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The Almighty Buck

Microsoft To Start Running Anti-Unix Ads 1133

PhreakinPenguin writes: "According to this article on, Microsoft and Unisys are preparing to pay for a slew of ads to 'undermine' Unix with the theme of 'We have the way out.' They are apparently hyping that Unix is an expensive money trap. One ad states, 'No wonder Unix makes you feel boxed in. It ties you to an inflexible system. It requires you to pay for expensive experts. It makes you struggle daily with a server environment that's more complex than ever.' Unisys is apparently putting up $25 million and Microsoft won't say how much they're chipping in but you can bet it's more than Unisys." As the article notes, this comes after floundering attempts to sell (through Dell, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard) the high-end Unisys machines pushed by these ads.
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Microsoft To Start Running Anti-Unix Ads

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  • perplexed (Score:2, Insightful)

    Doesn't Microsoft already own enough of the world? You think they could leave UNIX geeks alone.
    • Re:perplexed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Interfacer ( 560564 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:33AM (#3247299)
      Some facts

      - in the REAL world, no one should be left alone. you must be the best to stay on top.

      - heavy duty servers will not be replaced by MS. Windows servers simply cannot handle the load, let alone be secured decently

      - MS servers are ideal for file print servers and simple user management and file/ print servers. that is why you see a lot of mixed environments unix-NT

      - the customer does not give a fk about kernel architecture. he just wants easy to manage GUI.

      - geeks are the minority.
    • Re:perplexed (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:38AM (#3247321) Journal
      This is nothing more than an attack on M$'s server enemies, Sun and Oracle. I'm sure some guys in a boardroom looked at a piece of paper that said they only own 60% of the server market and asked "Why do we not own 95% of this market like we own 95% of every other market?"

      There's nothing illegal here, they just look at where they can expand their revenue like every other corporation in America. There's big money in the server market - when I worked in that industry 6-7 years ago, a M$ server with MS-SQL (bundled, the only way you could get it, which might still be true) cost about $10000 for the low end machine. That was basically a version of Windows with an unlimited connection license and MS-SQL on a fairly mediocre machine. Hardwarewise, I'm guessing about $2000, so that's $8000 in software and profit, most of the development of the OS software was paid for in the consumer version of Windows, so either MS-SQL cost a lot to make, or some hefty profits were being made.
    • Re:perplexed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstevens ( 209321 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:42AM (#3247347)
      Unfortunately, they aren't advertising to the Unix geeks -- they know we know better. Unfortunately, they're advertising to our bosses. That's the problem.
    • We are Microsoft. UNIX is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.


    • Well, everything I have read from the IDC and other sources has indicated that proprietary UNIX IS an extremely expensive money trap. This is mostly due to the fact that there is an incredible economy of scale in the software industry, and most proprietary UNIX vendors only make their software for their hardware. While this allows for better stability, it incurrs severe costs because the development costs are less spread out across the customer base. THis is one of the things that makes Windows Server attractive in many server environments over Netware and proprietary UNIX.

      UNIX servives not because it is not an extremely expensive money trap but because it is the most calable OS to date (Are you gonna run NT on that Cray?) and one that many programmers on the high end know. This means that for supercomputing applications and extremely large database servers, there really is not an alternative. Also, as Windows becomes more stable and scalable, and Linux becomes more scalable, they are moving more and more into the space of proprietary UNIX (there is some evidence that this is inflicting some collateral damage to BSD, but that may be temporary, and in the long run, Linux's success may end up helping BSD).

      The real problem is that Windows is NOT the answer to UNIX. Linux may be. BSD May be, but I don't think that Windows is. There is a lot of migration cost involved. CTO types tend to know this.

      This add campaign may be a good thing for Linux because it may encourage more of the companies to consider migrating to Linux.
  • by tangledweb ( 134818 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:18AM (#3247208)
    I'd rather pay for expensive experts than hand over $4 for a six pack of MCSEs.
    • Re:Expensive experts (Score:5, Informative)

      by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:47AM (#3247391) Homepage Journal
      This was modded as funny, but from our experience, this is more truth than anything. You get what you pay for and our organization (who shall remain anonymous) hired four MCSE's that ultimately cost us many times what a well-trained administrator familiar with UNIX would have cost us. Repeated screwups from the MS certified folks caused data loss, data corruption, and system down-time in addition to attempting to lock us into years of Microsoft products. This move to MS environments was promoted as a cost cutting measure over the objections of our scientists actually doing the work and has resulted in much higher costs overall. Getting rid of these guys and the chaos they wrought has been even more expensive, but at least we have a working environment back again.

