Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Open Source is 'Not Reliable or Dependable' 504

Posted by Zonk
from the beg-to-differ dept.
Exter-C writes "News.com is reporting that Jonathan Murray, the vice president and chief technology officer of Microsoft Europe has made claims that 'some people want to use community-based software, and they get value out of sharing with other people in the community. Other people want the reliability and the dependability that comes from a commercial software model.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Open Source is 'Not Reliable or Dependable'

Comments Filter:
  • *boggle* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akardam (186995) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:30PM (#15366333)
    Microsoft is one to make claims of reliability and dependability.
    • Re:*boggle* (Score:5, Funny)

      by Dr. Evil (3501) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:35PM (#15366395)

      We can rely that there will be security updates and we can depend upon them utterly.

      So it's a reliable and dependable model.

      • Re:*boggle* (Score:2, Funny)

        by theNetImp (190602)
        We can also rely on there being security holes that will allow all kinds of nasty worms and viruses into my system. So in that sense M$ is quite reliable. ;-)
      • Re:*boggle* (Score:3, Insightful)

        "We can rely that there will be security updates and we can depend upon them utterly."

        More like "we can rely that there will eventually be security updates for most security holes and that we can usually depend upon them". It often takes Microsoft a ridiculous amount of time to fix flaws.
    • Re:*boggle* (Score:3, Informative)

      by niiler (716140)
      Hmmm...Since I moved to using completely free/libre open source software 4 years ago, the number of system crashes I've experienced can be counted on one hand, I have not needed to waste resources with a virus checker, and yet I've somehow still managed. I've not experienced this "unreliability" that is mentioned for nearly four years. But this is just my personal experience.

      I'm sure that users of many non-free, proprietary software systems experience similar reliability. However, most of my friends an

      • Re:*boggle* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mausmalone (594185) on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:04PM (#15366694) Homepage Journal
        Since switching to Win XP from Windows 2000 during RC1, I've experienced a few crashes due to some bad ram, but beyond that it's been steady as a rock. Also, I haven't needed to waste resources with a virus checker because I know how not to get viruses. A good firewall goes a long way.

        Here's the question you have to ask yourself, though... will your friends and relatives who don't use OSS and who have crashes & viruses actually do better with OSS and a fresh install of Linux? Or would their problems be fixed with a fresh install of Windows, a good firewall, and the abolition of Internet Explorer?

        I think that if most Windows users just used to use Windows in a safe way (and read the fucking dialog boxes that came up instead of reflexively clicking "OK" to everything), a lot of the "unreliable" and "virus-laden" views of it would start to dissipate.

        While I know that Linux and OSS can be very secure and stable, Windows can be also. If people put the time into Windows that Linux-users put into Linux/OSS (by way of customization, and finding apps and drivers), they'd have a much more reliable machine (than their current Windows install ... I have no desire to compare Windows and Linux). The biggest unreliability with Windows is the stupid things that users do.
        • Re:*boggle* (Score:4, Interesting)

          by rthille (8526) <web-slashdot.rangat@org> on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:14PM (#15366783) Homepage Journal
          You recommend abolishing IE, but what other commercial web browser is there for Windows? I guess there is Opera, though I don't think it has much mind-share...
          • Re:*boggle* (Score:4, Insightful)

            by ncc74656 (45571) * <scott@alfter.us> on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:34PM (#15366975) Homepage Journal
            You recommend abolishing IE, but what other commercial web browser is there for Windows?

            Why does your browser have to be a closed-source product? Last time I checked, Firefox runs pretty nicely on Windows. If anything, open-source apps running on Windows can serve as a bridge to eventually running open-source apps on something other than Windows. If a file created under (for instance) OpenOffice on Windows opens without issue under OpenOffice on Linux, that's one less impediment to eventually switching away from Windows.

        • Re:*boggle* (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Moofie (22272)
          "The biggest unreliability with Windows is the stupid things that users do."

          The biggest unreliability with Windows is the reliance on users not doing stupid things in order to stay reliable.

