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OSS on Windows the Next Big Thing?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the don't-forget-the-tm-after-thing dept.

351

Lam1969 writes "Linux geeks and Microsoft have similar interests, says Computerworld: They both are interested in seeing open-source software succeed. Linux geeks admit that the open source OS isn't necessarily a better platform for important applications, and Microsoft recognizes that many of its customers are using open-source applications, and doesn't want to alienate them." From the article: "Faced with the allure of inexpensive open-source applications among its core customer base of small to midsize businesses, Microsoft has toned down its rhetoric. 'It's a myth that open-source and Windows can't work together. Customers just aren't religious about these things,' said Ryan Gavin, a director of platform strategy for Microsoft."

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MS Grasping for Straws (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799604)

OSS on Windows the Next Big Thing?
It's not the "next big thing." In fact, it's the old big thing that kept me running Windows XP on a machine at home.

So far today, I've used WinCVS, Notepad2, Firefox, PDFCreator, numerous Apache development tools and 7-zip all on Win XP. Looks like I'm well aware of the power of OSS on Windows. I'm not even talking about the tons of other apps I have on Windows that are OSS (Gimp, OpenOffice, Thunderbird, Gaim, Nvu, etc.).

If they're supporting it now, it's only because they're grasping at straws and reasons for people to continue to buy Windows instead of x86 OSX. "Look, if you buy Windows, you can go download The OpenCD [slashdot.org] and just go to town on free software." I know there's plenty of OSS going on for OSX and it's even got the bash kernel so you can compile pre-existing OSS apps that were written for it but man these Windows OSS programs are slick and super easy to install.

Saying that they're promoting it now will not make it the next big thing either. They'd have to open up some information about how to write apps on top of their OS or at least design some API's with the open source developer in mind. You know, if they made their platform a little less proprietary and gave the OSS developers a little more freedom, that would be a sign of OSS support.

Talk is cheap.

Perhaps we'll start to see some adolescent tendencies take hold in the open source community? Maybe the only reason OSS has been developed for Windows was to slap William Gates in the face? If so, it's now helping Microsoft and at least a few workers are promoting it.

Re:MS Grasping for Straws (3, Insightful)

pilot1 (610480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799702)

I know there's plenty of OSS going on for OSX and it's even got the bash kernel so you can compile pre-existing OSS apps that were written for it
BASH is a shell, not a kernel. Having it installed won't help you compile anything.

Re:MS Grasping for Straws (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800125)

But wait, what if bash WAS a kernel? What if we re-wrote the Linux kernel in Bash? Hmmmm? Linux would run everywhere you had bash! It would be a bash kernel! Now that doesn't seem so dumb now, huh?

Re:MS Grasping for Straws (-1, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800189)

Now that doesn't seem so dumb now, huh?

Yes, yes it does.

Re:MS Grasping for Straws (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799821)

"'Frankly, a lot of people in the open-source community have done themselves a disservice by painting things' as either/or decisions"

Huhwha!?

Who the hell said open-source and proprietary are either/or?! There's so much OSS for Windows it's not just not funny, it's incredibly USEFUL.

An OSS OS v. proprietary isn't even either or. OS-X is a well-meshed mix between the two.

Someone's been FUDding this guy, and claiming to be an OSS advocate in the process.

Re:MS Grasping for Straws (3, Insightful)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799862)

Regardless of your experiences, the vast majority of the people on windows are using closed source software. There are obviously (and simply) WAY more open source apps for linux than there are for windows. While there may be enough to do the job for some people, there are not nearly enough to do the job for others. Most (not all) of the windows OSS apps are inferior by leaps and bounds to the closed source alternatives. Firefox and Thunderbird are two obvious exceptions to that. Things like open source non-linear video editing solutions or graphics programs such as the gimp are really pretty lousy compared to some of the costly (or on rare occasion free) closed source alternatives.

I've been wishing and hoping for a long time that the OSS on windows movement would expand. I've also noticed a trend recently toward that very end. I'm holding my breath here.

Re:MS Grasping for Straws (2, Informative)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799877)

I know there's plenty of OSS going on for OSX and it's even got the bash kernel so you can compile pre-existing OSS apps that were written for it but man these Windows OSS programs are slick and super easy to install.


The bash *kernel*!? It's a shell, not a kernel. There is a world of difference.



I don't see OSS as a big thing on OS X, despite the fact many things can simply be recompiled for it, Mac zealots demand "native" (read: not using X11) ports of software, which is significantly more work than simply recompiling. If Apple was smart, they would either 1) have used X11 for everything in the first place or 2) figured out how to actually make X11 integrate nicely with it's proprietary GUI.

Re:MS Grasping for Straws (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799928)

I wouldn't say that OSX is a much better home for OSS than windows. - it really depends on the application. Neither OSX or windows does distribution management, so integrating an application will be more difficult on OSX and windows that on an OS that supports distribution management.

Bingo. (4, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799960)

It's not the "next big thing." In fact, it's the old big thing that kept me running Windows XP on a machine at home.

