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Microsoft's Reaction to OSS Adoption

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the deploy-public-relations-decoys dept.

Microsoft 790

inode_buddha writes "Eric S. Raymond has the eighth "Halloween" memo available here. It looks like Microsoft is really beginning to notice the national and corporate movement towards FS/OSS, and is reacting accordingly."

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Microsoft spreading FUD??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008276)

That's a paddling!

Re:Microsoft spreading FUD??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008290)

You must be new here.

No, this is RMS spreading FUD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008493)

It's RMS' job, after all.

First Post, and scared (-1, Redundant)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008277)

Please GOD, let this be the first post.

BTW, Micro$oft needs to get a life.

Re:First Post, and scared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008411)

Andrew-Gargon.

Only you - in your sub-infinitesimal Testicular prowess could possibly have created a clone of the very first post on this here discussion topic.

Indeed - it was a version of your Muon Tract Induction machinery that brought us all to this very place in space and time.

You seek now to ultra Invert the Bacon, Cheese and Ham Continuum in the name of all things un-GODLY?

Yes... Only you. Deno-Inverteron.
Only You...

frist ps0t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008278)

and i mean it this time. this is for my metro homies.

First... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008284)

POST!

ESR has the eighth Halloween doc (-1, Flamebait)

gazbo (517111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008288)

He also has Down's Syndrome. I know which one is most significant to me.

ZDNet is saying the same thing (5, Interesting)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008291)

In a recent ZDNet article, ZDNet write/predicts [com.com] that Linux will this year or perhaps next overtake Apple's OS to become the second most common desktop OS. Microsoft simply seems to be reponding to this increasing pressure, which as the ZDNet article point out, is coming as more government's switch over to Linux.

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008348)

I dont know about that, Jaguar is very very good os, far superior to linux in creative work and batter / more polished for day to day use.

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (-1, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008351)

In a recent ZDNet article, ZDNet write/predicts [com.com] that Linux will this year or perhaps next overtake Apple's OS to become the second most common desktop OS.

Not going to happen. Linux has no user-level applications to speak of. The Macintosh at least has some relatively comparable applications to Windows (although they are still a ghetto).

When Linux gets mainstream software developers porting software to it, then it will have a shot. Until then, it ain't gonna happen.

Once again: People use applications, not operating systems.

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (4, Interesting)

mosch (204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008421)

What's to stop a corporation from running non-linux applications on citrix, thus cutting their workstation licensing and support costs dramatically?

After all, most business applications work beautifully over citrix.

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (2)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008468)

Linux has no user-level applications to speak of.


What's missing? What am I missing?

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008470)

Not going to happen. Linux has no user-level applications to speak of.

Think again. what do you call Gnome? KDE?

This should be modded "scary" (2)

Idou (572394) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008532)

"Linux has no user-level applications to speak of."

That slashdotters find the above statement "insightful."

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (4, Insightful)

robson (60067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008538)

Although I'm certainly not going to argue with this axiom:
Once again: People use applications, not operating systems.

I will argue with this:
Not going to happen. Linux has no user-level applications to speak of.

Sure it does. This Christmas I resolved that next Christmas I'm going to move my mother over to Linux. OpenOffice, Mozilla, Evolution... between those 3 apps, that covers 95% of her personal computing needs. Yes, Linux needs apps to be viable, and it's well on its way.

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008540)

Why the fuck does this get modded up every time?
  • Photoshop
  • Quark
  • AutoCAD
Is your grandmother running any of those? Come on. What does the average person not have in Linux that they get with Windows?

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (2)

nlinecomputers (602059) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008359)

I wonder who's distro is going to be the most installed? Many distros are so diverse as to be effectivly a different OS. At least that is how many clueless users may see them as. Linux is Linux but Red Hat anit SuSE.

Re:ZDNet is saying the same thing (2)

dattaway (3088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008497)

Diversity is good. More colors, the merrier.

If someone calls it Linux, it all pretty much the same glibc, filesystem, X, network, and system calls. Every distribution has systemwide configuration differences, but the libraries are called and stored the same way.

Is it just me... (3, Interesting)

awx (169546) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008292)

...or would everyone have preferred a version without ESR's comments and opinion, so that we could form our own?

Re:Is it just me... (1)

BoysDontCry (595839) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008309)

Agreed.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008339)

agreed.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Insightful)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008352)

Yes. Some of his comments are just childish. "We'll start by learning how to type the word "become" correctly. We promise." I mean, come on. Everyone makes mistakes.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Insightful)

chumpieboy (257469) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008446)

From below the H8 document:

For a good indication of the sterling quality of human being we are dealing with here

Was that necessary either?

Re:Is it just me... (2, Insightful)

gazbo (517111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008356)

Well, naturally he is welcome to put his own blabberings in, but it would have been more tolerable had he not felt the need to comment on fucking everything. When a perfectly reasonable and otherwise uninteresting bullet point is presented, there is no need for Eric "please believe I'm important" Raymond to try and debunk it for the sake of completeness.

