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Red Hat Proposes Alternative Settlement To MSFT

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the hehe-tongue-in-cheek dept.

Red Hat Software 532

cwsulliv writes "Red Hat, Inc. has proposed an alternative settlement to the Microsoft class-action lawsuit in Maryland. Microsoft originally proposed supplying a limited number of poorer school districts in the US with PC hardware and limited-license Microsoft software. The alternative proposal submitted by Red Hat would have Microsoft supply NO software but dramatically increase the number of school districts receiving hardware. Red Hat in turn would supply ALL the software (Open Source) and unlimited support via their Red hat Network. "

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fpst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601079)

first post

Free Beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601080)

I don't think that the governments will like all this free beer being installed in classrooms. And the government won't like all the liberty being installed either!

Touche (2)

ThymePuns (222253) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601081)

And when Microsoft viciously declines, it will give more fuel to their anti-competetive practices.

Re:Touche (3, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601142)

And when Microsoft viciously declines, it will give more fuel to their anti-competetive practices.

They won't have to. The schools themselves will viciously decline. Why anyone thinks that schools are just begging for Linux is beyond my comprehension. Does it occur to anyone that if they wanted it, they can install it anytime they want?

SHUT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601159)

You heard me, if you havent a nice fantasy to impose on facts, dont say anything about Linux at all; you'll scare the adult children on this site.

Re:Touche (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601151)

Why would Microsoft pay the smallest scintilla of attention to an insolvent open sores company without a scintilla of business sense? This isnt about your politics, this is business. Oh yeah, you misspelled 'viciously'; it's 'laughingly'.

Re:Touche (1)

zeno_2 (518291) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601170)

And why would giving software licenses away to schools remedy a class-action antitrust lawsuit?

WOW!!!! This has got to go through!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601082)

Reading the details of the original MS proposal... it would seem to me that MS really didn't get the point of the original Lawsuit.....

Re:WOW!!!! This has got to go through!!! (1)

Dix_sw (410123) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601140)

Yep, reading the original proposal you think "but... wasn't that suposed to be a punishment? :P"

You might like or not Red Hat, but this way at least M$ is loosing something (pay for all the hard an, even worse, the competition installing the soft). The other way, they where just doing what they allways do, even easier...

./tted (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601085)


Mid-day on Thanksgiving, and RedHat gets Slashdotted in less than 3 minutes!

Red Hat will Settle For The Children (2, Troll)

saforrest (184929) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601087)

Not that I don't think this is a generous offer on Red Hat's part, but it'll be interesting to see if all the posters who ranted at Microsoft's arrogance yesterday say the same thing today about Redhat.

Re:Red Hat will Settle For The Children (5, Insightful)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601098)

Red Hat's not being arrogant (or at least self-serving). Microsoft's deal would bring them money in the long run (five years from now when they hold a gun to the schools' heads), but Red Hat stands to profit absolutely nothing. In fact, by offering free support, Red Hat is actually giving away what they could make money from.

Re:Red Hat will Settle For The Children (4, Interesting)

levik (52444) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601139)

Well, as far as being self serving, I doubt you would be seeing this move on the part of RedHat if the antagonist in question was a company not as prominent as Microsoft. Also I wonder if the fact that there is no chance in hell MS will go for the deal had any role in the offer.

In any case, this is a briliant PR/Marketing move on the part of RedHat, that will result in great publicity reguardless of Microsoft's answer.

Whoever came up witht this at RH is definitely earning their pay.

Re:Red Hat will Settle For The Children (2)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601147)

The do 'profit' is some way. The same way people were howling about in the MS offer. RedHat will get a nice tax write-off. Despite how nice everyone thinks RedHat is, they are still a company. They want to make money. RedHat isn't dong this for the children any more than MS is.

Re:Red Hat will Settle For The Children (5, Insightful)

dark_panda (177006) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601149)

They do stand to gain something out of the deal, though -- a generation of kids brought up using Red Hat Linux instead of Microsoft Windows would definitely help them out in the long run.

The five-years from now is nothing. When we're talking long run, we should be looking over the next 30, 40, 50 years. Nobody's looking for any money in 5 years, they're all thinking, "how can we get these kids hooked on our products so that for the rest of their lives, they're buying from us?" It's what every advertising agency is trying to do when it advertises to kids and teens -- it tries to hook them on a product for the rest of their consuming days.

Not much difference here, but at least Red Hat is an alternative to the beast.

To think they stand to gain nothing in the long run is foolish.



