back to article Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature

Activists representing the Free Software Foundation disrupted an event at the Microsoft retail store in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, urging passers-by to shun the software giant's Windows 8 operating system in favor of free software alternatives. The demonstrators, wearing Santa Claus and elf hats in the spirit of the …

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  1. Dana W
    Thumb Up

    This is made of pure win!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm surprised they didn't just shoot the Gnu, it is America after all?

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Joke

        You must remember when talking about America....

        That strict gnu control is unconstitutional!!

        /snare drum

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm surprised they didn't just shoot the Gnu, it is America after all?

        They only shoot children in 'merica

        1. 404
          Mushroom

          You sir, are an asshole.

          >:(

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You sir, are an asshole.

            Shooting the messenger? You must be a 'merican.

            I've never shot anyone. I've never wanted to shoot anyone. I've never carried a gun. Yet I'm an "asshole". A violence crazed trigger happy country culture, in the aftermath of a hideous massacre, responds with a big push to ARM TEACHERS!... and I'm the one with poor taste/judgement? Splendid idea! More guns! No more quietly slipping off to have an old fashioned nervous breakdown for Miss Yankski when the unruly biology class finally causes her to "snap". No! Out with the class Uzi and a hail of bullets. It's the American way.

            If you find slaughtering children distasteful in some way, then perhaps a worthwhile thing to do would be DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

            Wake up! Get a grip on yourselves and sort your country out!... How many of these things are you going to allow to happen before you DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?...

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attacks_related_to_primary_schools

            1. 404
              FAIL

              @AC 13:45

              You inject uneducated political opinion into an unrelated IT subject - you sir, are an asshole and a troll.

              Good Day.

              1. LarsG
                Meh

                Re: @404

                AC 13:45 opinions are valid in the context of the previous comments that have been made, he has not made a political statement and I doubt that he is uneducated.

                'On 13 March 1996, unemployed former shopkeeper[2] Thomas Hamilton (born Thomas Watt, Jr. 10 May 1952) walked into Dunblane Primary School Scotland armed with two 9 mm Browning HP pistols and two Smith & Wesson M19 .357 Magnum revolvers, all legally held.[2][3] He was carrying 743 cartridges, and fired his weapons 109 times.[4][5] The subsequent police investigation revealed that Hamilton had loaded the magazines for his Browning with an alternating combination of full-metal-jacket and hollow-point ammunition.' Wikipedia.

                He killed 16 young children then himself.

                The UK Government banned pistols outright and brought in stricter controls on all other firearms. Now to even own a shotgun you have to show that the weapon is kept securely, that you have a legitimate use for it, a police officer will visit your home, you will be checked for suitability, your doctor may be asked about you, your family will be interviewed and even your neighbours may be asked about you.

                The NRA response to the similar incident in Newtown is to put armed guards into schools and arm teachers. Who will check the checkers?

                That is a statement of fact. While it is impossible to eliminate every risk removing the general availability of weapons it helps, however to British eyes the response beggars belief and reinforces our view of the stereotypical American. To call someone an 'Asshole' for stating his views shows a lack of understanding and education on your part.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @404

                  excuse me but why the fuck are we talking about this? I came on to see how some knobhead Yanks tried to ruin micro¢ofts day..again... and all I got were knobhead Yanks.

            2. Joe Montana
              FAIL

              China

              Your wikipedia page shows that at least since 2010, China has had more attacks against schools than the US, and yet guns are illegal in China...

              It's not guns that kill people, it's not culture that kills people, it's crazy lunatics who kill people and illegal or not they will still be able to acquire guns... And if not guns, they will use swords, knives, or even home made explosives and achieve much the same result.

              Make guns illegal and only criminals will have guns.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Joe Montana

                Point taken Joe, but I can kill a lot quicker with 1000 rounds and a couple of assault rifles, just today some guy in the US killed 3 people in a car after a dispute over parking. You could lock the doors to a knifeman and you have a chance to run away.

                Putting a knife in someone is very personal very up close, using a firearm is more detached. Also the death tally is usually a lot lower. Still putting armed guards in every school, college, pre-school, nursery in the US would cost at the latest estimate 10 billion dollars. Something the US does not have in the bank.

                That's beside the point, the original post was about a Gnu protest in a Microsoft Store (shop in the UK in case you are confused by the terminology). Last week they tasered a woman in an Apple shop, who knows next week they might use a mini gun, that's the stereotypical impression we have of the US and its not far off.

              2. RICHTO
                Mushroom

                Re: China

                China has rather a lot more schools than the USA, and a much bigger population. Yet the USA still manages more deaths via gunshots.

                It IS guns that kill people. Easy access to guns means a lot more people will die than would otherwise be the case - the USA being a very clear example of this: Circa 11,000 deaths a year through guns in the USA versus circa 300 in the UK.....All of those other offensive weapons are also illegal or at least restricted in most civilised countries...Yes the determined criminals will still be able to get weapons, but your average teenager or lunatic with a grudge won't...

                1. Field Commander A9
                  FAIL

                  Re: China

                  It IS guns that killed people, not Adolf Hitler.

            3. Goat Jam
              Childcatcher

              Won't somebody think of the children?

              "A violence crazed trigger happy country culture"

              USA 2010:

              Death toll due to road accidents: ~$33K

              Death toll due to firearms: ~13K

              I'd be banning cars before firearms if I wanted to save lives.

              1. Goat Jam
                Facepalm

                Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

                Sorry, got the firearms death number wrong, it should be ~9K (8,775) the 13K figure is for total homicides.

              2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

                Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

                You make a good argument, ban everyone from driving and killing people

                1. Field Commander A9
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

                  Autonomous car FTW!

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

                Goat Jam,

                Laudable intention I'm sure, but if you banned the general population from having cars, how would Americans get around?

                Meanwhile, ~10000 of your countrymen being killed every year by people with guns is OK is it?

                David W.,

                There are already Governors drawing up state legislation. Lots of support in Senate and Congress I believe too. Not everyone in the US is a lunatic of course, but you do seem to allow them an extraordinary amount of influence. Personally I find the idea of anyone seizing recent events as a marketing opportunity for firearms disgusting. Lots of such people seem to manage to be elected over there.

                1. Goat Jam
                  Big Brother

                  Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

                  "10000 of your countrymen being killed every year by people"

                  They are not my countrymen as I am not an American, but thanks for caring.

