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The Almighty Buck

Why Open Source Software/Free Software? 86

dwheeler writes: "I've just posted a major update of my paper, ``Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers!'' Many sites give qualitative reasons for using OSS/FS, but this paper emphasizes quantitative measures (such as experiments and market studies) on why using OSS/FS products is, in a number of circumstances, a reasonable or even superior approach. The paper covers market share, reliability, performance, scaleability, security, and total cost of ownership." Bookmark this for the next time your boss asks.
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Why Open Source Software/Free Software?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    #1: Value.It's 15 percent better than the crap we've previously sold you.

    #2: Reliability.It's more reliable than the crap we sold you last year.

    #3: Mobility.You can take this crap on the road.

    #4: Manageability.With self healing apps this crap can make itself better, though we're still not sure why it gets sick in the first place.

    #5: Performance.It's faster than the crap we've sold you before, or at least that's what we paid ZDNet to say. (w2k faster in 64 meg of ram,LOL)

    #6: Security. At Credit Suisse First Boston, all your money are belong to haxors.

    #7: Internet. "The Internet is just a fad" - billg

    #8: Usability. We've almost caught up with the Mac.

    #9: Data Access. Whether it is on C:, D:, or E: we give you easy to remember names for all your hard drives.

    #10: Hardware Access. We've finally gotten around to supporting the same hardware that Apple has for two years.

  • from the article...: "There's already some evidence that others anticipate this; Richard Thwaite, director of IT for Ford Europe, stated in 2001 that an open source desktop is their goal, and that they expect the industry to eventually go there (he controls 33,000 desktops, so this would not be a trivial move)."

    Excuse me, but have you heard about sales tactics? this is just a tactic to move some negotiations between MS and Ford. Do you really think that Ford will switch to Linux on a snap of a finger? what about all their software they're using? servers? clients? what about all their internal applications? you're talking here about dozens of software packages that each department uses their own packages (with the expection of MS Office and stuff like that)

    So what this article that you point to is just pointed to MS to say "guys, if you won't lower your ACL copy and Windows XP copy for each machine, then we can invest in alternatives" - but moving to Linux right now (as much as I love Linux and use it daily) will be a totally irresponsible thing to do - specially that you don't have the applications neede, support contracts, or anyone that will walk company size of ford to switch from Windows to Linux, both clients/workstations and servers.

  • I agree somewhat with your premise, that OS/FS isn't good for EVERYTHING, but I think it is quite usable for many more things than people realize.

    Your example of a very specific program for a very small client, I don't agree with. Even the smallest, most specialized program can be reused/transformed by someone else. I have personally taken code from a program that I had written for one very specific purpose and used it in another completely-unrelated program. I also realize that I cannot forsee the needs of future hackers. It may be that something happens later that a modified version of the very specific program could solve. In your scenario, they would be denied and have to write it from scratch (With limited success if they follow the current trend and have less low-level skill than hackers of old).

    I think the sole time closed source can beat OS/FS readily is in programs that have NO interest or the interest peaks and disappears quickly. My primary example for this is games. Most games require an enormous amount of effort in an extremely limited timespan. The game must be written, debugged (cough), and ready to ship to every jack-n-gameplayer in the world in an average or 2 years. Then the market for said computer game is completely inundated and burns itself out in about 6 to 12 months. That is hardly something that any of us in the OS/FS realm can equal. Most of the OS/FS games produced are either very simple (By society's standards) or they take years and years to develop.
  • I see no justification in your quotations for your assertion. Sure, Stallman was pissed off at Symbolics, and the reason he was pissed off was that he felt that they were not advancing humanity's interests in Stallman's view.

    You might not like Stallman or his methods, but there is little question as to the underlying philosophical motivation as to what he is doing.


  • This may just be a troll, but assuming it isn't:

    Was abolition of slavery bad because it devalued the economic worth of the people they worked for? Is it bad to build a better mouse-trap since you might put existing mouse-trap manufacturers out of business?

    Believe me, your protectionist attitude has nothing to do with capitalism, and much to do with the left-wing socialism that I suspect you think you disagree with.


  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Friday July 13, 2001 @02:21PM (#86301) Homepage Journal
    Here was a post I sent recently to the SiliconValley forum which hosted a debate between some Microsofties and Open Source luminaries which, while slightly off-topic, may be of some interest to readers of this article:
    Open Source advocates: A strawman argument?

    I think that I see the disconnect here, and it actually lies in the distinction between Open Source, and Free Software. As I see it, the difference is that the motivation behind Free Software, as advocated by Richard Stallman, is to advance humanity as a whole, without concern for commercial viability. The motivation behind Open Source is that a company can benefit commercially from use of an Open Source license. Now, it is clear that there are definite benefits for a company to use Open Source software, however I think a good case can be made as to why it may not be in a company's best interests to create such software, and I suspect that this is the case that underpins Craig's argument.

    The question then is - which argument are we having here? I think that it is fair to say that advocates of Open Source tend to shift their position as it suits them - effectively using a strawman argument. Since we are discussing Microsoft's use of a Shared Source license, and Microsoft is, of course, motivated by profit, it seems that at least partially the Open Source advocates, in criticizing Shared Source, are making the weaker case that it is in Microsoft's interests to create Open Source software. It is also clear, however, that most of their justifications for this position are, in fact, justifications for the stronger case that Open Source is in the public interest.

    This is a strawman since in arguing with Craig they imply that he is trying to say that Open Source is not in the public interest, and argue against that (which isn't hard). The reality, however, is that Craig is actually thinking in terms of a for-profit corporation's best interest (which is perfectly natural), and then presumably relying on the Ayn Rand philosophy that capitalism will ultimately advance the public interest.

    I therefore challenge the participants to make their position clear. Do they feel that:

    • It is in a for-profit organisation's interest to create Open Source software
    • It is in a for-profit organisation's interest to use Open Source software
    • It is not in a for-profit organisation's interest to create Open Source software, but it is in the public interest
    • It is not in anyone's interest to create Open Source software
    I think that we need to acknowledge that for-profit corporations will do whatever they can, within the law, to advance their own interests, and it is the responsibility of government to protect the public interest.


  • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @01:01PM (#86302) Homepage Journal

    Bruce's response is nothing more than the cold hard truth. Just because you want to make a living selling software, doesn't mean that you can make a living selling software. It doesn't even really matter whether you use a commercial or a Free Software license. In fact, in some cases you have a better chance of making money under a Free Software license than a commercial softwrae license.

    A case in point is database software. No one would even consider using MySQL if it was just another proprietary database system. There are plenty of commercial products that are much better. But since it is Free Software, people use it. In fact, enough people use it so that the author and a fair amount of other hackers have a full time job selling service and support.

    The fact of the matter is that there are a whole pile of software niches that it is basically impossible to enter as a commercial software vendor. Try making a living selling a proprietary web server or web browser (if you aren't Microsoft, of course). Commercial software firms fail all of the time.

    Now, if you happen to have a successful business selling commercial software right now, then you would be a fool to release your software under a Free Software license. Unless, of course, you are started to see increased pressure from a Free Software product that does essentially the same thing, in which case you might have to rethink your strategy.

