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Microsoft's First Ad Targeting Linux 356

calx sent us a link to this image (mirrors please!) which appears to be Microsoft's first-ever ad directly against Linux. Not bad for an operating system that Microsoft claims is nothing to worry about. The ad essentially says not to trust Linux 'cuz it could mutate (it's actually pretty cool). Here's more information at LinuxToday. [Updated 19:51 GMT by timothy:] dicast threw this mirror onto the sacrificial fire, too.
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Microsoft's First Ad Targeting Linux

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  • As many previous elections have shown, you don't need money if you have ABC, CNN, CBS, PBS, UPI and the New York Times on your side.

  • by skallagrimsson ( 126261 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @10:11AM (#686858)
    Mutation provides an opportunity to adapt to your environment. Usually, mutation is deleterious in organisms. However, sometimes mutation is beneficial and the organism finds a new niche and is very successful at exploiting this niche. Natural selection weeds out the negative mutations ... just like every distro of Linux isn't going to make it. At least Linux is evolving and adapting to its environment. Funny that the ad didn't talk about the forces of Genetic Drift ... where subgroups establish themselves outside of a larger population. This has the effect of eliminating alleles (all the different forms a particular gene may take) from a breeding population reducing diversity and probably survivability. I wonder if they are experiencing a nasty case of genetic drift which is reducing their talent base. Anyway, their is no way they are going to unseat SuSE in Germany ... not after it has turned into a point of national pride.
  • Colour-corrected, patched together, text bleed from other pages removed -- in short: much improved version here []. Rah rah Microsoft! Good one! Keep 'em coming!

    Michel Vuijlsteke
    Albania for King Zog Committee []
    Microsoft Linux by 2002!

  • by Jagasian ( 129329 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @10:16AM (#686861)
    "An open operating system does not only have advantages."

    "An open operating system can mutate many times. With Windows 2000 (service pack 2.1.3a stroke four with several additional undocumented manual registry fixes), however, all services are available from a single illegal monopoly. That can really frustrate you when security holes are left unpatched, and cost you when the greedy corporation wrips money from your pockets through the use of overly complex licensing agreements and upgrade plans."
  • by jetson123 ( 13128 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @09:21AM (#686867)
    What about Windows? Right now, developing for Windows, I have to deal with Windows 95/98, ME, NT4, 2000, CE, and possibly still 3.1, all of which have come out over roughly the span of a decade. "Windows" has four almost completely different kernels (and I'm not even counting DOS). The Windows APIs have been mutating between Win16, various incompatible flavors of Win32, MFC, COM, COM+, ActiveX, and god knows what else. Microsoft cannot make up their mind whether they are going to support C++, Java, C#, VB, or something else.

    Linux follows in a long tradition of UNIX systems, and while they have never offered much in the way of binary compatibility, UNIX/Linux has always provided much more source-level compatibility among its implementations than any other multi-vendor OS. It has also, amazingly, offered much more source-level compatibility than Microsoft ever managed to offer among their own line of operating systems.

    Stable APIs and predictable evolution are one of the main reasons I choose Linux over Windows. Well-written code from 20 years ago still works just fine on Linux and takes full advantage of fast processors and large memories. If Microsoft wants to compete on this basis, they have to first reach that level of standardization of their own platforms. Until then, the best choice Windows programmers have is to insulate themselves from the haphazard nature of the Windows APIs and Microsoft corporate strategy by going with something like Java, wxWindows, or Delphi.

    Or, to put it differently, a penguin with rabbit ears is still a penguin. Microsoft has been producing a whole zoo instead.

  • This kind of advert is known as "knocking copy", at least over here. The advertising industry is of the opinion that it doesn't work. People automatically discount the intended message of "buy our product" because all adverts say that. But the advert carries another message as well, which is "we have a major competitor: check them out before you buy". This is actually a very good advert for Linux because it tells people that Linux is a major competitor to MS.


  • 95A, OSR1)Original retail release
    95B, OSR2)OEM only. Includes FAT32,
    95C, OSR2.1)Not sure. Either OSR/2 with Y2K fixes
    or the non-IE-doesn't-work fuck-you-DOJ version. Difficult to obtain.
    95D, OSR2.5)IE4.01 SP0. USB supplement.
    Oops on a few counts there:
    95 Gold was the original release. It's also the version sold as "Windows 95 Upgrade". No service packs, old IE, no Online Services, etc.
    95A/OSR1 includes Service Pack 1 which you can probably still find out there somewhere.
    Then OSR2 (without the USB suppliment on the CD.
    Then 2.1 which had a new IE and the /other/USB directory.
    That's the way I saw it go down.
  • by Narmi ( 161370 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:25AM (#686876)
    To mutate to your needs?
  • >Anything previous to W95 is irrelevant cuz it wasnt useful to begin with.

