Microsoft's claims that it will ask distributors and users to pay royalties for up to 235 of its patents included in open-source software, including Linux, is clearly an attempt to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt and make people hesitant to use open source as an alternative to commercial products, intellectual property (IP) attorneys said. [...] ... Microsoft's unwillingness to specifically identify which patents are being violated also shows that it is less than serious about initiating litigation, which may suggest that the company knows it will be a tough battle, Meyer said. "If Microsoft wanted a lawsuit, they would have brought the lawsuit first," he noted. The only way to force Microsoft legally to show which patents are being infringed is for a Linux distribution company, such as Red Hat Inc., or other open-source vendors who think they may be violating patents to bring a summary judgment in court against the company. That would require Microsoft to sue them in order to collect royalties, he said. Mark Wine, an IP lawyer and partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Los Angeles, agreed that Microsoft is hoping companies will pay without a fight rather than engage it in a legal battle. He also said that Microsoft may be trying to drive open-source software users toward its own products. "I think it's as much a marketing move as anything else," Wine said. "If you're really serious, you sit down and have a discussion, and you tell [open-source users] which patents, or you sue them." ... Linux evangelist Eric Raymond seems to think the patents at issue fall under the latter category. "It is nearly as certain that those patents are all junk," he said in an e-mail interview. "If Microsoft had sound and critically relevant patents to assert, they wouldn't need to screw around with vague threats. They'd simply publish the patent numbers and it would be game over for Linux." Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft vice president of intellectual property and licensing, said that although Microsoft won't discuss specific patents publicly, it has discussed them in private with companies like Novell Inc. that it struck deals with to exchange patent royalties for indemnification against litigation. Microsoft's recent claims are an attempt to avoid going to court rather than to pick a legal battle with open-source companies, he said. "What we've done is we've come up first with a licensing mechanism that is a reasonable [way] for companies in the business of distributing open-source software to reach an understanding [with us]," Gutierrez said.
InfoWorld: So then it can have an opposite effect. Do you think Microsoft is just blowing smoke with its threats against Linux that they talked about this week regarding alleged [patent] violations or is there something to it? Hansson: I think they're doing the techniques that they've used successfully in the past. I think FUD'ing people up and making them insecure -- is Linux going to be sued out of existence? Am I wrong to base my entire infrastructure on open source? Creating all that fear, doubt and uncertainty is what Microsoft does really well. And [...] of course, seeing something like this, it's got to be so frustrating to people, the good forces within Microsoft who do understand open source and do want to get developers who are sympathetic to the open-source movement to get involved with their technologies. How persuasive an argument is it going to be now that Silverlight is this open platform and you can come play, and by the way we're suing everything else you build your business on? It's not going to be very persuasive. And I think it really sends so many mixed messages, and it seems like there's a war going on inside Microsoft. Like [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer on one side pushing this FUD line against Linux and other open-source and open standards, and then you have somebody like [Microsoft Chief Software Architect] Ray Ozzie, who seems to be more with the times in getting that Microsoft can't invent its own universe forever and just ask people to come over. So I do hope that the Ray Ozzie side of a more open approach, a more inclusive strategy, is going to work.
|“||And then you have somebody like [Microsoft Chief Software Architect] Ray Ozzie, who seems to be more with the times in getting that Microsoft can't invent its own universe forever and just ask people to come over||”|
—David Heinemeier Hansson
And I'm a free software fanatic. So that's quite a clash of values.
There's no love lost between Microsoft and the open-source industry, and it's been clear for years that the software giant sees open source as a threat. Before Linux became the widely used operating system for commodity servers from Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc., Windows Server was the top choice for low-end servers. Microsoft has also seen open-source products threatening to commoditize key areas of its business, including worker productivity software, customer relationship management software and developer tools.
Rather than adding features to Vista that would make business users want to adopt it, the operating system's distinguishing characteristic is the addition of an engine that will shut down users' access to the operating system if they are using a counterfeit or pirated version, he said. "Why do people want to switch to an OS that just includes new hurdles that have to be cleared?" he asked. Microsoft may have decided that enforcing its IP through litigation is more important than offering innovative software that can compete on its own merits -- a strategy that may leave many users unimpressed, Meyer said. "It's just friction that doesn't advance the ball," he said. "It's tough for people to get behind this, even if it's part of our Constitution [to prevent patent infringement]."
First, there's not enough good in Vista to convince users to "upgrade" to it. And lately I've been hearing Windows users, not Linux fans, describe Vista as "Windows ME II." Windows ME, for those of you who have forgotten that miserable failure, was perhaps Microsoft's most mediocre version of Windows. It was, in brief, not very good, and now I'm hearing the same sorts of things from Vista users.
... The reason for this is probably that this would be an embarrassingly long list. I've also found many mainstream applications that will either not run at all or not run well with Vista. ... And, that's really the point. Even if Vista were gloriously perfect, I really don't see any good reason for most users to upgrade to it. Now, Microsoft is already telling us that we should upgrade as soon as possible, and, while we're at it, we should also move up to Office 2007. I'm not buying it. I'm not buying it for the same reason some friends of mine gave me for not upgrading from Office 97: It's not broken, so they don't see any need to fix it. If what you have works for you, then you really don't need to upgrade to Vista, or for that matter, anything else. There's a lot to be said for sticking with what already works best for you, and don't let any vendor tell you otherwise.
