Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:02 UTC, submitted by flanque
Microsoft "Red Flag Linux has turned out to be little more than a key bargaining chip in a high stakes game of commerce between the Chinese government and the world's largest software maker. Thanks to some major concessions on source code and a precipitous price drop, the Chinese government has now thoroughly embraced Windows and Office. And thanks to a major about-face in the way that it deals with piracy, Microsoft has also won over the Chinese people."
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Well...
by Timmmm on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:21 UTC
Timmmm
Member since:
2006-07-25

Linux still isn't ready for general unadministered use by the public, so this isn't that much a surprise. Still, good that it could be used to cut into Microsoft's monopoly a bit.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Well...
by archiesteel on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:26 UTC in reply to "Well..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Linux still isn't ready for general unadministered use by the public


This is a matter of opinion. One could say the same thing about Windows.

Reply Score: 20

RE[2]: Well...
by Duffman on Mon 30th Jul 2007 06:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Well..."
Duffman Member since:
2005-11-23

lol, just tell me who (out of the linux zealots).

Windows is used since 20 years by the public, Microsoft has nothing to prove here ...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Well...
by 74k3n on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well..."
74k3n Member since:
2007-06-06

Windows is used since 20 years by the public, Microsoft has nothing to prove here ...

You honestly believe that? I've been removing spyware and viruses and just making pcs generally usable for the average user for 10 years. Why? because windows isn't ready for unadministered use by the public either.

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Well...
by archiesteel on Mon 30th Jul 2007 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Your childish arrogance won't hide the fact that most Windows users are hopeless when the time comes to administer their machines. That's when they call me, usually, and have done so for the last 20 years.

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Well...
by MollyC on Mon 30th Jul 2007 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well..."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Your childish arrogance won't hide the fact that most Windows users are hopeless when the time comes to administer their machines. That's when they call me, usually, and have done so for the last 20 years."

As I write this, the above comment has been modded up to a 7! I thought OSNews's mod-limit was 5. Maybe that's changed, but how in the world can the above qualify as a 7?? It's not particularly insightful, informative, or interesting, and even includes a personal attack. A "7"? Give me a break.

Edited 2007-07-30 16:29

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Well...
by archiesteel on Mon 30th Jul 2007 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Well..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

While I also don't think it deserved a "7" (I guess there's either a bug or a new upper limit for comments), I disagree that it includes a personal attack. What Duffman said was both childish and arrogant ("lol", "linux zealots"), and so the epithets were warranted. I was not attacking him, but what he said.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Well...
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
That's when they call me, usually, and have done so for the last 20 years.
"""

Serious question. Why do you help them? To me, everyone, including me, has helped create, nurture, and support the problem that we now have.

I'm in the IT business professionally, and although I have resisted, I've done my part as well, because it made short-term sense. That's how MS operates. By making their "solutions" make short-term sense.

I finally decided that while I can't stop the problem, I don't have to be a part of it. I've made it clear to my Windows-loving employer, (whose philosophy is that a Windows support dollar is just as good as a Linux support dollar and easier to sell) that I won't do it anymore. There are still times that it makes sense to me to support Windows. E.g. when I can edge OSS onto a Windows machine. But I still don't like it. These days, there almost has to be a Linux server involved, carrying the future possibility of moving the Windows boxes to thin client status, before I can support Windows and actually feel good about what I am doing.

That's just me, of course. I respect the fact that different people can have different ethical systems which are just as valid as mine.

But I find that as time goes on, I have become less and less comfortable aiding and abetting the MS Windows/ MS Office monopolies. And so I ignore the carrot hanging from that stick and do what I feel is right.

I would encourage others to join me if their ethical leaning are similar, and if they can do so without compromising other, more important, ethical responsibilities.

Edited 2007-07-30 16:32

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Well...
by archiesteel on Mon 30th Jul 2007 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Well..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

"Serious question. Why do you help them?"

That is a good question...because they would be helpless without me. That said, I *have* succeeded in convincing at least three persons to switch to Linux, and only one of them has continued to have problems since then (turns out it's a memory compatibility problem, he didn't buy the right kind of RAM for his motherboard).

Note that I only offer this support to family and friends, and they know they can't abuse it, because it makes me grumpy... :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Well...
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Well..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
because they would be helpless without me.
"""

Understood. And funny thing... when it comes to advocating a move from Windows to Linux, I'm more comfortable facing the general manager of a multi-million dollar corporation than my sister or brother. ;-)

Edited 2007-07-30 17:11

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Well...
by google_ninja on Mon 30th Jul 2007 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well..."
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I got a family member on linux once. Never again. Sure, twice a year you go over and spend an hour being amazed by the sorry sight of their "computer", as you format and reinstall windows. But that is a far cry from a phone call every day or two, and semi regular visits to do things I can't walk them through over the phone. It's pretty ok now, but I really won't put myself through that again.

The only thing linux really has going for it for non-techies is that its free. The whole lack of malware is seriously outweighed by the overall complexity of the system. And if you tell me its not complex, get your mom using it, and it will completely change your way of thinking.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Well...
by archiesteel on Mon 30th Jul 2007 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Well..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

It seems you haven't tried Linux in years. I *have* put non-techie users on Linux, and they have found it as easy as Windows (in fact, there were studies that showed common tasks were as easy under Gnome/KDE as they were under Windows).

But that is a far cry from a phone call every day or two, and semi regular visits to do things I can't walk them through over the phone.


What version was it? Gnome or KDE? Did you explain the basics to them?

You know you can set them up with SSH/remote desktop so you *don't* have to go there in person, right (this applies to many Windows issues as well).

The whole lack of malware is seriously outweighed by the overall complexity of the system.


Try a pre-installed Ubuntu PC one of these days.

And if you tell me its not complex, get your mom using it, and it will completely change your way of thinking.


Windows is too complex for my mom, so I wouldn't see any difference. However, I did set up two non-techie users with Linux, and after a short acclimatation period they found it just as easy as Windows.

It's power users that have a hard time getting adapted to Linux (and then badmouth it every chance they get).

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: Well...
by google_ninja on Mon 30th Jul 2007 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Well..."
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

It seems you haven't tried Linux in years. I *have* put non-techie users on Linux, and they have found it as easy as Windows (in fact, there were studies that showed common tasks were as easy under Gnome/KDE as they were under Windows).


I have feisty installed, and when it comes to simplicity, it really hasnt advanced since when I was using warty, which WAS years ago.

What version was it? Gnome or KDE? Did you explain the basics to them?


It was for my mom, and I installed KDE as it is far closer to windows then GNOME (which reminds me alot of Mac Classic) I went through the initial configuration myself.


Windows is too complex for my mom, so I wouldn't see any difference. However, I did set up two non-techie users with Linux, and after a short acclimatation period they found it just as easy as Windows.


Windows is too complex for my mom too, but it is usable. She can install software, and find software to install. She can find solutions to simple problems, and she is able to use the industry standard software she is familiar with. (academic stuff like SPSS, Word, OneNote, etc) She has no problem with any of the Palm software she uses, even the ones with front ends on her computer. With very basic instructions and agressively set scanning schedules, malware is a managable issue for her. Took me a very long time to admit it, but I was doing her a huge disservice by pushing her to switch, and did myself a huge disservice by wasting massive amounts of time finding solutions and alternatives to her problems. When everything was said and done, the only real advantage is that it was free as in beer, her software wasnt as good, she still wasnt as comfortable in the environment, and she was far more reliant on me then she is on windows.

Another friend of mine was a windows power user and had been for years, after a very long time he now enjoys playing with ubuntu, but again, the platform doesnt offer him the tools that windows does. He thanks me regularily for pushing him because playing with linux is alot of fun for people with inquisitive minds, but he only has it installed on his kids pc, and is now on mac full time. With him it was closer to your experience with his friends, but he is a techie. My mom isnt.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Well...
by archiesteel on Mon 30th Jul 2007 23:28 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Well..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

None of the reasons you gave me had anything to do with complexity, or even app quality. Rather, it had to do with familiarity.

Took me a very long time to admit it, but I was doing her a huge disservice by pushing her to switch, and did myself a huge disservice by wasting massive amounts of time finding solutions and alternatives to her problems.


I'm sorry, I have a hard time buying that.

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: Well...
by lemur2 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Well..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Windows is too complex for my mom too, but it is usable. She can install software, and find software to install.


So you didn't show her Synaptic? That program makes it far easier on Linux to find and install new software on Linux than anything on Windows.

she is able to use the industry standard software she is familiar with.


That is the actual issue. Your acolyte has some vague familiarity with, some level of learning in and therefore personal investment in, Windows.

This person is not a suitable candidate for a move to Linux.

There are three types of computer user that can move easily to Linux:
(1) Someone who has not previously used Windows. An absolute raw beginner. Such a person is likely to find a newbie-oriented Linux distribution, such as PCLinuxOS, easier to pick up and use than Windows.
(2) Someone who is a competent user and who does not have any trouble learning a new program.
(3) Someone who knows computer systems very well. Essentially, a developer and/or computer scientisit or software engineer.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Well...
by mrasool on Wed 1st Aug 2007 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well..."
mrasool Member since:
2007-05-28

Yes, most Windows users are ignorant to the point that they do not know what a browser is and what an OS is.

At my workplace most of the dumb-as*es need help even to make a new Internet Connection and install a printer with the "click the .exe file" functionality of windows.

I help them all the time even though I am not a system administrator and use MacOS X and GNU/Linux at home.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Well...
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Well..."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

That's why it's perfect fit for "adminitrations" ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Well...
by PJBonoVox on Wed 1st Aug 2007 12:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Well..."
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

Totally a matter of opinion. Unfortunately for you, most people would agree with the OP's opinion, including me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Well...
by ichi on Wed 1st Aug 2007 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well..."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

"Most people" being... who?
And how would that be unfortunate for archiesteel?

Reply Score: 1

Wishfull thinking dont work.
by Moulinneuf on Mon 30th Jul 2007 00:20 UTC in reply to "Well..."
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Linux still isn't ready for general unadministered use by the public"

Right , because only defense contractor , high level server administrator , engineer and doctorate programmer , use it , they are the only one who can use it if one listen to your nonsense.

