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Is Microsoft Afraid? 110

Joeldg sent us a link to a fairly nice upside story that asks the question is Red Hat Linux making Microsft Afraid?. It's a pretty realistic article. Cites Linux's shortcomings, and what MS has to fear. Worth a gander.
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Is Microsoft Afraid?

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  • X is not a GUI! X has never been a GUI! X will never be a GUI!
    X is quite user friendly. You type startx and it starts. After that, it's not X that decides whether the system is user friendly, it's the applications. And just so you know, I consider Emacs to be far more user-friendly than any form of editor MS has ever made. Not as newbiefriendly, perhaps, but definitely more friendly to me.
  • English borrows heavily from Latin. Does that mean that Latin isn't "out"

    Ancient Romans, if they lived now, will be unable to understand English, leave along recognise it as Latin. Unix users however recognise Linux as their system.

    Beyond that. BeOS is not Mach based, though it does have a POSIX interface, as does NT. Same goes for MacOS 10. This doesn't make any of them "UNIX" or even UN*X.

    BeOS and NT have "POSIX" implementation that barely satisfies basic requirements to comply with POSIX.1. Quality of implementation in both is below the lowest standards, and both BeOS and Windows NT aren't really designed to be used with that.

    BTW, "Unix" and "POSIX" aren't the same standards (at least what is commonly recognized as "Unix" -- what TOG says is different matter). Unified file descriptors, one of the cornerstones of Unix philosophy, for example, aren't present in BeOS and NT.

  • I heard from someone that MS held a large meeting to discuss how they fear the massive user-friendliness of X11. And how easy it is to setup.
  • Hm. Several interesting bits in your comment caught my eye. To wit:

    Red Hat does not "re-package" Linux. They "package" it. Linux as such is the kernel, the ext and ext2 filesystems, and some other assorted miscellany that are not found in other Un*x variants. Packaging entails selecting system utilities, writing init-scripts, filesystem layouts, writing installscripts, and other entertaining but admittedly tiresome drudgery. Although I've done it, I prefer to buy a CD or 6, as my time is a lot more costly than buying a distribution.

    As another poster pointed out, "NOT" hiring anyone with an MCSE could deprive you of some great talent. That kind of policy is a knee-jerk reaction...rather, hire someone who will fit the bill, regardless of certifications obtained. Versatility is the name of the game in administration, and if you know Linux upside down and inside out, but you know no other OS, you are probably not going to get too far in a multi-platform environment.

    As to your rather interesting comment of "Linux is the only REAL O/S" with everything else being "a joke"....sheesh. IRIX running on an Origin 2000 is far from a joke. OpenBSD running on my Mac Centris makes a rather laughable little box into quite a serious firewall. For future reference, this philosophy-professor adage might prove useful: "All general statements are false, including this one".
  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    To the best of my knowledge, BeOS is not based on Mach. It uses a completely new kernel written from scratch by Be, Inc.

    BeOS does possess some Unix-like properties. But the code is fresh.
  • so Microsoft is afraid, this makes Linux better....

    Straw-man fallacy. No such claim was made.

    This is a Linux page,

    That's incorrect too.

  • "But they {Red Hat/Linux] are expected to hold their own in the small-server market as a viable OS alternative that performs tasks better on older hardware."

    ...and I suppose NT, on the other hand, is better suited for large-servers on newer hardware. Ha Ha! The bottom line is Linux beats NT silly at its own game on any hardware!

  • Yep, that's pretty realistic there.

    The applications are there, if you look for them. No, not MS-Office. Unfortunately, WINE will run some versions of that beast, but at least it won't bring your system down like Office does under Windows.

    I really like the bit about the "weak anti-trust defense". Poke, poke...
  • Printers automatically re-route themselves.

    What does this mean?

  • I'm pleased to see a relatively FUD-free article like this on here, rather than the usual crop of "MS rulez!" "No, LINUX rulez!" "You're both fscked! BSD rulez!" stuff.

