Blessings

Blessings are gifts, shared things you cannot put a price upon, like “goodwill” in financial statements, but things you know make the world a better place. Last night M$ claimed it was a blessing:
America has been blessed by our founding fathers, and by being the home of Microsoft.

That’s shocking and disgusting. The USA has been blessed by the hard work of immigrants, an abundance of natural resources and isolation from the machinations of European states but M$? No way. M$ has cost the USA dearly:

  • M$ is a large part of the “ugly American” vision seen around the world. This was reinforced every time the US government went to bat for the monopolist or when M$ tried to bully whole countries into supporting the monopoly.
  • M$ has cost the USA many $billions in excessive licensing fees due to monopoly, driven out of business many innovative firms, caused billions of unnecessary re-re-reboots each one costing downtime, caused $billions in losses due to bugs, malware and a total loss of security in IT.
  • M$ has locked the USA into a lethal pile of software patents preventing anyone to produce anything innovative while the world advances rapidly.
  • Single-handedly, M$ has cost USA leadership in science and technology as the rest of the world uses FLOSS to get products to market faster and used IT more efficiently.
  • US businesses are so locked-in to Wintel that they are already years behind the rest of the world in using IT properly in business. The number one priority of businesses should be to make money for the business not M$, the parasite, yet 90% of US businesses are on the Wintel treadmill. In the rest of the world, businesses are embracing ARM, MIPS and FLOSS widely. Foreign businesses can keep hardware running ten years efficiently while US businesses scrap perfectly good PCs after 4 or 5 years. Economic growth has fled the USA as a result.
  • Even in taxation, instead of paying the 35% federal rate, M$ hides revenue off-shore and pays effectively 17.5%.
  • M$ has $17 billion of unearned revenue on the books. That’s revenue it received for which it has provided no goods or services. A criminal organization that demanded payment as M$ does would be hounded by police forces.

So, where’s the “blessing”?

I recommend Debian GNU/Linux so you can get off the Wintel treadmill and use IT and hardware much more effectively.

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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49 Responses to Blessings

  1. ch says:

    Oh, and I’m still waiting for your list of those 20 OSes that were allegedly killed off somehow by MS-DOS.

  2. ch says:

    “I am talking the 1980ies The MS Dos licenses were all machine made by the company on a fee base. This with commodore completely nasty. Commodore 128 computers being produced along side Commodore PC computer both had to pay for a copy of MS Dos.”

    Can you back that up with anything? My memory of the time clearly says otherwise.

    And of course the C128 and the other homecomputers like it really were killed because they were obsolete at the time. However, Amiga and Atari ST did quite well for a time, and I’d really like any proof that they had to pay MS anything.

    “This is also why Motorola chips that were top dog in the age of basic inside a few years completely disappeared and replaced by x86.”

    The basic-based homecomputers pretty much went under in the mid-80ies (and of course, the 16bit 6502 CPU with them, which was NOT made by Motorola). The Motorola 68000 took off with Sun workstations and especially the Apple Macintosh. By the late 90ies, it couldn’t compete anymore with current chips and withdrew to niches like the Palm PDAs. So between the arrival of DOS on the scene and the demise of the 68000 on desktops there were more than 15 years.

  3. oiaohm says:

    ch commodore was early basic while MS was still doing flat fee. The Fee per device starts in the age of basic with Microsoft. Mostly when MS works out how much they had missed out on.

    “1990ies (!) that each PC sold must come with an OS license” That is not early 1990ies. I am talking the 1980ies The MS Dos licenses were all machine made by the company on a fee base. This with commodore completely nasty. Commodore 128 computers being produced along side Commodore PC computer both had to pay for a copy of MS Dos. Yep the Commodore 128 could not run MS Dos.

    We are not talking about PC hardware having to pay for MS Dos. We are talking about non PC hardware having to pay. So killing out competition since you are now having to pay too much.

    Same with basic for competitors to the c64 and the other early ones to get access. Anyone wanting access to MS Dos was stuck into that evil contract at the change over. Basically latter basic clone devices who acquire base license from Microsoft also got stun with all devices produced clause.

