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MS Dissatisfaction High, Users Consider Switching

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the fish-in-a-barrel dept.

Microsoft 815

chriscooper1470 writes "Almost two-thirds of respondents to a recent InternetWeek Reader Question said they are dissatisfied with Microsoft software, and 41 percent of respondents are at least thinking about switching away from Microsoft software. Only 28 percent of users responding to the poll described themselves as satisfied Microsoft customers. There are some great comments at the bottom of the article discussing why people voted the way they did. My favorite quote: 'At the end of the day, I still wish we had a viable alternative. There isn't one -- yet. We'll keep looking.' - Sure."

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Well DUH (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195460)

Like...fucking obvious?

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (1)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195465)

MS Dissatisfaction High
They should demand satisfaction!

Re:Obligatory Simpsons Quote (1, Funny)

Uruk (4907) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195523)

Mmmmmm ... tomacco ... addictively good!


Re:Obligatory Simpsons Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195551)

god i love your sig...i laugh my ass off every time I see it....

Zealot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195466)


I would like to see one study where average users actually choose Linux over Windows. They won't. Linux is not a Windows alternative.

Re:Zealot. (1)

c_oflynn (649487) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195484)

In the comments, one of the respondents mention they looked at Linux, but only about 5% of their users (at the company) could use it easily.

Thats their biggest concern still.

Re:Zealot. (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195566)

Yeah but OSX is. Buy the employees iMacs. Plenty good for desktop apps like mail and typing letters.

Re:Zealot. (1)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195587)

Plenty good for just about everything but gaming actually. A bit more pricey but you get what you pay for.

/. Dissastisfaction High, Users Consider Switching (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195469)

Will someone please address Slashdot's recent server troubles? I have to reload multiple times to get a working page. These errors aren't normal, and at the very least, you owe an explanation to the paying subscribers.

Re:/. Dissastisfaction High, Users Consider Switch (1)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195518)

Will someone please address Slashdot's recent server troubles? I have to reload multiple times to get a working page. These errors aren't normal, and at the very least, you owe an explanation to the paying subscribers.

Well maybe if they used Windows instead of that newfangled Linux thing, it would be more reliable.

Re:/. Dissastisfaction High, Users Consider Switch (1)

Likes Microsoft (662147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195534)

I've been having the same experience. I assume it's just growing pains, but if not, I'd be curious to know.

Re:/. Dissastisfaction High, Users Consider Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195590)

Slashdot is dying.

Wrong Troll. (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195582)

That's not Linux vs Windows holy war issue.
That should go like:

Well maybe if they used Python instead of that ancient Perl thing, it would be more reliable.

Maybe some webserver thing like Apache vs ISS (but AFAIK ISS would die long time ago with this load.) Not Linux vs Windows.

Re:/. Dissastisfaction High, Users Consider Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195602)

Yeah. I'd have at least 5 FP if not that stupid thing.

Will this finally make microsoft shape up? (2, Interesting)

captain igor (657633) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195471)

If I was microsoft, I'd be paying real close attention and trying to fix the things that my customers were saying were wrong. When you have almost half of your customer base thinking about switching away from your product, that tells you that something's wrong.

Re:Will this finally make microsoft shape up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195519)

Where have you (not to mention the people in Bill's World (tm)) been for the last 20 years?

My first reaction when I RTFA, was "film at 11:00"

Re:Will this finally make microsoft shape up? (2, Interesting)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195522)

They won't though, people are too lazy, or are scared of change. Microsoft dominates the desktop marketshare. With that being said since they are a monopoly, there is no point to innovate because you have nobody to compete with. While people should be totally pissed that they keep getting hit with virus after virus, and should be boycotting, it doesn't make a difference to Microsoft. There has been only one sucessful boycott in the U.S. as a country, the tuna boycott.

Re:Will this finally make microsoft shape up? (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195599)

Yup people hate change. That is why we are still working on dumb terminals attached to mainframes. Change can happen. It is sorta like pushing a train. If it is standing still then it will be hell to get moving. But once it does stopping it will be even harder and a lot more likely to get get you squashed.

Don't forget that not so long ago is you suggested using MS software in an office you would have been kicked out by both IT AND management.

Then again this kind of poll is useless. Sure they are dissatisified. You always says you want a better/cheaper product. If you say you are 100% satisfied they will up the price.

Re:Will this finally make microsoft shape up? (1)

JackJudge (679488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195525)

But as one or two of the comments in the article said, where's the alternative ?
The learning curve from Windows to a Linux desktop solution is still too steep. Managers will be worried about downtime, training costs and that old bug-bear, support.

Re:Will this finally make microsoft shape up? (1)

DotNetGuru (704728) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195588)

Not only do many of the respondents take the attitude of it beats everything else, but this is also a non-scientific self selecting survey:

From the article:
The Reader Question is by no means scientific; we solicit responses on InternetWeek.com and in the newsletter and make no effort to qualify respondents. QuickPolls are the Internet journalism equivalent of man-in-the-street interviews and call-in talk radio.

And who is reading InternetWeek.com? I'm betting they don't see many AOL users, secretary's, accountants, or other "non-computer people". Rather these are people who are probable intimiately familiar with computers. For your typical user (let alone from a scientific poll) the answers may be completely different.

The first comment in the article even mentions this: Only 5% of their users would be "good candidates" of using Linux on the desktop.

Re:Will this finally make microsoft shape up? (1)

MerlTurkin (598333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195613)

Heck, whay start now? I'll say this too, DUH! I switched a year and a half ago to Linux (Suse 8) and NEVER looked back. Bill's generous as hell to the needy but his software sucks harder than the best hoover. Which I believe is the V2 model if I'm not mistaken....

