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845 comments

Not so easily manipulated (5, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928346)

Microsoft's strategy so far is to find people who used to be proponents of Linux and other open source products and get them to do a 180, possibly as a result of a very fat paycheck though who knows. Anyway, here is an example from the article:

In January Taylor poached one of IBM's former Linux technical leaders, William Hilf, to test 20 versions of open-source software in Redmond. Hilf two years ago was in front of audiences touting the cost effectiveness, reliability and performance of open-source software. Nowadays he's working the Microsoft spiel: "There's no set architecture in Linux. All roads lead to madness," and "the devil is in the details. This stuff is not easy to run."

How can this fellow's opinion turn on a dime like that? Is he really credible to a corporate audience? I don't think people are quite that stupid or so easily manipulated.

Another strategy is to fund studies that are purported to be neutral regarding Microsoft vs. Open Source. Once again, from the article:

Microsoft has funded 13 studies over the past year comparing Linux with its own products. Guess what: All of them come out in favor of Microsoft. The studies are generously referenced in an advertising campaign dubbed "Get the Facts." Can Linux really handle crucial areas such as security and e-mail?

Here is a skeptical customer:

"I'm not sure how relevant this stuff is," says PCMS Datafit's Matt S. Scherocman. One Microsoft customer, ADC Chief Information Officer Jamey S. Anderson, agrees: "You don't know who's paying the bills. You can't trust the surveys."

Of course, if all else fails, try an "SCO" and claim property as yours and sue the hell out of everybody:

At a recent gathering of venture capitalists Ballmer went so far as to suggest Microsoft might own intellectual property in Linux and assured the audience that Microsoft would pursue any violation of its own patents. Before he spoke, a fire alarm went off. "It was eerily symbolic," says a venture capitalist in attendance. "We all scattered." Microsoft denies this, and says it will not litigate.

Once again, I don't think corporate IT staff and managment can be so easily manipulated. I believe that the very health growth in Open Source is proof.

Cheers,

Erick

Re:Not so easily manipulated (5, Insightful)

savagedome (742194) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928365)

I don't think people are quite that stupid or so easily manipulated.

Don't underestimate the power of stupidity, my friend. You'd be surprised.

Re:Not so easily manipulated (0)

JavaPunk (757983) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928470)

You do know the differnece between stupidity and genious? Genious has its limits :)

Re:Not so easily manipulated (3, Funny)

flewp (458359) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928524)

And a genius would know how to spell ;)

Re:Not so easily manipulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928566)

Not necessarily... genius can be pretty limited in its scope sometimes.

Re:Not so easily manipulated (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928519)

Don't underestimate the power of stupidity

You misspelled money .

But also don't forget... (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928543)

...the power of greed. If you can get away with it for free*, it's amazing what great lengths people go to.

*even when said "free" costs you more to achieve than you saved.

SCO has created a lot of negative press, but once eradicated it will turn to positive press "claims found groundless". A lot of huge companies are backing it. And don't pretend MS will be able to use patents at will. They're kinda like nukes - if MS decides to "nuke" IBMs Linux plans, trust me, IBM can "nuke" Windows as well.

Kjella

Re:But also don't forget... (5, Funny)

MikeDX (560598) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928589)

if MS decides to "nuke" IBMs Linux plans, trust me, IBM can "nuke" Windows as well.

With winuke.exe ?

Re:Not so easily manipulated (1)

caston (711568) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928370)

Microsoft's strategy so far is to find people who used to be proponents of Linux and other open source products and get them to do a 180, possibly as a result of a very fat paycheck though who knows.

Next up. MS welcomes Linus to the NT kernel development team.

Re:Not so easily manipulated (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928391)

Is he really credible to a corporate audience? I don't think people are quite that stupid or so easily manipulated.

lol

p.s. :(

Re:Not so easily manipulated (5, Insightful)

unother (712929) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928392)

How can this fellow's opinion turn on a dime like that? Is he really credible to a corporate audience? I don't think people are quite that stupid or so easily manipulated.

Plain to see you haven't been in the underbelly of corporate America, my friend...

Re:Not so easily manipulated (3, Informative)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928441)

  • How can this fellow's opinion turn on a dime like that? Is he really credible to a corporate audience? I don't think people are quite that stupid or so easily manipulated.
The former Slashdot topic icon with Bill as the Borg has never seemed more apt. A quick Google image search turned up this parody [blueyonder.co.uk] .

PCB$#

Re:Not so easily manipulated (5, Insightful)

fitten (521191) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928452)

How can this fellow's opinion turn on a dime like that? Is he really credible to a corporate audience? I don't think people are quite that stupid or so easily manipulated.

Quite easily actually... there's an old saying... there's no greater fanatic than the converted. I've seen staunch supporters of something do a 180 within a day when exposed to something they thought impossible (switching from Windows to Linux or from Linux to Windows... yes, I've seen both).

Re:Not so easily manipulated (5, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928520)

You're not actually showing why he's wrong, just screaming that he used to be in the linux camp and is now touting MS. It's hardly a good debating tactic (unless you're a republican :-P).