    This is why the basic computers died out so fast. This is also why Motorola chips that were top dog in the age of basic inside a few years completely disappeared and replaced by x86.

    Hardware competition was reduced at that point in history.

  4. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    Not content with being a statistical incompetent (see several recent posts of yours); not content with being an accountancy incompetent (see this one); you insist upon proving that you are also ignorant of the English language.

    “Check your facts, please.

    “Of 120.9 million paid employees, only half work for businesses with 500 or more employees. Only 1/4 work for businesses with 10K or more employees.”

    My emphasis.

    I don’t really know what a heck of a lot of people worked for big companies means to the good folk of Manitoba, but to the rest of the English-speaking world, either 1/2 or 1/4 represents what we, in our quaint and non-rustic way, consider to be a “passel” or “a heck” or “rather a lot, when you come to consider it.”

    Of course, “a heck of a lot” is hardly worth considering, in democratic terms. Why, throw them all on the bonfire, that’s what I say! Have they bathed in the Blood of the Lamb? Did a single one of these drones ever contribute a line of code to the kernel …

    … well, almost certainly, most recent contributions to the kernel come from one of these two groups.

    But we can ignore them in any case. We are free, the code is free, we own it and it owns us.

    Let’s not bother about trivialities like a heck of a lot of people.

  5. Dr Loser says:

    @Clarence:

    Yup, I muffed it. Intentionally, would you blieve (and you don’t have to)? I was rather interested in how far Robert could plumb his ignorance on matters of accountancy and come up with a contorted reason why Goodwill is, er, good, and Unearned Revenues are, er, bad.

    I believe, however, that he has chosen Undignified Silence as the safer choice.

  6. Clarence Moon wrote, “a heck of a lot of people worked for big companies”.

    Nope. Big companies thrive on consolidation and have lower overhead of people/unit of work. There are many more small companies than large ones.

    Check your facts, please.

    Of 120.9 million paid employees, only half work for businesses with 500 or more employees. Only 1/4 work for businesses with 10K or more employees.

    Those are US Census numbers.

  7. Clarence Moon says:

    “Most people did not work for large businesses and had no idea about datacenters”

    Maybe not in the wilds of Canada, Mr. Pogson, but a heck of a lot of people worked for big companies and information workers there harbored a lot of ill will against the glass house operators who seemed to block many initiatives by people to mine nuggets of useful truth out of vast heaps of data.

    Programmable calculators started the movement towards freeing the data from the clutches of the system administrators and their acolytes. The IBM PC was a big hit because it legitimatized the results of their efforts via the big blue logo on the front. Apple was too cutesy and Radio Shack was too nerdy for that. The right logo at the right time was the key to PCs becoming a household word.

  8. ch says:

    OK, let me clarify: “… were seen by most people using computers …”

    The important thing is: PCs were seen as a good thing (at least by those who could afford / got to use them). The evil monopoly was still IBM, and they were eventually put into place, not least by PC clones from everyone else.

  9. ch wrote, “In the 80ies, the DOS-running PC and the Macintosh were seen by most people as the machines liberating users from the yoke of the datacenter admins.”

    Nonsense. Most people did not work for large businesses and had no idea about datacenters. The microprocessor was visible but mostly not affordable. People were paying nearly the price of a cheap new car in those days and you pretty well had to be in business to justify the expense. PCs were seen as productivity-enhancers for secretaries and managers as they out-performed paper, calculators and typewriters. Even a motherboard alone cost me $400 in 1980. My first ink-jet printer cost me $700 a few years later.

  10. Clarence Moon says:

    “Neither Goodwill nor Unearned Revenue make the world a better place; but they are equivalent in balance sheet terms.”

    I think you muffed that one, Doctor. They are both somewhat abstract terms, but the Unearned Revenue will someday become recognized, whereas Goodwill is pretty much water over the dam. For example, Microsoft has acquired a lot of Goodwill from the Skype purchase, but no Unearned Revenue.

  11. ch says:

    Mr Pogson,

    i take it that your silence is the closest you can come to admitting being wrong?