I'm going to have to stop writing now before I smash my keyboard with rage at how much I hate ESR.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008394)

Yes, I am in total agreement. It doubled the size of the reading. He is doing what he claims M$ is set out to do. Put his own opinion on someone else.

If M$ does not do something they will die a quick death. Better to shrink and find their true place in the pecking order.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

mrcparker (469158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008405)

I have never understood what is so important about ESR. I have read some of his papers, articles, and I don't get it - I even picked up his book (for a buck on sale).

Re:Is it just me... (-1)

Salad Shooter (600065) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008422)

Agreed. Also, shut the fuck up.

ESR is the best. Best whore. Lunix sucks and so do you. Tits. I like tits. Big round firm tits.

Your dog has nice tits? I once saw your neighbor, Bill, humping your dog. The dog was screaming (if you can imagine that) and the old woman across the street started to finger herself right there in the front yard. It was really quite amazing.

Imagine, if you will, a world without dogs getting molested... what a world that would be. Of course your neighbor would have to get a new hobby. Like yours: sitting in the basement, naked, hacking kernels and posting on slashdot.

So you should ask yourself: am I as bad as Bill the dog humper? The answer is obvious.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008453)

Totally in agreement. To me this looks like nothing more than obvious PR coordination which any large company would do when the media has shown an interest in worldwide publicity to any Linux adoption over Microsoft: The memo basically says "Let's be prepared and ready to deal with it". Big deal.

Of course this is the same ESR who assured us some 3 years ago that Microsoft had less than a year to go.

Re:Is it just me... (5, Informative)

br0ck (237309) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008476)

We've discussed this one before. He's not just doing it to be cute, he's trying to avoid--perhaps ineffectively since this is a modified copy not a derivitive work--copyright violation. From the FAQ [opensource.org] .

Would you please make un-annotated versions available?

No. As it is, my defense against a copyright-violation suit by Microsoft would have to make rather creative use of the exemptions in copyright case law relating to journalism, satire and commentary. I fear that making un-annotated copies available would place me at significant legal risk.

Re:Is it just me... (2)

W2k (540424) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008499)

Agreed. Reading that gave me a worse perception of ESR than it did of Microsoft.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Interesting)

deego (587575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008509)

> ...or would everyone have preferred a version without ESR's comments and opinion, so that we could form our own?

I think ESR has explained several times that he has to do that to prevent being sued by MS for leaking an "unedited" document (whatver the legal reasons are, i am not too aware). People just don't get it.

Be thankful he not only gets the document, but also has the courage to post the document. For comparison, why don't you Try having the courage to get a document from M$ and post it on the internet and risk many years of imprisonment and many more years of not touching a computer, and then blame ESR.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008536)

I think ESR has explained several times that he has to do that to prevent being sued by MS for leaking an "unedited" document (whatver the legal reasons are, i am not too aware). People just don't get it.

Then ESR, and you, have a sad grasp of the law. Confidential information, even with sarcastic comments added, is still confidential information. Or would you prefer that your psychaitrist or lawyer release your files only if they first add insulting comments to those files?

not me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008519)

I get all my opinions straight from RMS.

He am teh smart!

Re:Is it just me... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008535)

Considering that ESR *writes* these phoney memos from microsoft, I doubt that.

Good Crap (0, Troll)

Burgundy Advocate (313960) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008295)

The eighth Halloween memo?

Sheesh. ESR needs to find a new hobby.

To the chap who modded this down (2, Insightful)

gazbo (517111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008406)

Do you remember the original Halloween memos? How they exposed dirty tricks and unethical practices? How they really exposed a dark and dirty side of Microsoft straight from the horse's mouth?

Now look at the last couple of documents. They are totally different beasts of virtually no importance or interest; ESR simply calls them Halloween documents in order that they will garner interest on the back of the original docs. Look at the seventh one - it is the result of a market research project. Why is this grouped under the same umbrella as MS talking about unethical monopolistic practices?

Eric: When you get some interesting, shocking documents leaked from Microsoft, please feel free to publicise your Halloween documents. If all you get is this boring tripe, feel free to publish it, but just call it "leaked MS email" or something.

In short, I agree with the parent - get a fucking life ESR.

Mindshare (4, Insightful)

nege (263655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008301)

Looks to me like this has a lot to do with perception. PArt of MS' deal is that they have lots of mindshare. If the people realize that they HAVE options in terms of office and OS, then they certainly will at least explore those options. MS needs to keep people thinking that MS is the only way to get something done, so this memo is no surprise IMHO. Interesting though anyway.

8th Halloween Memo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008311)

Is Jamie Lee Curtis going to be in this one? I think that the other memo's lost something when she wasn't in them.

Is this the one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008314)


Where Jamie Lee finally kills Michael?

Well (3, Funny)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008315)

That's what they get for living like assholes. Bill Gates has 7 kitchens and around 70 bathrooms! Shit, If I was a billionare I wouldn't even have 1 bathroom. I'd just be like "clean me up, come on 1,000 bucks to the first person to wipe my ass.

