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Microsoft Says IBM/Linux Their Biggest Threat 466

krypt0n0mic0n writes "An article at The Register shows that Microsoft sees IBM and Linux as the biggest threats to their market domination. Microsoft's Eric Rudder is quoted as saying that Linux is a "formidable" challenge and that "IBM is our greatest competitor. In the way they sell products and compete in corporate accounts." It goes on to say that they believe the NET server will be a challenge to these competitors."
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Microsoft Says IBM/Linux Their Biggest Threat

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:38PM (#3959507)
    To defeat Microsoft, dominance of non-M$ technologies in the enterprise area is key.
    If they gain a significant foothold there, their control will be near total, and they'll
    have a cash source with which to fund the ultimate destruction of all competetors.

    Conversely, if Linux/Unix/Java win the enterprise space, Microsoft will have no new source
    of revenue and the encroachment of deskop alternatives (OSX and Linux and BSD) will
    eventually destroy their financial base.

    It's important to ensure that the .NET CLR is either a non-starter (as it's been thus far), or
    that quality, truly open source, implementations exist on non-MS platforms. Whatever they
    say, Microsoft wants to control the uptake of .NET in such a way that business software will
    really only run on their platforms. They're not producing a public standard for the sake of being
    good corporate citizens. They're going to try to ensure that they're the . in .NET, and that solutions
    that would have gone Java will go their way on their software. There's no incentive to have
    real competition in server platforms for .NET applications. The point of .NET is to sell more
    copies of windows, SQLServer, and Visual Studio.
    • To defeat Microsoft, dominance of non-M$ technologies in the enterprise area is key.

      This is true.

      Conversely, if Linux/Unix/Java win the enterprise space, Microsoft will have no new source of revenue

      This is true as well.

      It's important to ensure that the .NET CLR is either a non-starter (as it's been thus far),

      This is bizarre. It's not true, and it's too late. .NET CLR is off to an incredibly good start.

      Whatever they say, Microsoft wants to control the uptake of .NET in such a way that business software will really only run on their platforms. [...]There's no incentive to have
      real competition in server platforms for .NET applications. The point of .NET is to sell more
      copies of windows, SQLServer, and Visual Studio.

      Well duh! That's also your goal as you stated in your first several paragraphs.

      Come on, at least learn to be honest with yourself. Then maybe others will trust you.
    • by javacowboy ( 222023 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @03:43PM (#3960722)
      Conversely, if Linux/Unix/Java win the enterprise space, Microsoft will have no new source
      of revenue and the encroachment of deskop alternatives (OSX and Linux and BSD) will
      eventually destroy their financial base.

      Sun needs to open-source Java in order to get the OpenSource community 100% behind Java. The SCP is simply not a large enough community to provide the depth of input needed to ensure Java evolves as quickly as .NET. Microsoft, as well as their partners and large customers represents a community much larger than the SCP. Only the legions of OpenSource programmers can hope to compete with it. As Linus Torvalds said in a famous mailing list thread a while back, software mostly evolves according to customer requirements and outside influences, its creation has much less to do with design. With a far larger community around it, Java's evolution would accelerate.

      If Java became OpenSource, both Linux and Java would feed off each other. Suddenly, Java would benefit from the full support of the OpenSource community, and features would be added at a record clip. All the innovations that the Apache Foundation made to Java tools would be magnified substantially. A better compiler would replace javac, for instance.

      Java would be more tighlty integrated into Linux, especially Swing and AWT. Not only would client-side Java dramatically improve, but so would the Linux GUI, as visual components could be assembled far more easily. Linux on the desktop would actually stand a chance. More client-side GUI applications would be written in Java, and hence would run cross-platform, removing much of the incentive for people to stick with Windows.

      BTW, I realize that this will never happen. Sun is a commerical entity and has little reason to do this. Still, it's fun to dream :)
  • Funny how that's all they talk about now, who their competitors are.
  • We've done it! We've captured the MS brain bug!

    Doogie puts his hands on it.

    "It's... It's afraid!"

    Crowd cheers.

  • Microsoft: What virus will you choose next?

    Anyway, with that said, why wouldnt they consider Linux/IBM (why is IBM first in the headlines?) a threat, doesnt linux have the largest chunk of the server market?
  • I thought the systems were supposed to be useful, not just purchased. The headline shows corporate greed, once again.

    I would like to see a headline like "Microsoft is concerned IBM and Linux may offer more consumer benefits".