                  Oh and btw, murders happen in countries where guns are effectively banned, often using those very banned guns in fact.

                  In my country the populace are a docile, authority dependent mob of sheep. We also have strict gun laws. If people in my country were ever put in a position where they had to protect themselves from their own government then 99% of them would pussy out and let the government trample right over them while they begged for leniency.

                  It would be good for some of "my countrymen" to learn how to safely handle a weapon, you never know when they might need to. And with the communist rabble we currently have in power that day might come sooner than they might expect.

                  The downvote button is the red one over there, go at it leftards -->

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

                    "If people in my country were ever put in a position where they had to protect themselves from their own government ..."

                    If people in my (USA) country were ever put in a position where they had to protect themselves from their own government, they'd still be totally screwed, because a couple of Bushmasters and a suburban garage full of ammo isn't going to do much good against network, water, and power cutoffs, helicopter gunships, and tens of thousands of highly-trained troops with body armor, UAVs, ground-based robots, guns that can shoot around corners, real-time reconnaissance, cruise missiles that can fly through city streets and hit you in the eyeball, and main battle tanks that can't tell the difference between a pothole and a hand grenade.

                    About the only use I can see firearms providing citizens in the event of an armed conflict with the central government is making fellow-citizen soldiers reluctant to engage; suppression via threat is one thing, but being forced to actually kill your neighbors is a tougher pill to swallow. That said, unfortunately for the gun advocate among us, another plus the US military has working for it is morale and effective chain-of-command. Distasteful or not, soldiers know damn well what they signed up for and whose orders to follow.

                    Regardless, it's doubtful it would come to that; if there's anything someone who casts such a jaundiced eye at government should know, it's that they're far too subtle to use bullets when suggestions will do just fine. If it comes down to guns, the citizens have already lost, and the people with the guns probably won't realize until it's too late that there's even anything wrong.

                    Defense against the state may have been a compelling argument in 1800; these days, the battles will be fought on different fields. And even in the unlikely event of a scenario allowing for direct bloodshed, the pea-shooters you get from the local gun show aren't going to do jack shit against the equipment and training of the US Armed Forces.

                    It's kind of funny - most heavily pro-gun people are also heavily anti-central-government and... bizarrely... heavily pro-military. Which, for those of you who are wondering, is *run by the central government*. Hard to believe, I know. But anyway, I find it odd that people who have so much respect for the military (which I do share) think that they could hide in the shrubs with a couple of low-rent semi-autos and take on a squad of Marines. Sorry, guys, those guns aren't going to do you much good - you're going to be playing harps before you get the chance to squeeze the trigger.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              @AC 13:45

              "I've never shot anyone. I've never wanted to shoot anyone. I've never carried a gun. Yet I'm an "asshole". A violence crazed trigger happy country culture, in the aftermath of a hideous massacre, responds with a big push to ARM TEACHERS!..."

              A 'big push to arm teachers'? The NRA is the only major organization to officially take such a stance - and even the majority of the NRA's members oppose it! The NRA position has, in fact, resulted in nearly universal condemnation - but I guess you chose to ignore that.

              Let me give you some numbers: The NRA has about 4.3 million members. The United States has 311 million citizens.

              For those of you keeping track, that's about 1.3% of the population - which is less than the 1.9% of Britons who voted for the BNP in the 2010 general election.

              And, as I said before, most - if not a vast majority - NRA members don't support the organization's asinine position on guns in schools.

              I fail to see how a position taken by an organization representing 1.3% of US citizens, which isn't even supported by most of those 1.3%, qualifies as a 'big push'. Perhaps you'd like to explain your reasoning?

              Either way, if you're comfortable writing off everyone in the US as violence-crazed and trigger happy based on the outlandish position of a minority of the NRA, surely you wouldn't object to my using the BNP's positions to describe all Britons? So, how about this - you're thugs and fascists who have a homophobic, xenophobic culture in which people think that gay people should go back in the closet and that black kids will most likely grow up to be muggers.

              Sound fair? No? Totally unrepresentative of the country, and it's absurd to judge everyone in the country based on a fringe organization?

              Couldn't have said it better myself.

      3. Fatman

        RE: I'm surprised they didn't just shoot the Gnu, it is America after all?

        Or just do like that rotten to the core fruity company did to some Chinese woman who wanted to buy some iFones - taze her.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "This is made of pure win!"

      And your comment was made of pure yawn, as is this very reply of mine.

      *yawn*

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dork central. Non event, and no one cared or noticed. And the protestors have now returned to their local Games Workshop store....

  2. Steven Raith

    *bangs head against desk*

    Yay, way to raise a mature, intelligent argument.

    *carries on banging away*

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: *bangs head against desk*

      Exactly my thoughts too.

      This may be 'full of win', but if so, it's Microsoft who have won.

      The PR they could get from this is priceless.... "Would you trust your important work to something written by a bunch of protesters who stormed our store?" etc.

      1. Ole Juul

        Re: *bangs head against desk*

        Would you trust your important work to something written by a bunch of protesters who stormed our store?

        You're probably right that many think like that, but these days there are likely some people who don't necessarily think that the protesters are the coders, and who could even understand the intended message.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Would you trust your important work ...

          Would I trust my important work to something written by Microsoft? OMG

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Windows

            @AC

            "Would I trust my important work to something written by Microsoft?"

            I don't see why not, just do make sure its not a v1.0 product, otherwise chances are high you'll end up screwed.

            1. eulampios
              Linux

              @ShelLuser

              Since "Trust but verify" is not applicable, "Can't verify, so won't trust" should be used instead.

        2. Neil T
          Thumb Down

          Re: *bangs head against desk*

          Yeah, gotta say, to me this protest is a dick move. You want to promote your software? Run your own event. Don't gatecrash a competitor's. And make no mistake, the FSF is a competitor of Microsoft's. If Pepsi crashed a Coke event, they'd get their asses sued. Just because your product is free (and therefore it's not worth suing you) does not give you license to behave like a child.

      2. Anonymous C0ward
        Windows

        Re: *bangs head against desk*

        >Would you trust your important work to something written by a bunch of protesters who stormed our store?

        Would you trust your important work to someone who dances about on stage screaming like an idiot, looking like he is in serious need of a shower?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "serious need of a shower"

          "Would you trust your important work to someone who dances about on stage screaming like an idiot, looking like he is in serious need of a shower?"

          Stallman can't shower, because he has things living in his beard. That the things that are living there are mostly insects is NOT RELEVANT.