Re:Well (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008382)

but instead you'll keep working at McDonalds saving up your money to buy that perfect aluminum spoiler for your '87 civic.

catching the culprits (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008317)

If I were in a leadership spot at MS...I'd release a slightly different memo to various depts, just to narrow down where the leaks are coming from and eventually just release different ones to people in that department, finding out who is doing it

That is, assuming that these links aren't on purpose =)

Re:catching the culprits (1)

klanza (224734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008368)

Aka "Canary Trap" for all you Tom Clancy fans.

Todays Advice(in association with www.Ablabla.org) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008320)

Y'know whenever I have problems with a piece of Open Source Software I like to turn to one of my favourite directories on my Unix system.
That's right - /usr/share/man/ /usr/share/man has many helpful hints and tips for those new to the wondrous world of Unix and Free Software.

Mirror here (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008321)


January 2, 2003
From: William Gates III
To: All Employees

The sky is falling!

Thank you,

- Bill

Irritating (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008322)

The memo is mildly interesting, but ESR is growing more shrill and childish with each passing year. GOOD LORD a company is exploring how to compete with other products?? ALERT THE PRESS.

Sheesh, maybe Microsoft is good for some things, and OSS is good for other things. And to talk like Microsoft is going to "lose" with $40 billion dollars in the bank is ludicrous at best.

Fah, ESR is not as annoying as RMS (that is, of course, impossible), but he seems to be heading down the path.

they'll catch on (5, Interesting)

sstory (538486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008323)

Look for the Halloween 9 memo to have lots of phrases like "Hey Steve, make sure you study this thing carefully--we still don't have an answer as to why companies would use provably inferior and expensive linux technology instead of our cheaper, more American solution. Especially when you consider that linux makes your computer vulnerable to every hacker in the world, and sends all your emails to your boss."

I mean, at some point, these 'leaks' are going to become a marketing tool. This Is Microsoft, you know.

Microsoft (3, Insightful)

reyalsnogard (595701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008327)

I find this 'fear' quite enlightening. It's about time MS felt *some* form of competition. They were getting a little too miserly and stifling innovation. (i.e. HOW long has Mozilla had tabbed browsing and ad-suppression? *When* might IE?)

It's also nice that quite a few companies, such as Lindows.com, are taking a bite out of MS's Law Creation/Politician Acquisition fund by suing them over patent abuse and/or common-name copyrighting.

Hopefully the "little people" in the market will have more of an effect on MS than the DoJ.

Re:Microsoft (3, Insightful)

cbv (221379) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008486)

HOW long has Mozilla had tabbed browsing and ad-suppression? *When* might IE?

It doesn't matter, because whenever IE WILL have tabbed browsing, Microsoft will announce it as their newly discovered revolutionary way of browsing the web - just like they did when Windows came out, regardless that Apply and DRi had "windows" for years before that...

Get real. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008334)

You don't expect anyone to willingly allow themselves to become prejudiced by that crank ESR's running commentary in green (bracketed for the color blind.) ESR is what Linus and Lenin before him called 'a useful idiot.'

Microsoft knocking on my door (2, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008336)

We need to more effectively respond to press reports regarding Governments and other major institutions considering OSS alternatives to our products.

Yeah, this is just what I want to do: Make a decision on IT issues and then issue a press release on it. All this will get me is Microsoft knocking on my door asking me for some of my time so that they can attempt to sell me on a product. Look, if I made my decision already to go with OS X, Linux, or whatever, I don't want somebody second guessing my decisions and trying to get me to change my mind.

All you have to do.. (-1)

xdfgf (460453) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008337)

is watch Antitrust [imdb.com] . There has never been a more accurate showing of how Micro$oft actually conducts buisness.

FIGHT THE POWER

Eight Halloween Memos? (5, Interesting)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008341)

I don't get it.

Is Microsoft actually dumb enough to write memo after memo about something they now have admitted is their biggest threat and allow all of these memos to leak so the opposition can read them?

I was never sure about the first Halloween memo. The more that are "discovered" the more I wonder if these are truly from M$ (they must be released by our old friend, Mr. Source, or Reliable to those that know him well).

More and more it reminds me of P.D.Q. Bach -- the least of all the Bachs. There's no evidence he existed except from Peter Shickele, who keeps finding more and more works composed by this supposed composer.

Re:Eight Halloween Memos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008490)

Read the FAQ... some of the Halloween memos are satire.

Re:Eight Halloween Memos? (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008549)

I don't think Mr Source [washingtonpost.com] is all that much of a techie.

looks like great news for Linux (3, Interesting)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008343)

While it is a little scary to have the proverbial 10,000th pounded gorilla coming after you, I think we should be happy that we're starting to make the fat cats at Micro$oft nervous.

