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Microsoft's Worst Enemy: Themselves

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the food-for-the-machine dept.

Microsoft 579

KobyBoy writes "Saw this story posted on OSnews this morning. "Microsoft's biggest threat isn't Linux, OpenOffice, or any piece of software at all--its themselves. Over the last eighteen months two distinctly different Microsoft cultures have emerged, often in opposition to each other." You can get the full article at Sudhian Media."

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579 comments

Control (5, Insightful)

deanj (519759) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982776)

This all comes down to control. What Bill wants, Bill gets, at least within his own company. You can bet your life that if Gates wanted to do something within the company, they'd turn on a dime, just the way they did back in 1995 to support Internet stuff

Re:Control (2, Funny)

KaiKaitheKai (531398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982808)

Yeah, that darned "Internet stuff." Too bad it never got off the ground, it could have been big...

Re:Control (5, Interesting)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982886)

This all comes down to control. What Bill wants, Bill gets, at least within his own company. You can bet your life that if Gates wanted to do something within the company, they'd turn on a dime, just the way they did back in 1995 to support Internet stuff

Yes and no. The dissonance between the two cultures could be a sign that the "cult of Bill" is waning. An autocratic leader can only be effective if everyone "drinks the koolaid". It's very hard to fight an entrenched culture, and many CEOs have failed because they couldn't get buy-in from the rank and file. I've seen this first hand, when ordinary staffers made no secret of their contempt for senior management... it's the death knell for a company.

Perhaps Microsoft are running out of the old-skool staff and the new blood they're hiring doesn't automatically defer to Bill on every decision. I'd imagine that Microsoft people are very poor at playing the sort of corporate political games that are taken for granted elsewhere, the old Microsoft culture actively discouraged it. If they've hired a bunch of people who are politically adept, they will be very difficult to control.

Re:Control (1)

ramirez (51663) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983109)

I tend to agree with the original poster, however I fail to see how differing ideas within a company would signal its decline.

I think that, if anything, differing points of view would make the company stronger if the differences are channeled in a constructive way.

Possibly one of their biggest strengths (other than their monopoly) would be differing ideas among upper management.

Control or Vision ? (1)

fygment (444210) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983090)

... I think the latter. Microsoft (Gates) can be said to have an unshakeable vision of what they want. That quality is what defines a leader either in a person or in a corporation. The "control" is only when they can impart that vision to employees and corporate allies.

One is the lonliest number (-1, Offtopic)

Real World Stuff (561780) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982777)

Once again...it aint you!

XBOX live kicks ass

Re:One is the lonliest number (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982915)

It ain't you either, llama!

Court order not needed (5, Funny)

KaiKaitheKai (531398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982780)

Well, it didn't take a supreme court order to split Microsoft in two.

Yea right..... (-1, Troll)

nocorvair (552045) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982781)

And in other news....Bill Gates finds himself unemployed....

Re:Yea right..... (1)

Nasheer (179086) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982939)

He can always find a job at the FSF.

Re:Yea right..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982975)

Maybe then HURD would finally get done.

You Need Only Consider IIS... (4, Funny)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982785)


Of course Microsoft is their own worst enemy. Who else would allow IIS or Outlook - a security hole which masquerades as an e-mail client - to be some of their flagship products?

The security holes are even more annoying than the damned animated paperclip.

Re:You Need Only Consider IIS... (2, Funny)

DalTech (575476) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982823)

My animated paperclip went on a bender and refuses to speak to me.

Re:You Need Only Consider IIS... (5, Funny)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983024)


My animated paperclip went on a bender and refuses to speak to me.

The last time I heard mine was a dying scream as I mounted my FAT32 partition, navigated to it, and typed the magic letters:

# rm -rf *

It was high, blood-curdling, but strangely satisfying. Like the sound of the welds in a Honda's body popping as the car crusher takes it down to 3 apples tall, then the wet thunk of a cast-aluminum engine block cracking like a flowerpot in a vise.

Mercifully, when I had to install Excel on Wine because OpenOffice doesn't do something as fscking simple as a polynomial regression, the damned paperclip didn't work.

Don't worry about it (1)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982788)

At Microsoft, There is No Will But Bill.

Bill will handle this and woe unto the heratics!

Re:Don't worry about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4983021)

He'll choke the rivers with his dead!

well, (5, Funny)

kingofnopants (600490) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982796)

Well, this proves it. Microsoft is everyone's worst enemy

Re:well, (1)

Nasheer (179086) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982898)

What are the chances that all MS employees shot their own head?

What (0, Redundant)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982797)

You're saying that Microsoft has developed a split personality?

Eugenia (3, Funny)

Illuminati Member (541846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982799)

Watch out poster, you may feel the wrath of Eugenia (head of osnews.org). She claims to be all about free OS's and such, but the moment you directly quote the site (like in a comment to avoid slashdotting), she immediately gets angry and lashes out. You directly quoted the article!
Be wary!

Re:Eugenia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982829)

Isn't she really fat too? Probably has no life other than plopping her obese self in front of the computer 24x7 to protect her site... Inside of every fat chick is an ugly mind screaming at everything!

Re:Eugenia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982995)

Watch out poster, you may feel the wrath of Eugenia (head of osnews.org). She claims to be all about free OS's and such

1) She no longer runs OSNews.
2) OSNews NEVER claimed to be "all about free OS's." They claim to cover whatever is happening on the OS front, whether the OS is free or not.

Re:Eugenia (1)

mstefan (635858) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983031)

Personally, I just find it humorous that the "editor in chief" is someone who effectively tells readers to STFU if there's spelling or grammatical errors.