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: *bangs head against desk*

      Yes, we all know that corporate buyers prefer a calm, mature, professional approach.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Adrian

        That movie always reminds me... If MS (or Ballmer for that matter) should uberly fail at one time he can always consider a carreer as a manager for a "professional" wrestler ;-)

        I can see him now on Raw or Smackdown :P

  3. Magani
    Coat

    Missing headline?

    That was the end of the gnus.

    I'm here all week....

  4. John P
    Stop

    "Microsoft's business model is predicated on these handcuffs" - If they're so bothered about handcuffs, why aren't they pulling this stunt outside Apple stores, Apple's ecosystem is the most locked-down environment in existence. They're just bitter about UEFI and/or looking for a new excuse to bash M$.

    1. ShadowedOne
      WTF?

      It might have something to do with Microsoft's domination of the desktop market, that's just a shot in the dark though...

      1. Mark .

        You're right, Apple's OSs are minor players compare to Windows on desktop, or Android on mobile, so in that sense MS are the better target.

        *However* I think there is a problem that it becomes hard to criticise MS, for what Apple have got away with doing - or even praised for doing. On top of that, they unfairly get vast amounts of hype and positive biased media coverage. MS can just say they're only doing similar things, and to a _lesser_ extent, than Apple do with IOS. (Sure yes, there's OS X, but most people don't care about that, that's not what gives Apple their hype.)

        So I do think criticism should be targetted at Apple, in response to all the hype they get for IOS.

        And even if one is using OS X, that's still giving money to Apple, to support their IOS development. And it's not just about locked-down IOS - there's the point of them attempting to destroy the most successful open source operating system, using software and design patents in the courts.

    2. E Haines

      The reason they're not protesting in Apple stores is because they recognize that the fact is Microsoft has become more locked down than Apple. OS X software can be installed from any source without restriction (if you don't want the OS harping on you about unsigned apps you can disable that in the preferences easily enough). That's not something you can say about Metro apps.

      1. InsaneGeek

        Ummm... what are you blathering on about?

        There is a an official document from Microsoft on installing a Metro app outside of Microsoft's store.

        http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh852635.aspx

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Have you ever noticed OS X and iOS run on Apple devices only?

        Apple *is* the most locked down system in IT - it's an exclusive hardware/software bundle - and iOS is extremely locked down - and if Apple could, the license would become even more exclusive as they attempted in the past, but it didn't work much and they had to step back especially since Android became a menace.

        But still you can't run OS X in a VM unless you're in Apple hardware, and is a security experts shows iOS is vulnerable he's expelled from the dev program instead of being rewarded. Windows is a much more open system than any Apple one, and all Windows 8 is attempting is just what iOS already done. FSF just shows they simply hate Microsoft, probably because DOS took programming out of universities and made people like Stallmann irrelevant to most.

        1. yossarianuk

          Re: Have you ever noticed OS X and iOS run on Apple devices only?

          2 major differences with Micrsoft.

          1. Apple don't have 80 - 90 % desktop market share - Microsoft got their monopoly when there was no viable competition - now Microsoft do their upmost to prevent fair competition - the tactics are fully outline in the Halloween Documents - patent attacks against Android and secure boot are prime examples of these tactics

          2. All tax payers fund Microsoft whereever they like it or not - Apple not so much.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: Have you ever noticed OS X and iOS run on Apple devices only?

            Microsoft got its "monopoly" just because PC clones were (and are) cheap. I couldn't afford a Macintosh or something like that when I was a student - I could buy a PC clone and thereby MS software. Blame expensive proprietary hardware/software - like Apple - for that, not MS.

            Anyway, isn't everybody telling that MS no longer is the dominant one? That phones and tablets are killing the PC market? That Apple as a huge share of those markets? So why FSF is so concerned about a dying maket? Windows 8 ARM runs only on phones and tablets, and what is it its market share? Shouldn't they be concerned about Apple dominance there?

            If we are talking about patent attacks, well, it looks to me that Apple is on the front line attacking everybody, even who thinks about a 4:3 rectangle. Has FSF nothing to say about that? They just show their hate for MS only, before returning home and probably taking out their MacBook because it is cool...

            Anyway, you may like it or not, secure boot is the only way to improve PC safety - and it is already employed by many devices including the PS3 and the iPhone/iPad. As a company, I like secure boot devices because I can ensure only allowed software is run on them. I understand there should be a way to disable it - but only a secure one, for example an hardware token to plug in with the proper crypto key. There are already malware who can boot before and virtualize your OS. Think about it...

            And please, explain why taxpayers fund MS and not Apple - it looks they fund Apple as well, given every company of that pays a very little part of their incomes, while using services provided by taxpayers.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Have you ever noticed OS X and iOS run on Apple devices only?

              "secure boot is the only way to improve PC safety"

              Really? Sure? What about all the other OS's that don't get infected by malware in the same manner that windows does?

              About the only thing that I can see secure boot doing for the general user is giving them an excuse to rebuild their music and photo collections from scratch (good luck getting their baby pictures back when they've grown up some).

              Few home users backup. So when things turn to crap, they need either to turn to people like me who use free tools to recover their data, or to much much more expensive places, which probably use similar free tools. Same for OS repair and so forth - want to run a Kaspersky (or AVG or Bitdefender et al) scan, or any other numerous repair tools? Tough. Unless secure boot can be easily turned off while still being able to access the data on the HDD, most home users will having to have their systems reinstalled from scratch without chance of recovering their data. And if their windows license sticker has been damaged, even just one character unreadable, they'll have to fork out for a new license as well.

              There's plenty of good ways to make a system secure. Secure boot isn't one of them.

              1. MCG
                Thumb Down

                Re: Have you ever noticed OS X and iOS run on Apple devices only?

                "And if their windows license sticker has been damaged, even just one character unreadable, they'll have to fork out for a new license as well."

                GTFO with your witless scare-mongering FUD, you dribbling troll.

          2. Mark .

            Re: Have you ever noticed OS X and iOS run on Apple devices only?

            Yes it's not like Apple are using patent attacks against Android. And all their i-devices are open and don't require jailbreaking to root at all. Oh wait.

            Apple do their utmost to prevent fair competiton. Just look at how we've ended up with vast amounts of audio devices only connecting to ipods and iphones - I know people who'd rather use their Android phone for music, but have to keep an ipod due to the locking. And that's before we consider the lock in of itunes.

