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Microsoft

Would You Pay $1000 For Windows? 380

markbark writes: "Stan J. Liebowitz, a prof at the U of Texas Management School, has released a screed saying that the world economy could take a $300 billion dollar bite in the ass if Microsoft is broken up. Tales of $2000 computers with Windows costing an additional $1000. The whole 39-page PDF file can be found here . The whole thing was bankrolled by M$ apologists extraordinaire the Association for Competitive Technology and should be taken with an extremely large grain of salt." (More below.)

If you're interested in the anti-breakup point of view, even as devil's advocate, this is a useful place to start. I don't buy all of Liebowitz's assumptions or conclusions, but it's much more informative than most flamewars, and does bring up some nagging ideas about market behavior and legal remedies.

I found interesting, too, his assertion that "[a]t the current time, there appear to be virtually no major desktop applications that have been ported to Linux, including those from such market leaders as Intuit, Symantec, Lotus, Adobe, or Quark." Fewer than I'd like, certainly, but "virtually none" is hard to buy.

It's not unreasonable to suggest that the price of Windows would rise if it was made by a newly-formed separate division of Microsoft, but if the marketplace is truly dynamic, it seems like that change could as well be in the opposite direction. (How much would Liebowitz have predicted Netscape's browser to cost today, given the information available in 1993?)

And for some devil's advocacy the other direction, you might find this Motley Fool article (suggested by sjbe and others) an interesting take on an MS breakup as well.

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Would You Pay $1000 For Windows?

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  • but of course economics is as close to witchcraft as you'll find in the social sciences. You're pretty much right on, though.

    Right now people get Windows at a fairly reasonable price, or at least that's the perception and it's usually hidden in the cost of the computer they picked up at Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. Eventually people will start to notice if when the computer they saw for $1700 two months ago is now $2500. The big question is, will they ask why? If they do, the big retailers are more likely to offer PC's with alternative OS's, especially if their tech dept. can add $100 to install the OS of the customer's choice and maybe even add on extra in classes teaching people how to use their new OS. That's where the money will come from to replace the missing $300 billion or whatever it was. And there's always the possibility that Apple will finally get the hint and drop their hardware prices a bit to induce more people to buy Macs. And what about the people who have considered putting out an OS but didn't because there was no way they could break into the market? This would be a golden opportunity for them, as well.

    I would be ashamed to write such an article under the auspices of academia, especially at a school like Texas which has a good tradition of economic though going back to John R. Commons. Coincidentally, Common's big theory was that ultimately, the courts are the main determination in how the economy acts, no matter what the market "wants" to do.
  • OK, lets face the facts. I'm both a windows user/administrator, and a Linux user. I like things about both OSes. But we have to face the facts. Windows is so popular by the masses because it's _easy_ to use. Its GUI is hands down better than any X windows GUI out there now, or even a year from now. Sure, I get annoyed just as much as the next person when I have to go through all of the wizards(in 2000), and how I can't kill a process when I'm the freakin' domain administrator, but still.

    I'm by far, not a Microsoft basher. I think that they've done some less than kosher things, and some of their product bugs are inexcusable, but the fact of the matter is is that Windows a usable operating system built for the masses...and that's what Microsoft is catering to...the masses.

    To use a quote I heard from a Microsoft speaker: "Think of ordering a pizza for 150 million people. On this pizza you've got to put on certain toppings that some will like and some will not like, but in the end, that pizza's got to be acceptable by everyone that's eating it."

    If you look at it that way, then you can understand their perspective a little bit better.

    Sure, Microsoft has to change some things that they're doing. Raising the cost of the OS to 1 grand would be a change for the worst, but let's face it - if the situation were to pan out that way, Microsoft has to keep bringing in the money, and when you lose 90%+ of your other divisions, you've got to compensate. That's why, in this scenario, I don't think a breakup would be a wise decision. Present another situation, and I might change that stance.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I live in Canada. Let's say I want to run my small business on NT server. Maybe I have 1 or 2 workstations, or maybe as many as five.

    MS Windows NT 4.0 SERVER 5 users / 10 users $995/$1280
    MS Windows NT 4.0 Workstation $190 each

    Well let's get with the new Millenium shall we?

    MS Windows2000 Server full ver. on cd $1065 (doesn't say how many user licenses)
    MS Windows2000 Pro full ver. on cd $195

    Windows already costs a grand. Also, compare 2000 to NT4, the cost increases, and Microsoft says it has lowered the cost of a PC.

    check the prices yourself [www.atic.ca], its in Vancouver BC Canada.

  • Please give examples of any actual "Microsoft Innovation" that doesn't involve buying other companies.
    The Boycott Microsoft [vcnet.com] page has some examples of MS innovations at their MS "Hall of Innovation" [vcnet.com] page.

    Pretty much the Paper Clip (the most irritationg part of MS Office) and Microsoft Bob (that was so successful).

    The site is pretty sparse, post articles to them.

  • Ok, I assume (or hope) that you know about the "Interactive Setup" that Mandrake, Redhat, and probably other distros have during boot time, why not just make a little boot script (or chunk it into rc.sysinit) that allows you, if you so choose, to interactively pick which /etc tarball you want to use....

    I could do it in about 15 minutes (if that), so it can't be that hard....
  • For one thing, if you really knew what you were talking about, you would know that the win98 SE upgrade from '98 is not $125. Actually, when it came out, IIRC, the cd was free except $5 s/h.

    There were two upgrades available.

    One contained just the bug fixes that SE also included. It did not include Internet Connection Sharing or other "New Features". That was the cheap one.

    Upgrading from Win98 to Win98SE has always costed around $90 list.

    Now, you also seem to pretend that everyone who buys a copy of windows will automatically upgrade to the next version, at a retail price.

    That is what Microsoft's revenue model is based on.

    They generally leverage their other products to ensure this, too. You have Windows X and Office Y. Your friend buys Windows X+1 and Office Y+1. Office Y+1 does not work well with Office Y, so you buy Office Y+1. Surprise, Office Y+1 doesn't work well with Windows X, so you also have to upgrade to Windows X+1. Gee, isn't that a surprise.

    You also assume everyone started from windows 3.1 and upgraded.. nope.

    But if you did have a computer since then, and you weren't running DOS all this time, what were you doing? Are you suggesting everyone switched from FreeBSD to WinME? :-)

    Most of the legal copies of windows floating around are bundled with computers, where the suppliers (ala Dell) may pay a small price (for being MS buddies).

    The "small price" is typically about what the Retail Upgrade version costs, or so Microsoft assures us. About $90 each.

    If it was the Full Retail version, it would be about $200 each.
  • It cannot be subverted. It is entirely under the control of its founders; the "members" are merely names on a list that will be used to argue that n concerned people are firmly opposed to the breakup.

    There's no point in joining it, except to give more weight to this prime example of astroturfing.
    --
  • Calm down - microsoft (so far as I know) isn't planning to price windows at $1k. All that's happened is a very pretentious, very simple man has made noises on a website - nothing more. Don't give him the validation he so richly doesn't deserve.

  • by woggo ( 11781 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @06:04PM (#745909) Journal
    Liebowitz relies on the flawed assumption that the "windows standard" is something comforting to consumers, and that without the promise of that standard, that balkanization will ensue. Yeah, I remember when I couldn't run VIC-20 BASIC programs on my TI/99-4A, and I remember when my Amiga couldn't share files with a Mac. However, those were 18 and 15 years ago, respectively.

    PC buyers don't really care about operating systems, except as far as brand loyalty (like the current inane crop of Pepsi and Coke ads in the US try and appeal to). The "average" home PC buyer really wants a web browser, e-mail, and some sort of word processor. A few want games, a few want office applications, and more than a few want some applications which replace accumulating paper (a la Quicken or a PIM). However, no one cares whether it's Microsoft or Mac or a Xerox Alto, as long as it does what they want, is fairly easy to use, and doesn't break at critical times.

    Microsoft's marketing muscle and anti-competitive tactics have increased "brand loyalty" by creating the illusion that other operating environments are somehow incompatible, less functional, or incapable of interoperability with Windows, the "market leader". Therefore, for many PC buyers, liking Microsoft is like liking the popular and unchallenged local sports team -- there's little chance they'll lose, and they never *really* disappoint. There's no compelling reason *to* like them, but it's too much work to be a fan of anyone else. Unfortunately, unlike those scenarios of a couple of decades ago, my computer is powerful enough to run Windows on top of Linux, and run all of my old Amiga software besides. Even without Windows, I can still interoperate passably with windows-using colleagues for most things. (although I do use TeX for all word processing, even musicology papers -- with musical examples)

    It's really telling that devices like the i-opener are wildly successful even though they're nothing close to Windows -- but that really proves that what draws people to computers is applications. Sure, on Windows, I can pay for seven different browsers (or get one that's inextricable from the OS kernel) and five different office suites -- but I only need one of each. Beyond that, even, the "applications" that people want are things like cnn.com, amazon.com, Napster, and e-mail -- and I can get to CNN from my mobile phone as easily as from a Windows box.

    Microsoft is riding on brand loyalty, which they create and enforce with anti-trust actions. Unfortunately, their ride is slowing, because there aren't any compelling features in their products for most users, and there are enough people reverse-engineering MSFT stuff to provide reasonable interoperability from other operating environments. Most people don't need Word to manage bibliographies or outlines -- they don't really need anything more than Works, but they keep Word around to read Word documents....



    ~wog

  • Buying from a company like Dell or Compaq gives the end-user the convenience of one central point for support.

