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Microsoft and Linux 77

marks sent us a link to a little C|Net article about Microsoft, LinuxWorld, Linux, and more. Its an interesting little article, and it shows once again that microsoft is interested and watching carefully.
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Microsoft and Linux

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  • ...add more RAM, buy a faster CPU... those kinda things...

    - A.P.

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

  • Actually, i'm running NT server at home

    So, it's not doing anything really...

    NT servers that need to be available tend to be the self-same ones that always crash.


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

  • Hmm. I have two boxes that have been up (not "no unscheduled downtime" -- up and running _constantly_) for longer than you've _had_ at least one of those NT boxes, and a third that only misses that six-month mark by a few days.

    CI-NET (Netware 3.12): up 291 days, 21:41
    Cause of last reboot: Accidentally pulled the wrong plug while moving stuff around on the UPS.

    lynn (Linux 2.0.35): up 208 days, 23:31
    Cause of last reboot: Lockup after extensive hard drive errors caused by a bad BIOS setting (trying to use CHS on a drive bigger than 512M... oops!).

    anastasia (Linux 2.0.35): up 173 days, 17:38
    Cause of last reboot: Shut down for hardware installation (a parallel port card).
    Cause of last unscheduled reboot: Uh.... I don't remember. It was a -while- ago... Probably a power outage back before I had her on UPS...

    Most of the rest of my machines (various Linux versions ranging from 1.2.13 to 2.2.2): up 5 days and change
    Cause of last reboot: Power outage. I need to get some more UPSen... 20-40 days uptime is reasonably representative of these machines, then Duke Power goes and messes around with the lines or someone drives into a light pole or something...

  • Sorry, has no pertinence to the case. Consider the history of tobacco litigation, the defense arguments contradict each other. For example, cigarettes do not cause [insert disease name] , but it is common knowledge that smoking is dangerous and it was the plaintiff's choice to continue smoking.

    The heads of all the major tobacco companies swore under oath that they did not believe smoking to be dangerous or addictive. After which information was finally released indicating the tests with manipulation of nicotine content implied both it could be an addictive substance and the companies' attempted to capitalize on it's addictive power. Nonetheless, they will never be called to task for lying to Congress nor for the tactics employed both within the courtrooms or the PR machinations on the outside.

    The point is: this is a waste of out time! We have better things to do, e.g. , solving the problems pertaining to Linux and other GPL software options.
  • This weekend I upgraded finally to Red Hat Linux 5.2 and added two new users to Linux.

    My son in his early teens really likes what he has seen of Gimp and will be able to compare his experiences with Adobe Illustrator that he is to use in school. And now the 6-year-old, who is quite artistic and smart, is asking when she can get on to use "Linux" (and Gimp). She is the 2nd new user.

    My problem is that I am the system administrator that is quite new to UNIX (having already forgotten many of the commands I knew a few months ago) and it is a fight for me to get the configurations and hardware to work properly. Hence, I am going to spend more time working on Linux and less worrying about MS. Because, while I am quite able to screw things up in Linux - I have yet to have either my son or myself have it lockup on the same hardware that continually freezes under Win95.
  • Bolder, Colorado case.

    Could we determine who the poster is and do our civic duty and turn them in? From what I read today, I am sure B.G. would understand , since he took a similar position regarding the information MS would gather.
  • Interesting the article quotes this talking
    head David as calling the open source nature of
    Linux as a "legal obstacle" which he implies
    that the open source license is a disadvantage
    that Linux must overcome -- he obviously
    doesn't get it.

    NT vs. Linux:

    Microsoft will never understand that bloat is
    bad. Microsoft will always make software that
    is at least 25% too bloated for the typical
    hardware platform of the day.

    Microsoft also painted itself into a corner
    by building the GUI into the kernel -- bad idea.
    Yes UNIX has XWindows but X is not left
    running on most UNIX web servers -- being
    able to turn off the GUI and leave other services
    running is a valuable feature indeed. It's
    division of labor rather than trying to do
    everything from a single unstable execuatble.
  • "Most of the world does not want to run Unix, particularly on their desktop. They want access to a graphical user interface," he said.