            Do you have a reference to recent Halloween Documents and Android?

            How do tax payers fund MS, and not Apple? (I mean, I'm sure the Government use MS, but that's probably true of Apple too to some extent, and loads of other companies.)

        2. Curtis
          FAIL

          @LDS

          "But still you can't run OS X in a VM unless you're in Apple hardware"

          Really? My 10.6.8 VM running on a Dell Latitude 630 would beg to disagree.

          1. Victor Ludorum
            Headmaster

            Re: @LDS

            I think he meant *legally*. Look at the Legals for OS X. You can only run it on Apple hardware.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surely cloud services in general would be a good target, oh and stop ChromeOS too?

    4. csumpi
      Mushroom

      "why aren't they pulling this stunt outside Apple store"

      Exactly my thoughts. Apple, especially with the lock down on iOS completely disabled creation on their devices. I'm talking about programming for kids, not about some hipster instavomit photo manipulation. In high school we were hacking x86 assembler code and soldering parallel port "sound cards". I have not seen any kid using iDevices for much more than shooting birds to kill pigs. Nor could they do much more, as Apple forbid any sort of scripting in apps. So even if anyone wanted to, you could not make a programming environment.

      The worst of then gnus are the ones running around with Apple laptops, supporting Apple's quest to destroy kids brains.

  5. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Good effort but misdirected

    True, MS is a big greedy company whose products could undergo better quality control than making the world their beta testers. But at least with MS you have SOME freedom and innovation, even if often poorly implemented. The FSF would have much better spent their efforts boycotting Apple IMHO. iOS(es) may be based on Linux, but there isn't a greedier company these days. And every Apple product is a locked-down, stifling, DRM'd-to-death prison for those too un-tech savvy or easily impressed by shiny things to realize they're being bamboozled.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Good effort but misdirected

      Android is based on Linux, iOS is based on BSD.

      BSD does allow you to take the code and copy it while laughing maniacally, a lot of MSFTs network stack is (was?) BSD

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good effort but misdirected

        Err... MS' IP stack was based on BSD code in the first version of Windows NT. In fact the IP stack was sourced from a third party company. Since this version of Win NT, all IP stacks have been MS in house developed, so for something like twenty years, but it does persist as a rumour to this day.

    2. Old Handle

      Re: Good effort but misdirected

      Until Windows 8 I'd have said you were right. But now Microsoft is trying to bring an iPhone-style appstore monopoly to the desktop, complete with content restrictions and all that crap.

      Yes non-ARM versions will still support traditional applications, but it's really obvious Microsoft would love to drop support for them, they just know that can't get away with it yet.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Good effort but misdirected

        If it worked for iOS, why shouldn't they attempt the same? Was FSF so blind till now? It is clear is a market approach works, everybody will try to copy it. It's years I've been saying that Apple approach will bring the IT market to a "walled gardens" disaster, but of course everybody was too busy to get an iPhone to feel "cool", ignoring the totalitarian control over the device and its software. Yet if MS adopts the same approach FSF starts to cry, while it has been silent for years. They are really just a bunch of gnus, they follow blindless the herd leader without trying to think with their heads, and the leader just wants to gore MS, he can't see anything else.

        MS is not trying to bring an iPhone style monopoly to the desktop. Windows 8 Intel has no restrictions, AFAIK even on tablets, unlike the iPad. Only the ARM edition is restricted to the store, exactly like iPhones and iPads. And don't you think Apple too would like to gain the same control over OS X, if only they could?

        Maybe someone at MS would like to have the same control Apple has, but of course the Intel market is simply to huge to think to kill it hoping in more revenues. So what you and the FSF are worried about?

      2. fmaxwell

        Re: Good effort but misdirected

        "But now Microsoft is trying to bring an iPhone-style appstore monopoly to the desktop, complete with content restrictions and all that crap."

        Yeah, all that "crap" like trying to prevent users from getting infected with malware.

        Companies can't win. If some dumbass download a trojan horse from a Russian "hacker" site, types the admin password and installs it, it's seen as a sign that the OS is horribly insecure. But if the company tries to create a marketplace where there is some assurance to users that the apps they install are safe, then it's an attempt to create some kind of Orwellian, though-control, monopoly.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Good effort but misdirected

          Wait - between installing secure code and being able to do it only through a single store that gets 30% of your revenues there are many other options. For example they could require a development license and code signing, without requiring a "royalty" on each copy you sell. Security is just a finger Apple & C. hide behind to extract more revenues they can. Like printers makers threatens you if you don't use their expensive proprietary inks, or cameras makers their expensive batteries. Is just a way to charge users more.

    3. E Haines

      Re: Good effort but misdirected

      You're mistaken; OS X isn't DRMed or particularly locked-down. The OS itself has no DRM at all (unlike Windows), so that leaves the App Store, which is completely optional on OS X.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good effort but misdirected

        and you are free to install OSX on the hardware of your choice, unless you're Hackinstosh

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Good effort but misdirected

        OS X was forced to dump SAMBA because SAMBA is now GPL v3. And that means it can't be used in any system that employs DRM technologies. That's mean that OS X *has* DRM, sorry.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Good effort but misdirected

          Not quite, GPL3 doesn't stop you using DRM - you can use GPL3 code to develop any system you want.

          Apple's problem with GPL3 is that it prevents you using code signing to block users from installing modified code. Apple was using SAMBA, giving you the source, but banning you from using your own modified version

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: Good effort but misdirected

            I guess people should read GPLv3 fully. GPLv3 was designed against DRM technologies. Please check here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html. You can't use GPLv3 to develop *any* system you want - you couldn't with v2 and v3 is more restrictive. Yes, you could use DRM, but "It's always possible to use GPLed code to write software that implements DRM. However, if someone does that with code protected by GPLv3, section 3 says that the system will not count as an effective technological "protection" measure. This means that if you break the DRM, you'll be free to distribute your own software that does that, and you won't be threatened by the DMCA or similar laws." Something of course Apple can't risk...

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Coat

    So the role of bull in a china shop...

    Was played by a gnu in a Windows store??

    Mine is the gnu costume hanging by the door!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing an important point...

    ...most people (i.e., the average shoppers) don't realize there is any alternative to a desktop operating system besides Windows. Many will know about that "other weird system" (i.e., OSX - which I use...) but no average consumer is going to have a clue what Linux is or what FSF is all about. All they will see is some weird dorky dudes dressed in a "bull costume" making a scene with some hippie crap about freedom.