          That's a dumb thing to rely on. ASSUME the user is going to do unwise things, and design around that assumption.
        • Re:*boggle* (Score:3, Insightful)

          by vux984 (928602)
          Here's the question you have to ask yourself, though... will your friends and relatives who don't use OSS and who have crashes & viruses actually do better with OSS and a fresh install of Linux? Or would their problems be fixed with a fresh install of Windows, a good firewall, and the abolition of Internet Explorer?

          That would help. However, sooner or later they are going to open an attachment, or download something dumb off the web or via p2p. A good firewall (2 way) will help, and abolishing IE will he
        • Re:*boggle* (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Cal Paterson (881180)
          Since switching to Win XP from Windows 2000 during RC1, I've experienced a few crashes due to some bad ram, but beyond that it's been steady as a rock. Also, I haven't needed to waste resources with a virus checker because I know how not to get viruses. A good firewall goes a long way.

          Right, you've not had any problems with MS software. Now think that perhaps computers are used as more than as desktop machines. Now think that perhaps MS sucks at that.

          While I know that Linux and OSS can be very secure
        • Re:*boggle* (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mistshadow2k4 (748958)

          "The biggest unreliability with Windows is the stupid things that users do."

          Knowing how ignorant of computers the average user is, I would have believed you, but there are two reasons I don't. One is experience with Windows myself. No matter how well you secure it -- limited user privileges, behind a router, use ZA, Avast!, WinPatrol and PeerGuardian -- something will happen to it. And limited user privileges is not the answer to security problems anyway. There are too many programs that require admin ac

        • Re:*boggle* (Score:3, Informative)

          by killjoe (766577)
          The problem is that people who run windows run the whole MS "stack". They run IE, office, outlook etc. In fact most corporations will not even allow you to load non MS software on your machine.

          Just today you had the zero day word virus going around for example.

          If you loaded linux (or switched to a mac) you would be much better off because your entire stack gets to be different.
        • Re:*boggle* (Score:3, Insightful)

          by orasio (188021)

          While I know that Linux and OSS can be very secure and stable, Windows can be also. If people put the time into Windows that Linux-users put into Linux/OSS (by way of customization, and finding apps and drivers), they'd have a much more reliable machine (than their current Windows install ... I have no desire to compare Windows and Linux). The biggest unreliability with Windows is the stupid things that users do.


          I used mswindows for years. from 3.0 to 2000, and now I even use winXP at work.
          Other than that,
    • Ah, yes. Perfect timing as I spent the better part of the morning fixing up about a dozen machines that had a certain application break as the result of a Windows update.

      Thanks for that reliability and dependability.
    • No Kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Greyfox (87712) on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:44PM (#15367076) Homepage Journal
      I maintain a program that runs builds on pretty much all the commercial UNIX and Windows platforms ever. I have a minion who devotes a couple of hours a day to unsticking and requesting reboots on Windows systems that have gone down during the night. The Win64 machines are particularly bad -- one or two of our 6 machine clusters BSOD daily. It's random as to which one goes, but we've run memory testing on all those machines and they check out fine.

      UNIX machines, including 32 and 64 bit versions of Linux go down infrequently enough that I investigate personally when it happens. We've had two hardware-related cases of UNIX machines becoming unresponsive to telnet and ssh requests in the past 6 months or so.

      Reliability. Hah. Like how Outlook likes to remind me 7 hours after a meeting that I'm 7 hours late for the meeting. It couldn't be bothered to let me know before the meeting, mind you. That would be too convenient.

      Microsoft has no clue what reliablity means. Some marketroid in Microsoft shouldn't be shooting his mouth off about how reliable their software is, when he's obviously never used reliable software. I'd like to address the following personally to the pencil pusher Jonathan Murray: "Shut the fuck up and go back to trying to convince companies to drink your company's poison kool aid. I dream of the day when your products are so marginalized that I never have to use them ever again."