Re:Why the link to Eugenia and OSnews anyway?? (1)

murky.waters (596967) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983074)

It is not a "story" what's on osnews.com! (Yes, it's ".com", not ".org") Just to drive home the direct copying point, this is what they've posted:

Microsoft Worst Enemy: Themselves

By Contributing Editor Kevin Adams - Posted on 2002-12-30 01:18:37

"Microsoft's biggest threat isn't Linux, OpenOffice, or any piece of software at all--its themselves. Over the last eighteen months two distinctly different Microsoft cultures have emerged, often in opposition to each other. " You can get the full article over at Sudhian Media.


This is what slashdot posted:

Microsoft's Worst Enemy: Themselves

Posted by Hemos on Monday December 30, @01:45PM

KobyBoy writes "Saw this story posted on OSnews this morning. "Microsoft's biggest threat isn't Linux, OpenOffice, or any piece of software at all--its themselves. Over the last eighteen months two distinctly different Microsoft cultures have emerged, often in opposition to each other." You can get the full article at Sudhian Media."
[Quotation marks as in the post]

OK, it's at the top of the page, but why is slashdot continuing to copy every second (tenth) story from OSNews.com other than to remind us of how much we hate that little fat idiot Eugly? It surely isn't because of the quality of their so-called stories.

Reminds me of another company (5, Insightful)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982806)

Microsoft's biggest threat isn't Linux, OpenOffice, or any piece of software at all--its themselves

When a Time Warner executive stated that using PVR technology was stealing, right as AOL Time Warner dumped tons of money into Tivo, should indicate a lot about corporate culture these days.

That Time Warner executive should have been fired. He could have even faced lawsuits by AOL Time Warner stockholders, for directly going against (and possibly reducing value) of the parent company.

Re:Reminds me of another company (3, Insightful)

rlowe69 (74867) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983014)

That Time Warner executive should have been fired ... for directly going against (and possibly reducing value) of the parent company.

Let's be rhetorical for a minute:

What's more valuable to AOL/Time Warner and its shareholders? A billion dollar entertainment industry or a million dollar PVR industry that may be dead in a few years?

Re:Reminds me of another company (5, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983094)

How about both? The entertainment industry will not fall to Tivo, or just about any other technology. Remember that the industry has called this death knell with every major technology advancement, from the vcr, DAT, CD's, online direct distribution etc. And yet every year the industries post larger and larger profits. Technology and ease of access to their products helps the industry so long as they take the bull by the horns and controll it, when they try to quench a technology (with the exception of DAT) they lose a market.

Re:Reminds me of another company (2)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983108)

What happens when that million dollar technology booms into something huge, and surpasses that currently billion dollar industry? Remember, the RIAA got on the bandwagon too late, and mp3s, streaming, and high bandwidth are causing them lots of headaches now. Had they been in it from the beginning, this wouldn't be nearly so big of a problem, in their eyes, as it is now.

If the media industries that are still 'safe' invest in technology that will do some of the neat things that we as consumers want, but still leave them in ultimate control, they'll be happy. They won't go away. AOL Time Warner investing in Tivo gives AOL Time Warner some input into the future functionality of the device. This lets them shape what happens, before everyone and their brother has 1,000 movies in divx format on their hard drives.

Re:Reminds me of another company (1)

Viqsi (534904) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983041)

Well, that's what you tend to get with Really Big Companies; when you start getting to that scale, having a Single Corporate Vision is just that much more difficult because of the number of people involved. The same sort of thing was occuring at Worldcom; it'd become a giant Frankenstein's monster - pretty darn big, but lumbering so slowly it couldn't really hurt people easily.

The middle finger doesn't know what the pointer finger's doing in companies like that.

And open source's demon? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982810)

Perhaps the open source community/representatives should stop bitching about MS and make some more quality software.

Re:And open source's demon? (2)

Space Coyote (413320) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982850)

Perhaps the open source community/representatives should stop bitching about MS and make some more quality software.

What if we can do both? Everybdy's got to hvae a hoby after all.

Re:And open source's demon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982892)

I suggest that you kill yourself.

Mac vs Apple ][ (5, Insightful)

zanderredux (564003) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982839)

Sounds like the Mac vs Apple ][ fights that took place at Apple.

Creative destruction anyone?

Excellent article (5, Insightful)

billmaly (212308) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982843)

It puts into words my own feelings about MS that I have not been able to articulate so eloquently. I like Windows 2000, it works and works well (for me). I totally agree that the marketing dweebs will ruin MS's dominance, and drive users to Linux. Linux is still not ready for everyone's PC.....but the day is coming, maybe in Red Hat 10 or Mandrake 11....MS needs to wake up and realize that we don't like being spied on.

Re:Excellent article (2)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983089)

"ruin MS's dominance"

And Jonas Salk ruined polio.

Send in John Stossel (2)

thefinite (563510) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982846)

I love seeing a collection of Microsoft's misdeeds in one article. It makes for a fun read. What is really needed is a big expose kind of article a la John Stossel's recent show on the drug companies. Stossel would have a lot more interesting stuff for a show on MS. Unfortunately, he would also have to face a legion of MS lawyers, even if none of what would be broadcast would be libel.

Stossel the Libertarian? (2)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982979)

Stossel will claim that the government has no business interfering with the business model of MS, then he'll throw lots of misleading/off-topic/deeply suspect/just plain wrong details at you, look into the camera and demand "Give me a break" and sit back and ignore everyone's pointing out his logical failures.

He's a worthless hack. Has been for years. Remember his insecticide claims?

So open source isn't good enough... (3, Insightful)

anarchima (585853) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982849)

That's basically what the author of that article is saying. As of yet, the open source community is not putting out software, or indeed an operating system, that can compete with Microsoft Windows. Until it can do this, it shouldn't expect more users to come flocking to their programs. End of discussion?

Re:So open source isn't good enough... (5, Informative)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982999)

> Until it can do this, it shouldn't expect more users to come flocking to their programs.