John Sullivan (2006-12-15). BadVista.org: Time to jump — BadVista (http://badvista.fsf.org/blog/article-from-the-fsf-bulletin).
As activists perhaps we imagine ourselves as marginally more self-aware versions of the famous frogs waiting for their soup to boil. We know the evaporation of freedom tends to approach at a slow, deliberate pace, and that those seeking its evaporation hope this recipe will maximize their efficiency while minimizing our objections. But sometimes, the cooks get greedy. They crank up the temperature because they are late, their guests are waiting on them, and they need things to happen faster. At moments like this, we either jump out of the pot, or we cede a sizable portion of our livable space all at once. We are now facing such a moment with the release and possible adoption of Microsoft Vista, a moment where there could be a massive and sudden reduction in the freedom of computer users. In March, Microsoft announced a $500 million business marketing campaign, calling it their “largest ever”. Much of this budget will be devoted to promoting Vista. By the time you read this, Vista will likely be shipping to large commercial outfits (though at the time of this writing we are still reluctant to underestimate their capacity for delay). It is scheduled to be available for imposition on individual users at the end of January 2007. Already for the last several months, technical journalists have been reviewing the release candidate versions of Vista. The success of the free software movement and of campaigns against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) like DefectiveByDesign.org can be seen in the priority these journalists have been giving in their reviews to criticisms of the new restrictions and limitations imposed by Microsoft. To seize this moment, the Free Software Foundation has launched BadVista.org, a campaign with a twofold mission of interrogating Vista and spotlighting free software alternatives. The campaign will comprise the organization of supporters into effective and unusual direct actions protesting Microsoft's daylight theft of our freedoms, the aggregation of news stories critical of Vista, and the provision of a user-friendly gateway to free software adoption. Microsoft Vista is an upsell masquerading as an upgrade. It is an overall downgrade and regression. It is a ruse to compel the further transfer of control over peoples' computers to an external and mysterious certification authority with peculiar standards of “genuine”. It is a ploy to artificially motivate the purchase of expensive, unnecessary hardware. With this campaign, we will ensure that each time reporters mention Vista, they will be comparing it not to Windows XP or Mac OS/X, but to gNewSense and other free software distributions. By making our criticisms from a place of freedom, we will ensure that comparisons focus on the ethical relationship between user and software — not only on which system has the better graphical transparency or the superior benchmark performance. Our aggregation of all the bad news about Vista will be a valuable resource available for anyone trying to write an honest assessment. In the past, we have often found that the primary obstacle encountered when asking a friend, family member, or workplace to try a free software operating system is the effort required to change the operating system at all. But over the course of the next several months, this suggestion will look much more reasonable next to the alternative — a painful and complicated Vista downgrade. In the same vein, it is sometimes difficult for computer users without much technical knowledge to relate concretely to the reasons we in the free software movement are so concerned with the ethics of software distribution. But from the reviews we've seen so far, it is apparent that through its overt shackling of users and its boldly invasive “security” mechanisms, Vista will make our case for us, compellingly. You can help us expose Microsoft's business marketing campaign as the “largest ever” power grab that it is. Visit BadVista.org and join the ongoing conversation about best practices to promote free software during this critical rollout attempt. Create and participate in direct actions to keep freedom at the head of the Vista debate as it comes to a boil. The movement for free software is not merely a movement against Microsoft, of course. But let's make sure their $500 million soup turns out to be a feast for free software.
[Deception (category)][Digital Restrictions Management (category)] Trusted computing... It refers to the fact that microsoft will be able to trust your computer not to do anything they don't want you to. Typical marketing speak also used by lobyists and politicians. They don't lie, they just didn't mean it the way you'd expect it if you assumed they were sincere to you.
I second jewellz' advise about focusing on the positive. I welcome campaigns like this for supporting us in trying to win more individuals and organisations over to Free Software. However, the biggest concern I come up against from M$ slaves is that Free Software advocates are political fundamentalists and not concerned with practical issues. If we stay positive, we'll continue to demostrate that our use of Free Software is *entirely* concerned with practical issues.