    It's a fact that what linux does (and has been doing for some time now) it does very well. This means server-oriented stuff: webserver, samba, print services, and the like. Office automation and intra/internet type goodies.

    Linux ALSO does, to varying degrees of sucess, a number of desktop/personal computing type things, but it's true that there is a terrible lack of applications at present. Trends appear to be turning that around though, what with new commercial backers jumping on the linux bandwagon every time you look over your shoulder. Disregarding whether or not that's A Good Thing(tm), it certainly will add commercial viability to our little OS. More commercial viability means more money to be made, which will attract more developers, which will increase linux usability (and OSS in general), which in turn will grab more people's attention, etc. The feedback loop is in place, but it certainly hasn't built to a point where MS has fear... nervous, maybe?

    FWIW - I installed KDE 1.1 on my laptop and it impressed my wife enough for her to do a decision-reversal about letting me install Linux on her machine. I'll probably scoop a mandrake installation, seeing how that seems the most mind-numbingly user friendly distro linux has to offer right now ;)

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • and that gentlemen is the current dilemma. While there are some commercial apps around, (wp, star-office etc) linux requires more (and I'll qualify this) 'gui apps' for USERS that are as easy to purchase, install and run as m$ apps.

    This is one area M$ does do well.

    "..opinions are like R-Soles, everyones got one..."
  • Linux runs on the Pilot. (A tricked out, hopped up Pilot, to be sure- but it runs on it just the same!)
  • What Company Hires a person with no networking knowledge to setup a network?

    Not Mine.

    Oh, I get it, you're one of those DAU's who does nothing but complain (without knowing the facts) when you can't get something done. You sound typical of the users at the company I work for......
  • They may want us to think there is brutal competition while the courts are still in session so they would have some kind of justification for eliminating 95% of the competition. If I pulled the crimes they are accused of commiting on such a scale, I would be doing some time.

    Its not cool to screw your customers. You don't make $50 billion by accident with poor quality. But, they most likely will, since they have rewritten history, bought up news and broadcasting firms, travel, etc... Its the dark side, its your destiny. Its a dark shade of blue and time for a reboot.
  • ah, maybe someday after,

    Bill G. is committed to a mental hospital.

    M$ stock plummets to $0.24 per share.

    RedHat Linux continues to gain market share.

    Could happen someday.
  • Put some game console emulators on Linux and viola! You have a computer for the masses.

  • Lumpy wrote

    >>Now I am training the IT department for them >>with a reccomendation of NOT hiring anyone that >>says the acronym MSCE.

    Not _everyone_ who has an MSCE is an M$ goon.
    Admittedly the MSCE is totally an MS specific course and gives you no alternatves. But some people with MSCE are senior *nix gurus who would prefer to use Linux or anything close to unix. Espcially when the alternative is from M$.

    So please re-state your recomendation about "not hiring anyone that says acronym MSCE" to make an exception for people who are ashamed to have an MSCE.

    Your Obedient Serpent,
  • They would move into the buildings of the M$ campus in Redmond and format all hard drives then install Linux everywhere. Then on the second day they would lay-off all M$ employees and invite them back on day three for a job fair. If you know enough about *nix and are willing to take a cut in pay, then you _could_ be re-hired.
  • "(And don't say, "idiots shouldn't be setting up networks," anyone who's ever been employed knows that often it's the idiots of the company who end up setting things up.)"

    Be that as it may, you know what? Idiots shouldn't be setting up networks. Just because it happens a lot doesn't make it right.

    If you don't know what you're doing, you're going to screw it up, no matter how "user-friendly" the tools are.

