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Microsoft

The Competition for Developers 212

Ray Cromwell writes "Software competition a concern is a major concern, according to Steve Ballmer. Amongst other things, Steve says that the growing amount of development done for the Linux operating system by the work of volunteers developers worldwide is "scary." Ballmer also characterized the free-form Linux community as "somewhat crazy," but said Microsoft now has "a real server competitor." "
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The Competition for Developers

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    exactly HOW many people named Steve are there in powerful computing positions?
    ballmer, case, jobs, wozniak.. i count at least four.
    i think there's some kind of conspiracy here.

    [/score: 0, flamebait]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    the only reason MS sees linux as a 'threat' now
    and say 'they have a real competitor' now, is
    because they want one. if they don't have one
    the DOJ is going to rake them over the coals.
    isn't it obvious how bad they want us/Linux to
    be competitors? maybe i'm just nuts, but that
    is the way i see it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sources say Linux 2000 (formerly known as kernel version 2.4) is due out Q3 or Q4 1999.

    "We're very excited about this," Linus Torvalds was quoted as saying. "We firmly believe that this may very well be the most advanced operating system ever designed for the personal computer."

    Industry analysts predict that Linux 2000 will clobber any hope Redmond WA software giant Microsoft ever had of winning the software war.

    "This is what everyone has been waiting for. Linux is finally ready to tackle the most advanced tasks anyone could ever possibly imagine. It is bug free and will seemlessly integrate into embeded systems such as the central computer on the USS Enterprise."

    C'mon man. Admit.. admit. This DOES sound like MS, it DOESN't sound a bit like the Linux community. We may go on and on about how superior to Windows Linux is, but that's just because it IS superior. (no arrogance there. ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Someone above asked "how are programmers going to make any money if all software is free??"
    People responded with stuff like "programmers will still have to write internal apps...thats what most apps are anyways, etc, etc..."

    I thought it important to once again direct everyones attention to the fact that this movement is about Free as freedom not free beer. This doesn't mean that the applications have to be distributed for free. It just means that either the source code is distributed for free and with no ristrictions or i can obtain the source code with minimal hassel(ie download it). Remember the majority of consumers aren't going to care about having the source to Word. But if someone thought they could take the source to Word and make a better product and support it and market it, then they may very well do so. It forces the entire industry to innovate. If a company like microsoft gets stagnant (releasing the same crap over and over with minimal modifications and calling win2k) then another company grabs the source, fixes it/introduces new and fresh innovation and releases a *real* product.

    To me this isn't about "can i download the source to Word compile it nad have a free word processor." Indeed, if a company and its developers put in the effort to create a decent product they should be compensated for their service. Its about avoiding industry stagnation. Its about innovation. Its about the source wanting to be *Free*.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    but the PC revolution is due to the hardware getting faster, not the software.

    ummm, wow! I can't believe some of the opinions expressed by the geeks on /.

    It's ALL about the software baby. The reason millions of people get on the net today is NOT that they can download at 53k. It's because they can buy a machine, turn in on, and point & click with AOL/IE/netscape whatever.... instead of typing crap on a command line, firing up their ftp client (with more text commands), and then maybe launching telnet and going to a MUD.
  • Take a look: http://www.sal onmagazine.com/21st/feature/1998/05/cov_12feature. html [salonmagazine.com]

    What you fail to realize is the price you pay for happily being fed the microsoft version of "these aren't the droids you're looking for". You want to talk development cost? Tell me about the development cost when bugs crop up and your only response is "gee, I just did what the wizard told me to do". There is an advantage to re-implementing the wheel: you implemented it, you can fix it. Open Source however, is the next best thing.

    To put it another way, anything worth doing is worth doing right; most importantly when it comes to software. Microsofts MSDN-style development culture is a snake-oil salesman that convinces you to trust it and treats the symptoms of your ills SO WELL you forget that the CAUSE is still there. This is NOT "doing it right". Anyone who wakes up in a cold sweat at night over Y2k should take a look at the way the "Rapid Application Development" concept is bought, sold, and out there running goods and services.

  • The next step is to publish white papers like "Linux or Windows 2000, which is better for your enterprise?"

    Already happened. Check out the April 1999 issue of Windows NT Magazine.

    I know it isn't a white paper, but all these Windows _x_ Magazine publications are stools for Microsoft.

  • by Anders ( 395 )
    "I've never had a customer mention Linux to me"
    (Bill Gates, a couple of years ago)
    --
  • I was a VC++ programmer for a couple of years before someone finally convinced me to have a look at Delphi.

    And when I did, man, I was flabbergasted.

    Programming for Windows was actually *FUN*, courtesy of Borland's excellent VCL.

    If you've gotta write for Windows, use Delphi. There's not much you can do in VC++ that you can't do in Delphi, and Delphi is a hell of a lot cosier.

    At times, it feels almost as fun as it does to write apps for BeOS...

  • No, they don't have infinite resources (but they do have a lot). Lets say MS gives each and every free software developer 100k incentives. It won't take long for MS to completely drain their funds. I wouldn't be supprised if there's ~1 million free softwaree developers out there (Linux, *BSD, HURD, DJGPP (yes, that's dos/windows, but many djgppers seem to move on to Linux) etc), so that 100e9 dollars in MS's bank will go bloody fast. Of course, my numbers are most likely way out, but still, Their money levels can't be sustained if they try something like that.
  • Someone hires you to write stuff for them. Most software is not written for the purpose of distributing binaries.

    --
  • Now that my 'on topic' stuff is over and done with, what'd you say about Canada? Dare you to say that in person (if you could). I'd kick your ass - eh.

    South Park reference. Haven't you seen it yet?

    --

  • ...it's still an important, valid point. Microsoft has lost and is losing mindshare in the most important market: developers. Oh, there's plenty of Windows developers today, but if this trend continues, enough may be "sucked" over to Linux that the massive Windows userbase may become irrelevant; the quantity and quality of Windows software will decline (I know, I know, how can it get worse?), and the platform will start losing users.

    Despite the fact that this is largely a bogus argument in the here and now (that Microsoft is not a monopoly because of this *potential* threat), over the long term, I think this is Microsoft's greatest fear, and constitutes a threat that is very, very real.

    I think this article indicates that it is currently "top of mind" at Microsoft.

    I don't know how they are going to keep developers away from Linux/BSD/etc., but they sure as hell are going to try.

    --

  • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Thursday July 22, 1999 @03:39PM (#1788892) Homepage

    It's funny that Microsoft wants us to believe that Linux and NT are the only real competitors in the server market. They're trying to defeat IBM, HP, and Sun (their real competitors in the high-end market) by excluding them from the contest.

