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Microsoft

Microsoft/Siemens in Joint Linux Venture? 88

angelatlarge writes "Very strange news on LinuxToday about .net Jury claiming that Microsoft/Siemens are in a secret joint venture to create a Linux distro. Is this real?" The rumor's been floating all over the place this weekend. So far, we don't have any confirmation from the purported sources of it all, Prix Arts Electronica in Austria and The Society for Old and New Media in The Netherlands. Perhaps some Slashdot readers in Europe can help us out here. Update 1146 a.m. EDT Okay, it's been confirmed - as a hoax. Over 100 people submitted the story to us. Interesting to watch how something like this can spread, isn't it?
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Microsoft/Siemens in Joint Linux Venture?

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  • MS Linux has been out there [microsoff.com] for awhile now.
  • How many shares of Red Hat does
    Bill Gates own?

    Could he own all of them?

  • MS will probably want to cash in on the Linux hype, and want to put out some competition for it in the OS market. But it would make a lot more sense for them to take a BSD and proprietize it, rather than going with a GPLed kernel. (The re-licensing freedom of the BSD is probably a reason why Apple chose it for Darwin; Woz's ties to Berkeley might be another.) They'd then either need to rewrite any BSD components under the GPL (I can't recall which components of, say, FreeBSD those are) or slap a Win98/NT/etc layer on top of BSD and run user stuff there (leaving admin tasks in the BSD layer). The resulting "Winux" would have a UNIX administrative interface (which would make a lot of [not all] sysadmins happy), the MS brand name and possibly the Win98/NT/etc interface (which would make a lot of [not all] PHBs and technophobe users happy) and would be proprietary (which would make MS happy all over).

    DISCLAIMER: This is not a comment on the relative technical merits of Linux, the BSDs, or the Windowses. I'm just saying that FROM MS'S PERSPECTIVE, repackaging a BSD would be a more likely choice from the licensing angle.
  • I just died laughing, I'm typing this on my way through the tunnel.
  • Very nice, but it's not just funny offcourse...what if they'd actually do it...write an incredible kewl app everybody wants to use (i doubt they can, but if the do...) which only compiles with a MS-compiler that only comes with the MS-linux-distro. ARGH..a lot off newbies would choose the new platform:(
  • Is it a hoax? Yes, in that MSFT wouldn't use Seimens. But, think about it ... what if MSFT used some of its money to "make" a Linux distro, extend it, and develop MSFT Office for it. All they need do is add some of their PATENTED software and then ...

    Luckily for you, they have massive egos.

    For now ...

  • I disagree - Win32/Mac are un-necessarily dumbed down....

    -Shane Stephens
  • Perhaps you all can stop thinking that microsoft will ever create a linux distribution.
  • if u cant beat them..join them :)
    I think MS has realized how much Linux beats them. It wouldnt suprize me if they did make a distro.
  • Microsoft would be stupid to release a version of Linux. I've been using Linux at different jobs for about six years now and there is no way that Microsoft will hurt it's customers buy throwing a complicated/hard to install OS on them. It just isn't going to happen. They know that ease of use and support for every piece of hardware under the sun is what matters to most of their customers. I graduated with honors at UCLA with a double major in physics and computer science and I find Linux to be too time consuming to learn/install. If it's that way for me then I know that Microsoft will not thrust this upon their customers.
  • uhhh microsoff.com? hahah good try. almost had me for about 0.001 seconds. That's a long time for me.
  • I am sure that MSFT would never break a contract. Just as Sun.
  • Actually they teach Linux in their sysadmin courses (beside their own proprietary Unix, Sinix). And their teachers are *very* Unix biased ;-)
  • Plus they have a very strong relationship with Sun and will abandon Sinix (and Reliant Unix) for Solaris in the near future. At least that is what I was told on a Sun/Siemens conference. :-)

    Sebastian
  • If they actually would make an own linux distribution, why should anyone care? Whee, another easy-to-install distribution? It'd be same shit in a different bag anyway.
  • A bit like HP. We do make things other than printers, you know...

    richi.
    --
    Richi Jennings tel:+44-1344-365870 (T316-5870)
    OpenMail Technical Product Manager http://www.hp.com/go/openmail
    Hewlett-Packard Company Pager: richi-beep@pwd.hp.com
    aolim:richij
    "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty"
  • Oh, crap!

