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Microsoft

Any Reason To Buy Microsoft? 729

zymano writes "This yahoo article says that almost everything enterprises once found unique to Microsoft they can now find somewhere else -- without some of the baggage that comes with Microsoft purchases, like ongoing security concerns and mystifying licensing practices and that in a recent survey of CIOs, Forrester Research found that about 25 percent of them were already in the process of replacing Windows servers with Linux."
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Any Reason To Buy Microsoft?

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  • by Brian Boitano ( 514508 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:21AM (#5930032) Journal
    to give us someone to look down on
    • The turning point is here. Savour the moment and celebrate, but remember the mistakes others have made. This is a wonderful thing to see, equivalent to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The crowd is running at the wall now and it will be demolished before the makers of propriatory software know what hit them. You should be careful of your own attitude and be kind to those still suffering under non free software.

      Everyone should use free software, free software should be used for everything and no one shoul

      • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @07:36AM (#5930308) Homepage Journal
        A moderate position might be that business should prefer a platform-agnostic approach to the greatest possible extent.
        BillG and RMS are both bent on world domination, starting from different ends.
        I thoroughly enjoy using free software. I haven't yet developed sufficient skill to contribute to a project (couldn't figure out how to link libraries in KDevelop, couldn't make sense of autoconf/automake until I found autoproject), and I've only contributed financially through the bookstore. Apparently, www.gnu.org is doing well enough.
        I don't think that the walls against free software can ever go up again. The US can try to buttress the Monopoly Show ( or MS can expand its butt rest from the DOJ to the rest of the gubmint ) but the world at large is facing Redmond and yawning. How will, say, scientists doing genomics research collaborate if they can't use free tools, but spend their time dealing with the various exploits and incompatibilities?
        No, paying an optional tax to a shadow government in Redmond will continue to lose appeal.
        Of course, if everyone dumped MSFT, how far south would the NASDAQ go? In all honesty, concern over economic turbulence has got to be running through some senior heads...
        • MS and the economy (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Idou ( 572394 ) * on Sunday May 11, 2003 @12:04PM (#5931220) Journal
          "if everyone dumped MSFT, how far south would the NASDAQ go?"

          Well, actually MS is now traded on the NYSE, which gives you a feeling for what type of company it has become. However, back to the intention of your statement, since the performance of the economy is a function of the costs of capital inputs, the truth is our economy is being HURT by the MS monopoly. Consider it a "software shock" instead of a "oil shock," companies that are forced (by their own ignorance) to use MS software are less competitive because their inputs are more expensive and restricting. MS software inflates pc prices, just like expensive oil inflates all petroleum related products. This results in less consumption and less profitability and overall revenue to non-MS companies.

          My company just had 10% layoffs and had we not gone with their new license plan, I am sure many of those people could have still had jobs. This is the reason that anti-trust laws exist. Not to be fair but because monopolies HURT the economy. Unfortunately, a monopoly with enough money not only adversely affects the economy but also the government.
          • Perhaps one should pay more attention to Wall Street. Tomorrow.
            Clearly, over time, money given to BeelzeBill is money not spent elsewhere. However, in a land where near-term is the next quarterly statement, and long-term the next election, who can expect courage from the leadership?
          • by Thing 1 ( 178996 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @01:35PM (#5931728) Journal
            Well, actually MS is now traded on the NYSE, which gives you a feeling for what type of company it has become.

            Where did you get that information? I went to nyse.com [nyse.com] and did a "Symbol Lookup" for Microsoft, which sent me to this page [nyse.com] showing that Microsoft is a NASDAQ company.

            So obviously it's not "now traded on the NYSE." Is it going to be?

      • by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @07:41AM (#5930315) Homepage
        The turning point is here. Savour the moment and celebrate, but remember the mistakes others have made. This is a wonderful thing to see, equivalent to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

        I have many friends from East Germany who would find the comparison highly offensive.

        Enterprises use Microsoft for a simple reason, the alternatives suck. You might think that there is no difference between Microsoft Word and an open source alternative but end users don't.

        Open source is hardly immune to buggy unreliable software and many users will even use the legacy unreliable and insecure code long after there is a better alternative. No software that Microsoft makes compares with sendmail for sheer awfulness. Yet sendmail is still hands down the main Unix mailer (unless you believe Prof Bernstein's QMail propaganda). There are much better alternatives, QMail and Exim, have been for years and years but they show no sign of dislodging the obsolete sendmail.

        So given this position within the open source world why expect it to be different outside? The cost of Microsoft software is irrelevant if you are paying people to use it.

      • I like my job (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bigman2003 ( 671309 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @08:28AM (#5930447) Homepage
        If everyone uses free software, and nothing but free software...where do all the programmers go?

        I like getting paid to write software. If nobody bought software, I guess that programming would be a 'hobby' and not a 'profession'.

        I think the free software people are idiots. Kinda the same if 1/2 the plumbers in the world went around doing the job for nothing- because 'everyone should have water'.

        I like getting paid to write code. I'm pretty sure that a lot of other people do. If the companies don't sell the products, and make a lot of money, then the whole idea of a paid programmer will go away. That would be a bummer.

        So why the hell do you want to give your work away for free? That's some crack that I ain't smokin'.

        At this rate programmers will be like artists- all underpaid and 'struggling'.

        Who the hell came up with the idea that my time, effort, and labor is not worth any money? Please don't offer my employer to replace me with something that is free. You may be on your moral high-horse, but what you are really doing is killing one more tech job.
        • Re:I like my job (Score:5, Insightful)

          by HalfFlat ( 121672 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @09:20AM (#5930597)
          Almost all the software I get paid to write is written to allow my employer to do their work better, faster, or at all. Only a small portion is for distribution outside the company. Even if the distributed code were to be given away free of cost, the other code I write - which again, is by far the majority - would keep me employed and valuable to the company.

          I would go so far as to say that most code written is written to perform some task for the people employing the programmer, rather than for resale.

          That said, note that free (as in GPL) software does not mean that a company producing it gets no revenue. For starters, it need not be given to customers for free; while the customers can then create derivatives, redistribute source and so forth, they still need to buy the program in the first place. Given a choice of buying it with support from the vendor, or compiling it themselves from source gained from a 3rd party, many would (and do!) buy it from the vendor.