    Now that I've gotten your downvotes with that first paragraph -- I use Linux on dozens of my servers, and OSX on my desktops/laptop. I hate Windows, though I do occasionally do some .NET dev for my Windows-centric consulting clients. Linux is the way forward for servers, hands down. It's not quite there for desktop but is getting there in leaps and bounds. It's certainly there for mobile. What we need now is good education for the masses, not crap stunts pulled in front of Microsoft stores. Look how much traction Android has gained - it's probably done more for the Linux name than any of these FSF stunts.

    Get the shopping mall's permission to open a booth for the season (nearby the MS store if possible), just like the beef sausage stands you see popping up. The booth can distribute professional material and CDs without making a scene, and will be far more respected. Wear a suit, not a GNU costume. Such a booth could even feature Linux on laptops to try out, a few various Android devices, etc. Then security wouldn't promptly escort you out, and people would listen to you.

    My $0.02. Downvote away. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing an important point...

      ...and yes, I realize Android != Linux. But for the average consumer, Android very much is Linux. Or it is at least the only experience they've had with anything Linuxy.

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Missing an important point...

      downvote a calm reasoned suggestion? no, though I don't believe opensource desktops will take over yet and wouldn't get a look in at my door or server side for technical reasons.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: Missing an important point...

        For the down voters.

        i said "yet" "never" re open source desktop.

        for what I do the software isn't supported on anything other than windows, and I don't have time to learn how to administer non-windows servers. that's the technical lock-in

    3. ThePhaedrus

      Re: Missing an important point...

      Whilst your point is well made, I do question the whether most shoppers don't know of alternatives. I think most know of OSX and would not be averse to buying a Mac if it wasn't more expensive than a Windows machine.

      Anyway, aren't we all buying tablets and smartphones now? Who cares about the Desktop...

    4. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Missing an important point...

      Most average shoppers don't care. They just want applications that work - as in 'can be installed without a week wasted dealing with toolchains, dependencies, distro differences and other DIY nonsense.'

      Being able to run a build from the shell comes low down the list of most normal people's requirements.

      As for 'anticorporate' - if your idea of activism is promoting a licence that encourages developers to share their code with corporations without getting paid for it, you're probably not ideally placed to be claiming the moral high ground on that topic.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Missing an important point...

        Most average shoppers don't care. They just want applications that work - as in 'can be installed without a week wasted dealing with toolchains, dependencies, distro differences and other DIY nonsense.'

        1997 called, they want their argument back.

        For the past five or six years I haven't had to compile any mainstream application, or a kernel, for any of the 'production' (as opposed to experimental) installs I've done. So neither would most of those average shoppers.

        1. Captain DaFt

          @Stoneshop

          I agree, that arguement is outdated.

          I want new software on my desktop... I just click open the installer, click on what I want, and there it is!

          If it's some esoteric beast that's not listed, a quick google, download, and click... there it is.

          It's all so simple these days...

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Missing an important point...

        > They just want applications that work

        As in click in the Ubuntu app store

        Or, go to Best buy

        decide if you want Office, Office-student, Office-Home, Office-pro, Office-Ultra-pro, Office-Ultra-pro-Premium

        get a box with a DVD - discover your netbook doesn't have a DVD drive

        attempt to enter a 128 digit licence key

        spend 10mins on the phone to "kevin" in Mumbai trying to get the licence code accepted

        It's now not only easier to install Ubuntu than do a Windows update.

        It's easier to install free or paid apps than it is on windows.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing an important point...

      "Linux is the way forward for servers, hands down"

      Strongly disagree - I am even tempted to say that's tripe. BSD trumps Linux on the server (but no down vote from me regardless).

  8. OffBeatMammal

    less pranks, more apps

    How about, instead of silly antics, these people sit down and make Linux a viable desktop alternative for my Mum, my partner or my 12yo?

    They want to hit "power" and be up and running... not recompile the wifi drivers to get the damn thing to talk to the router that every other device in the house just connects to.

    And then when it's powered up they want to play the games, read their email, open docs with the same fidelity that their OSX and Windows (any version) friends and relatives are using.

    Over the years I've lost track of the number of times I've tried to switch, but before long the complaints mount up and back we go to the mainstream.

    I have a day job. I have hobbies and dogs to walk. I don't want to have to explain that because Ubuntu is better than Windows you can't play Wizards101 any more

    I know I'm going to get downvoted into a hole for this but just because Richard Stallman gets his jollies off the EULA doesn't make it good... being usable, and supported does

    1. southpacificpom
      Devil

      Re: less pranks, more apps

      "How about, instead of silly antics, these people sit down and make Linux a viable desktop alternative for my Mum, my partner or my 12yo"

      How about u get your head out your ass and take a look around and smell the roses!

      Linux Mint would do most Windows users, whats so special that you can't (or won't) use an easy and complete distro like that?

      And i bet you can't play Wizards101 on fukin apple stuff either but a shit load of people have them and don't fukin care about the damn games.

      Forget Stallman, look at it like this, using Windows is like bending over and picking up the soap in a gay sauna shower...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: less pranks, more apps

        "Linux Mint would do most Windows users, whats so special that you can't (or won't) use an easy and complete distro like that?"

        Whilst that is true, the issue is that your average home PC user simply doesn't give a toss about Linux, open, and/or free - no matter how good it may be.

        "is like bending over and picking up the soap in a gay sauna shower..."

        Can't say I have tried that, but I do actually know 1 or maybe 2 individuals that would actually consider that a 'rather good night out'.

        Anyway, as your shower comment was an attempt to form a negative connotation one can only surmise that the 'bendee' is heterosexual, which therefore begs the question of what they would be doing in a 'gay sauna shower' in the first place.

      2. Seanmon
        Meh

        Re: less pranks, more apps

        'Fraid not, really. After 8 years or so in Microsoft land, I figured I'd have a nosey at what's new in Linux world. Used to run servers on Red Hat back in the day, and I do admit they were sweet, I once had a box that ran for nearly 4 years without a reboot.

        So I dug out an old lappy and picked Linux Mint as that seems to be the one people are talking about atm. It installed very nicely even on the old P4 and it certainly looks very pretty. But it borked the WiFi.

