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The Linux Defense
Linux Posted by Hemos on Thursday February 04, @04:19PM
from the whose-our-competitors? dept.
Compuser writes "The column, found at ZDNet puts Microsoft's Linux-is-our-competitor defense in proper perspective. " It's an interesting column-how afraid is Microsoft of Linux? The Hallowen Documents would seem to imply one thing, but they've been trumpeting it a bit much lately-methinks due to the trial. What do you folks think?

Mice, Rats engineered to produce human sperm | Microsoft admits taped test was not Real  >


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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. Slashdot is not responsible for what they say.

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    (Warning:this stuff might be beta right now)

    Microsoft to write Linux applications (Score:1)
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @04:25PM
    Microsoft to write Linux applications ....

    when hell freezes over.

    Well not quite. But I liked the point that if Microsoft really thought that Linux was a valid competitor as an OS they would start porting their applications over damn quick to avoid sales loss. As there is no indication that Microsoft is porting applications they must not consider Linux a viable operating system.

    Beautiful logic. I want to hear it played in the trial.
    [ Reply to this ]
    It Could Happen (Score:1)
    by ewhac on Thursday February 04, @04:36PM
    (User Info) http://www.best.com/~ewhac/

    If Linux becomes popular enough, it'll happen. Bill Gates has never demonstrated loyalty to any precept other than making money. If he thinks he can make money porting Office to Linux, he will do it.


    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Not possible.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:20PM
    MS cannot compete on the basis of quality software.

    MS cannot compete on the basis of price as that would drop their earnings which would drop their stock price which would drop Bill's $Billions$.

    MS has shown that their only mode of operation is to leverage their monopoly and destroy any competion with embarce and extend policies.

    If MS was truely afraid of Linux, Bill would distance himself from MS, start selling off his stock as fast as the FTC would allow him to, and swallow as many companies as possible in other markets.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Not possible.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:43PM
    Microsoft was not conceived as a monopoly. Therefore, people switched to their software for some reason, yes?
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Not possible.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:26PM
    Microsoft was born into a near-monopoly when IBM selected them to provide an OS and compilers for their whizzy new "IBM PC"s. It been them hanging on to this one advantage the WHOLE TIME. Watch Revenge of the Geeks (by R.X.Cringely). It explains the whole affair quite clearly.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Not possible.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:35PM
    That's funny, I distinctly remember copies of PC-DOS (OK, granted the same thing as MS-DOS), Dr-DOS, CP/M and others floating around out there at the time.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Not possible.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @08:42PM
    The fact of the matter is, IBM agreed to a deal that let Microsoft ship their operating system (MS-DOS) on every PC that IBM sold. "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM."
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @10:44PM
    The original IBM PC shipped with a selection of operating systems - PC/MS-DOS, CP/M-86, and UCSD-Pascal (an interpreted OS which also ran on the Apple II).

    The problem was that CP/M cost like $150, whereas PC-DOS was only $50. Since PC-DOS was just a rip-off of CP/M, alot of people chose the cheaper alternative. The applications (Lotus, WordStar) ran on both.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:27PM
    IBM signed MS on to provide the OS for their new PC.

    MS had an IBM granted 'monopoly' from the beginning.

    As the market expanded, MS maneuvered itself so that "IBM compatible" became "MSDOS compatible".

    Then came the 'per-processor' licenses (1995 consent decree did away with them).

    If IBM had signed another company to provide the OS and people STILL switched to MS, then your argument would have a basis. As is, it doesn't.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Switched? No extortion
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:43PM
    People were drawn to the world of MS because of the availability of cheaper Intel based computers. MS control of the OS and their predatory practices (e.g., sabotaging DrDOS, backstabbing OS/2) led them to extend their monopolistic methods. By controlling the OS, they were able to set up favorable licensing agreements with computer manufacturers. Prepackaging some of their other software with the OS on these computers, while frowning upon the installation of competing software, further extends the monopoly. There is more, but I will stop here.

    If the internal MS e-mail being released by DoJ is any indication, MS basic business model is extortion.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    He is selling.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:46PM
    Uh, actually Bill *is* selling off his stock as fast as the FTC (or SEC, or whomever) will allow him to.

    Probably not so much from a fear of Linux as the knowledge that MS stock is *way* overvalued (he has said so himself) and the bubble's going to burst sooner or later.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    He's not too far away from that plan, actually. (Score:1)
    by daviddennis (david@amazing.com) on Thursday February 04, @06:47PM
    (User Info) http://www.amazing.com/david/
    • He's making big-time investments in new media companies - MSNBC, Link Exchange, Slate, Sidewalk etc. The success of those ventures (or lack of same in the case of Slate) is independent of Microsoft's fate.
    • He's investing in some well-known E-commerce sites - CarPoint, Expedia, etc. Again, these sites are not dependent on the success of Windows.
    • He's investing in Teledesic, a satellite-based ISP - again, not a venture that relies on Windows.
    • He's moving towards set-top boxes, which are running Windows CE - a product distinct from Windows proper.
    • Since Microsoft stock is valued quite highly, he's swapping his stock instead of selling it. But the basic consequences are the same.
    I'd consider this to be quite an aggressive diversification plan overall, although in writing down the names on the list I see several that strike me as, well, not having quite struck a nerve with the public.

    I'd say he's certainly behaving as though Windows won't last forever, and he needs something else to grow the company. Which is, incidentally, exactly what analysts following the company think.


    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    ...and then BillG will tank it (Score:1)
    by Erbo (erbo@silcom.com) on Thursday February 04, @05:28PM
    (User Info) http://www.silcom.com/~erbo/
    He may think he can make money with Microsoft Office for Linux, but the new online licensing systems he's proposing for Office 2K will be welcomed by Linux users about the same way Janet Reno would be welcomed by a Militiamen's convention--that is, not at all.

    Besides, does BillG really want to see how his big, buggy bloatware will fare when ported to a non-Windows operating system? (Yeah, I know, Office is available for Macs, too, but he probably convinced Apple to put undocumented hooks in their proprietary operating system the same way M$ has undocumented hooks in their proprietary operating systems. If he tried that with Linux, he'd be rewarded by having Linus, Alan, et al. laughing in his face.)

    Besides which, I think M$ would have to find a whole new bunch of sheep to buy Office for Linux...to most Linux users these days, M$ has less popularity and credibility than, say, the Internal Revenue Service ("Inland Revenue" for our fellow hackers across the pond).

    "Free your code...and the rest will follow."

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Microsoft to write Linux applications (Score:1)
    by A well known coward (jdsouza@undp.org) on Thursday February 04, @05:22PM
    (User Info) http://
    An Anonymous Coward wrote:
    > Beautiful logic. I want to hear it
    > played in the trial.

    You're not gonna suggest the Chewbacca defense next, are you? :)
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    haha (Score:1)
    by Lupus Rufus on Thursday February 04, @05:29PM
    (User Info) http://
    yay obscure sp references...
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    haha (Score:1)
    by A well known coward (jdsouza@undp.org) on Thursday February 04, @09:56PM
    (User Info) http://

    Ladies and Gentlemen, (Pulls down picture of Chewbacca) this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wooky from the planet Kishic, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it. That does not make sense. Why would a Wooky, an eight-foot-tall Wooky, want to live on Endor with a bunch of two-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense. But more important, you have to ask yourself what does this have to do with this case.

    [Jury stares in silence]

    Nothing! Ladies and Gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case. It does not make sense. Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major software company and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm am not making any sense! None of this makes sense!

    And so you have to remember when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and Gentlemen of this deposed jury, it does not make sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor you must acquit. The defense rests.

    Sorry. Had to be done! :)
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Head go *boom*
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:47PM
    Look at the monkey.
    Look at the silly, little monkey.

    "All right. Now that I've got the Microsoft Spokesperson right where I want him, I'm going to jam my thumb up his **** **** and really annoy him!"
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Competition already exists
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:39PM
    I'm probably going to catch heat for this, but I liked some of MS's older stuff. Under DOS, Microsoft made Word a viable competitor to Wordstar, WordPerfect, etc. by producing (IMHO) a good product. However, I don't think the company that MS has become could do that on Linux. Arguably, they became the dominant WP for Windows by hooking into the OS and other apps in ways that competitors couldn't. On the Mac, they established their foothold in the productivity market early enough to keep anyone else from getting established. Neither of these tactics would work on Linux, where the competition has a head start.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Competition already exists
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:53PM

    MS Word 3.x/4.0/5.x for the Macintosh was a great program - really a landmark as the first GUI word procesor that could do everything that WordPerfect could do, except easier and better.)