    The next step is to publish white papers like "Linux or Windows 2000, which is better for your enterprise?". Lets face it, neither Windows nor Linux is ready for seriously massive enterprise deployment today. But if MS can make it seem like these are the only choices they might take market share away from the companies that really have viable products.

  • 1. MSDN CD's cost $500 per year last time I
    subscribed. Linux API docs and source are free.

    2. Visual C++ subscriptions costs $250 last time
    I bought it (circa 1996). Linux dev tools are free.

    3. Microsoft constantly assures developers that their
    new XYZ API is the way of the future "Port all
    your code to XYZ now before it's too late!"
    then a few months later they either abandon
    XYZ or change the rules of it completely. How
    long do you expect me to tolerate that?

    4. Microsoft constantly competes with it's own
    3rd party developers and beats them senseless.

    5. With the Open Source paradigm it's not about
    selling software anymore -- it's about *using*
    the tools available to build entire systems
    and content. If you you reach the limits of the
    software then open your code editor and dig in.

    6. Geeks are leaving Windows because it's not
    interesting anymore. Linux, BSD, Apache, Perl,
    GNOME, KDE, GIMP, etc.. those things are
    interesting. News things are happening everyday
    in those areas and people are contributing code
    because it's useful, interesting, challenging,
    and other programmers are actually listening
    to their suggestions rather than letting a group
    of marketing droid design the software using
    zombie focus group of morons.


  • Pretty much. Right now, since MS is being forced to play nice, is the window of opportunity for Linux for sure, but also for companies to really place solidly a business alternative to MS products. Otherwise, I believe your scenario is quite correct. I don't think you sound paranoid - just realistic.

  • Bang out a trivial app in gtk or java. Now try it with MFC. Notice the difference?

    What are you talking about? What difference? Code size? Executable size? Speed? Please explain your claims. Simply making sweeping generalizations isn't helping anyone.
    Java also runs under Windows in case you hadn't noticed.
    FUD is still FUD when it comes from our camp. Don't be a FUDdy duddy, buddy. ;)

  • If Microsoft really wanted to attact developers to their shitty platform, then, apart from actually making it stable, they would give away Visual C++ and Visual Basic for nothing (or next-to nothing). The academic editions are given away for next to nothing.

    The enterprise editions are priced somewhat high, but you can get around this with an MSDN subscription (doesn't save you money, but gets you just about every Microsoft product made along with access to betas).

    What are you paying for? Guaranteed documentation and support. Media. Stable libraries. Bill's new house. The list goes on.

    Why do I pay? Because I like Visual C++. I like MFC. They have their bad points (just like anything else) but it's a great development enviornment for getting things running up and running quickly and smoothly.

    Would I rather develop on Linux? You bet. And I do, for fun. But just because Linux is experiencing phenomenal growth and press coverage does not mean that Window is going away anytime soon. There are plenty of jobs for Windows programmers, very few Linux/Unix.

  • Visual C++ is the only C++-based environment that I know of that actually *requires* a bloody WIZARD to develop. Souls who are cursed with having to use VC++ know what I'm talking about.

    It does not, and never has. Open a new project (blank) and add some files (cpp/c/h). 50% of the application I've developed in VC++ (console and windowed) have started their sad little lives this way.

    I hate posting these message. I don't like Microsoft. I'm much happier at my bash prompt. FUD flies both ways however, and if there's one thing we should stamp out it's FUD.

    Oh, and teletubbies. Two things we should stamp out.

  • Personally, I believe the original poster had a point concerning the use of Wizards. If you want to spend 3 months just writing the basic shell of a GUI win32 app, be my guest. Using the AppWizard is basically the only feasable way to start an GUI app. That's pretty lame if you ask me.

    More FUD! MFC is not a neccessity to write a Windows application, and it actually limits you quite a bit if you want to do anything out-of-the-box (overrides are a pain in the arse). It's no more difficult to write a nonMFC application than it is to write a GTK application. If you can't figure either of these out, you need a) more practice, or b) Visual Basic or Glade.

    Not only is this lame, but who knows how many bugs are in that AppWizard code? Knowing MS, probably tons. If I'm on a development team, the last thing I want is to track down bugs in M$ code :)

    That's funny (really!) but also untrue. The AppWizards give you a skeleton application - there isn't much room for error. I've never found one in appwizard generated code, and I've never heard of anyone else finding one. All my errors are mine! Mine alone I say!

  • Well, Linux does fit the bill of a server much better than a desktop environment for the masses. I personally use Linux full time on my own desktop and I love it, but I would hesitate to recommend it to all of my friends because it's not entirely intuitive to use yet. I know some people think that learning to use a command line interface is no harder than learning to use a GUI, but a GUI offers the advantage that you can often figure out how to do something from contextual clues and that's infinitely more difficult to do from a command line. GNOME and E look 10 times cooler than Windows (that's one of the big reasons why I permanently switched to Linux) and they offer far more functionality than Windows in terms of what I find useful, but every once in awhile I find myself having to drop into an xterm to do something that I can't do (or isn't obvious how to do) with the GUI. I imagine this would be much, much harder for somebody with minimal computer experience.

    Then again, Windows isn't exactly intuitive either even with the contextual clues you get from the GUI. But the worst thing is, if you can't do something from the GUI you probably can't do it at all - you don't even have the option to drop into a CLI to do what you want (you can drop into DOS, but it most likely won't help).

    So maybe Linux would make just as good of a desktop as Windows for Newbies. It's already blatantly more stable and less expensive than Windows - I guess it would feel more right recommending it as a desktop if it were obviously more intuitive to use than Windows.
  • the company may have less control over its massive stable of Windows developers than in the past, Ballmer noted.
    They keep Windows developers in a stable?! I guess life at the feed trough could get a bit tiresome...

    Kick down the stable door and run free with Linux!

  • Not having managers, beurocracy, formality, and business suits impede your decision making allows a lot more opportunity outside the workplace. Unfortunately, everyone has to pay for their own development.
  • Seems to me that Ballmer wouldn't say this if it were not for the current situation with the fine folks over at the DoJ. I just dont see it as Microsoft's style to purposely point that stuff out on their own...

    -----
    If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...
  • If you want something that gives you endless opportunities to hear the Windows Startup sound all the time (that's such a lovely WAV, don't you think?) then NT is THE thing for you!

    There's nothing like a fresh start to get you all motivated - it's almost like a baptism! Windows emerging from the blue waters to a nice new start!