          Further in products which contain a mixture of code and other material (for example, computer games, databases with data, etc.) the code component can be free-in-GPL and free-in-cost, while still generating revenue for the creators as part of a product which is very much not free.

          You like being paid to write software. That's good, getting payed for practicing an art that (I presume) you enjoy and are skilled at. If free software became the norm, only one particular avenue of revenue for potential employers is removed, and it is one which probably does not account for more than a fraction of employed coders. There will still be many opportunities for you to practice your art. And with much free software available, you have a much greater opportunity to learn from and build upon the work of others, potentially allowing you to be a better and more efficient programmer.
          • Re:I like my job (Score:5, Interesting)

            by aallan ( 68633 ) <alasdair AT babilim DOT co DOT uk> on Sunday May 11, 2003 @11:01AM (#5930951) Homepage

            I would go so far as to say that most code written is written to perform some task for the people employing the programmer, rather than for resale.

            Enitrely agree, the number of truely generic tools is fairly limitied, the number of process specific tools is much larger.

            I get paid to write software, these days I slap a GPL license onto everything I ship, but a great deal of this won't ever be seen by the public because its not generally useful and nobody would actually be interested. The stuff that is generally useful will eventually make its way into the wild, but its defaintely in the minority.

            Al.
        • Re:I like my job (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @09:46AM (#5930680) Homepage Journal

          Software still has to be written, maintained, and supported. At one time, there was little or no proprietary software. Most of it was either given away to sell mainframes, or written and maintained in-house to meet business needs. If priprietary software goes away, we'll simply return to that situation, just like waking from a nightmare.

          I write Free software for a living. The biggest difference is that my license doesn't translate to 'all your base are belong to us' and I never have to reinvent my own wheel.

          When Free software takes over, there will be MORE demand for programmers than ever. There are a great many proprietary apps out there that various businesses wish they could customise feature X or add feature Y. Proprietary software means that those customizations are simply out of the question, so that's one less position for a programmer. The money to pay the programmer's salary will come out of the licensing costs no longer paid out and from the administrative costs of license compliance that is no longer necessary.

          The net result of Free software taking over is that a huge inefficiency in the economy will be removed. If any professions suffer because of Free software, it will be lawyers and redundant administrators.

        • Re:I like my job (Score:4, Insightful)

          by numark ( 577503 ) <jcolson@ndEINSTE ... minus physicist> on Sunday May 11, 2003 @10:14AM (#5930785) Homepage Journal
          This brings up a common misconception. "Free" software, as the old adage goes, is "free as in speech, not free as in beer". In other words, free software manufacturers can most definitely sell their works for a profit. Think of Red Hat. They sell a boxed version of free software for $69.95, and what is the user buying? Not only the collection of free software, but also the support contracts, warranty, and other features that you can only get in a boxed version.

          Another example is MySQL. One company sells support contracts for that software and makes quite a bit doing just that. But MySQL is free both in speech and beer. Yet they still make money helping people fix problems that they have with it.

          Free software can make companies money, it's as simple as that. It's not that the companies are developing programs they pass around without any cost whatsoever. Programmers still earn money because their work still profits the company. In other words, the exact same thing that goes on with proprietary software, just shifting the philosophy around. The money is still there.
        • by Idou ( 572394 ) * on Sunday May 11, 2003 @12:21PM (#5931305) Journal
          unless you work for MS, most programming jobs are related to customization and maintenance. With proprietary software, though, there IS no customization (unless you want to be sued) and maintenance is either done by the vendor, at usually a reckless level, and by a MSCE over at the customer side. This results in a net LOSS of programming jobs (though cheap, mindless admin jobs have increased).

          For instance, my company was nearly a YEAR into writing financial reports for the company. All the software we were using was proprietary. Suddenly, towards the end of the project, it was discovered that the software could not combine the portrait and landscape types of sheets into one package on the company website. It would have been more cost efficient to pay a programmer 50k JUST to fix this one issue, but since it was proprietary software (and the of course the vendor didn't care), we had to switch proprietary software and start over!

          The truth is EVERY software related project should employ a programmer because you never know what the limitations of the already available software will be until you are too deep into the project. The reason that every project DOESN'T employ a programmer is the company doesn't have permission to customize the code, so, in the end, their only option is to change products. So you get companies full of Admins and no programmers.

          Proprietary software kills more quality tech jobs and replaces them with mindless, admin jobs.
        • If everyone uses free software, and nothing but free software...where do all the programmers go?

          As a geek, you could use your extensive knowledge of Klingon to get a job in Oregon.

          Max
        • "If everyone uses free software, and nothing but free software...where do all the programmers go?"

          You've completely missed the whole point of "free software." It's not about "giving away your hard work without compensation." It's about not placing encumbrances on those who receive the software from you.

          "I like getting paid to write software. If nobody bought software, I guess that programming would be a 'hobby' and not a 'profession'."

          I'm still a bit confused by your position. As long as there are

    • Stupid Stupid Stupid.

      The alternatives to Microsoft are fine if all you need is a fancy notepad editor or something to fill in boxes to appear to be a spreadsheet, but the moment you try to do something grown up with them you hit a nasty wall. I think the statement that "all the things you can do with Microsoft you can now do with others" is flat wrong. There are some real simple incompatibility issues with OpenOffice such text in table layouts that make it unacceptable for use even as my son's school report text editor.

      You are deluded if you think that the UNIX world is immune to security concerns. Instead of hanging on to that tired mantra you should subscribe to a weekly security bulletin such as SANS so you can see what the issues are...lately there has been a rash of bugs in open source tools. Your statement really means that anyone who hires you to take care of their systems should fire you immediately because you don't understand that security is a living process and not a software package that eventually gets circumvented anyway. Blind complacent assumptions about a software package because a penguin appears on the cover lead to practices as bad as using "root000" for a password and are an open door on any platform.

      Eventually these alt tools will cover territory that MS covered about 3 years ago; three years from now you will not be competitive if you are using today's tools. The open source community will continue to play catch-up with these tools so long as there is no REAL innovation. When will the next Linux or Apache come around? Are we really doing anything more with these than playing with desktop themes and applications skins? How long does it take until the newest 10% of any software package is universally used?