      MS sales and marketing will tell you ANYTHING to get you to switch to MS. Be careful as for some environments Windows works fine, but for others UNIX is definitely the way to go. What we are concluding is that is you want the power of UNIX, with ease of administration, perhaps OSX is the future. Its cheaper overall than SGI or Sun, has the UNIX underpinnings, but is still kind-of young and needs a bit of optimization. However, there are serious efforts underway to optimize performance and security through Trusted Darwin and I hear tell that serious workstation class hardware from Apple is just around the corner.
      • by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <jason DOT nash AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 29, 2002 @12:07PM (#3247918)
        The problem is that employers think that a $40K MCSE and an $80K MCSE can do the same thing. They are both MCSEs, right? Whose fault is that? The starting MCSE or the veteran MCSE or the employer? There is the problem. I see it everywhere I go. They hire people without much experience and expect them to be seasoned just doesn't happen. A certification shows a base line knowledge about products. Just because someone has their MCSE doesn't mean they can design a network, believe me. :)

        People need to realize that certifications don't make you an expert and employers need to realize that certifications don't make you good. Pay good people good money and you'll both be happy. If you need a junior admin hire one.
    • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @12:30PM (#3248069)
      Microsoft's talk of "expensive experts" does an amazing diservice to the IT industry. It discounts the abilities of those who have invested the time and effort to build a career servicing their products. And it gives Microsoft's customers a false sense that they don't need experts to support their IT infrastructure if it is built on Microsoft products.

      Sure, Microsoft products tend to be driven by friendly click-boxes and wizards. Basic functions can be pretty easy to figure out. But eventually, someone is going to have to know the why of clicking on one option or another. If not during the initial configuration and design, then later on when the system begins to fail.

      The underlying technology within Microsoft products can be just as archaic and cryptic as any Unix (or Unix-like) system. Sometimes the quickest (if not only) path to a solution requires decisively non-clicky-gui actions such as command-line tools and registry edits.

      I've had really painfull brain-dead conversations with "MCSE" types. And some of the coolest technical discussions I've ever had were with true experts in Microsoft products (certified or not).

      Microsoft and their customers would be wise to recognize these experts and keep them close at hand.

  • by nahtanoj ( 96808 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:20AM (#3247210)

    Either you pay someone who really knows what they are doing well for the job, or you pay some jerk who only thinks he knows what he is doing next to nothing. Guess which one costs you more in the long run. Why don't businesses look to the long run? (I really want to know)


    • Let's face it, everyone wants to see the results now and get their work "done" - if that means having to scrap and rewrite a system 2 years from now, they don't want to hear it. We'll deal with it when that time comes in 2 years. And in 2 years, we'll again build a throw-away, far-from-good solution and start all over again.

      And with the people controlling the money not listening to the whys and hows that get them into the predicament (and forgetting what they decided last WEEK, let alone last YEAR, that put them there), you're pretty much stuck dealing with the cheap route all the time.
    • by Patrick May ( 305709 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:39AM (#3247330)
      Why don't businesses look to the long run?

      In the long run, we're all dead. -- John Maynard Keynes

    • Businesses don't look to the long run because of a change that happen to the corperate world in the late 70's and early 80's. That change was the concept of 'shareholder value'. Buisnesses used to build their strategies and plans based on providing and acctual service or product, but today (and this ran rampent during the 90's dotcom explosion) they focus on producing money for their stock holders rather that products for a community. When your entire buisness plan is 'how do we make the most money the quickest, all else be damned?' it makes trying to convince your stockholders that doing anything which will pay off in five or ten years (rather than five or ten months) is a good thing. If the choices are a quick buck now, or a solid buisness latter, the quick buck will always win because it increases shareholder value.
      • I wish you weren't right, but you are. This is exactly the kind of fractured thinking that leads to things like the decimation of the dotcom economy, and I have seen it run rampant in the last few companies I have worked at (yep, they all failed).

        The problem is, the equations they use to determine "shareholder value" in thier heads are all skewed. In thier world, the "value" of something goes down exponentially with time. If they can make $1 million dollars today, or $1 billion dollars in five years, they always chose the quick million becuase in thier tiny pea-heads, they think that every day that passes between now and when they get thier cash divides the value of their return by some arbitratily high number.
    • Businessess don't look to the long run because manager's bonuses are tied to quarterly profits.