I laud and support your intention and your efforts, I totally agree that Microsoft has become not a good thing, and I would love to see your initiative take off. However, the fact that you are promoting gNewSense as the only named alternative in your ideal press release, as far as I have seen so far, worries me. I am no marketing expert, my knowledge extends to reading a few books, and failing fairly convincingly to sell any of my little product! However, I am very concerned about your statement that "With this campaign, we will ensure that each time reporters mention Vista, they will be comparing it not to Windows XP or Mac OS/X, but to gNewSense and other free software distributions. " Here's why. Successful Internet sales sites go out of their way to make buying a simple effortless no brainer one click operation. Seth Godin calls this 'smoothness'. Seth Godin wrote The Idea Virus, and kicked into gear a whole new marketing paradigm. It is all about how to start a craze, how to make your product the one everyone wants, the one everyone has to have. One of his most fundamental principles is that stuff starts to take off when people start hearing from it from lots of different sources. Then they look it it, they may want it, they may buy it. They may have to have it! The more they get the impression that lots of other people are doing it, the more likely they are to do it, by a factor of tens or hundreds, not just one or two. that is how crazes get going. The message gets around, this is great stuff. It's word of mouse, and, on occasions, it sweeps thought the entire global culture. This can only work if it is a absolutely crystal clear what it is, and why it's great. And it has to be simple. People need one click stuff. Doing anything other than Windows is a big step, too big for most. If they're going to take that step, they have to know exactly where they are going. Now, gNewSense sounds very interesting, but I have never heard of it before, and I have been using Linux for a few years now. I am no expert, I'm a programmer, and I still find Linux hard work quite often. If I want to switch someone from vista to a free and honest alternative, I'm going to promote something promote the best there is, the best, the most accessible, the most user friendly, the most immediately available, and, most importantly of all, something people might have already heard of. I'm going to talk about Ubuntu, and probably fedora, and possibly SUSE. But, most likely, if I want to make a difference, I will just talk about Ubuntu, for all the reasons given above. Ubuntu gets in the press, it sounds nice, it is about nice things, the name means something nice. It's nice! People like nice things, but they're not going to do anything about it, not unless they are 'early adopters', and there is a shortage of those who don't know about all this stuff already. People aren't going to have a go at Linux until they've heard about it quite a few times, and they've met a few people who use it, and it's there in their magazine occasionally; all of which is starting to happen. Lots of people are talking about Vista, and quite a large percentage are probably not that thrilled about the costs, and the rumours of the whole thing being one gigantic spyware operation. But they'll shrug their shoulders and go along anyway, most of them, because there is nothing else to do. In all fairness, Linux is in many ways where windows was ten years ago. Granted it is also light years ahead of windows in some ways, but as far as the consumer is concerned, there is a huge barrier. You have to be an expert to install software, or dead lucky. One way or another, you are likely not to be able to install anything and everything you want on a Linux system, unless you stick to Firefox and Thunderbird. I have a folder of about 75 programs, all of which I downloaded because they looked interesting, and couldn't install in the time I had available. Windows is one click. This is the cliff that getting strangers interested in Linux has to climb. One day Linux will be one click too. Until that day, there is a major problem. To get around that problem we need to let people know that it is worth it, that it is important to make the effort, that this is not only going to pay off for you the individual, but it is a good thing to do as well. It's not an easy sell, people, busy, stressed not necessarily terribly technical people, by and large, would rather fork out their £150, £275, whatever, and put up with the iffy stuff. And go do something else with their time. So, it is not an easy sell. In my view, 'we', and by this at this point I mainly mean you, need to take the easiest and directest possible path to the objective. My view is that movements like this need to pick as specific an objective as possible, and stick to it. 'Not vista' may work as a headline, but as an objective it will never fly. Negative goals always have a fraction of the effectiveness of positive goals. The objective is to interest consumers to move to somewhere, somewhere specific, with some very specific benefits. They need to be able to hear the sound bite, again and again, and then shrug their shoulders and go "why not". And have a go. And that will work. Giving up smoking is hard, and it only works properly if something as good or better is put in its place. Giving up windows is hard as well, it works, it is easy. It gives you headaches, but then so does smoking, and people go right on doing it. It's nice at the time, easy, quick, gets you where you want to go, makes you feel how you want to feel, or seems to. Vibrant health is a hellavlot better than smoking, all the time, but it takes a bit of getting there, and most people don't bother. Being in charge of your own computer is, at present, a similarly challenging task. We need to make it very attractive, very doable, and very specific in what one can move to. You can have a free, powerful, secure, virus free computer system, which does everything you want it to do ( provided you don't want to play a lot of modern games ), all you have to do is to get to know how to use it. And then you are free of Microsoft, and your information on your hard drive is secure, and yours alone. As you so rightly say, now is a great time to be doing this. As ms launches an expensive, hardware hungry new operating system, which won't work unless it phones home every day, and already has significant issues of vulnerability and incompatibilities, they may be providing a huge fulcrum on which to move the global market of computer buyers one way or another. With Windows, we only ever get to use someone else's software, it remains the property of Microsoft, and they can do pretty much whatever they want with it, legally! Owning your own information space is the steak we want to eat, what we have to sell is the sizzle, the aroma, the satisfied grin. Microsoft don't need to be marketing geniuses, though they may be, they can throw a few million dollars at the media if they need to, on a daily basis! But freedom is freedom, and if it is marketed right, even on a microscopic budget, it will probably win. Freedom is the word, but it needs to be presented in a manner which an ordinary person can grasp immediately, and relate to easily. Getting philosophical will lose the battle as surely as getting technical. This is a simple issue. All it needs is a simple, straigtforward, ready solution, and a ton of airing, and it could be a walkover. Just my - rather long - tuppence worth, hope it is of some use.
how is a rpm picked from a list not one click? have you used mandriva? you can pick stuff off the install like "desktop" and "gaming"
There's always a learning curve in any new undertaking, and it is unlikely that Linux will ever be a clone of M$; however, that does not mean that Linux is not a viable alternative. In March of this year I started dual booting with Xandros. In September, after switched to SuSE, I found I was spending less than 10% of my computing time in Windows. I attend graduate school full time and thought I needed Office.... I didn't ---I now use only Linux (Ubuntu-edgy alternate). I have everything I need. It took time to become familiar with Linux, and I am still learning; but I have so much more now than I ever had with M$... most of all I am no longer crashing and losing documents that I cannot afford to lose. I wanted to use Linux and FOSS because it's available to everyone; it's not just for the few who have the money to buy upfront. As an educator I want to see the digital divide end, preferably in my life time, and supporting FOSS as an affordable alternative for Everyone plays a very important role in my motivation to learn. Yet, the benefits are also personal, I have a safer, faster, and simply better computing experience.