Dell , HP , Acer , ETC ... would not ship it in desktop offer if it was not ready.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Wishfull thinking dont work.
by PJBonoVox on Wed 1st Aug 2007 12:01 UTC in reply to "Wishfull thinking dont work."
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

They'll withdraw it when they realise.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wishfull thinking dont work.
by ichi on Wed 1st Aug 2007 14:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Wishfull thinking dont work."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Please go and tell them, since you obviously know better.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Well...
by jessta on Mon 30th Jul 2007 08:40 UTC in reply to "Well..."
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

It's not a problem with GNULinux, it's a problem with the fact that in a Microsoft monoploy not running microsoft products puts you at a disadvantage in interoperating with other users,developers,manufacturers because they expect that you are running Microsoft products too.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Well...
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Well..."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Only Chinese with they DIY logic and growing resources could break that magic ring. Given their bargaining power and own industry they were positioned to literally force MS only companies to cooperate, if only the went linux big time. That would be the real critical mass for linux market.
Apparently Chinese didn't find that beneficial or feasible.
This is what makes this setback so damaging.
Knowing that I guess MS would even agree to pay them $70 for every copy of Windows used and have guarantee of Ballmer kissing Hu JinTao ass every week written in contract.
This year won't definitely be the year of Desktop linux.

Edited 2007-07-30 12:01

Reply Score: 1

RE: Well...
by raver31 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 15:00 UTC in reply to "Well..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree, and I use Linux 100% of my time on my own computers.

Linux has a lot further to go to be something for Joe Public.

HOWEVER... A rule of point is never to believe anything CNET says :p

Reply Score: 2

Red Windows
by stestagg on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:27 UTC
stestagg
Member since:
2006-06-03

So, to turn the tables:

Microsoft is now a company that encourages Communist philosophies. It's corporate policy is one of subsidising communist governments. Given America's traditional pro-Democratic stance, if spun properly, this might significantly harm Microsoft's image in America.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Red Windows
by TBPrince on Sun 29th Jul 2007 21:19 UTC in reply to "Red Windows"
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

pro-Democratic stance
Pro-what? Give us a break with your Democracy tales. US is about worshipping the dollar and that's what they did and do.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Red Windows
by Windows Sucks on Sun 29th Jul 2007 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Windows"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Yeah, I am sure there are a lot pro Democracy people running around all the middle east countries we are friends with and buy oil from.

It's all about money. No different then telling Americans that cigarettes are bad for Americans then funding American companies to go to "Third World" countries and sell stronger versions of the same thing.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Red Windows
by kaiwai on Tue 31st Jul 2007 05:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Red Windows"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

It's all about money. No different then telling Americans that cigarettes are bad for Americans then funding American companies to go to "Third World" countries and sell stronger versions of the same thing.


Or more correctly, decry the tobacco companies then subsidise it through agricultural subsidies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Red Windows
by Windows Sucks on Tue 31st Jul 2007 11:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Red Windows"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Very true. I am American and I love America but no one or country is perfect. We do our fair share of dirt.

No one noticed our dirt as much when there were 2 super powers and we were the best choice out of the 2 (Lesser of two evils)

But now that Russia is on the sidelines our dirt is starting to surface.

This is just an example of our "We'll deal with you and whatever you do wrong so long as we have a need for you." Way of doing things.

And this is not Microsoft being bad! All Americans buy from China so we all support the same thing. Me included.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Red Windows
by mat69 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Red Windows"
mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

Now ask why there aren't democracies?

Maybe it would not be that easy to exploit them anymore? It's "usefull" for us that there are dictatorships.

Operation Ajax is one of the best examples how to spread "freedom" in the world.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Red Windows
by Windows Sucks on Tue 31st Jul 2007 13:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Red Windows"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

And we wonder why Iran hates us today. Hummmmmmmm.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Red Windows
by helf on Mon 30th Jul 2007 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Windows"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

What the hell? We can mod higher than +5 now?! sweet! That guy is at +7 already! ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Red Windows
by butters on Sun 29th Jul 2007 22:58 UTC in reply to "Red Windows"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Microsoft is now a company that encourages Communist philosophies. It's corporate policy is one of subsidising communist governments. Given America's traditional pro-Democratic stance, if spun properly, this might significantly harm Microsoft's image in America.

I don't know what America you're talking about. The one I live in is presently negotiating a $20 billion arms deal with the Saudis (you know, the ones that flew our planes into our buildings?) so long as we also increase Israel's arms allowance by $30 billion. There's nothing more American than fighting fires with gasoline.

If Americans don't get upset when we sell satellite-guided smart bombs to governments that turn a blind eye to terrorism, then we won't even flinch when we give communists a discount on Windows.

America is too busy living vicariously through celebrities to care about what's going on in the real world. Can't you see that Linsday Lohan and Nicole Richie need help? It doesn't matter if the world is safe for democracy if it isn't safe for rich girls.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Red Windows
by stestagg on Sun 29th Jul 2007 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Windows"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Heh. It all comes down to the spin.

The nice thing about 'Commies' is that your average citizen already has 40-50 years of anti-communist propaganda in his memory, on which you can draw to accent your message.

As far as I can tell, it's not the middle-east Governments that are being painted as the baddies in the War on Terror, but individual, rogue Terrorists. So selling arms to the Saudis to allow them to protect themselves against the terrorists, is an acceptable move.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Red Windows
by KenJackson on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Windows"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

... arms deal with the Saudis ... satellite-guided smart bombs ...

These issues are very much more complicated than you have suggested, with multiple conflicting objectives, liabilities and controversies. And they are way off topic.

Saying that Microsoft [i]encourages Communist philosophies[i] is also an over-simplification, but it was presented as potential spin and as such it's a good point.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Red Windows
by suryad on Mon 30th Jul 2007 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Windows"
suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

Not to be off topic here and turn this into another flamefest but I am glad to see someone else on an internet forum who is as appalled as I am with the Saudi deal. WTF is the govt thinking?

This is like slapping or stabbing in the back all those people who lost someone in the 9/11 attack. I am ashamed to not see more furor created over this deal! I consider this a betrayal of the public trust!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Red Windows
by mat69 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Windows"
mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

Haha.

Of one thing you can be sure, the current leader of Saudi Arabia is not turning a blind eye to terrorism, because said terrorism is trying to get rid of him.

And in fact there are people in the administration that favour the terrorists' view: i.e. US f--k off our country --> Saudi Arabia has a lot sacred places for muslims and for a lot of them it is an offense if infidels are in their country.

People like Osama bin Laden never liked the idea that US troops entered Saudi Arabia before the second gulf war and those were even more enraged when they realised the troops despite of their promise weren't leaving - because Iraq was still a "threat" to Saudis' oil fields.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Red Windows
by TomB7 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Red Windows"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

It all comes down to oil. OBL may use religious rhetoric to fire up all the weak-headed losers who follow him (or FOLLOWED him-- I still think he's been deceased for a while), but what they all REALLY want is the oil.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Red Windows
by mrasool on Wed 1st Aug 2007 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Windows"
mrasool Member since:
2007-05-28

Correct.
What kind of a pro-Democratic stance do some people talk about?

Democratic countries do not have colonies. The US has more than 5 of them. And the US government does not want its people to know about them.

We don't want any modified to suit our needs pro-Democratic stance from the biggest terrorist government on the planet.

Reply Score: 1

Mo*nop"o*ly
by Siamhie on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:29 UTC
Siamhie
Member since:
2007-02-05

Then Microsoft got serious about competing on price by offering the Chinese government its Windows and Office software for an estimated $7-$10 per seat (in comparison to $100-$200 per seat in the U.S., Europe, and other countries).

If that isn't an abuse of power, then I'll just go back and crawl under my rock.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Mo*nop"o*ly
by linumax on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:36 UTC in reply to "Mo*nop"o*ly"
linumax Member since:
2007-02-07

It's not abuse of power, if Chinese government says this is the price they pay and no more, then that's it, MS is left with two choices:

1- Quit Chinese market
2- Offer a huge discount

Now considering the size of Chinese market, it's absolute insanity for MS not to play by their rules.
I'm pretty sure even at $7-$10, MS still has some profit.

Edited 2007-07-29 19:38

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Mo*nop"o*ly
by SlackerJack on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Mo*nop"o*ly"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

OK, so we in the UK say £14 and in the U.S say $7, yer right, if only it was that easy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Mo*nop"o*ly
by Siamhie on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Mo*nop"o*ly"
Siamhie Member since:
2007-02-05

So when the Chinese Government goes to renegotiate their terms in the near future, do you think Microsoft will offer these ridiculous prices again?


That's the abuse I speak of.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Mo*nop"o*ly
by Tuishimi on Sun 29th Jul 2007 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mo*nop"o*ly"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

They'll offer discounts until China is so dependent on their software and has hired 4 million system admins to maintain everything that they would have no choice but to pay Microsofts NEW price of $400 per seat. LOL

Reply Score: 6

Yet again
by SlackerJack on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:36 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Microsoft in order to gain a monopoly try destroying the competition, letting them have their software dirt cheap. Why not have Windows Vista for £6 instead of £350, then no other OS would get a look in even if it's free.

Anyone smell a backroom deal and backhanders?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Yet again
by kaiwai on Tue 31st Jul 2007 05:38 UTC in reply to "Yet again"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft in order to gain a monopoly try destroying the competition, letting them have their software dirt cheap. Why not have Windows Vista for £6 instead of £350, then no other OS would get a look in even if it's free.

Anyone smell a backroom deal and backhanders?


Depends - remember, China is a huge country, different provinces will have different goals and willingness to go against the grain.

Microsoft might win in the short term but given the number of programmers that Sun now has in China, Chinese universities working on a MIPS processor to compete with Intel/AMD and Linux with university, especially engineering students is especially popular - something which Chinese universities pump out by the dozen.

The only winner, at the end of the day is the consumer - if the consumer in the futre is faced with 3-4 viable desktop alternatives, software companies are forced to write quality platform independent code and Microsoft are forced to compete on quality rather than monopoly leverage in Office and Operating Systems to maintain marketshare (and/or expand it)

Reply Score: 2

Windows worth more than you
by JMcCarthy on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:36 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

During Gates’ tour of China this spring, David Fitzpatrick asked Gates how he could reconcile Microsoft’s relationship with the Chinese government with China’s suppression of freedom of speech and disregard for human rights. There was a long pause, after which Gates finally said, “I don’t want to give an answer to that.”

