Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

“Technological Evangelism” Still Lives

  • Sep 29 / 2011
  • 50
technology

“Technological Evangelism” Still Lives

There is a scandal of global proportions about M$ paying to have coverage in news programming on CNBC and BBC. Technological evangelism still lives.“Microsoft began its commercial relationship with media firm FBC in 2003. A nine-page strategy document written in 2004 obtained by The Independent contains excerpts which show that when the technology giant launched its European Microsoft Innovation Centre in Germany in 2004, FBC drew up a plan for Microsoft to target broadcasters with its “corporate messaging” and gave a guarantee to Microsoft that it would “place” coverage of the launch event on World Business, the weekly programme it made for the CNBC network. CNBC has suspended the show and is investigating FBC.”

This is what M$ considered technological evangelism in 2000:“Why not do it all ourselves?

  • Because we can’t
    • There’s just too much to be done
  • Because they won’t let us
    • Lawyers are Us
  • Because third parties are more efficient
    • In their respective markets


In addition to identifying and categorizing the relevant ISVs, Evangelism should also identify and categorize other industry influencers during this first phase of evangelism. There are three categories of industry influencers:

  • 2. The Press: Almost every technological evangelism campaign involves working with the press, either directly or through a PR agency. Our evangelism campaign should identify the specific members of the press that you will target (as distinct from the usual, non-technical PR treatment).
  • 3. Analysts: Analysts are people who are paid to take a stand, while always trying to appear to be disinterested observers (since the appearance of independence maximizes the price they can charge for selling out). Treat them as you would treat nuclear weapons – an important part of your arsenal, which you want to keep out of the hands of the enemy. BribeHire them to produce “studies” that “prove” your technology is superior to the enemy’s, and that it is gaining momentum faster.


Working behind the scene to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is an important part of the Slog.

Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the enemy’s technology part of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for the competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time. ”

That looks a lot like this news story and what happens in the comments here almost daily. If M$’s technology were truly superior, none of this would be necessary.

50 Comments

  1. Robert Pogson

    George Hostler wrote, “one doesn’t need an evangelism document if they have reputable and quality software. Microsoft software with its bugginess and a viral magnet is only kept in power by continuous FUD and 3rd party support.”

    Amen. The closest I ever got to riding a motorcycle was hitching a ride with a fellow with an ATV. He liked to corner on two wheels. It was one of the unforgettable frights of my life…

  2. George Hostler

    Your assessment is correct, Mr. Pogson. From about 2004 to 2010, I was more or less posting on a regular basis to Linux advocacy forums such as Usenet Group comp.os.linux.advocacy.

    Any time I would post something positive about Linux, it would be countered by me being a Microsoft hater, Lienux truly sucks, I am gay because Linux made me gay, I am gay because Linux attracts gays, I am a troll and constantly nymshifting (their reasoning to seed search engines to make others along with me who advocate Linux look like fools, all forms of character assassination, do a Google search on “George Hostler” and you will see what I mean.)

    Then I found the Comes (Iowa) versus Microsoft lawsuit document, Exhibit 3096, the Microsoft Evangelism document, also fully explained in text at http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20071023002351958 and the PDF document itself at http://www.groklaw.net/pdf/Comes-3096.pdf

    A google search on my name will dredge up all sorts of back years negativity sowed by these libelous trolls.

    You are correct, one doesn’t need an evangelism document if they have reputable and quality software. Microsoft software with its bugginess and a viral magnet is only kept in power by continuous FUD and 3rd party support. Their extreme profitability (not possible without monopoly maintenance) with an inferior product has allowed them to afford the numerous lawsuits without harm.

    Sincerely, George Hostler
    AKA High Plains Thumper (My home is in the high plains of the New Mexico / Texas Panhandle and I love to ride single cylinder engine motorcycles or “thumpers”)

  3. Robert Pogson

    uh no, SUN kept Sparc in TI instead of letting experts make the chips for much lower costs. They left TI only in 2008. Depending on over-priced hardware was an anchor around SUN’s neck. They could have shifted/out-sourced the hardware and done magic with the software but stumbled. Their products were top-notch. Recently, the most powerful supercomputer still used their chips. Performance was not an issue. Price was. Their decline had nothing to do with M$. At the time they were competing with M$ they were highly profitable. M$ OTOH did everything it could to sabotage SUN’s move into software and SUN sued more than once, successfully, but it could not undo the damage. SUN did not sue M$ out of spite but to redress deliberate actions of M$. Read Comes v M$ to see what M$ was up to. It was not competing on price/performance.

