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Microsoft names KOffice and AbiWord as competitors 100

Case Roole writes "Reading trial transcripts can be great fun. Here is Microsoft's senior vice-president of platforms and applications Paul Maritz on the kspread component of KOffice: "this is quite a sophisticated spreadsheet". Maritz also stated: "[AbiSource] started developing ... a very high-quality word processor for the Linux environment."" . Search on KOFFICE and ABI in the above transcript. In a related story, sh writes "Microsoft demonstrates why OpenLinux is "powerful and easy to use". Check out the article and video! (but you'll need MS Media Player - hmm...) Free advertising for a rival's product to prove competition - what will they resort to next? "
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Microsoft names KOffice and AbiWord as competitors

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Micro$oft is obviously very desperate trying to find a competitor. I hope governemnt understands that there is simply no competition here because:

    1. The software is free. What kind of competition is it if you have to give your products away for free?

    2. The software is in early alpha. It's nowhere near being complete and obviously doesn't have nearly as many features as M$ software. (I'm referring to KOffice) The mere fact that it exists does not mean there's a competition. I can write a "word processor" over night does that mean I'm competing with Micro$oft?

    3. Those who contribute to open-source projects have no financial incentive to do so. It is a hobby, no more.

    I think that summarizes most main points. Comments are welcome.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    But I'm kinda glad I downloaded it anyway, because 'it's a cute little toy. Amazing how Microsoft's programming values even extend to their UNIX products... good-looking user interface, wonderful to use for that all-important first 60 seconds, and then an absolute bitch for ever after.

    Interesting to dissect it though... looks like it's using Motif, but with some custom widgets that create a monstrous hybrid of Windows 95/Netscape 3.0 X11 look. It'll be interesting to see if the next version has been updated to look like Netscape 4. Running strings on the (statically linked) binary is quite interesting, particularly:

    User-Agent: NetShow (X11; I; Linux 1.2.13 i586)

    ... and ...

    @(#) The Linux C library 5.2.18

    Hmmm... but wait a minute, where's the un-linked .o file so that we can re-link it against a newer version of the library at our option? Could it be that Microsoft hasn't read the LGPL? Or is this a sign of the total contempt they have for anyone's license but their own?

    Interestingly, it has several xanim-alike commandline options. I don't know what the story with that is, whether it contains xanim code.

  • A poor pre-alpha quality and still very buggy office suite that promises much in future releases is competition for MS Office? Well, I think we may well have to concede that at least it's potentially a fair comparison to MS office, at least on product quality and hype :)

    I wonder though, how they passed up Applix, Star Office, and Siag Office. look so many competitors waiting for MS's attention!

    But alas, the problem is that Microsoft's approach has the opertunity of proving the govt case. With all these (real) competitors, why does office hold over 90% of the office suite market? And why, if Windows is not a closed and largely proprietary monopoly environment, does MS office hold over 95% of office suite market share on windows (the monopoly platform) alone, even when considering real competitive products had existed for considerable time (such as Smart Suite, etc)? And with the office suite market on the windows platform alone being so large (and presumably "open" to fair competition) why has not a single new competitor entered this specific market in years?

    I am still expecting the appearance of the 'integrated word processing and spreadsheet feature' of Windows in some future release. Very probably shorty if there is a 'win' in the current case....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is the final straw. KOffice, Abi word? These products haven't even been released in anything but developers' beta versions, with about half the features working so far. The next line of defense may as well be competition from Klingons and Feringi.

    The judge should have thrown out this line of defense out of hand. The fact that he has allowed this to continue indicates that things are going well for MS.

    I just returned from a Sunday dinner with my parents. My mother, age 70, has been struggling with bloated Windows office software which won't properly import and export common file formats.
    They use MS Word where she does volunter work, but she uses Lotus. Well, which version of Word do they use? No way to find out on a Sunday afternoon. One version is incompatible with the next, forcing competitors like Lotus to constantly play catch up and decipher proprietary file formats.

    This is not good advertising for Linux, because nobody will remember what MS says about KOffice or Abi Word. They will only remember that MS proved that it is not a monopoly and has not unfairly disadvantaged competitors by making its operating system indistinguishable from its office suite.

    I am observing first hand how an "average" Windows user struggles with the many inconveniences and inefficiencies Windows imposes. User friendly? No way. To work around these obstacles my mom is having to teach herself how to do basic things with files in spite of the gimmicks MS and its competitors contrive mostly to keep consumers dependent on doing things in a controlled environment like rats in a laboratory.
    Average Windows users are NOT happy with this.