      My company recently wanted to set up an in-house paging system. We decided to save some bucks and roll our own system using *nix. Our only specified requirement that was not met was that we spend a bit more and get pagers with better reception (lots of concrete where we are).

      The pagers had to be purchased using the operations budget for Plant Operations.
      The director of Plant Operations has one of his quarterly bonuses tied directly to fundage left over in that pot at the end of the quarter.
      Guess who decided to buy $2.95 refurb numeric-only pagers?
      Our paging system doesn't work now cuz we went with cheap pagers.
      We're (the company) are now paying more to revamp the system in the long run than we would have in the short run if we had went with the pricier pagers in the first place.
      Guess who doesn't care cuz he's already got his bonus?

  • Oooh, I'm scared (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xZAQx ( 472674 ) <> on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:21AM (#3247213) Homepage
    Nice business practices, MS. You'd think you could prove that your product is superior through example, not slander. If these ads are half as bad as they seem, I say IBM starts making commercials full of BSoD's and says explicitly: "You will never see a blue screen of death with Unix".

    • by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @11:20AM (#3247581) Homepage
      "You will never see a blue screen of death with Unix".

      What about "Our technical support engineers won't tell you to reinstall everything every time you call us."?
  • by mark_lybarger ( 199098 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:21AM (#3247214)
    another case to reinforce my belief that "you get what you pay for".

    at least they have the integrity to call us experts. unix information systems are all about scalibility, and flexability. VMS is all about uptime, uptime, uptime. and M$, they're all about GUI administration and a corporate name that matches the email/office suite the VP really likes to use.
  • by RN ( 21554 )
    all advertising is done to "undermine" your competition and toot your own horn.

    how many anti-ms ads have we seen from apple, sun and countless others?

    i would say move along, nothing to see here.

  • Inflexible? (Score:5, Funny)

    by larien ( 5608 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:22AM (#3247222) Homepage Journal
    Hrm, if Microsoft is 'flexible' it explains how their head got where it is.

    Shamelessly ripped off from Dilbert.

  • by crumbz ( 41803 ) <<remove_spam>jus ... am>gmail DOT com> on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:22AM (#3247224) Homepage
    Enough. It is time for all persons who work in IT to start educating. How can you justify any ROI on Microsoft products vs. Unix unless you are depreciating the entire system in three (3) years. Most *nix systems are inplace for an average of 8 years (Gartner Group). More FUD from Microsoft. It's a shame because I really liked AoE when it came out....
  • by erobertstad ( 442529 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:23AM (#3247226) Homepage
    It would be nice to see Sun and IBM, etc.. to start running some straight on anti-microsoft ads. I do like Sun's comment

    "As for Unix being 'inflexible,' 'expensive,' and 'complex,' we feel those are terms much better suited to the closed and proprietary world of Windows."

    Now if they will only put that into an ad of their own, that whole reply, sums up this marketing campaine very nicly.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Remember XENIX anyone? In fact, until Caldera bought out SCO, Microsoft used to own part of it. Does Microsoft own Caldera stock now? Wouldn't that be ironic.

    Warren Postma
  • sed -e '/Unix/Microsoft/' <
  • by Maddog_Delphi97 ( 173780 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:24AM (#3247235)
    If you're talking about an older version of UNIX tied to a specific vendor, Microsoft MAY have a point... but the little secret that Microsoft doesn't want you know is that Unix in general is becoming more open-source AND is becoming more of a commodity rather than a specific that runs only on specific hardware.

    I guess what I'm saying is that Unix is losing more and more market share to operating systems like Linux. (Linux is NOT unix, although it's quite similar) This is especially true administrators (rather than corporate commitees) get to pick the operating system to use.

    A good case in point is the market share and mind share of Solaris and Linux. Sun Microsystems just recently released the source code of Solaris under a "community license" (which is NOT the same thing as GPL, but it's the best we can expect from Sun Microsystems). Did Sun have to release the source code? Not really. But it knows it would lose MORE mind share to Linux if it didn't.
    • Linux is not UNIX? What the bloody hell is it then, Windows?
    • If you're going to repeat that old crap, make sure you get it right. Linux(tm) is not Unix(tm), because nobody has felt any need to pay for Unix(tm) certification for any Linux(tm) system.