    Will you say that about '95 in a decade?

    Windows 3.1 is STILL used at my college by teachers.

    >W95 compatible in all its incarnations.

    I _dare_ you to install the Windows '95 original compatible OPTi 924 soundcard drivers in a ME (or hell '98 or OSR2) box without going INSaNE. But they worked like a charm if you run windows '95 original. And yes, I am talking about the hottest, latest version of them.

    I also dare you to install my Epson Stylus Color printer driver provided by Epson for Win '95 on a newer W98/WME machine and see if you can get it working without screwing about with it. Yeah, I still use that printer. And the output STILL impresses people.

    And, to top it off, I ask if the original Trident 9440 W95 drivers work with new games in W98 (nope... no directX). But windows is fully compatible down the line, right?

    >NT is NT all the way down the line.

    Can I use a Windows NT 3.5 driver in NT 2000 and have a hope in hell of things working? Nope. I tried with my Cyrix MediaGX audio drivers. For Windows NT 3.5 _only_. Can't get them to work in 2000. Period. But the icons in the system manager (or whatever you call it) look nice... :-)
  • Here []'s the original in all its glory, and it's been cleared up and color balanced.

  • by Zalgon 26 McGee ( 101431 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:27AM (#686883)
    Microsoft needs to demonstrate real competitors for their upcoming appeal, to get Jackson's ruling altered or dismissed. Running ads attacking Linux will let MS say "See, there is a credible threat to us."

    I don't think MS is scared of Linux, but they are scared of the courts. This ad is directed to the courts, not towards consumers.

  • by nachoman ( 87476 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @09:26AM (#686886)
    I would have to disagree with the ad in general. It portrayed Windows as *NOT* mutating...

    Being a windows user for some time, I know that windows 2000 wasn't the first version of windows. Essentially first was DOS. then windows 1.0 -> 2.0 -> 3.0 -> 3.1 -> windows 95 -> windows 95 osr 2 -> windows 98 -> windows 98 SE -> windows ME. Also branched off from windows 3.1 came NT 3.5 -> NT 4.0 -> NT 5.0 (win 2k).

    Basically my point is if that's not mutation I don't know what is. Just as in linux you have to constantly upgrade your system to keep up, you have to do the same with windows as well to run the latest software.

    Some people complain that this is a bitch and it is if there is new software you need to run. You have to upgrade. But it doesn't matter if you are using windows 2000 or linux or anything else. They ALL mutate. This is just one of those simple facts in an ever changing market.

    On another note. Windows mutations are much more costly then Linux or FreeBSD...
  • The difference is that each version of Windows breaks the previous generation of application software, while each generation of Linux supports the previous generation of application software.

    Put THAT in the ad!
  • I will sacrifice a boxfull of Microsoft cd's at the gun range if you can scan in your copy.

    Here you are. Enjoy: []

  • by Anne Marie ( 239347 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @10:26AM (#686898)
    Look, the whole MS v. Linux feud has been going on for quite some time now (publicly since the Halloween documents, and privately since at least 1995). But whereas Microsoft is publicly showing its dedication to this relationship, showing they're willing to go the extra mile to keep the love burning, what have we done? What have we contributed?

    Nothing. That's right: nothing. We're like spoiled kids unable to grasp the fundamentals of longterm relationships: communication and a willingness to share responsibilities and efforts equally between the two parties. They throw the antitrust case for us, but what have we done in return? We didn't even thank them. Pretty soon, Microsoft will stop speaking to us at all, maybe crash at a friend's house and start running up therapy bills with their suicidal thoughts and deppressional motivations.

    Linux needs Microsoft the way Laverne needs Shirley. Without them, our drive for excellence will atrophy, just as theirs did when our relationship started petering out years ago. Why do we even make the pretense of a relationship at all? We should sever our ties and free Microsoft to pursue their old flames again, like that Apple fellow.

    But unless we can take that drastic step (and I don't think we can, since we're so accustomed to the emotional security that comes form an abusive and dysfunctional relationship), then we have to start contributing again. Let's reaffirm our love by sabatoging the 2.4 kernel. I realize Redhat's been trying to help with their Redhat7 bugs, but this is a responsibility we have to assume ourselves. At the very least, we must slow down development a little, get a big smug attitude of victory and give Microsoft a chance to catch up.

