back to article FSF launches Windows 7 anti-upgrade letter campaign

The Free Software Foundation is mobilizing against Windows 7 with a campaign to dissuade IT decision makers from installing the operating system. The group has sent letters to 499 of the top Fortune 500 organizations, warning that a move to Windows 7 will increase their dependence on Microsoft and encouraging the use of GNU/ …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Onymous Coward
    Joke

    Well done FSF and all that, but..

    Maybe the FSF should find a better web designer.

  2. Adam Williamson 1

    499/500?

    "The group's sent letters to 499 of the top Fortune 500 organizations, warning that a move to Windows 7 will increase their dependence on Microsoft and encouraging the use of GNU/Linux on PCs instead. The missing letter recipient was Microsoft."

    So, er...presumably they sent one to Red Hat too?

    I've got to find out who got that letter and ask them what they're going to do about it =)

  3. Doug Glass
    FAIL

    In Theory

    Sounds good in theory, but these guys are clueless when it come to how corporations work.

  4. David Webb
    Linux

    The missed point

    I think they actually argue a terrible point for Linux, the ability to install "thousands" of bits of different software. I'm pretty sure that the fortune 499 companies really don't want their staff downloading thousands of different programmes for their workstations, and Windows easily locks down all the computers on the network so they can't download and install stuff. It all goes to the central servers where you can update everything on the fly.

    From a security standpoint, having thousands of applications means having thousands of applications that will need updating, and of course each needs to be tested to make sure it doesn't break anything.

    Don't get me wrong, Linux is a fantastic bit of kit in the right hands, but the FSF looks like they shot themselves in the foot there.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Linux

    Onlt 499 out of 500 eh?

    I guess that the missing one is RedHat but I can't see why they needed to send a letter to IBM though.

  6. The Beige One
    Linux

    Too late

    oopsie too late I already ordered windows 7 and am running the RC now, the FSF will hunt me down!!!!!

  7. Aaron Em

    Well...

    ...they would say that, wouldn't they?

  8. Crazy Operations Guy
    FAIL

    This is why no one listens to them

    I received a copy of this letter from the CTO earlier this week, under the subject "Fanbois say the darndest things" It actually made everyone's day. Its funny how these people just don't understand why companies choose the OSes that they do. I especially like their argument abput haw Microsoft phases out support for the Older Operating systems, they complain that MS has the Mainstream, extended and then self help, where most linux distros have just self help. Remind me how that is supposed to be better.

    The others in my shop also love the comment that they keep using about how "the code is freely available so anyone can modify it and support it". I don't think they get the point that NO ONE CARES, none of the Operations or support people are programmers, so they don't care, and the Devs in the department work with the philosophy that "I just worked several hundred hours designing, coding and testing this application, why the hell should I just give it away?"

    I know I will get flamed about posting this with several people accusing me of being in Redmond's pocket, giving sexual favors to either Mr. Ballmer or Mr. Gates , the truth being, we have large percentage of servers at work running non-Microsoft OSes (They are all a customized version of NetBSD, AIX or HP-UX)

    The primary reason I avoid Linux-based OSes is the almost cult-like following. People like the FSF sound like the Mormons / Jehovah's witnesses / etc. that keep trying to get my to come over to their side (mostly by sending letters and religious books). This especially when they do things like use "windows7sins.org" calling new users "converts", comparing any large company that guards its code as "evil" whereas they call themselves "good" and if you any criticism at all about the OS / Philosophy / or their deities (The Linus, The Stallman, and the Holy Penguin), they will go blue in the face explaining why you are wrong Or how if there is a small issue with Windows (Vulnerability, doesn't support something. etc.) they will be the first ones to proclaim themselves superior, but if there is a fault with Linux itself, they claim that it is purely FUD perpetrated by Microsoft or some other company.

  9. Ewa Wdzieczak
    Flame

    7 (deadly) sins.

    Makes sense, doesn't it?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Re: This is why no one listens to them

    Crazy (by his own admission) Operations Guy writes...

    "I don't think they get the point that NO ONE CARES, none of the Operations or support people are programmers, so they don't care"

    Oh yes, instead of fixing something potentially trivial, it's all about "escalating the problem" in the proprietary software world, the project manager or department head having to speak to some corporate representative to get reassurance that "a fix is on its way", and the proprietary vendor thrashing around, sending people to and fro, as often as not covering their own bottoms by claiming that something or other "is not supported".

    "and the Devs in the department work with the philosophy that "I just worked several hundred hours designing, coding and testing this application, why the hell should I just give it away?""

    So they have the "delicate genius" mindset about their own works, and will quite gladly turn down freely redistributed stuff presumably because it can't be any good if it isn't completely locked down behind a remote service or using a stupid "licence manager". Or perhaps they think that Free Software will corrupt their sense of morality.

    The fail is all on you. At least the FSF tried to tell it like it is.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    The license is the point with OSS

    software quality varies independently of license and price.

  12. Dodgy Dave
    FAIL

    FSF don't get it

    As open-source advocacy goes, that's piss-poor.

    Those who run Fortune 500 companies really don't care about 'how it works inside', any more than they care how their office lifts function. They just want to know there's someone they can call when it goes wrong who'll fix it for them. That's why they're CEOs and not lift engineers.

    They don't care about lock-in and 'antifeatures', or questionable behaviour over intellectual property, because they're Big Business who do absolutely the same to their customers.

    May be worth 50 cents a pop to raise some laughs, though.

    Cheers

    DD

  13. J 3

    They should...

    They should have sent the letter to Microsoft too. Just for shiggles, you know.

  14. Adam Williamson 1
    FAIL

    @crazy operations guy

    Clearly, you are indeed crazy.

    "The others in my shop also love the comment that they keep using about how "the code is freely available so anyone can modify it and support it". I don't think they get the point that NO ONE CARES"

    This is clearly not true.

    "none of the Operations or support people are programmers"

    you don't have to be a programmer for open source / free software to prove directly valuable to you.

    "the Devs in the department work with the philosophy that "I just worked several hundred hours designing, coding and testing this application, why the hell should I just give it away?""

    Sigh.

    "The primary reason I avoid Linux-based OSes is the almost cult-like following."

    Right, because when you install the operating system, the cult-like following comes attached. Er, wait...no it doesn't. If you want to care about the cult-like following, you can, whether you run Linux or not. Ditto if you _don't_ want to care. Companies which use Linux to any significant extent are not getting their support from rabidlinuxfanbois.com, they get it from Red Hat, or Novell. (disclaimer: I work for Red Hat.)

    "People like the FSF"

    It's not like the FSF is particularly attached to Linux. They're still trying to write their own kernel, remember. And Linus hardly agrees with the FSF's ideological views.

  15. deegee
    Megaphone

    This type of idiocy will only push corporations away

    @COG +1

    Linux has a LONG way to go before it can ever "Replace [ing] all your desktop systems with GNU/Linux".

    Sorry to the Linux crowd, but Windows and OSX are years ahead, especially in usability. You won't get any mass exodus from Windows/OSX until you provide a comparable platform.

    The only people that I recommend Linux distros to are home desktop "enthusiasts" who want to do nothing but surf, email, run OpenOffice and GiMP. There literally is nothing else you can do with it other than specialized educational/gov stuff or web/file servers, and most corporate desktops do not fit into those categories.

    And for corporate desktops OO is NOT MSO and doesn't even compare.

    Linux devs needs to get their head out of the GNU and actually create some desired applications if they wish to increase their share. Sending around letters like the FSF did is just really lame.

    "Investing in Microsoft's Windows 7 will only get you more stuck and more dependent on them..."

    And Ubuntu for example would be different how?...

    "... Linux doesn't tie you into the Microsoft treadmill because the raw code is openly available so that you or third parties can keep systems going and not rely on one company."

    Yeah, and I know lots of IT people who have nothing but free time to modify/compile custom code all of the time. :-/

    This is so totally stupid I just can't fathom it. "We be hackerz., so should u..."

    Most corporations are not going to hire a $100k+/yr programmer on-staff. Time is money, it's way cheaper to invest in Windows than to spend days hacking linux code.

  16. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    They should have sent to all 500

    They should have sent to all 500 -- it would have just been too funny for them to suggest Microsoft not use Windows 7.

    Anyway, I doubt this'll be effective, but it's good for them to do anyway. I honestly don't expect a company to switch wholesale to Linux (there's a lot of inertia, there's probably some with Win2000 desktops still...) but it really is something to look into. The usual comment is that it lacks some management tools, but the retort is that they really aren't needed -- the boxes are easier to lock down and centrally manage without extra management tools.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Sure . . .

    We'll get right on that. All we have to do is retrain all of our non-technical employees in Linux and rewrite all of our Excel macros, .NET code, and ActiveX controls to run under their (less-functional) Linux equivalents, which we'll get to in, let's see, how's half past never? Will never work for you?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Oh God not that lot again.

    Their (FSF) definition of 'free software' is completely rediculous. Basically you can change for your free software, but then the person you sell it to can then give it to as many people as they like free of charge thus neatly putting the people developing the software out of business.

    Full time developers working on free software can only really secure their jobs in one of four ways:

    1) Find a big sponsor that uses your product and pays for its development.

    2) Rely on donations.

    3) Make the software so complicated, unintuitive or poorly documented that people (or more often companies where time is money) have to pay for overpriced support and training.

    4) Support your product with advertising.

    Option 1 means that now one company is paying a lot more than they should for it and everyone else is getting something for nothing. Hardly fair.

    Option 2 is just as unfair as option one. Also unless you're targeting a huge market you're unlikely to break even.

    Option 3 seems to be a very regular occurance and I suspect this is how most make their money. It's also the thing that has put me off most of the free software I've tried to use in the past. I'd rather pay £30 for something that's been written well than spend 5 hours trying to get a buggy, user un-friendly pile of crap to do what I want.

    Option 4 depends on your opinion. Personally I hate being bombarded with advertising and the prevalance of add blockers would suggest many agree with me.

    No lets contrast this with the traditional approach:

    Everyone that wants to use the software pays the same, or pays an amount appropriate for the features of that product they want to use.

    Now that seems much more fair, and keeps lots of people employed too. Double win! Furthermore with everyone willing to pay some money you should be able to get some decent competition going too.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    hurrdurr $20

    So the difference in pricing between Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate is $0 for an upgrade and $20 to buy new. WTF are you whining about? For 20 bucks you get bitlocker and 34 languages. Sounds like a decent feature pack.

  20. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    windows 7's ins?

    I thought they wanted them out?

    /confused

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a copy of the letter

    To avoid possible copyright issues I have posted a summarised version below:

    "Dear Mr. CTO / CEO / CIO,

    I am aware that either you or someone you trust highly has already researched current and upcoming technologies, in particular with respect to how they will potentially support and benefit your business, along with all the corresponding cost and benefit research that one would assume is part of the job for someone in your position.

    I am also aware that as a Fortune 500 company you have at least a reasonable track record of making non-disastrous decisions of this nature.

    However, I humbly suggest that you are incapable of doing your job, either evaluating such technologies or hiring someone to do so and so I think you really should listen to me instead, especially as my conclusions have been made with no knowledge of the internal machinations of your business and instead were made purely on the basis of 'four legs good, two legs bad'

    Thank you

    The FSF"

  22. Scott 7 Silver badge
    Pint

    Microsoft did this once

    Those of us who have been in IT longer may remember how Microsoft got to be the dominant force in corporate IT.

    They were not able to convince a majority of IT that their offerings were the best - remember NT3.5? So they concentrated their efforts, not on those whose job was to implement or understand IT but on those whose entire jobs revolved around meetings, flip charts and wearing suits. Once MS had got those guys on their side the rest of us had to learn how to pick up the pieces.

    Maybe things could be changed round by a similar campaign?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    @Crazy Operations Guy

    "The primary reason I avoid Linux-based OSes is the almost cult-like following."

    That's a good approach - jaw dropping logic in fact. Wouldn't want the truth getting in the way of your prejudice...

  24. ThomH

    Yes, this is definitely going to work

    Who cares more about averting social ills than Fortune 500 companies?

  25. Brian Gannon
    WTF?

    Imagine the support calls

    I cant find Internet Explorer, It's Sea monkey you should be using now, OK how about paint, you will be wanting gimp. Where do I find notepad, try kate or eddie or ned or emacs or vi or vim or nano or pico or gedit. No I dont gedit can I have windows back.

  26. Norfolk Enchants Paris

    Oh FFS FSF

    How on God's blue earthdoes Windows 7 make me any more "stuck" than Win XP ?

    Oh and for the sake of pedantry for the 'letter from history' bit, an operating system is distinct from a kernel, so you can have multiple, different OSes on one version of a kernel. I believe that this is common in the Linux distro world.

    Off to shave now.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    linux year of the desktop: some assembily required

    I'm a linux user and the main reason for it was the ability to selfteach and learn intricates of a operating system, to customise and optimise and that it will run on (almost) absolutely everything.

    The thing that really really winds me up about linux is the lack of focus and actual working together. The kernel for the most part seems to have gotten that (at least in my opinion) but since there is nothing beyond the agreement of ideas to bind the programmers together the wheel keeps getting reinvented again and again. Take PIM software for example. the gnome evolution backend (name escapes me) is ment to be this unification of contacts, mail, tasks etc which integrates into the desktop. Fantastic! but wait! in this release the plug-in with exchange doesn't work, lets use kde korganiser.

    Hmmm it doesn't work with evolution, i cant sync with evolution from there on things fall apart you cant use that program correctly and then have to choose either one or the other and deal with the short comings, use both but have a long complex and possibly unreliable way of using pim between the two.