Instead of looking for behind-the-scenes back-handers, actually stand up and show why he's wrong.

Still, personally, I can kinda see where he's going with his arguments. I don't agree 100%, but there is at least a grain of truth behind them. Of course, this is slashdot, so I'm getting the fire-extinguishers ready ;)

Re:Not so easily manipulated (1)

Zackbass (457384) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928526)

A fat paycheck for talking about how bad Linux is?

Hmmm, lemme think about this...professional integrity or fat paycheck.

Sign me up! It's not hard to see how he came to this conclusion.

Re:Not so easily manipulated (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928595)

Hilf two years ago was in front of audiences touting the cost effectiveness, reliability and performance of open-source software. Nowadays he's working the Microsoft spiel:
Simple - he's been in sales for some time, and he's pushing a different product with this sales project.
You can't trust the surveys.
Since a video shown to a courtroom by Microsoft had been tampered with, why should we trust their surveys? They hold their customers and the legal system of the country where they are based in contempt.

Re:Not so easily manipulated (4, Interesting)

LibrePensador (668335) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928604)

Hi Erick.

Microsoft has started the largest FUD campaign that I can remember against open source. It is doing all it can to portray Linux as not a real operating system, but the hobby of bunch of loony hippies.

I guess the fact that the focus of the campaign appears to be foreign governments and businesses means that it has stayed largely below the radar of US journalists and Free Software advocates in the US.

They are taking page-size ads in the most recognized newspapers in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and Mexico (those are the ones that I know about directly, but I am told that the campaign is global) and they are displaying the stories of people who allegedly tried to switch to Linux and came back running to the safe arms of Microsoft mamma.

And the stories are all very similar. For instance, in Argentina, they used Grimaldi, a shoe manufacturer as the example. When you dig into the story, you discover that the company that was supposed to carry out Grimaldi's migration to Linux is a Windows certified partner and a windows-only shop. The idiots could not get sendmail or postfix up-and-running and thus claim that it doesn't work. They then told Grimaldi, surprise, surprise, not to bother with Linux because it just doesn't work.

The Free Software and open source communities need to have a global response to this last smear campaign, lest we allow others to define how Linux truly works. I can't tell you how many Windows techs I encounter who are convinced that there are no GUIs or IM clients for Linux or that it is impossible to watch multimedia content on a Linux box.

In summary, Microsoft has been paying some big names to use them as poster children of their "Linux is too messy and difficult adn thus expensive campaign". We need to create a site where we exposed Microsoft lies and we need to do it soon. Anybody can get a plone site up and running that we can use to debunk these myths?

Innovation (3, Insightful)

Draoi (99421) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928359)

[Re. MS innovation,] Allchin points to new features in the version of Windows due in 2007 that will allow users to remotely turn PCs on or off, with programs still running.

*sigh* There's another new field, fresh for 'sploits. Nice one, Microsoft. Keep up with the .. errm .. 'innovation! :-/

Re:Innovation (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928407)

Well if you have laplink or something installed you could do this already couldn't you?

Re:Innovation (0, Troll)

Draoi (99421) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928462)

Well, sure, but that's not the point. The point is that it's going into a future version of an OS that's got a bad enough track record for security. Furthermore as power management is involved (and from cold boot, it would seem), this probably means changes to the BootROM/BIOS. Plenty of scope for getting it wrong ...

If they want to power up a machine from cold remotely and it is to be self-contained within the machine, then this means the Power Management ASIC needs to watch the ethernet phy and interpret some message or other. Firmware changes + networking = yuk!

Re:Innovation (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928536)

You can do this with Remote Desktop as well.

Just do "Start...shutdown". OK, programs won't be running, but that's hardly a feature I've been too worried about.

Re:Innovation (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928414)

Any network-aware service or program can potentially be exploited; what would you have people do, simply stop developing new network-aware stuff?

Besides, I'm sure many similar comments were made about redsktop, and yet I don't recall any exploits appearing for that.

Re:Innovation (1)

Draoi (99421) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928499)

If someone wants remote power management for their machine, let them add it themselves. It's not primarily something that Granny needs to do at home anyway. Sticking it into the OS 'coz you can is not the thing to do - that's exactly what happened with auto-open email enclosures (another MS 'innovation'). Furthermore, I feel MS shouldn't brand this kind of thing as innovation, as Tim Allchin did.

Re:Innovation (1)

DarkGreenNight (647707) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928437)

So tey'll do #hibernate instead of #halt ?

I remember those old days at university, telneting to do some work on some Sun WorkStations and telling them to eject the floppy just to annoy whoever was there working on them in person (if there was a floppy, of course).

Re:Innovation (3, Funny)

fubar1971 (641721) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928598)

We actually would record audio files and then transfer them to the Sun Workstation and play them remotely.

Nothing would beat the reactions of newbies in the lab when their workstation would seem to talk to them and say:

"Newbie, don't do that newbie".