    Unless we do, it may spell the end of a beautiful relationship.
  • Hmm. Your alternative scan shows two seperate pages. I have also tried to do another scan and it looks a bit better than yours: []

  • by senfman ( 207535 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @10:29AM (#686902)
    As many of you know Microsoft Germany is a separate company which completely belongs to Micorsoft Inc.
    There are some reasons to think, that this ad was published without having Microsoft in USA know something about it. The people who are responsible for the german advertisement at MS Germany, work at a german company. You'll see this difference if you'll compare the German ads with the US. There are also some differences on the Web between and Knowing this, I think, that there might be some problems for MS Germany and Richard Roy, CEO of MS Germany, who will propably have some problems within next days, problems with Microsoft in USA and problems with the customers worldwide.
  • Point 1. Most users don't know the difference between Word and the OS.

    Point 2. Most users will NEVER know the difference between the OS and the Office products they use.

    I don't have the programming skill to make this happen, but why not create a Linux Kernel that just loads up into a customized StarOffice (Now that it's open source?)

    The Office Appliance. Give it the ability to log into Netware, Unik and other Servers and you'll have exactly what most desktop users actually want.

    Why not? Heck, most /. ers could slap together a demo within 24 hours of reading this post!
  • We don't need to respond to MS "in kind" - just let them keep the low ground they've taken.

    Instead, the Linux luminaries in Germany (and elsewhere) should gear up for a PR campaign to highlight Linux's natural evolution and "survival of the fittest" versus Microsoft's commercial dictatorship of computing infrastructure.

    Let's take the high ground and thank MS for publicizing Linux's versatility.
  • I punched the German into Babelfish before I read the article.Hmm.

    Babelfish: an open operating system does not only have predivide
    LinuxToday: "An open operating system does not just have advantages"

    Babelfish: An open operating system can mutate mail. With Windows 2000 however there are all services and services from a hand. That thus really saves time and for cash. More information under
    LinuxToday: "An open operating system sometimes just mutates. Instead Windows 2000 offers all services from a single source. This saves time and consequently really money. More info under"

    Babelfish implies that Linux can mutate your mail? Where's this thing about advantages? I don't see the word advantages anywhere in the babelfish translation.... Hrmph. Sounds like propagandizing from LinuxToday to me.

    But I still agree, the changes to the penguin make it a direct attack on Linux.
    I'm just surprised they didn't make it a little more accurate and put the BSD daemon's head on Tux, instead of a frog head... IMHO it would have been more accurate, since the linux sources often comment about stuff that was a direct port of BSD code...

  • Hey,

    My mirror is up at el. Tandy/msad.jpg []. I've run it through a scratch removal program I've been working on to get rid of the center line, optimised the image and put on Booker's translation.


    ...another comment from Michael Tandy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21, 2000 @09:32AM (#686917)
    I swear... you guys are morons... What the ad MEANS is that the different "flavors" of Linux are becoming so dissimilar that soon they'll all be incompatible with each other...

  • Of course C'T also said that OS/2 Warp was by far the dominant OS in Germany and would kill Windows.

    Well, I am sure you can give me the source for that quote. I read this magazine since 1990 and haven't read any such claim in it.

    They've got a history of "Anything But Microsoft" even longer than Peterely.

    Again, give me the quote. If c't was anti-Microsoft, it wouldn't have that many Windows-related articles, don't you think?

  • by Jeff Tranter ( 73306 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @10:31AM (#686921) Homepage
    First, they ignore you.
    Then they laugh at you.
    Then they fight you.
    Then you win.
    - Mahatma Ghandi
  • Linux, tsk tsk, all those distro's make you feel dizzy? Keep it simple, just choose between Windows 98, Windows Millenium, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows Whistler, Windows 2000 datacenter, Windows 2000 applications Center, Windows 2000 server, Windows 2000 advanced server....sir sir, are you still awake?
  • That used to be true, but not anymore. If your ad contains a factual claim about your competitor's product, you can now mention that product.

  • The real interesting side should be trying to get a good old fashion Windows 2.0 or even 3.0 program to run under Windows 2000, without any mods. I am sure that most will break. Thus proving that Microsoft is also bashing itself.
    The real issue is that if you upgrade Linux, (most if not) all open source apps running on it will upgrade for FREE. I don't see Microsoft offering to upgrade my old versions of Word and Excel, that no longer work, for free.
    I am wondering why nobody has pointed this out? What ever Microsoft says against Linux can be applied to Microsofts own products, every time.
  • W2K ate my balls.