  12. ch says:

    “Outside of small technical elite hardly anyone, in my guess, understood that the PC was heading towards monopoly status.”

    Not exactly, Mr K. In the 80ies, the DOS-running PC and the Macintosh were seen by most people as the machines liberating users from the yoke of the datacenter admins. The “small elite”, meanwhile, was busy laughing over this newfangled toy – anything less than a Unix workstation was below their contempt. In the early 90ies, the “small elite” was busy fighting among themselves (-> Unix wars), and when they finally settled on Unix95, it was too late: NT-based PCs made Unix workstations obsolete, and NT (and of course Linux) took over the majority of servers, driving Unix and the other proprietary systems mostly back onto Big Iron (a lucrative but comparatively small market).

  13. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    Wow, do I own your ass on this one. I take little pleasure in it: it’s just an observation.

    Tracking back:

    “Blessings are gifts, shared things you cannot put a price upon, like ‘goodwill’ in financial statements, but things you know make the world a better place.”

    So, we’re already in the world of financial statements, but not under the label of Liabilities (where “Unearned Revenues” falls). Neither Goodwill nor Unearned Revenue make the world a better place; but they are equivalent in balance sheet terms.

    You really had no clue whatsoever what Unearned Revenues meant, did you? You just Pavloved at the qualifier “Unearned.” I’m afraid I feel sorry for you at this point.

    And, later in the thread:

    “M$ has $17 billion of unearned revenue on the books. That’s revenue it received for which it has provided no goods or services. A criminal organization that demanded payment as M$ does would be hounded by police forces.”

    Note criminal and demanded payment. Should either be the case for Microsoft’s Unearned Revenues, then you are going to need considerably more proof, or indeed any at all. Otherwise, Microsoft’s Unearned Revenues fall precisely in the same category as Red Hat’s (for example) Unearned Revenues.

    “RedHat is selling a service and delivering. M$ sells permission to use PCs they don’t own. That’s reprehensible.”

    Interesting comparison there, which I presume you came up with on the hoof after I pointed out what Unearned Revenues actually mean.

    Now, will you go back and point out how much of Microsoft’s Unearned Revenues are dependent upon refusing permission for the client to use a [computer] they already earn?

    And would you care to compare that to the Red Hat equivalent?

    I mean, in both cases, the customers have paid good money and expect something in return; it just hasn’t been booked yet.

    Or are you still so utterly without a clue that you do not understand what Unearned Revenues means?

    C’mon, fess up, Pog. You really did get lazy and borrow this off TechRights, didn’t you?

    In any case, I seriously own your ass on this one.

    Nope, in accountancy terms it’s still Unearned Earnin

  14. Dr Loser says:

    @oiaohm:

    “History of the Posix OS’s compared to MS history tell two very interestingly different results.”

    Indeed so, O wise one.

    The MS system is healthy and ongoing (and btw is Posix-compliant, should you really need that horrid ksh stuff they provide. But it is Posix compliant).

    Posix, meanwhile, is receding into a footnote of history.

    For example, are you aware that there is not a single Posix-compliant Linux system out there?

  15. Kozmcrae says:

    “MS continued this into the MS Dos age with the same stunt as basic. When it was basically too late with most of the OS makers dead the USA anti-trust stepped in.”

    How true oiaohm.

    If you think of how many people, including most of Congress don’t understand how SOPA will wreck the Internet at this stage in the development of the technology, think of how many people understood the growth of the PC back in 1981. Outside of small technical elite hardly anyone, in my guess, understood that the PC was heading towards monopoly status.

    Apparently it wasn’t seen as a monopoly by the Government possibly because it was a completely new market and none of the current laws seemed to apply. Of course they did only it took about 15 years for the Government mind to catch up to the technology. By then it was too late, Microsoft was synonymous with the PC.

  16. ch says:

    Of course “PS” should have been “PC”.

  17. ch says:

    Could you please explain this sentence: “If you have to pay for OS for every machine anyhow why keep on paying to make own.”