Re:Innovation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928477)

"The studies are generously referenced in an advertising campaign dubbed "Get the Facts." Can Linux really handle crucial areas such as security and e-mail?"

Yep Linux can't handle such things, but Microsoft can! Just look at their flawless track record.

Re:Innovation (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928498)

You make it sound like this is a bad thing, with no possible positive implications.

A project that we're working on right now involves nearly 20 touch-screen kiosk machines - and every night they get turned off by way of a power switch. Every morning, that power switch is thrown the other way and the machines power up.

We're using the power supply feature that allows you to automatically boot on power loss. The client isn't willing to walk to every kiosk and power down (and then power it up again) properly.

I can think of a whole list of other ways to use it. If you can't, I can only guess that you haven't thought about it hard enough.

Re:Innovation (-1, Redundant)

Draoi (99421) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928558)

You make it sound like this is a bad thing, with no possible positive implications.

I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that a feature of limited scope being plopped into a general-purpose OS involving networking is an opportunity for yet more security holes to surface. This time, involving power management. Imagine the scope for 'fun' there when some script kiddie can merrily bring your machine up or down at will?

Soon to be greatest sigg'd quote evar: (5, Funny)

bigdady92 (635263) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928369)

"There's no set architecture in Linux. All roads lead to madness" -Microsoft

I can see it now...

Re:Soon to be greatest sigg'd quote evar: (2, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928556)

All roads may lead to madness, but some (Conexant modem drivers, Debian installation) provide a much more direct route.

Of course on Windows, just trying to move an Excel or Word document out of that *&$#^$%& cage they lock them in is enough to induce mouse-smashing insanity within an hour...

There plan of attack.. (5, Insightful)

Embedded2004 (789698) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928371)

There plan of attack should include attempting to make a superior product. It will get harder and harder for them with an inferior product as they are now finding out.

Re:There plan of attack.. (1)

kusanagi374 (776658) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928491)

There plan of attack should include attempting to make a superior product. It will get harder and harder for them with an inferior product as they are now finding out.

What? They don't have to, they never had to... there's something called "marketing", where you try to convince your clients that you have the solution. It works all the time, doesn't it? AOL still has users...

What plan? (1)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928557)

I don't see any plan.

Or do you mean by "plan" paing for more studies?

Microsoft tried a lot against Linux already (calling it a cancer, letting SCO claim it's IP is illegal, making TCO-studies and even lowering prices)

So far nothing (including lowering the prices) has stopped Linux. Linux is growing in all branches of IT.

Aha! (5, Funny)

rde (17364) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928376)

He's been at Microsoft since college and rattles off techie jargon like value proposition and customer sat (short for satisfaction) like any seasoned Microsoftie.

Techie jargon? I think I've found Microsoft's problem.

Re:Aha! (1)

XemonerdX (242776) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928449)

If only they had techie skills as well to build a decent OS.

Re:Aha! (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928455)

"Microsofties" talk about customer satisfaction? *blinks* My worldview's falling to pieces.

Re:Aha! (1)

Gerald (9696) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928476)

...because real techies care nothing about getting the most bang for the buck, or making users happy?

All roads lead to madness? (4, Funny)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928381)

Sure.

And this should be written on all boxes of Windows:

Abandon all hope, ye who are about to open this.

WinXP SP2, anyone? ;-)

Re:All roads lead to madness? (2, Funny)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928616)

---Where would you want to go today?

Well, madness of course!

MS should start selling Linux (5, Insightful)

xiando (770382) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928383)

It's nice to know they actually have a "Microsoft's top Linux strategist".

And he has realized that "Linux is a different kind of opponent. It's not a company to bash, but a software movement with the backing of the entire tech industry.".

And this is why the Linux community is winning. We are more developers in the Linux scene, we are better skilled and higher motivated.

Understanding this, Microsoft should turn around and start providing Linux support and services as part of their portifolio. There is nothing wrong with selling both Linux and Windows! Software is all about support, not the product, today anyways.

MOD UP PARENT POST!!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928401)

No saner words spoken

Re:MS should start selling Linux (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928422)

Um..so exactly where is Linux 'winning' then?

Not in the servermarket against MS, against commercial *nix yes, against MS no.
Not on the desktop, Linux isnt moving anywhere there either...so exactly where is Linux winning aside from in the delusions of the /. crowd?

The MSFT shareholders (2, Insightful)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928488)

would never go for that strategy. How will selling Linux services enhance shareholder return on investment?

A publicly traded company exists solely to make profits for shareholders. This is accomplished by crushing competition (ideally). If you can't crush 'em though, you don't sell their products! This isn't a sound business model.

Re:MS should start selling Linux (1)

1000101 (584896) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928493)

"we are better skilled and higher motivated..."

I don't understand where some people get this from. First of all, Microsoft has plenty of highly skilled and extrememly intelligent people working for them. Secondly, fat paychecks from Microsoft seem to be pretty good motivation for most people. There are plenty of resons to argue that Linux is better than Microsoft, but these two aren't the best to choose from.