    Microsoft software has retarded the software industry like nothing else in history! There is no way that you could call ANYTHING Microsoft years ahead of ANYTHING!!!!

    Let's face the issue like it really is:

    Microsoft, a completely normal company (just like every other company the world over) wants to make money. The best way for Microsoft to make money is to control the software market. BUT - this means that Microsoft has to either innovate or suppress innovation. I think everyone'll agree that they don't innovate....

    Microsoft has, and will continue to, actively engaged in obtaining other people's ideas and developing them as their own. In the process, they destroy any hope of having open source software or multi-platform software, the two things that could really advance the software industry BUT (and this is important) also relinquish Microsoft's stranglehold on the market.

    In addition, anybody who attempts to innovate has their ideas seized! This means that less people bother - more retardation on the software industry.

    For some specific examples:

    (1) Java - Microsoft tried to aquire this. They failed. Thank god. They will probably try again - who wants to bet that if they do get it then they won't support non-MS operating systems?

    (2) The Internet - there's a court case about this at the moment! Microsoft demonstrably (and it must be demonstrable, otherwise it wouldn't be in court) tried to grab the software market for internet browsers(nb - what's at issue is whether they did it legally...). This is a bad thing - if they had completely succeeded, would we even HAVE browsers for alternative OSs? Would we have developed XML? Etc, etc. As it is, hasn't the huge war between Microsoft and Netscape massively retarded the development of JavaScript, HTML, VRML (which MS tried to grab as well..), and others?

    (3) OpenDoc standards for documents - MS stayed with this for just long enough to ensure that it sank when they abandoned it. It would have meant that any office software could swap files with any other office software. This is both innovative and powerful. I wonder why MS opposed it ?!?!?!

    (4) Any other software that I want, written in an Open Source manner - check out OpenGL vs directX, for instance.............

    There are several other examples - perhaps other people can post them...I'm too tired right now!

    The point is this: Microsoft is not necessarily an evil company. They are just a company, doing what every company does. The problem is, they have a monopoly. And this is retarding growth.

    It is this retardation of growth that I oppose. And let's face it - Microsoft is NOT ahead of anything!

    I can get for my Linux platform (completely free):

    (1) A good integrated office package (StarOffice) that uses the OpenDoc standard (I think) - so it's WAY ahead of M$ stuff. Oh, and it doesn't come on 2 CDs... :-)

    (2) As many software development packages as I want (including IBMs VisualAge for Java, which is an absolutely KickArse IDE for Java - but not free :-( )

    (3) An extensible, flexible, powerful, stable, and most of all developable GUI - XWindows. This shits all over M$ so much and in so many ways that it's not funny. For one, it's NOT part of the kernel, so it can be changed/updated at ANY stage. Next, it's Open Source. Next, there are a huge range of toolkits available for development. Next, it doesn't crash. Next, the arrangement enables any one of a number of Window Managers to interface with it (or I could write one of my own...). Oh, and by default it works over networks...

    I hope you're getting my drift. There are just so many technologies and ideas that are part of Linux and _not_ part of M$ operating systems that it's just not funny!

    Take a look at threads, for instance. Unlike the extremely simple (and hence powerful) thread model that Linux uses, Windows NT uses an ugly, complicated mess of threading that just defies understanding.

    Or speed of loading? Linux is much faster. And, unlike NT, it doesn't complain when you touch the master boot record....

    One problem with Linux is that it is developed by a large number of people, so it is, to a certain extent, all over the place. However, people like RedHat are working quite well to create simple install procedures and highly graphical environments.

    I just can't see how anyone could say that M$ is years ahead!

    -Shane Stephens
  • Aaawww - boolsheet!

    Come on! Every time I develop a Java applet or application on JDK (either in Windows or in Unix or in Linux) I have to tweak it like CRAZY to get it to work in a Microsoft distribution!

    That's utter crap - the best implementation of Java around is the Sun Java plugin/JRE! That's because it IS the Java implentation. Anything else is just a copy. And MS's copy is a particularly bad one...