Did you read the same article as I did???

The point of the article had very little to do with the merits of OS software. He was merely stating the fact that he himself had very little experience with Linux.

The point of the article was that, no matter how good or bad your product is, or how firmly entrenched you monopoly may be, if you piss off your customers long enough, you will eventually strangle yourself to death.

Or, to put it another way, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall..."

Re:So open source isn't good enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4983081)

Wow, such insight. No wonder this got posted on the front page of $la$hdot.*

*$la$hdot is owned by the O$DN.

Server slashdotted ... here's the article (-1, Redundant)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982861)

In a well-publicized memo either earlier this year or sometime during last, (I can't remember exactly which, I admit), executives at Microsoft admitted they considered Linux and open source software to be the biggest threat to their dominance and continued expansion into a variety of markets, from the home desktop and business office to the emerging TabletPC and notebook market.

After watching Microsoft closely for the last eighteen months or so, I've got to disagree. Microsoft's biggest threat isn't Linux, OpenOffice, or any piece of software at all--its themselves. Over the last eighteen months two distinctly different Microsoft cultures have emerged, often in opposition to each other.

Microsoft has, in fact, released some excellent products over the last eighteen months, as well as made some important and noteworthy advancements. Windows XP has proven itself as an extremely capable "bridge" product between the stability / power of Windows 2000 and the compatibility of the Win9x-era world of software. While there may not be many compelling reasons for Windows 2000 users to upgrade to Windows XP, there's no reason for Windows XP users to downgrade to 2K. Compared to Microsoft's Windows ME release, where many unfortunates stuck with the OS fixed their problems by installing the OLDER Windows 98SE, Windows XP has been quite a success. We've seen other solid products and developments in the X-Box, prototype TabletPC's, and the just-released DirectX 9. Overall, while Microsoft remains decidedly lackluster in areas like security, I have to say they've improved the overall quality of their product dramatically and deserve recognition for having done so.

The Dr. Jekyll of the Redmond campus may well be the collective body of programmers and designers--the true technicians--working on the software giants vast body of programs, operating systems, and other projects. If these were the people running the company, I daresay Microsoft would be perceived very differently by the collective IT community, but this is not the case.

The other aspect of Microsoft, and unfortunately, the dominant one, seems to be reserved for a type of marketing peon whose former job involved financial extortion, pathological lying, or a brief stint as one of Lucifer's demons. The sheer number of mis-steps made by this branch of Microsoft are difficult to remember, but some of the highlights include:

*
The increasing levels of spyware and "digital rights management" integrated into Windows, including revelations that Windows Media Player tracks (and reports) what you view, the OS requires "authentication", and the Office suite is known for randomly (and incorrectly) claiming that the computer's hardware configuration has been changed--and requiring reactivation before it will function.

*
The integration of a new type of licensing program designed to lock businesses into a permanent upgrade cycle, force them to pay for products they don't necessarily need, and, in general, suck a great deal more money into Microsoft's already overflowing coffers.
*
The further claim by the Redmond company that the heavy resistance they encountered from the business market over implementing the above scheme was caused by customer's who "didn't understand" the benefit of such a program. Personally, I'd say they understood just fine--and what they understood was that your product is going to cost them a great deal more money, while providing a very questionable amount of additional value.
*
The recently-revealed fact that Microsoft, in effect, offered states a bribe in order to drop their anti-trust suits against the Redmond giant. While I hold the states equally responsible for accepting the money in the first place, Redmond is known for displaying a remarkable level of NIH syndrome (Not Invented Here) perhaps only equaled by Steve Job's unparalleled Reality Distortion Field.
* A wonderful offering by Microsoft to donate thousands of ancient PC's running Windows 3.1 or even (gasp) Windows 95 to schools all across America in a move that would not only seed America's education system with a plethora of outdated, useless equipment but (coincidentally) take shots at Apple's market share. Really, the Apple angle is incidental, but the level of equipment MS's supposedly generous offering would extend is beyond contempt. You're telling me a company with forty billion dollars in cash reserves cannot afford to at least extend new PC's?

There were others--it's already emerged that MS developed a mobile phone under cooperation with a British company, with the firm expectation that the two would go to market together, only to dump them altogether, AFTER extracting the company's proprietary information. Then, of course, there's the company's attack on an Australian charity for daring to give away ancient Windows PC's that MIGHT be improperly registered. We're not even talking XP, or even 2K hardware here--we're talking Windows 95.

Add it all up and what you have is a company that, at the least, displays a profound level of arrogance coupled with the unshakable belief that they have not only the ability, but the right to dictate to the rest of the world, from charities to corporations, how the world should look. The only place we see Microsoft backing away from this type of overlord status is when it comes to organizations such as the RIAA or MPAA--and there, rather than standing strong as a champion of consumer's rights (its customers) the company has chosen to slavishly ally itself with them, incorporating ever-larger restrictions into its operating systems on how users can and can't use their equipment--and how they'll be monitored for doing so.

In response to these draconian measures we see government after government launching studies into the feasibilities of switching to open source software, school corporations investigating it, and end-users embracing it. Microsoft's response to this movement, thus far, has been characteristic of the brutal arrogance that the company typically displays. When some of the wealthiest counties in Washingston State began investigating switching to open source software, it was EXACTLY those counties that Microsoft targeted for a supposedly "random" audit, required that audit to take place within the middle of the school year, and informed school officials they had only six weeks to carry it out. Coincidence?

Now we see Microsoft launching seminars on open source software (you can safely guess its not promoted) and inundating senators, foreign governments, and anyone who will listen with all the reasons why OSS should absolutely NOT be considered as a possible solution. The first irony present in the entire situation is that this does them little good in the long run. Dragging people into rooms and inundating them with FUD may convince a few, but in the end, you'll lose a lot more than you'll convert.