Lack of alternatives (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195473)

The fact is there are really no alternatives for most people. Macs are expensive, and it's hard to find a good x86 box with Linux preloaded. Until reliable, powerful PC's with alternate OSes and applications suites are easily obtainable, the unwashed masses will continue to buy MS. Sad, but true.

Re:Lack of alternatives (2, Insightful)

trompete (651953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195498)

Part of it is also that we all pay the MS tax when we buy a computer from Circuit City, Best Buy, Comp USA...etc. If users could get MS-free machines (subtract Windows XP from the price) at retail stores besides Walmart, I think people would go for em. I know I'd try to get customers to switch at my store.

Re:Lack of alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195589)

I'm sick of this argument. Macs are not expensive compared to the same Wintel system.

eMac $799
1.25 ghz G4 $1,299.0

If demand where higher then yes, they'd be even cheaper. I guess no one remembers when it was hard to find a good sub $1000 pc system. (Hell it's hard now finding a "good" sub $1000 wintel computer)

Macs aren't expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195596)

Macs aren't expensive, troll.

Your comparing a smooth Mac to a Wal-Mart PC.

I'm going to use linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195476)

was 7 years old and as long as I can remember, I have participated every year in the summer with my parents on almost each weekend at the nudist area-bath-lake. It was an excavator-lake with a detached bare-area. On a Sunday, I lay in the sand on my towel as I noticed a girl that approached me with its parents. In 2 meters of distance, they took a seat. After short time, the girl went to the water and began to dig in the moist sand. She had almost blond hair, that came her up to the shoulder. Younger than I she must have been. Many of the milk-teeth were missing. My parents had gone to the kiosk, therefore I got up and went to her. ?Hello!?, I said.
?Hello ?, she returned.
?My name is Alexander. And you??
Had interrogated me?
?Kevin ?, she said and went into the deeper water.
?But girls are not called Kevin however!?
?I am no girl!?, she called back.
A hand lay down on my shoulder. It was her father.
?Kevin is no girl. He looks only so. He was born like that. We had always believed that we would get a girl. After the birth, it then attracted attention to the first once that he had something like a penis. He has something, which looks like a vagina, but it seems to be only one very deep skin fold. Until all analyses were done, we didn't know whether we had a son or a daughter. Besides the penis, he has no female or male Genitals. But he gets hormone-shots so that he becomes a man once, our Kevin.?

He joined his child in the water and they had fun. I went back to my towel. On the stomach lying it acted I so as I would sleep. I observed Kevin. He came from the water, dried off and knelt on the wool blanket. I could now recognize that he had no testicles and only a quite tiny penis that was approximately 2 centimeters long. He had no glans, but a small hole in the front however. On the next weekends, I had opportunity even more frequently to observe him and we became friends. That now lasts 19 years. His penis has not become bigger since that time. This doesn't keep away him from the bare-area however and he has his girl-friend for 4 years. Anything must be at him however.

Woo Woo (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195477)

More FUD to keep the rabids coming back to Slashdot.

Keep dreaming the lie!!

Find a job yet with your 1337 PHP skillz?

It's the little things that sink the ship.... (2, Insightful)

bloggins02 (468782) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195479)

So, in both Gnome and KDE 3.1 I can click on an icon and.... nothing. The cursor doesn't change to an hourglass or anything, so I click again thinking I just didn't doubleclick fast enough. Of course, this opens two instances of the program.

See, it's just little things like this, but boy are there a LOT of these little things. Fix them, and maybe we'll see people treat Linux and OSS as a serious alternative.

Re:It's the little things that sink the ship.... (2, Informative)

be-fan (61476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195526)

Um, what KDE are you using? 3.1 ships by default with startup notification enabled. 3.2 has a cool little bouncing cursor as well.

Re:It's the little things that sink the ship.... (0)

TheReverendPimpdaddy (710990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195535)

Funny in KDE when I press an icon to launch a program I get feedback that the application has launched. Maybe you need to turn on visual feedback for the mouse properties in KDE.

Re:It's the little things that sink the ship.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195536)

Get the newest version of gnome in which that bug was fixed. Also, I don't believe that was a bug at all in KDE. Windows is full of that sort of thing.


Re:It's the little things that sink the ship.... (1)

aschlemm (17571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195585)

I just went through this today in trying to burn some files to a CD in XP. I would go into explorer and use the right-mouse button to do a "Sent To" to the CDRW device. Nothing would happen each time I tried this. I finally logged out and restarted and I got some error about the filesystem so I had to wait for CHKDSK to repair a few things. You're not kidding that Windows if full of this sort of thing. Rather than tell you want's wrong it just acts flaky to force you to reboot. I'm now sitting here waiting for XP to do it's stupid file copy thing before it allows me to burn a CD. 502MB and it's taken XP nearly 1 hour just to do the temporary file copy thing first so I can actually get to burning a CD.

The wife uses XP and so sometime I have to to use it as well. :-(

Re:It's the little things that sink the ship.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195544)

You must not be using reasonable defaults, XD2 (and RH9 out of the box IIRC) set that up by default

Re:It's the little things that sink the ship.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195548)

Knock yourself out. I'm sure either the Gnome or KDE people would greatly appreciate any help.

mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195556)

-1 Troll

reference: all the other comments replying to him

LIES!!!!!!!!! (1)

Duckman5 (665208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195562)

This is flat out not true. I don't know about Gnome, but I use KDE 3.1 and whenever I click on a desktop icon or start a program, a small copy of the icon follows my mouse pointer around until the program loads.

This to me is perfectly acceptable. In fact, i'd rather have this than the cursor changing into a stupid hourglass that I can't do anything with while the program loads.