    -Shane Stephens
  • I wouldn't trust IE running any java-applications. Personally I use appletviewer etc. every time for my java developement. Just take some time investigating what a java-application can do under IE without the user even knowing. And yes, IE3 crashed my whole system many times during test phases and that was a java-applet.
  • If u know the Unix Siemens sells and the microsoft Unix expertise just imagining that product makes me laugh. Siemens is (in my experience) very heartless in their Unix product and they never heard of stuff like File System Hierachy Standard and such. Mixed with the experience of microsoft considering OS-Installation Scripts. Would make a nice leetle cocktail. Than God it is a hoax. Har Har
  • by Moonwick ( 6444 )
    Would you please reconsider the ramifications of what you just said? Any CS major has to have had experience with UNIX, at least though programming courses (and probably more) at their school. Don't give us this crap about Linux being 'too hard' to install. I'll be one of may people to say it didn't take a college degree (or even a high school degree at the time) to install Linux.

    Congratulations, you've made yourself sound like a Microsoft PR lackey.
  • it's too bad that this is just a hoax, I say let M$ make their little distro. I would love to take a look at the source code (required - GPL) and laugh my ass off at the way the M$ boys are coding these days (silly billy, kernels are for hackers)
  • Hi Folks,

    here comes a little insight on the overall topic.
    I hope this can boil up the discussion about industrial engagement in the linux and open source distribution a bit.


    >Greetings,
    >
    >Below you will find a press statement from members of the
    >.net jury of this years Prix Ars Electronica. You will read
    >about the real paths that lead us, the jury, to award this
    >years golden nica to the operating system linux.
    >
    >Best,
    >
    >Marleen Stikker
    >
    >______________________________________
    >
    >
    > FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    > Linz, Sep 6, 1999
    >
    >
    >Media Contacts:
    >Marleen Stikker
    >Centrum de Waag
    >Amsterdam/ The Netherlands
    >Tel: (+31)20-5579898
    >Fax: (+31)20-5579880
    >Email: marleen@dds.nl
    >Website: http://www.waag.org
    >
    >Dr. Christine Schoepf
    >ORF Prix Ars Electronica 99
    >Linz/ Austria
    >Tel. (+43)732-6900-24218
    >Tel. (+43)732-6900-24270
    >Email: christine.schoepf@orf.at
    >Website: http://prixars.orf.at
    >
    >
    >
    >ARS ELECTRONICA PLAYGROUND FOR CORPORATE STRATEGIES
    >
    >We, the "net." jury, have just learned that next years
    >ars electronica festival will be titled "OPEN SOURCE".
    >This has been inofficially agreed on by the direction of
    >the ARS ELECTRONICA and the sponsors Siemens, Microsoft,
    >Oracle and HP, e.a. From reliable sources we also learned
    >that the decision was made weeks before the ".net"-jury
    >decision on "linux".
    >
    >
    >WHY WE ARE GOING PUBLIC
    >
    >Because we have also just learned that the above-mentioned
    >IT-companies are involved in a linux distribution joint
    >venture and a strategic alliance. Their joint venture startup
    >will most probably become one of the leading linux
    >distributors, directly attacking Red Hat and SUSE.
    >
    >This is the classic oligopolistic strategy.
    >They cannot buy linux, nevertheless, they will take control
    >over the distibution of the competitor.
    >
    >We were suspicious before, but now we are strongly convinced
    >that there was indirect but heavy influence by corporate and
    >ars electronica executives to reach the "linux" decision...
    >
    >
    >THE JURY WEEK-END
    >
    >For the jury welcome dinner, a few corporate people had been
    >invited, too. Everybody was discussing about where Ars
    >Electronica could or should be going. For the corporate people
    >the main hype was of course the .net category, e-commerce and
    >the commercial impact of the "mass communications" medium
    >internet... and they were all constantly talking about the
    >creative potential of linux and its open source strategy.
    >
    >Then, at the actual jury meeting, deciding on a winner appeared
    >to be quite a hard decision (not to say compromise). Whilst the
    >majority of the jury had a clear favourite in the russian info-
    >intelligence startup "etxtreme.ru", another juror started
    >talking about "that we need to decide on something that is really
    >taking two steps ahead, not some arty-farty stuff". So "linux" just
    >came up as a smart solution. we took this path, we formulated our
    >statement and came up with the source code as art work, with our
    >position against "beautiful" web-sites. it was a strong moment.
    >And we saw linux as the perfect continuum to the corporate artwork
    >of etoy.com, the Ars Electronica winners of 1996.
    >
    >
    >TERRORVISION AND THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION
    >
    >But the information about the secret linux distribution joint
    >venture between Microsoft and Siemens in combination with next
    >years topic made us alert.
    >
    >Our conclusion: the industry has strongly lobbied and put
    >pressure on at least one jury member to award "linux". We now
    >have to interpret this in persepective of next years ars topic.
    >They pushed the topic. The idea is to use the art and science
    >community to soft launch their linux activities and control
    >open source strategies. They do understand that open source
    >has evolved into a stronger development strategy and they have
    >to jump that train early enough, in order to avoid another
    >"internet" desaster.
    >
    >So as artists writers and scientists we are used as lab-rats
    >and cheap alternative researchers. This is NOT what artists
    >need and it is certainly not what Ars Electronica should be
    >aiming at.
    >
    >
    >NEXT STEPS
    >
    >We believe that investigative journalism is needed to further
    >describe and interpret this incident..
    >We definitely want to engage in bringing transparency into the
    >"who`s, when`s, where`s, and for how much money" of this years
    >decision making process of Prix Ars Electronica.
    >
    >For the press, we are available for background information and
    >extended infos on the topic via email or at our on-the-fly press
    >conference:
    >
    > sept 8, 1999, 1630h
    > brucknerhaus in linz
    >
    >
    >Regards,
    >
    > Derrick de Kerckhove
    > Lisa Goldman
    > Joichi Ito
    > Marleen Stikker
    >
  • by GrenDel Fuego ( 2558 ) on Monday September 06, 1999 @01:29AM (#1700539)
    According to the webpage, there's an update which says that this is in fact a hoax.
  • Check the Linux Today link, it says heise has confirmed this to be a hoax.