    If you sell a computer with an OS from a different company, I don’t see how it would be illegal to have to pay said other company a fee.

    If you built your own OS to go with the computer (like Apple Mac, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga and others did at the time), you didn’t have to pay anyone else (not even MS) so what is your point ?

    If you are referring to MS’s insistence in the early 1990ies (!) that each PC sold must come with an OS license: At the time it was virtually guaranteed that a PS sold without OS would wind up with a pirated copy of DOS (and probably Windows). In other words, MS already had their dominant position, otherwise they couldn’t have pulled this one of – SimpleFactTM.

    So what exactly was illegal ?

  18. ch says:

    oiaohm,

    I’m sorry but once again your particular mix of defective English, defective logic and defective “knowledge” make it hard to even guess what you might mean. Let’s give it a try:

    When you talk about Basic and MS’s very early days), I assume you are referring to the then-categorie of home computers like the C64 et al. They didn’t really have an OS but rather something like a BIOS / boot loader plus a built-in Basic. This Basic clearly didn’t compete with any OS, only with other Basic (or whatever) implementations. It seems MS’s one was petty good (in terms of features per KB), so it was used by various manufacturers.

    Regarding licensing terms at the time, the WP currently offers the following:
    “Commodore licensed BASIC from Microsoft on a “pay once, no royalties” basis for US$25,000 (…) Commodore took the source code of the flat-fee BASIC and further developed it internally for all their other 8-bit home computers.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_BASIC#History
    So much for “you had to pay for every machine you produced”.

    (And of course, no home computer manufacturer was forced to buy MS Basic, and quite a number didn’t.)

    Regarding OSes, please tell me what OSes did MS-DOS / PC-DOS actually compete with in the early days ? The only one I’m aware of was CP/M – and DR brought their problems on themselves. So which were these 20+ OSes that DOS somehow killed ?

  19. Clarence Moon says:

    “I know this is bad news but this is also illegal by usa competition laws at the time.”

    Are you a lawyer, Mr. Oiaohm? Can we add that to your list of talents? You could perhaps explain how it might be illegal to offer extended discounts for exclusive dealing to one’s best customers. Were the conditions for that violation ever met? What was the outcome of any legal action taken.

  20. oiaohm says:

    oldman history in the USA where the anti-trust stepped in early to these issues is universal. The companies that were doing the violations don’t exist any more.

    History says something clear if MS was pulled up early they would not exist now. The market would have gone a completely different path. Most likely a path without a single dominate item. More diverse and interesting computer world. So avoiding the 15 years+ of MS caused OS dark age.

    Areas where MS is being forced to play fair by governments you are seeing lower usage of MS Office and MS Windows.

    So there is evidence as well that MS position might not be as strong as it appears. If enough force to fair play comes result could be fairly destructive.

    Understanding history is part speculation based on comparing events to see how each event shaped the future. What events were key. What events were minor. One of the keys was MS domination usage of Licensing for where they are today.

    MS is trying to keep this domination of licensing going with software patents.

    The truth is MS did evil to get where they are. This is unavoidable fact of the matter. Has this made them weak because they are not use to fighting a fair and open compete-ting market I would suggest so.

    Look at the Unix OS’s all based on a common standard posix. All those OS’s have less limits. Due to having to compete with each other to offer the user that they could do more.

    History of the Posix OS’s compared to MS history tell two very interestingly different results.

  21. oldman says:

    “Now if anti-trust in the usa was far more responsive MS would not be where they are today. That MS is not in it position by fair means does suggest it could fall if it forced to play fair.”

    And if my aunt had balls she would be my uncle. This is a common bit of FreeTard speculation. The truth is you do not know sir, and IMHO your speculation is right up there with Pogs notion that he can covert windows users to linux by just plopping a linux desktop in fromt of them land letting them sink or swim.

  22. oiaohm says:

    ch path to dominance started before MS Dos in fact.

    There is 7 majors in basic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC If I include all the minors in the early PC age where the computers where Basic microcomputers yes the personal computer title was coined for basic microcomputers there was 20+ alone in Basic.