Microsoft Linux strategy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928384)

1) Hire Lawyers
2) Create FUD and sue using drones such as SCO
3) Profit!!

They arent a 90's .com so there's actually a step 2 in there.

^5 (5, Insightful)

maelstrom (638) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928386)

"Before, Linux was this cloud we didn't get, now it is Red Hat, Novell, IBM. We know how to compete with companies. I was high-fiving everyone I could find when Novell bought [German Linux distributor] SuSe. We already won once against Novell."

I think I'm going to run around high-fiving everyone here, because to me this shows they still don't get it. You can kill SuSE, you can kill Novell, IBM, and Red Hat and you still wouldn't kill Linux.

Microsoft, if you are reading this, you screwed me over once with OS/2. There is no way you will ever take Linux away from me. :)

Re: Good Thing there are "Non-Profit" distros (2, Insightful)

xiando (770382) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928440)

You can't just buy Gentoo Linux [gentoo.org] , debian [debian.org] or many other distributions for that matter. So even if you buy (out) RedHat, Novell and other (stock listed) companies you simply can not destroy those non-profit organisations.

How would you go about to bring GNU [gnu.org] down, even if you were founded by the millions?

Re:^5 (4, Insightful)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928443)

I think I'm going to run around high-fiving everyone here, because to me this shows they still don't get it. You can kill SuSE, you can kill Novell, IBM, and Red Hat and you still wouldn't kill Linux.

No, they wouldn't kill Linux, but they would shove it so far out of the public view it might as well be Amiga. I don't think they want to kill Linux completely - just the big players, the ones that matter to the high dollar corporate customers. The ones really stealing sales from MS.

But MS is a tad to late to come to the table, they are trying to crush it after it's gotten to large. If they destroy distro X, another will rise out of the ashes and be just as big (I hope!). 10 years ago, if they'd invested all their energy into it, they might have kept Linux small - but it's gaining momentum now, and it's hard to stop a freight train.

Re:^5 (2, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928521)

since when has public view been important to linux?

and linux was doing just fine before IBM et al. hint: they came to linux because they saw great potential, no one cold-called IBM and made a sales pitch.

fundamentally linux is about talented people writing software based on principles. to kill linux you pay everyone money to stop, kill everyone involved with it, or pass a law abolishing rights such as free speech.

Re:^5 (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928583)

or pass a law abolishing rights such as free speech....

....in every country on the planet with a reasonably reliable power supply and Internet access.


Otherwise all you're doing is cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Re:^5 (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928585)

>when has public view been important to linux?

To the technical side of Linux, only as far as to get more programmers working on it.

To the religious side of Linux, its the entire battle.

I think you understand this point, from the rest of your post, but maybe I'm just tired of how the vast majority of comments will be on the religous side of things rather than the technical merits. MS might be focusing on this bigger picture;

"Taylor was handed a just-finished study that found Microsoft too emotionally biased against open-source code and blind to customer distrust in its own brand."

Re:^5 (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928571)

Don't forget, though, this is part of a two-edged strategy. On the business front, they want to turn Linux back into a "hobbyist OS" that doesn't have support from any major corporate users or suppliers. On the legal front, they want to buy legislators who will then effectively outlaw F/OSS with DRM and "security" requirements ... which is only possible if they've removed the corporate support.

I don't think they'll succeed, but don't be too sanguine yet.

Re:^5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928581)

They should GPL the source for OS/2. That'd be cool.

All roads lead to madness (2, Funny)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928404)

So what microsoft is up against is a growing community of mad scientists, inventors, and other innovators in league against them?

I can imagine the cackling laughter now ....

MMMMWWWAAHHHH HA HA HA HA

Kind of rich after a 250mb patch (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928560)

Considering XP comes on 1 cd and a cd can only contain 700mb and reasoning they did not need to patch the "windows tunes or skins or wallpapers" it can reasonably be argued that SP2 replaces 1/3 of the software. That ain't a patch that is a rebuild. Just translate it to say a building or a car. If your car needed 1/3 of its parts replaced after you only got it for 2 years what would you say to the maker?

And it is not like SP2 is doing anything radical, it is just increasing security, so MS'es product was so badly put together that just to add a tiny level of extra security it had to replace so much code and spend so much time.

This can only be the result of extremely bad management and directionless developement of their software.

No this claim by MS shows that somewhere at the top something is really really wrong. They just don't get linux. The weird thing about linux is not that it is by nature that much more secure, I could easily make a linux install that would make Windows 95 look good. I think the real succes behind Linux is that it is not actively trying to stop you from making a secure system.

Plenty on /. talk about how hard linux is to use. They forget that the world has plenty of techies for whom this is merely a challenge.

A formule 1 car is a nightmare to drive and most people with a license wouldn't even be able to complete one lap in it if they even get manage to not stall or crash at the start. That is because the wheels on a normal car are turned slightly in wich causes the car the want to drive straight forward but a race car got them neutral so that it is easier to steer but hell to keep straight.