    On the other hand, buying from a company like Compaq gives them the ability to say, "F**k off, you didn't buy Officially Approved Equipment and thus you aren't supported. And since everything from the motherboard to the screws holding the case together won't work in any other computer on Earth, you'll have to buy a whole new machine just to install a f**king CD-ROM drive. Have a nice day, and thank you for choosing Compaq."

    (Based on a real world story. The profanity I added.)
  • by pb ( 1020 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @03:49PM (#745913)
    "market leaders as Intuit, Symantec, Lotus, Adobe, or Quark"

    Intuit:Quicken runs fine on Linux, a la Corel. (if Corel's Office Suite runs under Linux, so does Quicken, it's just not official...)

    Symantec & Lotus: They already sold out, or have been crushed by Microsoft. Much more worrisome.

    Adobe: They dropped all Unix support in Photoshop 3.x, even though the Windows version of Photoshop 3.0 runs just fine on Linux; see Intuit. Besides, we also have The Gimp.

    Quark: Aren't you doing that on a Mac anyhow? Heck, if I had LinuxPPC, I might be able to get that working, too. There are alternatives, too, not that I'd ever want to use, say, Interleaf, but TeX is rather well known; people write books in it.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by MustardMan ( 52102 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @03:50PM (#745917)
    Well that depends, what kind of windows are they? Anderson? Double hung? Tempered glass? Bulletproof? A nice energy efficient bay window for my living room with good double hung side panels that flip down for easy cleaning, I could easily justify spending a grand on.
  • Who is going to take the call when granny needs to install gaim on her new computer and needs root access?

    Who is going to take the call when granny's machine has ate itself and bluescreened? Or perhaps when the registry has bitrotted? In your example, someone could telnet in and install GAIM for her. In mine, it would most likely require her to take the machine in for maintainance if it wasn't something trivial.

    Windows is EXCELLENT for newbies and that is why it is sold with almost all computers today.

    Oh God, no. Windows is not good for newbies at all. I have worked as a technician at a couple of OEMs, and I can say with experience that there are a lot of people who have made an art out of fscking up Windows. If user-friendliness was the only reason for Windows' dominance, BeOS would be dominant now--or hell, even MacOS. Those two are OS's I would put my mom on.

  • For those that care (which seems to be precious few people, here, but oh well), a *much* better piece of literature that is not neccessarily Pro-Microsoft, but definitely Anti-Antitrust, is Trust on Trial: How the Microsoft Case is Reframing the Rules of Competition [amazon.com] by Richard B. McKenzie.

    Mr. McKenzie is a third-party economist with no interest in Microsoft other than economically (as in, the book was not funded by MS nor MS supporters, and he is not on their payroll in even the subtlest of ways). Yet, the books describes many contradictions in the DoJ's case, as well as describing the economic situation the software industry is in today. A very interesting read, as long as you keep a half-open mind.

    For those of you that just brush this off as more Pro-MS FUD, I feel sorry for you. The book is a jewel of economic investigation, and sheds much needed light on the entire antitrust process, as well as the actual goals of the DoJ in this case (hint: Their goal isn't helping consumers).

    A very good read. Too bad I didn't post this earlier.

  • If Linux desktops become good enough to replace Windows desktops, we could see Windows driven into the "niche" category. In that case, a $1000 price tag would not be unrealistic at all.

    I don't have any hard data, but I believe I have heard of other cases where Free Software has a dominating market share, and if you want some obscure feature that the free version doesn't have, you are driven to pay a high price for something that satisfies your particular need.

    The analogy that I always like to use is the public school analogy (software under the GPL is much like a public work). In the US, public schools provide free education for everybody, but it's not always the best education. Those who want a better education for their children often pay thousands of dollars per year for private schooling, even though their taxes also support the public school.

    In the future, the masses run klutzy X-desktops; and the wealthy pay a premium to continue running their favorite apps on state-of- the-art hardware. It could happen.

  • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @05:19PM (#745925) Homepage Journal
    You have to realize that linux has a weak point ... it is NOT 100% POSIX compliant ...

    Um, neither is Windows NT.

    Next, please?
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @05:21PM (#745932)
    Hey.. didn't Slashdot run an article not too long ago about eBay cracking down on Microsoft products being sold through their site?

    --

  • so how much professor Leibowitz charges for his academic integrity?
  • by Frater 219 ( 1455 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @05:22PM (#745937) Journal
    Symantec & Lotus: They already sold out, or have been crushed by Microsoft. Much more worrisome.
    Of course Symantec wouldn't port their products to Linux. Most of Symantec's products would be completely unnecessary under Linux. Symantec's products page [symantec.com] presently lists 17 software products, of which three serve solely to fix Windows or MacOS design flaws, eight serve purposes already well-served by existing free software, and two serve political purposes not in tune with many or most users of Linux-based OSes. I count only three as potential Linux-based products.

    The following Symantec products serve to correct or work around design flaws of Windows/DOS or MacOS:

    • Norton AntiVirus -- While viruses running under Linux have been created as experiments, the Linux platform does not suffer from the promiscuous vulnerability to machine-code viruses of unprotected platforms. Nor do Linux's popular applications suffer from unprotected scripting systems vulnerable to viruses.
    • Norton CleanSweep -- Almost all Linux-based OSes use package-management systems such as dpkg and rpm, which permit the clean uninstallation of programs.
    • Norton Speed Disk -- ext2fs, the current standard filesystem for Linux, does not suffer from the severe fragmentation problems of FAT, nor from the somewhat lesser but noticeable ones of FAT's successors and MacOS's HFS.

    The following Symantec products serve purposes already filled by existing free software:

    • Mail Gear -- The foremost mail daemons for Linux (such as sendmail, postfix, and qmail) already support the filtration of mail. Users can use procmail recipes or other tools to accomplish the task at their level.
    • Norton Ghost -- Virtually every Linux-based OS ships with backup/recovery and disk-imaging tools such as dump, tar, and dd. There are even X-based versions such as guiTAR available.
    • Norton Internet Security (firewall portion) -- Firewall capability is built into the Linux kernel. Several popular free packages exist to do rule-based intrusion detection, such as snort [snort.org].
    • Norton Utilities -- Though ext2fs is more robust than FAT or HFS, it can suffer from disk hosement in certain situations (such as loss of power); in these cases, Linux already has fsck. (Norton Utilities also contains tools that belong in the previous category, such as software to prevent program crashes from bringing down the whole OS.)
    • pcAnywhere -- Linux has ssh [openssh.com] and X [xfree86.org] for secure remote login and display.
    • Procomm Plus -- The last thing Linux needs is another terminal emulator.
    • Retriever -- Port-scanning software is hardly anything new to Unix; for network security mapping try SATAN or one of its derivatives such as SAINT.
    • WinFax PRO -- The Hylafax system supports the sending and receiving of faxes under Linux (and other Unices) as well as network-based faxing.

    The following Symantec products serve political purposes not in tune with many or most Linux users; specifically, they are parental or office censorware:

    • I-Gear
    • Norton Internet Security (censorware portion)
    (The functionality of censorware may be duplicated with free software, so these could perhaps be put in the previous category; however, due to the general opinion of censorware as Bad And Wrong [i.e. unethical on principle and furthermore broken in its implementations] among the Linux community, they belong in their own category.)

    The following Symantec products are potentially useful under a Linux-based OS:

    • Expert -- From the blurb [symantec.com], this sounds like an attempt at implementing Bruce Schneier's model of analyzing security as a business risk. (I am not convinced that Schneier is right, nor do I claim that Symantec Expert is a good implementation of his ideas ... but that's another story.)
    • Mobile Essentials -- While one could well keep several versions of /etc in tarballs and untar the right one for each location, I imagine laptop users would like a clean way to switch from one set of settings to another.
    • TalkWorks PRO -- The last time I looked into the matter, there didn't seem to be any reasonably advanced voice-mail or answering-machine packages for Linux.

    (Mobile WinFax is not counted as it runs on the PalmOS, not a conventional OS. Norton SystemWorks is not counted because it is a bundle of several packages listed above.)

    In short, it is not to be taken as a surprise that Symantec, and other "utility software" companies, see themselves as not having anything to offer the Linux community -- they don't.

  • I've only read some of Dr. Liebowitz's work. However, I have also met him personally, and talked with him at some length. My conclusions:

    1. If he is a shill for MS, he hides it very well. (Translation: I don't think he is one.)

    2. He has done a *lot* of solid empirical research in business economics. He's a scientist, not an advocate.

    3. His current work on MS is not easy to dismiss.

    -BBB

  • ol' Billy Boy needs to read up on what happened to IBM...once thought (by the execs anyway) to be infallible, unstoppable, and impenetrable, it took a NASTY hit when reality finally set in. Microsoft doesn't seem understand that even though the vast majority of computers might now be using its operating system and several of its apps, it's by no means immune from normal market pressures. At $1000 a pop, I'm SURE that the market will find a way around it.

    Come on Billy....do it! I DARE you!

  • If Windows were to cost $1000, who would buy it? I mean, seriously. They have to meet demand.. and *especially* if they are broken up and their stranglehold is somewhat abated... there WILL be other choices.

    As for 'the world economy taking a 300 billion dollar hit'.. that's meaningless. You cannot judge the effect of something purely on economic numbers.
  • Whatever my sympathies though, Linux is not a user friendly OS.

    Problem is "user fiendly" is a term which is thrown arround so much it's almost meaningless.

    It's getting better, yes, but it's far from there. Most of the time you can't simply pop in a cd or double click an icon and have a program install on the first try with obvious icons and easy to understand instructions for its features...