    If crashes don't really pump your nads, then Linux or BSD is the one for you!
  • If Microsoft really wanted to attact developers to their shitty platform, then, apart from actually making it stable, they would give away Visual C++ and Visual Basic for nothing (or next-to nothing).

    Then again, Microsoft does love it's cash cows!

    Pity, when Linux has eaten all the grass, their cows will starve to death :-)
  • Thanks Bill!

    We're not talking about UNIX, we're talking about Linux!

    The tools provided for the UNIX platform are vastly superiour to that MFC shite we all *love*
  • working on a platform with a somewhat obtuse API and dealing with it's inconsistencies. At the same time he can make his job MUCH easier by using Microsoft's wonderful classes, thereby tying his soul forever a Windows platform.

    A Class Library can always be duplicated (aka the whole QT thing) so that it may be possible in the future to recompile your windows application under linux by using a API compatible FreeMFC.

    Ex-Nt-User
  • I used to be a Windows driver programmer, but I couldn't take it any more. That damn WDM API was the bane of my existance. It was incomplete and buggy, and there was no need for it. In fact, our drivers were happier under the old VXD model. With WDM, we couldn't use half of our hardware! So we spent months rewriting our drivers for nothing. Is this Microsoft's way of saying that they love their developers. I felt that MS hated us.

    It even got so bad that at one point I heard a Microsoft developer say, "the source code is the documentation." What kind of bullshit is that?

    Now I work on BIOS's, which are OS independent, for the most part. And at home I work on OS/2, which has an API that hasn't changed in 10 years (and still works great!)
    Timur Tabi
    Remove "nospam_" from email address

  • Microsoft is worth the gross national product of Spain. Is Linux a threat? Technologically, yes. Economically? Not yet. Not for a while.

    Mr. Ballmer's comments are aimed squarely at the DOJ. Unfortunately, this ploy will probably work to some degree.

    OSS is the sand which will eventually erode the mountain that is microsoft to nothing. Redmond can do little but look majestic during this blast of a thousand programers.
  • I think that in this event, Linux companies would step up to the plate to challenge MS legally. They'd have to. Anything less might lead to your doomsday scenario.

  • Microsoft certainly has a legitimate concern when it comes to attracting developers. Let's take a common scenario: your average Genius Hacker gets a brilliant idea for an application/utility/tool that no one else has written yet.

    Assuming he can scrape together the money to get himself a good Windows development environment (a few boxes running both 95 and NT, various Microsoft developer products - Visual C++, etc) he then has to face:


    - working on a platform with a somewhat obtuse API and dealing with it's inconsistencies. At the same time he can make his job MUCH easier by using Microsoft's wonderful classes, thereby tying his soul forever a Windows platform.
    - but because he's developing on Windows he'll immediately have access to millions of PC users, right? Well, in actuality no. The costs for getting "certified" to run under Windows and getting a PC distributor to give him a chance are pretty slim.
    - and most importantly, once the product is developed he needs to stave off Microsoft from developing a competing product. Microsoft has gone from sucking up companies to taking "embracing and extending" to an all new level. Let's take this weeks headlines - Microsoft Messenger not only supports ICQ and AIM, but Microsoft's own messaging protocol. What a shocker! While it was once viable to start a company with the hopes of being bought out by MS, now they can play 500 lb gorilla and simply overwhelm the distribution channels any small developer could hope to use.

    Compare that to developing on Linux:
    - free development environment
    - you no longer have to "hack" your program to accept the OS's limitations - you can actually contact other developers with patches to make their code work properly
    - multiple toolkits are available - including those that also support Windows
    - friendly distribution channels

    Unfortunately you won't be able to take as many coffee breaks when coding - the OS won't crash during compiling/debugging.

  • Took the words right out of my mouth. Next thing it'll be Ballmer on Oracle: "Well, it's about time someone *someone* gave us some competition in the relational database field."
  • Heh, pretty good =)

    But it's Cyberdyne, and SKYNET...
  • What, no one has anything good to say about Gtk? The _only_ complaints I can imagine someone having about Gtk are:

    I'm afraid I'm guilty of unintentionally damning with faint praise... GTK is actually my favorite toolkit of the two, but I didn't want to deviate from the Win32 versus Linux+X11 discussion into a GTK advocacy discussion. I don't think it worked out to well.

    1) it has to do dynamic type checking, rather than static type checking.

    In the C binding. That's not an issue in the C++ binding.

    2) writing your own widget tends to be a little involved.

    Enh... I dunno. Not more than it has to be. I do a good deal of OO programming in C (unrelated to GTK), and I would have to say that that's just a result of having to do so much more of the OO stuff explicitly in C.

    3) the code tends to be wordy.

    WRT the C binding, yes. The wordiness is half the "evil" of it that I referred to. The C++ binding isn't bad at all.

    GTK is actually my toolkit of choice, although I do like Qt's design better in some areas (not the ones I criticized).
    ---
  • > "and it's led to a big boom of GUI programs for
    > Linux. "

    > Mostly frontends to "whois" etc...

    Check freshmeat; wrappers for existing commandline software are a minority. 80-90% of GTK apps are "original" in design and often functionality. (you'll see similar numbers for Qt; I'm not making comparisons with other widget sets)

    > By the way, you shouldn't compare Win32 API to
    > Xlib - those are on completely different
    > levels. It is more like Win32 API = GTK ...

    That's not actually an appropriate comparison either; GTK (or Qt for that matter) covers a very small subset of the functionality of the Win32 API (the remaining functionality is supplied by the POSIX stuff).

    > And I agree with previous poster - GTK is ugly
    > and simply not pleasant to program in or use (
    > hint ; try QT and you will see the truth ..)

    Qt's a nice piece of work, as far as C++ APIs go. GTK's C++ binding is _decent_ -- although it's not quite as good (or at least as complete) in some areas.

    From the perspective of a C++ programmer, GTK's C binding is quite evil, but the problem is precisely that it IS C. There really isn't a better way to do that kind of OO thing in C -- Qt's C binding (yes, there is one), for instance, does not take anywhere near as good an advantage of inheritance and other OO constructs.

    I guess one advantage of GTK over Qt, at least in C++, is that you can program GTK in standard C++. You can't (in most cases) with Qt; some of Qt's functionality necessitates its own special C++ variant, requiring a special preprocessor. On a practical basis, that's not that big a deal, but I do prefer to stick with accepted language standards.

    These issues aside, Qt is better than GTK, yes. Just be aware of the caveats.

    ---
  • Have a problem with new versions? I thought the 2.0 Kernel was -the shit- ..what's with this 2.2?