digitalb made a valid point: > but it is not that easy just to jump to a new OS, I have hardware that doesn't work with Linux, I cant afford buying new printers and what now just because I dont like Microsoft. I think that's what they call "vendor lock-in"*. Personally, I hate to be locked-in. I value my freedom. And that's precisely the freedom that Free Software is all about. The FSF's campaigns against DRM and so-called "Trusted Computing" (DefectiveByDesign and BadVista) have a valid point: It's not at all about being able to copy music and movies, nor about the $200 you pay for Vista. It's about preventing ever more severe lock-in: - Does any developer want to ask Microsoft/Apple/Dell/nVidia/whoever for permission to write and run Free Software on hardware they own? - Imagine the lock-in of being unable to open documents that you created with the software of your choice, just because the creator of that software didn't pay his trustworthiness toll? To let the software/hardware industry know that we don't support this, consumers as well as technologists will have to speak out. That's what we're doing. Vista is just a very prominent target. (Promoting Free Software as a viable alternative is a nice side effect, of course. ;-) (*) I'm lucky, it seems, I'm not having any trouble with any hardware on GNU/Linux. But just like with the "Designed for Windows" seal, it's always a good idea to check on the web whether some piece of hardware you're about to buy is "Designed for Free Software".
It doesn't matter in the end of the day if Novell is participating with Microsoft or the other way round. Essentially it is certainly a good move that they DO. Because participation will get more positive results than flaming each other. This is the only way that business can evolve. Novell Suse Linux is based on Open Source, but you give readers the wrong impression and make them think that Suse is now Microsoft, which in actual fact it is not. Novell and Microsoft are about to work on document compatibility issues etc that gives a greater user experience for both Microsoft and Linux users - so, what's wrong with that? Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that at all, in fact I'd like to see more and more companies (Software and Hardware Vendors) coming out of their dark offices in the sunshine and talk to each other on how they can make a better OS world. Let's take it little by little and we will see positive results.
These are very good points you outlined. It's soo damn true what you say. The end-user looses interest if they have to type endless lines of commands in the shell just to figure that they have to start from the beginning because the install didn't work or the compile from source was not well enough documented. Neither are they going to wait weeks if not months for an answer to their question on some random Linux Geek Forum - with that and good luck they might get a reply " did you read the manual?"... Argue that as long as you wish, but it's true and very sad reality. However, yes, the Linux OS is desktop-ready and will make it at some point in the future to the TOP OS - I am certain about that, because Linux IS the better OS. But as mentioned above, it needs polishing-up.
I'd like to add to rorgath's and ibyte's comments on usability: I've installed a number of GNU/Linux distributions in the past, and I can say that it's surely no more complicated than installing Windows. (Except when Windows comes pre-installed... ;-) No command-line hacking is needed; help is included in the installation wizards; when you buy a shrink-wrapped GNU/Linux distribution, you'll often get printed manuals. With gNewSense (just as with Ubuntu and others), it works like this: Boot from the live CD to a usable desktop, click through the installation wizard, then maybe browse the web or write e-mail *while the installation is in progress* in the background. (Just tried that today. Flawless.) About hardware support: Most of the hardware is unproblematic. GNU/Linux will auto-detect and auto-configure it. Then there's hardware that _is_ problematic because the manufacturers won't release the specifications. WinModems, some kinds of printers, some wireless devices come to mind. Trying to convince manufacturers to cooperate is part of what the FSF does. About installing applications: How's it going to be easier than, say, "Add/Remove" in gNewSense or Ubuntu? There's a GUI with hundreds or thousands of packages to choose from. Just click it and it'll be installed. Those applications that don't come with the distribution often have pre-compiled packages for the major distributions, so it's as simple as double-clicking "setup.exe". And compiling from sources (an alpha version of some software, maybe) is something only experts will want to do anyway. There's no difference to Windows here. About quality of Help: I agree that this is important and that there's always room for improvement. Many GNU/Linux applications already provide excellent on-line help but it's also an area where almost all Free Software projects will gladly accept contributors.
... On the Windows front the situation didn't materialize exactly the same, but there is one similarity and one very different but pervasive addition. Through various schmooze deals with the hardware vendors over the years, Microsoft has strong-armed their way to the point that an average consumer can't buy a brand named PC without Windows and a lot of other Microsoft crap, excuse me, software already installed and paid for. Unfortunately most consumers don't know that there is or ever was alternatives to Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, etc. and wouldn't buy it anyway because they are perfectly happy with the "Free" stuff that came with their PC. Of course the other major application vendors, what there are left of them, are only going to develop their applications to run on Windows because it's the dominate OS. That's exactly what happened to OS2 an available OS for the PC platform that was technically light years ahead of Windows. In fact, most Windows programs would run in OS2. So, why didn't OS2 dominate the market. Same old story. Windows came with the computer and major Application vendors wouldn't port their applications to take advantage of OS2. The ironic part of this scenario is that most of those application vendors are now non-existent or minor players at best. By hook or crook, Microsoft has managed to push them aside. So there you have it. Good by Linux as a dominate or even competitive PC desktop OS! [...] I hope I'm wrong, but based on what I've experienced and witnessed over nearly 30 years I don't think so. So, continue with your effort and good luck, you'll need it.