Re:LIES!!!!!!!!! (1)

bloggins02 (468782) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195603)

Hmmmm, no need to get antagonistic with the title of your post there man, I was just reporting my experience. On Mandrake 9.1, KDE 3.1 does not exhibit the behavior you speak of.

Perhaps I should check my defaults, that doesn't mean I'm "lying."

Re:It's the little things that sink the ship.... (1)

bloggins02 (468782) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195579)

OK I've gotten a lot of comments that say this has been fixed, I need to set some options, etc... That's fine (and thanks for letting me know what I can do to fix it) but my point still stands I think.

And my point was that I think it's the little things that make people's experience with alternative software less than positive. It's like going in your house and someone has changed the furniture. Sure, you can still find the couch, but it's just a little unsettling. Or maybe a better anology is that of a table with one shorter leg. You can do your homework on it, but it's distracting.

Of course, this is just the GUI part of things, I think we've progressed wonderfully with hardware support and detection, speed, and ease of installation. And I absolutely wouldn't trade UN*X for anything when it comes to the command line.

They may be thinking about it (1)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195480)

41 percent of respondents are at least thinking about switching away from Microsoft software
But I bet less than 5 percent will. As long as there isn't a viable alternative to Microsoft software they won't have any choice.

Re:They may be thinking about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195527)

Sir Haxalot is a known troll and karma whore. I'm posting this because I have a small dick and hate seeing other people get modded up.


Re:They may be thinking about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195577)

Sheesh...enough of this Sir Haxalot nonsense. Point made. Your trolling has now become worse.

End of the day? (0)

G33kDragon (699950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195481)

'At the end of the day, I still wish we had a viable alternative. ...'

So, uhm, you'd think they would have pushed for 'After the [first few crashes and security patch installations], I wish ...'

The Day... (1)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195483)

...that the Linux Kernal had inculded in it code which allows it to perfectly emulate a Windows Machine for the purpose of running Windows Software, Microsoft will begin to die.

Now I just need to build a time machine.

Re:The Day... (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195528)

Linus will get a cease and decist letter, and that will be the end of it. I'm aware of programs such as Wine, but they still have a long way to go. Writing it into the kernel would be pointless and clunky.

It's still about applications, usability and money (1)

ispland (460855) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195605)

When users find out that they can easily buy the applications software they want, that Linux is easy to use with minimal crashes and at far lower cost.... then there will be a backlash.

So far, we still aren't anywhere close to this being the case. Developers need to release a lot more well known applications and desktop Linux has got to become a lot more dummy-friendly. Yes, current releases of Linux are better than ever, but until this occurs, it's all speculation if Linux will ever have a chance at the average joe user's desktop PC.

Still... it _could_ very well happen.

Users Schmoozers (1)

JackJudge (679488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195489)

Of course end users are hacked off, they're the ones who have to put up with the dross, but they ain't the ones making purchasing decisions or deciding company strategy.
It's the managers and directors that need to be polled and won over

Windows 2003 (1)

hey (83763) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195490)

Well then... they should upgrade to Windows2003 (Longhorn)!

Of course, I am kidding but in some ways it's true.
Microsoft always promises the next release will work but it never quite does. The brilliant upgrade treadmill of mediocrity.

Re:Windows 2003 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195553)

You mean the Windows 2003 that was released earlier this year?
Been running it for a few months now.

Good timing (1)

atrader42 (687933) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195492)

A couple weeks ago, I had had enough with MS's shenanigans and went for a dual boot with Redhat 9. I had played with unix before, but didn't really know my way around linux. In all honesty, a couple weeks later, I've found I can spend most of my time on my linux boot with a much smoother experience than is possible with windows. This isn't to say it's perfect (that's OS X), but at least it's not trying to kill me like MS.

Re:Good timing (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195545)

So, what do you still do on Windows?

Now that I'm out of school, I just use MS to play Battlefield 1942 and other games. I can do everything else on Linux.

Re:Good timing (1)

atrader42 (687933) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195601)

It's gaming, mostly. I do also use Kazaa on occaision, and also use Premiere for video editing. It's working out to about 70% linux 30% windows usage.

Re:Good timing (1)

cookiepus (154655) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195592)

Exactly. "Most of your time in the linux boot"

That always bothered me. If Linux is so good, why would you ever need to boot into Windows? I don't ever hear Windows users say "damn, let me boot into Linux so I can do this"

I think that's a strong statement on where Linux is today as far as desktop is concerned.

This is terrific, but... (1)

drquizas (681020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195493)

I'm sure this article will become yet another "everybody should just use Linux" rally, but that's just not practical until _everybody's_ parents (not just yours) can set up a Linux box with minimal hassle, or at least until most Linux evangelists stop reminding everybody of that "Nick Burns, your company's computer guy" sketch on SNL.

Re:This is terrific, but... (2, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195559)

a) The only reason that most people can setup a Windows box is because it comes set up already. Configuration is a non-issue these days. When RedHat 8 came out, it was easy enough for computer nephytes to do anything they could in Windows. Intermediate users will still have problems (because intermediate users have problems that RedHat doesn't have nice GUI solutions for) but that's a seperate issue.

b) Windows nerds are just as rude as Linux nerds. By and large, nerds (unfortunately) have poor social skills. Windows nerds are just as rude as Linux nerds.

Re:This is terrific, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195595)

I am a rude Windows nerd, you insensitive clod!

Re:This is terrific, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195584)

I always see someone say something along the line that until everyone can install linux on their own that linux isn't ready for the masses. Well I know for a fact that most Windows users would not have been able to install the OS on their system. They bought it that way. If something goes wrong, they call someone to fix it. They have NO IDEA how to do it themselves.