        And yes, I know there's plenty of stuff online and I could spend an afternoon hunting about for the appropriate drivers etc... but really, who can be arsed? I still have the WinXP disk and the licence sticker, so back to the Empire I went. Really, not good enough.

        1. localzuk

          Re: less pranks, more apps

          @Seanmon - or you could've just clicked 'Install Windows Wireless Driver' in the menu, and used the same driver files that your Windows XP install would've needed.

          1. Carlos TuTu III

            Re: less pranks, more apps

            The prosecution rests m'lud.

        2. AJ MacLeod

          Re: less pranks, more apps

          Seanmon - You're telling me that you were able to use a bog standard XP CD and with no further ado, all your devices including the WiFi worked? That's something that has never once happened in my own experience and I've installed XP literally hundreds of times on that many different PCs of all shapes, makes, sizes and ages.

          Windows 7 (and, it seems 8, though it's a bit early to tell for sure) is vastly better than previous versions at "just working" but even then more often than not you need to download at least some drivers in an extra step.

          1. Luke 12
            Alert

            Re: less pranks, more apps

            The point is that if something doesn't work on Windows it is usually a matter of going to the manufacturers website and getting hold of executable that will automate the installation.

            If something doesn't work in Linux, I have to spend some googling. Try getting Spotify up and running on something that isn't Ubuntu.

    2. pollock
      Flame

      Re: less pranks, more apps

      "They want to hit "power" and be up and running... not recompile the wifi drivers to get the damn thing to talk to the router that every other device in the house just connects to."

      This is a typical post from a "paid" Microsoft shill who does not know what he is talking about. this "shill" is the same one who post this B.S. in other online publications.

      1. JimC
        FAIL

        @ pollock Re: less pranks, more apps

        And that is another typical post from a blinkered "person" who thinks that everyone who disagrees with him must be a shill...

    3. mathew42
      Linux

      Re: less pranks, more apps

      > And then when it's powered up they want to play the games, read their email, open docs with the same fidelity that their OSX and Windows (any version) friends and relatives are using.

      For example if I produce a document in LibreOffice, I can be assured that other people can read the documents that I produce because if they don't have the software it is a free download. If I produce the document in Word or worse Publisher, then to view the content they need to purchase the software. If they have an older version then there is no guarantee that the document will display correctly.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        @mathew42

        You don't know what you are talking about.

        Microsoft has provided FREE Word/Excel/Powerpoint Viewers since 1999.

        1. eulampios

          Re: @mathew42

          Microsoft has provided FREE Word/Excel/Powerpoint Viewers since 1999.

          Except that Microsoft has never provided any howtos of running it on non-Windows Os's

      2. James O'Shea

        Re: less pranks, more apps

        "For example if I produce a document in LibreOffice, I can be assured that other people can read the documents that I produce because if they don't have the software it is a free download."

        I have, over time, installed Open Office. And Libre Office. And (on a Mac) NeoOffice. And Lotus whatever-it-was-called. I have deleted all of them. They didn't do what I wanted. MS Office, and (on a Mac) iWork, both do what I want. I have them installed still. Between them I can read virtually all word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation formats; there is no need to have anything else. Should something arrive in the mailbox which cannot be read by one of them, I shoot back a reply requesting that whoever sent it resend it in a format I can read. No, I'm not going to download something to keep someone else happy, not unless I'm being paid to do so. Yes, I am being paid to access files in DOC, DOCX, pages, XLS, XLSX, etc. formats. And yes, I'm being paid sufficiently well to access said files that purchasing the software required to do so (indeed, purchasing the hardware upon which said software runs) is a minor expense... which I can, and have, charged for.

        Now, if for whatever reason, someone decides that they would rather use Libre Office than MS Office, and the resulting document looks funny on my system when opened in MS Office, this comes under the heading of Not My Problem. Either I get paid to correct the problem, or I don't; if I get paid, then not using MS Office costs the user. If I don't, I shoot the file back to the user and have them fix it.. Or not. Their choice.

        I don't have many users who use funny file formats, as upwards of 90% of my users use MS Office, and most of the rest use iWork. The few who insist on using Open Office or Libre Office or NeoOffice have learned to produce DOC files which don't have formatting problems or have gone elsewhere. I don't care which.

        "If they have an older version then there is no guarantee that the document will display correctly."

        This also comes under the heading of Not My Problem. Again, if I am getting paid for making the corrections, I make the corrections and charge the user accordingly; if not, I send the file back and have the user correct it. Or not.

        After I've charged 'em for making corrections a few times, they either stop sending me stuff (Win!) or they get hold of compatible software (Win!). A fair number of users are still using Office 2000/2001 or, worse, 97/98. They have learned to format their documents so that there aren't display errors or they have got newer versions of the application suite. I've found that MS Office 2004 and 2008 for Mac are the most compatible office software available; they read almost anything, even ancient Word and WordPerfect files which nothing else that was actually released in this century will read, including Office 2003 and 2007 for Windows.

        So sorry if this offends your sensibilities, but it's all about the little paper rectangles with pix of dead politicians on 'em. I'm especially fond of Benjamin Franklin, I charge one of his notes per hour, one hour minimum, to fix formatting problems caused by some user electing to not use compatible software.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: less pranks, more apps

      > They want to hit "power" and be up and running... not recompile the wifi drivers to get the damn thing to talk to the router that every other device in the house just connects to.

      I haven't had to recompile **ANY** driver for at least 5 or 6 years worth of installs and versions and I have some non-standard hardware. All of it works straight from the install.

      > And then when it's powered up they want to play the games, read their email, open docs with the same fidelity that their OSX and Windows (any version) friends and relatives are using.

      The games are, for a large part, down to the developers and there are indications that more of them are ensuring that they at least run under wine. As for email and docs, what documents or email can't you read?

      > Over the years I've lost track of the number of times I've tried to switch ...

      And yet, somehow, I doubt this.

    5. Fihart

      @ OffBeatMammal

      You are so right.

      God, how I would like to shake off all things Microsoft. But experience of Linux was disappointing for exactly the reasons you outline -- and I've owned a PC since 1985.

      I don't know how average users are expected to abandon Windows that came with their machine and just works -- and instead opt for something that to them is unproven. And then discover that things like sound circuitry doesn't work and you can't just download a driver from the component manufacturer.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. eulampios
        Linux

        @Fihart

        don't know how average users are expected to abandon Windows that came with their machine and just works

        For instance, when that "Windows that came with their machine and just works" so suddenly breaks and when both Microsoft and Widows experts are either incompetent, or careless. Or when an average user gets to know that this pain-in-the-ass is only peculiar to "Windows that came with their machine", then he/she happily switches...