    (so good that they ported it to Windows and crushed WP!)
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Microsoft to write Linux applications (Score:1)
    by daviddennis (david@amazing.com) on Thursday February 04, @06:57PM
    (User Info) http://www.amazing.com/david/
    At this point, I would argue that MS considers Office to be a major competitive advantage, and that it would be unwise to hand that over to a competitor such as Linux.

    Note that MS only developed an update of Office for the Mac when it wanted to do a trade with Apple. This trade was for Apple patents, and to make them give priority to Internet Explorer in their installation routine. Those were things I suspect MS wanted badly.

    Linux, of course, cannot agree to these things. (Imagine the uproar over here if Red Hat titled Internet Explorer the official browser of their distribution! Even assuming a high-quality version of IE for Linux, I find it hard to believe Linux users would stand for it).

    I think a fair number of people would get Office for Linux. But, since those people would be folks who would otherwise buy it for Windows and use Windows, I think Bill would truly loathe the idea of handing it over to his sworn enemies.

    I also think an Office port to Linux would be extremely difficult. Wasn't there some project designed to make it easier to port from Windows to Linux, though? I'd be curious to hear more about it.


    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Microsoft has ported a few Linux applications
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:09PM
    Specifically Media Player and NetShow - they have to take each product individually. Sometimes it will help them to encourage one of their "standards" by porting, othertimes they want to protect the OS.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Hmmmmmmmm (Score:1)
    by PureFiction on Thursday February 04, @04:25PM
    (User Info) http://
    I think MicroShaft will not be convinced of their inferiority until Linux has eradicated NT4.0 completely.
    (That will be not too far off methinks...)
    [ Reply to this ]
    Consipiracy Theory (Score:1)
    by Ash (nalonso@nospam.alasys.com) on Thursday February 04, @04:26PM
    (User Info) http://
    Are you suggesting that microsloth doctored the documents and intentionally leaked it to smokescreen the DOJ? Possibly, but the documents mention several illegal strategies that would put Microsoft in a lot more trouble then it already is.
    -=-=-=-=-=-==--=-=-=-=-=-=- /bin/pub/source/ap/ash
    [ Reply to this ]
    Consipiracy Theory (Score:1)
    by HappyHead (cyan@snipthis.x5ca.net) on Thursday February 04, @06:19PM
    (User Info) http://www.x5ca.net/~mckay/
    Possibly, but the documents mention several illegal strategies that would put Microsoft in a lot more trouble then it already is.
        Yeah, nobody with common sense would do something like that - it'd be like poorly doctoring an incriminating videotape, and submitting it as evidence of innocence...

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:29PM
    I guess they already did that with that professor dude's IE program. Haha, maybe they did doctor up that crap but forgot to take out the illegal stuff.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Consipiracy Theory
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @07:37PM
    You said it, I am 200% percent sure they do it.
    Do you really think those HIGHLY paid Legal dudes in M$ are doing anything wrong? If they did, their heads would be all around Redmond. They are smart bastards. You will see it soon.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Small threat (Score:1)
    by Visoblast on Thursday February 04, @04:27PM
    (User Info) http://ro.com/~jeffj/
    Linux, unfortunately, posses only a small threat to Microsoft. With MS's monopoly, they're assured to have many users for quite some time. Plus, they cater to common desktop users. I don't think my Mom can handle Linux, but she can make some use of Windows.

    "Luncheon meats make the sawdust in your stomach explode."
      -- Crow T. Robot
    [ Reply to this ]
    I want Linux for my Mom!
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @04:52PM

    Linux Fit's the bill:

    Best place for a multi-user OS is for a home computer. Why aren't the Linux/bsd/nix folks touting this more???? Given enough time and MS will figure this out.

    My folks will have up to 7 people sharing the same system, Win95 can't guarantee any sort of individual privacy, and within days someone will accidently move/delete some critical system component......

    I want to administer my folks P.C. remotely so I can avoid saying "Click on the start menu, that's right in the lower left corner, now click on settings, now click on control pannel, now click on..." on the phone one less time.

    Need a "Mom's Linux" distribution, I'm sure there are ton's of people in the same boat.....

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    I gave Linux to my Mom! (Score:1)
    by MSG on Thursday February 04, @05:18PM
    (User Info)
    Why haven't you yet? Too many people were fighting for use of the one computer they had, so I put together another one, installed Red Hat Linux, diald, applix, and KDE.

    It works beautifully. They can all have their own settings, it runs faster (unfair comparison since it's better hardware), and it's got all the software they need. And a bunch that they don't

    No, they can't break system components, and I never need to give them support since the system is reliable and easy to use.

    If I told you that the old computer still ran Win95, which would you think is used more?
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    I want Linux for my Mom!
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:20PM
    I've got my parents using Slackware + KDE. They seem to do ok with it. They've never used windows or anything else, so the learning curve would be the same either way. And when something breaks i can just telnet in from my apartment 350miles away. Unless PPP breaks of course, then we have problems. But for the most part i've just had to do a couple of software installs for them, no big deal.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Give your mom KDE 1.1pre2
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:22PM
    I bet your mom can use KDE1.1pre2... Can you say CAKE?
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Mom's Linux Distro == easyLinux? (Score:1)
    by adraken on Thursday February 04, @05:37PM
    (User Info)
    There was an article about a new Linux distro meant to be totally easy to install and start using. This may be your mom's distro..
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Mom's Linux Distro == easyLinux?
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @07:20PM

    Point is not to be easy to install. I'll do the install. Just need to define a set of hardware (reliable/cheap) and apps best suited for the folks.

    Hardware: ???? Any idea where to find a list of the lowest cost hardware that runs well w. linux. I know the basics, like avoid win-modems.....

    Browser: Netscape 3.04 (4+ versions crash too much, use too much memory).

    Email: Netscape

    Office Ware: Applix?

    Entertainment: ?

    Good idea for VAResearch or whoever turnkey linux systems for Mom.

    Mom's Linux Box? No, not cachy enough.

    Mom's Penguin? What are mother penguins called?

    The Linux only a Mother could Love (TLOAMCL)

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    How is this for a PCMom? (Score:1)
    by Twinkie (louisjr@cco.caltech.edu) on Thursday February 04, @09:31PM
    (User Info) http://
    70$ Celeron 300A Slot1 (for future proofing)
    164$ for micro-atx motherboard with Creative's ES1371 wavetable chip and an ATI Rage Pro 8MB AGP built in, from Microstar(MSI), the MS-6147. It's BX chipset is also futureproof, up to 100MHz bus
    30$ for 32mb of ram(It's Linux, and it won't need to run 3dStudioMax type applications, right?)
    140$ for a nice 3gig IDE hard drive; does family need more?
    190$ for a decent 15" Sony monitor(flat and black)
    190$ for a HP695C colorjet, 600DPI
    add a mouse and keyboard for 40$, a 40$ cd-rom, and a 40$ floppy...
    $900 dollars total, for a system that would do fine running almost anything... A B&W printer would shave maybe 30$(if that much), and it would need software, but otherwise, everything is ready for Linux, with dualboot Win95 for games. I guess a 60$ voodoo card isn't much either, if you wanted...

    Hey, I could make a business doing this, couldn't I?

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Microsoft is blowing some serious smoke... (Score:1)
    by sapphire (SCN @ UCSD) on Thursday February 04, @04:32PM
    (User Info) http://
    MS is blowing some serious smoke to cover their arses against the government's case. They are now claiming that Linux is a threat to the desktop market. In the near term, this is unrealistic at best. Clearly, NT vs. Linux in the server market is for real, and Linux is more than a match. But, professionals set up and maintain servers. Joe User is not ready for a Linux desktop. I'm guessing that the desktop won't be mature enough for an inexperienced user for at least 3 to 5 years. (Of course, such predictions are always proved wrong one way or another.)
    [ Reply to this ]
    Microsoft is blowing some serious smoke...AGREED (Score:1)
    by Lamont on Thursday February 04, @04:39PM
    (User Info)
    There's no doubt that MS is playing up the Linux threat for the trial. Could the Halloween document be an intentionally leaked item? Who knows.

