Home > Microsoft > A Plea for Relief from Microsoft’s Escalating Anti-Competitive Tactics A Plea for Relief from Microsoft’s Escalating Anti-Competitive Tactics Submitted by Dave 2004-03-12 Microsoft 90 Comments David Mohring has written an open letter to antitrust, competition, consumer and trade practice monitoring agency officials worldwide, asking for relief from Microsoft’s anti-competitive tactics. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 90 Comments 2004-03-12 9:40 pm Hmm what are the odds anything will be done? Technically MS is violating any laws yet. Even though their practices might consitute immoral practices. 2004-03-12 9:43 pm “Hmm what are the odds anything will be done? Technically MS is violating any laws yet. Even though their practices might consitute immoral practices.” Exactly zilch if good people on both sides of the OS Fence (Windows and Linux) don’t speak up. Speak up NOW if this kind of behavior makes you upset. 2004-03-12 9:47 pm Microsoft has spent so much effort and money to make their products what they are it is hard to fathom. This guy is whining. How is it anti competitive to make something that is better, easier to use and more widly accepted? I’m glad they’re there. I make my living because of them. The standardizing of office products and the interoperability makes it easy to meet business needs and thus easy to SELL (read “confistitory profits” here). This is what software is SUPPOSED to do, not be some thing only geeks get to use. Sounds like those who want to compete with MS, need to get their act together and start developing software that people will gravitate to and *want* to use. If MS is offering their products for close to free and they (MS) get chosen over Linux…isn’t that saying something? Hello? Maybe Linux and those who want to see it succeed need to get to work. Let the free market take care of it self people! I love ’em…Go Microsoft. Kevin 2004-03-12 9:49 pm Linux can provide just as capable a desktop platform, however Linux adoption in this area faces barriers resulting from Microsoft’s anti-competitive tactics. This is the least of our desktop problems, How about hardware vender support, games, more applications written by big software venders. They’re saying Microsofts crime is its popularity, how silly. Apple doesn’t port osX to intel systems are they anti-competitive? No they’re providing a service for thier platform and can not be expected to spend money on every conceivable competition just to make 5 users happy. Those codecs are M$’s property we have other codecs that provide the competition, if our codecs were ‘much’ better than thiers we could compete but ours isn’t ‘much’ better so we yell for them to give us thiers. It doesn’t work that way. 2004-03-12 9:54 pm Microsoft’s crimes are detailed. They were convicted as monopolists with anti-competitive practices. – hardware vendor tie-in – hardware vendor exclusivity aggrements – FUD (look it up) – predatory pricing – predatory lawsuits These are *REAL*, not imagined. This company has been sentenced and it’s unforgivable what they’ve done to software competition in markets that they wanted to dominate. 2004-03-12 9:55 pm David’s letters mean absolutely nothing. I’ve read his posts before, and all he does is link to 5 year old links that talk about how the GPL and Linux are going to save the world. Most would consider it FUD. Mostly he goes on to cut and paste what others have said with no real thought of his own. 2004-03-12 10:00 pm If MS is offering their products for close to free and they (MS) get chosen over Linux…isn’t that saying something? Yes it does. Was microsoft that said GPL was a cancer and a taxation of 0% on many opensource products make an attackt to the “free market” (that you mention it as a variable), to the democratic and capitalist world. Seeing microsoft giving office cds to US government ppl, worldwide officials or just making disclossure agreements with univs and schools. Or working throught OEMs, the same way, giving their software for free, doesnt play or goes side by side with their previous position. Add to that the fact the Microsoft rule here is not promoting their products directly but remove and prejudice concurrents indirectly. To fundament that theres the IE/MSN Messanger/WMPlayer DoJvsM$, EUvsM$ and now JapanvsM$ cases. And im sure you can add to this, the new Baystar/SCO/M$ scandall beeing investigated by SEC. That will for sure show up some results soon. Probably only soon as Mr Bush drops from power and DoJ picks up the case again. 2004-03-12 10:01 pm Of course, anyone with a brain knows MS is anticompetitive. Unfortanatly, nobody who can do anything about it cares. 2004-03-12 10:02 pm I think this guy is looking for attention by whining about Microsoft’s superb, competitive business tactics that gets other company’s jealous. 2004-03-12 10:02 pm All I see is a zealot ranting about how great GPL is and how MS is “Evil”. He is flat out wrong on most of the SCO stuff. This FUD should not even been posted. 2004-03-12 10:05 pm I have no idea who that guy is, but why is it being posted here as news? The guy can’t even write like a professional, so why should we look on his weak opinion with any thing other than disdain? The letter strikes me as a paper written by about a 15 year old high school sophomore. Do you have a computer in your house? If so, what kind? What brand and what operating system does it run? Why did you chose Linux? Why did you choose Windows? Why did you choose a Mac? Tell me how MS has taken control of your chooser for those of you still under the thumb of the unforgivable MS? Quit boring us on osnews with this drivel and give us real news about operating systems. 2004-03-12 10:12 pm Q: Is Microsoft guilty of anticompetitive business practices? A: Yes. Not, “Maybe,” YES. They were found to be so in a court of law in the U.S. and now the E.U. It remins to be seen what will actually come of it, though. So, no more remarks about how “business savvy” or “Microsoft’s superb, competitive business tactics.” They are illegal. 2004-03-12 10:19 pm Yes, but that was in the realm of the BROWSER market. Remember they went to court for IE vs Netscape. Not the OS itself. The reason why MS OS thrives in the market, is because there isn’t anything else that is better. And no, Linux is not an alternative. 2004-03-12 10:30 pm “Interoperation with Microsoft products is difficult while Microsoft continues to embrace and extend protocols developed in an open source manner” Should’nt this read “closed source manner”.? 2004-03-12 10:32 pm Yes, but that was in the realm of the BROWSER market. Remember they went to court for IE vs Netscape. Not the OS itself. WRONG. They were supposed to be broken up into different companies. It had to do with more than just IE. It also had to do with Windows, Office, and other applications. The Browser Wars were just a small part of the overll big picture. Microsoft had been found guilty of anti-competitive practices but nothing was done about it. It’s sickening to have people claim this is about the free market and “superb, competitive business tactics” when they are going against the very virutue of capitalism, which is competition, at least that’s what the courts said. I’m sure posters on OSnews know more about it then the courts though. 2004-03-12 10:34 pm i agree that the author of the article isn’t tolkien…but have you looked at your own post? sheesh. 2004-03-12 10:34 pm “Yes, but that was in the realm of the BROWSER market. Remember they went to court for IE vs Netscape. Not the OS itself.” Umm, Didn’t Microsoft also lose against Be Inc.? Didn’t they also lose to Sun? Where those in “the realm of the BROWSER market”? No. 2004-03-12 10:34 pm We seem to be going over and over the same arguments each time one of these articles comes up. Even though this is OSnews, I’m really wondering what’s the point of having threads like this. Shouldn’t the site maybe concentrate on reviews, new products, etc? I do think MS are a bunch of shady bastards, but those who agree and those who disagree have pretty much made up their minds on this. We’re not likely to be convincing each other of anything either way. 2004-03-12 10:35 pm By Mad Echidna (IP: —.edmonds.wednet.edu) – Posted on 2004-03-12 22:01:42 Of course, anyone with a brain knows MS is anticompetitive. Unfortanatly, nobody who can do anything about it cares. I like the short message. It hit’s directly to the point. However… I don’t see why the open letter of this guy needs to be an news item on OSNews? And if he is against Microsoft, then why is comparing Microsoft with the GPL? If he wants to make marketing work for the GPL, this is okay. But then leave Microsoft out of the topic. And if he needs to write an open letter about the anticompetative tactics of Microsoft, then please leave the GPL out of the topic. well… just my 0.02€ 2004-03-12 10:35 pm The US government (at least under its current administration) probably won’t do anything with Microsoft. America = Big Business. Government = owned by big business. It’s as simple as that. However, I think Microsoft will summer not from government regulation but people getting fed up with them, and seeking alternatives. Maybe that’ll be Apple, or Linux, or whatever else. In the 80’s it was IBM who got too big for their briches. I expect the same will happen to Microsoft. 2004-03-12 10:37 pm Here’s the link for you all: http://www.macnn.com/feature.php?id=36 2004-03-12 10:37 pm Windows thrives in the market because of it’s anti-competitive business. The company snaked it’s way to the top and then got preloaded onto pc’s everywhere getting vendor support from all these big hardware and software companies. Linux is an alternative just like Mac OS X is an alternative, better os’s in my opinion. Quit putting Windows preloaded on every computer you buy from a store, give Linux and Mac more hardware and game support and we will see what happens. 2004-03-12 10:40 pm There’s no doubt in my mind that MS should be split up or something for antitrust. Most other markets have at least 2 players. In MS’s market there is only one. The anitrust regulators should focus on MS and not Oracle-PeopleSoft. But I think MS has Bush on their side. For several reasons. The more pratical is tax revenue. The reason for splitting up MS would be competition and innovation (where have I heard that before?). Competition drives prices down. Lower prices mean lower taxes. Also from abroad. And the US already has a deficit with most other countries. But competition, innovation and price controls are on their way now. OSS. 2004-03-12 10:42 pm Sounds like those who want to compete with MS, need to get their act together and start developing software that people will gravitate to and *want* to use. Mhm, BeOS was an OS that many people wanted to use, but the lack of large software support was to small. However if Be would have been distributed more widely the software support would probably have grown. But we’ll never know since Microsoft prevented that from happening since they forced hardware companies not to include it. There is and has been several office alternatives that are really good (GoBe, OOo for example), but the import/export of MS Office documents were never complete so most people in business can’t use them because they need to communicate with other companies. They are locked in by MS. And why it’s nothing illegal in that, it’s still highly immoral in my opinion. Use open formats and let the best man/women win. Competing by forcing costumers to stick with their producs is just a sign of weakness, a sign that their application isn’t good enough. 