    If Linux can't do better with Gnome and Kde I sure could with a team of very mediocre programmers. Users don't want bloated office suites with Linux, embedded objects, and MS-style cut/copy/paste commands for file operations. They want simple, easy to use apps that can be customized without necessarily using a text editor to edit configuration files. Consumers want simple file formats that don't change with every version of apps that create them, and libraries that do not break apps they are already using when they upgrade.

    Linux is following the path of MS. Listen to me Gnome and Kde. Simplify. Do not keep adding bloat and require more and more libraries so every possible graphics format can be used for backgrounds and icons. Users don't care about that. Forget about object models and use common protocols on desktop and networks that apps can use to communicate with each other without having to take the kitchen sink along to do simple drag and drop or data transfer.

    We don't want or need MS-style pseudo-object oriented systems like COM. Next will be a Windows style registry for package managers and applications to use, all in the name of user-friendliness, making it impossible for users to do simple things in their own way independent of these subsystems. For example, installing or uninstalling programs independent of package managers by simply deleting the files.

    Unix has its own style of layered components to build on and model from. Please adhere to this simple tradition and build on it. You cannot beat MS at its own game of adding "features" and "gimmicks" but you can beat MS by being true to yourselves.



    "You know, innovate, offer value" wink, wink. I predict totally new and incompatible file formats for every future MS Office product.
  • I think you're missing the point here. Whether we may consider Linux to be or not to be cometition for MS, what people here (well, at least the more rational people here) were calling to attention is that MS is pointing out to free software products as competition.
    The argument would run somewhat like this: "According to MS, its only competitors are free software products. Thus, MS has a (near) monopoly on proprietary software products."
    BTW I am not necessarily endorsing this argument. I think it's a bit feeble as it stands there (MS also mentions proprieatary products as competition).


  • AbiWord is high-quality? Funny, it segfaulted on me immediately the first time I ran it...
  • Vinod (the guy mentioned in the second article) is the author of the Halloween documents, for those that had forgotten.

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • naming abiword and KOffice competitors is funny at best. They are nowhere near completion. What are they thinking??? I think they are trying to do something really tricky: they give some examples of competition to the DOJ to prove they have no monopoly and at the same token they choose something so obviously inferior that the general public thinks "Oh, so this is the best free software can do? Well thank you MS for giving us good software and for innovating."


    In other words, that's their excuse for all their rapidly-changing proprietary shit.

  • Seems like a lot of you really need to make up your minds. A great deal of the time you're saying, "Linux is so awesome, it's gonna destroy Microsoft, d00d!" Then by the time the next thread comes along, you're up in arms, screaming, "How dare Micro$uck say that they're not a monopoly! They have no competition!" Please make up your minds already. If Microsoft is really a monopoly, then you must believe that Linux will be relegated to irrelevancy unless the government wins this anti-trust suit. Given the odds that anything meaningful will happen to Microsoft as a result of this suit -- very small -- you guys really do have a lot to be worried about.

    Microsoft does have a competition -- other companies that produce commercial operating systems and applications. And Microsoft uses illegal business practices to hurt that competition, and almost everything else in sight.

    In addition to commercial operating systems there are noncommercial ones, that even if they had 99.9% of total installations, still have no relevance to the case because Microsoft will still have a monopoly in the commercial operating systems market. The facts that Microsoft doesn't like Linux, or that Linux, being developed noncommercially, can hurt Microsoft, are quite irrelevant, too, because Microsoft still doesn't do any noncommercial OS development, and noncommercial OS development is supported by large number of individuals, not companies that compete with Microsoft.

  • it's really not the up to that revision number.

    I am not a lover of Word, indeed I could not even stomach opening version 6.0 - despite it seemed to be an improvement over version 2.0c that I detested. However, being a consultant working on primarily Windows/DOS applications and many times on the client's site I had to use the software they preferred, i.e. located on their machines.

    The point is the version numbers mean nothing, since they jumped from version 2.0c to 6.0. About the same time a number of the RDBMS backends jumped to numbered versions not justified by their development history.

    Returning to Word, in some respects Word 97 that came installed on my machine seemed to be a major improvement. Indeed, I began to use it thinking they finally got their act together. Nonetheless, I was soon enlightened when it crashed in the help when I was trying to determine how to do some non-trivial operation, just as 2.0c had done to me years ago! I suspect, that may be a MS feature, i.e. crash when the application cannot perform the operation to hide its major flaws.

    Another event, again using Word 97 drove me up a wall where I was screaming at my machine like a maniac and approaching the point where I might have put my fist through my 19" Hitachi monitor screen. All because, that stupid paper clip (that I had shut down) would not let me use a "Save As" without warning me of the dire consequences of losing formatting information by going to text! I only wanted to save it in Win 97 format. Simple option in WordPro, but not when the built in "Wisdom" is at work. So much so, that the HELP cannot be canceled - they expect a lockstep response that is appropriate for the most inexperienced users.

