Visions of M$

Matt Asay wrote this on his blog, “Microsoft became the biggest software company in the world by creating an ecosystem of software that works well together.“. He was introducing his views on Apple’s software development model but this statement is just mind-boggling. Remember, M$ integrated Internet Exploder into Lose ’95 in order to create a jarring experience for users of Netscape. With that “innovation” they achieved 95% share on the desktop and introduced a decade of terrible malware and made life difficult for all other software developers who had to do the dance of “what browser?”. If the software on my Lose ’95 PCs could be described as “works well together”, I might never have left the fold. The things crashed every few hours. M$ produced terrible software that did not work well and used monopoly to gain/hold share. Their share has declined steadily since 2000 because of their lack of innovation and quality. While M$ has improved their quality they have built in so much complexity it never works will with other software.

I know I take the quotation out of context, but I found it a shocking view for someone of influence in Ubuntu. Later in the article he writes, “I didn’t like the Linux “desktop” until Lucid’s release.“. At the same time that M$ could not keep me happy for more than a few hours, GNU/Linux (eDesktop from Caldera Systems) purred for six months on five machines without a hitch. That was in 2000 and GNU/Linux has constantly improved since.

I am glad Mark Shuttleworth is the one working on the user interface… Matt Asay does not seem to be in touch with reality.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in technology. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Visions of M$

  1. We don’t usually share around the file-systems on our PCs. We can use the right tool for the job and make an informed choice of file-system unlike that other OS. I choose JFS because it is very stable. EXT3 has had some problems lately. I can improve the reliability of my systems by making that choice. It has nothing to do with interoperability. My users never see the nature of the file-system. They use the files in them.

    We put M$ on a higher standard, because it is a monopoly, not because I hate them. That is the law. A monopoly has to play nice with people or be punished. Unfortunately, monopoly pricing allows M$ to continue on. The laws as written are too weak and the OS too pervasive to make effective change. I can, however, install the OS of my choice. My present employer is quite happy with that. My employer wants performance that other OS cannot give. We should not have to buy new hardware to make M$ look good.

    If malware is not a problem for you, why is there a multi-billion dollar a year industry fighting malware? When I came here every staff member was running as Administrator and installing whatever on any PC they touched. I put a stop to that and still the machines last only a few months with some users. I have Sophos firewall and anti-virus running on most machines. It updates daily. I have automatic updates on. I have an actual router between the machines and the Internet where there was none before. Reasonable steps are insufficient to keep that other OS going. Check out the trends. Reinstall Linux is not even on the radar compared to reinstall that other OS.

    I do not spend my life hating M$. I spend my life installing GNU/Linux. There is a difference. This place had 20 PCs more or less operational with XP. Now they have 60 PCs operational with 40 running GNU/Linux. By June I expect only one or two XP machines to be still running. That is mostly a problem of file-conversion, not acceptance of GNU/Linux. Some folks are running Office and some are using MS Works… We are producing new files using ODF for report cards and attendance. Piece of cake but it is a chore to convert thousands of files back to the dawn of time.

    I don’t put off normal users. They are quite happy with my work. You, apparently, are not a normal user.

    If M$’s monopoly were due to the vast majority of users being happy with them, I would have no complaints. The people I see daily all hate M$ but used it so long because they did not know they had a choice. I have only one user on staff who says she does not want to try GNU/Linux no matter what. She has not seen it yet… The boss has arranged a professional development day where every staff member will get the chance to see and to use GNU/Linux. That will be the end of M$’s monopoly here. The number one thing users hate about M$ is that it is slow. They buy a new PC for use at home and it is still slow. The number two complaint is that M$ slows down with use. GNU/Linux boxes run fast and stay fast. I can reboot an old box in less than a minute with GNU/Linux but it takes minutes with XP. People are fed up with that. Everyone but you are aware that malware is a problem for XP. Here people actually spend money to fight malware, unsuccessfully. The malware artists produce 1000 new malwares daily and the anti-malware industry takes days to respond. That leaves a window of opportunity for the malware to get in. With GNU/Linux that is not a problem. I have a dozen further items on my long list of why I hate M$ and I do not dwell on them with normal users. Performance is a sufficient motivator and they see it daily. I will never forget the day an employer received two Vista machines with AMD64 X2 5000 CPU and 1 gB RAM. I booted one right out of the box for the intended user and he said, “Gosh, that’s slow…” He had previously used XP on a P3. I installed GNU/Linux for him and he was happy. That’s what a normal user thinks of M$.