  • ... and I created a nice image against Micro$oft. Try this []. Fight the closed source. Fight the ever-the-same OS.
  • I wouldn't say "quaking". I would say "understanding". The now know that Linux has become a threat since Joe Luser has started purchasing boxed copies of RedHat (boosting the Linux user base to an "amazing"... *cough*... 3-4% of the user populace).

    They now know it's a little chiuana yapping at it's heels. Best to kick the little bugger away.

  • by otis wildflower ( 4889 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @09:49AM (#686946) Homepage
    ... Seriously, considering that Office sales are down [] and they're relying on investment jiggery-pokery for their last quarter, I believe we're starting to see the beginning of the decline. Profits from operations are down significantly. And they can't get into the really nice high-margin part of the tech biz, inegration and services consulting, since their customers are that industry and M$ would never survive.. M$ has a >US$300B market cap for what is essentially a one-trick pony (software) and is not diversified across as many lines of business as a traditional corp like GE, IBM, etc. This is fine when everyone needs that one trick, but what happens when it's no longer enough?

    Micro$oft is built on a very large strong pillar, but it's only _one_ pillar, and the morlocks are starting to get thru the outer layers, and they're not going to stop. The only question is, how long before the jackhammers are done?

    Note also what they're doing with their cash. Buying back stock, while a good thing for the price, is not what a growth company is supposed to do.. It's a sign of maturity, and M$ multiples are based on growth not value.. It means that they can't find a more profitable thing to do with the cash besides let it earn interest.. What's next? Dividends?

    Microsoft .NET will be their Rambus, and possibly even their PS/2..

    Your Working Boy,
  • > Microsoft can't point to /current/ competetors, but only to competetors during the period in question (when Linux most deffinately was NOT one)

    I wouldn't be so sure ... showing that there is credible competition would almost certainly affect the length and severity of continuing remedies, such as divestiture.
  • by metis ( 181789 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:30AM (#686952) Homepage
    M$ might be worried, and linux is certainly with its serious advantages. But that is not a reason to be smug about it. M$ can dedicate huge amount of money to hurt linux, and as the coming election shows, you don't need to have substance to win if you have enough money.

    So how about some ideas for defense strategies?
  • It might be why they're not number one.
  • The irony of this is that any reasonable system administrator knows that you don't use a hammer to screw in something. that is to say, you don't use an inappropriate solution to a problem. Shoehorning in an MS solution when a Linux solution will work just as well, and cost less up front is often important. It also works the other way around, if you have no one who is willing to learn Linux.
  • So the solution for MS is to downplay that advantage and try to turn it into a disadvantage, at least in the eyes of people who see their advertisements.

    Note that's it's pretty much forbidden in advertising to admit your competitor has any advantages whatsoever, unless those advantages are widely accepted by the audience.

    Which means that advantages of Open Source Software must be pretty well understood in Germany, otherwise MS's ironic FUDing of those advantages into a disavantage wouldn't have much affect. I can't see them running an ad in the US like that (where there really isn't a wide understanding of the implications of open software other than the extremely low price).

    As a general comment, the mutatable nature of Linux is percieved as a potential disadvantage all the time here on Slashdot. People here are always fretting that the big distros are becoming more Windows-like, that KDE/Gnome is going to force desktop bloat down their gullets, that GUI admin tools are going to take their beloved commandline prowness away, and so on. Microsoft just put a funny image on a fear that many Linux users already have.
  • Well, no, not really.
    Microsoft can't point to /current/ competetors, but only to competetors during the period in question (when Linux most deffinately was NOT one)

    -- Crutcher --
    #include <disclaimer.h>
  • "Not bad for an operating system that Microsoft claims is nothing to worry about." Then again, CmdrTaco, we've seen plenty of anti-Microsoft ads coming from different Linux sources, but we don't sit here pointing at every one of them and saying "Since Linux is superior they shouldn't be worried about Microsoft." Let's try to be at least a little subjective.
  • by dboyles ( 65512 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @10:55AM (#686966) Homepage
    Microsoft realizes that one of the primary advantages of Linux is its ability to mutate into specialized versions. Microsoft has also realized that their current and potential customers know about this advantage of OSS. But Windows isn't going to change to be more like Linux; in reality, it can't because it is proprietary. So the solution for MS is to downplay that advantage and try to turn it into a disadvantage, at least in the eyes of people who see their advertisements.