    Akondia nearly had this problem sorted by providing a central location to link everything together. the flaw in this idea is that gnome wants to use their own backend which is there already. The developers of evolution to my knowledge have no intention of supporting this alternative backend either. So we are left with this fantastic issue of all these apps doing the same thing, none of them are quite there and none of them can talk to each other half sharp.

    OSS software needs a common ground for each area and alternatives which can latch on to the one core component for those who like to be different ;)

    Until we can get a solid foundation on this sort of thing, all that will happen is people will try linux on their desktop computer then when they want to actually use it for something novel or important and see it crash down they will either jump back to microsoft or apple because for all their "sins"/overprices hardware/software when push comes to shove you can depend on it to work in a pinch even with their additional maintenance costs.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Simple

    Dear FSF: don't want me to upgrade to Windows 7? Fine. All you have to do is give me an OS (GNU/Linux-based or otherwise) that sucks less than Windows. Shouldn't be that hard, but so far you've failed miserably at sucking less.

  29. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    WTF?

    "The social ills of proprietary software"?

    The FSF routinely spout shite but this is remarkably poo even for them. Fortunately, while it might appeal to the zealots, everyone else will laugh it off.

    Open source software should be used on its merits. Microsoft et al. should be punished for their anti-competitive practices but still allowed to sell their software.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @deegee

    "There literally is nothing else you can do with it other than specialized educational/gov stuff or web/file servers, and most corporate desktops do not fit into those categories."

    Err, I beg to differ:

    http://www.archlinux.org/packages/?sort=-last_update&arch=&repo=&q=&last_update=&limit=250

    http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?O=0&K=&do_Search=Go&detail=1&L=0&C=0&SeB=nd&SB=v&SO=d&PP=100

    Suggest you do a little background research before making such unsubstantiated claims.

  31. Glen 9

    Does anyone else think...

    that their crappy website looks like it was made in FrontPage as a school child's ICT project?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a nice bit of publicity

    And some of the points are perfectly valid but the idea of Microsoft as the all powerful evil doing monopolist is not perhaps as valid as it once was. Also, if Windows 7 shapes up to its promise, the long term cost of deployment for a lot of these organisations is going to be less than moving to Linux simply because staff are already familiar with the Microsoft way.

    The biggest threat to Microsoft at this point is to its Office applications. Only power users really need a copy of office on their desktop these days and I can see some organisations moving to a mixed model where the majority of staff use cheaper (albeit quite compatible) alternatives.

  33. Adam Williamson 1
    FAIL

    deegee

    "This is so totally stupid I just can't fathom it."

    That applies remarkably accurately to your post.

    ""... Linux doesn't tie you into the Microsoft treadmill because the raw code is openly available so that you or third parties can keep systems going and not rely on one company."

    Yeah, and I know lots of IT people who have nothing but free time to modify/compile custom code all of the time. :-/"

    Um. Note the 'or third parties' bit. The point is that releasing software under a free license makes it much harder for the publisher to do nasty stuff like forcing vendor lock-in on you, or intentionally breaking interoperability with third party software.

    It's hard to argue sanely with this point. Or are you really saying that it's just as easy to switch from Windows to Red Hat as it is to switch from Red Hat to SUSE? Or OpenBSD? _Really_? I don't think you're going to win that argument. Unless you can, you're going to have to concede the FSF's point. It's much easier for a closed-source vendor to screw you over than a free software vendor. I find it hilarious that someone above is talking about how hard it is to switch away from 'Excel macros, .NET code, and ActiveX controls' - and thinking that _contradicts_ the FSF's point...

    Also, taking advantage of the freedom of code doesn't mean you have to maintain the whole thing yourself. Frequently you can fix a little problem in an app, or even just tailor it better to your use, with a single tiny change. With proprietary software, there's no way you can _make_ that change.

  34. joe 14
    Coat

    Remember what the IT mentors say grasshopper

    "No one ever gets fired for picking Microsoft"

    The Fortune 500 brain trust know that, FSF and the commie software world needs to step up to be seen in that light. Sorry, its the sad sad sad sad .... truth.

    I work with my coat on because I never pick MS solutions but one day I may pay for it!

    Fast exit, stage left!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @Crazy Operations Guy

    "The primary reason I avoid Linux-based OSes is the almost cult-like following", what and M$ doesn't also have a "cult" like following?

    Come on "time for the rubber room" Crazy Operations Guy. Some of the most deluded fanbois are rabid M$ zealots, even more rabidly fanboi than mAlus-domestica fanbois and blinded to the multitude of sins of the Evil Empire(MSFT).

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    stuck with XP anyway

    Most of our thin-client web front-end apps do not function beyond IE6 (I know, I know), so I can't see us upgrading from XP to Win 7 or anything else for that matter any time soon.

    I work for a company with 20,000+ employees, so we're not exactly small fry.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Option free.

    "Option 3 seems to be a very regular occurance and I suspect this is how most make their money. It's also the thing that has put me off most of the free software I've tried to use in the past. I'd rather pay £30 for something that's been written well than spend 5 hours trying to get a buggy, user un-friendly pile of crap to do what I want"

    Dead hard drive, wanted to rescue data, purchased ($30) "rescue software" after trial software showed data there. 30% success. Tried "dd copy" gui tool from FREE Puppy Linux live cd. Result? 95% recovery of data. I could give numerous other examples but this illustrates my point. Windows has millions of Freeware, Shareware, Trialware apps from thousands of sites to do what you want, but most are badly written, useless junk or security risks. For example, a BSD distro's repo's will have only have thousands of apps that work, vetted and approved by the community, but will do the tasks that 99% of users will ever need to do.

  38. Joe Zeff
    Linux

    Missing the point

    Several of you here are missing the point about Linux on the desktop. First, having thousands of apps available doesn't mean you're going to have J. Random Worker installing them on his work computer any more than having thousands of apps for Windows means they'll end up on your LAN because you can lock Linux down just as well as you can Windows. What it means is, you'll probably find that most of your software needs are filled without having to write custom apps.

    Second, if you think there's lots of retraining needed for Linux, you've either never used it or you're on the left side of the bell curve. You run Linux from a GUI, just as you do Windows. You use a mouse, you use double-click to open files and right-click to reach a context menu, exactly the same way. And, up at the top of every program you find File, Edit, View and so on, just like you're used to.

    My sister is a Windows refugee, now running Ubuntu. I do her tech support, and I can assure you that she needs no more help now, than before she came away from the dark side. Not only that, most of what she needs is OS independent: problems with a website, finding a "lost" file and so on. It's been months since I had to help her with anything Linux specific. On a day-to-day basis, It Just Works.

    Last, and especially with the economy as bad as it is now, there's the argument that by switching to Linux instead of upgrading Windows, you're not only saving the cost of upgrading now, you're saving the cost of every, single, future upgrade of Windows, along with no longer needing to pay for (or use) anti-virus software.

    Yes, I'm a Linux advocate, but I'm not a fanatic. If you like Windows, and it does what you want, the way you like it, go for it. I'll continue using Linux, TYVM, not only because it does what I want the way I like it, but because it's free. Free as in beer, and when you're as broke as I am, that's quite an important consideration.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Blink

    Their website uses the <blink> tag, or at least the CSS equivalent, imploring me to "Join us at 12 noon today on the Boston Common". Sorry guys, but this is so amazingly unprofessional that I find it impossible to read your page, whatever the fsck its freetardery is about.

  40. John O'Hare
    Grenade

    @Dodgy Dave, AC(26th August 2009 20:23 GMT), deegee

    FSF don't get it #

    >" Those who run Fortune 500 companies really don't care about 'how it works inside', any more >than they care how their office lifts function." They just want to know there's someone they can >call when it goes wrong who'll fix it for them. That's why they're CEOs and not lift engineers."

    If you're lifts need to be replaced every couple of years, because the current 'version' stops working (not because the lifts are not ok anymore, but because the vendor decided to make them stop working past a certain date, then I'd bet they would be very interested in having a lift vendor that doesn't place those restrictions on lifts.

    It's not a matter of 'knowing' how it works, it's about business continuity and saving money so the business can make more profit. That's usually something CEOs are interested in.

    >" They don't care about lock-in and 'antifeatures', or questionable behaviour over intellectual >property, because they're Big Business who do absolutely the same to their customers."

    Any company really interested in business continuity, shouldn't place all its eggs in one basket. Placing vital infrastructure in the hands of only one vendor is asking for trouble. Doing business with companies that have dubious business ethics is another thing that's not good for (regular) businesses. In this case the business with the dubious business ethics is a multi-billion dollar company.

    BTW this doesn't mean that companies should completely NOT use MS, only that real competition is good for the market, which is something lacking at the moment, due to MS having a monopoly.

    =============

    Oh God not that lot again. #

    >" Their (FSF) definition of 'free software' is completely rediculous. Basically you can change for >your free software, but then the person you sell it to can then give it to as many people as they >like free of charge thus neatly putting the people developing the software out of business."

    Yes, that is really ridiculous, just imagine Red Hat and Novell giving all their free software away for no money at all.

    Please get a clue. The F in FOSS is for free as in 'freedom' (of use) not free as in gratis/no money.

    >" Full time developers working on free software can only really secure their jobs in one of four >ways:"

    >

    > 1) Find a big sponsor that uses your product and pays for its development.

    What? You mean a sponsor like IBM, Redhat, Novell or SUN/Oracle? Yes, must be tough for all those developers working for free (as in no money) for big fortune 500 companies.

    > 2) Rely on donations.

    Yes, mostly from large companies who have a stake in Open Source software. Usually they're not called 'donations', but 'wages' though.

    > 3) Make the software so complicated, unintuitive or poorly documented that people (or more >often companies where time is money) have to pay for overpriced support and training.

    Something that would NEVER happen with proprietary software, I am sure.

    > 4) Support your product with advertising.

    I think you're confusing open source software with your regular email updates on where to buy the cheapest cyalis. Don't recall ever seeing spam come from any open source project, so please don't spread bullshit.

    > No lets contrast this with the traditional approach:

    Yes, let's.

    > Everyone that wants to use the software pays the same, or pays an amount appropriate for >the features of that product they want to use.

    Unlike open source software, where you get all the features for the same price (which is usually also free (as in gratis)). Yes, paying money for software, then paying more money for extra features is so much more appealing to me. Hang on, let me whip out my creditcard...

    > Now that seems much more fair, and keeps lots of people employed too. Double win! >Furthermore with everyone willing to pay some money you should be able to get some decent >competition going too.

    Yes, because all those open sauce developers are not earning anything people, just as the companies employing those same developers. Buy some software save a developer. Better yet, buy your software from a convicted monopolist to get better competition.

    Any more FUD you'd like to share?

    =======================

    This type of idiocy will only push corporations away #

    > @COG +1

    >

    > Linux has a LONG way to go before it can ever "Replace [ing] all your desktop systems with >GNU/Linux".

    >

    > Sorry to the Linux crowd, but Windows and OSX are years ahead, especially in usability. You

    > won't get any mass exodus from Windows/OSX until you provide a comparable platform.

    You really haven't been using any linux distribution the last few years have you? Although Ubuntu linux is far from perfect, working with Ubuntu on my desktop is a relief compared with running windows XP. Things actually work all the time and I can configure my desktop the way *I* want to configure my desktop, not the way MS thinks I should have my desktop configured.

    > The only people that I recommend Linux distros to are home desktop "enthusiasts" who want >to do nothing but surf, email, run OpenOffice and GiMP. There literally is nothing else you can do >with it other than specialized educational/gov stuff or web/file servers, and most corporate >desktops do not fit into those categories.

    The major part of regular users fall into that category; you must be recommending Linux quite often then. Literally can't do anything else with linux? Like developing in any of the non-MS specific languages, running multiple guest OS-es in a VM, playing games, running Windows applications (like photoshop? Yes, that's literally NOTHING.

    > And for corporate desktops OO is NOT MSO and doesn't even compare.

    Indeed the completely predictable behaviour of text formatting in OO Writer completely blows MSO's Word endless format tweaking out of the water, as does the ability to export my documents in PDF format without having to pay extra money. As for the price, wow, zero dollars for OO compared to $$ for MSO, whose older file formats don't even open properly in newer versions. I am so with you on that, it really doesn't compare.

    > Linux devs needs to get their head out of the GNU and actually create some desired >applications if they wish to increase their share. Sending around letters like the FSF did is just >really lame.

    Yes, linux devs should listen to you and develop what YOU want. Not what they find useful. Sending letters around is a bit lame, yes, but nothing MS wouldn't (and didn't stoop to) and might be one of the few methods available to get someone's attention at board room level (even if it's dismissed outright). Not a lot of alternatives for that amount of money.

    > "Investing in Microsoft's Windows 7 will only get you more stuck and more dependent on >them..."

    >

    > And Ubuntu for example would be different how?...

    Are you dense, or just trolling. Which bit of OPEN SOURCE do you NOT understand. Software running on your RedHat desktop will run fine on your Novell OpenSuse desktop or your Gentoo desktop. Still not clear what's meant or do you need a Powerpoint presentation to explain further?

    > "... Linux doesn't tie you into the Microsoft treadmill because the raw code is openly available

    > so that you or third parties can keep systems going and not rely on one company."

    >

    > Yeah, and I know lots of IT people who have nothing but free time to modify/compile custom >code all of the time. :-/

    Yes, because you need to modify and compile FOSS all the time before it's usable. Wish someone would package all that software together in something called a distribution.... o wait... someone's already gone out a done that. GIT.

    > This is so totally stupid I just can't fathom it. "We be hackerz., so should u..."

