SJVN v RMS (and me)

SJVN wrote, while criticizing RMS’s take on the departure of Steve Jobs, “we also know that Jobs was also essential to our modern computing world. Jobs was our generation’s Disney, its Edison.”

That is nonsense. At the time M$ and Apple started, there was a swarm of small entities, seeds in the crevices of IT, just waiting to fill the space available. IBM was huge but could not supply the need for IT at an affordable price. I remember University of Manitoba’s System 360, 370 and then Amdahl machines. They filled rooms. They computed but unless you were fabulously wealthy or staff or student at a university, they were out of reach.

Along came the microprocessor, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was a device whose time had come. Before that one needed a rack full of transistors and crude integrated circuits to make a minicomputer (and lots of time and money populating them). Moore’s Law and not some corporation was the essential element to bring computing to the masses. Apple was just one of the flies attracted to the honey. The world was awash in software. It just had to be ported to the microprocessor and stuff happened. Apple did it. M$ did it. SUN did it. DEC did it. ARM did it. The fact that some grew, some died and some stagnated is just the chemistry of the markets and opportunities. Nothing special happened at Apple except that Apple managed to keep investors interested and cash flowing long enough while they figured it out.

I can argue that Apple thrived in spite of Steve Jobs learning to be a business man on the job. In fact, Apple did not really thrive until Steve Jobs went out into the business world and learned a lot. He brought that back and made things happen.

So, I don’t agree with RMS on all things and I don’t agree with SJVN on all things but in this case, I side with RMS. The evil Apple has done with Steve Jobs at the helm matters. For a time school children and teachers were widely exposed to Apple’s stuff. That made IT unaffordable for many schools. That negated the advantages of Moore’s Law for kids. Schools in which I taught took a decade to lose the Apple habit. Unfortunately, they acquired the M$ habit which was worse but some found GNU/Linux and it thrives in education.

Fortunately for the world software freedom is a timeless idea and monopoly in IT eventually erodes just as mountains and continents do. Both M$ and Apple are diversifying because monopoly is not sustainable and the poor are finally having access to IT thanks to Moore’s Law and Free Software, not monopoly.

Intel did its best to be part of the Wintel monopoly but they at least worked to earn their money, producing a real product not just licences. Intel has been open to Free Software to a great extent so I give them a bit of a free ride but I sure am glad ARM hung in there all these years and has finally wiggled out from under the monopolists’ tent.

see SJVN – Free software founder, Richard M. Stallman is glad Jobs is gone

I, too, am glad Steve Jobs is gone. The world could be a better place without his manipulation. We shall see whether his replacement has a better moral compass.

UPDATE Joe Brockmeier also attacks RMS:“It’s no secret that RMS and Steve Jobs held firmly opposed views when it comes to software freedom. I didn’t expect Stallman to hold a vigil at an Apple store for Jobs, or even to say much of anything at all. But his ill-considered response does nothing for the cause of free software, and actually does a lot of damage.”

I think that’s nonsense. RMS does choose his words very carefully and RMS raises good points that popularity or commercial success can harm society by taking away people’s freedom to use software and hardware. That is what software freedom is all about and Joe Brockmeier does not seem to get it. In the battle between freedom and tyranny it does no good to ever let up the pressure on the tyrant. Any truce at all is invariable used to expand tyranny. That’s a step backwards. The tyrants never seem to miss an opportunity to attack the credibility of FLOSS. Joe Brockmeier never seems to miss an opportunity to criticize FLOSS. Going after a founding father is par for the course.

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.
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68 Responses to SJVN v RMS (and me)

  1. N Tesla says:

    Well, I don’t know. SVJN calling Jobs another Edison is pretty spot on. Since Edison was nothing more than a punk-ass thief of other peoples work and ideas.

  2. Dell and HP, together, only account for 30% of PC production/shipments. The “noname”, others, account for 40%.

    “10:44 a.m. Reller said two thirds of business PCs are still on Windows XP. That represents 300 million PCs.”
    see WPC11 coverage

    If 2/3 of business PCs = 300million then 3/3 of business PCs = 3/2 X 300million = 450million PCs, about 1/3 of all PCs and that does not count hand-helds.

