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Microsoft Operating Systems Software

MS Dissatisfaction High, Users Consider Switching 815

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

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  • by be-fan (61476) on Sunday October 12, 2003 @02:49PM (#7195526)
    Um, what KDE are you using? 3.1 ships by default with startup notification enabled. 3.2 has a cool little bouncing cursor as well.
  • by BWJones (18351) on Sunday October 12, 2003 @03:08PM (#7195660) Homepage Journal
    The fact is there are really no alternatives for most people.

    B.S. Sorry to be so abrupt and crude, but this is simply not correct. There are many alternatives out there including OS X, various flavors of Linux, etc...etc...etc...

    Macs are expensive,

    Again, this is a popular misconception. If you are talking the local grey box manufacturer, yeah, you can probably get a $499 PC, but it will not have many of the features that the brand name boxes will have or the software. Generally you get what you pay for and with Apple products, you get a quality product with features that really do make a difference. Also at the high end, Macs often are cheaper to purchase. For instance, the OS X workstation I am typing this on right now was a full $900 cheaper than an equivalently configured Dell box and OS X provides a much more productive environment. In fact, for our lab which historically has been Wintel based, every new computer purchase in the last year and a half has been a Mac. The other thing you should know is that Macs have a lower total cost of ownership, require less maintenance, are more reliable, and make folks more productive.

    and it's hard to find a good x86 box with Linux preloaded

    This unfortunately in some cases has become true with Dell backing off their Linux push at Microsoft's urging. However, there are other companies out there bundling Linux in.

    Until reliable, powerful PC's with alternate OSes and applications suites are easily obtainable,

    Go here [apple.com].

  • by Decaff (42676) on Sunday October 12, 2003 @03:24PM (#7195750)
    The fact is there are really no alternatives for most people.

    This is false. Sit a novice user in front of KDE3 and Open Office on a machine that has been sensibly set up and they will find a familiar interface and will face few cross-training problems. The paradox is that users who are more 'highly trained' tend to find non-MS systems problematic - novices just go ahead and use the system.
  • by unother (712929) <[myself] [at] [kreig.me]> on Sunday October 12, 2003 @03:32PM (#7195798) Homepage
    Hear hear! I've been suffering with an Athlon 1GHz with XP Pro for the last three months. Finally got tired of the crap, and managed to get my G4/533 MHz back online. There are a lot of "little things" one must do with a PC that don't matter with Macs, like looking for Spyware and crap constantly; not to mention the performance issues of XP, even on reasonable hardware. Aside from the Finder issues (which I'm hoping the new one in Panther will clear up), having the Mac back was a breath of fresh air. Downside: hard to get bootleg music software as easily. ;)
  • by Phil John (576633) <phil @ w ebstarsltd.com> on Sunday October 12, 2003 @04:05PM (#7195969)
    ...what some of the not so clued up people who've posted their messages to that page fail to realise is that, yes, there are patches issued for various services on Linux, but by and large they are not in the same league as many Windows ones, as another /. commenter so eloquently put it in the thread about the last OpenSSH vulnerability (before I bastardised it by paraphrasing)...

    "the OpenSSH vulnerabilities were fairly subtle in nature, not like leaving a port open by default that allows you to screw over the users PC or access their files"
  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Sunday October 12, 2003 @08:27PM (#7197171) Homepage

    When you think about updates, think about this: Windows has major updates regularly enough that people find the automatic update feature useful. Linux gets major updates that must be installed immediately infrequently enough that automatic updates aren't nearly so useful.

    Example: the OpenSSL updates. Frankly, your average desktop user doesn't need to make them a priority. They're critical mainly for people who run servers which use SSL and are exposed to the public Internet. If you're using a hardware router with NAT, or have a standard desktop install and have enabled the recommended firewall settings on it, the outside world can't get at the ports to begin to exploit the OpenSSL bug.

    As for deploying to a hundred million users, news flash: Unix admins were doing large-scale whole-enterprise rollouts back when MS's idea of a GUI was DOSSHELL. Of course we also figured out the right way to do it: have the applications installed centrally, so we could update them just once and have everyone pick up the changes automatically, and either run them centrally on large servers or make them available via network filesystems when people needed to run them locally. We also invented rdist and rsync to handle the cases where we couldn't install locally. The main reason Windows can't do the same is all the software that assumed it can blithely install device drivers and system DLLs and scribble on the system parts of the registry with impunity. Software that obeys MS's rules and will run as an ordinary, non-administrative user on WinXP should be quite amenable to centralized installation and maintenance.

    NB: Unix people don't "get" the whole remote administration thing for similar reasons. We look at Unix, where there's little distinction between local and remote administration and you can administer a box on the other side of the Atlantic easily using the same tools you use to administer the box on your desktop, and wonder why, with 25 years of this behind us, anyone would deliberately break system design so badly that you'd need special tools for remote administration?

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