    I pulled myself away, because I was afraid what this crazy man might do. On reflection, I could see that somehow they expected me to Save, for some convoluted reasoning - whereas only text could be an option for modifying a MS format. I look forward to using Linux WordPrefect and putting files in any format I choose to please whomever I am exchanging files.

    You give MS too much credit, backoff!

    * The applied ONLY to the last sentence!
  • Even plain text is taking out the unsupported "" and in the footnote "* The '' ..."

    Just in case that too is automatically edited out I used a joking version of HTML, where in the last proper sentence of the note I set "jokeoff" and the footnote just used: *The "joke" ...

    What's happening? I could have sworn that I have seen "ranton", "/rantoff" HTML's, but the system hates angle brackets, even separated with or without text. Hey Rob, given how good this is - how do the "first posts" and other stupidities get through?"

    Hope that makes it throught!
  • Who needs the Open Source Initiative? Microsoft is the perfect marketing department for the free software community. Maybe they'll pay for some magazine ads to prove their competitors have enough money to advertise in magazines.
  • Posted by sweeheng:

    IMHO, the URL is too long and Slashdot's comments-handling program inserted a CR/LF between the "&" and "com". Bug? In Slashdot?!! Tsk, tsk.

    Try it [] again, but this time manually remove the blank space in "& com".
  • Posted by Bill, the Galactic Hero:

    Until I can read & write PowerPoint 97 files, I'm
    stuck using MS Office. And I've seen with StarOffice and Applix that while they can read these files quite well, they don't save them. They'll do ANYTHING else, but never this.

    Now I can't imagine that saving the file is any more difficult than reading it in the first place. More likely, you need permission from MS to be able to use their file format.

    So while StarOffice and Applix may have money to license the file format, they'll never be granted permission. On the other hand, KDE and Abi will never ask for permission, but if they can't afford to license the format, they're stuck anyway.

    It's a nice little lock on the office-suites market. It's also why Maritz's argument (that there's competition in the office-suite market) is a complete red herring.
  • Okay, I'm going to type slowly so that you can understand me.

    Despite whatever predjudices you may have, Slashdot readers are not a homogeneous group. It is therefore entirely possible that the people saying (in your words), ""Linux is so awesome, it's gonna destroy Microsoft, d00d!" are maybe not the same people as the ones who are saying (in your words)"How dare Micro$uck say that they're not a monopoly! They have no competition!"

    We are not a bunch of sheep who follow a party line, and the great thing about OSS is that unlike in the MS world, we dont have to be in order to work together. Opinions run the wide spectrum from the libertarian ESR to the neo-socialist RMS, and yet still stuff gets done anyway. Technical issues don't give a rip what someone's political and economic opinions are and that's the way it should be.

  • I totally have to agree with this comment...You people sure can play both sides of the coin when it's convienient.

    Well, here's proof that even obvious brain-farts will probably resonate with someone who will claim to have heard the beautiful music of truth.

    Stop and think, for a second, about how many people frequent this site. Now ask yourself (and give an honest answer) "If I read two comments that seem to be at odds, does it mean that the Slashdot Clan(tm) is guilty of hypocrisy, or could it mean that they were written by different individuals with different viewpoints?"

    A properly calibrated brain will respond that the opinions stem from individuals, and that you can't claim to have found hypocrisy unless the conflicting viewpoints come from the same source...and that using the nebulous concept of the Slashdot Clan(tm) as the single common source is fallacious.

  • It seems like in any given discussion, 97.5% of the people are saying the same thing.

    Who am I to argue with a statistic that is accurate to a 10th of a percent? :-/

    Regarding how things seem to you, occam's razor guides us to a more simple explaination for your observations. Accept the hypothesis that people gravitate towards the threads in which they can bitch, and avoid those with which they take no exception. (This is actually a mere restatement of your own alt.flame comparison.) If that were the tendency, one would observe the same high degree of concurrence. Moreover, this hypothesis does not require us to leap to the conclusion that the same individuals are behind the contradictory statements.

  • Hm... funny thing that I don't see your name in the bug database, or even a bug similar to what you describe. As I look through the development list archives, I don't see a single comment from you. Now, could you explain which version was giving you this problem, and which GTK library you had when you compiled it?
  • by heroine ( 1220 )
    I nearly got booted out of the last career fair for using the L word and now they're talking not just L**** but Abiword as acceptable language around employers?
  • A nearer analogy would be one person selling old orange-juice, from a carton that's waay past it's best-by date, by several years, whilst the guy across the road is giving away fresh apple-juice, made whilst you wait.

