×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

331 comments

Economy 101: (5, Interesting)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#6953967)

Make sure your market is not undermined by the competition, free or otherwise.

Economics 101: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954035)

Never compete with a free product to begin with.

Re:Economy 101: (5, Insightful)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954125)

Make sure your market is not undermined by the competition, free or otherwise.

well put. i am tired of hearing that capitalism is based on competition and risk. it isn't. capitalism is based on mitigating risk as much as possible and eliminating the competition if feasible. all capitalist systems tend towards monopolism naturally.

Notice this Zealots (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6953968)

That said, open-source is no panacea, and there are many areas where proprietary products are still far superior.

I wish the zealots would at least concede that much before blasting the horrible , horrible, evil, closed, proprietary software.

Re: Notice this Zealots (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6953988)


> > That said, open-source is no panacea, and there are many areas where proprietary products are still far superior.

> I wish the zealots would at least concede that much before blasting the horrible , horrible, evil, closed, proprietary software.

OK, consider it conceded. Now can we please get on with the blasting?

Re:Notice this Zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6953995)

The usual excuse given is that the software is "good enough" (with a few exceptions, like Apache, OpenSSH, and the like). Of course, most is shite produced by 14 year olds who may suddenly stop supporting their project.

Take OpenOffice.Org for instance. It's not nearly as good as MS office, by miles. It doesn't even come close to WordPerfect office, which is affordable. "Sure, it can't print, but who needs anything but text printing in courier 8 point font, right??"

Rubbish (3, Informative)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954122)

It uses every font installed on my computer - whether I boot Linux or Windows. It does them in every size and the printed output looks the same as any other word processor.

Yes, there are deficiencies. It doesn't have a database or email/calendar programme. I'm not sure what I would use for the former but I know they are debating it in their mailing lists. For email/calendar there is Mozilla. That's not perfect either, but it's the only browser I use.

I recently gave a copy to a nurse at work who wanted MS office but was not going to pay that sort of price. I installed OOO on her laptop and she took it home. The only verbal assistance I gave was a reminder to save things to .DOC .XLS or whatever format when bringing files to work, or emailing them to people.

I asked how it was going after a couple of weeks. The reply was "it just works".

MOD PARENT FLAMEBAIT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954000)

SEE sUbJ3kt.

In Soviet Russia, Flames Bait You!

Re:Notice this Zealots (4, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954029)

there are many areas where proprietary products are still far superior

Yes, but considering the progress of OSS over the last decade, given time and continued success this will soon no longer be the case. It is only a matter of time before OSS dominates in 90% of market niches.

That's what Microsoft is afraid of: the democratization of computing. Everyone must have access to the law; that is what the corrupt fear. In the same way, everyone must have access to software and information; that is what the software companies and IP cartels fear.

Re:Notice this Zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954058)

Yes, but considering the progress of OSS over the last decade

Consider the progress of Microsoft over the last decade! Ten years ago Windows 95 didn't exist.

Re:Notice this Zealots (3, Insightful)

Tim Doran (910) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954087)

hmm... I question your 90% number. Proprietary software tends to drive focus where the money is. OSS tends to drive focus where the work is interesting.

So while OSS continues to make great inroads in the OS space, for example (lots of interesting work there), it's hard to picture a loose collection of programmers building a serious contender to SAP or PeopleSoft's product set. They're not interesting enough projects to inspire passion in peoples' free time, at least not the the necessary degree. And there's a LOT of money/effort spent on this dull sort of software.

And I don't necessarily think that's important. Consider that ESR is driven by ideology: the chief benefits of computing should be available to everyone, regardless of thier ability to pay. That means operating systems and desktop applications, the web browser in particular. It means a great web server, a selection of good-to-great databases etc, all via OSS. It means everything important to the operation of the internet, which must never be owned by a corporation.

There will be plenty of niches still best filled by proprietary applications, and I think that's okay.

Random musings of the very tired...

Re:Notice this Zealots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954098)

That said, open-source is no panacea, and there are many areas where proprietary products are still far superior.

Lets not forget the biggest problem with open source software. It directly relates to the high unemployment rate currently being experienced in the tech sector. Programmers by the millions are unemployed because communists are undermining the great American capitalist economy by GIVING their software away. How do you expect to get work as a programmer when some guy next door is giving away the software for free? It's outright piracy and should be banned in the United States.

Re:Notice this Zealots (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954148)


> Lets not forget the biggest problem with open source software. It directly relates to the high unemployment rate currently being experienced in the tech sector. Programmers by the millions are unemployed because communists are undermining the great American capitalist economy by GIVING their software away. How do you expect to get work as a programmer when some guy next door is giving away the software for free? It's outright piracy and should be banned in the United States.

The problem with your fantasy is that if not for FOSS the world market would have almost completely converged on Microsoft products by now, and there wouldn't be any programming jobs anyway unless you happened to land a job with Microsoft.

And it's not like they'd need a lot of programmers once the competition was completely crushed, either.

[Actually there will always be a need for people to program up special-purpose systems that can't be bought off the shelf or downloaded for the net, and those jobs will be there whether FOSS is available for free or not.]

Re:Notice this Zealots (2, Interesting)

malfunct (120790) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954254)

Last I checked there were plenty of people working on completely closed proprietary software projects that are not owned by Microsoft. Microsoft really doesn't complete in THAT many markets, only the ones where you need billions of copies of the software. There are lots of less common pieces of software that MS has no interest in.

Re:Notice this Zealots (5, Insightful)

ekuns (695444) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954245)

Programmers by the millions are unemployed because communists are undermining the great American capitalist economy by GIVING their software away. How do you expect to get work as a programmer when some guy next door is giving away the software for free? It's outright piracy and should be banned in the United States.