2004-03-12 10:42 pm How fortunate for governments that men do not think – Adolf Hitler 2004-03-12 10:43 pm I’m sure posters on OSnews know more about it then the courts though. The courts, despite having found MS guilty of being anti-competitive and abusing their market position, have done what to fix the situation? IE is still integrated, there are still vendor lock-ins, MS is funneling cash to SCO for FUD spreading lawsuits. It’s all very nice to have found them guilty, but until something is enforced, it’s all so much hot air. 2004-03-12 10:56 pm I don’t know why OSS advocates expect Microsoft to bend over backwards and open up all their file formats, for example .. Word and Excel so that the formats could be implemented in OpenOffice and then everybody could switch over and use the free alternative. How much business sense does this make? I realize that Microsoft’s way of competing is to try to embrace/extend protocols and/or sue the competitors out of business, but this doesn’t seem much better than the OSS way of competing, which is simply to whine about what MS is or is not doing, instead of focussing on making their own products better. As for open source and Linux specifically, it’s got far more problems to deal with than Microsoft (*cough* universal package manager *cough*) 2004-03-12 10:58 pm Come on, just because you like linux and want to see it suceed does not mean that the competition should bow to you for your gain and their loss. The only true anti competitive things MS has done that were truely wrong (albeit brillant for their business) was the bootloader, and oem contracts. Though with the contracts you could blame the OEMs since they went with the deal to make money, nothing stops them from charging full price for windows and making it optional, but they all went the money route. Sure we would all like MS to use open file standards, but guess what, they have no reason to. They spent the time to develope them, they are out to make money, why give it away for free. Also they have never locked a person in with them. Because you chose to use office and now your documents are in one of the MS formats. MS never forced you to use office. I know it’s popular to attack MS, but for the most part they work like any smart company. And most people don’t find what they do wrong, since Windows and other MS products work great for them. If you choose to use linux, you have chosen to take a hard road. If you don’t like the way things are you only have to look at yourself for the problem. The world runs windows, deal with it. Also linux’s problem is not MS, linux’s problem is it’self. It’s not something people care to use. It’s not ready for desktops yet. Things like hardware support will always be a problem. Hardware companies like working with apple and MS since they don’t have to deal with opensourcing drivers, this probably will not change. So many have this false belive that the bulk of the world hates windows, or wants to break free but can’t, That people care about security (hint, they only care if you ask if they do, but in practice they don’t if it interfers with them, hense running as root), they don’t care about opensource. They want simple, easy, good looking os. They don’t mind paying for stuff. And they want to run what everyone else has. All these attacks on MS get old fast. If you want linux to do well, thats fine, good for you. But don’t blame everything else. Look at linux and make it something people want and make a case for it that people care about. Guess what, once you do that you will have windowsXP with a differant name. Look at the resistance people have to MacOS, the man reason it keaps going is it has been along the same time windows has been, so people are use to there being 2 differant interfaces and such. The only way linux will have a draw is if it is massively differant, and all for the better. But being similar to windows but not windows will get you know where. I’m not trying to be pro-MS, i’m not fond of them. I belive they are the main reason Be died, and I wanted BeOS to live so badly. MS killed Be with the oem deals. Blindly attacking a company like this makes you look like a fool and weakens the same argument from the next person since people get tired of it fast. Oh on some thing differant, is car anology was dumb. Car makers don’t standardize anything across them. But they do use common parts, (nuts and bolts) and often use the same suppliers for the same parts so similar things end up in differant brands. 2004-03-12 11:02 pm A semi-decent letter that, to be frank, won’t mean shit. Nothing will come of this. It’s just a waste of server space and bandwidth, imo. Still… We can only hope. (Note: I have nothing against Windows, I work with it and use Linux on the desktop at home. But I’d like to see things sorted out with them, however.) It should be noted that the Office of Fair Trading in the UK is investigating MS School License agreements. So at least *something* is being done… But not much. 2004-03-12 11:03 pm As a monopoly your not allowed to practice anti-competitive business. Capitalistic systems thrive on competition, monopolies will always form and exist, that part is not illegal, but a monopoly using it’s size and wealth to improve it’s grapple on the economy goes against the original laws that govern a capitalistic country. Nothing wrong with Microsoft being a monopoly as long as they stay that way by selling a competitive and superior product. 2004-03-12 11:05 pm The problem is stupid people and devious people who lie about the motives of the Open Source community and people who spread false information and bad arguments: “You accuse M$ of being a monopoly to push your obviously inferior OS on us!” I’m sick of hearing it, the complaints aren’t unfounded and Microsoft does have monopolistic practices. Personally, I stand against Anti-trust laws; but if they exist they should be enforced. 2004-03-12 11:08 pm Darius: Most of the people who are complaining here are users of the OS’s. Most of them don’t have the knowledge to improve linux or it’s applications. However, there are thousands of people who DO try to improve the linux platform, some of them does it well while others fail completely. Many of those people dislikes MS for one reason or another, but I never see them whine about it here. Perhaps small comments on e-mail lists but that’s about it. I understand why people complain about it, because they feel that their freedom has been partly taken away from them. MS is like that crappy kid at school who brags a lot about himself and gets all the chicks even though he doesn’t really have anything to offer. None of the shy kids with beautiful minds likes that guy, and I can see why because it takes away the attraction from them and their beautiful minds. However, there’s some guys that likes to hang around the big mouth because they think that if they are seen with him they are also going to get a lot of chicks. People are just egocentric. But they express it differently. Personally, I hate that guy. 2004-03-12 11:27 pm Interoperation with Microsoft products is difficult while Microsoft continues to embrace and extend protocols developed in an open source manner, and along with Microsoft developed protocols and file formats, license the result in a manner unacceptable to competing vendors I guess he’s never heard of Mono, and in any case most open source zealots don’t even want to interop with Microsoft products. What does he think of Wine and Samba. I guess he wants some government mandate that Microsoft open up all their file format and protocols. I guess my company and all other companies should be forced to open up their protocols and file formats too. Uhh, I think not. We need less government internvetion in business not more. Linux can provide just as capable a desktop platform, however Linux adoption in this area faces barriers resulting from Microsoft’s anti-competitive tactics. Interoperation with Microsoft products is difficult while Microsoft continues to embrace and extend protocols developed in an open source manner, and along with Microsoft developed protocols and file formats, license the result in a manner unacceptable to competing vendors. What does Linux succeding on the desktop have to do with interoping with Windows? Absolutely nothing. The relationship between Microsoft, the SCO Group and the SCO Group’s recent financial backers requires immediate investigation by all agencies entrusted with providing the consumer with protection from abusive business practices and monopolies. So the consumer needs protection from Microsoft? How so? The consumer is free to choose what they run on their desktop. I ordered my new computer without an OS. Just more of “the consumer is dumb and we need more government to protect them”. Bah. This guy is just bitter that Microsoft is successful and his beloved Linux doesn’t have x% of market share yet. I’m surprised he didn’t advocate mandating Microsoft to open up their code and forcing PC manufacturers to offer linux and also maybe get some government-subsidized linux advertising. People like him will never get it, and unfortunately there’s too many people just like him. Bitter and angry that everybody isn’t running Linux. In reality he doesn’t like choice. 2004-03-12 11:36 pm “I guess he’s never heard of Mono, and in any case most open source zealots don’t even want to interop with Microsoft products. What does he think of Wine and Samba. I guess he wants some government mandate that Microsoft open up all their file format and protocols. I guess my company and all other companies should be forced to open up their protocols and file formats too.” Is your company a convicted monopolist who continues to engage in the same proscribed behaviour? Microsoft would have been out of the courts years ago if they admitted they did wrong and actually did something to change. Since they haven’t changed, the antitrust suits continue to pour in. If the only way to fix the problem is to open the file formats and protocols, then so be it. That much would be the fault of MS leaving the courts little or no choice based on past behaviour. ” Uhh, I think not. We need less government internvetion in business not more.” Ahh yes. After all with less government intervention in business we would NEVER have had to deal with ENRON, WORLDCOMM, etc…. We’d all have banks and financial institutions with GREAT consumer privacy and INCREDIBLE security so we would have no identity theft or any of those problems too, right? 2004-03-12 11:43 pm Is your company a convicted monopolist who continues to engage in the same proscribed behaviour? Oh, and what proscribed behavior are they still engaging in? In any case, Microsoft isn’t forcing anybody to buy their products. This isn’t the gas, electric, or water companies that we’re talking about. It’s just software. Ahh yes. After all with less government intervention in business we would NEVER have had to deal with ENRON, WORLDCOMM, etc…. We’d all have banks and financial institutions with GREAT consumer privacy and INCREDIBLE security so we would have no identity theft or any of those problems too, right? I guess you’ve never been in business and don’t know about all the government red tape that you have to go through. One of the problems with people starting their own businesses is government intrusion. The government is not your mommy and daddy. Convict the bad apples that ripped off people, but don’t bog down business with more layers of red tape. 2004-03-12 11:43 pm Why do you talk about the dead BeOS or some-day-dead MacOS X as Windows alternatives ? BeOS (or any clone) will remain a toy OS for geeks and MacOS will remain a tech-toy for rich nerds while it depends of proprietary and expensive Apple hardware. Linux is more popular than MacOS is most of countries except USA. Linux can be used perfectly on most of corporate desktops, which use only a email client, browser and an Office suite. I never understand why american geeks are so sceptical about linux on desktop. I think that you have much money to spend paying for tech toys and for M$ taxes. Linux is already success in Brazil and it is used mainly as a desktop system (see http://www.brazzil.com/2004/html/articles/mar04/p107mar04.htm ) If OpenOffice and linux are not viable alternatives why MS is playing dirty to spread FUD and paying SCO to difamate linux ? 2004-03-12 11:48 pm I agree with most of what you said. This guy is just a whiner and pissed that Linux isn’t being adopted fast enough according to his standards. Linux will succeed or fail on its own merits, not on whether Microsoft opens up some protocol or file format. 2004-03-12 11:48 pm “The reason why MS OS thrives in the market, is because there isn’t anything else that is better. And no, Linux is not an alternative.” You really haven’t looked at the alternatives, have you? No, I’m not talking Linux although that’s improving but other OS’s that have come and gone due to the brilliance of MS corporate practices. Take away the apps for Windows and you have a mediocre OS at best which was technically excelled many times over the last 10 years but due to MS business practices has remained the premier tied in OS of the Western World. Other OS’s to consider over the last 10 years that apps aside crap on Windows and that includes XP OS2 BeOS Amiga QNX Add others here. There are new OS’s in development but they will not see the light of day in public space unless MS illegal stranglehold on the PC world is reliquished. The practice with MS Window development is to keep the crap, add more and choke system resources. More in computing is not necessarily better for an example just take a look at Opera and it’s footprint compared to Internet Explorer and Oultlook Express (both chosen as to represent same functionality of Opera 7.x). Get a clue. 2004-03-12 11:53 pm You know, There seems to be a great many trolls here posting their opinion on way Microsoft is, in someway, some great innovator being punished for being too successfull. Well, take a look at this: In my Economics Textbook “Principles of Economics” by Mankiw, Microsoft is detailed on pages 370-371, the chapter on Monopoly and anti-competitive behavior. This is a standard, indeed THE STANDARD, introductory economics textbook for undergraduates. Coming from a book like this, it’s clear: MICROSOFT ARE THE DEFINITION OF AN ANTI-COMPETITIVE MONOPOLY! 2004-03-13 12:00 am I doubt the writer’s letter will do anything to impact M$ and SCO. It’s just rehashing old news most are familiar with. It’s really in the hands of the SEC and DOJ, not the public no matter how much we scream for justice. After reading the letter it made me realise how slow the wheels of justice actually move in certain parts of the world. I’m sure though in time both SCO and M$ will feel the hammer of justice crashing down on them. Only if the legal system enforces just sentensing. When you are talking about million dollar companies a few thousand dollar fine is not going to cut it. As for those that think I’m some Linux fanatic trust me I’m not. I used Windows for over a decade and just made the switch to Linux last Novemeber. I for one find it difficult to understand when some Windows users say there is limited driver and hardware support on Linux when they haven’t even tried Linux. If you did you would realise how much driver and hardware support there is. I not only play my games on Linux but run 3D software and do video editing. I never had an issue with hardware or drivers when installing distros such as SuSE. I also find it great to find so many Windows alternatives that are not only free but can work with other Windows software (ie: Microsoft Office and OpenOffice). If anything I hear more crying from Windows users since they refuse to accept a free software/OS model as being a good thing for both home users and businesses. At least admit to your ignorance and admit you believe all the M$ propaganda. After all they make Linux appear to the media and general public like it’s one distro (ie: RedHat) and not the many alternatives out there. M$ will try to make people believe Linux is run strictly from a command line and has no GUI. Some of the GUI that come installed are http://kde.org/ http://www.gnome.org/ http://www.windowmaker.org/. Running apps see Wine at http://www.codeweavers.com and http://www.winehq.com for all the Windows apps that can be run on Linux. Games see WineX at http://www.transgaming.com and http://www.linux-gamers.net/modules/news/ Linux alternatives do a search at http://www.sourceforge.net or http://www.freshmeat.net. What do I use Linux for? To run my highend film software, games (ie: Prince of Persia, Need for Speed, Splinter Cell, etc), watching DVDs, burning both DVD-RW/CD-RWs, playing QT, AVI, DiVX, Realplayer, surfing in a secure OS, online banking, etc. If you think Linux is not ready for the desktop then obviously you need your head examined since both SuSE and Mandrake can be installed with out any technical experience. Both install faster than Windows, detected and configured my hardware. Also they came with several CD’s of software, tools. Something Windows never does. If dear old Mom can install and run Linux, then so can you. 2004-03-13 12:06 am There will always be a single OS dominating the market IMHO, just like there is only a single railroad between two towns, a single cable between two telephons, or a single cable between a household and the energy company. If a private company owns the railroad without goverment control it will soon dominate the trains running on their railroad. And the people in both towns will face a monopoly for traveling between their towns with the train. Microsoft doesn’t rule the Desktop because of Bill Gates unfair business practises or his, ehm, “genius”. It was a mere coincidence due to IBM not using CP/M, Compacts hacking of IBMs proprietary BIOS, and IBMs failure on OS/2 that cleared the Office market for Microsoft (Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect). The unfair business practises just increased the adoption of Windows. Microsoft was doomed to rule the market, IMHO. 2004-03-13 12:07 am Most of the people who are complaining here are users of the OS’s. So why don’t they switch then instead of complaining? Is Linux a viable alternative, or is it not? MS is like that crappy kid at school who brags a lot about himself and gets all the chicks even though he doesn’t really have anything to offer. So you say and/or believe MS doesn’t have anything to offer? Alright then, I’m going to tell you and anybody else who favors Linux/open software the absolute BEST way to compete with Microsoft. Remember that document that somebody wrote about 100 reasons why you should use Mozilla over Internet Explorer?? YOU NEED MORE OF THAT!!! That document was what inspired me to drop IE. Of course, I didn’t right away because Moz was slow as shit at the time (which negated any advantages it had), but once Phoenix fixed the speed problems, I was there. So, tell us what advantages that open source apps have over what we’re currently using. Take Photoshop vs. The Gimp for example – come up with a list of 100 reasons why The Gimp is better. Can’t come up with 100? How about 50? How about 20? Same with Dreamweaver vs. whatever open source has to offer. If you give people a point-by-point explanation of why the applications on Linux are better (notice I said applications, NOT the OS itself) that does NOT include a bunch of idealistic mumbo jumbo, you’d probably do a lot better. So, tell us what benefits that K3B has over, say … Nero 6, and what sort of features does XMMS have that Winamp doesn’t? 2004-03-13 12:11 am I mean, cheap access to computing technology and internet usage and cheap drugs. I mean how could they live with themselves. Isn’t it better to deny all those poor people services and just let them rot? Thank God one country doesn’t think so. p.s. Yes and I do realise that they are not utopia but at least they try to provide for their citizens unlike other countries around the world, mine included (go aussie, go). 2004-03-13 12:18 am Every body accepts that MS is a monopoly. It used to be that monopolies were against the law in the U.S.. MS was convicted of being a monopoly but the Bush Administration came to power and nothing was done about the problem. The horrible thing is that we still think that MS software is easy to use. I’m a Linux user but I buy boxed sets and vanilla computers and I get Linux to run. My solution to no sound is to install a cheap common sound card when Linux won’t recognize my onboard sound. I’m trying to say that I am pretty mediocre when it comes to computers. I recently installed the mozilla email client. It was easy because all I had to do was unzip it. I run it by typing the name of the script. The other day a friend asked me how he could share contacts list in MS outlook. I worked on it for over an hours and could not figure out how to export and import them. I know I can eventually figure this out and there has to be a way but in my new mozilla email client it took about 3 minutes to locate the export function. Microsoft is not easy to use. People are just used to it. It is only their monopoly that maintains them. But, they will fall in good time. 2004-03-13 12:22 am If you think Linux is not ready for the desktop then obviously you need your head examined since both SuSE and Mandrake can be installed with out any technical experience. I’m curious since my last 3 distros have been Debian, Gentoo, and now Slackware. Do newer Suse and Mandrakes do hotplug stuff. Can you plug in a digital camera or wireless card and a little message box pops up telling you that its found new hardware, searches for a driver, and if not found asks you to pop in the CD? If so, then good news. Even if that is the case then wish Mom and Pop good luck if the CD that comes with their new digital camera doesn’t come with a linux driver. See, things on the linux desktop work well for Mom and Pop when no new hardware is being added, but once you add that new wirless card or digital camera watch out. It’s going to leave a bad impression. This isn’t really linux’s fault as far as drivers are concerned. If hardware vendors don’t supply drivers or specs than you’re SOL. But that’s just reality right now. 2004-03-13 12:27 am Linux is improving. Kernel 2.6.4 is out and has better support for everything. Gnome 2.6 will be out soon and while I don’t really know much about it, ought to be pretty damn good. KDE 3.2 is out and looks very nice. Distros like Lindows actually come with graphical user interfaces that hide the command line from people, and that can handle all the errors and config issues automatically. Computer *are* actually being sold with linux installed for cheap. That’s what’s going to get people to use linux if it is useable too. And it is or nearly is. Maybe in a couple of years Dell will supply a linux distro preinstalled too. All this FUD aside, I predict linux will get more popular by its own merits. 2004-03-13 12:35 am Somewhat in response to the last poster (not myself): Familiarity is a big thing for me too. Except I know where tonnes of config options are in Windows. It makes it hard to switch to linux. There are a half dozen Windows registry options I use, some frequently. I know the control panel very well, and use Win2k’s admin tools for tweaking things. Just from experience I can figure out where new things ought to be, most of the time. Then I get into linux. It depends on the distro, but I never know where to go to do much. I read a lot of docs and am somewhat familiar with how a lot of things are done, but it can be a pain. Even easy distros don’t have parallels to all of Windows. Most users probably won’t the same problems as I because they don’t use the computer 10 hours a day. So maybe when they go to buy a new computer because theirs is too slow (or a linux advertising campaign to do with viruses and security and spyware) they’ll pick up one with linux and have no problem. (though I’m all for gov’t regulated capitalism, MS is naughty right now and I’d love to see them lose some users) 2004-03-13 12:46 am <quote>I guess he wants some government mandate that Microsoft open up all their file format and protocols.</quote> This is precisely what needs to happen first. What some people are failing to comprehend; is the we as a society, are so utterly dependent on the free flow exchange of information, that the formats to do so must now be open and standardized. It’s the same situation our forefathers faced when this nation had no standardized form of currency. During the early part of the industrial revolution, everything moved by rail. Problem being no standardized rail sizes and width of track hurt commerce and slowed growth. Goods moving from the east to west coast took months, not days. When the goods got to the end of Company A’s line, the cargo had to be manually unloaded and put on Company B’s cars and so on and so on. The rails were eventually standarized for the sake of growth and effeciency. This is but an example, but is exactky where we are today in the information age. The lack of open standardiztion is hurting our ecomy because of one company and its isatiable appetite to dominate an industry. If MS really cared about the world and our government had the balls, this would no longer be an issue. My belief is that file formats should be in the domain and control of the US Bureau of Standards with a governing body of private interests who control the standards by which information flows. This issue is too important to let one company control the standard – percieved or otherwise. hornsmoker – 2004-03-13 12:48 am Care to back up how windows is hard to use. You seam to have found a example of how a particular outlook aspect is hard, but not windows. If you find a person who struggles with windows they most definitly will struggle with linux. Also, I didn’t know people used Microsoft, do you mean windows, do you mean apps made by MS? You are the type of person who will never get it. They have a monopoly because people use their stuff more then anyone elses. re: Darius, well you are right to a point, to get anyone to use something else you have to come up with a clear list of reasons to do so. But there is still problems. One is people don’t tend to react well to people telling them they should switch and here is why. If they come up and ask about something then all is good, but just preaching something doesn’t tend to attrack listeners. The other one and this is probably the biggest problem with a list of reasons. Is the reasons you use. What you find as a great reason to use something maybe be a reason to absolutely not use something. heres an example of what I mean. Have you ever seen a political ad from canidate A and he attacks canidate B and says canidate B did this or belives this. Canidate A thinks this will make you go with canidate A, but as it was, you like what canidate B did, maybe you didn’t even know canidate B did that till canidate A said so. So because of Canidate A’s ad you now vote for B because you actualy just made B look better because what you think people like is not what they like. This problem is universal to list of reasons to do something. Anytime I see such list there are usualy a few reasons given that backfire with me from what the writer intended. Now what things will backfire will varry from person to person, so your bound to never get a list perfectly right. Same as no to people will agree on the perfect OS and you will have people on polar oppositte positions of what the perfect OS is. 2004-03-13 12:52 am “The other day a friend asked me how he could share contacts list in MS outlook.” heh, it’s easy actually — File, Import/Export, then just export to a comma or tab delimited file. I am sure all email clients support the importing of data this way. I am a *very* seasoned Windows user, and before that it was Mac (system 7). Both have one thing in common, stuff just *works* on them. I have a couple of Linux partitions that I play around with, along with Solaris and BeOS. The latter 2 absolutely have no place on the desktop, however I’m quite impressed with Fedora. I installed SuSE 7 a while back, but gave up on it when I couldn’t get a Voodoo video card to work on it. I did indeed find a viable driver online (albeit in VGA mode), took one look at the commands it was going to take to install it, and said forget about it. That being said, Fedora picked up my Nvidia w/ no haggles at all. MS is a smart company, and no one seems to remember that they took the step that really no one else (except maybe Apple, but it was such a niche market) was willing to take — betting the farm that one day the PC would be ubiquitous. It’s probably one of the best business decisions ever made by any modern company. They’ve been in the software business for going on upper 20 something years now, that’s a monumental headstart over Linux’s fledgling 10 years in the game, and perhaps half of that as a somewhat viable alternative (in the server market at least). That alone speaks volumes, everyone else has been playing catchup. MS has succeeded on its’ own, even throughout the bullying and whatnot. Yeah, they are a monopoly, by no virtue other than their own though…no one has forced a single business/home users’ hand. As far as file compatibility, etc…cry me another river. Interoperability will come in the form of some open standards protocol (perhaps XML for the time being). Any type of written application can be exposed as a webservice if the author so deems it, and thus consumed by any interested party, and Office plays relatively nice with XML as well (InfoPath anyone?). AFAIK OpenOffice can read Office files, etc/etc. As has been said, any other OS will have to succeed on its’ own merits. ’nuff said. 2004-03-13 1:07 am Linux, someone asked about drivers, well linux along the lines of suse, and mandrake are getting closer to Mac OS, where installing drivers is rarely nessacary. Windows is not easy to use, and doesn’t include many functions to help to export your info to anotehr format. They lock you in to their stuff, I save all my documents as either HTML or TXT because I have lost word docs, because MS changed to format so much. OS/2 warp was in 1993 where Windows 95, was. OS/2 Warp was IBM, and Microsoft’s attempt to replace DOS. It would of worked, had MS been an Honest company. Beos was better than Win 98, but due to anti captilistic behaviour by MS, it couldn’t compete fairly. Linux with a new graphical manager(yes X needs a major overhaul)Something like aqua, will be very compitive againist MS. MS is scared because it can’t lock Linux out like it did to BE, or buy linux out. It can only try and shut it out, and we suffer because of it. Can you imange a world were OS/2 warp became the defacto standard? Think would we be any farther ahead? 