  • 2 thoughts:

    (a) There are a zillion people on this site. They aren't clones of each other. Therefore, you will see conflicting opinions.
    (b) These are not necessarily exclusive. Note that the statement "Linux is going to destroy Microsoft" is in the future tense, while "Microsoft has no competition" is in the present tense. It is entirely possible to think that Linux will destroy Microsoft's stranglehold someday, while still thinking that Microsoft still has a stranglehold now. I think Linux won't really be in competition with Microsoft's stuff for at least 6 months, maybe even 2 years.

    We need better PnP support--isapnp doesn't even work on newer motherboards..we need a 'desktop environment' (GNUstep, Gnome, KDE)..we need someone to straighten out the godawful video driver system (X..SVGALib..FBCon..KGI)..we need Debian to get apt right instead of cloning dselect into X (yuck)..we need RedHat to write a decent package system for X..we need all the distros to brush up their installation scripts)..and we need even more games to be written for Linux. I think that's about it, and I can see most of it (except maybe the video driver mess) being dealt with in under a year.

  • True, but notice that it seems the only real competition has to be free anymore. Everything else is being pushed out. I think that says something.
  • Maritz from the transcript of 28 Jan 1999, am session:
    Linux is a very complete and sophisticated operating system. And there is a lot of work being done to improve it in [spite?] of itself, particularly to make it easier to use and easier for people to set up on their personal computers.

    A completely different item is that Maritz estimates the threat of fast downloads over the cable. He thinks that cable companies will have a "strong influence over what software people choose to download onto their computers". To the court Maritz tells that Microsoft is still thinking out what technology is needed to respond to this new challenge. Thus Maritz conveniently ignores to mention that Microsoft is a major investor in cable companies: $500 million in British NTL, $300 million agreed to sink into UPC, $1 billion in ComCast, $1 billion USWest, 10% of RoadRunner, $50 million joint venture with QualComm - that is now rumored to be about to drop its e-mail client, cross-agreement with TCI to have this cable company push Windows CE.

    Well, combined with Maritz' statement that:

    Clearly we are very concerned about what could happen here. It puts the people that are providing you with that access to the network - the high-speed network - in a relatively strong position to have quite a strong influence over what software you choose to download on your computer. So we believe that the cable network providers and othercompanies, like AOL, who have provided Internet access to large numbers of users could have a much greater say over the software that people run in the future.

    Well, this sure looks as if Microsoft is countering the "threat" of downloads over the cable in a way that Linux will never be able to: they buy up the cable companies.

  • I can't correctly articulate why, but I don't think that Microsoft pointing to open source products as competitors is a valid defence. Maybe it's this:

    If they are the wealthiest corporation in the world, how is it possible that their only competition is a bunch of rogue hackers who give away the code they write as a hobby, yet there is nothing wrong in the industry.

    Maybe someone can articulate this better.
  • > but didn't word jump from version 2 to version 6? That makes 5 revisions I think.

    Was there any reasoning given for their strange version numbering?
  • Seems like a lot of you really need to make up your minds. A great deal of the time you're saying, "Linux is so awesome, it's gonna destroy Microsoft, d00d!" Then by the time the next thread comes along, you're up in arms, screaming, "How dare Micro$uck say that they're not a monopoly! They have no competition!" Please make up your minds already.

    Exactly! I was about to make the same point along with another scenario:
    • ZDNet article implies that Linux users will only accept free software. Slashdot audience: Microsoft FUD! Of course you can sell proprietary software for Linux! Kill Jesse Berst!
    • New proprietary, possibly free (beer), binary-only Linux software is released. Slashdot audience: Boycott it! Free software only! Half of Slashdot audience: Boycott KDE, too! It's not free enough!
  • These are ALPHA projects! Granted they seem to be progressing faster than Word is, but Word has 8 revisions headstart! That's EIGHT revisons! KOffice may be useful in a year, or as good as Office in a few years... but right now there's no competition here.
  • Word for Windows jumped from version 2 to version 6 to match the DOS and Mac versions. If you include the pre-Windows versions, then there really have been 8 major versions.
  • by Extremist ( 4666 )
    LOL. You ARE kidding, right? Who, exactly, is competing with MS, here? Who? A bunch of hobbyists, doing this for fun, spending money and time on it and getting nothing back besides a thank you?

    So, if I write some software, even if it's just for me and a friend, I'm competing with Microsoft? Especially if they make something remotely similar?

    Gimme a break.

    That's all we have here, just on a bigger scale. When the customers have to make their own alternative, I don't think that can be seen as anything but a lockin and a move of last resort. It virtually PROVES a monopoly.