Bingo. Right on.
What we are seeing now is the reality that the experts saw coming 6-7 years ago is finally seeping into mainstream. Shrinkwrap software only business is over. Win2k/XP is mostly just a driver layer and gaming bios these days. The OSS vendors like Novel/SuSE/RedHat have been screwing around to much, that's what's held Linux/OSS back the last few years. Now with Canonical/Ubuntu finally getting the obsticles out of the way (zero-fuss hardware compliance) things are finally picking up speed. I've even considerd going back to Non-Apple Hardware after 3 years of OS X just because of that. I definitely see Linux Desktops become mainstream real soon now.

Who would have thought (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799606)

People would use commercial closed source software on Linux and Free OSS on Windows. I mean, wow. There really are people that will choose to use the best tool for the job.

I'm shocked. SHOCKED!

Re:Who would have thought (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799765)

Amen brother. I'm tired be labeled a zealot just because I sometimes choose an OSS solution, or a M$ lackey for choosing a particular desktop OS.

Heresy! (5, Funny)

Hikaru79 (832891) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799612)

Linux geeks admit that the open source OS isn't necessarily a better platform for important applications

Okay, that's it. Turn your card in at the door. We never want to see you again.

Re:Heresy! (2, Funny)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799624)

He should also be forced to sit in the COMFY CHAIR!

Re:Heresy! (2, Funny)

Mathiasdm (803983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799775)

No, not the comfy chair!
Oh, and please don't use the soft cushions!

Re:Heresy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15799641)

I thought the same thing, I wouldn't do anything that's important on windows. Being pretty much a full time linux user I had started to think that maybe I was remembering XP too harshly and that it might not be all that bad. I was wrong. It's SHIT!

Re:Heresy! (2, Insightful)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799875)

Wouldn't that necessarily disqualify you from calling yourself a Linux geek?

Re:Heresy! (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799935)

Actually, there's a test.

Please state the commands necessary for building a Bash shell from source.

Re:Heresy! (1)

admdrew (782761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800023)

...test?
Isn't that more like 'the secret handshake?'

Re:Heresy! (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800066)

Why would I want the Bash shell, from source or from anything else?

Re:Heresy! (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800089)

Thats an easy one: apt-get bash

Re:Heresy! (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800185)

Amazingly, you failed the test. apt-get install bash

Bogus Statement (3, Insightful)

Lanboy (261506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800064)

Notice the empahsis on "Important Applications" If by imprtant applications they mean server based applications, I have to look at this as an outright lie. Anyone who would prefer to run a mission critical application on windows over linux has an MCXX in thier email signature, and has no problem with a Monthly server reboot schedule.

OSS on windows is simply a way to survive being forced to use XP at work by corporate policy or critical applications (visio, WHY), or at home by games and educational software.

One hopes that if all applications are OSS or cross platform, one day we can pull the tablecloth from under the apps and go with Linux.

Good. (2, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799623)

Chairs!!111
Now that that's out of the way... we might be able to be serious

It's nice to see Microsoft easing up a bit. I think we will find that this will be the only way to possibly ensure their existence. Embrace and extend, without the extinguish, anyone?

On the other hand, they've promised many things over the years. Is this just another promise?

Sort of easing up. (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799882)

I agree this is nice, I guess. I don't like that they use the term "religious" to (apparently) describe someone who chooses free software because they value freedom. That doesn't sound like they've toned down their rhetoric...

Re:Good. (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799907)

I'm not sure you could call it "easing up." It's more of a mild fear that this "OSS" stuff might actually be posing a threat. While I think MS is a decent company in its own right, they don't really seem to understand what people need anymore. They're so focused on busniness now that the consumers are, quite frankly, getting the shaft.

MS's efforts are decent in some ways, but I think they're going about it for exactly the wrong reasons. They're scared. This stuff should be open....because it should be open. Not for competitions sake.

This is a promise! (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799961)

Like I've said before, this is MS promising to eat all the other ISVs' lunch. MS just wants to play the "free" & "bundled" cards to look like competition while they cherry-pick all the profitable parts of the software industry for themselves. Also, I think MS has learned that OSS isn't all bad. Once real lawyers and professionals look at the OSS licenses without bias, it's really no threat to MS on the utilities and apps front... Unlike all the "freeware" and "shareware" stuff out there, with OSS you know where you stand, if they decide to implement something themselves people won't be comming out of the woodwork that MS "stole" their little hobby app.

Who are these non-named "linux geeks" (1, Redundant)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799634)

Linux geeks admit that the open source OS isn't necessarily a better platform for important applications What? Who admits this? Not only is it a superior platform, for many applications, such as servers, it is showing to be a better platform for important applications. Free software on a closed operating system is a joke.

Re:Who are these non-named "linux geeks" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15799678)

Gamers.

Re:Who are these non-named "linux geeks" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15799685)

Windows has one advantage over all the other free/open-source type offerings: its ubiquity.