    This is so totally stupid and I actually can fathom it. "We be morons and spreaders of FUD, join us and be a mindless FUD regurgitating GIT like us".

    > Most corporations are not going to hire a $100k+/yr programmer on-staff. Time is money,

    > it's way cheaper to invest in Windows than to spend days hacking linux code.

    Depending on which type of $, but in US$, average wage for programmers is around 80k (just in case, that's 80,000 (US)dollars). And as a user of FOSS, a company doesn't have to hire programmers, they just need to purchase a support contract from a vendor who supports FOSS, like say, RedHat, IBM, Novell or SUN. Just like... proprietary software, only without the forced upgrade every couple of years.

    You make such eloquent and educated statements that am just completely blown away by your intellect. Kudos to you Steve, next time please don't try to feel too bad if you didn't get a letter and the other 499 other CEOs did, it's nothing personal.

  41. Blind_Bobby
    WTF?

    Can FSF change their spots...?

    So I assume the FSF will be running a similar campaign urging us all not to get tied in to that nasty proprietary OS Snow Leopard? An OS that is clearly a much bigger sinner than Windows as it also ties you in to proprietary hardware (unless you are REALLY adventurous).

    Come on guys, quick! You've got about 16 hours before launch! Get those letters out!

  42. Number6

    Not just the OS

    They should be putting pressure on hardware manufacturers to produce Linux drivers alongside the MS drivers for all their offerings, and on application writers to produce Linux versions of their software. Only then would many companies seriously consider a switch, because there are something that it's not easy to do on Linux because of the lack of good software. Great strides are being made in producing alternatives, but in some areas there's still a way to go.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Website Fail

    OMFG that windows7sins website is so bad! Looks like it was put together by a 9 year old using Powerpoint.

    Oh wait, they wouldn't be using Powerpoint I guess - make that Open Office Impress or whatever the hell it's called... Don't think they've Impressed many people though, judging by the comments.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    FSF's sake

    If I was the CIO of a Fortune 500 company I'd just be sooooo grateful to the FSF for yet another bit of spam or junk mail telling me how everything I've done so far is wrong and should be thrown away in favour of using Product X instead.

    And if I even bothered to read as far as the link to the website, and clicked on the link, it takes me to the most unprofessional looking website I've seen in a long time.

    I particularly like the way that the image at the very bottom of the page is cut off at the right-hand-side in IE7. Way to go guys - you're pitching to show how much better your product is than the opposition, so you assume your target market is currently using the opposition's product - but you don't test that your pitch even WORKS on that opposition product.

    And yes I have pre-ordered Windows 7, and no that crock of amateurish drivel has not made me regret my decision one iota.

  45. Doug Glass
    Go

    @Crazy Operations Guy

    Well said! The Linux guys truly don't get it. They just have no understanding of how the corporate IT machine works. The letter is proof of that. In my former company, Linux was a term used when hobbies were talked about. Some people do take it seriously and some inroads have been made. But the truth is, Linux simply isn't a fit with the corporations. It's not taken seriously and it never will be until and unless it can be moved out of the "hobby" room.

  46. Apocalypse Later

    Free Software

    I love it, who wouldn't? But I don't write it anymore.

  47. N2 Silver badge

    I agree

    The website looks like a school project, in fact an ICT project would probably be better.

    & Windows 7 is shite

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Here is the shock...

    ...oh look I'm using free software on Windows (Audacity, NetXMS, Paint.net to name a couple).

    tadaaaa... everyone wins. Now lets all have a big hug...

    Now lets look at some of the problems with *nix.

    Agent install for NETXMS (excluding config for both options)

    2. Unpack the archive:

    $ tar zxvf netxms-VERSION.tar.gz

    3. Change directory to netxms-version and run configure script:

    $ cd netxms-VERSION

    $ sh ./configure --with-agent

    Important configure arguments:

    • --prefix=DIRECTORY: installation prefix, all files go to a specified directory;

    • --with-agent: build monitoring agent.

    To learn more about possible configure parameters, run it with --help option.

    4. Run make:

    $ make

    5. Stop NetXMS agent.

    6. Run make install:

    $ make install

    7. Start NetXMS agent.

    Now Window.

    Double click Exe. Next,Next, Next. Finish

  49. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    @a few of you who haven't thought thier posts thru properly...

    @David Webb

    You wrote: "Windows easily locks down all the computers on the network so they can't download and install stuff"

    Bullshit - and what's more, you probably know it already. It's 3rd party add-ons that do that for you. How many MS-based networks don't have Novell or something installed..?

    @deegee

    You wrote: "Most corporations are not going to hire a $100k+/yr programmer on-staff. Time is money, it's way cheaper to invest in Windows than to spend days hacking linux code."

    Why would they need to change the code? (And if they did, wouldn't they have a similar problem with Windows but not have the code to change....???) Your "logic" escapes me.

    "Yeah, and I know lots of IT people who have nothing but free time to modify/compile custom code all of the time. :-/"

    You missed the point completely. You don't need to modify the code yourself to install an operating system (same way you don't need to modify the Winblows code). Someone else has doubtless encountered the same problem and already fixed it...

  50. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    ... so lets get this straight...

    The FSF are unable to compete in the market place - a market place driven by economic forces - so they are contacting the worlds biggest companies - who themselves drive economic forces - to tell them to not to play ball with another of the worlds biggest companies, that have 90% market share in thier market?

    I'm sure they'll be all ears ;)

    Microsoft have done what all big corporates do - leverage the market.

    What the FSF need to do is make *better* products, not cry foul because they can't compete.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    missed point..

    I am linux user but not a silly fan, i only mention it when asked and the main difference people notice at work is the start up time (which is also nice and quick in OSX). There are many problems i face with linux that Windows users do not have... i have had to hack sound and video on EVERY version of linux i have ever used to get it working (7 years now and the problem only gets worse with every new re-invention of solving everything).

    There are 10, 000 apps to do the same thing and nothing to do task X (insert windows app there).

    Ok, so i can run Photoshop in wine, i can do all my dev work but that is not what business need and developer need are so so different.

    What linux needs is EXCEL and POWERPOINT... business runs on Excel and Powerpoint.

    Whether they are good or not is not relevant but until you can replace Excel with a seamless drop in replacement, (and Open Office is not there yet) then business will ignore you... its very simple.

    Perhaps the FSF should push for office compatibility as that is the key to it.

    And while they are at they should push harder at a decent mail server that would replace Exchange... business currently only sees Outlook and Lotus Notes in the world of email.

    Don't flame me, i am only telling it how it is..

  52. The Beige One

    FSF bite me

    "... Linux doesn't tie you into the Microsoft treadmill because the raw code is openly available so that you or third parties can keep systems going and not rely on one company." One problem, using an out of date unsupported distro is not a good idea as exploits will go unpached making your computer vulnerable!

    I use ubuntu, use to use mac and am using Win 7 RC, I don't give a poo who made the OS just as long as it allows me to do what i want to do without getting in my way (which is why I upgraded to win 7 as xp was BSODing during fallout 3).

    And as for free software no body got rich giving shit away, sure if I were working for a company such as IBM and were told "today you are working on some free open source shit to make us look good" I would because I'm being PAID!!!

  53. sandman

    @Glen 9

    Would that be because all the good graphic and web design design software only runs on MS or Apple? (Yes, I know about the GIMP, I said GOOD design software, you know, ease of use,etc).

    We use a lot of open source software: Apache; Tomcat; Eclipse; Spring; Maven; etc; etc, and it runs a treat on Win XP. We'll stick with MS on the desktop and be happily compatible with our customers, partners and suppliers, thank you all the same.

  54. Tim Spence
    Thumb Up

    @ Crazy Operations Guy

    Although you used lashings of creative license, which obviously many others here don't get (maybe they're American), but hear-hear!

    Aside from their extreme stance on things, I'm usually on the side of the FSF, in tune with their general principles, but I think they've picked a ridiculous battle here, and I can't believe someone higher up actually signed off on it.

  55. Craig 12

    Where are the letters against Apple?

    They have just as evil practices and monopolies, but I think the reflective UI distracts most people from seeing it...

  56. Greg J Preece

    @deegee

    "Sorry to the Linux crowd, but Windows and OSX are years ahead, especially in usability. You won't get any mass exodus from Windows/OSX until you provide a comparable platform.

    The only people that I recommend Linux distros to are home desktop "enthusiasts" who want to do nothing but surf, email, run OpenOffice and GiMP. There literally is nothing else you can do with it other than specialized educational/gov stuff or web/file servers, and most corporate desktops do not fit into those categories."

    *Splutter*

    What?

    Are you actually serious? Dear Lord, I haven't heard anything that stupid in years. I sit here every day of every week, running Linux, doing a whole host of different things. No, it's not as refined as Windows in terms of usability, and I think that's possibly down to a "too many cooks" problem. Linux definitely has its problems, but it also has MASSIVE upsides. It's far far far more efficient than Windows, it provides the best programming environment going, and the hardware compatibility in some areas is reaching godlike levels. I can shove a bluetooth/3G dongle into Ubuntu and it simply works. Doesn't ask for drivers, doesn't prompt me for anything - let's see Windows do that. I've seen, owned and used Linux on everything from desktops to servers to media systems, and to suggest it can't do anything more than run a few basic applications is either tremendous ignorance, or sheer stupidity.

    So which is it?

  57. This post has been deleted by its author

  58. Mark Aggleton
    Thumb Down

    Compliance

    And their suggestions are PCI compliant???

  59. Kevin Bailey

    Small companies first

    We've PC's at two companies to Ubuntu after Windows did it's usual falling down. Apart from anything, installing Ubuntu takes about 30 mins compared to the unknown pain of re-installing XP.

    The feedback from the users is that they love the fact Ubuntu is so fast - and they can easily find their files. On Ubuntu the user is taken to their home directory which is all they need to see - on Windows you get the whole C: drive shoved in your face.

    Also, we've helped a school switch to Google docs for shared documents - and they love that too. So maybe it will be a bottom up improvement in the IT systems of companies.

  60. Richard Cartledge
    Black Helicopters

    So bad

    So bad, it's probably a false flag operation by Ballmer and Gatinski (AKA Gates) themselves!

  61. Charles Calthrop

    @Adrian Williamson

    ""the Devs in the department work with the philosophy that "I just worked several hundred hours designing, coding and testing this application, why the hell should I just give it away?""

    Sigh."

    I'm really not trying to bait anyone, but what is wrong with wanting to make money out of your work?

  62. This post has been deleted by its author

  63. JohnG Silver badge

    In support of Crazy Operations Guy

    The people who make the decisions want software with support contracts - it doesn't mattter that they could dave the cost of the licenses and maintenance; they have someone to send their problems and therefore, someone else to blame if the problems aren't fixed. That many of the support people may like and use Open Source software for personal use is irrelevant - they don't shoulder the responsibility for support nor do they make the purchasing decisions.

    The Fortune 500 is made up of large corporations who have or intend to dominate their market(s) - so why did FSF think that id would be effective to suggest that such behaviour is bad?

    It might have been smarter for the FSF to have played on fears that MS Office could be torn apart by the patent infringement case from i4i.

  64. Dale Vile 1

    A more balanced view based on Reg reader research

    If you want a more balanced and practical view of where and how Desktop Linux might be relevant based on feedback from Reg readers with actual experience, go here:

    http://whitepapers.theregister.co.uk/paper/view/888/09-05-desktop-linux-reg.pdf

    Basically, the conclusion of this research was that Linux on the desktop is unlikely to be suitable for all types of user, but for organisations who do wish to explore a selectively deployed alternative to the traditional Windows desktop, there are some scenarios in which Linux can make sense.

    We were keen to conduct this research and produce the report because organisations like the the FSF and the fanatics and evangelists that push Linux in your face as the answer to everything actually put normal IT professionals off considering it, meaning many of those that could possibly benefit never even seriously consider Linux as an option. To put it another way, desktop Linux is ironically often damned by its association with the people that so religiously promote it.

    Cheers

    Dale

    (Freeform Dynamics)

  65. g e
    Stop

    @deegee

    I use Linux (Ubuntu Intrepid) exclusively on my laptop to get everything done. The only problems I've encountered are:

    No Photoshop. VMWare mends the odd occasion I need it

    No Dreamweaver: Sometimes a client demands I use DreamWrecker, VMWare again

    Open Office not so keen on docx files: Request a PDF version, Office in VMware would be a waste of disk space.

    None of these are show-stoppers by any means. Everything else works fine, e.g. FF3, Thunderbird, Skype, Aptana, Spotify...

    People go on about Open Office not cutting the mustard and, while not a heavy spreadsheet user, docx is the only problem I have with it which I believe is exactly WHY MS created that format in the first place, isn't it?

  66. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Dodgy Dave, AC(26th August 2009 20:23 GMT), deegee

    Let that one through, John, but could you trim it a bit next time? My scrolling finger has fallen off. Ta.

  67. The Dark Lord
    WTF?

    Logic Fail

    Does anyone else see the logic fail in the FSF's argument? It goes like this:

    "If you use proprietary software, when it goes end of life you have to employ people to fix it yourself. However, if you use OSS, you can employ people to fix it rather than waiting for the vendor."

    Riiiiiiiight. I think I'll stick with the tried & tested method of buying a product supported by the people that wrote it, and if I need to carry on using it past the end of its life then at least when I employ people to manage it, I'll know that they're supporting something that's already had 7 years of vendor fixes and knowledgebase articles applied to it.