  • Automatize please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:31PM (#15366341)
    Could we simply auto-tag all stories containing "Jonathan Murray said" as "fud"? It would save a lot of work and I doubt we'll get too many false positives.
  • Nice FUDdy title (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xtracto (837672) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:31PM (#15366343) Journal
    how did slashdot editors managed to understand "ther people want the reliability and the dependability that comes from a commercial software model.'"" to "OpenSource is unreliable".

    Hey, sometimes Open Source does it right, someties people preffer other ways. If THERE ARE companies that sell CLOSED software and services and their services al GREAT, yes this is FUD, but this time it is the editors the ones that are throwing it.

    BURN KARMA BUUUUURN!!
    • how did slashdot editors managed to understand "ther people want the reliability and the dependability that comes from a commercial software model.'"" to "OpenSource is unreliable".

      follow the link... and read the title of the linked article... oh ye of little faith... ;)

    • RTFT (Score:3, Informative)

      by mechanosm (892714)
      That's the title of the article at news.com.com.com.com. Perhaps you can address your question to the editors there.
    • Read the full quote from the article. Murray did indeed say that "commercial" software was more reliable than OSS (which doesn't make sense, since software can be both). According to him, the reason people use OSS is because it gives them a nice warm feeling from sharing.

      He's presenting a false choice, trying to convince people that they can't have both dependability and openness at the same time. That is FUD.
      • He's presenting a false choice, trying to convince people that they can't have both dependability and openness at the same time. That is FUD.

        What's even more interesting is that most of us in the know choose FOSS because it is more dependable.

        There is often a tradeoff, but I've always seen it as FOSS being reliable and solid, but sometimes short on features compared to commercial software, which has lots of glitz and flashy GUIs, but is more likely to break.

        I wonder if this is some sort of preemptive

    • by kfg (145172)
      . . .how did slashdot editors managed to understand "ther people want the reliability and the dependability that comes from a commercial software model.'"" to "OpenSource is unreliable".

      Because they understand that that's the way the statement was meant to be understood?

      Either that or they just cut and pasted.

      KFG
    • Re:Nice FUDdy title (Score:2, Informative)

      by rs232 (849320)
      `how did slashdot editors managed to understand "ther people want the reliability and the dependability that comes from a commercial software model.'"" to "OpenSource is unreliable"'

      Because in an interview with the BBC a Microsoft 'technology` officer stated:

      01. Some people go with commercial software because it is reliable and dependable.

      02. Some people go with Open Source software because of its collaborative nature.

      By linking the two statements in the same sentence, he misleadingly implied
    • Yes, the basic gist of what he said is enough to send coffee and coke up millions of readers noses worldwide... but look carefully at that statement. There's some more subtle twisting there, that might just slip by under your radar, especially if you're busy trying to breathe or looking for something to clean up the keyboard.

      He contrasts free software, not with *proprietary* software, but with *commercial* software. This is also completely off the mark - most free software *is* commercial after all. What Mi
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:31PM (#15366344)
    And really now, what did you expect him to say? Our model sucks, and please, let me now genuflect in the hotbed of OSS dev?

    It's like asking Steve Ballmer to take estrogen.
  • by telbij (465356)
    LMAO

    What more can you do in the face of such irony?
  • by DaveM753 (844913) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:32PM (#15366346) Homepage
    I would have replied to this sooner, but Windows keeps crashing.
  • *shrug* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stlhawkeye (868951) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:32PM (#15366362) Homepage Journal
    I don't think it's any more reliable or dependable than any other development paradigm. The difference is that instead of paying somebody for unreliable and undependable software, I can get it for free from open source. Firefox crashes more often, on every environment on which I run it (4 different OS's) than any other application I have. The difference is, I didn't have to pay for it.
    • Re:*shrug* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arker (91948) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:39PM (#15366437) Homepage
      Another difference is that you can, if you wish, actually help make it stable!

      Well, in firefox's case that would probably mean forking it since the development team has a chronic case of featuritis, but again, you can do that if it's important enough to you.