  3. Contrarian says:

    Businesses buy from Dell, HP, and even BestBuy, #pogson. You agree, apparently that Dell and HP get half or more of their business from commercial purchasers. That hardly makes the corporate world into a minority consumer of IT.

    Consider that a great deal of individual purchase of computers is at least partially motivated by a need to either work at home on documents brought home from the office or to give students a leg up on life by making them familiar with what is being used by the businesses that they will one day work within.

    You made a foolish statement. Learn to live with your mistakes. You may someday become more credible overall.

  4. M$:“approximately 75% of total Windows Division revenue comes from Windows operating system software purchased by original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), which they pre-install on equipment they sell. In addition to PC market changes, Windows revenue is impacted by”

    Big business, at least, is not going to buy “home” versions from Best Buy and they buy their own licences direct from M$ or resellers. That leaves 25% of PCs purchased by big businesses.

    Dell lists its segments. Large, small and medium business segments account for half the revenue.

    HP gets about twice as much revenue from selling commercial hardware as consumer but the prices of the commercial units are often higher.

    In 2005, Lenovo had 83% of its revenue from consumers.

    IDC wrote (June 6, 2011), “Consumer PC purchases have been a cornerstone of PC growth over the past five years. During this time, a transition to low-cost portables helped drive purchases by new users in emerging markets as well as replacement and secondary systems in more mature markets. Consumer PC shipment growth averaged 18.9% from 2005 to 2007, almost 7% faster than commercial shipments. During 2008 and into 2009, consumer growth was actually faster at more than 21% while commercial growth fell below 3% in 2008 and then dropped to -10.5% during the recession in 2009.”

  5. Contrarian says:

    “The corporate world is a minority consumer of IT.”

    If that is what you think, #pogson, it is easy to see where you can get your odd ideas about the world.

    I have no problem with the page loads with better computers either, #pogson, just on the Atom powered machine. I suspect that if/when anyone using one of your future ARM machines shows up, they will have an even greater problem, but that is your problem not mine. Ignore it as you wish.

  6. Contrarian wrote, “It seems to have escaped your notice that there is a distint absence of paper on their desks and they are creating and editing documents in a collaborative manner using their Windows PC.”

    I have never seen a business that didn’t shuffle tons of paper. In my own lab, I encourage paperlessness but still paper needs/wants to be printed. Paper is a valuable commodity. The US alone produced/consumed 79 million tons in 2009. In 1997 the number was 44million tons of which 26 was for printing/writing.

    The corporate world is a minority consumer of IT.

    I have no problems with the page loads. Perhaps you should switch to GNU/Linux or visit other sites.

  7. Contrarian says:

    “I do a lot more with a PC than most people do.”

    You only think that you do, #pogson. You are dismissive of the hundreds of millions of what have come to be known as “information workers” who you suggest merely “shuffle paper” and answer telephones. It seems to have escaped your notice that there is a distint absence of paper on their desks and they are creating and editing documents in a collaborative manner using their Windows PC. Otherwise you would never suggest that they could simply replace their PC with a cell phone, even augmented with a keyboard, mouse, and large monitor.

    In addition to their actual work assignment, their days are dependent on their Outlook connection to Exchange for mail, meetings, and other work scheduling functions. You don’t live in the real corporate world, #pogson, and what you get from using your imagination is a very wrong picture.

    “I have a 1.6 gHz dual-core CPU at the moment.”

    Well check back when you are using one of those ARM based peanut whistles instead. That is the point, after all. Right now I am using my Acer Aspire One netbook out on the patio because I am too lazy to go upstairs and get my laptop.

    BTW,I continue to notice that the page reload for your site is a real PITA with the PlusOne stuff enabled. When the page is reloaded, the masthead and first article are dispplayed fairly quickly, but then the CPU usage slams to 100% for over 10 seconds before the PlusOne icons pop up and the3 wait cursor disappears. That is a lot less, only about a second, for my laptop or desktop. Something is CPU bound in there and it is obnoxious with my netbook. The same thing happens with Chrome used as a browser.

    Maybe it is just me, but it didn’t happen prior to the PlusOne addition.