  • Used to be (Score:4, Funny)

    by Bilbo ( 7015 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:42PM (#3959540) Homepage
    Humm... Before, we were a cancer. Now, we're a puppy. Well, that's a step up... I think.
  • by lionchild ( 581331 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:43PM (#3959549) Journal
    Let's all get in our good old Way-Back Machines, and travel back in time... Does anyone remember that joint venture product IBM was putting out? OS/2, version 1.3...then later version 2...and Warp, etc..? For anyone whose been fortunate enough to really work with any of the old OS/2 products, you'll remember that when correctly installed and configured, they're still a very rock solid product. Not much the same can be said for most of the current M$ products, save perhaps Win 2k.

    The difference between these two corporate giants is that they really are opposites of one another. You see, IBM -can- make good, rock-solid products...however, they couldn't market themselves out of a wet paper bag. :- While our "friends" and M$ could sell sand to a man stranded in the desert, sometimes the products they rush out aren't as solid as we'd like them to be.

    I can see how M$ would be threatened. If IBM learned how to market things, they could be a formidable player.
    • by turgid ( 580780 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:50PM (#3959621) Journal
      ...and you've forgotten, or maybe are too young to remember, when it was IBM that had the virtual monopoly...

      Maybe Microsoft is about to Microchannel Architectur e itself? "The era of open computing has ended"

      Maybe intel is doing the same with itanium...

      There comes a time when the market can no longer sustain the over-ambitious revenue plans of monopolies.

      • What I find most amazing, and downright stupid is that:

        No sooner had the computing industry cast off the yoke of the IBM monopoly, they took on the yoke of the Microsoft monopoly. They didn't learn.

        This bothers me in another way, to compare it with politics. In the US we've had a culture of democracy that has survived for a long time. Hopefully the current challenge posed by money will be rebuffed again, like at the last turn of the century. But in other nations where there hasn't been a culture of democracy, they're having a difficult time adopting on. Indeed countries seem to keep falling back to strong-men ruling.

        The computing industry grew up under the thumb of IBM. After casting off IBM, it promptly got under the thumb of Microsoft. The computing industry has *never* existed in a normal, fully competitive marketplace. Let's say we're getting ready to cast off Microsoft in the next few years. Intel has been second-fiddle to Microsoft as part of the WinTel duopoly for years, so is it now time for Intel/HP to take the driver's seat? Have we still not learned?
    • by Bobzibub ( 20561 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:53PM (#3959658)
      I remember!!!

      MS threatened to jack up their prices for W95 if they marketed their competition, and that would have been the death of their PC line. IBM was *forced* not to market OS/2.

      It didn't make any sense why OS/2 was left to die at the time but it all came out in court documents later.

      Happily, Linux being a kind of "public good" this is a real problem for MS this time around. No one set of thumbs to screw, nails to pull.

    • Wouldn't it be great if these two companies put their heads together and made great selling, rock solid products?

      Now THAT would be a monopoly.
    • I can see how M$ would be threatened.

      I do appreciate your writing about Microsoft. When you spell Microsoft "M$", though, this is what I picture [].
    • they're still a very rock solid product. Not much the same can be said for most of the current M$ products, save perhaps Win 2k.

      Or, if you want to be objective instead of bashing based on bias:

      Win 2K (as mentioned)
      SqlServer 2000
      .NET (the Framework) and ASP.NET
      Exchange Server 2000
      IE 6.0.2600 (gotta love that build number!)
      IIS 6.0 (okay, this isn't fair because it isn't even out - but _I_ know that it rocks from experience :-)
      VS.NET (still needs work but is probably one of the most stable IDE's I've ever used)

      MS IntelliMouse
      XBox and peripherals (incredibly high quality, regardless of your console preference)
      MS Joysticks (all of them)
      OK... pretty much all MS hardware.
      • OK... pretty much all MS hardware.

        Umm.. the Microsoft Sound System was a pretty big flop in its day. All Microsoft hardware does not belong on this list.

      • Software:
        Win 2K (as mentioned)
        SqlServer 2000

        Not as much experience with that, just as most front-end users don't have as much hands-on with that, but you could very well be right. I've not heard bad things about it.

        .NET (the Framework) and ASP.NET

        Hasn't there been some huh-bub lately about the .NET framework?

        Exchange Server 2000

        Enh...I'm not totally sold on it yet, but you're right, it's certainly far better than a sharp stick in the eye.

        IE 6.0.2600 (gotta love that build number!)

        Fair enough...I haven't really seen or had much complaint about IE 6.0.2600, I'll certainly buy that.

        IIS 6.0 (okay, this isn't fair because it isn't even out - but _I_ know that it rocks from experience :-)

        Well, about a review of some flavor, if you're not under a NDS?

        MS IntelliMouse
        XBox and peripherals (incredibly high quality, regardless of your console preference)
        MS Joysticks (all of them)
        OK... pretty much all MS hardware.

        Hmm...I wonder...are these products out-sourced? (I certainly hope they're not made in China, considering all the trouble MicroSoft has with events that unfold for them there.)

    • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @02:36PM (#3960042) Homepage

      If you think IBM can't do marketing you've never dealt with them. They are masters of marketing, at least to business. You might be right that they don't know how to sell to consumers.

      This is an oversimplification, but IBM started falling apart when they tried to enter the consumer market, and rebuilt itself by re-focusing on big business. They managed to keep a foot in the consumer market by selling parts to OEMs.

      The bottom line for Linux is that we don't need to worry about making it in the 'enterprise' anymore - IBM will take care of that. We're missing have a credible champion on the consumer side. Sony could do it, as could AOL, but neither has taken the plunge.

    • While our "friends" and M$ could sell sand to a man stranded in the desert

      Actually, Microsoft would require you to purchase 3 tons of sand right now along with that bottle of water you desperately need, and then require you to order another ton of sand for every additional bottle you want.

      , IBM -can- make good, rock-solid products...however, they couldn't market themselves out of a wet paper bag.

      IBM's marketing actually is pretty good, at least when they market to medium-large businesses. The marketing to small businesses and consumers was atrocious. I'd say IBM's product limitations are more due to a deliberate decision to leave their enterprise products almost opaque, in order to create more opportunities for their consulting and services organizations. I mean, WebSphere is a fucking nightmare to set up and maintain--this late in the game, they must have deliberately decided to leave it screwed up.
  • by Bodhammer ( 559311 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:43PM (#3959551)
    "Linux is free like a puppy." I've used Linux for years and it only occasionally craps on the carpet or chews my shoes. Now Windows on the otherhand...
  • by suso ( 153703 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:44PM (#3959555) Homepage Journal
    I find this rather ironic since Microsoft's big break in the beginning was to be able to create MS-DOS for IBM.
  • "Microsoft sees IBM and Linux as the biggest threats to their market domination."

    In further news, the sky is blue.

    • ...and a nice spin that seemingly everyone has fallen for.

      Two words: desktop OSX.

      Want more words? iMovie, iTunes, iPod, Final Cut Pro, Apple's recent acquisition of Emagic (Logic Audio) to produce yet another i-something and possibly also a DAW version of FCP, Cocoa, shipping developer tools with the OS, Appleworks, falling demand for Microsoft Office on OSX showing that people are actively considering alternatives even to that...

      I guess it depends which 'market domination' you mean. IBM/Linux may well be a threat on the server space, where they do not already have market domination. Apple is hitting them right in the desktop, where they already HAVE market domination which Linux is basically unwilling to directly attack.

      Apple itself would be just as much of a problem IF they had 97% of the desktop market, but in this situation, they are absolutely deadly to Microsoft, and due to decreasing interest in Office for OSX, increasingly immune from Microsoft's private pressures and threats.

      Want to see a serious threat to MS's desktop market? Wait to see if the antitrust case truly slams Microsoft. If, and only if, Microsoft takes serious damage and blood is in the water, then you may see Apple suddenly spring a complete OSX environment (with a complete set of apps to go with it, and you'll pay for it, too) on x86.

      They are positioned to execute a total blitzkrieg attack on the Windows desktop monopoly, but only if Microsoft is gravely injured by antitrust action. If Microsoft isn't harmed, you won't see any of this: too risky unless the situation is ripe for a really startling change, like to 50/50% virtually overnight. Apple cannot do this if it'll only cannibalize its own hardware sales. Also note it'd be the most wildly copied piece of software around...

      This is speculative- but the bottom line is, this (planted?) article is notable in what it does NOT say. Isn't it interesting that as OSX takes off and shows signs of being a tough market for Microsoft to even sell into, an article is published that pointedly relegates the threat of Apple to beneath mention? Sure, the Desktop is dominated by Microsoft, and that can never change. Unless it does- and it is...

  • Microsoft's Eric Rudder is this years winning of the "Blatantly Obvious Award" for those that point out the obvious two years after it was first obvious.

    This really isn't news. Just MS admitting to it (after everyone else already knew it).
    • Re:D-U-H! (Score:5, Funny)

      by unicron ( 20286 ) < minus cat> on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:57PM (#3959697) Homepage
      I just love the Slashdot news filtration system:

      Routers story: Microsoft announced today they are changing one of the business plans of one of their departments for a limited amount of time in order to better compete with linux.




        At first I thought you were correct, but did you read the article at all? Slashdot title: Microsoft Says IBM/Linux Their Biggest Threat. The Register title: IBM and Linux our biggest threats - Microsoft. So how did Slashdot filter this story? Here are some snippets from it:

        Eric Rudder, senior vice president developer and platform evangelism, set the tone. "IBM is our greatest competitor. In the way they sell products and compete in corporate accounts," he said.
        Paul Flessner, senior vice president .NET enterprise servers, called IBM and Linux a "formidable" challenge. "It's not just IBM alone, it's not just Linux alone," he said.

