Home > Microsoft > Microsoft: Linux threat is risingMicrosoft: Linux threat is rising Eugenia Loli 2004-06-11 Microsoft 51 CommentsMore companies are using the threat of Linux when negotiating deals with Microsoft, one of the company’s senior executives has admitted.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 51 Comments 2004-06-11 8:10 pm good old-fashioned competition! 2004-06-11 8:11 pm I wonder how much of the threat is really aimed at MS’s bread-and-butter: MS Office and Windows XP.These two softwares seem to be the cash cow for MS. 2004-06-11 8:16 pm Threat?Competition! About time! 2004-06-11 8:21 pm ..we use linux. Works just fine. Why negotiate with the at all. 2004-06-11 8:26 pm “..we use linux. Works just fine. Why negotiate with the at all.”Because some don’t use it and have no intention of using it, but are negotiating price cuts regardless. 2004-06-11 8:45 pm Linux hasn’t dented Window’s market share by any considerable margin, but HAS dented the properitary UNIX’s market share by quite a bit. That’s good, because as those UNIX’s went down, people would have switched to Windows Server 2003 instead of Linux (just like how in the mid 90’s, many, many, many UNIX shops went to WindowsNT.. hell, even UNIX vendors such as HP and SGI did) 2004-06-11 8:56 pm That’s why I am lately getting so many spams offering Windows XP Pro for $50, and Office XP Pro for $100. 2004-06-11 9:02 pm Linux supporters waging a “jihad”, says Microsoft exechttp://software.silicon.com/os/0,39024651,39121241,00.htm 2004-06-11 9:09 pm I think Microsoft calls it a threat because they can’t buy a company that owns Linux, like they could with all their other “competition”.They can always give XP and Office away for free and beat them the same way they beat Netscape. 2004-06-11 9:19 pm I am hoping that they remove the silly little registration crap on their up and coming Longhorn OS. About the only people who are effected by it are those who have bought their copy legally. 2004-06-11 10:17 pm I think Microsoft calls it a threat because they can’t buy a company that owns Linux, like they could with all their other “competition”how so? linux doesn’t stop a company from having stocks, and stocks of anything out on the market can be bought by whoever has the cash. 2004-06-11 10:37 pm While I’m not sure about the threat posed by various distros of Linux; I am positive of the strength of the term “Linux” as a bargaining chip. There a lot of MS shops currently enjoying some heavily discounted packages as a result of a bit of well placed leverage. Do these discounts really tear deeply into the MS bottom line; I rather doubt it. Let’s give it ten years to brew, and see what it looks like then. 2004-06-11 11:13 pm I had some much fun with that quote, considering who’s behind BayStar and EU software patents… 2004-06-11 11:38 pm how so? linux doesn’t stop a company from having stocks, and stocks of anything out on the market can be bought by whoever has the cash.a company can be bought, but no one can buy or destroy linux. linux isn’t owned by a company, and no company who creates a distro owns their derivative works any more then they did when they downloaded the code to begin with. (they own the tools they wrote, and they can keep those propreitary and closed as long as they don’t include GPL’d code).sure, redhat, novel, mandrake, gentoo could all close shop tomorrow, but linux development, support, and use would still continue to grow.the same cannot be said about windows (unless this reactos thing really takes off). 2004-06-11 11:50 pm “It’s true to say that Linux is a tool for trying to beat Microsoft up,” Dawson said.like that’s a bad thing? if you’re a development or solutions company/manager, please give microsoft a few extra swings with the linux bat for me for what they did to Be (who died in the process), and Apple (who was severly mangled), and DEC (who probably asked for it), and bungie (MS, you jerks, the most anticipated game for Mac, now the most delayed game for xbox), and Sun (for stabbing Java on its way up), and for the countless number of little companies its swallowed, destroyed, stolen from, payed off, coersed employees from, and… and… and…… whoa, sorry, got a little carried away there 2004-06-12 12:21 am >but no one can buy or destroy linux.Well, Russian proverb (and I am sure there are similar American) says: he who pays for the dinner, dances with the girl.Right now Linux kernel is a lapdog of IBM and Oracle, OpenOffice is a pet project of Sun, Mozilla is a Netscape leftover on AOL balance.As much as Linux community likes to praise itself, it is well known as one unwilling to pay for software. Cut off corporate sponsorship money going to OpenSource projects, and it’ll go back to invisible GNU hidden behind University walls.Look at lovely http://xbox-linux.org – they spent all money from Lindows to port Linux on XBox, and project is as good as dead.Not because they’ve done all they can, quite contrary, last post on their site says “can’t run our Linux on latest XBoxes.” Can’t- so get over it. Go fix yourself.No more money from sponsor- not much progress.That will happen with Linux and OpenSource if it forgets who pays bills. Saying “we need nobody” is stupid. For one, OpenSource should be really thankful for millions and billions of dollars corporations put into it.Plus, community should publicly thank, thank, thank and doesn’t stop thanking sponsors. It should learn from charities, who also survive on volunteers and donations. Show me a charity that says “we need nobody and we don’t care” and I’ll show you a charity which will not survive for a long.Microsoft is here to stay with billions in a bank, and no jihad will make a dent in it.What could make a dent is a persistence of a community backed by BIG $$$$$ from corporate sponsors. Don’t piss them off, or they’ll find another toy to play and leave Linux community in a dust. 2004-06-12 12:26 am Anonymous Wrote;“Because some don’t use it and have no intention of using it, but are negotiating price cuts regardless”.Hey, this time M$ is getting sneaky business tactics thrown at them for once.See what happens when a tiny bit of competition comes in.Its been so long I almost forgot what it was like. 2004-06-12 12:43 am Good – MS is likely a little rusty in this area – hasn’t been there in a while – hasn’t done that in a while – but this is what everybody else has to go through – you compete on both the price and the goods – not just the price. It will also make everybody happier. MS will start experiencing the same euphoric feeling that other workers have at the end of the day – the feeling of having put in a good days work for the pay received and no longer feel as if they have extorted or stolen from somebody. Welcome in the arena. Sharpen your sword. It looks rusty.Kidding aside – even if Linux should never really make it to the desktop then the history books will still show that it provided competition – and filled an otherwise gaping loophole in the system. 2004-06-12 1:09 am What really scares Microsoft is that its starting to be more than a “threat”, its becoming reality.All over the world, there are many evals, and tests, and pilots that are now complete……and the threats given to microsoft from large companies have started to change from‘we MIGHT use Linux instead of your products’to‘we will just use MORE linux instead of your products, because its working good for us so far’ 2004-06-12 1:46 am Please proof the money to the XBox Linux project was from Lindows the company, and not from Michael Robertson the individual. The press release, back when the project was still starting, underlines the latter, which also contradicts your whole rant about people unwilling to pay for software. Strange RedHat is doin’ so well, hmm? 2004-06-12 2:34 am As much as Linux community likes to praise itself, it is well known as one unwilling to pay for software.You mean, just like Windows users? Why do you think piracy is such a problem? IIRC, you said yourself Linux wouldn’t catch on in Russia, because everyone uses pirated software. Even here, in North America, software piracy is endemic.Please stop with your repetitive tirades about how Linux users are a bunch of cheapstakes. It’s getting really old.Look at lovely http://xbox-linux.org – they spent all money from Lindows to port Linux on XBox, and project is as good as dead. Not because they’ve done all they can, quite contrary, last post on their site says “can’t run our Linux on latest XBoxes.”Well, that’s mostly because reverse-engineering the MS crytographic signature to allow Linux to work on unmodded Xbox is a) extremely difficult and b) could be deemed illegal under the DMCA. It is possible, however, to run Linux (and other unsigned software – presumable pirated games) on modded Xboxes.In any case, this isn’t proof of the failure of Linux projects to follow through, but rather a fine example of the organic nature of Linux development. Projects for which there is high demand progress quickly, projects for which there is little demand progress slowly or die out.That will happen with Linux and OpenSource if it forgets who pays bills.Clearly you have no idea of how Linux has evolved. Corporations don’t “pay the bills”, they contribute to the community.Saying “we need nobody” is stupid. For one, OpenSource should be really thankful for millions and billions of dollars corporations put into it.Not really. Corporations who sponsor Linux development and open-source projects also gain from it, as they use the products themselves. There are volunteer contributors as well – not only coders, but artists, writers, beta testers and users who provide feedback. If IBM was to drop its involvment in Linux tomorrow, the OS would continue to evolve. Since anybody can pick up any free software and improve it, Linux will only die when no one cares about it any more – corporations as well as common users.But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your anti-Linux FUD agenda… 2004-06-12 3:39 am its really all begining, isn’t it? In the past Ms competed well when it was just them vs another company, but Linux changes all the rules. There is no “single” other company, its an avalanche of competitors unified by a single platform…the writing is on the wall. May not happen soon, but this is their doom. They could gasp and live in for another decade or more, but this will kill them. They cannot compete, regardless of their size, against the rest of the entire industry and forget emerging markets like India and China. Game over. 2004-06-12 4:00 am That comment about that “jihad” was funny! I wonder if the executive is ashamed of it already.