Re:Who are these non-named "linux geeks" (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799694)

Free software on a closed operating system is a joke.
For big things, perhaps. But for the desktop end-user (Joe Sixpack or Otto Fivespeed or Eddy Current or whoever) who doesn't want to ditch Windows, it's a great way to get good-quality tools with none of the junk. Compare 7-zip to Winzip. Then there's The GIMP, OpenOffice, CDex, Gaim...

Re:Who are these non-named "linux geeks" (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800020)

Joe Sixpack is going to want an alternative to Windows once Microsoft compeltely tightens the reigns on Windows licensing. When you have to pay real money out of pocket, and perhaps at the cost of the whole PC itself, for Windows...

But right now, it's almost free. Sure, you pay for it when you buy a packaged PC but at a very, very low cost. With computers these days staying relevant for more then a year, you're going to look for OS upgrades more often then in the past. You won't just get the upgrade with your yearly new PC.

Re:Who are these non-named "linux geeks" (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799762)

It's a nasty bit of double-speak. Technically, the sentence means that Linux geeks don't think that Linux is automatically better at everything than Windows - which is a completely reasonable opinion. But it's worded to imply that Linux geeks think that Linux isn't ready for important applications.

Taken literally, it's true. The average person reading it without paying attention would reach a completely false conclusion though. You could consider it to be lying, but in a way that makes it very difficult to disprove.

Re:Who are these non-named "linux geeks" (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800119)

Sure, but the sentence is ambiguous enough that it appears to me to mean "All Linux geeks think this."

I don't agree with it at all. If you have a choice between an application on Windows or an application on GNU, I'd choose GNU any day of the week. Important applications are the ones that you SHOULD run open source, if possible, so that your documents and data is future-proof.

Re:Who are these non-named "linux geeks" (2, Insightful)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799987)

Windows is free to most people as they are forced to buy it when they get their computer. One of the things that has been slowing down Linux desktop adoption is unfamiliar and immature applications. As programs like openoffice, gaim, firefox etc become more mature and understood on windows the the obligatory expensive operating system becomes irrelevant.

When enough people are using OSS on Windows it will be possible to switch to Linux on the desktop and most people will barely notice and won't have as many problems moving over. If the only closed source software you're using is Windows then you're gonna be wondering why you're paying for it. People pay for windows because it has the applications they're used to and it's preinstalled. If OSS applications reach enough usage the hardware vendors will be able to switch to Linux and lower prices without putting off customers. Once enough people are buying computers with Linux pre-installed other manufacturers will follow suit.

Free Software jihad (5, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799638)

'It's a myth that open-source and Windows can't work together. Customers just aren't religious about these things,' said Ryan Gavin, a director of platform strategy for Microsoft."
Infidels!

Smells Like Astroturf (4, Interesting)

telbij (465356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799648)

On the one hand, it's good for clueless IT managers to know they can run OSS on Windows, on the other hand it's been that way forever and anyone who didn't know you could run Apache on Windows shouldn't be managing the web server.

What the article completely ignores is why geeks prefer Linux. It's not hard to understand. When you're setting up infrastructure, you want to plan for the long term. If you go with Microsoft there's really no telling what's in the pipeline--their whole marketing strategy is based on overpromising which renders their roadmaps useless. Linux and open source app development is more predictable. Even though Microsoft can push stuff out faster, everyone knows the ultimate goal is profits. That means they'll inevitably change things and add dubious features just to force upgrades. On the other hand open-source applications exist primarily to solve specific problems.

There are a ton of short-term reasons to go with Microsoft:


  •        
  • It does what you need now.

  •        
  • Your staff knows it.

  •        
  • You've already invested in it.

  •        
  • Support comes with it.

  •        
  • Your boss has the full-color brochure

  •        
  • It's 'people-ready'


On the other hand, long-term all these reasons evaporate. Open source projects can fall into dis-repair too, but at least you know a project isn't going to be scrapped because it's not driving upgrades anymore.

Re:Smells Like Astroturf (1)

telbij (465356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799710)

Um, what the hell happened to my UL? Did they change the parser on us?

Re:Slashdot reformatting (1, Offtopic)

markhb (11721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799900)

Um, what the hell happened to my UL? Did they change the parser on us?
I don't know what they've done, if it's wrapped up in the CSS change or something else. I always liked using blockquote and italics for quoted bits, but now it will only show what you see above (and that was written with the italics tags included).

Long term, LaTeX and LyX (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800048)

I publish technical stuff. As a result, I love using LaTeX for technical stuff. Word + MathType is an abomination.

LaTeX is open. It uses text based files. It is stable (I can latex files from a decade ago).

I have been using LyX for nearly a decade as a LaTeX front end. Again, text file data format. They have conveerters that read the old stuff, and if they don't I can find an old copy of the LyX source if I really needed to.

I like tgif for vector graphics/ eps files. Again, open source software that has been stable.