Re:Red Hat will Settle For The Children (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601220)

Actually, they are making money.
First, they are disrupting a very important user base M$ has. Second, these are the people that will recomend RedHat.
On a last note, doesn't it get them some kind of tax deduction ?

Re:Red Hat will Settle For The Children (2, Troll)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601104)

Absolutely. It's not like the first thought of Red Hat's execs were "what can we do to help the children".

If the offer was sincere, they'd help the schools no matter what, now wouldn't they? It's not like Red Hat's a charity organization. They're trying to make money, and I don't think they'd object to being as rich as MS.

They won't for a number of reasons (1)

Das Fink (462558) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601130)

We won't get much anti Red Hat from this for a number of reasons.
1. This is red hat here and not M$, Red Hat rarely gets bashed here.
2.Red Hat isn't trying to cop out of punishment for abusing a monopoly.
3. I think most people see this for what it is. It is a grab for publicity by calling M$'s bluff on giving money "to the Children". This puts M$ in an uncomfortable position of exposing their true intentions or blowing off the Red Hat deal alltogether.
I would like to see this come together, but I know it won't

Re:They won't for a number of reasons (-1)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601208)

Red Hat is always the Linux Distro that gets bashed.

mwahaha (4, Interesting)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601089)

At least Red Hat sees what's going on: Microsoft's "punishment" is hardly a punishment, instead it's just an expanded advertising campaign that can lay the groundwork for a MS-addiction of enormous proportions once this phase of the punishment runs out.

What's too bad, though, is that MS had the foresight to see what a golden opportunity this sort of punishment was, and Red Hat is only seeing it now that MS has suggested it (and frantically scrambling to make sure it doesn't go through). I was livid when I heard about what a cop-out this whole thing turned out to be, but I was also a little peeved that none of the Linux vendors realized what a potentially important market this could be to invest in.

Have to hand it to Microsoft. Satan himself runs the show, but Satan is no dummy.

More info. (1)

exceed (518714) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601090)

There is an article that deals with this same issue that was released a day or two ago over at The Register []

Click [] .

Never happen. (2)

rde (17364) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601092)

I'm sure I'm not the only one who sniggered when I read this. I'm also probably not the only one who doubts it'll happen.
The question is: why? When Microsoft get their way, this move is merely an investment for a few years down the road, when every donated OS will need to be upgraded at great expense. So how is the Justice Department going to justify not accepting Red Hat's offer?

Re:Never happen. (2)

flacco (324089) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601125)

I'm sure I'm not the only one who sniggered when I read this. I'm also probably not the only one who doubts it'll happen.

I'm sure Red Hat knows it'll never happen, but the publicity is priceless. It reminds me of Taco Bell putting out that 40-foot-square target in the middle of the ocean and offering something to somebody if the space station plummeting to earth hit it: never happen, but it sure got them on a lot of news broadcasts.

Re:Never happen. (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601155)

So how is the Justice Department going to justify not accepting Red Hat's offer?

Sheesh, perhaps because Linux is useless for classrooms, and the schools don't want it?

Screw what the schools actually want, we'll just force Linux down their throat and make them like it, right?

Re:Never happen. (-1)

DivineOb (256115) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601197)

Don't make me force my massive throbbing cock down *your* throat...

Re:Never happen. (-1)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601218)

Your catching on fast.

It's ingenious (2, Funny)

Scoria (264473) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601095)

Introduce the kids at an early age to Linux so that they'll demand it on their parents' machines! What a diabolical scheme! *calls the tabloids*

I guess they learned from the best. (Microsoft)


Deja vu (5, Informative)

FTL (112112) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601096)

Sorry Hemos, Michael beat you to it in the update to this story [] .

Re:Deja vu (1)

Judas96' (151194) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601215)

Am I the only one that is starting get the feeling posters are browsing the archives of /. just to find 'new' stories to submit?

tongue-in-cheek? (1)

naughtynative (213281) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601097)

... it wouldn't be if US lawmakers had a clue.

Great! And then what? (2, Flamebait)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601099)

What will the kids run? What educational software is there for Linux? I mean REALLY? Sure, there is some, but it's not even close to what is available for Windows.

Let's not forget, these are students and teachers. These aren't Unix geeks running this stuff. Do we really expect them to run and get around in Linux? Anyone else remember how well the computers were supported in school? Almost not at all. If it wasn't spelled out in a book word for word they couldn't do it.