Monopoly (3, Insightful)

Uruk (4907) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195494)

...And this type of dissatisfaction my friends is why monopolies suck. The lack of options is a problem, but it's the secondary problem. Options are needed when the products are no good. The so-called invisible hand of the economy is supposed to ruthlessly punish companies who produce crappy products that don't give customers what they need. In monopolies, the invisible hands are handcuffed. This in turn really robs the company in question of any motivation to do it right.

I mean, what's the difference? People are going to buy their stuff whether it's good or not. This reminds me of the South Park episode where Mr. Garrison comes up with an alternative to the airplane industry. The only problem is that it has serious, terrible drawbacks. (To say the least) Still, people go after it because even if it's terrible, it provides an incremental advantage to how terrible the airlines were.

Part of the lack of choice isn't Microsoft's fault. Computers are new, and society at large is sorely lacking in the skills necessary to use them effectively. Computer education at all levels (not programming, just training on effective use) is vital if you ever want people to take an alternative to Microsoft, even if it is ever presented.

It's all about choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195570)

You foolish earthlings forget," said Kodos, "This is a two party system. You have to vote for one of us!"

"But what if we vote for a third party candidate?" says a faceless voice in the crowd.

"Oh, sure, you can do that," Kang replied, "and throw your vote away!"

At this point both aliens laugh maniacally.

In the end, Kang wins and the human race is enslaved and forced to build a giant death ray.

Re:Monopoly (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195578)

That was true to life in more ways than one. Remember when the goverment "bailed out" the airlines by taking Mr. Garrison's business and threatening him with jail?

Faked Poll (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195495)

So ? And where do they plan to go ? Or what do they intend using ? The halffinished crap offered on Linux ?

Sorry but there is nothing on Linux specially Desktop side that could satisfy a customer. There are no powerful applications for doing reallife jobs.

polling (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195499)

Only 28 percent of users responding to the poll described themselves as satisfied Microsoft customers.

In other news, 72% of the group thought the other 28% were 'too easily satisfied'.

Re:polling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195572)

In other news, 72% of the group thought the other 28% were 'too easily satisfied'.

Or... 72% nymphos and 28% frigids

Totally useless poll. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195501)

It is not scientific, so why bother to post it?

Regardless of that little issue above, a majority still plans to hold on to their Microsoft software.

Meaning, most of them don't see ANY viable alternative. If people using the web don't see an alternative how would anyone thing Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public see the situation?

Re:Totally useless poll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195563)

It is not scientific, so why bother to post it?

(1) Because it fits the slashdot political and social agenda.
(2) Because it's theoretically possible (even if not certain, or even likely) that polls conducted non-scientifically might have some value. Even if it is only value to the peanut gallery.
(3.141592) Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that Slashdot only sponsored links to peer-reviewed scientific journals! I retract (2)
(4) Posting it allows others to come out of the woodwork to express their scientific holier-than-thou-ness at the fact that the poll isn't scientific.
(5) Dear god you're right! This non-scientific information cannot be allowed to leak! Someone might for the first time form an uninformed opinion based on it! Horrors!
(6) Because. (Neener neener)

Another meaningless poll. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195503)

How many people where asked, what was the demographic, and what messues where taken to ensure that the results are not scewed? Look at it this way, what would you think of a poll taken at a MS dev confrance that had results like 80% of users think MS is doing a great job?

500 Internal Server Error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195506)

An internal server error occurred. Please try again later.

Loaded (5, Interesting)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195507)

Look, I'm a Mac and Linux user myself, but come on. did you read the question they asked?

"Microsoft users are getting fed up. They're battered by worms, viruses, security patches and increasing enterprise licensing costs. Aggravation has users talking about switching from Microsoft software to something else. We're trying to figure out how much of that talk is just talk, and how much is serious action. Do you seriously plan to dump Microsoft software?"

You might as well ask, "Wal-Mart customers are fed up, since Wal-Mart employees kick puppies and laugh at old people. Are you planning to stop shopping at Wal-Mart?"

Also, it's an Internet poll...not scientific by any stretch. Seriously, I think a lot of people are fed up with MS, but linking to this story is just ridiculous.

I switched... to Apple (1)

Beaker1 (624539) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195508)

..And I'm a happy user now.

Re:I switched... to Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195547)


Re:I switched... to Apple (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195564)

Wish I could say the same. My wife switched at my urging...and she's cranky about the iBook's permanent "sleep" mode and a handful of other things. But after a $2000 investment with a 10% restocking fee, there's no turning back.

The *best* quote (5, Insightful)

Sinus0idal (546109) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195510)

"I read that Linux has issued 25 patches so far this year, so what is to be gained by switching?"

Yes 'Linux'. No distro, no particular installed apps/services, no particular kernel, just 'linux'. Linux, the company, you know..

Well done Chris Schlehein... I think you really deserve your title of "Enterprise Network Administrator". Your obviously SO clued up in the world of computing.

Dissatisfied? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195511)

MS goes limp and rolls off of you after only a few minutes. But Linux keeps pounding away at you until you're ready to scream. Now that's satisfaction!

-Melinda Gates

P.S. Longhorn isn't really all that long.

When I said Gates should be hung... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195513)

a friend protested. "No, how can you wish death to someone just for doing bad work, it's not right!" and more such. I described in detail my several-hour adventure with MS User Support, I described several other cases when hanging would be a mild punishment. He wasn't convinced.

A week later I got a private page from him. "You were right. Gates should be hung." He bought a new PC and tried to instal WinXP on it (FYI, XP doesn't stand for "eXPerience". It's just an emoticon.) and after several hours of unsuccessful attempts he settled on installing BSD on it (he's a BSD freak) and moving XP to his older box. When I asked "What about tying him down and leaving on top of an anthill instead?" he replied "I like that idea."