And now, cygwin tools are getting developed enough that I can run my unix apps on XP. LyX has a native port with a decent installer, but other stuff usually compiles and runs out of the box. I recently even got xbattle up and running on XP, and that has not seen much development for years...

Re:Smells Like Astroturf (1)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800116)

What the article completely ignores is why geeks prefer Linux. It's not hard to understand. When you're setting up infrastructure, you want to plan for the long term.
I don't mean to bash your argument... but in my experience I had worse luck with Linux planning for the long term.

For like eight years I've been Administrator to my company's server. It's a small company with a few programmers... I work as a programmer full time but I also install and manage all the software in the server which hosts POP3 and SMPT server, a Samba file server, DNS, Apache, NFS and some web apps like Mediawiki, Mantis, dotProject and myPHPAdmin. Through this years we've had to reinstall the server a number of times... a couple of times it was to do a major kernel upgrade because we've decided to upgrade the motherboard and CPU, I think another time it was because of a hard disk failure and the last one was because upon enabling DMA for the HDD it got SERIOUSLY corrupted (a problem it seems many people with certain VIA chipsets had).

Our first Linux was Slackware I think... we decided to switch to Red Hat, but since I live in Argentina and this was before the days of Broadband we couldn't get a Red Hat CD... so we bought a Mandrake distro CD instead. For the next upgrade I meant to download Mandrake, but though I don't remember exactly why (I think it was because they were limiting the support options for non-paying customers or something like that) I decided to switch over to Red Hat... when the time came to upgrade the Red Hat (we had bought an AMD Athlon and new motherboard), the project had split in Fedora and Red Hat... so I switched over to Debian. Since the joke of town is that Debian doesn't update their distribution enough, I guess I'd switch to Ubuntu if I had to reinstall the server tomorrow.

In this of this switches I got a lot of new stuff I didn't have before: easier configuration... new kernel... support for new hardware... new software. But each time I had to learn a whole lot of new things. Example: I started with a Sendmail configured by hand... then the m4 configurations became the norm but I didn't know what to do with those... and now I'm running with Exim4, since it's the standard in Debian and was way easier to configure to my liking. The same with printing: I had lpq, but then I got CUPS with the Red-Hat and it was the standard for the distribution, thus easier to configure, had more support, was nicer... and now I don't even remember what I run my printers with (I think I still have CUPS... but perhaps I was offered a newer one at some point...). Besides changing programs each distribution came with different paths, different startup scripts, different location for the logs, different update mechanisms, different security measures and different best practices.

Perhaps I could have stuck around a bit more with some of my old distributions... but the hardware support is important, and recompiling a Kernel is something I like to avoid if possible (specially since the last HDD blew up after I enabled DMA, which then worked fine upon switching to a new distribution that had a much newer Kernel).

As for Windows, changing from NT4 to 2000 didn't present any problems, neither did XP... and I recently installed our software on a 2003 Server with no trouble whatsoever. I expect that switching from Debian to Ubuntu would require much more of my time and much more tweaking and migrating from our current installation than switching from 2000 to Longhorn would.

And so (2, Funny)

anshil (302405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799649)

Inhale deeply, put your arms in a circle and say "Embraaaace", then exhale slowly pushing your arms out and say "Exteeeend"

Is OSS EEE Windows, though? (1)

alucinor (849600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799777)

Just who's extending who, though? I'd say OSS is giving MS a taste of its own medicine.

Re:And so (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799795)

Then tighten your trigger-finger and say "Exterminate"

Re:And so (4, Interesting)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799801)

I agree. However, in this case it is Microsoft that is feeling the squeeze. In a lot of cases the Free Software that people want to run on Windows competes directly with software that Microsoft sells. Having this software available for Windows means that it is not necessary to have UNIX knowledge to deploy Free Software applications. However, once you are using Free Software applications on Windows it becomes trivial to migrate to some other platform. Not only does Free Software on Windows loosen Microsoft's grasp on customers, but it makes it much harder for Microsoft to use its market power to embrace and extend protocols.

And so-Mono tamed the beast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15799997)

I believe the word you're looking for is MONO!

Duh! (3, Insightful)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799651)

Linux geeks admit that the open source OS isn't necessarily a better platform for important applications, and Microsoft recognizes that many of its customers are using open-source applications, and doesn't want to alienate them.

Well, DUH! How many time did it take to understand that? It's not the code being open or closed, it's (mostly) not the fact if the software cost, or is it free as in beer. It's the software itself that matters.
Example, do you see designers complaining about photoshop? Or do you see system admins complaining about linux servers? Not really. And it's because of software that matters.

Re:Duh! (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799994)

Actually, my girlfriend (a graphic designer) complains about Photoshop all the time - less than she does about using the GIMP at my house, but she complains nonetheless.

And I'm sure - no, certain - that there are admins out there who complain about their Linux servers, even though they're rediculously proud of them.

It's all about degree of irritation when it comes to computers. The right tool for the job is the one that lets you get the job done without pissing you off too much.

