Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Oct 2007 16:14 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Microsoft Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has warned users of Red Hat Linux that they will have to pay Microsoft for its intellectual property. "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us," Ballmer said last week at a company event in London discussing online services in the UK.
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RE[4]: Good Lord
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 9th Oct 2007 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good Lord"
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Wishing for something to be true doesn't mean it is or ever would be true: the number of seats for all the "big engineering applications" is a rather self-limiting market by nature of the fact that it's "engineering" that requires far more than the average bear knows and comprehends in order to be useful, and the situations where the software is of value is also that limited. I've worked on such applications personally, and the number of seats (if you're doing well) numbers somewhere in the thousands for the higher-end 3D stuff. Why do you think Microsoft has never entered the fray of that market? Surely, they have the software engineering resources that if they truly wanted to, they could throw resources at it over a period of time and within a few years, they'd have something that could take on AutoCAD or Kubotek KeyCreator (what I worked on until I was laid off) ProEngineer or the other few in the field.

A HUGE thing that makes it less likely for most of those high-end packages from ever being ported to all the linux distros is precisely because there's so many mutations to choose from, and the QA testing nightmare involved. Microsoft Office is a simple thing to test for correct behavior and add new behavior, compared to complex 3D CAD software, because whatever minor nitpicky output might actually be considered a defect, at least one customer has critical drawings that were used for manufacturing their products from that, and they aren't that forgiving of their resulting products changing from one "minor" change of behavior between fixes/updates. As much as Linux and mutations change in small, subtle ways and not-so-subtle ways, combined with the practical observation that everyone else in an organization is already using Microsoft Office and other applications for managing workflow, budgeting, etc. that's all nicely integrated, that (AFAIK) isn't currently available for Linux that's not custom-written.

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