  8. Contrarian wrote, “You do not have a job that involves using a computer to process information, such as most office workers have”

    I read and write for about 7h a day and I use huge bandwidth personally. I do a lot more with a PC than most people do. They have not the time or inclination even if they have a job. Most people who have jobs do use a computer for some but not all the tasks. They handle real, not virtual, products or they shuffle paper or answer telephones. I do just about everything with a PC from 0600 to around noon and then from around 2 to 4pm. During that time I read dozens of articles, write a few and look for positions. My resume is so polished it shines… I have a 1.6 gHz dual-core CPU at the moment. When Beast gets back on the air it will be quad-core 2.5gHz. That’s far more than I need but I can serve many users on thin clients if I had thin clients set up. Some of the smart phones clearly match or exceed my current specs but Beast was intended to be a school-sized server. I could leave him off but I want to play with virtual machines and Beast loves them.

  9. Contrarian says:

    “Most users are consumers not producers and a smart phone is immensely more powerful that the PIII etc. that folks used in the past with more or less satisfaction.”

    How about yourself, #pogson? You do not have a job that involves using a computer to process information, such as most office workers have. So do you think that you would be happy with a PIII or phone in lieu of whatever you are now using? I doubt it, but go ahead and tell us.

    “I would recommend GNU/Linux …”

    Well, we all know that YOU would do that, #pogson, but there isn’t anyone who makes one of these things who agrees with you. They use Android and don’t even mention the word “Linux”.

    “One does not assume a child molester will become a saint.”

    That tickled a memory, #pogson. It seems that child molesters may not become saints, but they are supported by the FOSS guru Stallman. See your own blog threads:

    http://mrpogson.com/2011/06/17/freedom-does-matter/

  10. I have not seen any malware in my virtual machine yet. OTOH I see the world spending $billions fighting real malware and losing… with that other OS. No, thanks.

    XP is irrelevant. M$ is the problem, not their current release. One does not assume a child molester will become a saint.

  11. Most users are consumers not producers and a smart phone is immensely more powerful that the PIII etc. that folks used in the past with more or less satisfaction. Add the keyboard and mouse and the rig is entirely suitable for most users of web applications. I would recommend GNU/Linux rather than Android/Linux to get closer to the raw power of the CPU. Native code scales better. Used as a thin client, much data does not even need to get to the smart phone so size is not an issue.

  12. Phenom says:

    Posgon, I see no reason to plug a phone to a 27″ display, unless I want to watch a movie. But, it will do me no good to do my surface visibility analysis.

    Sure, one can install a car engine in a tank chassis, but the result would be poor.

  13. Phenom says:

    Pogson, will you please accept the fact that the world is moving away from XP, and even XP with SP3 is kinda hard to infest with malware, unless you lurk around porn and pirate sites?

    All your Windows horror stories are from the distant past. If I were you, I would focus of the current malware problems of Android.

  14. Phenom says:

    Ch, the cartoon is hillarious! 🙂

  15. Does freedom include paying M$ far more than the cost of replacement or paying to fight malware or re-re-rebooting whenever M$ feels you should? Slavery, more like it.

  16. People do hook up their smart phones to 27inch displays.

  17. ch says:

    “P.S. I appologize for not getting any fun amymore from poking around xorg.conf.”

    Just before I read your post I saw this:
    http://xkcd.com/963/

  18. Phenom says:

    I have a smartphone. Writing anything more than a few sentenses on it is a pain in the ass. Formatting that text is even worse.

    Content creation requires a minumum of 10″ display for the purpose to be at least minimally productive. While tablets might do the job for most cases of word-processing, they will be defficient in most other areas – music (you need tons of other equipment and tons of storage space), graphics (you can’t calibrate colors), heavy calculations (lack of CPU power, compared to any desktop > 500 bucks), engineering, etc…

    There is a reason people buy 27″ displays, you know.

  19. Phenom says:

    Nadeem Khan, I’ve had an exposure to more OSes than I dare to count. On PC only: DOS (many flavors and versions, a handful of shells), OS/2 (four versions), Win 3.0 – 98, Linux (Slackware, RedHat, Ubuntu, Debian), BeOS, QNX, NeXT for 386, Windows NT 4 -> 7.