      There are some definite advantages in terms of reliability and security to the free software model, but that doesn't mean all free software is going to be more reliable or more secure than all proprietary software - far from it. Free software, however, does allow users to become involved and part of the process, rather than condemning them to exist only as passive 'consumers.' And it does respond to their needs, rather than to the desires of the marketing department.

      IE is much better coded than firefox - and firefox therefore crashes more often. Yet, despite that advantage, IE is much less *secure.* And that's what you get when marketing determines the program specifications...
    • More FUD.

      It's not about "free beer".

      The devemopment model of FOSS has been shown time and again to produce better quality software that is more reliable and is updated more quickly than closed source.

      Microsoft is the prime example of a closed source company that produces buggy software and is slow to fix the bug. In contrast, look at the Apache or Mozilla software which is more reliable and more responsive than the Microsoft competing products.

      BTW, I don't know what you are doing to your systems, but

  • SourceSafe vs CVS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:33PM (#15366366) Homepage
    I bet to differ Microsoft. Why would I use SourceSafe, which is slow (checking out takes a very long time), unreliable (corrupts itself regularly) and costs money when I can use CVS which is fast, reliable and is free?
    • Because you can DEPEND on it trashing your files RELIABLY.
    • by hyfe (641811) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:49PM (#15366540)
      Comparing SourceSafe with CVS is like comparing MS Office with Emacs ...

      .. it's inheretly flawed because anybody remotely sane will recognize that SVN and VIM are superiour products.

    • re parent post:

      s/cvs/Subversion/ig
  • move along... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by muszek (882567) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:33PM (#15366371) Homepage
    MS claims that F/OSS sucks. Where's the news? Why does everything those fuckheads say have to make it to news sites? It's just the same as mainstream media and politicians - those morons don't have anything to say that's worth listening to, yet they're taking up to 90% of daily news.
  • Strange... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by biglig2 (89374) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:33PM (#15366373) Homepage Journal
    ...I mean, why are they so freaked out by Google? Since their entire infrastructure is based around software that isn't reliable or dependable, they can't possibly grow to any size.
  • "Cars are not reliable or dependable"

    "Airplanes tend to crash into buildings"

    "Musicians do drugs"
     
    .... How could this article be defined as anything but FUD? Stereotyping an entire class of software as 'unreliable' is just dumb. Go FUD, go!! Let's keep trying to fool the fools, that'll keep them buying our stuff for longer.
  • NEWSFLASH! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:34PM (#15366380)
    Microsoft Executive will try to talk you into buying commercial software! GASP!

    Well... actually, he said "commercial", so perhaps he's suggesting Mac OSX:) Perhaps he can clarify if he's trolling for his own company's software or if he means all commercial software. In which case he's not a marketing troll, but an idiot using a blanket statement who clearly doesn't care about the issue as he should be aware that Microsoft has used Open Source components in it's own OS - (TCP/IP stack?) - whereas they could have used a "superior" commercial solution.
  • Trollgasm! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaestroSartori (146297) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:35PM (#15366393) Homepage
    The guy says nothing about open source, he talks about relying on community support or going with commercial support. What's the point of posting this article other than a million angry responses from people who just read the title?
    • ...say anything about support, he talks about "community-based software" (not "community support") versus the "commercial software model" (not "commercial support"). Now, its quite possible he is trying to conflate things and leverage the very real benefits to many companies of purchasing commercial support (which you can get for many open source software packages) and portray it as a benefit of the software development model, as part of Microsoft's ongoing effort to spread FUD about OSS that competes with
  • Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RT Alec (608475) <alec AT slashdot DOT chuckle DOT com> on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:35PM (#15366396) Homepage Journal
    Why is this tagged "Linux"? Shouldn't it be tagged "IT"?
  • ...so he certainly knows about things that are not reliable or dependable.
  • MicroJerk! (Score:4, Funny)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:37PM (#15366417)
    First Microsoft flirts with Open Source [slashdot.org] saying it's 'maturing and more commercial,' and now they say it is not 'reliable or dependable.'

