Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is Comparison to Microsoft Necessary

It appears that bashing Microsoft ( commonly known as M$ ) has evolved as our, the so called open source lovers, common hobby. Lets look at some of the stories being discussed at a very popular free software site .
There are five M$ related stories and in all of them we are simply discussing how evil M$ is and how can Linux beat M$ at its own game. Lets check the titles of a few
  1. Sun exec accuses Microsoft of 'patent terrorism'
  2. Linux gains despite and because of Microsoft
  3. Ubuntu 7.04 - a refreshing alternative to Vista
  4. Microsoft is not bound by GPLv3: Lawyer
  5. Linspire Linux deal 'worse than Novell'
Are we so obsessed with M$ that we cannot remain without bashing and in effect discussing M$ even for one day ? I think we are inadvertently helping M$ stay in news and we know for sure that no publicity is bad publicity.


As per Linux Counter ; At Jul 26 2007 19:04:33 GMT, there are
138055 users registered and
153903 machines registered,

Now this number is huge in itself. Lets say that 10% of registered users discuss M$ everyday, that makes it 13,805 people. Even if 10% of these people post a comment, that means 1,380 posts about M$ everyday.
Surely this free publicity is not going to hurt M$.

Taking a clue from my previous post, does M$ really represent Voldemort ?

Just my 2 cents.
Please do let me know of your opinion on this.

PS: I know that by posting this blog I am further contributing to posts about M$, but I cannot help it -- posting about M$ is my hobby too ;)

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Is Comparison to Microsoft Necessary"
This is a silly question, really.
Everyone knows MS and the majority of people know no one else. FOSS is the new kid on the block, how else are we supposed to tell everyone that the new kid is better than the old one?
MS is the baseline. The new kid brings lots of goodies that makes the old kid look pretty bad (Freedom, reliability, security, etc...) and list gones on. The new kid brings a lot of new technology that the old kid doesn't have or it is in pretty miserable state, how else could enlighten the populus?
Smarten up please.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, i am fed up of people comparing linux to windows XXX blah blah.
I have previously said and i repeat, "Linux can live without the hate of MS/Windows"

Over years, i have seen that linux community is built around hate of windows, not because of love of open source. In fact this is having negative impact on the readers. These guys make you think whatever MS does its bad, its cheap, its ugly, its not secure, its unprofessional. LOL.... imagine such a bad OS with 92% share in desktop and linux having less than 0.5% share in desktop (wikipedia)...

reading these blogs remind me of the fact that once you are dumped by a fantastic girl, you always talk of her as a bi*** but deep within your heart you will always long for her ;)

Anyways... Linux is about freedom, thats it.. We use it because we love working on it.. we want to have source etc etc. Not because Windows is a pathetic platform...because it is as wonderful as linux.

Anonymous said...

I belive, that there are good things in M$ software. But the feeling of freedom with open source is by far the best incentive to go with Linux. I use both the OSes for my work, M$ at office and Linux at home. I think it matters more that we get the job done. If it is linux great, if it is M$ product so be it!!

Abhay said...

Excellent point.
Linux is about freedom. Lets free ourselves of bashing M$ too.
Though I will find it extremly difficult :)

Anonymous said...

Linux is "freedom"; never thought of it that way, but I would suppose that this is exactly what Linux brings to the table ... FREEDOM!!!

Abhay said...

lol.
Its like William Wallace shouting "Freedom" in Braveheart.

Anonymous said...

If they don't spread FUD they wont be bashed so much.

Also for every ?? vs GNU/Linux post,
GNU/Linux also gets advertised, so it cuts both ways.

Roberto said...

Comparison is fair game. As far as bashing is concerned that is a esoteric term. One can be critical in a reasonable manner in the midst of comparison, or one can rant and rave.

But comparison in my mind is an imperative.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between M$ bashing and responding to M$ FUD. Yes, leave the bashing to pundits who are looking for clicks. But when M$ threatens the whole community with unsubstantiated patent threats and makes ridiculous claims of the incompetence of FOSS developers in the 'Get the Facts' disinformation campaingns (ie. Windows is more secure than Linux because of 'these numbers'!), then they are behaving like bullies, and there is only 1 way to deal with a bully.

Later . . . Jim

Jose said...

Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft.... Linux Linux Linux....

There is quite an asymmetry between Linux and Windows awareness in the public. It hurts Microsoft a lot more to mention us [Linux advocates or Linux] than it does for us to mention them. Add too the fact that many want a balanced market share that better reflects the value proposition of each side. I doubt few worry that mentioning Windows Linux Windows will get people to go out and ...oh, no! ..try the competitor's product.

With that said, a lot of the postings happen in forums where most everyone knows about both Linux and Windows quite well. People posting are usually at least a little more open-minded and sensitive out in more public places.

Abhay said...

M$ surely uses its position to bully everyone around. Till now only google seems to have an appropriate answer.
Hopefully one fine day Linux will reach a point when it can counter M$. Till then lets rant/crib about M$ :)

n0ne_n0ne said...