    20+ is quite Conservative for the number of OS’s coming out at peak before MS got foothold.

    MS started the take over in BASIC you wanted to use MS Basic you had to pay for every machine you produced. This started killing off OS production at hardware makers.

    MS started pulling the rough stuff right at the start ch something that appeared harmless. If you have to pay for OS for every machine anyhow why keep on paying to make own. So leading down the road to MS dominance. I know this is bad news but this is also illegal by usa competition laws at the time.

    MS continued this into the MS Dos age with the same stunt as basic. When it was basically too late with most of the OS makers dead the USA anti-trust stepped in.

    Just like anti-trust now stepping in basically 15 years to late over what MS did to get MS Office dominate.

    Now if anti-trust in the usa was far more responsive MS would not be where they are today. That MS is not in it position by fair means does suggest it could fall if it forced to play fair.

  23. ch says:

    @oldman:
    Thanks but our friend was referring to 20 OSes competing in “the same market” (PCs), and your examples (except for much later versions of IRIX and Solaris) are/were not exactly PC OSes. (I haven’t heard of DOS/VSE and RSTS, btw. but I could add BS2000 😉

    @oiaohm:
    “Yes ch there was over 20 OS’s at one stage in the PC market.”

    In the _PC_ market ? Obviously, VMS and Z/OS etc. are not exactly PC-OSes, and neither were the homecomputer “OSes”, so what systems are you talking about ?

    And one point in general: MS reached it’s dominant position in the PC world against competition. Essentially, we the people voted them to the top with our dollars/pounds/deutschmarks/whatever. They could (and did) only pull off their rough stuff _after_ they had attained that position and to _keep_ that position.

  24. oiaohm says:

    oldman you almost got the list of 20. You missed the ones based on basic like the c64 remember MS sold basic to most of the basic one and it was fragmented worse than android and the items like Amiga.

    oldman and ch there were a few other odd balls as well that made it out in the market. Yes ch there was over 20 OS’s at one stage in the PC market.

    People have forgotten that the Pc market was a very vibrate place with lots of competition. Today we barely have a shadow of what it once was.

    Also I miss some of the old non politically correct things like almost nude women being used to sell cd burners. Early computer history porn was not that far separated.

    Yes I am not kidding that MS anti-trust actions took us from a broad range of OS to choose from down to a very min few. This was not a health out come for computer development.

    Clarence Moon
    “Microsoft as being a violator of business ethics or worse”

    This is not a stretch. To be correct its not exactly voluntary. Clarence Moon

    You are all very clear to say that the Linux desktop is not good enough neither is the OS X desktop. Voluntary requires a choice to exist that has not been exterminated by predatory actions. MS has done many predatory actions to get where they are.

    What is required is proper competition in the market place.

    This proper competition needs rules like open file formats so products can fairly fight on features not data lock-in.

    Dr Loser IBM turns over multi billion in Linux support contracts per year on the Linux super computers they build alone. Shocking as it sounds in the Linux world Redhat is small fry.

    Every super builder does more turn over in support than redhat does. Just looking at redhat alone you are at least missing 10 Billion dollars of the Linux support market. Could be as high as 4 times that.

    Unearned Revenue at redhat is interesting. That is people who have paid for a support contract then have not used the support. So that means about 50 percent don’t need support yet they are paying for it.

    Really if you wanted big numbers of unearned revenue look at insurance companies.

    Redhat you can explain the Unearned Revenue is normal effect of anyone selling a insurance based product. What insurance is MS selling. Where is the service I can call in a crises.

    When you look closer MS Unearned Revenue links to auto upgrade subscriptions. And if you don’t pay subscription you can lose right to use software.

    This is not providing a service. This is ripping people off because they don’t have good enough competition in most peoples eyes.

    Unearned Revenue alone is not the problem. Its how MS is getting that Unearned Revenue is very questionable. Taking money without the possibility that they might lose since they are not providing a service part with the Unearned Revenue.

    Yes in theory redhat could lose. Like if everyone used every bit of there support contracts a particular year. Odd of happening is basically zero.