Secondly ironic is Microsoft's own desire to seemingly destroy themselves at the precise moment their software is gaining some concrete technical merit. At the time when their operating system is actually becoming a product someone might want to run (as opposed to having no other choice), we see them burying it under a wave of spyware and fair-use-infringing "options" that seem purposefully designed to piss off their buyer constituency.

Ultimately, Linux is only Microsoft's biggest enemy because it represents a possible, cheaper alternative that can run on native x86 hardware without requiring an entire platform shift to Macintosh. Its not Linux Microsoft can't stand--its competition.

Its time for Redmond to wake up and smell the coffee. The businesses and governments testing Linux today are going to be the forefront of its adopters tomorrow, especially if your licensing restrictions and wallet-gutting pricing don't ease. Find a way to respond to the privacy, licensing cost, and fair-use regulation concerns of your buyers, or be prepared to be shoved out of the market. Before you arrogantly claim it couldn't possibly happen to you, take a good look at companies like Apple, IBM, or 3dfx who's names were once SYNONYMOUS with computing--and who now, without exception, are either dead or relegated to niche markets in the areas they once utterly dominated.

I'm no Linux user. I've never booted a distro of the OS in any of its flavors, and save for playing with it on a friend's machine, I've never spent much time in it. I am not an open source maverick, nor am I anti-business or anti-profit. What I am, however, is concerned about how Redmond intends to safeguard my privacy, my right to use an operating system as I see fit, and my rights of fair use. I am, in fact, very concerned.

Right now, Linux has yet to offer me any reason why I should go to the monumental hassle of switching and re-training myself to the new OS environment, but unlike two years ago, I can see it potentially occurring today. Drop the attitude, the lying, and the marketing BS, Microsoft--or--begin to watch your customer base slip away.

server is just fine...silly karma whore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982948)

-1, Redundant for j00

Note to self (2, Insightful)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982863)

...email this article to Judge Kollar-Kotelly.

Oh, wait, I forgot. The good judge's decision has assured us that Microsoft doesn't really need to change the way the do business all that much because they've promised to be good from now on, cross their crooked little hearts...

...sigh...

Yay! More long-winded wishful thinking! (0, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982868)

MSFT will declare bankruptcy any day now!

What the fuck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982870)


Quite possibly the most pointless article ever.

preach to the choir (5, Insightful)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982872)

articles about Microsoft = Bad mean nothing when they're posted on OSS/Linux advocacy sites. When the Wall Street Journal has an editorial from the editor in chief saying that Microsoft is going to destroy the world, that'll mean something

Re:preach to the choir (3, Insightful)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982958)

like this one? http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-519911.html?legacy=zd nn [com.com]

there's been plenty of bad press about Microsoft all over all the news palces. and it keeps coming on over and over and over again. somehow their stock continues to prevail and is extremely strong even in these economicly weak times. i think it works something like this:

1) write extremely buggy and non-origional Operating System.
2) force all hardware manufactures into exclusive contracts. our OS or no OS!
3) ?????
4) Profit!!!

perspectives (5, Insightful)

neildogg (119502) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982877)

What I find terribly funny, as a non-American, is that similar things are taking place in American society as a whole, the Patriot Act for example, denying people civil rights in order to exercise freedom. I don't understand the complaint that a company is doing things that impose on privacy when it's a common thread in the entire society around it. Linux is counter-culture; I don't think many people would deny that. Once I see America embracing the freedom it so adamantly preaches, I'll understand complaints such as this one.

Re:perspectives (2)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982937)

I really think it's all about the pendulum swinging the other way. Microsoft, for most of us, has been around since we first started putting together our IBM-Clones, I mean that's all there was. The industry has had MS for so long that maybe the pendulum will swing the other way now -- what that future means, I'm not sure.

This is typified, in a similar vein, in the Patriot Act. For many decades, immigrants and foriegners, were granted carte-blanche access to the US, and citizens, likewise were finding that we were unable to find a middle ground on the appropriate amount of inalienable rights -- letting therefore the courts to define what that really is (for anyone who cared to sue somebody). Now I think the pendulum has swung the other way.

Now as I step down from my soap box, I leave you with this: your rights end where the rights of the next person's start. It ends up being a small circle.

The answer to the article as to MS's greatest threat: nothing (with a GDP of a small country, they can buy away any threat).

Happy New Year

Re:perspectives (2, Interesting)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983051)

your rights end where the rights of the next person's start.

So, um where do the other person's rights start? I keep running into people that try to lay claim to rights I have no interest in, that interfere with rights I want.

I remember in Dragonball where Goku asked a policeman where Bulma lived and the policeman could call up a picture for every person named Bulma in the city and helped him find her. Impossible with the rights some people want. But then, some people want to be afraid of their government.

Re:perspectives (2, Insightful)

Jahf (21968) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982964)

It's obvious you're judging the attitude of the every day US citizen by the bogus crap that has been put into law here lately.

I for one can not think of a single non-politician that I have met who has supported the Patriot Act or it's relatives. Most people are neutral pending seeing it's results and more than a few are actively against it.

It will take awhile, the voting public still seems to be in shell shock, but when enough people become active again the Patriot Act will be fixed/removed. I wouldn't be surprised to see it essentially nullified within 5-10 years, and probably the same with the DMCA. I wish it would take less time, but that's the way things work. The population mass has reached a point where turn-on-a-dime democracy is very hard to do.

As for you ignoring people's opinions based on the laws that their government enacts, well, that seems rather ignorant.

Re:perspectives (2)

neildogg (119502) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983039)

Ignoring is ignorant? Wow

I was merely pointing out that this specific opinion parallels problems in society as a whole, or at least with the government. I completely agree with this guy's opinions.