    If you didn't know anything about OSS and the passion behind it, you might think that it's foolish to rely on a bunch of programmers scattered around the world for your business software needs. After all, there's no real accountability. This is what MS is trying to play off of. But those who are "in the biz," to use the parlance of our times, know that OSS ironically has better reliability and abundant support, despite not being centralized.
  • M$ can dedicate huge amount of money to hurt linux, and as the coming election shows, you don't need to have substance to win if you have enough money.

    To win what? Market share? I can only speak for myself, but I for one wont be loosing any sleep if some dotcom decides to use Win2K instead of Linux for their e-bussiness thing. It's not like Microsoft can buy Linux and then tell me that I can't use it, and that is really all I care about.

    You don't like my OS for reason XYZ? Fine, no harm done.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    At least Linux doesn't mutate like a rotting cancerous cyst that slows to a bloated halt in a blueish crawl up my monitor with a acute aching in my neck when work has to be done and the latest service packs and hotfixes has to be religiously applied in a specific order to included crap back on the machine that I never wanted.

    Windows just grows on me. Mutates into the spawn of saaaaaaaaaaatan.
  • Um, that's an interesting thought... Could Linux just be concidered a big, human run, genetic algorithem (GA)? I mean, you got a large population of kernels when you concider the large amount of 3rd party patches out there. The good ones make it into the leading product by surviving a test (Linus) and the rest get thrown back into a pool. Mutation. Yum.
  • That's what Grandpa-dinosaurs told their grandkid-dinosaurs millions of years ago about mammals.

    "Just yer look at 'em darn mammals. Nothin' but darned mutated bests, if yer ask me."

    Sorry, MS, I believe that's called evolution.

  • by pavo ( 70713 )
  • At Virtual Avenue []. I don't know how long it will hold up, but get it while you can.
  • by Jakdaw ( 103263 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:33AM (#686993)
    I'm no artist... but someone really needs to draw an advert to respond to this. How about starting with a Microsoft logo at Richmond, then one in the desert somewhere (all shrivled up because it couldn't adapt to the environment).

    Then maybe one in the cold.... and one in space?? (Microsoft logo just expolded!).

    Draw Tux along side having found a sunhat, built and igloo & made a space suit!

  • Is it just me, or does the pig/elephant penguin look just a little too much like its wearing a gas mask. Especially for an ad in German (not thet German are bad, but German soldiers in gas masks make me nervous). Do you think it is intended to bring up visions of Linux stormtroopers marching in to take away our rights, like the "Right to Innovate"?

  • I prefer to think of it as evolution in action. 'nuff said.
  • As a general comment, the mutatable nature of Linux is percieved as a potential disadvantage all the time here on Slashdot. People here are always fretting that the big distros are becoming more Windows-like, that KDE/Gnome is going to force desktop bloat down their gullets, that GUI admin tools are going to take their beloved commandline prowness away, and so on. Microsoft just put a funny image on a fear that many Linux users already have.

    You're right, I think the belief that Linux is somehow going downhill is certainly prevalent here on Slashdot. Part of it has to do with commercialization (most notably Red Hat), and part of it with the prevalence and focus on developing GUIs. Is it just me or does it seem like every time something gets popular the folks who have been there from the beginning start proclaiming its death? What some people fail to realize is that the "hardcore" aspect of Linux will live on.

    I think it's kind of funny that MS's ad could essentially changed to a pro-Linux ad by interchanging the word "mutate" (with a negative connotation) to "evolve."
  • > I prefer to think of it as evolution in action.

    That's why billyg is pooping his pants. That cute little penguin is mutating into a 900-pound gorilla.

    And there ain't room for two 900-lb gorillas on the block.
  • "An open operating system sometimes just mutates. Instead Windows 2000 offers all services from a single source. This saves time and consequently really money. More info under"

    I think the proper word is evolve. If an animal doesn't evolve to accept its surroundings it will die. Germans must be stupid or something.
  • While M$ could have quoted some made up statistics, or given a bullshit spiel of marketese, or talked about how M$ was "forging the future with partnerships for innovation", they actually thought up something (somewhat) clever, or at least tried to.

    And if this was a Slashdot post, it could easily be modified up as +1 (funny) as well as -1 (flamebait)

  • No, really. I think MS Germany should get some heavy reprehension from the headquarters about this. Damn! Do they really think this'll convince anyone with this? It's really stupid!