In the past, Linux has been mostly ignored by Evil Bill and company. It made sense. Like *BSD these days, we had such a small install base that we didn't really pose much of a threat. But in the past year or two, Linux has really started to explode. It's popping up on servers, PDAs, hell, even cash registers. Suddenly, we're a force to be reckoned with.

What we need to do now is strike while the iron's hot and go for the kill. We've got them running scared, and I think one final push is all it will take to bury Windows forever, another tombstone on the side of the fabled Information Superhighway. I plan to do my part by open sourcing all of my non-sensitive projects and donating a token amount to the FSF [gnu.org] each year. I encourage others to do more.

Re:looks like great news for Linux (2, Funny)

edbarrett (150317) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008431)

10,000th pounded gorilla

Dammit, and I was pounded gorilla #8346...

Re:looks like great news for Linux (5, Interesting)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008541)

I'm not fond of 10,000 pound gorillas either, but RMS makes a good point with the quote from Ghandi. When M$ was ignoring Linux, it wasn't a threat. Now they're fighting. They're trying everything they can to take out Linux.

But look at what's happening. They've tried outright FUD. They've tried new licensing (which was stupid and backfired). And now they're trying FUD again.

It really is like the Borg. M$ has been used to just assimilating (buying out) or destroying any competition (either by pricing their products lower until the competition is bankrupt, by leveraging their monopoly to force people to use M$ standards, or by twisting arms in backroom deals). Now they don't know what to do -- instead of facing a big threat with one name, where a well aimed shot, or a massive attack could destroy any threat, they're fighting something all pervasive, like a virus.

And the funny thing is they don't know what to od! It's got them so scared they're beginning to do stupid things and having knee-jerk reactions.

I don't think Windows will end up burried forever, but I think if Linux distros unified and started pushing easy to use desktop systems with OpenOffice.org on them, I think we'd soon find that most companies are not focusing on JUST Word compatability anymore, but on Word and OOo.

Linux is in a good position, and it gets better and better. M$ is fighting Linux -- but that's because it's a real threat and could even (conceivably, but unlikely) bankrupt the company. That's good, because M$ has no idea how to fight a movement. They just don't understand the structure -- by their very nature of being a cold-hearted predatory company, there is no way they ever can understand OSS.

perfectly healthy (2, Interesting)

fortunatus (445210) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008349)

the memo outlines perfectly healthy organizational function. it's exactly what MS should be doing. if those folks actually function that way, they've moved up a few notches in my esteem.

Office for Linux? (5, Interesting)

prockcore (543967) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008353)

My question is, if Linux overtakes MacOS on the desktop, can Microsoft continue to justify to it's shareholders the reasons behind not making Office for Linux?

They can't say there isn't a market if they make Office for a *less* popular OS.

(It's not that I actually want nor need Office for Linux.. but it's something I'm curious about)

Re:Office for Linux? (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008415)

My question is, if Linux overtakes MacOS on the desktop, can Microsoft continue to justify to it's shareholders the reasons behind not making Office for Linux?

So, this is an interesting and obvious question that has been kicked around for some time. As a M$ shareholder I have made this argument before that if Microsoft would cease attempting to make everything fit within the Windows paradigm and start writing quality software that meets consumer demand, they would be a much more powerful and wealthier company. Hey, all one has to do is look at the profitability of the Macintosh Business unit at Microsoft which is doing quite nicely thank you, making software for a completely different platform than Windows. In fact, I find the Office X for OS X to be a superior product to the Windows version of Office given the tie-ins to OS X functionality and rendering.

Re:Office for Linux? (2)

jd142 (129673) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008527)

If MS makes Office for Linux, it will have effect of "blessing" a particular distribution, and in turn creating its biggest competitor.

Because each distro has its own little quirks, I can't imagine a sane company releasing something as large as Office for all distros. Even the differences between RH and Mandrake are pretty big. So they'd have to pick 1 or 2 distros and test for them.

And at that point, those distros will become the defacto standard Linux desktop.

Re:Office for Linux? (3, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008434)

The justification is that there is not now a market for it.

There are not many apps that people pay for with regards to *nix. Its just the truth. There are but a handful of successful apps.

What we do know is that lots of people pirate software, and lot of those people are percieved to be "hackers", and that a lot of "hackers" are percieved to be Linux users. MS knows what is obvious: they won't sell many copies of Office for Linux, that they will still be slammed in the Linux/UNIX world, and that the product will be pirated on a massive scale (or copied in an infringing manner) from the very instant it is available.

Re:Office for Linux? (5, Interesting)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008460)

My question is, if Linux overtakes MacOS on the desktop, can Microsoft continue to justify to it's shareholders the reasons behind not making Office for Linux?

They can't say there isn't a market if they make Office for a *less* popular OS.


They can justify it.

They make Office for Mac as an extortion tool to force Apple into compliance with Microsoft's wishes. Hey, Apple, you better make Internet Exploder the default browser or we'll discontinue Office for the Mac. Sound crazy? The preceeding came out in the antitrust trial.