  • Read the headline; it's a hoax.
  • by dufke ( 82386 )
    Update: Heise has exposed this as a hoax.

    -straight from LinuxToday.com



    ________________________________________________ ___________
  • Who would use an MS Linux distro? Honestly?

  • Who would use an MS Linux distro? Honestly?

    Businesses who want to have a large company supporting the products they buy. You can't get too much bigger than Microsoft.

    I think that could be a rather bad thing considering Microsoft's history of embrace/extent/destroy.

    Luckily you can't destroy Linux.. The most they could do is take other companies support with them off on a tangent distribution. All the free software would still be available, but it's possible that say... Oracle or other commercial softwares will only work on the MS/Linux Distribution.
  • but siemens makes fuel injectors???
    char *stupidsig = "this is my dumb sig";
  • Simply put, the MS boys would try to simplfy the powerful os and make it user friendly. They just fool with it until it resembled and ran (and crashed) like Windows. I can see ms making a universal user- so that people do not have to fool with accounts, why not a autoroot account. MS- please leave linux alone
  • by Akeldama ( 27705 ) on Monday September 06, 1999 @01:36AM (#1700548)
    not too long ago, someone at securityfocus.com said something along the lines of...it's only a matter of time before ms comes out with their own distro of linux. the guy then got flamed. he then wrote a piece about his opinion and reasons behind them.


    check it out at http://securityportal.com/coverst ory19990830.html [securityportal.com]

  • sorry, that should read "someone at securityportal.com said..." got my security*.com sites mixed up
  • One and a half or two years ago, this kind of rumor got started, and it would have made sense. MS could have nuked NT2K (pronounced nut tweek), pushed win98 forward into the graphic arts arena to kill the last vestiges of Apple and then released Linux + Win32API as their server platform with remote-display capabilities for their office apps using the X11 protocol (Ok, I'm dreaming, here but it would have been very cool).

    Now, MS is locked in to releasse NT2K as a server platform which is doomed because it just can never be stable. It's doomed against Apple which is once again entrenched in the graphic arts arena, and on the general office desktop, Linux is starting to build on its server success and with Sun's acqusition of Star Office, we may begin to see NT2K get real competion on the desktop from Sun/Linux on X86 and PPC boxen.

    MS is in big trouble, but they don't have an angle for Linux any more. Are they just creating a side venture as a Linux hedge? Might make sense, but it's risky. In one sense it's wise though (and this comes from having read Cryptonomicon too recently). They may have to deal with an awful lot of shareholder lawsuits when they start to loose money. Being able to claim that they tried to get on the Linux bandwagon may be a point in their favor.