    The ideals being punted by the FSF do not apply to the corporate world of delegated/devolved responsibility and chains of command.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    what the FSF doesnt get

    And quite a few Linux Open Source zealots / evangelists as well is that LARGE (fortune 500) companies do not want the hassle.

    MOST of the employees of these companies use windows because it is familiar, a lot of them don’t have the CAPACITY to learn a new O/S and application set from the ground up.

    OK so Linux and all the applications on there are free. Like it or not, to transition from ANY OS to any other OS will require training, training takes time, time is money. IT ISN'T worth it.

    Until someone comes up with a Linux distro that looks & behaves EXACTLY like Windows with application that look and behave exactly like windows applications that support all those legacy intranet applications that despite your disbelief STILL require Internet Explorer 6 to run then there will be no wholesale migration to Linux.

    Most LARGE corporations trust the day to day running to *NIX based servers or even mainframes. Desktop / laptop O/S is Windows by default because MOST of the THOUSANDS of employees know how it works and have NO interest in learning a new system.

    Oh, just as a matter of interest does anyone know how many of those letters got read by the intended recipients versus the amount that got binned by the intended recipients PA?

  69. ThomH

    @Craig 12

    Reply #1: Apple conform to open standards, the FSF are warning against lock-in, not paying for software.

    Reply #2: show me a Fortune 500 company that predominantly uses Apple software and I'll write them a letter myself.

  70. probedb
    Thumb Down

    Not ready yet.

    No offence but linux still isn't ready for primetime. Having used many GUIs over the years and have to say that linux (or at least Ubuntu 9.0.4) just isn't ready.

    Example 1: Trying to set the IP of the machine to be static. Oh wait I can't because as soon as I try it the 'Apply' button greys out. Tips from friends that use it, 'yeah that networking applet is crap, kill it and manually edit a frickin text file'.

    Example 2: Automounting USB drives. Well this does work...until it decides there are updates to install at which point it stops working and won't work until I reboot.

    It's ok the folks here saying that's not a problem but try telling it to people who have trouble just pointing and clicking on stuff. Editing config files just isn't an option.

    My file/web server etc still runs linux as it's great for that but I just don't see it being good for the vast majority of end users.

  71. A Gould

    Fortune 500

    Only care about TCO.

    That's it. Can they get the same work done with less money?

  72. MrPatrick
    Thumb Down

    Errrrm...

    Because Linux is, you know, 101% secure and has always been.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/14/critical_linux_bug/

    plus, from a support perspective, I simply can't imagine the chaos if we attempted to move our big corporate clients to a linux distro. They struggle with Windows XP and they've been using that for donkeys years. At least Win 7 will maintain a modicum of consistancy in interface.

    Plus, quite frankly, a lot of open source software is bollocks. There is a reason that I still recommend MS's Office, its vastly superior.

    Plus no third party vendors supply anything other than Windows applications.

    Them : "We need to install this CCTV control application as part of our critical operations centre rollout, as mandated by the CEOs"

    Us : "Is it a windows only application? Well then we can't as we made the brave decision to move you all to Linux! (Aren't we clever!)"

    Them : "No you aren't clever, we're terminating your contract. You fucking retards"

    I do appreciate the open source/non-monopoloy movement, and have no theoretical objections to using it at our clients, but its simply not up to scratch. This is the same argument we've been hearing for years, and will continue to hear for years more. Until their software is actually as good as the 'pay for' alternatives its never going to happen.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Eh Oh - Real World Alert (tm)

    HAH Linux on corporate desktops. Please....yeah right like that'll be the answer. I can't see any of these working "straight out of the box" in a Linux desktop world. AD integration, fluid sharepoint access, financial app plugins in Excel, Exchange integrated contact managers, VoIP, Call centre management sw..... the list goes on and that's just our particular apps. Add in user unfamiliarity and really who is going to seriously suggest a desktop change on the next upgrade?

    Option 1.

    Buy new HW when required - it'll come with a ver of Windows 7.

    Option 2.

    Progressively phase in Linux on each older desktop and slowly over time bring the company to it's knees as each PC becomes unusable in our environment without a serious amount of additional cost? Erm... nope I won't be doing that and that's only one reason that most medium and large corporate companies will be sticking with MS for the desktop.

    I'm not a MS fanboi. Just someone who uses both OSs and realises that one is better for a corporate world and the other for a home PC.

  74. Michael Nielsen
    Linux

    Funny how people argue for lockin

    I find it incredible that people actually argue FOR lock-in, though it makes everything far more expensive.

    I've worked for a lot of companies even microsoft centric companies, and I've only once shifted to a windows workstation, and that was only at one company who was near religious about you HAVING TO USE WINDOWS.

    Everywhere else, I found the applications they insisted on you using, like lotus notes, CCMail, or variations up on that, which I installed and ran under wine.

    Funny thing a lot of these programs were more stable under wine, than under the various versions of windows they were designed to work on, as well as running in wine, I can easily kill the application, without it crashing the operating system, and spending time rebooting.

    But hey, it's not MS, which is 99% of the arguments that the pro-lockin, and pro MS people argue for.

    Yes Linux has a problem in that it tries to cater for all people, and unfortunately it has segmented, because too many linux developers believe in the Microsoft Approach, total and absolute integration of everything - but they do not agree on the how - which is not what was intended.

    UNIX was designed to have a core, which was independant of everything, the bare minimum to boot, start up, and to allow repairs of the system, this used to be a few MB, however, due to the integration, and entaglements of everything, linux is now becoming what windows is, a huge mess - that I must admit, however, MS is still lightyears ahead on the mess part.

    The funny thing is the amont of people talking about linux fanboids, you'd be amazed how many windows evangelists (aka fanboids) there are, to whom, if it's not Microsoft and Windows, then it's wrong - you will find a few in this thread too.

    The realities is that you do not need MSO for more than 95% of tasks, The other reality is that you do not need Windows for most things, unless you directly want to use some propritory technology - which is also one of the greatest security risks there is - activeX. Java will do the same as active X, but it's not the Microsoft Windows Way (tm). Another reality which pro-vendorlock-in people ingore, is the fact that a real lot of windows software will run seamlessly under wine, and will even install directly from the DVD/CD, except for the cases again where the program is written in the proprietory technology, called .NET, supposed to be cross platform, but is only supported under windows - strangely enough.

    Even a lot of games run near seamlessly under linux, som require a bit of finddling, for instance, WoW, Eve, Lotro amongst other can run on linux - I've personally run Eve, and Lotro.

    With respect to lock down, if you really believe you can lock a windows system down more than a linux system, from a users point of view, I think you do not understand the technologies very well. Linux functions where uses have limited access to the system, something that is NOT normal for windows, though it can be configured that way, and most corporations do, and yet, the very same lockdown is possible in linux. However, on the external and services side, pls tell me which of the 100's of windows services, that open ports on my machine that I can shut down, without the operating system freezing, and requiring a re-install.. On a Linux system, it can be locked completely down, so that there are no extraneous services running, and therefore no externally exploitable weaknesses. I know it is possible to remove every program that might communicate via the network on a linux machine, very easily, and it is also trivial to find and remove programs that breach that requirement.

  75. This post has been deleted by its author

  76. Chronos
    FAIL

    As usual

    The two main zealotry parties wage war on each other while the plodders keep plodding along, completely unconcerned about the clowns to the left of them or jokers to the right. That the plodders rarely gain any ground either really makes you wonder if everyone's missing the point somewhat.

    Some of the FSF's statements are laughable, as are some of the MS fanbois' replies. As every reasonable, open-minded person knows, neither are getting any closer to the truth, preferring to throw stones rather than replace their own shattered panes of glass with polycarbonate.

    OK, all these metaphors are starting to get a little aMfM-ish (but that last one works on so many levels), so I'll assume my point has been made.

  77. Keith T
    FAIL

    It must be nice to have a trust fund to live off of

    It must be nice to have a trust fund to live off of. To bad my parents aren't so wealthy.

    The rest of us must earn a living.

    We do this by "working", producing a "useful product", and "selling it".

  78. Rob
    FAIL

    Proof positive

    The proof of how badly LInux has a market doesn't undertstand the general corporate IT market is in the comments here.

    A good example being frm John's long winded post (in itself proof of the mentality of the FSF).

    "Things actually work all the time and I can configure my desktop the way *I* want to configure my desktop, not the way MS thinks I should have my desktop configured."

    Your lucky, I've contracted in a number of large coporations and in my experience you and MS don't get to choose how your desktop is configured the Corporation that paid the license do!

    Changing th average corporate user to a linux desktop will cost far too much in training, support and staff time. The FSF have also approached this at the wrong time, I think the word 'free' has made them forget global economy is in a recession transferring to a different desktop (x1000 or more) is not a cost that can be endorsed, especially when most companies are hop, skip and a jump away from making people redunant.

    All this just reinforces the point that Linux advocates don't have a clue about the bigger picture (or any understanding of Marketing for that matter).

  79. Russ Williams
    Welcome

    Time to buy...

    Having looked at that awful website, its ridiculous arguments and the fanboi response on here, I'm seriously considering dropping the cash to upgrade my XP boxes to Win7.

    Vista was a no-hoper, but if that's really the best F/LOSS can do then it's clear that there's only going to be one winner in the near future, and it's the Boys from Redmond.

  80. bass daddy
    FAIL

    Just a waste of time

    Until someone puts together a viable alternative for moving away from Windows then this kind of antic aint gonna work.

    RedHat have sussed it and i think Mark Shuttleworth's approach is more positive.

    I hope the paper it was written on is long and thoroughly absorbent as that's all it will be used for!

  81. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Please please please...

    STOP using Open Source when it comes to the FSF... they HAVE NOTHING with Open Source(merit based stuff) but they do with Free Software(a philosophy that claims computer programs should be free for all, to use, modify, distribute, etc...).

    I for one support and respect the FSF. They do great work and bring various issues to the attention of many people.

    As for GNU+Linux on the desktop. Ubuntu does a great job with that as does Fedora and others. I've switched my mom first to Source Mage but after that to Xubuntu. Suffice it to say I hardly ever need to assit her with anything more troublesome than how to use some more advanced function in Openoffice which I would need to do in MSOffice as well. But even that is becoming rare as she learned that OO.o help is very good and just reads that.

    I only need to install an app or two but even that I started slowly teaching her how to do. She already runs her own updates. But she tends to really use only a few apps so new apps aren't that important.

    May Freedom always be with you.

  82. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Commercial business applications

    Linux is fine for many things. But you will have a hard time convincing large organisations to switch if there are commercial Windows applications they rely upon to do their work.

  83. This post has been deleted by its author

  84. This post has been deleted by its author

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I just say

    That anyone using terms like "M$" etc.. is clearly a fanboy and therefore are declaring a bias up front that renders their opinion rather useless. They're also declaring themselves to be a bit childish. If you want your opinion to be taken seriously guys, you really have to drop the "M$" style rubbish and present your points in an adult fashion. Course, if you want to just post "Windoze fail LOL", then go right ahead, but don't be too surprised if you get ignored.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Windows - the middle ground

    It's just occurred to me (but probably not the first person) that Microsoft provide the middle ground on OSes, assuming you count OSX, Windows and Linux as the 3 main choices.

    OSX - a single solution, very little wiggle room for customising your 80,000+ user base, but "it just works"

    Windows - a lot more effort, a lot more degrees of freedom and "it kinda works"

    Linux - soooo much effort, soooo much freedom, but for the big companies who don't want to spend so much time/effort, "it doesn't work".

    Have the FSF considered that Fortune 500 companies WANT a locked in upgrade cycle, as it allows them to just hand over a wad of money and know that gradually they carry on along the technology curve while allowing themselves to integrate their own solutions on the desktop.

    It's a status quo that nobody wants to interfere with. Call it a monopoly if you like, but even IT departments outsource their desktop support contracts, they don't want to pay and manage linux desktop engineers directly. They recognise the synergies elsewhere.

  87. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    re: By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 27th August 2009 10:00 GMT

    Eh Oh - Real World Alert (tm) #

    Stop

    HAH Linux on corporate desktops. Please....yeah right like that'll be the answer. I can't see any of these working "straight out of the box" in a Linux desktop world. AD integration, fluid sharepoint access, financial app plugins in Excel, Exchange integrated contact managers, VoIP, Call centre management sw..... the list goes on and that's just our particular apps. Add in user unfamiliarity and really who is going to seriously suggest a desktop change on the next upgrade"

    So what happens when your next hardware cycle buys Windows 7 PCS and your current range of apps that work perfectly on Windows Xp suddenly dont work on Windows 7....

    And if the apps were availabvle for Linux , I'm damned sure the suits upstairs would say "Why are we paying an extra £199 per PC when theres a free OS available that runs our apps"

  88. RichB
    FAIL

    Erm..

    Ok fine great, give me Linux, move the whole network over to new boxes, move all my applications over to open source free systems, move the desktops over to free system, i am as happy as can be...

    wait!!! oh no these developers who wrote my applications arent making any money so they move onto a new product, the company folds, or even worse realise they should be making money and start to charge for there products. Now where am i, oh yes in the exact same boat i was in when i was with Microsoft.

    This letter is a joke, do you really think compaines that size havent already looked at the alternatives, the pro's and the cons, and that a simple letter will make them change the minds of the board / tech;s and users ?

    Bah, and even worse FSF are trying to get people to donate for letter to be sent out, $25 for 50 letters ? im not convinced, and ill bet alot of others arent either..

  89. Bob Gateaux
    WTF?

    Why Free?

    I am not understanding this free software cults. Why must it only be good thing for software to be free?

    What else we see in life that takes many men-months or years to make and then people say it must be free? What is wrong for programmer man to expect some monies for his fine skills and all his working time put in?

    Perhaps it all just comes in from student with long and greasy hair and heavy metal t-shirt and wifi called "Use-of-W3apons", who works on the Linux free instead of studying for my tax pounds. But when he goes away and must have a job he stops making the Linux free and is happy to take some money. And so it goes on that the Linux is only come from students which we find to be the bad reason for always the rewriting of the file system and things as each has own wheel to reinvent and no experience of the proper skills we seek from operating system man.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Michael Nielsen et al.

    "I find it incredible that people actually argue FOR lock-in, though it makes everything far more expensive."

    From a large corporate perspective whatever you move to will effectively be "lock-in". Once you have spent the money, time, resources, training, increased support calls, negative impact on existing staff, morale drops and other such things associated with "upgrading" your desktops you ain't gonna want to do it again any time soon.

    This is the same no matter what you have migrated to. Don't like the results of going to Ubuntu? Fine you *could* go to SuSE instead but if it was *exactly the same* as Ubuntu then what is the point and if it is in any way different you just bought yourself a whole load of pain. And cost. Mostly cost.

    "Funny thing a lot of these programs were more stable under wine, than under the various versions of windows they were designed to work on, as well as running in wine, I can easily kill the application, without it crashing the operating system, and spending time rebooting."

    Looks like a log time since you used Windows then. Not that that is a bad thing, necessarily, but it does kind of make you look a bit, well, dated in your arguments. Windows rarely crashes these days, and when applications crash they rarely take out the entire OS.

    @Chronos

    "...so I'll assume my point has been made."

    Umm. sorry, no. Unless your point is that drugs are bad, mmmkay.

  91. Kevin Bailey
    Thumb Up

    Having free access to the code IS important

    Having free access to the code IS important for a very simple reason.

    YOU may not have the ability to fix the C code on the underlying system - but some of the other millions of users will have - and they will fix it and then send the fix to the maintainers so everybody (including you) will benefit. And those with the neatest, cleanest fix will have their fix used. 'Given enough eyeballs - all bugs are shallow'

    Without this you are stuck with merely waiting for the vendor to acknowledge the problem, care enough about it, assign it to be fixed, include it in the codebase (Vista doesn't have a single codebase so put it into your branch - wait for the branches to be merged into a single build, test out the fix - re-fix, re merge , find out someone else's branch has code which breaks your fix etc etc etc etc etc. That's why Vista cost 5 billion and still fails.

    You see, with open source the problems which affect the most people naturally get sorted first. That's why Ubuntu is so highly polished and works so well - but Windows can't even copy files correctly.

  92. Chronos
    Coat

    @Lee

    I think, if you re-read, you'll find the point is that no matter how much zealotry and smear-campaigning is going on, those of us who have to actually implement this stuff don't really care and we'll continue to build networks with whatever works. Also, that last metaphor hints that, instead of concentrating on getting their own shit in order, they're too busy sniping at the others' failings, a complete waste of time if you ask me, with the end result being that all-to-well-known mantra "all software sucks."

    But yes, you have a point. It was a bit too aMfM, wasn't it? Coat obtained, taxi waiting.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    It's bizarre.....

    As a developer, I can't afford to write software for the FSF. Obviously I need to eat something. All I can do is hope that when I do write software people will see sense, and choose to pay for it, because they could legitimately get it for free from the FSF Open Source movement. I'm certain that the FSF or the Open Source movement isn't going to pay my food bills.

    The FSF is literally trying to starve me out, and for what.

    When I went to university the accepted engineering rationale, was that of two port networks. These are black boxes. You don't need to know what's inside because you're smart enough to figure it out by test and observation. Once you've got that far, the "black box" is the key abstraction tool, which allows ever higher levels of integration.

    The way I see it, it's just amateurish to tinker inside someone else's box.

    Now perhaps, the FSF have a point that Microsoft should be trying to open up their source, just because they could, and it might well benefit a good few people. There are also good reasons not to open up their source. Since they are a commercial company operating in the free world, I think they should be allowed to do as they choose. Heck if you want to change MS software that badly, join Microsoft...... they'll even pay you.

    The FSF acts to damage progressive innovation. This occurs because there is little abstraction, because there are no black boxes, and no owners of black boxes.

    Black boxes are like pot plants. They need an owner to come along and trim them once in a while. If many people share that task, and no-one is responsible, they become ragged. Once they're ragged no-one wants to work on them. Then they go wild.

    I would suggest that the biggest creative force in the Open Source movement is that of sponsorship. In a world where everyone might be considered equal, there is no-one more equal than he or she, who buys their food with that sponsorship money.

  94. jjordaan
    FAIL

    FSF launches Windows 7 anti-upgrade letter campaign

    I'll join in on the free software bandwagon as soon as I can walk into a store and get free food, free cloths. Free housing and health care would also be required. In the meantime I expect to get paid when I write code. In order for my company to be able to do that, they will probably need someone to pay for the systems they write.

  95. Chika
    Coat

    @Chronos

    "The two main zealotry parties wage war on each other while the plodders keep plodding along, completely unconcerned about the clowns to the left of them or jokers to the right. That the plodders rarely gain any ground either really makes you wonder if everyone's missing the point somewhat."

    Thank goodness somebody is paying attention!

    "Some of the FSF's statements are laughable, as are some of the MS fanbois' replies. As every reasonable, open-minded person knows, neither are getting any closer to the truth, preferring to throw stones rather than replace their own shattered panes of glass with polycarbonate."

    It never changes. Let's face it, you can't tell somebody something they don't want to know. Windows zealots don't want to believe that a Linux distro is no longer in the dark ages when you needed to know every required setting down to the nth degree to even get a CLI up, and Linux zealots don't want to know that there are downsides to moving away from an OS that, whatever its flaws, has the market by the danglies. A week doesn't go by when this argument doesn't get dragged up again, usually by folk with less than a grasp on the actualities of the other's situation, including those zealots of versions and distros which tends to muddy the waters still further.

    "OK, all these metaphors are starting to get a little aMfM-ish (but that last one works on so many levels), so I'll assume my point has been made."

    May you live in interesting times!

  96. This post has been deleted by its author

  97. ElNumbre

    H is for Oss.

    Horses for Courses - I think its foolish for the FSF to say replace all your Windows with Penguins, people will just think you're crazy.

    BUT, what can be done is to replace some machines running Linux. Particularly in the server environment where the end user doesn't see or care what the back end is running. Or, if you're using Terminal Servers, why not replace the local Winblows copy with Linux to host the terminal software. Simples!

  98. Dodgy Dave

    @John O'Hare

    "If you're(sic) lifts need to be replaced every couple of years, because the current 'version' stops working"

    Yeah, really?

    Cuddly user-lovin' Ubuntu Feisty's software update literally stopped working roughly 18 months after its release in 2007. XP has been available since 2001, and is still supported.

    Cheers

    DD

  99. IHateWearingATie
    Stop

    Why would anyone take the risk?

    In my mind only one AC has got it right so far. The work is RISK.

    Put myself in the shoes of a CIO. Unless I am very lucky I’m not going to know just how IT savvy my users are, and to be honest the help desk tickets would suggest they’re a bunch of mostly IT muppets. From my experience in PC support there's also no whay of knowing what everyone in that size of org uses in the way of apps. We know what we have put out there but i bet there will be a bunch of other things - an example from my experience is a marketing department installing software for digital cameras they use to take publicity and product shots (only found out when they called up to ask for help :) )

    Risk of moving away from Windows #1 – how are my users going to accept it and is my helldesk going to be swamped over the next few months as they try and work out where the start button it

    I frankly wouldn’t care how close to windows it is – unless it looks exactly the same then there would be a risk to me as a hypothetical CIO. I appreciate that moving from XP (likely as the incumbent system) to Win7 would be a bit different, but if users complain about the differences I can blame Microsoft (and who doesn’t enjoy that?). Move to Linux et al and no one to blame but me

    Risk of moving away from Windows #2. The majority of the work in my org goes on using MS Office. If moving away from Windows means moving away from MS Office that is a major, major risk. I don’t care how close OSS office packages are, unless there is 100% compatibility then I am in for some major headaches: macros not quite working, mail merges performing differently, documents not opening etc etc. Every single office doc related problem for the 6 months after the move will be blamed by the users (and eventually my Exec Board when they get to hear of it when their secretaries have a problem) on the new software, whether this is correct or not. Am I going to take that risk? Am I bollocks! Again, any inter-generational office format problems can be blamed on Microsoft – job done.

    Risk of moving away from Windows #3. It’s likely that I’ll have some custom apps / legacy apps / specialist apps somewhere in the organisation (think accounts dept, legal dep, sales dep). Why should changing my desktop software mess up my lifecycle plans for these? Again, blame goes on me when it goes wrong.

    There are more risks but lets look at how much I could save when taking all these risks. I’ll be generous and say I’m spending $150 per desktop on a windows license (probably much less on volume licensing) and I need 20,000 licenses. Lets assume support costs either way are equal. If I assume a 4 year life (about average) then I would save $750k a year. In an IT dept for a 20,000 org there is no way that outweighs the risk.

    Sorry chaps, the benefits just do not outweigh the risks. I haven’t even mentioned the hassle of changing all the IT support software (central app deployment etc), retraining for techies, extra difficulties when exchanging files with suppliers and customers (a big problem in government, all UK central govt is using Office 2003 and will do for some time), and so it goes on. Sure, for a few organisations it will make sense, but tell me again why anyone would expect IT depts en masse to move to anything other than the least risky option?

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Boris the Cockroach

    [So what happens when your next hardware cycle buys Windows 7 PCS and your current range of apps that work perfectly on Windows Xp suddenly dont work on Windows 7....

    And if the apps were availabvle for Linux , I'm damned sure the suits upstairs would say "Why are we paying an extra £199 per PC when theres a free OS available that runs our apps"]

    Maybe test them 1st? Failing that do you suggest we just get Linux all round so that we can make sure 100% of the apps don't work instead?

    Yes you're right of course. Meanwhile back in the real world.....

  101. Mathew White

    large companies...

    Large companies aren't going to use free software unless there is someone to sue when it all goes tits up.

  102. Reg Varney
    Flame

    Is is really wrong of me...

    ... to wish the stupid hippie fucktards would just shut the fuck up. If they want to spend the rest of their lives debugging their almost-finished-but-couldn't-quite-be-arsed-with-the=boring-bits applications on Linux then feel free. But stop bugging the rest of us about it.

  103. Scott 51
    Thumb Down

    FSF driver please

    What these FSF people fail to mention in going with a OS like linux is that lack of drivers and API's. We havea lot of propriatary hardware that only runs on Windows. Sure, going open source would be great but only if every one else did. And thats not going to happen.

  104. Devlyn Hukowich
    FAIL

    Missing the Point

    The point is not that the FSF or Microsoft builds a better operating system. The point that is currently in order to be productive in a business environment Microsoft builds and supplies the OS that the software needs to run. The only point at which Linux or any other OS will be able to make a serious run at Microsoft is when SAP, Adobe, CA, and the other major software authors write their applications for Linux etc... Until that happens the status quo will remain.

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    FFS

    Linux. Windows. Who gives a shit?

  106. Chronos
    Boffin

    @Chika

    "May you live in interesting times!"

    Um, thanks - I think. Considering I'm testing 8-BETA3* on my build box, I'm not yet sure "interesting times" are preferable to dull, boring and stable rel^H^H^H times ;o)

    * http://wiki.freebsd.org/8.0TODO

  107. PeterM42
    FAIL

    Windows 7

    They need not bother about an anti-Windows 7 upgrade, it is so bad that corporates will NOT be installing it anytime soon.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GNU

    Ill get right on it, just as soon as 3DS MAX, Photoshop, and all the plugins my office has invested in are ported over for free to Linux, as well as it working just like all the workers are familiar with.

    "wildebeest, prey of all the cool animals""

  109. This post has been deleted by its author

  110. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @crazy operations guy

    >>> "I received a copy of this letter from the CTO earlier this week, under the subject "Fanbois say the darndest things" It actually made everyone's day. Its funny how these people just don't understand why companies choose the OSes that they do.

    The primary reason I avoid Linux-based OSes is the almost cult-like following." <<<

    Completely well said, and I concur 100%. Obviously you've been slated by the bedroom-fanbois, but as someone also involved with a large number of servers, ranging from aix, svr4, sun, Hp/ux our free-unix of choice is freebsd.

    It's been hard to persuade 'the suits' because of the negativity the linux camp have brought to the scene.

    People don't see the logic in you avoiding Linux because of the cult-like following, but whilst I generally prefer Freebsd anyway, that too is a GOOD reason to avoid it.. If the suits hear that something runs on Linux, they are in horror due to the very fanboism they've heard about..... Why can't your flamers see that point?

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Craig12

    You said:

    Reply #2: show me a Fortune 500 company that predominantly uses Apple software and I'll write them a letter myself.

    Get writing ... this is the address you need to write to ...

    1 Infinite Loop

    Cupertino, CA 95014

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ most of you

    Can people on all sides just stick to the subject of the article so I don't have to sift through pages of mud slingling to find intelligent comment?

    If you want to bleat about how right your particular side of the argument is put it on your blog.

  113. Geoffrey Summerhayes
    Joke

    This article got me thinking

    About Linux's three phases of support:

    self help, self help, and self help.

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @a few of you @who haven't thought thier posts thru properly

    " "Windows easily locks down all the computers on the network so they can't download and install stuff"

    Bullshit - and what's more, you probably know it already. It's 3rd party add-ons that do that for you. How many MS-based networks don't have Novell or something installed..?"