    They should be scared in the server market, but I've got to agree that it will be a while before the argument that Linux is a serious threat to their deathgrip on the desktop could be used in a trial...
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:17PM
    Of course Microsoft leaked the document.
    It was the perfect strategy. Microsoft
    does not see Linux as a threat by any means
    (at least on the desktop). It was just a
    very smart play on their part in the game.
    Let's not kid ourselves here.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Linux detop is ready..
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @07:47PM
    Im very tired of hearing about how in 2 or 3 or 5 years the Linux desktop may be a serious threat to Windows.
    The Linux desktop is ready for Joe user and getting "readier" every week. KDE certainly is ready, and desktop subsystems like TkDesk are also very easy to use (though configuring may SOMETIMES require using a text editor.) With these and other tools users can access files, move and copy files, and start applications as easily as in Windows. Once a user is easily able to easily start applications and graphically manipulate files the bridge has been crossed.

    My specialty is desktop application programming, and having experience with Amiga, Os2 and Windows, I can definitely say that the Linux desktop is very competetive. Not as consistent, but it can be with KDE and/or Gnome. That's not years away - but only months away for most apps to be able to use common drag and drop and better keyboard navigation.

    Another thing you are forgetting is that more and more home users will not be affluent Americans who are functionally illiterate, but people from contries like Japan, China and India where home users are more literatere, but less afluent. Not to mention Europe. These vastly outnumber the American consumer market.

    Not only are they finding the low cost of Linux appealing and its ability to run on less expensive hardware a necessity, but they are literate enough to actually READ the HowTos and docs, unlike most Americans who want to be spoonfed, it seems. However, Americans are very fad concious and perhaps the cute, cuddly Penguins will win them over also. Something for everybody.

    There are problems with Linux for new users who are not professional programmers or sysadmins. These problems mostly have to do with default scripts and configs which are orientied too much towards network administration, not with the desktop at all. It is very easy to replace these with scripts and configs with different assumptions, for example that the user has no network card and is not administering a large system, without dumbing down Linux at all.
    Those who want to fully explore sysadmin with Linux can do so by using different configurations with exactly the same software installed. It's just a matter of configuration.

    The other stumbling block is NO internet connectivity due to modems that don't work with Linux. It is almost certain that anyone who buys a new PC will discover that his internal modem either cannot work with Linux at all, or can only work with PnP tools. It is beyond the skill of most non-programmers to use PnP tools successfully. Yes, it is simple to run the dump and edit the config file, but non-technical people don't know where to start, or which init scripts to modify for it all to work.

    Failure of the Linux 2.2 kernel to include Pnp is a disaster. I hope this is remedied with a patch or update within the next few months, before RedHat's Gnome release. If integrated PnP support is not there, forget it.

    When people can't connect to the internet with Linux, they tend to keep using Windows because they can easily connect with Windows using either a local ISP or AOL. This, in turn, may lead to their not using the Linux desktop much even if it is installed and working perfectly. I will bet my paycheck that a HIGH percentage of slashdotters who post regularly are USING WINDOWS TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET when they post, because they can't get their modems to work with Linux. Not as smart as you pretend to be, are you?

    Joe user and Jane user are ready for the Linux desktop. The Linux desktop is ready for them. Stupid sysadmin types who want to keep Linux an arcane configuration nightmare to protect their boring jobs and phonies who are afraid to admit that they can't use a great many unix configuration tools (while ridiculing others for wanting easy to use config tools) are holding Linux back.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    You're forgetting something
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @08:19PM
    You mentioned OS/2 AmigaOS and Windows; these all have something in common that Linux doesn't share:

    They are all Single-User OS's.

    This is is the single biggest obstacle that a Linux as a desktop OS faces. Along with MacOS (and, I believe BeOS,) these OS's don't require you to log out and log in with another password to install a piece of software, or to simply turn off the machine.

    Multi-user security is great for servers (and personally, I wouldn't have it any other way on _my_ computer), but mom & dad want 'simple' - they don't like being told they're 'not allowed' to do something like shutdown the system, or install a new piece of software.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    You're forgetting something
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:37PM
    Good Point! This is a major drawback to the use of Linux as a desktop OS. I don't mind it so much as I'm the only one who uses this pc. But..I recently set up Linux on my sister's pc, so the young'uns could play with the GIMP, and it became a serious headache. I have not discovered a way to share /sbin/shutdown to nonroots (if anyone knows a way, just speak up now and be as abusive as you like!) ,so in order to shut the machine down, they have to ctrl-alt-del to Windows. Even if I gave the more responsible kid "the SU word" which would irresponsible of me, the PC has soft power-off, and no "off" button (only on) on the front. I tried to show him how to do a "flying dismount"..See: hit ctrl-alt-del, then when the init messages stop and the screens blanksout, reach around here to the back really fast and turn the rockerswitch to "off". Remember to rock it back to "on" immediately, or someone will try to turn on the box and nothing will happen. Of course, he just stared at me. I could hear him thinking what kind of crazy braindead crap is this!--I'll just use Windows. Yup, I just convinced him that Bill Gates is a genius and probably should be President of the World.

    The non-roots would have to reach under the desk, around the case, find and switch the rocker totally blind, and in the actual circumstances --small arms, tight spaces-- it's just not happening. That is a very typical situation. If Linux people are interested in growing the base into the consumer, non-hobbyist market, these are issues that will have to be addressed soon. A parting of the ways is in order: a la Client and Server. Redhat's gesturing in this direction with their slightly different install options in 5.2, but they'll need to do much more and I suspect it's a bigger project than they can handle on their own.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:48PM

    just use sudo and a boot floppy or something.

    Its not that hard.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    This is a non issue
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:53PM

    The real issue is that people can't have their cake and eat it too.

    * Single user: Full privileges, make a mistake and everything can be hosed.

    * Multi-user: Only root gets to hose the system.

    This is what needs to be explained in detail. If they want "single user", fine, give em root with no password. Explain that the consequences could be very much like what happens with win95/98. Otherwise, explain what root is, why it is important, and how to use the privilege.

    People really don't have any problem with this if you take the time to properly explain the reasons.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    This is a non issue
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, @12:09AM
    First off, nothing bad ever happened to me
    under W95 due to my error, only due to
    inherent bugs in the OS. Second, if something
    bad can happen to root under Linux (and it can,
    as I found out firsthand) then it demonstrates
    how counterintuitive Linux is. A good design
    makes mistakes ahead self evident - it makes
    mistakes ahead as evident as the don't touch sign.
    Third, as a more or less proficient Linux user,
    I refuse to login as anything but root, since it
    means I cannot do something the very second I
    want to do it, it introduces the extra su command,
    i.e. lessens my productivity and makes me feel
    like I am being controlled by the Big Brother,
    even thou this Big Brother is myself. I'd much
    rather accept trojans, and hose my system to hell
    then police myself.
    If Linux is to win converts among regular users,
    it's desktop version must have full pnp,
    default to setting up users with different
    settings but root permissions and it must
    never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever
    require editing text files for any setup.
    Oh, and X must be rewritten to take out any
    networking code in there. If remote admin is
    necessary all networking (except for ppp)
    should be installable as an option only.
    You can flame me all you want, but that is the
    truth. It is not a matter of opinion, it is a
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Linux desktop is ready, but not ready in general. (Score:1)
    by Drakino on Thursday February 04, @08:31PM
    (User Info) http://dragonsden.cx
    People may say Linux is ready to be a competitor. But this is not true. Why? It's not a problem with the look, or feel, or even the lack of major applications. It's the lack of a good sales person. Thats what Gates basically is. He sold OEM's on Windows, and made sure the OS/2 man never came to their door. Until OEM's can be sold on putting Linux on systems sold to the home user, the battle hasn't even started yet.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Modem trouble?
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @08:37PM
    Linux will work with virtually any modem as long as it is not a WinModem. I am not a serious programmer, but plugnplay with isapnptools was relatively fast and easy to setup my PNP USR 56K (easier than windows for that matter...)