It seems completely upside down (2, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799653)

Microsoft make a lousy OS, but nice applications. Why are they not selling proprietary software on Linux? They could have killed OpenOffice and ODF years ago if there had been a nice, decently-priced MSOffice for Linux.

Of course people will run open source on Windows, but that will bring Microsoft no revenue and no lockin, since all open source products, almost by definition, cannot be locked down to a single platform. Even if the code can't be ported it'll be rewritten.

But I suspect the real reason for this statement is that corporate buyers are increasingly specifying an open source 'stack' as part of their purchasing reqirements. The operating system must be able to run (e.g.) the 'Apache stack' (whatever that means), so there is pressure coming from the market for such a statement.

Still, it's a half-assed approach that seems to be lacking in any kind of long-term strategy.

Re:It seems completely upside down (1)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799701)

Meh, I don't think they make nice applications so much as they buy companies that make nice applications :P

Re:It seems completely upside down (2, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799737)

"Why are they not selling proprietary software on Linux? They could have killed OpenOffice and ODF years ago if there had been a nice, decently-priced MSOffice for Linux."

If they had sold MSOffice at the Windows-version price, few would have bought. If they had sold it substantially lower, that would have motivated Windows users to look at Linux.

Re:It seems completely upside down (1)

WFFS (694717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799808)

If they sold MSOffice for much cheaper for Windows, it would kill OpenOffice, and they wouldn't get nearly as much piracy. MSOffice is better quality, but its price is exorbitant.

Re:It seems completely upside down (1)

jelle (14827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799823)

"If they sold MSOffice for much cheaper for Windows, it would kill OpenOffice,"

Not only that, it would kill Microsoft, because the Office tools are their largest source of revenue...

Re:It seems completely upside down (1)

Ghostx13 (255828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799749)

Microsoft make a lousy OS, but nice applications. Why are they not selling proprietary software on Linux? They could have killed OpenOffice and ODF years ago if there had been a nice, decently-priced MSOffice for Linux.

I think it's simply because, at the end of the day, Windows is Microsoft's flagship product. Most of MS's software is geared toward Windows, with the notable exception of Office. If MS started offering all their products for Mac and Linux, other vendors would likely do the same, and then what reason would you have for purchasing Windows?

Re:It seems completely upside down (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800006)

Even if the code can't be ported it'll be rewritten.
Office couldn't be ported to Linux, so it was rewritten (OpenOffice).
Rewriting a big project is as difficult as making a new one from scratch (especially if the OS architecture or API is completely different). You can copy the UI, you can borrow ideas, but looking at code which is tightly intergrated with a lot of platform-specific libraries won't help you much.

WTF? (1)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799692)

Linux geeks admit that the open source OS isn't necessarily a better platform for important applications

Next we'll be seeing the alternate-universe Ballmer wearing a little goatee...

Re:WTF? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799829)

No. In the alternate universe, Balmer is one of the Good Guys.

Re:WTF? (1)

admdrew (782761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800049)

In the alternate universe, there exists an office furniture utopia where chairs are safe from being thrown...

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15799951)

Ballmer wearing a goatse? Now there's a force to be reckoned with.

MS and OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15799700)

"Linux geeks and Microsoft have similar interests, says Computerworld: They both are interested in seeing open-source software succeed.


It's just like me. I want RIAA to succeed.

Re:MS and OSS (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800031)

[the lines]
Which they're not doing, of course. All this DRM and bad blood is killing their collective businesses. And without the record industry, we'll never see the next Britteny Spears.
[/the lines]

First off.. (1, Flamebait)

slummy (887268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799709)

Linux is a kernel. GNU/Linux on the other hand, is an operating system. There's a project dedicated to OSS projects for Windows... OSSwin Project [sourceforge.net] .

Hot smelly air is all (1)

quad4b (858152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799715)

Marketing folk just keep shoveling it. Nothing they say has any value - too bad the general public doesn't recognize this. Open source is not about the platform it runs on - whether Windows, Linux, AIX, Solaris, whatever. Among the choices OSS gives you is the 'freedom' to choose an operating system if the developers so choose.

The armies of MS marketing/sales people will take any meaningless information and use it to their benefit. Truth and reality are a myth to them, to be created and spun at will. Hey, if you can make John Q believe it then it must be true - especially if the positive press / message results in more profit. Total waste of time looking for MS's public face to show any signs of logic or accuracy. Why do you think they're so successful? They know it's not about the data in the message, it's about how its delivered. How else do you explain Windows triumphing over OS/2 way back - emotion, pure and simple.

Windows needs better acronyms (4, Funny)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799722)

Windows, IIS, MySQL, PHP - WIMP

-Rick

Re:Windows needs better acronyms (5, Funny)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799798)

PHP IIS SQL Server ?

Re:Windows needs better acronyms (1)

ashayh (636057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800058)

PHP, IIS, MySQL, on Plan9 ???