        I understand that you are trying to be funny, and Slashdot DOES have a tendency to do this. But at least do it on an article where you have a leg to stand on.

  • continued growth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by f00zbll ( 526151 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:47PM (#3959586)
    I told by a CEO once when asked about the future of the company. He drew the following comparison. "We have no revenue right now, so we can only go up. Whereas some one like MS has to always push to sustain the growth, because if they don't the stock market will think they've peaked and are on their way down."

    Microsoft has to become a major player in enterprises services. If they don't they won't be able to sustain their past growth rates. The OS is rapidly becoming a commodity, now that win 2K is stable enough that that most people don't need to upgrade ever again. Win 2K already does what most people want and more, so the only way to continue to grow is new markets.

    That everyone already knows. Microsoft is doing all these interviews to paint a picture that .NET really is ready for the enterprise world of 24/7 computing. Back in 98 MS commissioned some company to prove SQL Server was good enough to run the NY EX, but everyone in the RDBMS business knows Sybase ASE run the stock market. Is it possible that if MS can't get it's act together with .NET, that they have reached their peek?

    • now that win 2K is stable enough that most people don't need to upgrade ever again

      Yes, that is what I said about Windows NT4. I liked it (once I understood it), and thought this is all I need. However hardware evolved and in came Plug And Play devices and later on USB (and AGP, but that was supported by the graphics card manufacturers). Both were never added to Windows NT4. Why is completely beyond me, but it all makes sense. To have those feature you need Windows 2000. Don't underestimate the evolution in hardware: if your OS doesn't support it you will need to upgrade. That is exactly what will happen in the next iteration of Microsoft operating systems. It's just a matter of time.

    • " that win 2K is stable enough that that most people don't need to upgrade ever again."

      I don't know about the "ever again" part, but I agree is that W2k pro is by far and away the best OS that MS has produced so far. That's why I found it very interesting that Dell (and I assume other retailers) have been forbidden from offering 2k on home systems since March. XP is now the only OS they'll sell you. Hmmmm...I wonder why?

    • by jmu1 ( 183541 )
      Ahh yes, another major flaw in Western Economics... You must keep growing at an accelerated rate.... not work at the point of equalization and expand in the next year... one of the many reasons the Economy is in the poor state it's in... that and hype.
      • Ya know, biology has a term for a part of the body that keeps growing at an uncontrolled rate:


        I've heard the human race called a cancer to the Earth before, but this is the first time I've heard Microsoft called a cancer to the economy.

    If true, it would make sense that the Power4 is one of those chicp.

  • IBM/Linux? (Score:4, Funny)

    by tps12 ( 105590 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:49PM (#3959614) Homepage Journal
    RMS isn't going to like this at all...
  • by SuperHighImpact ( 463360 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:52PM (#3959640)

    Before everyone gets overexcited and declares a victory of some sort, let's examine possible Micro$oft motives for saying this. It helps them "prove" that they are not a monopoly. By definition, monopolies don't have "formidable challengers."

    I have a hard time believing that this (and anything statements from M$) are anything but strategically thought out ways to further line their pockets.

    No, their not just being "frank."

    • I have a hard time believing that this (and anything statements from M$) are anything but strategically thought out ways to further line their pockets.

      That is probably true. But it doesn't discount the fact that what MS is saying is 100% true.

      Linux/GPL software is their #1 competitor.
    • Please. They're completely different markets. The court case is about the consumer market and here they're talking about enterprise solutions.

      Seems like a terrible waste to spend all that time ranting about something that will be thrown out by anyone with half a brain, doesn't it?
  • by Kefaa ( 76147 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:54PM (#3959671)
    We have still not finalized the penalty phase. So now that MS has "true competition" the DOJs
    proposal makes perfect sense. MS has been pushed aside in the onslaught of the IBM/Linux OS machine.

    While the sarcasm light was on, let's face it, MS announces nothing that does not benefit them directly. If they are claiming IBM/Linux is a threat it is because they need to be seen as having a competitor.

    Now the question remains "Why?"
    • The antitrust trial is about the *Desktop* not the server, Linux/IBM is indeed a competitor to M$ in the server arena, not desktop one. M$ does not have a monoply in the server.
  • by kafka93 ( 243640 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:55PM (#3959680)
    It seems that Microsoft has been using the "Linux is only free if your time isn't worth anything" argument far too often without any real response from the OSS/Free software community. Certainly, we all understand the fallacy of the argument, but I think that this is an underappreciated attempt on marketing spin by Microsoft which isn't being properly addressed.