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Modem trouble?
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @10:23PM
    Dude, have you been to Fry's or Best Buy lately? I looked at a whole wall full of modems the other day, and the ONLY 56k modem that was not a 'winmodem' was the modem blaster flash 2 from creative. All of the others used winblows software... Unfortunately I did not discover Linux until after purchasing a PCI modem, which, by the way, ALL PCI MODEMS REQUIRE WINBLOWS...no monopolistic practices here...
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Modem trouble?
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, @12:14AM
    Can anyone enlighten me as to why winmodems
    do not work with Linux? If they offload
    their work to software, then why can't Linux
    provide that software? Isn't it just a matter
    of writing the right drivers? In other words,
    what prevents Linux from representing itself
    as Windows to the modems and providing adequate
    software control?
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Modems (Score:1)
    by daviddennis (david@amazing.com) on Thursday February 04, @09:00PM
    (User Info) http://www.amazing.com/david/
    Winmodems are a real problem. I own two: one on my HP Pavilion Linux box and the other on my IBM Aptiva NT machine. Neither of them will work, of course; NT and Linux are tied in Winmodem support - that is, they have none.

    It doesn't really matter to me; I lease an office that includes my share of a 10mbps Ethernet connection, so I haven't used a modem in years. But I can certainly see this as a major drawback for most users.

    I was, however, able to set up DIP in the way distant past (before I had a direct net connection), and it worked fine. I think any Slashdotter could set it up easily; moms, of course, are another matter entirely.


    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Microsoft is blowing some serious smoke... (Score:1)
    by Compuser on Thursday February 04, @07:52PM
    (User Info) http://
    Here's another interesting commentary on M$ and their case:

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Microsoft is blowing some serious smoke...
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @07:58PM

    We need to consider the real possiblity that MS's PR/marketing machine is floating the concept that they consider Linux a threat. This pulls some viable cover in their present DOJ case.

    MS will find a way to hijack Linux or tie it to some MS standard to "help" the consumer.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Microsoft is blowing some serious smoke... (Score:1)
    by mec (mec@shout.net) on Thursday February 04, @09:25PM
    (User Info)
    Microsoft spent 15 years developing their marketing message
    that "only freaks run non-Microsoft software". They are
    now sacrificing that image for the sake of sheer survival.

    No matter how the trial turns out, they have had to surrender
    a great deal of marketing clout.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Failing business model (Score:1)
    by dattaway (dattaway@ebicom.net) on Thursday February 04, @04:34PM
    (User Info) http://www.gtr-access.org/~dattaway
    How will Microsoft change its way to make money? How long will it take before its stocks crash, like its software?

    Year 2000 Problem? Why wait, we have that NOW with Windows NT!
    [ Reply to this ]
    IPO filing about linux (Score:1)
    by _damnit_ on Thursday February 04, @04:36PM
    (User Info)
    ONYX software seems to think Linux is a real threat. They are positioning themselves to blame Linux if their endeavor fails. Their IPO filing states:
    "The Windows NT and Microsoft BackOffice computing platforms face increasing competition, particularly from open source platforms, such as Unix and Linux. We believe that the Linux platform in particular is currently growing at a faster annual percentage growth rate than the Windows NT and Microsoft Back Office Platforms."
    [ Reply to this ]
    Elsewhere on ZDNet
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @04:46PM
    Check out Jesse Berst's column on the future of NT and why there will never be a consumer OS with the same codebase. The poll at the end is the best part: apparently, 60% (so far) of respondents think that Linux will displace Windows within the next four years. While I agree, it still stinks of ballot stuffing.
    [ Reply to this ]
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @04:52PM
    I blew coke out my nose when I saw this. Made my day *grin*

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Not Ballot Stuffing
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:04PM
    That story was featured on Linux Today this morning, so I think it was just visited by a disproportionate number of Linux folk, which is why the poll looks so skewed. Kind of a mini-/.-type effect.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Elsewhere on ZDNet (Score:1)
    by John Campbell (jcampbel@lynn.ci-n.com) on Thursday February 04, @05:48PM
    (User Info) http://www.ci-n.com/~jcampbel/

    Woohoo! Microsoft puppets flaming Jesse Berst! I never thought I'd see the day...
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    J.Berst is a shill.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:34PM
    He's nothing more than a rabid OSS communist freak with a blatant anti-commercial bias that sickens everyone around him.


    I still remember the link someone posted about Jesse's 'converstion' to Linux throughout 1998.

    Starting with 'Linux doesn't have a chance'


    'I always said Linux was a competitor.'

    Welcome to the world of the 'industry journalist'.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    They don't take us seriously. (Score:1)
    by nelsonrn (rn-slashdot@crynwr.com) on Thursday February 04, @04:55PM
    (User Info) http://www.crynwr.com/~nelson
    They don't take us seriously. Enough people do that they figure they can get out of the government case, and out-market us. Unfortunately, the thing they're forgetting is that quality markets itself. You can only wrap a piece of shit in so much paper before it starts to ooze through.

    [ Reply to this ]
    They don't take us seriously.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:05PM
    Pree-CISELY! Say it again people:


    Personally, I find all the paranoia about MS deliberately playing up Linux, leaking documents, etc.,
    to be on a par with the average black-helicopter ramblings.

    You don't need to be taken seriously to have tools that work.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Mediocrity Sells
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:05PM
    Broadcast TV.
    Fast Food.
    Pop music.
    People will keep eating shit as long as it's the same shit they're used to.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    They don't take us seriously.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:09PM
    LOL....You can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    They don't take us seriously. (Score:1)
    by Compuser on Thursday February 04, @07:13PM
    (User Info) http://
    What's "LOL"?
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    They don't take us seriously.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @08:40PM
    'Laughing out loud'
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    They will be dead before they know what hit them (Score:1)
    by Pac on Thursday February 04, @05:23PM
    (User Info) http://
    And it wont be only Linux.

    Look at the market as a whole. Microsoft is making water in almost all fronts.

    Windows CE is not managing to even scratch Palm Pilot(and note that Sun/Java will soon be in this arena too).

    Oracle is still beating the hell out of MSSQL 7.

    NT 2000 is late and hearsay is that the team is falling appart.

    M$ web servers are bad jokes, to be polite.

    Now, those are upstream batlles. But if the stock is to keep raising, Microsoft cannot afford to lose them.

    Now the monopoly lock. The office suite is now a very buggy giant. My guess is that the market would probably accept an alternative. It would be a fascinating open source project, making a GPL Suite to displace office.

    Linux is headed to take over Windows 9x in the desktop during the next few years (I really think it will happen).

    Microsoft core technologies are slowly falling to pieces. The COM alternative is a joke worse than MFC.

    In the end, many factors will contribute to the fall, first among them the failure to follow open standarts. Very late in the game Microsoft will see that ANSI C/C++, Write Once Run Anywhere Java, CORBA and many other things sum up to make a system against which no single company can fight.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Never underestimate Microsoft
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:53PM
    Don't forget Microsoft has a history of building crappy products, and incrementally improving them until they're "good enough" and still alot cheaper than the competition. Plus they've got the market advantage-er-monopoly that allows them to push alot product down peoples throats

    Novell, WordPerfect, Lotus (both 1-2-3 and maybe Notes), IBM (OS/2) -- All of these companies were basically undercut on price by MS and barely lived to tell about it. Oracle and Netscape's commercial stuff are the next targets.

    Now I know that Linux is immune to this tactic, which is why MS might be really scared (or sticking their head in the sand for once). But, retraining and moving systems to a new OS is *not* free.

    (Many MIS shops have a hard enough time hiring someone who understands NT, much less Linux. And you actually needs someone who understands both NT/IIS/MSSQL and Linux/Apache/Oracle so that they could migrate the applications. Most Linux gods around /. profess not to know anything about MS products, so don't hire them to migrate!)

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Never underestimate Microsoft (Score:1)
    by daviddennis (david@amazing.com) on Thursday February 04, @09:02PM
    (User Info) http://www.amazing.com/david/
    I know all too much about MS products. That's why I hate 'em. :-(


    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    We don't take them seriously. (Score:1)
    by mec (mec@shout.net) on Thursday February 04, @09:32PM
    (User Info)
    I think the Halloween Memos and other public Microsoft writings reveal a
    deep understanding of the open source movement. Microsoft and Open Source are on opposite
    sides of a battle to the death, but that doesn't make them stupid.

    Check out _Managing Software Dynamics_ by Steve Maguire, Microsoft Press.

    Meanwhile, open source advocates claim "open source will kill Microsoft",
    but when Microsoft says exactly the same thing, it somehow becomes
    deceptive. Which is it? Is Linux a serious competitor to Windows NT, or not?
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    We don't take them seriously. (Score:1)
    by ph43drus (ph43drus@home.com) on Thursday February 04, @11:10PM
    (User Info) http://c512692-a.olmpi1.wa.home.com
    We don't need to. I'm being perfectly serious here. We really can ignore them. What has already done and made can't be killed by its very nature. If it is going to take M$ down on it's own merits, well, it will. If it can't, M$ still is fighting uphill battles on every front. Especially since they decided to not use the NT code base in a desktop product for 2-3 years (at least).