The Challenge For OSS On Windows (5, Insightful)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799740)

Windows + OSS is a good combination. The more people use OSS applications, the less tied they are to Microsoft and proprietary data formats. Advocates of OSS need to realize that many people will never switch their operating system to Linux or even OS X, and so trying to push Linux will meet much more resistance than saying "here, just install this application that's free and doesn't require you to change everything about how you use your computer."

The big challenge is making OSS apps better than their commercial counterparts. Some get this right - Audacity is a great app for sound editing that combines a relatively friendly UI with solid features. 7Zip is just as easy as WinZIP and less intrusive. But not all of them do - OpenOffice is great, but it's much slower than MS Office. Many OSS projects are much slower than normal Windows programs, and use toolkits like GTK which are nice for cross-platform development but look like canned ass on Windows. (And that's coming from someone who uses GTK all the time.)

Firefox got the balance of features and UI right - and that's why millions of people have Firefox as their first foray into the world of open source. The more people who see open source as a viable alternative, the more tractions it will get, and the more viable it will be for people to switch to Linux as their OS.

However, that's going to require OSS to start thinking about polish - making applications that Grandma can use. It's not impossible, but a lot of OSS projects need to concentrate on making applications that work well and look decent on Windows - even if we don't particularly care for the platform or the company that makes it.

Re:The Challenge For OSS On Windows (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799910)

OpenOffice is great, but it's much slower than MS Office.

I personally don't think the OO.o speed is a problem. For me, buying MS Office is a problem because I don't think the lost seconds here and there waiting for OO.o don't add up to $300 in lost productivity. Maybe it does in a large business environment but for a small business, $300 per computer is far too great of an expense for me to justify.

Re:The Challenge For OSS On Windows (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800072)

GTK is a shitty toolkit. There, I said it.

Use Qt for full apps, or FLTK for light apps with short time-to-market, or native code for things that MUST be hella-fast.

GTK, as far as I'm concerned is an addictive mistake.

Free stuff (1, Funny)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799741)

People like free stuff. News at 10.

Capturing Open Source Dollars (3, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799752)

is Microsoft's only objective.

A bad scenario for MS is some OSS company become big enough to compete for the PHB's attention with a bunch of lesser but valuable OSS applications. Which could lead to the nightmare scenario of the PHB walking away from the Active Directory/Exchange crack pipe.

OT:
I have to give them big-time credit for creating another crack house with Office and sharepoint. (or some other server CAL nightmare)

Re:Capturing Open Source Dollars (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800113)

It's about cherry-picking the best stuff for MS to sell and letting the "masses" handle the rest. Also, OSS doesn't mean cross platform. There's quite a bit of OSS .NET stuff out there, but of course it's tied only to Windows. PHBs still won't see the difference between the two so they'll continue to be locked in...probably more tightly because the "free" stuff will be built on more of the MS core.

OpenOffice a Threat (1)

LaNMaN2000 (173615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799759)

I think Microsoft is very worried about Windows open source applications like OpenOffice that threaten their dominance in the application software market. While their customers are forcing them to take a less hostile position to open source, in general, they still need to fan the flames of criticism of the security, reliability, etc. Even on Windows, open source is a major threat to Microsoft that they cannot fully accept.

Re:OpenOffice a Threat (1)

quad4b (858152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800144)

You're right that they're worried about OpenOffice. Their return salvo is Office 12. If you've read reviews written by those who have actually used it to the point of becoming proficient, they have said it's very difficult to go back to the legacy Office UI once you've becomes used to 12's. Guess who else uses Office 2003's UI? OpenOffice. Once you become familiar with Office 12 at work (and of course corporate zombie CIOs will buy Office 12 licenses by the bushel) it will be hard, at home, to use OOo. If, however, corporations buck, OOo has a chance, otherwise...

I guess I'm not a Linux geek. (1)

jelle (14827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799763)

"Linux geeks admit that the open source OS isn't necessarily a better platform for important applications,"

So I guess I'm not a Linux geek.

Re:I guess I'm not a Linux geek. (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800100)

Nah, they used the term 'religious', which means that Linux users (like us) who actually enjoy Linux are now unofficially zealots.

Useless media fuckers.

Re:I guess I'm not a Linux geek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15800183)

Nope, you're a Linux Zealot

Oh brother (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799768)

The idea that MS is somehow "understanding" about the adoption of OSS on their customer's machines is a joke. It's amazing how short-sighted people can be.

WTF? (2, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799773)

Putting insecure code that hackers can easily break into on an insecure OS? That'll NEVER work! You need a secure OS under all the insecure open source stuff to have real security. Because, you see, Linux is more secure than Windows since the code isn't ope... oh wait.

Re:WTF? (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800130)

What on EARTH are you talking about?

Oh. You're one of those 'Security through Obscurity' fellows.

Run along then. Go play with the razors with all the other proprietary lackeys.

My Podcast (1)

caldroun (52920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799785)

[Disclaimer: I am talking about my Podcast]

I do a podcast called Valid Syntax and I talk about OpenSource software...I routinely, and make it a point to, talk about FOSS software for any OS. And there is no shortage of it for Windows either.