  • I love point #1. In .edu domains back in 1999 there was a bunch of Linux machines being used. Like .edu or 1999 results really matter! :)

    Point #2 is funny... Of course Windows was the #1 server being used and outnumbered Linux 2 to 1. :)

    I especially love point #4... Gartner produced a survey that said Linux is hardly being deployed in data centers... But it's been widely discredited.

    How has it been discredited? Well nothing really factual. Nobody really did any similar surveys to prove a counter-point. No instead 300 slobs living in their mothers basement posted to claiming it had to be made up.

    But take this in conjunction with point #3. It's funny how readily the guy believes this despite the fact that it has also been widely discredited in exactly the same way as point #4. Well except the guys who discredited it live in apartments rather than momma's basement. :)

    Oh then there is the wonderful Urban Legend of the Linux world told just after Point #4. I speak, of course, about the Navy ship failure. That's actually been discredited by 300 geeks who own their own homes rather than live in momma's basement. :)

    Then he goes on to compare IIS against Tux in terms of Performance after he just got done comparing IIS to Apache in terms of reliability. I love this! It is one of the fatal flaws of a similar paper written by Kirch and archived at Only he compares reliability of commercial Unix installations and then immediately extends this to claim Linux is equally as fast and reliable. :)

    Oh in point #2 of the performance area he forgot to mention the "Free" Linux solution cost over twice what the "Forsale" Microsoft solution cost, and had slightly less than double the performance increase. He also didn't mention that the Microsoft software solution was almost a year older than the Linux one.

    Heh. Then he falls into Urban Legend #2. Mindcraft was biased... Oh yeah, despite the fact that similar results were obtained by other independent benchmarks that showed serious flaws in the Linux kernel.

    The TCO section had me on the floor laughing. :)

    Ohwell, thanks for the laugh! :)
  • Yeah, what happens in the .edu domain is important!

    That's why Pascal was such a huge success in the business world. :)

    As far as the Gartner group study versus the IDC. You don't seem to understand. The Gartner group study was designed to question and dispute the ridiculous IDC study.

    Then you go on. I just have to say... COME ON!? You actually believe that interpretation of the Navy ship story? How a divide by Zero error supposedly caused Windows NT to crash. Not just the server, but all of the terminals, etc.

    That story was beaten to death, and it was fairly easy to conclude that the problem was with the application software, and not the OS itself.

    As far as performance. You obviously don't read TPC benchmarks but a large part of the solution is hardware dependent. The Linux results were done on an SGI with 16 processors. The top Microsoft results were done on a Compaq with 8 processors. Also in this time frame Windows 2000 Data Center edition has come out which supports 16 processors. In the top ranked TPC-W results we have just such a machine from Unisys running Win2k data center...

    Just because you are incapable of comprehending my actual points doesn't mean they don't exist. ROTFL! :)
  • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Friday July 13, 2001 @05:58PM (#86305)
    I've noticed many Open Source advocates resort to pretty weak arguments to try to further their point.

    Generally the chief one is in defense of the GPL they point to all the wonderful Open Source software that has created the Internet. BIND, Apache, Sendmail, etc. They do this without acknowledging the fact that none of this software has been released under the GPL, rather it is the non-GPL nature of the software that it is successful.

    In the Silicon Valley forum the most disturbing point came when Craig Schmidt asked Bruce Perens a question about earning a living with Open Source.

    "Bruce, Your argument that the best business model for open source software is to sell hardware (or something else) may be correct, but it is disheartening to someone who would like to just make software products. "

    Bruce didn't acknowledge the point Craig was making but rather told him he should get over it and go do this other type of work that Craig already said he didn't like doing.

    Consider consulting for one of these companies that profits from the use rather than the sale of software. There is also some chance that a subscription scheme will work for you if your value-add is extremely high - this seems to work for an electronics CAD business that provides a time-to-market advantage to their customers by exercising the latest capabilities of the chip fab, but service is also an important component of their business."

    I leave it up to an excercise to the reader to understand why Bruce's response felt like Marxism to me.
  • This isn't the flip side. This article is comparing Windows 2000 to NT and 9x.
  • Looking over the "paper" I noted some interesting things on just a quick viewing: 1)under "Performance Date" item 2 "GNU/Linux was the May 2001 performance leader in the TPC-H decision support (database) benchmark (``100Gb'' category)" Um yes, they did, but they did it on a machine that costs $948966.00. System description It was one of the most expensive machines in the running. The number 2 machine is an Win2k / SQL Server 2000 machine for a third the price.

    You want a Yugo, you buy a Yugo. I prefer my BMW.

  • The SGI Linux system is over 3 times the cost, as you pointed out, but it took the Linux solution double the processors (16 in a clustered system, of course) to beat out the single 8-CPU Windows box by a paltry 60%.

    Wow, I didn't know Linux was scaling so well to 16 way - thanks for pointing it out. Looks like Microsoft has to chase taillights here.

  • I've read about this article a few days ago, and quickly forgot it..

    No matter how you slice it, if you look only at the numbers, you'd go with Microsoft, because they OWN the mass market right now.

    And "future predictions" are as reliable as astrology.

    To summarize, I don't like those kind of "stupid marketing" articles, be they for or against Linux.

  • The SGI Linux system is over 3 times the cost, as you pointed out, but it took the Linux solution double the processors (16 in a clustered system, of course) to beat out the single 8-CPU Windows box by a paltry 60%. Oooo, impressive! Sorry michael, but this guy's essay was embarrassingly simpleminded garbage, and showing it to your boss is likely to get you laughed out of the office. It's already been ripped to shreds by various other posters, so I won't repeat what they've said.


  • You had some good things to say, but I really have to correct the record on one point that you made, something which was also brought up at the Roundtable:

    [T]he motivation behind Free Software, as advocated by Richard Stallman, is to advance humanity as a whole.

    Actually, the whole motivation behind Richard Stallman's Free Software crusade is pure jealousy and ego. When fellow workers at MIT started taking the research and actually applying it to produce real products to be used by consumers, and of course making money from it, it really honked RMS off. From Steven Levy's Hackers (emphasis mine):

    This was RMS's opportunity for revenge....
    Stallman had no illusions that his act would significantly improve the world at large. He had come to accept that the domain around the AI Lab had been permanently polluted. He was out to cause as much damage to the culprit as he could.
    And later, in Forbes ( []):
    [Stallman] retaliated [against the computer scientists who left the MIT AI Lab to form Symbolics] by sabotaging his former colleagues' sophisticated commercial programs for powerful computers, singlehandedly hacking up his own versions and giving them away. "They accused me of costing them millions of dollars," he says. "I hope it's true."

    Not really too surprising from someone who has invested so much energy in attacking anybody who says "Linux" without appending "GNU" to the front of it, is it? How many more hours have been wasted by programmers thinking they were serving some noble goal, when in reality they were just feeding Richard Stallman's childish insecurities and ego? Programmers that Stallman would be thrilled to see homeless and begging for change if they ever even think about making a bigger splash than him. Pity.