    The problem with your weak comparison is that there is no marketing machine behind Linux, telling half-truths and making vague promises. Yes, there are a number of misguided zealots pushing Linux when- and wherever they can, but they don't reflect the community as a whole, much less the kernel developers.

    If you're going to make an argument, at least make it sensible. Besides, no-one (not anyone with half a clue, anyhow) ever claimed that the 2.0.x series was be-all end-all the best thing to ever grace your machine...

    --
    A host is a host from coast to coast...

  • But you can develop on Linux with a portable toolkit and cross-compile to Windows. That means you get the users from both platforms and thaty our dev environment is much more stable.
  • That's revenues, not profit. Albertsons makes about 3-6 cents per item you buy there, but it's not common for you to spend $100-$200 there every few weeks. They deal with volume not profit.

    Compare this to Microsoft. They are their own distributor, so between their material cost and manufacture cost their profit margin is much MUCH higher.
  • In reading this article it is very apparent that Microsoc is still and will always use fud to redirect issues of their parent company. They still seem to be attempting damage control from the trial.
  • Its not just Linux development that is draining the mind share that MS has had in the last decade. It is the internet and the huge demand for internet applications that is the largest sucking sound heard in the development community. Yes NT has ASP and COM for internet applications but, as most of us know, NT isn't stable enough to host a mission critial intra/internet application which has had the interesting effect of driving developers back to UNIX.
  • That is in true, but I have yet to see an open source cross-development environment for Linux and Win32 which covers most of the capabilities of both platforms. Java seems like a good choice by design (with its libraries covering GUI, networking etc.), but I miss an easy way of installing a Java application (i.e. other than "install JDK 1.X.Y first" etc.).

    (oh, and to prevent this posting from being considered "redundant" in the ./ sense: Linux is cool! Linux is great! Windows sucks!).

  • by kuro5hin ( 8501 )
    ---
    The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck,
    is probably the day they start making vacuum cleaners...

    I wish I was a moderater right now. I'd +1 this just for the sig.
    ----------------------

  • 640K should be enough memory for anyone
    (ibid.)
    ----------------------
  • Microsoft has a real server competitor? I thought they were still stuggling to *BE* a server competitor...
  • developers, unlike the mass media hypnotized 'clueless about computers' gullible public fascinated by shiny things, developers CAN tell crap from shinola - so it comes down to does one want to 'sell out' their profession and make some bucks creating/peddling slick, bug ridden, overhyped PC knock off's of other people's ideas
    or will they hold out for an opportunity to create something really great?

    Chuck
  • What employer would that be.
    I'll develop for Linux any time.
    ******************************************* *
    Superstition is a word the ignorant use to describe their ignorance. -Sifu
  • Look at your Windows computer (if you have the great misfortune of having one, of course).

    What software is on it?

    I'll tell you what software is on mine.

    Microsoft FoxPro, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access. Do you see a pattern here?

    At least with Linux or Be, third-party developers have a fighting chance. In the last couple of years, Windows has changed from an open platform to one that's proprietary in all but name. Third-party applications? Bah! Who even uses them anymore?

    Microsoft is bound to lose developer mindshare in this type of situation. After all, 0% of 100,000,000 computers is still, well, zero.

    D

    ----
  • ... Because it feels like I must undergo a major lobotomy before I'm allowed to code.

    Occasionally I do engage in billbashing, of course, but I'm not really much into Linux versus Windows/NT thingy. Still, I can't resist flaming here.

    Fortunately, my consulting work involves mostly UNIX development. From now on, I've made a decision that I will NOT accept any more consulting assignments that involve any kind of development in Windows platform. Not Visual C++, not Visual Basic, nada. I've done both in the past, but not any more. Basically, right now there's one fewer Windows developer out there, but I bet that I'm not the only one who've made the same decision. Here's why.

    Basically, I just can't tolerate it anymore, that's all. Windows-based development is so technologically crippled that I feel like I need to have my IQ artificially reduced by a few digits before I start coding.

    Visual C++ is the only C++-based environment that I know of that actually *requires* a bloody WIZARD to develop. Souls who are cursed with having to use VC++ know what I'm talking about.

    The damn thing is so silly, I have to laugh at it. So much absolute GLOP has to go into a VC++ program just to support the patently idiotic Windows API that even the smallest applications come out of the gate already bloated beyond all recognition.

    And I won't get into the fact that even the most simple Windows-based applications have to be written using an event-driven model. That is so downright stupid that I can't even find the words to describe it.

    I'VE HAD IT! Bye, Windows. I won't even miss you.
    --

  • I agree. We are the new straw man to replace the worn-out "competitors" that OS/2 and Apple once were.
  • Seems to me that Ballmer wouldn't say this if it were not for the current situation with the fine folks over at the DoJ. I just dont see it as Microsoft's style to purposely point that stuff out on their own...

    Well, I agree with you there. They wrote up a big whitepaper and posted it on their NT Server site [microsoft.com] saying the usual stuff. Yada, yada, It's free, there's no "insurance" if it fails, you can't pay anyone to hold your hand, it was written by a bunch of bum who just have to much time on their hands, it'll make hair grow out of your nose, it'll date your girl friend, it'll send nasty e-mails to your dog. Now Steve Ballmer decides, "Whoa, This is a really good product. Omigod! It's actually a legitimate competitor to NT" What next? A recanting of the whitepaper? Is Steve Ballmer becoming senile. Is it time for Microsoft to give him a few million and tell him to enjoy life?

    This reminds me of when Paul Maritz said, under oath [microsoft.com] that Abi Source was developing a very high-quality word processor [abisource.com]. But do you think that's what they are going to be telling consumers? Tommorrow, they'll have another "bogus" Mindcraft test, just to make sure that everyone who is "important" understands what they *really* think of competition.

    Sure, they can fool financial analysts, and they *think* they can fool Judges. They can even coerce OEM's to only preload their OS. They can deceptively market to consumer who "trusts" them. But they can only do it for so long.

    Because, you can't lie forever. Eventually, you make that one wrong move. Microsoft has chosen their bed. Now they will lie in it.

    -Brent
  • When Microsoft originally came out with Windows and their development tools, I had high hopes for them. They had had the option to start from scratch and come out with a GUI-based system that was easy to develop to, powerful, and had high quality libraries. Surely, a company with those resources and a company that supported commercial developers, can do much better than X11, Motif, and POSIX.

    Instead we got Visual C++, Win32, MFC, COM, and all the rest of it.

    And things have been getting worse, rather than better.