Reply Score: 5

RE: Windows worth more than you
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:41 UTC in reply to "Windows worth more than you"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

During Gates' tour of China this spring, David Fitzpatrick asked Gates how he could reconcile Microsoft's relationship with the Chinese government with China's suppression of freedom of speech and disregard for human rights. There was a long pause, after which Gates finally said, "I don't want to give an answer to that."

Pot calling the kettle. Big chance many of the electronics in the computer you used to type that comment come from China, or that the clothes you wear are made in China. On top of that, a part of our economic growth is based on China's cheap labour. It's fairly hypocritical to criticise Microsoft for wanting a piece of the Chinese pie if you realise how much we all profit from China.

Edited 2007-07-29 19:42

Reply Score: 3

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

"Buying Chinese Goods" isn't the same thing as "making a profit from Chinese Cheap Labour". We might save money on the price tag, but it's not as if we had any option (i.e. to buy that stuff from places that do not exploit human rights).

The difference is one of leverage. If large corporations wanted to pressure China to change its human rights policies, I'm sure it would help things. The difference is that they don't want to, because they reap huge profits from them.

Whether consumers want to or not is irrelevant, because a) they don't have much choice, and b) the larger part of the cheap labour savings end up as extra profit for the corporations instead of lower prices for the consumer.

I for one would be ready to pay more for goods produced under fair working conditions, but those goods simply aren't available on the market as far as PC equipment/electronics goes.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Windows worth more than you
by ralph on Sun 29th Jul 2007 20:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows worth more than you"
ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

Hm, so you are saying that if I as a consumer unknowingly (or even knowingly) use parts in my computer that were manufactured in China, that is the same as a multi-billion dollar business doing deals with the Chinese government.

Amazing...

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Hm, so you are saying that if I as a consumer unknowingly (or even knowingly) use parts in my computer that were manufactured in China, that is the same as a multi-billion dollar business doing deals with the Chinese government.

In essence, yes. You are both sustaining the Chinese government.

I guess you also do not try to cut down on your car emissions and electricity usage and such, since, hey, big companies and governments are polluting a lot more!

It's simply hypocritical to say "Microsoft is unethical in working with the Chinese undemocratic government", but then go "But it's okay for me to buy stuff from China, doing my part in sustaining that same government." No matter how you twist it, that's hypocrisy right there.

It reminds me a lot of the position of all the Dutch politicians. They have stated numerous times that they are principally against the death penalty [which is a good thing], and that they have ethical objections even thinking about it (a politician brought it up a few years ago). But they still are best friends with both China and the US, who both employ the death penalty quite regularly. That's also hypocrisy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Windows worth more than you
by ralph on Sun 29th Jul 2007 21:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Windows worth more than you"
ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

I guess you also do not try to cut down on your car emissions and electricity usage and such, since, hey, big companies and governments are polluting a lot more!

Ah, yes, let's play this little game.
I guess you defend every misdeed of any company because people themselves are not perfect and so it would be hypocritical to criticize a company.

You tend to produce more garbage then you should and you sometimes don't even sort your trash correctly as good citizen should? How dare you criticize this chemical giant that is dumping its toxic waste into a river?

Is that how you play this game?

Btw., I don't even own a car.

Reply Score: 9

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You tend to produce more garbage then you should and you sometimes don't even sort your trash correctly as good citizen should? How dare you criticize this chemical giant that is dumping its toxic waste into a river?

I'm not saying we can't criticise Microsoft. All I'm saying is that it is *hypocritical* to do so when you yourself buy products from China. Look up "hypocrisy" in the dictionary, and this will be a perfect fit.

Reply Score: 1

Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

And we can't mod this post down for being either off-topic or a personal attack. :/

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And we can't mod this post down for being either off-topic or a personal attack. :/

It's not attacking. Everybody is hypocritical in at least a dozen or more things in their life. It's perfectly normal. I'm hyp. in that I detest mobile phones, but I do have one myself, for one. "Hypocritical" doesn't inherently carry a negative charge. It just signifies a discrepancy between actions/talking/thoughts.

Edited 2007-07-29 22:01

Reply Score: 1

moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

I'm not saying we can't criticise Microsoft. All I'm saying is that it is *hypocritical* to do so when you yourself buy products from China. Look up "hypocrisy" in the dictionary, and this will be a perfect fit.

That's bull, unless you intend to walk around bollock-naked and live on home-made bread and water. Trade is so interrelated these days that it's almost impossible to separate out what comes from where, or stop using essential things like clothes and shoes. None of this should prevent anyone from criticizing China if they choose to. God knows, there's enough to criticize about such a brutal and fantastically cynical government. In 2006, I believe they executed about twenty people a day, every day. And those are the ones they'll admit to.

As for Microsoft, what they've done is no surprise and has been many years in the making. There's one catch in their plan, however, and that lies in thinking you can influence the Chinese government. You can't, and the Chinese have already had two or three thousand years of practice at outmanoeuvring meddlesome foreigners (as have the Iranians but that's another story). The Chinese will use what they want for as long as it suits them, and after that you're screwed. Chances are high this will happen to Microsoft eventually just as it's always happened. The meat cleaver couldn't come down Beijing-stylee on a nicer bunch of guys, I'm sure.

Reply Score: 6

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

But, since it's basically impossible to access the Internet without using at least one piece of equipment made in China, does it then follow that it's impossible to criticize MS without being hypocritical?

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Here's the problem that I have with the "Don't buy Chinese" thing. It hurts the people more than the government. If the rest of the world attacks the Chinese economy, do you think that the powers that be in government will suffer? They already have more than they need. It's the Chinese people who will suffer.

I'm not saying that we should make a point of buying Chinese to help them out. Just that an attack on their economy causes more collateral damage than actual, targeted damage.

Reply Score: 3

Lettherebemorelight Member since:
2005-07-11

It's fairly hypocritical to criticise Microsoft for wanting a piece of the Chinese pie if you realise how much we all profit from China.

How exactly do "we all" "profit" from China?

Say for example we take an average working joe from the US and China. Could you list some exaples of how each has profited?

I wonder if the average joe's of the world consider melamine laced pet food and a carcass (for the unlucky) of what used to be their family pet "profit".

Reply Score: 3

RE: Windows worth more than you
by Kroc on Sun 29th Jul 2007 22:50 UTC in reply to "Windows worth more than you"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

How are China going to reconcile their relationship with America, and the Bush administration.

Reply Score: 4

Made for each other
by bolomkxxviii on Sun 29th Jul 2007 19:42 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Vista reports home to let Microsoft know if you are doing anything it thinks is wrong. Sounds like just the software for the Chinese government.

Reply Score: 5

I want my Windows for $7-$10 per seat
by MadRat on Sun 29th Jul 2007 20:10 UTC
MadRat
Member since:
2006-02-17

I don't like chinese using the same OS, even a marginally hampered one, for 1/10th of the price. Its a travesty we, as a market, stand by and watch companies sell perfectly good products, stripped of most of their performance, for chump change when it took more effort to make the stripped down version. You know, some put equipment worth hundreds in their products - like OnStar on all of the GM suv's - but leave them disabled unless people pay for the right to have it enabled. Its still there, just the company can strip wealth better by screwing with the customer. Be it Intel, Chevrolet, or Microsoft - the results are still the same.

Until then my copies of Win98SE, Win2k, and WinXP will continue to churn on within the family machines. The only non-Windows machine in the house is one running SuSE 10.1 humbly on an old desktop that doubles as a monitor stand; because it perfectly sets the monitor up to eye level. Whenever my main machine crashes I pop over to the SuSE machine using a kvm, and its wonderful that it has plenty of CPU power using a second or third hand P!!!-800. (Only Win98SE has low enough resource requirements to run apps comparably on something like it.) I paid too much for the Windows over the past twenty years to invest any more than $7-$10 in the next copy. A little more polish and I see no reason SuSE wouldn't do everything the kids need.

Edited 2007-07-29 20:15

Reply Score: 6

tamlin Member since:
2006-06-18

I'm sorry, but I call bullshit on your statement that only Win98 "has low enough resource requirements to run apps comparably on something like it" (a P3-800).

The computer I used until last year to develop software, and even play games on, and I'm not talking about Tetris, I'm talking about at least reasonably recent games such as GTA:SA, was a slightly overclocked P3-Celeron 333MHz with... I think I only had 384MB RAM in it. It ran Windows 2000.

The only thing it needed to run most games available back then was a half-decent gfx card. I could have put in an ATI 95x0 or 97x0 (nvidia seemingly had no offerings supporting the older AGP on that mobo), but I got myself a quarter-of-a-gigabyte 9250 dirt cheap.

Today, I have a Core2Duo, 2GB DDR-2 RAM, half-a-freakin'-gigabyte of gfx RAM on a 7600, SATA this and TFT that. Know what? It doesn't "feel" any faster for most tasks.

Sure, I can run games unimagined last year, I can pull all of the wikipedia challenge into RAM and massage it there for speed, and I can run today's 7-zip's using -mx without swapping. But for "normal" computer use? There is no, and I mean NO noticable difference between this computer with effectively over twenty times as much CPU power, twice as much VRAM, 10-20 times as fast GPU, twenty times as fast RAM access (sustained read at least).

I still use Windows 2000.

That said, I agree with your conclusion. I would perhaps recommend Ubuntu to "noobs", like I'd say "Sure, XPsp2 works fine for your needs", but Gentoo isn't a bad distro either. I also agree that $7 is a bit steep for Vista. If it included a new quad-core machine with a fully documented 8800, 4GB of RAM, a striped setup of 16GB FLASH SATA drives and a 90% electricity bill discount for the years I were allowed to use Vista... I could give them $20.

Reply Score: 2

helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I was about to post a comment about the exact same thing.

As long as its a 300mhz or faster cpu with at least 256mb of ram, pretty much ANY current x86 based OS will run OK to fine. Ubuntu, windows xp etc. only the two resource hogs OSX and Vista wouldn't run, or run well anyways.

OSX needs gobs of ram, just like vista ;)

Heck, I still use my NeXTstation Turbo as my main computer right now... 33mhz 040 and 128mb of ram. And it does all the basic computing needs I have perfectly. There is really only a limited number of tasks that require lots of processing ability. And your average computer user doesn't really need much. I can still play MP3s while doing other things on my NeXT. its 16 years old.

granted, I do have a 2.8ghz tower than I'm rebuilding. getting it back up and running will be nice :]

Reply Score: 2

MadRat Member since:
2006-02-17

Unfortunately when you run decent secure network traffic that 300MHz machine will take 5 minutes just to browse a remote folder.