As a long time GNU/Linux user and long time Microsoft basher/hater, I applaude the creators of this site. The things I read about Vista bother me, not because it is a new product by Microsoft, but about the rights management (infringement) I have been reading concerning vista. Microsoft has a history of corporate underhandedness, as eloquently illustrated by most of the other posters, and I do not trust the company at all. I will not be a vista customer. What angers me is the possibility that vista will affect hardware designs [?], to the potential detriment of the entire computing community, not just Microsoft users. Fortunately, the FOSS community has some very intelligent people who will, I'm sure, be capable of forging on in the face of adversity. I do my part in trying to educate users. I moderate several GNU/Linux boards, and regularly lecture on FOSS at my local community college. I am surprised at the number of people who have no idea there is anything else out there besides Microsoft. I certainly blame Microsoft for this, and it is my hope that vista will instead be their downfall, instead of a panacea as they probably wish.
[...] Then I saw the BadVista.org website and I was worried because this website is ulgy, difficult to navigate, and links to only gNewSense. In "The Tipping Point", Gladwell says trends are started by Innovators and spread to the Early Adopters. It is then the job of the Early Adopters to "translate" the trend so that it will be adopted by the Early and Late Majorities. This translation often involves some perversion of the trend. This disturbed me because I started thinking that the only way for Free Software to reach the tipping point was to embrace what Linspire, Xandros, and Mandriva have done. Then I realised that once Free Software (or some perversion of it) is widely adopted, the companies will have more levrage and can make everyone's computer Free. BadVista.org should be just that: Talking about how Vista is bad. It should focus on explaining the frailties of Vista and informing about *multiple* alternatives to Windows, not just the one sponsored by the FSF.
Since 1997, I have advocated Open Source Software, no DRM, GNU/Linux,& *BSD. Linux Counter User #65xxx. http://counter.li.org and have converted one person/business each week, on average, to Open Source. Please join the movement, if you haven't, yet. Thanks to all who have promoted FREEdom! We are the future! Because 'Open Source' is a million developers, 100 million users, None (or, very few!) of whom have the money that Microsoft has to toss around to push their pathetic products, all the "news" seems to be about Microsoft. Microsoft even controls all the banner ads on the web, including much of the Open Source websites! Bill Gates once stated something equivalent to "crap software would rule the market if enough money was behind promoting it!". But, even though we don't have the wealth to promote the truth of our individual Rights to ownership of data, Open Source still is winning, because of the transparency of Microsoft's deceit. Make 2007 the Year of Open Source! Visit http://pclinuxos.com and http://livecdlist.com Grab the future for yourself and your children! Microsoft might have been convicted as a multiple convicted Felon Monopolist and thief, on many continents, and their probation extended in America for two more years, but, the laws seem toothless, and the con-game continues with Vista! We can break the monopoly! There is grumbling in the ranks of the "Trusted Partners", and our demands for Open Source drivers and OSes in our new purchases of hardware are starting to alert the Marketing departments of the Fortune 1,000!
Several posts mentioned the problems with incompatible hardware. Well, this is indeed part of the problem and yet another reason why the steady whittling down of Microsoft's dominance is important. I have no idea whether MS applies any pressure to hardware vendors, but I think it will be fairly safe to assume that vendors approaching MS for driver certification aren't encouraged to also make drivers available for Linux etc ! As long as it's easy (and profitable) for hardware vendors to simply ignore anything that isn't Windows, we will continue to have this problem. So it's important to engage the vendors, some of whom will have limited development budgets, and persuade them that there IS a market for their wares in a non-MS world. Some vendors have been criticised for only providing closed-source drivers. I only have personal experience with nVidia - but at least they DO provide a way to use their products with linux. Yes we can, and should, encourage them to be more open - but we really should not be criticising them for providing drivers in the first place which seems to be the case with some hard-core enthusiasts. That leads on to another perceived problem with open source - that the proponents are hard core anti-commercialists. It's an image that needs working on - after all, if you are trying to make a living (and don't understand what 'free' is about), are you going to get enthusiatic when someone comes along and tells you that you are evil if you don't give everything away for nothing ? I think it's already happening, but we need to shift away from 'free' (which can be taken as meaning 'free beer') and emphasize the 'open'. And to the small minority who do seem to hold that view, please lighten up ! So, we need to engage with those companies that don't yet support open drivers and work with them so that they can understand the benefits to them of either providing the information required to write a driver, or providing it themselves. Labelling them as evil, or as puppets of the Redmond regime, and other such derogatory terms does nothing positive. I suspect in many cases there is nothing more sinister than a failure to realise that there is a market for their products, or a lack of knowledge in HOW to support open source.