    Microsoft's APIs, "drag-and-drop" approach to programming, non-round-trip wizards, lack of runtime safety, lack of API error checking, and dozens of released attempts at getting some APIs right, to name just a few, make Windows programming the most painful kind of programming I know.

    But worst of all, their "designs" just lack coherence. It may take me a few hours to figure out the design and functionality of GTK or X11 or Berlin or Qt or Zope or many other libraries designed for UNIX. There are a few parts of Windows that are similarly coherent. But, for the most part, after more than five years of Win32, I still don't "get it", and I have yet to meet anybody who does. Microsoft seems to have a nack for taking basically good ideas (message passing, MVC, core-COM, etc.) and turning them into systems that make the Winchester Mystery House look tame by comparison.

    BTW, I'm among the "1 million programmers" signed up for their developer program (MSDN, full subscription), as are many of my friends and colleagues. Also, a lot of "Windows programmers", in particular on the server side, are simply UNIX programmers that do the minimum amount of work necessary to make UNIX server software work on NT, without ever using a lot of Microsoft's APIs. And, as I like to quip when people marvel at the amount of software for Windows, "Windows has 50000 application programs for it, 45000 of which are there to fix bugs, provide missing OS functionality, and work around UI problems in Microsoft Windows".

    Yes, I think Microsoft should be worried about this: this is a hard problem they are up against. Their usual approach of adding more code and APIs to the system won't fix it--it's at the heart of their problem.

  • I admit, I havn't read the article, but it's name was just ludicrous.


    While this response to the article wasn't off-topic or anything, I'm surprised that one wouldn't take the time to read an article on a non-/.'ed site. It's seems to be happening more as far as I can tell.


    If an article or topic interests one enough to post comments to slashdot, one should read the article, look over current posts to see if there's a redundency, then post...it leads to a better, more informative site.


    Again, not targeted at you BiGGo...just curious that you opened your sentence with that statement. One should know not to judge an article by the summary that Taco or Hemos might normally post ;)


    AC

  • "and it's led to a big boom of GUI programs for Linux. "

    Mostly frontends to "whois" etc...

    By the way, you shouldn't compare Win32 API to Xlib - those are on completely different levels. It is more like Win32 API = GTK ...
    And I agree with previous poster - GTK is ugly and simply not pleasant to program in or use ( hint ; try QT and you will see the truth ..)

  • "From the perspective of a C++ programmer, GTK's C binding is quite evil, but the problem is precisely that it IS C. "
    ... and that is the problem. C++ is just about perfect fit when it comes to programming GUI apps.
    I do not understand logic behind decision to create GUI toolkit in C, especially at a time when even GNU C++ compilers are catching up with the C++ standard. Anyone can point anything that would make C better suited for GUI work than C++ ?
  • "thaty our dev environment is much more stable."

    Not when it comes to GUI development. X crashes often and sometimes nothing will get you back short of telneting from remote box.
    Basically, X is terrible, completely obsolete ( how many Linux users run X over network ?? 0.05 % perhaps )

  • Perhaps he knows a bit more about market then you. Remember, he deals with this every day and you only once in a while. Just something to think about ...
  • TCl is terrible. I just finished learning StoryServer ( uses TCl as a scripting language) and how I wish they used something like Java instead. I mean what the hell is that
    [FOREACH {j} { make sure that this is on the same line otherwise you will get criptic errors.
    It is almost like fricking BASIC in 80s ...

  • Following your logic one might conclude that only ASM is really safe because " hell knows how many bugs there are in libc."
    You have to set some treshold and trust software written by others - for you it might be libc for others "MS wizards."
    On the other hand it is importand to understand how all of this works underneath but reimplementing the well every time is simply,well, stupid.
  • PHP3 is nice but DB API they created stinks big time. "ConnectSybase","ConnectOracle" anyone ??
  • Binary compatibility is a must! You are another one who forgot that it is you who gets paid for making apps as simple and painless as possible even if it greatly complicates your task.
  • "It even got so bad that at one point I heard a Microsoft developer say, "the source code is the documentation." What kind of bullshit is that? "

    He,he. I hate to tell you that but this is how so called "world of free software" operates. Have you ever seen GPL code that actually has comments?

    Good luck ...
  • "That's good for Microsoft, but bad for developers. "

    No , this is good for the users and bad for developers... and this is exactly why you are getting paid.
  • Real software ? You mean like Gnome ?
    Or things like Gnumeric ? If Gnome is that "real" software then thank you ... I will rather stay with something else.

    BTW. Don't forget that lot of things like Samba are simply implementations of commercial designs and most of the time trying to catch up with the orginal.

    GCC - as a compiler not very impresive ( only thing going for it is that it is available for 1000 different platforms)
  • Show me something in GPL world that is "really great" and was not implemented before in commercial settings.

  • "If a company like microsoft gets stagnant (releasing the same crap over and over with minimal modifications and calling win2k) then another company grabs the source, fixes it/introduces new and fresh innovation and releases a *real* product."

    What the hell is that ? It is MS source code and they have a right to do whatever they want.
    If "another company" wants to make better product they are free to do so but why MS should allow them to use code that they invested milions of $ in ??
    That's stupid !
    If I create something great, then somebody else grabs my source, hires bunch of people and creates something even better based on my source then how do I benefit from that ?
  • oh yeah .... I wish GTK API was at least as stable as WIN 32 ... One thing MS managed to keep is binary compability between changes. Linux is a mess compared to Win. You never know if well behaved program written on RH 5.2 will run on SUSE or even RH 6.0 ( not to mention Slackware )
    This is horrible and very painfull for someone who develops for Linux...
  • > And it's totally alien to Win32, unlike Cygnus
    > (it has pretty much equal status as far as the
    > Kernel is concerned).

    That's exactly why cygwin32 is so much better than products like Interix - you can mix and match your Unix code with win32 code to do GUI stuff, COM, etc.

    NT actually already ships with a Posix subsystem,
    though the current one sucks beyond belief.

    But basically, why would you want to deploy on Windows at all if you can't do COM or GUI stuff? Those are supposed to be their two big selling points.
  • Here's the text of an email I just sent the author... In your C-Net article titled "Microsoft sees threats over developers" you refer to Linux as "a so-called open source platform that incorporates the work of volunteers developers worldwide". so-called \So"-called`\, a. So named; called by such a name (but perhaps called thus with doubtful propriety). so-called adj : doubtful or suspect; "these so-called experts are no help" [syn: alleged(a), supposed] Linux is truly an open source platform, so why the derogatory adjective? If that is not a quote, and it's not quoted, your "so-called" article reeks of doubtful propriety. Chris Moyer Quicksand Development www.atwatch.com moyerca@one.net
  • Darn it.