Reply Score: 1

helf Member since:
2005-07-06

ouch. I've never messed with anything other than a basic secured VPN and SMB...

What all would that involve?

Reply Score: 2

MadRat Member since:
2006-02-17

Bzzt. If you are working with a folder using a secure VPN and SMB then you aren't doing it fast on that 333MHz machine. Your packet checksums alone would eat half the cpu power. Then again, you did say "P3-Celeron 333MHz" which doesn't even exist.

Reply Score: 1

helf Member since:
2005-07-06

*edit* woops. never mind. you were replying to that other guy and not me.

I was about to say... i never siad "p3-celeron 333mhz" ;)

Edited 2007-08-03 00:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

MadRat Member since:
2006-02-17

Ding, ding! You caught my error on that one. ;)

You did say 300MHz or above, so in that respect my comment made no sense. A case of being to lazy to go back to his post and comment.

Before the P3-800 went into the Linux machine it had a P2-400. I feel the sweet spot for acceptable web browsing performance is 400MHz or above with at least 100MHz SDRAM. The old 66fsb Celerons just kill me to use, especially when websites use Flash or Shockwave files. Faster memory access goes a long ways for some of the most neglible eye candy these days. Unfortunately for imbedded web video even the 800MHz processor is terrible. I just spent $20 on a used Palomino core to get my wife's web machine to an acceptable level on MySpace due to the old Thunderbird 1GHz/133fsb processor being unacceptable to her.

Reply Score: 1

I really dislike Microsoft
by chrono13 on Sun 29th Jul 2007 20:12 UTC
chrono13
Member since:
2006-10-25

I dislike Microsoft and most of what they offer, but I don't think I've ever really *hated* Gates. I have disliked people's perception that measure his character or his technical prowess by his wealth, but I have never found a deep disdain for the man.

“I don’t want to give an answer to that.”

Anyone remember Google's answer to that question? I do, because I sent them an e-mail asking for it. They said they were helping the Chinese people by offering their services, and they can only offer their services in that country under the laws and regulations of that country. That and another two paragraphs of PR non-speak.

A better answer would be the truth. "We don't want to talk about that, so we won't."

I don't like Gates, but I admire when someone is willing to admit that simply won't answer the question, instead of filling the next five minutes with political avoidance and weary strategic non-answers (e.g. any White House Press Secretary).

It may not be an answer, but at least it is honest.

Edit: Yes I remember his "I don't recall" lies under oath. Just judging that his answer now was honest.

Edited 2007-07-29 20:15

Reply Score: 5

RE: I really dislike Microsoft
by netpython on Sun 29th Jul 2007 20:44 UTC in reply to "I really dislike Microsoft"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Well i think we know how to take the tsunami MS gifts with a grain of salt too. Or better yet the bill and melissa gates foundation.

Reply Score: 2

Meh...
by Almafeta on Sun 29th Jul 2007 20:19 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

I can't be the only one feeling uncomfortable that the source code to my operating system is being handed over to the Chinese government.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Meh...
by butters on Sun 29th Jul 2007 22:09 UTC in reply to "Meh..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Microsoft shows their code to the Pentagon. Who are you afraid of, the radical communists building the next great superpower? The radical technofascists gorging on the rotting remains of the previous superpower? The radical islamofascists sitting on the last few decades of cheap energy?

The world is run by a bunch of nutjobs racing each other to the next red light. They just have to get there first, but it's going to suck when we're stuck at that light for a few generations--if we manage to get that far before a NASCAR-style wreck.

Monopolists aren't in the business of bleeding people dry. Their business model is to back everybody into a corner so that they can nurse sustainably. They're all colluding to sop up enough money so that working-class families can just barely live paycheck to paycheck. The only thing that's different about China is the size of the paycheck.

Big business has been waging a war on the working class through our governments for over a century now and we've all but lost. Those of us with our heads still screwed on would be wise to stop playing their game. The problem isn't that the CPC and the NSA have the Windows source code. It's that the Chinese and American people don't.

Edited 2007-07-29 22:18

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Meh...
by Almafeta on Mon 30th Jul 2007 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Meh..."
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Microsoft shows their code to the Pentagon.

Never said I approved of that either.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Meh...
by shapeshifter on Mon 30th Jul 2007 00:01 UTC in reply to "Meh..."
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

I can't be the only one feeling uncomfortable that the source code to my operating system is being handed over to the Chinese government.


Lol, it's not your OS.
You're paying for the privilege to have the OS own your computer.
So in reality it's not even your computer.
Don't believe me?
Just disconnect your Vista computer from the Internet for a while, it'll stop working because Vista will not be able to check if you are indeed still a devoted Microsoft drone.
So you will not be able to do even as much as type a simple letter on "your", ummm, Microsoft's, computer.

Edited 2007-07-30 00:19

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Meh...
by Rayz on Mon 30th Jul 2007 08:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Meh..."
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Just disconnect your Vista computer from the Internet for a while, it'll stop working because Vista will not be able to check if you are indeed still a devoted Microsoft drone.

The broadband connection at our place was dead for weeks when the ISP fouled up the changeover; Vista carried on working without a hiccup (though we couldn't use the internet obviously).

Making up stuff, will not help your cause.

Edited 2007-07-30 08:23

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Meh...
by Anonymo on Mon 30th Jul 2007 03:26 UTC in reply to "Meh..."
Anonymo Member since:
2005-07-06

maybe someone will post it

Reply Score: 1

RE: Meh...
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:16 UTC in reply to "Meh..."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

That puts OSS out of the question for you. Even Osama can look through it ;) .

Reply Score: 1

RE: Meh...
by KenJackson on Mon 30th Jul 2007 12:53 UTC in reply to "Meh..."
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

I can't be the only one feeling uncomfortable that the source code to my operating system is being handed over to the Chinese government.

Wow! Almafeta and I agree on something!!

Here's why I feel uncomfortable about it. China is currently our friendly trading partner just as the Empire of Japan was in the 30s and 40s. There is some similarity.

If the government of China decides to wage war by releasing cleverly crafted viruses on the unsuspecting western world, they can do a MUCH better job of it with access to the source code. And they can task unlimited, fully motivated, clever developers to it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Meh...
by blitze on Mon 30th Jul 2007 13:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Meh..."
blitze Member since:
2006-09-15

I'd trust the Chinese Gov about as much as my Gov, not very much at all.

Still, so far Vista x64 handles mallicious code fairly well. Same with Linux.

I'm sure the Chinese will spit MS out the back door when they feel like it and no, can't compare China of today to Japan of the 30's and 40's. Only similarity is their thirst for raw materials and energy but China today ain't using military might to secure their resources. China is trading instead, something that took the Japanese a lot of dead people to learn, lucky they had US sympathy after the US nuked them cause the US showed them how to trade.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Meh...
by KenJackson on Mon 30th Jul 2007 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Meh..."
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

I'm not sure which government "my Gov" is, but surely you don't hold the Chinese government as an equal to any free western government. Also, you didn't comment on the value of having the Windows source code if they choose to wage war.

Same as Linux : Linux does extremely well against malicious code, so it's a huge achievement if Vista has climbed up that high.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Meh...
by stestagg on Wed 1st Aug 2007 00:33 UTC in reply to "Meh..."
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

I assure you that I'm far less comfortable with the notion of the American Government having access to the the Windows Source than the Chineese.

Reply Score: 3

Good luck
by AxiomShell on Sun 29th Jul 2007 20:27 UTC
AxiomShell
Member since:
2006-01-16

Good luck, China.

Reply Score: 3

Don't confuse values with business ...
by MacTO on Sun 29th Jul 2007 21:26 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

That little comment about isolating nations vs. bringing them into the fold if that country disregards human rights is pure nonsense. Business is about making money. Very few businesses consider human rights (never mind fair compensation) a priority.

If you believe otherwise, I suggest grabbing a job with one of the facilities that companies like Apple and Microsoft contract out their manufacturing too.

Reply Score: 4

That's hot news
by TBPrince on Sun 29th Jul 2007 21:34 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a very big outcome. Microsoft being kicked out of China (and out of most EU govt agencies) was all about security.

Like many other countries, China didn't want to rely on a US company which might include backdoors for NSA (like Windows had in the past). This is also the real reason behind EU anti-trust case in which the real deal was forcing Microsoft to document / reveal actual source code in order to be able to check it and be sure that it didn't contain any backdoor, expecially in network subsystems. This agreement means:

1) that Microsoft gave Chinese goverment access to all relevant code so government could be sure that it doesn't contain any harm for its systems;

2) that Microsoft probably agreed to document any update or fix for the same reason;

3) that Microsoft dropped the lie that this was all about freedom and Democracy to justify why it was kicked out: it was about govt security;

4) that, given the declining US economy and its probable collapse, Microsoft decided that it was not wise nor safe to be kicked out by areas like EU and China, two of the most important zones in the World so they bow to requests.

I dont' want to ignite flames but this move, all of sudden, also means that China decided that Linux was not good enough to replace Windows. Adn we're not talking about nuts: China has the biggest government in the World and it would be a very big deal to power it. I consider this a major setback for Linux camp.

As a side note, this makes me (and I guess all people choosing Windows) more confident about Microsoft not including malicious code. This was expecially important when you build systems for govt agencies, like I do.

Reply Score: 4

RE: That's hot news
by netpython on Sun 29th Jul 2007 22:12 UTC in reply to "That's hot news "
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

I dont' want to ignite flames but this move, all of sudden, also means that China decided that Linux was not good enough to replace Windows.

IMHO it means China has exellent sales people who where after a bargain and got it. You don't realy think the chinese have actually reviewed all the 20+ million lines of code?

Perhaps in return MS got the assurance that the chinese goverment will act more strongly against illegal software activity in the future. I doubt that the average computer user in china can get his office copy at the same prize.

Reply Score: 3

RE: That's hot news
by anda_skoa on Sun 29th Jul 2007 23:00 UTC in reply to "That's hot news "
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

This is also the real reason behind EU anti-trust case in which the real deal was forcing Microsoft to document / reveal actual source code in order to be able to check it and be sure that it didn't contain any backdoor, expecially in network subsystems.


No. The EU anti-trust case is about letting competitors get access to documentation about Microsoft's client/server protocols.