    Yes, implementation always costs money. GNU/Linux is no different from any other operating system in this respect. But why is nobody in the media pointing out that *implementing and maintaining Microsoft software is similarly time consuming* and that, over any reasonable period of time, it's *at least as costly* as Linux? By allowing these constant references to "Linux being free like a puppy", and by not responding with incredulity, we're aiding Microsoft. It might seem obvious to you and me that the spin is silly, but journalists appear to be buying into it -- and so will potential users who are already frightened by the concept of arcane shells and incompatible office documents.

    The true benefits of Linux need to be restated - as well as being 'free', it's also robust, powerful, usable. I'm concerned that these concessions by Microsoft are really just new forms of attack upon Linux - attacks that are potentially more damaging than the previous tactic of ignoring the operating system completely, since they play to the concerns of non-technical users (and management).

    Thousands of happy Linux users can -- and must -- attest to the fact that Linux just works better for a large number of tasks. The ideas that it's more difficult to use well and involves more effort and money to deploy successfully are simply untrue, at least on the server market.

    • Companies choose solutions based that makes the most sense, and the finances play a HUGE part of it.

      So if you have two solutions, one based on Microsoft, perhaps not the best tool for the job, but it has some TCO numbers to make a decision, and you have another solution based on Linux, with great technical data but no long term financials, then guess who wins?

      I think nearly all TCO studies have flaws, but like it or not, it's a big factor for enterprise decision makers.

      Hopefully, now that analysts are doing TCO on linux solutions, this will all change.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft is free like that first hit of heroin served in shiny comfort at your local Microsoft distributor, where they cater to your comfort and play soothing muzak. Your Microsoft rep will make sure that any questions you have will be answered promptly at a low per-question service charge, and Microsoft's cadre of highly trained accounts management professionals will be happy to explain the Microsoft Dosage Assurance Policy whereby you can lock in access to your heroin under easily explained terms.

      Right, time for me to make this one an anonymous post, I think.

    • I will have to agree with you on all points there.
      especially the ease of use issues. I tried to run Win 2k server, its at least as difficult to understand as Linux, and in my opinion more so, because they hide everything behind wizards, so you never *really* know whats going on. Furthermore, I manage and maintain over 50 linux servers spread out from Phoenix, AZ to Salt Lake City, UT. I could never do this type of remote management with windows. Not ever. Well, I could but it would cost my clients a whole lot more, as I'd be flying to Phoenix ever other day... I used to work in an office with 8 win 2k servers, and 100 clients... we had an IT staff of 5 full time plus 5-10 techno-savvy employees from other departments would help us out with supporting their department's IT needs part time... for 108 machines.. now I'm managing 50+ servers, from my house, by myself... I'm quite sure the latter is cheaper. (Not to mention the $50,000 in licensing fees my clients would have had to pay to MS)
    • by NotesSauceBoss ( 568036 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @02:31PM (#3959990)
      TCO studies are generally commissioned by the compared companies. Witness, for example, the TCO messaging studies comparing Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange.

      If there's going to be a real TCO study to compare, say, W2K and Linux, someone's going to have to pony up the cash to IDC or Giga or some other similar market research firm to do the leg work. It's gotta be a big firm with plenty of credibility in the market for the TCO numbers to mean anything to the enterprise.

      Who's gonna pay? RedHat? IBM? The UnitedLinux group?

      It's also worth pointing out that Linux might not come out ahead in a TCO study. It almost certainly isn't on the desktop, where training and support issues will be highlighted by interoperability problems across the enterprise. Even if the study is focused on server solutions, you still have to compare apples-to-apples. Are you comparing, say, web services? If so, are you running the gambit of Linux/Apache/MySQL as compared to W2K/IIS/SQL Server? If it's network services, then you're talking Linux/Samba compared to W2K, right? Nobody in TCO research cares *only* about the OS -- because the OS has no relevant *total* cost. TCO is focused on cost to solve some generalized need.

      Bear in mind that Linux knowledge is more expensive to hire than MS knowledge. Everybody's brother-in-law is an MCSE. But finding readily available OSS implementation experts can be very difficult for a corporate HR group. Sure, you can go out and learn from the source code & discussion groups easily enough, but then you're talking 6 months of *training* someone to be an expert.

      Any IT solution is an ongoing support expense, and it's certainly true that license cost is a trivial aspect of enterprise TCO. Microsoft isn't making a typically falacious claim there. It's just that the comparison is very, very difficult. And it might just turn out that the support, training, and integration efforts involved in the real world of corporate computing add up in favor of MS. Until the OSS generation of CS students hit the marketplace, at least.
    • Whereas MS is like a pedigree puppy: very expensive to buy, very expensive to maintain, and prone to all sorts of very exciting diseases caused by generations of inbreeding.
    • By allowing these constant references to "Linux being free like a puppy", and by not responding with incredulity, we're aiding Microsoft.