      The "Unix(tm)" name is now nothing more than marketing Jedi mind tricks. Do you insist your mouthwash contain T<sub>2</sub>5(tm) (otherwise known as water)? Of course not - for the stuff that really matters, all are pretty much the same. Ditto, what's important isn't the Unix(tm) label, it's compliance with POSIX standards.

      If you get deep into the implementation details, it's true that Linux didn't fork from the original Unix source tree and like any "clean-room" implementation there are some significant differences. BFD. As long as the system stays close enough to the POSIX standards it's a moot point to everyone but kernel developers and marketing droids.
  • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) <jhummel@joh[ ] ['nhu' in gap]> on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:24AM (#3247238) Homepage
    MS can crow all they want that Unix is hard to use - and I might have thought so, until I used OS X. Great GUI (needs some tweaking, but hell, what doesn't), start ssh, ftp, and Apache with a click of the mouse, and you can go configure the .conf files if you want - or if you don't want.

    Yes, Unix is inflexible. That's why open source Linux runs on nearly every piece of hardware you can find. I use it for my Day Job web/general Unix servers, running on cheap desktops or expensive rack mount units.

    Consultants are expensive. I can actually go out and buy a book on Unix, then look at the source code of FreeBSD, Linux, Darwin - and change things myself. Oh, good god, adduser is so hard to figure out.

    Oh, yeah. Unix is so hard. Especially when those blue screens of death pop up that interfere with my work or those proprietary API's that I can't get all the info to, and - oh wait. Unix doesn't have that.
  • Yes, more FUD. Coming soon: FUD in your SPAM.
    Between Intel and Microsoft, I'd have to say the two companies do more negative campaigning in the business world in one year than most local, state or federal politicians do throughout the course of an election.

    So, what's the solution? 3 options.
    1. Prove their negative campaigning is defamation, or is putting out untrue statements/accusations. (See- truth in advertising)
    2. Stoop to their level, and get some Unix/Linux companies out there spreading their own special FUD sauce.
    3. Just plain prove them wrong. (Oh wait, we shouldn't have to do that. But we do.)

  • If Unix sucks, I'll switch to Linux.
  • Counter Ad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clark625 ( 308380 ) < minus pi> on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:27AM (#3247267) Homepage

    It shouldn't take IBM, et al, long to start running ads that show an MS-only shop having all the boxes go down simultaneously. Then, the CIO goes looking for who can get things fixed, he can only find clowns in the IT department saying "maybe we should just hit all the reset buttons." Maybe dressing the fools up like clowns would make the point that much better.

    *sigh* Everyone knows you get what you pay for. Expensive employees generally pull their weight. A clown that only knows MS products isn't much better than a trained monkey.

    Of course, I think MS has a place in businesses--just like *nix. Companies really should diversify their operationing systems so that they can take full advantages of each. MS Win2K just isn't as good of a webserver, for example, as many of the *nixes. And a Win2K Server is nice for tying together a bunch of Windows workstations. Exploit the advantages of each.

  • by AVee ( 557523 ) <slashdot AT avee DOT org> on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:28AM (#3247271) Homepage
    Netcraft [] says:
    The site [] is running [] Rapidsite/Apa-1.3.14 (Unix) FrontPage/ mod_ssl/2.7.1 OpenSSL/0.9.5a on FreeBSD [].
  • Will this work? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zyklone ( 8959 )
    I wonder, does this kind of ad really works?

    I thought that it was generally believed that everyone immediately sees through "we-will-help-you-get-away-from-evil-competitor" ads. Giving the viewer the completely wrong impressions.

    But on the other hand, Unisys and Microsoft. They are not exactly known for caring what the customer thinks as long as they pay.

  • Lock and key (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Craig Maloney ( 1104 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:30AM (#3247282) Homepage
    If any businesses have the ablity to lock you into a platform with little choices, it's gotta be Unisys and Microsoft. I guess Unisys must be hurting since their major revenue stream, the LZW patent, is about to expire.

    Oh, and if hiring a sysadmin is expensive, I guess they haven't taken a look at the going rate for MSCEs lately, have they? Just because a 15 year old kid could administer your machines for Mountain Dew and Pizza doesn't mean you should run your business like that.

    I wish someone like IBM or Solaris would do a similar ad against Microsoft.