Access to the source code has never been part of the anti-trust deal, though Microsoft tried to use it as a kind of escape route.

The governments of EU member nations already have access to the Windows source code. This was one of Microsoft's first reactions when governments decided that code inspection would probably increase the confidence in a product

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: That's hot news
by TBPrince on Mon 30th Jul 2007 00:41 UTC in reply to "RE: That's hot news "
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

No. The EU anti-trust case is about letting competitors get access to documentation about Microsoft's client/server protocols.

Access to the source code has never been part of the anti-trust deal, though Microsoft tried to use it as a kind of escape route.

This is not true. EU requested very specific documentation and then effectively asked for source code access. It was not Microsoft trying to reveal its code (how could they?). Instead, they used the Coca-Cola recipe metaphore to explain why they couldn't give access to source code. Anyway, the real deal was about the security of systems. That's why most EU govts tried to push Linux.

The governments of EU member nations already have access to the Windows source code. This was one of Microsoft's first reactions when governments decided that code inspection would probably increase the confidence in a product
This is true but happened many years ago, after first suspects. Shared Source license was the answer but remember that SS license didn't provide access to ALL code.

Chinese government had already kicked Microsoft out. They didn't need to lie about that and they stated it was about security and about Microsoft being an US company. If they changed their mind, it cannot be about money but rather about something Microsoft did
to reassure them. This can only be about source code and infacts they stated that. (Of course, they will be able to save millions in license costs but I don't think that's the main reason).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: That's hot news
by anda_skoa on Mon 30th Jul 2007 01:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That's hot news "
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

EU requested very specific documentation and then effectively asked for source code access.


No, they asked for specific information on client/server interaction. Hopefully the protocols in use by Microsoft's software are still describable in on-the-wire format and interaction semantics.

It was not Microsoft trying to reveal its code (how could they?)


Microsoft explicitly offered access to the source and engineering help for understanding the source instead of providing the documentation. Very likely because the do not have such documentation but just use their internal implementations on both sides, basically meaning they have to "reverse-engineer" their code into useful documentation first.

Fortunately this easy way out has not been accepted.

This is true but happened many years ago, after first suspects. Shared Source license was the answer but remember that SS license didn't provide access to ALL code.


I am pretty sure the contracts negotiated between gonvernments and Microsoft go beyond the bounds of the Shared Source licences. The one the Austrian government negotiated definitely applies to all code for the operating system and its standard services.

Not sure if they can do their own builds though.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: That's hot news
by lemur2 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That's hot news "
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

This is not true. EU requested very specific documentation and then effectively asked for source code access.


That is not true.

EU requested the specification for the protocol.

What was required was something like this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_specification
... this would be an acceptable form:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_notation
... or this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDM_Specification_Language
(that one is an ISO standard).

The EU specifically did NOT want Microsoft's code.

What the EU asked for was "A formal specification is a mathematical description of software or hardware that may be used to develop an implementation. It describes what the system should do, not (necessarily) how the system should do it. Given such a specification, it is possible to use formal verification techniques to demonstrate that a candidate system design is correct with respect to the specification." [/q]

You could then test the specification against Microsoft's implementation, to ensure that the specification did describe "what Microsoft's software did", and then use the same test against any alternative implementation to ensure interoperability.

Microsoft did not want to give out such a specification. Microsoft tried an easy out route by offering a peek at the source code. I imagine that Microsoft felt they could stop any other open implementations by saying "but they copied our source".

After all, Windows networking is just a deliberate obscuring of IBM's Server Message Block protocol.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_Message_Block
It isn't as though Microsoft invented it ... they just deliberately made it incompatible.

Because Microsoft did not invent Windows networking, and because they never did specify it (but merely obscured it), the Windows networking is not a patented invention of Microsoft's.

To have a patent, you must actually describe how an invention works. Microsoft have certainly never described how their networking works.

This means that the ONLY protection that Microsoft's *cough* "IP" has here is that (1) it is copyrighted code, and (2) it is a trade secret.

Being a trade secret, that means that it is perfectly legal to reverse engineer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_Message_Block
Because of the importance of the SMB protocol in interacting with the dominant Microsoft Windows platform, coupled with the heavily modified nature of the SMB implementation present in that platform, the Samba project was created to reverse engineer and provide a free implementation of a compatible SMB client and server for use with non-Microsoft operating systems.

Once a trade secret has been fully reverse-engineered, that is it. Once the secret is out, it is out ... there is no more protection on the code (other than copyright). Microsoft were hoping by showing their code that they could still attack other implementations as "copies".

Following a formal specification (rather than looking at Microsoft's code) means that any other implementations that are not copies of Microsoft's code (but are merely work-alike versions that do the same function) and they are perfectly legal. There would be no viable way for Microsoft to attack Samba (not that there is now), but even worse, Microsoft couldn't FUD about it.

While the secret is still "not out", Microsoft can still pretend they actually do have "IP" here that is worth protecting.

Once there is a legal and correct formal specification to follow, Microsoft's lock-in in this arena is dead and gone.

[i]Edited 2007-07-30 11:23

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: That's hot news
by zealix on Tue 31st Jul 2007 00:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That's hot news "
zealix Member since:
2007-07-30

Chinese government had already kicked Microsoft out. They didn't need to lie about that and they stated it was about security and about Microsoft being an US company. If they changed their mind, it cannot be about money but rather about something Microsoft did
to reassure them. This can only be about source code and infacts they stated that. (Of course, they will be able to save millions in license costs but I don't think that's the main reason).


I am not from the government so I cannot tell if it is the exact reason.
But as I know, in the past years, China had spent much investment on developing its own Linux/Unix like operating systems for both government and military use.
(I was once in such a project to build a security enhanced Linux kernel).
Many of these projects cannot been deemed as successful as expected. Some of them even turned out to be scandals. So maybe it is another reason for the government to turn back and find other ways to satisfy its CURRENT needs.
The government has never given up building its own aircraft and missile engines, I think they are not stupid enough to let these own-built critical systems controlled
by windows with back-doors.

Edited 2007-07-31 00:15

Reply Score: 1

RE: That's hot news
by Rayz on Mon 30th Jul 2007 08:23 UTC in reply to "That's hot news "
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

I dont' want to ignite flames but this move, all of sudden, also means that China decided that Linux was not good enough to replace Windows. Adn we're not talking about nuts: China has the biggest government in the World and it would be a very big deal to power it. I consider this a major setback for Linux camp.

We see a lot of this in local councils here. They often use Linux as a bargaining tool to get MS to reduce their outrageous licensing fees. Often, they have no intention of dumping Windows for Linux.

But since MS seems willing to cut such a deal with the Chinese, then I think it's a tad galling that they continue to charge an arm and a leg here.

Reply Score: 2

RE: That's hot news
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:21 UTC in reply to "That's hot news "
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

You cannot be sure that your govt gets exactly the same modules as Chinesse. Ms is free (and only them) to customize it to their liking including whatever backdoors they want.

Reply Score: 1

RE: That's hot news
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:47 UTC in reply to "That's hot news "
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

which might include backdoors for NSA (like Windows had in the past).

There is no proof of this and this has been debunked before. Please don't make claims unless you can and are willing to back them up.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: That's hot news
by lemur2 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:57 UTC in reply to "RE: That's hot news "
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

which might include backdoors for NSA (like Windows had in the past).


There is no proof of this and this has been debunked before. Please don't make claims unless you can and are willing to back them up.


Well, there is this:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20070719/bs_nf/53970
"the development and deployment of an FBI spyware program called the Computer & Internet Protocol Address Verifier (CIPAV)."


... if the target computer wasn't running Windows, then it is unlikely that this part of CIPAV would work at all:
"the program is capable of secretly sending to the FBI information about a computer's IP and MAC addresses, other environment variables, and certain registry-type information."


... let alone the question of how the FBI could possibly put CIPAV (a windows spyware) onto a non-windows machine (if the person of inetrest wasn't actually running windows),

... let alone the question of how they did actually get CIPAV onto a machine without the owners consent in the first place if there was no effective "backdoor" into windows ...

Edited 2007-07-30 12:13

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: That's hot news
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 12:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That's hot news "
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

What you are doing is trying to define any security hole as a backdoor. This is false.

If that were the case, all Operating Systems would then contain "backdoors".

A backdoor is a hidden method for gaining access to the system that is intentionally placed there.

Again, either put up or shut up. You have provided absolutely no proof and instead clouted the discussion with an article about FBI creating spyware with absolutely no link to Microsoft itself.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: That's hot news
by lemur2 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 12:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's hot news "
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

A backdoor is a hidden method for gaining access to the system that is intentionally placed there.


http://digg.com/security/Latest_Microsoft_WGA_Update_Phones_Home

http://www.theinternetpatrol.com/resistance-is-futile-microsoft-for...
“UPDATE: Time is running out! Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is only available for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004. At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.”


Lets face it ... all of IE and ActiveX is an intentional backdoor.

I guess the only thing to note is that this backdoor is not actually "hidden".

Literally thousands of virus writers and even lowly scriptkiddies have discovered it.

CDROMs are another intentional backdoor to Windows systems:
http://www.cnet.com/4520-6033_1-6376177-1.html
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,126083-page,7/article.html

Microsoft have said they deliberately did not close this backdoor.

If a CDROM can rootkit your Windows system, then anything else just has to "pretend" to the system that it came from a CDROM ...

Edited 2007-07-30 12:29

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: That's hot news
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: That's hot news "
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think you understand what a backdoor is. That's a shame.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: That's hot news
by lemur2 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's hot news "
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

A backdoor is a hidden method for gaining access to the system that is intentionally placed there.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Access_Content_System
The approach of AACS provisions each individual player with a unique set of decryption keys which are used in a broadcast encryption scheme. This approach allows licensors to "revoke" individual players, or more specifically, the decryption keys associated with the player.


... once again, it qualifies as "intentional", but not as "hidden".

Nevertheless, Windows, and Vista in particular, is a maze of points of entry into YOUR systems by other people.

The intention is to force you to do only sanctioned things. Sanctioned by big business in America.

However, the intentional mechanisims into your Windows system are there nevertheless. It is only a matter of time before blackhats (i.e. nasty people who are not (necessarily) American big business) figure out how to use these intentional points of entry as a means to create a true backdoor.

Edited 2007-07-30 12:44

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: That's hot news
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 14:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: That's hot news "
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

So yet again you have no proof of any actual backdoors.