  • The "trouble" here is that there are free alternatives
    to everything MS makes. In a couple of years they
    will have to compete with Openoffice and Koffice
    on price/performance. Do you think they will first
    give away Windows and then Office? Because that's
    the logical chain if one follows your argument.
    As an aside, I think that network-based apps will
    not fly because networks have latency and they
    go down. Passport already exists and is a luaghing
    stock of identification providers (Hotmail security?),
    .NET may be good (it may succed on the client but
    is unlikely to displace java on the server) and
    Hailstorm will be a huge mess. Microsoft's new
    business model looks like a money losing disaster
    in the making.
    1. Perhaps, but two things. First, do you want someone who doesn't know anything about Web servers running your business-critical e-commerce site? Isn't that sort of like having someone who doesn't know anything about flying in the pilot's seat of a 747 full of people at 30,000 feet? Second, if it's proper software you only configure it once. Which costs more for 10 years wear, a pair of boots that cost $100 and last 10 years, or boots that cost $20 a pair and have to be replaced every year?
    2. Which differs from Windows help files how? :)
    3. MS is correcting this problem. :)
    4. One word: skins. You off-load the UI design from the program logic. Then again, I haven't found most O/S programs significantly harder to use than most Windows programs. Yeah Windows sometimes looks prettier, but buries the useful options under 10 levels of menus or on an obscure dialog reachable only from a place completely unrelated to what you want to do. And the UI changes every bloody year.
  • It's too general.

    'for-profit organisation' is not specific enough. It is certainly *not* is Microsoft's best interest to promote Open Source software, since it's business model is based around selling software. However, it would certainly be in, say, Ford's best interest.

    Ford could care less that it can't sell software for a profit. It wants software that fulfils it buisness needs, as cheaply as possible. If this can be accomplished by releasing something to the public, then it is in Ford's best interest to do so.

    Open Source can be bad for business. *If* you are in the buisness of selling software. Since businesses that sell software would be a small minorty of all business, Microsoft's argument applies to very few.

    Or, simply put, I (as well as any company) could care less about protecting Microsoft's interests. I care about my own. (I'll save the massive logical flaws in Objectivism for another time :-)

  • Also, just because it's .edu doesn't make it invalid. I'd say what future IT professionals are using in school is rather relvant to this debate.

    Point #2 is funny... Of course Windows was the #1 server being used and outnumbered Linux 2 to 1. :)

    The point that was made is that Linux has signifgant market share. No. #2 is certainly pretty signifigant. Last I checked, Pepsi was considered pretty successful.

    I especially love point #4... Gartner produced a survey that said Linux is hardly being deployed in data centers... But it's been widely discredited.

    How has it been discredited? Well nothing really factual. Nobody really did any similar surveys to prove a counter-point. No instead 300 slobs living in their mothers basement posted to claiming it had to be made up.

    Did you completely miss the part where he mentioned the IDC study that had strikeingly different results from the Garter study? I'd brush up on those reading comprehension skills.

    But take this in conjunction with point #3. It's funny how readily the guy believes this despite the fact that it has also been widely discredited in exactly the same way as point #4. Well except the guys who discredited it live in apartments rather than momma's basement. :)

    Here's an idea. How about some facts! If it's been so widely discredited, help the rest of us out with some links. Oh yeah, that would require actual *research*.

    Oh then there is the wonderful Urban Legend of the Linux world told just after Point #4. I speak, of course, about the Navy ship failure. That's actually been discredited by 300 geeks who own their own homes rather than live in momma's basement. :)

    That whole 'give us facts and research' thing again. Is it really that hard to support your arguments?

    Then he goes on to compare IIS against Tux in terms of Performance after he just got done comparing IIS to Apache in terms of reliability. I love this! It is one of the fatal flaws of a similar paper written by Kirch and archived at Only he compares reliability of commercial Unix installations and then immediately extends this to claim Linux is equally as fast and reliable. :)

    Complete strawman. There is nothing wrong with saying 'Apache is more reliable than IIS' and 'TUX is faster than IIS'. Now, if he tried to claim vice-versa w/o evidence, you'd have a point. But, you'd rather put words in his mouth than try to counter his actual arguement.

    Oh in point #2 of the performance area he forgot to mention the "Free" Linux solution cost over twice what the "Forsale" Microsoft solution cost, and had slightly less than double the performance increase. He also didn't mention that the Microsoft software solution was almost a year older than the Linux one.

    The one thing I'll give you is the cost issue. It's a valid point. However, bringing up the fact that the MS software is a year old is meaningless. Windows 2000 and SQL 2000 are their newest releases. Hardly the people who implemented the test's fault that MS hasn't come up with anything new since then. If XP was for sale right now, instead of in beta, you'd have a point.

    Heh. Then he falls into Urban Legend #2. Mindcraft was biased... Oh yeah, despite the fact that similar results were obtained by other independent benchmarks that showed serious flaws in the Linux kernel.

    Try reading. He mentioned the flaws in the Linux kernel, and that they have been fixed. Oh, and if you really think that a study commissioned by the party that *won* isn't biased, you are just the type of person I am looking for to sell a bridge to.

    The TCO section had me on the floor laughing. :)

    Why? Since you fail to bring up any actual points here, I am forced to conclude that you are unable to.

  • Statistics always seem to say exactly what the author wants, so how about this:
    A drag race.
    That's right, get teams together competing in certain hardware classes and let them compete, MS against RedHat against OpenBSD against Solaris.
    Let the teams use every resource they can to tune and optimize and try to kick the other team's butt.
    Include competitions for Web Serving, database, crackability, that kind of stuff.
    Whenever someone does a benchmark study that shows Microsoft beating Linux, people scream 'unfair' - That the people who set up the Linux box didn't optimize correctly or used a setup that caused the results to be skewed. This would force people to put their money where their mouth is.

    I have a programming student who uses Windows 2000. He and I were setting up MySQL on his machine and I was showing him the 'benchmark' feature of SQL, as in
    "SELECT BENCHMARK(1000000000,radians(180))". While basically a meaningless test, it did give him some bragging rights and motivate me to optimize a bit when he trounced me and my Linux box, (both with 600MHz and 128MB.)
    Who knows, could be fun...

    Jim in Tokyo

    MMDC Mobile Media []

  • As Windows licenses get more and more expensive, that value proposition gets shakier and something like Linux that's free (as in beer) looks a heck of a lot more attractive.

    Actually, I suspect that Microsoft will have to compete on price within the next 1-3 years. Look at how Sun has changed its Solaris pricing ($75?) to react to Linux. As physicists know, when you have a zero in your equation (ie $0), you are bound to get some crazy answers.

    Microsoft crushed Netscape with a free IE (poor Spyglass licensed its browser code to Microsoft for per-sale royalties, there's another equation with a 0). Might Microsoft dare to give Windows away for free, now that the DOJ heat is cooling off []? With a free Windows, Microsoft could continue is Office monopoloy and profitably reach for its upcoming Hailstorm/Passport/.NET stranglehold.
  • To sum that up as what I meant...

    "Free / Open Source does not always mean free or available via FTP"
  • by Phill Hugo ( 22705 ) on Friday July 13, 2001 @04:06PM (#86319) Homepage
    You miss something obvious when you talk about "Open Source" being bad for single shot, client specific applications.