    I think they are just badmouthing them because Open Source won't let Microsoft go all the way on the first date.
  • by mytec (686565) * on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:39PM (#15366434) Journal

    Hearing this out of MS reminds me of the quote: "We're seeing crazy uptime numbers now, like three months, six months. I fully expect we'll see a year of uptime when Windows Server 2003 is finished," said Jeff Stucky*. So uptimes, for MS's latest and greatest, that are far short of what *nix administrators experience, are a demonstration of MS's commercial stability? Does the other side of the pond experience MS in a different way?

    That said, there are plenty of 3rd party applications that run well and are commercial. It's just Windows itself that doesn't run well. Some development groups are more focused on quality than others on both sides of the fence. I run a large number of commercial applications on Windows that run very well. I couldn't ask for more reliability or dependability. I could of Windows and that is the point.

    *http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/04/25/ballmer _ushers_in_windows/

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:40PM (#15366439)
    Other people want the reliability and the dependability that comes from a commercial software model.
    Certainly, there is commercial, proprietary software that is reliable and dependable. And certainly there is open-source software that isn't. OTOH, there are plenty of cases where the reverse is true, and I, for one, see little in the "commercial" software model, contrasted with the OSS model, that leads to "reliability and dependability" systematically.
  • by monopole (44023) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:40PM (#15366441)
    But our windows based server went down in flames crippling the office for two days. Fixed everything with Knoppix.

    Thank god for reliable, dependable commercial software!
  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:40PM (#15366446) Journal
    So to make an analogy, I should prefer buildings that are built that allow no inspections while being built or even after construction is completed, to buildings that are free to be inspected. Which would you trust to live in?
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:40PM (#15366448) Homepage
    Because, after all, what is "reliable" or "dependable"? By whose standards?

    I just loaded FC5 on a machine cleanly. I then had it do a yum update. Once completed, firefox was unable to start as a regular user. (Root could start it.) Turns out that somehow the ${HOME}/.mozilla directory was chown root.root for some reason. I changed it and all was well again.

    So yeah, it's "imperfect."

    But GOOD-FREAKING-GOD! This is Microsoft claiming this? As if they set the standard for reliability and dependability? All this while their EULA states that their software is not guaranteed to be suitable for any purpose at all. That just OOZES customer-service, reliability and dependability.

    Ridiculous...
    • All this while their EULA states that their software is not guaranteed to be suitable for any purpose at all. That just OOZES customer-service, reliability and dependability.

      No, that just oozes of the US legal climate. I don't think I've seen any piece of software which doesn't contain a huge blob of pure CYA.
  • by advocate_one (662832) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:41PM (#15366456)
    Resource center from News.com sponsors
    Get The Facts on Windows vs. Linux
    Radio Shack Saved Millions

    Radio Shack, with about 5,100 company-owned stores and 1,800 dealer franchise locations learned the facts about Linux.

    Read case study>>
    Click Here!

    * RadioShack Saves Millions of Dollars by Choosing Windows over Linux Read the case study>>
    * Rayovac Choses Windows Over Linux for Lower Cost, Less Risk Read the case study>>
    * Windows Server 2003 found more reliable Learn more>>
    * Get essential information about Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Free download>>
    * Tommy Hilfiger Delivers Full-Scale Online Retail Presence in Less Than Six Months Read the case study>>

    need I say any more? ;)

  • by hey! (33014)
    You have to read the marketing subtext. "reliability" doesn't mean the software is reliable -- at least not in the sense that it consitently behaves the way you'd like it to. It means that it is less risky for you, personally.

    It's the difference between having your Linux based mail servers slammed with malware and having your exchange servers slammed with malware. In the first case you made a individual decision, so you're repsonsible. In the second case you made the same decision as practically every
  • by nurhussein (864532) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:44PM (#15366481) Homepage
    Way back in the day... of Windows 95/98/Me, when you had to reboot your box at least once a day/week, when it would lockup for no reason...remember back then when Windows was an unreliable and undependable POS (note to MS apologists : yes, I know Windows doesn't crash that much nowadays etc., but do remember those ancient times when it did).