  2. Darryl says:

    and the ODF standard has not also changed ?? Oh thats right ofcourse it has.

    You’re last comment is a strange and disjointed mix of issues you seem to pick at random to suit you’re argument. You keep bouncing from MS is bad to GNU/Linux is good. And try to confirm you’re ‘facts’ by parroting all the common ‘claims’ that everyone thinks normal users actually care about.

    Ofcourse GNU/Linux change file formats and methods probably more often than MS does. How stable are you ABI’s and API’s, Hard Drive file formats, so you use Rieser FS, or one of the dozen or so DIFFERENT file formats that are FOSS.

    But is it ok for GNU/Linux to do it, but if anyone else it’s somehow bad?

    ODF V 1.0, or is it 1.1 or 1.2 or 1.3 and being only 600 pages would indicate it’s poorly defined. This is proven by it’s lack of spreadsheet equation or standardization.

    And it’s 2010, and if you are still experiencing problems with MS viruses or malware then you really need to update you’re IT skills from circa 1999.

    Linux had a monopoly on netbooks, and what happend to that. Manufacturers put windows on them and that is what SELL’s. And like it or not shops stock things people buy and not things they dont.

    That is why you see MS as a monopoly, they provide products the vast majority of people are satisified with. It’s that simple.

    They dont care about idealogy, they want to get the job done.

    And you’re had you linux boxes running for 3 years thats great. I had my old XP box for over 8 years and never had a problem.

    Im not saying MS is perfect, far from it, but they are not criminal, their monopoly is a ‘natural’ one, achieved by providing a popular product. (not a bad business tactic). And they are not even a real monopoly, you can and do use Linux right. So you are not locked in.

    But to spend you’re life in bitter hatred against a software company is not healthy IMHO.

    And by reading you’re posts you dont even hold a clear idea in you’re own mind what exactly you are fighting.

    No more thana bull attacking a red cape.

    But thats you’re issue, if you want to spend you’re time doing that. Good for you. but it might be better to do something constructive. And mabey making you’re great GNU/Linux better. And not putting off ‘normal’ users. Who see you’re type as extreem.

    Good luck…

  3. Thank you for your comments. It is always good to hear others’ views.

    “I hate M$ because it chooses to make life difficult for everyone not using their stuff.”

    How do they do that ?

    They use many tactics like changing file formats. Since they have a monopoly, you pretty soon will encounter those file formats even if you do not use their software. They pushed through OOXML as an ISO standard even though it was impossible to implement (Office 2010 does not). It was 6000 pages of crap when ODF was only 600. ODF works but they have forced the world to spend tons of money trying to implement it.

    How about Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? They keep doing that to kill the competition even when there is not interest by consumers in what they produce. Did any consumer ask for IE to be integrated in Lose ’95? Nope. M$ used that technique to try to take over the web which was not theirs to manipulate.

    How about CIFS/SMB? They keep changing the protocols as fast as people catch up. The EU forced them to divulge the protocols and what did M$ do? Change them again. The change also introduced new gaping holes for malware.

    Where I am, 2/3 of our PCs now run GNU/Linux. That’s the only way I can keep PCs running. The power users kill an XP machine here in about two months even doubly firewalled, patched and anti-virused. I cannot replace them fast enough. Not one GNU/Linux machine has had any problem booting or slowing down in contrast. M$ makes my life difficult. I have better things to do with my time.

    Just try buying a PC with GNU/Linux or a naked PC in any of the big-box retail stores where consumers shop. M$ makes life difficult for them to the tune of many dollars. I have encountered many ordinary folk who have spent nearly $1000 on a PC and some hardware to go with it and they cannot get it to run. One Vista machine I worked on took 4 hours and we never did get the anti-virus to install. I have students installing on these old pieces of junk and getting good performance in 20 minutes from bare metal. Do the maths. M$ gets tens of billions of dollars for making about 300 million licences for client systems available each year. Who is doing all the work? The OEMs, consumers and the tech people they hire to fix the problems M$ causes. I have met people who find it cheaper to buy a new PC than to fix one they bought new last year. You can buy a new PC for $300 for the box but it can cost more than that in a year to have it deloused and re-installed. Some businesses budget more than $1000 per year per box to keep M$’s junk on the rails. I cannot even estimate the cost of running boxes with GNU/Linux. Stuff I installed on hundreds of machines is still running flawlessly three years later. On the LAN, all I have to do is visit a machine for a few seconds by script to check its health and they just keep running. The guy who took over my largest installation is laughing. He had more problems in the year with the PCs in the office than with the whole GNU/Linux system of 153 seats. He gives the servers lots of TLC just for the human contact they give… He’s the Maytag Repairman of IT.