Re:perspectives (1)

da_Den_man (466270) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983010)

WAR is Peace FREEDOM is Slavery IGNORANCE is Strength

Re:perspectives (1, Insightful)

haa...jesus christ (576980) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983040)

Once I see America embracing the freedom it so adamantly preaches, I'll understand complaints such as this one.

Normally I don't agree with foreign nationals, but I think this gentle(wo)man is right. What the hell have we been doing to ourselves lately? Consider that a rhetorical question, as I have no answers. But on the other hand, the beauty of freedom is that you can contradict yourself - that may not make total sense, but it's an inherent advantage of our system, even though it might be seen as a flaw. okay, now i'm not making any sense. end communication.

THE SAME COULD BE SAID FOR LINUX (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982878)

n/t

SCREW YOU AND YOUR INSIGHTFUL ONE-LINERS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982971)

0 text

Re:THE SAME COULD BE SAID FOR LINUX (2)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983023)

Heh... And your point is???

AREN'T YOU FUCKING BRILLIANT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4983085)

-n/t-

Straddling the Fence (5, Insightful)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982885)

The problem is that MS is trying to give different customers what they want in the same package. People want security, bam there you go, oh but wait we want flexibility, bam there you go, but oh wait we had to remove some of the security so you could be flexible. vice versa and repeat

While ppl will argue linux gives you both, if you are a computer geek, this isn't a valid solution for the average home user. While linux may be secure enough for them, if purely because linux isn't a target platform for widescale hackers and virus writters, the average person will never make use of the flexibility in linux.

"And you can make kernel modifications as you want them"

"What's a kernel?"

"err well you can download other peoples kernel mods off the internet, compile them and add them to your kernel"

"Uhh What's a compile"?

MS is in the unfortunate position of catering to a large diverse market, and I don't really think there is a unified theory of doing so. I run w2k because it is stable. It may not be as flexible as say XP, but it suffices for me and what I want to do. And I have a win98 parition if a game won't work under 2k.

robbIE's new best friend (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982890)

fuddle's.con, va lairy, along with old deposed eugIEnia, what a trifecta we have here? there should be no problem .controlling the flow of IT? yuk.

show US the money lairy.

"In the case of software sales, which often involve multiyear deals, a major gray area exists in determining whether to book the revenue when the deal is signed, or when some or all of the software is delivered and installed. The problem worsened during the boom, when both software and Internet companies were signing many multiyear deals ultimately ?worth? tens of millions of dollars."

L0L(tm) [trustworthycomputing.com]

"People who are compensated in options had an incentive to inflate prices," he said.

"There is a pattern here," he said, referring to company behavior. "There will be more indictments."

maybe the kingdumb will call IT, FUDux.0h0h

doesN'T l00k LIEk they're goon to be abull to call IT Lindows(TMp). that sure would have been handy. would have made a nice name used to priNT up some more phony billonly stock markup payper, to "spin" off onto trusting old J. et AL.

likely, that bullshipping(tm) co. won't go for the FUDox lowgo. has anyone heard how elmer fudd's name dilution/defamation litigation is going? he was the won whois hurt the MoSt, we think.

Re:robbIE's new best friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982932)

Christ, what's wrong with you? Are you high? Can anyone get me some of whatever this guy's on? You flunked out of typing, English 101, and countless other communication-related studies. Best go retake them.

flunkIEs coming back into vogue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4983032)

too old now. have to wait 'til the depression's over. maybe then get a payper root or sum thing. we'll see.

djia hear the won about king william the FUDst ceceding (you know what i mean) power to va lairy, & eugienia?

that's right, some are saying that they might move the hole phony payper liesense stock markup fraud, over to lairy's payper, seeing as heis the won who owes the most.

kind of LIEk old art andersun churning itself into acceNTure? couple of years, & 3-4 billyuns in ?pr? bs, & nobody knows what happened, YET.

Split Indeed (2, Interesting)

Cokelee (585232) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982893)

MS has not just been a software company for a while. It is a monstrous thing. Not for its software, but for its policies. It has become a sort of governmental figure in the Software industry. They create policies and exist under a huge bureaucracy wherein Billie boy is the the ruler in pertuity.

People are fearful of and distrustful of MS the same way they have been of the government since the LBJ days (I'm thinking Vietnam here)-- and many before then (I'm thinking Ralph Waldo Emerson types here).

Now if only.... (5, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982904)

If we can get one half to sue the other half, we will have something.

Re:Now if only.... (2)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983098)

Even better, if they decide to go their own separate ways.

I can just here Judge Jackson saying, "Ha! told-ya-so! It was for your own good!"

This guy has no point (5, Insightful)

bmetz (523) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982907)

This guy's arguments, listed at the bottom of the article, are asinine. To quickly address some of them:

- Microsoft put little more than a CDDB lookup into their player. Since everyone freaked out they've made it very very obvious during the install what gets sent. Take a look at everyone else's player and you'll see they are not trying to take over the world in some sinister plot. And product activation sucks but so does having perhaps the most pirated piece of software in the world so you really can't blame them.

- Microsoft lobbies. Welcome to the united states of america.

- Attacking microsoft because the PCs it donates aren't good enough? Come on! Donations are voluntary and should be welcomed no matter what they are. Don't forget Gates does some serious giving-back. Funny how he forgets to mention this..

I'm tired of reading this poorly thought out crap. People will find any excuse to rag on Microsoft. News flash: it's 2002, not 1992. Microsoft-bashing is getting a little old.

MOD PARENT UP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4982974)

+1, Insightful for great justice

Re:This guy has no point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4983037)

//Microsoft-bashing is getting a little old.//

NO! Microsoft bashing will NEVER get old!!!