    They are commiting corporate suicide, and whether they help finish themselves off or not, they can't kill us. We'll keep going. We are making headway in the server market, and I don't think IIS will catch Apache anytime soon. Linux has its market share going up, and well, it is the best, it isn't shit wrapped in pretty paper by a long shot. Even in the worst case scenario, we still have the source, and they can't run a mass delete to get rid of our open source. It has proliferated, and it is staying that way.

    I personally don't care what M$ does. I can't control them. I can only control me, and in that light, I'm going to keep my source open. I'm not switching back to windoze. I think there are many who share that sentiment.

    While they may not be stupid, they have an opponent of the like they have not faced before. They have formulated against us, they understand us, but I don't think they could get away with an attack. Why? Go read through the Halloween Docs, and pay close attention to the comments about "For M$ to win, the customer would have to Lose." Between the bad press, their imfamous "upgrades" (they have horrible stats on people upgrading, most of their users wait as long as possible), and the press Linux is getting, they couldn't afford an attack. Not in the long run.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    We don't take them seriously. (Score:1)
    by mec (mec@shout.net) on Friday February 05, @12:52AM
    (User Info)
    As I said before, there is one reason even you need market share --
    so that hardware companies have motivation to release programming specs.

    I'm inclined to the theory that Microsoft leaked the Halloween documents on purpose.
    Thus, I believe that they still have competitive strategies up their sleeves
    which they haven't disclosed.

    For instance, Winmodems. Suppose all hardware started looking like
    Winmodems and Winprinters. That could kill Linux development.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Afraid (Score:1)
    by kill-9 on Thursday February 04, @05:05PM
    (User Info)
    If they really were afraid of it, they would be
    porting MS-Office to Linux...
    I will only beleive that MS is thinking about Linux as a real threat, after I see a full version
    of MS-Office running in Linux, with some bugs
    less than the Windows Version (the OS bugs)...
    [ Reply to this ]
    Afraid (Score:1)
    by Prothonotar (icy_manipulator@mindless.com.spam) on Thursday February 04, @05:31PM
    (User Info) http://www.rit.edu/~adg1653
    Of course their Linux version would either be lacking in features or would be bug-ridden, so that everyone who would use it figures they're better off with Windows after all.
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
    The wise man finds ignorance within."
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    MS Linux
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:05PM
    Why doesn't MS release a Linux distribution?
    I've heard they have an agreement with SCO that
    prevents them from announcing their own version
    of UNIX, but would that stop them from making a
    knock-off of Red Hat with ports of their Office
    products bundled with it? Of course, then they'd
    have to really COMPETE price-wise, but I bet the
    MS name and marketing engine could get the
    consumer sheep to buy it anyway.
    -- kyle-ha@toehold.com (Kyle Hasselbacher)
    [ Reply to this ]
    MS Linux
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:21PM
    There was an article in the WSJ the other day discussing what Bill Gates did to the folk who were advocating Java and open systems internally in Microsoft the other day. Basically he insulted, belittled, and verbally assaulted one of his managers who was proposing anything other than Windows to the point the guy decided to take a leave of abscence and has not since reported back to work. MS will never do anything but sell Windows as long as Gates is at the helm, end of story. They are not afraid of Linux, nor are they going to join it. Microsoft has known about Linux for years.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    big problems (Score:1)
    by datazone (winlinux@yahoo.com) on Thursday February 04, @07:23PM
    (User Info)
    First of all, microsoft has to appease the stock market pimps who have over inflated the value of their stock. Okay, now that we can keep this in mind, lets see why they can't make a ms-linux.

    First of all, microsoft is primarly an OS company. They have three major OSes on the market right now, and they do not compete with each other, except in certain rear cases. First is Windows 98 (count out 95 since most OEMs are not shipping it anymore) which is primarly targeted at the home entertainment market. Secondly is NT Workstation 4.0 which is targeted at the educational/corporate networked desktop market. Lastly is NT Server, which is targeted at the educational/corporate server market.
    Now if microsoft releases ms-linux, they will be putting the NT Workstation/Server market in competition with it. Currently the NT market is a big cash cow for microsoft. Business logic dictates that a company that pushes similar products agains each other will end up destroying their market for the most expensive product unless it has features that the cheaper one does not have. However, in the case of linux, it can wreck havok on that premise because microsoft will have to market linux on the current pricing level that other companies charge. Which mean they cannot charge a licensing fee which they currently charge for their products. Also since the performance of linux rivals and surpasses NT in many important areas, NT would not be able to survive in so called "high-end" markets. The scales of balance will tip too far for microsoft to continue to support NT, in which case, they will have to slowly phase out production and support for it, and scale up production, customization, and support for linux. Now in a small company, this would not be difficult to do, but with a company the size of microsoft, it is virualy impossible. The chaos that it would cause in the industry would last for at least two to three years, leaving microsoft with a very angry bunch of customers and third-party companies, not to mention a very angry mod of share holders.

    Now, the only interesting thing about all of this is that microsoft may actualy be able to pull it off and come out on top if one or two things happen:
    1. The DOJ wins the case and get the power to split microsoft up. Which will create a seperate company dedicated to Operating Systems, and it would be able to start fresh without having to take too much heat from the public, since it can always pass the blame on the "US Government."
    2. Microsofts starts to lose money and their stock value starts to fall badly, in which case, they will have to find out which market they are losing money from, and retarget it. And for the sake of this argument, lets say they started to lose money from the OS department, and lets say its because of linux or some other alternative OS. Then they will either have to add new competitive features to their current OS (which time has showed that they cannot do over a short period of time) or create a new OS which contain the features of their competitors OS plus some (which they may be able to do if they can afford to buy a code base for a OS from someone) or they can buy out their rivals (which they may not be able to do in the case of an open source OS, or a company willing to hold out) or in the case of linux, create their own distribution.

    Now, thats alot of ifs...
    however, microsoft has shown that they have a borg like ability to defeat their enemies using different and new stratagies...
    So, only time can tell what will happen to the computing industry 10 years or even 3 years down the line.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    MS owns some of SCO
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @08:24PM
    MS owns part of SCO. Think about that one for a minute.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    MS Linux (Score:1)
    by mec (mec@shout.net) on Thursday February 04, @09:40PM
    (User Info)
    Microsoft has turned on a dime before (e.g. their embrace of TCP/IP).
    If they see a market for Office on Linux, they'll have one
    in a very short time.

    Microsoft makes what people want to buy. You can approach that
    on a rational level and try to understand it so you can fight it,
    or you can make random disparaging comments and get crushed in the
    battle for market share. And face it, even if you personally don't
    give a rat's ass for market share, it does determine whether vendors
    will give you driver specs.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Chewbacca defense?
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:10PM
    Mabye Microsoft should use the Chewbacca defense?
    [ Reply to this ]
    Chewbacca defense! (Score:1)
    by Jordy (jordy@wserv.com) on Thursday February 04, @05:17PM
    (User Info) http://jordy.wserv.com
    If this does not make sense, YOU MUST ACQUIT!
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    They'd need Cochrane... (Score:1)
    by Rick Franchuk (rickf@transpect.SPAM-B-GONE.net) on Thursday February 04, @06:22PM
    (User Info) http://
    They might be able to use the 'maritz defense' though...

    Ladies and gentlemen of this SUPPOSED jury...

    This is Maritz. He's an MS executive that lives in Redmond who brought a totally whacked videotape into the courtroom. Does this make sense?

    rickf@transpect.SPAM-B-GONE.net (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)
    "People will pay big bucks for the luxury of ignorance."
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Hm. (Score:2)
    by Earl Shannon on Thursday February 04, @05:15PM
    (User Info)
    There was a time when Microsoft's operating system only had a command line. That changed of course. One reason, if not the biggest reason, that Linux has not taken the desktop quite as fast as it has the server market is that it does not come installed. At least not from major pc vendors. This is changing thankfully. But my parents currently do not own a computer. They have no preconceived notions about how the thing should work. If they had a linux machine instead of a windows machine I do not think it would make that much difference in them learning to use it. Linux may have a slightly steeper curve for them, but if the machine is already configured for them it would not be that much more trouble.