    Then again, it's likely just a rumor. MS would be practically admitting defeat by selling a Linux distribution. Embrace and extend? I actually don't think that's an option with Linux, but I could be proven wrong.
  • Seimens makes almost everything when it comes to manufacturing electronics. If you wanted to build an assembly line, they have the controls equipment and can fix you up. Who knows, they might support Linux soon when it comes to programming their fine PLC's. I sure hope so, because I'm getting sick of DOS and Windows when programming industrial controls.
  • John Dvorak...
  • neh, don't thinks so.
  • Even though the page turned out to be a hoax. Just think, why wouldn't MS make their own Linux distro? Have you all read the Halloween papers. They discribed how they where going to bring linux to its knees. Take it as their own, make so many new standards with it that the people that program linux for the love can't keep up. With that, they could then sit on top of linux and not let anyone have their way because the standards are theirs. Kinda puts a damper on everything doesn't it.
  • Well, that may be the cause and all the work they put into linux will be open source. But they will make the standards their way and own rights to them. They would then sit on the those standards and not upgrade/bugfix tell someone comes up with something. This no doubt will be hard to MS to accomplish but I have no doubt in my mind that MS has a section devoted to Linux and how they can use it to their benefit. Another spin off would be that they would accept it and just sponge money of the linux community. No matter how much you bash MS they are still high up on the ladder and they have the bucks. We are going to see Linux grow bigger than life in the next few years so dont be supprised if everyone has their own distro of Linux. I do fear that MS might dumb it down to the point where even our grandma's might use it. tsk tsk tsk
  • Hoax or trial balloon?

    I've come into possession of this email from Steve Ballmer to Bill Gates which lays it all out.

    From: Steve Ballmer
    To: Bill Gates
    Subject: Linux Strategy
    Date: September 6, 1999

    Bill,

    I've been working out a strategy to combat Linux on the desktop and I think I have a few important key directions we can take to beat them at their own game.

    As you know, we've been incredibly successful in the past few years in combatting the menace posed by the Internet, I think we can leverage that experience in combatting the Linux Threat.

    First, the growth of companies like RedHat poses the biggest challenge. We need to come up with a strategy that will give us control over this burgeoning Linux market and wrest it from those pesky startups. It occurs to me that we can offer a Linux distribution (MS/Linux) of our own, price it competitively at stores, and offer it free for download over the Internet. This will allow us to cut off the air supply of companies like RedHat.

    We can get the folks at Mindcraft to pre-configure the server elements to optimize this technology to assure our continued competitive advantage.

    Next, we have to address the simple development environment that has made it possible for just anybody to write programs for Linux at virtually no cost and requiring no expensive IDE or 4-inch thick books like "Learn Active/DCOM/Visual Basic Internet Development in 19 days for Dummies!".

    Linux supports a number of powerful development languages, but the one I'm most concerned about is C. All of the Linux Kernel was written in it and most of the free software for Linux is being developed in C with just a text editor.

    What we need to do is poison the C landscape with our own version of the language that will fragment the C programming marketplace. Sure, you say "But, we've been doing this for years with VC++ Visual Studio.", but I'm thinking of something a lot more dramatic that will really spread across the industry.

    In this regard, I think an utter redesign of low-level memory management facilities in the C language is in order. What we've come up with in marketing is a new set of routines with MSalloc() to replace malloc(). With our years of experience in corrupted heap management, I'm sure that our big brains down in the lab can come up with an utterly incompatible API that we'll force all of our MS/Linux code to use. We'll remove malloc() and it's cousins from all libraries on MS/Linux. Maybe we should integrate MSalloc() into all the Windows code too. I'm pretty sure that malloc() problems are at the heart of a lot of our OS instability problems. Maybe an API redesign is just what we need here.

    We'll need to move quickly on this as Linux sales are shooting through the roof. With any luck, this time next year we'll be looking at RedHat and all the rest of those pretenders marginalized just like what we did to Netscape.

    Thanks.

    Steve

    When I saw this, I couldn't help but be amazed at their thinking. Microsoft is demonstrating to me that they are certainly a company that can quickly adapt to a changing marketplace!

  • MS's busy lawyers? Thats some funny stuff... I'm sure BG would love to invest more time and money into his empire so it doesn't get thrown around in courts. He has money, he will buy lawyers, he will probly go out golfing with Clinton again.
  • I think the last thing we would see would be a Linux distro by MS. MS still makes it's biggest chunk of change with Windows, and Windows ain't going away anytime soon.

    MS didn't get to where they are today by selling products that compete with Windows. :)

  • That could be especially dangerous. MS makes a proprietary Linux distribution that has its own "enhancements" so that no programs for it will run on any other Linux distribution. People buy that distro because

    1. It's supported by MS. It must be good.
    2. It's easier to use than the others.
    3. It has lots of features over other Linux distributions, and who really needs their programs to run on other Linuxes? After all, everyone will be using MS Visual Linux++.