    These already ARE Open Source, most clients pay a service charge to have these application developed and they control the right to use the resulting application (most of those who have any ounce of clue anyway, I'm sure some are stung). In effect, the client is then free to take the work and extend it independently, redeploy it, place the code on the internet, anything. (This would be my experience from development contracts anyway - Perhaps some lucky people are getting away with harsher terms - I suppose Microsoft do).

    Those choosing not to further distribute doesn't make it less like Open Source software to them - they can still have someone else work on it later and are not tied to a specific vendor (assuming the documentation is up to scratch). Many just don't realise the benefit of doing open distribution (it tends to save money to have vital, reusable parts of your system available for others to use and improve.
  • please elaborate so that I may learn from my mistakes or mysterious one. I would love to work in an environment where I didn't have contempt for my employers (who are generally associating way too much importance to what essentially is just bits).
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <> on Friday July 13, 2001 @02:15PM (#86321) Homepage Journal
    Sorry to feed trolls and all but I thought someone needs to respond.

    When someone says the phrase "business model" people often think of various silly ideas that I would put more into the catagory of "scam". No, when I talk about business models I am talking about how you pay for software, not how to "make money" from software.

    There was once a time when software was developed by companies in-house. It was secret, proprietory and built custom for that business. There was little forward progress in software methods as everything had to be reimplemented. Eventually, companies caught onto the idea that they could purchase generic tools from "software companies" which were often as good if not better than in-house development. Many companies sprang up to fill this need and the overall quality of software improved.

    Open source offers a way to return to in-house development. Companies can have all the advantages of in-house development along with the free testing, debugging and features provided by contributing to community software. Co-operation can replace competition.

    To address your concerns (or those who truely have these concerns, as you are obviously just trolling) I can personally state that it would be a relief if my job was not directly tied to the sale of a product. To put it frankly: customers piss me off. In-house development and maintenance is a much lighter atmosphere, without the headaches of release schedules or the lunacy of checkbox marketing requirements.
  • but isn't this just a dmoz-type list of some of the more significant Linux statistics made, excluding the bad ones?

    Mark Twain said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics". And I strongly agree, because it seems that for every pro-linux statistic, there's an anti-linux statistic.

    Statistics can easily be done badly, or be completely irrelevant for realistic applications, and packaging many statistics together just encourages the reader even more to ignore the details.

  • ... Introduction to Open Source and Free Software [], a brief (5 page) introductory paper that is understandable to non-technical people. If your boss doesn't "get it", then maybe your boss's boss will.

    There's also a book out called Embracing Insanity []. It's an outstanding introduction to Open Source and Free Software that management-types and non-technical people can understand. At only 177 pages, it's a fairly quick and easy read.
  • OSS/Commercial doesn't seem to matter one bit to my boss. All she cares about is the results. We produce better quality (reliable) software at at a faster rate with our OSS platform and dev tools than we did with the "company standard".

    Better tools make it easier to make better software.

  • WE should do opensourced FUD! so everyone can contribute! Lets make a bigger stick together to beat microsoft with!!

  • Microsoft measures its power in machines sold; Their contracts ensure that more machines will be sold with MS software than with Linux or other free/open software.

    Linux measures its power in the number of machines with Microsoft OSes which are reformatted and installed with Linux instead. :-)

  • A new kind of lie introduced by the technology era.
  • Basically, Linux is not a 'ready to run' OS (no matter which distro you are using). It is a toolbox. This mean that:
    - you should know which tool to pick
    - you should know how to put tools togheter.

    Once you know that, you can assemble a quite reliable and usable desktop (no, not usable as a MS desktop, but more for lack of commercial support than for lack of software/bad software).
    I still have the Win98 partition around on my desktop but it is more than one year I did not use it.And when I needed more disk on my laptop, I did not esitated(much) before removing Win95.
    The application I use dayly are a lot more reliable than you mentioned (and this includes a rather sperimental mozilla 0.91 and gnome 1.4 without Nautilus ). Up to now, upgrades never left me without a system (I use Debian/testing, but I am careful with what to upgrade).

    To use Linux, you shall first accept that an important part of your computer solution is _yourself_. No, this does not mean that you have to be a programmer. It means only that standard linux software[up to now] will not attempt (and badly fail) to think for you. But it will perform faultlessy a miriad of boring and repetitive tasks, leaving you the time to think.

  • Actually, for the people Windows (the desktop at least) is already at 0$ cost. They get it with their new computer. Yes, they pay for it, but they don't understand it. Even many linux users accept to buy computers with windows pre-installed (and payed for), because it is hard to find an alternative.

    For people to make price/performance assessments, they should have the possibility to choose between two computers with the same hardware, one running an OSS system, the other running a MS system. And there will still be the issue of the application base (although OSS applications could benefit of their $0 tag).

    Servers are a differen matter: Win2000 costs quite a lot. And you don't need so many applications (or games) for it.

    As for work-place office desktops, they are a middle ground. MS still has better applications and owns most of the marker, making it difficult for a Linux-based shop to inter-operate with others using MS products. On the other hand, OSS office applications are impoving, and they do not have per-user licence fee (or licence fee at all). And work-place office desktops have less esotic hardware and do not need games, so the lack of commercial support is less an issue, here.

  • by bockman ( 104837 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @02:13AM (#86330)
    Open Source isn't really good for anyone. It primarily serves to devalue the economic worth of software development, thereby reducing standards of living for professional programmers and impeding the technological advance of software.

    You mean : how can we make money by writing software, when there is around so much software for free?

    Answer :making _really_ _new_ software. Really innovating, building on the solid basement of open-source software.
    You don't have to open-source the software you write, if you dont feel to (and don't brag on 'viral' GPL : most of libraries are at least LGPL, or distributed with more liberal licences.

    Open source make it hard to make money by selling _old_ software based on recycled ideas. Any real innovation would sell easily, until OSS developers can catch with it. Enough for repaying of development costs. Not enough for becoming a new Gill Bates (is that what you want?).

    Moreover open source makes possible for small shop of developers all around the world to build and sell customized software solutions based on open-source item. These shops would never mass-sell boxes of ther product, and they gladly releases the source if this mean cheaper improvements and maintenance.

    Developers working in vertical market segments, like me, can also benefit from the pletora of open source tools out there to build higly specialized software solution. They could even open-source their software, since usually the customers already paid for its development. And the curstomer would benefit from open-sourcing it, since il would nman cheaper upgrade and maintenance.

    Conclusion: open-source is only bad for companies that sell the same old crap for years and years, keeping their customer base locked to their products by any means.
    Today, a lot of software companies are like that. Tomorrow, it will have to change, thanks to open source, and for the greater benefit of users. [Even MS has been forced to put out a better OS because of Linux].