  • by casio282 ( 468834 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:32AM (#3247289) Homepage
    The thing that struck me most was this concept of "expensive experts." I could easily see them expanding this campaign by inserting adjectives like "condescending", "difficult to communicate with", "obnoxious", and even "completely other, alien, and kinda creepy." These are all representative of the impression regular folks seem to have of the sysadmin, from what I can tell. As opposed to the impression of your average MS-savvy (love those two words together) "computer guy" who helps get you back on the network or shows you where your downloads go.

    Maybe the bearded ones need a PR campaign.
  • This won't work. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spencerian ( 465343 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:33AM (#3247295) Homepage Journal
    For Microsoft to build a campaign against UNIX would be like Coke or Pepsi promoting a campaign against the evils of water.

    UNIX is the backbone of the Internet. It started with university and military computers, and is still based on these technologies. It has spawned many successful clones and variants, including BSD, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, IRIX, and many more. And virtually ALL of these versions work well together and can exchange code.

    Not that this is surprising, but Microsoft is arrogant to point of giving the finger to God. This is really a sign is disrespect for everything built over the years by the blood, sweat and tears of the first network pioneers.

    Unisys sounds like it has little to lose since it's been sitting on its corporate butt so long that even the oldest of us have forgotten what they've recently done in the computing world.

    I'm not making a righteous stand for just the UNIX world. Microsoft is really a company with poor ethical practices and should be recognized as such.

    Microsoft could have it all by realizing that practically all its major competitors have a UNIX base in their OS, even Apple. Instead of fighting the UNIX family, they could cash in simply and easily by moving the Windows NT/XP base to a true UNIX base, and create (the usual closed-source) apps in UNIX versions that can be compiled for virtually every UNIX family OS. (Not that everyone would want the apps, but at least it would be there..)

    But NOOOOOO...

    I was ranting on how OSS was too disorganized to fight MS in certain market attacks--that OSS lacks a defined leader. This instance is an exception. There are plenty of corporate makers and users of UNIX who might jump on the big MS "screw you" bandwagon and even pump up some cash in the corporate and legal system to get MS to shut their corporate pie hole.

    Pissing off the U.S. Government is one thing. Pissing off other big businesses is quite another.
  • by f00zbll ( 526151 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:33AM (#3247298)
    Microsoft's tactics for consumer products works well because most people don't give a hoot about the guts of a particular technology. The enterprise world is totally different. There are still tons of old main frames running the most critical applications. If I was a CTO of a financial institution, that would make me laugh. The reason it's still used isn't because it "ties me to a platform." It is because the damn thing has been running with minimal downtown for a long long time. Given that my windows crashes every week or so, instead of 10 times a day, I wouldn't even consider using windows in the back office applications. Not when the PC world is just starting to get into the high reliability, fail over world of enterprise computing. When you're pushing millions of dollars around every hour and billions every month, screw windows.

    Not only is it the wrong tactic, but it will hurt them in the enterprise services world. There's a reason the stock market uses Sybase ASE and not sql server. No matter how much money microsoft puts into getting high TCP numbers, real DBA's know the difference. Here's to hoping microsoft continues this line of advertising and continue to shoot themselves in the foot in the enterprise services world.

  • by FatRatBastard ( 7583 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:37AM (#3247317) Homepage
    I think Microsoft has begun to learn a little about high end computing. Remember a few years ago when all the trade rags were writing Unix obit, claiming MS was going to eat their lunch with cheap high end WinTel boxes (of course, MS [like any other company] were feeding this line of bull to everyone).

    Well it looks like MS have learned there's a reason that high end, rock solid industrial strength computing isn't cheap. You can't just bung Windows on commodity hardware and expect it to 24/7. So the advantage that MS had at the departmental level in the past (cheaper and easier to use than its competitors, lest we forget that that was a major selling point of Windows in the 90s) it doesn't have on the high end. Unix is entrentched and competative price wise. MS are going to have a VERY HARD time eeking out market share at the high end. They'll have some successes, but the world will not be running on MS Big Iron any time soon (if ever)
  • by semis ( 14252 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:42AM (#3247353) Homepage
    This is amusing.

    Check out [] - the official campaign site. It runs FreeBSD!
    According to netcraft
    The site is running Rapidsite/Apa-1.3.14 (Unix) FrontPage/ mod_ssl/2.7.1 OpenSSL/0.9.5a on FreeBSD.