    Let me tell you about freedom. Nowadays, using Windows 7 on all my workplaces, I have the freedom to do my job quickly and efficiently, with the best tools for the purpose and no hassle to make mu dual display configuration work even when the two displays are of different resolution.

    P.S. I appologize for not getting any fun amymore from poking around xorg.conf.

  20. oldman says:

    “A smart phone is a general purpose computer, oldman.”

    Bushwah.

    I use a smart phone, Pog. Even when outfitted with what few tools thAT exist to do content creation on one, Smart phones still suck at content creation, therefore they are are IMHO NOT general purpose computers.

    As far as Content consumption is concerned, one does not need a smart phone to do that. I can surf the web I’ve even made one or two posts to your blog)and read email on My university issued blackberry bold feature phone.

    Once again, the sad triumph of hope over experience.

  21. Nadeem Khan says:

    To my friends. greetings from India
    First of All Pogson, only people who have had an exposure to GNU/Linux can understand what freedom is for loyalist Apple users (nothing wrong in being loyal, but justification is important) would not know because they have been using the same since over 2 decade and refuse to accept the fallacies in their system.

  22. ch says:

    “He carries a small general-purpose computer on his belt. It happens to have a phone app but it also has GPS, a flashlight, a camera and he can do e-mail and browse with it.”

    I have used such miraculous machines for some years now (ok, 5 years ago it didn’t have GPS or a browser). I liked – and still like – that I could get a number of useful applications (and some fun games) to run on them. But general-purpose they are not: They are far better for consuming content (browsing, reading ebooks, playing mp3 etc.) than for producing (writing longer texts, image manipulation, making music, …). And just try to play a strategy game like Civilization on a 4″-display 🙁

  23. Contrarian says:

    “These phones can be bought without a contract and a lot can be done with wifi.”

    But, as you yourself note above, the price is higher than netbooks and many laptops. Why have one if you do not use it to make phone calls and texts? Overall computing performance of these phones is very poor compared with conventional laptops or even netbooks.

    Also, they lack the mass storage devices such as hard drives needed to be used as game and media DVD media devices. Can you run your home system on a total of 16 or 32 GB of mass storage?

    “Compared to the tiny margins of ATX or notebook PCs, that’s astronomical.”

    As far as anyone knows, #pogson, it is about the same. What are the assembly costs? The OEM’s overhead costs for management and sales? What are the actual prices to the distributors?

  24. Recently my son and I have gone out into the forest for target shooting. He carries a small general-purpose computer on his belt. It happens to have a phone app but it also has GPS, a flashlight, a camera and he can do e-mail and browse with it. Last night he was at a dinner and was able to browse a website to check some facts. A smart phone is a general purpose computer, oldman. He uses a notebook for work but for everything else these days, he uses the smart phone. There are many young people who own a smart phone but not an x86 PC of any kind. They don’t need or want the bulk. It hampers mobility which they are into. Last night at that dinner, young people had three notebooks set up so comrades could video-conference in from the far corners of the world but more smart phones were in use doing various things. Last night, the notebooks were the “special purpose” computing devices. For video conferencing, the bulk of a notebook helps steady the picture… I think there were more than a dozen smart phones in use.

  25. ch says:

    “Here’s a tear-down of a smart phone a year and a half ago: $174. It sold for $529 unlocked… Compared to the tiny margins of ATX or notebook PCs, that’s astronomical.”

    Here’s a business idea for you: Pack all the pieces needed to build a smartphone (that’s what isuppli measures) into nice little plastic bags and sell them at your doorstep ! That way you don’t need to pay these pesky employees in R&D, manufacturing, sales, accounting etc – and no need to let retailers grab a share. Just sell your plastic bags for $300 (way below those other companies – who could resist) and rake in the money !

  26. oldman says:

    “Compared to the tiny margins of ATX or notebook PCs, that’s astronomical.”

    Irrelevant. A phone is not a general computing device Pog.

    I ask again, when are you going to go cold turkey and use a smart phone as your only computing device?

  27. Many of these can be used with wifi just like a PC of the x86 persuasion. “The plan” is not there to hold anything back. Many suppliers are giving smart thingies away as inducement to open an account etc. The cost of production of more or less full-featured phones has come down to less than $100 and tablets about $200. It comes down to the cost of materials and a bit of labour. There is way more material, freight and labour in the typical PC.