  • Fair warning: put on asbestos attire now.

    Ten buck says you wear a suit and tie at work. Sit behind a desk. Worry about profit margins all day. Either that, or you are paid by MS to plant "opinions" like this. Let's clue you in... if your customers or potential customers have so many problems with your products that they have to build their own, they are not competing with your business. You may lose sales, but that is YOUR problem. Your loss of profit does not constitute competition. All that means is your company makes crappy stuff. The people building Free Software are gaining nothing except a usable product, and, more importantly, the freedom to fix and extend the software for their own needs.

    Even in light of this, MS still manages to garner HUGE profits. So it's not even a noticable economic loss. So, there's not competition there.

    Companies like Red Hat are not selling software, they are selling the service of collecting all these user's hard work and packaging it for convenience. They also provide support. You are just as free to refuse the service and download the product without charge. They do this not to gain market share, but because the people that made it (the users) specify that is the way it will be. An arguement of competition still falls apart here.

    Then, as the poster above me pointed out, MS has the desktop marketshare monopoly. I can't get the software to do what I need to do on Linux. This is all because of the MS marketshare issue. The requirements for that software is Windows. The other software package I need requires, uh, Windows. I've had to pay MS 2 times for Windows 95. They sent the floppies instead of the CD (THEY screwed up... the fax specified CD.) They charged me another $20 for the CD. Had to have it to run the software I needed, so I paid. I could have gotten by with the floppies, but since Windows vomits all over itself every few months, a CD is MUCH nicer for the frequent re-installs, I paid to fix MS's screw up. No choice. No competition.

    Your arguement comes down to saying the users are getting something usable that isn't MS, so that constitutes competition. That is closer to calling the American Revolution "competition" with the English monarchy. That looks pretty stupid from where I sit.
  • A better analogy would be a supermarket selling their own brand of juices. Joe, who made his own lemonade from his own trees, pours his neighbor a glass. They chat about how they don't like the taste of the supermarket lemonade. He asks the neighbor if it's good, and how he could make it better. They improve the recipe, and soon, the whole neighborhood is producing it's own lemonade (which they share with anyone walking down the street.)

    The supermarket then gets sued by a small corner store. The corner store was making some pretty good orange juice, but were put out of business when the supermarket told food services (caterers, etc...) that anyone buying orange juice from the corner market would be charged more for any food bought at the larger store. They offered to give them free orange juice (which they just started making,) or even pay them, as long as they only bought from the supermarket. They always gave away orange juice to the regular customers. Sometimes, they would have the baggers put a bottle of orange juice in the cart (gratis, of course,) even when the customer didn't want it.

    The corner market, of course, could not afford to do that, even though they sold orange juice first, and most people liked it. They lost most orange juice sales, and alot of food sales, too.

    On a side note, the corner market also decided to share the recipe to it's orange juice, because the owner (living on the same street as Joe) saw what happened when the guy shared his lemonade recipe.

    The supermarket then declares they are doing nothing wrong because on Joe's street, the people make their own lemonade, and it's good.
  • It's a great idea. I used to do that (esp with Win3.x) but, I just can't keep my hands off these kernels (oh, ok, and network games. I admit it.) The windows partitions keep shrinking and shrinking and... :)
  • It's about 2/3s of the way down. Just do a search for "StarOffice". Mr. Maritz even talks about how many platforms it runs on, and how close to MS Office it looks and feels. Makes me wonder if MS has been looking for a new company to kil^H^H^Hinvest in.

  • There was a lot of damaging content in those memos, too. Maybe even we have forgotten how much, what with the amount of emphasis there's been on the "existence of competition" part.

    There was the part about "FUD tactics", which I guess doesn't do much in court since it indicates dirty, but not necessarily illegal, tricks, but it still made for bad PR.

    More important, I thought, was the talk of "commoditizing" and "decommoditizing" of operating systems, applications, and protocols. As I recall, it practically acknowledged the attempts to compromise the cross-platform compatibility of Java and more than hinted at intentions to do the same with HTTP, etc. It outlined in simple terms the reasoning behind this: that if they could prevent various platforms from interoperating, people would continue to be forced to choose which platform to work with, rather than being able to work with all, and they would continue to choose the dominant one. The facts that they believe that they have the influence to break these standards by pushing their "embraced and extended" versions, and that, when forced to choose, people will choose them, indicates that they have monopoly power. I can hardly imagine what would be clearer evidence of attempting to preserve this power than these attempts to prevent compatibility.

    I don't think the DOJ made as much of this as they could have, but then there are a lot of points to make and they had to choose the most compelling. Still, I'm not so sure Microsoft came out ahead as a net result of the Halloween documents, so if they did leak them intentionally, I'd say it was a mistake.