Valid Syntax [validsyntax.com]

Re:My Podcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15800087)

I do a podcast called Valid Syntax and I talk about OpenSource software...I routinely, and make it a point to, talk about FOSS software for any OS. And there is no shortage of it for Windows either.


Do you, routinely, and make it a point to, insert random pauses, into your sentences, like these commas? (And, sentence fragments?)

Why not! Use exclamation marks! Instead!

Re:My Podcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15800158)

Why not! Use exclamation marks! Instead!

Perhaps! because! he knows! William! Shatner! would sue! for! trademark infringement!

OSS and Windows sitting on a tree (1)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799819)

OSS and Windows sitting on a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.

duh, I can't finish the rest.

Microsoft learning the lesson? Maybe... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799822)

IBM was the Microsoft of it's day and they learned the lesson that a company ultimately has to transition from creating standards to contributing to them.

Microsoft seems to be slowly learning this but to say that they actually WANT OSS to succeed might be a bit of an overstatement at this point.

what's happening (2, Informative)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799825)

Whats happening is that as scoiety enters the information age, the service value of information is becoming more valuable than the content value. That's causing the rules to change up and down the board, and is making it so that the industry is starting to rotate around information services instead of content controlls like copyrights. While Linux is very nicely positioned for this future, Microsoft isn't, and they know it. Microsoft needs to be friendly with Linux because they need that to make it in this future. They're not like the RIAA, whose crap mostly has no commercial service value at all. Miscosoft is eventually going to need to compete in the service area head on with the likes of IBM, Oracle, and Sun. Each of these companies are positioning themselves with strategies to deal with and benefit from open source, while maximizing the revenue coming from their current core.

Microsoft will probably try to milk the OS, Office, and the dominance of IE for all they can get with the right hand, while pushing a full end open source service assult with the left. While this is nice, to me it's a day late, a dollar short. There are already companies deeply entrenched in this space who can provide for my needs far better. Also, it is a dangerous strategy. Not only is the company likely to go skitso as profit center butts heads against its service center. But they are also likely to reach a point where they can't increase their service core as fast as their licensing core is decreasing. When that happens they will likely go into panic mode and all freakin hell will break loose - making SCO look like the tooth fairy.

My messg to Microsoft. If you really want to play in our playground - open up your damn patents!

So ye (1)

alucinor (849600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799832)

So years from now, if most IT infrastructure is open source, but just not necessarily at the OS level, what's to keep companies from switching out the underlying OS once there is an adequate amount of Linux know-how out there for them to hire? I don't think Microsoft likes this very much at all, since there is no lock-in with open source. Companies with existing investment in Windows will use WAMP, but new companies will likely go with LAMP or J2EE from the start.

If anything, I would say that with WAMP, open source software is embracing, extending, and extinguishing Microsoft, not the other way around.

Pragmatism (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799849)

My boss at work is a big fan of Linux and other open-source applications. However, we still use plenty of Microsoft and other proprietary products- because often there is either
A. No open source solution
B. The closed source solution works enough better to justify the cost.
Obviously open source software is cheaper and easier to modify than closed-source software. However, time is money- even halfway decent programmers make $20 an hour, so a week spent trying to get something to work properly (either through reading manual pages or actually adding features to the program) is $800 of cost to the company. If we could buy that same software with all the features we need for $300, then we are saving ourselves $500.
On the other hand, if we could get it working in a day of work, that would only cost us ~$80, and the open source solution would save us $220. How close the software is to what we need makes a big difference. Eventually there might be good open source solutions for everything- but until then it only makes sense for companies to use proprietary software some of the time.

Why is that? (2, Interesting)

paulius_g (808556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799878)

That's because with OSS, Windows users are reassured that there is no spyware, phone-home features or anything else unwanted in a "freeware" program. And, they don't want to pay for commercial software.

I've recently used Windows in a VM environment (thank you very much, I'm a Mac and Linux geek) and I was browsing for freeware software. Almost all of that software had malware bundled with it. Gosh, I'm so thankful that I'm not using Windows every day. It is hilarious! You can't trust any single piece of software.

So yes, people like OSS because you can trust OSS. You know what's in there and you know that it won't harm the system.
And plus, OSS software is mostly of greater quality than the usual freeware.

Interesting logic (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799906)

Consider set A = { linux users ) , set B = { Microsoft customers } , and set C = { religious geeks } . . . I think it is fair to say that (A intersect B intersect C) even though n(A intersect C) > 0 and n(A intersect C) less than n(B)

The ComputerWorld article is just pontification... (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799923)

From the Computerworld article: Microsoft has toned down its rhetoric. "It's a myth that open-source and Windows can't work together. Customers just aren't religious about these things," said Ryan Gavin, a director of platform strategy for Microsoft.

Abusers such as crack addicts and alcoholics and others will say anything whatsoever to get what they want. There may not be a shred of truth in what they say. What they say certainly is no guide to what they will do.