    Check out the netcraft results here [].

    • No no no, FreeBSD [] isn't the real enemy. Hell, Microsoft is a Unix company [] anyway. The problem isn't BSD/Unix [], it's Linux & Solaris: the former can't be assimilated, while the latter is just in a higher league than NT.

      Once you've divided your enemies and picked off or embraced the ones you can, you're left with the ones you can't buy or beat. And when all else fails and you find out that you really can't buy or beat your enemy, you might as well slander them, right?

  • Goose & Gander (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmoriarty ( 179788 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:47AM (#3247395)
    At the risk of losing some Karma, wasn't it on this very site where I saw an ad at the top of the page depicting a giant penguin terrorizing Redmond? If the topic here is a company trashing a competing OS in their ads, it bears noting that this coin has two sides.
  • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:48AM (#3247409)
    Based on what I can see about the Unisys systems being touted here (servers with 8-32 processors, costing six-digit dollar amounts), this is not an ad targetting Linux or MacOS X-style BSD. This is aiming squarely at the proprietary UNIX systems Unisys' servers would be competing against -- Sun, HP/UX and the like.

    Of course, I've not touched base with the high-end UNIX server market in years. Can someone else fill me/us in on who Unisys' competitors are, and whether or not the ads have any foundation at all?
  • w00t (Score:5, Funny)

    by sinserve ( 455889 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:50AM (#3247419)
    Sun responded to the campaign in a statement.
    "Sun still does not see Microsoft as a real threat in
    the datacenter market where reliability, availability,
    serviceability and security are key,"

    "We are all about customer satisfactionability, system
    uptimeability, and cracker stopability", added Scott McCowboyNeal.

  • by Derkec ( 463377 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:54AM (#3247447)
    A series of short shots of a number of people saying, "I believe in Unix." While this could include big companies which buy unix hardware, the add should also have these people: Jobs, McNeally, new guy at IBM, Linus. It'd be fun.
  • by syrupMatt ( 248267 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:55AM (#3247456) Homepage Journal
    While this may seem like a gotcha, remember the fact that this ad push isn't intended to make people switch from apache to iis, it is intended for high server performing data crunching.

    If anything, the site running on FreeBSD could be spun as Microsoft knowing the advantages of unices, having used the variants themselves, and still believing their high-end servers are better for more serious tasks.

    Whatever, just playing devil's advocate.
  • What!?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ErrantKbd ( 260589 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:56AM (#3247471) Homepage
    "It ties you to an inflexible system"

    Unix is an inflexible system? Let's see... it's totally modular (even more so in the case of Mach or the Hurd), Linux allows you to build literally any kind of system you want, and completely separates system from user processes to allow the kernel to be kept relatively small and tidy. Yup. That sounds *really* inflexible to me. Windows ties system and user processes together, ties the user to Microsoft programs for things as simple as text editing, has a registry system which invariably falls on it's face.. but it's flexible. That's really rich. Some Harvard MBA must've come up with this campaign.
  • by drew_kime ( 303965 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @11:02AM (#3247500) Journal
    It requires you to pay for expensive experts.

    And the other side of that coin is, "If you get an MCSE, we're busy telling your boss that you should work cheap." How long can they get away with screwing over the people who support their products?
  • by dinotrac ( 18304 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @11:24AM (#3247613) Journal
    Something in my dinner must have been spoiled last night, becasue this dream isn't even funny.

    Microsoft, the monopolist, the Marquis de "lock-in", the ace of audits, the prince of product activation, the squire of "We don't need no stinkin' interoperability", is running ads warning IT shops about painting themselves into corner?


    At least the whine about expensive experts makes sense. Anybody dumb enough to buy this pitch is sure to feel uncomfortable around people who know what they're doing.

  • by bryanbrunton ( 262081 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @11:25AM (#3247616)

    Let's have a poll on this subject. Who can name the MS products that have produced the smallest revenue compared to the money that MS invested in development and marketing. Two of the biggest money pits at MS have been:

    (1) Windows DataCenter. This product has thoroughly bombed. Last year it was rumored that only a couple dozen had made it out the door.

    (2) MS BizTalk Server. Another "MS Enterprise" computing product that despite _immense_ marketing spend, is really sucking ass.

    MS is doing this marketing campaign because their enterprise computing strategies have thus far fallen off a cliff. This is just more money thrown to the wind. People aren't buying MS enterprise computing product.