    David Gould
  • The Linux C Library is under the LGPL - anyone want to email FSF with this little tidbit?
  • Why not publish under the GPL? Seriously, if a company is going to abuse the GPL, it will happily abuse any license you put your code under. Furthermore, if you do go to court, the GPL was written with the help of a lawyer, while your license probably wasn't, meaning your license is much more likely to be found invalid or meingingless.
  • It's there in the transcript!
  • is there a way to load that asf video in linux without resorting to loading netshow on linux?
    I don't trust m$ binaries

    strings netshow | grep /etc/passwd
    - MbM
  • It's not a contradition - we're talking about then, now and a possible later. You're argument sounds alot like MS's (which is alright cause now in a very twilight zone way MS's arguments sound like ours.) The best bit's in the best of the second article (I can't watch the video) - Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray touted the argument outside the courtroom. "The government's entire case is based on a snapshot of the industry that no longer exists," he said. Thanks Barry - so umm... I shot your wife right - but I'm not shooting her now So that's okay right? Besides, all sort of people are making advancements in medical science and my mouth peice^W^Wexpert witness says we'll be able to bring her back to life in a few years. And that's MS's defence - it's laughable.
  • Unless in the meanwhile the press "see the light" and switch to using Linux rather than Windows internally. If the editor and journalists happen to be running Lyx (or some other Tex frontend) rather than an MS wordprocessor to compose their copy......
  • Was it not Alchin and Sherrif Notingham himself that said all Linux people are are Robin Hood and his Merry Band (i.e. just hobbiests) One side of their mouth they say..."Linux is the invention of one person." The next week it's "Linux is the creation of a vast army of programmers."

    Either Linux is a "feature rich and sophisticated operating system" or it's a "hobbiest OS"

    I agree....Microsoft can't have it both ways....
    All the manipulation in the media they are doing right now is going to backfire....
    for one simple reason.....

    You can't fool all of the people...all of the time. (although they sure would like to)

    Are IS managers and the like really going to believe the ZD-Nets and Jesse Berst and his ilk of the hit-and-run style of journalism with no credability after the trial and Microsoft suddenly says..."Well we were competing Linux against NT4.0 not against Windows2000....Windows2000 is so much better (and then they will use meaningless buzzwords like "feature-rich", "discoverable", "interface-enrichment" et. al)

    So to the previous poster on /. I agree 100% Microsoft can't have it both ways.

    Let's see.... I can put Linux on a floppy disk as a mini kernel...I can put QNX on a floppy disk as a minikernel.... M$?? for Windows2000 better get at least 400 floppies....

    Clue on to this M$... In 3 weeks is the kick off of a national advertising campaign for a major reseller featuring Linux....Once the cat is out of the bag there is much difficulty in putting it back....

    Clue 2 for M$ Operating Systems ARE a commodity. Get used to it as your products are nothing special... ask any real economist and they will say the same thing...

    As for ZD-Net....they lost credibility a long time ago with their Stick-the-finger-in-the-wind and see which way the bandwagon is blowing (or what M$ says should be printed)

    I could go on but why? A majority of /. readers know the truth as do many IT managers out there...does M$ really think they will try Linux and then go back to the enless upgrade cycle of M$?? Not likely...



    PS: Too many donuts and coffee this morning

  • Obviously this person doesn't understand the rules of debate, logic and rhetoric. typical of a M$ user...I'm on the side of the big bully becuase I have no personality of my own.....


  • I'd love to see the viddy, but I'm not downloading three megs of MicroCrap and spending an hour afterwards resetting all my file associations to see it. If this is made available in Real, AVI, or some other reasonable format, please post a link. I have too much M$Stuff on this machine already.

    Thank you.


    (somewhere in tenn.)

  • >Seems like a lot of you really need to make up your minds. A great deal of the time you're
    >saying, "Linux is so awesome, it's gonna destroy Microsoft, d00d!" Then by the time the next thread
    >comes along, you're up in arms, screaming, "How dare Micro$uck say that they're not a monopoly!
    >They have no competition!"

    The word monopoly means more than having practically an entire market to oneself: it also includes a history of systematically destroying all competition by unfair use of its majority market share. As a result, the only OS that is gaining market share against Microsoft's own OS's is one created by a band of programmers, most of whom do it without pay or monetary compensation. (And it might be correct to say that all of those who are paid to code would continue to do so if they weren't paid -- they would end up writing less Linux code, however.)

    And it says something for Microsoft's aggressive stance against all perceived competitors that only a product that is distributed for a token amount (although a number of people are betting that they can make money from supporting this software).

