democracy to India. It breathed the first light of the west's wisdom on those dark and primitive lands.
We are indeed talking about an arogant corporation which tends to impose its view of the world to others.
What about westerners arrogance ?

They are killing people... (1)

briggsb (217215) | more than 12 years ago | (#172395)

if they were doing seriously Wrong things like killing people then they would catch heat.

No they'd make money from it. Didn't you see the latest announcement about ActiveDeath on the Xbox [bbspot.com]?

To succeed, though.. (3)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#172403)

Microsoft has to continue to sell product. Currently they are in direct competition with their past, and no doubt trying to find a way around that. Too many users, myself (at work) included are still poking along on Pentiums or Pentium II systems (200 MHz! Yow!) with Win95 (ok, apparently it was Y2K compliant, because it's still going) Very hard to convince anyone with our budget being what it is that we need to upgrade while what we have still works.

Discontinuing official support isn't going to do it, either. With a large enough market to support others will step in, and do. The only option left is for Microsoft to offer something essential, which business can't live without, alas, 10-15% of all features is about all anyone uses and they're happy with that. It's all been done. Now the beast of Redmond will begin to collapse under its own weight. The new strategy, of Microsoft licensing the software per annum will generate some revenue, but if that were to cost us $100,000 a year we'll be saying, thanks, but we'll just stick with Office 97. Without enough revenue to support the staff, Microsoft will finally restructure, perhaps yielding the opportunity competitors and OS should be in place for.

All your .sig are belong to us!

Question (1)

mike_mentes (230626) | more than 12 years ago | (#172426)

Is MSFT the most profitable corporation in the world? If not, who is? Is it some drug company? Some oil company? I ask because profits=evil. Money is the root of all evil, right?

Re:Glitch! (1)

mike_mentes (230626) | more than 12 years ago | (#172427)

I think the concern is the .NET platform and it's implications to the unknowning corporate consumer.

The biger it is... (4)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 12 years ago | (#172434)

The bigger the fall.

This statement might seems obvious and redundant, but take a look on what happened to large empires of the past.

Egypt, Romans, Great Britain, Nazist Germany, France...

They all built (or tried too do) large and powerfull empires, some of them endured for thousands of years, some of them for only a few. And I ask: Why did they fall ?

IMHO there's a few key reasons:

- Size: When and empire becomes too large (like the british empire, the largest one ever) it becomes hard to manage and to defend (in a military sense) which exposes it to internal and external atacks.

- Brutality: No one like a ruthless empire. Sooner or later other nations join forces to fight this empire. Even if individually they can't fight the opressor togheter they can. This is what happened with Nazi Germany and Napoleon.

- False sense of security: When you build a large and powerfull empire you might start to think that no one ever will dare to atack you, this can make you relax your defenses, exposing you to atacks. It's what happened with the roman empire.

As katz said "on the Net, a year might as well be a century. ". So give the Net a year, and we may see this "Microsoft Empire" crumbling appart.


Microsoft is easy to stop (3)

Apreche (239272) | more than 12 years ago | (#172444)

You know why Microsoft has a monopoly? For one thing, they dont' have a superior product. And in my opinion Microsoft software is just as easy to use as Mandrake 8 (which rox). And with guys like Loki software there really isn't a reason anymore to keep that windows dual boot. So how is microsoft controlling the net?

Marketing. Microsoft advertises their product. They have a big name that almost everyone in the world recognizes. Nobody but us nerds and geeks realize that we can get everything free. And the main thing that keeps open source down, is that in order to use it you need to understand source code. However taking microsoft out would be fairly simple. What do we need?

Television commercials. We know the world is full of stupid people. They are stupid because they do what the television tells them to. They do things because they are trendy and they want to fit in with the crowd. If everyone was intelligent and did things they actually liked instead of just trendy things, then no corporation would be able to make profit. If everyone listened to music they LIKED instead of music MTV told them to like, then the record industry would have to sell so many different bands and so many different CDs. And a fairly equal number of each would be bought. But the cost of producing all those different CDs would ruin them. So they make people like shitty Boy Bands by using TV, then They make a billion NSUCK Cds and make a zillion dollars.

In order to have Linux take over the world just make television commercials. YOu will have to have lots of commercials. Especially Super Bowl commercials. It will cost lots of money we don't have. But if we make them they will come. The commercials have to show flashy screenshots of different desktop environments showing that Linux is as easy to use as Windows. We will have to drive home the point of free software. We will have to show people they can do just as much with linux as with windows. We have to throw dirt at microsoft about invading privacy of users. We will have to tell people that there are a lot of people using Linux out there, and they aren't paying money for software, why are you? Then the idiots will switch to linux, because of money. The one thing everyone understands.

Windows - 100$
Linux - 0$
Microsoft Office - 500$
Star Office - 0$
Adobe Photoshop - G-d knows how many$
The Gimp - 0$
Borland C++ Builder - I don't want to know$
Visual Studio - 1000$ I think
gcc, JDK, KBasic - all 0$

Not having Microsoft invade my privacy - priceless.