  • I have been using my laptop to take notes in class for over four years. I started running DOS and Win3.1, running WordPerfect 6.0, and also use my laptop to process my chemistry labs, write term papers, and all the other miscellany that students do. Later I upgraded to Win95 and WP7.0, then WP8.0, and kept doing the same things. Four months ago, I wiped my hard-drive and installed FreeBSD(an alternative to Linux which runs most Linux software). I eagerly awaited WP8.0's release to the Linux community, and found myself somewhat disappointed at it's crippled nature. I discovered, however, that the way to write things effectively, especially for school (I'm currently a grad student) is TeX, particularly LaTeX, specifically either Lyx or KLyx.

    The basic theme is text-processing rather than word-processing. It allows you to focus on the text, rather than the format, it takes care of all of that for you. Rather than being an over-glorifyied typewriter, either of these programs use the TeX format to make beautiful documents, with equations, embedded pictures, and so forth. I've never seen better looking printouts from a computer. There's a small learning curve, because the paradigm is different from that of word processors, but it's a superiour way t do things, no doubt.

    As to spreadsheets, check out Wingz, which has just about everything that should be needed. KOffice also has good alternatives, if you like, including presentation software. There's plenty of software for the student to use on Linux, no one should be left wanting.
  • "People who pick Linux would never have selected Windows NT to begin with," says Dan Kusnetzky, International Data Corp.'s program director of operating environment research.

    This is wrong... it might be true for people in the rarified atmosphere at IDC, but I replaced an NT4 server with Linux and Samba here and have been very pleased with the results (it is noticeably faster, and I no longer have to physically go to the machine - Telnet and X-Windows are so cool). I still use NT on my main workstation because of otherwise unavailable apps... but you know Linux is starting to remind me of the days when I had to use DOS and couldn't move to Windows 3.0 because I had apps that would only run under real DOS and not a Windows VM. Those days didn't last that long because everyone could see Windows had the momentum as a platform and knew to remain credible they had to offer their apps on the new platform.

    There aren't that many apps which keep me on NT any more: Protel and Xilinx, plus the ability to render graphics to non-postscript printers like the EPSON 740 I just bought (Samba acts as a raw print server just fine).
  • Thank you for this tip. One down, two to go :)
  • The primary inventor of Mach is a certain person known as ... Avis Tevanian (sp?) He worked for a ununusual lil' company called NeXT. Gee I wonder what he did there?
    he took the code that he worked on as a student at CMU and turned it commercial. Rashid, his boss and lead of the mach project at CMU, ended up at Microsoft.
  • "Slashdot isn't just Linux News, its 'News for Nerds'"

    That's a direct quote from the Slashdot FAQ.
  • I've commented before to other people that my biggest problem with Microsoft is that they market their products one level above where they should be. NT isn't a horrible OS, but it should be marketed to the market they're currently selling 98 to. It's not on the level of unix. Similar things exists with say MS-SQL server, not a horrible product, would work for low-end stuff, but no Oracle. I think their point is that Linux isn't ready to be a desktop OS for every man, and as much as I wish that wasn't true, it still is. On the server it makes sense. For the technically savy desktop user it makes sense. For my mother, no. KDE has made great progress, and I could see myself configuring a machine for non-tech-savy people to use, but they still couldn't do it themselves, and thus MS days aren't exactly numbered yet, as much as I wish they were.
  • ...which would be an elegant name, except no one likes Armenian! (Sergar Argic must have been busy.) BTW, "Jack" Kevorkian is actually Murad...
  • For the last time:

    BeOS is not based on Mach/MacOS/Unix/Linux/Amiga/whatever.

    BeOS is a 'new thing'.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis,
  • sure.... screw copyright laws... who cares about that... let's ignore the probability of a lawsuit... Rob is obviously wealty enough to deal with the lawyers bills...


  • I agree with your complaint about Linux killing Unix. Linux is simply one of the many variants of "Unix" that has existed. I have worked on computers running SunOS, Solaris, AIX, Linux, IRIX, HP-UX, and Ultrix. All somewhat similar and all somewhat different. Their common heritage traces back to some variant of BSD or SYSV (probably should also include OSF/1). Just listing them reminds of the Unix holy wars that were fought.