Linux is harder to drive but once you learned it you are in control, not some marketing weirdo at redmond. That is why I like linux. I can figure it out, I am in control, it is my OS.

MS real enemy is MS. To many people now have a stake in MS being reduced. Who are MS allies? Only those it can buy. Mercenaries are not known for their loyaltie.

"Architecture"!?! (5, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928406)

You mean like OLE? DDE? The Printer Driver interface where everything is standardized, but nothing prints the same?!

No no... all roads lead to madness on Windows programming. I assure you. (Of course, if you HAVE the roadmap...)

Re:"Architecture"!?! (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928612)

I hear it can run on MIPS and even sparc - madness.

Um, The Windows APIs? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928409)

Yeah, there's a really startling lack of self-awareness in the statement that there's no set architecture to Linux and that all roads lead to madness.

roads leading to madness (2, Insightful)

pete.com (741064) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928419)

All roads lead to madness with Linux?

Tell that to the companies brought down by the slammer worm, either of the nachi worms or the effort trying to keep MS boxes patched in a large enterprise.... that is the road to hell not madness. Although madness is thrown in at no cost.

Madness? (2, Funny)

nagora (177841) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928420)

Yes, looking after a network of MS machines is like a real-life Little Book of Calm...

TWW

pattern (-1, Redundant)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928421)

1st they laugh at you

2nd they fight you

then you win

Re:pattern (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928456)

-1, lazy attempt at karma-whoring

;-)

Re:pattern (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928457)

"First they kill you, then they mummify you, then they put you on display in the Smithsonian, then you win."

good advice for MS fans (5, Funny)

pohl (872) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928426)

I think Microsoft is setting an excellent example that happy customers (and fans) of Microsoft should imitate: learn everything that you can about Linux. Install it on your PC. Intentionally break your configuration just to practice fixing it. Install new hardware and figure out how to get it working no matter how much it seems like torture. Find free equivalents to software that you would normally run under Windows, and live with them for a while even if it means sacrificing features or quality. Absorb as much of this knowledge as you can, and share it with your other Microsoft-loving buddies. And once you all are as conversant in Linux as are those people who are choosing it over Windows, you'll be able to more effectively lobby against it...beacuse you'll be armed with knowledge. Never mind that you'll be helping the Linux culture to spread. Hey, look over there...it's an angel, and she's giving away free bacon!

MS officially announces madness is now renamed... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928429)

...windowsupdate.com.

They don't get it (4, Insightful)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928431)

"I just want the decision to be based on facts, not religion," says Taylor. "People are saying, 'It's not Microsoft, so it must be great.' Tell us what Linux does that we can't do. Don't tell us you're deploying Linux just because you can."
Let me turn this question around: what does Windows do that Linux doesn't? For me, Linux is already there ( on several hundred desktop machines running a java client). So why should I pay several hundred bucks for each license?

Sorry /., but they have a point (2, Insightful)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928439)

Linux has a real stability and consistency problem when it comes to competing distros and running binary applications that you do not have the source code to.

Add to that the proprietary modifications and vastly inflated prices of the dominant Linux vendor and you have a confused customer base that is more comfortable with the consistent Microsoft product lines.

Re:Sorry /., but they have a point (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928492)

Run an enterprise Linux distro such as Red Hat or something from IBM and it's no worse a situation as other systems (including Windows).

Look at the WinXP SP2 fiasco, Microsoft creates many issues with their bug fixes. In fact they upgrade your bugs.

Re:Sorry /., but they have a point (1)

anaplasmosis (567440) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928494)

Consistent? Not tried to open a elderly Word document lately?

Re:Sorry /., but they have a point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928508)

Additionally, hardware compatibility issues, and the time expended toget certain things working is just unacceptable. I shouldn't have to recompile a kernel module to get wireless to work.

Dont get me wrong, Mandrake 10 is easier to install than WIndows, and faster. However, if you have to add anything (in my case, a wireless card that didnt have drivers included in the MDK 10 CDs), it becomes very very hard.

Re:Sorry /., but they have a point (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928563)

Linux has a real stability and consistency problem when it comes to competing distros and running binary applications that you do not have the source code to.
Windows has a real stability and consistency problem when it comes to the same version and running binary applications that you do not have the source code to. With Linux, you at least have the option of installing compatible versions.
Add to that the proprietary modifications and vastly inflated prices of the dominant Linux vendor and you have a confused customer base that is more comfortable with the consistent Microsoft product lines.
If customers are confused by that, then the Microsoft product lines were made for them.

I think the most interesting thing in this article is that after finally recognizing that Linux even existed in 1998, they're now six years down the road before even trying to understand it from a technology standpoint. I guess they were accustomed to just waiting around while competitors withered from the environment.

Re:Sorry /., but they have a point (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928565)

"...a confused customer base that is more comfortable with the consistent Microsoft product lines."

Dude - I have been using Microsoft products, in a business environment, since Dos3.3. There is _nothing_ consistent in their product lines apart from having to pay for flakey software.