      Of course, to each his own and use whatever tool that works and gets the job done best. But consider that by not providing certain tools you may be holding people back. If you hear "we don't have that capability, but we can get around that" what you are really hearing about is lost manhours (NOT free!) that the competition didn't have to deal with. I certainly don't like to consider MS on the back end, but from the enterprise standpoint it is not possible to scale management of or even collaborate between these open source tools without heavy application of some glue code. On the desktop you can't take away my Win2k/XP and I get excellent uptime with it. Out of the box, MS apps connect like a bloated Cheeto-dining hacker and a blind porno actress. THAT is the challenge that the open source community must take up in order for their apps to not just be adopted in niche areas, but to be universally accepted.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:23AM (#5930037)
    I think the article gives a good reason to buy Microsoft: +0.60

  • One reason: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:28AM (#5930046)
    Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft.
    • Re:One reason: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:08AM (#5930144)
      eh?

      Go ask the guy that replaced some of the servers in one of the branch offices of my company. Guess what I did to him for replacing the mail servers with win2000 because of ease of maintenance. Guess what happened after almost a week of no mail and numerous calls to M$ with "please try rebooting" answers.
      • Re:One reason: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by neuroticia ( 557805 )
        Err. That seems more like a story of professional incompetence than it does of crap software. MS software (aside from putting their settings in half a freaking million places) is fairly easy to use when you know which buttons to press. It's just a bad idea for other reasons. Take your "points" where you can score them, and don't try to bash every single aspect of MS--it just makes you seem like a lunatic zealot, and makes people less likely to believe anything positive about whatever platform you do advocat
    • Re:One reason: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by debrain ( 29228 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:08AM (#5930145) Journal
      Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft.

      Yeah but lots of companies went out of business for doing it (one of my former included) ...
      • Re:One reason: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:47AM (#5930211)
        Yeah but lots of companies went out of business for doing it (one of my former included)

        Companies go out of business for many reasons. Their choice of word processor isn't one of them.
        • Re:One reason: (Score:5, Insightful)

          by debrain ( 29228 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @07:44AM (#5930319) Journal
          Companies go out of business for many reasons. Their choice of word processor isn't one of them.

          A company's choice of server OS, web server, and database may, in my experience, significantly contribute to their untimely demise.

          To follow this thread, up to your argument:
          1. (original thread) Nobody got fired for buying Microsoft.
          2. (my reply) Companies have gone bankrupt for buying Microsoft.
          3. (your reply) Companies don't go bankrupt for buying MS Word.

          Do you not see any logical fallacy here? That being, your implication that the only software Microsoft offers that may possibly contribute to a company's demise is the choise of word processor. This is most certainly not the case.

          What's more, your assertion that MS Word would not contribute to a company's demise is unsatisfied; I find it fairly likely that MS Word would cost more than any other word processing solution given the plethora of bugs, crashes, worms and viri targeting it. In a competitive scenario, a company not hindered by these costs would have a strategic, and hence competitive, advantage over one that is, and hence have greater survivability. Most (All?) Federal Banks use Lotus Notes for a damned fine reason (it's not a big target).

          Cheers.
  • and... (Score:5, Funny)

    by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:32AM (#5930054)
    You might want to think about selling that MS stock right about now. too. I don't foresee any additional splits, any time soon. I hear used classic guitars are a nice investment these days.
  • Fair (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mattygfunk1 ( 596840 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:35AM (#5930056)
    In fact, for enterprises that run their entire organizations on top of Microsoft products, a wholesale migration to Linux would be costly.

    I appruciate the honesty and attempt to be impartial here when assessing the two operating systems. This is something that many pro-linux articles miss.

    Of course the long term benefits definately outweight the initial investment that is still a very tough sell in the current economy.

    __
    cheap web site hosting [cheap-web-...ing.com.au]

    • Re:Fair (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KingRamsis ( 595828 ) <kingramsis@gAAAm ... inus threevowels> on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:53AM (#5930104)
      We have a small scale pet project to migrate to Linux at my work, we planned it to happen gradually step by step, converting all your business processes and software to linux over night can be best described as a disater, instead we divide the whole system into seprate parts with well defined independent functionality and them migrate it bit by bit to linux.
  • MS consistency (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:36AM (#5930059)
    There are two reasons we're staying with MS. First off is the consistency across the board. It's not just a glib overgeneralisation to say that it helps admin, and from what I've seen of OSX server it has much the same advantages. To Admin one system is to admin another. To update, run, install and fix a service is consistent, and the need to retrain when a service is added just isn't there. We DO use Linux and BSD in some of our systems, and while the people exist who can administer those, the configuration for say, Apache, is wildly different to just about anything else, and anything else from each other. Just an observation.

    The 2nd point is support. It's impeccable, and having guaranteed 24-hour help for those times when things foo bar up so badly we can't repair things is essential to running a service for our clients.

    Those are two features of "going MS" that are important to us. Some people will not find they need both, or even either. I won't comment on their business practices, but suffice it to say that's their choice.
    • Re:MS consistency (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:56AM (#5930107) Homepage
      "The 2nd point is support. It's impeccable, and having guaranteed 24-hour help for those times when things foo bar up so badly we can't repair things is essential to running a service for our clients."

      Yes, but who supplies your support? If it was Microsoft there would be no market for the likes of CSC and EDS who make a fortune out of support contracts because Microsoft support is not adequate.

      If you have to pay someone for 24x7 support you may as well pay them for support no a reliable platform that is far better suited for 24x7 operations.

      The fact that OSS has worse support is a myth - OSS comes with a good developer base that you (or your support contractor) can tap into, and Windows comes with the somewhat inferior MSDN _and that's about it_. Everything else you have to pay for one way or another.
    • Re:MS consistency (Score:5, Informative)

      by phaze3000 ( 204500 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:59AM (#5930120) Homepage

      Yes, the configuration of Apache is quite different to many other programs ('wildly different' is somewhat over the top - at heart, configuring almost all Unix programs invloves editing text files).

      But is the configuration process for IIS really that similar to Exchange? Not really - they're very different tasks, so in many ways this isn't really surprising.