    The only difference that I can see is that Linux wouldn't have anyone to really fight them. Java has Sun beating on MS for violating the license, but who's going to take MS to court and pay for lawyers when they make their Linux proprietary? However, I can't see this working. Like Java, Linux is very established, and I don't think many Linux supporters would switch to the polluted MS version. I don't think that anyone who wants to use Java seriously can use MS Java, and anyone who wants to write programs for Linux won't be able to just use MS Visual Linux++. And if people don't want to make things for it and use it, then MS Visual Linux++ will be popular for the same reasons MS Java is. Maybe a novice who wants to get started with Linux, yet doesn't know about the good that can be had by abandoning MS crap.

    When I started Java programming, I used J++. I was frustrated when I couldn't use the 1.1 event model with J++ 1.1. I tried Sun's JDK. I haven't been back to J++.

  • And he'd bitch about all of the non-ms parts.

    -awc
  • I just can't wait for my copy of Visual Emacs 2000 Enterprise Edition!
  • Seimens makes almost everything when it comes to manufacturing electronics.
    My phone is an old Seimens phone [preveous owner was a busness who upgraded there phone system]
    It's a killer phone to..
    Seimens kinda reminds me of Fairchild. Some people know em for only one of the many products they make.
    For years I knew Fairchild only for the Channel F game machine...
    Now if Seimens and Fairchild got together and made a Linux destro that would be pritty cool :)

    How did this hoax start anyway?
  • Support? Microsoft?

    Do you have any idea how much a real support contract with MS costs?

    Well, it's about £50,000 up front, plus £250 per incident.
    If that figure is wrong, I'm always glad to be corrected.

    MS products never got bought because of the support. They got bought because they have Microsoft printed on the box, and that gives the PHBs a warm and fuzzy feeling, cos they've seen Microsoft advertising on TV.

    Linux is gaining many, many footholds in corporate circles; and the companies are popping up that provide real support contracts (which give IT managers the warm and fuzzies). Red Hat and Linuxcare are only two.

    Microsoft can't do Linux because Microsoft can't understand OSS.

    My big question about this (and I think it's a hoax) is what would Siemens bring to the table after the UK passport office debacle?

    Peter.
    --
  • Wonder if they could. They sold all rights to enter the x86 market to SCO back when they sold them Xenix. I realize Linux isn't *technically* Unix, but Xenix was almost certainly a clone too...
  • As well as just about anything in electronics from RAM to mainframes (including, i think, IBM clones), trains (yes, choo-choos), heavy industrial machinery, etc. They're one the biggest industries in europe
    No, I can't spell!
    -"Run to that wall until I tell you to stop"
    (tagadum,tagadum,tagadum .... *CRUNCH*)
    -"stop...."
  • Very well done. Bravo!
  • Merced won't be an x86... Disclaimer: This is not an attempt to express an opinion either way on whether Microsoft could, would, or should create their own Linux distro.
  • We drove 200 km to Linz, to see Linus Torvaldes personally. Unfortunally they didn't left us in. :(
    Until now, the afterparty was always opened to the public... sadly, that the tv-company [www.orf.at] changed this policy this year :(
  • I don't have a degree in physics OR computer science. I'm currently studying computer engineering, and I have a degree in Biochemistry.

    I found Linux extremely easy and valuable to install. Not only was it enjoyable, but it was also POWERFUL(!!!)

    I admit that Linux has a way to go before the user interface is completely user-friendly, but the point is that it is heading in that direction.

    There is a fundamental difference between Linux and M$:

    M$ software is designed to be inflexible - M$ gets a huge competitive advantage by making the only people that fully understand the OSs the M$ employees. This way they can produce "better" software for their OSs than anybody else.

    It's also designed to be easy to use, but AT THE EXPENSE OF CONFIGURABILITY AND POWER. It's a simple choice, really - if M$ made a powerful operating system, then people wouldn't need to buy their other products to add functionality!

    On the other hand, Linux was designed with flexibility and power in mind. It's also Open Source, which means that anybody who wants to can understand the guts of the Kernel.

    But the major thing about Linux is that IT DOESN'T PRECLUDE USER-FRIENDLINESS. It is entirely possible to write a suite of software for linux that makes it extremely usable/user-friendly WITHOUT compromising any of the power of a Unix-like OS.