    Now for a caveat. Unix is a trademark that is controlled by some consortium (X/Open?). So maybe they are saying that Linux will kill th consortium.
  • heheh... that's actually pretty funny...
  • Curses! /.'ed again!


    (somewhere in tenn.)

  • Where this article is off base is that it fails to acknowledge that in the server market, Linux is already very much mainstream, and at its current growth rate, it seems almost inevitable that the continued growth will come at the expense of Microsoft's NT server sales -- indeed , it is hard to see how linux's effectiveness in certain server roles combined with the cost advantage will not lead to NT losing out in markets that would other wise be there for the taking. Linux is undeniably capable of ( in fact I'd guess it already is ) hurting Microsoft's revenues in the server space.

    On the other hand, the point about applications and about linux not being ready for the desktop market is pretty accurate.

    -- Elflord

  • Other useful programs for the college classroom presently include MatLab, IDL, Maple, Mathematica, etc. All of these have student versions at a reduced price. Personally, I let our MatLab license lapse when the GPL'ed program Octave proved able to do everything I needed.

    There is R, an OSS (I think) version of the S statistics language. Check out SAL (Scientific Applications for Linux) to find many more. The available software including OSS, freeware, and commercial applications is useful across all fields that would require the use of a computer.

  • The title says it all...the site looks like it's been slashdotted...loading rate was down to 80 bits per second when I tried to load it..

  • Suddenly this crap is "realistic"? Soon I expect to see "Linux has no support" touted here as "realistic". Opensource/free software is fundamentally better for "monopoly" software such as OS's. It will take a few years but eventually Linux will replace Windows and MS can't stop it.

    Please don't ask the government to start defining/regulating OSs or anything else, I don't want to have to request permission from the Ministry of Software before writing my code.

  • by NYC ( 10100 )
    Perhaps I missed the news flash, but when did Slashdot become a Linux page? Most of the articles I am interested in are not related to Linux. Its called "News for nerds, stuff that matters", and there is more news than just Linux.

    Read my sig, 'nuf said
  • The various Opensource camps are spending way too much time bashing each other instead of doing productive work - and I mean bashing, not constructive arguments that lead to results.

    Too many folks see Linux as a religion, not as a tool. And extremists are always dangerous, especially when you criticize the object they glorify.

    It's the better tool for most things _I_ do, but that doesn't mean that Linux is the best tool for everyone. Because it helps me, I try to help the community and give something back, thus supporting the cause.

    ...Looking forward to the next Emacs/vi, Gnome/KDE, RedHat/otherDistro, Linux/BSD, C/Java etc. etc. flamewar. Or then again, not.
  • I guess if you want a "no-brainer" sysadmin running your systems, you deserve something as worthless as NT.
  • Mac OS X Server is based on BSD.. the client is not, as near as I can make out...
  • Just to add one more comment to the don't care about MSCE's, the guy who wrote the UNIX vs. NT paper (Kirch, the one who pointed out how badly UNIX kicked NT's butt), the main feature of, has a MSCE. It actually makes his paper more persuasive. Don't bash MSCEs. Just the people that think that that means something serious. If someone picks up a MSCE to get a job, though they'd far prefer UNIX, and are in fact UNIX gurus, by all means take them. On the other hand, if all someone has is a MSCE... politely point out that a computer is significantly differnt from a nintendo system, and suggest learning how. :-)
  • Which is really a shame -- Your years of unix, vax, netware, mainframe or whatever experience aren't actually considered because you don't have those magic letters. And meanwhile some totally green bozo with $10,000 worth of training will be considered.

    I look at it this way -- Who would want to work for a company with such Dilbertean PHB's in charge? Chances are if they are so stupid as to cull resumes in such an arbitrary manner that they will do a lot of other things that would make life hell.