      As for support, IBM and many others will be happy to offer 24-hour help at the right-price - Free software might not cost anything to get, but it's certainly not free to run. Of course, you don't get 24-hour help for Windows by default either.

      The major difference between Microsoft solutions and Open Source solutions is in terms of flexibility - instead of getting a 'black box' which you can do little to change, you can adapt the software to your business. There's no way Microsoft can compete with this under the terms of their current licensing, and ultimately this is why Open Souce software will come to dominate computing.

    • Re:MS consistency (Score:5, Insightful)

      by timotten ( 5411 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:24AM (#5930163) Homepage
      I'll bite! :)

      To update, run, install and fix a service is consistent ... the configuration for say, Apache, is wildly different to just about anything else, and anything else from each other.

      That's an illusion. A good deployment requires a firm understanding of what is being deployed, and that requires the same amount of work for Apache or IIS. Your employee just feels more secure about configuring IIS with a GUI because it seems to require less creative input, and it allows him to deflect creative mistakes onto Microsoft rather than accept them himself.
      • Re:MS consistency (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JohnFluxx ( 413620 )
        This reminds me of databases.

        When I started off in the database field, I developed a few databases for about 4-5 companies, using MS-Access. It was all gui, click and play..

        Then I went to university, and learnt database theory, and use oracle. At first I thought it was a step back, since it wasn't as easy any more to produce a database. Then I realised that far more of the effort goes into designing the database than implementing it, and that the GUI almost discourages designing first.
  • by bazik ( 672335 ) <bazik@gent o o . o rg> on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:36AM (#5930060) Homepage Journal
    Yes, buy their products to support them. Where else can you get such decent mice?
    • by kien ( 571074 )
      Where else can you get such decent mice?

      And keyboards! Until recently, I had always used Microsoft mice but that IBM optical mouse (with the blue wheel) finally won me over.
      Come to think of it, Microsoft releases some damn fun games too. I can't wait until they realize that they should start porting them to *nix to prop up their profits.

      --K.
  • by AtomicX ( 616545 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:38AM (#5930068)
    Bill: Our market share is falling, what can we do? Ballmer: [Sweating]Improve our products?[Still Sweating] Bill: Don't be ridiculous, if Windows was secure then we wouldn't be able to charge for bug fixes, [not that our software is buggy of course] Ballmer: [Shirt now navy blue]We could take the old standby[Shirt now very dark navy blue] Bill: Aha - [to voice activated Windows box]Bring in the lawyers![Windows BSODs] [To voice activated Linux box] Bring in the lawyers! [Lawyers arrive] Bill: I want Linux to be made illegal Ballmer: [Shirt now dissolving in acidic sweat] Developers! Developers! Developers! Bill: Not now Steve! Lawyers: This will cost you Bill, bribery is very expensive these days. Bill: Nah! - I ran an audit check on the US govt. they haven't complied with the MS Windows Server 2003 EULA clause 0203432448 (You hereby agree that All your base are belong to MS) Lawyers: It shall be done oh fabulously wealthy one! [US Govt. declares Finland a terrorist state, wages violent war, Linus Torvolds writes a quick kernel update then goes into hiding] ... to be continued.
    • by AtomicX ( 616545 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:40AM (#5930075)
      ^^ forgot to format it - double posting is a /. tradition anyway.

      Bill: Our market share is falling, what can we do?

      Ballmer: [Sweating]Improve our products?[Still Sweating]

      Bill: Don't be ridiculous, if Windows was secure then we wouldn't be able to charge for bug fixes, [not that our software is buggy of course]

      Ballmer: [Shirt now navy blue]We could take the old standby[Shirt now very dark navy blue]

      Bill: Aha - [to voice activated Windows box]Bring in the lawyers![Windows BSODs] [To voice activated Linux box] Bring in the lawyers!

      [Lawyers arrive]

      Bill: I want Linux to be made illegal

      Ballmer: [Shirt now dissolving in acidic sweat] Developers! Developers! Developers!

      Bill: Not now Steve!

      Lawyers: This will cost you Bill, bribery is very expensive these days.

      Bill: Nah! - I ran an audit check on the US govt. they haven't complied with the MS Windows Server 2003 EULA clause 0203432448 (You hereby agree that All your base are belong to MS)

      Lawyers: It shall be done oh fabulously wealthy one!

      [US Govt. declares Finland a terrorist state, wages violent war, Linus Torvolds writes a quick kernel update then goes into hiding] ... to be continued.
  • Survey size? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:41AM (#5930078)
    We polled 4 CIOs and 1 of them said they're replacing Microsoft with Linux.

    I always love when they quote figures from a survey that was conducted, but don't give any details such as size or region (US only or world wide?).
  • All in One. (Score:3, Funny)

    by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:42AM (#5930081) Homepage Journal
    If you buy Microsoft products, you get all that stuff connected, i.e. buying Microsoft hardware you are sure it will be supported flawlessly by Microsoft software.

    And now I wonder if I get modded down for this as Troll or up as Funny :P
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:47AM (#5930090)
    One reason :

    unmount /dev/hdd /cdrom

    I love everything Linux, but seriously, what will my secretary do when her CD is stuck in the drive despite hitting the eject button furiously, and she doesn't know how to get it out ? And yes, I know you can learn Linux and it's not that hard and yada yada, but she's already taken months to leave her typewritter and get going under Windows. You think my secretary is an old thing from another generation that has become rare ? think again.

    So, yeepee-doo for Linux, let Linux take over the world, but please leave my secretary under Windows so she can do her work.
    • by panurge ( 573432 ) * on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:57AM (#5930109)
      Buy the poor woman a Mac. You know it makes sense. My wife runs an all-woman business, the office is full of Macs (Linux servers) and, you know what? Support is virtually nil. When she had PCs, we had constant training issues. I don't fully understand it myself, it just seems to happen.
    • Oh come off it. (Score:3, Insightful)

      What possible reason could there be for a technophobic secretary to need to mount a CD in the works machine. If she's not capable of coming to terms with the mount command then she shouldn't be installing software.

    • http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/mini/Automount.html
    • It cracks me up when I read people complaining about mounting and unmounting disks. I haven't had to do any of this for a very long time: the last few Mandrake installs (at least!) came with automount or supermount or whatever it's called, and it just works.