    And it's probably fair to say that most of the people in the Linux community are surprised to see this software fair so well against such a big corporation. Surprised enough that more than a few will post stuff like ``Linux is so awesome, it's gonna destroy Microsoft, d00d!" I'm sure the Vietnamese felt the same way after they drove US troops off Vietnamese soil, then a few years later defeated an invading Chinese army.

  • A great deal of the time you're saying, "Linux is so awesome, it's gonna destroy Microsoft, d00d!"

    Linux is a serious threat to Microsoft's server software ...

    "How dare Micro$uck say that they're not a monopoly! They have no competition!"

    However, they have a clear monopoly in the desktop OS market.

    If Microsoft is really a monopoly, then you must believe that Linux will be relegated to irrelevancy unless the government wins this anti-trust suit.

    Nonsense. MS have a monopoly on Desktop OS's right now. That does not mean that linux can not take out a huge chunk of the server market (in fact it has already taken a substantial slice.

    you guys really do have a lot to be worried about.

    Yeah, that's why MS wrote the halloween docs (-;

  • I thought that linux was ``ready for prime-time''?! I sure hope it is, Red Hat's charging $2995 for 10 issue resolutions

    Linux the server OS is ready for prime time. Microsoft most certainly does NOT have a monopoly on server OSs ... linux and novell have a large market share, and (other) UNIX have a significant minority ( when you consider the fact that the big unix servers are more multifuncitonal, and serve more users )

    However, linux , the desktop OS still has a way to go. Microsoft do have a monopoly on desktop OSs.


  • It is rather clear to me that MS is merely trying to obfuscate the issue. No one ever said that the only way to erect a monopoly is by the lack of competing products. Just because there are similar, and perhaps superior, products out there does not mean that there are no barriers to entry. MS assures the sales of their Office Suite by effectively bundling it with their OS. Joe Sixpack is not going to spend another 100 bucks paying for an office suite if he already has Office*. Not to mention that MS is the standard, and that none of these products would sell worth a damn if they didn't have strong ability to read and write Office * documents. I don't see how the DoJ could possibly fail to point this out. Although MS's 'arguments' and obfuscation might pull the wool over a Jury's eye, I think this Judge knows better. MS is expecting to lose this battle, and is trying to win a PR campaign before the appeals process.

    Furthermore, I think the DoJ should take another route. If MS indeed found to have violated antitrust laws, I think the DoJ should request the following:

    1) If MS wishes to sell both the Operating System and the applications for their OSes, they _must_ fully disclose their API and other relevant materials. Furthermore, MS should pay for a full time mediation panel composed people who are familiar with the software industry. This would aid projects such as Wine tremendously. Not to mention all the Non-MS companies out there trying to produce software for the Wintel platform. My reasoning for this is because MS could easily argue that it is neccessary for them to produce applications for their new Operating Systems, and/or features. eg: Windows CE. When they first develop a new OS, regardless of the quality, someone needs to develop some good applications for it, otherwise it simply will not sell. My approach would kill such an argument.

    2) That MS not be allowed to employ _any_ discriminitory pricing against OEMs and the like. By this I mean, MS sells Windows * to every OEM for the same price, there is no cohesive argument for economies of scale and the like. Furthermore, the would also not be able to sell their applications discriminatly. This would remove their influence over OEMs.

    I believe these two combined would go a long away against the MS that we all love to hate.
  • Anyone who still believes that Macroslab didn't 'leak' the halloween papers on purpose... Well, nuff said.
  • Seems like a lot of you really need to make up your minds. A great deal of the time you're saying, "Linux is so awesome, it's gonna destroy Microsoft, d00d!" Then by the time the next thread comes along, you're up in arms, screaming, "How dare Micro$uck say that they're not a monopoly! They have no competition!" Please make up your minds already. If Microsoft is really a monopoly, then you must believe that Linux will be relegated to irrelevancy unless the government wins this anti-trust suit. Given the odds that anything meaningful will happen to Microsoft as a result of this suit -- very small -- you guys really do have a lot to be worried about.

    Bring on the spin.


    "Linux is only free if your time has no value" -- JWZ,

  • It's simple. There's a Win32 version of StarOffice. That could have only been their reasoning if they didn't realize AbiWord also has a windows version.
  • 1. The software is free. What kind of competition is it if you have to give your products away for free?

    They actually also mentioned some of the corporations selling their products for good oldfashioned money.

  • 1) SPA is not worried about your personal use.
    2) Neither CW nor SO are free for commercial use.
  • It seems M$ want to take attention away from Corel(WP), Lotus etc. (Those who got killed by M$ aggression). I am sure Bois and the judge are sharp enough to understand this tomfoolery.
  • May be in M$ software standards.
  • You know,
    this can backfire too (i think).