  25. Clarence Moon says:

    “suppose GM …”

    I do not understand the comparison between this rather far-fetched hypothetical situation and Microsoft’s agreement to set fixed future pricing for companies that want to hedge on their IT costs. It is voluntary, after all, and that hardly fits within any sort of monopoly forcing a price, like it or not. If the buyers didn’t like it, they would not buy it.

  26. Kozmcrae says:

    “I think I own this conversation at this point.”

    You better run that by Clarence. He might have to adjust what you think you know according to how you fit in with the rest of the World.

  27. RedHat is selling a service and delivering. M$ sells permission to use PCs they don’t own. That’s reprehensible.

  28. Dr Loser says:

    I think I own this conversation at this point.

  29. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    And since accountancy is a subject about which, like you, I know nothing (and care even less), I thought I’d take a reasonably comparable Linux company and compare Unearned Revenue.

    Specifically, Red Hat, via this link.

    The google I used, btw,was “red hat accounts unearned revenue,” which slightly suggests that you may have been encouraged by TechRights to come up with this nonsense. I’m prepared to apologize if I’m wrong.

    Anyhoo, Unearned Revenue for RH in 2008 was $340 million, rising to $570 million in 2011. Which is quite a huge proportion of the $1 billion in earnings that every Linux fan I know bandies about.

    Rather larger (by a factor of at least ten, I believe) than the proportion of Microsoft revenues.

    Evil and unconscionable stuff, this Unearned Revenue, isn’t it?

  30. Well, suppose GM managed to become a monopoly and decided everyone should put GM on the payroll, paying for the privilege of rolling by paying $5000 per year to GM whether or not they drove a car so that they would be “entitled” to buy a car sometime in the future… Stuff like this is an abuse of the market. For small items like magazines there is great efficiency in paying a yearly subscription avoiding significant transaction costs. For software? Nope. No benefit to the end user whatsoever. It just raises cost of IT. It’s a way of increasing monopoly power.

  31. Kozmcrae says:

    “You are fairly alone in the world in holding that Microsoft products are worthless.”

    Clarence knows what the rest of the world thinks… You are a dumb ass Clarence.

    Clarence has his own vision of Mr. Pogson’s world. Clarence sees what he wants to see and nothing else. He believes he speaks for the rest of the world. An ego like that can’t get much bigger.

  32. Dr Loser says:

    Just to drill the point into the thick skulls of people here, such as Koz, here from Robert’s quote is the reason that “Unearned Revenue” is called “Unearned Revenue” when one is drawing up accounts:

    … other offerings for which we have been paid in advance and earn the revenue when we provide the service or software, or otherwise meet the revenue recognition criteria.

    In other words, you cannot book this stuff until you “meet the revenue recognition criteria.”

    Does this mean that the cash-flow does not exist? Clearly not. “We have been paid in advance.”

    This is such seriously basic accountancy crap that I wonder why anybody would be even the slightest bit confused. It is an advance payment for a future liability (ie, in general, some sort of support cost).

    Some people here are getting their panties in a twist about words like “unearned,” aren’t they?

    Well, stop it and grow up.

  33. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    So “Unearned Revenue” turns out to be a Stupid Accountancy Trick, just as I suspected all along.

    But thanks for quoting the tedious details.

    Would you care to pick a single one which is prima facie objectionable? (ie if a company other than M$ did it, you would regard it as objectionable?)

  34. Clarence Moon says:

    You stretch your imagination to find things to say that cast Microsoft as being a violator of business ethics or worse, Mr. Pogson, but it does not have any ring of truth. Buying in advance to ensure a delivery position in the event of high demand or to obtain a volume price or any other reason is not a failure of the fiduciary responsibility of the buyer per se unless you can show that a more prudent course was clearly available and that the buyer was reckless or possibly acting from a conflict of interest.

    You are fairly alone in the world in holding that Microsoft products are worthless. Your position flies against the vast majority of purchasers of such products who value them immensely. You hold that the whole world is full of fools who continue to buy Windows or other proprietary products, but could it just be true that you are wrong and the rest of the world has valid reasons for their choices? Perhaps your experiences in IT are not sufficiently general to give you an accurate read on their motives.