  4. oldman

    “A business with good ideas can still decline. A business depends upon the will of the customers unless it is a monopoly.”

    Even a monopoly has to obey the laws both written and unwritten of commerce Pog.

    Sun contributed to their own failure because their senior management made business decisions based on hatred of microsoft instead of the realities of the market.

  5. ch

    Here are the numbers:
    http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Sun-Die-Braut-traegt-Rot-216523.html

    Sorry that the article itself is in German, the table below still should be clear: Sun revenues and profit/loss per quarter from 2001 to 2009. That’s a lot of red ink. (The asterisks say “without special factors”, in 4/04 that was a settlement with MS giving Sun $900m, in 1/09 it was the cost for “restructuring”.)

    Without Sun’s full coffers from better times, any company would have been broke a long time ago with losses like that. (And please note the decline in revenues as well.)

    In fact, citing any decision from Sun in the last dozen years or so should only be used as an example of what not to do.

    http://www.fakesteve.net/2006/12/my-little-pony-calls-all-in-huff.html

    http://www.fakesteve.net/2006/11/its-official-java-now-worth-nothing.html

  6. oldman

    “SUN never “went under”. ”

    Pog, by that logic Novell never went under either.

    Yet both companies have ceased to exist, an inconvenient fact you can’t get around.

  7. Robert Pogson

    SUN never “went under”. They were bought by Oracle. SUN was making (and losing) a lot of money until they announced the sale, whereupon a lot of customers jumped ship. Oracle offered $5.6billion. SUN was burdened by a lot of legacy stuff which was still profitable and prevented them from rapidly adapting to changing conditions. This is the same problem many large tech companies have like M$, IBM, and Apple. Some make a transition and others falter. SUN would have needed to break up to thrive but selling was deemed a better option. From the viewpoint of FLOSS it was a big mistake but who knows what will be the long-term result? Oracle, by the purchase attempted to diversify. So far, it’s a mixed result for them. They have hurt Java, MySQL and OpenOffice.org and themselves by some of their actions.

  8. Robert Pogson

    “Sun IT currently has a large internal infrastructure built around the concept of thin-client workstations — called Sun Ray ultra-thin clients — deployed worldwide. A Sun Ray is a stateless client that uses the resources of a server (CPU, memory, storage) over the network. Sun IT has deployed several hundred servers globally to support the tens of thousands of Sun Ray ultra-thin clients located worldwide, and found that this architecture has greatly reduced Sun’s support and maintenance costs for office employees. With such an overwhelming success, a proposal was made to expand the Sun Ray architecture to include remote employees.”

    see http://www.sun-rays.org/lib/SunRay_atHome033105.pdf

  9. ch

    “So sun could get sparc systems”

    Are you trying to tell me that the office workers at Sun use Sparc machines on their desks ? (Hint: No, they don’t.)

    So according to you, Sun paid ~ $70m _and_ the salaries for the former Star Division employees to save ~ $1.2m ($200 for MSO + $100 for Win) per seat every so many years ? Now we know why Sun went under ;-)

  10. oiaohm

    Microsoft also had refused to port MS Windows and MS Office to sparc.

    Note even on discount rate is still about 9 million dollars for MS Office every 5 years to remain current.

    Also remember sun was not running MS windows internally on many machines so that is another cost.

    Please go read Windows volume licensing ch they are only upgrades. Machine must have a pre existing boxed or oem copy.

    Really it was cheaper for Sun than the round of licenses and the hardware they would have had to acquire from amd or intel. Remember Sun does not have a license to make x86 chips. So sun could get sparc systems for the cost of production. Yes the cost of production is a lot smaller than most people would dream.

  11. ch

    If you had written that Sun just didn’t want to pay anything at all to MS, I would agree. I think Joel Spolsky is right: “Sun is the loose cannon of the computer industry. Unable to see past their raging fear and loathing of Microsoft, they adopt strategies based on anger rather than self-interest.”
    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/StrategyLetterV.html

    So can we please agree that Sun buying Star Division was _not_ because “buying them was cheaper than one round of licenses” ?