    In fact, Redhat is currently making huge inroads in this direction. They're not all the way yet, but mark my words, they will be!

    I hoope that Microsoft DOES think that they'd be stupid to release a version of Linux - because exactly the same thing would happen there as has happened with Win95/98/2K/NT:

    Huge amounts of kernel code would be altered and become proprietry. People wouldn't get to understand how their OS worked. Large amounts of the functionality that is part of Linux would be hidden or worse banned from users (even administrators).

    The whole point of linux is that you have as much control as you want over the operations of your machine. You just don't get that in a M$ operating system.

    -Shane Stephens
  • How can somebody who graduated from UCLA with a double major in physics and computer science not be able to install Linux? I don't have a degree from anywhere and can install redhat in under an hour. The educational system in this country must be going downhill fast.
    The schools should get back to teaching the love of learning. Instead it's brightest and best students (like CmdData) can't be bothered to learn something new because "it's too complicated".
  • I used to work for Siemens, fwiw. Even if this isn't a hoax, I doubt that they could get a hard-core software project like this out the door - there's just too much to be done in a company that doesn't necessarily admit that kind of stuff into its (straight laced, buttoned-down) culture.


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  • Just over two years ago, I first tried Linux with Redhat 4.1 on my new laptop. Used it for about a month and got the feel for how I wanted it to work for me and enjoyed its crashproof nature. Everytime I use Windows, I am often reminded why I switched to Linux.
  • I really see the culture of corporate arrogance getting in the way of any move towards embracing Linux. I think that they would rather go completely down the tubes (which, it is sad to say, is almost completely unlikely) then even release their pathetic, expensive Office suite for Linux.

    We'll be seeing more of this M$Linux hoax from time to time, and until we see the slick $2 billion add campaign, it won't be for real. But it's not going to happen. They would never be able to live down all of the press and web articles that would berate them for uncompatibilities and perversion of the Open Source ideals. Plus all of those of us who would laugh our collective asses off at the idea that they could actually sell copies and/or their presumed abandonment of their payware crappy server OS.

    If M$ ever even endorsed a freeware OS, think of the money they would lose: A typical little server has to have $800 worth of base OS, $2500 worth of client licenses, $800 worth of decent backup software, $500-$5000 worth of usable remote access software and another $5000+ worth of remote windowing client software just to have the same functionality as a $2 Cheapbytes version of Linux.

    They wouldn't throw this kind of profit away just to make a few pennies on Linux.
  • The way I see it, that AC's opinion is perfectly valid because linux won't be ready for mainstream, as he says, until any joe can sit down at a machine, install it and use it without going insane.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually the next version of Mandrake and Corel should alleviate these concerns. I'm one of the developers of one of these distros. (I won't say with a yahoo) but both Corel and Mandrake are doing great things with graphical installations for the new folks. Even though I'm a code contributor, I would still love a distro that's easy to set up. I tweak mine so much I'm always breaking stuff anyway.. ;-)
  • Well, the way I see it, Win9x rules more than 85% desktop PC's. Which is darn good, by any standards. The tendancy is for the PC market to keep on growing, even if that means that MS has to lower its prices to keep OEMs on track.

    So what if Linux can grab 20% of the PC desktop market in the next 2/3/4 years?! MS will still have the majority of users in its hold, and will keep making alot of money from it, giving it a stronghold on new and powerful actions to respond any Linux attacks.

    The best tactic MS has, is to try to use its strong presence on desktop as a leverage to force enterprises use its NT platform. I'm sure, we will see, more and more, server specific / client specific applications show up on NT and Windows (ie Exchange Premium); applications with proprietary protocols, that no linux will be allowed to replicate, client or server side.

    I guess Linus is right when he says, "World Domination and fast!", because the less time MS has to think about it, the better!
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  • I think you are right that we are very unlikely to see MS/Linux, for the reason you state: the GPL. However this is no argument against MS/BSD.

    I disagree with the notion that MS has no quality programmers. Sure they've got a lot of people who are only average, but you have to remember people like Michael Abrams who helped John Carmack with some of the trickier parts of Quake. Or Dave Cutler, one of the architects of VMS. I could be wrong, but it seems to me MS's problems are in the nature of its corporate culture, not its programmers. Besides, it's always safer to overestimate the "enemy" :).

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