  • Um, since when has Apple supported more total hardware than the PC world? It wasn't very long ago that you were limted to a bunch of super proprietary hardware solutions provided by apple and its minions. Not that you ever needed more than that but claiming that Apple has more support is wierd to hear.
  • The counter to your arguement is that even if it is such an application, if it is well coded or contains interesting those ideas can be reused elsewhere. Very few tasks on computers are so specific that no one else will want to do them. There are too many computer users for that. Where I CAN see it is if there is some simulation work or something similar where confidential information must be used when writing the code, such as the physical characteristics and parameters of a new weapon or the details of a next generation supercar. THEN I can see closed source. But any application typically will have appeal somewhere. It's whether or not it's a good idea to let out your ideas that should decide it. Even if the application itself is never used, open source preserves ideas. That is it's real power. Even if in ten years we are all programming in smalltalk or something, we can still look at older code to find a solution to something or an elegant piece of code to base something off of, preventing us from reinventing the wheel. If was a good design, no reason for it not to be used again. If was bad, we can see why it was bad and work to avoid those mistakes. So while open source might not benefit one particular application, it will always benefit the community.
  • uhhhhhhh....isn't that called slashdot? :D

  • (Pardon all the misuses of terms, don't balk at me unless you're RMS)

    The point htis article misses is that it isn't just GNU/Linux vs. Windows.

    Commercial vs. Free is, more realistically, AIX, Solaris, etc. vs. GNU/Linux. Even if GNU/Linux can beat Windows in a database test, it can still be whupped (in many cicrumstances) by other commercial Unices.

    These are those faulty benchmarks that make one system look better beause of minute differences. Website counts that have 4 decimals, but no approximation of the number of servers on the internet?

    I like GNU/Linux, but I'm not going to go advocating it as saying Free Software is better than Commercial Software for reasons other than ethics blindly. I can admit that GNU/Linux isn't right for everything yet. I'm not going to say you should use it for quantitative reasons when most of them are half-hearted MS bashing attempts.

    Use GNU/Linux because you want to. Encourage people to use it because it's right. But don't find every study you can, emphasize the ones where GNU/Linux wins and when Microsoft wins (a la servers by IP address) lump GNU/Linux together with commercial UNICES! This is just sad. Linux advocacy for the sake of Linux advocacy hurts everyone.

  • Lets not be zealots like are closed minded friends []. Open source is superior for lots of applications, but not necessarily all applications.

    A very specific program for a very small client (only) isn't a good open source project. Open source is wonderful if it works with/for a large communitee. Allow me to explain a little better. Its not a good open source project if it only works/only needed for one company and will never be needed again, because it won't reap the benefits of open source (no one will check the code for errors, or want to expand the code or add new features, etc...).

    I am for open/free source, but I just don't want everyone to have a narrow view of open source. This probably isn't the best example (I'm sure that several people that reply to this will point it out). I'm just trying to explain that closed source still has its advantages, however few there may be.

    "That's one small step for man..." "STOP POKING ME!!!!"
  • Why would it be in Ford's best interest to release software??? They made it internally, and aren't distributing it outside their company so why would they push specialized software that they used their own money to develope with???

    It seems to me that they would never want internal code to go outside their company, for a couple of reasons.

    1) Most likely nobody but other auto makers will even glance at their code (so what's the point then)

    2) Other automakers will use their code, and they DON'T have to release any changes if they don't distribute it so Ford would never get any improvements back.
  • Hrmm?? What inferior interfaces? I've also used Photoshop and Gimp on the same hardware and they are all about equal. Both have clunky interfaces that take time to learn.

    BTw, I thought gcc compiled code the fastest, though I think it was a Sun compiler that produced the best optimizations.
  • Good chance that they already use some CAD program on *nix, probably Irix. Thier sales force which most of that 33,000 likely only use Desktop productivity software plus broswer and email. All of which is available on GNU/Linux, even if some of it is proprietary software like Applixware or Corel Wordperfect. The OpenOffice, Gnome Office, and KOffice all are shaping up pretty well, and any one of them would meet at least 99% of your needs.

    Any internal applications should be available in source code and probably can be recompiled for a new OS. And there are companies such as CodeWeavers [] that are ready to help with the porting effort.
    BTW, thanks troll, this might be a good start on my master's thesis.
  • It's worse than just being a weak rebuttal. It hurts his overall argument.

    The whole paper is supposed to give 'quantitative' reasons to choose Free Software - i.e. the numbers.

    Here he's effectively saying "You don't need to see the numbers, I've already decided for you that they don't matter"
  • USB? Firewire? Both supported, and well, on the Macintosh long before any, let alone usable support made it into Windows.

    Shoot, I'm no Apple fan, but the iMac is what finally gave USB the jumpstart it needed to get going.

  • by jchristopher ( 198929 ) on Friday July 13, 2001 @02:53PM (#86341)
    I love the concept of open source. I think that those who code open source software, particularly under BSD style licenses, are saints.

    But I also feel that open source has some serious issues that need to be addressed.

    1. It seems that quite a bit of open-source software works "just well enough", that is, the nerds can understand and figure it out, but the usability is not there for a technophobe. An example would be the Apache webserver, which a leader in it's class, even when compared to commercial software. However, it's not easy to setup - configuration is through text files, etc.

    2. Documentation and Help: It's pretty well known that programmers like to code, not write documentation or a help system. Thus, many open source programs are poorly / not at all documented and have no online help if the user gets stuck.

    3. It's hard for open source to compete against pirated commercial software. If everyone had to pay $200 for Windows and $500 for Office, Linux, StarOffice, etc. is an easy choice. However when Windows and Office can be obtained for nothing (and is, by most people), it's harder for open source to compete. If Windows is 'free' and Linux is 'free', most end users will choose Windows.

    4. Ease of use and user interface. Open source programmers are not icon designers, color theorists, photographers, or graphic designers, for the most part, and it shows. Open source needs to figure out how to pay people in those fields to improve the GUIs of open source operating systems and applications.

    Well, that was kind of long. Hopefully there will be (more) progress in these areas. I know about Mandrake - what is needed is Mandrake times 100.

  • by empesey ( 207806 )

    Entropy ain't just a good idea. It's the law.
  • That's all good, but when I'm selling a solution, and they ask about support, what am I going to tell them? "It's support by some geek living in his parents basement" won't fly.

    And this is worse than the overall quality of paid Tech Supported exactly how? If you're building a system based on proprietary software and your client asks you about support, honesty dictates that you tell them it's supported by a gang of low-wage graduates living in their parents' basements who get paid to sit in a cube farm all day scratching their arses.

    Sure, you'll get the occasional Tech Support person who is courteous and knowledgeable, but most of them are clueless. And who can blame them? They're paid peanuts to be screamed at by irate customers all day. Not my idea of a challenging job. Even if they wanted to know how exactly the product they're supporting really works, they wouldn't be able to find out, because that information is proprietary even within the company itself. How many people in the world do you think really know what happens in Windows 9x between seeing the `Starting Windows 9x' prompt appear on the console and getting your network login prompt? A dozen? Two dozen? Whoever they are, these people aren't sitting in Microsoft Tech Support.

    Better to have some geek interested in his work in your corner than some poor wage slave who's just had the ears burned off of her by some snot-nosed MBA because his machine has eaten his PowerPoint slides. But try telling that to the penny-wise-pound-foolish specimens that sign the POs...