Wow. So it's Open Source that's causing the extinction of the Great American Programmer? Working at a company which is oursourcing coding to another country on the different side of a large ocean, I don't know that Open Source even registers on the radar as to why people are out of work. Please.

And communist? You completely miss the whole business model of open source. And you seem to be under the impression that open source is something recent, when in fact it is as old as programming, the only difference is that now non-programmers are talking about it. Not to mention that name calling is the last argument of those who have no real argument.

Besides, this "Great American Capitalist economy" is being weakened by a government that not only encourages wage deflation in the tech sector, but is actively participating is the process.

But that's OK. You can blame open source if you just want to be angry and have something to rant about that doesn't require much thought or investigation.

Re:Notice this Zealots (2, Interesting)

ekuns (695444) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954190)

I wish the zealots would at least concede that much before blasting the horrible , horrible, evil, closed, proprietary software.

Um, are you missing the definition of the word "zealot"? By definition, zealots on either side of the issue will concede nothing! To misquite The Princess Bride, "I don't think that word means what you think it means."

Sadly, I think it's human nature to look for a panacea. We never learn. There IS no panacea. (And all absolute statements are wrong.) I tend to advise people to be pragmatic in their zealotry. It's a good think I like to hear myself talk, because zealots don't like listen....

Eddie the Penguin (as I'm known at work)

Notice this microserfs... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954228)

That said, open-source is no panacea, and there are many areas where proprietary products are still far superior.

Please notice the word "still"...

Think about the probelms (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6953970)

Some foreign national cyber-terrorist could include malicious code in our govermental code. Think of the security implications. Plus, we'd be indirectly supporting the effort of another, possibly communist country. The majority of Microsoft's money comes from the US government, their biggest client. To paraphrase Harry S. Truman, "What's good for Microsoft is good for the United States."

Re:Think about the problems (2, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954065)

Some foreign national cyber-terrorist could include malicious code in our govermental code.
Don't forget to think of the children, too!!!

Re:Think about the probelms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954116)

I hope this was a tongue in cheek comment!

It wasn't Truman (4, Funny)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954208)

"What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and what's good for General Motors is good for the country." -- Former GM President Charles Erwin Wilson, 1952.

Wilson later became Eisenhower's Secretary of Defense (1953-57). Sometimes a good quotation gets in the way of good history.

How to be an American (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6953979)

HOWTO: Be an American
Version 1.0 / M

America, eh folks? It's a pretty screwed up place. Unfortunately, but not indefinitely, the USA's weapons of mass destruction make it the most powerful country in the world (militarily). As a result, it helps to be aware of American society and fit into it, and our quick 8-step guide should have you on the path to burger-munching enlightenment.

1 - Buy yourself a gun
To become a fully-fledged Yank, you'll need to get a weapon. Americans think that having more killing machines magically makes their country safer, and it helps them to walk around saying "I'll put a cap in your ass". Even though the concept of "no guns = no gun-related crimes" is alien to the average Yank, it'll give you a false sense of security in this country with the highest crime rates in the developed world.

2 - Put on at least 25 stone
Skinny? Medium? Chubby? That won't cut it in the good ol' US of A. Because America has the highest obesty levels on the planet, you'll need to get those rolls of flab built up. Eating 18 waffles with Maple syrup for breakfast (and visiting Burger King five times in a day) is all natural when much of the world is suffering massive poverty. Get fat and fit in.

3 - Learn the lingo
We've talked about issues affecting society, but on a personal level you'll need more knowledge (or ignorance as it may be) to fit in. First, forget proper English. Confuse "your" with "you're". Say "must of" instead of "must have". Whenever anything interesting occurs, say "shucks" repeatedly. Instead of clever spontaneity or witty insults, call people "asswipes". It's funny!

4 - Throw away all maps, history books etc.
To really feel a part of American society, you must lose all knowledge of the world. Forget where Poland is. Scrap your knowledge of the lengthy Chinese history. Make cretinous remarks like "India? Is that in Africa?". Because ALL that matters is America, and it doesn't matter how pathetic you look to educated people the world over.

5 - Become totally irrational and nonsensical
Spout on about the Constitution, and then make drastic changes to it. Talk about "freedom of speech" and watch TV programmes about the Ku Klux Klan. Rant on about market freedom, and sit back as companies run riot and destroy the economy with their anti-competitive practices. Essentially, act idiotic at all times.

6 - Sue everyone you ever meet
The USA doesn't produce many decent quality products, so the society is crumbling into a litigation-happy joke. With so many jobs going overseas to talented workers, your only option left is to start legal proceedings. About anything. Someone step on your toe? Get some hotshot downtown lawyer to sue their ass!

7 - Get a "shrink"
Americans have a hard time dealing with their own problems in a mature manner, and prefer to spend hundreds of dollars sitting in front of someone and whinging. However trivial your problems may be, blast them out like a baby!

8 - Watch abysmal TV
Forget educational programmes and incisive documentaries. Your ideal night in is with your gun, six cheeseburgers and a Friends box set. Watch as some over-paid talentless "actor" enters the scene, and whoop and scream hysterically as he delivers some ridiculously poor wisecrack.

So there you have it! Those 8 steps should have you killing innocent people, piling on pounds and acting like a moron in no time. America awaits you, brave hero! Just get out before it collapses in disarray.

END

Re:How to be an American (0, Offtopic)

CrazyGringo (672487) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954019)

Oooh. You hurt me. You are just as intolerant as the KKK, asshole.

Re:How to be an American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954100)

it's asswipe, your a commie.

Re:Liars!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954115)

Ah, I see you followed rule 3. Good job, asswipe.