    Here’s a tear-down of a smart phone a year and a half ago: $174. It sold for $529 unlocked… Compared to the tiny margins of ATX or notebook PCs, that’s astronomical. These prices are not sustainable but are natural for first-adopters and the like. Here are some prices from last month: starting at $115.

    What advantage is there to an OEM to share more of the selling price with M$ than with all the other suppliers combined? None. M$, even for it’s “tax” gets only a tiny slice.

  28. These phones can be bought without a contract and a lot can be done with wifi. That cuts down true mobility but cuts down costs a lot more. It remains to be seen whether the mobile networks will cash in or compete on price when the smart phones are everywhere. In a perfect world they would compete on price/performance but that doesn’t work when people buy phones with lock-in.

    M$ has no choice but to compete on price/performance in the mobile and cloud spaces because they have weaker lock-in. They can fool some of the people but 90% share is long gone. By this Christmas, Android/GNU/Linux will intrude into desktop space on ARM as there is nothing to prevent OEMs not beholden to M$ to desist. e.g. Samsung, HTC, etc. have no leash to M$. There will probably be at least a year before “8” happens and there will be no monopoly for M$ on ARM. M$ is a kitten without a monopoly.

  29. Contrarian says:

    “but where’s the fun for them?”

    The short answer is in taking their daily trip to the bank to deposit their profits, #pogson. They get about $50, on average, from OEMs for Windows and bank about a billion bucks a month.

    It is hard to say what the economics might be if MS was inclined to lower prices to meet some market level, such as what they had to do several years ago to put XP onto the netbooks of the time. The netbooks were incremental business, after all, and cost Microsoft next to nothing for delivering the licenses. Maybe fewer laptops with $50 licenses were sold, but whatever money was available accrued to Microsoft.

    Overall, they have been doing pretty well and any decline in those revenues is not likelt to make them abandon the business.

    Also, as #oldman (and I) have pointed out on a couple of occasions, the price for the phone is rather high, compared with a netbook, and you are ignoring the fairly expensive data contract needed to make the phone useful as well as subsizing the cost.

  30. oldman says:

    “Now that PCs cost of the order of $100, they are terrified.”

    ( I really wish we could edit our posts Pog….)

    I don’t know why you can think that Pog. Any computing device that only costs a flat $100.00 is probably not much good for anything. Remember Pog those Free to $100.00 smart phones come with a service contract. SO the actual cost is probably going to put you right back into the $450.00-$500.00 range that seems to be the bare minimum cost these days for a computing device that is useful to someone other than yourself who is determined to MAKE it work for ideological reasons.

    So when do you intend to go cold turkey and attempt to compute solely with one of those $100.00 smart phones Pog?

    .

  31. oldman says:

    “Now that PCs cost of the order of $100, they are terrified.”

    I don’t know why you can think that Pog. Any computing device that only costs $100.00

  32. You forget the licence. These days it is a huge proportion of the cost of the hardware. M$ was worried about that when PCs cost $1000. Now that PCs cost of the order of $100, they are terrified. Of course M$ could cut prices further to stay in the market but where’s the fun for them?

    8 years ago, I used to give a lesson that went something like this: PC=$100 for motherboard + $100 for RAM +$100 for ATX case+PSU + $100 for hard drive +$200 for monitor +$25 for keyboard and mouse +$100 for that other OS or $0 for GNU/Linux = $775 or $675 with Free Software, so that other OS was costing something like 15%. For a $200 tablet, they would be 50%. For a $100 smart phone they would be 100%. Say, that doesn’t work any more does it? Notice that Phoney “7” has not taken off and this could be one of the reasons. At these prices, businesses can give consumers free machines to augment business or to increase opportunity. Business will look at the economics of that and choose Free Software. They may not prefer Free Software for their own purposes but when they are producing a product or giving it away for $0 they will care about price. So, now consumers and producers both know the prices they are paying for software. Prices are too low to hide that other OS any longer.

  33. Contrarian says:

    “Instead of burdensome software one needs to study to use, people love small easy things”

    They are a convenience, certainly. But that is not the way that business is done and the traditional Windows application remains in vogue. Phones are in addition to conventional computers, not instead of. You would be hard-pressed “in the bush” out of range of a cell tower regardless, so there is no hope for you there.