Re:When I said Gates should be hung... (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195614)

When I asked "What about tying him down and leaving on top of an anthill instead?" he replied "I like that idea."

Don't forget to pour honey on his nads.....

The poll question, verbatim... (1)

Likes Microsoft (662147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195514)

Microsoft users are getting fed up. They're battered by worms, viruses, security patches and increasing enterprise licensing costs. Aggravation has users talking about switching from Microsoft software to something else. We're trying to figure out how much of that talk is just talk, and how much is serious action. Do you seriously plan to dump Microsoft software?

Speaking personally, I am happy with Windows XP, but the gymnastics I see the administrators at work go through to keep the Windows machines (effectively required of office staff) secure and virus free, makes me want to switch. The software I use most often is x-platform anyway, with the glaring exception of Quicken. I could always switch to MacOSX, I suppose. But given my limited resources, I'll probably switch to Linux within the year, resigning myself to a more limited personal finance program.

Geek != businessman (3, Insightful)

slipgun (316092) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195516)

My favorite quote: 'At the end of the day, I still wish we had a viable alternative. There isn't one -- yet. We'll keep looking.' - Sure

If people don't consider Linux a viable alternative, the problem lies with Linux, not with said people. Attitudes such as this will do nothing to help Linux.

meet the new boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195517)

i cant wait to see what happens when linux is in the dominant position. its just laughable how some people think that linux wont be as currupt as microsoft is. i wish bill gates had balls, and recalled every copy of windows, and gave each user a refund. let the masses use linux. you would all cry a different tune then.

Linux viruses? (1)

Shipud (685171) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195533)

Once Linux achieves desktop world domination (or a slightly larger market share) would there not be a lot more script kiddies writing viruses to disrupt Linux? Viruses will always remain a headache, though hopefully not as large as the one caused by MS platforms. Any opinions on that?

Time To Push (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195539)

This is a great time to push other products.

There are viable alternatives to MS OFFICE. Open Office, Star Office are but 2 of the examples. If you have customers that aren't locked and chained to an exchange server these are wonderfull things.

Most people do not particularly care for outlook on the email front, the rest arent even aware of most features in the current office.

Push out office and windows doesn't matter.

Sure (x1488) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195540)

I assume you're being facetious, tacking that "sure" on the end of the story. But in reality, linux is not a real alternative to Windows on the desktop. I'm a geek, and although most of the time I can easily hop onto an IRC channel to get necessary things to work, other people can't or won't go through that hassle.

Case in point:
In the course of regular duty, I somehow managed to break X this past week. What complicates the matter is that my Radeon (DVI) and LCD are still not completely, transparently supported through the X install. So, what do I do? Just reinstall X, right? No. First time I did that, it still didn't work. After a little fiddling, I finally got it to start, but KDE didn't, so I got ugly ol' tvwm. After several hours of scouring I finally figure out how to put it back the way I want it.

I was booting into Windows for 2 days, because I didn't have 6 contiguous hours of time to spend fixing it. This is not a mature system. If there are people dissatisfied with MS, then there would be many more if they used 'nix.

Sorry but they will become more dissatisifed.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195541)

If they switch to linux. Come on let us not bullshit each other. Windows XP is much simpler to use, if that is so difficult, the linux desktop will give them a nervous breakdown.

I love using linux, but i'm not going to tell joe-everyday to switch to linux because it's not in his best interests too. Windows XP is much simpler, streamlined and easier to use.

If anyone disagrees, then they are the typical brain dead linux zealot like roblimo. Recall his 'hard' time switch to windows. Right click->copy, right click->paste, really exasperated him.

microsoft... (1)

dilvie (713915) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195550)

I have windows installed on both of my PC's. Why? Because there isn't enough application and driver support on Linux, and because the Linux desktop hackers STILL haven't figured out what Apple has known for eons: A consistent user interface is the number one demand for usability.

On the other hand, I've also installed litestep [litestep.net] and cygwin [cygwin.com] to give me some real customizability and a decent command shell.

I've got desktop consistency, a real CLI, application and driver support... All I need now is a real OS kernel that all this stuff will work with. OSS preferred. Any suggestions?

Problems with linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195560)

I use linux, i hate microsoft. Although the newer distros butions (SuSE 9.0, Mandrake 8.2 coming out soon) are "joe" freindly, joe will still be put off by the following things.

OpenOffice is still slow, version 1.1 may start up faster, but when saving/opening files it nearly hangs! Not to mention the lack of the following popular features.
  • Format painter
  • Wordart
  • Keyboard shortcuts to enter foreign letters like e', g^, o:.
  • Shrink to fit
  • SVG support

On other parts, the GTK file dialog is still horible, Epiphany (the gnome web browser) dosen't support bookmark categories, cut and paste suck, a lot of features are hidden and you need to use a really horrible program called gconf-editor to tweak TRIVIAL things like enabling european date format, turning off window manager animations, the look of the foot icon, colour scheme, etc.

KDE 3.2 alphas are looking better, but the file manager still needs some work, like being able to have large icons, nautilus can scale its icons bigger), other than that, KDE 3.2 looks like it will make Linux a whole lot better.

Also, Debian's got to use modern packages by default, a lot of Linux advocate Debian and it turns off users to see Xfree86 4.1, KDE 2.2. Come on, thats freaking Mandrake 8.1!

Anyway, the linux desktop is looking bright, so dive into those betas and help polish it off! I am, will you?

You Know.. (2, Insightful)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195568)

If this same useless unscientific poll were conducted on Linux users and found dissatifcation high, the slashdot text would be blasting it immediately.

Instead, because it is Microsoft, the editor (namely that tool timothy) takes it as self-evident and obviously true since it confirms his own biases.