No such extortion logic applies to Open Source. Hey, Open Source, you better do XXXX or we'll discontinue (or won't initially develop) Microsoft Office for Linux! I wonder what the open source community's reaction would be if MS threatened not to bring Office to Linux? How badly would we take it? Just how much could Microsoft force us to do using this tactic?

Re:Office for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008463)

There was also a time when OS/2 was more popular than MacOS on the desktop but MS never released office for it, either.

The likely excuse will be that Linux users don't buy software; they want everything for free. Frankly, I'm not sure that is too far from the truth...

Re:Office for Linux? (1)

bmj (230572) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008489)

i think this is a good point. i assume one of the reasons m$ has been *cooperating* with apple is they aren't really a competitor, especially in the enterprise market. sure, apple is selling servers now that they have os X, but do you think microsoft is worried about that? doubtful. so they've extended their reach, and at the same time, made many companies more willing to use macs on the desktop. for example, at a design shop, managers and programmers can have windows on their desktop, and still exchange emails and documents with the legions of mac-loving designers.

as much as it would be hurt many oss advocates to see m$ provide the office suite for linux, it would be a great step for allowing the corporate world to embrace linux. people, especially non-techies, don't want to embrance a whole new suite of office tools, when they know how to write formulas and macros in excel, and easily format their documents in word.

Re:Office for Linux? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008508)

My question is, if Linux overtakes MacOS on the desktop, can Microsoft continue to justify to it's shareholders the reasons behind not making Office for Linux?

First of all...how could you possibly measure the amount of people using Linux on the desktop? I bet most people using it are "privacy" freaks who would not provide this information, especially to Microsoft.

Secondly, how many people really use only Linux? Even the most hardcore Linux geeks I know have Win2k or WinXP dual-boots. No need to make Office there.
They can't say there isn't a market if they make Office for a *less* popular OS.

A less popular OS that is not hardware compatible with Windows. A less popular OS where Excel and Word started. A less popular OS which provides huge amounts of profits for Microsoft. A less popular OS where people are accustomed to paying for consistent software from mature, accountable developers.

Re:Office for Linux? (1)

korgull (267700) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008537)

Well, the same would apply to Adobe's Photoshop and other product. Would be interesting to see that happen.

Now matter how much you resist something (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008360)

You eventually give up and use it. Think about things you have resisted in your life but you eventually started to use it and LIkE IT! Common examples are the metric system adoption, usb devices, iso 8601, and so on. The better system may be hated and resisted at first, but it usually succeeds and linux is the next one.

Anyone still care? (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008363)

A cut and paste of my LinuxToday post -- too busy arguing H1-B policy here to come up with something new...for entertainment purposes, I will throw in a link to ESR heroically facing down al-Qaeda. [blogspot.com]

Who cares any more? Clearly, free software has now risen to the point where competing software makers take it into account in their planning. Eric Raymond periodically gets his hands on some entirely routine memo from Microsoft and spins it into some apocalyptic confrontation between Good and Evil. He needs to lay off the Lord of the Rings, I think.

Actually, the memo is funny in its concern. Basically, it deals with the fact that when some government considers switching a few servers to Linux, or some legislator proposes an open-source-only policy, Slashdot and the rest of the Linux media turn it into "INDIA SWITCHING TO LINUX!" AND "NORWAY SWITCHING TO LINUX!" It's not nearly as much deliberate spin as it is complete journalistic incompetence and the inability to read linked articles, but it's an effective enough fUD technique that Microsoft feels compelled to respond to it. ;-)

2003 Prediction (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008364)

I would be very surprised if we didn't see a high-profile coder in the Open Source community such as Linus Torvalds or Alan Cox suddenly "vanish" without a trace. This whole memo speaks of desparation on the part of Microsoft, and it looks like they're ready and raring to send a message to the OSS community. I can see them going after the heads of the five major software projects in the OSS world in order to send a signal to the rest of us. And with a "business-friendly" President and Attorney General, don't expect much in the way of an investigation, let along charges filed. They will call it a "mysterious departure" or "unsolved kidnapping."

The document is so boring, it is probably real... (5, Funny)

dagg (153577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008366)

The commentary on the document is pretty hard-hitting:
{We'll start by learning how to type the word "become" correctly. We promise.}

That in reference to a misspelling in the memo. That's some pretty juicy stuff they found there.

Re:The document is so boring, it is probably real. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008397)

The document may be boring, but you're a 14-year-old dumbass.

Re:The document is so boring, it is probably real. (3, Insightful)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008471)

Not to mention that their security 'sucks dead maggots through a straw.' Having run out of actual things to call Microsoft upon, it's nice to see the bulwarks of OSS are reduced to such as this.

Maybe one of these days I'll try out some dead-equine-flagellation myself; it seems to be awful fun. Happens so much around here, I MUST be missing out on something....

Microsoft's Reaction to OSS Adoption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008375)

Microsoft's Reaction to OSS Adoption? More like CELDA!