    As to your use of a “smart thingie” with a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, all that you are saving there is a small bit of processor/memory cost at best and the history of man is that no one has ever complained about too much processor/memory. A desktop with no DVD or large hard drive seems to be be wrong, even for a minimalist such as yourself.

    It is well that you cleared up the situation, though. You are now understood to be talking about a small, low capability device that is as immobile as a conventional desktop, just lower priced due to the minimal components provided.

  34. Contrarian wrote, “Mobile apps are universally lightweight things that offer personal convenience to the user”

    Exactly. Instead of burdensome software one needs to study to use, people love small easy things. That’s why the smart thingies have eclipsed the heavyweight stuff in unit shipments. There’s better price/performance in small cheap computers than bloated table-weights.

    I would use a smart thingie if they made them for desktops. I don’t really need the “phone” app. I had a smart thingie in my hand for a couple of hours and then the “little woman” confiscated it. In the bush, I can see the utility of them. Here, I have a notebook hooked to monitor, keyboard and mouse. A smart thingie could serve very well espcecially as a thin client of my Beast who will soon rise from the ashes of its old dead motherboard. The part is in the mail. I have a network. I don’t need a big anything on my desk except monitor, keyboard and mouse. The box can be as tiny as humanly possible which is about the size of a smart phone these days. I could tape it to the back of the monitor… My son is already using GunSim at the range.

  35. Contrarian says:

    “It’s a new market and it will expand into desktop spaces.”

    My opinion is that you are wrong, #pogson. Mobile apps are universally lightweight things that offer personal convenience to the user but cannot replace any in-depth use of a traditional computer. That is not to say that everyone needs a conventional computer and there are many who might very well get by with just a phone, but given the nature of the market, I believe that even those people will have a “real” computer as well.

    You seem to base your predictions solely one the price aspect, with the “small, cheap computer” “flying off the shelves” to peole who have been waiting for years to save a couple of hundred bucks to get one. Presumably they have been waiting for years to commit $80 a month to a voice and data plan so as to get the low priced device? These phones are sold for $500 and up without a carrier subsidy involved, it seems to me, and that is a lot more money than the price of a netbook or laptop at Costco or Best Buy or Sam’s.

    Did you take your calculator app with you to the gun range as you implied above? From what I can see, the answer is no. You do not yourself use a smart phone in lieu of a desktop computer and so are loath to eat your own cooking in that regard. You hope that it will be the death of Microsoft, but I doubt that you really believe that it will.

  36. The ISVs and OEMs who produce smart thingies running Android/Linux are largely not M$’s “partners” and don’t give a damn about what the consumers are familiar. They are promoting Android/Linux and it’s selling like hotcakes now that prices are coming down a bit compared to iThingies. The ISVs are a different set, too. Many small businesses are thriving on the Android Marketplace. So, what the old-school ISVs and OEMs care about does not matter and there’s no cannibalization. It’s a new market and it will expand into desktop spaces.

  37. oldman says:

    “When 4.0 is released shortly, Android/Linux will have no problem being a viable choice on desktops in many cases. ”

    You know this How Pog? Have you looked at the feature set? Better, yet, have you looked at what the current applications for Android Are?

    I have attempted to use android as a desktop substitute. It is not by any stretch even close. The Best of the applications (many windows mobile retreads all BTW) isnt even close to being as substitute for its desktop counterpart.
    good enoough mobuke OOS, That is what it was deskgned for and that is the market that all of the ISV’s are targeting it for. The chances that ISV’s are going to cannibalize the existing desktop market ecosystem are nearly nil – you don’t crap where you eat.

    No doubt linux refuseniks like yourself will make it work. But the rest of us who dont hate microsoft will just continue using what works.

    In the end Pog, you are simply another victim of the sad triumph of hope over experience.

  38. oldman wrote, “Android itself is in its current form incapable of functioning as a desktop OS.