2004-03-13 1:13 am Office 2003 doesn’t play nice with XML. MS is once again using their own version of standards to lock in the customer. MS’s XML files can only be read by Office. MS also got a patent on opening XML files so that if anybody tries to figure out their design, MS can sue them into the ground. You are defending a company that applied for a patent for a piece of software that I have been using for 7 years. It is called a desktop Pager, for Virtual Desktops. Also MS comma delimited files only work with otherms programs, I tried to export my contacts out that way, and couldn’t get it to work. I ended up doing it by hand and then saving them as vcards. 2004-03-13 1:15 am Linux truely has a competitive field, Suse 7 is nothign compared to Suse 9, Mandrake 10, or Fedora. These distros, are more likely to work with odd hardware, camera’s, or otehr items. yes Linux has a way to go, but it is going there faster than MS ever could. 2004-03-13 2:15 am <quote>Remember that document that somebody wrote about 100 reasons why you should use Mozilla over Internet Explorer?? YOU NEED MORE OF THAT!!! That document was what inspired me to drop IE. Of course, I didn’t right away because Moz was slow as shit at the time (which negated any advantages it had), but once Phoenix fixed the speed problems, I was there. So, tell us what advantages that open source apps have over what we’re currently using. Take Photoshop vs. The Gimp for example – come up with a list of 100 reasons why The Gimp is better. Can’t come up with 100? How about 50? How about 20? Same with Dreamweaver vs. whatever open source has to offer. If you give people a point-by-point explanation of why the applications on Linux are better (notice I said applications, NOT the OS itself) that does NOT include a bunch of idealistic mumbo jumbo, you’d probably do a lot better. So, tell us what benefits that K3B has over, say … Nero 6, and what sort of features does XMMS have that Winamp doesn’t?</quote> This hits the nail right on the head for me. You see most of us whether we like to admit it or not are very image concious. Day in Day out we see open source publicly bitching about MS about sun and anyone else who doesn’t happen to be flavour of the month, it’s not a good image most people don’t want to be a part of something like that. In contrast MS’s image(to non geeks)is an easy to use OS that all the family can enjoy. Maybe i’m weird I prefer to be identified with the latter example. You could spend the next 100 yrs trying to convince people MS suck, THEY DON’T CARE! MS didn’t get where they are today by going around saying IBM etc sucks(not publically at least ) it just wouldn’t have worked, people just wanna know what’s in it for them. So MS killed off a,b & c so what do I care? I have no personal affinity with them, no innocent people have been killed in the process, this is the painful truth of how people are, all this politics is nothing more than a bandwagon with a broken axle imv. 2004-03-13 3:50 am So MS killed off a,b & c so what do I care? I have no personal affinity with them, no innocent people have been killed in the process, this is the painful truth of how people are, all this politics is nothing more than a bandwagon with a broken axle imv. So true. The whole FOSS is so full of politics that it’s sickening. It’s just software after all. But then you have Stallman and his sidekick lawyer going around telling people that Free Software is the new civil rights movement. Rational people are like WTF, that’s just insanse. But they end up co-opting a few weirdos like this guy that wrote this article that want to feel included in some sort of “movement”. Don’t get me wrong, Open source is a good thing . It’s saved our company a lot of money. We’re strictly linux for our embedded and non-embedded boxes that we sell, but nobody at my work looks at it as some sort of social movement. At the end of the day, it’s just software. And some people, for various reasons, will never get that. 2004-03-13 3:53 am Why do some people here think the writer is expecting “Microsoft to bend over”? Do you really think the Arrogant company would do this? Come’on. Why was it written in the first place? Well, i saw it first in a Groklaw thread where the SCO-MS connection was discussed. This is to get support from the world. To make a point. The point is damn clear. The FLOSS community appears to be attacked by a puppet of “Big Dog”. “Big Dog” has been invulnerable for a long time past year, but now it is becomes more and more clear that “Big Dog” is behind “the Cult of the Mad Cow Disease”. These 2 factors make it for me quite evident why this letter was written. I’m still not convinced the whole truth has been digged up yet. “Let the free market take care of it self people!” Ah cool, a minarchist. Hello! I agree! Except when defining “free market”, i mean no government which regulates a damn thing at all. No antitrust regulation? No copyright, no patents, no trademarks either, no DMCA either. No GPL, no BSDL. All public domain. You bett “break once run everywhere” really exists then. DRM can be legally reverse engineered, cracked, and all is free again. Besides, DRM wouldn’t have much of a chance in such society, and it would be even more critisized than it is now. I’d be more than interested to see this experiment Le Grande in action…. …unfortunately, also for you, we have to play the Game as-is, as it is set by the Powers that be, and even more unfortunately for Microsoft zealoties, that includes SEC investigatian, antitrust regulation, and third-non-asslicking-party government, and the freedom of speech of one publishing an open letter to critisize Microsoft’s “free market” behaviour. The Horror! 2004-03-13 4:13 am This open letter sounds more like a rant than anything else. All of his points are unsubstantiated and more of the Open Source community blame Microsoft for everything under the sun mentality. But you want to know what really gets to me, members of the Linux community shout from the nearest rooftops about their own self righteousness and how in this SCO thing about how they are victimized yet, they do this while waving around stolen memos and stolen e-mails. Linux zealots release MyDoom, zealots leak the Microsoft Windows 2000 Source code on the internet yet they expect a reasonable person to believe them when they say “We didnt steal UNIX System V source code and put it in Linux.” 2004-03-13 4:17 am Well it is Friday night. Looks like someone had a few too many at happy hour. 2004-03-13 4:27 am RE: “I’m curious since my last 3 distros have been Debian, Gentoo, and now Slackware. Do newer Suse and Mandrakes do hotplug stuff. Can you plug in a digital camera or wireless card and a little message box pops up telling you that its found new hardware, searches for a driver, and if not found asks you to pop in the CD?” Roy, I only use SuSE now (currently SuSE Pro 9.0) as I found it detected hardware similar to WinXP’s Plug & Play Hardware detection. No I don’t see a little bubble window pop up when I plug in new hardware though this may be in 9.1 that’s coming out in a few weeks. I remember seeing an rpm file for a program that does this in KDE but can’t remember the link. Anyway, SuSE comes with YAST which is similar to Windows Control Panel but more powerful. Also another handy tool with SuSE is “SuSE Plugger” and “SuSE Watcher” docked on the desktop tool bar. SuSE Plugger is for hardware detection and configuration. Similar to Windows in that if it cannot determine what the hardware is it marks with an “Unkown?” and gives several hardware options. SuSE Watcher monitors the OS for Online Updates and also the programs installed. If an update for the OS or a program is detected SuSE can download and install with “YOU” (YAST Online Update) or just let you know with SuSE Watcher. As for Mom and Dad’s hardware/software CD SuSE Pro comes with several CD’s (5 in total with a double sided DVD) of software and hardware drivers compatible with a variety of commonly used PC hardware. SuSE 9.1 is to include Apt-Get for searching of files online from with in SuSE. You can also use Kio-Apt for doing this. Other tools similar to WinXP is drive partitioning, system back up, emergency restoral, Remote Access (Desktop Sharing/Remote Desktop Connection), Security (User Administration, Encryption, Firewall), etc. I could go on for pages on the benefits of SuSE and Linux but it’s best for your to try the Live-Eval or free Personal Desktop download yourself. 2004-03-13 4:37 am Ad hominem attacks cheap today 🙂 /dev/null still works fine, though. Michael Anderer speaks at least: http://trends.newsforge.com/trends/04/03/12/1731252.shtml http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2004031219075674 “In a world where there are $500 million dollar patent infringement lawsuits imposed on OS companies (although this is not completely settled yet), how would somebody like Red Hat compete when 6 months ago they only had $80-$90 million in cash? At that point they could not even afford to settle a fraction of a single judgment without devastating their shareholders. I suspect Microsoft may have 50 or more of these lawsuits in the queue. All of them are not asking for hundreds of millions, but most would be large enough to ruin anything but the largest companies. Red Hat did recently raise several hundred million which certainly gives them more staying power. Ultimately, I do not think any company except a few of the largest companies can offer any reasonable insulation to their customers from these types of judgments. You would need a market cap of more than a couple billion to just survive in the OS space. “Since the GPL type license agreements push the liability to the users, who do you go after? I think this is a key problem. Nobody wants to be the ultimate guarantor for software that was free (or close to it). I think the dispute with SCO would have been settled a long time ago if everybody knew this was the last one. The problem is there will probably be hundreds or even thousands of these disputes in the future and the targets will be the companies with the deepest pockets. Even if the large vendors disclaim all responsibility initially, I do not think the customers will accept this from their vendors for very long. In the meantime, I don’t see anybody being in a hurry to write the first big check. “The world of software is changing. I think everybody sees that part on the product side, but the economic underpinnings are changing too. It used to be you included R&D and patent development costs into your license add your costs and a markup and you could make a living. We relied on cross-licensing, licensing, and innovation, and our ability to prevent other people from copying our work without permission. Now things are shifting, but I am not certain anybody has completely figured out this new model, and if you think it is just any one company that is concerned about this, you are wrong.” — Michael Anderer Patents is the problem (which wouldn’t exist in a free market as i define it). The good news is, the software patent lobby in Europe, by Microsoft mainly, failed hard. The other good news is the advantage of “know your enemy”. It’s funny Roy, that you claim software has nothing to do with politics, that politics are obselete. The above quoted text implies something _totally_ different. 2004-03-13 5:23 am Only in areas like Thailand where Linux on the desktop has just begun to gain a foothold has Microsoft stated that it will release versions of its operating system platform and application software at a lower price to Original Equipment Manufactures (OEMs) and retail consumers than is available in the rest of the modern world. Consumers benefit where real competition exists. Talk about twisting facts. In Thailand, the government came up with a project called People’s PC that would be low cost and on top of that, subsidized. In Malaysia, where a similar bundle is being put out, the government came up with a similar project called PC Gemilang. In both cases, the facilitators of the project were leaning towards Linux and OpenOffice.org. Currently, they are leaning towards Windows because of this. In both cases, analyst expect the project to eat up a significant portion of the market (mainly due to its subsidised nature), and Microsoft couldn’t afford to loose that amount of market. Not without a fight at least. If the US government came up with a similar project, it would be shot down as wasteful, anti-capitalistic, etc. the minute it is suggested. (And IMHO, it truly is). In both cases, you see Linux rising up because of Government intervention, not fair and square competition (no one, for example, would consider buying the PC Gemilang unless it is subsidised, as seen by the earlier 2020 computer, which incidently ran Linux). Despite free licensing and open source licensing requiring that the source code is freely available there are numerous profitable business models. Show me just one wildly successful and profitable desktop Linux company. Just one would do. Linux has restored true free market competition to the server arena. Interestingly, before Linux came into the server market, Windows wasn’t and was never and would never in the forseable future a monopoly in that market. In fact, Linux took most of its market from traditional UNIX players. Linux can provide just as capable a desktop platform, however Linux adoption in this area faces barriers resulting from Microsoft’s anti-competitive tactics. That however, is contrary to the facts on the ground. Linux currently have 3% of the market, similar to that of the Mac. This is a impressive gain, the numbers that 3% represent is immense. Except a government intervention, the removal of “anti-competitive acts” by Microsoft would not cause the adoption of Linux to be significantly faster. Interoperation with Microsoft products is difficult while Microsoft continues to embrace and extend protocols developed in an open source manner, and along with Microsoft developed protocols and file formats, license the result in a manner unacceptable to competing vendors. Even with 100% interoperatibly between Linux and Windows, Linux’s adoption wouldn’t increase significantly faster than it already is today. Speak to organzations that are gradually moving to Linux or already moved there – the cost of moving is a greater obstacle than opening MS Office files in OpenOffice.org perfectly. Despite the US DOJ settlement requirements for Microsoft’s contracts with Original Equipment Manufactures (OEMs), Microsoft’s current relationship with major OEM dealers requires OEMs to sell consumers personal computers with an operating system, in many cases requiring consumers wanting to replace Microsoft’s operating system with Linux to go though a difficult refund process. What I find funny is that small-time OEMs already get their copies of Windows for around $40, imagine big time OEMs like Dell and HP. How much refund should anyone expect from them? $20? Wow, I can certainly see how that would even your books for that month. In any case, the DOJ’s “remedy” said nothing about refunds, and it is the sole job of the OEM to grant you a refund or not. For most OEMs, the task for giving you the refund is complicated and unneccessary considering how little people are demanding a refund. Not to mention expensive. Windows is loaded on to their PCs with the similar concept as every other component of the PC – could I demand a refund of that Hitachi hard disk HP bundled because I’m a hard-core Seagate fan? No. They wouldn’t even bother with my demands. What if I buy a Mac and demand a refund for Mac OS X because I have no intention of using it – it would never happen. Mac OS X is part of the package. Live with it. The Microsoft corporation has maintained an unabated campaign against any and all competition to Microsoft’s own products. So? They must run advertising campaigns promoting the virtues of their competitors? There is now increasing evidence that Microsoft has been indirectly financing — to the point of sustaining — the SCO Group’s campaign against Linux. The biggest evidence comes from a leak vague memo last Halloween. The relationship between Microsoft, the SCO Group and the SCO Group’s recent financial backers requires immediate investigation by all agencies entrusted with providing the consumer with protection from abusive business practices and monopolies. The case between SCO and its defendants have yet to be decided at all. The court case haven’t ended and thus, this isn’t illegal. What you’re suggesting is making it illegal for certain companies to sue, which just doesn’t make any sense. Yes, SCO suits is a setback for Linux, but not a permanent one unless SCO has some case behind their suits. However, this would be a PR setback for Microsoft once this whole thing is over. When SCO’s cases is thrown out of the courts. When a link between Microsoft and SCO goes public, the least concern on Microsoft’s mind is a possible SEC fine or potential antitrust litigation (though I doubt this would fit under antitrust’s scope). It is that the public now knows that Microsoft considers Linux a threat and begin to investigate in a Linux-based option. The adoption of Linux on the desktop offers an opportunity to restore competition to the desktop market. Linux already have 3% of market share – and that 3% is only calculated by sales. Considering that a decade ago no one but a bunch of geeks knew of this thing called Linux, it is impressive. Linux needs no help from the courts to end Microsoft’s monopoly, and in fact in most cases, it would do better if the courts butt out. 2004-03-13 5:31 am WRONG. They were supposed to be broken up into different companies. It had to do with more than just IE. It also had to do with Windows, Office, and other applications. The Browser Wars were just a small part of the overll big picture. Microsoft had been found guilty of anti-competitive practices but nothing was done about it. The original case was brought up because of IE being “co-miggled” into Windows. And that maintained as the dominant reason behind the case. Jackson sought to split Microsoft into two companies – one for the OS, another for applications, so that Microsoft could no longer “abuse” its monopoly and bundle in other applications. The appeals court rejected this verdict and took Jackson off the case. The next judge was meant to give a proper remedy that would prevent something like IE happening again. Since spliting Microsoft up was already out of the question, she had to formulate a different remedy. She did. It dealt with every possible way Microsoft could create a situation similar to IE again. For example, she banned Microsoft from forcing OEMs not to bundle competing software (something Microsoft did with Windows 98, preventing OEMs from loading Netscape). The prosecution brought up different cases, like the Be vs. Microsoft case, to justify adding more restrictions on Microsoft but ultimately rejected not only for being impractical but having nothing to do with the case. Microsoft was found guilty (under, IMHO, a vague law) of abuse of their monopoly by “co-mingling” IE into Windows. 2004-03-13 7:46 am rain: Mhm, BeOS was an OS that many people wanted to use, but the lack of large software support was to small. However if Be would have been distributed more widely the software support would probably have grown. But we’ll never know since Microsoft prevented that from happening since they forced hardware companies not to include it. Let’s just say Toshiba in the end was able to distribute BeOS along with Windows prominently. The way Be could made this happen is by giving BeOS for free to the OEMs, so Be Inc. made no money out of it. Now, Toshiba would not in a million years want to bear the support cost of another OS, so either Be Inc. pick up on the tabs or there’s no support for BeOS. So just say I’m company XYZsoft making XYZ 1.0 for the xyz market. To justify a port to BeOS, I would need a potential market of 20 million. And just say, only 5% of the entire BeOS userbase are from the xyz market, which would mean that there much be 400 million BeOS users before I consider porting to BeOS. Now, is there any way where Be Inc. can give out 400 million licenses of BeOS, while probably picking up on the support costs without running bankrupt? This is much worse than subsidising the BeBox, which was a utter failure that could have been a better success if Be for once in its life just targeted a small profitable niche of users and grow from there. Baby steps, people, baby steps. Be Inc. wanted to go cross-country sprinting right after it was borned. Plus, if there really was XYZsoft, I much rather not waste money and port to BeOS knowing pretty well that an overwhelming amount of BeOS users have a copy of Windows lying about on their PCs. Now, if I were an Toshiba customers, I’ll probably go into BeOS once or twice to look around, but I doubt I would use it as my main OS. Why? BeOS at that time and up till today lacks a good browser, for one (when BeOS went bust, the Internet was still a killer feature. And netPositive not being to render most webpages properly in a timely manner was a big bummer). rain: There is and has been several office alternatives that are really good (GoBe, OOo for example), but the import/export of MS Office documents were never complete so most people in business can’t use them because they need to communicate with other companies. I doubt OOo would ever be a big player. But I have no doubt that StarOffice would be the chief competitor to Office (until of course, Sun goes bankrupt :-). Many companies are moving from Office to StarOffice on Windows, slowly making the transition. The big bummer in this case is macro support, something I doubt StarOffice would have in the near future with or without full documentation of Office’s macro implementation. And as for gobeProductive, it is a nice piece of software. Really. But looking down its list of features, it seems it is better off competing for the same market as MS Works. As for communications, Sun is a pretty major company. They are a StarOffice-only house. In fact, more and more SMEs are moving to StarOffice – only a small percentage of businesses (those whose main target market are other businesses) need to use Office documents to communicate. The big problem with StarOffice is that while it has features Office doesn’t have, it doesn’t have all the features Office has. Which means there are always people that can complain they don’t have feature ABC or ZYX. They are locked in by MS. And why it’s nothing illegal in that, it’s still highly immoral in my opinion. Use open formats and let the best man/women win. Immoral under what moral code? (As for illegallity, you would be suprised how many things can be illegal with the vague wording of antitrust laws) jbett: As a monopoly your not allowed to practice anti-competitive business. Capitalistic systems thrive on competition, monopolies will always form and exist, that part is not illegal, but a monopoly using it’s size and wealth to improve it’s grapple on the economy goes against the original laws that govern a capitalistic country. What would be anti-capitalist isn’t monopolies living under the same rules as non-monopolies, but rather monopolies protected by law. Linux quick rise (from 1.x% to almost 3% this year) is proof that Microsoft’s monopoly isn’t invincible without judiciary intervention. Anyone is able to install Linux, or buy a bunch of Macs. No law is blocking that. Yes, it is inconvinient and expensive to change platforms, thus it is the job of Microsoft’s competitors to change that. Linux Distributor ABC for example can give free training for their client’s employees, making the shift easier and cheaper. Now, it is anti-capitalistic if by law nobody can use another platform *but* Windows. When Microsoft abuses their monopoly as everyone is always allegding , they are weakening their market position. In addition, they are giving their PR a tank, thus affecting their ability to sell. Ever wondered why oil companies have nice commercials with happy children in it showing how a good company they are? They want to make it appear that they are a good company that keeps a clean environment. They don’t want to seem like a bunch of blue-blooded executives that couldn’t care less if the world explodes as long as they cut a profit from it. 2004-03-13 7:56 am 1) David Mohring for those who don’t know, is a Linux fan boy. He is everywhere, from comp.os.linux.advocacy newsgroup to slashdot.org. Hes been moaning like the article for the last 4 years. Nothing has changed except the noise ratio to signal has moved closer to the noise. 2) Regarding open formats. There is nothing stopping the OpenOffice.org community from creating an OpenOffice.org filter for Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Access if they wish. The api hooks for the respective Office applications are already well documented. Create a filter, make that the default format for a whole organisation and keep away from VB macros like the plague and you will have compatibility. 3) People will not start using Linux until hardware support improves and that there are mainstream applications available. Sorry, 3000 text editors, a half baked card making tool with a weird name and an Office suite that takes 2 ice ages to load isn’t the future. The future is in ONE desktop and that one desktop, whether you like it or not is KDE. The future is KDE, not GNOME. GNOME exists as a relic of the license moan-feast. The license has changed and unlike the GNOME world, KDE has moved forward. KOffice, Quanta, Scribus and associated parts have a much higher likelihood of success than the gnome equivilants because they’re built on a strong base. GNOME on the other hand is more wrapped up over licenses than just getting the bloody parts working. Look how long it took them to get the bloody file chooser working! As for Linux’s future, the future will be KDE and Linux, and they will win on their own merits. If the OSS coders stopped arguing over licenses and coded, imagine what could have been achived. Could you imagine were Linux would be today had all the GNOME coders simply worked on KDE and let it be on the issue regarding the Qt licensing? we would probably have a VERY good, uniform desktop right now, 20% marketshare and the Adobes/Macromedias of the world selling their products for Linux. 2004-03-13 8:06 am hornsmoker: You have mentioned rail standards as an example on why there should be a standard in the market Office is in. You see, for different rail companies, it is their route – not the width of their tracks as well as the minor differences, along with prices – that provide its competitive advantage. However, having a different standard of rail tracks? Wouldn’t help increase profits. Now, for the productivity software business, things are pretty different. Office is selling not only because of the interopolity, but because of the feature set. The file format determines those feature set. Now, just say Congress mandates that a new open file format that must be supported by everyone – Office (and their competitors) ability to compete based on features is solely eroded. Just say Office 2005 wants to include a brand new formating feature that isn’t available to other competitors. All fine and dandy, right? Nope, to implement the feature, there must be a way for users to save it. And that means Office have to go through the standards body to add new features to the file format to support that new feature. In the midst of all that, it gives competitors a chance to implement that feature, and thus by time Office is able to include that feature, competitors have already begun work implementing it. Which doesn’t really motivate Microsoft, or their competitors, to come up with new feature ideas, aye? Now, just say Microsoft don’t care about the standards body and goes on implementing the feature. And just say that formating feature becomes all the craze amongst Office users. Which means, when I open a file made by Office using that feature, it wouldn’t open properly. It wouldn’t look exactly the same as it does on Office. Which defeats the purpose of having the standard in the first place. As for opening up the file formats, it is a two-edged sword. On one hand, there’s a possiblity that StarOffice can open Office files without a hitch. But then again, more and more StarOffice users have little reason to use native file formats and instead use MS Office’s file formats. What I’m saying is that the government is best staying out of the market. The market would eventually fix itself up, and without government intervention, it would normally do a better job at it. Slower, but better. The market is only a little more than 2 decades old (Lotus 1-2-3 was released in ’83, WordStar around the same time). In other words, it is a very new market. 2004-03-13 8:44 am The future is in ONE desktop and that one desktop, whether you like it or not is KDE. The future is KDE, not GNOME. GNOME exists as a relic of the license moan-feast. The license has changed and unlike the GNOME world, KDE has moved forward. …[i]Could you imagine were Linux would be today had all the GNOME coders simply worked on KDE and let it be on the issue regarding the Qt licensing? we would probably have a VERY good, uniform desktop right now Yep, I wish Gnome had never been started too, but you don’t get the licensing issue. KDE is obviously technically better than Gnome, but the reason Gnome will eventually dominate at least the corporate desktop is still the licensing issue. The best thing that could happen is that someone like Novell or IBM buys trolltech and lgpls QT. Qt has to make a buck like everybody else, but having to pay $1500 per developer/per app is a non-starter. Shit, I can buy VS.NET for $500 and not only do I get a world-class IDE, but I can develop and sell as many apps as I want without paying MS squat. Not only that, but you can download not only the .NET sdk, but the c/c++ sdk’s now and develop everything for free. Forget about the small guy for a moment, and if you just focus on the corporate environment companies like Sun and others don’t want to touch QT because they don’t want to be beholden to some small company in Norway for a freaking toolkit when they’re going to base a whole application line on it. So, sorry to say, but the QT license is still an issue. If only QT had been LGPL to begin with things could’ve been so different. 2004-03-13 8:50 am Oops forgot the damn closing tag. Obviously my stuff is the third paragraph. Actually, in my ideal world, QT would be LGPL and I would immediately help out with Mono bindings for QT(QT#). Possibly eventually even getting Windows Forms on top Qt or Qt# too. 2004-03-13 10:10 am Uhm, I would overlook the fact that Visual Studio .NET is actually a thousand bucks. Qt’s license for $2000 per vendor is fairly reasonable as it was meant for developers making cross-platform applications. For commercial houses, $2000 for the potential to reduce the cost of maintaining 3 different ports of Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. But I hope in the future, you don’t have to use Qt to develop for KDE. That’s why I’m fully behind FreeDesktop.org 2004-03-13 10:36 am Quote: Linux zealots release MyDoom, zealots leak the Microsoft Windows 2000 Source code on the internet yet they expect a reasonable person to believe them when they say “We didnt steal UNIX System V source code and put it in Linux.” Closequote. Quote: All of his points are unsubstantiated Closequote. Quote: This open letter sounds more like a rant than anything else. Closequote. (Blare of drums, beating of trumpets into ploughshares, and the terrified bleating of a very confused dog.) You said it. Only thing is, you appear to have shot yourself in the foot while doing so. Will your medical insurance cover this? 2004-03-13 12:33 pm “The adoption of Linux on the desktop offers an opportunity to restore competition to the desktop market.” So, why don’t you do something? Like in old good pioneer times, which are now more common in Russia than in lazy (so it looks) America. You are saying that Linux is better choice that other desktop OS, right? That OpenOffice is anything MS Office can offer for the price of $0? You are ready to put your money where your mouth is? Go for it! Do not whine to OEMs they must sell you hardware with Linux. Hardware is just that: hardware! OEMs do get if from Asia, to be frank: so become your own OEM! Yes, my friend, buy hardware without OS wholesale or even retail, from small mom and pop computer stores. Configure it with Linux and OpenOffice. Sell it from the basement of your house by running Web site. Yes, David, these days you do not need huge investment to start a company, and Internet will make marketing and advertisement wonders for you for the very low, affordable price. You are telling us that there is a huge demand for Linux on desktop, and that people will save $$$$$$$ by switching to it? So, prove it! Nobody stops you! Get your local Linux User Group to support your startup for the % of your undoubtly enormous profits. Make it happen. Of course, that requres at least taking your ass from the chair infront of monitor, and taking hands from keyboard for some time during the day. That is hard sacrifice. It is much easier to get to Ford dealership and whine they can’t sell you Nissan, or to Coka-Cola museum in Atlanta and scream that they can’t give you Pepsi there. 2004-03-13 2:31 pm I have my usual complaints. Numerous typos that I caught in one reading (was this proofread by a third party?). Focusing too tightly on Linux as the only alternative (or the underdog). Using unverified speculation as evidence, etc. I hate what Microsoft has done to the industry, but there’s more going on here than just Microsoft’s evil. The article’s language does not allow for there to be any alternative to the popular theorizing about the SCO funding (no matter if it is found to be true at some point, it has not been found to be true YET). There’s more at stake than Linux not being hurt and getting to the consumers. So, yeah, call for help from the powers that be, but don’t just make it a plea to help Linux proponents get what they think is right for everyone, and use language that is honest about the state of current rumours (they they are speculation, not fact). 2004-03-13 2:58 pm Well said. 2004-03-13 3:18 pm ” How is it anti competitive to make something that is better, easier to use and more widly accepted? ” ROFL You do realise you’re just spouting marketingspeak? Real English requires that you specify: better than *what*? Easier to use than *what*? More widely accepted by *whom* (and in what context)? 2004-03-13 3:34 pm You know, this very topic of Linux desktop environments, or whatever the truely correct term is, is one of the PRIMARY reasons I *stay away* from Linux. Then there is the constant chatter over which “distro” is better for which reason. I get curious. I download CD images and burn them to disc (taking the advise of those who claim these distributions are great and user friendly). In the end, I see more conversation about these distributions and a dozen others and I ALWAYS get the impression that no matter which distribution I choose, there would have been a better choice for one or more components that matter to me. But I can’t have both without building it myself and there’s no way in hell I will waste my extremely limited time learning *how to do* and then doing that. So the CDs sit on my desk and get old without being tested. In this case, choice has become a *problem.* There are too many ways in which to make the consumer/user/whatever feel as though he/she has made the wrong choice (and worse, that the mistake wont be truely realized until it is far too late to change to something else). The biggest and saddest part of this is that, with all this choice, there still isn’t one system that seems to provide to the user what Windows and Mac OS provide (and granted, these two have their own distro madness, and Microsoft’s is the worst, but that is at least *mostly* an issue of “which version is the newest” and not a matter of a dozen of concurrent different looking and behaving versions – the differences that are annoying as hell are at least separated by a few years of product release age). People use Windows and they use Macintosh and they know that these systems work, for the most part. They don’t constantly worry that maybe they should have chosen a different distribution of Mac OS. They either upgrade or they don’t (sometimes they are forced to, but the path is still clear: the next version). There’s comfort in that (as much as I hate them both, I feel it myself because the stuff that doesn’t work or that is a problem usually is a combination of hundreds of smaller annoying behaviors instead of one or two very important huge processes that I cannot ever accomplish to my satisfaction such as multitrack digital audio and MIDI, as is the problem with BeOS – I just CAN’T do these things). Since I mentioned that… here’s some potential flamebait: All these people claiming to be doing professional audio and video work on Linux… either you give the names of the software and hardware you are actually using on Linux *and* a clear description of what this “professional” work is that you’re doing with it or kindly shut the hell up. I’m sick of the word “professional” being thrown around like this. I’ve searched and asked around quite a bit and found nothing professional about media tools for Linux (or BeOS, which everyone knows I’m an advocate of). Take this as an opportunity to tell me about a tool or two (not six) that can let me do on Linux what I do on Windows with Cakewalk Sonar and Sony Sound Forge. Or SpeedRazor, for you video folks. 2004-03-13 7:49 pm Stop whining oss people. Microsoft has better products! You cheap bastards waste your time bitching about MS instead of creating better alternatives. Thus far you have not created better alternatives, with the exception of COST of products. The truth is that only with money you can create something good. OSS does not have the money for market research, does not have design talent, and most of the OSS code is hobby code. 2004-03-13 7:57 pm Dildo, there’s a lot better OS’s than MS’s offerings available now, they just lack the apps to go with em, I’m not talking Linux or OSX either, they’re almost as bad. 2004-03-13 8:23 pm <quoute>hornsmoker: You have mentioned rail standards as an example on why there should be a standard in the market Office is in. You see, for different rail companies, it is their route – not the width of their tracks as well as the minor differences, along with prices – that provide its competitive advantage. However, having a different standard of rail tracks? Wouldn’t help increase profits.