    GNU/Linux is doing well in spite of the illegal tactics of M$. It’s on about 100 million PCs and making moves with OEMs. Even with M$ taking a big hit in price for netbooks, tens of millions of GNU/Linux netbooks are out there impressing people. This year ARM will take over the low end just like they have done in phones. GNU/Linux is doing very well for a system that does not advertise or suck in retailers. Many OEMs and retailers figure they cannot make money on the small margins in netbooks but ARM builders don’t care. ARM chips cost peanuts. GNU/Linux licences cost peanuts. They still have margin at $100. A $100 ARM device talking to a good server is much more economical and outperforms anything Wintel can provide. M$ is spending billions on its own servers, but will anyone come?

  4. Darryl says:

    Sure, hate speach is on one level effective, if you’re statements are even partially correct. And the hate in you padwin is strong.

    I find if I dont like to use something, I use something else.

    “I hate M$ because it chooses to make life difficult for everyone not using their stuff.”

    How do they do that ? I’ve ‘not’ used their stuff for many applications, even made my living from ‘using other stuff’. Mabey because im an IT specialist or just know what im doing but ive never had any problems using “other stuff” and being able to work with software from a wide range of sources. (including FOSS).

    What specific troubles do you have, again with WEB pages, ive never had a problem. But that might be just me, (knowing what im doing, or not visiting those kinds of sights).

    As I said linux is good, and so are the alternatives, just because MS is not good for you does not mean it’s not good for most people. And clearly it is good for most, because after 25 years they seem to be getting stronger and better rather than weakers.

    Whereas with GNU/Linux for the past 20 years all they have done is try to expand on UNIX.

    Ofcourse, if you want to run 2001 apps, and 256K machines, mabey linux is perfect for you.

    And I agree, you cant fool all the people all the time, but you can provides products and services people are willing to pay for that the vast majority is totally happy with, that does not contain unnessary baggage or politics and get’s the job done.

    It’s a simple equation, provide what users want and like and are willing to pay for, it’s an age old equation, that does not look at all challanged by GNU/Linux, no matter how many $$$$$$ you put in the title…

    I just feel GNU/Linux could be so much more than it is today, if it was not polluted by hate and zealots who cannot see the damage to the maturity and professionalism that GNU/Linux should be displaying. Sadly you ‘types’ have been pushing this line of attack following in RMS’s footsteps, and not see that it’s not working, and after 18 years mabey it’s time to think of another tactic.

    Like providing stability, maturity of community, Quality control and features and functions that are popular.

    Spending all you’re time, trying to have laws changed to suit you’re own adjenda never works, yet it’s almost all you see from FOSS along with a hatred for anything non-FOSS, or even things that ARE FOSS but ‘not in the spirit’ of FOSS.

    And some free advice, calling it M$ takes away most if not all you’re credability.

    And I dont think spending you’re life ‘hating’ a software company is that good for you.

    But it’s a ‘shooting the side of the barn’ type of thing, I see that. It’s so easy to be critical of MS, and you gotta hate something right !!.

    But attacking MS is a sport, and it’s just too easy, especially if you have blinders to issues and problems facing FOSS as well. and to consider FOSS perfect is again doing it a huge disservice.

    People should be critical of FOSS, (as well as MS), trying to make it better, calling anyone attacking FOSS evil, or a troll gives no feedback on how to improve FOSS. And stops people making informed comments or even offering assistance to make it better.

    At least when you’re dealing with FOSS you dont have to deal with a wall of hate filled anti-MS zealots trying to force “FREEDOM” on you. Most dont have time for hate, they just want to get the job done.

  5. But can our Office 2003 read your Office 2007 .docx? No. Not without some compromises.

    Browse to lots of websites with Opera/FireFox/Safari/Chrome and you get second-class display. It is not the fault of the browsers but the page is made IE-only. Look at the dance developers have to go through when writing pages to please all browsers. If M$ followed standards, that would be much less likely. Other standards-compliant browsers are part of the ecosystem, don’t you know?