Also, The Red Hat Network is nice..but it's not what I'd call full support. Microsoft's support would go further than Windows Update, which is the equivelant of RHN.

Nice marketing ploy though..doubt it'll see much press.

Re:Great! And then what? (2)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601138)

I didn't see anything in the proposal about Microsoft not being allowed to provide their software, only that they also allow a competitor to provide software.

It's not a proposal for *only* Red Hat to provide the software, but for Red Hat to *also* provide software.

If competitors are excluded from the action, then it can hardly be called restitution for anti-competitive behavior!

Re:Great! And then what? (2, Flamebait)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601144)

What will the kids run? What educational software is there for Linux? I mean REALLY? Sure, there is some, but it's not even close to what is available for Windows.
Well, if I remember back to my high school days (which were only a few years ago)--and pondering the current predicament of my college days--the "educational software" for Windows consisted of Internet Explorer, Word, PowerPoint, QBasic, and Visual Studio. On top of an NT server, not only does this provide for absolute zero stability, but the exceptional bugginess gets absolutely zero education done. Give me StarOffice or KOffice, Konqueror, Perl, and gcc, and I'll get infinitely more accomplished, and infinitely more education.

Re:Great! And then what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601209)

Wow, infinitely more accomplished then zero. I guess it would nice to have kids learn undefined number amounts of knowledge. :) I'd agree on everything but StarOffice (Which I have to use at work). StarOffice just plain sucks on so many levels. ick. Don't pretend its any good :)

Re:Great! And then what? (5, Funny)

flacco (324089) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601146)

What will the kids run? What educational software is there for Linux? I mean REALLY? Sure, there is some, but it's not even close to what is available for Windows.

Well, if you're learning about computers, EVERY program on a Linux box is educational!

Re:Great! And then what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601194)

wow. i didnt know that all there is to learn is in computers (and the world too!) could be learned through the linux command line.

Re:Great! And then what? (1)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601199)

Especially /usr/bin/fortune. Let's see...

evilpenguin@paladin:~$ fortune
Electrical Engineers do it with less resistance.


there's always wine ! (1)

spd_rcr (537511) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601175)

redhat can offer the OS, a number of office suites that're more than adequate for school work (staroffice, koffice, etc..) .. there's a ton of educational/scientific software available already + wine for those windows based multimedia apps.
what's the worry ? i don't see apple offering to sell microsoft discounted hardware to make the deal really interesting ...
an extra million young linux users could do some amazing things for the OS ! games would be ported, applications written, it'd be outrageous !

Kids wont have a problem with Linux (5, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601219)

one of the problems I have using Linux is that I grew up using Windowsy stuff. Linux is VERY different. You need to think about things differently because the OS operates in a very different way.

If kids start with Linux they will A) have no problem learning it and B) be more sophisticated about how computers work. And, most people would agree, they'll have no problem working in Windows. On top of this, Linux offers a sophisticated development environment where kids can learn about programming. Without paying $500 per seat for Visual C++

children learn new things very easily, regardless of how complex they are. Look at how quickly they pick up languages for an example.

Re:Great! And then what? (1)

RAVasquez (318309) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601222)

Back when I was in high school, all we had were Apple IIs. The software we didn't have, we made -- hand-coded with AppleSoft BASIC. That was quite a learning experience, though I doubt it rubbed off on that many potential programmers.

Re:Great! And then what? (5, Interesting)

Jason W (65940) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601244)

What will the kids run? What educational software is there for Linux? I mean REALLY? Sure, there is some, but it's not even close to what is available for Windows.

Hrm, could this have a *little something* to do with the fact that Microsoft has had a monopoly in the schools. With 980,000 or so potential Linux computers in schools, software development companies might consider making their educational software cross-platform, or maybe even some Linux-specific offerings. Until now there was been no motivation for them to create education software for Linux, so a major ramification of going with RedHat's proposed settlement would be to get the ball rolling in this area. That is, of course, a very good effect of a punitive monopoly settlement, giving the competition a jump start.

I am thankful today for... (1)

SbooX (181758) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601100)

...duplicate postings! ;)

That and turkey! Lotsa turkey coming my way!

Nice idea (1)

snoozerdss (303165) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601102)

Nice idea and all but it'll never happen. I can hear Bill Gates Laughing now.