    HTML formatted posts need paragraph markings. Why doesn't anybody tell me these things?

    *sigh*

  • As I recall, Microsoft sees a technology, steals it, and competes against it.

    exactly.

    and then they wonder why no third partys wnt to develop for Windows anymore.

    go figure.

    -geekd
  • I admit, I havn't read the article, but it's name was just ludicrous.
    Come on, "Competition is a concern"?

    Microsoft was founded to be THE competition.

    Have they innovated anything and somebody competed against it?
    As I recall, Microsoft sees a technology, steals it, and competes against it.
    You may say it is the same, but think of a world without competition (scary, isn't it?),
    Microsoft will not exist, since every product they would make had existed already!

    The one product they have invented, Bob, was such a sucess,
    that all the other comapies were afraid that if they copy it, it will never be as good.
    In fact, Microsoft thought that since it is so good, they should discontinue it entirely,
    so not to spoil it and ruin it's reputation of a bestseller.
    (the following statement makes the same sense as the above ballmer's statement)


    They say Linux competes with them.
    They have competed against UNIX, and the truth is that Linux bites market shares mostly from Unices.
    (though it gets the mindshare of NT admins)

    The last thing ever they would want is the compatition to end,
    where will they steal their features from?
    They wouldn't like to be an only product, since new ideas mean more to them -
    Without them, people will not upgrade,
    and they would have less bloat. (remember the "love bloat" article written by that Microsoft developer?)


    ---
    The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck,
  • Listen, Oracle is a company that can make Microsoft look like a bunch of eager Boy Scouts, as far as business ethics goes.

    Care to back that up with some examples? I don't particularly like Oracle or Larry Ellison personally, but I've seen no evidence that they are anywhere near as unethical as Microsoft and Bill Gates. And at least Oracle has always had credible competition from companies like Informix, Sybase, Ingres (Computer Associates), Software AG (Adabas), etc.

  • Oracle has a LONG LONG history of vaporware that goes back to when the company started.

    O.K., that is only one of the many questionable tactics that Microsoft uses. It is also a far less effective practice when it is done by a company which has credible competitors, because when the vapor fails to condense, customers can choose to go with a competitors product, or at least threaten to.

    It's well established in the printed record. This spring I read a 'sympathetic' biography of Larry Ellison (it was obvious that it was written by somebody who had received friendly access to Larry) where some of his personal ethical lapses were documented.

    Personal ethical lapses by management, while not a good thing, have no bearing on whether a company is excercising illegal monopoly powers or trade practices. Bringing them up here doesn't seem to do much to further your argument, but rather makes it look like you have a personal beef against Larry Ellison.

    Things like sleeping with employees, having them fired when he breaks up with them. Outright lieing to customers about new releases. The book title is "The Difference between God and Larry Ellison (God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison)".

    I never said Larry Ellison was a nice guy, I just said I didn't see any evidence that Oracle was nearly as bad in their business dealings as Microsoft. I still haven't seen anything to change that.

    Oh, and wether or not a company has "credible competition" has nothing to do with wether a company is ethical or not.

    But it has everything to do with whether they are using monopoly powers to crush smaller competitors. In other words, if a company has credible competition it tends to act to a certain degree to keep them 'honest'.

    I am NOT writing this to apologize for Microsoft in any way or form, just to point out that it's not a pink-and-fuzzy world out there of happy ethical competitors, except for big mean bad Microsoft.

    Nobody ever said it was a perfect world. A lot of companies do a few questionable things. The difference is that Microsoft continuously uses every dirty trick in the book even when they don't need to.
    Get real.

    Actually, it seems pretty obvious who isn't dealing with reality.

  • I can see that recognition of Linux by Microsoft is now solidifying into a real thing now, which is a biiiig step up from their response to the "Halloween" documents. Hopefully, the "scariness" will transform into Microsoft adding quality to their products as opposed to marketing spin. It might be too much to hope that they would want to turn to the Open side of the source, with expectations of beating Unix and Linux at their own games...Unfortunately, my Clue Stick has informed me that as long as their present system earns blind revenue as it does, it won't matter what people like Ballmer think about the competition. The machine will continue to grind.

  • I think that says it.
  • And, when Unix crashes, you actually have to make a trip out there because there is no way you can walk some average joe through a fix on the phone.

    I supported AT&T 3B computer and their networks on a support hotline for 5 years (86 - 91) and I've walked many people (including the unknowing) into restoring a Unix box to where I could access the box. Unix is just as supportable as NT. But I would add that certain equipment was required to do it right (a modem, the original disks, and a recent backup). Most Unix boxes I've worked with followed our recommendations for power (UPS) and access (a modem). I'm not that familiar with NT (my friend is) but I don't see it being any less frustrating than Linux when it bombs out.

    Windows gives the average user what they want. Ease of use and out of the box functionality. When Linux matures enough for that then the world will be a better place.

    I sort of agree, I find that MS just moves the frustrations from up front to else where. With *nix the tough questions tend to be up front which can scare the users.

    --
    Linux Home Automation - Neil Cherry - ncherry@home.net [mailto]
    http://members.home.net/ncherry [home.net] (Text only)
    http://meltingpot.fortunecity.com/lig htsey/52 [fortunecity.com] (Graphics)
  • by Zeitgeist ( 17386 ) on Thursday July 22, 1999 @05:48PM (#1788958)
    So, here's my perception of all this.. see if anyone else agrees with me.
    • We all know M$ is deep in their DoJ trial. Check.
    • They are in this situation because of bad (illegal?) marketing practices which prevent competition (Yes, I saw it up close and in person).
    • One of their biggest "defenses" is that Linux is "competition" to them.
    • We've probably noticed that M$ has let up a little on their OEM restrictions since this trial began (e.g., we're now actually seeing some OEM's selling linux boxen).
    Now.. consider this article, and Ballmer's statements, and also the article earlier today on MSNBC about *BSD.
    • Right in the middle of the *BSD article, they placed a link to "Discuss Linux and BSD on the BBS", opening up a forum for the less tactful Linux advocates to do their less-than-tactful Linux advocacy.
    • This latest article portends to cast a shadow of competition behind Linux, taking some heat off M$.
    Get to the point!! Okay. Consider what's going to happen if the DoJ -does- by Microsoft's claims of competition from Linux. Consider also that having a lot of money (which Bill Gates has more of than anyone else in the world [except maybe that one sultan of somewhere.. right? ugh]) can get you a LOT of bonus points in the American "Justice" system. So, let's suppose that M$ gets out of this anti-trust suit with a "not guilty", or whatever the equivalent ruling. Or even suppose that they get off with a slap on the wrist.. then what? Then they dive head-long back into their anti-competitional business while they still have a majority of market share. OEM's and customers alike still depend heavily on M$ because they haven't had the time to switch strongly to Linux (and let's face it.. Linux isn't quite ready). Next step? M$, using their traditional brute force, retakes the market share they've lost in the past few months, summarily crushing the "Linux Movement". Wow.. don't I sound paranoid? Probably, but that's honestly how I see it. Anyone else agree? Zeitgeist
  • Here in Sweden when we recruit new software engineers direct from college they show no particular interest in Win32. Instead they are fluent in the UNIX/Linux environment. I have also got the impression that this distaste for Win32 is valid in most countries.