... Aren't some of our greatest Capitalists (trains and steel) now referred to as robber-barrens in hindsight; history repeats. ... "It didn't have the IBM name" Guess it's time to release the GNU/PC. FYIs: DirectX 10 will be available for XP. Remember what happened when Win98's update support was going to be dropped. Consumer outcry, cooperate back-lash and continued update support. MS and Bill don't get flamed for being stupid. TPM can be disabled, but what if your OS requires that it's enabled. Development firms, software and hardware wise don't like being lock-in. Sometimes; "This is the only way that business can evolve." IT IS time to jump, so others can walk.
shadrach: I though I was quite clear, but here we go: Argumentum ad Hominem: If you are discussing the advantages and disadvantages of Window Vista, calling other people "kool-aid drinking socialist nutjobs" is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with the discussion. It is an attack of the character instead of forming an argument based on facts. Ignoratio elenchi: Your conclusion is that because Microsoft has sold the majority of operating systems, that operating systems would not be as advanced today without them. This is a false conclusion. The user-friendly operating system was not created by Microsoft. Beyond that, the fact that Microsoft is a largely successful company is irrelevant in the discussion of the value of software freedom. As for your implicit allegation that Free-Market Economics and Free Software are incompatible, I would point out that Red Hat, a company that sells Free Software, is listed on the NYSE and has turned a $105.8 million this last quarter.
shadrach, You seem to have misunderstood what we mean by free software here. We're referring to freedom, not price. The FSF has nothing against making free (as in freedom) software for a profit, and is in no way socialist. Lots of commercial free software is made, by companies such as Novell and Red Hat, which is celebrated by people in the free software movement. Many people believe that free software fits in better with the capitalist free market system than proprietary software, because it allows a free market for support and modification of the software, rather than a monopoly. If if it was illegal for anyone to repair and customise a car other than the manufacturer, people wouldn't think that was very fair and appropriate for the free market system. This campaign against Vista isn't because Microsoft is making money from it, it's because it doesn't respect its users' freedom to share it and change it to do what they want it to.
"If linux were everything you think it is.. Then don't use Microsoft." Careful reading of the posts above will reveal that this idea has already occurred to a number of contributors. "Ever heard of capitalism? Oh, sorry I forgot your a bunch of socialists." I've heard of it. It's predicated on everlasting growth so, in the long term, it must be a flash in the pan. In this respect it's like all the other *isms that ignore the perils of human population growth and finite resources - a bit silly really. Capitalism is usually interpreted as. When Microsoft's nose has been rubbed in it for anti-competitive behaviour, it's happened under . This suggests that not all capitalists are happy with Microsoft. "MS got where it is by providing products that... actually work" Can you name one? I recently spent forty minutes writing a "cool" control for a friend's web site, followed by five weeks making it work in Internet Explorer 6. Maybe you can convince me that IE6 actually works? I and thousands of others actually do write software that works, largely without the help or, more importantly, hindrance, of the Redmond clowns. I resent your likening me to Microsoft, falsely, on that account. Where-Microsoft-is seems to be a state of venal success and a level of technical bungling that makes it a global laughing stock. The sooner it's knocked off its perch, the better for the world's computer users. "No microsoft? Computers would be stuck in the 80's" In the '70s we had stable operating systems and we could land aircraft using 256K of memory. The only drawback I can see to being stuck before the '80s is that Microsoft would be about to despoil the picture. Oh, and the possibility of being declared insane for predicting that in thirty years people will need two Gb of RAM to write an office memo. "you may have 1/8th of the users you currently have today and almost none of the conveniences you love today" Yes, IBM and SUN failed to serve the computing world on particularly favourable terms. No, Gates wasn't necessary for someone to think of pile it high and sell it cheap. No, the imposition of Microsoft bugwear is not a convenience. It is a blight, and no longer cheap blight. This site exits to help purchasers grasp that it is not inevitable. I have yet to understand how that aim maps onto socialism. "Give capitalism a try, or move to China and get a free laptop running Linux. Then your life would be sooo much better" I don't like the administrations of China or America. From talking to Chinese and black Americans I think the latter might find relief from some aspects of your capitalist Utopia in other cultures, and they could find it rivals a Linux laptop in subjective importance. If you like bugs, dismal security, bloat, and lock-in then you are free to choose Microsoft. I don't like these things, and I don't need any political pseudo-theory to help me dislike them.
I'm soon going to be looking for a new computer. Trouble is, a lot of what's commercially available in terms of off-the-shelf systems (you know, HP, Compaq, Dell et al.) are all on the Vista train. Meaning, you don't get a choice. These companies push their product on price point and trying to get people to believe they're getting Windows for free (they're not), so why wouldn't they get on the Vista bandwagon to get volume licence deals from M$? I'd love to buy an Apple. Nice, but too rich for my blood. Still too few Mac-based programs equivalent to Windows versions, and what's out there is expensive. ... So, like it or not, until the Linuxsphere becomes more unified and easier to use with more reliable software choices, I'll probably just get a dealer to build me a windows XP box (forget Vista!) and hope and pray that MS doesn't choke off support for XP in the next couple of years (as in, no more service packs) to force more people onto the Vista bandwagon. It's an unholy mess we're moving into - MS is behaving in an anti-competitive manner to say nothing of becoming tyrannical, Apple's not cheap (it too is in the DRM game) and Linux, while noble in spirit, is tooand to compete. ...