    You know why that was? That's right. It's because Windows was open source back then. It had to be. Because there's NO WAY it could be otherwise if they used a "commercial software model".
  • gcc (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:44PM (#15366484)
    gcc always comes to mind. its free, its opensource and SO much of the world depends on it!

    unreliable? works as well (if not better) than many commercial compilers.

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linvir (970218) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:44PM (#15366489)
    While I'm not an IT expert, so I can't say anything particularly clever, there is one difference even a lowly dickhead such as myself can see.

    When someone stops supporting an Open Source product, it's still available to be updated by the community. When Microsoft decides that it's time for you to buy the latest version of their OS, you have NO FUCKING CHOICE. That's not dependability.

  • This is why only commercial software like windows Vista will ship on time, on schedule, and on budget. With no bug and all the feature one could dream of.

    Ok I am going to stop now. While one could argue this when only looking at a model it certainly dose not hold up better then the commercial model, at lest the one Microsoft uses.

    While it is true that you do not have some one to bitch to when something goes wrong with the system is that any better then having a company ignore you complaints, or just listen
  • by Goo.cc (687626) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:47PM (#15366527)
    Because after reading the EULA for Windows XP, I would say that Microsoft software is reliable or dependable either.
  • by JohnnyGTO (102952)
    if he was using my wife's "Mobile Winblows" based vx6700 phone. POS is slow, the phone portion freezes up at the most inopportune times, it doesn't work (and the word work is a stretch) with anything but windows programs and did I mention it was a sluggish bloated pig ? Is that the type of corporate software he is referring to?
  • That's why Microsoft just released an open source website called CodePlex [codeplex.com].
  • The company I work at has been struggling with VOIP for years now. They tried a Bell solution but it was far too expensive. They bought a huge 3COM solution but could never get it working correctly. Now they're jumping through hoops trying to get Cisco to work but it's taking about 1000% as long as they planned. When I mentioned Asterix to the head of IS, she said it wasn't even an option because "no company can be held accountable for failure".

    Saying that commercial software is better than open sour
  • Proprietary software is rigid, and doesn't lend itself easily to odd (mis?)uses and configurations. Microsoft is lazy and unresponsive to the market, by their own inaction allowing self-serve and share alike open source to successfully compete with them them in their own markets with only a tiny fraction of the funding. If Microsoft listened and responded to customer demands instead of pissing them off at every chance, and locking down their products to reduce their usefulness, they'd have nothing to worry
  • It is reliable. You can rely on it to propogate viruses, spyware and carry holes that create DDoS across the globe due to it being reliably easy to setup and then not patch. After all, its many iterations are more hole-ridden than any other OS.

    It is reliably the most ubiquitous OS out there. You can reliably buy software for it that will do just about anything you want to do with a computer. Then again, you'll pay for it as it has created a market wherein both the maker (microsoft) and third party de
  • They meet in underground forums with names like DarkMarket.org and theftservices.com


    Imagine an open business of "godfather" being named like "olives of ", but "Cosa Nostra". This never happened, did it?

    Even the existence of darkmarket and theftservices is a joke and slap in the face of the common sense. Catch the person who registered those website and execute him publicly in front of Googleland.

  • ...some people like Russian Roulette.
  • Can someone please explain me the difference between "reliable" and "dependable"? It's a honest question, as I'm not a native English speaker.

    I already looked in the dictionaries included with Tiger. They appear as synonyms in the thesaurus and dependable is defined as "trustworthy and reliable". (And furthermore trustworthy is defined as "able to be relied on as honest and truthful"!)
  • When I bought this company it was a strictly Windows shop. I would have to do some form of repair to a server atleast once a week. After switching to Linux I do my security updates and that's pretty much it. 3 years of trouble free operations vs. less than 1 week. I think my track record is going against that.