Nice talking to you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: That's hot news
by bariole on Mon 30th Jul 2007 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE: That's hot news "
bariole Member since:
2007-04-17

Off course there isn't. But that doesn't mean it ain't happening.. IBM's words on it: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/2/2898/1.html

So if USA government was willing to put one in glorified mail client; is it so hard to imagine that it put one in the most popular operating system which world ever saw? Especially amusing is that those are called NSA keys and are present in crypto layer functioning exactly as a backdoor. I bet that Win and Notes aren't the only one with similar stuff.

And even if NSA key, backdoor key for Win crypto module, isn't really key owned by NSA - does it really matter? *Thrusted* third party problem is still present.

GNU directly attacks this problem by eliminating third party syndrome.

GNU is good.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: That's hot news
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That's hot news "
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't care what someone else has done. Unless you have proof of MS doing it, it's not relevant. The NSA key thing has already been debunked.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: That's hot news
by bariole on Mon 30th Jul 2007 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's hot news "
bariole Member since:
2007-04-17

I don't care what someone else has done. Unless you have proof of MS doing it, it's not relevant. The NSA key thing has already been debunked.


a) Actually it was never debunked. NSA remained silent and only "debunkazation" came from MS press release where they stated "Trust us, that key isn't made for NSA" without giving any proof for that statement. The only issues is do you have or do you have not a faith in their statements.

Like USA has never tried to place backdoor entrance to different information systems. For example in late '90s USA tried to impose new encryption chips as standard. This spanned hot political debate between USA and EU as those puppies had backdoor access. So yeah right - you are perfectly safe because MS stated "Have faith, it isn't anything bad."

b) Even if MS is telling a truth it doesn't really matter. The central argument, the one which you clearly avoided, was this: closed source software demands faith of their users that it will not contain any purposely designed security issues. That's because users of closed source aren't able to verify those issues. Because of this, in any communication channel based on that kind of software, software provider represents "trusted third side". But why should you have trust to unrelated third side?

That's why standard NATO communication platform is built around Linux. It was not made a standard because some miraculous technological advances of Linux, but because of its open source nature.

So yea it ain't strange that China government wants a peek in that source. Any bank or military on this planet would like to see that source exactly because of this issues.

Edited 2007-07-30 17:40

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: That's hot news
by TBPrince on Mon 30th Jul 2007 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: That's hot news "
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

Definitely right.

But I wouldn't bash only Microsoft for that. There's an history of such problems with many US companies. Plus, only God knows how many EU trade secrets have been reported to US companies via Echelon.

I wouldn't be suprised if Microsoft allowed China to make custom builds of Windows and allowed them to customize the HOT HOT encryption keys without having to disclose them. By using those keys, Microsoft could access any Windows installation but not Chinese ones. I wouldn't be surprised if Chinese govt asked that only those builds could be distributed in China in order to gain access to any system there. Blah... we'll see what happens.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: That's hot news
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: That's hot news "
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
I wouldn't be suprised if Microsoft allowed China to make custom builds of Windows and allowed them to customize the HOT HOT encryption keys without having to disclose them. By using those keys, Microsoft could access any Windows installation but not Chinese ones.
"""

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the room where Bill and Steve explain that to the NSA.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: That's hot news
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: That's hot news "
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

a) Actually it was never debunked. NSA remained silent and only "debunkazation" came from MS press release where they stated "Trust us, that key isn't made for NSA" without giving any proof for that statement. The only issues is do you have or do you have not a faith in their statements.

The only "proof" is that a key was named "NSA" in registry. The burden of proof lies on those saying it's a backdoor.

The central argument, the one which you clearly avoided, was this: closed source software demands faith of their users that it will not contain any purposely designed security issues.

That was never the argument and I never avoided it. It's a completely seperate argument though, and I don't really want to get into that argument.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: That's hot news
by lemur2 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 00:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: That's hot news "
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It's a completely seperate argument though, and I don't really want to get into that argument.


I can understand your reluctance.

After all, there can be no debate that Winodws contains points of entry for external agents to have control over your system. Microsoft has left some of these for itself to use (such as WGA), and some for Microsoft partners (such as RIAA & MPAA).

The obvious conclusion is that Windows is NOT designed for the end owner of the system to have complete control over.

The pertinent observation is that since these known points of entry exist in Winodws systems, then even though they are arguably intended as entry points for Microsoft and partners to use to control your use of your system, they can potentially be subverted by any party for their use to control your system.

Witness botnets. These should, of course, more correctly be named "winbotnets".

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: That's hot news
by sappyvcv on Tue 31st Jul 2007 02:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That's hot news "
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

After all, there can be no debate that Winodws contains points of entry for external agents to have control over your system.

Ok. Point?

Microsoft has left some of these for itself to use

As has Linux and OSX. Point?

and some for Microsoft partners (such as RIAA & MPAA).

Actual proof or shut up. A website that makes a claim without providing proof itself is not proof.

The obvious conclusion is that Windows is NOT designed for the end owner of the system to have complete control over.

No, it's the convenient conclusion for you.

Witness botnets. These should, of course, more correctly be named "winbotnets".

Yes. That's a sign of poor security in the past in Windows. Other major operating systems have had vulnerabilities that would have allowed for similar things to happen in the past. Circumstances made it less likely for them though. This is not, however, a sign of intentional backdooring of their own operating system by Microsoft.

Any conclusion otherwise is mere speculation by someone with a clear agenda -- to put Microsoft in a negative light. They can do that well enough themselves, they don't need little fanboys like you making shit up and connecting dots that shouldn't be connected.

And no, I have no agenda here. I am not trying to put Microsoft in a positive light. They did not positive here (that is, regarding this "backdoor"/NSA crap). They simply didn't do anything.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: That's hot news
by TBPrince on Mon 30th Jul 2007 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE: That's hot news "
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

There is no proof of this and this has been debunked before. Please don't make claims unless you can and are willing to back them up.
There isn't any doubt about that. Many widespread US software had such backdoors. If we want to name someone else but Microsoft, we could name Lotus Notes which had (has?) backdoors as well (if I remember it right, it had such backdoors when it became an IBM product).

I have yet to read a convincing debunking about that. This was widely reported and was the reason why many govt agencies all over the World started to replace Windows.

I agree this might (*might*) not be true now. As I wrote in my post, acceptance by China is a good signal that Microsoft provided some kind of assurance about this problem and it makes me feel more confident about me and my users. But this could easily be custom builds.

Please, note I'm a Windows user and my company only uses Windows so I'm not Linux zealot trying to spread theories. Yet, the NSA pratice of introducing backdoors is well documented.

Reply Score: 1

RE: That's hot news
by KenJackson on Mon 30th Jul 2007 13:04 UTC in reply to "That's hot news "
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

...given the declining US economy and its probable collapse...

HAH! HAH! HAH! Look at all those answers above mine from people that you fooled into thinking you were serious. But that bit about the US economy declining was so over the top that it gave you away.

Reply Score: 3

Eric Raymond
by ubit on Sun 29th Jul 2007 22:03 UTC
ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

Why does the article include what one Linux book author out of hundreds said years ago? Seems like trolling to me.

Reply Score: 2

Bah
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 29th Jul 2007 23:10 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Microsoft is winning because they are a monopoly and use predatory pricing to hurt the competition. Walmart is guilty of the same thing, thus are just as bad; Oil companies are worse.

Microsoft creates products only good enough to keep their monopoly strong.

Everyone is saying how Linux is a failure and Windows is making inroads.

Linux works fine for me and has been for the last three years. Obviously marketshare means squat because Linux is still at 0%, yet the desktop experience has never been better.

Go figure.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Bah
by bariole on Sun 29th Jul 2007 23:55 UTC in reply to "Bah"
bariole Member since:
2007-04-17

Microsoft is winning because they are a monopoly and use predatory pricing to hurt the competition.


O.o

Linux costs zero and Vista is €300-400 at retail. qmail costs zero and Excenge licence is somewhere about €100 per person per year.

Is MS successful company because it prices software as low as OS camp, or is it successful because people are willing to pay it software in spite of free (as free chocolate) and free (as freedom) competitors?

As people are willing to buy their infinitively expensive software MS is surly doing something right. Finding out what makes MS so sexy will help Linux.

Whatever that is, predatory pricing it isn't.

Edited 2007-07-29 23:57

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Bah
by stestagg on Mon 30th Jul 2007 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Bah"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Or because, MS has millions of dollars to spend on marketing, and Linux, being free, has a strongly limited budget.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Bah
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bah"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

So should Microsoft not be allowed to market their products?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Bah
by stestagg on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bah"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

I didn't say that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Bah
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Bah"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I know. I was just asking. Hence the question mark ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bah
by Xaero_Vincent on Mon 30th Jul 2007 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Bah"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Just how much do you think China is paying for the licenses?

Microsoft reduced their Office and XP Starter edition bundle to $3 in certain countries just to attack the alternative.

Microsoft is surely offering incentives for companies to switch. You hear about things all the time. Its much more than FUD ads.

Being payed to use Live search over Google was a recent campaign, for example.

Linux isn't always free, BTW. It depends on if support is needed or not; usually companies want support.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Bah
by Rayz on Mon 30th Jul 2007 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Bah"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

As people are willing to buy their infinitively expensive software MS is surly doing something right. Finding out what makes MS so sexy will help Linux.

Until the Linux camp comes up with one (maybe a second one for servers) universal distro and all get behind it, then it will stay as a niche.

Give people just one Linux to choose from for a dirt cheap price, and they will come.

This multi-distro nonsense is simply diluting your presence.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Bah
by ichi on Mon 30th Jul 2007 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bah"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

So who is that "Linux camp" exactly? Who is going to decide what size should fit everyone?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Bah
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bah"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I see you got the point ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Bah
by ichi on Mon 30th Jul 2007 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Bah"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

About the "universal distro" idea being a nonsense? Indeed.

Reply Score: 3

Dumping?
by stestagg on Sun 29th Jul 2007 23:57 UTC
stestagg
Member since:
2006-06-03

In the EU, there are laws against one country exporting large quantities of dodgy stock and selling it at cut-prices. ;)

Reply Score: 3

microsoft and discounts
by smashIt on Sun 29th Jul 2007 23:58 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

many people don't know that ms offers its software for as low as 1$ per seat.
it all depends on what market you serve.
if you sell refurbished pcs to developing countries you pay as good as nothing (and most of china falls into this category)

another example for huge discounts is the educational sector.
even here in austria i can get windows/office for ~5€ through my university.