    Oh, and give aways like IE don't count for this poll.
    • MS BOB (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Wee ( 17189 )
      The subject says it all: MS BOB. Huge boongoogle. Although it didn't really die.

      Interesting story about BOB. You every wonder where you got that paperclip in Word? BOB. Ever wonder who the project lead for BOB was? Bill Gates' wife was responsible for the paper clip. Really, it's true.

      Melinda French Gates was a project lead on MS Bob [] (you have to remember MicroSoft Bob [] -- it was that cartoony software that slowed your machine to a crawl and insulted you while balancing your checkbook or reading email). When Bob was revealed to be the complete and utter turkey that it was always destined to be, guess what got some of the "usability and human interface" stuff? Office. Guess who happened to also be, ah, "seeing" The Boss? Melinda. Why wasn't Bob just canned, like any other project that wastes millions and failed completely? You have to wonder if Bill G wasn't getting pillow-talked into something. In fact, MS Bob was the first consumer product Bill Gates released personally. People do the strangest things for love.

      Anyway, a lot of what Bob had to offer didn't get canned (as it should have). It got repuposed and wound up in other MS products. Take a look at the screenshot on this page []. See that dog in the lower corner? That was Bob's dog Rex. (I wish they had a picture of the dragon named "Java"; I wonder if McNealy every knew about that?) Looks like that paper clip, eh? Bob's ghost is in other stuff, too. MS Agent had a re-incarnation [].

      Well this is all way OT. But I think the Bob fiasco sheds some light on what goes on at MS. There's really no reason to wonder about the pape clip. I'm sure Melinda will insist on touchy-feely stuff being included in every MS product. I love it when someone thinks for me...


  • by BeBoxer ( 14448 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @11:32AM (#3247654)
    It ties you to an inflexible system.

    I know you are but what am I?

    It requires you to pay for expensive experts.

    I know you are but what am I?

    It makes you struggle daily with a server environment that's more complex than ever

    I know you are but what am I?
  • MCSE Bashing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 3ryon ( 415000 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @12:06PM (#3247910)
    Look, an having an MCSE does not mean that you should actually be trusted to know what you are doing. That's what interviews are for. On the flipside, having a MCSE doesn't meant that you don't know what you are doing.

    If you hire a MCSE because 'they are cheap' then you'll get what you deserve... I, for example, am a well qualified MCSE, but I don't come cheap.

  • The thing that riles me about this the most, is that Microsoft is such a hypocrite. They try and advertise Windows as a replacement for UNIX, yet the points they draw upon are even MORE obvious in a Windows based environment. Let me try, if I can, to explain myself..

    "They are apparently hyping that Unix is an expensive money trap."

    I got my copy of IRIX for free from SGI, simply by giving them my workstation MAC address - I didnt have to pay for postage or anything, yet the following day IRIX 6.5 and the most recent updates appeared on my desk, 'courtesy of SGI'. I also believe that Sun offer Solaris 8 for free on both SPARC and x86 platforms - you can either download the ISO's or pay for postage to get the full box set (and you get a LOT for your money).

    "No wonder Unix makes you feel boxed in. It ties you to an inflexible system."

    Er - Unix is about the most flexible system I have ever known.. use it as a Firewall, Router, SQL server, Web server, Windows Domain Controller, NetWare Server, LDAP server.. even a COFFEE machine for heavens sake.. its all possible on UNIX. To get any kind of flexibility out of Windows, you have to keep forking $$$'s over to Bill & his buddies.

    "It requires you to pay for expensive experts."

    Oh - so that smarmy prick we have to keep getting down from , at a cost of £1000 per day ($1300'ish), to do work on our NT based Finance server, is not expensive? Purlease....

    "It makes you struggle daily with a server environment that's more complex than ever."

    Oh - so Windows has got easier to use. Let me put it this way.. I learn what I do by experimenting. Install it, read about it, play around with it.. I managed to do this for a number of UNIX based applications & daemons - indeed for UNIX itself. Yet has anyone ever tried configuring a Windows 2000 Active Directory server, or tried installing their crappy ISA2000 server? Jesus - talk about overkill.. their old MS Proxy software was a doddle compared to their new generation.. nasty nasty.