    I won't even get into logging issues that leave ALOT to be desired in the MS camp. Not that MS software doesn't have it's uses, I just find it funny that they can say something like this when all
  • Many of the Open Source projects are extremely robust and reliable. Samba, Apache, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Postfix... all examples of very high quality software, at least as good as most commercial software, if not better. The basic system utilities are often overlooked when thinking about open source reliability, but packages like vim and bash and perl are all extremely powerful and incredibly robust. Most stuff that's actually gotten to the point of being a defacto part of Unix is so reliable that you could
  • by Ryan Amos (16972) on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:45PM (#15367090)
    Yeah, this is total open source FUD, but it's not as much nonsense as slashdotters make it out to be.

    The big difference between Open Source and proprietary software is accountability. If you have a problem, who do you turn to? A vendor who you paid a lot of money to for support, or a mailing list that may or may not get back to you? Most businesses won't accept that kind of uncertainty.

    Now, this is not as important for a lot of small/home businesses without an IT department. But once you get into the "medium" size businesses, fuzzy support options are unacceptable, and your IT management has two choices: Hire a bunch of expert Linux gurus to set up a great FOSS environment, or hire a bunch of MCSE monkeys at half the cost and spend the rest on software and support.

    You know the software company is gonna be there in 5 years, and have documented knowledge of your environment, where your IT guru sysadmins may have moved on to other jobs. The training is standardized, so you can expect anyone you hire with an MCSE to be moderately familiar with the environment. It's probably ultimately easier on IT management to go the proprietary software route, because if there is an emergency, there is always a company who can be held directly accountable.

    There is no cut and dry rule for whether or not you should use Open Source. But if your IT operations are not part of your core business, it may ultimately be easier to just pay for support. The reliability of Open Source largely depends on the skill of your administrators, and good admins cost more money than MCSEs and can be hard to replace because sysadmin skillsets vary widely.
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Friday May 19, 2006 @02:46PM (#15367673) Homepage
    Open source, in general (although there are exceptions), isn't reliable or dependable. In fact, I find it utterly amazing that a multi-billion dollar company, which has been specializing in software for more than a decade, can't compete on quality against a rag-tag team of squabbling volunteer code monkeys who can barely manage a release schedule.

    Yes, Microsoft software is that bad.

  • by the_REAL_sam (670858) on Friday May 19, 2006 @04:00PM (#15368265) Journal
    "Open Source" means that the source code is visible to the public.

    Even licen$ed $oftware could be open source.

    It is really quite silly to base generalizations on software's reliability upon whether or not its source code is visible. It's tantamount to saying "green bikes are faster."

    On the other hand, the reason open source software is desirable is that it fosters trust on the part of the user. When I say trust I mean that the user can look into the source code of the software, and verify that it:
    opens no backdoors,
    installs no rootkits,
    does not locally snoop,
    does not locally spy, spam or advertise,
    or leech system resources,
    or delete the user's files,
    or mess with security levels,
    or alter files that it doesn't own,
    or send out a flood of packets /ddos,
    or hack remote systems by means of worm or proxy,
    or open a local port,
    or port scan and relay,
    or be a blockscanner,
    or a wardialer,
    or do any of those other nasty things that we've seen and/or heard of.

    in other words, open source software helps the user to verify that the executable software it compiles will not hack remote systems, and will not hack the local machine, either.

    that's not to say i know anybody that sits down and reads the open source, any more than i know anybody that reads the full license agreement before clicking "i agree". but "trust", that's the theory.

    there's also the creative commons aspect of it, as in "the software engineer you help train to day might be the one you hire tomorrow." if the guts of the software are visible then others can learn and share, and build upon each other, providing the best overall source code.

    i've heard arguments that such a thing opens the door to piracy or software plagerism, risking profit loss. Well. Consider how many HUMAN hours went into writing and re-writing the same code based on some business man's notion of profit. Jesus Christ said that the love of money is the root of all evil.

The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for someone else.

Working...