  • So, I've talked about how free software affects most business. But how does it affect that particular narrow area which is software business? Well, the answer is mostly not at all. And the reason is that 90% of the software industry, from what I'm told, is development of custom software, software that's not meant to be released at all. For custom software, this issue, or the ethical issue of free or proprietary, doesn't arise. You see, the issue is, are you users free to change, and redistribute, the software? If there's only one user, and that user owns the rights, there's no problem. That user is free to do all these things. So, in effect, any custom program that was developed by one company for use in-house is free software, as long as they have the sense to insist on getting the source code and all the rights.

    And the issue doesn't really arise for software that goes in a watch or a microwave oven or an automobile ignition system. Because those are places where you don't download software to install. It's not a real computer, as far as the user is concerned. And so, it doesn't raise these issues enough for them to be ethically important. So, for the most part, the software industry will go along, just as it's been going. And the interesting thing is that since such a large fraction of the jobs are in that part of the industry, even if there were no possibilities for free software business, the developers of free software could all get day jobs writing custom software.


  • My biggest problem with your article was use of words like "easier" and "faster." I saw no definitive words, no direct statements. Just statements of superiority over previous MS products. And some hints of superiority over non-MS products.

    Having exactly 10 reasons gave cause for suspicion. And having only a few examples of corporations involved gave the suggestion that your data pool was awfully small.

    "Modifications to the OS core to prevent crashes" ... sounds like bug fixes to me. I know guys who write patches the Linux kernel and send them in, and I have a funny feeling that the Linux kernel gets publicly released "modifications to the OS core to prevent crashes" a lot more often than any brand of Windows.

    "comprehensive security" ... hmm. A few things available for Linux that (more than?) equal the playing field: pgp, gpg, ssl-telnet, ssh, scp, IP tunneling over ssl, ssh, ssh over ssl, Netscape 128-bit encryption (and I'm sure there are more that I don't know about)

    IntelliMirror? Sounds like home directories over NFS, if you ask me.

    And it really does sound as if you copied it off MS's website...
  • I purchased a v64 jr (n64 backup utility), and I was looking for linux utilities for it. I found one, and when reading through the README it said the following:

    v64jr download program for Linux This is a port of Bung's drjr tool to Linux. I've seen another v64jr downloader for Linux, but since
    no sane person would run something as root without source code, I decided to port the DOS version

    And thats what Windows users do every day they power Microsoft's PC on.

  • We're just battling FUD with more FUD. Shouldn't we be not playing their games?

    Not so sure. FUD usually relates to campaigns geared to unreasonably scare purchasers away from a product (IBM vs. Amdahl as the seminal example). FUD is based on distorting facts (See Microsoft's implications that Netware 5 didn't come with RAID support when it clearly did and many many more examples I could pull from their web site [] if I wanted). I see no deliberate fact distortion in this paper nor do I see an intent to scare people away from NT or UNIX. Rather I see a simple and well written article evangelizing the virtues of open source software.

    This article is not FUD. It is good marketing.

  • Perhaps the comment that is most "fudly", is the mention that some people "shorten" the name to Linux, from GNU/Linux. That's especially laughable since only a small band of zealots refer to Linux as "GNU/Linux"..........

    Then evidently you have a very different idea of what FUD is than I do. But then, I am a historian and a programmer... What do I know?

    Arguing which semantic entity is correct is hardly FUD. Misguided, perhaps. But definitely not FUD. If you want to call this article FUD, you will need to do better.

    Again, FUD is (by definition!) based on scare tactics. Where in this article does he use scar tactics?

  • My only observation is that many of the statistics are still based on pre-installed, paid dollar charge amounts. This means that, if 80 percent of all servers were GNU/Linux and 20 percent were Windows 2000, and the GNU/Linux cost $50 and the Windows 2000 cost $1000, then you could legitimately say that Windows 2000 has 80 percent of market share, since they got $20,000 per hundred units and GNU/Linux got $4,000.

    So market price based measures will always distort so that the most expensive price dominates the percantage of dollars spent.

    In reality, this would mean that there are 80 percent of the servers that probably have more desire and need to buy software, whereas the 20 percent of servers that would be MSFT have a lesser need, since they installed BackOffice or something like that.

    I know you mentioned this indirectly, but it's not stressed at all.

  • I was addressing applicationperformance issues primarily in the final paragraph's examples.

    GIMP chokes badly on the kinds of large files that are common in design, while Photoshop is optimized for large file sizes. In addition, GIMP doesn't do CMYK separation and isn't integrated with useful color management packages. The performance and feature gaps produce a TCO equation that is decidedly against the "free" GIMP.

    As for UI, Photoshop's is generally acknowledged to be superior, which is a significant TCO factor.

    With respect to GCC vs. CodeWarrior, I was referring to compile speed, which is a fundamental determinant of programmer productivity. GCC doesn't even have precompiled headers. I was not referring to program optimization.


  • by tim_maroney ( 239442 ) on Friday July 13, 2001 @02:44PM (#86351) Homepage
    The vast majority of issues cited applied only to server systems. Desktop systems were discussed only in a speculative way, not in either qualitative or quantitative terms.

    Reliability used an oversimplistic methodology, probing only for crashes and freezes based on random character input. This is not a metric that has anything to do with the average time between software failures and the seriousness of those failures in real-world software usage; it's yet another uptime-based quality claim. No commercial vendor would ship software that had been QA'd only through this ridiculously simplistic process, which would miss virtually all bugs.

    Performance discussion dealt only with the speed of the base OS platform, not of applications.

    The first numbers were based on abstract benchmarks rather than on comparison of real-world software packages. Instead, let's compare building a project with GCC vs. CodeWarrior, or browsing the web with Mozilla on Linux vs. Explorer on Windows or Mac.

    When claiming a win on database performance, the article fails to note that the winner, while running on Linux, was DB2, a proprietary product from IBM, not an open source or free software database. Let's try MySQL under load against a commercial package instead.

    The third performance test cited was for custom-built software, not applications which are used in the field. Again, it's quite possible the base kernel is faster, but in real-world conditions application performance usually predominates.

    The web server benchmarks appear to be for static pages. Apache is known to be slower than IIS for dynamic content.

    Security I'll grant is much better on Linux than any flavor of Windows, though a desktop Mac OS (not X) system is more secure than either.

    The total cost of ownership issues associated with inferior user interfaces and typically inferior application software performance were not addressed. For instance, compare a shop of graphic designers using GIMP on Linux with one using Photoshop on Mac or Windows, and you'll arrive at a very different TCO conclusion. Ditto for a software engineering team using GCC vs. one using Codewarrior.

    In short, it seemed to me a very partisan piece that ignored most of the issues associated with real-world desktop usage.


  • everybody can win? I.e., as long as everybody is buying MS software, MS wins. But if nobody is using it, and people are instead using Linux, Linux wins?


    Me, for one, I avoid if at all possible buying a machine with Windows preinstalled. Very challenging for a laptop, very easy for a desktop. I hate the thought of Microsoft getting paid a "computer tax" by my buying an OS that I'm not going to use.


  • Non-Microsoft PC OSes, like non-Intel x86 CPUs, have really just come along for the ride, courtesy of Microsoft and Intel.

    Oh, very good. Without Microsoft, there could have been no innovation. Thank you very much. Your honor, the defense would like to call it's next witness....