  • So maybe someday our kids will be throwing out neato little catch phrase about how evil RedHat and Linus are. Linu$? I don't quite like the ring to that...I'm a BSD man myself, and when I ran Linux it was always either Debian or Slackware, I've never been a big fan of RedHat anyway...but its kinda nice to see RedHat stickers on bumper's all around my town...MS doesn't get that kind of support.
  • I am sick of news that are neither informative, nor useful.

    Could you please filter those stories more efficiently?

  • English borrows heavily from Latin. Does that mean that Latin isn't "out"

    Beyond that. BeOS is not Mach based, though it does have a POSIX interface, as does NT. Same goes for MacOS 10. This doesn't make any of them "UNIX" or even UN*X.
  • I know; I use NT right now, contemplating which Linux Distro as soon as Spring Break rolls around...

    About the only thing NT does better than Linux is Netscape... everyone around me keeps on crashing their systems with Netscape...

    Regardless, if you really want to help your company with a stable, reliable, robust, and high performance network and server, go out and LEARN Linux, quick. It doesn't take more effort than learning how to administer NT... And the rewards are much higher. Sure, its tougher to install, but only slightly...

    For all the problems and reliability failures of NT, said creampuff network is essentially a big money sink, compared to Linux, with all the per client per set money comparisons...

    NT is a big fat resource hog, good for personal use if you have to do minor graphics and multi-media, and even then Be is quickly going to catch up, and Macs are still better, okay for minor networking, ie client wise, and only really useful because of the inertia for the desktop provided by M$. For networking, Linux really is the way.
  • I said Linux was only slightly tougher to install; only slightly, and for those who don't know their systems inside and out. For people who don't know their modem speeds, the name of their video chipsets, irq settings and the number of PCI slots they actually have onboard, etc...

    Of course, I will admit that I have installed NT machines several times, and Linux only twice, and that 3 years ago before the introduction of RedHat. Slackware had the honor of deflowering me =), so I accede to your correction that RedHat's install is easy.

    I've ordered a handful of CDs from Cheapbytes to test out how Linux has changed and improved since my last install.
  • So, their Texis server is swamped, and timing out. Slashdot effect takes down yet another server.

  • I am a linux user, admittedly a newbe I am also a WinNT user. Linux does lack the software I need for school, it's ported for Windows. I would perfer using just linux on my new machine(ppro180 x2), and set up my old machine(p133) for those few applications that use Windows. I have been looking for ways to more utilize Linux in my schoolwork, but short of writing my own software for something I don't know anything about, it's not useful to me.
    I have been looking for utilities and information so the kernel and software hackers around here can benifit more from Linux in classes other than CS and programming. (eg I am not aware of a graphical simulator for mechanisms in Linux or X.)
  • damn. how many are you? good thing we're gonna upgrade our server soon.


  • As a computer network engineer, I know that I would most likely not suggest Linux (even with KDE) to be the front-end of a new system. Too many end-users are familiar and comfortable with the Windows 95 interface, and they know Windows apps and are functional with them. Putting Linux on the front end would be inviting disaster. (Ever worked Help Desk? Think of all the questions you get there on Windows 95, and then imagine how that would be with Linux!)

    However, the backend is a different story. This is where reliability, performance, and sheer power are most needed. I have no qualms at all recommending Linux, esp. in places where the IT department is well developed, and already has UNIX experience.

    Furthermore, the front end only affects one person per computer: the person sitting in front of the computer. If that computer hoses, then only one person is affected. If the backend hoses, *everyone* is affected. So, put something familiar and relatively stable on the front end -- Windows NT -- and put the real strength on the backend -- Linux. Combine the two and you've got a lethal, capable system that combines the familiar but somewhat unreliable (NT) with the exotic but powerful and robust (Linux).
  • Ahhhh I see, so Microsoft is afraid, this makes Linux better....wait, that doesnt make sense. This is a Linux page, enough with Microsoft. Watch it or I'll bump you down to Private Taco.


If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein