posted by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Tue 8th Sep 2009 21:21 UTC, submitted by wakeupneo
IconAccording to a leak from a BestBuy employee, Microsoft is initiating a sort of "Anti-Linux Training" course for the employees, and those who take part in the said training are rewarded with a copy of Windows 7 for only ten dollars. The leaked screenshots of the campaign show Microsoft's comparison of its own system with an obscure "Linux" and how Windows is better in every way including security, "free downloads", and software and hardware compatibility.

When Microsoft said a few weeks ago that its biggest threat was Linux, I suppose a campaign such as this was to be expected. We've seen the Laptop Hunter ads against Apple as well as that "Apple Tax" report. Now Linux is the target, apparently.

The original leak by GodofGrunts, a forum user at, sported a lot of screenshots (now taken down by Photobucket because of bandwidth limitations) of one of the training modules that BestBuy employees could take with the incentive of a copy of Windows 7 for ten dollars after completion. The screenshots show a simple comparison of mainly Windows 7 and "Linux" (no specific distribution-- just plain "Linux")to show Windows' strengths over Linux.

It explains that, among many other things, Windows is vastly more compatible in the areas of "camera, iPod, MP3", "printers and scanners", software, Windows Live Essentials (are you kidding?), "the games your customers want (e.g. World of Warcraft", "authorized support", and "video chat on all major IM networks." First off, let's just see how many comments say below that they've had few or no problems with cameras, MP3 players, printers, and scanners; the iPod (if I'm not mistaken) is compatible with Linux, and the part about authorized support, though true in some aspects, is rather misleading. The only "authorized support" that doesn't exist for BestBuy's or other retail stores' or manufacturers' customers is... well, from BestBuy or the respective company itself. And really? Incomatibility with Windows Live Essentials is actually a reason not to use Linux? Using a Linux distribution makes the incompatibility of Windows Live applications void, as we all know. I scoff at this.

The module goes on to say that a plus for Windows is that there are free downloads. Er... what are most non-enterprise Linux distributions and most of their apps? Free downloads. It also says specifically that the idea of Linux updates and upgrades are easy is a myth, the idea of Linux being safer than Windows is a myth, and that Linux is not easy to use and will not meet customer expectations. Need I explain why all of this is garbage? Certainly Linux distributions won't meet everyone's expectations, but there are countless stories, many of which I've read from the OSNews community, of people like you and me installing a Linux distribution on a computer of someone we know, and that person ends up loving it and using it perpetually. Windows is definitely more secure than it used to be, but it's obvious that any given Linux distribution is more secure even if only because there are considerably less viruses made for it. Where does Microsoft get this stuff?

Certainly there is some truth to these things, but very little. Linux doesn't play most of the mainstream games that typical BestBuy customers want. Linux doesn't have as much authorized or unified support for many of the distributions, but if you're like me, the only time I contact authorized "support" even for Windows is for sales, returns, and to install MS Office again after I've reinstalled Windows or gotten a new computer and it says that I've used my product key too many times.

Finally, it's not as if BestBuy employees are always well-versed in computer technology and will still be able to tell their customers the truth in all of this. If your local BestBuy stores are anything like the one by where I live, 90% of the employees are idiots, and the remaining 10% care too much about overcharging you for services later to tell you that a given computer's PSU has a tendency to blow up after two months (actual story concerning my sister on that one).

Now, capitalist companies are obviously going to campaign to say that their products are better than others. I don't blame them. That's the point of business-- to make money and attract more customers. This campaign of literal lies, however, is rather ridiculous and has little true facts beyond Microsoft and BestBuy wanting more money than really having their customers' best interests in mind to back it up.

My opinion has been infused throughout this entire article. Though I have a feeling it'll be pretty synonamous for the most part with what the comments will say, what do you, the loyal reader, think about this campaign?

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