Exhibit #15432 why Slashdot can't be taken as more than a joke.

Apathy for Administrators? (1)

evn (686927) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195569)

The company I work for will be migrating to Windows 2003, currently we are still utilizing NT 4 and have had to do minimal patching until now. I think the people doing most of the complaining have not been applying service packs in a timely manner and therefore have made more work for themselves. I read that Linux has issued 25 patches so far this year, so what is to be gained by switching?

I'm amazed that this guy accepts bi-weekly patching as a part of life. Then he asks what's to gain from switching to Linux (which by his own research has had 25 patches this year) while according to microsoft there have been a metric buttload [microsoft.com] of patches since Service Pack 1a. Granted according to Windows Update only 75 'important' patches, but that's still significantly more than linux.

Okay (1)

originalTMAN (694813) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195583)

but I don't know anyone who reads InternetWeek. Not even my more tech inclined friends. If this was from maybe a national newspaper or something- something read by average users- then maybe I would find this newsworthy. Not that I'm actually surprised of course. I've never heard anyone say they love their windows. Of course the headline does ignore that 48% wouldn't likely drop MS and that 17% might and that 11% other.

Where you gonna go? (0, Troll)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195586)

I use Windows XP and keep it updated. Certain Linux distributions have some features I like, but Microsoft has them all beat. I suppose some people would probably like Macs, but there I know of nothing there that makes me want to try the switch. Microsoft is now as stable and secure as its competitors, given that a user buys good hardware and takes common sense precautions.

Um Remote Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195591)

One thing, maybe I am wrong. But is there any viable alternative to Active Directory for managing hundreds of computers in a centralized way? How about a way to use strong permissions in linux? Is there any way to roll patches out to hundreds of users at the same time? I don't know the answers... but, if these solutions are out there in the linux world I haven't seen them. And this is why I am still with Windows on the desktop.

Conversion (1)

SparklesMalone (623241) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195597)

Unlike switching a brand of car or ketchup any switch in OS will require converting all the users tools and data/documents to the new OS. There are, of course, dozens of solutions, but what we really need is a turn-key alternative that is both cheap and well publicized.

Is there margin for profit on a low-cost alternative that can both overcome the legacy compatibility AND pay for the publicity? I think so, but we need someone with the capital and the willingness to risk it to step up.

No, Linux is NOT an alternative (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195600)

What people want (and MS seems to be slowly taking away from them) is a simple easy to use OS with a fast responsive GUI, that you can easily install applications on.

Linux doesn't fit the bill. While it is simple to use at a basic user level, the various applications are not at all integrated. Applications are fiddly to get to work properly. X is slow unless you work at it.

It's pathetic that there is no alternative (1)

lgreco (618568) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195606)

The truth is that there is no alternative to MS unless your computing needs are either too esoteric or too specialized.

GNU/Linux still has a long way to go in order to reach the ordinary user. OSX is not designed for workgroups (see more of my comments [uchicago.edu] on this).

It's a pitty that after half a century of computer innovation and brillant discoveries in the art and science of computing, all that we have to brag about is OSX's Expose (a feature that Windows sported for years before) and MS Windows.

The Linux cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7195607)

Dissertation on the uselessness of Linux zealots

A spectre is haunting the world -- the spectre of the Linux Zealot.

What the Linux Zealot is will appear evident to whoever has
experienced or came in contact with the discussions which daily rage
the Web disguised as news, e-mails, reference material, etc.
The Linux Zealot, is nothing but an animal wandering unceasingly in
virtual and true reality (which moreover he treats in the same way)
claiming to be an authority on the Linux operating system, an
out-and-out guarantor for everyone's freedom, opposed to any safeguard
of intellectual works (for a Linux zealot, the expression "copyright"
is tantamount to sin against the Holy Spirit: there is no kind of
expiation); in fact, he champions software freedom as a fundamental
point for world evolution.

But first and foremost, the Linux zealot is a deeply dangerous being
as he claims to be the guardian of truth, and looks with suspicion
(when it goes off well) or scorn (for the rest of cases, i.e. most of
them) those people who simply think differently from him.

But what's Linux? A Linux zealot will never give an authentic answer
to this kind of question. He won't, not because he doesn't want to
(even if this is the case), but because this question has been
answered already, somewhere else by someone else. Linux is nothing
but an operating system. The Linux zealot will claim that it is a
different operating system from all other ones. But this is not the
case. Because an OS is an OS, its main function is to manage the
resource of a machine we will call "computer" from now on, for comfort
of description. By the term "computer" we mean what is commonly meant
by this expression, i. e. the system of hardware resources which are
fixed to a certain purpose, be it home use, business use, or server
management. Linux is an operating system. Like Windows, MS-DOS,
OS/2, etc. There is no difference, in this sense, between Linux and
other operating systems. Linux manages a computer, no more, no less.
So do MS-DOS, Windows and OS/2. What the Linux zealot
self-importantly and arrogantly highlights, is the fact that Linux is
a free operating system, i.e., it is made available free of charge to
the end user. This of course isn't true at all, but the Linux Zealot
believes it. Linux is freely distributable, not free of charge. This
means that the kernel and everything included in the operating
system's minimal requirements can be freely distributed, not that they
must be distributed free of charge. This is the first great
misapprehension of the Linux zealots, who find their claim challenged
by facts: if the essential parts which make the operating system, and
some additional software, are freely distributable, they should
explain the reason of the costs -- not prohibitive but certainly
notable -- of the most popular Linux distributions, Red Hat and SuSE
foremost. And most of all, they should explain the fact that companies
like Red Hat are regularly listed on the stock exchange, and Mr. Linux
Torvalds enjoys a rather high standard of living. These benefactors
of mankind, these software alternatives, these computer
non-conformists (so much non-conformist as to be terribly conformist
in their non-conformism) naturally justify the distributing companies'
profits with excuses like "but there's a printed manual", "but the
bundled software is qualitatively and numerically superior compared to
the most popular distribution". "but it is easier to install" and
other unspeakable nonsense. "On the other hand" they say "if someone
wants Linux, they can just as easily download it from the Internet".
Sure. Download it from the Internet. But how long must you stay
connected, if you regularly pay an Internet bill, to complete the
download of an updated version of a decent distribution of an
operating system? So what? Is Linux free? No. Linux is not free,
same as nothing downloaded from the Internet is free, unless you have
access to an University server or can in whatever way scrounge a
connection. If you ask a Linux zealot to burn the material you are
interested in, he will do so with great disappointment, and at least
he will ask the money for the CD back, or will invite you to make a
donation to the GNU project, another sublime decoy produced by the
zealots' ingenuity.