</quote> It’s not just documents, spreadheets, etc. – it’s everything! The point of the rail anology is that because of non-standardized formats, loss of productivy is the result and yes, that results in decreased profits for everyone. If you spending some part of your day converting file formats to something you can work with on your machine and then back again to appease the lowest common denominators, you’re wasting time and money. Multiply that by millions of users everday and we’ve got a serious problem here! 2004-03-13 8:34 pm I guess its beyond you comprehension level, but you would not even be on this forum expressing your views without the work of open source. FYI: Al Gore did not invent the internet and neither did Bill Gates. 2004-03-13 11:02 pm I guess you’re not creative enough to see beyond Microsoft. And quit belittling Linux. You sound childish. 2004-03-14 3:05 am [quote] Since I mentioned that… here’s some potential flamebait: All these people claiming to be doing professional audio and video work on Linux… either you give the names of the software and hardware you are actually using on Linux *and* a clear description of what this “professional” work is that you’re doing with it or kindly shut the hell up. I’m sick of the word “professional” being thrown around like this. [/quote] Why is it so hard for you to believe that professional audio/video work can be done with the tools available on Linux? (But I guess it could depend on your definition of “professional”) What it really comes down to is how well you can use the tools, be it Cool Edit Pro, Cakewalk, Ecasound, Ardour, Final Cut Pro, Cinelerra, whatever. With all the effects available and plugins you can use with Linux software, it is entirely possible to do professional audio work Ardour, by itself, can’t do much more than record and playback unlimited tracks. What I use alongside Ardour are effect plugins. I also install swh-plugins, tap-plugins, and cmt-plugins, and right there, you have over 200 effects you can add to your tracks. That’s just one example. 2004-03-14 3:30 am Jace, I’ve used RedHat, Mandrake and SuSE. Found SuSE suited my needs better as being more user friendly than most distros while still offering many tools experienced Linux users expect. See this link for an idea of what SuSE is all about from another user http://www.waltercedric.com/pc/suse/myExperience.htm Just to list some of the studios that use Linux for servers, workstations, renderfarms and applications: ILM, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Dreamworks, Digital Domain, Rhythm & Hues, Hammerhead, Computer Cafe, Amalgamated Pixels, Weta Digital, Flash Film Works, Mill, Damage Studios, Cinesite, etc. What do I use Linux for? For running a server, renderfarm, workstations, animation & visual effects. What software is running on it? Maya, Mental Ray, Shake, Cinepaint, Cinelerra, etc. Other highend software ported to Linux…Houdini, XSI, Fusion, Smoke-SD, PiranhaHD, Mental Ray, Renderman, Irma, Alfserver, NXN-Alienbrain, RealViz, Boujou, etc. A lot of software that runs on Windows can run successfully on Linux with Wine which is not an emulator like M$ would like you to believe. See http://winehq.com/ http://www.codeweavers.com/ http://www.transgaming.com/ You really should of researched some of this yourself. I’m getting tired of so called experienced Windows users creating lies about what can and cannot run on Linux. Mainly due to a persons ignorance or lack of experience. This is not directed at you but a reminder that this behavior is frequently appearing on many sites. Also instead of making accusations that people are not who they say they are try instead to offer a constructive viewpoint on the article and Linux. Keep an open mind on the various software/hardware out there as well as the people who use it. An article you may find of interest (see link below). http://millimeter.com/ar/video_linux_hollywood/ 2004-03-14 3:58 pm The point of the rail anology is that because of non-standardized formats, loss of productivy is the result and yes, that results in decreased profits for everyone. Yes, that’s for rail companies. Rail companies have no reason why not to standardize rail tracks, in fact more reason than productivity software. If just say, two rail lines. One is connecting Del Norte to San Francisco, and another San Francisco to Los Angeles. Now, just say the first line is using a 2′-wide rail line, while the second one all the way to Los Angeles uses a 3′-wide rail. For shipping from Del Norte to Los Angeles, one would have to change trains instead of just switching lines, thus slowing down the shipping process. It doesn’t make sense for these two rail companies not to standardize from the beginning, after all they aren’t competitors. Their competitors on the other hand is trucking and shipping companies. Since with the rail companies, one would have to change train mid-way, it is fastest just to send by truck or sail it down to LA. In effect, rail companies loose out. Now, with productivity software, let’s just forget that Microsoft holds the de jure monopoly of that market. Let’s just say Office has 45% of the market, StarOffice has 45% of the market, and the rest of the ten percent are obscure companies. Now, would it make sense if Office and StarOffice to use a single file format? If you read my post carefully, I gave a very clear reason: it makes it harder for them to compete. It makes it harder for StarOffice to add in new formating features, and the same for Office. In effect, there’s little reason for innovation in this market – what’s the point of Office coming up with the next big thing in word processing? By time they get to market with it, StarOffice is ready with their altenative. The market would descend into a unprofitable market where the competitive edge would be made out of the little details and ultimately, price wars. On the other hand, in such a market, it would make sense for Office to have support for StarOffice and vice-versa. It makes it easier for your competitor’s customers to switch over. Now, would this market exist without government intervention (be it legislative or judiciary)? Yes, I do believe it would. The market is young, as I pointed out earlier, and StarOffice is growing rapidly. Perhaps 3 or 4 decades from now, the market would be shared between Microsoft and Sun (or whoever that would own StarOffice then). If not StarOffice, it would be something else. Perhaps it would be a three-way market, with three competing products in that same market. Who can tell. 2004-03-14 4:13 pm The truth is that only with money you can create something good. OSS does not have the money for market research, does not have design talent, and most of the OSS code is hobby code. Some of the world’s best success stories started out by people doing something they like (i.e. a hobby). Take for example, Linus Torvalds. Wanted to create a MINIX clone ultimately as a hobby – end up with a 7-figure salary and a nice comfy Silicon Valley home, along with the fact that his kernel is powering on of the industry’s major operating system. No doubt money comes to play somewhere – Linux wouldn’t be where it is if weren’t for the investment from the likes of IBM, SGI, etc. And then let’s look at another famous open source OS – BSD. Started out by students trying to improve on AT&T’s code, mostly to get degree credits. Who would have thought that BSD code would be so prevenlent, you can even find it in Windows? (Heck, speaking of Microsoft, for a long time some of their Hotmail servers continued to run FreeBSD). Who would have thought that this open source college project for some state university would be behind one of Windows’ chief competitors? I can go on with other examples, from Apache to TCP/IP, but that isn’t my point. Money isn’t the only motivation for innovation and invention, if history is any indicator. Yes, it can help in that regard, but it isn’t the only aspect in pursuing innovation. On the other hand, money is the chief factor in bringing that innovation and invention to the market. Take for example, Linux. If weren’t for IBM money, it wouldn’t be running on POWER mainframes, no? Don’t take me as your average OSS advocate. Personally, I rather amputate my fingers than voluntarily license my code under GPL/LGPL, for one. 2004-03-14 4:36 pm “This is precisely what needs to happen first. What some people are failing to comprehend; is the we as a society, are so utterly dependent on the free flow exchange of information.” Isn’t that what the PDF format is for? Office format for your own files, PDF to share them. 2004-03-14 6:46 pm RE: Linux and desktops… Anonymous said:Why is it so hard for you to believe that professional audio/video work can be done with the tools available on Linux? (But I guess it could depend on your definition of “professional”) Lack of robust and complete tools is the impression I keep getting from the people who claim to be in the know about media tools on Linux. What it really comes down to is how well you can use the tools, be it Cool Edit Pro, Cakewalk, Ecasound, Ardour, Final Cut Pro, Cinelerra, whatever. With all the effects available and plugins you can use with Linux software, it is entirely possible to do professional audio work Let’s try not to get caught up in the myth that the user alone is the only thing standing in the way of productivity. Tools don’t make the artist, but the do have a lot to do with how empowered the artist can be. Ardour, by itself, can’t do much more than record and playback unlimited tracks. What I use alongside Ardour are effect plugins. I also install swh-plugins, tap-plugins, and cmt-plugins, and right there, you have over 200 effects you can add to your tracks. I’m not interested in knowing if there are tons of effects plug-ins available. I want to know if the underlying audio editing tools and audio sequencing tools work well and offer a complete set of functions. Filters are a dime a dozen. I want something that allows me to efficiently edit and massage audio data and something that allows me to sequence audio and MIDI together. If it were just about plug-ins, I would be happy with what’s available on BeOS. There are a bunch of VSTs ported to BeOS. Frankly, without an acceptable editing environment and multi-track recorder (or professional, noise free and unadulterated audio quality) there’s no way I will use the existing tools to try to do what I can do with the tools available on Windows. Ardour looks to have one of the worst user interfaces I’ve seen yet (white text on light green buttons, font sizes, wasted UI space, etc). It also does not look like it does much at all in the way of actually WORKING with the material. *Just* a multi-track recorder is not what I want. @Jace RE: Professionals using Linux Dark_Knight said: I’ve used RedHat, Mandrake and SuSE. Found SuSE suited my needs better as being more user friendly than most distros while still offering many tools experienced Linux users expect. See this link for an idea of what SuSE is all about from another user http://winehq.com/ http://www.codeweavers.com/ http://millimeter.com/ar/video_linux_hollywood/ Thanks, I see that this is also about the high end rendering and modeling packages that just aren’t relevant to my particular needs (I also would argue that they aren’t very user friendly tools, but hey, that’s me). Maybe you could share some links with me that have examples of audio composition and production or high dpi image editing and print work being done on Linux. With the exception of these hugely expensive Maya packages, I don’t see much else out there for Linux and all the pointers I get are incomplete opensource things that just do not cut it in a production environment (at least, not without four other tools being used concurrently to fill in the gaps, and I don’t mean effects! There’s more to crafting audio than running the audio through an effect!). 2004-03-14 7:48 pm [quote] Lack of robust and complete tools is the impression I keep getting from the people who claim to be in the know about media tools on Linux. [/quote] How many of these tools have you actually TRIED? Not just looked at a web site about it, but tried??? [quote] I’m not interested in knowing if there are tons of effects plug-ins available. I want to know if the underlying audio editing tools and audio sequencing tools work well and offer a complete set of functions. Filters are a dime a dozen. I want something that allows me to efficiently edit and massage audio data and something that allows me to sequence audio and MIDI together. If it were just about plug-ins, I would be happy with what’s available on BeOS. There are a bunch of VSTs ported to BeOS. Frankly, without an acceptable editing environment and multi-track recorder (or professional, noise free and unadulterated audio quality) there’s no way I will use the existing tools to try to do what I can do with the tools available on Windows. [/quote] If you’re not happy with Ardour, there’s also Audacity. It allows you to actually edit the actual sound file like you want, rather than just run the audio through a plugin. And you also have the choice of editing the material with said plugins if you wish. (and it does multi-track recording.) Try it out on Windows first if you want to give it a shot. [quote] Ardour looks to have one of the worst user interfaces I’ve seen yet (white text on light green buttons, font sizes, wasted UI space, etc). It also does not look like it does much at all in the way of actually WORKING with the material. *Just* a multi-track recorder is not what I want. [/quote] As fas as user interfaces go, that’s personal opinion. And, unlike you claim, it DOES actually work with the material (just doesn’t actually permanently change the said tracks) And frankly, you can’t make a judgement about a program without having tried it first. [quote] Maybe you could share some links with me that have examples of audio composition and production or high dpi image editing and print work being done on Linux. [/quote] This is not at all a complete list, but here’s some examples of people using Ecasound: http://eca.cx/ecasound_users.html [quote] With the exception of these hugely expensive Maya packages, I don’t see much else out there for Linux and all the pointers I get are incomplete opensource things that just do not cut it in a production environment (at least, not without four other tools being used concurrently to fill in the gaps, and I don’t mean effects! There’s more to crafting audio than running the audio through an effect!). [/quote] Help me out here. What do you mean when you say that you craft audio? It might also help if you e-mailed the developers of these applications and tell them what they’re missing that’s keeping you from using them. But ultimately, you will choose the software that works best for you, and I will choose the software that works best for me. 2004-03-14 10:14 pm Start using that advice I gave you already and that is do some of your own research. I gave you not only specific points but also links that you obviously didn’t read. I will though give you an opportunity to correct this by giving you direct links. Note if you actually did some research you would find Linux is used both as an OS and apps for servers, cluster networks, render-farms, desktops, workstations and thousands of apps. Some of which are proprietary ported to Linux (this is not on Wine..they are coded for Linux). Just a small sample of software developers that port to Linux (See links). PROPRIETARY 3D/2D SOFTWARE: http://www.alias.com/eng/index_flash.shtml http://www.softimage.com/home/Default.asp http://www.mentalimages.com/ https://renderman.pixar.com/ http://www.sidefx.com/ http://www.ifx.com/piranha/ http://www.eyeonline.com/ http://www.apple.com/shake/ http://www4.discreet.com/smoke/ http://www.mainconcept.com/index_flash.shtml http://www.realviz.com/ http://www.2d3.com/ http://seriss.com/rush/ FREE OSS: http://cinepaint.sourceforge.net/ http://heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3 http://www.lmahd.com/cinelerra.html (better description of what Cinelerra is capable of). http://www.jahshaka.com/ http://www.blender3d.com/ http://grender.sourceforge.net/ http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=cad§ion=projects&Go.x=0&Go.y=0 (36 projects found after searching “CAD” at Freshmeat). http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=design§ion=projects&Go.x=0&Go.y=… (459 projects after searching the word “design”). LINUX IN HOLLYWOOD: Incorrect title since Weta (creator of LOTR) is not in the states. Though they do use Linux extensively. Also the film production list is incomplete since there are many other films/shows that have been created on Linux. http://millimeter.com/ar/video_linux_hollywood/ An example of hardware distributors of Linux systems: http://www.boxxtech.com/swf/index.asp http://www.hp.com/ http://www.ibm.com/us/ http://www.tigerdirect.com/ (.ca extension for Canada). http://www.linux-laptop.net/ 2004-03-14 11:42 pm Sorry if I seemed a little hot tempered in my post but it’s been a long day and I thought I gave you enough advice in my first post. I’ve now switched to my decaf coffee and will try to answer some of what you are confused on. I would of edited my previous post but this website doesn’t allow it for some reason. You asked what I use for texture editing. Gimp is okay for simple tasks and is very similar to Photoshop. I myself use Cinepaint since it’s more suited to professional film work. Use the link I provided in my previous post to find ports for Windows, OSX and Linux. If you can use photoshop then you can use Cinepaint. As for Maya vs LW I really don’t find they compare. Maya compares more with XSI though Maya offers more tools and effects. Yeah, I can just hear the Soft users screaming now…lol. See the Alias and Soft links I included before to either download the demos or read more on what they can do. Alias is to release a demo for Linux but does offer one for Windows and OSX. Soft offers XSI on Windows and Linux for demo. I think somewhere along your path in life you were misinformed what linux is used for and where it’s used. The reason I included the Linux in Hollywood link was to prove that Linux is not just a kernel to run an OS but that there are thousands of apps that are coded for Linux. Studios such as ILM mentioned in the article created their own 3D/2D apps and tools based on other tools used in the industry. Whether you are a freelancer or studio owner the cost factor of both your hardware and software is most likely number 2 on your list. Number 1 would be what the software/hardware does for you and your team. As a final note. Whether you are interested in 3D/2D work or video/audio editing you better get familiar with using Linux. The small list from that Hollywood link does not include all the studios around the world using Linux. Also, since Macromedia is planning on porting their Studio MX line to Linux this may as well affect graphic/web designers and advertising firms. Knowing some Linux may just help you get a job and even keep your job in the long run. 2004-03-17 11:56 pm If you’re not happy with Ardour, there’s also Audacity. It allows you to actually edit the actual sound file like you want, rather than just run the audio through a plugin. And you also have the choice of editing the material with said plugins if you wish. (and it does multi-track recording.) Try it out on Windows first if you want to give it a shot. I just tested Audacity. I don’t like the UI but it is functional. I found that it isn’t very responsive, either. Click on play and the playback “head” is not coordinated with the actual audio playback. Anyone who thinks this isn’t important, well, I don’t know what to say. It helps a lot to be able to “See” what part of the audio your ears are being bothered by. Such as when there is a click you need to remove but which is not easy to see in the waveform. Unsynchronized playback/visual is a real annoyance to me. The audio delay between when I click play and when I hear it is enough on its own to bother me. This software has potential, though. I will have to try it on Linux if I ever install Linux on a test machine. Maybe playback is better on Linux? As fas as user interfaces go, that’s personal opinion. I really disagree here. A lot. But that’s for another topic entirely, so never mind. And, unlike you claim, it DOES actually work with the material (just doesn’t actually permanently change the said tracks) I didn’t claim. I said “looks like.” I’m wrong? Good. And frankly, you can’t make a judgement about a program without having tried it first. I feel I can make a generally acurate assessment of my own particular desire to use an app by seeing screenshots and reading web site info. If that info sucks, then that’s a fault of the particular promotion of that app and is unfortunate for them that I wont be trying the app. Unless I’m despirate, which I’m not, I don’t download all apps I see, hoping one will be useful to me. I descriminate based on the information provided about the app. Download apps that look to be well designed and which have features I need and ignore the rest. This is not at all a complete list, but here’s some examples of people using Ecasound: 2004-03-18 12:30 am Sorry if I seemed a little hot tempered in my post but it’s been a long day and I thought I gave you enough advice in my first post. Well, we might be getting stuck on specific needs. Mine are different from yours. I did do research, though. I just haven’t actually downloaded and installed anything on Linux. Part of that is Linux isn’t installed and part of that is the app install process is known to be somewhat annoying on Linux for people like myself. I want no part of the command line nor compiling. I don’t know which packages are compatible with which distributions. I’ve now switched to my decaf coffee and will try to answer some of what you are confused on. I would of edited my previous post but this website doesn’t allow it for some reason. Yeah, this forum is nice, but it needs accounts and editing capabilities! You asked what I use for texture editing. Gimp is okay for simple tasks and is very similar to Photoshop. I myself use Cinepaint since it’s more suited to professional film work. Which is GIMP. It sounds like they added a lot of great stuff to it when they split off from the GIMP, but if you look at the limitations it currently has (which they are wonderfully honest and up front about on the site) it doesn’t suit my needs. IE: UI, CMYK, color matching, etc. As for Maya vs LW I really don’t find they compare. Maya compares more with XSI though Maya offers more tools and effects. Yeah, I can just hear the Soft users screaming now…lol. See the Alias and Soft links I included before to either download the demos or read more on what they can do. Alias is to release a demo for Linux but does offer one for Windows and OSX. Soft offers XSI on Windows and Linux for demo. I’ve already invested in Lightwave. It does what I want. It has more than I need. I like the UI, even though it’s totally non-standard (it’s well designed for the app’s needs). I love the rendering engine’s output. Etc. 😉 I think somewhere along your path in life you were misinformed what linux is used for and where it’s used. The reason I included the Linux in Hollywood link was to prove that Linux is not just a kernel to run an OS but that there are thousands of apps that are coded for Linux. Studios such as ILM mentioned in the article created their own 3D/2D apps and tools based on other tools used in the industry. Whether you are a freelancer or studio owner the cost factor of both your hardware and software is most likely number 2 on your list. Number 1 would be what the software/hardware does for you and your team. I know most of this. I think my impression of Linux is accurate, at least in the context of my personal needs. I do zero development and have no need for renderfarms. I need the professional end user tools for visual people who make work for web & print and who do home studio recording/composition. Tools that are designed with a comfortable, efficient and fast UI. It’s not that Linux sucks. It’s not that there are no apps. Linux isn’t for me, yet, and there are no content creation tools that suit my own needs. Unless someone effectively “clones” the tools I use on Windows, the only way I see myself moving to Linux is if Adobe, Corel, Sony and Cakewalk port their apps to Linux. As a final note. Whether you are interested in 3D/2D work or video/audio editing you better get familiar with using Linux. The small list from that Hollywood link does not include all the studios around the world using Linux. Your focus is on studios that do custom software engineering and motion picture. That’s not my area. It’s no surprise to me that our needs are different and that I can’t see these tools as fit for my use. Also, since Macromedia is planning on porting their Studio MX line to Linux this may as well affect graphic/web designers and advertising firms. I haven’t heard this. I hope this is true. That would help get a lot of other ports going once the companies see there is competition and market to fight over. When Be convinced a few developers to port some great commercial apps to BeOS, other similar companies jumped on board too. When Be shifted, all it took was the loss of one big name for the rest to decide it was no longer worth their effort. It’s all about keeping up with the Joneses. Still, I don’t really like Linux. It’s getting better, but I am not comfortable with it at all (and this has nothing to do with my abilities or willingness to learn; it has to do with what annoyances and complexities I’m willing to put up with on a regular basis). Knowing some Linux may just help you get a job and even keep your job in the long run. Surely. This is why I keep trying to get myself to install it on a test machine… that and curiosity. Thing is, if I have no use for it, I wont use it. (this is home studio use) So this is why I research what’s available to do what I want with a computer. So far, the combo that works for me is BeOS and Windows XP. Sometimes Mac, but just out of convenience of net connection… Thanks for all the information. You’ve been a help. It’s just that Linux and the available apps just are not for me at this time. Apologies for suggesting that professional work can’t be done on Linux. That’s obviously not true. The true thing is that professional results are possible, for certain very important tasks. The industry-centered stuff is getting there. The user-centered stuff is still far far off.