Yeah the mastercard thing is old. But it really helps you drive home stuff.

I think the best way to start is if Sun put commercials saying this.

Microsoft Office XP just came out, and upgrading to it will cost you 100s of dollars. Instead go to sun.com and get Star Office for free. It is every bit as good, and did we mention that everyone in the world can download it for free, with no tricks whatsoever? Bill Gates doesn't need your money.

If life was fair... (2)

Dallas Truax (242176) | more than 12 years ago | (#172449)

Wanna see MS go down? Do a better job than they do. Write compelling software that changes how people live their lives. Provide an app. that folks can't live without. No matter how much money MS has, no matter how powerfull they (seemingly) become, their weakness, any company's weakness, is Intelectual Property.

'If life was fair, birds wouldn't eat worms.' Folks need to stop whining about MS and start
changing the world. Open Source IS the weapon,
use it!

Re:pointless mudlinging (2)

Pituritus Ani (247728) | more than 12 years ago | (#172457)

"Grow up" is such a sad admonition. It implies that acquiescing to the unfair way the world works and declining to fight it because it's bled off your passion and ideals is somehow superior to living and speaking one's beliefs.

That said, there probably isn't much to be gained by returning insults to Microsoft, since Microsoft will do a fine job of hurting themselves if the Open Source community would just let them.

So, how's that "white man's burden" feel for you? (5)

drew_kime (303965) | more than 12 years ago | (#172482)

However, it was a good company in its effects. It brought taxation and simple democracy to India. It breathed the first light of the west's wisdom on those dark and primitive lands.

I thought you were being sarcastic as I started reading this, but after finishing your whole post I think you mean it. The cultural imperialism you have just displayed is astonishing. Those lands weren't primitive. Many African cultures had longer, richer histories than all of western society -- I intentionally didn't use the word "civilization" there. The African cultures were described as primitive simply because they were different from that of the invading armies.

I won't bother to expand on your assumption that introducing taxation was a self-evident improvement, other than to point out that the people suddenly forced to pay the taxes to their new colonial "masters" would probably not have agreed with the assumption.

Re:Above the law? (1)

jrwillis (306262) | more than 12 years ago | (#172487)

It's about damn time somebody stood up for the american way! This country is where it is today (which is a good thing, in case you forgot) because of capitalism. The idea of punishing a company for trying to make the most money they can is adsurd. Sure, they could be more touchy-feely, but then they'd be where Apple is today. Microsoft's programs are buggy, and they do have cutthroat tactics, but the PC market (and alot of our jobs) exist as it does today because of them. Let's try not to forget that. Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. (:

Histrionics (1)

tdye (308813) | more than 12 years ago | (#172489)

Typical from Katz... long on panic, short on content.

Sigh. This could have been an informative article.

the day is coming ... (1)

capoccia (312092) | more than 12 years ago | (#172508)

the day is coming when microsoft will fall behind.

there was the bluetooth incident. ms decided that it wasn't an important technology. they have since changed their mind, but the time will come when they will change their mind and it will be too late.

there is the 64 bit processor issue. no ms os runs on a 64 bit processor and ms has no plans to develop for this hardware at this time. there was an article in the most recent issue of sm@rt partner where microsoft said that there wouldn't be any consumer demand for the chip. as soon as comsumers realize that unless you only use word and outlook there are probably benefits to having a better processor, ms will be behind again.

there is the justice department. the anti-trust case is far from settled, but it could have quite a few ramifications for microsoft and the technology business in general.

Bored with your projects?
Try Einsteinium [redbearnet.com]

hmm.. (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 12 years ago | (#172517)

while i can appreciate katz's paranoia, i really don't think we will have all that much to worry about

as soon as people realize taht they can't do things like make their own music compliation cd's wtih windows XP because it's been disabled in the operating system itself they will be quick to find alternatives

same with the rest of the XP line up.. no one wants to pay for an application that only lets you write ONE paper or balance yoru check book ONE time

trying to implement the purely american single-serving one size fits all ideals to operating systems while catering(pandering?) to their various lobbyists and under the table backers doesn't help the rest of the population

the real test will be what the major OEM's do when their customers start petitioning that they were sold crippled machines without their knowledge or consent..

Re:Above the law? :( (1)

Wishful Thinker (325223) | more than 12 years ago | (#172531)

This is silly! Microsoft only makes money insofar as it makes a product that millions of people are willing to pay for! When somebody else does a better job, Microsoft won't be around for you to bitch about. Also, Learn to "zpell" (i.e. "Capitalizm")

lots of anger, little evidence (1)

flannelboy (344272) | more than 12 years ago | (#172536)

It is odd to me that Mr. Katz would publish something so filled with anger, and so lacking in evidence. All he seems to talk about here is how we should all hate Microsoft.

If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Katz is saying that we should hate Microsoft because they are releasing new products and actively marketing them.

