Microsoft = Evil

From slashdot:

“Microsoft is advertising for a new director of open source strategy, but this one has a specific purpose: fight the Linux desktop. ‘The Windows Competitive Strategy team is looking for a strong team member to lead Microsoft’s global desktop competitive strategy as it relates to open source competitors.’ For a variety of reasons, this move is almost certainly targeted at Ubuntu Linux’s desktop success. With the Mac, not Linux, apparently eating into Microsoft’s Windows market share, what is it about desktop Linux, and specifically Ubuntu, that has Microsoft spooked?”

figures. details and links here.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin
    February 8, 2009

    Windows and Office is the core of the MS money machine. Nintendo is winning the gaming console wars, Google is winning the internet war, LAMP is still dominating the server space. iPod and iTunes are dominating mobile media. Microsoft has invested billions in Vista, in mobile phones, in gaming, in gaming and in an endless variety of internet efforts, none of which is offering much in the way of return on investment. If open source takes off on the desktop, the entire MS empire begins to crumble.

  2. #2 C. Chu
    February 8, 2009

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1

    Microsoft has a majority market share in the new desktop PC marketplace.
    This is a bug, which Ubuntu is designed to fix.

    Non-free software is holding back innovation in the IT industry, restricting access to IT to a small part of the world’s population and limiting the ability of software developers to reach their full potential, globally. This bug is widely evident in the PC industry.

    Steps to repeat:

    1. Visit a local PC store.

    What happens:
    2. Observe that a majority of PCs for sale have non-free software pre-installed.
    3. Observe very few PCs with Ubuntu and free software pre-installed.

    What should happen:
    1. A majority of the PCs for sale should include only free software like Ubuntu.
    2. Ubuntu should be marketed in a way such that its amazing features and benefits would be apparent and known by all.
    3. The system shall become more and more user friendly as time passes.

  3. #3 Simong
    February 8, 2009

    Microsoft’s success has been built on the applications. Nobody gives a toss about what OS they’re running, they just want to be able to use their favourite applications.

    Since MS have next to no presence in the Linux environment it’s a potential threat to them, especially as more hardware and software providers start to support it. (e.g. Adobe, and the increasing number of companies providing drivers.)

    Unlike the Mac, which is a bit of a niche product and so can be undured, Linux aspires to do everything.

  4. #4 Dan J
    February 8, 2009

    It;s possible that the position might have nothing to do with Ubuntu, or other flavors of Linux, encroaching into MS’s territory, but you never know for sure.

    I think the general public is finally becoming aware of the existence of Linux. They can see it in Wal-Mart, installed on a Netbook that costs less than the Vista OS by itself.

    Microsoft probably should be scared, considering the tasks that John Q. Public uses his PC for. What do most people do? They browse the web; they type up a letter or homework; they print out a picture or two from their digital camera; they put music on their portable audio player; they play a few games. For most people, that’s about it. Some audio players use proprietary software that won’t run on Linux, and most retail-purchased games won’t work. For the rest of the tasks, people are starting to see a downside to paying money for an operating system when they can get one for free that will do all (or nearly so) the things they want. With today’s economy, I can only see that light bulb turning on over many other heads.

  5. #5 Lilian Nattel
    February 8, 2009

    Maybe they are going after Linux rather than Mac because that’s what a bully does, ie go after the free o/s that isn’t backed by a full corporate structure with lawyers. But I hope that slithers away from underneath them because it is free, volunteer, etc and not a monolith that can be easily attacked. However, I would reserve the word “evil” for something else. Bully will do.

  6. #6 Argon
    February 8, 2009

    Slightly off topic: Does anyone know how far along Mono is today? Is it a viable alternative for cross-platform development?

  7. #7 DaleP
    February 8, 2009

    Mono is not suitable for cross-platform development:

    1. It is tied to Microsoft architecture, so whenever MS changes that, Mono rushes to catch up

    2. It has restrictive licensing, so it is not possible for it to host free software.

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