  35. Clarence Moon wrote of unearned income by M$, “It is absurd to try to paint that as some sort of unethical behavior.”

    It is unethical when M$ is in the position of a monopoly and leaves little choice for businesses to throw money at M$. There is a thing in law called “fiducial responsibility” and if any business opened accounts with all their suppliers and topped them up with the year’s budget, the shareholders would be in revolt because that’s a foolish waste of capital. M$ makes it seem a little wise by showing the practice costs less than paying full retail prices for M$’s licences. In reality, businesses get no value whatsoever from using M$’s “products”. It’s as if I were an extortionist and approached the owner of the flowershop on the corner and forced her to buy a container of baseball bats because they were cheaper than buying them at Canadian Tire. The shop owner does not even need the bats but may buy them out of fear of change or reprisal. M$ gets a guaranteed cash-flow while other businesses are put in jeopardy. What if there is a downturn? The businesses who top up their account with M$ cannot get their money back.

    The world would be much better off to use FLOSS in which the licence accompanies the software and costs very little to obtain. That’s the right way to do IT.

  36. Clarence Moon says:

    Linux companies that are selling support are doing the very same thing, Mr. Pogson. One orders support subscriptions for Red Hat annually and may or may not receive any support depending on needs and circumstances. Microsoft has $17B in outstanding obligations, based on time, and does not take the revenue into account until the contracted services have been delivered. It may be that there are no deliveries for a particular period, but a deal is a deal.

    It is absurd to try to paint that as some sort of unethical behavior. All it is doing is acting as a smoothing mechanism to prevent wild quarter to quarter or year to year revenue swings due to closing a big deal in one quarter that affects operations over a longer period, such as a year or more. All that you can say is that Microsoft has $17B in sold orders in their revenue pipeline at the moment.

  37. ch wrote, “If you pay for a magazine subscription in advance does that mean the publisher gets “money for nothing” just because he hasn’t yet delivered all issues you paid for?”

    With a magazine subscription there is a contract with schedule for delivery. With M$, you may or may not get anything for your money. M$ claims it is a valuable privilege to lap up their crap if and when they deliver any. I am shocked that any business would go for that. If the price were $20 per annum or so, I could see that, but the full monopolized price? No way. Many businesses do just fine without the subscription. Ask any business how the privilege of migrating to Vista paid off.

  38. oldman says:

    TO be fair..

    You also had and (in some cases) still have SUN-OS/Solaris, HP-UX, MVS/zOS. VM/zVM, DOS/VSE, UNIX System X, Next-OS, AIX, IRIX, VMS, Netware, RSTS-E…

  39. ch says:

    “This took out a lot of companies own in house OS development.”

    Could you give me some examples ?

    “Before that there were over 20 different OS’s fighting for the same market space.”

    Hmmm… I remember CP/M-86 / DR-DOS, XENIX / SCO Unix, OS/2 and BCSD. What were the other 16+ OSes ?

  40. ch says:

    “M$ has $17 billion of unearned revenue on the books. That’s revenue it received for which it has provided no goods or services. A criminal organization that demanded payment as M$ does would be hounded by police forces.”

    Your own later quote shows that “unearned revenue” has nothing to do with “money for nothing”, as you here imply. Instead it’s just advance payments for services to be delivered in the future. If you pay for a magazine subscription in advance does that mean the publisher gets “money for nothing” just because he hasn’t yet delivered all issues you paid for?

    “M$ has supplied almost nothing” except for the OS that fueled the PC revolution – surely we can just ignore that.

  41. oiaohm says:

    Linux is letting a lot of companies who gave up there in house OS development to return to the OS development game.

    Damage done by MS over 30 years has been massive. RTF double cross was so perfectly.

    Get all wordprocessors to agree to use RTF then extend it and not document how so all other word processors would be incompadible. MS slide of hand leading to the dominance of MS Office today.

    Very little has MS got by true free and fair competition. Lot has been got by underhanded tricks.