  12. Robert Pogson

    Even if the office suite were $0 and the OS thrown in, SUN did not want to have x86 machines on the payroll. Further, SUN did not want to throw money away every few years for M$’s enrichment when they could be self-sufficient for much less.

  13. Contrarian

    “43000 X ( $100 + $500 + $1000 (1999)) = $68.8 million, for one cycle. How much does forever cost?”

    Where do you shop, #pogson? Volume licensing for MS Office, which is what big companies use, is less than $200 per employee and you get your own guy(s) in Redmond to answer your company’s employees’ questions. The actual price will vary with company size, i.e. 50K is less per employee than 1K, and Windows volume licensing is similarly priced.

    If you own StarOffice, though, you have to pay to feed your software milk cow and provide them with heat, light, management attention, and a paycheck. Forever.

  14. Robert Pogson

    “The success of the Gendarmerie Ubuntu migration reflects several emerging trends in IT. First, it represents the rising influence of community-driven distros which are largely supported internally by the organizations that adopt them. Analysts have noted a growing preference for this approach which can be cheaper than adopting a conventional enterprise distro like Red Hat with annual commercial support contracts.”

    see French Police Save Millions of Euros by Adopting Ubuntu

  15. Robert Pogson

    “it was cheaper to go buy a company that could make a Solaris and Linux desktop productivity suite than it was to buy forty-two thousand licenses from Microsoft. (Simon Phipps, Sun, LUGradio podcast.)”

    Do the maths. What does a licence for that other OS and M$’s office suite cost? What does a new notebook cost?

    43000 X ( $100 + $500 + $1000 (1999)) = $68.8 million, for one cycle. How much does forever cost?

  16. Contrarian

    “It happens”

    That is an absurd sort of attempt at proof of your concept, #pogson. I very much doubt that Sun bought StarOffice on that basis at all, it would be like buying a cow to save on the price of milk. Big companies do not do that sort of thing, but you probably do not understand that.

    In any case it would be a very expensive way to get an application, given the $70M price tag mentioned by #ch. It certainly is not proof that it is a common practice for companies to hire developers for in-house maintenance of open source products. If it were at all true, that is a very singular incident and a demonstrable failure at that.

  17. Robert Pogson

    “The number one reason why Sun bought StarDivision in 1999 was because, at the time, Sun had something approaching forty-two thousand employees. Pretty much every one of them had to have both a Unix workstation and a Windows laptop, and it was cheaper to buy a company that could make a Solaris and Linux desktop productivity suite than it was to buy forty-two thousand licenses from Microsoft. — Simon Phipps, Sun, LUGradio podcast”

  18. ch

    “SUN bought the company producing StarOffice to avoid a similar outlay for one round of licensing.”

    Do you have any numbers to back that up ? The (assumed) numbers I have seen don’t agree with you.

  19. Contrarian

    Well, #pogson, you must have noticed that the Modis ad has the “Required” section that does not mention Linux in any way. The reference you stress is the 11th bullet (out of 11 total) in the “asset” list which certainly takes it out of the “must have” category. Given how far down the list that experience is, it is unlikely that it is of much importance.

    The Modis job, I note further, is to work on the company’s commercial products, i.e.:

    “To participate in developing world class communications solutions in a mobile satellite environment”

    My original contention was that companies are not likely to hire programmers to work specifically on Linux or LibreOffice in order that the company save money on license fees for commercial products such as Windows or Microsoft Office. None of these cites comes anywhere close to showing that they would hire such developers for that purpose.

  20. Robert Pogson

    From the Modis ad:
    Experience in embedded Linux programming, including kernel level

    Experience with Green Hills RTOS / LynxOS RTOS or other Linux variants

    Do I have to read for you?

    Further, the other OS mentioned are based on Linux or are Linux-compatible:
    Wikipedia – “The LynxOS RTOS is a Unix-like real-time operating system from LynuxWorks (formerly “Lynx Real-Time Systems”). Sometimes known as the Lynx Operating System, LynxOS features full POSIX conformance and, more recently, Linux compatibility.” GreenHills has its own POSIX kernel, they call Integrity RTOS.