      Well how about,

      "Windows being free like a wife"

      Does that work?
  • by essiescreet ( 553257 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:55PM (#3959681)
    I was at a tech show a few months ago, and saw an IBM Linux demo by an IBM guy.

    He made a big deal about how much money IBM spent on linux development, and how they made it back within a year.

    He also said that they were going to port *ALL* of their products to *ALL* of their hardware lines at a point in the futire.

    Think of the implications of this. You can buy an eleventy thousand dollar site lisc. for Microsoft Whatever 2004 and a support contract with Microsoft, or you can buy a $40 copy of RedHat linux and a support contract with RedHat.

    That is quite a competitive standpoint for linux in general...
    • And then you can spend months converting all the Windows-only stuff to a Linux friendly format, retraining everyone to use the new OS and new applications, and write your own versions of the expensive programs you use to work (AutoCAD anyone?).

      There may be hidden costs to Windows, but don't act as if there are none to Linux. Depending on a company's needs, converting to Linux may be prohibitively expensive.
  • by alyosha1 ( 581809 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:55PM (#3959685)
    "Rudder said in 2003 Microsoft must ensure .NET becomes the preferred architecture for application development. To achieve this, Microsoft must convert millions of developers using existing versions of C/C++ and Visual Basic onto .NET versions of the company's languages." So, I should stop writing C/C++ code that will compile on practically any architecture in existence, and switch to Microsoft's proprietary version that will limit my users to a single vendor's platform? The advantage to me as a developer is what exactly?
    • The advantage to you: Your employer, who's fallen completely for MS's marketing, will let you keep your job.

      THIS is why so many software developers hate MS.
    • That's not new. You needed to buy all new tools for Component Object Model (COM), which is Microsoft's current mainstream programming model. Granted they were available for "upgrade" pricing and such, but the point is that Microsoft left the concept of portable code behind years ago. We've been writing Microsoft-specific C++ code for ten years now!
  • Open up! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EvilBudMan ( 588716 )
    -- "We need to build a vibrant and healthy developer community. That's the lesson Linux has taught us. Having people to help. Knowing where to get questions answered," Rudder said. --

    M$, open up some of your source code. That might help.

    • Errmmm.... Let me qualify that for you a bit, please.

      " -- "We need to build a vibrant and healthy developer community. That's the lesson Linux has taught us. Having people to help. Knowing where to get questions answered," Rudder said. --

      MS, open up some of your source code, with a non-restictive and free license, please. That might help."

      Poisoning (too strong a word, but none other will do here) the OSS talent pool with closed, proprietary IP will not do us any good. Niether will disparaging remarks - keep it to the playing field, please.

  • ...we were supposed to call it GNU/Linux, not IBM/Linux. Let's hope RMS isn't reading /. today.
  • by dubiousmike ( 558126 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @02:02PM (#3959741) Homepage Journal
    Ford announced IT'S biggest competitors were other car manufacturers.

    Who else makes OSs for PC architecture.
  • by Roached ( 84015 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @02:04PM (#3959764)
    ...and in other news, Stallman is demanding that IBM henceforth refer to itself as GNU/IBM...
  • It's all part of their evil plan, you see. They're going to issue "competitive" products, and then while the IBM and Linux worlds are bent double, laughing their asses off, they will come in and take over the world.

    Wait, hasn't that already happened?
  • we also have to keep in mind that microsoft is simply saying that among its competitors IBM and Linux pose the biggest threat...but that doesnt mean that they pose a big threat.

    It is good to see IBM and Linux getting recognition for the quality/low cost services they provide.

    It's a good step for linux, but a long way to go :)

  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @02:11PM (#3959818)
    From the article:
    However, Flessner articulated Microsoft's response to Linux. "Linux is free like a puppy. It looks free but when you get all the pieces around it, it doesn't work out so free. There's a lot more than I/O and memory management to make up an operating system."

    Whereas Windows is like a puppy that you can only take to one vet when he gets sick, and it is the same vet everyone else is taking their puppy to. And the vet has a very busy schedule, he is deaf and blind, and tells you that the puppy got sick because of something you did. Even though the vet sold you the puppy knowing he was sick. And the medicine he finally gives you for your sick puppy to cure his barfing gives him the shits.

    What a dumbass analogy. They still don't get the concept of Free vs free, do they?

    Libere, Gratis, Linux []

  • is that they'll never be happy, even if they DO become a complete, unchallenged monopoly. Too much is never enough in their eyes.

    Its like this wannabe punk rocker from around my parts who showed up in a BMW whining about how his parents just wouldn't buy him the Jag.