Reply Score: 2

RE: microsoft and discounts
by bariole on Mon 30th Jul 2007 00:14 UTC in reply to "microsoft and discounts"
bariole Member since:
2007-04-17

many people don't know that ms offers its software for as low as 1$ per seat.
it all depends on what market you serve.
if you sell refurbished pcs to developing countries you pay as good as nothing (and most of china falls into this category)

another example for huge discounts is the educational sector.
even here in austria i can get windows/office for ~5€ through my university

Croatian government spends somewhere about €10 millions annually on MS products which is quite cheap. About €40-60 per seat for majority of MS software stack.

In order to push out Borland/Sun/Ibm from universities all major software for students is free. At least on different computer science studies.

Home users don't buy neither windows nor office and MS seems reluctant to do anything about it

But business users must buy. When it comes to business software companies are loud, and state actively enforces software copyright laws. And for business it ain't free nor cheap.

Reply Score: 2

$7
by zombie process on Mon 30th Jul 2007 00:00 UTC
zombie process
Member since:
2005-07-08

That's the new value of Windows as far as I'm concerned. I guess I can have absolutely no moral qualms about people using cracked copies and sending MS $7 since they, themselves, have admitted that it's all their OS is worth.

Reply Score: 2

What the Government of China
by chemical_scum on Mon 30th Jul 2007 00:03 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02
Missing details
by Moulinneuf on Mon 30th Jul 2007 01:10 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't see the missing details , in that the Chinese Government as made GNU/Linux it's default OS , and they have yet to confirm a switch to Microsoft and Windows products.

All this seem to be is some US paid for hire writers who report on Microsoft effort at changing laws to curb the pirates and Microsoft right perception of a monopoly and of price manipulation in China. Its one writer , linking to another one and claiming Microsoft as won big in China , both of them telling the same story from the same angle with the same incorrect and incomplete and false information coming from the same source : Microsoft.

This is nothing more then Microsoft cheerleading and congratulating itself on its on failed effort trying to diss-inform the public about the current reality.

All this point to is probably more enforcement by the Chinese government on the pirates who sale illegal copies of windows and on fines and jail time for normal user's who use illegal copies , this mean that in the short , medium and long term people will switch to GNU/Linux to be legal and not have to worry about being put in Chinese jails.

Microsoft might have won this important battle for them , but this is the clear signal that they lost the war on GNU/Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Missing details
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:32 UTC in reply to "Missing details"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Unfortunately this is not how it works.
People will cry and buy Windows turning virtual monopoly into real one. They have long been hooked to MS even if they haven't paid a dime to it yet. This is a classic example how piracy immensely helps MS to gain critical mass market share in developing countries. It was exactly the same in Poland and is seen in many, many places.

Indeed, by being lenient to illegal sw distribution MS could efficiently counted the greatest linux adoption wave. As soon as it looks to be behind the tipping point the'll start pushing harder for copyright reform in those countries.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Missing details
by sappyvcv on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:55 UTC in reply to "Missing details"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Price manipulation? Huh?

What is wrong with what they are doing with their prices? A company can charge what they want. In the US, there are laws, however, against selling a product at a loss in order to undercut the competition.

This is clearly not the case here. Microsoft has already made back all the money they spent on R&D and
Marketing for all versions of Windows. Any seats they sell now, they only have to cover for the cost of the CD and packaging, which is most definitely under $7.

Reply Score: 2

Linux just needs a toe hold
by matthekc on Mon 30th Jul 2007 02:02 UTC
matthekc
Member since:
2006-10-28

10% of the consumer market share is not windows according to the article. That is a decent toe hold to climb the mountain. As long as a toe hold exists Linux can climb.

Reply Score: 1

Importing MS licenses
by bnolsen on Mon 30th Jul 2007 04:51 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

So it's about time for US companies and consumers to start importing MS software from outside the US.

Similar to prescription drugs. The US really needs to stop subsidizing the rest of the world for drugs, tech stuff and especially military. btw, what's the pull out timetable for Europe? They need to start paying for their own defense.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Importing MS licenses
by netpython on Mon 30th Jul 2007 05:15 UTC in reply to "Importing MS licenses"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

what's the pull out timetable for Europe? They need to start paying for their own defense.

Right like the JSF jetfighter project. It's devellopment has allready costs billions to much. Perhaps the EU should buy swedens saab or uk's harrier which are much cheaper and available today.

I'm dutch and feel ashamed my goverment runs after the bush administration like a puppy. Even now it's apparant there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There're plenty of fires in the world yet billions have been spend on the war in Iraq. Just makes me wonder.

Edited 2007-07-30 05:18

Reply Score: 4

WoW
by Matt24 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 06:19 UTC
Matt24
Member since:
2005-07-23

So only in China Windows comes close to a decent price/quality comparison.

Reply Score: 4

Red Flag Linux
by Anonymous Penguin on Mon 30th Jul 2007 08:17 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Is there any wonder that nobody wanted to use it?
If they had tried a more decent distribution (example: SUSE), maybe they could have liked it and stick to it, without the need to sell themselves to Microsoft.
Shame, what a missed opportunity.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Red Flag Linux
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:42 UTC in reply to "Red Flag Linux"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I think you can start seeing the pattern.
If you see bold announcements about linux rollups, but not preceded nor followed by some substantial contributions and customizations of relevant OSS projects, nor serious building community relations it's evident what is it all about.
I thing soon MS would learn to read these signs themselves and the whole "big linux switch" circus will will vanish.

Reply Score: 1

How about name change.
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 11:11 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

Red flag linux -> Red herring linux

Reply Score: 1

RE: How about name change.
by KenJackson on Mon 30th Jul 2007 20:55 UTC in reply to "How about name change."
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Red flag linux -> Red herring linux

Do you mean that the Chinese government never really cared about Linux, but simply used it as a club to beat Microsoft's prices down? You may have a point.

Reply Score: 2

good
by alucinor on Mon 30th Jul 2007 15:09 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

Good, I hope all monopolizing companies go join the commies. Microsoft and China -- why, that just seems like the perfect fit.

And all the while, the US is leading in open source adoption around the world, our military is standardizing on Red Hat / Red Hawk, our telecom infrastructure is on Carrier Grade Linux, our state governments are evaluating ODF, and education is moving to Linux and OpenOffice.

I'm happy to see that Americans are still the ones who have a clue. (I'm not a facist racist pig, I just have lots of pride in my country, so don't give me any crap now, haha.)

I believe the Japanese government has recently chosen to standardize on open source software as well. I don't expect MS will be giving *them* rock bottom prices ...?

Edited 2007-07-30 15:14

Reply Score: 3

RE: good
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 19:01 UTC in reply to "good"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
And all the while, the US is leading in open source adoption around the world,

...

I'm happy to see that Americans are still the ones who have a clue.

"""

What color is the sky in your... err... state? Here in Oklahoma it's still blue and Windows is everywhere.

If we are leading the adoption of OSS, why are we lagging behind Europe so badly in, say, OSS browser adoption?

Complacency and self-deception don't help OSS any more than they have helped this country.

Or am I replying to satire? ;-/

Reply Score: 3

Hey, that's *our* victory!
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 15:11 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I'm a bit puzzled at the dismissal of Red Flag as a bargaining chip and the characterization of this as a big win for MS, and by extension, a lose for OSS. To me, beating MS down to $7-$10 a seat is a victory. Oh, it would be nicer if they had turned MS down and used Red Flag instead. But what would the price have been if there had been no bargaining chip? Of course, rampant pirating of MS software in that country played its part, as well.

But forcing your competition to do something that they would prefer not to do, like sell MS Windows + MS Office for $7, seems like a win to me.

Though I must admit that I'd have preferred them telling him to pack his bags an leave immediately. ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hey, that's *our* victory!
by MollyC on Mon 30th Jul 2007 16:33 UTC in reply to "Hey, that's *our* victory!"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Oh, it would be nicer if they had turned MS down and used Red Flag instead."

It's widely suspected that Red Flag violates the GPL; that the Chinese have made code changes that have not been released to the OSS community at large.

I also read at slashdot (regarding this same story) that it's a pretty horrible distro.
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=257067&cid=20026467
"It [Red Flag Linux] exists, and it is more than GPL violating too.
When I saw it running a few years back (Chinese version) it was an extreamly shoddy red hat fork with KDE as the desktop and blatantly ripped-off windows 2000 icons. It was trying hard to pass off as windows 2000, but also there was no root password, user ran as root by default, and it seemed that some services...actually most of them, were running by default.

The whole thing was just so communist. As opposed to Linux."



I wouldn't think adoption of a poor quality distro that violates the GPL would be considered a *good* thing.

Edited 2007-07-30 16:41

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hey, that's *our* victory!
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 16:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Hey, that's *our* victory!"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
I wouldn't think adoption of a poor quality distro that violates the GPL would be considered a *good* thing.
"""

Well, you've got me there, since I am not very familiar with Red Flag and the policies of its developers and distributors.

As to the GPL violations. Oddly enough, we are facing the same problem as Microsoft in China. Namely, that many there don't want to respect our copyright. Messy, messy, messy. It's going to be hard to deal with China without compromising somewhere.

I'm not one to hang on RMS's every word. But I *would* be interested in his take on dealing with a huge population and a culture where software copyright is taken less seriously than in other places.

Edited 2007-07-30 16:56

Reply Score: 2

sad day
by TomB7 on Mon 30th Jul 2007 19:09 UTC
TomB7
Member since:
2006-01-03

Whatever the outcome over the next few years, I hate to see even Chinese Communists have to deal with with MSFT C**P. Particularly if Windows handles Chinese text as poorly as it handles English fonts...

Reply Score: 1

Windows communist edition!
by viator on Mon 30th Jul 2007 21:06 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

This makes perfect sense MS is THE PERFECT company to help SUPPRESS the chinese citizens freedom with their drm'ed closed source os the govt/ms will have complete control of the citizens. If linux had prevailed then citizens might be able to take things into their own hands :o noone wants that no do they!