Why not let the schools choose? (4, Troll)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601109)

How is this going to help the kids? People don't want MS to give the software cause it is a tax write-off and will force kids to learn Windows based OSes. It seems that RedHat wants the same thing: a tax break and to force kids to learn RedHat based OSes (Linux). Why not let the schools decide what would be best for their kids to learn? I think it will look bad for the OSS community to force schools to use OSS. Maybe a 50/50 split? This way kids can learn Windows (which is a valuable skill, despite what some people think of MS) and will learn Linux (which is an equaly valuable skill, despite what some people think of Linux).

almost good (1)

Krimsen (26685) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601143)

I think more of a 60/40 or 70/30 (in RedHat's favor) is better. Windows is so prevalent that kids are bound to come in contact with it somewhere along the line. They are not too likely to come across Linux, which is why it should be more prevalent in the school. I agree though, having a percentage of Windows boxes would be a good idea.

Re:Why not let the schools choose? (1)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601164)

&gt Why not let the schools decide what would be best for their kids to learn? I think it will look bad for the OSS community to force schools to use OSS. Maybe a 50/50 split

Are you proposing that we get VMware [] invloved also?


Re:Why not let the schools choose? (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601191)

Maybe a 50/50 split?

Why not install dual boot and MS gives away their cdroms too?

Re:Why not let the schools choose? (4, Insightful)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601234)

Could do that, but I would guess that those dual-boot systems would mostly be booted into Windows. And that brings up the question: "Do schools want Linux?" If the schools can't/don't use the Linux boxes, it is kind of a waste. If we are going to push for Linux boxes to be part of the settlement, we had better make sure that there is usable educational software for the boxes.

Let's not forget (5, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601227)

This isn't about helping the kids. This is about punishing Microsoft for illegal acts of which they've been convicted. They're proposing their own slap-on-the-wrist punishment couched in "helping the kids" rhetoric, but really what they want to do is escape having to actually really pay for anything. Microsoft's allegedly 1.1 billion dollar plan actualy consists mostly of donated software, which in real terms costs them nothing. Red Hat is just calling them on this bluff -- if MS had to buy hardware, they'd actually have to spend real money. Of course, even then, 1.1 billion is nothing to a company with 36 billion in the bank.

Microsoft Hardware. (1)

x136 (513282) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601110)

Sounds good, but Microsoft donating hardware?

Microsoft mice and Sidewinders for all! (Microsoft CP/M cards for schools still using Apple IIs of course)

Wheew! (2, Insightful)

joebp (528430) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601111)

The money freed by removing Microsoft's software from the settlement equation is enough to buy one million PCs, instead of the 200,000 proposed by Microsoft, Red Hat says.

Jesus, that is quite a few PCs.

I for one hope this happens. I find it kinda amusing that Microsoft's proposed settlement includes extending their monopoly into schools, tying a generation or two to Microsoft products.

Judge: For the unlawful shooting of a Police Officer, I sentance you to be thrown in jail for 3 years!
Microsoft: I've got a better idea, why don't I kill 3 more? Then you can let me off!!1

More at The Register []

Re:Wheew! (1)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601196)

Brilliant comment! If only the justices had your intelligence...

Better (2)

denzo (113290) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601112)

I think this is a better proposal, particularly because it doesn't allow Microsoft to advertise itself as much. Think about it, Microsoft giving away its operating system (with a computer) for free to schools is basically advertising; they're paying the school (in-directly) to use their software, where the payment is a free computer and license for Windows. How is this supposed to be an acceptable settlement for those opposing Microsoft's illegal monopoly?

If Microsoft gave something tangible away such as hardware with no strings attached to what operating system must be installed on them, then I think the settlement would be more fair to competition such as RedHat. Microsoft needs to prove that competition can viably exist, not the other way around, in order to achieve a settlement.

Now, I'm not sure that RedHat should be the only company in on the agreement. This smells of opportunism. Like I said, whomever gets this deal is effectively advertising to the school children and teachers. What about making Microsoft pay for some iMacs too?

What idiocy (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601116)

Does Red Hat think the schools just sit around and take whatever people give? In order for this Red Hat deal to mean anything, the schools have to WANT Linux. Why would they want it? What educational software that they use is going to be work on it?

Once again, it has to be pointed out: People use applications, not operating systems.

People can whine all they want about Microsoft, but it doesn't change the fact that Windows is the industry standard operating system. Schools are a lot better off having something useful, than some empty political gesture that will gather dust in the corner.

Re:What idiocy (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601160)

The school takes whatever they are told to TAKE! Most teachers are not very computer litterate and can typically only use a few simple apps. The diminishing benefits of MS Office's latest functionality is of little consequence or value. They can use StarOffice, KDE office etc. just fine, and spend more money on whatever else the school needs.