Re:Sorry /., but they have a point (4, Insightful)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928605)

Apple, Amiga and Atari in the 80s:

The x86-PC has real stability and consitency problems when it comes to competing vendors and running different CPUs on different motherboards.

Add to that proprietary modifications and vastly inflated prices of the dominant CPU-vendor and you have a confused customer base that is more comfortable with the consistent Apple product lines.

No set architechture... (2, Interesting)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928454)

...IS A BAD THING? That's one more thing to offer my clients.... Let's see, now you can have the same DAMN system across your entire infrastructure, one easy to understand, free and completely customizable desktop.... don't got Linux for this chip.... go compile a kernel... nothing to stop you! It's free! No contracts or legal agreements! Free good software that will run once again on all your systems... open office is FSCKING AWSOME! No viruses, better security... and damned if it isn't more stable!!! HOW 'BOUT THEM APPLES...

Microsoft vs Rest of World (5, Funny)

shoppa (464619) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928467)

"Linux is a different kind of opponent. It's not a company to bash, but a software movement with the backing of the entire tech industry.".

So now the whole world is out to get Microsoft. Isn't such paranoia a classic schizophrenic symptom?

Re:Microsoft vs Rest of World (2, Funny)

gnarlin (696263) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928588)

Not when the rest of the world really is out to get them ;-)

M$ should live with it... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928469)

...because Linux is not about to go away and the most important thing is that it is not profit oriented. But as the GPL implies, you can take the code and use it for what ever you want, even controlling a nuclear reactor. Yes, M$ should live with it.

This is actualy good news. (3, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928485)

First they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.

I think Microsoft just went from step 1 to step 2. They are acknowledging that Linux is a danger (again). Slowly people will start to realize that Microsoft is fighting Linux. These people will then start to wonder why.

Where people thought that a computer ran Windows 97 and had no idea what an OS was, the marketing machine from Microsoft is now spreading the name Linux. It will cause people to take a closer look.

The rest is up to the Linux community and companies.

"new feature" (5, Funny)

leperkuhn (634833) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928503)

Heh, here's a good "new feature"

Allchin points to new features in the version of Windows due in 2007 that will allow users to remotely turn PCs on or off

My dear lord they are innovating at an exponential rate! Quite possibly next they will unleash "a pointer device cabable of interacting with the screen."

Centralized administration (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928506)

Now I have played with many distributions and it seems to me that what they all lack are some form of central administration(not just user adm). Novell have eDirectory and Microsoft has Active Directory(which I haven't tried).
I know there are different solutions available for this that does some of it. But I think it needs to be integrated more.
I know that part of running Linux servers are the joy of making scripts to automate thing and most Linux people will quickly answer that "you just make a ..... which ....", but if you are buying a server distribution anyway, one would expect to have a some sort of centralized administration without having to code all kinds of scripts.

Resistance is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928523)

Resistance is not futile. This is just a sign that Microsoft has recognized it's biggest threat, itself!

Why itself? Realizing it's API is fragmented, it's kernel is a weak message passing non-pre-emptive kernel knows Linux blows Windows away in cost, performance and reliability.

Ya, I too would be worried if I had to sell a dog like Windows against Linux.

But bet this dude got alot of dollars and stock options to jump.

Why this silly fight? (1)

Xerp (768138) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928530)

Why do Microsoft always have to be so aggressive? Why can't they let people do what they want to do? If I want to run Linux, just let me run Linux... or Mac OS X. Do Microsoft need more money? Do they need to take over the world? Why not just take a chill pill and concentrate on core business? No one likes bullies. Best thing Microsoft can do? Back down. Not only back down, but actively support and develop Open Source products. OpenMicrosoft for the developing countries anyone? What makes Christmas so great? Its the giving. Come on Microsoft - give a little.

It's a simple strategy... (2, Funny)

ayjay29 (144994) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928534)

Microsoft are just going to hire about 20 high-class escort girls and covertly target them at the most important open source developers. The costs involved in this strategy will be peanuts compared with the total devastation it will bring upon the open source community, which will be left completely defenseless.

They have already started a trial program [bbspot.com] . You have been warned.

hehe (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928535)

The problem with attacking Linux with lies:

- Linux as real problems :D

This updated strategy will fix this.
And will actually HELP open source, because FEEDBACK is CODING FUEL!

Feedback ist most valuable coding resource. If Microsoft provice feedback about what is wrong with linux, will be easy to fix that and habing a much better tool.