    Mine:

    Active directory puts workstations and users into nice security groups

    Group policy controls the desktop firewall, limits what users can see and change

    WSUS controls the updates

    ISA controls access to the internet

  115. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @AC - a few of you who haven't thought thier posts thru properly

    "It's 3rd party add-ons that do that for you. How many MS-based networks don't have Novell or something installed..?"

    Isn't it time you hung up your boots?

    This might have been half-true 10 years ago on an MS-based network but it certainly isn't now.

    What's the point of commenting if yuour understanding of IT is so wildly out of date, and just plain wrong?

    I guess from the spelling of "thru" that you're an old COBOL jockey who never quite made the transition successfully.

  116. Fenton

    Training

    All of my end users know windows. But the OS is only a 10th of the issue. It's all in the apps, we have spent millions over the years training our users how to use word/Excell/Powerpoint

    Then you have the enterprise applications, written in Access, SAP, Oracle apps, Siebel, etc

    all which have a windows front end. (these are the really high cost times).

    If they have to use a unix/linux frontend or app, thats what X-windows is for.

    I can get a windows support engineer for £30K a year the equivalent linux trained engineer would probably cost me £40K a year. I have 20 of them, so the costs already mount up.

    The sever side is a different matter, yes we linux everywhere and HP-UX/AIX/Solaris.

    Even at home Linux just does not do it for me. I run photoshop/Pro-tools/Cubase there are no Linux equivalents that come close in terms of functionality and professional support/communities that these have.

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Although no-one will read this far

    I am surprised no-one has really mentioned the obvious:

    Surely FSF are onto a spanking anyway by basing their campaign on how shit Windows and MS are rather than how good the alternatives are?

    Their website should be something positive like www.linux_is_the_dogs.org rather than the really negative windows7sins.org

    Even without reading their site (and most F500 CEOs won't) when someone's entire argument is that the opposition is shit then you know they don't actually have anything to offer themselves.

    It al just looks a bit childish and the website is really poor - I wonder if it s really a trick by MicroSoft against the FSF?

  118. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Parade of the Wintards

    As soon as something bad is said about Microsoft, especially by open source types, it's the parade of the Wintards, parroting all that stuff about how Linux is a "hobbyist" product and other guff.

    For example, Doug Glass opined, "But the truth is, Linux simply isn't a fit with the corporations. It's not taken seriously and it never will be until and unless it can be moved out of the "hobby" room." So when Amazon run most of their cloud on Linux, Google run virtually everything on Linux, it's in a "hobby room"? Such a remark fails so hard it's painful to watch the cluelessness smearing the Internet in slow motion.

    And the we have the opinions of Oliver Jones: "It's not the Linux / FSF kernel I'm worried about - it's their compiler. GCC sucks, big-time - and I would not put any trust in it at all. I would put even less trust in a kernel compiled with it." So despite a huge amount of software being built and run using numerous versions of GCC across numerous architectures for a range of different languages typically without any reliability problems at all, you don't trust it. Well, I'd consider your argument had you not also written the laughable "The fact of the matter is, Linux applications are for programmers, not users." Most of KDE or GNOME isn't for programmers, and despite the occasional configuration issue (which you also get with Windows applications, contrary to the mythology), it all works fairly well.

    Again, it's like watching an astroturfing campaign triggered by some PR idiot saying that "you have to counter this bad publicity and make Linux look bad", except that the respondents apparently believe what they write, despite copious evidence to the contrary. And then they accuse the open source types of following a religion. Sheesh: the fail is so much on them.

  119. Adam Williamson 1
    FAIL

    One more funny thing

    One more thing that's funny in this thread - all the people saying Linux 'isn't ready for primetime' or 'is just for hobbyists'. Here's a clue: almost every company in the Fortune 500 already runs Linux (we - Red Hat - have contracts with the majority of them). It really is worth getting a small fraction of a clue before dragging out the bats, guys.

    Also, the guy who says he uses Windows XP because he wants his computer to just work. I got a good laugh out of that one. I've never met a computer _yet_ that 'just works'. Not running Linux, not running Windows, not running OS X. They're all a gigantic pain in the ass.

  120. Jess
    Linux

    Change of UI

    Changing from XP to Linux Mint is a far smaller change of UI than going from XP to Windows 7

  121. Adam Williamson 1

    geoffrey summerhayes:

    You may like to take a little browse of:

    http://www.redhat.com/support/process/

    http://www.redhat.com/consulting/

    http://www.redhat.com/support/policy/soc/tam/

    http://www.novell.com/linux/services_support.html

    http://www.ubuntu.com/support/services

    what's that sound? The Entertainer playing over a tinny, van-mounted speaker? It must be...the clue van! Mum! Mum! Can I have a clue? please? Pleeaaase?

  122. Paul 4

    Im sure companys will switch to linux...

    when suport forums provide an SLA...

    Dispite what you think, fortune 500 managers are not dumb. They have reasons to stick with MS. I don't know what they are, but Im sure they are good ones.

  123. This post has been deleted by its author

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Wrong targets.

    They should have sent these letters to startups, not massive companies. What sense does it make warning people that if they choose Windows in the past they will be locked in in the present? Unless they can get a time-travelling exec to read it there is no point.

    Artist's impression of a time travelling CEO provided.

  125. chain

    What ever suits you best

    >> "Investing in Microsoft's Windows 7 will only get you more stuck and more dependent on

    >>them..."

    >>

    >> And Ubuntu for example would be different how?...

    >Are you dense, or just trolling. Which bit of OPEN SOURCE do you NOT >understand.

    >Software running on your RedHat desktop will run fine on your >Novell OpenSuse desktop or

    >your Gentoo desktop. Still not clear what's >meant or do you need a Powerpoint presentation

    >to explain further?

    Or FreeBSD(PCBSD, DesktopBSD) desktop, NetBSD desktop(yes, not many people do that), OpenBSD desktop(even less people do that). Not many companies would run NetBSD on their desktops, but at least there's a choice.

    If/when Desktop NetBSD (http://wiki.netbsd.se/Desktop_Project) becomes usable it could become better choice for corporations than linux(DesktopBSD is probably the best choice still), simply because BSD licence is more acceptable to them, but still it's VERY unlikely.

    I'm (almost) exclusively using Xubuntu, and I'm very happy with my choice(I got too lazy to tinker with Slackware like I used to - ahh...good times...), but I'm tiered with all the Linux fanboys and FOSS zealotry, which almost makes me feel ashamed that I use Linux. I'm switching to NetBSD, and I consider myself lucky having the skills to do it. Maybe I'll switch to Haiku in like... 10 years(when it's mature enough).

    Liking Windows(XP, Vista, 7, whatever) is OK(although I don't exactly like them myslef), what's important is that there's a choice, I just wish more people would be aware of that choice. As long as people make an informed decision it's a good decision(for them - that's the only thing that should matter).

  126. This post has been deleted by its author

  127. Sooty

    FSF are blind to reality

    The big companies are never going to switch, as the costs involved in continuing with windows are trivial compared to the amount of money it will cost to switch.

    I work in the IT department of a big bank, contrary to what people have said, the business does not run on office or powerpoint, these are merely conveniences. It runs on hundreds, if not thousands, of custom built applications, in our case some 40+ year old mainframe, some 20+ year old borland c, some visual c, some visual c++, visual basic, c#, web apps etc. These applications are specifically designed and tailored towards the way the company operates, and all interact with each other to provide the user experience. There is no way that an off the shelf third party system, even open source, could replicate this, without being custom built. Every single one of these would need to be redeveloped (not necessarily a bad thing, but expensive and time consuming)

    A very large number of companies use custom applications, built to suit their business methods and processes, and these are the lifeblood, not generic office applications. And a company cannot afford to have bugs in their applications, which means testing. Lots of testing.

    We have to submit applications to weeks of full regression testing, everytime we compile something, even if we didn't make any changes! As we can't risk that an application falls over because a rarely used linked library was missed, or a decimal point put in the wrong place. This is why it takes companies years to change OS, when you can do it in an afternoon.

    The end users, ie branch staff, don't care as their machines are so locked down they barely see the OS. As long as they can still use the counter applications, get their mail/meetings through some outlook/exchange equivalent, and get on the net It makes absolutely no difference. The office staff, with a bit more freedom, would notice the difference, but again, as long as the applications are there and aren't too different, they'll get by.

    Then comes the interesting bit, you've spent years developing and testing all these changes, you're absolutely sure it all works, all your access controls, software deployment mechanisms work. How do you get it out to your users? You can't push out a full rebuild over the network to hundreds of thousands of pc's in one night, even if you could, what if it went wrong? You would have to do it slowly, which means the two systems also have to be able to co-exist, all the access and applications you had on windows, have to be available on linux, and as you may move you have to be able to interchangeably log on to either type of machine without it impacting your work.

    Yes Linux is a possibility for a corporate desktop, and if you were setting a new corporation up it would have to be given serious consideration, but for any large organisation, that is already using windows, I can't see anyone giving it a serious consideration unless it can be made completely interchangeable with a windows box within their existing network.

  128. Mike Moyle Silver badge
    Grenade

    I suppose that I'm missing something...

    "The FSF has raised the issue that support for older versions of Windows begins to come to an end as newer versions of the operating system are released. Over time, end users are either forced to upgrade, pay for additional support, or fix things themselves.

    "According to the FSF, Linux doesn't tie you into the Microsoft treadmill because the raw code is openly available so that you or third parties can keep systems going and not rely on one company."

    So, rather than self-supporting/outsourcing support when the manufacturer EOL's your software N years down the road, you can do it from Day 1...? Is this REALLY their best argument?

    ...I dunno if that one's gonna fly, to be honest.

    ====================

    @ Kevin Bailey

    "YOU may not have the ability to fix the C code on the underlying system - but some of the other millions of users will have - and they will fix it and then send the fix to the maintainers so everybody (including you) will benefit. And those with the neatest, cleanest fix will have their fix used. 'Given enough eyeballs - all bugs are shallow'

    "Without this you are stuck with merely waiting for (someone) to acknowledge the problem, care enough about it, (...) test out the fix - re-fix, re merge , find out someone else's branch has code which breaks your fix etc etc etc etc etc. (...)"

    Of course that's silly... because apparently finding out what the bugfix breaks is the USER'S job! It's "The FOSS Way™"!

  129. Geoffrey Summerhayes
    Unhappy

    @Adam

    It's a joke, son. Get over it.

    (I run Fedora at home, by the way).

  130. mikefulton
    FAIL

    Linux people need to focus their attention inward

    If the Linux crowd spent half as much time developing applications that their non-techy grandmothers could use as they do bitching about Microsoft, then Linux would actually be a viable alternative for the desktop market.

  131. mikefulton
    WTF?

    @deegee

    I might be wrong, but I thought that the .docx format was Microsoft's move towards an XML-based file format, and AWAY from their more proprietary older .doc file format. In other words, just the sort of thing that you'd expect open-source proponents to be HAPPY about, not annoyed with.

  132. Adam Williamson 1
    Thumb Down

    @oliver jones

    Picking out two problems you happen to have experienced at random does not a convincing argument make, unless you're seriously suggesting I couldn't pull out two random problems I've ever experienced with Windows (here's a hint: I can).

    Not seen that problem with DHCP / static IPs, ever. And I've used enough static IPs in my time. Yellow Dog's a pretty obscure choice for anything but a PPC system, why were you running it?

    External displays - this was a problem on most hardware for quite a long time. On hardware that supports RandR 1.2 (Intel and ATI chips for the last couple of years, basically) it's a lot nicer now. NVIDIA is trickier because of NVIDIA; their proprietary driver doesn't use RandR (though you can probably set up the configuration you want quite well from nvidia-settings, if you use the proprietary driver) and they haven't made open source driver development particularly easy. However, nouveau, which is standard on Fedora already and will be standard on other distros soonish, does do RandR 1.2 and supports multiple displays pretty well (I'm typing this on the right hand monitor of my two 20" monitors, being driven by nouveau in Fedora).

    The other wrinkle is that projectors tend to be very bad at properly reporting their capabilities to the system; many don't provide proper EDID information, which leaves no standard way for the driver to know what resolutions they're actually capable of. As long as your projector isn't broken like this, though, it should work fine.

    Again - just pulling problems out of a hat is not a great argument until the alternative you're proposing has no problems. Of course Linux has problems. So does Windows. That's why most of the readers of this site have jobs, after all; if operating systems just worked, they'd all be unemployed...

  133. James Butler

    How Amusing, and Sad

    The Microsoft fanbois are out in force ... "Where's my Notepad?" ... "..recode all of our .NET.." ... "...all of the retraining..."

    You make FSF's points for them! What's "sin" #1? Training school kids to use Microsoft products instead of training them to use computers in general.

    If school kids, programmers, IT staff and corporate users had been trained on OSS systems, then there really wouldn't be any problems with the missing Microsoft application, the proprietary code or the training to use anything other than Microsoft, now would there? Corporations would have the freedom to say, "Stuff it, Microsoft. Your price increases and forced hardware upgrades for buggy, insecure software are not acceptable, and our people are easily able to switch to any of the other bits of software out there that fill the need ... using global standard file types and protocols, just like everybody else does."

    See? If all of you fanbois had not been trapped into thinking that the MS way is the ONLY way, you, too, would be able to take advantage of all that OSS has to offer. Instead, you are trapped by your own minds and wallets exactly as the FSF describes, and is attempting to mitigate.