  • by Medgur ( 172679 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:36AM (#687015) Homepage
    When is Microsoft, and other closed source advocates, going to realize that this is the whole point of an open operating system? The people using these don't want feature overkill, for security and speed reasons. It seems natural then that they'd drift to an open kernel. What you don't like you can just opt out. Can you do that with, say, Win2k? To a limited (severly) extent.
    Infact, this ad may be counter productive for Microsoft - it seems to be advertising just what we want, that Linux is a customizable, diverse OS, and that if the maintainers dissappear, it will still be extendable and updatable. If Microsoft goes down in a great ball of litigation, who's going to provide support for all the Win2K boxes out there? Even more important, will there still be support for them in 5 years time, even if Microsoft survives?
    I think not.

  • Yet another: []

    (Crusin' at +2 today)


  • be surprised then, because it really is... the word for word translation would be: "an open operating system has not only advantages".
  • The ad was done in Germany, so I doubt it carries much meaning to the Judicial system in the States.

  • "ein offenes betriebssystem hat nicht nur vorteile" basically means "an open-source system has no advantages."

    The text in the corner says: "An open-source system can mutate each time. Going with Windows 2000 you have all programs and services at hand. This saves time and, truly, some money. More information is available at"

  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:38AM (#687030) Homepage
    here []

    "An open operating system does not only have advantages."

    "An open operating system can mutate many times. With Windows 2000, however, all services are available from a single hand.(?) That can really save you time and money."

    Or something like that... :)


  • Why does every discussion about Linux vs Windows degenerate to Linux vs 95? Could it be because most of you have never even tried an NT like W2K?

    Probably because There's a lot more '95 and '98 out there than NT. For the record, I have used NT, and convinced my employer at the time to upgrade to Linux for stability. That was in '96. As for ME, are you saying that it's so bad that less than a year after it's release, even MS wishes it would go away?

  • It looks to me as if this is meant as a mockery.

    But I think that's a shoot in the foot - it's a great free commercial for Linux:

    "...Bei Windows 2000 hingegen gibt es alle Sevices und Dienste aus einer Hand. Das spart Zeit und somit wirklich Geld...."

    "Whereas with Windows 2000, all Services and Servies are coming from one Source. This saves Time and really actually money."

    Yes, that's correct - Services and "Dienste" are the english and german word for the same thing, so the correct translation for their stupid text is "...Services and Services..." They just want to look cool using english phrases.

    And, look at the awkwardness, how they try to show that it "really" saves money to use Windows 2000.

    Who are they trying to fool? If you buy a new Harddisk under M$oft OS - you may need to buy another license to use it legally!

    I think they are under pressure in GE. There are Linux CD-Roms attached to PC Magazine covers in grocery stores (I saw 2 SuSE versions offered that way within 6 month or so) and the german mentality looks more "under the hood" than at the glossy packaging.

    Somehwere I read that SuSE is a very successful company in Europe and actually making a buck. Is Red-Hat out of the "red" yet?

    The line below the picture:

    "ein offenes betriebssystem hat nicht nur vorteile"

    >an open operating system does not only have advantages

    So they are saying the an open operating system has advantages - well, they may feel it... - Great!
  • It doesn't really irritate me that it is suggested that you have to pay licenses for all software.

    Not all software. I'm sure the Debian Project or SuSE or Red Hat doesn't care if you install their distros on more than one computer. In fact, they probably encourage it!

  • Next let's stick on some bull horns, a tiger tail, a couple rocket launchers... >;)

    Talk about bad advertising tactics. This ad is funny and cool and makes Linux look funky, bizarre and flexible. Which is basically true (including ungainly, goofy, and fun) so what we have here is a MS-funded advertising agency failing to understand that and producing advertising that not only gives free publicity to their competition but un-sells their product. More please :)

  • It's worth noting that this ad was run in Germany, where non-Microsoft operating systems have traditionally done better than in English-speaking markets. Both the Atari ST series and Amigas had good penetration in the German market including into business. Now Linux (thanks largely to SuSE) is becoming very well accepted in German businesses. Consequently it is reasonable for Microsoft to see Linux as a credible threat in Germany - it is a credible threat in Germany.

    It's also possible that MSoft Germany ran this add of their own initiative without consulting head-office - although I agree that's not very likely.

  • Is it me, or did Micros~1 just admit in public that Linux has considerable advantages? I mean, how else could they be saying that it doesn't *only* have advantages?
  • Well, Microsoft Germany used the word mutate. But hey, they are MS employees.

    That doesn't actually speak against Germans in general, I guess.