Re:This guy has no point (5, Interesting)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983093)

> - Attacking microsoft because the PCs it donates aren't good enough?...

No, because the donated PC's are simply blatant attempt to supplant Apple's dominance in the educational market, and to generate more license revenue for Microsoft. Who do you think pays to upgrade those PCs when people realize that Windows 3.1 doesn't run any real software?

(Also, when another independent company tried to do the same thing, MS took them to court because they couldn't prove they had valid licenses for all the copies of Windows 95 that the used computers were running. They ended up having to trash several thousand used computers because they didn't have enough money to buy all brand new licenses for them.)

For the lazy (0, Troll)

murky.waters (596967) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982909)

Title:Microsoft's Worst Enemy
Author:Joel Hruska
Length:Two pages

MicroSatan has released some excellent software recently, xp mainly.

SicroMoft's worst enemy is itself. M$ is a typical two-faced affair: their programmers are the "good" side, they are like us, they produced better software, and they hate management.

Which brings us to the bad side: the folks who run SicroMoft are interested only in money, and hence have unleashed hell upon users in the form of "digital rights management", "authentication", "phoning home spyware", and by being the arrogant bastards that they are, treating users, firms, governments like shit.

Some governments are looking into open source, but not much is happening because MS is fighting every attempt with all they've got (lawyers, "random audits", brain wash seminars on open software).

Linux is MicroSatan's biggest enemy, huh? I thought it was MS itself? Anyway, Linux is good because, you guessed it, it is immensely powerful, cheap, and reliable.

Then Joel is losing me, and probably a lot of you, with the following closing paragraphs:

I'm no Linux user. I've never booted a distro of the OS in any of its flavors, and save for playing with it on a friend's machine, I've never spent much time in it. I am not an open source maverick, nor am I anti-business or anti-profit. What I am, however, is concerned about how Redmond intends to safeguard my privacy, my right to use an operating system as I see fit, and my rights of fair use. I am, in fact, very concerned.

Right now, Linux has yet to offer me any reason why I should go to the monumental hassle of switching and re-training myself to the new OS environment, but unlike two years ago, I can see it potentially occurring today. Drop the attitude, the lying, and the marketing BS, Microsoft--or-- begin to watch your customer base slip away.

Re:For the lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4983062)

Yes, since he doesnt use Linux, his article should be summarily dismissed.....

Typical Linux user

Re: Writer should get his facts straight (5, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982912)

<quote> Before you arrogantly claim it couldn't possibly happen to you, take a good look at companies like Apple, IBM, or 3dfx who's names were once SYNONYMOUS with computing--and who now, without exception, are either dead or relegated to niche markets in the areas they once utterly dominated. </quote>

IBM sure ain't dead ...

Revenues last quarter:

  • Microsoft:
    $7,746,000,000
  • IBM:
    $20,592,000,00
Interestingly, IBM made more GROSS PROFIT the last quarter ($8,094,000,000) than Microsoft's total revenues.

Contrary to popular belief, IBM, not Microsoft, is the worlds' largest software company. IBM just happens to bundle a computer with many of their offerings.

Re: Writer should get his facts straight (2)

kypper (446750) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982976)

Yeah, but do you think you really want a clone?

Re: Writer should get his facts straight (2)

Syncdata (596941) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982983)

Amen to that sir. IBM is alive and kicking, it's just that the IBM name just isn't as ubiquitous as it once was in the media. The author is clearly viewing anything other than the desktop PC market as niche. I wonder what the author thinks about Texas Instruments?

Perhaps you should too. (4, Interesting)

Tide (8490) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983079)

Well IBM makes boatloads of cash, thats for sure, but I wouldn't call them just a software company. Like Sun they make their cash off of services and support for overpriced hardware. MS is pretty much all software, and has a market cap more than twice that of IBM, which is why they are the worlds largest software company. Plus Im not sure where you got your profit numbers, but on Quicken a different story is painted:

MSFT:
Revenue - $7,746,000
Net Income - $2,726, 000

IBM:
Revenue - $19,821,000
Net Income - $1,694,000

And also from Quicken:
What is Net Income?
The amount of a company's total sales (revenue) remaining after subtracting all of its costs, in a given period of time (also referred to as "net earnings"). This very important figure (literally the source of the term "the bottom line" for where you find it on an income statement) is the best measure of the current operating state of a company.

Greek Saying (3, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982922)

One of my history teachers taught us that the Greeks used to have a phrase something along the lines of "Those whom the God's would destroy, they first make proud."

My own $0.02 is that M$'s hubris will eventually provide the catalyst for their decline and eventual demise.

Re:Greek Saying (2)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983054)

One of my history teachers taught us that the Greeks used to have a phrase something along the lines of "Those whom the God's would destroy, they first make proud."

I think it was "they first drive mad". Hubris is what brought a mortal to their attention in the first place. Didn't like the competition, see.

Were the counties looking into switching to OSS? (2)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982947)

I remember well how MS and BSA jumped on the school districts with their audit demands. But this is the first I can recall hearing that the counties in question had been investigating switching to OSS. Have I forgotten this important motive detail in a wash of MS corporate bad-doing, or was this aspect not extensively noted at the time (or is it just a probably valid supposition considering MS's general way)?

heh... (-1, Insightful)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982986)

"Microsoft's Worst Enemy: Themselves"

s/Microsoft/Slashdot

is anyone else tired of this? (5, Insightful)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982987)

i wish i hadn't wasted my mod points yesterday so i could mod down the stupidity of the replies that are sure to follow bashing MS. i hate MS as much as the next guy. bill's icon is a borg for a reason. every post about MS is time wasted you could be writing fun and useful GPL'd software. fortunately i'm no a code monkey so I can say this and not be hypocritical.