    That may be fine on a HOME machine. On a machine in education or a company, the end user being able to easily install programs from either removable media or the internet is an expensive disaster. Either the sysadmin has to spend time cleaning up afterwards or a lot of time and effort to stop users being able to do this.
  • The USDoJ's current plan is to split M$ into two parts: an OS company and an applications company. As I have stated before, the OS company _will still have a monopoly_.

    Monopolies are not illegal.

    Abusing monopoly power is. Microsoft got in trouble because they used their OS monopoly to leverage their other products. (The case started with Internet Exploiter, but many other examples were uncovered.)

    By splitting the OS division off into a separate company, they can no longer use each other to control the industry.

    Problem -- abuse of monopoly power -- solved.

    Make sense now?
  • I agree with you r-jae - this is by far the stupidest analysis I have ever had the displeasure of reading. This professor should consider another line of work.

    I will respond to this long paper with an equally short response:

    1) Competition, assuming there is any, always drives prices down. Always has, and always will. All of the incredibly convulted analysis to the contrary is pure hogwash and pseudo-economic masturbation.

    2) Competition, inexorably produces better software. Since no one company would have a stranglehold on innovation, consumers will inevitably lead towards the better product assuming no single company, as in the case of Micro$oft, is allowed to crush their enemies through collusion, strong-arm tactics, bullying, marketing propoganda and illegal activity.

    We should all remember the famous last words of Bill Gates, "I don't recall."

    Real Intelligence beats artificial stupidity.

  • IBM puts a lot of stuff out in pre-release. (Even stuff that has no right to go out, even in pre-release, but enough about that - NDR, as you probably expect.).

    They've really changed over the last 10-20 years, since the anti-trust suit. I wouldn't want to work there (I was a contractor there once) but it's interesting to be on the periphery.

    --
  • What's wrong with VNC [att.com]?
  • The windows learning curve is steep if you consider the problems associated with the OS itself, hardware problems, drivers, etc.

    The Windows learning curve is such that it appears "easy to use" at first, there are some things which are actually easy (assuming it all works), but it soon gets to the point of being difficult to work out how to do things. Effectivly Windows is a very ugly (and unfriendly) OS with a thin covering to hide all the uglyness.
    The unix learning curve is such that the user is expected to have some idea what they are doing before they start, but once they know the basics it's reasonably easy to understand more complex things.
  • If I'm right the argument is

    "Microsoft would increase the price of Windows until people stopped buying computers"

    with the optimal profit point being $1000 for a copy of Windows - raising the cost of a $2000 PC to $3000.

    Does anyone other than me think that Apple Mac sales will go up here?
  • Plug-and-play is in the OS and installer, not the GUI - and for an awful lot of hardware, Linux is there. And as far as I'm concerned, most of the GUI is there, too. Some things are missing, and I wouldn't turn my Mom loose on KDE without allocating a day or 2 of my time to get her going,

    Indeed some things, like attempting to emulate the sysadmin features of the Windows control panel might be better either out of KDE or restricted to root logins be default.
    Also things such as browser proxy settings badly need a global setting and not infrequently keeping well away from the end user. Especially users familiar with Windows, who are used to fiddling with all sorts of things.
  • Well that depends, what kind of windows are they? Anderson? Double hung? Tempered glass? Bulletproof? [...]

    Will double hung tempered bulletproof glass keep Windows away from my Linux box? If so, I want some!

    Tell a man that there are 400 billion stars and he'll believe you. Say a bench has wet paint and he has to touch it.

    Tell the man there are 400 billion molecules of wet paint on the bench.

  • by Dreamweaver ( 36364 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @05:31PM (#745974)
    My point is that people on slashdot have this weird, pavlovian reaction to the word Microsoft.. hence my post's title.

    But on the tangential note you've brought us to about what people should do if they don't have windows as an option anymore.. just what is it that you're suggesting here? If they don't use linux they should use macOS?

    Assuming MacOS X runs as well as it supposedly does and that it can be made to run on a pc, what happens when all the former windows users go out and pick up MacOS for their new computers? Sure, some would probably go for linux instead, but that still leaves you with a large majority of the computer using population using MacOS.. So I suppose that monopolies are okay, just so long as theyre based on a BSD kernel?


    Dreamweaver
  • Yes, you can install redhat 7 in 5 minutes without knowing much about your computer, but do you really think that Grandma wants to learn the directory structure, or that Joe will be awed by the power of the command line?

    Does Grandma know what C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS\AIC78XX.MPD is for?

    Does Joe know what DOS command and switches to use to copy a directory branch to another location while preserving file attributes but excluding empty directories?

    Just because a product contains a feature that some people are not interested in does not mean the entire product is useless.

    ... they want to ... have a bright and cheery GUI with nice big buttons staring back at them.

    GNOME. KDE.
  • > Anyone who has been using Windows since version 3.1 (the earliest version at which the product was anything more than
    > a joke) then they have, by now, paid between $250 and $500 for the product,

    Hey, I've been using Windows 3.1 up to February of this year, & I never paid a dime to Billy G since it came installed on my computer.

    > if they have been upgrading faithfully.

    Er, like I said, I used Win 3.1 until February of this year. (Been using Linux exclusively since then, except for a day or two when I thought I fried my hard drive & had to revert to my old computer.) Except for being confused about which year it was (which was reflected in the date it returned for a given file), it worked just as well as it ever did.

    Funny to relate, DOS 6.00 did not show a Y2K problem. Once I reset the date due to a BIOS problem, DOS had NO PROBLEM with this being the year 2000.

    I might just wait until next year to exorcise DOS from that hard drive, just to see if DOS 6.00 was truly Y2K compliant.

    ]revealing a possibly fatal weakness[
    Geoff

  • Windows doesn't do you much good without a computer. How much would the software for a DVD player cost you anyway? Don't compare apples to oranges. The oranges will always get jealous.
  • You're entitled to your opinion, but you're mistaken in your analysis. Notes/Domino isn't a "mail product" - it's a database product. It offers mail and messaging functionality, just like it offers phone book functionality, KM functionality, discussion functionality, etc, etc. Everything is just a front end over a rather weak DBMS. Notes has always been like that.

    Now, Notes isn't particularly good at mail (although Exchange is much, much worse). However, if your company bought a Notes system and only uses it for mail, they should, quite frankly, have their heads examined. And so should you.

    There's no way that IBM could have used Domino/Notes as a front-end to WebSphere, so failing to do so is hardly a failure on IBM's part. IBM also uses Notes for a lot of their commercial sites, such as their small business, EPP, and download sites, so there's no lack of confidence at IBM wrt Notes.

    How do I know this? Let's just say I know those sites quite intimately. WebSphere may be the future at IBM, but there's nothing particularly wrong with Notes/Domino.

    --
  • Then a Mac with 2 G4 chips 512MB RAM 12GB HD and OS X will seem cheap. Good...

    What a friggin moron...

    Barring consumer revolt, the only direction prices ever take in a monopoly is UP.

    Except with Linux. 110% of $0.00 is still $0.00...
  • by resistant ( 221968 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @07:00PM (#745991) Homepage Journal

    I just took a look at ebay, and someone is apparently willing to pay at least $380.66 for Windows.

    Some people will pay big bucks for old Nazi souvenirs, too. Not that Microsoft is trying to take over the world, of course. They don't have heavy, sloppy vehicles of war with which to run over opponents and blast the competition to pieces.

    Oh, wait a minute ....

  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @03:52PM (#745998) Journal
    A $2000 computer with Windows costing an additional $1000? How would the software cause the cost of the hardware to rise to $2000?

    Well, maybe due to the past trend of Windows bloat requiring more hardware...but that much more? If it bloats that much more, the additional bugs will make the crashes will happen even more often.

  • by TheReverand ( 95620 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @07:08PM (#746000) Homepage
    You've spent 810$ in something like 10 years? Man that must of kept food off the table.
  • You can tell how desperate Microsoft is when it pulls something like this. I think they must be following Hitler's philosophy that bigger lies are more likely to be believed by the public.

    A thousand dollars a copy? I'm sorry, but Windows isn't a car. It isn't a material product with a cost of manufacture subject to economies of scale. Windows is a successful product, one which generates vast profits for Microsoft. Were it to be spun off into a separate company, the division which had windows would still continue to make money.

    It's like Dennis Miller said, Bill Gates is one persian cat away from being the villian in a James Bond movie.

    Lee Reynolds
  • by Frater 219 ( 1455 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @05:39PM (#746013) Journal
    (Re: rebooting as a troubleshooting tactic under Windows)
    Do keep in mind that the reason we tell people that is, a very large percentage of the time, it fixes the problem. It's an easy thing to do, and often works. If that doesn't fix it, we'll go from there.
    No, it doesn't fix the problem. It works around the problem. It causes the present manifestation of the problem to go away, letting the user go back to his or her work, while the problem itself -- the bug which caused the user's grief -- remains unfixed. Thus, the underlying problem is almost guaranteed to plague the user again.

    It is this sort of phony "tech support" which encourages Windows users to start constructing their elaborate voodoo rituals of self-protection from system bugs -- reboot, stand on one foot, whack the monitor three times on one side, boot into safe mode, reboot, sacrifice a goat, and reinstall. The "just reboot" attitude leads not to computer literacy, but to more ignorance and irrationality.

    If the user is suffering from a Windows bug which causes intermittent failure, be honest with them: "This is a problem we've reported to Microsoft; they've said they'll consider including it in the next Service Pack, due out in six months; until then, you're out of luck -- just save your work twice as often and do more backups." Don't cop out and defend the indefensible with another "Just reboot, it'll go away."