      And don't think that the disk won't get "stuck" in Windows: it just means that the only alternative is to reboot the machine to unstick it, not type a oneliner into a command line. Just make a link to a shell script, and everyone should be happy.
    • your secretary? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twitter ( 104583 )
      She's still crying for Word Perfect, which let her see codes in her documents and correct them the few times the program made mistakes or did not understand what she wanted. Chances are she will like being able to fix things under Linux better than pushing the reset button under Windoze. Oh yeah, she can get version 8 of Word Perfect as a native Linux binary. It works well, though I'd prefer they make a newer version.

      You should have more respect for the secretary and let her make up her own mind. Tell

  • Human Resources (Score:5, Insightful)

    by locarecords.com ( 601843 ) <david@nOsPAm.locarecords.com> on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:48AM (#5930093) Homepage Journal
    Regardless of the wishes of the open source community to write off Microsoft, it is one thing having every part of their product range being available and usable o/s... it is quite another to have the status and prestige of a multinational to implement them.

    Corporate buyers and technologists are notoriously conservative and things like long term longevity of the company, market capitalisation, project history, locked in technologies and pure tradition (ie we have always bought from Microsoft) have a massive impact on buying decisions.

    As someone once remarked to me, "No-one gets sacked for buying Microsoft software"...

    So I think they'll be around mighty longer than anyone anticipates (providing they don't make a huge technological miscalculation). And judging by their past aggressiveness and competitiveness I would say they can't be written off yet.

    When pricing a firm there is much much more to it than saying that someone else sells everything they do.

  • by marsonist ( 629054 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:52AM (#5930101)
    Clippit, the cute and loveable Office assistant. Let's see Linux' answer to that.
    • First off, his name is Clippy. Clippy is the DEVIL.

      Second off, of course we have an answer to that. We've combined our most evil text editor (vi) with an annoying assistant... BEHOLD! VIGOR! [sf.net]

      Yeah, it's evil. Yes. Evil. /me cries in the corner.
    • I use Linux (Mandrake) on my laptop, but I have yet to find any decent replacement for "Offline files" or the "Briefcase" or whatever it's called.

      When I connect my laptop to the network I want it to synchronize my files. If it can do this via ssh to any remote server, even better.

      Anyone know of any such product for Linux?

      .haeger
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:54AM (#5930105) Journal
    Thank Microsoft for inventing the idea of Visual Basic and obstructions to the c++ standard that make it difficult if not impossible to port apps. This was done on purpose to force bussinesses to be dependant on Windows. Fact of the matter is during the 90's they viewed Microsoft as the good guys needed to set standards. Now its payback.

    I remember the old saying "Don't code it include it!". The point is that your apps are really just wrappers for some ms specific code.

    If it took 30 years to replace cobal/IBM 370 code then it will take 30 years to get the com/.net/Windows back out again. I predict Windows to be used for 30 or 40 years thanks to the proprietariness of the whole environment.

    Also look at prepackaged software. Its all Windows based. Peoplesoft, great plains accounting, autocad, etc.

    Sadly many companies today are ready to jump on the .net train even though they are critizing Microsoft's licensing practices. They will surely be locked in. Infact according to the Gartner group %50 of all companies are looking at .net migration! They just do not get it. Today its mostly Unix based but they are afraid that java might die under the almighty Microsoft view .net as a safe way to avoid risk managment.

    On another note Microsoft does make the best Office suites around. Not to mention I found no ide that approaches VC++. Vi is cool as a great text editor for many different langauges but it does not have autoword completion, autoclass completetion, class browsing extra that VC++ has. Kdevelop sucks goatballs and only eclipse is close. Unfortunatly its for java development.

    • by Kumkwat ( 312490 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:30AM (#5930175) Journal
      Actually .NET is where I think Microsoft is going right for once. For the first time we have a truely open standard (ECMA standardized), well the CLR parts of it, which people can develop for. You won't find their Windowing code in their or ASP.NET but these are the area's that are going to generate revenue for MS. There are now ports for FreeBSD, MacOSX and the Mono guys are working a version for Linux. True platform cross compatibility, plus a typed runtime that was actually designed to provide support for somewhat seemless byte code compilation from multiple languages. Unlike the JVM which really was designed for Java only to run on different platforms.

      I've been workin on .NET for a few yrs now, actually with the open source release Rotor designing a functional langauge and have found it rather a joy to use. Plus MS Research is now supporting quite a few research oriented open source initiatives that will hopefully provide rather novel enhancements in the coming years.
    • ''Unfortunatly its (sic) for java development''.

      Not true. Eclipse itself is a development tool platform, it just happens that Java is the first and most widely know language. There's a C/C++ toolkit now, though, see the CDT [eclipse.org]. There's also an effort to develop a COBOL IDE!
      • Yes but do I have autoword completition, class browsing, auto class completetion, and docs?

        CDT just has syntax highlighting for some keywords and thats it. You can't even compile with it. This is something I can do with the Unix version of gVIM by running :make projectname.cpp.

        It is a java ide for the time being untill CDT improves.

    • Also look at prepackaged software. Its all Windows based. Peoplesoft, great plains accounting, autocad, etc

      Techincally, w.r.t. PeopleSoft, this statement isn't exactly true:

      PeopleSoft Jumps on Linux Bandwagon [cioupdate.com]

      Announcements of this type are actually very big news for the business world, IMO. The biggest core application for a non-technology company, ie. Manufacturing, is it's ERP system's. Sure, Cisco can switch all desktop development off of Un*x to Linux because of the similar environment.

      ERP syste
    • only eclipse is close

      Eclipse is better and can be used to develop in langauges other than Java. I've used it for Java, C, PHP and Perl.

    • by evilpenguin ( 18720 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @11:56AM (#5931188)

      Sadly many companies today are ready to jump on the .net train even though they are critizing Microsoft's licensing practices. They will surely be locked in. Infact according to the Gartner group %50 of all companies are looking at .net migration! They just do not get it. Today its mostly Unix based but they are afraid that java might die under the almighty Microsoft view .net as a safe way to avoid risk managment.