It's simple; if you don't define yourself, someone else will. M$ uses the 'Karl Rove' strategy (aka, swift boat), of attacking the opponents strength, “M$ Windows is more secure than Linux, TCO and 'Get the Facts'.” It's obvious to everyone that M$ is pass stage one (first they ignore you stage). M$ is at the next to the last stage (they fight you stage). M$ know what the last stage is .... must I continue.

Abhay said...

M$ can never attack Linux biggest strength -- its user communities.
Current Linux users are as passionate about free software as they are about open source software. This is precisely the reason that no BIG distro comes with MP3, flash, codecs etc pre-installed, although flash plugin is free.
Till someone else, maybe Google desktop search, woos us away from open source, M$ has a very tough task at hand.

Anonymous said...

I think the main reason why Linux enthusiasts bash Windows so much is because of the failure of Microsoft to devalue and fail to respect and recognize Linux. They did not take Linux seriously and a lot of penguins are fed up. So as a result they counter attack and devalue Microsoft in return. But there has been a big shift, especially in the data centers. I remember the time when my Windroid managers would laugh when I proposed a solution using Linux, several years ago; commenting about how Linux is for hobbyists and not for enterprise use. Who's laughing now?

Jose said...

>> I think the main reason why Linux enthusiasts bash Windows so much is because of the failure of Microsoft to devalue and fail to respect and recognize Linux.

There are many reasons, different ones applicable at different times to different comments by different people [uh???].

One of the main reasons I write against Microsoft isn't because Microsoft doesn't recognize me [I could care less for their opinion or wishes or "charity"]. It's because they have too much control. If an end user that is unsatisfied with Windows and finds few alternatives can get upset, how much more upset might a person whose livelihood is in IT or related and doesn't like Windows get?

It's not that hard to see. People who like Windows and don't care for anything else have their freedoms (they have choices in the marketplace that appeal to them). The rest of us do not have many of these freedoms.. We go out and work on them ourselves and yet Microsoft continues to use many of the proven illegal and unethical (business ethically challenged) tactics to limit our options and fights our growth at every step. Why? Because Microsoft's business plan has them at the center of the universe. Without this power, they cannot guarantee their stockholders (esp. Bill Gates) continued growth and at that point the wealth of Bill Gates, Ballmer, etc, will stunt. Again, that is not in their business plan as there are still many markets they haven't yet dominated. And let's not forget that the business they are in has the potential to lead to them controlling virtually every other industry out there. At first indirectly, but altimately by introducing their own competition into these new markets while leveraging the software they would control and which all competitors would need (in virtually any industry).

Consider too that for many end users this isn't about a prettier desktop or a more responsive or featureful application. It is about privacy, control over and safety of one's data, etc. With Vista, Microsoft keeps moving closer to controlling everything you ever put on that computer or device. You may not be able to get it back out if peripheral devices won't print them/show them. Not only is this bad for data we put into the computer, it is horrible if the majority of our future data is created within the computer. If Microsoft owns the applications and platform literally and only licenses it to you under very strict terms, they can leagally get away with it. And yes privacy is a big issue, including privacy over business plans or plans and strategies of any sort. Anyway, eventually, you will have to rent everything, eg, pay each time you want to listen to music that you created because you created it on Microsoft's platform and they only allow that if you agree to pay per use. Linux is much better -- in MY opinion, so I greatly object that Linux would get outlawed or severely marginalized, especially when you consider we build it ourselves, especially when you consider that Microsoft even uses illegal tactics which pay off for them in the long run even after lawsuits. And if you think the world can hardly escape computers and automation today, just wait. There is much more power and potential money heading Bill Gates way if people do not challenge him... continuously.

And then there are times when you simply want to see someone that made a ton of money illegally and led to many job loses and to the absense of many more worthwhile jobs, have the money taken away instead of having them be rewarded further [I want a quasi-free market to be responsible for his loses, but the referees still need to do their job to make the game fair for the rest].

Look. We write software and we release all the code into the public space. Microsoft uses this. Notice how much quicker Microsoft has gotten of late at introducing new products and new features. When a technical problem is solved by free/open source software, all the closed source vendors benefit too. If they ignore the development, they quickly start to lose market share, so they research the competition and figure it out (easy when you consider all the source code we write is out in the open). When open source people write a new successful platform or an application that serves as a proof of concept or as a reference implementation [and yes, many commercial entities do participate and donate code], everyone benefits. When Microsoft and other closed source vendors write closed extensions to this software, no one benefits but them.

Look, you judge for your own self, and fight us if you want. I don't see myself changing course any time soon... it's too much fun.

..and speaking of fun, check out the Jul 31, 2007, 21:13:09 posted comment here: http://www.linuxtoday.com/it_management/2007073000635OPMSOO .

Abhay said...

Well said Jose.
M$ is still following age old practices, which definitely are restrictive and prohibitive.
Its only us who can spread the word.

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