While there are a thousand minor annoyances and problems with any open-source Vista competitor, don't expect people to jump ship. The fact that every Linux package seems to do things in it own individual way is the other edge of the "made in lots of little pieces by lots of well-meaning, strong-willed individuals". I moved my dad over to SUSE from Windows. It was not a pleasant experience. Mainly for the number of small differences between different applications. Have you ever tried to actually talk someone through sending mail with an attachment from Thunderbird? Or tried to explain why sometimes single-click selects and initiates an action, and other times double-click then right mouse button is required? And we have developers spending their time inventing 3D desktops with rotating views. When I can't get a dual display setup working without having to spend 1-2 days of research and hacking a text file. The cats need to be herded more. If they are not, we'll continue to get inconsistent software that is hard to understand by the general public.
I agree with the sentiment that FLOSS is more compatible with a free market than proprietary software. There is room for both. However, the freedom of the market is being restrained by Microsoft's OEM agreements and massive lobbying/"arm twisting" efforts in governments and corporations around the world. Fortunately there are freedom lovers around the world including here in the USA who are rejecting Microsoft's strong-arm tactics. While I am happy with the efforts of many to promote Linux and open source software at Dell's ?idealab? website... I feel that we send a bigger message by shifting our purchases to manufacturers who do support us... such as system76.com store.madtux.org sub300.com penguincomputing.com emperorlinux.com and others. I feel that FLOSS is unstoppable and will continue to spread into even the hardware and other products as time goes on. FLOSS has a unifying element of freedom and liberty that cannot be fully extinguished. So long as there is freedom of speech and freedom of property ... the influence of FLOSS will grow.
... anyways, my point is that, for me, ive invested so much time and effort into using these apps that i feel like it would be such a downgrade to switch. the closes equivalent to the Music Programming apps (like Reaktor) that i use (mainly pd for linux) are such a step back for me that it is not worth it. i know if there were more of a demand for it, that devs would start releasing linux versions perhaps (although closed source probably, so maybe not), but honestly i cant justify switching over on ethics reasons alone, im realistic enough to know that my silent protest of Windows wont bring my favorite Windows apps to the new OS im on. ... [...] when Vista users read comments from Angry Linux users that never even tried Vista, telling them that their OS is a 100% downgrade from XP, and that they have no freedom in what they do with their machines anymore, well, to a causal Vista user this just seems ridiculous since that isn't what it feels like to them at all. about what i said about Graphics updates for Vista: anyone who says that its unimportant and just flash - remember who this is aimed at! i don't think this site is aimed at turning hardcore coders and hackers away from Vista! it's turning average Vista users away. and to a lot of users, the GUI is very important. like it or not. and by denying that, it just makes you look elitist. people don't want to feel stupid because they don't understand command lines. sorry for the long rant/babble, just trying to convey my reasons why i think this movement will need a lot of work, and A LOT more positivity! if someone tells me to stop using all of my favorite apps, and put in twice as much work in on a new OS that i will have to take months to learn, just because of ethical and political reasons (in an angry tone, with a lot of regurgitated facts and half-truths, like saying that Vista is still based on MS-DOS) no less, well, I'd think twice, and i think mr Joe Average Websurfer wouldn't think at all, they just go back to their Vista Machine and enjoy the pretty colors!
Have convinced me that they don't want just to play fair; they want to win at all costs.
By Joel Spolsky (June 13, 2004). How Microsoft Lost the API War - Joel on Software (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html).
Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers Remember the definition of an operating system? It's the thing that manages a computer's resources so that application programs can run. People don't really care much about operating systems; they care about those application programs that the operating system makes possible. Word Processors. Instant Messaging. Email. Accounts Payable. Web sites with pictures of Paris Hilton. By itself, an operating system is not that useful. People buy operating systems because of the useful applications that run on it. And therefore the most useful operating system is the one that has the most useful applications. The logical conclusion of this is that if you're trying to sell operating systems, the most important thing to do is make software developers want to develop software for your operating system. That's why Steve Ballmer was jumping around the stage shouting "Developers, developers, developers, developers." It's so important for Microsoft that the only reason they don't outright give away development tools for Windows is because they don't want to inadvertently cut off the oxygen to competitive development tools vendors (well, those that are left) because having a variety of development tools available for their platform makes it that much more attractive to developers. But they really want to give away the development tools. Through their Empower ISV program you can get five complete sets of MSDN Universal (otherwise known as "basically every Microsoft product except Flight Simulator") for about $375. Command line compilers for the .NET languages are included with the free .NET runtime... also free. The C++ compiler is now free. Anything to encourage developers to build for the .NET platform, and holding just short of wiping out companies like Borland.
The Two Forces at Microsoft
[...] The other camp is what I'm going to call the MSDN Magazine camp, which I will name after the developer's magazine full of exciting articles about all the different ways you can shoot yourself in the foot by using esoteric combinations of Microsoft products in your own software. The MSDN Magazine Camp is always trying to convince you to use new and complicated external technology like COM+, MSMQ, MSDE, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and its components, MSXML, DirectX (the very latest version, please), Windows Media Player, and Sharepoint... Sharepoint! which nobody has; a veritable panoply of external dependencies each one of which is going to be a huge headache when you ship your application to a paying customer and it doesn't work right. [...]