Reply Score: 2

zealix
Member since:
2007-07-30

I am from china and I think I know some real truth instead of just guessing.
The truth is that this event is totally nothing to do with the communism or human rights.
Given that more than 90% of pc users have never seen or evern heard of Linux. The government's action can be validated by its people.
It takes time for people to realize that linux really worths their effort to install -> config ->optimize.
For the time being, windows is for dummies while linux for professionals.I have being using Linux for more than 5 years.It really needs some hacking time to localize and to work comfortably in it. A default install of widely used distribution like ubuntu is nearly useless for an ordinary chinese.
Redflag? The true story about Redflag is that we have debian users, Fedora users, ubuntu users, but no linux fans here are using redflag. Maybe some part of local government is using redflag for some reason.


In addition , more than 90% of windows users in China are using windows for 5 RMB or less ( 1 USD = 7.6 RMB) per copy ( of course pirate copy).
MS cannot send every illegal windows users in China to law suit, but it can obviously make much noise to those in government. So it is also another deal to keep MS quiet before China gov can say: " We do not need windows anymore, because most of our people are using linux".

I ADMIT that in some cases our government is rather brute force, but in this case alone, it's more like an agent of the people.

Edited 2007-07-30 21:49

Reply Score: 4

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

I am from china and I think I know some real truth instead of just guessing.
The truth is that this event is totally nothing to do with the communism or human rights.

Don't worry: I don't think anyone is so dumb to think it's about Communism or human rights.

Your govt was able to get Windows at very good terms so enjoy it :-)

Reply Score: 1

zealix Member since:
2007-07-30

Look at all the comments, so many "communist".
Are there really so many people afraid of that word?
Make a real chinese friend, you can find more.

I am a debian user.
So this event has no effect on me :-)

Reply Score: 2

psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

This must be an American thing because here in Europe there is no such thing as pure capitalism or socialism and there is no need to call people communists :-).

In fact Karl Marx, who wrote his work "Das Kapital", was an economist and of a bourgeouis origin. It was not about sharing of resources between the poor of the society but between entrepreneurs so they would benefit from each others' properties.

The ones calling others communist are probably afraid of anything having a red color but they should be more afraid of attracting raging bulls when they are wearing red-coloured clothes than communist Chinese people :-).

Reply Score: 4

zealix Member since:
2007-07-30

The ones calling others communist are probably afraid of anything having a red color but they should be more afraid of attracting raging bulls when they are wearing red-coloured clothes than communist Chinese people


I can't agree more ! :-)

Reply Score: 1

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

Look at all the comments, so many "communist".
Are there really so many people afraid of that word?

Not me really. I'm a communist myself ;-)

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

That explains why you're so enthralled with mediocricy.

Reply Score: 2

zealix Member since:
2007-07-30

Yeah, we are enthralled, but at least this mediocrity does not send my family to death in Iraq in name of HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY

Reply Score: 2

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

Zealix, don't waste your time trying to explain such high concept as Communism to such narrow-minded people. We got better things to do. ;-) They mostly have what they deserve.

Cheers.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Zealix, don't waste your time trying to explain such high concept as Communism to such narrow-minded people. We got better things to do. ;-) They mostly have what they deserve.


Has nothing to do with Communism, it has to do with the hypocrisy of people here decrying China and yet they support GWB and his war in Iraq - imposing western values on an overseas country under the guise of 'freedom' and democracy'. Support? easy, he was voted in twice; obviously the US population approved of what he did.

Reply Score: 4

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

High concept. That's cute. Communism is a pretty simple concept, sorry to burst your bubble.

Reply Score: 2

zealix Member since:
2007-07-30

Zealix, don't waste your time trying to explain such high concept as Communism to such narrow-minded people. We got better things to do. ;-) They mostly have what they deserve.


Yeah, you are absolutely right :-).

I was just astonished by why someone was so good at linking everything he saw to politics.

This is my last comment on this topic.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Ok? Did I say anything about "democracy" (The US is actually a republic)?

What point are you trying to make? All you are doing is deflecting. "Oh well at least we don't do X!"

That's bullshit. Try again.

Reply Score: 2

psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

In the meantime several people over the world including me have been working over the last few months on the real innovation and development that is bound to take the world by storm as Loongson 2E, 2F and 3 will be increasingly more powerful and more than adequate for desktop and server use.

My current Fu Long box with Loongson 2E running at 660 MHz already runs very well with my Slackware derivative and a 2F based version will be even better with hopefully even better graphics and more RAM. And Windows is only really useful on the x86 architecture because of third party applications.

As ubuntpku says on the Lemote bbs (http://www.lemote.com/bbs) in his signature "In a world without walls and fences there is no need for gates and windows" :-).

Reply Score: 2

And about Redflag
by zealix on Mon 30th Jul 2007 22:11 UTC
zealix
Member since:
2007-07-30

It sucks all the way, but again,
NOTHING TO DO WITH communism !!
It sucks because it wants to appeal those windows dummies, because in many windows copies here "there was no root password, user ran as root by default, and it seemed that some services...actually most of them, were running by default" !!

To tell the truth, Redflag is a failure. It cannot cheat those windows dummy users and at the same time seems rather stupid to the professionals. Every personal linux user in china can agree on this point.

The only reason for the existence of Redflag is that it has support from government!!!
You can find the TRUTH if you can spend some time in any linux forum in China or you can come to the mainland and reside for a while.

Reply Score: 1

At last
by Chuck Norris on Tue 31st Jul 2007 01:47 UTC
Chuck Norris
Member since:
2007-03-24

With Windows almost free of charge in China, it's no wonder they got the Chinese to pay their license.

Reply Score: 2

RE: At last
by zealix on Tue 31st Jul 2007 02:05 UTC in reply to "At last"
zealix Member since:
2007-07-30

If Windows is not free for most of us, NOBODY will use it. Because we cannot afford it !

If 90% of the people is not using windows,
then government would not use it.

Then AT LAST MS will charge 0 USD from China.
It's just a trick played by MS to let the windows spreads among people.

The TRUTH is : Before MS let its office spread in China by this trick, everybody was happy with our own word processing software called WPS.

You know what ?
I'd rather the penalty for the crime of copy right violation is "sentence to death" ---- in that way everybody in China is embracing Linux and open source.

And, AT LAST, in that way, we need not waste so much time arguing if Chinese government should pay MS !

Edited 2007-07-31 02:18

Reply Score: 2

let's make a decision
by zealix on Tue 31st Jul 2007 14:13 UTC
zealix
Member since:
2007-07-30

let's make a decision

What will you do if you are the decision maker of the government in china?
You are left to 3 choices when dealing with the problem.

1. Totally ignore the illegal windows users, then someone will grant the big title "Copy Rights violation in China!! "

2. Put all the illegal windows users to jail and force them to use open source ---- another big title "Human Rights Crisis in China"
(Actually it's the story when China was in Culture Revolution. At that time, anyone who used a western product was considered as a traitor.What is your western countries' attitude toward Culture Revolution? Don't tell me it's WELCOME! )


3. Push MS to make a bargain and free the majority from the shadow of piracy. ----- "Microsoft's Big Win in China"

Just like an old saying in China, "If you want to condemn someone, you always have words!"

If I were the decision maker and wanted to benefit our people, I'd choose 3, because it seems the only option to achieve the WIN (pepole)-- WIN (government)--- WIN(MS) status.

Reply Score: 2

RE: let's make a decision
by TomB7 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 14:46 UTC in reply to "let's make a decision"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

"2. Put all the illegal windows users to jail and force them to use open source.....What is your western countries' attitude toward Culture Revolution? Don't tell me it's WELCOME! )
"

1) The Chinese would BENEFIT from Open Source-- faster, more stable, cheaper, more secure.

2) The Cultural Revolution was a huge tragedy. Tragedy number 2-- Nixon going to China. Tragedy 3-- Tianemen Square while the West conveniently looks in the other direction . Tragedy 4-- China growing AT OUR EXPENSE. Things getting made over there that COULD be made here.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: let's make a decision
by zealix on Tue 31st Jul 2007 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: let's make a decision"
zealix Member since:
2007-07-30

1) The Chinese would BENEFIT from Open Source-- faster, more stable, cheaper, more secure.


If you pay the bills to our government to achieve the huge revolution for those 90% and all the following up side effects to the society, I am sure we will welcome you much more than MS !!


2) The Cultural Revolution was a huge tragedy. Tragedy number 2-- Nixon going to China. Tragedy 3-- Tianemen Square while the West conveniently looks in the other direction . Tragedy 4-- China growing AT OUR EXPENSE. Things getting made over there that COULD be made here.


I would really stop now -----
Oh, man, I am just chocked by your global economic theory of "Things getting made over there that COULD be made here".

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: let's make a decision
by TomB7 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: let's make a decision"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

"Oh, man, I am just chocked by your global economic theory of "Things getting made over there that COULD be made here"."

Please define "just chocked". I fully understand the economic concept of offloading low end manufacturing to the 3rd World. My concern, actually, is that higher and higher end jobs, over time, could be outsourced to China.

Especially given that China respect scientists and engineers (at least they graduate a lot of them) and many Americans go the lazy route into easy majors, like business.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: let's make a decision
by sbergman27 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: let's make a decision"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Especially given that China respect scientists and engineers (at least they graduate a lot of them) and many Americans go the lazy route into easy majors, like business.
"""

As a techie, I am trying to imagine enduring the process of getting a degree in business administration. Seems like a fate worse than death! ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: let's make a decision
by TomB7 on Tue 31st Jul 2007 15:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: let's make a decision"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

"enduring the process of getting a degree in business administration"

I said easy, not interesting. Perhaps MBA's are in part distinguished by "boredom tolerance".

Reply Score: 1

If Microsoft succeeds in China now ...
by tomcat on Wed 1st Aug 2007 00:29 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

... then desktop Linux will never get a toehold there. The fact of the matter is that Linux and Windows compare rather favorably in all areas except for price. But, in developing nations including China, there simply isn't any legal framework for protecting intellectual property; hence, there are store vendors in Beijing (and across the far east) selling copies of Windows and Office for about $1 (US). Which means that price isn't a factor at all. and what becomes more differentiating is the number of professional applications that are available (and, no, I'm not talking about shovelware). Once China standardizes on Windows and Office, you can basically kiss desktop Linux goodbye. There simply isn't enough of a justification to use it.

Keep in mind: I like and use Linux. But if you're going to make a case for its use, you better be several orders of magnitude better than the competition or you're not going to make headway against an entrenched monopolist.

Reply Score: 1