The Computerworld article is just pontification from a writer who doesn't know or care about technical things, but was given one hour to write a story, and a few notes. Here's a quote from the article:

"More than ideology, the fact that Microsoft makes a huge number of business applications -- a number that is only increasing -- could eventually limit the growth of open-source applications on Windows."

A "huge number of business applications"? What have I been missing? Microsoft makes customer relations management software, for example, which it bought from the creator, I believe. After Microsoft started using it, someone from Microsoft called me and thought our company was in New York. I doubt Microsoft can compete in any area in which it doesn't have a temporary monopoly. Microsoft partly depends on having customers who are ignorant of technical things. If Microsoft can compete in other than a "me too" way, please supply some evidence.

Here's a funny movie about Microsoft's marketing, from Microsoft's marketing department, which is beginning to gag on the company's culture of incompetence: Microsoft Ipod Parody [google.com] .

OSS Developers against Windows (1)

mauriatm (531406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799941)

Some developers have strong feelings against windows for example: Please do not port software to Windows! [www.fefe.de]
However, giving people a way to work around bugs in Windows makes them stay longer with Windows. That's why I consider porting software to Windows sabotage. It does not help people under Windows, in the contrary. It makes them stay longer with Windows. And while they stay, they will put pressure on others to also use Windows. It only helps Microsoft.
Its an argument (that often get personal) but does raise some very valid points.

Strange... (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15799945)

...how it's Microsoft that is making all the noises about open source. The open source community doesn't give two hoots, I expect, no matter what MS say.

Treat it as you would a bear trap. Say away from MS speak at all costs.

Re:Strange... (1)

dhruvx (942514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800000)

wtf? last time i checked M$ was trying to squish F/OSS like a bug! strange indeed.........

Lack of imagination or what? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15800019)

> If I've already got Microsoft installed in the box, why would I bother to throw it away and install
> something else?

        If I can already hunt for my food with my stone ax, why would bother throw it away and get something else? Like, for instance, an iron one?

aka Royalty free / license free software (1)

metoc (224422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800022)

In pre-Linux days their was plenty of sharing going on. Once upon a time mainframe types used to bring reel-reel tapes to conferences to exchange code. Later it was the UNIX/BSD developers/admins. Amazing what was being shared before OSS, GNU & Linux on licensed platforms. Now M$ is in on it. The only difference is that today we have all the GPL, BSD, etc. licensing schemes.

This is a microsoft pushing a meme (1)

WeAreAllDoomed (943903) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800032)

There have been several articles in publications like eweek and computerworld and on the web trying to spread this "OSS on Windows is the next big thing" meme. IMO it's simply a holding strategy by microsoft to try to control the underlying OS that all software runs on, OSS or not.

the next big thing is F/OSS running on whatever happens to work best in a given case. all other things being equal, why wouldn't you choose the F/free OS?

in other words, the meaning of the meme itself is pointless. it's just an attempt to put the idea of OSS on windows (again, why?) in the minds of managers.

Next big thing? (1)

Merle Darling (33121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800071)

No, it's the current big thing. Like it or not, MS operating systems dominate. I'm too lazy to name names so head over to sf.net and do a search for open source projects for Windows. It's enlightening.

Sure, open source operating system have a disproportionately large percentage of open source projects. That doesn't change the fact that many open source projects are designed for Windows or the fact that the ones for Windows tend to be of higher quality.

This is no big news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15800112)

Yes, I recall Jerry Pournelle mentioning a story several times, about a convention he went to. IBM was loudly proclaiming how they had their SDK on sale for only a couple hundred bucks or something. Microsoft was giving their SDK away.

So, I don't know about you, but Microsoft has always been big on the secondary software market. They know what sells computers, and it ain't philosophy.

I honestly think they realized something very important, they don't care about open source as a problem. They care about Linux as a problem maybe, but that's it.

Customers... (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800127)

Customers just aren't religious about these things
Naturally they aren't. If they would be religious about open source, they wouldn't be your customers, would they?

Having pointed that out, please let me have my troll: Putty indeed nearly makes XP usable. Nearly.

OK then (1)

skroll82 (935998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15800186)

Sometimes I cringe to click on an article that is related to Microsoft or Windows on slashdot. So many people jump on the "Linux is a superior OS for everything, ever, and always will be" bandwagon. I've been on both sides of the fence, I've used Windows and Linux as a desktop OS, and I run a headless FreeBSD server. I have to say, even though I don't always like it, I will continue to use Windows XP as a desktop over Linux just for the basic convenience of it. If I need to do various *nix related tasks, I will ssh into the FreeBSD machine, but if I need to browse websites, check e-mail, or write a document, Windows it is. Until there is a decent graphical interface (one where my acceleration is supported for my video card, last I checked Xorg did NOT do this, and made everything slower then hell), and I can perform tasks quickly on a Linux desktop, I see it lagging behind as a desktop. Don't get me wrong, it works great for server environments (although I still prefer FreeBSD), I'm really sick of seeing so many people championing it like it's the second coming of open-sourced christ.
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