"America" is $$$ and Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954025)

America, real America is a place of freedom, of dreams and hopes, of caring for each other, of support for the less fortunate. We encompass all cultures of the world, and thus have so much to offer.

Why do we let money and power rule us? Time to get back to the roots of our identity, pluralism and compassion.

Re:"America" is $$$ and Power (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954083)

We encompass all cultures of the world, and thus have so much to offer.

you americans suck for not downmodding this

Re:How to be an American (0, Troll)

dogen (574612) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954170)

i guess your a islam... so its obvious what this so-called criticism is worth...

Open the document formats (5, Insightful)

Lips (26363) | more than 10 years ago | (#6953993)

I don't mind if govt uses open source or not. The best product for the situation should be used. What I do want do see is "open" document formats to allow them to switch software providers easily.

Re:Open the document formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954015)

Why? Such capabilities already exist (i.e., plain text, HTML, and PDF). The usual example is Word's DOC. So what if it's closed? It's a trade secret. If you want to exchange a document with someone else, then save it in an alternate format (I'm looking at Word's file->save box now, and it let's me choose from 22 file formats, none of which include PDF, either.)

Re:Open the document formats (3, Informative)

trompete (651953) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954017)

That's all good for us as end-users and customers, but an open documents format would be suicide for company like Microsoft.
I'm glad that Opera, Mozilla...etc,etc,etc and Apache server kept Microsoft from controlling the HTML standards completely!!

Re:Open the document formats (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954043)

I don't really think an open document standard would be that bad for Microsoft. They survived the days when everyone used plain ascii text files. They are surviving OpenOffice and all other opensource programs that have reverse engineered their formats.

Re:Open the document formats (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954078)

Yes, they are reverse engineering the formats, but they are never 100% accurate. I use special formatting on my resume (doc format) that never displays correctly on StarOffice and OpenOffice. If the format were published, it would be perfected of course, but why would Microsoft want it to work on other software suites?

Re:Open the document formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954255)

well it would actually make sence for microsoft to concede into a let's all get along attitude in order to avoid the contractors and such needing to convert to another type of software to do business with an agency that has taken an alternative route.

this would allow those that don't do opensource (or whatever) to ramina at the call of microsoft.

i can see some government agency using linux and open office and haveing every agency it interacts with convert from microsoft office just to get things redily compatible. without a smooth interaction of siletypes and stuff this could get verry expensive for microsoft and cascade into even bigger problems for them.

Re:Open the document formats (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954092)

I'm glad that Opera, Mozilla...etc,etc,etc and Apache server kept Microsoft from controlling the HTML standards completely!!

Apache, maybe (although I have no idea what Apache has to do with HTML), but Opera and Mozilla? Are you fucking kidding? With something along the lines of 3% usage, how can you say they've had *anything* to do with influencing standards? That's insane.

Re:Open the document formats (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954135)

Apache runs 2/3 of the HTTP servers on the internet. Check out their site [apache.org] or look at netcraft to see the facts. Microsoft is the minority when it comes to web servers; therefore, open standards can still exist.
As far as the other browsers being such a small part of the market, their share will only grow as more people use Linux and OS X. Microsoft can make IE as proprietary as they want, but it won't matter at all if Apache is delivering the content.

Re:Open the document formats (2, Informative)

FireBreathingDog (559649) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954265)

I think what the guy was saying re: although I have no idea what Apache has to do with HTML was that Apache, as an HTTP server, has nothing to do with HTML, the document format, in the same way that Apache has nothing to do with the GIF format, the JPEG format, or any other MIME type (nothing to do other than serve it up, that is).

Re:Open the document formats (5, Insightful)

koa (95614) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954186)

Actually, they did try to mung up the HTML standard. But not very sucessfully. Ever see "This page best viewed with MS IE v4.5 or better" ??

They incorporated all sorts of browser specific code that only works on IE in the hopes that they could curtail the HTML standard into their own bastardised version of it.

Thanks to Mozilla, Opera, Konqueror we didnt completely go down that road.

Bye Bye Birdie (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6953997)

Microsoft has pissed off the hundredth monkey and it's reign is coming to an end. An iron fist in the marketplace (not unlike Bush's iron fist foreign policy), only serves to alienate customers, partners all for stockholder greed.

Linux will win because it is nurtured and everyone has a stake in it's creation, integration and usability.

Bill, I'll give you a quarter on the streetcorner in Redmond in 20 years to call someone who cares..

Re:Bye Bye Birdie (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954028)

When I can launch OpenOffice to type a plain text document, that is, if the fucking panel doesn't crash before I can click it, well, I'll let you know.

Re:Bye Bye Birdie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954047)

never had a single problem in openoffice either in linux or windows. Runs flawlessly all the time and is WAY more intuitive to me than MS Office.

Panels are just useless, time to get rid of em anyway. So..dump your panel (ie. icewm) and enjoy openoffice

=)

CmdrTaco & Katie: Exclusive Wedding Photograp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954001)

Right here. [artnet.com]

All pics (C) 2003 CowboyNeal

Mainstream Gets It (5, Insightful)

hbo (62590) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954005)

To have this analysis show up in The Economist rather than Slashdot or LWN, etc, is a bad omen for Microsoft.

It's just as easy to lie as to tell the truth. What's hard is keeping the lie standing long enough to fool your target. The truth takes less energy to maintain.

Re:Mainstream Gets It (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954055)

The article says essentially, "Microsoft has competition". It doesn't imply, nor do I believe, that they're in any trouble whatsoever. They're just not able to stomp all over the competition so freely anymore (although, they do still stomp the shit out of Linux in 99% of their markets, I'm sure).

Re:Mainstream Gets It (4, Insightful)

hbo (62590) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954144)

Well, the idea that OSS can compete with Microsoft is relatively new in the mainstream. But what I was referring to was the analysis of why a government entity might consider OSS to be superior to proprietary. Those are ideas that have some weight attached to them. specifically:
  • Massive peer review makes OSS more secure than comparable closed source products
  • Proprietary document formats raise issues when government information is stored using them.
  • When a government IT infrastructure is completely dependent on a (possibly foreign) corporation whose (proper) concern is shareholder value, it raises questions about the ability of the government to persue (properly) different goals using that infrastructure.



  • I've seen these issues well reported in the nerd community, but this is the first time I've read it in The Economist. Their circulation, shall we say, differs substantially from the user list at Slashdot. I think the ideas carry even more weight with decision makers in government and elsewhere when a mainstream publication like the Economist publishes them. And that, I think, is bad news for Microsoft.

So what? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954024)

Microsoft is business; businesses must always compete hardball for government contracts, in any sector, be it software, hardware, equipment, construction. It's no surprise that it's offering special deals to preserve it's market share, that's what you'd expect any business to do.

There are many businesses behind the open source movement: Red Hat, IBM, Sun. Don't doubt that they aren't competing just as hard for the same contracts. And open source has a big advantage over Microsoft - the number of vocal advocates that are willing to promote it without payment. In fact, you'll find many of them here on Slashdot.

Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954027)

Users love software that they don't have to pay for. But, some software professionals have to make a living creating and maintaining that software. Many companies today grapple with the question, "how to make money with Linux and Open Source?" Some software business leaders are worried about whether Linux and Open Source are impacting business viability of operating systems/environment business. Enterprise business and IT managers are quite happy to see the trend towards software they don't have to pay for. But, most often they do not understand what the implications are and what the fine prints way. Martin Fink has done an excellent job of compiling all the fundamental and essential information on the business aspects of Linux and Open Source software. He clarifies and removes many myths people carry in their minds. Probably this is a "one of its kind" book that brings together the various angles such as the overview of terms, understanding legal lingo, business model aspects, talent management aspects and so on. The book covers the essential technical aspects lucidly and adequately. If you are looking for a deep technical source for Linux and Open Source architectures, there are enough pointers in the book; but, this book is not meant for that purpose. I recommend this book for software engineers who have to understand the business aspects and Enterprise IT/Business Managers who are deploying/planning Linux and Open Source components in their business. The timing of the book is perfect. This book is a good candidate for bringing out update versions as the domain expands and matures. I don't know whether Martin Fink plans to upgrade the book year after year.

Quoted from Amazon [amazon.com]

The economist on taking a shit! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954031)

Don't waste valueble water and toilet roll. Shit in a linux users mouth and let him lick you clean!

P.S. I got 2000th post! [slashdot.org]

--
Anonymous Coword!

Damn, it feels good to be a gangster (4, Interesting)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954049)

I'm torn on whether to be surprised by this--the Economist has run stories before (there was one last issue on the SCO deal) that seem to be subtly, quietly favoring GNU/Linux.

The part of me that says "I told you so" has been informed by recent experiences with managment/executives in our small business. They LOVE the fact that we run Linux on everything (well, there's a couple of BSD and Windows machines where we need them) and they never hesitate to brag about it to clients. They love feeling ahead of the curve.

The surprised part of me read the article in the WSJ last month (on the SCO thing) that warned the "Linux crunchies" to be wary of SCO's ability to win scummy IP lawsuits. The article betrayed a complete lack of understanding of what the "Open-Source community" is (to the extent that it's anything at all). And the same execs that love having Slackware stickers on everything need to be reminded during every internal licensing audit that GNU/Linux IS free as in beer, too.

They love it, but they don't get it. Makes me a little worried, sometimes, where they'll want to take it.

Re:Damn, it feels good to be a gangster (1)

EinarH (583836) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954212)

They love it, but they don't get it. Makes me a little worried, sometimes, where they'll want to take it.
I have experienced the same things. Management initially did'nt belive in Linux, we (as in consulting) convinced them into testing it for some tasks like web servers, DNS, firewall, proxy.
Management love it because, quote: "Linux rocks". Its free (as in management-no-pay-free) and stable.
But some of them never got the concept behind Linux. GNU? Open source/free software? Freedom to change the code? Propretary? Lock-in? Security through open code?

Even when we tried to educate them about the not so clearly seen benefits with free software they could not see it. So when we said that Linux prob. would not work for all their applications(some old power management systems) they did not understand why. So when we told them that we could not replace their huge DB2 (yet) they did not understand why. So when they had to pay for Linux-support they did not understand why("I though Linux was free".

I think these things wil happen in a lot of companies when there are a significant distance between reality and expectations. Now that various business, executive and CIO magazines are hyping Linux they are all over it, but many of them will never understand why it's happening. I also fear that Linux might not be able to live up to some of the expectations some exec. will get from all the buzz.

Closed format (5, Insightful)

timelady (566419) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954050)

It was interesting that the various governments are interested in alternatives, in large part, because of the storage of information in proprietory format. This would only be enhanced by the latest proposed MSOffice document format being incompatible with even previous versions. But the best bit, imho is that the article metnions three groups/professions to benefit most from the move to Open Source: " large consultancy firms and systems integrators, such as IBM, which will be called in to devise and install alternative products; firms such as Red Hat or SuSE, which sell Linux-based products and services; and numerous small, local technology firms that can tailor open-source products for governmental users.numerous small, local technology firms that can tailor open-source products for governmental users". Hmm, don't critics of Open Source always say no way to make money from such a 'socialist/communist/root of all evil/hippy' model? And gee, helping small businesses, especially IT based ones, expand, profit, and employ more people, is HIGH on all government wish lists. Great to see an intelligent analysis in a respected magazine, too.