Why don't Linux zealots explain what Linux is and how it works?
Simply because it is characteristic of the Linux zealot to be
self-sufficient, to be content with what he himself (as a single
person or as a representative of the collective entity of this
operating system's users) makes. In this, the Linux zealot is wholly
equivalent to the modern religious cults, like the Jehovah's
Witnesses, or the ones of the last century, like the Mormons. The
Linux zealot never asks anything outside of what the Linux world makes
inside itself, in fact, he gets all the angrier everytime he has to
deal with news, questions and inquisitiveness from the outside world.
In this case, one cannot say that the Linux zealot be on par with his
co-religionists of the Kingdom Hall. In fact, when Jehovah's Witnesses
are asked questions by an external person, they are glad, they try to
explain, they're inclined to a dialogue, and they bring themselves
into question. If they don't have a sure answer on the question of
the Trinity, they say: "Sorry, I can't answer you now, but I'll of
course think about it, perhaps we'll meet in a few days and I'll give
you an answer based on something firmer than my personal hypotheses".
It's a fair attitude. Saying "I don't know" when someone asks us
something is a good start. You stop, you collect informations, you
work out, and then you go on. Insted the Linux zealot doesn't do so,
he refers you to his literature, and that's it.

Hence, to the question "What's Linux?", which can be replaced by an
appropriate number of other questions on the subject, according to the
interlocutor's interest, the Linux zealot will always answer referring
you to something others wrote for him, showing not only unparalleled
pride and haughtyness, but especially a clear inability to reason for
himself, seeing his stubbornness to persist putting forward solutions
which are found inside documentation or manuals written by someone
else. If moreover you approach the Linux world through the gateway of
the so-called "external" (e.g. manuals bought in a bookstore, books or
publications which aim to explain the Linux operating system and
phenomenon to "people"), you will be looked upon with scorn, because
for a Linux zealot, anything dealing with Linux which was not produced
inside the Linux official channels does not merit consideration. If,
for instance, you are looking for a manual and you find one of these
books (absolutely useless in most cases, one must admit) which cost at
least $ 50, containing step-by-step instructions for Linux
installation and usage, possibly with an obsolete CD attached, and
decide to pick it up, the true Linux zealot will give you his usual
scornful look, and will say you were ripped off, as there are some
wonderful tools on the Internet, which are called "Linux Documentation
Project", which were written by a lunatic who had the wonderful idea
to get the writer's cramp and gather up a ponderous work where, of
course, you won't find any answer to your questions, and in addition,
it's free. Do you have a SuSE distribution and don't know how to
install it? Don't be frightened: you won't find a solution in the
Linux Documentation Project. Never mind though; the work is
ponderous, someone got the brilliant idea of making it available free
of charge (and hitherto it's entirely their own business), but it's
not necessarily valid. Should you try printing it, what with the paper
and the ink cartridge -- not to talk of the printer itself, which may
well be a write-off in the end -- you will spend a lot more that the
dead tree book and CD you had set yourself to buy.

One cannot see why the Linux zealot has to look up and down anyone who
commits the crime of not applying to the usual informative circuit of
truth distribution. It's as if the mafia got angry at a drug addict
who took detoxification instead of applying to his usual dealer for
his daily supply of illegal drugs. In the Linux world, everything
which is approved is legal. In this sense, the Linux zealot has no
differences whatsoever with the Holy Inquisition or with the
Imprimatur Commission of the Holiest Romanest Apostolicest Churchest.

Because what one does verify, is that Linux is a hard-to-use operating
system, at least in the install phase. Especially if one wants to
make it cohabit, at the start, with another OS with better-known
features, waiting until one is more familiar with it, one must know
what a partition is, how to create one, how two operating systems can
safely coexist, and so on. But the Linux zealot doesn't explain this,
he doesn't want to. "There are loads of explanations and
publications; if one doesn't know what to do, he should refer to these
and he'll find the solution to his question. If he doesn't, it's an
indicator that he hasn't understood some basic concepts, and he must
go a step backwards before carrying on". It's a very peaceful and
logic wiewpoint on the surface. On the contrary, it's extremely
violent and disrespectful. It's violent because one quietly calls the
user an idiot without taking direct liability for what one says. It's
disrespectful, because every user is different, and everyone has
different requirements from time to time, from machine to machine.