Anyway Windows is a product, and Linux is a tool. Most Linux coders dont really need to sell anithing, but code a usefull tool. So its something different, ...Yes, linux is not a competitive company, is not a competitive product.. too: Its simply a tool. A giant corporation fighting a tool is somewhat ridiculous. But is real for historical reasons.

imHo

From the article (3, Interesting)

stromthurman (588355) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928538)

"Tell us what Linux does that we can't do. Don't tell us you're deploying Linux just because you can."
  • A complete GNU/Linux (henceforth: Linux) distribution provides me with source for free (or at a reasonable cost if you buy cds from the distributor), Microsoft does not.
  • Most linux distributions provide multiple choices for window managers/desktop environments, Microsoft gives me explorer (though Litestep and BB4Win are available to download).
  • In general, with Linux, I have more choices than I need for many things
Granted, some will argue too much choice is bad for the getting Linux on the desktop. That may be, but Microsoft, specifically Mr. Taylor, asked a question, I provided my answer, which does not necessarily represent the views/opinions of others.
If Microsoft can provide a reasonably priced, reasonably secure, distribution/version of Windows that comes with such choices, or if a 3rd party vendor started creating Windows distributions along these lines, I would go with what I felt to be a better value, just as I am right now. And for me, a poor, fresh out of college, person, the better value is Linux.

Desperate (2, Interesting)

JSkills (69686) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928539)

I understand Microsoft's concern about Linux's growing ubiquity, but with there current market share of PCs and servers alike, it seems like they are over reacting to the situation and actually making it worse for themselves.

Does this sound strange to anyone else:

At a recent gathering of venture capitalists Ballmer went so far as to suggest Microsoft might own intellectual property in Linux and assured the audience that Microsoft would pursue any violation of its own patents.

Or how about this?

Windows group chief James Allchin accuses Linux of being a cheap knockoff: "There's no innovation. Linux is still in the business of cloning existing technology." Allchin points to new features in the version of Windows due in 2007 that will allow users to remotely turn PCs on or off, with programs still running. Searches will extend across all data like e-mail, photos, Word. "We're creating things," he says.

It just sounds so petty and even a little childish. Microsoft would do better to take the high road - and steer clear of lowering themselves in some kind of attempt at a smear campaign. It only makes them look weaker than they are.

Your favorite quote (4, Insightful)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928546)

There's no set architecture in Linux. All roads lead to madness

To the newbie this perception is immediately apparent.

First question: Which of the hundreds of distros do I use? Hundreds of different answers.

Second question: If they are all Linux, why will this application run on one but not the other? Development geek speak.
Third question: Of the hundreds of choices of this particular application, which is best? Hundreds of naswers and then a massive flame war.

Microsoft's quote may sound pathetic to you but, when they tell a neophyte to check for themselves, they are "proven" correct. The uninitiated are confused and intimidated by the vast number of choices, incompatibilities and varied advice from a pleathora of zealots. Just ask a technical question about a mail program like Postfix or Sendmail. Half the responses will be to change distributions. Change the OS because of an issue with the MTA???

Irony Is Wonderful... (1)

Medusian (801599) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928553)

As I was reading this posting, it just so happened that I looked to the banner ad at the top of the page... and what to my wondering eyes did appear? Why, Microsoft "Facts" trying to bend my ear.

Aside from that crappy bit of rhyme, I find it interesting that MS's entire ad campaign for getting the facts has the feeling of a parent talking down to a child, "Dont be silly Billy-the-IT-professional! Windows is the only proffesional choice!" That, combined with Microsoft's inability to understand the fact that just becuase Linux is now grounded with corporate association it dosent mean that they cant bully unix out of existance really urks me. High fiving everyone my ass...

At least they are thinking... (2, Informative)

Aslan72 (647654) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928555)

It sounds like this Taylor guy should become CEO. As fond of MS as we all are around here, at least somebody there is thinking through strategy and figuring out how to compete. IMO, that was IBM's downfall in the late 80's...they just didn't care because they were on top.

Mind you, that still doesn't mean MS's got it all down. RedHat or SUSE could still obliterate them due to MS's size alone; e.g., it's going to take them till 2007 to get longhorn out...that says to me they're getting too big.

--pete

One for the gander, and one for the bigguns! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928562)

'Nuff said.

Big Business will Never learn. (1)

Trizor (797662) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928564)

Strategists and Paychecks won't fix your corporate competition problem. Nor will billions of features that no one will use and only bloat your product. Quality and Control. Thats what I look for in a product. Is it high quality? Does it stay stable after and install or require to reboot? Do I the user have as much or as little control as I want? Will the system configure itsself if I don't want to, but allow me to tweak later? Can I get in and mess with the nitty gritty, but have a nice abstraction layer? All roads point to Unix or Linux in this case. Almost apple. Almost.

A brief suggestion (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928568)

To any and all CIOs and CEOs that might be reading this:

Before you listen to anybody's suggestions (maybe even mine here), get a copy of *nix, throw it on a machine or three and beat them up with some sample data. You *will* be impressed. Look at YOUR costs for microsoft CALs and look at YOUR costs for support. Then look at the performance and do the math for yourself. If you're uneasy with the tempest currently swirling around Linux and/or the GPL then use one of the BSDs.

In any event, do it. Your responsibility to the company, its investors and its customers mandates you do this; whatever your ultimate decision.

*cough*AD*cough* (5, Insightful)

Craig Ringer (302899) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928572)

"the devil is in the details. This stuff is not easy to run."


One could be forgiven for thinking that was intended to describe Active Directory.