Outside developers, who were never particularly happy with the complexity of Windows development, have defected from the Microsoft platform en-masse and are now developing for the web. Paul Graham, who created Yahoo! Stores in the early days of the dotcom boom, summarized it eloquently:
There is all the more reason for startups to write Web-based software now, because writing desktop software has become a lot less fun. If you want to write desktop software now you do it on Microsoft's terms, calling their APIs and working around their buggy OS. And if you manage to write something that takes off, you may find that you were merely doing market research for Microsoft.
[...] For example, WinFS, advertised as a way to make searching work by making the file system be a relational database, ignores the fact that the real way to make searching work is by making searching work. Don't make me type metadata for all my files that I can search using a query language. Just do me a favor and search the [...] hard drive, quickly, for the string I typed, using full-text indexes and other technologies that were boring in 1973.
It's Not 1990
[...] This didn't matter when the PC industry was growing like wildfire, but now that the world is saturated with PCs most of which are Just Fine, Thank You, Microsoft is suddenly realizing that it takes much longer for the latest thing to get out there. When they tried to "End Of Life" Windows 98, it turned out there were still so many people using it they had to promise to support that old creaking grandma for a few more years.
Unfortunately, these Brave New Strategies, things like .NET and Longhorn and Avalon, trying to create a new API to lock people into, can't work very well if everybody is still using their good-enough computers from 1998. Even if Longhorn [Vista] ships when it's supposed to, in 2006, which I don't believe for a minute, it will take a couple of years before enough people have it that it's even worth considering as a development platform. Developers, developers, developers, and developers are not buying into Microsoft's multiple-personality-disordered suggestions for how we should develop software.
In light of the microsoft antitrust. The federal government has continued to give Microsoft a pass. I feel each computer manufacturer should have been mandated to offer at least two operating systems on their pc's. When a consumer chooses an OS and registers that product . Only then should the OS provider be paid. This ensures that smaller OS companies have an opportunity for revenue and further development. Think of this, Microsoft is a multi-billion dollar company with hundreds of engineers and programmers it has taken them five years to bring Vista to market. a product that really is still based on DOS .Other companies Like Suse and Ubuntu have products that really are equally as good as vista. And remember these companies don't have the financial resources and unfair advantage Microsoft has. Microsoft by default does not really have to build a better product. because of their unfair advantage. If Microsoft was a automaker their product would consistently be recalled.
Get the Linux Genuine Advantage™! http://www.linuxgenuineadvantage.org/
I believe you can no longer reply to threads after they have been "inactive" for 60 days. It's a Google rule.
So use a Usenet newsgroup poster - you can find plenty of free ones and you can use outlook, though I dislike MS products, preferring to use a newsreader called Secret Agent.
Why is that?
Because I used to be a Microsoft Engineer - I got my MCSE in 2000 or 2001 (NT was the in thing then... I am SO out of date, but Music was more important, as now is Martial Art and Writing).
Microsoft is a monopoly and I dislike genocide, as a rule.In this instance, software...
. Even worse than shooting Indians in the back...
Also, MS tends to release stuff and let the consumers bug test it, complaining and then releasing patches (the updates and service packs) to sort that out. Not the best way - Imagine if that happened to your car... The wheels and steering don't really work, so we'll wait for someone to crash and we can see what when wrong and THEN fix it, recalling all the cars and fixing them, if the people can be bothered...
Also, using something other than Outlook, though convenient, tends to be, once you are used to it's interface, a more useful tool - more options, the ability to access binaries (that means ANYTHING you want to download, if you look hard enough for it...) and a lot more options than Outlook offers.
Also, maybe most importantly, because it is not an MS product, it will not be targeted by most viruses, such as those that take your MS email system, exploit the holes (see above) and your ISP IP is flagged as a spam address, meaning you have more troubles sending emails to people with certain @addresses.
I'd always recommend using a non MS product - I dual boot with RedHat Linux - using windows only for games and a few other things that I absolutely have to and have no option but to...
By Joel Spolsky (June 13, 2004). How Microsoft Lost the API War - Joel on Software (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html).
Here's a theory you hear a lot these days: "Microsoft is finished. As soon as Linux makes some inroads on the desktop and web applications replace desktop applications, the mighty empire will topple." Although there is some truth to the fact that Linux is a huge threat to Microsoft, predictions of the Redmond company's demise are, to say the least, premature. Microsoft has an incredible amount of cash money in the bank and is still incredibly profitable. It has a long way to fall. It could do everything wrong for a decade before it started to be in remote danger, and you never know... they could reinvent themselves as a shaved-ice company at the last minute. [Funny (category)] [...] ... However, there is a less understood phenomenon which is going largely unnoticed: Microsoft's crown strategic jewel, the Windows API, is lost. The cornerstone of Microsoft's monopoly power and incredibly profitable Windows and Office franchises, which account for virtually all of Microsoft's income and covers up a huge array of unprofitable or marginally profitable product lines, the Windows API is no longer of much interest to developers. The goose that lays the golden eggs is not quite dead, but it does have a terminal disease, one that nobody noticed yet. ...
Microsoft (Category )