    The DOJ is trying to prove that Microsoft is killing competition,
    not that there is not competition.

    So, for Microsoft to be guilty, DOJ must prove:
    1. There are other products.
    2. These products are not used because of the monopoly.

    Microsoft did help proving part 1 of this.
    The 2nd part is proved by the Halooween docs,
    and many other witnesses.
    (also by the fact that until the testimony, only geeks knew about KDE, etc)

    But - by proving the 1st part, I think that they're just shooting their leg.

    Unless --
    they know KDE is alpha. thus by advertising it, people will use it, and say "word is better".
    When the final version arrives, they wont use it because "word is better"
  • Got to this point.

    1) Downloaded the *evil* Netshow player.
    2) found out what Location to get it to open
    mms:// 129.asf

    Got a nice little message to upgrade To Media player!!!! Well it did say one would be availible for Unix in a couple weeks..
    "Oh GOD what am I saying!!!"

  • Microsoft seems really keen to make out there is competition - even to the point of creating competition where there is none (abiword???). So how far does this extend? let's just take a stroll down to x-files land...

    SGI and HP came out with nice noise on linux just in time for maritz to use that in his testemony as well, and we know HP and SGI are in bed with MS in other areas. So just how strong is their committment to linux? let's be blunt. is it for the benefit of microsoft, for some as yet undisclosed reward?

    This case is MS' worst nightmare. They'd gladly turn linux into a little monster and give it 15% market share to get the DOJ off them. Then they can crush it - business as usual.

  • Don't get frustrated you guys. M$ is advertising Linux software, great huh? off course M$ has got a monopoly, and i don't think these statements will cahnge that. they're just plain funny! have a laugh, people...
  • Maybe the reason Microsoft didn't mention Star Office was because it seems to be a complete, drop-in replacement for MS Office, and then some!

    It even has its own implementation of a very Visual-Basic'ish scripting language built in. It's functionality may be so close to that of the MS products that it may even be vulnerable to Word macro viri!

    Licensing was ridiculously cheap, and even FREE for personal use. I figure that's why Microsoft chose to mention other, less impressive products.

    Did I mention that Star Office runs on just about any platform? Win9x/NT, Linux, Solaris, MacOS, and even Java.

    I think it's the closest thing to knocking MS off the office desktop.

  • I've attached the relevant portion of the LGPL, version 2. This software is currently in violation of the LGPL for a few reasons:

    1. I was not made aware of my rights at any time.
    2. In conjunction with 1, I was not given a copy of the LGPL at the time of download and it was only through searching through the binary that I saw that this was included LGPL code.
    3. I was not made aware that this included LGPL code.

    Netshow has no license associated with it that I saw when I downloaded it, however, I've never seen a Microsoft license allow disassembling/decompiling/debugging.

    I do believe that someone at the FSF will be hearing about this.

    From Section 6 of the Library GPL, version 2 (sorry if it doesn't display right)

    6. As an exception to the Sections above, you may also compile or link a "work that uses the Library" with the Library to produce a
    work containing portions of the Library, and distribute that work under terms of your choice, provided that the terms permit modification
    of the work for the customer's own use and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications.

    You must give prominent notice with each copy of the work that the Library is used in it and that the Library and its use are covered by
    this License. You must supply a copy of this License. If the work during execution displays copyright notices, you must include the
    copyright notice for the Library among them, as well as a reference directing the user to the copy of this License. Also, you must do
    one of these things:

    a) Accompany the work with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code for the Library including whatever
    changes were used in the work (which must be distributed under Sections 1 and 2 above); and, if the work is an executable
    linked with the Library, with the complete machine-readable "work that uses the Library", as object code and/or source code,
    so that the user can modify the Library and then relink to produce a modified executable containing the modified Library. (It is
    understood that the user who changes the contents of definitions files in the Library will not necessarily be able to recompile the
    application to use the modified definitions.)

    b) Accompany the work with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give the same user the materials specified in
    Subsection 6a, above, for a charge no more than the cost of performing this distribution.

    c) If distribution of the work is made by offering access to copy from a designated place, offer equivalent access to copy the
    above specified materials from the same place.

    d) Verify that the user has already received a copy of these materials or that you have already sent this user a copy.

    For an executable, the required form of the "work that uses the Library" must include any data and utility programs needed for
    reproducing the executable from it. However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is
    normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on
    which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.

    It may happen that this requirement contradicts the license restrictions of other proprietary libraries that do not normally accompany the
    operating system. Such a contradiction means you cannot use both them and the Library together in an executable that you distribute.

    (This was snagged from, sorry if it ran long.)

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