The idiocy is all yours. (3, Insightful)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601202)

You can run some Windows applications on Linux, using various methods. Chances are that at least some of the educational software will run.

Have you investigated what educational software does or does not run under the various solutions for running Windows apps on Linux?

Microsoft doesn't care about providing a platform for educational software; they want the kids to be hooked on their proprietary operating system and applications. Mass indoctrination of future Microserfs is the key to their survival. So this action can hardly be called an act of restitution for anti-competitive behavior.

Way to go Redhat! (0)

hackel (10452) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601118)

Many people seem to be ignoring that the offer of unlimited support from Redhat is considerable. They are basically donating their support services for nothing in return. It is a really wonderful gesture, regardless of whether it is "combating Microsoft" or anything like that. I must applaud them for the announcement.

Now, if only Redhat would support Debian instead of their own software, they'd really be great. ;-)

Nothing in return? (2)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601213)

RedHat is going to use that donation as a big tax write-off. A tax write-off of that size would be wonderful for a company in RedHat's position.

Article (-1 Redundant) (2, Redundant)

Hobart (32767) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601119)

Yo Jeff --
  • This was already mentioned in Michael's followup [] to Jamie's article []
  • You posted an ssl (https) link to the front page of slashdot? Helping Red Hat beta-test their new crypto accelerator or something? ;-)

  • Happy holidays anyhow ;-)

Interesting idea (1)

cadfael (103180) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601123)

Okay, this is a VERY good PR move by someone who could actually be around to provide support for a longer time. It would give their business much needed positive exposure to other customers and make them more attractive. It would also force the Open Source community to prove that the software is ready for prime time (and where it isn't, it would point out where the work needs doing).

So, we all probably doubt that M$ will go for it, but I would love to see this at least receive consideration in the press.

Well done Red Hat (1)

Delifisek (190943) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601126)

I like this idea:)

In both condition. Its superior.

If M$ agrees, Red Hat and Linux Wins. M$ loose
If M$ disagrees, M$ loose again.

In any condition thats wery good idea. :)

Ah ah ah. M$, this time you had nowhere to escape.

Great strategy.

That seems a bit strange. (0)

Lord Hugh Toppingham (319381) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601128)

Since redhat software is free, and in no way suitable for education. Our kids need to learn the tools of business, and I am sorry Redhat, but that means Windows, and Word.

I hope the Maryland authorities do not get taken in by this shameless publicity stunt from Redhat.

And all you linux zealots out there, moderating this as a troll does not make it any less true.

Linux is still not quite ready for prime time. Will it ever be ?

Re:That seems a bit strange. (1)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601201)

When was the last time you even used Linux? What do you mean "not suitable for education"? Software that encourages people to learn what makes it run isn't suitable for education?

Have you seen KDE? Have you seen GNOME? By any chance, have you tried the new GNOME desktop?

And what about StarOffice 6 Beta?

Frankly, before you knock something, you really should try it.

I am willing to bet that within two years, Linux et al. will have M$ on the run.

Re:That seems a bit strange. (-1)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601233)

No, but neither is MS Windows. People just learn what they first come in contact with and thats Windows.

Well played. (3, Informative)

EndersGame (472825) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601129)

This is a styme on Microsoft as they are probably depending on accounting for the full cost of the licencing on the software that they will provide to come up with a huge number for the settlement.

Each machine is probably around $1000, but they will get them for significantly cheaper, but they can install $1000 worth of software on those systems for almost free.

I like RedHat's point. I'd really like to see the actual numbers on this, e.g. the percentage of the settlement that results from hardware versus software expenses. Also, the limited licences are a scam.

Here's my proposed solution (1, Troll)

tcd004 (134130) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601132)

My Plan for MS []


great idea! (1)

Niksie3 (222515) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601136)

Damn good Idea... having MS give away Windoze isn't going to help fix up their monopoly! I think Microsoft should pay RedHat for the support + software.


umm....huh? (2)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601148)

Explain how giving away a "limited" license for software that already monopolizes the desktop so that the schools can, presumably, buy a full featured license harms MS? Is giving Windows to schools really doing much of anything? It sounds like a pay off. I mean politicians can now say "we bullied MS into benefiting education." I must have missed this definition of justice.

Thank You (1)

LoRider (16327) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601150)

I just heard about this "settlement" that MS would give schools more MS software. How is this punishment for MS? So MS gives a bunch of schools Windows XP or whatever, now they just ensure these schools continue to work in a MS environment making it harder for the school to justify going with an Open Source alternative.