    When I was in school 4-5 years ago the draw to Linux was the ability to have a similar development environment at home that was at school (Unix). In the United States, at least in the University of California school system, I've noticed a good number of Windows machines infiltrating the CS departments. Can you believe that they'll set up a WinNT box running a Hummingbird Exceed X server as a terminal instead of a Unix box?

    I wonder if they are doing this as a response to complaints from industry that new grads don't know anything about Win32.

    On a side note, my new employer is having a hell of a time finding developers who want to work on Linux.
  • > its scary, how are programmers going to make any money if everyone just uses free software.

    Yeah, I hear that Linus is drawing unemployment. [hint: there is some sarcasm somewhere in this post]

    Maybe programmers will be able to start doing something useful for society, rather than writing software that serves no purpose other than locking in market share.

  • Wasn't he the one that complained to the media 12-18 months ago that "All this talk about an Evil Empire is making it hard to hire the best new developers" ?

  • Didn't Micorsoft buy UC with a big infrastructure donation?

    You're just seeing what they got for their money.

  • > 4. Microsoft constantly competes with it's own 3rd party developers and beats them senseless.

    Or accidently sues them.

    BTW, how do you "accidently" sue someone? Do they draw up papers for a suit just before they sign a new partnership, and keep the papers on file in case of an emergency?

  • If I could moderate you up kid I would.

    The thought bubbles over Mr. Ballmers heads are so transparent, "if we persuade people that we have a lot of competition at the moment then maybe we will be left alone to dominate, errm compete on our totally non-level playing field, ha ha ha ha!"

    A note to Microsoft, "strong competition" is when a companies like Oracle and IBM repeatedly kicks your ass in the database market.

    No, you are not paranoid, they are out to get you :)
  • by ttyRazor ( 20815 ) on Thursday July 22, 1999 @04:12PM (#1788965)
    In a perfect world, Microsoft's approach to competition should be "bring it on!", but instead they continue to think of competition as a win-lose situation; someone can only succeed at others' expense. As long they respond to competitive threats with better code, then they might not disappear off the face of the earth once thier market share slips. I guess anything less than everything can only look like a loss when you've been ahead for so long.
  • I personally have trouble getting behind the idea
    of writing software for the Micro$oft platform,
    just as I would have trouble getting behind the
    idea of seeking adoption into a family which has
    proven its ability to eat its young!
  • its scary, how are programmers going to make any money if everyone just uses free software

    Remember that most programmers aren't working on software for companies that 'sell' software, but rather on internal systems. They still get paid (apparently :) ).

    Free software can't cover all the needs of the many different industries out there.

  • Remember that most programmers aren't working on software for companies that 'sell' software, but rather on internal systems That's interesting claim... Do you have any proof, some sort of statistics? Or it's just your personal observation?

    It's just a personal opinion, with no facts to back them up (since when have facts been important in /. forums?).

    If you think about it however there are likely to be a lot more proprietary internal systems in companies like Banks, manufacturing, etc, that don't use off the shelf software (or customise off the shelf software) and so still require programmers to keep it all running.

    I could be wrong of course, i'm just sharing my opinion :)

  • Programmers don't have a problem - there's always something new needs doing.

    The thing that worries the MBAs is 'how are marketing managers going to make any money'

  • This is where people with open source money (the biggest gun being Red Hat) can getter their own marketing at the expense of some major hurt on MS.

    In most cases, lying is a Bad Thing, but certainly not illegal. Two cases where lying is illegal, however, are under oath (that's perjury) and making claims about a competitor's product (that's slander). A good law firm should catch them talking out of both sides of their mouth in these arenas, and thus show them guilty of one or the other offense.

    Microsoft could either say that they overstated the competition's quality in the DOJ trial, or understated the competition's quality in the realm of the marketroids. If they do the former, they dig themselves deeper into the antitrust hole. If they do the latter, they have to retract the statements, you get legal press releases, and the competitor can use the DOJ statements (wow, this is really good software, it competes with ours) as advertising copy. AFAIK, court transcripts are not subject to copyright law.

  • As far as enterprise-ready OSs go, the licensing fee differential (Linux's "free beer" advantage) is negligible. If you have an enterprise-ready budget, NT licenses are almost candy; the internal and external support are the expensive bits.

    But if you mean free speech rather than free beer, you're right. Smart IS directors are realizing a huge advantage with Linux: even if there is a horrible bug in the OS, they can hire one of several companies to fix it! If(?) there is a horrible bug in NT, you have to either pray for Microsoft to fix it (risky and time-consuming) or change OSs altogether (mucho expensive). If your Linux support team fails you, you can get a brand-new Linux support team without switching platforms.

    That's what makes Linux less expensive in the enterprise. The support is non-monopolistic, thus cheaper. And the support is the expensive part.

  • The thing is, if you've got a few degrees or at least a decent amount of experience, the market is such that you don't *have* to work on anything even tangentially related to M$, and certainly not at a financial loss.

    In dealing with a software development headhunter back in 1997, he sets me up on two interviews the same day. I go to the first one, and they propose teaching me to program in Windows to convert some software. That interview went little further; I wasn't going to waste their time. Understand, BTW, that I told the headhunter that I wasn't going to develop in Windows.

    I call the headhunter, and explain this to him. He notes that they were willing to teach me Windows programming. I note that it's not that I can't (I have), but that I won't. He notes that the second interview is also a Windows job, and then incredulously asks, "But how do you expect to get a software engineering job if you won't program in Windows?"

    I dropped that headhunter like a hot isotope.

  • Microsoft treats its developers like dirt. Why do I say that, in view of the Microsoft Developers Network? Because, in spite of the MSDN, Microsoft has to constantly change its APIs. If it didn't keep adding required services, someone could clone Windows. But because every new release has new APIs, or the existing APIs change, cloning can't happen. That's good for Microsoft, but bad for developers. They bear all the cost of protecting Microsoft's intellectual property.