    What, UNIX doesn't have a graphical UI?

    Since Microsoft has already sited KOffice as a potential competitor in court, we can only draw one of two conclusions from Mr. Muth's remarks.

    1) He's incredibly unaware of the market in which his product is competing

    2) He's dishonest and doesn't mind promoting falsehoods

    I guess a company that will stand up in court and lie wouldn't think twice about doing it on the net.


  • I'd rather be castrated than use Linux

    I'm sure there's someone out there who will help you with that -- we're a diverse community, you know? :-)


  • The number of tide*.microsoft.com hits to my Linux server is so high I have to restrict traffic to keep the Microsoft load from saturating the T1.
  • I see the MicroSerfs quote this from M$ propaganda quite a bit... Whilst a Linux/Unix/etc person would say, "I have had this server up for X months" you hear the Gates servants uttering, "I haven't had any UNSCHEDULED DOWNTIME in X months." Now, lets look at what they are saying here. A computer that you, say, rebooted twice a day at scheduled times would fit into that "no unscheduled downtime" category, now wouldn't it?

    Whining that "these Linux people are just spreading FUD about poor little MicroSoft" is sorta like when the Fundies claim that evolution is reallly the religion of "secular humanism" and that you should teach creation "science" instead.

    Bow down to the one you serve, you're gonna get what you deserve.
  • It is very funny to compare Ed Muth's claims witht he statements senior vice-president made under oath in court.
    • While Maritz referred to news articles on Linux, Muth claims that these are uncritical and biased in favor of Linux.
    • While Maritz claimed that there are many and relevant applications for Linux, Muth claims that there are few and that these lack quality on top of that.
    • While Maritz went to some length to show that Linux has a usable graphical interface, Muth claims it hasn't a good one.
    • While Maritz claimed that more people are working on Linux than on NT, Muth claims that people will not work voluntarily on Linux.
    • While Maritz showed that Linux is integrated where it really counts (diagrams and spreadsheet in KOffice), Muth claims that such integration is simply absent under Linux.
    • While Maritz claimed that Linux would be more of a threat in the future than it is today, Muth claims that Linux is no threat in the future as it lacks a long-term development road-map.
    By making claims outside the courtroom that contradict those they make under oath inside, Microsoft isn't exactly helping their case in court.
  • I just got my first Alpha Linux box (164SX/533) up and running.

    The startup time is very impressive.
    MILO pops up in about .1 seconds and boots the kernel. I have a login prompt literally 4-5 seconds after that. It really is amazing.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • There is also a big difference between an NT machine running as a server, and an NT machine that is on someone's desk.

    Our data center also has NT machines that have not crashed in several months. BUT (big but) We have about 50 of them, and each does only one thing. One for DNS, two for logon, two for printing, one for mail, one for SNA, etc, etc. To make one NT server do 2 things at once is inviting trouble and downtime. NT admins know this, which is why these functions are so spread out.

    As a workstation is where you can see how stable NT really is. When you have several programs open and running at once, NT's stability drops like a stone. 2-3 reboots a day are not so uncommon.

    On the other hand, any out-of-the box Linux can handle mail, file serving, print serving, DNS and all the rest, plus extras like a database, X, gnome and several X applications and barely break a sweat (and not crash) for significant periods of time.

    I concede the point that NT can be made to be tolerably stable. The way to do this is to not make it work very hard at all. All the functions of our 50 stable NT servers could be accomplished with 4-5 Unix/Linux systems with the same hardware.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

  • Of course, Microsoft is always looking for new companies to buy, in which case I bet the people at Jujunem [angelfire.com] are worried he might get them, too!

  • I really hope none of your arguments were serious,
    because none of them were really valid. Windows isn't
    the end-all, be-all of GUIs. Considering all the
    worthless FUD you've spewed, I doubt you'd consider
    any valid points. So, continue on as one of millions
    in the M$ collective... resistance is futile.
  • Actually, the big names like IBM and HP are making claims of 99.99% up time (a little more than 50 minutes "unscheduled" down time per year), and some are even pushing the 99.999% point.