The only punishment that makes sense to me would be for MS to give lots and lots of money and hardware if its hardware that works with non-MS software.

How much does it really cost MS to give out a few licences? How many people feel that Microsoft's goal is always been about gaining market share pure and simple (I know that's obvious). They really haven't been that concerned with people installing illegal copies of windows in the past. Their future is going to be making money off of services and leasing software that is controlled through Windows. Windows is merely a tool for MS to push more products and services, like the AOL software you get in the mail. AOL doesn't make money of the software, just the service.

Granted the new WinXP has some activation thing in it, but I don't know how that fits into my thought process because I don't yet understand what it does if you don't activate it after 30 days.

I'm done now.

Go Redhat! (1)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601156)

Okay, at first I admit I was thinkin'
"Oh Geez Bob!" All software should be from Redhat distributions? - Big ego!

But then I started reading between the lines....

We all know that this is an attempt for M$ to please the government while expanding marketshare/advertising/"Philantropy image".

But what is brilliant about Bob's Plan is that if it were disputed, it would only add fuel to the microsoft monopoly argument. If Microsoft turns down this proposal (and I'm sure they will) it will prove that their intentions aren't as noble as they would have you to believe.

Re:Go Redhat! (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601229)

Noble intentions? It's not like they woke up one morning, and offered what they did out of the goodness of their hearts. It's being proposed as a punishment, and everyone knows it.

MS and Bill Gates, despite their business practices, are still fairly active in the charity community, however, so I don't think you can paint this one black and white.

All I know, is that, if I were a teacher in a poor school, I'd be livid that it takes a mammoth corperation to engage in anti-competative business practices, in order to receive new equipment. I guess we really have forgotten what the government and taxes are for ..

I really don't think anyone needs to be sold a 'nice' image of Microsoft. Microsoft is successful because their software is the best at helping the computer illiterate at actually accomplishing some tasks (and/or making them think it is), in the same way that Titanic and Ammargeddon were successful because those movies are good at helping the culturally illiterate sit through a movie.

If you don't know what questions to ask, you'll probably be satisfied with whatever answer is thrown at you. Anything more, that might cause you to re-evaluate your own motives and tasks you wish to accomplish (or culture and values with respect to movies) will drive away people en masse.

Re:Go Redhat! (2, Informative)

AzrealAO (520019) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601230)

This has nothing to do with the Government, this is a result of the Private Class Action Lawsuits brought against them, NOT The DoJ Anti-Trust Trial.
This proposal put forward by one of the Plaintiff 's Lawyers, NOT Microsoft as so many people here seem to think it was.
Here are relevant quotes from the Wired Article:
Michael Hausfeld, representing a group of private plaintiffs in Washington, D.C., said he thought of the unorthodox settlement idea about nine months ago after realizing that each of the 65 million computer buyers eligible to gain from a $1 billion settlement would receive little more than $10.
Hausfeld and other lawyers consulted with academics and other education experts, then worked with Microsoft to hammer out final terms of the deal, he said.

So again, this "deal" was proposed by the Plaintiff's Lawyers, not Microsoft, and it pertains to the Private Class Action Lawsuits, NOT The DoJ Anti-Trust Trial.

great.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601157)

Great, let's expose kids to a distro that's hard to install (hardware detection isn't too great), ships with a buggy compiler (gcc 2.96, STILL, while real distros like SuSE ship with 2.95 and 3.0), and is only slightly more user friendly than Debian.

This is one bit of news (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601161)

That you probably wont see on the major news websites anytime soon. heh.

But I hope they prove me wrong.

Otoh, maybe the administrators will request dual-boot systems. I bet Redhat would still be ok with that.

Don't you read your own site? (1)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601163)

This story is a glaring repeat [] of a story that was posted here just two days ago. Honestly, shouldn't you be taking Ritalin or something?

Re:Don't you read your own site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2601246)

No, it's not a glaring repeat.

The first story is about the settlement proposed by MSFT.

This story is about Redhat's reaction and counter settlement proposal.

2 different, albeit related, stories.

Go and ask your mummy for your next dose of Ritalin.

This would be the death of Red Hat (5, Insightful)

JMZero (449047) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601168)

$1 billion = 1 million PC's

Red Hat is going to support 1 million PC's for free. How much would that cost? How many do they currently support? Do they realize the beating these machines take? Do they think that school teachers and librarians (who usually do the first line support) have any computer knowledge?

Red hat is going to support 1 million installations of RED HAT LINUX for free.

This is insane. It's just a PR stunt.

Re:This would be the death of Red Hat (0)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601200)

I think you misplaced a zero there. Given the current cost of PCs and considering the kind of hardware most schools need, they will probably buying machines in the $500 range rather than the $100 range. That's 500,000, not 1 millionn.

Re:This would be the death of Red Hat (1)

JMZero (449047) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601221)

No. One billion divided by $1000 per box is one million boxes. The original settlement called for 200,000 boxes (for a nominal $50) and the remainder in software.

Here's a quote from The Register:

"The money freed by removing Microsoft's software from the settlement equation is enough to buy one million PCs, instead of the 200,000 proposed by Microsoft, Red Hat says. "

Of course, I can't actually read the article on redhat, as their server has been slashdotted for a while...

Microsoft hardware? (0)

jeriqo (530691) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601169)

Microsoft selling hardware? you mean, X-box ?

Buy Apple hardware? (2, Interesting)

lwdupont (153781) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601174)

Why not make Microsoft purchase Apple hardware for schools? That way the 90% monopoly MS has outside of schools can start to get broken down starting inside the school system, by teaching kids Apple hardware and OS X is just as good as intel hardware and Unix.

Damn clever (3, Insightful)

ScottMaxwell (108831) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601178)

This is a brilliant move by Red Hat to subvert this joke of a settlement offer. The existence of their counter-proposal helps show Microsoft's original proposal for the self-serving move it really is. It's nice to see Microsoft outmaneuvered here.

And it's good PR for Red Hat. Nobody will take them up on the offer (though it would mean serious money for Red Hat in the long run if they did), and they get to look like they're even more strongly "for the children" than Microsoft. Nicely played!

Wow... (3, Informative)

jonfromspace (179394) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601179)

Fantastic Idea, but with the amount of Windows boxen out there... is it ok to be teaching kids to use Linux? I mean really... how many of them are going to run into that platform in the workplace...

I am sure to be modded down for trolling, but I think this is a valid point.

I like the no MS software part... (1)

pinqkandi (189618) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601181)

If MS is forced to give software in the settlement, that'll just increase our reliance on their monopoly. With giving hardware, they'll have to pay up and not be increasing their installed base. Giving out free software would probably be a benefit to them in the long run - kids telling their parents they need to get Windows, "it's what the school uses!".

Not sure on the Red Hat part... but I'm mostly saying that because I'm a Mac shill :-) Red Hat is damn good too though, and definetly better than Winblows!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Teach the kids Esperanto (4, Funny)

dstone (191334) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601187)

Teach the kids on Linux rather than Windows. It's a better OS, though the real world generally uses a crappier one.

Teach the kids Esperanto rather than English. It's a better language, though the real world generally uses a crappier one.

A burning question (1)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601188)

Why does everyone here think that schools everywhere are just burning to install Linux on all their computers? It's not like there has been something like paying for a site license that was standing in the way of them installing it before.

In other words, if they had wanted to install Linux for education (thereby crippling the majority of children who would have to go on and work with MS software in their jobs anyway), wouldn't they have done so already?

Brilliantly written... (0)

deggy (195861) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601193)

In a way that would make it very, very difficult to refuse the offer and leave M$ executives forcing the fakest of grins while they hand over the dollars for the computers and don't get to extend their monopoly!

Think of all the new script kiddies... (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601205)

It'd be a whole new generation of 'em.

Wonder if this bunch will less spoiled... :{)

Ya right.. 9 yr olds using Linux (1)

lukegalea1234 (250067) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601207)

Great idea.. but perhaps Red Hat is missing the points. I can't believe that even the largest supporter of linux would think that a child could use linux.

Even windows is too complicated for most kids, prompting those weird kiddy front-ends that simulate a classroom.. But is RedHat willing to develop that as well? Or are we talking about kindergarden kids running gnome??

Not good for the children... (3, Interesting)

Xanderkryo (537846) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601214)

I have no qualms with Microsoft or RedHat (or any Linux distributor for that matter), but putting Linux on 1 millions machines is not going to help the children. Windows-based products will still be on the majority of computers in businesses when these kids get out of school. Knowing Linux, but not knowing Microsoft products isn't going to help them one bit. Granted, I've never used Linux (Windows works just fine for my games, FTP server, etc. Don't screw with settings and you're fine. It is when you start tinkering with the settings and forget what originally was there is when you have problems. Why people can't understand this, I'll never know.). I doubt that any software suites for Linux are 100% like Microsoft's products. What we need for the schools is a universal system (and one where the kernel doesn't need recompiled daily.) that can be easily used.

Re:Not good for the children... (2, Insightful)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601249)

Hah! Everyone who knows Linux should have NO problem learning Windows.

BTW, isn't that the message in every single goddamn ad for Windows? Ie, "So easy to use, even if you're a freaking moron who fell asleep in the middle ages and just woke up, you'll be emailing movies to your grandson in no time."

To that end, thats the argument Redhat should take to court. "If windows is so easy to use, whats the benifit of putting kids on them so early on?" At least that'd force MS to actually admit that using an operating system (tho I suppose they'd use the euphamism "computer") requires some learning and training.

But like I said, knowing Linux forces you to know computers. And knowing computers, its pretty easy to pick up Windows at your own leisure. The reverse is not true, as one of the main purposes and selling points of windows is that it allows people who don't have a clue about hardware and software to email, surf the web, and use word processing.

Already Posted... (1)

dytin (517293) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601216)

I was pretty sure that I had alreay read this article, then I remembered where, I had read it from slashdot! This is the article [] , I guess it was only an update to an article, but it still was already on slashdot. Well, maybe it was just so important, that someone thought it warrented a revisiting.

Sorry. (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601217)

Niether settlement is good in my books.

First, Redhat is just piggybacking on it. I do not thinking giving redhat a big boost this way is 'fair' to others, OR to Microsoft.

Second, Microsoft getting off the hook at all by simply donating some stuff does not address the issue.

We simply need to ensure that microsoft can't stay on the top by bullying people with their size. If they want to stay on top with good software, let them.

Using emulation to maximize compatitbility (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601224)

Hopefully that subject got some attention.

Educational softare allways has been, and probably will remain geared towards Apple for the most part. I still see schools using IIE's wired together on an appletalk network, using an ascend appletalk router to connect it to the rest of the world. It's obvious school's are in a dire need for new hardware based on just MTBF's. These things are bound to die.

Also the number of quality .edu software vendors has decreased DRAMATICALLY over the years. I know CCC has closed shop here in Sunnyvale, not sure if it was from a lack of sales or rising rent costs. Either way they laid off 3 of my buddies and closed the entire 6 building campus.

So if the M$ deal goes through, schools will be left with less choice for .edu software. They will be tied down to one o/s, who probably would try and sneak a way to dictate what the schools use for educational software. (i'm seeing lots of learn to use word, windows, blah classes in my head right now)

With RH, I could run wine, I could run any number of mac and IIE emulators out there. If RH is really going to offer support, why not build a .edu distro made to handle this stuff? Is this in the RH equation at all? Emulation would provide the schools a way to never have to worry about their software going obsolete again because the O/S changes every 2 years.

Teaching ghetto kids how to use linux is pretty scary, I can see the number of website defacements on the rise in 15 years if this RH deal goes through. Good in the long run because it will get PPL to lock down their machines better.

The idea of making a software company pay with (4, Funny)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601236)

it's own software is so patently ridiculous... even more amazing is the limitless gall Microsoft has in presenting this "remedy".

I'd be walking around with a paper bag over my face even if I was only remotely affiliated the the legal team persuing the settlement in this deal.

I wonder if I could convince my bank to accept in-lieu of hard cash this handy little program:
void main()
printf("Look mom! A program!\n");
Yes yes.. I know this doesn't do much, but you will concede the loop closely models the average behavior of some MS software that comes to mind... like MS Outlook; in particular: it doesn't do anything particularly useful and uses up insane processor resources... also, I will counter argue that since you have the source, you can take some time to make it useful.

Market Share (1)

PineHall (206441) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601237)

It is all about market share. The plan as now stands means Microsoft will increase its market share. Red Hat does not want to see that and it wants to get a foothold on the desktop, so the proposal. The lack of educational software is the big negative with Red Hat's proposal though by putting this proposal out there is shows those involved that Microsoft actually benefits in the long run from the current proposal. Microsoft likes this current proposal because it increases its market share.

Uh huh. (2)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 11 years ago | (#2601242)

Okay, I like RedHat, but that is completely self-serving. RH isn't even involved in this...

I'm not saying that M$ came up with a good settlement offer - and we sure as hell know they aren't going to do more than laugh at the RH offer.

That being said - cool idea...
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