Home > Microsoft > Ballmer Interview: How Microsoft Gets Bigger Ballmer Interview: How Microsoft Gets Bigger Eugenia Loli 2003-10-01 Microsoft 38 Comments Steve Ballmer is aiming at emerging markets like China, India and Brazil to keep Microsoft on the high-growth track. He also plans on inspiring existing PCs owners to buy another one. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 38 Comments 2003-10-01 11:15 pm “He also plans on inspiring existing PCs owners to buy another one.” That’s the only way this business can continue, because it isn’t designed around creating better things, just more things with minor and questionable advances over the previous. It seems, through the press of the last few days, that there is truth in the suggestion that Microsoft has reached its apex and is now headed for the downward slope. I only hope this is true and that we see the end of an era: the end of the dominance of Microsoft. Time will tell. 2003-10-01 11:25 pm “and of course Linux, which is a bug that infects certain Intel-based servers that are not protected by the Windows operating system.” Indeed, let’s not bash Microsoft because WE are being ignorant? Pffft… may the fight ensue… 2003-10-01 11:27 pm Yeah, I’ll by another computer, actually two, one Mac and and one Linux box. No more MS thank you. 2003-10-01 11:37 pm “Yeah, I’ll by another computer, actually two, one Mac and and one Linux box. No more MS thank you.”, ya git, i was going to post that. 2003-10-01 11:42 pm In the article, Ballmer sounds unaware of the fact that millions of old computers unfit to run Windows are perfectly adequate for other operating systems. Also, if I possess a high end PC (with Windows XP preinstalled as usual), is it a sign of sanity to buy a second powerful PC along with another copy of Windows XP ? Why does Ballmer assume that most companies will keep on renewing their IT infrastructure every 3 to 4 years ? The problem with the computer industry is that it spews millions of components and systems year after year, as if they would end up in a huge storage facility somewhere on the Moon or on Mars; from there they would be shipped on Earth. Of course, we know that’s not true. My guess is the supply (old and new) is way greater than the demand. Another problem lies with the price of peripherals : when a video card like the Ati Radeon 9800 Pro costs more than a low end system built around a Celeron 2 GHz, it doesn’t look well for the manufacturer. 2003-10-01 11:52 pm You guys, I know you just love linux because you hate MS, but that won’t cut it. There are also a lot of banks in the world looking at decade old machine that start falling apart. Of course you all run linux, but you don’t have any sense of reality, when assuming that running linux is what the world of IT make go round. Children want to ‘MSN’, dad wants to check his mail in a comprehensible way and mom wants to invoice her customers for her private little company. Now, do that on linux please. Oh, and I forgot e-banking and games of course. So just bash away and stop thinking. 2003-10-02 12:04 am Wow Ballmer’s reasoning is odd. We keep seeing articles about asian governments going away from Microsoft products. Embracing OSS. And Ballmer seems to think he’s gonna have a good market penetration there? I can’t wait to see that. 2003-10-02 12:14 am “I don’t use windows for games…that’s why I have a playstation 2 which is even more closed and proprietary” 2003-10-02 12:25 am “Children want to ‘MSN’, dad wants to check his mail in a comprehensible way and mom wants to invoice her customers for her private little company. Now, do that on linux please. Oh, and I forgot e-banking and games of course.” Okay, I will. Have been doing this for a couple years now, although the games are lacking, everything else works just fine. 2003-10-02 12:27 am Sorry Microsoft! But for me actions count more then words! I am in the IT Consulting business and all my customers want to SEE things happening and not HEAR things happening. All this reminds me about the following joke I once read on the Lotus Notes Developer Network: Three women were sitting around talking about their husbands’ performance as a lover. The first woman says “My Husband works as a marriage counselor. He always buys me flowers and candy before we make love. I like that.” The second woman says, “My husband is a motorcycle mechanic. He likes to play rough and slaps me around sometimes. I kinda like that.” The third woman just shakes her head and says, “My husband works for Microsoft. He just sits on the edge of the bed and tells me how great it’s going to be when I get it.” Original post is: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/46dom.nsf/55c38d716d632d9b8525689b005ba… Microsoft keeps talking and talking and talking. Stop talking and make Windows more secure, cheeper, etc. As long as my Linux box runs the software I need, I don’t see to waste my money on any other OS. This has nothing to do with beeing an Linux zealot or OSS zealot. It is just the way it is. I spend much time to learn this system and to work with it. And now I am not going to by something wich is okay, but compared to my other options it is more expensive and does NOT deliver me any business value. Using MS Office or OpenOffice.org ; or using MS Windows or GNU/Linux ; etc does not generate me more income and does not put me in the position to sit in front of my desk doing nothing and just picking the telephone of customers wich WANT our service. Software is needed for special tasks and if this task is solved then it is not important if this software was OSS or Cloused Source. PS: I hope the joke I posted is not breaking any board rules?! 2003-10-02 12:34 am I have XP Pro on my PC. I don’t use any other MS products. I use Mozilla, Open Office, Winamp, CDex. I could switch to Linux tomorrow if I wanted. I will probably wait until I buy a new PC in 2-2.5 years time (my current machine will be 5 years old by then). Then I will get the 2.8 (3.0?) Kernel, OpenOffice 1.6, Mozilla Firebird 1.6 etc. It will be better than XP Sp2 that’s for sure. In 2005/6 the PC I buy will be a (very) low specification (by 2005 standards) small form factor 3GHZ, 1GB RAM, 128 MB (integrated)video. It will probably cost me less than US$200. The future is probably (for home use)very cheap (sub US$200) small form factor commodity PCs with integrated everything. They will probably be given away with broadband subscriptions and run something like Lindows. I suggest that games and specialist software is not a major issue for the majority of home users. MS is like the US car industry prior to the 1973 oil crisis: too busy ridiculing the Japanese carmakers rather than concentrating on building economical quality machines. 2003-10-02 12:39 am You may not like MS, Gates or Ballmer, but what does that matter anyway ? They are very good at what they do. A lot of people seem to get so upset over MS and I just wonder why. Don’t they make great stuff ? My guess is that indeed China, India and Brazilla are the emerging markets where the biggest growth is to be expected to come in the coming 20 years for the whole IT industry and MS in particular. Their stuff is cheap and works. 2003-10-02 12:50 am So what e-banking application do you use to get into your bank ? Of course in your universe nobody plays games, that’s why it’s a bigger industry than Hollywood these days here on earth and I still don’t know how you get mail in-a-comprehensible-way on a linux box. Evolution/Kmail/Mutt/Pine/<insert YAMA here> is not good enough. It’s not about you, it’s about mom, dad, and children. In China, India and everywhere. Inertia makes them want thing to go things in a specific way, not the linux-this-is-better-way. That’s what I’m talking about. 2003-10-02 1:06 am Children want to ‘MSN’, >>>>>>>> Correction: Children want to AIM, watch online flash cartoons, and use the internet. You can do all that with Linux, even if you subscribe to MSN. dad wants to check his mail in a comprehensible way >>>>>>>> On my desktop: Click on the little icon that looks like a letter and says “KMail.” Click File->Check Mail. Read e-mail. Log-off. It really can’t get any easier. If you’re talking about *configuring* e-mail service, its as hard in Windows as it is in Linux. My parents need me to set up their SMTP and POP accounts anyway, and at least the KMail config dialog is friendlier than the Outlook dialog (which confuses even me!) and mom wants to invoice her customers for her private little company. >>>>>>>>> What software does she use? There are invoicing packages for Linux as well. If she just uses Excel, well, OOo or KSpread or Gnumeric are probably more than powerful enough for her. You make a critical mistake. The sorts of users you are talking about don’t configure their own computers anyway. They have their kid or computer-knowledgable friend do it. Linux is perfect for these sorts of users, because its easy to maintain remotely and easy to lock-down. Even slightly more advanced users, who need to be able to do basic things like follow instructions from a tech to configure their ISP settings, can use the excellent GUI tools in distros like RedHat. The ones that really have problems with Linux are the intermediate users. The type of people who can handle “advanced” tabs in Windows, but who would be lost wading around in /etc to accomplish the same type of advanced configuration. Oh, and I forgot e-banking >>>>>>>> My bank (Wachovia) seems to have no problem with Konqueror. I reccomend them, they have an awesome college checking program. and games of course. >>>>>>>>> Legitimate complaint. My XP partition is seem more use these days, as we have moved from playing CounterStrike to playing Battlefield 1942. Of course, most of my gaming is done on my ‘Cube 2003-10-02 1:18 am Please, how can this not be modded down as trolling? A little consistency, please! You guys, I know you just love linux because you hate MS, but that won’t cut it. No, we love Linux because it is a high-quality, free-as-in-freedom operating system. There are also a lot of banks in the world looking at decade old machine that start falling apart. You should know that the financial sector is one of the main purchaser of Linux servers. If they don’t buy Linux, they go for Solaris, HP-UX or AIX. No Windows here. Of course you all run linux, but you don’t have any sense of reality Please stop trolling. Children want to ‘MSN’ You can do that with Linux. dad wants to check his mail in a comprehensible way Ditto. mom wants to invoice her customers for her private little company. Again, Linux does that. Now, do that on linux please. Sure. Linux can do all of these things. You did know that you could run most Microsoft productivity software on Linux, right? Oh, and I forgot e-banking and games of course. I e-bank everyday, I just need to tell Konqueror to masquerade as IE6 on Windows XP. I also use Quicken daily. As far as games is concerned, this is quite important to me (I’m a game designer). On my Linux PC I play Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament 2003, NeverWinter Nights and WarCraft III. I also just finished Max Payne, not cutting-edge anymore but still a great game. Yes, I’ve played all of these under Linux. For the rest of my gaming, I do what the great majority of gamers do nowadays, and play them on my PS2 or Xbox. From a game publisher’s point-of-view, the PC game market is no longer it: consoles are the place to be, except for a few choice titles. So just bash away and stop thinking. Of course I’m thinking – I run Linux! 2003-10-02 1:21 am Who cares that games are proprietary? Games are not like productivity software – once you play them, you rarely play it again (except for a few ones, like CS). They are more like movies or novels, a consumer good. I see no contradiction in playing games on Xbox or PS2 and using Linux on my computers. 2003-10-02 2:27 am Was it not just 2 weeks ago that OSNews had several articles of banks switching over to Windows systems, and using Windows in ATMs, etc…? 2003-10-02 2:37 am Roger McNamee says that ” Linux, which is a bug that infects certain Intel-based servers that are not protected by the Windows operating system.” now look at what that site is running…. http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=www.alwayson-network.com uhhhmmm….. a bug eh? 2003-10-02 3:08 am …but a couple of article on OSNews don’t a trend make. 2003-10-02 4:08 am “You should know that the financial sector is one of the main purchaser of Linux servers. If they don’t buy Linux, they go for Solaris, HP-UX or AIX. No Windows here.” Actually I do some work for a bank that uses a processing center that has just migrated thier entire infrastrucure over to Windows 2000 from TRU64 Unix. They are using terminal services. It takes more bandwidth than before but they can offer thier customer banks many more apps than before. They have been on this system for a few months now and they feel it is great. These guys at the center were VMS before that. 2003-10-02 4:34 am There were quite a few articles a few months ago about Wall Street’s growing use of Linux. http://www.forbes.com/2002/03/27/0327linux.html http://www.linux-mag.com/2003-02/wall_street_01.html Also, considering that the world isn’t limited to the U.S., we find that there are banks all across the world that use Linux: http://news.com.com/2100-1001-256964.html?legacy=cnet http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/os/linux/story/0,10801,… http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/bline/2003/05/30/stories/200305… http://www.wired.com/news/linux/0,1411,57503,00.html http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=6340 It’s not about the little details, it’s about the Big Picture. 2003-10-02 4:40 am Interesting, I post something a while back and it gets moderate down, this little ray of sunshine, DarrenFolks (IP: —.speed.planet.nl) – Posted on 2003-10-01 23:52:21, posts a piece of flamebait and gets the slashdot eqivilant of +5 “Insightful”. Maybe this little ray of sunshine should move out of his cossie existance and see the real world. Digital cameras are nothing but yuppie accessories, little timmy is surfing the net for some homework help and whilst his parents aren’t looking he sneaks onto a porn site to see what “slap and tickle” means, mother Jane does news letters for the local PTA (Parents and Teachers association) for the next gala and father Pete sends an email to his best mate Joe Bloggs regarding his promotion and occasionally he’ll take work home to finish off, such as a quartly report or work summary (in the case of a engineer by trade). That is the reality sunshine. You can go on about Windows XP “multimedia capabilities” and the socalled “eXPerience” one gets from running it, but the average person doesn’t give a fly continental. Microsoft recently started playing theses ads in Australia, “Simple things”. I would just love to know at least ONE average person who does teleconferencing via the internet out of a beach house, or a person who can flawless install a device without the bloody curdling screams of *F-CK!*. 2003-10-02 4:48 am I didn’t say all banks are running Windows or even a great majority of banks are running Windows. I was merely pointing out that there are banks that run Windows. You are the one that said “No Windows here.” Why do you have to bring the US into it? I realize the planet earth doesn’t revolve around the US. It is just where I happen to live. 2003-10-02 5:12 am My wife uses GnuCash for her invoicing as a part-time Regal agent, she uses Evolution for email and I use Kmail. Our bank supports the 2.2 kernel and above (TD-CanadaTrust). And our daughter is 8, so she isn’t IM’ing anyone. And during the few free moments I have I play NeverWinter Nights, UT2003, Descent3, and the odd game of Alpha Centauri. All natively. 2003-10-02 8:33 am I’d be very interested in the size of the bank you are talking about. From what it sounds like, it is a small credit union or community bank. Go into ANZ, BNZ, National Bank (Australia), Westpac, TSB, Westpac etc etc, you will either see UNIX or mainframes ticking over time, working like a swiss time piece. Windows and Linux has its place but when you have information as important as financial records, there is no price put on security or reliability. Banks who value their customers are willing to spend the necessary money on quality infrastructure instead of cutting corners and making half-baked, half-way solutions. 2003-10-02 10:29 am First, a little reply: CooCooCaChoo wrote: >>I’d be very interested in the size of the bank you are talking about. From what it sounds like, it is a small credit union or community bank.<< Bill Sykes wasn’t talking about his bank but about the service provider his bank uses. And they switched from TRU64 to MS Windows 2000 (for whatever reason…). I think, it is reasonable to asume that the service provider is serving more than just his bank. Anyway, i wonder what kind of setup “Always On” is? Are they affiliated to MS? Or a marketing company? Financial consultants? Can somebody shed some light on this? Paraphrase for the lazy: The article said that much: Interviewer and Steve Ballmer are good friends. Ballmer is convinced of his company’s success and commited to it as evidenced by his buying back of stock 1988 or ’89. MS has some new products in the pipes and GNU/Linux software is a bug. Security and innovation are hot. The IT market has its ups and downs with respect to its different branches. Some branches are up, others are down. Every branch takes a slump once in a while but usually comes back. Volumes are good, revenue is not. Consumer PCs are still hot iron and the consumer market volume is growing. Underveloped markets in poorer countries than the U.S. are the focus of the future markets and they are not going for low-end PCs. Microsoft is certain to establish itself on these markets. U.S. households are going to get secondary PCs. PC form factors are going to be adapted to other form factors for specialized tasks. Growth looks promising. Punchline: MS is a healthy businuess with good perspectives in domestic and world-wide markets. Any news on operating systems here? 2003-10-02 10:50 am Think again, India? And Malaysia and Singapore is getting a little too cozy with Microsoft… all I can say is China isn’t interested. But then again, the choice they’re making would hardly benefit any other outside company anyway. 2003-10-02 11:11 am I don’t see how new (as in: ‘the newest technologies’) x86 hardware is necessary for an average home user. “I have XP Pro on my PC. I don’t use any other MS products. I use Mozilla, Open Office, Winamp, CDex. I could switch to Linux tomorrow if I wanted. I will probably wait until I buy a new PC in 2-2.5 years time (my current machine will be 5 years old by then). Then I will get the 2.8 (3.0?) Kernel, OpenOffice 1.6, Mozilla Firebird 1.6 etc. It will be better than XP Sp2 that’s for sure.” You’ll probably use newer versions of these products by then . For now, you could try a LiveCD like Knoppix or an emulator like Bochs or VMware which runs on NT-based systems, so that you can learn ”Unix” a bit here and there. “You may not like MS, Gates or Ballmer, but what does that matter anyway ? They are very good at what they do. A lot of people seem to get so upset over MS and I just wonder why. Don’t they make great stuff ?” What do they do? Destroy competition? Indeed, they’re good at that. No, they don’t make stuff. They make popular stuff, while people do not know alternatives for Windows or x86. We need a healty competition. If you look back in history, you’ll find that when there’s no competition but only monopoly, it is a Bad Thing. It has been proven in history over and over again, and when you think logically it is so blatant easy to get to this conclusion that when you still don’t get it you don’t mind ”freedom”. For those people who really think there are no LINUX GAMES then check out http://www.icculus.org for some great ports (both commercial ports and 100% free software)! Word! 2003-10-02 11:18 am Those countries, like for example Argentinia and Brasil, are better of with more cheap hardware and more cheap software. Zeta and Linux, come in mind. Besides that, old hardware like P1, P2 and AMD K6/K7 come in mind. Such combinations are _cheap_ and are not even that bad at all. The hardware could be (partly) broken or near death, so techies there should be available to check that out. The only problem would be the transport costs. Btw i know a project which is currently doing this very same thing, about 4000 of such PC’s are going from the USA from Brasil… As for China. I can only say ‘haha’. They don’t want Microsoft software there anymore, they’re even busy with their own hardware (like the Russians did so as well in the ”communist” ages . So i think Microsoft can better evade that country, althought the huge number of people is probably very much tempting them. 2003-10-02 11:18 am How this wasn’t modded down as a troll I don’t know, but for heaven’s sake, my *mum* uses Linux just fine. I installed Gentoo Linux w/ Gnome 2.4 on there, a few nice apps (Mozilla, Sylpheed-Claws, Gaim) told her what each one did, (Browser, Mail client, IM client) and left her to it. Let me tell you something, if my mum can do it, anyone can. (Note: She didn’t have to install it, she got it as you would a pre-installed Windows system, except I did the pre-install.) 2003-10-02 11:24 am I am talking about a processing center that does the data processing for numerous banks. It is in a 60,000+ sq ft facility. They have been in the business for years, as I was trying to indicate to you by thier VMS heritige. The FDIC isn’t going to let just anyone perform the services they provide. 2003-10-02 12:34 pm You are the one that said “No Windows here.” Okay, that was a bit exaggerated. There are banks that run Windows. Probably even a large portion. What I meant to say is that large financial institutions usually go for Unix, and when switching away from Unix they more often than not go to Linux. But of course there are banks that use Windows. The “no Windows here” was uncalled for. 2003-10-02 1:35 pm “So what e-banking application do you use to get into your bank ?” Mozilla In Canada most of the major banks support both Gecko and KHTML browsers 2003-10-02 1:51 pm Maybe i’m not quite getting the concept, but what kind of e-banking software do you mean? Stuff like Quicken? That’s not needed for banking but for book-keeping. Other HDBC enabled ones? Maybe there is a slight misunderstanding here. European banks usually support e-banking by SSL via any browser. I guess this is because, unlike in the U.S., Europeans use “wiring” a lot, if not for all larger transactions. Regular payments (like rent) are paid by allowing the bank to withdraw the money from your account automatically. Every kind of monetary transaction i know of can be automated or performed in an hassle-free way on any browser. All you need is a UID, a password and transactionnumbers (TANs). Besides book-keeping there is usually no need for special software. The lack of Quicken isn’t a showstopper to e-banking on GNU/Linux around here. 2003-10-02 2:09 pm Ok, lest you the subject line confuse you, i am a mac fanatic and have been since 87. I have many many many scalps of Amiga users, and PC users that i personaly obtained using my mac sword in my early years. I also have a couple Linux user heads who tried to diss my OS X machine in a drive by. All this this has no bearing on anything, but I thought I’d mention it anyways. Now to the points about the article: 1- China? an emerging market for windows?: someone must be high. unless I am much mistaken China has a huge linux desktop industry (poor souls, alas, no one is perfect). It uses Linux for public sector offices. And last but not least is part of a coalition in the war against terror…oops..I mean Microsoft, as is shown by their agreement with Japan and Korea to standardise a regional linux distrubion. 2- As a mac user I have accepted the hell that is “5% market share”. The only good thing is that finally that second rate company known as MS will finally know the meaning shrinking market share. Emerging markets (or third world countries as they used to be known) are far more likely to go Linux (poor souls), for more reasons that I care to mention at this point. And tech re-fresh can only hold up you’re balance sheet for so long. – Conclusion: MS is going down very slowly. very very slowly. But I can wait…..yes,… I can wait in the shadows,my mac brethren and I. We always had the superior technology (well, apart from that ify period just before lord Steve returned), and whilst few in numbers (and alas, we will always have a complex about that), we will continue to be the gaurdians of innovation. Tuz the G(5) 2003-10-02 5:01 pm Game developer who plays games on linux out of curiousity, do your games run faster on Linux or on Windows? Also, do the onboard sound problems that plague windows drivers affect Linux (basically, does onboard sound, like i810 or sis 630 suck as bad as it does on Windows? (lots of crackling.) I am an intermediate use of computers, I know my way around DOS, Mirc, windows 3.1,95,98/me,nt,2k,xp. I install hardware A LOT. I have 4 computers. one of them has 4 scsi drives. I recently bought a DVD+/-RW. It’s CD+RW function doesnt work in windows XP (though DVDs burn ok.) What GUI Linux DVD+RW tools exist? for the life of me, I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY GENTOO’S INSTALL METHOD IS CLI BASED. WHY. No one in the GENTOO userbase has the programming accumen to code a GUI wrapper for a CLI installation? Why is ANY DISTRO’S INSTALLATION CLI BASED? (If you wrote a GUI installer, you COULD ADD A SECTION FOR SCRIPTS.) obviously I understand that DamnSmallLinux doesn’t need a GUI, neither does uCLinux, but for Desktops? WHY ON EARTH can’t I update my older distros? I understand that it doesn’t make economic sense for Mandrake to allow someone to download ver 8.2 then up download patches/updates to version 9.2 because you won’t have any repeat customers, people would automatically patch instead–Is there ANY distro out there that does this? WHY CAN’T I INSTALL HARDWARE WITH A GUI DRIVER?! I’d friggin kill for this feature in Linux. I have a WMP11 802.11b card from Linksys (now cisco.) I want to install the driver for XP or 98, I downoad it, run the exe and 3 or 4 clicks later Its installed (though ’98 is a little flaky finding the network sometimes.) THIS IS NOT A NEW PIECE OF HARDWARE. Installing this device for linux is not for the intermediate user, its a task for a friggin computer engineer. i need some explaining, other than “you’re an idiot, linux is superior,” from someone on a Win2k box. 2003-10-02 6:56 pm Game developer who plays games on linux To be fair, most of my gaming is done on consoles, except for FPS and RTS (which require a mouse+keyboard). out of curiousity, do your games run faster on Linux or on Windows? I can’t really tell, I have a GeForce4 Ti4400 and it flies. And some games (like NWN and UT2K3) are native Linux – I have yet to try them under Windows. As an aside, I have to say that, although I keep a Win98 partition on my PC, I haven’t been able to properly install my 3D card. The MSI installer is shiat, and it constantly reboots the computer (forcing me to start in Safe Mode). I would consider installing Win2K except that its bootloader purposefully doesn’t play nice with LILO – I don’t want an extra boot selection screen, and the LILO one is visually so much nicer… Also, do the onboard sound problems that plague windows drivers affect Linux (basically, does onboard sound, like i810 or sis 630 suck as bad as it does on Windows? (lots of crackling.) Couldn’t say, I have a SBLive! I am an intermediate use of computers, I know my way around DOS, Mirc, windows 3.1,95,98/me,nt,2k,xp. I install hardware A LOT. I have 4 computers. one of them has 4 scsi drives. I’m sure you’d like Linux on a secondary PC, if only to play around with it. I recently bought a DVD+/-RW. It’s CD+RW function doesnt work in windows XP (though DVDs burn ok.) What GUI Linux DVD+RW tools exist? The new K3B does DVD burning (with the right backends…I think it’s called dvdrtools or something like that). Why is ANY DISTRO’S INSTALLATION CLI BASED? (If you wrote a GUI installer, you COULD ADD A SECTION FOR SCRIPTS.) obviously I understand that DamnSmallLinux doesn’t need a GUI, neither does uCLinux, but for Desktops? Most distros have GUI installers now. WHY ON EARTH can’t I update my older distros? I understand that it doesn’t make economic sense for Mandrake to allow someone to download ver 8.2 then up download patches/updates to version 9.2 because you won’t have any repeat customers, people would automatically patch instead–Is there ANY distro out there that does this? Uh, you can download version 9.2 (or you will soon, anyway), why would you want to download 8.2? And if you have 8.2, you can probably update it through URPMI or download the isos for the new version, burn them, and then update your distro. I’m not sure what’s the problem here. WHY CAN’T I INSTALL HARDWARE WITH A GUI DRIVER?! Actually, there’s a GUI equivalent for Harddrake THIS IS NOT A NEW PIECE OF HARDWARE. Installing this device for linux is not for the intermediate user, its a task for a friggin computer engineer. Okay, so the hardware is already in the computer? Then it would normally be automatically detected by Harddrake and the driver installed…as far as updating the driver is concerned, well, that depends if the driver is open-source or not. If not, it probably has its own installation method. If it is open-source, upgrading the kernel will usually upgrade the driver. i need some explaining, other than “you’re an idiot, linux is superior,” from someone on a Win2k box It’s not a matter of Linux being superior, but of Linux doing certain things differently. 2003-10-03 4:23 pm I have used Mandrake for experimenting (seeing how long I can use it and be happy without running back to my windows box: Windows box= dual athlon xp 1700 1gb ram Mandrake box = Tualatin celeron 1.1ghz 384mb ram.) So far Mandrake meets nearly all my needs. BUT I’VE NEVER USED URPMI!!!! I recently saw it in another article, how to update existing ISOs, that is, and how to update and installed version of Mandrake. Its through CLI, but it would be nice to install it with a gui. Oh well, if it works ok that’s fine since its not too complicated.