    That is why I won't program for Windows, not because I can't, not because I don't like Windows (actually it's very pretty), not because I don't like Microsoft (except for the way they treat me), not because I hate/fear/envy Bill Gates, but because it's bad for me in the long term.
    -russ

  • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Friday July 23, 1999 @06:28AM (#1788983)
    This is why Microsoft has already lost. The fact that entry-level programmers are migratating to OSS is disturbing. The fact that senior-level developers have seen the Microsoft-centric universe... and the fact that we have absolutely no role in it (other than as glorified button pushers) is fatal.

    When I start my own software company, will I try to compete in the Windows environment where MS has repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to obliterate any competition? Hell, no! Even if I didn't think OSS was technically superior, I would be *forced* to choose it since there's simply no viable alternative!

    When I develop specifications for a new product for my employer, will I merrily tie my company's future to a company which has repeatedly shown a willingness to frivilously change APIs so ensure the market is forced to upgrade? Hell, no! Again, even if I didn't think OSS was technically superior, I would have to mark down the Microsoft solution since it would require constant maintainance due to the continually changing API.

    When the software industry was a small piece of the economy a single company could effect a stranglehold on it. But now software is *everywhere*, and *no* single software company can long dominate the marketplace. I often think of this economic sector like a farm: the best way to ensure a solid harvest is to rotate your crops. Leaving a field fallow may look like a "waste," but those small plants inject valuable chemicals into the soil.

    Microsoft is classic corporate farming. It keeps harvesting the same crop year after year, and it uses every bit of the plant while violently ripping out any non-crop plant. This depletes the soil, and its response is to pile on the shit. Sorry, the petrochemical fertilizers. But that will only work so long; it replaces the gross biomatter, but it still messes up the microculture.
  • by Pingo ( 41908 ) on Friday July 23, 1999 @02:40AM (#1788985)
    I guess what realy scares M$ is that most of the young guys studying computer science has no interest what so ever in Win32.

    Here in Sweden when we recruit new software engineers direct from college they show no particular interest in Win32. Instead they are fluent in the UNIX/Linux environment. I have also got the impression that this distaste for Win32 is valid in most countries.

    Each time a fresh guy comes on interview and passes my room, he smiles and chuckles when seeing my Linux posters. He becomes very comfortable and often admits to use Win32 sometimes for gameplay but not for any real serious things. This is a big plus and one step closer to get an offer.

    Microsoft do have every reason to be scared. They will have huge difficulties to steal any new technology from small upstart companies. Their foodchain is completly broken.

    //Pingo
  • It's interesting that you're taken with the MFC (and hence the underlying Windows) message passing. This is the main cause of slow app. behaviour and the reason that adding new features causes the application to slow down.

    The Windows message passing requires every window in the food chain to examine each message with a string of compares to see if it handles this message. This causes an geometric increase in message processing time with increased functionality (each added unit of function uses a "Window").

    Ironically enough, considering the Winbloat phenomenon, this was a conscious trade-off sacrificing speed to reduce size. Reasonable enough on a 1MB system with a 50 MB hard drive, but not we have 64 MB systems with 8 GB hard drives and we STILL pay the price of that decission. (So much for WGIII's legendary technological leadership :-).
  • Well, the Win32 API is just one of the APIs that Microsoft offers on the NT kernel. There's a pretty nice Posix API made by a third party (Interix) that rumor has it may be folded into the NT system in a big way. It's fairly robust implementation of Posix (includes GCC, but it also integrates Microsoft C for building Posix binaries), and lets most Free Software packages be built and run on an NT kernel. And it's totally alien to Win32, unlike Cygnus (it has pretty much equal status as far as the Kernel is concerned).

    But I know how crazy it is to talk up anything Microsoft does in this forum. Sadly there are a lot of people with an irrational hatred of Microsoft in the world. They somewhat blunt the real criticism that is due that company and their products.
  • Oracle has a LONG LONG history of vaporware that goes back to when the company started. It's well established in the printed record. This spring I read a 'sympathetic' biography of Larry Ellison (it was obvious that it was written by somebody who had received friendly access to Larry) where some of his personal ethical lapses were documented. Things like sleeping with employees, having them fired when he breaks up with them. Outright lieing to customers about new releases. The book title is "The Difference between God and Larry Ellison (God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison)".

    Oh, and wether or not a company has "credible competition" has nothing to do with wether a company is ethical or not.

    I am NOT writing this to apologize for Microsoft in any way or form, just to point out that it's not a pink-and-fuzzy world out there of happy ethical competitors, except for big mean bad Microsoft.

    Get real.
  • by tarballhell ( 69960 ) on Thursday July 22, 1999 @04:23PM (#1789009)
    They are just trying to make people think this.
    "BSD or Linux" equals server.
    "BSD or Linux" does not equal Desktop.

    He wants most people to think that it is only for servers, and that it wouldnt do them any good at home.

  • After reading all this craziness I just cannot resist putting in my 2 cents.

    I work for one of the nations largest ISPS and have first hand experience of going from a strictly windows enviroment to a Unix flavor.(freeBSD).

    Granted that all flavors of Unix tend to be more reliable and more scalable than Windows version out there. I use to replace Unix boxes with NT servers and learned first hand the trouble caused mainly due to reliability. I would take down an 8 year old 286 that had been totally stable and then explain that the nice shiny NT server might need some TLC every now and then. BUT this brings me to two points.

    UNIX - is a great OS, how cannot it not be with so many years of growth under its belt? But Unix is so cumbersome to the average user that the apps written for it for the average user have to be choice based, leaving out any intuition on the user . You can either hit this key or that key.
    And, when Unix crashes, you actually have to make a trip out there because there is no way you can walk some average joe through a fix on the phone.

    Windows on the other hand is buggy but easy to use. People have it at home and tech support though often is fairly easy(hit the rest button). Windows best point is that it gets the average user pissed off enough to look under the hood, maybe install a new device, build a new pc, and decide that they like computing so much they need to find a real OS, change their outlook on life, and leave home.

    The average user is where we make our money. Windows gives the average user what they want. Ease of use and out of the box functionality. When Linux matures enough for that then the world will be a better place.

    AND as for the guy who turned down 120 grand and stock options? You sound like a physician just out of med school who thinks by grace a god he should be paid big bucks. Or an MCSE.

    Frizz0
    p.s. I run linux with apache at home, as well as 98

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