Leaking on purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008379)

doesn't it seem to anyone that these things may have been leaked on purpose? i just have the feeling the community is being manipulated here.

granted, ms is evil... but it isn't stupid. it only wants people to think it is.

Big Deal... (3, Insightful)

pdaoust (592115) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008391)

Miscrosoft is just behaving like any other company would when threatened by competition, be it OSS or other...

hmmm (1)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008392)

does anyone think microsoft should publish an oss version of windows? this would be teh shit for developers to fool with

Why the explanitions? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008393)

Why does opensource have to translate everything? I might not be able to spell but I can read. Nothing new really. M$ has been at this for a while.

Sounds like Microsoft is... (5, Insightful)

DA_MAN_DA_MYTH (182037) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008400)

... running a normal business. Microsoft is a business that is looking to make money. Goverments and Corporations moving to Linux and Star Office means less money for them. They are trying circumvent that. Can you blame them?

This is an unusual Halloween memorandum in that it's not particularly redolent of evil.

Was this newsworthy? Microsoft definitely does not have a monopoly on servers. Also they are beginning to lose their grasp of a monopoly on the desktop. They realize this, why doesn't everyone else.

Looks like a fairly routine memo to me . . . (5, Insightful)

fetta (141344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008413)

I don't really see anything that sinister here. It looks like a typical memo defining a procedure for responding with "one voice" to a business challenge that Microsoft faces. Frankly, I'd be surprised if they weren't having these kind of discussions.

Some of the comments seem unecessarily shrill to me. Example:

Name the key contacts within the gov't
{Translation: Who can we suborn?}


Providing a list of people to contact does not imply suborning (from m-w.com "to induce secretly to do an unlawful thing") to me. How is it unlawful to contact a customer who might be going to a competitor and trying to convince them to reconsider?

Don't get me wrong - I'm excited to see governments looking at Linux and Open Source as an alternative. I just don't think it serves anybody's best interest to take a pretty routine memo and try to turn it into the Pentagon Papers.

heh (1)

broody (171983) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008420)

Unfortunately with Microsoft's past history it goes more like, first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, than they fight you, than you roll over or are obliterated.

4+x=8 (1)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008428)

Doesn't it make anyone a little suspicious that Microsoft is on their eigth halloween document in 4 years? There's only been 4 halloweens!

Re:4+x=8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008436)

Not sure. But, I don't think they are limited to one e-mail per holiday.

Re:4+x=8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008521)

Again, read the FAQ... some of the memos are satire.

War? (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008437)


Deliver, at minimum, guidance and messaging regarding any new instance within the same business day of your mail being received, including WW communication to prepare all subs


Is it just me, or does this paragraph sound like something from War Games movie? Subs - submarines. Guidance and messaging. WW - World War.

Holly shit! Is Microsoft preparing for a real war on everyone that go with OSS? I think I'll be preparing that bunker of mine that I have on the backyard just for such an occasion before they call an airstrike!

Microsoft's attempt to head it off at the pass (2, Insightful)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008444)

This sound's like Micro$oft's attempt to keep the news of OSS acceptance into the world at bay, and if not then to debunk it's worth in the eyes of the news savy readers. Joe User doesn't give a rat's @ss about this, but one day he will finally see something different of the shelves and the advertisement flyer's of CompUSA and Best Buy that wasn't there before. The readers of /. already know the benefits of OSS and Linux, but Joe User will need to be kicked and dragged to see the light, and it will burn.

Everyone knows that OSS will be more wide accepted when the user will not have to decrypt configuration files. It might, and I repeat, MIGHT be better to go to an XML based configuration file so they could also be editable through a, dare I say it, GUI? Don't flame me, but most people, including I prefer to use GUIs since it's almost idiot proof so I don't miss-type that comma or underscore. We also know how powerful the command line is when we know what we want. Again, Joe User doesn't want to see a command line. I don't much about cars, but I can drive my truck all day long, refill with gas and continue of my way. That's the way Joe User wants it, and should be. I prefer Linux because it has many many more knobs for me to tweak to my liking.

Anywho, let me get back to the path about MS trying to subvert the truth about OSS. OSS will be more widely accpetable when Joe Admin User can configure his machines easier with a GUI instead of configuration files and look-n-feel feels more "professional" and maybe more high-tech looking instead of the Fisher Price look-n-feel. Yes, eye candy does go a long way.

Now... I am ready for your bashing.

ecome? you just gave away the source! (1)

sker (467551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008449)

I wonder if the "mistakes" in the memo like "ecome" instead of "Become" and the bullet are just there to help MS identify where the leaks come from. Maybe something on the mail server introduces random errors that they can track.

Nature .vs. numbers (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008456)

There always the possibility that some at MS realize that the OSS movement is representative of a sea change in the software industry, not a trend shift.
There's a possibility that some people realize this, too.

I don't believe this (2)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008466)

No company would normally allow EIGHT such memos to be leaked out. There are 2 options: Either these memos are not from Microsoft, which sounds weird, because I bet they would have a press release concerning the "fake memos". This leaves us the 2nd option: They are being leaked on purpose. This all looks like some sort of clever manipulation, but I am not that interested in the subject to start doing deep analysis of all the memos trying to find specific clues.

Anyone who is more competent than I am can probably do it.

Halloween in January? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008478)

So, like, halloween was so 2002. Cmon BillyG, lets have a New Years Document or something, eh?

Why does anyone care? (2)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008500)

These documents are NOTHING compared to some of the stuff floating about from other companies (and some of the OSS companies have documents just as bad as these eight.)

Seriously, this really isn't anything at all. Hell, even Halloween #1 wasn't that big of a deal, but you all are taking it to the extreme. I swear, if a "leaked" memo came out that said Microsoft actually paid Torvalds to create his kernel you'd jump on that too....

None of these are particularly newsworthy.

National movement? (2)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008503)

It looks like Microsoft is really beginning to notice the national and corporate movement towards FS/OSS

I think the enthusiasm here is a bit overstated. If you count up the computer using businesses that don't heavily rely on (a) Outlook or Outlook Express, (b) Word, (c) Excel, (d) PowerPoint, then it's a _very_ short list. Yes, there are small tech-oriented businesses that don't use any of these things, but please don't kid yourself into thinking that this is the general case. That is not a flame by any means; it just doesn't do any good to overstate things.

Personally, I've found that FS/OSS is superior in some areas (Perl, Python, Apache) and less so in other areas (Delphi vs. Free Pascal, gcc vs. compilers from Microsoft and Intel). It isn't clear cut enough to be a "movement." If anything, the really good free stuff tends to be more development oriented (e.g. SDL) than application oriented.

Not going to happen... (2, Interesting)

kakos (610660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008510)

I'm going to get modded down because I'm speaking against the almighty Linux (gasp!), but here it goes.

Linux has no applications worth speaking of. It has some Office imitations, some other things, but that is it. The majority of applications are geared heavily towards programmers. As such, programmers are the only people right now that can effectively use it as a desktop OS.

If anything, I think we'll see a surge of Mac OS X. They have a lot of good applications, a very nice interface, AND it is also a great platform to do programming on.

H8 w/o ESR comments (2, Informative)

Tyrone Slothrop (522703) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008511)

Because it is much more chilling without Eric's rants:

From: Orlando Ayala

Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 5:22 AM

To: GMs of Subsidiaries

Cc: Mich Mathews; Mike Nash; Craig Mundie; Brad Smith (LCA); Pamela Passman (LCA); Vivek Varma; Orlando Ayala's Direct Reports

Subject: OSS and Goverment

We need to more effectively respond to press reports regarding Governments and other major institutions considering OSS alternatives to our products.We must be prepared to respond to announcements,such as this one by the Japan Government (or prior announcements in Peru, Germany etc) quickly and with facts to counter the perception that large institutions are deploying OSS or Linux, when they are only considering or just piloting the technology. Announcements by governments are reported quickly around the world and require more coordination. In several instances,our ability to communicate effectively has been hindered by a lack of integration across groups in Redmond and the subsidiaries.

How to Escalate: Send an email immediately (same day) to the OSSI alias. This group includes members from the Security Business Unit, Server Marketing, LCA and Corporate PR who can quickly pull in additional stakeholders, influence business decisions, create and communicate PR guidance. Your mail should include the following information:

* Designate the subsidiary owner (s) and their 24 hour contact information

* Explain the overall validity of claim, what is being reported, what is true/false

* Explain how and where the organization fits within govt structure (is it a small/medium/large department, how much influence does it have on other IT decisions, are their political influences at play, is there a commitment to deploy, what are the specific details of the announcement, what are the next steps)

* Explain likely influences, bottom line reasoning on why this is happening (i.e. security, cost, politics)

* Explain Microsoft's presence in the account

* Name the key contacts within the gov't

* Name available third parties/potential defenders

* Provide detail on the writer and their media who are writing the story, i.e. are they technical, political, sensational

The Commitment From Corporate:

* Deliver, at minimum, guidance and messaging regarding any new instance within the same business day of your mail being received, including WW communication to prepare all subs

* Follow up with additional guidance, messaging and content within a second business day, including customer and government communication tools

* ecome much better in giving messaging and content proactively on OSS and Linux related issues.

* Todd and MarkM to coordinate with SueB on Mike Nash participation in Linux business press tour

Orlando

this is so obviously fake and canned (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008523)

that it could easily have been the work of spoof makers when being sarcastic. What MS (or M$ if you are a mindless fanboy) is doing here is much like what military units do in a time of war: camoflauge and decoy deployment. Many will take this "leak" and say that "Microsoft is doing the only thing it can by fighting FUD with facts; which any good organization should be prepared to do" and with this the perception that MS is on top of things will hold that much longer. Just remember that like in the stock market itself, the perception of worth has more to do with actual quality or worth itself.