  • Interesting idea, but I don't think it will ever happen. Microsoft makes billions of dollars annually off of the sale of Windows. Giving Windows away would be an unacceptable hit to the bottom line for the stockholders. In fact, I think that the fact that M$ is a publicly traded company will eventually destroy them.

    Stockholders these days care only about one thing: revenue growth. If a company doesn't increase their profits from year to year (or even quarter to quarter), then the stock price drops and shareholders do silly things like fire the CEO. All very well and good, but Microsoft is in the strange position of already selling near 100% of the operating systems sold with desktop machines these days. With over 90% market share (desktop machines, not servers), the only way Microsoft can grow their business is to squeeze even more money out of their existing customers. This is why they're doing things like "subscription" software licenses that actually reduce value and cost more in the long run.

    That's why Linux is such a fantastic competitor for Windows. Linux can't be bought. Linux can't be bribed. Linux can't be sued. Linux can't be undersold. Linux will never run out of money. Plus, as Microsoft is forced to make Windows more expensive (gotta keep those shareholders happy!), Linux will look more and more attractive to purchasing managers.

    Actually, giving Windows away would probably be their best move in the long run. The shortsighted nature of their business makes it impossible, though.

  • by megaduck ( 250895 ) <dvarvel@hotmail. c o m> on Friday July 13, 2001 @02:33PM (#86355) Journal

    Historically, proprietary vendors eventually lose to vendors selling products available from multiple sources, even when their proprietary technology is (at the moment) better. Sony's Betamax format lost to VHS in the videotape market, and IBM's microchannel architecture lost to ISA in the PC architecture market, because customers prefer the reduced risk (and eventually reduced costs) of non-proprietary products.

    IMHO, price is the reason that Open Source is kicking ass. Betamax, Microchannel, the Amiga, and a hundred others lost to inferior competitors that were simply less expensive but good enough. Consumers are almost universally concerned with getting the best "bang for the buck", and nothing delivers that better than Free Software(tm).

    That's why Microsoft is so paranoid about Linux and the GPL. There's absolutely no way that they can compete with a superior product that's free (as in beer). People only buy Microsoft stuff because it's perceived as having value. As Windows licenses get more and more expensive, that value proposition gets shakier and something like Linux that's free (as in beer) looks a heck of a lot more attractive. The fact that Linux is faster, more reliable, and more scalable is just sweetener that helps seal the deal.

    Thanks to Mr. Wheeler for this beautiful progress report. It's news like this that keep us Open Source advocates going.

  • Again and again we are met with various statements about the progress and superiority about Open Source. In reality however, the question of open source is irrelevant.

    Most users don't care if they have access to the source code or not. Granted, myself being a die hard programmer, rarely reads the source code of open source software. I simply don't have the time, and I guess most other users don't have either. People want to concentrate on their major business issue, and making software to support that is not within the scope of their interests.

    What people _really_ want is standardized software. We computer users want software that implement standardized languages and protocols. In my experience, Open Source projects aren't implementing open standards any better than commaercial companies. In some cases, even Microsoft implements standards better than the Open Source community does, the worst example I know being MySQL.

    If we customers started demanding software that adheres to open standards more than we do to today, the world economy will experience better competition between software companies. The profitability of Microsoft and Oracle will drop since alternatives are available. All in all, the benefits of standardized software is about the same as Open Source is marketed for.

    It is all up to us customers.
  • I love Open Source because it usually means that if my computer keep crashing, the problem is the hardware. Saves me hours of troubleshooting!
  • This paper seems to center around Linux and Apache as examples of well supported software applications. An open source movement that seems to be growing at a much quicker pace than full blown open source applications is the market for open source development tools. As a Java developer, I simply can't live without open source software. Where would I get a build tool, or a logging api. Some of these products don't even have commercial competition. Don't get me wrong... I loved the article; but I don't think there are any better numbers than those backing apache's jakarta projects, or the development trends in open source in general.
  • by XBL ( 305578 ) on Friday July 13, 2001 @01:56PM (#86359)
    ... why should I believe this guy? Anybody can post some stats on a web page and say they are true.

    ... you explain ...

    Sorry, I am too busy at the moment to verify his references. Some of these don't look credible anyway.

    (Two weeks later he makes an order for some MS products based off an advertisement from MS, without thinking twice).

  • Something that should probably be addressed... It says "There are many other factors, but I've found no evidence that they usually cancel the factors listed here." Well, obviously Microsoft and Sun have in their TCO articles, so if you want to rebutt them, you're going to have to find either (a) evidence that they don't cancel the "price of software" factors or (b) show the evidence that Sun/Microsoft present to be flawed. Saying "I've found no evidence" proves nothing.
    Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
  • "We found that just 10 to 15 percent of Linux adoption comes from preinstalled machines... for every paid copy of Linux, there is a free copy that can be replicated 15 times."

    Wow, i would have guessed that the number would have been lower. I wonder how these percentages would work out if companies had an easier time worming their way through a MS contract to ship other OSes or even to support other OSes (monetarily not help desk).

  • finally, logic.

    it's been a while since i've read much written logic.

    thank you for improving my day.
  • by screwballicus ( 313964 ) on Friday July 13, 2001 @02:47PM (#86363)
    Sure, open source works in practice, but will it work in theory?
  • More fuel for Microsoft calling open source a virus. And it's one that's growing faster and faster!
  • WRONG! I posted the original in effort to make the point that FUD goes both ways. It's not some secret trick used only in Redmond, and statistics can be skewed to make almost anything look good. Both Windows and Linux have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, and anyone who tries to claim that one is superior to the other is full of shit.

    I posted something that is based entirely upon fact, well written, and also supported by statistic. Because it goes against the Slashdot groupthink, I'll get flamed and senselessly modded down for it. That is why I posted AC.

    Ask yourself, who is REALLY the moron in this situation: Myself, who follows up an informative article with a well-reasoned counterpoint, or you, sir, whose blind allegiance to SOFTWARE, of all things forces you to personally attack those who disagree. Perhaps you should rethink your value system, sir.

  • A few responses...
    • One poster complained that I only reported reliability measures for Apache, and performance measures for TUX. I clearly stated in the paper that I wanted to have the performance measures for Apache (in particular), but I have no such "equivalent numbers." A TUX+Apache combination would be nice too. However, I am not interested in making numbers up. I've tried to ferret out as many numbers as I can, and unfortunately, the research currently available is not the research he/she wanted.
    • Several readers noted that Zoebelein's 1999 survey only covers a subset of the Internet. I agree that that needs to be emphasized, thanks for pointing that out. I've modified the paper to make that much clearer.
    • The paper never claims to "prove" that OSS/FS is always superior.
    • One person said "How has [Gartner] been discredited? Well nothing really factual. Nobody really did any similar surveys to prove a counter-point." Please read. Gartner is clearly wrong about the supercomputing numbers ("zero"), IDC did a similar survey that DID a counter-point (and came up with significantly different answers), and follow the money.
    • Regarding "Urban Legend #2. Mindcraft was biased... Oh yeah, despite the fact that similar results were obtained by other independent benchmarks that showed serious flaws in the Linux kernel.": Keep reading, the paper clearly discusses why the original benchmark was biased (e.g., websites don't typically have that kind of load), that serious performance flaws in GNU/Linux were found (and later fixed), and so on.
  • you are literally an anonymous coward. indeed a Windows guy, so fluent in cut/paste...
  • This a very good article. I enjoyed reading it. It seems that the author put a lot of work researching. Congrats!!!
  • Remember this??? [] You see Microsoft is not such a menace after all!!!