      First, let me let you know my prejudices. I am a Linux advocate. I like Linux. I've developed software for Unix systems professionally for 14 years now. I have also become a Free Software advocate. This took a fair amount of time. I thought the right way to make money with software was to keep it closed and secret. I now think this is the right way for a small number of investors to make the largest possible amount of money out of skilled people who are not so well compensated. In a Free Software economy, programmers become like lawyers, doctors, and architects: professionals compensated for the quality of their practice.

      So much for background. Even as an advocate, I think we must recognize the validty of the argument quoted above. When you have choices between propretary platforms, you must manage the risk. You must try to choose the winner. And it is difficult to find a market Microsoft has chosen to move into where it has not become the winner (most often by leveraging their OS monopoly, but we've had that fight already).

      The only products that have gained ground against Microsoft in a market Microsoft dominates are Free Software products. Why? The corollary to the above argument. Microsoft can't destroy a Free product. Sun should GPL or BSD license their Java VM and SDK as soon as possible (given my view, I'd prefer the GPL, but I would welcome any license that meets the Debian Free Software Guidelines). They should invite public development. I think everyone in the open deveopment community would welcome their sitting as benevolent dictator over the project, a la Thorvalds, and it would guarantee that whatever happened to Sun, Java would go on.

      Sure, businesses are careful, and belief in the Free Software model is ony slowly winning acceptance (with Linux, Apache, and Samba leading that), but one of the reasons people accept those products is the confidence in knowing those projects will go on. No risk of vendor disappearence. Sun's best bet to keep Java in front and on top is to open it up. They already give it away, now they need to let go.

      As for the general topic of Microsoft vs. Free, obviously I believe Free can do the job and will eventually (I think) completely replace all closed commodity market niches, leaving only specialty vertical markets as potential closed markets. But this will take quite a while. It will take a generation or two, simply because the generation of programmers raised on Free Software has to become the generation of technical people making the decisions. People do not make choices on a rational basis, they rationalize their prejudices. They come up with evidence for what they already believe (me too -- objectivity is extremely difficult to attain) and reject evidence to the contrary.

      Money is the thing that drives what little rationality there is in this debate.

      One of the reasons I think the Free Software will ultimately win is simply that Free Software is always free, whereas Microsoft gets its developer mindshare on the pusher model (first few hits are free). Universities and Technical Colleges are using and teaching with Free Software more and more. The current high price of Linux people is due to the last decade of Microsoft pushing. The people who know *nix are the older, more experienced folks -- the more expensive folks. But the next generation is going to have broader background and skills. The cheap folks will know *nix AND Windows.

      Those who accuse the Free Software camp of

  • by Thaidog ( 235587 ) <slashdot753&nym,hush,com> on Sunday May 11, 2003 @05:59AM (#5930117)
    I'm an analyst for IBM Global sevices and I work out of the RTP main campus site... A few weeks ago on break, I decided to take a walk around the hardware labs, and to my suprirse I found about 10 new Mac OS X workstations being configured... I talked with one of the techs who said they were using them because they are unix and therefore can run many of the apps they use right out of the box... I asked them if it had anything to do with the 970 development and he said he could not commment... It was ironic to say the least to see that the computers in the lab that actually had the *most* IBM hardware in it (logicboard, harddrive, cpus) had an apple logo on the front... Who needs micosoft? Obviously not us...
  • by Thanatiel ( 445743 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:02AM (#5930128)
    People usually needs a (strong) motivation to move, even if it leads to a better state.
    Linux is not a threat to Windows. The general behaviour of MS against it's custommers is.

    Facts: (AFAIK)

    _ Windows XP has been out for a while now.
    _ With such an amount of time, there likely more hardware update needed (and applied) for a lot of computers.
    _ A set of 3 changes triggers the mandatory registration process.

    _ To have a locked computer on sunday morning because you just installed a RAM upgrade is really a pain. (*)
    _ To have a very unpleasant MS guy on the phone Monday morning really improves your general bad feeling about MS and Windows. (**)

    I know a few people who experienced that kind of story those last six months. Most were MS tolerant. Some are now planning to give a try to a Linux distribution (SuSE).

    Since this kind of trouble is going to happen more and more, I think that MS is more a threat to itself than Linux.

    (*) real story
    (**) part 2 of the real story
    • by TummyX ( 84871 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:40AM (#5930191)
      _ To have a locked computer on sunday morning because you just installed a RAM upgrade is really a pain. (*)


      Hmm. The activation centres here in NZ are automated (unless you've changed too much hardware). I had managed to activate at 3am in the morning.


      _ To have a very unpleasant MS guy on the phone Monday morning really improves your general bad feeling about MS and Windows. (**)


      Yes. I was unfortunate enough to have to need to talk to a human operator once. They're suspicious and treat you as *guilty* until you prove otherwise. I had a most unpleasent conversation with one of their operators. I tried explaining to them that I was reinstalling XP cause I had just upgraded my motherboard and cpu. They treated me like an idiot and asked me if I was sure that I wasn't installing it on a second machine. When I said "yes", there was a pause (obviously they were looking at the hardware ID changes) and they said "are you sure?".

      It wasn't until I got very pissed off with them that they let me activate.

      Not a very nice way to treat your customers.
  • by evil_roy ( 241455 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:12AM (#5930150)
    Reasons MS works in corporate environments:

    1. Pre-trained user base = nil training cost for MS Office users

    2. So many corporate apps that can be run on a variety of databases/servers, yet demand MS desktop OS's for their client app that is required. Many of these setups have no intention of moving to anything other than windows for the client side of things.
  • by KoolDude ( 614134 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:23AM (#5930161)

    ...unique to Microsoft they can now find somewhere else

    How about Clippy and Bob ? Unique to Microsoft ? Yes, of course. Replacements ? No way!
  • by grolschie ( 610666 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:24AM (#5930165)
    Many organizationss have Win2K clients that log into a Domain provided by a Linux box running SAMBA. Once set up properly, it can be a Domain Controller and also replaces many of the other tasks that a 2K Server does, and without the huge license fee for the server (based on the number of clients connecting).
  • by danielrm26 ( 567852 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:42AM (#5930196) Homepage
    Because people who have businesses care very much whether or not they succeed or fail. Microsoft has succeeded, in most cases, to convince those that matter that if they go with the alternative, they are taking a risk with their business.