    Frankly, I feel sorry for you lot, just as I feel sorry for any child who has been taught that there is only one way to think. It's a classic Stockholm Syndrome situation. Your tormentor becomes your savior because you have lost hope in anything better, and forgotten that you once had options that differ from those few provided your jailer. Of course, I don't expect any of you fanbois to agree ... but that's the nature of the Syndrome ... you can't help yourselves ... your brains are now wired to defend your oppressor, and there is simply nothing you can do outside of making your escape and undergoing many years of therapy to become enlightened. Sad, really.

  134. mikefulton
    FAIL

    @Boris the Cockroach

    >>So what happens when your next hardware cycle buys Windows 7 PCS

    >>and your current range of apps that work perfectly on Windows Xp

    >>suddenly dont work on Windows 7....

    This seems to be a common question raised by the Linux crowd... my response is, what apps are these? I suppose there MUST be some problem apps, and I'd love to know what they are, but I've personally not seen them yet.

    So far, EVERY SINGLE APP I've tried works just fine on Windows 7 RC. Several work better on Windows 7 RC than under Vista. I've heard of exactly ONE application that doesn't work on Windows 7 RC, and that was something I heard second-hand. The only significant compatibility issue I've heard is that some people using web-based applications that require IE6 as a thin-client will have to use a virtual machine running in VM Ware or Virtual PC. (If the Linux people can trot out the "run it in VM Ware" idea, so can I.)

    In fairness, I have heard of a couple of older hardware devices for which there is no Win7-compatible driver as YET, but since the retail Win7 isn't actually available for another few months I think yelling about it too much right now is premature. Or possibly immature. Plus, I doubt Linux users really want to get into an argument with Windows users over who has better hardware support.

  135. OneTwoThreeFour
    WTF?

    The problem with Linux is it's a pain in the ass

    In my opinion and experience, unless Linux works first time it's a complete pain in the ass and just not worth the hastle of trying to edit hundreds of cryptic text files to get, for example, a monitor working.

    Linux is also more inconsistent between different distros and even between versions of those distros than Microsoft and most Linux vendors seem to think it's a good idea to release a new version every few months which either requires a reinstall or several hundred megabyte downloads. Even Microsoft don't make you do that.

    Case points. My netbook runs Fedora 8. Trying to upgrade to Fedora 10 or 11 was a complete failure as the webcam, sound, display didn't work. Case two, on my main laptop, Unbuntu installs and after a week of trying to get the wireless, graphics card and dual monitors working, the only option was to go back to Vista which worked first time on all hardware. Case three, it took me and my collegues three days to get my work computer working with dual monitors and to configure it to use the network correctly. With Windows it would have worked first time. Yesterday I installed Windows 7 on my home computer, which downloaded all the drives from the internet with the exception of the touchpad and worked, you guessed it, first time.

    Like someone else said, the only option with Linux is self help and looking through forum posts ful of information as to which text files you should try and edit and which odd-sounding commands to try and HOPEFULLY you might get a working PC.

    In the end it's better to pay for a quality Microsoft operating system than it is get a pile of crap for free.

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lock-in does what it says

    The reason no company will switch to Linux to avoid Microsoft's lock-in is because, well, they're locked in! The burden of switching far outweighs any short-term advantage and MS works to ensure it stays that way.

    The best Linux can hope for is to gain ground incrementally. It's there at some level in most companies, but it isn't going to take over any time soon, no matter how good it gets. Slow and steady progress is the most optimistic outcome I can see. Other outcomes are also available.

  137. deegee
    Grenade

    wow, everybody sure likes me :-)

    I see @deegee replies... :-)

    Sorry, it would take me too long to reply to each comment individually.

    The facts are people, there is more free software for Windows than Linux, there is a wider variety of hardware and software support for Windows, etc.

    You can argue all you want, but the fact is that overall Linux is not a better platform when ALL things are considered. And any corporate CTO, IT, etc. worth half his salt will know this.

    Check out SourceForge (~50/50), CodeProject, or just google it, and I guarantee you will find more free applications and code for Windows on a wider variety of application levels than for any other platform out there.

    Re: all the thrashing I got regarding Linux source.

    Let's say I have a small company with 5000 XP desktops running Office and SQL doing document and data processing, and 5 2k3 file servers. The hardware can be Dell or whoever you prefer.

    Name me 1 (one) plausible, common, often-encountered reason why I would ever require the source code for the OS's. And I don't mean some made-up cr*p.

    What "little problem" am I going to fix in an app like Word or Excel, let alone in the OS kernel? C'mon, put your code where your mouth is.

    And even if you did come up with one half-crazy example, show me any regular office worker or joe-IT person who will be able to successfully patch anything in a Linux Kernel without years of prior coding experience.

    The "oh but someone else in the community may have already coded it" is totally lame. If it is a common serious OS bug, then no doubt MS has addressed it; if it was a feature request for the apps, then use Office macros/scripts or for anything a bit more involved download the FREE VSExpress and throw whatever simple utility you need together in VB or C#.

    Everyone in the Windows community seems to get along fine without the OS source code. I don't see corporations grinding to a halt because they don't have the OS source, and I've never seen that point listed on any feature request by companies looking to buy.

    Since so many of the Linux-fanbois are stuck on OpenOffice, well you can get that for Windows as well. Most of what is available on Linux is also available on Windows also for free. So if I'm stuck on 'have-to-have' OO, then I pay $50 per workstation to get Windows OEM on it and run OO. I have a better OS with more overall support and a better GUI and user experience, and I can still run OO. And down-time is a non-issue for any good corporate structure regardless of OS, so don't bother trying that in the Linux vs Windows.

    For the typical Linux comeback of "what can Word do as a wordprocessor that any other wordprocessor like OO can't, it's just text". Office has other apps as well...

    Regarding the comment about the Linux apps getting tested before put into the distro. Is that supposed to also mean that it is good software? Sorry, but at least 90% of all of the Linux software I have looked at in more than 15 years of working with Linux is pure cr*p. I'm not saying that it is bad code or algorithms, I'm saying that the developer(s) need to learn about usability.

    I agree that this does also happen on Windows apps, but my point is that this is a non-discussion as it is meaningless.

    Regarding the comments of "I/my xxx switched to Ubuntu and now it loads and runs much faster than Windows".

    This is not proof of anything... maybe in your specific case it was faster, that doesn't mean it will be for everyone else. I dual-boot W7RC and Ubuntu on an Atom 330 MiniCube system dedicated to surfing. Ubuntu is almost unusable on this since the UI is so terribly slow. W7 using its Aero acceleration is easily 4x faster. And looks better. And has more features.

    "Free" is not free if the installation/deployment/maintenance is more time on Linux than on Windows. Time = Money. The Linux community so badly needs to learn this.

    I'm not a newb people, I've been doing corp. IT and software dev for the last 15 years and before that I did 15 years of IC and hardware design, assembler OS development, embedded systems, HDA, etc. (yes, I'm an old guy)

    The main software that I have been using on my desktops for the past few years are: MSOffice, 3DS Max 200x, Adobe Audition, CorelSuite, VisualStudio 200x (yes, all legal copies).

    If any Linux person can show me free or even cost Linux platform software that is equal or better than all of these for features and usability, I'll not only switch completely to Linux, but I'll send them $1000.

    If not, then STFU and GTFO because you just proved my point from my earlier post that you had flamed (I stated that Linux is limited on what you can do with it). Feel free to go up and read it again.

    Two of the main reasons why Linux will never grow to a large user adoption are: the community is stuck on "free" and GPL so the majority of software developers won't touch it; the community is spending too much time and resources re-inventing the wheel over and over as each little dev group releases "their" version of this-or-that with the net result that forward movement takes years/decades.

    I am not against Linux, I currently have it on one of my desktops, and have used it on previous systems as well over the years. It's use for me has been slowly retired to secondary basic desktop surfing as it has been easier and cheaper simply to move all other desktops and servers to Windows.

  138. B0z0
    Megaphone

    FSF Forever!

    Ultimately if we need to fight the rise of the machines like in Superman 3 - Fight the NWO - Secure our childrens freedom.

    gNew Sense adheres to the trust model which all security is based upon! : )

    Go FSF!

  139. Schroeder Washere

    Whew, guess the moderatrix had a busy day yesterday...

    Maybe she should get Microsoft to buy her a few beers tonight in gratitude.

    I'm guessing those FSF letters hit the mark, given the way Microsoft has to mobilised it's army of astroturfers to scream blue murder about how bad they they've been told linux is.

    If they aren't astrotufers, maybe they're simply MCSEs terrified they might have to undergo some retraining. 'Nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft' - I really hope there are people out there experienced enough to remember which company that phrase used to apply to, and how quickly that gem changed - and it will change again.

    Also note how many claim, in rude and abusive language, that linux supporters are unhelpful zealots - straight out of the Microsoft play book that came to light under the Comes V Microsoft case. At the time I posted this there were 137 posts, a handful of which where intelligent support of Linux. The rest are abusive rehashes of the standard Microsoft shill points. Now thats the real zealotry at work. To paraphrase someone in response to another article 'Ignorance and misinformation like that doesn't come cheap, and no doubt they are well-paid to post it.'

    Disclosure - I've used Linux for what must be over 10 years now, starting with SUSE 6.4. It was better than Windows then, and it still is ( I bought a boxed copy, not long after upgrading to Windows 95, simply out of interest because it came bundled with a whole load of interesting stuff for the time - apache / programming tools etc, and to help me gain some familiarity with *nix tools). Found myself using Linux more and more due to how much easier and efficient it was to deal with until I reached the point where Windows was for games only. Then Crysis came out and persuaded me that a console was a better long term investment than yet another new graphics card. Yes, I'd be annoyed if Microsoft managed to take that choice away from me. Imagine how bad it would be if Microsoft had a monopoly in other consumer electronic area's such as TVs.

    On the professional side, the large multinational I currently work for has used Linux extensively in server room for years and is actively looking at the possibility of moving to Open Office and a Linux desktop when the next scheduled desktop refresh takes place in the next couple of years. Admittedly, it helps that the majority of internal systems are now web based, but that's the way the corporate world has been heading for a good while now.

    The management are very aware of the perils vendor lock-in and actively look at solutions that use open standards and avoid any costly proprietary lock in. The FSF letter is aimed at helping those forward thinking CIO's press the case for open standards with the CEO's of their companies.

    FSF must be doing something right - after all, if Linux was simply as niche hobbyist system as the Microsoft supporters claim, they wouldn't even need to respond to an article like this. What was it that Gandhi said?....

  140. Russ Williams
    Grenade

    @Schroeder Washere

    "I'm guessing those FSF letters hit the mark, given the way Microsoft has to mobilised it's army of astroturfers to scream blue murder about how bad they they've been told linux is."

    Do you have any idea how retarded you (and other open-source dingbats) sound when inventing these pathetic conspiracy theories? Do you even know what astroturfing is? Or does being an unhelpful zealot take up too much time for you to think and learn?

    Hint: this is the real world, and intelligent people have different ideas to yours. As a Myers-Briggs trainer once said to me, "if you think there's only one way to make a decision, you've a very strong T preference" - ~50% of the world (no, not the female half) don't make decisions through logic. Of those who do, your (soi disant) logical arguments fail on numerous levels as this comment thread shows - no understanding of externalities, risk, training costs, support costs, rollout, legacy apps, testing, etc. etc. On that basis, you can perhaps convince enough people to get maybe single-digit-percent market penetration. Woo.

    I first tried to use linux in about '95 (Slackware, onto a 386sx16 with a 40mb HD) which not only failed miserably but was so horrendous it put me off for years. I used RedHat 6 and 7 on a regular basis around '01, hating the unreliability of the filesystem and buggy apps. Since '04 I've had more or less daily contact with various different linux versions - Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL - and they're still ridiculously user-unfriendly, and they still manage to shit themselves on a regular basis (particularly when rebooting). Last year we had to abort RHEL installation on rather pricey rackmount systems on account of a critical bug in the OS installer - it required information at step 3 which wasn't set up until step 10, with no way to skip back/forwards to do that. Way to go, guys, that nearly cost us the contract.

    Linux on the desktop? Maybe when pigs are airlifting people out of the blizzards in hell, but only maybe.

    "What was it that Gandhi said?"

    I'm sure he said lots of things... "Oi, did you spill my pint?!"? "[Western civilisation] would be a good idea"?

    Sorry, if you're going to pretentiously quote a clichéd famous figure, it'd be a good idea to actually do so...

  141. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Rodents writing, school sins, zealots, etc.

    @ AC 27Aug2009 15:07:

    I read it as "the rodents apparently believe what they write".

    A novel insult, even though I didn't agree with it - but, second glance showed I'd misread the word "respondents". Oh well.

    @ James Butler:

    "What's "sin" #1? Training school kids to use Microsoft products instead of training them to use computers in general."

    I see your point, but it might be hard to implement.

    Although I suppose if someone in the school district was tech-savvy enough (hahaha!!) they could set up some of their already-existing PCs to dual boot into some flavor of Linux, and rotate the kids around so that everyone got a shot at using each OS... and then I suppose you'd have to have equal representation for KDE and Gnome etc... and to be fair, you'd have to have at least one Mac sitting off in a corner someplace to give kids exposure to that... Where would one draw the line?

    At least in the U.S., in many regions the people running the schools aren't noted for being particularly bright, so it's not surprising they pick just one OS and stick with it.

    And if you have to have only one OS to indoctrinate kids with, it might as well be the predominant OS the kids are most likely to encounter in jobs after they graduate. Unless they're into art or newspaper publishing or something.