  42. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon MS first anti-trust case was a little late off the start line.

    When to sell MS Dos you had to agree to pay for every machine you made. MS Dos or not. This took out a lot of companies own in house OS development.

    MS vandalized the Personal computer market reducing competition and choice for the consumer. Before that there were over 20 different OS’s fighting for the same market space.

    Linux could see the market return to what it should have been.

  43. Clarence Moon wrote, “There has been a virtual revolution in personal technology over the few decades where Microsoft has been a major or dominant supplier.”

    M$ has supplied almost nothing and been overpaid for it. That is because they have a monopoly on retail shelf-space and with many retailers and OEMs. M$ does not even ship many products, just licences permitting use of PCs. Because they had the monopoly they could charge what the market would bear rather than a competitive price. Consider a complete PC. It might cost $400 and M$’s licence costs about $100 of that. The machine would be perfectly functional with GNU/Linux which can be had for $0 licence and a few dollars for installation. Monopolistic pricing is not revolutionary. It doesn’t increase productivity in the least.

  44. Unearned Revenue
    Unearned revenue at June 30, 2011 comprised mainly unearned revenue from volume licensing programs. Unearned revenue from volume licensing programs represents customer billings for multi-year licensing arrangements paid for either at inception of the agreement or annually at the beginning of each billing coverage period and accounted for as subscriptions with revenue recognized ratably over the billing coverage period. Unearned revenue at June 30, 2011 also included payments for: post-delivery support and consulting services to be performed in the future; Xbox LIVE subscriptions and prepaid points; Microsoft Dynamics business solutions products; OEM minimum commitments; unspecified upgrades/enhancements of Windows Phone and Microsoft Internet Explorer on a when-and-if-available basis for Windows XP; and other offerings for which we have been paid in advance and earn the revenue when we provide the service or software, or otherwise meet the revenue recognition criteria.
    The following table outlines the expected future recognition of unearned revenue as of June 30, 2011:

    (In millions)
    Three Months Ending,
    September 30, 2011

    $ 5,979
    December 31, 2011

    4,914
    March 31, 2012

    3,207
    June 30, 2012

    1,622
    Thereafter

    1,398
    Total

    $ 17,120

  45. Dr Loser says:

    I don’t suppose I’m going to appreciate it properly, btw, but where exactly is this $17 billion of unearned revenue?

    If it turns out to be a Stupid Accountancy Trick (as practised by just about ever major corporation in the Western World, and I’m not for a moment defending it), then I wonder exactly why you brought it up at this point?

  46. Clarence Moon says:

    I think you are being too harsh in regard to complaining about Microsoft’s achievements over the past 30 years, Mr. Pogson. You make a number of charges that just do not make any sense.

    There has been a virtual revolution in personal technology over the few decades where Microsoft has been a major or dominant supplier. Perhaps another company could have done the same thing and the times were simply ripe for these monumental changes, but it was Microsoft (and Apple, Dell, Compaq, HP, and a few others) that was on the spot and that made it all happen.

    The US continues to prosper in personal computer and electronics technologies and your remarks have no real basis in fact. There is no question that the changes in the US are reflected world-wide, but no one is that much “ahead” of anyone else in the group of modern nations.

    The obvious blessing is that the US continues to be a leader in terms of personal comfort, security, and satisfaction. The problem here is that too many are trying to get into the US to live. There is no problem with anyone trying to get out.

  47. Dr Loser says:

    Either way, Robert. Either way.

    The USA is a fantastic country of opportunity with a long history of doing really good things and should not under any circumstances put up with the Evil of Microsoft.

    Or alternatively the USA is a disgusting Military-Industrial Complex that cannot even get F35s to fly right and is rife with nauseating companies like M$.

    I mean, in your own mind, which one of these two views do you take?

  48. oldman says:

    “If you want to see something really shocking and disgusting wait till you see the comments from the Cult of Microsoft.”

    If you want to see something pathetic and whiny look no further than the above poster.

  49. Kozmcrae says:

    If you want to see something really shocking and disgusting wait till you see the comments from the Cult of Microsoft.

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