  • The link given above and included here [] to the story in LinuxToday leads to a This story has been unposted page. Here is the link to the new location [] of the story.
  • Wintendos does not mutate.
    It has multiple evolutionary paths.
  • This is a bit ridiculous. People are just assuming that Microsoft is so big they will never go away.

    Remember in the late 80s when Microsoft and IBM pushed OS/2 as the successor to Windows? Who would have thought that an OS backed by such heavyweights as IBM and Microsoft would just be abandoned?

    We just (last year) reformatted our last OS/2 install in our libraries here. It was required by some software to manage libraries. Some companies made some huge investments in OS/2 development to just be abandoned. At least if OS/2 was free-sourced, development could have continued.

    This ad should be read as that you should trust it all to Microsoft and if their business needs and plans change, you MUST change with them or else be left behind (at a reasonable upgrade fee of course...)

  • But Koehntopp was faster. Yes, this ad is real, and yes, it' stupid. To paraphrase my (now obsolete) submission:

    "While Linux isn't mentioned directly, the target of the ad is obvious. It seems silly that MS uses an argument that can so easily be refuted. While not being a Bill Gates Fanboy, I wonder why they don't target the actual Linux disadvantages where Windows is a better choice - which any level-headed Linux user will admit exist..."

  • DOS -> windows 1.0 -> 2.0 -> 3.0 -> 3.1 -> windows 95 -> windows 95 osr1 -> windows 95 osr 2 -> windows 98 -> windows 98 SE -> windows ME. Also, OS/2->OS/3->NT3.1->NT 3.5 -> NT 3.5.1-> NT 4.0 -> SP1->6-> NT 5.0 (win 2k) -> datacenter, server, professional, embedded. And don't forget wince. There's actually more versions of windows than Linux at the moment.

  • No, it should be based more on the BORG Theme.
    Someone sitting at a Win PC and then getting
    changed to something like the Slash BillofBorg.
    Or a couple of People( Private Home, Office personel ..) , judiciously borgified, with a fitting caption!
    Win3.11 user: about as far gone as 7of9 in her later appearances
    Win2k user: completely gone

  • by PooF ( 85689 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:44AM (#687087) geocities here [].

    From: Aaron "PooF" Matthews

  • At least those DOS and Windows 1.0 apps will still run on Win98/NT

    Actually, most Windows 1.0 apps won't run right, even on Windwos 3.1, and a lot of DOS apps will not run right either, if at all. In fact, the dos version of warcraft will reliably hang NT, even from a non-privildged account, just by being executed.

    Most of the redhat releases were actually both binary and source compatible. Can't say that for even revisions of the same release of Windows.

  • A new version of the ad w/ better resolution has surfaced and can be seen here []. Or direct links...

    The original (blurry) image is here []

    From: Aaron "PooF" Matthews

  • I liked the ad enough to set it as the root image on my gnome desktop. Its too absurd to be truth, but funny. Kind of like Mr. Gates' video testimony.
  • by Electric Angst ( 138229 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:46AM (#687115)
    ...I could see this as a particular PR coup for linux...
    Look at it this way:
    Linux: Nietzchian Super-Mutant OS!

  • Windows 3.11 was just a bug fix

    I'm pretty sure they removed standard mode from Windows 3.11. I remember unsuccessfully trying to install it on a 286.
  • One of the main rules of advertising is that as soon as you mention your competitor in your ad you're already dead. Unless this was a move by MS Germany without permission from the mothership it's a good sign for Linux I think. To me it shows either desperation or stupidity, both of which are okay by me. :)
  • by Pflipp ( 130638 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:56AM (#687124)
    see .

    Good luck with it :-)

    It's... It's...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:57AM (#687126)
    Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 (real mode), 3.1 (standard mode), 3.1 (enhanced mode), 3.11 (aka Windows for Workgroups), 95a, 95b, CE, 98, 98SE, ME, NT3.5, NT3.51, NT4.0, NT Workstation, 2000 (aka NT5), and of course, Bob.

    Now what was that about an OS mutating into incompatible incarnations?

  • And, it should be pointed out that the complaint (according to the ad) is that with Open Source you don't have a single point of contact.

    With a purchase of a BSDi (telenet) server, FreeBSD and a 24X7 support contract you have something Microsoft can't offer.

    A vendor that makes the hardware AND software all in one. All your services from a single source.

    (To the best of my knowledge, Apple doesn't offer 24X7 OS support.)

    No where in the ad does it say Linux. The ad talks about Open Source.