Microsoft still doesn't get it (5, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954053)

Microsoft doesn't get it. They can put as much money as they want into their internal "slush" fund in order to match Linux on price. They can fund as many studies as they want that "find" Windows is cheaper. It won't matter. Choosing FOSS is not just about money. In fact, it's mostly NOT about money. It's about a principle: freedom.

Governments want the freedom to set their own technology course, not be dependent upon a proprietary software company that is beholden first of all to its shareholders. Governments want the security of knowing precisely what their machines are running on, by checking the code themselves. Governments want the abililty to set their own upgrade schedule, not wait until a company tells them the new version is ready. Governments want the ability to squash bugs immediately, not just when a company decides that bug is worth fixing instead of just adding new features.

Microsoft is so focused on winning the bottom line that they don't seem to have caught on to the biggest appeal of FOSS: Not free as in cost, but free as in speech. It's a principle that individuals find appealing, and now governments are finding that this freedom works for them as well. So no matter what Microsoft does, they can never compete on those terms. It's a principle now. Game over.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (0, Offtopic)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954066)

No, YOU don't get it. You obviously don't run a business. Principles like "free as in freedom" don't come into play when you're talking about the bottom line. That's a very, very naive viewpoint. I don't give a flying shit about "free as in freedom" when I have bills to pay, and I doubt that most other companies, unless they're awash in profits, do either.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (5, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954079)

" No, YOU don't get it. You obviously don't run a business. Principles like "free as in freedom" don't come into play when you're talking about the bottom line. That's a very, very naive viewpoint."

Do tell. In fact, you have no idea what I do for a living, and your assumptions are laughable from where I am sitting. In fact, "free as in freedom" is directly applicable to the bottom line when you can control the destiny of the software your business depends on. While Microsoft tells you where you are going today, those who control their own software get to make that business decision themselves.

And THAT is what helps you pay your bills.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954123)

ninenine is a known troll

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954126)

Do tell. In fact, you have no idea what I do for a living

Let me guess... you're and unemployed hippy with long hair and a beard, and living in your parents' basement?

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (-1, Flamebait)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954130)

Do tell. In fact, you have no idea what I do for a living, and your assumptions are laughable from where I am sitting. In fact, "free as in freedom" is directly applicable to the bottom line when you can control the destiny of the software your business depends on. While Microsoft tells you where you are going today, those who control their own software get to make that business decision themselves.

And THAT is what helps you pay your bills.



"control the destiny of the software"? For one thing, I can tell that you don't run any kind of business. This is just laughable. Microsoft doesn't have any say over what software I install on my computer, so your spouting is largely irrelevant. I make software buying decisions based on many economic factors, but "controlling destiny" doesn't generally come into play. Things like initial cost, maintenance, training, support, downtime, possible upgrades, etc are things that I consider when I buy software. "Freedom" is something that people with excess disposable income can slap themselves on the back about. Those of us living in the real world don't have that luxury.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (1)

Krunch (704330) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954112)

May be this is the case for business but I hope governments care more about freedom than money. I know it seems strange to think that it is possible.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (3, Interesting)

Tim Doran (910) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954129)

hmm... except the bulk of this article was about OSS in government. Government faces many of the same cost control/performance issues as private enterprise, but government is NOT a business.

Government must consider its responsibility to the people - locking its data in proprietary formats doesn't meet that responsibility. Heck, even if OSS winds up costing more than proprietary solutions, it's the right thing for government to do, since publicly-owned information will be available long after anyone can get their hands on a copy of some long-defunct proprietary software.

The other point the article made was that this trend in government could trigger a trend in business, since there's a huge private sector that serves government.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (2, Interesting)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954163)

Principles like "free as in freedom" don't come into play when you're talking about the bottom line. It does when your the client and you like the principal.

Well... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954193)

"Obviously" he doesn't run a business... maybe. But you "obviously" don't run a government. I work for one. It's non-profit. So much for your "bottom line" theory.

Microsoft, and you, shall both adapt. Or become extinct. Just like Munich, we are going to pay more money to have interoperability. Because it's cheaper and has better ROI in the long run.

No, YOU don't get it (1)

JimmytheGeek (180805) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954195)

For organizations of any significant capitalization, IT is a strategic asset. Having control over that asset is pretty much the only sound strategy. Being told where you want to go today is not a good thing. Being locked into a predatory vendor is not a good thing. Especially when they can change the licensing at a whim to keep it just under the pain threshold to dump them.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (2, Insightful)

bgarrett (6193) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954213)

You obviously don't run a business where your software depended on a specific environment, which the vendor (Microsoft) has made obsolete, or has "patched" into utter brokenness. Freedom is important when you need a stable base for applications, because freedom comes with the ability to accept upgrades, or to stay where you are because what you have is what works best for you.

This can even happen in the Linux world (with a lot of people complaining about RH's updates policy, when they're happily running RH7.3 machines).

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954270)

You obviously don't run a business.

And from the sounds of it, neither do you - at least not a successful one.

Principles like "free as in freedom" don't come into play when you're talking about the bottom line.

They should. Really.

That's a very, very naive viewpoint.

Yours, or his? Your viewpoint is so totally closed-minded it's unbelievable.

I don't give a flying shit about "free as in freedom" when I have bills to pay

You should. If your business uses computers, then you should care very much about "free as in freedom" - because it directly affects your bottom line.

The company I work for is (like many others right now) having a hard time making ends meet - and my department (the only one that uses Free software) is the only one turning a profit.. in fact, we are the only reason the company is still in business. I attribute this directly to Free software.

If someone in my department needs a feature or bug fixed for an app on his/her desktop, we are free to add that - we don't have to send a feature request to another company, wait a year or so for them to implement it (and hope that it gets done the way we want), and then have the "pleasure" of re-buying that software.