    Screw you Microsoft.. I hope you get screwed up the ass in court.. you and your little dog too.
  • by KFury ( 19522 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @02:11PM (#3248708) Homepage
    Among the reasons Unix is a bad idea, and will box you in, according to the ads:
    • Unix systems are inflexible
    • Unix requires you to pay for expensive experts
    • Unix makes you struggle with a server environment that's more complex than ever

    In short retort:

    • Unix flavors run my TiVo, my Powerbook,, and this web site. That's pretty flexible to me. NT Webservers in places I've worked have to be completely rebuilt on a regular schedule to address 'creep' problems that will otherwise bring the machine to a crawl, if not a blue screen of death.
    • Unix requires you to know what you're doing, or to use tools created by other people. You can always hire an expert, but you're more likely to find a good one for less money than someone who's still trying to pay off their credit cards from the 6 months or more they took off work to get their Microsoft Certification [] credential. An MCSD credential means you can make bank consulting [], and naturally Microsoft pushes employers to use only Microsoft Certified Engineers [], so Microsoft's accusing Unix of requiring expensive professionals is a bit of hypocracy.
    • Finally, the Windows server environment is quite complex, nowhere near as modular as Unix systems, and gets more complex with each version. Also, since it's a single-vendor solution, if you don't like the way a product's development is headed, it's tough luck, or you can change systems entirely. Unix has flavors, and as they evolve, you can easily port from one to another that better suits your needs (from Solaris to Linux, for example).

    It's all about the fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and Microsoft's firm belief that the decision makers in a company are the ones in air so rarified as to know little enough about technology to be brought in to Microsoft's folds by this bunch of crap.

  • Ad strategy (Score:3, Funny)

    by konmaskisin ( 213498 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @02:13PM (#3248719) Journal
    ... here's the way to kill off Unix:

    "Unix is old and unreliable. If you can find a high-priced Unix expert to maintain your system you're in luck because thanks to our efforst there are practically *no Unix experts left*. Everyone has become expert in the low cost reliable and new systems offered by Microsoft. Have you ever seen an MCSE who konws anything about Unix?? Is there a USCE - no there isn't. And which is newer and has more graphics and buttons and stuff an MCSE manual or Unix expert manual? We rest our case ...

    We make server OSes and dominate several large hardware makers ... if they support Unix we inflict financial pain on them. We also make applications and we are never going to make applications for Unix nor will we ever include Unix and mixed platform training in our certification programs. We own the future and our future does not include Unix. If you are not with us you are against us. Terrorists use Unix and we don't. We are an American corporation and not an un-American, piracy supporting, hacker terrorist, old-fashioned and expensive foreign command line corporation. And in conclusion:

    YOU ARE EITHER FOR US OR AGAINST US (AND AGAINST AMERICA AND FREEDOM). Oh yeah we are monopolists and we have decided Unix is dead - what more evidence do you need that it *is* dead?"

    Thank you.
  • by x136 ( 513282 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @02:17PM (#3248738) Homepage
    So Unix is inflexible. I take that to mean that Microsoft's products are incredibly flexible. So they'd have no problem disassociating Internet Explorer and all the other "value added" software, and releasing a lite version of Windows, right?


  • by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @03:01PM (#3248964) Journal
    Not that I'm a big fan of their software solutions, but Novell [] has a new video [] which may or may not (I don't know for sure either way) become a running commercial ad. It's very amusing and carries the sentiment of virtually every geek out there. Might be a nice thing to mention to the bosses next time they come up with the "great idea" of digging themselves further into Microsoft products.

  • COUNTER AD (Score:3, Funny)

    by gnovos ( 447128 ) <> on Friday March 29, 2002 @03:05PM (#3248999) Homepage Journal
    Fun fun fun, here's my counter ad: Some guy is painting, painting painting with purple paint until he has painted himself into a corner. Then, all he does it step on to the WALL (defying gravity) and finish painting that corner while walking sideways on the wall.

    Then flash some slogan like:

    "We don't see problems, we see solutions"
  • Fool! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @03:11PM (#3249042) Homepage Journal
    Your datacenter is the lifeblood of your company. And you don't want to hire an expensive expert to administer it? Fool!
  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:58PM (#3249656) Homepage
    "It [Unix] requires you to pay for expensive experts..." So this means Windows experts are cheap? According to Microsoft's own logic, MCSE is a commodity (cheap labor) market. Attention Computer Science students: Adjust your course selection and career plans accordingly.

Last yeer I kudn't spel Engineer. Now I are won.