On Slashdot, I would think that we can be open minded about everything, even Micro$oft. Lets look at the history:

o Solaris 2.8 and Linux both ship with Browsers. So surely it has to be OK for Microsoft to also ship an operating system with a browser.

o Linux has no marketing department (some comapnies have taken on the burden of marketing Linux, but not to the degree that Microsoft markets its products). This has to be considered one of the many burdens currently holding Linux back from mass popularity like Microsoft has. Linux can't strike the level of deals that Microsoft has with vendors such as Dell, Compaq, Gateway and HP.

o Linux is free. This is certainly a burdon on Microsoft.

This is going to be one of the great battles of all time, and we are only getting started. Lets not muddy the waters with slander. It's a pretty even fight:

A product that costs $$$, and where you are paying for (mostly) marketing of that product
A product that is free, technically superior, but is not marketed.

I wish both sides well.

Something we SHOULD care about (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 12 years ago | (#172537)

If I were given the chance to work Microsoft, I would jump at it. Why? Because job security is a good thing. I'm lucky enough to have a good programming position at a local company, who I also know will be around in a few years. My point is this: Microsoft employees many geeks in a reliable fashion. Hell, even Sun and Oracle are feeling the pinch, but is Microsoft? NOPE!

Mass Extentions (2)

code-olympus-code (396505) | more than 12 years ago | (#172539)

In a mass extention, the top order preditors go first because they are the most specilized. MS is the saber tooth tiger of the buisness world.

MS scares the hell out of me for a lot of reasons, but they can release products until they are blue in the face and it won't change that much. They are big and have a very strong presence, but we (the IT and software engineers) have to choose their products. Despide their monopoly in many areas writing it from scratch is still an option and there are other options for just about everything MS sells. They can't succeed in a consumer market if most of the consumers (not general, but IT, etc) choose not to buy from them because we are smart enough to know how dangerous their monopoly is.

A Modest Proposal (5)

s20451 (410424) | more than 12 years ago | (#172544)

I like to hear about advances in technology and cool hacks, and not so much to hear paranoid ramblings about how the government and big business are in some grand conspiracy. Regrettably, such as is the case with this article, it seems to me that Slashdot is lately engaging too much in the latter rather than the former.

How about Slashdot split itself into two sites:

  • tech.slashdot.org, where people like me can hear the real news for nerds; and
  • paranoia.slashdot.org, where people can work themselves up over their dystopian worldviews, and plan the next revolution without disturbing people who don't care.

Just an idea.

Talking to himself (1)

Ryan_Terry (444764) | more than 12 years ago | (#172555)

McNealy might as well be talking to himself --

Does Katz ever get this feeling?


Re:Question (1)

cREW oNE (445594) | more than 12 years ago | (#172557)

Yeah it is. And damn those frikkin supermarkets for not giving away their goods for free. Now I'll have to use my evil money to BYA the food. ARGH!

Re:What?! (1)

cREW oNE (445594) | more than 12 years ago | (#172558)

How did MS drive the competition out of the office space? By simply making a better office suite? Is that a crime these days?

Re:Why do we have to bash Microsoft? (4)

cREW oNE (445594) | more than 12 years ago | (#172559)

I have to agree. Office XP is simply the best when it comes to office applications. Windows 2000 aint half-bad either. IMHO Open source zealots need to put their actions where their mouths are - and start to release, promote AND support software that bests the commercial equivalents.

Welcome to the Shadows (1)

jhill (446614) | more than 12 years ago | (#172561)

If any of you have played the game Shadowrun (or similiar themed games). Welcome to the world of Mega-Corps. They are above the law, in fact, they create their own law. It's only a matter of time...only a matter of time.

MS will get stronger.. but so will Open Source (2)

andres32a (448314) | more than 12 years ago | (#172565)

Anyhow, the only real competition that Microsoft will ever have is Open Source. And Microsoft will be Open Sources competition... anything wrong about that??? I mean... do we have to worry so much about microsofts success??? Doesnt Microsofts benefit somehow the open source community?? Its not like their pointing a gun at us... or are they??

All Hail! M$ (1)

CaptIronfist (457257) | more than 12 years ago | (#172605)

No matter what their new projects are, people are starting to want quality software, something M$ hasn't been doing for a freakin long time. No matter what they do or think, the days where you can just do a big marketing campaign and sell billions of units is over.

Look at the time when Ford was the only 'good' car manufacturer. Do you think people were asking for quality cars? The answer is no since Ford was almost the only car manufacturer around. Now tranpose this situation in the Software business. Do you think people are now asking for quality software? The answer is YES, since competition is fierce and people are now learning from experts what is best for them.

It's simple the more software users learn about their machine and the software they use the more M$ is going to be in DEEP SHIT.

Oh and for all you XP fans, XP = Xtra Pourri.

Re:Motivational Videos? (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 12 years ago | (#172610)

hes doesn't. i believe he was using it to show how M$ staff were feeling threatened and downhearted
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