    The funny part was that the article (in the April issue of Performance Computing [performancecomputing.com]) says that NT can barely reach 99% up time (that's 10 work days of unscheduled down time), which is why it's so laughable a choice for a data center server. I'm not sure though if they're comparing apples with apples (e.g., clustering servers).


  • heh, I htought for a moment taht you were one of these rare birds who have actually managed to make NT work (you know, that OS that's supposedly soooo easy to admin), until you showed off your real reasons: you're afraid of Open Source code being better than what *you* can make and get paid for.
  • What a shock... Microsoft denying the Linux is threatening their position in the market... Does this sound like old news to anyone else? I tihnk I've been reading that sam article on every news site all weekend.... getting old...
  • Cheers to you for introducing your children to Linux. :)

    Myself, I've been installing and setting up Linux boxes at home as well for the past couple of years to slowly phase out the windows boxes. So far.. three out of five systems are Linux, and two are Windows. The windows systems are mainly to interface with the Buzz video capture card which currently, I can't find support for under Linux. (No fault of the Linux community if the folks @ iomega aren't forthcoming with info, right?) That and games.

    But I can completely understand about the crashing. Win95/98/NT(yes, I've tried all of them, so as far as reliability goes, they are all the same in my eyes: not reliable) all crashes for unknown reasons on our systems despite following instructions to the letter and installing based on our experience. It just defies logic. Maybe my friend was right and you really do need to do some blood sacrifice before the system will run Windows.

    Anyways, Linux has proven reliable on our systems, though thanks to some careless testing, we'll likely be doing a complete re-install. Fun! ^_^;

    Time to upgrade to KDE 1.1 and see what cool apps I can put on the system to make it better.

    For some odd reason.. it feels good to run Linux and oddly enough, when windows boots up, a dark feeling falls over the room like a shadow. I've always wondered about that...
    - Wing
    - Reap the fires of the soul.
    - Harvest the passion of life.
  • I'm a happy NT user. Runs fine. No problems, no crashes...

    Why ain't i running linux? Because contrary to the Gates systems i cannot install it in less than an hour. I have too much 'weird' hardware that Linux couldn't cope with (yet). I'm giving it another shot in a few months though.
  • What a shock... Microsoft denying the Linux is threatening their position in the market...

    Actually, it is sorta surprising In the past Microsoft has been able to paint their competitors as being less powerful, harder to use, or "legacy". Linux is the first competition that is arguably newer, sexier, and more powerful than Windows.

    So far MS has being dealing with the "Linux threat" the same way that Novell, IBM, and Sun dealt with the "NT threat", that is, ignoring it or dismissing it.

    Which is not to say that MS is that stupid. They usually keep a part-time consultant on site at their big customers. I'm sure these guys are ready to report to Redmond as soon any smell of Linux starts coming in (especially with Samba, cuz SMB licenses are their bread-and-butter.)

  • Actually, it is possible to tune performance under NT... you just have to know what to look for. Most of the tuning takes place under settings in the registry. You can do nifty things like processor affinity under SMP (where you can lock a service/application to a single processor), network performance tuning for various services and drivers, etc.

    The following site has some excellent information on taming the Beast that is NT:

    Click here for NT registry hacks [jsiinc.com]

    There are other sites that go into this as well, such as System Internals [sysinternals.com], which also provide handy utilities for things like monitoring open files etc.

    That's all the pimping I'm going to do for NT today. Back to Linux Mandrake on my laptop :-).

  • "performance tuning in Windows NT.."

    Such a beast is possible? =)
  • But that would be more performance tuning the machine =)
  • I dunno, I always liked reading troll bait and flames, you can actually learn a lot from them :-)

    There are so many holes in your argmuent it's not even funny... Well, actually it's very funny. I'll do away with the usual spelling comments, and the grammer comments.

    f Uncle Linus is so hot about keeping competition with "upper class Unixes", why both with Linux at all?
    Hmm, (trying to figure sentence out) well... Maybe because the upper class unixes are closed source and expensive? Maybe Linus, and others, believe in open source software. Maybe they *enjoy* programming linux (is it ok to do something you like?) And rememgber, without competition, markets have a tendency to stagnate.