  • Why would anyone want to be 100% Posix compliant? Are you including things like 1003.5 (Ada bindings)? 1003.19 (Fortran 90 bindings)?
  • Whatever my sympathies though, Linux is not a user friendly OS.

    Putting my CS pedant hat on, no OS is "user friendly", because that's not a kernel's job. The UI shell running on top of that OS is another matter altogether. Red Hat or Slackware may not be all that user friendly for the neophyte user, but a TiVo is Linux, and that's mass-market user-friendliness (with the limited functionality that implies).

    --
  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Friday September 29, 2000 @02:28AM (#746033) Homepage
    Windows 95, 95 OSR1, 95 OSR2, 98, 98SE, NT 4 Workstation, NT 4 Server, NT 4 Enterprise, NT 4 Terminal Server, Win2k Professional, Win2k Server, Win2k Advanced Server, Win2k DataCenter, Whistler

    Gaaaa!!! Way too many windoze to support, and it's getting worse every year. I had enough problems migrating people from Win3 to the Win95 std gui, even then some folks still prefer fileman over explorer! Though Office2k runs happily on Win95a, there are plenty of forced tie in upgrades via the network effect. I was royally pissed to find Win95a wouldn't support USB and that only an OEM upgrade version did. Same deal w/ an AMD 400Mhz cpu upgrade - win95a had a timing issue and Msft wasn't interested in fixing it, sorry AMD. Just yesterday I had to send out a memo to one dept with a 'newer' Office version reminding them to 'save as' an older version for a dept with older Office OR ELSE write up exactely what features your using in the new version that justifies spending $300/wrkstn for upgrades. Answer is that few people use any of the advanced features, the 'newer' version dept has what they have because it was purchased later or is a fashion/status symbol. With the market penetration Msft has, constant upgrades IS the Msft business model, even if it's the equivelent of trading in a perfectly good car for a new one with larger fins and rearranged taillights and that sleek, aerodynamic modern look (whoops, reboot).

    Oh, yesterday I got royally pissed at NT4SP5 when a ras process got HUNG and would not terminate (something between WinGate and ras made ras think a port was in use, when you could bring up hyperterm and dial out with no prob!), forcing me to go around and log everyone off to reboot - Usually it is up for months and I leave it alone, serious, but do one thing unusual and it freaks, jeeez.
  • I honestly hope the market gets bitten in the ass for its knee jerk reactions about Microsoft. Microsoft managed to bring computing to the modern person. When Jobs stole the idea of a User Friendly GUI from PARC, he was credited with bringing computers to the common person. Yet macintoshes are no the number 1 computer today. Even if Microsoft were fighting unfairly, certainly such 'innovation' would be the wedge Apple needed to dominate the market. But they made a mistake: they restricted the market to a certain type of hardware. And since Unix/Linux was, and still is, not a viable option for simple users, Microsoft stepped in to fill a niche. They did this well and produced software that was actually pretty good for the common man. Now they face the same fate as William Wallace. It would be insane to assume that the OS could maintain its place in the market, as was the intention, which means something will have to give. I doubt quality will give, as Microsoft has seen a steady decline in quality, so price seems to be the next logical move. MS Apps already cost a lot. Do we want to see the OS rising to those prices, and the Apps gorwing even higher yet? Technological elitism needs to stop. Quit poking your fucking Microsoft voodoo dolls, and work on making a product the dumb, the poor, or the disabled can use effectively. The death of the only widescale simple OS will not make Linux better, nor will it make Apple better. You write the fucking kernel, not Microsoft. You shape the future of Linux. Get your shit together and stop worrying about Microsoft. If your OS is truly better for the common man, then he will overcome his ignorance soon enough.
  • Let's see, did the NT on a server thing a few years back, small company, no special deals ... $700 odd for the base package, another couple of hundred for a few more users ... total came to over a thou, and that's not counting the time wasted on cofiguring the piece of cr@p. After several months of the M$ techies tweaking, the thing still wasn't running anywhere near either the specs or where we needed it. Hired a local Unix type, OS was free, the visit was $250, for less than one hour setup, and the new OS ran everything perfectly.

    The cost of an OS is, in the long run, far less dependent on the sticker on the box, and far more on the hours required to support it.

    For the *nix products, the cost is almost entirely the support. So, do the math: M$ costs way too f$cking much to start with, and has, on average, far higher support costs.

    In answer to your question, I expect to pay the support costs.

    I kinda like both RedHat and Suse, then again, these products are around the US$50 mark (RedHat above, Suse below). Compared to the $200-$400 for Win98/2000, I'd call that a good deal. Not to mention I can load the former two on any number of corporate boxes, with no additional costs, while the M$ stuff cost increases on a per-machine basis.

  • While I am an attorney, this is not legal advice. If you need legal advice contact an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

    But you may take my economics as absolute truth :)

    I read the entire Starr report. I read the entire Findings of Fact. I read the entire Conclusions of Law.

    I could only make it about ten pages into this, even wearing boots (O.K., I'm wearing the pythons today, and I don't want them permanently stained :)

    It is sheer an utter nonsense, the type of lying that is normally done with statistics rather than economics. If this were submitted as a field exam by a graduate student, he would fail . . .

    Start with the "low price strategy" as applied to Windows. Complete rubbish. Yes, MS may have charged less than it might have, but the evidence has shownn--and there are explicit findings in the FoF--that microsoft used its monopoly power to charge nearly double the competitive price for windows. This is the *only* part of a desktop computer whose price has risen rather than decreased over the last 20 years.

    The argument about not pricing high because the OS is a small percentage of the system cost and therefore a large increase in OS price would only be a small increase in system price is similarly specious: microsoft *has* raised the price in this regard. Furthermore, he seems to be willfully ignoring the fact that MS holds a "contestable monopoly"--it *can* be taken away, and this possiblity *limits* how badly microsfot can abuse its power in setting prices (but does *not* eliminate the power).

    Another act of willful ignorance is in the "double marginalization" argument. For this to hold in the manner presented, mere market power by both is not enough--full monopoly power (or at least very close) is needed. However, Office's market power is a dirct consequence of the Windows market power: it comes from bundling both with the system. Break the windows/office tie, and Offfice's market power is drastically reduced.

    While I'm at it, there is further error (or at least misdirection) in classifying windows and office as "complementary" for this purpose--people will buy an OS and office software, but (other than illegal acts which microsoft unconvincingly denies) there is nothing making office any more complementary to windows than star office or word perfect is.

    While I'm at it, he is correct that ms chose a low price strategy for office--actually, the inherited policy from word and excel, which did indeed drive down prices *for the entire market*. MS figured (correctly, as it turns out) that it could make more by selling more copies at a lower price than the $500 typical asking price for a word processor or spreadsheet tat the time (street prices were lower, but ms still came out way ahead). What is ignored is that microsoft reached this strategy prior to having power in that market. [sidenote: this dates to a time when microsoft wrote quality software that was clearly better than most of its competions {Yes, I'm old enough to remember that . . . }].

    hawk, an en economics professor whose opinions aren't for sale to the highest bidder
  • by citizenc ( 60589 ) <cary@glidedesign . c a> on Thursday September 28, 2000 @03:55PM (#746053) Journal
    If you are a user who obtains Windows software by legal means, (such as from a store.. there has to be at least one or two of you left) odds are fairly good that you have paid almost that much already.

    See, Microsoft is a 'lets-make-money-forget-the-customers' company -- they charge for everything, including every piddly little upgrade for Windows. (The Windows 98 -> SE upgrade is almost $90 from EggHead.com .. but all it did was fix bugs.)

    Windows 95 Upgrade (From 3.11) - $125
    Windows 98 Upgrade (From 95) - $125
    Windows 98 SE Upgrade (From 98) - $125

    The FULL versions of these pieces of software are at least twice as much. (At least here in Canada.. granted, our currency is worth slightly more then a pile of donkey shit.)

    Oddly enough, Microsoft sent me a copy of Milennium for free. (I beta tested it for them.) Guess where it is now?

    (Answer to rethorical question: on my coffee table, making sure that wet glasses don't leave moisture rings!)


    ------------
    CitizenC
  • Hell, I'd pay YOU $1000 to NOT use Windows, if I was as rich as Bill Gates.
  • Can you substitante these claims? Specific examples? I can give you one.

    I use on one machine Windows 95, the very very first release. Before OSR1 and OSR2. I also use Office 2000. No problems. None. It will work *identically* on Windows 95, 95 OSR1, 95 OSR2, 98, 98SE, NT 4 Workstation, NT 4 Server, NT 4 Enterprise, NT 4 Terminal Server, Win2k Professional, Win2k Server, Win2k Advanced Server, Win2k DataCenter and I've run it on Whistler BUILD 1194 and 1210. I have never felt any reason or pressure to upgrade to "Windows X+1".

    Futhermore, why cant find anything on MS site, or any MS software retailer about the "two" versions of 98SE? Did you make this up? MS site offered upgrades to SE for $19.95. Thats how much I payed for it at the time. I dont know where you get your numbers and facts.

    Overall though, a good post. Well except for those pesky 'facts'. I hate those, especially when they get in the way of a perfectly good TROLL.

  • Having seen ghost in action, I have to say that it is a godsend for rolling out large numbers of identical workstations. At school, we use it do do a fresh install on every machine in the computer lab at the beginning of each semester.

    It great, being able to do FULL installs of N machines simultaniously. After 15-20 min (PIO mode 4 drives) all the machines have been cloned, and after that, all they need is a reboot, and to be given a unique network name.

    As far as I know, currently, the closest thing to this for Linux is Redhat's kickstart, which just keeps the settings, but requires that each machine get an individual install... doable for 5, hell on 50.


    (yes, I know that there was a post the other day in the multicast software distro thread about somebody working on a Linux ghost proggy, but as of right now, nothing EXISTS)
  • by Hanno ( 11981 ) on Friday September 29, 2000 @02:54AM (#746064) Homepage
    If Microsoft has anything to say about the matter, every Windows user will be forced to pay an annual fee for the privilage.

    Seriously, I would *want* to see an annual fee for software. Just imagine if you could rent a piece of software like that, on an annual or monthly basis:

    • As a customer, I could make a point by cancelling the contract and using a different company's product. I wouldn't have to buy an expensive office suite without being sure that it actually serves my needs.
    • The developers will actually have a reason to fix bugs, streamline the product and honor requests - instead of trying to make flashy upgrades or version updates that try to trick customers into buying it.
    • The developers could be much more relaxed about their user base - as mentioned before, they have "their" users to care about. They can be sure that as long as they keep their users happy, money will come. They don't have to reinvent again and again to find new customers, but can work for their existing customers and still make money.


    I'd think that a "software for rent" system has its advantages.


    ------------------
  • The idea is that the break up will effect other industries. It sure will effect the stock market. I guess the idea is a bit of a domino theory... Microsoft takes a hit, then so will the next tech company that uses M$, and the next, and the next. Soon ALL tech companies will be floundering. So just remember the mantra "THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING".
  • by vsync64 ( 155958 ) <vsync@quadium.net> on Thursday September 28, 2000 @03:59PM (#746069) Homepage
    This guy completely leaves out the possibility (and if he is a MICROS~1 shill, he probably doesn't want to think of it) that if the price of Windows goes up, customers will simply stop buying it. Windows != the computer economy. iMacs are very popular in the mass market recently...
  • Does grandma have to even know she has a windows/system directory? Will joe ever need to even See a DOS prompt?

    No, and that's exactly my point. They don't know or care about such things, so why should they know or care about them in Linux, either?

    Of the few things Windows has going for it is the fact that you can do pretty much anything that would come up in normal use without actually having to know anything about how the system works.

    Linux is pretty much at that point now, if you're running the latest-and-greatest and it has been properly setup.

    Yes, Linux requires proper setup. So does Windows. The thing that really makes Windows "easy" is that it comes pre-loaded on the HP Pavilions at Wal-Mart.

    Most of the time you can't simply pop in a cd or double click an icon and have a program install on the first try with obvious icons and easy to understand instructions for its features...

    The support is there. Most of the time, it doesn't work because it's a Windows disc you just bought. Duh. Software companies tend to focus on the product that has 95% of the market.

    ... but there's really no point in arguing it.

    Then why are you arguing it?
  • >Um... you obviously do not understand how these things work. How do you think Windows got installed on that computer, as a gift
    >from your OEM?

    I meant ``since" in the temporial sense. As in ``_after_ I bought the machine."

    And at least I got install media with it. Nowadays, the best some poor sucker can hope for when you buy a computer with the Windows' license is a CD that will wipe & reinstall the original image of the hard drive.

    Sorry to be unlcear.

    Geoff
  • dvdug wrote:

    Try Posix threads, which Linus and Alan Cox have said will never be Posix compliant because the standard's so broken.

    No, they said the native kernel threading model will never be Posix compliant. They have also expressed interest in supporting a userspace implementation of Posix threads, but only if it doesn't require bad kernel patches.

    ----
  • As a customer, I could make a point by cancelling the contract and using a different company's product. I wouldn't have to buy an expensive office suite without being sure that it actually serves my needs.
    How is this different from your current position, where you could just buy the competitor's product? And, if the product is MS Office, how long will you keep your job after you cancel it? After all, you have to factor in the costs of retraining all of your company's less capable users. You're forgetting about lock-in.
    The developers will actually have a reason to fix bugs, streamline the product and honor requests - instead of trying to make flashy upgrades or version updates that try to trick customers into buying it.
    I do NOT see how this follows. You could just as easily argue that now they would need to have new features every year, instead of just at every product cycle, in order to justify re-upping with their software.

    If they didn't care or understand about quality before, going to a subscription plan isn't going to magically change their developer's corporate culture.

    The developers could be much more relaxed about their user base - as mentioned before, they have "their" users to care about. They can be sure that as long as they keep their users happy, money will come. They don't have to reinvent again and again to find new customers, but can work for their existing customers and still make money.
    Again, I don't see how this follows. If the developers were going to be relaxed and virtuous, they could have done it under the existing pricing scheme. Putting them on a yearly update schedule is going to make things more hectic, not less.

    Lastly, the disruption of upgrade churn is going to be a million times worse with a constant stream of upgrades than with a major upgrade every few years, assuming Microsoft continues to reinvent the wheel with every release, a behavior they seem incapable of breaking themselves from.

    Jon

  • What does it matter what the great unwashed masses think? These are the same people who think professional wrestling is not staged, that supermarket tabloids are good sources of news, that Elvis is alive, that people get abducted by UFOs, and that supernatural beings (angels/demons/ghosts/etc) are real and influence our daily lives.

    Microsoft's (or Gate's) popularity has nothing to do with whether or not they broke the law. That is for the courts to decide. Nor does their market share have any relationship to the quality (or lack thereof) of their products.

    "The axiom 'An honest man has nothing to fear from the police'

  • by hawk ( 1151 )

    Oops, this should have been in there . . .

    For the record, I *am* a hard-core free-market type, and am firmly in the Bork/Posner camp on antitrust law. Indeed, over time the market *will* break the microsoft monopoly without government intervention--but in the meantime, consumers are suffering starggering hands at the hands of the monopoly, and chances at economic growth are being permanently lost.

    hawk
  • No applications from Adobe? How about FrameMaker [adobe.com]?

    -Waldo
  • I really find it hard to believe that Windows will cost $1000. I also find it hard to believe that you think that Linux will actually take over the desktop market. Windows will never cost $1000, it just isn't worth that kind of cash. Everyone knows it.

    I don't find it that hard to believe at all. If M$ got broken up, I can see them using that as an excuse to jack up the price. "The OS uses a larger percentage of our workforce and therefore we have to charge more to stay even." I can totally see something like that happening.

    I'll agree with you though, that I don't think Linux will actually take over the desktop market. Its just not ready yet. But as window managers like KDE or Gnome become easier to use, and the applications fall into place like they have been (albeit slowly), I see potential. Especially if you consider that you'd be able to get a computer for $1000 cheaper, minus the Windows OS. People are cheap, and don't like to spend more than absolutely necessary. Alot of big businesses (at least here in Minnesota) are incorporating Linux networks in addition to thier existing NT. They are switching over, solely due to the existing NT licensing costs. If the license price goes up more, I can guarantee that these companies will completely embrace Linux (or some other free OS).

    If this happens, the trickle down effect will probably make Joe user switch too.

    This is purely speculation on my part, granted, but, here anyway, almost every computer store has about twice the space dedicated to Linux and FreeBSD as they do for M$ OS's (and no, its not because the M$ stuff is always sold out :-)

    If anything, I think a raise in windows prices will force computer distributers to offer a choice in the preinstalled OS... something I'd REALLY like to see happen. I'd chalk just that up to a hard hit against the Borg of Redmond.

  • by mpe ( 36238 ) on Friday September 29, 2000 @03:25AM (#746095)
    Who is going to take the call when granny needs to install gaim on her new computer and needs root access?

    What people keep forgetting is that "granny" is a niece market, indeed to some extent all markets are. One problem with Windows is that it trys to be a "jack of all trades" and manages most things badly. (Saying that it manages being a standalone single user machine the best. Connect it to a LAN or want multiple users and you are soon into headache teritory.)

    Much easier to tell them to stick a CD in the drive, click install, and be done with it.

    Rembering to cross fingers that it will work and that no other application will suddenly start misbehaving.

    Windows is EXCELLENT for newbies

    Except that it is hardly "excellent" in terms of ease of use also it isn't a good idea to give a newbie something which is quite trivial for them to break

    and that is why it is sold with almost all computers today

    Actually the reason that Windows is on virtually all new computers is the result of Microsoft's selling arrangments. i.e. "If you only bundle our product then it costs X per unit, if you don't then it costs Y per unit. Where Y>>X (Assuming we will sell it all)" N.B. this kind of thing is also illegal in many parts of the world.
  • Especially, since there's no denying the greatest allure for corporate IT for the Free OS's is price.

    Actually "cost" probably matters more than purchase price. Being able to alter their software to fit their business (open source), rather than altering their business to fit their software (current situation with Windows) is likely to reduce costs.
  • by Goonie ( 8651 ) <robert.merkelNO@SPAMbenambra.org> on Thursday September 28, 2000 @08:36PM (#746102) Homepage
    The "just reboot" attitude leads not to computer literacy, but to more ignorance and irrationality.

    Precisely. When a computer crashes, there is a problem. It is not caused by cosmic rays. It is not an inevitable consequence of bits rotting. It is almost invariably the result of programmer error (hardware faults are the other possibility, but by comparison are exceedingly rare) and can and should be isolated, located, and fixed. Any other attitude is unprofessional.

  • The windows learning curve is steep if you consider the problems associated with the OS itself, hardware problems, drivers, etc. It isn't exactly a NetPC or a WebTV for that matter. Every non-power user has a power user buddy they call on these frequent times of emergencies.

    You shouldn't be so Linux-centric, if what you say is true there's always the Mac.
  • If the natural price of Windows is $1000 and it turns out that people don't want to pay that much when they know the price in advance, then I guess the product just isn't viable.

    And it's funny that he talks about $300 billion damage to the world economy, but fails to mention that the benefit to the economy is many, many times that, for a humungous net increase.


    ---
  • I know Eazel is proprietary software, but on the other hand we are talking about a switch from Windows because it is going to be ridiculously overpriced, not based on the virtues of Free Software.

    Eazel is supposed to make Linux easy to use for the very people Windows/Mac OS targets, and it will run on top of Linux:

    Eazel [eazel.com]

  • At Dell, for $1669, you can get a PIII-933MHz with a 20GB HD, 128 MB 133MHz SDRAM, 17" M781 monitor, 32 MB NVIDIA TNT2 M64 AGP, 48x CD-ROM, SB 64V, Altec Lansing ACS-340 speaker system, 3C905C ethernet card, Basic Keyboard and Mouse, and a 1 year service policy.

    I call that pretty much top of the line. Sure, you don't get all the snazziest peripherals (Jaz/Zip drive, CD burner, DVD, printer... no printer!!! ack), but that's a nice system.

    Go someplace else online and select components yourself and put it together, and you could get it for closer to $1000-1200. $1700 indeed... moron.

    I don't find $1000 unreasonably low at all!

    Eric
    PS I'm ranting about information pg 7-8 of his "report"
  • One of the things that pains me most about the way MS develops software, is that they are perpetually working on *symptomatic* treatments of the problems in their software, rather than fixing the root causes. This attitude seems to permeate across their entire range of software.

    When your computer is hosed by a virus, MS does not say "ok we'll improve the underlying security model in our next version of Windows", they say "it's your fault for not running an anti-virus and keeping up to date with the latest virus updates". Or, rather than admitting that Outlook has horrible security holes, they throw their hands in the air and say "e-mail viruses that can format your hard disk are just a natural unfortunate result of everyone's desire for everything to be mega-connected" (para-phrasing a quote from an actual MS exec after the ILuvYou mess.) When they write vulnerable software, rather than admitting that they merely couldn't be bothered to improve the security, they just say "well, hackers are at fault here for being such bad people, they should be put in jail". Same for virus writers. So windows has tens of thousands of viruses - Microsoft just says "we should just make it clear that virus writing is bad and that virus writers should be punished." Sort of like always leaving your front door wide open whenever you go anywhere, and then blaming the police for being slack when you get broken into.

    Symantec has a number of "crash-protection" products, purely symptomatic "fixes", for which there would be no market at all had Windows not been so unstable.

    Each new version of Windows seems to have a bunch of new tools to try work around existing problems in Windows - Windows 98 loads background programs to scan the registry in the background, looking for errors, and fixing them whenever the registry corrupts itself. They advertised this as a wonderful new feature of 98, but did anybody ask why the registry is corrupting itself in the first place?

    MS has been making a lot of noise recently also about the wonderful new features of their new package management software: packages (like MS Office) will now automatically detect if system files they require have been corrupted, or have been deleted, and will reinstall them if they have. And yet Joe Public does not know enough to think to ask, "but why are those files getting corrupted in the first place?"

    I'm sick of it, quite frankly. Why are they so afraid of just fixing the underlying causes of these problems? I'm a software developer for Windows, and my machine crashes on average around 1 to 3 times a day (and NO this is not faulty hardware or buggy drivers - this average has been about the same for at least 5 totally different computers I've worked on over the years.) I am so sick of the crashes. I am so sick of spending hours and days finding bugs that turn out to be some basic design flaw in Windows (one recent example, my software just kept totally locking up the machine, as it turned out I had deadlock involving a DirectX surface lock and a sockets "sendto" - both of these seem to grab the monstrous design flaw known as the "Win16mutex" - a single global mutex that can squelch the operating system itself). Don't even get me started on the days and weeks spent trying to figure out the screwed up Microsoft API's, that don't work properly, or where the documentation is just plaing wrong, or are badly designed. Some days I really just feel like quitting my job and finding myself a job doing *nix programming. I love the work we do though, I don't want to do any other type of work (realtime 3d graphics simulators). In South Africa those jobs are almost non-existent.

  • ...when I didn't pay a cent for Windows 2000?

    No, I didn't warez it. I won it at the Microsoft RoadShow, just for attending. I like Winodws 2000, but I would never pay $1000 for a workstation version. As far as Windows ME goes, I think the Windows team went a little too egotistical with that one (get it?!?! Okay, there's the corny nerd humor of the day). Considering that the DOS boot disk is dead, and that every current version of Windows isn't just a GUI overlay for DOS now, the Windows sector might be doomed to repeat the mistakes of other "innovators."

    On a slightly offtopic note, I managed to execute seven windows of Quake3. It took up a whopping 1200780 kilobytes (yes, nearly 1.2 GIGAbytes) of memory (320 MB of that being physical). So THAT will be the absolute limit of my system. Stuff like that is nice to know.

  • The whole article is brain dead, and based on false assumptions. MS has been commiting suicide for decade. They are not the only game in town, they just thought they were.

    People have already stoped buying their bloatware. Sales of Win2k are dismal, because of the OS's internal problems and high costs. If you have not noticed MS prides itself on conducting "business as usual (TM)" regardless of what the federal govenment has to say. Don't forget that the OS on it's own is next to useless, you have to buy hundreds of dollars of CD's to get any real functionality out of the damn thing.

    Without breakup, we might really see a $1,000 OS as MS integrates the entire freaking Office and Visual Nightmare Suite to make it competitive with free software. Sorry, that is just not competive.

    The path of least resistance is flowing away from them. Grandma? Hell, I don't know what goes on inside an MS machine and I never will. It's easier for me to set up any of the Linux distros and I can learn everything if I want.

  • TeX is a typesetting language. Quark XPress is a layout program. They're not the same kind of thing; generally you import typeset documents from Word or TeX or whatever into Quark and then lay 'em out.

    I'd hate to typeset stuff with Quark (in fact, I have had to, and I did hate it) but I don't think that you could do nearly as much compositing with TeX as you can with Quark even if you were really proficient with it.
  • Actually, the reason why Iomega was so eager to help you out with your click-of-death problem was because they faced a class-action lawsuit from customers about it. Turns out that if you had called earlier, Iomega wouldn't have offered to replace the drive.

    How do I know so much about how Iomega sucks? I bought their stock. I recommend you don't do the same.
  • running Mac OS X PB at home. I installed it on Saturday, I haven't rebooted since. Even running my kids' games, MS Office 98, IE, Netscape, OmniWeb Beta, I can't make this fucker crash! (although several minor bugs have manifested). My ancient G3 beige desktop actually goes to sleep and wakes up correctly!

    Really? I've had it crash a few times, and locked the GUI a couple of times (although I was able to telnet in and kill the hung process). And of course Classic blows up every now and then.

    It's definitely very stable overall, though. My biggest complaint is that the user interface sucks ass. It's not very well thought out, and goes against years of user interface research.

    --

  • OK, what about when the solution to the problem is repairing Internet Explorer? (Go to Control Panels, Add/Remove Programs, select Internet Explorer 5.x and Internet Tools, click Add/Remove, select Repair Internet Explorer, click OK.)

    Would you call that working around the problem, or fixing the problem?

    The problem was, Internet Explorer was corrupt, and wasn't displaying pages. The solution was to repair it; it's no longer corrupt.

    The deeper problem is, Windows sucks ass. For this, there is no fix. No, switching to another OS is not an option I can suggest to a customer. Is Microsoft aware of the problem? Sure, that's why they put the Repair feature in there.

    Don't assume that every problem has a real solution. In the world of Windows, that's simply not the case. And the people who call in with problems are usually stuck in the world of Windows.

    --

  • Allow me to introduce my brother, Joe (actually not his real name). To my brother a computer exists for two things, playing games and writing screenplay stuff. (At work, he uses Macs for editing film, but that's another story.) My brother is completely clueless when it comes to PCs (he knows all about running video equipment, lighting, and details of filmaking that I don't, I'm not putting him down.)

    Currently, my brother's computer is sitting in NJ, a useless doorstop. Why? I can't tell, but whatever is wrong with it, he can't fix it. We think a virus may have eaten his hard drive, but we aren't sure. (He's had virus/trojan problems in the past... because of Email attachments his equally clueless friends have sent to him.)

    Actually, my brother currently resents his Windows PC, and wishes he had bought a Mac, which is more popular in his business anyway. He's called me for technical support a few time, and I tried to give him basic advice, such as trying to get in in safe mode and remove recent programs. I also tried the old standby, "Have you tried reinstalling Windows from scratch?" but you know, even though he tried is, he isn't equipped to do it. I helped him add a bunch of new hardware to his computer, such as a DVD ROM drive, and I don't think he will be capable of getting all the various drivers he needs re-installed, even if he hasn't lost the disks in his move.

    So, right now my brother's $1,800 PC is just sitting there, useless. I suggested he take it somewhere to get it fixed, but he's kind of cash-poor right now being an unpaid intern.

    Is this a slam at Windows? Not exactly, though I do hate Micros~1 like poison. No, rather it is the point that, "the clueless PC user who can't even manage to do simple tasks in DOS probably shouldn't have a PC anyway." Really, do you honesly think a Joe or a Grandma can really manage something as complex as a PC? Especially if he or she is going to install new hardware or software without some kind of technical support?

    If my brother had one of those Internet appliances, a simple wordprocessor or electric typewriter, and a game console, he'd be in much better shape.

    PC's are for people who can run them, know someone who can run them, or afford to pay someone to run them. Most people fall into one of these three catagories. Since I accept that a PC is too complex for a clueless user to run without support, it doesn't really matter what OS it runs.

  • I've got an interesting question: is this take supposed to be for Microsoft or against it? It seems to me to be both.