    @ Schroeder Washere:

    "Also note how many claim, in rude and abusive language, that linux supporters are unhelpful zealots"

    Well, while this is merely anecdotal, all total I have posted 2 honest and (surprisingly) politely-worded questions on Linux forums. Apparently somehow my first question inadvertently crossed some unspoken Linux taboo because I received one non-helpful rude reply and they immediately closed the thread to further discussion. What had I done wrong? It would have been helpful if they'd at least explained which taboo I'd violated so I'd know what to avoid in the future.

    Awfully paranoid and defensive they were, in retrospect (now that I know a bit more about them) far too quick to assume that people with questions are probably trolls out to cause trouble or something, even worse than some of the 'other' now-niche OS forums and BBS's I used to participate in back in the '90s.

    My second attempt at asking a [different] question didn't result in any useful replies - obviously I'd *already* searched and searched for an answer to no avail; asking at the forum was a last resort.

    Linux online support: nearly worthless. If you have a Linux problem, and if you can't find an answer by spending hours Googling it, you might as well just learn to live with the problem or switch OS's, because it's unlikely you'll get much more than snide unhelpful replies from the Linux community.

    I now know better than to ever bother asking for help from Linux people again; it's not worth the put-downs and being made to feel like a total idiot.

    I hope they enjoy their superiority and obviously vastly greater intellect - too bad they can't find it in their hearts to help the rest of us now and then when we have little problems.

    So yes, I do use Linux (using it right now, in fact), but I certainly don't expect much help if I ever encounter any problems that I can't solve on my own.

    I wish it was different.

    For the record, no one tells me what to write here and I sure as hell don't get paid for writing either.

    AC because this post has probably pissed off school administrators, Linux fans, Mac users, Windows users, believers in trolls, rodents, sinners, and everyone in the U.S. :)

  142. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Re: @Parade of the Wintards

    "Actually, there *are* serious reliability problems with Linux, which blows a 6-metre hole in your argument."

    Cuz you sez, eh? And that was a nice swerve around your unsupported claims about GCC.

    "In my experience, a lot of machines with a Linux kernel and very heavy workload tend to panic after about 45 days."

    And in my experience, they don't.

    "Then perhaps you can tell me why, after changing my network configuration from DHCP to static IP, via the GUI (Yellow Dog Linux 6.2, a derivative of CentOS), it doesn't actually do anything useful?"

    I don't choose to use Red Hat derivatives, typically. Yes, I've seen dodgy GUI tools which are supposed to work but don't. Generally, one exercises choice - you know, the thing that Windows users don't really have - and one chooses a distro with decent GUI tools if that's what you need to have.

    "We're not talking about anything complicated, here. Just changing an IP address from DHCP to static and then rebooting - something even Windows XP handles without a hitch. Yet somehow, as soon as I sit in front of a Linux box, it is unreasonable for me to expect it to do what it says on the tin. This is my point! Linux simply does not work if you want to do anything on it that is even slightly advanced - and please do not feed me the bullshit line "No end user wants to change their IP address on Linux.""

    I'm still wondering why you need to reboot.

    "I'm sure that *some* people have it working on their graphics chipsets, but NVidia is hardly an obscure vendor, are they?"

    No, but they are a *proprietary* vendor. This means that you have to buy into exactly what they think you need, and soon you've found that you don't have a choice about what software you're able to run. I'm sure you think that it's great to do what other people tell you, and to throw out hardware when the vendors decide you should be running the next Windows release, but this kind of thing was on the FSF's list, after all. (And I'm using Nvidia stuff with Red Hat just fine here at work, despite the undeniable complications that its proprietary drivers bring.)

    Yes, I've filed a fair number of bugs against distros for the flaws in their tools. But the claims about Linux being unreliable and not enterprise-ready are just nonsense. People are too ready to ignore issues like hardware suitability when criticising Free Software offerings, thinking that highly proprietary stuff is just going to work when no-one outside the manufacturer has any documentation for it (and in some cases few people inside the manufacturer have any, either), and such people also tend to think that Linux is going to bail them out of the proprietary swamp they've wandered into or "it's that rubbish Linux thing's fault".

    I suppose one cannot argue with such short-sightedness. As Linux dominates the supercomputing lists, runs Google and Amazon, is widely used across all sectors (contrary to some opinion), all we're left with is whiny business types who've coded themselves up the proprietary equivalent of shit creek. One has to admire the FSF for bothering to send such people a letter at all.

  143. deegee

    @AC

    "As Linux dominates the supercomputing lists, runs Google and Amazon, is widely used across all sectors (contrary to some opinion)..."

    Google and Amazon are two specific and rare examples when considering the entire OS install base worldwide. Two specific massive data centers versus millions of desktops. I don't think anyone here is arguing (at least I never have) that Linux does have a use in specific Server, Edu, Gov, etc. scenarios. I do disagree with you completely that Linux is widely used "across all sectors", you had better do your research on that one.

    The point of the FSF letter was to try to turn F500 companies with all of their servers and desktops over to open software. Linux in its current state, while usable and stable, has issues that impact its feasibility for widespread deployment into every server and desktop market. And unfortunately these issues are mostly caused by the community itself.

    Too many distros; too many UIs; too many inconsistencies in the interface (single-click here, double-click there); too many half-finished apps and too much code-rot; too many people in the community abandoning one app for another (look at the proposed AppCenter for Ubuntu, another package manager to add to my system leaving even more deprecated managers to rot on my computer); and on and on... and I use and love Kubuntu, but so many things that the community hangs on to and does really bug me that they are so short-sighted.

    The extra 10% that MS and Apple put into the "usability factor" and "polish" makes all the difference in the world, and makes it worth the $100. One example I can give you is the interface response in KDE: start a torrent, run one or two other apps doing stuff, then try editing text or working on file management -- the cursor is pausing and jumping all over. I get this in Kubuntu on my dual-core hyper-thread, the exact same computer booted into Windows 7RC does not do that at all. With Windows, each interface control is threaded so that this does not occur.

    I use Kubuntu, but I current cannot do without a system with Windows on it (or dual-booting which I don't prefer as it takes too long to cycle). Issues with current file compatibility, no support for certain things, often makes Linux a pain to use.

    By dividing themselves up into so many little groups going in their own direction, the community is wasting human resources and time which could be spent on making a single distro into a real competitor. This won't change until the community changes.

  144. Schroeder Washere

    @Russ Williams

    Cheers, thanks for proving my point and giving me a chuckle with my coffee, bet you had real trouble trying to keep your jibes less obvious

    Microsoft don't astroturf? Really? Next you'll be telling me that they didn't force through an ISO standard that even they won't implement correctly. Or will you claim that they've never abused their ill gotten monopoly position to drive competitors out of business? Let me guess? i4i are just a patent troll? Google is the root of all evil? Apple has a browser monopoly too? Bluray is rubbish and downloads are the way forward? Did I miss one? Oh yes, Opera are just whining bunch of Scandinavians and why haven't the EU stopped Firefox being bundled with Linux distributions?

    So you've never had any major issues with any Microsoft products? At all? And you've been in IT for how long? Here's another bit of disclosure for you - I used to be a Microsoft supporter years ago even going so far as intentionally buying a Gateway PC back in 94 as they were the only supplier at the time that had a deal to bundle Office. Funnily enough I'm looking into getting a new PC at the moment, and the bundling of Office is no longer a factor in the choice.

    So in the real world, companies do factor in externalities, risk, training costs, support costs, rollout, legacy apps, testing, etc. and funnily enough the more forward thinking of those companies go for platforms that support open standards preferably supported by multiple vendors. Well, we all know how a certain company feels about open standards and competition. Choice, now there is a word that Microsoft seems to hate.

    Myself? I'm just amused that people claim to still willingly support a company with a record like this - http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=2005010107100653 - but hey, thats your choice, just quit trying to make it the only one.

  145. Russ Williams
    Grenade

    @Schroeder Washere: Obvious troll is obvious!

    I'm impressed with how many straw-man arguments you can pack into one post... but like the character in The Wizard of Oz, they're in need of a brain.

    "the more forward thinking of those companies go for platforms that support open standards preferably supported by multiple vendors" - indeed they do, which is why Windows remains the platform of choice for both users and vendors.

    You blather on about "choice", but choice is fundamentally an abdication of design responsibility. So Linux gives you the choice of KDE or Gnome - shame that both suck - and a dozen different window managers, none of which do the job properly. And all the text editors. And so many clocks! Wow. I suppose you'd expect a condemned prisoner to be grateful for being offered the choice of being shot or being hanged, as the customisation will enhance his experience.

    People don't actually want choice, they want the system to work consistently and cause them the minimum amount of hassle while they do their jobs. I'm always stunned by how open source zealots seem incapable of addressing this point, or even acknowledging its existence. I guess taking "choice is good" as axiomatic is easier, huh?

  146. Adam Williamson 1
    Stop

    @geoffrey, @deegee

    geoffrey: ah, sorry. In my defence, it's very hard to _spot_ a joke in this thread. There are other people making the same claim you did. I'm fairly sure at least one of them is serious :)

    deegee: I have a patch in the kernel, and I can't code. Never took a coding class in my life. Couldn't write a hello world app if my life depended on it. Not a clue have I. The patch fixed support for a particular onboard audio chipset for a bloke I ran into at Linuxfest North West. http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux-2.6.git;a=commit;h=87488957a68293357a94c8142de7d0ae17914912 . Probably most geeks would be able to figure out what it does, after looking at it for a couple of minutes - it tells it to use a particular configuration of the sound driver in question (snd-hda-intel) for the chipset in question (identified by its PCI subv and subd IDs). Dead simple change, no actual coding knowledge required. It would be utterly impossible for me to make a corresponding change to Windows.

  147. Schroeder Washere

    @Russ Williams

    Oh dear. Once again you can't hold back from the personal attacks. Must be close to the mark then. You claim to have had contact with various Linux distro's since '04 - so I take it your company is actively using it and must be happy with it as they haven't as yet replaced it with Windows.

    Strawmen? what strawmen? Doing a search of The Register or even ZDNET will yield lots of nice examples of what I'm talking about, but then you knew that, didn't you? Don't like people drawing attention to the trend?

    Mind you on the subject of strawmen, you drag out that old Microsoft supporter favourite - people don't want choice.

    I guess that's why there's only one global car manufacturer making one model , one aircraft manufacturer, again only making a single model, one PC manufacturer ( I have a feeling Microsoft really wishes this, isn't the XBOX the first step in this direction? ), one video card manufacturer, one cake manufacturer, etc. Are you telling me things were better when Microsoft almost succeeded in limiting browser choice to IE?

    Hey, in that case, surely there's only one version of Windows, isn't there? And it's interface has never changed since version 1.0. Wait, you mean there's choice, even in the Microsoft world? But isn't that all confusing and bad? Plus you really seem to believe Microsoft got where it is today by allowing free choice? I hope the kool-aid was tasty at least.

    Choice - it's just so frightening isn't it? Isn't fear of alternatives the sign of someone who's bought into a religion - what's that word? a zealot? As I've pointed out a few times now on El Reg, the majority of comment threads in here involving Microsoft's competitors end up completely flooded with AC's parroting the Microsoft view whilst decrying others of zealotry and fanboism in the most abusive manner.

    Funnily enough it's happened in an article about FSF engaging in a little marketing and lobbying on the subject of choice. Isn't that the kind of thing the big corps have done for years? Who pays for all the whitepapers linked to on this site? it's been fun to note that what's good enough for the goose definitely isn't good enough for the gander...

    You know it's become so tiresome, tedious and obvious, that you can tell from an article title whether it's going to be so infected. But I suppose it's what you must expect from a company with an address of 1 Microsoft Way....

  148. Werner Donné

    FSF is a religion

    Sending all those lettres doesn't help. It is very naive. Anyway, why should I help out pope Stallman and his FSF-church? That communist lot is not even consistent. Their definition of freedom is as relevant as the freedom to choose the colour of your toilet paper. It has no economic meaning. Look at Apple. They use a lot open source where it makes sense to them, but not in the dogmatic way the FSF proposes.

  149. Russ Williams
    Troll

    @Schroeder Washere

    Can't hold off with the strawman arguments, eh? You ask where they are, but seemingly don't understand the term - it's a spurious and irrelevant argument, misrepresenting an opponent's position, thrown out to confuse and distract. You tried to justify allegations of astroturfing - another term you seem not to understand - on the basis of the DOCX standardisation process and I4I's patent claims, amid a fog of extraneous verbiage. Microsoft's behaviour in other areas, while a subject for debate, is not the subject of this one.

    "I guess that's why there's only one global car manufacturer making one model [...]"

    No, but it's why all cars have the left-to-right (clutch)-brake-throttle pedal arrangement and a wheel to control the steering, and very similar controls in general, so you don't need an aircraft-style "type rating" for each manufacturer.

    It's why each country only drives on one side of the road, rather than leaving the choice up to the individual driver.

    It's also why Boeing and Airbus would go bust without (illegal) government intervention: nobody wants the choice and its existence hurts all players.

    "[...] And it's interface has never changed since version 1.0. Wait, you mean there's choice, even in the Microsoft world?"

    You can choose to run Windows 1.0? On what? Where would you get a copy? It's not been sold for two decades and doesn't support any hardware you've been able to buy in about as long. Choice, you say?

    So, to get back to the point, you're accusing people of being Microsoft shills on the basis of nothing more than your own prejudice and arrogance. You made the claim, but are completely incapable of backing it up. Ironically, you lobby for choice and, apparently, are incapable of seeing why anyone wouldn't want that... but say accusations of zealotry are unfounded?

    Final thought on the matter: the FSF letters are unsolicited and have commercial implications; that makes them unsolicited commercial mail. How do you feel about spam?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020