    6. zb

      Re: less pranks, more apps

      My Mum (age 89) has used Linux since she gave up Windows about 6 years ago. My wife also exclusively uses Linux. Neither know what compiling means. I just stick in an Ubuntu disc and an hour later it is all up and running. It all "just works" There are considerably few driver problems than with Windows. It also comes with all the apps they need fully installed.

      I have never recompiled a driver (or a kernel) in my life but it is nice to know that if I am ever need to do so it can be done.

      "I know I'm going to get downvoted into a hole for this but just because ...."

      ... just because you are banging on about a subject about which you know little.

    7. Captain DaFt

      Re: less pranks, more apps

      When was the last time you tried a Linux distro, 1992?

      I once challeged my bro'-in-law to a race; He booted XP, and I plopped a Puppy disc into into another machine, I was surfing the internet before he had finished booting!

      Yes there are hardcore distributions out there that only the "leet" can fathom, but there's also a lot of light, nimble distros for the "noobs" that just want it to work.

      1. Toastan Buttar
        Linux

        Re: less pranks, more apps

        "I plopped a Puppy disc into into another machine, I was surfing the internet before he had finished booting!".

        Puppy Linux is indeed a very quick way to get online and surf the internet. Is that all you do with your computer? Get an iPad or cheap Android tablet instead.

        And SeaMonkey Navigator is an even weirder browser than Safari.

        Use Windows Hibernate and you'll be back in action in 20 seconds from power-up.

  9. pierce
    FAIL

    re: offbeatmammal...

    indeed, I fired up a complete Linux system (under Virtualbox) on my new win8 system (homewbrew, haven't been bit by not being able to install any programs I've needed so far, including lots of freeware like Handbrake), and yeesh, the default Gnome desktop UI was primitive and -awful-. Reminded me of Win95. Which, you know, was 17 years ago. I understand that its fully configurable in oh so many ways, but I'm not interested in spending the next 3 months tinkering with GTK scripts to enhance it.

    1. E Haines

      re: pierce

      So use another desktop.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How is the W8 Fisher Price Interface ?

      You'll be wanting an ABC book for your next birthday then ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How is the W8 Fisher Price Interface ?

        "You'll be wanting an ABC book for your next birthday then ?"

        I believe that same ABC book has a chapter entitled, "The Present Continuous: Avoiding Past, Present and Near-Future Ambiguity in Sentence Structure" and also an appendix entitled "101 Ways to Avoid the Curse of the Aberrant Space"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How is the W8 Fisher Price Interface ? @AC

          Hey Gramma natzi,

          hear is a buck yu mite want too read:

          "How not to appear a wanker at parties so people will want to talk to you"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Concerning Social Onanism at the W8 Fisher Price Interface Organ Orgy

            @AC 19:28

            Thank you for your considered intellectual opinion on the subject matter. All feedback is heartily welcomed.

            How not to appear a wanker at parties so people will want to talk to you, you say? As you have succinctly demonstrated, a little social onanism is in fact preferable to venturing to same said party wearing one's penis atop one's neck.

            This post is brought to you, in all sincerity, by the letters l, i, g, a and f.

            Have a good day.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Concerning Social Onanism at the W8 Fisher Price Interface Organ Orgy

              Q.E.D.

              Now to go and talk to someone less boring. Ah I can spot the leading authority on bus tickets, they should be a barrel of laughs by comparison.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Concerning Social Onanism at the W8 Fisher Price Interface Organ Orgy

                Q.E.D.? Indeed!

                As 'tis the season of good will to all, this social onanist will toast your good health whilst pondering the suggested gaiety of said bus tickets.

                Happy Christmas, sir!

      2. Mark .

        Re: How is the W8 Fisher Price Interface ?

        Fisher Price interface, isn't that the one you get with an Apple FisherPricePad?

    3. The BigYin

      "the default Gnome desktop UI was primitive and -awful-. Reminded me of Win95. Which, you know, was 17 years ago."

      What utter cobblers. In fact this is clearly a lie or a very, very old distro. Maybe 17 years old?

      The default Gnome UI (called Gnome Shell) looks nothing like Win95 and behave nothing like Win95. It might not be your cup of tea (it isn't mine), but it is way ahead of anything Win95 could offer and not quite as crippled as the Win8 Tiles.

      The other thing one could do is, y'know, try a different distro or desktop. That is the thing with GNU/Linux, choice. Not all distros are equal. Some are highly focused/optimised for a particular job.

      "I'm not interested in spending the next 3 months tinkering with GTK scripts to enhance it."

      I feel the same way about Windows. It takes me far to long to hack it around until it works.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    According to FSF campaigns manager Zak Rogoff, the fact that the demonstrators were escorted off only underscores the FSF's message

    Oh, for fuck's sake, what's wrong with these guys? I don't care whose company is involved, if you bust into a retail establishment in outlandish costumes and start loudly advocating for the company's competition, you are going to get thrown out, whether it's Microsoft or Apple or the freaking Build-A-Bear Workshop.

    I'm sorry, guys, you didn't get thrown out because you're righteous crusaders against the Dark Side; you got thrown out because you went onto private property and disrupted something the owners were trying to do.

    If you go into McReedy's Bar wearing big costumes, and start handing out literature for O'Malley's Publick House, you're going to get your asses tossed out, and not because McReedy's Bar is an evil organization bent on enforcing its hegemony.

    All they did was waste a bunch of low-level employees' time and make Linux et. al look even more fringe - assuming, as AC 00:23 above pointed out, that people even know what the hell they're talking about.

    You want something emblematic? It's emblematic that the FSF did a publicity stunt 'in order to educate members of the public', but that almost nobody who isn't a serious techie is going to get why it's funny that there's a Gnu costume! Hint - use a joke that your target audience will understand.

    Way to go. Fight the maaaaaan, man!

  11. pollock

    "They want to hit "power" and be up and running... not recompile the wifi drivers to get the damn thing to talk to the router that every other device in the house just connects to."

    This is a typical post from a "paid" Microsoft shill who does not know what he is talking about. this "shill" is the same one who post this B.S. in other online publications.

    1. Magani
      Headmaster

      Bzzzzt!

      Repetition of complete post.

      With apologies to ISIHAC.