    On one hand you have the Microsoft extremists, who vouch that $1,000 versions of Windows would cripple Microsoft's already breaking-at-the seams-company, although it would be worthwhile; on the other hand you have Linux and open source advocates saying that noone would pay $1,000 for Windows anyway, and it isn't worth that much.

    It seems like a judge ruling for both sides.

  • by dutky ( 20510 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @04:10PM (#746167) Homepage Journal

    Just two points:

    1. Anyone who has been using Windows since version 3.1 (the earliest version at which the product was anything more than a joke) then they have, by now, paid between $250 and $500 for the product, if they have been upgrading faithfully. If they made the jump to Windows NT they are probably verging on that magical $1000 mark by now, if they have not already surpassed it.

      On top of the outright cost, we should probably be counting the costs factored into bundled hardware sales and third party software development, which I couldn't even begin to compute here. I'll just say that I suspect that costs to consumers have been increased, rather than lowered, by the existance of the Microsoft monopoly.

    2. If Microsoft has anything to say about the matter, every Windows user will be forced to pay an annual fee for the privilage. I don't know what the actual fee is likely to be, but I suspect that it would rapidly accumulate into a sizable chunk of change.

      It is exactly the monopoly power that Microsoft wields that will allow them to institute this new pricing scheme.

  • What a sad, pathetic special interest group. Of course, no matter how completely asinine their mission statement [actonline.org] sounds, they have the money to shove whatever they see fit down Washington's throat.

    What happens if we were to all join [actonline.org] up and subvert it from the inside? C'mon everybody, join and start e-mailing them your input. As a concerned member, they have to listen to you ;)

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday September 29, 2000 @08:05AM (#746172) Homepage
    The guy has an interesting point, which can be summarized roughly as follows:

    Microsoft sells their OS for less than they could get for it given their monopoly. Most of the profit comes from the applications. With a breakup, the OS company would have to make money from just the OS, not the applications, and they'd have a monopoly on Windows, so they might raise the price.

    That's not a totally stupid claim. That's what might happen for the first few years after a breakup, until the market share of Windows declined. On the other hand, the guy doesn't mention that Microsoft has about 3x the return on investment of the rest of the desktop software industry.

    He also makes the point that Microsoft's standardization of APIs does have some value. Remember when apps had to have printer drivers? The UNIX community had a terrible time standardizing; POSIX is pretty basic (no GUI) and there's still some Berkeley/AT&T incompatibility. On the other hand, once you've ported to a variant of UNIX, you usually don't have to update as often as you do with Windows. (Ask anybody who writes to Direct-X.)

    It's a very biased article, but not totally dumb.


  • I've pointed out before, in regard to Word, and I will point out again, if you use proprietary software that stores your data in a proprietary format, the vendor of said software owns your data . Now imagine the can of hell-worms you open when you add a monthly subscription to propritary software. Don't pay your software bill, you can't use your data. You are then seriously fux0r3d. Never mind the morass this would create for future archivists.



    Umm. Ok.. Explain Oracle / Sybase then. If you don't pay your anual licensing fee, you database doesn't work anymore.. period. Thankfully they provide data-dumps (in csv's / tsv's).

    The key is that if you can extract your data into another format, then you, as the customer, can freely migrate from platform to platform if you don't like the functionality / services of an existing supplier.

    In things like Quicken (MS Money), Word, etc, it might be hard to completely dump / restore your data into newer formats (csv's, and RTF may not be completely reliable for this).

    That said, an OS is arguably much harder to lease. The average user does not have the resources for which to migrate all of their information from one platform to another.. They don't have ethernet, nor tape backup nor multiple partitions nor most importantly, the know-how.

    Are we going to give Comp USA tons of business by sending lay people to have their OS swapped? Most likely the leasing structure would not work as for the home-user as it would for a business.

    -Michael

  • How is this different from your current position, where you could just buy the competitor's product?


    Well, in a purchase and forget model, the vendor has the responsibilty of looking flashy so people will make the initial purchase.. The concept of bug fixes is really just to avoid tarnishing their name (I don't think that the general public feels the same way we do about Windows.. Do they even know that there are alternatives that are more stable?). When MS pulls something like win98se which is just bug fixes (with a few "extras" for the showroom floor), they can get away with it. In a leasing structure, MS gains nothing by trying to sell you "se", since you pay the same monthly / annual rate. If MS really wanted to innovate, or make their development life easier (or their migration to NT), then they'd do it, and offer the new version of windows, just like a new version of AIM or ICQ.

    In fact, you remove the incentive for them to provide flash and feature-bloat. Most likely, their strategy would have to shift from sell this box with as much marketing hype as possible, to sell a basic service, and charge for additional features. They could treat features as layers of the cake. To get all the really cool features, you'd have to pay the most money. But then a poor college student wouldn't have to spend as much as a yuppee middle class or tech-head who values this stuff more.

    In another posting, I suggested the problems associated with home-users switching to other OS's, so I doubt that MS would fear people terminating their licenses in favor of alternatives.

    But look at this side of the coin. If MS actually offered a minimal cost version of their OS with no bells and whistles (leave it to them to take out the damn calculator), then it opens up a new market of competition for OS services again. If a competitor could offer the same services for less overall cost than the next higher version of Windows, or more importantly with a different bundle of software, then this would prevent MS from only putting the useful features in with useless things, just so they could charge more.

    Of course, MS would probably consider this and continue their crushing of competition (under the familiar mantra of not wanting to confuse the market place with "too many" options).

    -Michael
  • What's the cost of eliminating that annoying bloody paperclip?

    What's the cost of deleting MSN Explorer spam?

    What's the cost of understanding COM?

    What's the cost of integrating with deliberately incompatible protocols?

    etc., etc.

    Jebus! The more I think about it, the more I think life would be so much cheaper without Microsoft.
  • You have to realize that linux has a weak point when it commes to being accepted as a replacement for M$, it is NOT 100% POSIX compliant, hobists and businesses use it but the US gov wont back it until it is compliant and the gov has a lot of power and influence.

    Another thing, why does slashdot think that there are only two sides?(ms and linux) There are many sides and linux may not come out on top. There is a loyal following of BSD, the MAC is still strong despite everyones claims against it, and BeOS is a stable, powerfull OS that might get some development attention if MS were to get cut. QNX has a nice new OS out that is 100% posix compliant and has the beginnings of a nice GUI.

    Microsoft(or one of the parts) would still have quite a bit of controll because of costly upgrades or change overs to other operating systems and data transfers. They would be in need just for compatibiliy with existing data files.
  • Facts that you can easily obtain from the net.

    1. Microsoft product(s) for sale, or use.
    2. Microsoft product functions per product.
    3. Microsoft pricing.
    4. Microsoft ease of use.

    5. Linux product(s) for sale, or use.
    6. Linux product functions per product.
    7. Linux pricing.
    8. Linux ease of use.

    Conclusion:

    Lite analysis of items 1 and 5 shows convergence has occurred.

    Average analysis of items 2, and 6 shows convergence will take at least three years to occur.

    Casual analysis of items 3, and 7 shows that for Linux products that already exist, we are past convergence. It's cheaper to use Linux products than Microsoft products. Bottom liners are beginning to trade brand loyalty for cost savings.

    Hard analysis of items 4, and 8 involves the human element. Not all humans are concerned with brand loyalty. But, all humans are concerned about learning curve requirements. Linux products are just beginning to address this issue. Microsoft appears to have answered this question before windows 98 was obtainable.

    Possible suggestion:

    1. Create a Benjamin Franklin list of Microsoft, and Linux products; both freeware, and non-freeware. What products does Microsoft have that Linux doesn't, and vise versa.

    2. Go on further to identify the functionality of all these products. What functionalities does Microsoft have that Linux doesn't, and vise versa.

    3. Start to fill in the gaps with an explication of what the differences are. And are the differences significant ...


    Why all this non-sense?

    Because Redmond Oregon has started to become like the city of Jericho. A place were things use to happen.
  • Not going to happen. Currently it is possible to build a no-frills but usable computer for under $500. That number is also going down not up. Microsoft will simply not be able to compete in the marketplace if they offer their base OS for much more than their current prices (~$100). The market simply will not spend twice their computers hardware cost for basic software. It is not going to happen. People from this market are already looking seriously at linux because of the money it will allow them to shave off their bottom lines.

    BTW We still have two windows kernels out there, 9x and NT. Microsoft has been claiming that they will fold these together in the future since the release of Win95. Why aren't they? Money. M$ can make lots more by selling an unstable cheap OS (9x) and a stable expensive "server" OS (NT). A large part of the NT market is people who simply want a stable 95. No one would buy NT if the 9x kernel became stable by server standards. Thats ~$200 times the larger number of NT users who would downgrade.

  • I doubt this guy's even a Microsoft apologist. He's just plain stupid. It's obvious he knows nothing about computers whatsoever, as evidenced by the fact that he thinks WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 competed with DOS in the operating systems market despite the fact that neither Lotus 1-2-3 nor WordPerfect are operating systems at all.

    He attempts to apply classical econimic rules in a field where they simply don't apply. And he doesn't realize why they don't apply. Classical economic rules apply very well to things like card, hammers, television, and such, because people know about these things. They might not be experts, but they know enough to spot obvious lies. People don't know about computers. This is how Microsoft has managed to make its way to the top; it decieves consumers with various techniques (their favorite being what we call FUD, which there is plenty of in this piece as well).