What the Linux zealot never understood and will never understand, is
that it's the user who chooses the available resources he needs, out
of how he needs them, and out of how he can use them, there are no
ready-made solutions which fit everyone. This is why the Linux
philosophy is losing and will never gain ground, because it's not
respectful, it's angry, it's gloomly and worryingly contentious, it
demands others to adapt without being content with adapting to others'
requirements. The Linux zealot doesn't proselytize those who are
interested in using Linux, even if just to see how it works; the Linux
zealot crusades against all other operating system, especially
Microsoft's. If someone doesn't agree with the way Microsoft work,
distribute, and sell their software, or with their already
unchallenged domination over the market, it's fair that he should
create his own alternative channels, but it isn't at all fair that he
demand others to comply. If a Windows user asks a Linux user about a
malfunction he found in his operating system (Windows, not Linux), at
the very least he will be answered that Windows is an OS that doesn't
work, that it can't be OK, that Bill Gates sells his products and that
these products are paid even if they're included with a computer.
Among the Linux zealots, there are, inter alia, the mysterious figures
of the Microsoft conscientious objectors, i.e. those who buy a
computer, demand a bare machine, and ask for the operating system
money back, pointing out that they're free to install what they want
on their computer. With the result that the storekeeper understands
he has a PITA in front of him, and sells the computer to someone else
who doesn't make such a fuss, or sells the bare thing to him, making
however a profit on the sale of the operating system he retains to
himself, and will sell underhand to someone else. This is the great
illusion: the Linux zealots think they've put a "system" under check,
but the system keeps working even without them, or rather better,
because from the business point of view, the less headaches the
better. The saying of the Linux zealot is not "people have the right
to do what they want" (in which case one cannot see why he gets so
angry on those who use Microsoft products, as they also are doing what
they want!), it is "I do what I want and the world must see and must
know". Indeed. But one doesn't see why. One doesn't see why the
world ought to know that a Linuz zealot uses Linux, same as one
doesn't see why it should know that Linux exists and is free. If
someone chooses to buy an OS which costs money, but allows him to do
stuff more intuitively, one doesn't see why he could not. It's
exactly like people who can't ski, and instead of plunging on the
slope and snowploughing, they pay for the lessons of an instructor on
the beginners' slope. The idiocy of the Linux philosophy appears
particularly in the claim of free circulation of the OS and software
in question. It's not by chance that Linux is a very common operating
system in anarchoid environments. And when one speaks of anarchoid
environments, one means precisely "anarchoid", not "anarchist". These
who respect freedom do not force their truth on others' choices.
Windows crashes on you? First of all, you must reformat your hard
drive and install Linux. You can't use an operating system without a
GUI? Don't be afraid, Linux has an extremely heavy-to-load
ugly-as-hell user-friendly interface, which will solve every problem
for you, by shamelessly copying Windows. So then, we might just as
well keep using Windows, which at least we know, and has a more
pleasing look. You know, Linux zealots are especially angry by nature,
and they object to this remark that there's no reason whatsoever to
use Windows. If they need a word processor or a spreadsheet, there
are free ones for Linux, without need for Office: in sum, Linux has
everything you need to manage anything, so why insist on using
something you must pay for when there are other applications which are
free? The answer is simple: because it's not their own business. But
they don't know this, or rather, they pretend not to. Choices are no
longer personal: everyone can use what he wants, as long as he uses
what they want.

One of the objection which most frequently is made to the Linux
zealots is that Linux is a hard to learn OS, that one must be a
programmer, or anyway, know a lot about programming, to modify the
source codes of freely distributed programs. Linux zealots use to
answer, with the snooty self-importance which sets them apart, that
Linux is a software made exactly for these in the know. So why on
earth do they want Linux to be accessible to the humblest of users?
If one can't program, if one can't use Linux, why should he be forced
to use it? The answer is very simple again: because otherwise Linux
zealots get angry and take it as a personal offence. Same as the fact
that there are some people who develop software for whichever OS and
sell it making a profit from their work is a personal offence. Again,
the solution is only too simple, one doesn't need to bother Dr. Watson
to find it: as copying software without permission is a crime in most
countries, instead of attacking the law, they attack these who profit
from it. These people clearly have never bought a newspaper in their
life, when they go to the bookstore, they walk up to the pay desk with
provocative and know-all attitude, and start saying: "A book cannot be
intellectual property of the author, but of the people who read it".
For them, the intellectual work does not exist as such, but as a
collective work. They wanted to make a free OS? Indeed, and they
even want us to thank them. We can. Provided that they leave us, at
last, in peace. Laughing.

Worthless survey (1)

cheebie (459397) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195609)

The question was so incredibly biased towards the anti-Microsoft response
that the entire survey is worthless.

The question is akin to asking "Grull Shampoo has been said to cause massive
internal bleeding and is rumored to be made by Al Quaeda members. Do you plan to
switch to Snorf Shampoo?" Of course people are more likely to say they will

MS and the USSR (1)

jamehec (703164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195610)

The reason why the USSR fell is because Gosplan's monopoly on the USSR's entire GDP killed innovation, thus causing it to become so bloated that it ultimately suffocated under its own weight. The fact that more and more people are moving away from the Borg is a Very Good Thing - when MS suffocates under its own bloat, it won't take the entire industry down with it.

Personally, I can't wait to see what develops. I imagine that MS will ultimately do a Soviet style collapse. Don't believe me? Put it his way - if someone told you back in 1961 that the USSR would be dead within 35 years, would you have believed it?

This message posted from the Opera browser, incidentally. See, I practise what I preach. ;)

When helpless, get used to it (1)

mkc (30434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7195612)

People don't want to move away from GUIs (!), figure Macs would be too much trouble, have software that already binds them to Windows. (Have you tried to convert all that VBA script to StarOffice?)

Rats swimming in water at the bottom of slippery-sided containers eventually just give up trying, and accept their fates.

Have you been to an office lately where hardly anyone has a desktop computer? We spend hours a day in the car driving to and from work to spend hours in front of the computer. Heaven forbid we might have to learn a little bit about how either one works in order to save money or have more control over what we use!

Might as well be watching TV...
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