    Which brings us to those people who can set it up and make it work. They are considerably more computer literate than the general populace. This is why linux is showing up on server machines. These are the people who know how to make it work. What Microsoft has going for it is just the opposite. They made the desktop work for everybody. Now, IT managers think that since Windows NT server is just like Windows NT workstation and Windows 95, NT Server will be easier to manage. And to a certain extent this is true. This, and the interoperability issue (They are both Microsoft, so they should work well together) are causing IT managers to choose NT over Novell and Unix. (Novell is struggling back).

    So, having said all that, does Microsoft consider linux a threat. Placed against the above backdrop I would say that no, not currently. But they are not stupid people by a long shot and the Halloween documents do indicate that they have already begun to consider what can be done, should it become necessary. But at this point I don't think they are all that worried. Mostly the hype you hear from them about linux is just that. Hype, and smoke and whatever else you want to call it when someone is trying to obscure the real issue.
    [ Reply to this ]
    Who is rewarded for Linux? (Score:1)
    by dsaff (dsaff@tvisions.com) on Thursday February 04, @05:17PM
    (User Info) http://
    Microsoft is being sued because a monopoly threatens the fundamental idea behind a capitalist system: those who work hardest and come up with the best ideas receive money. Of course, not everyone might agree that that's the best way to order society, and we all know many situations where this principle fails to hold, but occasionally, as in the case of Microsoft, the violation is so flagrant that society must fight back to save the system.

    This is why Microsoft's defense is so ironically disturbing. Very few people get any monetary compensation for their work on Linux. If the only way to create and distribute a better alternative to Windows is to work for free, then Microsoft really does hold a monopoly that is threatening to the very idea of capitalism, and they must be stopped. The "Linux defense" is really the best argument against Microsoft.

    David Saff

    [ Reply to this ]
    Who is rewarded for Linux?
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:24PM
    Hear, hear!
    I've always said that MS should be careful about pointing at a "company" that doesn't pay its programmers. And we all know which two OS's are the only ones *gaining* market share, don't we?
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Who is rewarded for Linux?
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:34PM
    those who work hardest and come up with the best ideas receive money.

    M$ is not in trouble for making the best ideas,or for being a monoply, but for allegidly dooing illegal things to become a monopoly.

    P.s.:pardon the garmmar and the spelling. I'm very tired

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Irrelevant question
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:17PM
    It doesn't matter whether MS thinks Linux is a threat nor does it matter if they convince the DOJ either way.

    The fact remains that Linux IS a threat to MS and we will crush them.
    [ Reply to this ]
    The *real* point is...
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:20PM
    I gotta hope that our judicial system is smart enough to see this point, because it is obvious that journalists miss it. It is not illegal to *BE* a monopoly, just to use a monopoly as an unfair business leverage. So all this talk about whether or not Microsoft *IS* a monopoly is just a bunch of wasted air. I wish the judge would put an end to this line of "evidence".

    Yes, I know that if Microsoft can prove they're not a monopoly, then it would be impossible to use it unfairly, but they're being investigated for business dealings in the past. Were they a monopoly 6 months ago, a year ago, two years ago? Current "evidence" about Linux as a serious competitor is moot. A year ago Microsoft had never heard of Linux.

    Not a coward, just lazy
    Greg Vaughn gvaughn@delphis.com
    [ Reply to this ]
    MS apps on Linux (Score:1)
    by adraken on Thursday February 04, @05:23PM
    (User Info)
    And University of Utah professor Lee Hollaar made an interesting point at a ProComp-sponsored breakfast this week, when he asked, "If Microsoft really believed Linux would knock them off their perch, why wouldn't they be rushing to move their applications to Linux? They'd have the advantage of being first to market that way."

    This is THE most logical and open minded thing I've heard in the last couple months. Microsoft, contrary to popular belief, is NOT THAT STUPID. If they truly thought that Linux was a desktop competitor, they would be porting applications like mad. (and with winelib, would it be that bad?) On the other hand, if they were truly in touch with the Linux culture they would realize that many hard-core Linux users/developers are so anti-Microsoft that they would probably boycott their software. (They also may be afraid that developers would change API's quickly to disable support for Microsoft apps :)

    note: i'm not a mac-user When Microsoft realized that MacOS was a serious desktop platform with a real money-paying customer base, they ported software. It worked, even though many Mac-users are anti-Microsoft, many didn't care, they bought the software, they used the software, they supported Apple and Microsoft. If Microsoft thought this was possible on Linux, we'd all be able to *buy* Microsoft Office 99(?) for Linux (complete with a 50MB mslib :) we must think of the reasons why they're NOT writing apps for Linux..

    [ Reply to this ]
    MS apps on Linux (Score:2)
    by Prothonotar (icy_manipulator@mindless.com.spam) on Thursday February 04, @05:42PM
    (User Info) http://www.rit.edu/~adg1653
    There's a few problems with the argument though. Right now, one of Microsoft's biggest advantages over Linux is in application support. If they began porting their own applications (many of which, such as Office, are the types people want to see on Linux) they would be giving up that advantage. If they helped with Wine (other than just lurking on the wine-devel mailist list, which they do now), they would have ceded all of win32 to Linux.

    As for Mac, the simple response is that Mac presents a completely different platform. PPC NT is dead, and so for MS isn't losing any OS leverage by porting apps to MacOS, because they don't have an OS for Macs to lose leverage on. That being said, MS support for MacOS apps is relatively thin and the software often does not have full functionality; they wouldn't want to incourage people to buy Macs over Wintel machines. These arguments are not only true of Macs, but some commercial Unices too (with their crappy Internet Explorer port to Solaris and maybe HPUX or some other UNIX).
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
    The wise man finds ignorance within."
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    M$ is tattering.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:51PM
    About This UTah that Prof.

    I think he forgets that M$ could have think that by delaying a office suite app, Linux growth in desktop could be retarded.

    and I really do believe that it makes more sense for M$ to delay office app than jumping the first wagon.

    afterall, M$ do this trick to pressure Apple. (You sue me, I won't develope office app for ya, and look how pathetic your commercial sales become)

    Imagine if Office all of a sudden is being ported to Linux tomorrow, (same price as office win98) don't you think corporation will not wipe out win95/98 within a year? beside cost and stability, consider the Open source, that means the company is not at the mercy of M$ update tax.

    also, if M$ has to chose between making profit on selling Office suite on Linux or loosing win95/98 sales....which one do you think they will choose?
    (win98 brings in the bigger profit)

    M$ development and product development strategy is still in the denial stage! They only consider Linux as a major nuisance with a large potential threat. But not an absolute threat yet. (they haven't pull any dirty trick at Linux yet, as happend to OS/2, DrDOS or Apple)

    But soon, once the sales number of win98 gets affected and a coherent strategy evolves, then we will see true marketing war, not just some lawyer and PR talk.

    What Linux got on it's side? Developmental Speed! Linux doesn't operate on the realm of industrial development time frame. 3 months means a lot to Linux. a year is lifetime, and 18months are world domination.

    can M$ device a coherent strategy within 6 months to tapper Linux growth? (It took them 1yrs to mock OS/2 and have a coherent strategy)

    fat chance.

    By the time they figure out what to do. Linux will gain Corel, and Lotus support for its desktop side.

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    MS apps on Linux
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:59PM
    Note: I am a Mac user (and a Linux user, and a BeOS user, and a WinNT user, and a Solaris user, ...)

    Microsoft was writing apps for the Mac before Windows was a glimmer in old Billy-boy's eyes. MS-BASIC was one of the earliest development environments, and I believe MS Word was the first word processor that Apple didn't write. We're talking mid to late 80's here, folks.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    MS apps on Linux (Score:1)
    by Rendus (webmaster@the-corridor.com) on Thursday February 04, @07:43PM
    (User Info) http://
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released in 1984... Same year as MacOS... At least that's what I remember... *Shrug*
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    MS's errored ways (Score:1)
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:41PM
    I'm glad they are using Linux and KOffice as a defense, especially making the claim that they aren't a monopoly. If you're only competitors are free then you have enough of a monopoly or are delivering products that are of such a high calibre (go ahead and say this MS...) that nobody can compete and charge money.
    I just hope that the government guys are smart enough to realize that because it proves their case.