    So the next time somebody says microsoft is taking over the world...

  • Well, to be quite honest with you... Every ISP that I work with from Austin to Rhode Island use Linux. I honestly don't know too much about Linux, but I think you had a bad day and vented about things that you have no knowledge of. I would list many of these corporations, but I have friends in each. Also, I have a close friend who is a global network administrator for *unspoken* major corporation which implements J2ME into wireless technology in order to... Well, he happens to use Linux. His clients use Linux. Many of my clients use Linux for their servers. The internet is saturated with Linux servers. Many Linux servers = plural. I hope you took the time to read this. I also hope you have learned something today.
  • IT manager + IT staff = Outsourcing waiting to happen.
  • This goes completely against all of Microsoft's reports that they've tried to use to belittle and discourage the Open Source Movement and free software.

    Great paper!

    D/\ Gooberguy
  • I did read the article, and even looked at some references.

    I enjoyed the OS sucks/rules-o-meter ( and IBM's story about turning to linux.

    Are you posting anonymously to preserve your precious karma?

    D/\ Gooberguy
  • Just to ease your mind, I did read your post, and despite people thinking I'm a karma whore, also the entire report. I use linux for all my server needs too.

    It's amazing how my old 486 (overlocked to 100mhz) can serve up dynamic content in Linux, when it can't even start up in NT (I was fair and tried both OSes). That goes to show you what some of the best programmers in the world can do in thier spare time!

    BTW, I loved some of the guys references at the end of the report, such as the OS sucks-o-meter and IBM's story about using linux.

    D/\ Gooberguy
  • People who have memorized the interface, rather than using their brains and learning to interpret what they see in an interface, are incredibly unwilling to memorize another interface, and even more unwilling to actually take the time to learn how to interpret new interfaces quickly.

    Umm I'm sorry but your argument falls apart when you consider that office people learned Word from Wordperfect in the early 90s without too many problems.

    Other businesses will send them all kinds of Microsoft crap. More problems.


    Longer training time for new employees. More expense as a result.

    Unless the company has a staff of no-brainers, desktops like RedHat's, for example, are cleaner and 100% nicer to work with than any winblows d/t I've ever used. Since I moved off windows completely (Nov.99) I have not missed one single application that I previously used in windows. Linux had them all and the speed difference was incredible making for a more productive working environment.

    4) Needing intelligent people to run the networks - yes, you should have that anyway, for a large number of reasons, but the need is more visible with other systems.

    How is the need more visible for other systems when the network uptime for MOSt other systems is far greater than that of Windows. WindowsNT uptime top (29 days), Linux uptime (420 days and counting) Damn that jerk that ripped the plug out of the wall :P.

    In theory it does work just fine. RedHat is an easy, user-friendly interface and the o/s offers just about any application found in Windows. If people cannot install the o/s then it's to the advantage of the company to have the o/s pre-installed and let the employees get used to the difference (like getting used to a new car) and then slowly teach them to troubleshoot the o/s. What's the advantage? You'll have a smarter and more diversified staff working with a more reliable, stable, and faster o/s. Seems to me the change is worth the minimum training required in the short run.
  • or is this giy using waaaaay to many statistics from zdnet.

    I like the content and tnhe links, but relying on one source for 75% (or so) of your content makes the conclusion biased.

    Not that I think that conclusion is wrong.......

    Remember, when you are downloading MP3's, you are downloading communism!!!
  • I spent a couple of hours reading the article and the sources cited. It was very even handed in my opinion, most of his sources talked about the shortcomings of open source OS as they currently exist as much as benefits. The article even refered to these qualifications when citing them (the quotes weren't out of context, a rare thing in my experience...)
  • Subject: RE: [DOTNET] Join us in implementing an Open Source .NET framework > I had some strong feelings running through me after seeing the movie > "Antitrust" Boy tell me about it. I had a range of strong feelings, most of which centered on my having wasted two hours of my life on that piece of crap. Every time a coder walked up to another they'd point to what was maybe 25 lines of code on the screen and say "wow, that's cool what you're doing there". Whatever. The whole good girl / bad girl reversal didn't make sense - why would the bad girl be willing to help Our Hero build it all the way to the point to sabotage the network? It was a very stupid movie - understandable that it upset you... It was the stupidest thing I have ever seen. I mean they have "Microsoft" able to spy on *every* single open source programmer (sic) and not able to detect that the main character, just by typing a few Linux commands!!, can get access to all their plans, get right into the "spying" system in 10 seconds! And then that "Microsoft" would murder open source programmers to get their code. Of course, one could just forget it and chalk it up to the piece of crap that it is, but when I saw it had been sponsored by Sun Microsystems, and featured the GNOME (Miguel) folks and Jon "Maddog" Hall, it was too much. Its like they are declaring war on us developers who don't believe in their way and then they have the gall to come here asking for help after doing a first class defamation of a company (for which they should be sued - I would ). I mean, using Building 21 constantly and so forth and using Bill's sayings. It was too obvious and stupid. I am sorry for the use of my language, not my feelings. These people don't play nice. They don't compete. They whine to the Justice department. They try to turn this software industry into a hippie socialist environment where, in shades of 1967, everything is free, man. Nothing is free. We are paying for those open source developers. Their electricity and their computers have to be paid by someone. And most of them are either in government agencies (our tax dollars) or universities (again our dollars). But it's free, man. No it isn't. It's a meaningless mantra. Not only are they using our tax dollars, but they are also sapping countries all over the world, using up their precious resources and developing "free" software on company's resources. I don't want the very exciting industry of software development, which I have participated in for 22 years, become a drab anti-competitive industry where all we do is service and customizations. And I think once people realize the implications, they won't either. Without competition, the software industry does *not* happen. Period. Many of us want to continue earning a living making great software. Visit me at
  • Looking over the "paper" I noted some interesting things on just a quick viewing: 1)under "Performance Date" item 2 "GNU/Linux was the May 2001 performance leader in the TPC-H decision support (database) benchmark (``100Gb'' category)"
    Um yes, they did, but they did it on a machine that costs $948966.00. System description [] It was one of the most expensive machines in the running. The number 2 machine is an Win2k / SQL Server 2000 machine for a third the price. The Top Ten price / performance list is dominated by Windows 2000 / SQL Server 2000. []
    2)The count of web servers in operation is a bit misleading as the source of the information states that " addresses of the .edu domain were used..." and if you look at the report [] there are NO .com domains represented. Well, gee. I wonder why there are so many linux boxes in the report? Just pointing out that statistics represent those that present them.

  • Is that 59% of web sites that have been hacked are on Microsoft systems, or 59% of the web sites that have been hacked are under
  • Sounds like you're an antikarma whore. Are you trying to get as far into the negative as possible?

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