Potential libel? (or is that slander...) (3, Interesting)

tstoneman (589372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4982992)

The article is not bad, and it basically shows the problems that affect any software company: techies vs marketing.

However, I do think he went out on a limb with the following comment:

"The recently-revealed fact that Microsoft, in effect, offered states a bribe in order to drop their anti-trust suits against the Redmond giant. While I hold the states equally responsible for accepting the money in the first place, Redmond is known for displaying a remarkable level of NIH syndrome (Not Invented Here) perhaps only equaled by Steve Job's unparalleled Reality Distortion Field."

I haven't heard about any of this bribe business, but if it isn't true and if he is exaggerating, I think the writer has really set himself up for a potential lawsuit. To accuse someone of committing a felony like that in this day-and-age when it hasn't been proven is kind of stupid, and I would have changed the wording around if I were him.

Re:Potential libel? (or is that slander...) (1)

p-k4 (113223) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983056)

libel = printed
slander = spoken

Hence, this would be an issue of libel.

Re:Potential libel? (or is that slander...) (1)

Cokelee (585232) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983099)

It was a "settlement" which is legal jargon for a bribe-- basically.

It is all bullshit and I am sick of it (3, Interesting)

i_luv_linux (569860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983003)

The whole artice's value = zero. Here is why.

The article wants MS not to donate any machine or Windows to poor schools for competitive issues, to protect Apple's interests, but yet at the same time it critizes MS because it donates old technology.

The article accuses MS of bribing, yet there is no known evidence of such a criminal conduct. If the bribe means here a settlement, it is a legal move. There is nothing to talk about here.

Licensing program is not a good move, but let's talk about Oracle's licensing practices. Let's talk about other licensing plans out there in the industry. If you are going to critize MS for this and not others, you are just plain lying about your facts

It is also unbelievable that any person who bullshits to bash MS can get this much of attention. It doesn't even matter what you say anymore, as long as you bash MS. The facts mentioned in the article are all very well known, but still we see it here because it is yet another MS bashing article.

I just hope the real workers behind the open source are not following this stupid trend. Otherwise open source movement is doomed.

MOD THIS UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4983008)

...And I thought Microsoft's worst enemy was these Daktaklakpaks, more annoying than clippy thing, etc.

What if... (5, Informative)

Lokatana (530146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983013)

It's interesting to notice that the author of this article claims to barely know Linux or other competing products to Microsoft. I'm not sure how much I agree with his thoughts regarding a "split" within Microsoft, but...

What if this type of thinking begins to really penetrate MS's customer base? If Joe User (think of all of your friends and family who use you as their technical support hotline) starts to believe that Microsoft is taking them to the cleaners - not just believe it, but become convinced of the fact - and is willing to make the jump to an alternative OS, what then? What if the tools to make the switch are easy enough for anyone's grandparents to freely obtain and use? (Today, most of these kinds of users don't even know how to locate an ISO, let alone download & burn it! I'm also assuming they don't want to pay for the software from a vendor or store)

What would MS do if their customer base starts to erode noticeably? Will we see more "Satanic" actions to lock in their customers, or will MS respond in a way that will benefit the overall user community?

Perhaps this would be a good followup "Ask Slashdot", but I'd love to see people's thoughts on this.

-Lokatana

Things are not what they appear (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983015)

I agree with the author that MS seems to be self-destructing, but that is not really the case. MS has always faught amongst itself. That is a similar approach to the OSS world. The only difference is that OSS does not have Marketers.
As to them, well, Bill is needing to change the strategy to survive. He was able to buy off states and even our current administration without too much repercussion. This shows that MS can adopt. What is happening behind other scences is what ppl should notice. From what I understand, there are a number of start-ups by bill that are designed to push MS. These are targeted towards unique niches. 2 companies are directed at Intuit to compete against TurboTax.
While I am a Linux developer, I do forsee that we have a rough road ahead of us. MS should never be underestimated.

Garbage editorialism. (5, Insightful)

Konster (252488) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983022)

"What I am, however, is concerned about how Redmond intends to safeguard my privacy, my right to use an operating system as I see fit, and my rights of fair use. I am, in fact, very concerned."

Then he goes on to say, a paragrah later, "Right now, Linux has yet to offer me any reason why I should go to the monumental hassle of switching and re-training myself to the new OS..."

You must NOT be all that concerned about your privacy, the right to use the OS as you see fit (Click on Agree or Decline after reading the EULA? A thought), or your rights of fair use if you blindly click through the EULA and install their product.

RTFEULA. Worried about all that and still agreeing to MS's EULA and being too lazy to learn an OS that's free from all that just befuddles me.

And since when did learning Linux become a monumental effort? Rocketing into space is a monumental effort. Learning Linux is akin to Bellybutton Lint Removal 101.

How does this crap make the news, anyhow?

Another way Microsoft contradicts itself... (4, Interesting)

weave (48069) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983029)

Microsoft claims on one hand that Linux is more expensive, because you have to hire expensive experts to maintain it. On the other hand they push the value of an MCSE to IT people, how it's a serious certification and not something that any chump can get, and how much more money we can make if we just become certified.

So which is it? I administer a nice big AD domain on w2k servers and I personally am insulted that Microsoft is doing their best to convince my administrators as well as others that Windows administration can be done by a non-expert. How long before CFOs believe this and wonder why they are paying for all of these expensive personnel down in IT? It's bad enough they don't understand the complexity of our jobs, now Microsoft is telling them it doesn't require an "expert" to administer Windows servers. :-(

Re:Another way Microsoft contradicts itself... (1)

milesbparty (527555) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983116)

I administer a nice big AD domain on w2k servers and I personally am insulted that Microsoft is doing their best to convince my administrators as well as others that Windows administration can be done by a non-expert.

Isn't windows administration nothing more than just "point, click, reboot"?