  • There's a lot more janitors than brain surgeons but you dont see janitors giving brain surgeons advice on surgery, do you?

    I also don't see hospitals that said the new janitor '95 is the solution to all of your brain tumor problems.

    The point is that W2K is just the latest in a long line of mutations to come out of Redmond.

  • by obscurity ( 156348 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:49AM (#687140)
    No, what would be really cool would be a parody with four identical windows
    in a row, each one broken.
  • Very interesting idea. I'm quite curious about that myself. Being a loyal SuSE whore and all =)
    My guess is that it's about the same. Unless Germans, or other Europeans, use Linux more than the US.

  • I'm waiting for my letter []. How about you?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You can find the image here [].
  • I thik microsoft is the current leader in mutated software.

    How many OS products do they currently sell? At what prices? How many licences with each? How many optional software products to buy before you can actually do dome work? Pro or non-pro versions?

    You'd have to look through several pages of a software catalog to sort it all out.

    Linux is more like natural selection than mutation -- the way a free/choice driven market should be.

    Microsoft is more like a pit bull that terrified everyone in the neighborhood in it's youth -- bullying innocent children with its wiry muscles and snapping jaws -- but in its later stages, it's getting mangy, smelly and weak; with a variety of lumpy growths throughout its carcass.

    Microsoft: The kids are growing up, they're swinging open source clubs, and it's payback time.
  • How'd they manage that?

    I don't use Windows much, so I've only played around a little with 2000. If they've actually defeated DLL Hell after only 10-odd years of trying, I want to see it!


  • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:51AM (#687165) Journal

    Of all the companies that should hold their tongue about the worry that Linux could "mutate" into something that causes you support troubles, Microsoft sits on top. Between versions of Windows 95 (sing 'em with me now - 95A, 95B, OSR2...), incompatibilities with service packs in NT products, and file format changes in just about every successive release of Office, it's surprising that they can even remember what the hell the products are long enough to mount a defense to the anti-trust... oh, wait. The lost that big time, didn't they.

    Of course, I suppose this experience does lend them some degree of credibility. I'm looking for an English version that reads something like this:

    Obsolesence and incompatibility aren't things you want to lose sleep over. We've been building obsolescence into our products at the design level since before that Finnish guy could even spell WWW. With Microsoft products, you know that your forced upgrades will come at semi-regular, three year intervals. Unless we need to generate some liquid cash or something. Then we'll just introduce Windows ME Double Live, or something. No big deal, right?
  • I just need to play devil's advocate for a moment, please keep the gas away from the flames...
    Although it is true that MS dosn't have source compatibality between variants, binary compatability _is_ there. It may not be rock solid, but it's there. A typical Win16 program - one that does not use "undocumented" features - Will run on win2k. It is true that you don't stand a chance in hell of getting a current win32 app to run on win16, the same is true of getting a glibc2.1 app to run on say, slackware 3.2...

    Lets be fair here. Windows is not the best operating system, but it is the easiest to run out of the box.
  • What happened to the linuxtoday link?
  • by Pflipp ( 130638 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @08:51AM (#687168)
    Well, here in Holland, there's only one kinda frequent M$ advertisement. It is on radio and TV, and all it does is...

    ...remind you that you have to pay for Windows!

    Yes, I am serious. All the commercial says is "if you install software on multiple machines, you must not forget to pay up multiple licenses". It's presented as if this is a general rule for software, but the images in the TV commercial make clear that this is a Microsoft commercial.

    Actually, some folks on seem to have complained to the Commision of Advertisements about this. Just for the record, I guess.

    It doesn't really irritate me that it is suggested that you have to pay licenses for all software. What does irritate me is that this seems to be all the advertisement M$ needs. I never managed to get rich of saying "hey, you, give me loads of money, and don't complain about it", so why should they.

    It's... It's...
  • by Hanno ( 11981 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @09:01AM (#687175) Homepage
    For a long time, before Windows 2000 became a thing to advertise for, the "did you really license all of your software?" slogan was the only advertising by MS in Germany, too.

  • by schon ( 31600 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @09:04AM (#687179)
    One of the main rules of advertising is that as soon as you mention your competitor in your ad you're already dead.

    Anyone ever tell this to Pepsico?

    Pepsi mentions Coke in almost all of their adverts.. any wonder they're still number two?
  • by Hanno ( 11981 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @09:13AM (#687202) Homepage
    It's real, on page 58 of the current edition of c't magazine. c't doesn't have a history of publishing fake ads.


Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore