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Microsoft Doesn't Care About Destroying Linux

CmdrTaco posted about 7 years ago | from the to-busy-drinking-baby-blood-i-think dept.

Microsoft 330

techie writes "A latest column on MadPenguin.org suggests that Microsoft may not be really interested in killing Linux for mainstream users. It's after something else, and it's getting its way already. Read on to find out what it is. The author states, "Love it or hate it, Microsoft's IP attacks will continue, Linux user numbers will continue to grow and broad spectrum adoption throughout the rest of the world will grow and flourish. Microsoft's not interested in destroying Linux in the slightest. Why would they? it's been a fantastic vehicle for them to land a firmer grip on the corporations throughout the US."

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330 comments

Great, you know what that means (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 7 years ago | (#19718403)

Now Microsoft plans to brainwash Linux and then marry it in a dramatic wedding ceremony that will cement its rule over the two kingdoms.

Re:Great, you know what that means (4, Insightful)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | about 7 years ago | (#19718475)

Microsoft need to make money. Not kill Linux.

If they could see a way to make more money by working with Linux, they'd do that. Hell, they're not that stupid ;-)

Just stating the obvious.

monk.e.boy

Re:Great, you know what that means (3, Informative)

EvilRyry (1025309) | about 7 years ago | (#19718837)

Normally, you'd be right. Companies like to make money however they can. However this is Microsoft.

Microsoft makes its money by controlling the market. Linux allows for multiple vendors to compete in the market (aka capitalism), preventing any one vendor from controlling it. Even if Microsoft could make a boatload of money on Linux, they would never risk their precious (and profitable!) monopoly on the OS market.

Re:Great, you know what that means (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 7 years ago | (#19719401)

But the more fragmented the Linux market is, the better MS looks as a corporate choice. The Linux community is way fragmented, like the Unix market was 15+ years ago. Right now, I'm burning CentOS 5.0 because I don't want to pay RedHat to test and play with a new OS that I don't need support for, and it is only one of a few different RH clones.

A clone of a clone.

Microsoft has to be liking what it is seeing, with every day a new distribution of Linux coming out, and no single standard. Different files in different places...

That isn't "fragmented". (3, Informative)

khasim (1285) | about 7 years ago | (#19719537)

But the more fragmented the Linux market is, the better MS looks as a corporate choice.

But Linux is not "fragmented".

Right now, I'm burning CentOS 5.0 because I don't want to pay RedHat to test and play with a new OS that I don't need support for, and it is only one of a few different RH clones.

And each of those "clones" works in almost the exact same way.

There is no "fragmentation". Any software that runs on the latest version of RHEL will also run on the latest version of Ubuntu. Or Slackware. etc.

Microsoft has to be liking what it is seeing, with every day a new distribution of Linux coming out, and no single standard. Different files in different places...

And yet that does not seem to be hampering Linux's growth at all.

So maybe it isn't as big a problem as you believe it to be.

Anyone who knows Red Hat can pick up Ubuntu in less than a day. And Slackware in another day. And Gentoo over a weekend. At which point, you pretty much know every distribution out there.

Re:That isn't "fragmented". (2, Insightful)

Conor Turton (639827) | about 7 years ago | (#19720011)

But Linux is not "fragmented".
Really? How many package managers? Some use apt-get, others RPM whatever. How many desktops? How many X Windows servers? Sorry but Linux is a good example of fragmentation. You wanted choice, you got it. What that means though, is that it's fragmented and for Corporate World, that's not good.

Re:That isn't "fragmented". (1)

fangorious (1024903) | about 7 years ago | (#19720079)

here is no "fragmentation". Any software that runs on the latest version of RHEL will also run on the latest version of Ubuntu. Or Slackware. etc.

I'm sorry but that's not true without wualification. Any open-source software that you can compile yourself should run on any ditro. But closed-source software distributed in pre-compiled form will most likely only run on the platform it was built on. My employer's new VPN client runs on Red Hat but not Ubuntu, for example.

Re:Great, you know what that means (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 7 years ago | (#19719527)

Linux allows for multiple vendors to compete in the market (aka capitalism)

Come on. Linux is communism. Both SCO and Microsoft have told us so!

Re:Great, you know what that means (1)

disasm (973689) | about 7 years ago | (#19719701)

Linux is a community. To be communism, there has to be a government involved. For example, I can give away possessions (code) to other people, but I'm not required to give all of my possessions away just because I use Linux. Sam

Re:Great, you know what that means (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719859)

Linux is a community. To be communism, there has to be a government involved. For example, I can give away possessions (code) to other people, but I'm not required to give all of my possessions away just because I use Linux.

Sam
Hear that? That's the sarcasm airplane flying over your head! Unfortunately you missed it.

Re:Great, you know what that means (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 7 years ago | (#19719907)

Thanks, AC, much appreciated.

<SARCASM>
In the future, I shall provide SARCASM tags, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, so that the sarcasm-impaired (such as GP) will be able to appreciate it.
</SARCASM>

Re:Great, you know what that means (1)

danielk1982 (868580) | about 7 years ago | (#19719897)

>Linux allows for multiple vendors to compete in the market (aka capitalism)

So Microsoft monopoly isn't capitalism then?

Re:Great, you know what that means (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 7 years ago | (#19718531)

Linux should demand a prenuptial agreement.

Re:Great, you know what that means (1)

dattaway (3088) | about 7 years ago | (#19718791)

"The glorious MEEPT would like to bring all the divided factions of linux into one big divided faction.

http://slashdot.org/~MEEPT!!/ [slashdot.org]

Re:Great, you know what that means (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 7 years ago | (#19718855)

Now Microsoft plans to brainwash Linux and then marry it in a dramatic wedding ceremony that will cement its rule over the two kingdoms.

But I thought its goal was to use the marriage to unleash the Chaos Heart and destroy all worlds?

Re:Great, you know what that means (3, Funny)

east coast (590680) | about 7 years ago | (#19719097)

Now Microsoft plans to brainwash Linux and then marry it in a dramatic wedding ceremony that will cement its rule over the two kingdoms.

Bill Gates: This Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who. I see this not as losing a son, but gaining a daughter in a very legal and binding way.

Re:Great, you know what that means (2, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 7 years ago | (#19719333)

Inconceivable!

Linux will not die. Death cannot stop true love... all it can do is delay it for a while.

Re:Great, you know what that means (2, Funny)

Daychilde (744181) | about 7 years ago | (#19719509)

So... who wants an M.L.T.? That's a Microsoft, Linux, and tomato sandwich.

League of Gentlemen reference... (1)

NC-17 (411446) | about 7 years ago | (#19719899)

You're my wife now!

Best part of the article (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | about 7 years ago | (#19718431)

"So, I see this leading to one very definite scenario. As previously described, the US corporate world will pay a price and continue to fall behind with desktop Linux technologies. The casual Linux user within the US will become more empowered and adoption will continue to grow, regardless of the usual Microsoft dogma."

Re:Best part of the article (1)

Timesprout (579035) | about 7 years ago | (#19718555)

continue to fall behind with desktop Linux technologies
Someone is very confused about the current situation, nevermind the future.

regardless of the usual Microsoft dogma
Not too clued up on what dogma means either are we. Microsoft are hardly dogmatic compared to FOSS. MS will jump on whatever flavour of the month looks like a money maker for them and tell you its the latest and greatest.

Guess what... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19718581)

I clicked to read the comments.. and a MS add comes up advertising Microsoft's superiority to Linux. So perhaps they're just pretending they don't care.

Only Part of the article (5, Insightful)

stretch0611 (603238) | about 7 years ago | (#19718669)

The article is pathetic. The author makes a haphazard attempt to explain the current situation then draws his conclusion. He does not explain how he arrived at that conclusion or give any evidence. The Psychic Friends network gives better supporting evidence.

Re:Only Part of the article (2, Funny)

bmw (115903) | about 7 years ago | (#19718833)

No kidding. I kept searching the page for the "Next" link to move to the next page of the article but there wasn't one.

Re:Only Part of the article (1)

denverradiosucks (653647) | about 7 years ago | (#19719431)

Looks a lot like a Digg post.

Re:Only Part of the article (4, Insightful)

Shotgun (30919) | about 7 years ago | (#19719377)

Spot on, dude.

Even worse, the conclusion he draws doesn't even make sense. Linux helps Windows domination in the enterprise (where it is a monopoly) when users switch to it at home (where Windows is also a monopoly)? How-d-hell does that work?

Windows needs something to denigrate... (4, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 7 years ago | (#19718445)

It makes sense. Without something to denigrate, what Microsoft could do? How could Microsoft claim to be "better"?

For many business managers that went to business schools who know fuck-all about IT, it's very easy to believe that something that is "free" in both senses of the word is not good. After all, business is about control and profit, two things that are absent from "free".

Re:Windows needs something to denigrate... (2, Interesting)

jshriverWVU (810740) | about 7 years ago | (#19718515)

But one thing business do care about most if the "bottom line" and if free as in beer and free to use and modify to your benefit will help their profit margins grow, Linux and FOSS sounds enticing.

Say you're in charge of a datacenter:

1. One one side you can have Windows on all servers, 10 IT people to take care of them all, headache of licensing, updates, patches, crashes, recovery.

2. Run linux on them, free updates, more secure, no worring about having to keep track of licenses, less staff because they dont break as often

Which do you think they'd pick? Granted it depends a lot on what kind of work needs to be done, but for something like web/email/sql server then Linux does the job very well. You can always have 1-2 Windows servers for those few clients that absolutely insist on having MsSQL and IIS.

Re:Windows needs something to denigrate... (2, Insightful)

michrech (468134) | about 7 years ago | (#19718789)

Which do you think they'd pick? Granted it depends a lot on what kind of work needs to be done, but for something like web/email/sql server then Linux does the job very well. You can always have 1-2 Windows servers for those few clients that absolutely insist on having MsSQL and IIS.
You answered your own question. Of course the hosting company would pick both, if "the bottom line" is all they care about (as you assert in your previous statement). Whether we like it or not, Windows is a HUGE market, and if all they want is to rake in the cash, there is no way they'd ignore those who wish to use a MS environment.

Re:Windows needs something to denigrate... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 years ago | (#19719943)

You answered your own question. Of course the hosting company would pick both, if "the bottom line" is all they care about (as you assert in your previous statement).
While, he wasn't talking about hosting companies. I'll bite. Most hosting companies (at least all of the ones that I checked) which offer both platforms charge less for their linux platform, even though it provides broader functionality. That makes the linux benefit really obvious, even to the clueless pointy-haired manager types. No guessing at TCO and other hard to measure metrics - instead they have two straightforward choices with two straightforward prices.

Whether we like it or not, Windows is a HUGE market, and if all they want is to rake in the cash, there is no way they'd ignore those who wish to use a MS environment.
As long as linux is a consistently cheaper option, the Windows market will decline. Change doesn't happen over night.

Re:Windows needs something to denigrate... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719363)

If the goal of IT management is running a cost effective operation, Linux has some advantages. However, if the real goal is preservation of budget and headcount, Windows is the way to go. Sometimes, the easiest money to get your hands on is the "non-discretionary" cash you need to maintain the status quo. Notice how IT management is quite content to outsource work to India and elsewhere, so long as the original IT management is still in charge of the projects and the bodies performing the work. Delivering IT systems and services is secondary; maintaining "control" is job 1. Rock the boat by making some of that infrastructure unnecessary, and you will have to beg and plead for every dollar -- even if you have day-1 savings that more than cover what you want to do.

Bear in mind, that reducing headcount means one-time expenses related to severance, etc. And savings on license fees will take at least a few months to hit the bottom line (sometimes longer). In most cases, it takes at least a year to show the savings to be had by dumping MS. It may very well be worth doing, but the first year is not going to put big savings onto the scoreboard. And it may take a while before users discovers that things work more smoothly than before. In the short run, dumping MS might be a rough ride.

Sadly, it is the people who don't spend much money who are often taken for granted. In many companies, the path to success in management is to grow your budget and headcount faster than anyone else.

I have met a whole generation of IT professionals who like what MS does for their careers more than it does for their business.

Re:Windows needs something to denigrate... (2, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 7 years ago | (#19719365)

The ironic things is this...

Things that break a lot- you stay sharp about fixing them.
Things that break once a year- it can be very tricky to remember how to fix them.

Re:Windows needs something to denigrate... (1)

indiejade (850391) | about 7 years ago | (#19718639)

Indeed, information wants to be as free as possible. Microsoft wants information to be as expensive as possible. Companies that build their IT infrastructure upon M$ products are essentially locking themselves into feeding their own inefficiency. . . it's amazing how many companies seem to think that purchasing a certain kind of M$-based software is going to solve all of their problems. It's expensive; therefore, it must be good logic does not compute for efficiency!

Re:Windows needs something to denigrate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719901)

Information doesn't want to be free. Information is not a person, it has no will. It just is, and if it is to be free its decided by its owners. Catchy outdated slogans won't get you anywhere, get over it.

Re:Windows needs something to denigrate... (3, Insightful)

xvicex (1096231) | about 7 years ago | (#19719025)

That's just BS! Why would you need to claim your product is better then your oponent's one if there aren't any?

In any case they do claim their product is better then the previous version just not in a clear way like "Way better then XP!". That's why in the product charts comparing the several Vista licencies they have fields that make no cense like "Better Security" with just the most expensive ones selected, are they saying the cheapper ones have crappy security? Are they assuming to be selling a unsecure software?

Actually, Windows needs something to emulate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719471)

Remember the technical and architectural history of Microsoft products?

Linux moves faster on trying, then replacing technologies; the world, including Microsoft, is there to watch.

Bad Headline (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19718451)

Sorry, but that headline doesn't follow the same as the summary...

Headline sounds like its saying "Microsoft is killing Linux and doesn't care that it is doing so", while the summary sounds more like what it should be, that "Microsoft is not trying to kill Linux and has no interest in doing so."

*sigh*

Re:Bad Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719887)

What's with all the terrible English here lately? "to-busy-drinking-baby-blood-i-think"?

So what SCO couldn't do... (1, Informative)

ezh (707373) | about 7 years ago | (#19718485)

MS does quite effectively. I guess, (pocket) size does matter... I think companies should unite with Linux Foundation and contribute to the patent defense fund. Or fall one by one to MS FUD machine. Its your choice, business people...

Mad Penguin (2, Informative)

rudlavibizon (948703) | about 7 years ago | (#19718493)

That's one mad penguin indeed!

Oh yeah (2, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 7 years ago | (#19718507)

Linux user numbers will continue to grow and broad spectrum adoption throughout the rest of the world will grow and flourish
Oh yeah, what about those people that aren't even technical enough to run Windows? I guess they'll just have to stay behind and become Microsoft's main base of customers lol. But seriously, Linux is kinda hard to use even for me and I'm a programmer. I don't think it's for EVERYONE.

Re:Oh yeah (1)

SolusSD (680489) | about 7 years ago | (#19718683)

"hard to use" because it is not what you are used to maybe? Linux may not be for everyone- but i wouldn't categorize it as any harder to use than windows.

Re:Oh yeah (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 7 years ago | (#19718903)

"hard to use" because it is not what you are used to maybe? Linux may not be for everyone- but i wouldn't categorize it as any harder to use than windows.

Suuure. Just keep telling yourself that.

Re:Oh yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719057)

Sure, if you're happy having no idea how your computer works and no control over its workings then Windows is for you. However, if you're willing to invest a small amount of time discovering the basics of how Linux systems work, you gain knowledge and the rewards are great! In my experience, time invested in this is typically much less than the time spent patching waiting for windows to reboot, update itself to oblivion, do virus scans and generally fuck around doing annoying stuff which I have no control over!

Re:Oh yeah (1)

cyphercell (843398) | about 7 years ago | (#19719459)

my five year old would disagree with you, then again, maybe you haven't been around computers much.

Re:Oh yeah (0, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | about 7 years ago | (#19719631)

Shouldn't your 5 year old be playing outside, instead of learning obscure Linux commands? I mean, I'm not a parent, but that seems kind of a twisted thing for a 5 year old to be doing.

There is no kind way to say this... (1, Insightful)

Eric Damron (553630) | about 7 years ago | (#19719587)

So I'll just come out and say it:

Linux is NOT hard to use. That's very old FUD. T there are only about three possibilities to explain your post:

1. You haven't tried using Linux recently or maybe not at all. This means you don't know what you are talking about.
2. You are a Microsoft shill/astro-turfer.
3. You are one of the crappiest programmer's in the world and really too stupid to be using a computer. You should find a different line of work.

So, which one are you?

Take a look at his response to cyphercell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719869)

It's #2.

Hmm... (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | about 7 years ago | (#19718549)

Microsoft doesn't care about destroying Linux.
Ya don't say?

Eynak East (1)

Joebert (946227) | about 7 years ago | (#19718617)

Microsoft doesn't care about Linux people.

No Reason to be afraid. (4, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | about 7 years ago | (#19718625)

As long as OEM's keep selling machines with windows preinstalled, I seriously doubt if MS cares if you clean it and load Ubuntu on the machine. They still got their $75 for the license.

That's one reason I respect Dell for having the guts to sell machines with Linux preinstalled.

Re:No Reason to be afraid. (1)

Bazman (4849) | about 7 years ago | (#19718873)

The last two models of Dell Laptops we bought absolutely sucked for Ubuntu Linux installs. They weren't the ones sold with Ubuntu installed (that's still limited to certain models and only to certain classes of buyers) and my techies have had all sorts of problems with video chip compatibility apparently. We've probably bought a dozen models of laptop - including Dell's - in the last five years and they've all Linuxed up nicely, give or take the odd little problem with wireless or sound. But these new Dells are being SOB's just to get installed.

I thought these days were long gone, when you checked www.linuxlaptops.org for compatibility before buying... Oh well, it gives the Ubuntu forums something to do, and now more people are using Linux on laptops there's a lot more help getting on there.

I'll give model numbers if anyone cares..

Re:No Reason to be afraid. (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | about 7 years ago | (#19719193)

I'll give model numbers if anyone cares..

Please do!

Re:No Reason to be afraid. (1)

secPM_MS (1081961) | about 7 years ago | (#19718931)

Dell, HP, etc are Microsoft's largest and best customers and Microsoft listens carefully to them. What do you think that the vendors want? They do not want a small and simple OS and application suite! Customers for such a product would buy once and never be seen again -- I have a cousin who is still writing papers on a Win 3.21 system running on a 286. The vendors want "improved" OS's and applications that have features and improvements that can be used to induce customers to replace their existing PC's (which are still doing what they were bought to do) with new improved machines. Microsoft has commissioned studies that show that the "ecosystem" gets ~ $18 for every $1 spent on MS products. This is a rather nice deal for the "ecosystem". The major *nix distros are now going down the "bloatware" river. My latest download of Suse required a DVD to store it.

Re:No Reason to be afraid. (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | about 7 years ago | (#19719185)

Though I think you're making an unfair comparison. Installing Windows which takes an entire DVD for just the OS is a lot different than a linux distro that has the OS + many many applications. To be completely fair try comparing it like this:

1 linux distro on DVD versus
20 DVD's for Windows Vista, Office, and similiar programs that are on the 1 linux distro DVD.

Granted these numbers are random but the point is valid.

Re:No Reason to be afraid. (1)

secPM_MS (1081961) | about 7 years ago | (#19719417)

I personally prefer the smaller and leaner approach. Clearly the general customers buy the feature-rich approach. It is easy to market "Now, with more features and gizmos than ever before". Your point is valid, but I think that you will find that the difference between MS and the upcomming rich-featured *nix distros is between a factor of 2 or 4 and in either case, the advancment of disc capacity has rendered the difference moot. The small USB drive I bought from Costco last year had 4 GB on it and it cost me ~ $70. The USB hard drive I bought recently for my PC data storage cost me ~ 120 delivered, and it had 500 GB.

I will be installing Vista home basic soon on my old ME and then XP box (I upgraded the memory to 768 MB). The reason the disc image is so large is that it carries the CAB's for all the upgrades (ultimate, etc), which I will not license. This is a convenience feature that I could undo by blowing away the CABs. It is not worth the trouble.

LOL HY!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19718629)

My name is Jaap Ballspoogen,

and I have a problem!!`1!

Sure MS will gain corporate market share... (2, Insightful)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 7 years ago | (#19718661)

until the corporate users realize "wolf" has been cried one too many times.

IP = Intellectual Property? (1)

FlameWise (84536) | about 7 years ago | (#19718679)

... or is Microsoft hiring bot nets to spam flood someone?

Just when did it go out of fashion to type the full term at least once before going into acronym overdrive?

Re:IP = Intellectual Property? (2, Informative)

Chysn (898420) | about 7 years ago | (#19718777)

> Just when did it go out of fashion to type the full term at least once before going into acronym overdrive?

April 3, 1983 at 4:29EST.

It's talk, wait for action (3, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 7 years ago | (#19718681)

Of course, they weren't considering directly competing with the iPod before either, and Windows XP Express was just for a different demographic, they didn't care about the OLPC and thought SmartPhones were the way to go, and that OLPC wasn't going after the same market because they didn't share exactly the same goals...

Microsoft is forever expanding into new markets because Windows and Office aren't the "revenue streams" they used to be, and eventually they will be trying to get money from people using Linux. Even if they don't go after Linux directly, they will probably be going after Linux users saying they owe Microsoft something for some reason. Microsoft isn't interested in putting products on the shelf that a user may or may not buy.

They're more interested in taxing or selling a "service", simply because it's a guaranteed income if the customer is tethered to Microsoft in some way. If you don't buy Windows, then you can't keep it on your PC when Microsoft releases a new version. Instead, MS wants to be charging you yearly for using Windows (like with business Licensing) or yearly for using their IP in Linux. It's guaranteed money every year, as opposed to you maybe not upgrading every year like their ideal situation.

Re:It's talk, wait for action (4, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | about 7 years ago | (#19718943)

Microsoft is forever expanding into new markets because Windows and Office aren't the "revenue streams" they used to be, and eventually they will be trying to get money from people using Linux.

If they really wanted revenue from Linux users they would come out with Office for Linux. However, that's not what they want. The want to keep businesses locked into using Windows on the desktop and the server, hence the flood of patent litigation threats. This is just the latest iteration in their campaign to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

First they claimed that Linux was unreliable. Then they claimed that it was insecure. Now they're claiming that it allows for intellectual property violations. This isn't a change in strategy, just an adjustment in tactics. Their long term goal is still to scare businesses away from Linux.

Re:It's talk, wait for action (2, Informative)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 7 years ago | (#19719949)

If they really wanted revenue from Linux users they would come out with Office for Linux.

No, because that helps people migrate from MS's tether. What they want is people being further entrenched into MS tech. People considering Linux are migrating away from Windows. Linux is growing at its own pace, but also at the expense of Windows users. I used to be a Windows user, and so did a lot of other Ubuntu and Fedora Core installations. These are the fastest growing community Linux projects because they do a good job of providing an interface that a Windows user can feel familiar with very quickly, and they help migrate users from Windows. Look at ubuntuguide and Fedora FAQ, they answer Linux newbie questions from a Windows-centric point of view. They show common tasks and applications that Windows users would want.

Their long term goal is still to scare businesses away from Linux.

No, their long term goal is to have guaranteed income from each PC user, and further guarantee & increase that income whenever possible.

Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users. (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | about 7 years ago | (#19718691)

Hell, they don't even have to frighten business users. Linux already does.

Look, hoping that Microsofts actions lead to more adoption of Linux isn't going to work. They don't have to do anything, its up to linux promoters to convince people that it will work AS WELL AS windows WITHOUT any interruption in their use of it, meaning that they don't have to think.

Until you can provide a "don't think about it - it just works" Linux desktop the users aren't going to switch. Even then it had best come preinstalled and have a near seamless way to run windows software that they might want.

Linux and Windows don't compete for the same people and the Linux people should understand that, it sounds like Microsoft already does

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (3, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | about 7 years ago | (#19718905)

Until you can provide a "don't think about it - it just works" Linux desktop the users aren't going to switch. Even then it had best come preinstalled and have a near seamless way to run windows software that they might want.

I disagree. There's tons of stuff you have to think about when using Windows. The difference, however, is that Linux makes you look at a command line, while Windows wraps it all in pretty GUI screens that all do essentially the same thing.

So Linux doesn't have to be "don't think about it - it just works" to succeed. It needs to be "don't think about it - just click OK" to succeed.

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (2, Insightful)

Tempest451 (791438) | about 7 years ago | (#19719007)

I disagree with your disagreement. What most Linux users dont seem to understand is that the majority of Windows users dont even know what a Command Line Interface is. Microsoft understood that years ago and thats why everything is wrapped up in a "pretty GUI". If at any point my 60 year-old mother-in-law has to know where to find the CLI, that OS has already failed.

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719085)

But I'm not interested in OS that requires an extensive use of GUIs. They may be handy when you're drunk, but the command line gets the job done quicker..

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (2, Insightful)

ricree (969643) | about 7 years ago | (#19719425)

Yes, but you are presumably already using Linux. And so are most of the other people who like to use the command line to get things done. The point is, making things less reliant on the command line will be essential for growth, because the majority of computer users would rather have a GUI. Most distributions seem to understand this perfectly well. Look at Ubuntu, for your average user, a lot of the average computer tasks can be done purely GUI, and I suspect that this trend will continue in the future.

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | about 7 years ago | (#19719179)

That's what I meant. They just take all the quirks that require a trip to the CLI and wrap a GUI around them. Then it's just as good as Windows.

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (1)

josephdrivein (924831) | about 7 years ago | (#19719017)

Have you ever heard of Ubuntu [ubuntu.com] ?
Its goal is exactly what you describe, here is a quote from the Ubuntu Linux website:

Ubuntu 'Just Works'
We've done all the hard work for you. Once Ubuntu is installed, all the basics are in place so that your system will be immediately usable.


And it adds that it has all the most common applications: a web browser, a mail client...

I have to add that I'm not a big fan of these distributions 'just work'. It seems to imply: "This is a OS that even the dumbest can use."
Something you can use even if you're still wondering: "How do I download the Internet?"

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (1)

Craig Maloney (1104) | about 7 years ago | (#19719559)

I have to add that I'm not a big fan of these distributions 'just work'. It seems to imply: "This is a OS that even the dumbest can use."
Something you can use even if you're still wondering: "How do I download the Internet?"
I've been using Linux for over 10 years now on my primary desktop, and I completely appreciate that when I want to plug in a piece of hardware, if "just works". Your comment seems to imply that even seasoned veterans wouldn't want such functionality. You'd be wise to count the number of Macbooks at your next LUG or convention gathering to see how wrong this thinking is. Any cycles I can use that aren't burned up trying to figure how to get the f-ing video card or flash card working with my current setup are cycles I can use productively elsewhere.

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (1)

DevoPhl (702812) | about 7 years ago | (#19719035)

You are exactly correct.

Microsoft isn't worried about Linux because Linux doesn't compete directly with Windows. Microsoft won over the US corporate world about a decade ago with a set of business and office tools that integrate the entire corporation together. Linux is getting there but they're about 2-4 years away from being where Microsoft was in 2000. You can't find many US corporations where you don't have a Windows computer on every desktop connected to Windows based email, directory and web servers.

This corporate culture that promotes everything Microsoft spreads to other non-Microsoft areas. Even though Linux and OSS has made progress in these areas of late, non-Microsoft companies must carry Microsoft computers for compatibility with the rest of the corporate world. Microsoft makes the standards and everyone else has to follow.

In addition, US corporations are like aircraft carriers. Once something is adopted, its unlikely it will change course anytime soon. Microsoft got there first and is now reaping the benefits. Most US corporations still use decades old technology because its too costly to switch. Any move to something like Linux would have to be phased in VERY slowly.

Linux may be approaching Microsoft in terms of functionality and ease of use but it has to convince large corporations that Linux is superior to Windows before there will be any effort to switch. As a result, Linux is still and probably always will be a niche market in the US.

In my experiences with corporations, projects that were Unix based have either switched to Linux or are in the process of switching. I've yet to see a Windows based project in my area switch to Linux. Since I support Linux based software, I've found that in many cases, being Linux only is a barrier to entry into some corporations because they've spent tons of money to develop a local support staff around Windows and are unwilling to retrain personnel to do Linux. On the other hand, a Linux based company must also support Windows so its less of a barrier for a Windows only company to sell its products to a Linux based company.

In Europe and especially emerging economies, where corporations and governments have yet to adopt the "everything Microsoft" mentality, Linux is making strong headway. I suspect in 10 years, we'll have a very similar split between the US and the rest of the world to what we see in many other technologies. Europe and Asia will be primarily Linux based and the US will still be Windows based.

Re:Microsoft doesn't have to frighten normal users (1)

Sunshinerat (1114191) | about 7 years ago | (#19719609)

I guess you haven't tried Linux in quite a while. Ubuntu is the obvious choice of a distro that just works for 70% of world's population. And that may not include you.

People, please understand that not everybody has a need for MS Word, Excel and EA Sports titles. Two years a go I built a Ubuntu box for my father in law. He has been using it since without serious issues for the things he uses it for... Internet, Email and playing card games.

It's important not to crush all your enemies (4, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | about 7 years ago | (#19718729)

Redmond doesn't want to obliterate all comers such as Linux and Apple because that would trigger yet more legislation and court cases. Redmond has to 'suffer' a 10% or 15% market share to its competitors in order to preserve the illusion of a loyal opposition.

TFA makes no sense. (4, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 7 years ago | (#19718741)

Microsoft's not interested in destroying Linux in the slightest. Why would they? it's been a fantastic vehicle for them to land a firmer grip on the corporations throughout the US.
That makes no sense whatsoever. How can their grip be any firmer than having a monopoly on all the software that is used by corporate America?

Linux Good for MS (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | about 7 years ago | (#19718771)

Linux provides Microsoft with a competitive reason to further intertwine its entire Windows software stack into a set of offerings targetted directly to different users. I imagine, in the future, there will be Windows : Developer Edition, that comes with some sort of Vista Pro and Visual Studio, or Windows : Home Edition, the comes with some sort of integration with XBox 360 integration and a slew of built in game subscriptions.

These moves would shut out or down Windows ISVs, but would provide a bit more revenue growth for Microsoft. Were someone to cry anti-trust foul, Microsoft could, and has, pointed to Linux as a real competitor. This isn't unlikely. When Linux couldn't even run with many kinds of mice and had little hardware graphics acceleration, Microsoft claimed they were a competitor during the Netscape trial.

It's the Dunkin Donuts defense, and it works. The backstory is that Dunkin Donuts drove Amy Joy out of business, but argued that it wasn't a monopoly because you could still buy donuts from Entemanns and other local bakeries. Microsoft is doing the same thing.

And, the other thing, too, is that the consumer OS space really doesn't have much room for MS. Consumers generally don't go to the store to buy operating systems, all the MS money is in preloads. So, if consumers do switch to Linux, MS has already collected its first payment. Then, as most consumers do, they switch back to Windows, by going to the store and buying a copy of something like Vista. In other words, the more frequently a user switches back and forth between Windows and Linux, the more likely they will make Microsoft even more money.

So they don't want to support Linux, but they don't want to quite kill it off either.

Non-sequitur (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | about 7 years ago | (#19718781)

TFA is a complete and utter waste of time to read. It doesn't make sense to itself. It's something like:

Microsoft doesn't care about Linux because people are starting to use it more and more, but not as much in America and America is going to hell in a handbasket so Microsoft really doesn't care if Linux eats their lunch if they do it slower and that helps Microsoft get to the corporations with Ubuntu in their back pocket. /TRIPE.

Re:Non-sequitur (3, Funny)

brap999 (778802) | about 7 years ago | (#19719297)

Holy run-on sentences Batman!

Re:Non-sequitur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719715)

wow, you can actually see the cutoff point in the comments as to when people actually started reading the article, it's amazing to see!

timeline:
first post comments
comments just based on the title of the article
comments just based on the article summary
comments based on reading the article (and realizing it's crap)

Yes but No (0, Redundant)

folstaff (853243) | about 7 years ago | (#19718785)

Microsoft doesn't care about Linux as long as Microsoft dominates the business community. People buy for their personal needs based on what they know and they get paid to know Windows/Vista and MS Office.

Besides, most users are too uninformed to run a Linux distro, much less correct a problem.

There will be defections, but as a percentage, it won't be significant to Microsoft. In a few years, I don't think they will be significant to Linux's installed base. The real threat to Microsoft is the Mac, b/c you don't need to know squat to get it work.

-Living the Win/Tel dream since 1992.

Re:Yes but No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719037)

You don't need to know squat to make Ubuntu work either. But, you do need to know to use Ubuntu.

Windows Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19718829)

Take note that all of the "What does this word mean?" links in the article are to search with Windows Live. Coincidence?

Article's Premise is Fatally Flawed (1)

mpapet (761907) | about 7 years ago | (#19718911)

Microsoft's only interest is in capturing the dollars that may flow to Linux. Monopoly status doesn't magically come to an end like blowing up the Death Star with a single shot.

I'm left wondering why anyone ponders this question any more. Maybe so nothing gets done?

Re:Article's Premise is Fatally Flawed (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | about 7 years ago | (#19719361)

Monopoly status doesn't magically come to an end like blowing up the Death Star with a single shot.

Somehow I don't think Ma Bell [wikipedia.org] would agree with you there... The battle may've taken about 8 years, but in the end, all it took was a torpedo up that two-meter exhaust port.

Re:Article's Premise is Fatally Flawed (1)

Daychilde (744181) | about 7 years ago | (#19719625)

Long distance, maybe, but the Baby Bells were still very much Bellish in nature... They earned that name, and continue to do so. Don't forget that one of them - Southwestern Bell, AKA SWB AKA SBC AKA AT&T has grown again... As a Texan who grew up with SWB, now living in Florida where Bellsouth was just purchased by the entity that was originally Southwestern Bell but is now AT&T......... I'm not saying it's necessarily all bad, mind, just that to say Ma Bell went up in smoke is... not nearly the whole story IMHO. :)

Riding the Wave (4, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 7 years ago | (#19718937)

Microsoft's fortune was made on riding the wave - making money off the shift in the industry from proprietary hardware platforms to commodity based platforms. IBM was the big loser as it lost control of the platform they made popular. Meanwhile, every single (or close enough) "PC" was a payment to Microsoft no matter if it was IBM, Compaq, or Joe's Whitebox Store.

Linux is a large part of the next wave - shifting the OS as proprietary product to commodity platform. But instead of IBM, this shift directly threatens not only Microsoft's core products but a large portion of their business model (and development). Microsoft is looking for a way to get on top of this wave as well.

The IP shennanigans going on is simply Microsoft's attempt to gain control of Linux and hash out a way so that every commodity hardware platform that runs a commodity OS (specifically Linux) also includes a payment to Microsoft.

New, improved and content-free. (5, Funny)

C10H14N2 (640033) | about 7 years ago | (#19718967)


Article summary:

Microsoft blahblahblah Linux blahblahblah Corporations blahblahblah Users blahblahblah Doesn't Matter blahblahblah Or Does It blahblahblah Who Cares? blahblahblah Apparently, none of the above blahblahblah click here to make me some money.

Mod parent up. Article is total crap. (1)

Animats (122034) | about 7 years ago | (#19719015)

Mod parent up. Article really is almost content-free. Also has annoying pop-up ads that make it through Firefox's filters.

They don't wanna destroy it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719021)

They wanna fucking kill it. They've done it before. They wanna bury it and if possible throw a chair at it.

not ready for the desktop (5, Funny)

stim (732091) | about 7 years ago | (#19719027)

I'm sorry but I have said this a thousand times, windows is not ready for the desktop. Every so often I install the newest incarnation XP, vista, what have you, hoping that they have gotten their act together but they have not. Until MS can make an operating system that 'just works' without grepping through cryptic registry keys or deciding what antivirus/spyware programs to run it just won't be good enough for grandma. And don't get me started on package management! Theres no standard way to install software, do I click setup.exe, setup.msi , install.bat ? Windows has come a long way, maybe 2008 will be the year of the MS Desktop. if you mod me funny instead of insightful then your a jerk!

Re:not ready for the desktop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719529)

The post was neither funny nor insightful--merely boring and irrelevant. Besides, the contraction of "you are" is spelt "you're".

The phases of a breakup - Feigned indifference (1)

Progman3K (515744) | about 7 years ago | (#19719031)

>> "A latest column suggests that Microsoft may not be really interested in killing Linux for mainstream users. It's after something else, and it's getting its way already [...]"

You know that phase when the person being dumped says "I never even liked you, so there"
and a little while later comes crawling back saying "Please give me another chance"

Cue the Microsoft "Try us again, we really changed this time" publicity campaign in 3,2,1...

Nobody screen on grammar any more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719091)

So Techie's comment was poorly written; did Cmdr Taco even look at the referenced article? It's hardly English!

Microsoft only cares about Microsoft (1)

billsf (34378) | about 7 years ago | (#19719127)

Its simply not in their best interest to 'do something' about Linux or particularly BSD. Attacking this resource would simply destroy them. Where else would they get any ideas? I'm quite sure they realize their corporate culture and policies completely destroy innovation, resulting in what many say is one of the least innovative companies that has ever existed.

 

Not interested in destroying Linux... (2, Insightful)

nsebban (513339) | about 7 years ago | (#19719177)

...perhaps because it's not a threat ? The linux end-users market share is a tiny one, and MS just doesn't want to spend money where there is basically none to be made.

Standard FUD Play (4, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | about 7 years ago | (#19719293)

It's a bluff - if Microsoft went after say, Red Hat, they'd have to name the patents that were being "infringed". That would cause:

1) Many of the patents to be invalidated due to prior art.
2) OSS programmers to code around the "infringing" patents.
3) IBM (and it's huge patent portfolio) to come after Microsoft. Since
      IBM has a huge vested interested in Linux.
4) Enormously BAD publicity for Microsoft, and call for actual enforcement
      of the antitrust ruling against them.

It would be an extremely self-destructive move. By talking about infringement (but not doing
anything), they cast doubt over the competition and even get some gullible corporations to cough
up some cash (woah! free money!). It's a FUD play, fairly standard in Microsoft's (anti-)
competitive playbook.

Microsoft Doesn't Care About Destroying Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719373)

They couldn't kill it, so they'll just assimilate it now.

Taco, please (3, Informative)

happyfrogcow (708359) | about 7 years ago | (#19719391)

Taco,

Get this trash of an article off the front page. It's making /. look bad

Theft? (2, Interesting)

Ryzzen (1078135) | about 7 years ago | (#19719535)

I had a thought. What if Microsoft isn't trying to destroy Linux, but trying to steal it? The contracts they are making are so neither company can sue the other. Now, if Microsoft were make these deals with every major Linux distributor and then were to start incorporating GPL'd code into their next version of Windows, who would be left to sue? Novell, Xandros, and Linspire already can't...

Microsoft already knows Vista sucks, and stealing code would not be a new trick for them.

Software is support (2, Interesting)

athloi (1075845) | about 7 years ago | (#19719595)

It's no longer possible to make money selling software alone to corporations. The support contracts and maintenance are part of the package and are in fact the biggest money maker. These were once add-ons, when the price of software itself was high relative to costs, but as complexity has expanded, so has the cost of production and with it, the tendency toward bugs and incompatibilities.

As a result, corporations aren't going to buy any software that does not come with support, because those gotchas can delay vital money-producing work. Software companies have quite sensibly as a result been drifting closer to a license/service model, where software is "sold" but that purchase is really an entry point to the purchase of yearly support contracts and licenses that entitle them to updates.

Microsoft is not concerned about Linux because Microsoft makes money from selling its support contracts. Their goal at this point is not to slander Linux, but to leave it as a free option with no clear support path, because Linux is divided into thousands of distros with no clear market leader.

This can benefit OSS/FOSS in that where Microsoft tackles the broadest, unspecialized market, Linux distros can shine in specialized areas, for example music production, and offer unofficial support to those who are smaller companies or individuals wanting to forge their own path and not be dependent on expensive support contracts.

What OSS/FOSS should do at this point is to cease any emulation of Microsoft or Google as market leaders, and look closer to the Apple model, which is selling a specialized service to a number of specialized needs. So goes my experience, and whatever "wisdom" has been imparted to me by it.

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