——-Russian Guy wrote:“Right now Linux kernel is a lapdog of IBM and Oracle, OpenOffice is a pet project of Sun, Mozilla is a Netscape leftover on AOL balance. ”Yeah, right. Have you read anything about Kenneth Brown accusations about Linux? Such accusations, like yours and his, go nowhere unnoticed. If you want to be taken serious, get your facts straight. It doesn’t matter how much MS fan you are or how ignorant about the OpenSource movement you are.“Well, Russian proverb (and I am sure there are similar American) says: he who pays for the dinner, dances with the girl.”Exactly! And who pays the guy who is paying for the dinner? And who pays the guy who is paying the guy who is paying for the dinner? I mean, it’s more complex than just “who has the money”.“As much as Linux community likes to praise itself, it is well known as one unwilling to pay for software. Cut off corporate sponsorship money going to OpenSource projects, and it’ll go back to invisible GNU hidden behind University walls.”For God’s sake, what an imagination! 2004-06-12 4:51 am First, I have to agree with mosst of what RG said.@ dpi, The X-Box Linux project was backed by Michael Robertson and not Lindows, but does the source really matter since Lindows is a private company owned entirely by Robertson?BTW, Most Linux development is sponsored by actual companies with a financial interest.If these companies for some reason quit providing monitary backing for Linux there is no doubt that Linux would suffer as a result.Not that either these companies or Linux are going to go away.—As far as Linux on the desktop, I would like to make this point.There are many things Microsoft could not get away with becasue of the position they are in.E.G they could buy or write a great deal of the 3rd party software people buy and install on windows and give it away free with the operating system.Current examples of this are remote desktop and the new firewall in SP2.If Linux ever becomes a large enough threat that they are no longer considered a monopoly, they could spend a few hundred million of their 50 some billion and throw in Paint shop pro, Trillian, StyleXP, and more Audio and Video tools for free.The fact that Microsoft even has a cash reserve large enough to buy it’s own small country speaks volumes about how worried they aren’t.If Linux ever gets large enough to compete with MS on the desktop, MS at that point will be able to Legally spend some of its money to make its product offering more attractive.The battle for the desktop won’t even begin for many years, by then MS will have 100 billion or more to play with. 2004-06-12 5:09 am And I am not anti-Linux either, the above comment was posted from my Linux desktop. I just call it like I see it.Supporting the claim that the battle won’t begin for many years is this.1) Earlier posted article about Linux getting fat, this is true, nobody wants to optimize code for free and lack of organization make for poor code maintenance.2) No one organization’s has enough control over Linux to make any significant change to the platform. The way it was 3 years ago is pretty much the way it will be 3 years from now.2.5) The fact that many times there are more than one solution to one problem, in most controlled environments they are evaluated and the best one is selected, with Linux they are both selected and developed half-assed separately. (sorry)3) More backwards compatibility will need to exist before much more progress can be made, at that point Linux will get fatter at a much more alarming rate.4) For many reasons, software distribution and management will remain 2rd class on Linux. Solutions like Gentoo portage are a step forward, but do not scale.5) Hardware manufacturers will offer better driver support when Linux gets more popular, Linux will get more popular after there is better driver support (catch 22)6) No being on Joe Users desktop will retard it’s movement into the corporate desktop. Companies will use windows because that’s what the people that work there know.7) There is a great deal to be said for being first, even if you are not the best. Just look at the QWERTY keyboard you are typing on for an example of this. It’s intentionally designed to be as inefficient as possible so the typewriter swing arms used most often are as far away from each other as possible (to prevent from getting stuck). A poor solution for the way we use it today but still in use by nearly everyone.I thought about installing a DVORAK keyboard at home but I can’t because everything at work is QWERTY.Even as someone using Linux today I believe it is way off the desktop. 2004-06-12 5:23 am Oh and8) Visual studio, as long as the development for windows is ahead of other offerings, applications on windows will be ahead of other offerings. It would arguably take a long time to match Visual Studio becasue it is not slowing down, and this includes VB.This is an area where others (read: Borland) are falling behind, not gaining.Mono is a possible improvement, but trying to out-.NET MS is sort of like trying to create better support for MS office documents than MS Office. 2004-06-12 5:24 am If you read the comments about .net programming you don’t see any FUD wars. But on every distribution review there is some guy who has to complain about how many distribution reviews osnews posts?Great article OSnews. This one was very good, and I think it’s fair to say that Microsoft is likely catering to some large groups to keep them from using Linux or anything else competing.I think a certain range of price competition is totally fair. Although I suspect if it gets bad Microsoft’s unusually large cash reserves will be put into the pricing war. I suppose this is still fair, but it isn’t really the efficient economical solution…To be honest, I’m not sure I want every yokel running Linux. But three times the userbase would be good, and ten times the userbase for BSD also. Maybe even double for Apple. 2004-06-12 6:32 am Jim, as a matter of fact, that would matter in my country at least. There’s a few small differences, for example on tax deduction, liability, and some things as well as one not related to the law: the reasons why did it, and did it anonymously. As for the law i don’t know regarding the USA.You make some interesting statements worth a whole article if worked out better and correct definitions are used. In #1 you talk about Linux while i have no problem with the Linux kernel and bloat; you mean most likely either of 2 popular DE’s. I have a solution for that: XFce4 and would like to add that people who base that on KDE2 should try out KDE3. Can’t speak for GNOME 2.6.“If these companies for some reason quit providing monitary backing for Linux there is no doubt that Linux would suffer as a result.”Ofcourse. The same could be said for a proprietary company, but with that (though depending on the situation). The same could be said for the investors behind SCO. Or for the people who make sure your ISP’s routers are patched.There’s nothing wrong with showing a dependancy. However, as brilliant as Russian Guy always puts it (MS course?) it is still a generalisation. Some people who are using FLOSS are happily paying it, some not, and some are not paying at all. This is not a shame when the license allows it; and i think it is rather a trend among home users who do not have much to spend, nor have much fear for legal consequences because of not paying their illegal software (and none for owning FLOSS). Corporate users however, have all reason to pay: they pay for the whole packet, the support, the hardware, or other kind of services (as outlined in Mcvoy’s article as well where he looks to the future, see hereunder). The home user problem is not directly related to Linux; it is rather a structural problem. I can with 2 fingers in my nose easily make some rampant generalisation and some statistic that you, the MS Windows user here, are part of some pirate-gang who are illegally here on the Internet because of no license and because of copyright infringement. But nah, let’s not be so childish It’s funny, i stumbled upon an article by Larry McVoy which he wrote when he still worked for Sun. In that very article he argued Windows as the threat to Unix and proposed some changes in the competing model (“when 2 fight for a bone, the 3rd walks away with it”).http://www.bitmover.com/lm/papers/srcos.htmlCurrently, and i quote: “Another theme in my career has been to think about future problems. The Sourceware Operating System paper was written in 1993 when I was worried about Microsoft. I’m less worried about Microsoft today and more worried about business models which work for open source projects. Open source is great, but I’d like to see it provide enough revenue that we all can eat, pay the mortgage, raise families, and make our investors happy. Work is ongoing on the Business Public License to solve this problem. This license preserves the best of the open source and the proprietary source business models.” 2004-06-12 7:14 am The fact that Microsoft even has a cash reserve large enough to buy it’s own small country speaks volumes about how worried they aren’t.Uh, the accumulated cash is a result of a long-standing policy of not giving dividends (although they have recently begun to do so) while raking in record profits deriving from their file format/office suite/OS monopoly. There is no link to be made with how worried they are. They stockpiled this cash before Linux was a threat.In other words, they can be both worried by Linux and still have big pile of cash. 2004-06-12 7:15 am I posted from Firefox on XFCE4. I would sit down some day and write an article but I am too lazy and it would mostly just make people angry. 2004-06-12 7:19 am “If Linux ever becomes a large enough threat that they are no longer considered a monopoly, they could spend a few hundred million of their 50 some billion and throw in Paint shop pro, Trillian, StyleXP, and more Audio and Video tools for free.”This money can’t be used freely! It’s shareholders’ money! Yeah, I didn’t know that, either. But check this out:http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixP… 2004-06-12 7:25 am Of course, you can’t beat them in their game! As long as you have to use their crippled tools, you can’t even equal them. But I can’t give the best solution for everything, mainly because of the performance penalties of not using the optimized platform dependent tools. 2004-06-12 7:36 am “There are many things Microsoft could not get away with becasue of the position they are in.E.G they could buy or write a great deal of the 3rd party software people buy and install on windows and give it away free with the operating system. ”Well, we are already seeing Europe decide that users should have the option of purchasing Windows without Media Player. If MS is forced to have a version of Windows stripped of some of its features, then Apple should be required to do the same thing, along with every other OS that is available.Its funny how people complain that you dont get enough with Windows, yet should MS begin to include alot of programs with Windows, then everyone will bitch about the being anti competitive… After that, we get to have biased government groups attack them as well. What a fun world for Microsoft… 2004-06-12 10:26 am same can be said about Syllable, freebsd, minix, etc. 2004-06-12 1:00 pm Regarding you statement:“Well, we are already seeing Europe decide that users should have the option of purchasing Windows without Media Player. If MS is forced to have a version of Windows stripped of some of its features, then Apple should be required to do the same thing, along with every other OS that is available.”It’s not about the software bundle, it’s the way it’s bundled.With Apple and Linux, you can remove undesireable or unwanted software at will.I dare you to try and remove IE, or the media player!Bet you can’t! 2004-06-12 3:17 pm Linux is a step ahead for companies and goverments. I guess MS doesn’t like progress, sounds like ms is afraid because it can’t monopolies Linux. 2004-06-12 3:25 pm I don’t care what MS thinks of Linux, I will make up my own mind. And I think their strategy is stupid and short sighted.They should have just acted like Apple does and that is to embrace open source to enhance its products. Then MS would even gain from open source. Look what could have been: A better command line, better web server and much more.But no they want to be the only OS and leave a bit for Apple to proove they are not a monopoly.Its good that open source software can’t be bribed nor destroyed. I don’t want to live in a MS/Apple only world. 2004-06-12 4:50 pm “I posted from Firefox on XFCE4.”Ok? Then i’d expect you to be even more aware instead of generalizing about “Linux” (which does not imply any WM or DE at all) being slow.“I would sit down some day and write an article but I am too lazy and it would mostly just make people angry.”(Regarding the latter) so what? If it contains the arguments you stated, but _far_ more thoroughly put, a fruity discussion is potential. 2004-06-12 5:53 pm It’s clear IMHO that software is changing, OSS wants to turn software into a commodity, while Microsoft wants to turn it into a rented service.If they can just get the internet to be dominated by their client software browsing website content created with their .NET software, with all participants paying rent, they’ve got it made. 2004-06-12 6:43 pm the difference is that iPhoto, iTunes, etc, isn’t built into the OS where Microsoft claims that media player and internet explorer are. they are saying that you could not run windows without having media playing and internet exploring capbilities present.sure i may not be able to run aqua without touching some quicktime libraries in the process, but in all reality (whether its beneficial or not) i don’t have to run aqua (the OS X interface) at all. i can boot striaght to a terminal and just use the basic OS features: no Quicktime, no Mail.app, no Finder, no iChat, hardly anything needed.according to what microsoft to the EU, you can’t have windows without media player and you can’t have windows without internet explorer. (why you’d want to have a server OS that can play audio cds is beyond me, but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic).even when quicktime is being used by OS X, it’s used as a media api in addition to having playback capabilities (quicktime player). microsoft already has directx as their media api, so that would suggest to me that media player is just that a media player.there’s definitely a difference between bundled applications, and building things into the OS. 2004-06-12 6:54 pm “It’s clear IMHO that software is changing, OSS wants to turn software into a commodity, while Microsoft wants to turn it into a rented service.”Of course, and you can make all the generalizations that you want, ’cause nobody will call you up on that, right? 2004-06-12 7:23 pm Of course, and you can make all the generalizations that you want, ’cause nobody will call you up on that, right?Are you trying to refute what I said? Because instead of making a remark on what I said, you criticized the fact that I stated it, so your post is kind of pointless.The ways software are made available have been changing.More and more proprietary software makers have begun switching to a per year/per user model for chargin their customers coupled with additional activation/registration requirements, whereas OSS has made software as a commodity of higher quality and more prevalence than ever before.I didn’t make any sort of judgment about it and your opinions I’m sure would be interesting, but just don’t post another meaningless empty response, or it will have as little stock put in it as the previous one. 2004-06-13 11:07 am (even I’m Linux user, this is my opinion) … Microsoft has great products. They’re awesome in many ways. Worst problem has been lately security and stability. These are two main reasons why people are switching.I think competition is good and forces MS to create better products. MS Product’s usually are better in ease of use, features and polishing but they’re out-of-box pretty insecure, and often also unstable.However, the best all-time favourite of Microsoft’s is Encarta in my opinion, great enclypedia which just works, doesn’t crash, is fast and intuitive. And MS is giving this out for 20 bucks.My guess why Encarta is so good is that developer’s have certain freedom and loose in schedule which allows them to write better code. Unlike with Windows and Office – all the time hurry, gotta get feature X in time Y… as being programmer myself, no matter how good I am, useless hurry, long workhours & stress are the main reasons for bad code.Microsoft has anyway *very* talented coders, perhaps time to check out the management side instead of blaming coders?My 0.425234 cents 2004-06-13 12:36 pm the cartoon show, Pinky and the Brain.Every morning Steve says to Bill, “What are we going to do today Bill?”And Bill replies, “Same thing we do every day Steve…, try to take over the world.” 2004-06-13 3:14 pm MS has openly told it’s stock holders that it’s purpose is to charge software “rent” rather than sell it… It was the big news item several years ago when they were talking about .net/passport/etc. MS has said for several years now that they would LIKE to have programs like OFFICE and IE moved to .net then you pay for access to the service…and your software is downloaded daily so that you always have the latest patches. On the surface it’s a great idea…one that 75% of corporations already use. fortunately, businesses are smart enough to see thru this…that they will never “own” anyting computer related again and the vast majority of small business absolutely refuse to be somebodies revenue stream….OSS on the other hand wants to make software a commodity, like CPUs, video cards, etc. Notice that MS chooses sides all the time in THOSE markets because Bill doesn’t want to pay “rent” to run his OS on somebodies hardware!!! but more than that OSS wants software to be like KNOWLADGE….not a product. We’ve collectively paid for MS software for almost 20 years!!!! bill & co have got their fair share and now it’s time for everyone to benifit from having common components to use on their computers. Look at engineering or accounting… you don’t pay for the RIGHT to use principles. You go to school to learn common principles, but as a business you don’t pay “rent” to use the principles of therrmodynamics or double-entry accounting…nobody OWNS those ideas…that’s the point…MS wants to own the IDEA of an OS not just the implementation…. 2004-06-13 10:35 pm Supporting the claim that the battle won’t begin for many years is this. It already has. Have you seen the windows FanBoys spreading FUD?1) Earlier posted article about Linux getting fat, this is true, nobody wants to optimize code for free and lack of organization make for poor code maintenance. You mean you believed that FUD? Wow! And a good exsample of Windows FanBoy FUD! KDE and other applications only really need 64mb of ram. I’m running FC on 24 mb of ram WITH KDESo I haven’t seen this “bloat.” Also KDE 3.2 as well as the new 2.6 kernal is optmized to run on older machines.2) No one organization’s has enough control over Linux to make any significant change to the platform. The way it was 3 years ago is pretty much the way it will be 3 years from now.? We have total organizations like the KDE project who work together and have made great changes to the platform. It is now user friendly and easy to manage!2.5) The fact that many times there are more than one solution to one problem,And whats wrong with that? The problem is solved! in most controlled environments they are evaluated and the best one is selected, with Linux they are both selected and developed half-assed separately. (sorry)Well the patches and the like work wonderfuly well. Try that with windows where it will bork up your registry or brake something in the OS itself.3) More backwards compatibility will need to exist before much more progress