Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Jun 2008 14:35 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces As I already explained in the first Usability Terms article, consistency goes a long way in ensuring a pleasurable user experience in graphical user interfaces. While some user interfaces appear to be more graphically consistent than others, Windows has always appeared to be worse than most others - probably because it carries with it stuff that dates back to the 16bit era. IStartedSomething agrees with this, and started the Windows UI TaskForce.
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RE[3]: Why?
by superstoned on Mon 2nd Jun 2008 06:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

It's not about hate for MS or any other company making and selling proprietary software. Many are decent and are doing a great job. But I sincerely believe the businessmodel behind proprietary software is bad for society. When I write Free, I'm not talking about free but Libre. Not free beer but freedom of thought. The freedom to aquire, share and develop knowledge which can help people. The freedom of political expression. The freedom to do with whatever hardware you bought whatever you want. The only restraint on human freedom should be another person's freedom - no more, no less.

Economically speaking, proprietary software has a tendency to lead to a monopoly. Every economist can tell you - a marginal cost of zero leads to a monopoly. And almost every economist will tell you a monopoly is bad. It raises prices, lowers efficiency and kills innovation. Maybe not immediately, but in the end, it's what happens.

Socially speaking, proprietary software developers have a financial incentive to limit the freedom of their users. They don't HAVE to do it, sure. Some will, some won't. But as long as there is that incentive, as soon as a small company grows into a big company, it becomes more and more likely to happen. And I think that's dangerous, as we slowly begin to depend more and more on computersoftware to express ourselves, to share information, knowledge and art.

So I think economical freedom, the free market economy, is good for people. I also believe personal and political freedom are good for people. Therefore I believe proprietary software is bad for humankind in the long run. Which is why I promote Free Software (Linux/BSD/KDE/Gnome), Free Culture (Blender/Magnatune/Creative Commons) and Free Knowledge (Wikipedia & friends).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Why?
by sbergman27 on Mon 2nd Jun 2008 06:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Why?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

MollyC said:

Oh, and save the self-righteous "owned by the community" bull.
...
Every time a Microsoft article is posted here, the haters come out of the woodwork to spout the usual lines on how Microsoft...
...
derailing every single Microsoft article's thread with pro-OSS anti-Microsoft bilge.


And then superstoned said:
...So I think economical freedom, the free market economy, is good for people. I also believe personal and political freedom are good for people....

It is not hard to see which of you is letting her hatred get the better of her in this thread.

Edited 2008-06-02 06:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Why?
by MollyC on Tue 3rd Jun 2008 17:01 in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

It is not hard to see which of you is letting her hatred get the better of her in this thread.


Et tu, sbergman27? ;)

You're confusing "hatred" with "frustration". Just once, I'd like to read a Microsoft article on this site without the corresponding thread getting derailed by anti-Microsoft posters into unrelated anti-Microsoft/pro-ABM issues.

I can't even read an article on this site about some new Microsoft product without someone piping in to say, "That's nothing; XYZ company (that most never heard of) did the same thing ten years ago in product ABC (that nobody ever heard of)", thus derailing the thread into who did what first rather than talking about the product itself.

This type of thing goes on and on and on.

Regrading this specific article, the "all information wants to be free, and therefore all software that is used to convey information must be free" argument has nothing to do with this article, and is yet another instance of derailing a Microsoft thread into sideshows.

As for "letting it get the better of me", yes, after the 1000th time seeing a Microsoft article derailed by some anti-Microsoft holier-than-thou utopianist, I let it get the better of me and let off some steam.

Edited 2008-06-03 17:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Why?
by rockwell on Mon 2nd Jun 2008 14:58 in reply to "RE[3]: Why?"
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//Therefore I believe proprietary software is bad for humankind in the long run. Which is why I promote Free Software (Linux/BSD/KDE/Gnome), Free Culture (Blender/Magnatune/Creative Commons) and Free Knowledge (Wikipedia & friends).//

OK ... so ... how does Microsoft's existence prevent you from doing/using any of that? I'm confused. I thought Linux/OSS was growing every year?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Why?
by superstoned on Mon 2nd Jun 2008 15:39 in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Well, MS creates proprietary software. As I said, I think proprietary software is bad, and it should go as soon as possible. Preferably before governments give in to the pressure for making FOSS illegal; or take advantage of it to limit the freedom of their citizens.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Why?
by romang on Tue 3rd Jun 2008 09:26 in reply to "RE[3]: Why?"
romang Member since:
2008-06-03

As a economist I have to correct you slightly: To develop software has *not* a marginal cost of zero. Because if you hand out more copies of your products you have a much larger user base to support and this produces costs. Even if you have the counter argument that they do not sell support -- which they certainly do -- you have to respect a larger user base because of existing competition and long term involvement in the market.
By the way a monopoly does not have to be bad. There are certainly some goods that profit from a monopoly. For example the production of money.
The real question that arises is: Is a monopoly in SW production bad, if it is done for free software or information in general as it is done for printing money. I find this somehow interesting.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Why?
by superstoned on Tue 3rd Jun 2008 16:40 in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

thank you, you are of course right. Though the support MS offers isn't well known for it's quality ;-)

I certainly think a monopoly in SW is bad - you read my statements regarding the social implications. If you look at it from an economical standpoint, less innovation & higher prices would be (and are and have been, in this case) the result. By mandating the GPL as only legal license for software, the government would magically turn the software market from a market were someone almost naturally gains a monopoly into a market in which a monopoly is unlikely. Of course, such an event would be far too disruptive, so I'm not actually advocating it. But imho - it should be the target. It would result (I believe) in lower prices, better services and more innovation. Now the last thing might not be solely because proprietary sofware is bad for innovation but at least partly because MS is notoriously bad at it (they are well known for not having an R&D department until well in the nineties).

Apple, for example, does a much better job at it with far less resources. Meanwhile, both companies/situations are extremes, and in general I don't think you disagree that innovation doesn't benefit from a monopoly.

Reply Parent Score: 2