If a customer says "boy, I wish your product would do X", we're not saddled with contacting some mysterious upstream vendor, and begging politely for them to implement it, so that we can start rolling it out, and (finally) charge the customer. Instead, we say "we'll get right on that", write the necessary code, and start billing.

I doubt that most other companies, unless they're awash in profits, do either.

This is the most telling.. Perhaps you hadn't noticed, but such companies are awash in profits because they care about Freedom (at least their own.)

Think about it: MS, the biggest company that comes to mind when you say "awash in profits", is profitable precisely because they have freedom over their own code. And because they religiously deny that freedom to others, those others are typically not as profitable.

If you really are a businessperson, you should open your eyes, and take a long, hard, look at what you're doing - because your view of Free software is probably part of why you're not as successful as you could be.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (4, Interesting)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954139)

Whoa, pally--for some of "us" (as in, people who read slashdot), it's NOT about a principle. At all. It's totally, entirely, wholly about money. And is that bad?

We use GNU/Linux at work because it works really well for the small-to-medium environment we have. There are a gazillion more choices with Linux than with MS, and it's rare (in my experience, anyway) to find any specific apps at this level where OS can't do it better or equally well.

Open source software (in our environment, for the tasks we have, and as we use it) installs fast, it's user friendly once you get to know it, and there's no license management, vendor contracts, or other ancillary bullshit to make headaches. It's just so simple, so easy, and it works so well.

That's about the money, BTW, because time is money. GNU/Linux is a cheaper, better alternative to MS, and that's why we use it.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (3, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954156)

That's fine, it can be about the money for some people. All I'm saying is that there are some institutions that now turn away from closed-source out of principle. That's not you? Fine. But it is for some, and Microsoft will never be able to defeat that.

Re:Microsoft still doesn't get it (4, Insightful)

hbo (62590) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954268)

I don't think underestimating Microsoft is advisable. I think they do get the true nauture of OSS and the threat it poses to their businesses. They are trying to answer as many of those threats as they can. Linux threatens Microsoft on many fronts. One is price, and not just on the initial purchase. So they have a fund that can be used to ensure they lose no deals to Linux based on price. But as the Economist points out, Munich took Microsoft's "cheaper than Linux" offer and told them to keep it. There are other areas where they are having a hard time responding to the Linux threat. They can't match the massive peer review advantage of OSS without becoming a completely different company. But they can partially answer the advantage of open source code. Thus, their "shared source" program was born. Along with this goes FUD claiming that the peer review advantage of OSS is actually a weakness because bad guys can look at the source too. This probably plays well for them, but since it isn't true, it will only be useful for a while. Similarly, Microsoft spreads FUD about intellectual property in Linux. And in the same way, once the SCO suit is dealt with, they won't be able to use that angle either.

So judging by their responses, I'd say Microsoft "gets it" completely. They are perhaps the most clever, and ruthless, practicioners of marketing the world has ever seen. Underestimate them at your peril!

Bass-ackwards thinking (4, Insightful)

Xenothaulus (587382) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954060)

"Jason Matusow, Microsoft's shared-source manager, says that developing software requires leadership and an understanding of customer needs--both areas where proprietary-software companies excel."

An understanding of customer needs.

Exactly why governments are gravitating towards open-source, according to the article. They can tailour the code to suit their needs, instead of expressing thier needs to a company and then waiting for the product.

Re:Bass-ackwards thinking (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954128)

and then waiting for the product

Not to mention getting features they don't want or need in the meantime, right Clippy? *pats Clippy on his head*

Phew (5, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954070)

"Politicians in India have called on its vast army of programmers to develop open-source products for the same reasons."

All you MS developers are safe now. There'll be no outsourcing there any more.

Speaking of OSS software... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954074)

Hey, you OSS programmers... start writing me a graphical, easy to use point of sale system for my business that runs on Windows (NT flavor, of course), and interfaces with Quickbooks. Hurry the fuck up, kids. I need to add some more cash registers, and I don't want to pay for it. Get a fucking move on, you little bastards.

Re:Speaking of OSS software... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954244)

Windows? Fuck you, shitknob. Why do ya need a gui for POS anyway? If you were smart enough to run Linux like me and my brainiac friends, you could just keep the tally in your head.

Fucking limp-wrist, no mathskills wanker.

I think Minnie Mouse is sexy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954082)

I think Minnie Mouse is sexy. I especially love it when you can see her bloomers. I spend countless nights downloading photos of Minnie in Disneyland from Japanese sites (you know the Japanese people take lots of photographs, LOL). Does that make me a pervert?

I know you thin I'm joking, but I am being serious (if disturbing and offtopic), I just wanted to let other Minnie Mouse lovers out there know that they are not alone.

Re:I think Minnie Mouse is sexy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954117)