    I like GNU/Linux because it’s great. We have most of our hardware from 2001-2004 and apps windows pop open in less than 2s and login takes 5s. With that other OS, some people go for coffee. Our clients have only 256 MB RAM. GNU/Linux is great. It gives superior performance with less cost/hardware.

    We should be an M$-free zone by the summer. 20 more GNU/Linux boxes go into production Tuesday. I am not forcing GNU/Linux on anybody. They want improved performance.

    I hate M$ because it chooses to make life difficult for everyone not using their stuff. That’s a crime. Fortunately, although their crime is paying them in the short-term, the end of monopoly is near. They funded SCOG and SCOG lost big-time last week. We who value freedom will win eventually. M$ cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Here, in a building with 200 people, only one has expressed a reluctance to adopt GNU/Linux. You can stay in business a while if you are the only business in town, but if most hate you, eventually they will start their own business and cut you out. The world can make software as well or better than M$ and they do.

  6. Darryl says:

    my office 2007 can read every office file ive ever created, going back many many years, ive yet to find a document I cannot open and that does not retain the original formatting.

    Iv’e also yet to see any sites that do not resolve perfectly in IE.

    IE and X ?? again, never have a problem with IE, and also have no problems with OOXML and MSO. So again, if you’re going to make sweeping statements give us (me) some real examples please. Like actual facts and not just opinion.

    As for Linux Vs Windows side by side tests, ive been a long term linux user as well as windows, OSX, AmigaOS, VMS, DOS.

    Each have their strengths and weaknesses, but in the final washup, like most of the planet I find MS products to be acceptable and without the baggage that goes along with being a “FOSS FAN”.

    What you should ask youreself is ‘do you like linux because Microsoft sucks?’ or do you like linux because Linux is so great.

    If it’s the later, why not say so, why always guage Linux against MS, is it not capable of standing up for itself based on it’s own merits and abilities?

    I should be that way, but when you (I) see the only line of promoting FOSS is by attacking anything that is not FOSS it makes you look desperate. And lacking a viable argument that would actually convince people you are speaking sence and logic. and not just an emotional response like pavlov’s dog when you see the big red flag of MS.

    Linux is very good, so is VMS, so is windows, but linux is not good because of MS and MS is not bad because of Linux.

    So I would much prefer to come to sites like this one and hear positive and good news about Linux, not some biased rant that is a knee jerk reaction to hearing the “M” word.

    Linux is good, but I feel the likes if this kind of petty bickering, and MS hate speach is doing far more damage to FOSS than what would happen if you stuck to facts and speak about what you know about.

    If you dont like MS or IE, dont use it. Is it any harder than that ?

    I dont think so…. but that might be just me, (and billions of other MS users on the planet, we might all be wrong :)).

  7. Easy picking…

    • Does Office 2007 play well with previous Offices? Nope.
    • Do IE – friendly websites play will with any other browser? Nope.
    • Do IE v X – friendly websites play well with another version of IE? Nope!
    • Does Office 2007 or 2010 play well with OOXML ISO standard that M$ pushed through? NOPE!!!
    • How is Visual Basic working out? Not at all!

    It continues. M$ calls the tune and changes it every time they want more money. That does not make an ecosystem of software that works well together but a jungle of forced upgrades. Fortunately FLOSS gives us alternatives to everything M$ offers and we can control it instead of it controlling us. IT is remarkably easy to implement, efficient to operate and interoperable when M$ is out of the picture.

    Where I work there are a few users who are comfortable with M$ and do not want to change for fear of change but none prefer the interoperability or performance of M$ to GNU/Linux. We do side-by-side tests and the differences are obvious to all.

  8. Darryl says:

    “Microsoft became the biggest software company in the world by creating an ecosystem of software that works well together.“

    And what of that statement is wrong, sure you dont like MS products that is clear.

    But just as clear, the vast majority of users do consider MS products to be acceptable.

    And if Microsoft is not the biggest software company in the world, then you might want to enlighten us about what is the biggest.

    Also keep in mind, netscape killed netscape (with a little help from AOL).
    Also keep in mind, netscape was rubbish, and if you think otherwise you must not of used it. 🙂

    But you keep taking comments out of context…. thats great for you’re credability… so I know why no one bothers to post here … oh well..

    At least you made ROY boy (sorry heir Docktor ROY) happy. keeping him supplied with lots of dirt, and can we have a link to the original article please, so we can check you’re ‘facts’. and see just how out of context you take things…. cheers.. but no prize..

Leave a Reply