    As for the long haul, MS has lost and they know it. They readily promote the idea of replacing a lot of apps at once. When they release major updates to their OS they expect users to replace lots of apps. It's only a matter of time before linux has all the right apps to make it a drop in replacment for windows. (StarOffice already comes damn close to being an MSOffice replacment)
    The only stronghold of users that won't buy into that replace everything every few years strategy are the enterprises and Linux is the new baby in enterprise land. When ZDNet says it's enterprise ready the news is just trickling down to the dumb guys.

    [ Reply to this ]
    It's sad to read the comments underneath
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:48PM
    Misinformed windows users commenting on Linux, now THIS is funny. Check out this one:

    Quote: "It's Ugly"

    Huh, that's weird. X is absolutely beautiful for me (and all my friends), FAR more beautiful than Windows. All it took was the installation of a WM which is clearly documented.

    As long as you aren't completely computer ignorant you can figure out how to compile things. Even my dad could figure it out, and he's used Windows 3.1 at work for a VERY long time (Hmm, click, click.). My mom couldn't, but then again she can't figure out where windows go when she minimizes them.

    All these things about "making it easier" might be necessary for the majority of the public (the Big Game Hunter(r) buyers). The thing is, I don't WANT linux to become "easy". I think the best part of using it is the raw power to customize and hack. You start to take that away and it loses its attractiveness.

    We shouldn't care if windows remains on the majority of desktops. The fact is the majority of computer users are tech ignorant and need an easy OS, however crappy it may be.

    Warning to flamers: unless your reply is rational and well thought, it will be ignored. Thanks.
    [ Reply to this ]
    Truth vs Beauty (Score:1)
    by daviddennis (david@amazing.com) on Thursday February 04, @09:15PM
    (User Info) http://www.amazing.com/david/
    Which WM did you install? I checked out Enlightenment, but it took me about three days of solid work (spread over a few weeks) to get it working. Even now I haven't figured out how to get "themes" to work properly, and when I try it messes up my system so badly I'm scared to try again :-(.

    Now, even on the default theme, I'd say I have the most gorgeous desktop I've seen on any computer. I will say, though, that the default FVWM environment looks a lot like Windows 3.1, and this is probably what Keith was referring to. In addition, Linux fonts are still probematical; I long for my SGI O2 days, when I had beautiful fonts. :-(

    Enlightenment seems to improve this, but the Mac is still loads more attractive in terms of getting a versatile collection of readable fonts.

    Finally, I find it pretty amazing that people say that it has to be either-or - a system can either be easy to use or easy to hack. I can change virtually everything about a Mac program, including command line equivalents and bitmaps, by going into resedit and monkeying around with a copy of the program. That strikes me as a major advantage.

    What's wrong with keeping the text configuration files around, and building easy to use software to edit them? We can find this in gnome and KDE right now. I don't see how that makes Gnome or KDE harder to hack; you can still use the full power of the files if you want. As long as we always have a command prompt, I don't see what the big deal is.

    I'm not satisfied with a system that's easy to use OR easy to hack; I'd like both. When I'm in the mood to attack problems as a user, it's great to have that option; when I want to delve deeply into the heart of the system, it's great to have that one too.

    Besides, some of my best friends are users. :-)


    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    It's sad to read the comments underneath
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @10:08PM
    I don't completely agree with keeping linux from being easy to use... What I would NOT want is for linux to be 'only' easy to use. I'd like to have a choice, the hard way (ie: by hand, been used to it and much quicker with the kb than I am with a mouse) or a GUI way. I guess this way I'm happy, and people that have never gotten the hang of a unix prompt happy as well.

    I hope noone takes it as a flame, just my few pennies of ideas.

    -- Linux user for 3 years. Windows hater for longer many many years.

    -- Microsoft is not the answer it's the problem. =)
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Don't break up Microsoft
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @05:49PM
    Microsoft provides a nice "evil empire" to unify against. Don't break it up into a bunch of annoying Suns and Oracles.


    [ Reply to this ]
    No Subject Given (Score:1)
    by KlomDark on Thursday February 04, @06:13PM
    (User Info) http://cx647772-a.omhas1.ne.home.com
    "in fact, his college-age son downloaded Red Hat Linux in 30 minutes, he said."

    Oooh... Now that is a meaningless statement. I downloaded Linux 2.2.0 the night it came out, but doesn't mean I have compiled/installed it.


    |:- The big bang theory: In the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded. -:|
    [ Reply to this ]
    MS Exec's Son loads Linux
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:18PM
    Paul Maritz's (MS's Mr. Window's) son loads Linux on their home PC. From trial testimony 28-Jan:

    22 IN MY HOME.

    see: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/transcripts/jan99/01-28-am.htm

    [ Reply to this ]
    That was me (Score:1)
    by benma on Thursday February 04, @10:13PM
    (User Info)
    Yep, that was me. I did it to have something to play with over my winter break from school.

    It seems like a lot of Linux-ites are in an odd position. They dream of the day that Linux will be on every desktop, Grandmas of the world included. At the same time, however, they maintain it is not a threat to windows. Which one is it guys?

    To me, it's perfectly clear that it is a very big threat, even if for no reason other than the Linux/OpenSource movement has breathed new life - new hipness - into UNIX, something which Microsoft dreads. NT is and has been for a while the mainstay of MS's revenue stream. NT has been positioned as the high-end desktop OS - target squarely at high end, technically proficient users - people like you and me. Sure, Linux competes on the server, but remember, Microsoft's game is one of high volumes, something which the server market doesn't have.

    The Desktop is where it's at. MS needs to be able to crank up prices and shipping volumes to make money. Linux eats away at both those. There is definetly a very real threat.

    Does anyone really disagree, or are people just saying that there isn't one as a knee-jerk reaction to Microsoft's statement in court?
    -Ben Maritz
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    That was me
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, @12:28AM
    I think you have some very valid points and because it seems that others are too afraid to answer you I will.

    I am myself a very happy Linux user and started out doing it for technical reasons, but since Win95 came out the political aspect of it has become stronger. Now I only use MS products if I get a gun to my head.

    You note that Linux is a threat to NT in the server business, but also that MS needs the volume business that NT isn't. The MS-DOJ case is about monopoly on the desktop, or so I have understood, and there Linux yet has a very small presence.

    So, your comment about people being ambivalent about whether Linux is a real threat and at the same time wanting it to take over the world is a little off. Sure some people don't want to say out loud that Linux is a threat because they don't want to bolster MS' case, but many independant people *do* believe that Linux has no chance on the common desktop and maybe many here on Slapdash (... sorry MEEPT ;-) aren't so sure about it, even if they dream about it.

    I myself believe that Linux *is* a real threat to any platform MS produces. And I believe it will be but a year until the new base will be on par with any MS platform, but it will probably take 10 years or more until the total installed base of MS products will be affected by Linux. So in the mean time MS will continue to exist with the same level of products as today (they may in the future start to consider quality and customer satisfaction, though, because that is what true competition is about), though the stock price may reach a more sane level ($20?).

    Until any of the MS witnesses came about, I was hoping that the case would drag on or MS would get penalized. I don't anymore because I can see that they are creating such a mess for themselves that even if the case closes at the end of March and MS wont get penalized, I believe that the momentum of Linux has reached such levels that it is unstoppable.

    People outside of the North American continent know it, and eventually people there will see it as well.

    If nothing changes MS will be history in 20 years, in the same way CP/M and 78rpm records are today. Bill is doing right in selling off his shares and so should your family, because I don't think the culture of MS is able to change so drastically so quickly.

    This isn't a full response, but it gets so long, and perhaps somebody else has something to add.

    Thank you and have a nice day,

    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Linux is cheap competition!
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:30PM
    They *have* to be happy with Linux as "competition" since it costs them zero!

    You might remember their last "competitor", Apple, needed a $150M infusion to keep it properly propped up and toeing the line, though not without boo-ing and hissing when Steve Jobs mentioned how Mac users were going to get IE instead of Netscape now that Redmond had made him a deal he couldn't refuse.

    Those darn ungrateful Mac users did not even appreciate the sop that Office98 would come to
    them before the Windows users (never mind that this Christmas toy arrived with some broken pieces in it.)

    Shows how seriously Redmond takes Apple as a competing OS - normally you'd expect that range of apps available would help sway decisions on OS, etc and Office is *the* app you can't not have.)