I'm more of a Daisy Duck guy, myself. I often fantasize about getting a beak job and then ramming my hot rod up her tail feathers, then covering her in my own special duck sauce.

~~~

Re:I think Minnie Mouse is sexy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954188)

Huey Louie & Dewey are in my thoughts most of the time, does this make me a Ducklingophile?

Re:I think Minnie Mouse is sexy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954240)

I'm not gay or anything, but I would be willing to fuck Bugs Bunny's ass while giving him a reach around. That fluffy tail of his, mm-mm.

Or does that make me gay?

This article isn't really insightful, more... (5, Insightful)

pr0ntab (632466) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954095)

of a head's up to anyone who hasn't read the headlines on Slashdot, CNet, or google for the last 18 months or so.

I think what's more telling is that it is sitting there in the Economist. Now you just have to wait for it to show up in Business Week as an editorial piece, and then It Must Be True, at least to managerial types of various calibers.

The Economist has this characterization of being for people who have their finger on the pulse of things; who are levelheaded and are already in the know, so it may sort of be preaching to the choir. It's pretty spin free, so that awkward quote from the Microsoft rep "being customer-focused" sort of stands out, and I think that was intentional.

Microsoft doesn't customer-focus unless you're entering a partnership agreement with them. Otherwise your wants and needs are averaged out across the board and shipped in a Service Pack. Meanwhile the article puts that quote agaisnt the backdrop of how open-source is being chosen precisely because it's easy to tailor for what you need.

And you don't have to be a slashdotter to appreciate that irony. It's all right there.

Who cares... you'll only end up helping open soure (3, Interesting)

snooo53 (663796) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954114)

I mean really. Every time a large corporation tries to do something like this, it eventually backfires on them. Look at everything the RIAA has tried the past few years... and P2P has become even more universal in the computer world because of the publicity. They've only managed to undermine themselves by doing things to make people hate them.

The same will be true of Microsoft... the more they attack open source software, they will undermine their own monopoly. This could end up causing a huge draw towards open source. Just like the RIAA they could have chose to embrace new technology (and ways of thinking), Microsoft could have embraced open source. Given grants to developers and kept their own business alive by forever by making good interfaces to those programs (after all, it's what they're good at). But instead, like the RIAA, they chose to go on the offensive and in the end it will kill their business if they don't change.

So I say, bring it on Microsoft! You're only ensuring that in the future, with those tactics, Open Source will dominate the computer world, just like P2P is beginning to dominate the music distribution world.

MS in Denial (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954143)

One of the items that often gets ignored in Microsoft's thinking is this: They were a small company with many competitors and Operating Systems were many and varied and had their niche; MS has changed the world by the proliferation of its operating system(s) and made it part of the INFRASTRUCTURE on which society relies. Once you control the infrastructure, you can't behave like MS currently is behaving - or the people and Governments will look for alternatives.

They changed the world, but unfortunately, they can't change themselves and herein lies the biggest of their problems.

The last statement in the article "But the signs are that many of them have already made up their minds." is very telling. Once you have known MS's past behavior, you know why they made up their minds.

Redundant? No one actually reads the article... (1)

base2op (226729) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954147)

City officials said the decision was a matter of principle: the municipality wanted to control its technological destiny. It did not wish to place the functioning of government in the hands of a commercial vendor with proprietary standards which is accountable to shareholders rather than to citizens.


Bitchslapped by Muenchen!

Better link to the article (1)

vinsci (537958) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954149)

Governments like open-source software, but Microsoft does not - printer friendly [economist.com]

The original [economist.com] link in the /. story goes to a page with some ad(s), however, the ads never materialize from the 3rd party server, which blocks the story from being shown at all! Control that ad server and censor what The Economist publishes on the web ;-). Smart people use CSS [csszengarden.com] instead, not HTML tables.

Linux sucks! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954159)

GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which
gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Are you GAY [klerck.org]?
Are you a NIGGER [tux.org]?
Are you a GAY NIGGER [gay-sex-access.com]?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, then GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing GAY NIGGER community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America. You, too, can be a part of GNAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!

First, you have to obtain a copy of GAY NIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [imdb.com] and watch it.

Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA "first post" on slashdot.org [slashdot.org], a popular "news for trolls" website

Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on EFNet, and apply for membership.
Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today!

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is EFNet, and you can connect to irc.secsup.org or irc.easynews.com as one of the EFNet servers.
If you do not have an IRC client handy, you are free to use the GNAA Java IRC client by clicking here [nero-online.org].

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

This post brought to you by Penisbird [nero-online.org] , a proud member of the GNAA

G_____________________________________naann_______ ________G
N_____________________________nnnaa__nanaaa_______ ________A
A____________________aanana__nannaa_nna_an________ ________Y
A_____________annna_nnnnnan_aan_aa__na__aa________ ________*
G____________nnaana_nnn__nn_aa__nn__na_anaann_MERI CA______N
N___________ana__nn_an___an_aa_anaaannnanaa_______ ________I
A___________aa__ana_nn___nn_nnnnaa___ana__________ ________G
A__________nna__an__na___nn__nnn___SSOCIATION_of__ ________G
G__________ana_naa__an___nnn______________________ ________E
N__________ananan___nn___aan_IGGER________________ ________R
A__________nnna____naa____________________________ ________S
A________nnaa_____anan____________________________ ________*
G________anaannana________________________________ ________A
N________ananaannn_AY_____________________________ ________S
A________ana____nn_________IRC-EFNET-#GNAA________ ________S
A_______nn_____na_________________________________ ________O
*_______aaaan_____________________________________ ________C
um, dolor. Nunc nec nisl. Phasellus blandit tempor augue. Donec arcu orci, adipiscing ac, interdum a, tempus nec, enim. Phasellus placerat iaculis orci. Crasa sit amet quam. Sed enim quam, porta quis, aliquet quis, hendrerit ut, sem. Etiam felis tellus, suscipit et, consequat quis, pharetra sit amet, nisl. Aenean arcu massa, lacinia in, dictum eu, pulvinar ac, orci. Mauris at diam tempor ante ullamcorper molestie. Ut dapibus eleifend ipsum. Nam dignissim.

Re:Linux sucks! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954246)

I didn't post this.

I don't fail so miserably, trust me.

--Penisbird