    Why do so many corporations have such a hostile view of peaceful cohabitation in the marketplace, even among direct competitors? I mean, if you're churning billions of dollars through your coporation ever year, and making your CEO and founder the richest man on the planet in the meantime, doesn't that signal that you're in a good place and you don't necessarily need to release the hounds on everybody who comes tiptoeing across your lawn?
  • .. uh, well, because, because, last time, when they bragged about something to their benefit, they were just lying, yeh, that's the ticket! Lying!

    Keerist, why this lame acceptance as nonto ni verdad when everything else they say is a pack of lies?

    For the record, I do my utmost to avoid M$ products, because (a) they are buggy as all get out, (b) they are like working with a straight-jacket (do it their way or no way), and (c) their business ethics suck major toad warts. But it's kind of annoying seeing all the bashing that goes on most of the time, then this where suddenly their word is gospel.
  • by 4of12 ( 97621 )

    Microsoft's real biggest threats come from the inertia of their own installed base (that they're beating into submission with Software Assurance 6) and from potentially adverse legal rulings against them.

    IBM/Linux is a certainly a plausible-sounding competitor.

    While I love Linux, open source, etc., I don't kid myself for one minute that MS is quaking in its boots about IBM and Linux.

    It's more along the lines of a PR statement (one that some Linux zealots will go along with) to make it sound like:


    "Oh my yes! We have competition"

    "Look at big bad IBM and those droves of lurking hackers wearing pirate garb fomenting cyber terrorism and flooding us with viral spam!"

    "Yes, indeed, we have real competitors."

    "We're probably not even really a monopoly and don't really deserve any government intervention into the marketplace because our competitors are just about to eat our lunch!"

    • They are talking about the enterprise space, not the consumer space. They are two completely different markets and anyone with half a brain would be expected to see that.

      Did you even try reading the article? In future, please read articles before posting crap here. Oh wait, are you one of the Slashdot editors?

  • It is real simple what Microsoft is doing here, after years of domination, the courts on their collective asses, they have found an out.

    They scream as loud as they can "LINUX AND IBM ARE OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM!". In one very quick and slick move they have created a competitor that really is not one, but on the surface looks huge and has teeth. The much touted Linux OS, and the big bad IBM has come together to give us a run for our money. I can hear it now "See we are not a monopoly, see we have to do all this evil things to be competitive!".

    This gives them a nice trump card to play in court, and in the public eye.

    Ho much for that idea.

  • With the support of BIG BLUE, they might have a chance. When I read this article, the demise of LWN, and from (ala slashdot feed) ' "Other firms such as TurboLinux that had filed for IPOs eventually canceled their plans. The Nasdaq Composite has shed three quarters of its value since March 2000, and for the Linux stocks, the fall has been even harder. Cobalt and are gone, swallowed up by Sun Microsystems (nasdaq: SUNW - news - people ) and VA, respectively. VA itself now sells for under a buck per share, and founder Larry Augustin last week gave up the CEO job (he's still the chairman). His firm has changed its name to VA Software, and its media contact person declined an interview request for this story "because we're no longer a Linux company." ' I wonder wher the focus is.I ask why are the root and fundamental Linux proponets hitting the pavement and knocking on doors?

    IBM is choosing Linux, and doing what other companies have failed to do: Compete directly with MS on their terms...with MONEY. This competition is at the server level, but in time perhaps with adequate funding and a focus on applied resources, perhaps inroads will be made in the next few years to challenge Microsoft on the desktop. Microsoft now sees this threat, and recognizes that IBM has a new tool in their arsenal to take on MS. Bundling pieces of Linux in their corporate high dollar solutions is a fiscally prudent move. Additionally, with the fundamental state and nature of OSS the IBM team has a wider variety of Eyes & Hands on developers that are providing pro bono service. Definitely a great bullet for promoting this type of integration with the bean counter!

    So what does this boil down to? IBM has a recognized threat to MS server market. The ball is in the hands of IBM to push this, or the path to the Linux desktop will meet the fate of OS/2.

    Just my .01999999
  • by Neck_of_the_Woods ( 305788 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @02:59PM (#3960272) Journal
    You really want some reasons that companies use IIS and not Apache when they upgrade.

    #1. InterDev - They can hire 3 point and click monkeys to one coder that knows java well.

    #2. Older code - They don't want to change what they use now. They would require whole coding projects to start over scraping what they have.

    #3. The Lead Developers would cry, because they are not near as productive in (c, c++, java, php) as they are in vb, vbscript, and InterDev.

    #4. Problems, they already have 99% of them worked out on nt40/2000 in their environment. They know it, they love it, they don't want to change it. They don't want the headache of changing code, OS, and all the problems and man hours that go with it. Just to have a "free os". They don't have the programers, they don't have the talent, and they don't have the downtime to do it.

    #5. No one likes change.

    #6. The CIO is a SQL/IIS old school user. You can't change 3000 hours of programing in ASP/SQL/XML into PHP/MySql/PERL/XML/CGI and not have a huge huge cost. More than anything you will ever see in savings from a system os. Plus you get all the problems...again.

    Then again, what do I know I am just a gimp.

  • "Linux is free like a puppy. It looks free but when you get all the pieces around it, it doesn't work out so free. There's a lot more than I/O and memory management to make up an operating system."

    Buffer overflows? Charging enormous amounts per seat ? Subscriptions? Stuff like that?
  • Like everybody else, (including themselves, oh sweet irony, [M$ killed minis from DEC, InterData, DataGen and others, who were moving in on mainframes of the time, {now my G4 laptop pushes more MIPS than the Crays did,}]) MS needs to see/remember what happens to upstarts who always seem to want to move up the food chain (prices paid are better at bigger corporations/ projects/ etc.,) and who disregard the competition that's crawling up their butts pimping something with a lower TCO (even a few bucks a crack makes a REAL difference when you roll out a few million at a crack.)

    How long until banks with a few hundred (US) or thousand (US/Canada/rest of the world) branches, meaning they they already have Unix boxen (NOBODY runs SERIOUS, mission critical apps on M$,) realize that their apps can run for less TCO (M$ ain't free./ it ain't even cheap,) on Linux boxen?

    Is M$ scared? (I can smell the scorch marks in Redmond's short from here in NYC. :-)

    Bully Gates will retire from a company as morallt and fiscally bankrupt as Enron, WorldCom or Data General. Its a good thing he's not leaving a thing to his kids.
  • It seems that what Microsoft perceives and what Microsoft admits (except throught leaks) are two different things. Microsoft must consider the threat from Linux and IBM to be about over to admit this. Here's how it works. A number of articles and opinions spring up stating that Linux is dead or dying or not a threat. Then Microsoft says that Linux and IBM are their toughest competition. Investors see both stories independant of each other and think they are so smart to discover that Microsoft's greatest threat is not really much of a threat. They then invest becuase little is more powerful a motivator than your own, original, brilliant idea. This way, as it play out, Microsoft is seen as either crushing it's greatest competitor or, if things don't go its way, Microsoft is simply seen as battling a worthy competitor. Either way it demonstrates that Microsoft has _competition_ which is all too important for public relations. These guys are not to be underestimated.
  • BeOS? OS/2? Amiga?

    This is like bragging about climbing the "tallest" mountain in Kansas.

  • M$ is down and weakened. Their public opinion is in the toilet. They're rapidly losing their marketshare overseas as countries see value in technological independence. The word "Linux" appears at least a half dozen times in every issue of financial newspapers. The MS Office cash cow is shriveling up due to (finally) useful free office suites or equivalent software. Hailstorm flopped and .Net is still vaporware. And WinXP sales have been lackluster because well.. who needs it? -- especially when the economy is down and businesses are rather looking for ways to save.

    And yet, ironically, the Open Source community seems to have somewhat fallen asleep in the midst of the imminent success of our dream: a world dominated by free, open, community-built software where the user / consumer no longer gets screwed at every opportunity. Now, I'm not talking about the major projects where developers have kept up their excellent work. But it's many of the sidelines projects that have ground to a halt. And somehow it seems as if folks aren't 'scratching their itches' as much these days. What happened to the break-neck progress we were making on all fronts? I have a growing list of needed feature-adds, bug fixes, new apps, etc. that is now impossible for me to keep up with on my own. And many are seemingly abandoned projects.

    What happened to the faith in the Open Source model? Why aren't programmers in the US going after careers doing Free Software? One would think now is as good a time as any, especially with the industry in a rut and jobs so scarse! It's so blatantly obvious and yet hardly anyone is taking up the opportunity. For Open Source to win the day, we need to become the next generation of consultants--a new breed that actually supports the software because they can with the code.

    Listen and listen well: Software is NOT a PRODUCT. People need to get over that idea and realize it is an outdated model from the prior tech boom. So if you're a geek looking for a job doing programming, that means you shouldn't be looking for a "software company" in the traditional sense. Instead, look for service-based companies that get paid to scratch the itches of their customers. Or start your own consulting firm with some buddies. Get connected in your local community and then move outwards according to capacity. Start organizations to coordinate development of needed free business software. I can't even begin to count the number of businesses I've heard of that are thoroughly fed up with the proprietary custom packages they use currently. The market is there for the taking!! It's time to go for the kill!
  • by jelle ( 14827 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @03:41PM (#3960710) Homepage
    "There's a lot more than I/O and memory management to make up an operating system."

    Translation, they accept defeat on I/O and memory management efficiency and go on to claim that an OS needs a good flying madonna to be complete?

    Talk about changing the topic of discussion.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!