    Couldn't we have multiple Windowses? Even WHINE (oops WINE) can run most Win32 apps nice (so I've been told, I'd rather be castrated than use Linux) so it would be very easy to create other Win32 interpreter platforms and bypass native code already? Other platforms which are not Linux, of course, but are rip offs of Windows.

    Well, um (really trying to figure this sentence out) er, well, I doubt microsoft will release all it's undocumented api's, and I'm sure they would sue anyone who tried to make a windows variant. And are you trying to say that everything (except for linux) is a rip off of windows? I would have thought that windows was a rip off of a mac... And I assume that you've never used linux, since you'd rather be 'castrated' than use it. And I haven't found WINE all that usefull, it works mostly with the simpler stuff, I haven't gotten it to work with anything complex, like 3d programs and such.

    If some pompous git rips off Unix to cobble up Linux, gives it to the public domain (where everyone is then responsible), then takes personal gratification when it sells...
    Umm, in which way did Linus 'Rip off' unix? As I understand it, unix is an open standard for an operating system, that's why we have so many different varients of unix, including linux. And how is linux selling? Unless you mean redhat charging 50 bucks or so, but that's for the book and for support, not really for the software. And Linus has a right to take satisfaction when it does well, he started it. If I started a project, I would be damned pleased with myself if people liked it.

    We can easy clone and mimick Windows.
    No we can't. Microsoft has so many undocumented api calls that we will never be able to 100% mimic windows. Not that I would really want to. You try to make a windows clone. See how far you get.

    Linus has crossed the line. Making competition is cool. But ising it to replace the current standard AND THEN deciding that we should keep competition with people who make the same exact thing...
    That sentence made no sense to me. Anyone? The more I read it the less sense it makes.

    Linus is a nutter and should be sued alongside Intel and Microsoft.
    Umm, sued for *WHAT*? Please, tell me.

    Fun fun fun

  • The way companies get that kind of uptime is having two NT servers clustered together. When one fails the other attempts to recover and continue. Sun & IBM gurantee similar uptimes if you cluster (or multiplex in IBM terms) their boxes together, so 99.9% uptime gurantee isn't that uncommon.

    The uptime gurantee really isn't terribly impressive (especially since it requires 2 boxes to do the work of one). Most applications (outside of the Internet) really don't require 99.9% uptime. What impresses me is the amount of transactions you can shove through a system and NT has never impressed me there.
  • Hah. Comparing MS's P/E ratio to Yahoo's to show it's "normal"? GMAFB! Bill Gates himself has described MS stock as "over valued", and has been dumping the stuff as fast as the SEC will let him (which isn't very, compared to how much he has) for the last few years.

    That's Microsoft's real fear -- it knows that when the bubble starts to burst it'll be all at once (because of those stock options) and the whole thing will come crashing down. That's why they played little (probably illegal) games like squirreling money away in the good times so they can bring it out in the not so good to prop up their income figures (and help "normalize" P/E).

    Microsoft stock is living on borrowed time, as a number of market analysts have been pointing out for the past year or so.

    The rest of the post has about as little accuracy as the comment about price/earnings.
  • Oh, we've got NT systems around here, Server and Workstation - that are up for days, even weeks at a time. But mostly they are sitting very idle, occasionally talking to each other. (They form a back end for a specialized web commerce app scaled to take several hundred hits a day, but we're just starting so we get maybe one hit a day. Each hit ties up a workstation for 10 minutes to an hour creating specialized video tape.)
    We've had our share of mysterious lock-ups and reboots in the middle of the night, but it mostly just sits there twiddling its virtual thumbs.
    We'll see what happens when traffic picks up (and no, I'm not gonna let you slashdot it :-).

    HOWEVER, I have had several BSOD's when doing something that should be either totally harmless or at worst would cause an app to core-dump on Unix/Linux.