can be made, at that point Linux will get fatter at a much more alarming rate.Again with the FUD! I can run applications from a 2.2 kernel on a 2.4. all on old hardware! Try running an aplication from XP on windows 98/ME.4) For many reasons, software distribution and management will remain 2rd class on Linux. Solutions like Gentoo portage are a step forward, but do not scale.vs what? Clicking install.exe. Then worring about dll files, currupt registries or if it will pull out an “error” message.All you have to do is look at the applications that you want then select it using apt-get or um. Thats it! No dependencies or irrgular stbility problems!5) Hardware manufacturers will offer better driver support when Linux gets more popular,They already do! You don’t need to hunt around the net for a driver only to bork up your windows registry! Linux will get more popular after there is better driver support (catch 22)Well Linux is getting more popular and it has great driver support No catch 22.6) No being on Joe Users desktop will retard it’s movement into the corporate desktop. Companies will use windows because that’s what the people that work there know.They know the application that they work with! Sticking joe user in front of KDE won’t make a difference. The only thing he will notice is that there are no viruses or spyware on the machine and it will stop crashing.7) There is a great deal to be said for being first, even if you are not the best. Just look at the QWERTY keyboard you are typing on for an example of this. It’s intentionally designed to be as inefficient as possible so the typewriter swing arms used most often are as far away from each other as possible (to prevent from getting stuck). A poor solution for the way we use it today but still in use by nearly everyone. I have no idea what you are talking about. I kind of like my keyboard. If you want to talk ‘inefficient.’ Then viruses, spyware, stability problems along with currupt registies and dll hell is VERY inefficient!I thought about installing a DVORAK keyboard at home but I can’t because everything at work is QWERTY.So. How would that affect the application in use?Even as someone using Linux today I believe it is way off the desktop.But its a lot closer than what windows has ever been!8) Visual studio, as long as the development for windows is ahead of other offerings, applications on windows will be ahead of other offerings. It would arguably take a long time to match Visual Studio becasue it is not slowing down, and this includes VB.Linux offers tons of development software for free it can build and run applications with proper error checking without an idiotic .ocx or dll file that vb and vc++ needs! Linux has already over taken windows in the development department! 2004-06-13 10:48 pm I agree that some of the programs that run on windows are very good. However, ease of use of windows I have to disagree. Always reinstalling, fixing the registry and/or dll files or wondering why a anti-virus.dat file, m$ software patch and software firewall keeps borking the whole system is not ease of use.Expecially when your favoruate application not only crashes but also takes down the hole OS! 2004-06-14 3:05 am ever try shutting Windows 9x down when it didn’t want to?Kind of like putting a kid to bed in similar situations!!! 2004-06-14 7:42 am for year they used their absolute dominant position to impose whatever they dreamed of to consumers and industry … now they will have to begin using real commercial techniques as they face competition (most of them don’t even know what that means probably) 2004-06-14 2:28 pm However, ease of use of windows I have to disagree. I didn’t mention Windows in any point (expect on opinion about programmer’schedules), I talked about Microsoft’s products. You know, Microsoft has lots of other software products too than Windows and Office Anyway, “takes down whole os” has not been the case since 2K/XP. It’s very, very rare with XP and 2K. My laptop has XP which hasn’t reinstalled _ever_, and last time it crashed 5 months ago because of buggy ati drivers (which is fixed now) and has never got a single virus or spyware application.There are millions of people who’se windows crashes barely ever and has never got any virus (like my windows machine). Like with Linux, mostly the reason is between monitor and chair. People buy B-class hardware with sucky drivers and then blame OS.I’d say any OS is as good as it’s user. Something that I don’t agree anyway is Microsoft’s way of marketing and spreading FUD about other operating systems. Of course, they’re a company and this is normal in business world, in all industries. I just don’t care about it – as a customer I want product that works, not nice adversiting clauses.[For a note, I use Linux & Solaris as my only operating systems at work, and I use XP and Linux at home, they all have place – Windows is great for home entertainment. You can freely disagree ] 2004-06-14 8:31 pm “Have you seen the windows FanBoys spreading FUD?”Yea, its about as bad as your average Religious Linux Zealot spreading anti MS FUD. Not a pretty site.