Nothing that is so, is so (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983047)

Remember the six sacred words.. nothing that is so, is so.

Microsoft isn't looking out for the consumer.

Microsoft isn't looking out for US citizens interests.

The men of power behind Microsoft are just looking to increase their wealth and power (period).

Re:Nothing that is so, is so (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983080)

>> The men of power behind Microsoft are just looking to increase their wealth and power (period).

Imagine that! In a publically traded for-profit corporation, no less! I'm shocked and appalled!

Why regular people won't switch to Linux (2)

Radical Rad (138892) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983060)

I'm no Linux user. I've never booted a distro of the OS in any of its flavors...

Right now, Linux has yet to offer me any reason why I should go to the monumental hassle of switching and re-training myself to the new OS environment...

This explains in a nutshell why Linux developers should concentrate, at least in the short term, on recreating the look and feel of the MS Windows desktop.

Microsoft has always had major internal fights (2)

joeflies (529536) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983068)

Like any big company with very few major products making most of the revenues, and lots of opinions on where it should go, there is always an internal power battle

Some of the more public ones that I've heard about include

Battle between the VMS guys and the rest of management and the Windows squad (covered in the book Fumbling the Future)

Battle between the Windows manager and the standalone IE manager during Win98's browser integration. Forgot which book that was in

I'm sure that Microsoft Research creating new technologies largely independently of the product teams also creates PARC-style battles as well.

if i had.... (1)

aut0mator (620930) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983069)

... a worst enemy that made me a multi-billionaire, well who needs friends ;-)

Parallels (4, Insightful)

Tall Rob Mc (579885) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983070)

It is most likely that I'm not the first person to draw this parallel, but I've noticed it more and more recently...

Microsoft and the US government are in very similar situations.

Here, we have two extremely powerful entities that are very prone to extend beyond their reasonable range of influence to make everything go exactly the way they want it to.

Both are facing enemies (the US against terrorists, and Microsoft against Linux) that have emerged as a decentralized and nearly attack-proof.

Both have earned a good deal of resentment from the communities which they supposedly serve (MS has people like us constantly bitching while President Bush's approval rating has dropped below 50% this December: and both rightfully so).

Both, despite the great amount of disapproval, appear to be doing nothing to change their situation (except for Bush's recent decision to back down on threats of attacking North Korea, though he intends to push for isolating them economically).

Could a few good leaders in Washington clear this whole mess up? I think so. Now if only such people existed... -sigh-

utter nonsense (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983071)

I partly agree with the article. It is completely true that if you manufacture an adequate product and don't try to cheat your customers, you will be perceived as a good company. Beyond that, the article is nonsense.

Beyond that, it is nonsense. My experience with XP is that is more stable than any other consumer MS OS, but not as good as 2000. For one thing, the adaptive GUI just gets in the way. The market has spoken on XBox. It is a good machine, but not good enough. Without the benefit of monopoly, MS was not able to set the price on the product, and had to do several price reduction in order to get the results it wanted. This would also be the case with it's OS and apps if competition exists. In countries that aren't MS hostages, the XBox is not doing well. As for the tablet PC, it is not yet a product. We do not how exactly it will act. It is probably as good as XBox, which may not be good enough.

The problem with MS is that it does not have to innovate. It does not have to create great products. Without competition, there is no need to excel. It can steal , cajole, and threaten. The creativity is limited to calling the OS 'Windows'. The charity is limited to giving kids junk and then taking a writeoff for the inflated value. The programming wonders are limited to creating a paperclip that you can't get rid of, or wizards that won't let you get back to the menu. I find the culture to be pretty unified.

Predictions of Microsoft decline (3, Interesting)

ManoMarks (574691) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983077)

are premature. People have been claiming the end of MS for years, and it's still going strong. While I'd love to see it at least shaken up and reformed, and more consumer friendly, I don't yet see any evidence of even a mild decline.

Absolutely Correct (5, Interesting)

awitod (453754) | more than 11 years ago | (#4983115)

This author is dead on. The IT graveyard of invincible vendors is wide and deep, and without an exception I can think of the killing blows were always self-inflicted: Micro-Channel Architecture, Word Perfect 5.0 for Windows, Unix-Ware, and on and on and on.

I watch this board closely to try to gauge perception. (I watch lots of other things too, because everything has some inherent bias, borg toon anyone?) I want to know where the industry is headed. In the past I've felt the pain of backing the wrong technology and after many years have come to appreciate such an error's effect on my families ability to do things they enjoy, like eat and sleep inside.

For the last several years the food on my table has come from a deep knowledge of many of Microsoft's products. At the end of the day, I really don't care what tools I used to create a new system. What I care about is that I can do what I love (design and build software) for someone who appreciates the effort enough to pay me a decent sum of money.

I view many of the arguments on this site with mild amusement (open vs. closed source) as the ravings of modern-day hippies or the very young. Unfortunately, I am constrained by certain requirements in my life and I doubt very much that my wife or my children would care about free-as-in-speech vs. free-as-in-beer, and as such care much more about the bottom-line than high-minded principals, no matter how appealing.

That said, I am starting to study and use Linux and other offerings of this community. Some of it is very impressive and some of it, I must say, is promising but primitive crap. I do not believe that the movement will overthrow Microsoft on its own merit. I do believe that Microsoft is creating enough incentive for the market to make this a commercially viable alternative.

The PS2's were awesome and reliable machines. They were probably worth the additional price. But, by the time IBM really tried to strong-arm the market, the IT buying community was pissed off enough that the platform's relative merits meant nothing. I believe that OS/2 was equally affected by this, although it's terrible setup procedure hurt it as well. Microsoft is today's IBM. I hope they get their heads out of their asses soon, but they'd better do it quickly.
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