Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Monday, March 22, 2010

  • Mar 22 / 2010
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That Other OS Self-destructs…

Many of us have experienced the pain of malware on that other OS. It is no fun at all. It happens, too, that the defenses we put up to continue using that other OS bite. It happened recently that a bunch of software was quarantined by Bitdefender, rendering them inoperable: Windows systems downed by dodgy Bitdefender update.

Here we have had similar problems. The defence becomes about as bad as the malware. We will not put up with this much longer because we are migrating to GNU/Linux. Students’ PCs are going that way as fast as I can move them (20 are in the warehouse) and teachers will follow shortly. Apart from the storage problem this weekend we have had no issues with the GNU/Linux systems.

  • Mar 22 / 2010
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Lock-in, One Way or Another

There is news that M$ is planning to adopt HTML5, in IE9. That, combined with browser choice, should end the lock-in conceived to defeat Netscape in 1994, and destroyed the reputation of trust for M$ with the waves of malware in the following decade.

While the move to open standards should be welcomed, it comes with a move to lock people in on “the cloud”. For the time being, we at least have some competition there with Google and a few others in the game. We gain nothing if M$ manages to lock the world into their cloud and towing along that other OS as the client system for it. The monopoly will soon be gone, though. M$ will have to compete on price and quality if any browser and OS will do. Fortunately we know FLOSS thrives on servers and will continue to do so in the cloud or on a thick client or terminal server. My servers dance and provide a much better environment for users than that other OS.

The question remains whether the big guys can lock us in on the cloud so that the monopoly moves from the thick client to the cloud and nothing really changes regarding the cash-flow of the big guys. I think there is no way to get the same lock-in on the cloud unless you have to buy a subscription at the local big box store in order to do e-mail or whatever. I doubt people will be willing to “pay the tax” up-front. If M$ includes the price of the cloud in the price of a PC they could continue their old model but the real world is seeing constantly decreasing prices for PCs so that will not fly. M$ will have to really diversify and make money the old-fashioned way, by earning it. They can no longer glide along as a monopoly. Recent history shows that the world will move on faster than M$ can try to control it. All desperate measures:

  • feature bloat
  • OEM and retailer lock-in
  • tolerating illegal copying
  • using malware to slow PCs so new ones will be bought
  • file format changes forcing upgrading software and PCs
  • patent trolling
  • SCOG v World
  • trying to embrace and extend FLOSS

All will fail sooner or later. The world is rushing past all this noise. In an open world, FLOSS will have its day.