  21. Contrarian

    “It lists Linux development as a “must have” not just “good to have”. ”

    Epson says the candidate “must have” “Strong embedded firmware & RTOS” skills. Linux is a for instance sort of thing, not a specification.

    Randstad says “Experience with multithreaded programming for real-time embedded systems (C/C++, RTOS)” is a qualification. Linux experience is an asset, as is Visual Studio and Windows. Doesn’t sound like a Linux kernel development job at all.

    Ditto for Modus except that it is obviously application interface experience, not embedded.

    None of the examples require Linux kernel experience as a “must have”.

  22. Robert Pogson

    In Linux drivers, at least part of the driver, is a part of the kernel.

    I disagree with your interpretation of the ads. That was from one on-line ad site. It lists Linux development as a “must have” not just “good to have”. That means kernel hacking is part of the job. These companies make hardware that runs on Linux, not just hooks up to GNU/Linux systems.

  23. Contrarian

    I didn’t think you could find anything such as what you suggested, i.e. a developer for making modifications to Linux or LibreOffice.

    The Epson and Randstad positions are for embedded firmware developers, not Linux or LibreOffice modifications, i.e. for Epson:

    “The successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop software applications, drivers, and other components for using with/in our printer and interface products by analyzing customer/market demands and proposing solutions.”

    For Randstad (which is actually an agency, so the end employer is hidden) they would prefer someone who is familiar with Visual Studio as well:

    Experience with Visual Studio (C++ or C#/.NET) programming for desktop Windows applications”

    Similarly, the Modis ad is looking for an applications developer and any familiarity with Linux kernel coding is not a qualification requirement, just and interesting experience asset that presumably shows some familiarity with embedded systems.

    None of these positions are for anyone to actively develop code for Linux or any other FOSS application, #pogson. If that is best you can do, you need to rethink your notion that companies are eager to staff up to do their own development support for Linux or other open source projects.

  24. oiaohm

    Contrarian broffice in Brazil employees staff to work on LibreOffice and OpenOffice. Yes they do advertise for new staff.

    IBM and most other major supporters rarely advertise for staff openly for open source applications. Go to a open source conferences most hold job application meetings. Where IBM and others do list what coders they are looking for. From what project. If a person is not without a job at the conference they ask the project leads to point out what coders have the skills they are after that are possibly without a job or looking for a new job.

    Yes open source is very much a closed job market. The open advertisements for all comes don’t happen that often. Major reason why you see all comes advertising happening is that there project is mostly fully staffed by paid programmers so they have to risk a untested coder with the code base.

    Redhat has also open advertised in the last 12 months for LibreOffice and OpenOffice coders. Basically that project at the moment is mostly filled with employed coders.

    Linux kernel and drupal are another two areas in the same state as LibreOffice.

    This is the issue Contrarian there is a growing number of projects reaching saturation of full time coders. So forcing open advertisement for coders.

  25. Contrarian

    “There are hundreds of thousands of FLOSS projects on Sourceforge and a million on GitHub”

    Get real, #pogson. There are a lot of projects listed and 99999 out of 10000 are dead and have been for some time. From the available information, they never were alive in any way. That is what happens when a bunch of untrained and unskilled hobbyists get the urge to program something.

    “You can see the ads for Linux programmers.”

    If by that you mean an ad for someone to work on Linux itself, you would be severely challenged to come up with any example of that. The same holds true for LibreOffice and other major open source applications. I await your example(s).

  26. Robert Pogson

    Contrarian wrote, “There are tens of millions of users and only a relative handful of contributors.”

    That is the same with most specialties. Specialization is an aspect of developed societies since ancient times: singer, soldier, farmer, thief,… all are specialties. The means of compensation/reward are diverse. Some work on commission, hourly pay, salary, pro bono, or in barter. A lot of work is unpaid: homemaking, child-rearing, making/giving gifts. Probably 10% or fewer of the population has the aptitude/patience/persistence to be programmers yet others cannot resist doing it for free or otherwise. There is no shortage of labour.

    There are hundreds of thousands of FLOSS projects on Sourceforge and a million on GitHub. Millions of users, presumably programmers or at least system builders use that code. That’s probably representing enough programmers to supply the world’s needs. It certainly is much larger than Linux alone.

    Large organizations have thousands of users of software. They can afford to hire programmers in lieu of paying licensing fees. Munich does it. SUN did it. The people who contribute as corporations to Linux do it. You can see the ads for Linux programmers.

  27. oldman

    “So 2 closed source products on Linux one with support services one without.”

    Fantasy fiction Mr. oiaohm. I know of no company who chooses to sell closed source anything into the Linux market who does so without without some sort of support. True you may pay for it, but that is part of the game.

    “I have found a lot of closed source have run themselves into trouble on Linux due to the product they are providing having stronger open source competition.”

    I’ve also found commercialized open source companies who tried marketing a based on open sourcing “frameworks” and then relying on some combination of selling closed source add-ons that ran in that framework,(which was carefully constructed so as to protect their code from GPL claw-back of source) and “real” support only to discover either

    a) There open product was so useful that the community just used the unsupported community edition.

    b) Someone else looked at their code and forked pieces of it into their own GPL’d system.

    Either way the companies either went under or were forced abandoned active development on their community version and/or treated it as a less functional demo version that might lead to upsell opportunities.

    That is not success IMHO.

  28. Contrarian

    “It works for everyone.”

    Clearly it does not work that way, #pogson. You offer some hypothetical examples of a small group with a common goal sharing a solution to which each contribute and that is OK by me. That works well, but it does not scale to the level of, say, Linux at all. There are tens of millions of users and only a relative handful of contributors.

    Microsoft makes a ton of money from Windows every year and thousands of MS developers have become millionaires. Gates and Ballmer and Allen are multi-billionaires and can now hobnob with the world’s leaders and play around with curing AIDS and various childhood diseases or whatever else their fancy dictates.

    Not so the fools who have beat their heads against the same sort of development problems in Linux. Many are well off, certainly, but the big money is made by those who are exploiting the use of Linux on a massive scale, i.e. the founders of Red Hat or Google.

    “so they may hire a programmer to guarantee the availability and performance of LibreOffice ”

    Do you seriously believe that? I find that notion so laughable as to leave me at a loss for words! You do not develop software, it is obvious, or else you would have a better understanding of the effort needed to stay current with such a large application as LibreOffice and to be able to make changes to it in any useful way, even defect fixes. For a large company to pay the cost of such a developer (generally low to mid 6 figures) is likely to be a lot more than simply buying MS Office for anyone who needs it. And even if they did, then they have a horribly huge dependency on a single individual who may quit for greener pastures or else be hit by a bus on his way to work one day, leaving the company in dire straits with their LOB system in an unsupported mode. That is a great recipe for disaster!

  29. oldman

    “As long as the programmer is paid somehow, the world gets the benefit somehow.”

    Pog, with all due respect…

    Screw the world.

    As a programmer with a potentially money making idea who wants to keep the proceeds of that idea, I would rather pay to license other peoples code and/or write my own, and keep my money maker to myself.

    The world can still benefit, but it will do so on my terms.

  30. Robert Pogson

    Contrarian wrote, “in general, FOSS users are freeloaders. Thousands develop code and millions use it without paying for it, leaving little but some vanity fair to soothe the providers.”

    The economy of FLOSS is not the same as non-free software.

    A developer may well work on some FLOSS while his main job is doing something else. For example, many teachers contribute to educational software although their main job is teaching. The software helps them do their job better and the world gets to share the software for free. It works for everyone.

    For example, a large organization may need LibreOffice to work well and reliably so they may hire a programmer to guarantee the availability and performance of LibreOffice while providing in-house expertise for training and integration into the IT system. This is often cheaper than paying for software licences because the large organizaton gets to use all the other developers stuff for the cost of supporting one developer. It’s a more efficient way to do IT.

    A small organization probably cannot afford hiring programmers unless an employee happens to be a programmer so they are less likely to contribute to FLOSS but it costs no one anything at all that they use FLOSS for $0. Individuals mostly are in this category, if they are not computer geeks. Even a small organization or individual can file bug reports or write a bit of documentation. That’s a rather smaller investment that anyone can make.

    It all works. FLOSS is growing because it is a better way to do IT.

    Linus said, “Imagine ten people putting in 1 hour each every day on the project. They put in one hour of work, but because they share the end results they get nine hours of “other peoples work” for free. It sounds unfair: get nine hours of work for doing one hour. But it obviously is not.”. That’s from the developer’s viewpoint. The big way that sharing helps is that software does not need to be paid or written from scratch for each project. Reusability is a huge plus. It also saves programmers doing dreary repetitious stuff. It can be extended to a global viewpoint. As long as the programmer is paid somehow, the world gets the benefit somehow and everyone is happy except M$ and partners. What is truly stupid and raises the cost of IT is tolerating monopoly and paying Joe to write software and Bob to write software when Joe and Bob are both re-inventing the wheel which is what most software is about. If Joe writes the rim and Bob writes the axle why do they need or want to be paid for other existing infrastructure? The wheel can come to market sooner/cheaper if the spokes and tire are shared. The wheel will be better, too because Joe and Bob have better/more choices for components.

  31. Robert Pogson

    ch wrote, “Win8 will have roughly the same requirements as Win7, which actually isn’t that much more than XP really needed (apart from HD size, I think).”

    I have seen XP run reasonably well in 64MB RAM. Last year, my school had 256 MB and 512MB systems and it ran like a snail. A dozen new systems with 3gB RAM were not much faster except the 500gB hard drive was faster. M$ has bloated XP over the years. “7″ is slower than XP on every machine I have seen both run.

    Ken Hess has an article on bloat over time. It’s pretty shocking. It’s not as if that other OS is doing more than managing resources on our PCs… How do they manage to use that many resources in the process? It’s like a house having a 100ft wide door when the house is only 30ft wide. It only makes sense if the purpose of the OS were to squander resources to encourage buying more resources and licences.

  32. ch

    “M$ rewrites its stuff every month”

    Nonsense. Like just about any SW company – and like the Linux distros – they offer patches for bugs found after release. So what ?

    “and you’re damned if you update”

    In fact, no. Yes, you probably cab find some instances where a Windows update went bad (and I could cite instances of Linux/distro updates breaking stuff), but by and large Windows updates just work.

    “M$ wants folks to buy new computers every release”

    Win8 will have roughly the same requirements as Win7, which actually isn’t that much more than XP really needed (apart from HD size, I think).

    “so they go out of their way to make it a jarring experience to install their OS”

    Seriously: Why don’t you write about something that you know a bit about ?

    “The rapid development pace of GNU/Linux is” NOT “annoying” because it doesn’t exist.

  33. oiaohm

    Contrarian the simple issue you cannot get head around model of FOSS.

    Its a different model to closed source. Works very well when used the right way.

    Different market different ways of doing things. I have found a lot of closed source have run themselves into trouble on Linux due to the product they are providing having stronger open source competition. That was uncommon on Windows and Unix.

    Big major one that is a common big mistake of closed source makers releasing on Linux. Is lack of an suitable support system. People on Linux are use to having support with there software at a decent price.

    So 2 closed source products on Linux one with support services one without. The one with support services will get most of the customers. Where on Windows the numbers go to who is the cheapest most of the time.

  34. Contrarian

    “Are you employed by MS?”

    Well, it takes a real nut job to even ask such a stupid question, #mc, but you obviously need to get past that position, so the answer is “No!” I’m not employed by anyone other than myself these days, but when I was working, I worked for what can only be considered a Microsoft competitor.

    From time to time we even produced Linux compatible products, but they never produced much activity or profits like the Unix products. Rather we produced things that made using Windows (or Unix) a better experience. They made a lot of money and continue to do so.

    I have come to the unescapable conclusion that, in general, FOSS users are freeloaders. Thousands develop code and millions use it without paying for it, leaving little but some vanity fair to soothe the providers.

    Of course there are service businesses who apply Linux or support paying customers using Linux, but that is pretty much the totality of the Red Hat and SUSE executive Linux business, which is a very small potatoe in the overall world software services market.

  35. Robert Pogson

    The FSF and I agree on many things but disagree on several things. I don’t work for them. I don’t always take their advice. I appreciate the many good things they do and have done. The GNU system is a wonderful asset to the world. It saves a ton of development time for anyone wanting to bring something different to market. They can keep the GNU/Linux core and put whatever they want on top years sooner than building everything from scratch.

  36. Robert Pogson

    Ever heard of “Patch Tuesday”? M$ rewrites its stuff every month and you’re damned if you update and damned if you don’t. M$ wants folks to buy new computers every release so they go out of their way to make it a jarring experience to install their OS while GNU/Linux just keeps getting smoother. I installed on my own as a complete newbie in 2000 and the only difficulty was having to look up the specs on my CRT monitors. I’ve used many releases of GNU/Linux and that other OS and GNU/Linux has more than enough functionality for what I do, teaching, administrating systems and writing. Even if that other OS could do more, it’s useless to me because I don’t need more. It’s like cars. I could drive a Cadillac. I could drive a Volkswagen. I drive what my wife wants because she wants it, not because it’s more.

    The rapid development pace of GNU/Linux is annoying until you realize you don’t have to upgrade the release on every release like that other OS. I can run RedHat 7 if I wanted to. I run Debian GNU/Linux from 2009 with a few packages from the “testing branch”. APT package management is that good. There’s nothing like it with that other OS.

  37. ch

    ““Technological Evangelism” Still Lives”

    Oh, really ? Well, where did I see something reeking of “evangelism” last ? Oh, it was on that website where the author tells us he has a “Mission” and that he “will continue in some way doing that until I die in spite of the opposition.” Sounds familiar ?

  38. Ivan

    I guess it’s never occurred to the GNU astroturf crowd (Are you paid by the F$F?) that the people complaining about the horrible state of the Linux desktop have used it for quite sometime, are familiar with it, and simply reject it in favor of a platform that isn’t being rewritten every six months because some jerk needs to justify his further employment with middle management.

  39. MC

    I’d like to point out that those pro MS’ers on pro Linux blogs (like Pog’s) do not respond to a question like “Are you employed by MS?”

    Seems the MS FUDders must have FUD playbook. It’s only natural in business to promote you own products any (dirty if need be) way you can.

  40. Contrarian

    “Funny how Linux got onto servers just fine without a promotion campaign”

    Well, there was a lot of promotions on a one to one basis for promoting Linux in the server room, #jerkface. IBM went to great lengths to push Linux as an alternative in situations where AIX was not going to win. They could undercut Sun on price if the customer would buy into the idea that Linux could cut the mustard. They didn’t cannibalize their AIX bread and butter, but they did push Red Hat Linux pretty hard. Of course this was not prime time space advertising, if that is what you mean by “promotion campaign”, but IT weenies are not likely to watch much TV anyway. For such a rare commodity, a much more focused approach is needed. Perhaps you were missed in the campaign and didn’t notice that it was underway.

    I would agree that the WP7 adverts were somewhat oblique in terms of explaining what was new and different with the WP7 interface. The ad agencies were not making any points there.

    My own belief is that none of the OS products in use for smart phones have much in the way of any positive effect on the consumer. All the phones seem to work the same, with the exception of WP7, and Android, iOS, and the Blackberry all seem to work identically. There is not very much function there, it seems to me, compared with a laptop or desktop computer.

  41. NT JERKFACE

    Funny how Linux got onto servers just fine without a promotion campaign.

    Anyways M$ sucks at marketing, just look at how quickly the press turned the public against Vista. I continually had to deal with people who “knew” Vista sucked and yet could’t explain why or cite a personal experience.

    Did you catch those awful WP7 commercials? The best marketing WP7 is getting right now is word of mouth. People are talking about how much they like the interface.

    Marketing can only get a tech product so far. If it sucks then the public will eventually figure it out.

    Linux still sucks on the desktop, you can’t trust any distro to update itself and basic software (Flash, FF and LOFFICE) for 4 years. It doesn’t really matter anyways, even if it is eventually fixed Android will have more to offer consumers.

  42. D-G

    “That looks a lot like this news story and what happens in the comments here almost daily.”

    Forgot to take your meds, Pog? But you are in fact absolutely right. I work for Microsoft. And the job pays great. Steve Ballmer realized years ago that you have the power to influence public opinion greatly.

    “If M$’s technology were truly superior, none of this would be necessary.”

    If Linux would be truly superior, why are organizations actively marketing it? Why’s there a Linux Foundation spreading FUD? Why are you entertaining us with this little blog? I mean, Linux should surpass Windows ALL BY ITSELF! Because it’s THAT GOOD!

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