    Honestly, I don't see the reasoning behind this at all. It talks a good game, yes. Lots of overpretentious stuff aimed at confusing people. But if you wade through it and look at the wording and the terminology, you'll find that there's absolutely no substance whatsoever.
    ----------
  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @04:31PM (#746198) Homepage
    Here's what I've spent on Windows already, and it's not even my primary environment:

    (rounded to the nearest $10 increment)

    • Windows 2.0 = $100
    • Windows 3.1 = $150
    • Windows 95a upgrade = $90
    • Windows 98 upgrade = $90
    • Windows NT 4.0 (trying to get away from unstable 95/98 installs) = $260
    • Windows 2000 upgrade = $120


    So I've laid out $810 already (before sales tax) on Windows, which has never even been my primary operating system. Next time I have to upgrade my Windows install to stay current so that I can exchange files with "The Outside World" I will probably exceed $1000 if sales tax is considered.

    Amount spent on Linux over the years? $50.00 for ten boxes of blank floppies that I used to hold downloaded Slackware versions 2.x and 3.x until it went CD/Zip, and after that nothing because I've been downloading my distro CD contents on the net to the same 640MB MO disk over and over again now for several years.

    Amount spent on MacOS over the years for my Mac machines? $0.00 -- Apple has always had MacOS (though a slightly out-of-date version) available on-line at their ftp site.

    Only Microsoft will still happily sell you a decade-old version of their operating system for full retail price.

  • Hummmmm....Have you looked lately, Solaris is free for any machine with upto 8 processors. Last time I checked Windows didnt run on anything with more than 8 processors so.....Commercial OS on semi-comparable machine (same # of procs/ram) == $0. Thats what I expect to pay. yes I know, there's a shipping/media fee, the OS itself is still free


    Hawks
    "Developers are the redheaded bastard step children of the computer world",

  • You could build your own computer and save money, or you could pay Dell and get a computer that works out of the box. I like building computers myself -- it gives me a great knowledge of how the hardware works inside -- but companies like Dell and Compaq also provide support for these machines.

    If you built your system with an Iomega Zip drive and called Iomega for tech support, they charge you $14.95 per incident even as a home user. The tech guys won't even talk to you until they get a credit card number from you, although they don't charge if it turns out to be a hardware problem. Many other component manufacturers are the same, but you should feel lucky if you get a plan like Iomega's -- a lot of smaller merchants won't give you tech support at all, unless you call Taiwan and speak Chinese.

    I've been going through a nightmare trying to get a Toshiba CD-ROM to spin up on a Promise controller attached to an Asus motherboard. There's no single point of accountability, and I've wound up buying a new CD-ROM and controller card only to find that they don't solve the problem. Usenet discussions and chat rooms have proven useless. Buying from a company like Dell or Compaq gives the end-user the convenience of one central point for support.
  • Domino Server R5 works fine on Linux. I ran it for a few months myself. It's reasonable to assume that IBM, who now owns Lotus, will be pushing its applications to linux, first for the server (as they are already: DB2, WebSphere, etc), then the desktop.

    Lotus hasn't been a major player in the desktop applications market for quite a while, in any case.

    --

  • The only thing holding down the price of Windows right now is the that MS has been trying to fly "under the radar" of the government. Once the two companies are broken up, OpCO would be fools not to crank up the price. The remedy's already gone through at that point, competition is theoretically "restored", and let the market forces do their work! If OpCO is charging too much, other companies will barrel in there, creating spiffy new and better products.


    I'd have to disagree.. There's supply and demand to deal with. If they offer a new version of windows, they have to convince people to purchase the "upgrade". They have to consider how much people will pay for it. The situation is similar with OEMs. If the newer version is much more expensive than an older, why would a person exclusively sell it? During transition periods, you can usually find the option to choose which OS you want from retailers.

    MS is bound by supply and demand just as much as anyone else. Even monopolies are confined by it.

    The Justice department concluded that MS _was_ in fact charging more for their OS than they could have due to competative supply and demand (though I suspect that it was well within intelligence for a Monopolistic economist).

    The reason the price is so low is most likely to proliferate the newest versions, so that they can continue to squash the competition (the real threat). Take Netscape for example. They needed to squash them, so they needed to make sure that _everyone_ had IE. Best way to do it was to integrate into the OS. How do you get people to get that OS (since not everyone uses AutoUpdate), provide a new OS as a reasonable price. I'm sure it's the exact same thing for media players in win-me. I think MS also sees a threat from the iMac crowd. For the first time Apple is viable for the budget PC. So MS wanted to offer the exact same services as the iMac, so as to remove Apple from that exclusive Niche.

    The _reason_ MS can get away with marginally profitable pricing schemes for the OS is because once their platform is secured, they can feature bloat their office products and super-charge for them.. Because Office is so expensive, it wouldn't be too painful to migrate to another office suite. But if people perceived that MS Office fullfilled all of their needs, then they might be more likely to stay with MS. MS has a solumn duty to fullfill all our needs (I'm still waiting for MS Pr0n), so this means making sure that they squash competition.. And this means giving as much away for free as possible. (Just read the Justice findings on their internal memos for IE).

    I agree with you that after being broken up, their prices will rise.. But if they stick with the bloat-ware, single product, then theyr'e going to go under.. If they charge $1,000 for a product, then they'll get a hell of a lot less sales. Their only alternative would be to offer a cheaper version with less "crap". Their incentive to provide everything for free will go away, and we'll start to see comptition with the feature-ware once again. Netscape _might_ become a contender again, RealPlayer might not get squashed (if this happens in a timely manner), Symantec might be able to step up admin utils again. And most definately, Office competitors will spring back to life.

    Office will most likely come down in price, while Windows will have to segment their products (though overall windows will be more expensive).

    The sum total of all MS products will probably be $1,000, but the key will be that we'll have the opportunity to purchase the items seperately, and thus have choices (once again) about who we want to spend that $1,000 on.

    -Michael
  • running Mac OS X PB at home. I installed it on Saturday, I haven't rebooted since. Even running my kids' games, MS Office 98, IE, Netscape, OmniWeb Beta, I can't make this fucker crash! (although several minor bugs have manifested). My ancient G3 beige desktop actually goes to sleep and wakes up correctly!

    If OS X were $999, and Windows $1000, People would still buy OS X, because it rocks baby!

    Soylent Green is people!
  • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @04:15PM (#746212)
    I just took a look at ebay, and someone is apparently willing to pay at least $380.66 for Windows.

    Someone selling Windows 1.0 on Ebay [ebay.com]

  • by werdna ( 39029 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @04:16PM (#746214) Journal
    Screed, indeed!

    After all, Mac OS 7, 8, 9 and X are all available for substantially less than $1K. And, of course, there is also BeOS, et al. Put simply, if all that the Baby Bills could offer was a $1K Windows, they would all be quickly extinct, and Apple would be the next Microsoft.

    What is more, if Apple decided to try to take a monopoly rake, it would then in turn have to face free software as well as anything else the flow of capital to a free market would bear.

    All that is required is a free and fair market for OSes -- the rest, particularly the price, will take care of itself.
  • by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @04:21PM (#746219) Homepage Journal
    It's cute that you _think_ that Microsoft is despised by the public, but in fact that's not true. When the Microsoft ruling was first handed down, a survey by the Gallup Poll showed that people actually liked [gallup.com] Microsoft. 69% of respondents had a positive view of Bill Gates, making him more likeable than either of the two presidential candidates.

    What's most important about this case, however, is how few people outside of the whiny geek contingent actually care about the issue. In the poll mentioned earlier, a sizeable number of people responding to the poll were undecided. Most people who use Microsoft products are sometimes annoyed by the crashing and the cost of upgrading systems, but these are the same people who have used AOL for three years despite all of its technical problems. (The reasons for both cases: "everyone uses it, so there can't be something better" and "I already know how to use this, and I don't want to learn something new.")

    In fact, according to the Gallup poll once again, the trend is increasing [gallup.com] in favor of Microsoft. Try to convert a Microsoft lifer to Linux. The second he/she gets a link to a Windows Media Player or QuickTime movie, a cute EXE attachment like a video greeting card, or a Microsoft Office document for StarOffice to slowly beat to death, you'll have some 'splaining to do.
  • by Dreamweaver ( 36364 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @04:29PM (#746239)
    Jeeze.. i think MS is just as dirty as the next guy, but why is it that when someone says "Microsoft" on slashdot the apparent intelligence of the posters drops to about 7?

    All up and down the thread i see "Ha! Do that and nobody will buy it!"
    --okay, pay attention now, this is the important bit--
    That's The Freaking Point!

    The whole idea here is that breaking up MS is a bad idea because it would drive the price of MS products up, causing fewer people to buy them, hurting the tech market by alienating customers. Now, before you say, "Huh uh! They'll just use Linux!" remember Grandma May and Steve The Jock whos idea of bleeding edge technology is AOL on their iMac.

    Linux isn't for everyone. Now, before you flame me to north dakota and back, i like linux. I'm using linux right now. But linux can be a real pain in the ass sometimes. Yes, you can install redhat 7 in 5 minutes without knowing much about your computer, but do you really think that Grandma wants to learn the directory structure, or that Joe will be awed by the power of the command line? No.. they want to plug the computer in (with as few wires as is possible), turn it on, and have a bright and cheery GUI with nice big buttons staring back at them.

    Much as i hate it, idiots are the majority in the modern world. When you think about things like the effects of an MS breakup on the market, you have to remember that the reason MS has a monopoly is that there are enough idiots out there to have put them there.
    Dreamweaver
  • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @05:40PM (#746255) Homepage Journal
    Wow. This guy's writing style bears a remarkable resemblance to a well-known columnist [dvorak.com] in PC Magazine.

    ;-)

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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