    Good boy, Steve! Now stop wagging your tail and
    start baring some teeth - we want to show Mr DOJ
    that you're not really domesticated, that you're really a true attack dog!

    That $150M was a great investment. Imagine how embarrassing it would be now if desktop share were 98% instead of 92%!

    Linux is just a noisy annoyance, slurping away a few of those lucrative Server licenses from sites with IT personnel who can do the math and cut the FUD.

    They won't really consider Linux a real competitor until Corel or Applix starts shipping more volume to the penny-pinching SOHO segment and to the more enlightened fraction of the corporate market that would show some desktop penetration to more than the technically overendowed.
    [ Reply to this ]
    The Dinosaur Article
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @06:52PM

    212% increase in server shipments.

    17% share of total server shipments.

    1 million copies of TurboLinux shipped.

    ~5 million KDE users.

    Articles like these are of a dying breed. Bookmark
    articles like these. You can look back on them
    in years to come and laugh. In the face of the
    above numbers the FUD has been slowly but inexorably

    Even the real FUD wackers like Berst have stopped
    spewing their vehement filth. When the numbers
    are even bigger next year, the clouds will close
    even closer over laugable denials of the obvious.

    Its funny to see how strained the argumentation
    of the Windows users has become: "Linux will
    never go anywhere due to featuritis." Bad bad

    [ Reply to this ]
    BSD compared to Linux? (Score:1)
    by Duke of URL on Thursday February 04, @07:17PM
    (User Info)
    What are the feelings out there -comparing BSD to Linux?
    [ Reply to this ]
    Flame Bait
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @08:01PM
    > What are the feelings out there -comparing BSD to Linux?

    My feelings are that your posting is flame bait. This thread isn't about BSD vs. Linux. It is about the validity of the Microsoft arguement that Linux is its competior. It isn't even about comparing Linux to NT. I doubt that the marketing and legal drones at Microsoft who came up with their current Linux spiel have even used Linux. They just copied some news pieces. Microsoft needs to "create" competition very quickly, in order to win their legal case.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    Sorry - - No Flame Bait Intended...
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @10:56PM
    Sorry, I wasen't trying to put out some flame bait. (I'm Duke of URL at home sans password.) I read the linked article in the headline and I read a blurb about BSD (in the article.) I went 'round looking for more info on BSD, since I've only heard about it, not having read anything substantial, let alone used it. Thought maybe somebody would post a nice and tidy comparision of the two for me and do all my work for me.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    BSD compared to Linux?
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @08:20PM
    [free net open]BSD (I've tried them all) has somewhat more convenient installation if you have a fast Internet connection -- you can get EVERYTHING over FTP (assuming you downloaded the boot floppy somewhere). Stampede Linux is promising it, but it isn't there yet. The closest currently is Debian (my current distro) where you need to download the base system then install the rest of the packages over FTP. Other distros have public NFS servers that take forever.

    Having said that, the only other attraction of the BSDs is that they use "real" Unix code from Berkley. Linux uses all GNU software (although there's no reason someone couldn't take the BSD programs and port them so they run on Linux.)

    The BSDs lose in overall performance and availability of hardware and software. YOu don't hear Corel porting Wordperfect to FreeBSD or 3DFX making Glide for BSD (although actually Daryll Strauss has been trying to get "legal issues" cleared up with 3DFX so that exactly this could happen!)

    These are just my impressions. If it runs X it's cool with me :)

    Justin A. Kolodziej 4wg7kolodzie@vms.csd.mu.edu
    Only anonymous because I'm too lazy...
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    That video again (Score:1)
    by K-Man on Thursday February 04, @07:21PM
    (User Info)
    It took me a minute, but this quote on MS Video for WinDoze 2.0 gave me a jolt:

    "Microsoft said it couldn't guarantee in its tests overnight that two identical IBM laptop computers achieved comparable connection rates to the Internet, ensuring a fair demonstration" These shysters were running a benchmark against *public* internet sites, the kind that vary from 0-30 seconds in latency in the course of a day, rendering load time measurements *useless*. They could have done any number of more accurate tests, such as loading a local file, or hitting a dedicated benchmark server on a LAN.

    Can this be true? Is MS really trying to peddle random internet load times as genuine http benchmarks?
    [ Reply to this ]
    Bogus defense
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @07:26PM
    The Linux defense argument that MS is using is a total farce. This is favorite statement from the trial.

    The mere fact that at some unforeseen time in the future some unforeseen competitor may arise to give some unforeseen threat to Microsoft is not enough to show they do not have present-day real-world monopoly power. (Boiles, DoJ)

    On a related note, MS finally came up with a video demonstrating problems after the deinstallation of IE. What was one of the problems? Well, you run into problems downloading software from MS. Duh. Oh, I bet that is really reliable evidence.
    [ Reply to this ]
    Bogus defense
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @07:49PM
    By prior agreement, government representatives were not allowed in the room until the test was ready to begin.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    One might infer that MS in not honest. (Score:1)
    by smithdog on Thursday February 04, @08:14PM
    (User Info) http://
    Perhaps they are now pumping their press contacts to publish things like "I always said Linux could be a contender." In hopes of influencing the outcome of the anti-trust trial.
    Have the FUD mongers become Linux zealots?
    Or has MS spoonfed them the "Linux as contender" story?

    [ Reply to this ]
    One might infer that MS in not honest.
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:46PM
    the "Linux as contender" story could accually help linux by making it an option to the "M$ invented the internet" types.
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    Microsoft Admits Videotape Test Was Not Real!
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:07PM
    YES! They admitted it. See Lycocs "technology" news at:
    [ Reply to this ]
    Microsoft Admits Videotape Test Was Not Real!
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:25PM
    Darn. Lycos just changed the URL to:
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]
    This is HILARIOUS! (Score:1)
    by Fizgig (andrew.chatham@duke.remove.edu) on Thursday February 04, @10:04PM
    (User Info) http://fizgig.dorm.duke.edu
    You guys have to read this! I never respected Microsoft much, but I always thought their lawyers knew what they were doing, but _this_ proves me wrong. Their lawyers are not only evil--they're stupid too!
    "You've got to be willing to read other people's code, then write your own, then have other people review your code." -- Bill Gates
    [ Reply to this | Parent ]

    dwoodworth (Score:1)
    by dwoodworth on Thursday February 04, @09:21PM
    (User Info)
    Gee, am I the only one that detects a logical flaw
    here? M$ tells the DOJ that Linux is a threat, but
    then what does it tell its big corporate clients,
    developers, and others? Linux is NOT a threat, so
    don't worry about moving to it?

    Could it be that the flacks at M$ have made a bit
    of a PR blunder here?
    [ Reply to this ]
    Staroffice is opensource?
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:28PM
    The article seems to claim that staroffice is an opensource product. And last time I downloaded it, it didn't seem that way.
    [ Reply to this ]
    Microsoft _will_ be split
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, @09:29PM
    Anyone who's followed
    the antitrust case knows
    that MS is fscking up
    big time in the trial.
    It's likely the judge
    will order a split.

    It'll be either OS and apps
    or Baby MS's with Ballmer
    and Gates heading separate
    but equal companies. If it's
    the former, I don't doubt
    that linux might get an
    office port. If it's the
    latter, there will effectively
    be *2* winOSs out there and
    it'll be a perfect time for
    linux (and BeOS) to come into
    the mainstream.

    [ Reply to this ]
    Not to be picky, but (Score:1)
    by Fizgig (andrew.chatham@duke.remove.edu) on Thursday February 04, @10:03PM
    (User Info) http://fizgig.dorm.duke.edu
    Last time I checkd StarOffice is not open source . . .
    "You've got to be willing to read other people's code, then write your own, then have other people review your code." -- Bill Gates
    [ Reply to this ]
    My emailed reply to the author (Score:1)
    by Roelof (roelof@eboa.com) on Thursday February 04, @11:47PM
    (User Info) http://eboa.com/
    Hi Mary Jo,

    Read your article with interest. Could not help but recall how IBM once put a two bit operation called MicroSoft on the map. Even though it took them over a decade, they've outgrown IBM.

    Now we see Microsoft put a two bit operation called Linux on the map...

    As to the words of Paul Maritz et al. Haven't you never asked yourself how come, if Linux is all that succesful, MS hasn't released an Office for Linux? I mean, with the Chinese Wall and all that... Would've thought they jumped at the opportunity!

    Roelof Osinga http://eboa.com/
    [ Reply to this ]
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