That's the type of article you get... (0, Offtopic)

ispel (266661) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954166)

when you don't have Microsoft ads plastered all over your page (like some people [news.com]).

On the topic of MS ads on Slashdot: /. is a whore.

The Unnoticed Contradiction? (4, Interesting)

sean23007 (143364) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954205)

Microsoft and its allies have sought to discredit open-source software, likening its challenge of proprietary ownership to communism and suggesting that its openness makes it insecure and therefore vulnerable to terrorism.

More strikingly, Microsoft has been imitating the ways of the open-source "community". Last year, the firm launched a "shared source" initiative that allows certain approved governments and large corporate clients to gain access to most of the Windows software code, though not to modify it. This is intended, in part, to assuage the fears of foreign governments that Windows might contain secret security backdoors.

So, they're saying that the openness of the code makes it less secure and vulnerable to terrorism, while at the same time opening their source to prove that it isn't secure... If they willingly admit that open code can be verified as more secure, how can they accuse Open Source software as being inherently less secure because it is open? And how come nobody calls them on that?

Re:The Unnoticed Contradiction? (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954221)

No, the fact that you can alter it to suit your own needs does. Nice troll you got me.

Re:The Unnoticed Contradiction? (1)

sean23007 (143364) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954247)

Please explain to us which part of my post was a troll, as opposed to the final 28% of yours. That would be greatly appreciated.

While this, here in Brazil... (3, Informative)

dark-br (473115) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954207)

The Brazilian government plans to migrate from
Windows to Linux 80% of all computers in state institutions and state-owned
businesses, informed the daily newspaper "Valor". This will be a gradual
migration, that will begin with a pilot project in one ministry and which will
be completed over a period of three years, according to official sources cited
by the financial daily.

The goal of the migration is to save money by finding alternatives to
expensive proprietary licenses. Highlighting the gradual phase-in approach
that the Brazilian government has adopted, Sergio Amadeu de Silveira, the
president of the National Institute of Information Technology, stated that "We
are not just going to do a hasty migration". He proceeded to say that "our
main concern is the security and the trust of our citizens. The biggest
resistance to any change comes from the existing cultural inertia".

The government, De Silveira explained, created two weeks ago the "Chamber for
the Implementation of Software Libre" to pave the way for the upcoming
migration.

A small part of the 2,095 million reals (about USD $700 million) that the
Brazilian government budgeted for information technology spending goes to
Microsoft, owner of the Windows OS. The government's decision to adopt Linux,
according to De Silveira, will boost the popularity of the operating system
among businesses and consumers. Moreover, it will foster the production of
local software and "democratize access to knowledge", said De Silveira.

Open source anti-competitive? I think not (4, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954209)

Microsoft thinks open source is anti-competitive? That's certainly not the case. There are multiple vendors of Linux, including big players like IBM, Novell, Redhat, SGI, Sun, and SuSE. And there are multitudes of small players. And if Linux isn't the best for you, there are other fully interoperable alternatives such as FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD that are open source, and still more like AIX and Solaris, that are proprietary. Looks like plenty of competition to me.

The problem is Microsoft doesn't want to be in a posititon of having to choose between losing sales or losing a lock on customers. Even if Microsoft were to have been an early adopter of Linux, they would never be able to gain a total market domination in it. And they know this. Microsoft's big fear is having to scale back to what a competitive market really means.

I, for one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954219)

welcome our Microsoft overlords to suck my balls. Take it, bitch. yEah!

Governments Are Wise (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954242)

It's obviously a good thing that governments are mandating the use of OSS. Thus, OSS must be superior. Consider, for example, some technologies that the US government has mandated:

- Ada over all other programming languages
- ISO OSI protocols over the TCP/IP suite
- Interlaced HDTV

An official government stamp of approval on Linux can only be viewed as evidence that it's the best technical solution available.

Well this is news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954252)

Looks like the Economist gets a -1 Redundant.

What they didnt really point out is the fact that Microsoft is the top soft money contributor for their sector. Plus countless more to state government campaigns. [opensecrets.org]

Microsoft will advance these views next week in Rome, where it is hosting the latest in a series of conferences for government leaders.

Wait you mean that microsoft is comping politicians to a free vacation in Rome.

Stop the FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6954257)

Generally when the government talks about open source systems, they talk about a vendor, capable of doing installation, maintenance, deployment and support of the systems. The government assigns a certain budget to such activities and generally announces a tender on who can do the job the cheapest way.

Guess what - Microsoft is just another vendor, capable of bringing its own technologies, servers, operating systems, database systems and end-user desktops. For a price. RedHat is just another vendor, and so is Novell, Sun, and, yeah, SCO:-) In Asia and Europe there's frequently a variety of other vendors, doing localizations of Linux and offering their own products.

If Microsoft can provide the cheapest solution, why not? The goal of the government is to save money. If RedHat/SuSe/SCO/Novell/IBM can provide a cheaper solution, then so be it, and they will probably win the tender.

I suppose the headline RedHat tries to undermine proprietary software would just not be that sexy on Slashdot.

Ahem, Microsoft is NOT Free Market !!! (2, Informative)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#6954264)

Microsoft would not exist in the way that it does without a particular type of government granted monopoly called - copyright. It is not like other property rights which have natural limits in supply and demand, it is an atrificial one where Microsoft controlls all the supply. It is not true to free market philosophy any more than slavery was in the 1850's. Yeah they bought and sold those slaves like commodities, yeah the economic strength of the plantation system rested on slavery, yeah the business men who ran it were universally considered educated and ethical - and just doing normal honest business - but it was all bullshit. Slavery had to go, it had always been a burden and was always far more about controll rather than property - but as society entered the industrial age our society could no longer bear the social restrictions allowed by slavery.

Well now we are entering into the information age, and copyrights are looking far more like an untenable and eternally unenforcable restriction every day and less like a property right every day. They are not about property, commerce, freedom, or markets - but controll, and so is Microsoft and the other's like them such as the RIAA who have held themselves accountable to the same forces.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...