    Microsoft, to most businesses, is the "safe bet". It's considered the superior choice only because it's mainstream.

    The real threat will come to Microsoft not via some certain tech advance - it will come in the form of a slow penetration of anti-MS and pro-Linux gossip being spread throughout the business community. Once this happens the game will be over and MS will have to *totally* re-invent themselves - another product release won't save them.
    • Once this happens the game will be over and MS will have to *totally* re-invent themselves - another product release won't save them.

      Right, just like the MPAA re-invented themselves when people wanted to play DVDs on their linux boxen; or like the RIAA re-invented themselves when people wanted to download music.

      Unfortunately, monopolies don't see new technology and an smaller customer base as a chance to redefine their strategies. Rather, they use it as a chance to flex their muscle--both market and

  • by Lord Sauron ( 551055 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:43AM (#5930199)
    If you had asked me this very same question some years ago, I could have outlined a series of reasons why you should buy Microsoft and sell Enron.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:43AM (#5930200)
    Microsoft products require licensing, for example Windows 2000 Server requires a "Client Access License" for each connection, where as Linux does not have such a scheme, making Linux servers handle an unlimited amount of connections or you can set the maximum number connections. Making Linux Servers better then Microsoft Servers.

    You can configure a Linux Server once and leave, it contune to run for a very long time, where Microsoft Server requires more frequently changing configurations.

    Microsoft systems have hidden cost unlike Linux.
  • Reasons (Score:3, Insightful)

    by briancnorton ( 586947 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @06:59AM (#5930233) Homepage
    Integration Support Cheap Admins 3rd party software That's really enough reasons, but the arguement is useless. Nothing will offer a mid to large businesses what they want at a reasonable price except running BOTH. It dosent suprise me that 25% of businesses are switching, but it dosent say they are jumping off the deck of the SS Microsoft. It just turns out to be more cost effective to offload some of the work onto cheaper Linux machines.
  • In the end... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @07:05AM (#5930244) Homepage
    Windows really has to change to be able to compete.

    Open Source software offers you the advantage of a propritary in house solution (customisability, flexibility) without having to go away and autally write all the code yourself - just change the bits you want changed.

    Windows solutions (shared source being something of a joke) offer you very little more support or indemnification (read the EULA and see what's covered!) yet take away your flexibility.

    In the long run, support costs with someone like CSC being similar for Windows or Linux (unfairly IMO, they must be raking it in even more than normal on Linux contracts, but there you go) a business needs to work out if the costs of customising an OSS app to make it perfect are more than the costs of licensing Windows. Factor in the cost of lock in to a Microsoft format and the loss of control in the figures, and you have a basis of comparison for your company.

    -And of course if you contribute your changes back to the commnity (which you don't _have_ to do with the BSDL or under the GPL if you do not distribute outside the company) you will suddenly find yourself with Karma:Excellent in the geek community, which may or may not be good for your business.
  • by aufecht ( 163961 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @07:27AM (#5930294) Homepage Journal
    Nope
  • by reverendslappy ( 672515 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @07:32AM (#5930302)

    MS is just starting to compete in the enterprise app space, but Unix still beats it hands-down. There's no argument there. But at the desktop in a large, distributed enterprise, Microsoft is the only rational choice. Period.

    For some reasons already mentioned and for some not, Linux et. al. don't make sense for an enterprise to deploy to the desktop. Here's my reasons why:

    1. Manageability. With tools like SMS, software distribution, policy compliance management, and enterprise inventory are a breeze. Sure there's a new MS patch all the time, but with minimal administrative effort, I can test and deploy a patch in no time. Our SLA on turn-around to deployment of a critical patch is 24 business hours. Three days after release of a patch or other software update, our entire 20,000+ client network is 85% or more patched. With about 20 man hours of work across three staff. Linux absolutely can not touch that. Also, Active Directory is the bomb. We can integrate our email system with our help desk system with SMS with enterprise apps and others, while creating and maintaining user data once, in one place. Sure you can do that with OSS stuff (using LDAP etc.) but AD works almost out of the box. Turn it on, migrate, boom done.
    2. Accountability. Senior management has somebody (outside the organization) to blame when there's a critical failure. It sounds like a cop-out, but hey, that's how it works. I dunno about anybody else, but I like getting a paycheck. And therefore, I like having the ability to point the finger at someone else when they screw up. So do senior managers, because it mitigates their liability and the liability of the organization as a whole. In any situation, we have the ability to say "Sorry, Microsoft screwed up." In a Linux environment, what could we say? "Sorry, a community of people that I'm likely an active member of screwed up, and ultimately the screw up is as much my fault as anyone else's in that community. So can I have a box with handles for my personal belongings? Thanks."
    3. It's cheaper. Period. Sure OSS stuff is free, sure Microsoft's licensing is pricey. But anyone who takes an honest look at total TCO will see that MS/Intel's price point can't be beat. Administration is cheaper. Hardware is cheaper. Development is cheaper. Users are already trained and therefore cheaper. User and administrative efficiencies are pre-built because people are already Windows/MS familiar before they login to a corporate PC. And you can talk about OSS superiority in certain areas all day, but the fact is, to a business, cheaper is always better.

    Obviously 1 and 3 are the most compelling. 2 might be something kind of specific to the financial industry (which I work IT in) or maybe my organization. Who knows. There are also a lot of more arcane 2-ish reasons (a bunch of audit and risk management stuff) that have already been touched on (Microsoft is stable, easy to build a clearly-defined business relationship with, etc.)

    To be honest, I hope the OSS community is able at some point to create products that compete with MS in the ways I described above. And while Linux may be taking some market share from Microsoft in middle-tier enterprise apps, it's gonna be a long time before it can compete at the enterprise desktop. So there's plenty of reasons to still buy Microsoft, that is, of course, if you want to keep your job.

    • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @08:13AM (#5930392)
      I think an important counter argument can be made against each of your points:

      1. Manageability. If you think that Windows is unique and UNIX/Linux doesn't have comparable tools, it's because you have not worked with a comparable sized UNIX installation. Rdist and LDAP can do everything and more that SMS and Active Directory can. Furthermore they do it cross platform using open standards that are interoperable across a wide range of platforms.