MS's biggest benefit is that they are indeed a behemoth that will not go down easily. That gives warm and fuzzies to those organizations wishing to make large and long term purchases. However, any good decision maker first sets priorities, then weighs the facts based on those priorities. This analysis will lead an organization to see that the very benefit of "support and service" proffered by such a long term company is invalidated if you must buy new software every 1 - 2 years. This is much like what car dealers ummm... deal with. In theory (at least stated openly my many in that business) the reasoning behind this is two fold: 1) it looks much better for the salesmen to use the things he sales and 2) he can see what is good (and bad) about those things he sales and uses himself. However, this does not take longevity into account and therefore I would only trust someone who recycles their vehicles as frequently as these dealers (among others who do this) if I myself only planned upon having each vehicle for a 6 to 24 month timespan. (back to MS and software, I am not including factors of stability, security, support costs themselves, or incompatability with other, often pre-existing, systems, data and experts)

Microsoft is failing for the very same reasons that all bloated governments, companies and organizations fail... collapsing from within. They do not offer quality, but they offer marketing. They do not offer choice, but offer iron fisted conformance and limitations. Most importantly, they do not offer innovation (being better), but rather offer to destroy those better than themselves (the competitors that give rise to the innovation spawning and low cost products).

In case of slashdotting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5008539)

From: Orlando Ayala
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 5:22 AM
To: GMs of Subsidiaries
Cc: Mich Mathews; Mike Nash; Craig Mundie; Brad Smith (LCA); Pamela
Passman (LCA); Vivek Varma; Orlando Ayala's Direct Reports
Subject: OSS and Goverment

We need to more effectively respond to press reports regarding
Governments and other major institutions considering OSS alternatives
to our products. We must be prepared to respond to announcements, such
as this one by the Japan Government (or prior announcements in Peru,
Germany etc) quickly and with facts to counter the perception that
large institutions are deploying OSS or Linux, when they are only
considering or just piloting the technology. Announcements by
governments are reported quickly around the world and require more
coordination. In several instances, our ability to communicate
effectively has been hindered by a lack of integration across groups
in Redmond and the subsidiaries.

What to Escalate: Any instance of government organizations and
significant corporate customers who are planning to study, support or
deploy OSS including Linux and Star Office that is likely to generate
media attention (as differentiated from the COMPHOT alias). Any media
coverage detailing the real or expected announcement of a government
organization of corporate customer to study, support or deploy OSS.

How to Escalate: Send an email immediately (same day) to the OSSI
alias. This group includes members from the Security Business Unit,
Server Marketing, LCA and Corporate PR who can quickly pull in
additional stakeholders, influence business decisions, create and
communicate PR guidance. Your mail should include the following
information:
* Designate the subsidiary owner (s) and their 24 hour contact
information
* Explain the overall validity of claim, what is being reported,
what is true/false
* Explain how and where the organization fits within govt structure
(is it a small/medium/large department, how much influence does it
have on other IT decisions, are their political influences at
play, is there a commitment to deploy, what are the specific
details of the announcement, what are the next steps)
* Explain likely influences, bottom line reasoning on why this is
happening (i.e. security, cost, politics)

* Explain Microsoft's presence in the account
* Name the key contacts within the gov't
* Name available third parties/potential defenders

* Provide detail on the writer and their media who are writing the
story, i.e. are they technical, political, sensational

The Commitment From Corporate:
* Deliver, at minimum, guidance and messaging regarding any new
instance within the same business day of your mail being received,
including WW communication to prepare all subs

* Follow up with additional guidance, messaging and content within a
second business day, including customer and government
communication tools

* ecome much better in giving messaging and content proactively on
OSS and Linux related issues.

* Todd and MarkM to coordinate with SueB on Mike Nash participation
in Linux business press tour

Orlando

esr and his need to be famous (5, Insightful)

Dante (3418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008542)

It seems to me that this memo really not worth the time it took to read. I guess that Microsofts opinion matters less and less, and thats a good thing. We (the OSS / FS people) are going are own way, less a reaction to Microsoft and more what do we think is important; openness, the art and creativity, the developers, the users, stability, speed.

What I want is to stop: stop caring about MS, about how they are evil empire, and how to beat said empire; and start thinking about all the cool, neat, amazing solutions to problems we can solve.

ESR has to give it up, stop reacting, stop trying to gather the limelight. I think he has lost his way, he needs start coding, doing something else, solve real problems, instead of chasing that strawman.

Eight??? (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008552)

Do you expect us to believe that *eight* MSFT employees screwed up and got fired for releasing internal documents? Either that, or do you expect us to believe that so many of MSFT's employees are out to besmirch the place where they work?

To the F/OSS community: Methinks thy chain has been jerked.

When you're as big as MSFT, the "economy of scale" that comes into play when manipulating the media and pundits can be quite impressive. Don't underestimate it. I mean, "Halloween Document" has become almost as powerful a trademark as "Windows". They'd be foolish not to throw some headfakes in there.

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