    (BTW - NT wasn't my choice - this was all set up before I was involved, and the app involves some specialized video hardware for which only NT drivers are available. If it were up to me I'd do everything above that on Linux, but it isn't.)
  • The title of your comment fit the content.

    "X + existing WM" describes the state of the X Window System back around when Microsoft was still struggling with Windows 286. X 10 had that.

    Since then we've had X desktops built to IBM's CUA guidelines (you know, MS Windows, OS/2 ?), plus CDE, KDE, Gnome, etc.

    Modern? Does Windows yet natively support networked GUI access?
  • Hihi! :) This is in reference to WindowsNT Workstation, since I have never really used the Server version... Concerning stability of WindowsNT, in my experience, NT has been very stable. The only time where it has been unstable was when my video card was failing causing weird things to happen to the video drivers. Since video is in kernal mode for NT, the instability didn't really surprise me then. ;P But, besides that one incident, NT has been very stable. I'm usually known to stress computers by having a lot of apps running at the same time (gotta love those virtual desktops! ^.^ eDesk [enablesoftware.com] is my fav!) - just ask my roommate. :) To give you an idea, I have ran Outlook, Word, MSMoney, IE, Kinetix 3D Studio Max R2.5, and PhotoShop 4.0.1 all at the same time without a hitch. All this, in addition to the stuff in the background, but they're mostly idle. My only gripe is that I need more processing power and RAM. :( Apparently a Pentium II 300MHz w/192MB RAM doesn't cut it for me anymore. ;P Anyways, just wanted to say that you don't need to knock NT too much. ^.^ Take care!
  • "Let's face it, almost no one buys a computer system solely for the pleasure they get from using the Mac OS interface, or for the theoretical power they could get from a Linux installation. Where once choice was as simple as "I want an Atari" or "I want an IBM," today's consumers buy computers to read email, surf the Web, compose memos in a word processor, create graphics, or crunch spreadsheets. However well made a toolbox you buy, what really matters are the tools you fill it with. "

    I believe this writer makes a great point - Linux may be a better system technically but people will put up with having to reboot a few times a week (or when the system crashes) because all the tools the need(or want) and more is available to them on Windows. So long as Linux has very few applications to draw most ordinary people to using it (apart from it being more difficult to install etc). We should also be concentrating on making open source apps for everyone to use (hell even make OSS versions of commercial software). Make them cheaper and better than the commercial versions and bingo - the whole world will want Linux on their dedsktops or servers.

    And before I get flamed, I know about GIMP and StarOffice (I wonder how many people outside \. do?). We need more application of this or better quality.

  • I agree with you...really. My point is that it doesn't matter if the tools don't work when the system goes belly up...we all expect that of any system that goes belly up. But for MOST users MOST of the time, the system is not down (be honest...I'm working on an Oracle 8/NT project where Oracle has crashed 4-5 times and NT itself has only crashed 2 in 4 months. I know a Linux box could be even better, but in the big picture the difference between 2 crashes in 4 months and 0 isn't that big a deal). So, for most of the time you can use the cool tools. That means, however, they have to exist for your system and they have to be of a good quality.
    Case in point - Most professional graphics designers use Adobe Photoshop on a Mac (as my wife does, she in advertising). For most of them they used the Mac not because they like the OS but because until fairly recently it was only available on the Mac platform. They would need to split between a Mac for the design and a Win 95/NT machine for the business stuff (spreadsheets, databases, wordprocessing etc). Well now Photoshop is available on Win and when it comes time to retool the office, would you rather buy 1 new machine or 2? Most of these people (and their bosses) will put up with the occassional crash or lock up if all the tools they need can be found on one platform, since they will be useable MOST of the time (this is what happened in my wife's department -print advertising- they switched to NT Workstations so the designers could do image manipulation, electronic page layout and administrative duties on the same machine at the same time).
    So what does Linux have to offer the user who is NOT running a mission critical, enterprise level server (web or otherwise) and who is NOT a sysadmin? If Linux is only a server OS, then Win will own the desktop for long time to come, buggy or not. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, there are no good tools for the average user.
    So what good is a great tool box if you have no tools to put in it? It can run FOREVER without a crash and that will mean Jack if I can't find any useful software to run on it. Even if my current tool box gets locked up or crashes every now and again, I'll put up with the annoyance because most of the time I have a wide variety and choice of tools to use - the roof only leaks if its raining and most of the time its not raining.
    Make Linux really competitive with Win in the area most users really care about - quality applications. Better yet, create something totally useful that they can't get on Win and people will flock to Linux. They may get a great operating system as a bonus!