      2. Accountability. Baloney. Microsoft isn't accountable to ANYONE, including the Department of Justice. Sure, you can BLAME them, but that is not the same thing as accountability. What you are talking about is the old 'Nobody got fired for buying IBM' which is of course a dead letter these days. Accountability means that you can recover damages from somebody when it breaks, or you can switch to a different supplier. The former is impossible, and the latter is only possible if you are using open standards (i.e. Linux).

      3. It's cheaper. Microsoft is cheaper? Have you factored in the costs associated with license compliance, the poor stability of Microsoft platforms compared to Linux, the forced site licensing that requires you to buy TWO licenses per employee for every software package? And hardware is cheaper? Since when? Linux uses the same hardware. The only real advantage Microsoft has with cost is due to vendor lock-in of their user base. And you know what? You PAY and PAY and PAY for that because Microsoft has you by the short hairs. License 6.0 is the shot across the bow. Microsoft got away with a major price increase in the middle of a recession, and they KNOW it. Wait 'till you see License 7.0.

      People are not switching to Linux for fun. They are doing so because it gives them an advantage.

  • by The Mutant ( 167716 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @07:49AM (#5930335) Homepage
    Speaking as someone who in the past has managed budgets of up to five million US dollars for a global investment bank (I was a line manager, and that was my project budget) Microsofts well documented [businessweek.com] Predatory Pricing [york.pa.us] just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    Now I'm not an anti-Microsofter; I have a complex love / hate thing going for them.

    I remember CPM / DOS quite well, and wondering why I couldn't use a GUI like I had at work (SparcStations) and the absolute joy when windows 3.0 then 3.1, etc came along.

    And then there are their Office applications and generally well received development tools. I like lots of things about their products - accelerator keys rock, for example! So they've done some good.

    But then they've got to go and destroy all the good will towards them by simply insisting that they will own all of it.

    So if I have a choice between Microsoft and anyone else, I'll go with the latter. The industry as a whole has been damaged enough by Redmonds behaviour.

  • History.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hugesmile ( 587771 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @08:01AM (#5930365)
    The reason people will buy or recommend Microsoft may stem from being burned in the past. Your age may determine how many times you were burned...

    Real world examples:

    "We need to recommend Mac's. Apple was THE FIRST SERIOUS PC, and Mac was the first GUI. It is far superior to anything running on the PC." (1987)

    "Novell has 80% of the Network Operating System market. Go with the defacto standard; the industry leader." (1992)

    "The Netscape team INVENTED browsing. Deploy Netscape Communicator to the desktop. Their browser and mail client will continue to dominate the desktop." (1996)

    "The ONLY serious competitor in palmtop computing is the Palm Pilot. Why consider anything else?" (1998)

    You can say it again and again for Apache (market leader, practically invented the market), Java (re-invented the concept of write-once-run-anywhere), home gaming systems, and forty other technologies.

    The bottom line is that you better have a GREAT reason to bet against "Dollar Bill". He knows that there's more to the market than superior products (in fact, product superiority is probably low on Microsoft's strategic list, behind good marketing, product interoperability, and spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

    I think Microsoft's here to stay as long as Bill's driving the ship. Why bet my business by betting AGAINST Gates?

    • Re:History.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sheldon ( 2322 )
      Actually spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt seems to be the hallmark of the Open Source world these days... :(
  • One Reason to Buy MS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Brown Line ( 542536 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @09:39AM (#5930651)
    From my perspective, there's only one good reason to buy Microsoft: because nearly every other company requires that information be exchanged with them using proprietary Microsoft file formats. In other words, as long as people are mailing Excel and Word documents to each other, a company that wishes to stay in business has to have a reliable way to read and write such files - and the only realistic way to do this is by using the appropriate version of the MS application - sorry, but kword (nice as it is for smaller projects) just doesn't cut it.

    As an example of the absurd extremes to which this can go: I've co-authored a number of books on Linux; and for each project the publisher would accept only MS Word files. So, I had to write my Linux manuscript under Win98. What a pain.

    For this situation to change, a significant percentage of users would have to switch to other applications - and I don't see that happening any time soon. Or, The Bill will let his applications use open standards for file formats (e.g., PDF); but there will be ice skating in Hell before he lets his products compete on a level playing field.

  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @10:11AM (#5930771) Homepage
    The problem with M$s "We include everything and its all in one indivisible lump" approach that they used in the antitrust litigation is that a lot of their customers, the ones with the shrinking bucks, and tens of thousands of seats each, are IT shops who DON'T WANT their employees to have access to a tenth of the buggy, insecure crap that comes on the box by default. (The other day the system monitor was reporting that the print spooler on my box was using 99% of the CPU... I don't doubt that it was. The only thing that could crawl along was the system monitor. But I wasn't printing anything... [Reboot!])

    My client is a bank using NT 4.0 SP6 on PC hardware (NT 4.0 has been kicked around long enough to be able to be left to run all day, though we still get the rare BSOD and some software just crashes at unpredictable intervals) and where installing new software is "verbotten!"

    Install something, anything, and they just might show you the door and tell you not to let it hit you in the ass on the way out.

    The last thing they need is some employee running some software that cuts into ACTUAL productivity or exposes the internal systems of the bank to risk.

    For that reason they are firewalled and proxied to death on cabled LANs and WANs that are a topoplogist's nightmare. Email access is extremely tightly controlled. Internet access almost as tightly controlled. ALL traffic is logged (on a Sun box.) They're quite upfront about it too.

    Let in a virus and you WILL be shown the door. Seen it happen. A whole team of consultants suddenly lost their access to the building. The bank just disabled their passes. The team member who'd fault it was was never allowed to come back.

    Creaping feature-itis has come back to bite M$ in the ass.
  • Exchange? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Sunday May 11, 2003 @11:14AM (#5930986) Journal
    It seems to me that the one missing link in open source software replacements is some kind of replacement for MS exchange.

    I would LOVE to be able to have some kind of solution that could do group calendaring, mail, and shared addressing. As it is now I'm using cyrus imapd, a webmail program, a different LDAP web gateway, and a different web calendaring program. We had used a trial of exchange about 4 years ago, and people still miss the features (even though we didn't stick with exchange due to cost)

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