I run a mixed network, though mostly Linux these days, for work. I frequently hear about juicy new technologies for MS (I read several of the pro Windows mags) and some sound really good. Mostly, however, as I read the article I quickly find myself thinking "that's nice if you're a company big enough to pay someone to learn this one technology, and you'll really need the myriad options it provides. But for most people who could use that functionality, this is ridiculously complex and over-engineered."

There are also times I curse Linux, often in ways that'd make your hair curl. MTA + spam filter + virus scanner(s) + IMAP/POP server + webmail is all well enough, but give me standard interfaces on each of them or I'll go insane very soon. Then I tried to set up an Exchange demo and, well, suddenly it didn't seem so bad anymore. It's still quite bad, but Exchange also failed to work sensibly by default, was hard to integrate with multiple plug-ins, and generally reassured me that in fact all mail server software is crap (though each may in isolation be quite good).

MS needs to get a handle on the complexity of its own systems before they can talk too loudly about the multiplicity of configurations under Linux and the fact that every admin almost has to be a developer. At least with Linux, I can admin my hideously complex configurations via a collection of individual config files in a consistent place that don't change for no reason, vanish, get corrupted, or get bored and go for a smoke :-P . I can also version changes, which is nice (note to distributors: PLEASE start designing for a versioned /etc .).

If Linux distros could offer a consistent config file format (Pick one. Seriously.), some form of config inheritance (eg load /etc/defaults/[someconfig], then /home/username/.config/[someconfig], then /etc/overrides/[someconfig]) and lockdown (think KDE's kiosk), that would help a lot. Yes, I understand that this is almost impossible given the nature of Linux distros as assemblies of independenly developed software, but nonetheless this would be awfully nice.

If I could get consistent open and save dialog boxes for my Linux terminal server, I think I'd be in heaven.

Overall, I must say that I see a serious case of the pot calling the kettle black here. They're both awful.

Linux Madness (0)

jejones (115979) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928602)

This is just begging for a Ren and Stimpy parody...

"Oh, my beautiful GNOME taskbar!"

"Will he press the reset button? Can he resist the bright, candy-colored reset button?"

"NO, I CAN'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

A little know your enemy would be good for OSS (4, Interesting)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928608)

Anyone who has had to really use Windows XP knows that the current versions of Linux distributions have fallen down miserably in terms of performance and "shininess" in the GUI. Both of those are important if you want a credible, OSS challenge from Linux. For those that question the latter, I would remind them that the "shininess" of a GUI is one of the biggest things that consumers use to gadge as "modern." It's not a good metric by any means, but it is one that must be taken into serious consideration.

A lot of work on Syllable would go a long way toward hurting Longhorn. If enough Linux guys would get involved with the underpinnings so that Vanders and the rest of the team could take a break to work on the GUI system, it'd be a damn good OSS desktop by the time Longhorn gets here. As it stands right now, their labor is too divided to get its hardware support good enough to boot on many systems. Come on people, it'd be a quick investment of time that'd pay large dividends later.

It's CHAOS I Tell Ya (0, Flamebait)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928613)

Completely
Heterogenus
Architecturally
Open
System

.. On the other hand it makes good toast [k12.or.us]

the slideshow (1)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928615)

i like how in the slideshow it quotes balmer saying "linux is keeping us on our feet". at least he admits that without linux, microsoft would be dead in the water. i also think it's interesting to note that microsoft keeps talking about technology as if it's a competetion - "we already won against novell" (as if beating someone once prevents them from ever being a threat again (cough cough apple cough)).

there's so much stupidity quoted in this article that it hurts... "don't tell us you're deploying linux just because you can" - but what if i am? what if i am running it just because i can? not to mention the 13 studies paid for by microsoft that all showed *gasp* that microsoft is better in every concievable way, shape and form than $OPPOSITION. who would have guessed that a microsoft study would put microsoft on top?

they are still clueless (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#9928617)

Second to the last paragraph:

Taylor thinks Novell poses the biggest threat to Microsoft. "They have the best opportunity," he says. Through two acquisitions Novell has amassed a hefty stack of Linux-based software that includes a server operating system, desktop and management software. Novell gives resellers up to 15% commissions on top of the usual commission on first-time Linux customer deals.

What is wrong with this statement? I think it's pretty clear. I think what they really acquired when Novell bought SuSE is a bunch of really smart people who can develop the stuff they want under Linux. From my perspective, Apple is to PC as Microsoft is to Linux. That's something Microsoft has got to get a grip on. They can attack Linux vending companies 'til there are no more Linux vending companies any more, but will that stop anything? It might slow things down... some things might need ot reborn, but basically, since no one OWNs Linux, there will always be someone willing to pick up where others left off.

Microsoft? Are you listening? You'd better start writing applications that run on Linux and make your own distro. That's the only way to shut out the competition. They could actually pull it off once they got over their stupid pride issues.

Good Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9928619)

Sounds like a good idea. Have them find are weak spots for us, then we just have to fix them.
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