    PS. In case you hadn't noticed, most people reboot daily because they want to, not because the system crashes - they shut down their machines for the night and turn them on again the next morning for work. Doing this one or two extra times a week (even a day!)is not really that big a deal. So telling these people they may not have to reboot for months, or that an OS doesn't take up as much disk space or memory isn't going to sell them on it...
    Telling them they can do their work faster, easier and with better quality will.

  • Come on, have you ever seen a Windows NT box boot in less than 86.4 seconds?

    I used to work at a small local ISP running three Windows NT servers and one Linux server (installed by me, two months after I started working there). It took our NT boxes about four minutes, on average, to reboot after a crash. The boxes would be rebooted at least two to three times a week, unless I was adding IP addresses or software, at which point I would have to reboot them two to three times a day.

    By contrast, our original Linux box NEVER "crashed". It was up for about four months, at which point I installed a new kernel, and then it stayed up another two months. The machine was only used for a couple of small applications, so we replaced it with a 486DX with 16MB of RAM. (Try that with Windows NT!) There was a memory leakage problem with one of our applications which required the 486 to be rebooted once a week.

    Just another testimonial that Linux is 1000 times more stable than NT...

  • I thought that was what I do when I use AfterStep, Netscape, XCDRoast, printtool, control-panel...what an arse.

    Oh yeah, I noticed no one wanted to talk about price comparisons between similarly equipped Linux and NT servers...both of which need a propellor head to set up, it's just that there are a lot of references and free support on the *nix side.

    what do you think? $4k for a fully licensed NT server (http, ftp, telnet, exchange, back office) vs. *free* for Linux?
  • Actually, i'm running NT server at home and has been up for about 7 months and I have only had 2 crashes. I'm using cheap hardware and all that..
  • There is a WIN32 version of gimp..
  • Well my only reason why I was running it was becuase I was studing to get mcse certified. No, i'm not a big ms fan or anything, i just want the knowlage in all areas. $ is good..
  • 1: So what if DOS ripped off CPM. Someone needed too....
    2: The Amiga didn't rip off the mac.
    3: Why the he** would you want to rip off code from an over bloated os made specifically so people, probably not too much unlike yourself, can use a pc without having to think @ all? Geez, there really should be some sort of licensing system or something......
    4: Windows is a big rip off of just about every other os on the planet with the possible exception of the vic 20 and the c=64.
    5: I agree that Linux should not be on the desktop unless the user knows enough about *his own* system to make it work. Giving Linux to some people, again probably not too much unlike yourself, is like giving a lighter to a neanderthal with no instructions. (ie. dangerous, just in case you didn't pick up on that one...)
    6: My first guess is, you don't read much.
    7: My second guess is you were born with a physical oddity, therefore glibbly giving up your testicles is no big deal...
    8: My last guess is, you have never run linux, or were un-able to get it running if you did. Try using the old stand-by of sys-admins everywhere, chicken guts and candles........
  • That last sentence tells all: "Microsoft is built on intellectual property rights, and it's never going to do acquiesce to a model, namely open source, that is antithetical to its intellectual property rights,".

    Antithetical to intellectual property rights?

    Spend some of those billions and buy a clue, Bill!
  • Perhaps you should try reading things in context instead of assuming I've got Linux blinders on.

    Microsoft is not built on intellectual property rights; it is built on abuse of intellelectual property rights. There is a difference.

    Open source is not antithetical to intellectual property rights; it is quite the opposite.

    Maybe you should go re-read the GPL.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?