    Android is not yet popular on desktops but android-x86 works very well for Android 1.6, 2.2 and 2.3. When 4.0 is released shortly, Android/Linux will have no problem being a viable choice on desktops in many cases. People are moving to smaller and cheaper PCs and Android/Linux has merit there. While some apps will be missing there are many more available for Android/Linux than GNU/Linux and people enjoy them. I played around today with an emulation of Android. It was slow and jerky but the native code versions are just fine for performance.

  39. Ever heard of evolution? It doesn’t work if things live forever.

  40. Wes says:

    You know what is impressive about Robert Pogson? He is wrong about everything. He’s even wrong about this:

    All living things die so that a new improved generation can take over.

    Wrong!

  41. oldman says:

    “I see Android/Linux flying off shelves globally.”

    What does that have to do with the desktop Pog? Android was designed to run on smart phones and required a major revision to properly support tablets. tablets, As someone who as used both smart phones and tablets I can assure you that neither of these are anywhere near useable as a desktop substitute. In fact as far as I can see Android itself is in its current form incapable of functioning as a desktop OS.

    As far as your fanciful retelling of the history of computing is concerned, my only comment is that considering what the physical hardware of the time was capable of, windows 9x and windows XP were both more than adequate for most peoples needs, especially when the hardware was purchased pre-configured from a dell or gateway and sized right.

  42. I remember when M$ spent $1billion advertising Lose ’95, signing up a rock band, etc. and people did queue up to buy it but then there was Vista and “7” was no more loved. It took years to get close to XP which was junk from the beginning and no one loved it.

    The exclusion of GNU/Linux from retail shelves kept it from consumers’ attention but that has ended. I see Android/Linux flying off shelves globally. M$ is nowhere to be seen.

  43. Sure, when it’s half the price of the PC.

  44. Contrarian says:

    “Consumers are not M$’s customers.”

    I will say with certainty that Microsoft considers that its end users are its customers, #pogson. The OEMs are valued distributors, referenced in most communications as “channel partners”, of course, and Microsoft makes sure that their needs are considered as well.

    I think that history has been clear on how customers will flock to a new Windows release, #pogson. You have seen it time and time again, I am sure, and you come up with every sort of excuse as to why it is not happening and that there is something nefarious afoot preventing the world from seeing the wonderful world of Linux. GNU/Linux, that is! 🙂

    Aren’t you beginning to get a clue?

  45. oldman says:

    “. The OEMs are and the OEMs do not tell the consumers how much of their money goes to M$. So you cannot say the consumers are glad to pay for it.”

    Oh, I think that contrarian can make such a statement, Pog. I can think of very few consumers who are concerned about the component costs of the computers that they buy. Even if they were, do you really believe that a consumer who just wants a computer that runs is going to opt for a linux based system just to save $50-$100?

  46. Consumers are not M$’s customers. The OEMs are and the OEMs do not tell the consumers how much of their money goes to M$. So you cannot say the consumers are glad to pay for it.

  47. Contrarian says:

    “Responsible use of IT is also socially sensed”

    No it is not, #pogson. The two have nothing in common. Microsoft and Apple both provide products to customers who value them. Tens of billions of dollars are happily handed to MSFT and AAPL every year by coonsumers eager to try out the latest features of these products. MSFT and AAPL have the social sense to refrain from making stupid comments about sensitive matters and keep their comments focused on their products.

    You only rail against the fact that Apple and MS make a ton of money. Money isn’t everything, as you are likely to say, but it is the way we keep score regarding who is winning and who is losing. The winners have the money and the losers have to find some way of ignoring that they do not have any.

    Meanwhile, people use Windows on their computers and buy more iPhones and iPads and iPods and even Macintosh computers. With a smile.

  48. oldman says:

    “OTOH M$ and Apple seem to have no social conscience at all and often seem out to harm the world with needless restrictions on just about everything, anti-competitive practices and exploitation of free labour.”

    Socialistic crap. IMHO.

  49. Responsible use of IT is also socially sensed. That’s what the FLOSS community is all about. See Debian’s Social Contract, for instance.

  50. Debian will remain 100% free
  51. We will give back to the free software community
  52. We will not hide problems
  53. Our priorities are our users and free software
  54. Works that do not meet our free software standards

  55. OTOH M$ and Apple seem to have no social conscience at all and often seem out to harm the world with needless restrictions on just about everything, anti-competitive practices and exploitation of free labour.