      1. Steve K Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Bzzzzt!

        JAM (Just a Minute), surely?

    2. Crazy Operations Guy
      FAIL

      Because everyone that doesn't like Open-source must be a corporate shill...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Crazy Operations Guy

        "Because everyone that doesn't like Open-source must be a corporate shill..."

        Yup, though more completely, it's anyone who likes anything MS or Apple does (other old standards are "stupid" and "sheeple", "drinking the MS/Apple Kool-Aid",) or doesn't regard open source as the *only* way you can get anything good. Some balanced people here, but sadly in the minority. Sadly, no point going over the flaws in the approach open source fans take when trying to convert people as the loudest are too far gone in their zealotry to listen to any argument other than their own.

    3. frank ly

      @ pollock

      Can you give links to other online publications where 'OffBeatMammal' has made similar posts, in a manner that indicates 'shill' behaviour?

      Also, I agree with him about ease of use aspects of Linux. (It may have got better since the last time I tried it, four years ago.)

      1. ShadowedOne
        Holmes

        Re: @ pollock

        Well...I don't know if this is the same OffBeatMammal but I found this: "This was my third MIX (I joined Microsoft a few months after the first) and once again I spent most of the time behind the scenes."

        http://blog.offbeatmammal.com/category/Microsoft.aspx

        The post is from 2009 mind you, for all I know he's working somewhere else now, if it is the same OffBeatMammal.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ pollock

          I work for IBM, I like some of their products others not as much, but I suspect that if there was an article about MQ and I told you how good it was that I wouldn't get accused of being a shill. However, were I to suggest that MS' equivalent product was good, I'd bet there would be a fair few shill accusations.

          It's all very tedious, it's ok to like a company that you work for and their products, it doesn't make you a shill. Particularly if you're also not hiding the fact that you work for said company. Above all it's piss poor debating skills to just shout "shill" at anything you don't approve of.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think what the average PC buyer wants

    Is to go into a shop, pick a box and take it to the till, go home, plug it in, switch it on, and start doing things like connecting to their webmail, or shopping.

    And with an optional phone helpline or to be able to go back to the place they bought it from for some support.

    So far as I know you can't do that from the big chains on the high street yet though I know of dual boot laptops where you have a quick boot Linux based desktop for web browsing but the main boot is Windows and if you are buying a windows machine then the Open Source philosphy is lost.

    The tablet market is starting to blur the edges and is introducing users to different desktop styles other than Windows but most people don't want to have to make a decision about which desktop to install on their PC.

  13. Smudge@mcr
    Headmaster

    Talking of lockdown

    You'll never see a story like this on BBC News.

    They are more locked down than Apple + Microsoft.

  14. Peter 39

    Christmas is coming

    Christmas is four days away and the Microsoft store is *so* empty. The Apple store in the local mall is packed these days.

    When I chanced by the Microsoft store at seriously-upscale Pentagon City, the mall was busy but the store had ten staffers and two customers. TWO. I have never seen an Apple store with so few.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Christmas is coming

      And? Your point is?

      Every time I walk down my high street I can see Andriod devices selling more heavily than Apple devices.

      Every time I walk into my nearest Apple store I see a much higher ratio of window shoppers to spenders, when compared to local stores retailing Andriod devices.

      Every time I walk past the Apple store I hear far more sniggers and comments about fools and their money being easily parted.

      Every time I walk into a store selling Andriod devices it seems as if there is always someone switching from Ooooh Shiny to Andriod.

      Bu so f***ing what?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Christmas is coming

        Sensitive nerve there? The comment was about MS vs Apple. Android had nothing to do with it. Go troll elsewhere.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Christmas is coming

          "The comment was about MS vs Apple. Android had nothing to do with it."

          The article was about a scruffy Gnu and a Microsoft store, ergo the Apple comment has 'nothing to do with it' either.

          One cannot extend the scope of a discussion to suit a point of opinion only to cry foul when another does the same, as that would smell of hypocrisy.

  15. Jason Hindle

    When Microsoft prevents free software running on Windows

    Then GNU might have something to complain about. As things stand, I suspect there's no barrier to software developed under the GNU licence going into either the MSFT or APPL App stores.

  16. localzuk

    Idealists never win

    We live in a world filled with real problems. People dying, people struggling to feed their families etc... Ideally, no-one should go hungry, and the 'idealist' way of dealing with that would be communism. But it doesn't work, our nature doesn't allow it to.

    The same can be said about 'Free Software'. If an individual spends a load of their time creating something, people will want to spend as little as possible to then use that 'something'. The individual will also need to generate income in order to survive. They therefore have a couple of choices - sell it, restrict it and control it, and therefore have a steady well understood revenue stream or offer it for free using Richard Stallman's definition of the word, meaning they get no income from it, and they can't prevent others from passing it on or editing it, and therefore having no income. Sure, they could offer support for it, but that then takes them away from doing what they were originally doing - creating. Not to mention, support income is almost guaranteed to be minimal for 'free' software, as the community at large will learn it, edit it and support it, leaving the person who spent all their time working on it in the first place without a penny.

    So, in the real world, totally 'free' software can't work. It can't keep my roof over my head.

    1. JimC

      > totally 'free' software... can't keep my roof over my head.

      It keeps the rooof over a suprising number of folks heads though...

  17. westlake

    Gnu Lose

    FSF's lame-ass promotional stunts are comic gold.

    Remember "Windows 7 Sins?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnrFHB3YSx0

    Here are some screen shots of "Ubuntu's Software Center." http://shop.canonical.com/index.php?cPath=19

    Looks a lot like the Windows Store doesn't it?

    Now count the number of apps on display which are available for the Windows platform. Tell me what I am missing that would make the migration to Linux worthwhile.

    I did the upgrade-in-place on the desktop to Windows 8 Pro Sunday.

    Total cost: $16.10.

    I have since been moving freely and comfortably between Metro, Media Center, the desktop and AMD's Android AppZone player.

    I can't emphasize more that learning the new system has been easy and it has been fun.

    I will probably gift myself with a touch mouse. If large screen multi-touch desktop hardware was within budget I would have no hesitation in going that route.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little fed up with all the Linux bashing

    First off, yes they could have gone about this in far better ways.

    BUT, the old 'Linux isn't ready for mainstream use' doesn't cut the mustard any more, especially with major game developers working on porting to it (both new releases and back catalogues). I won't rehash all the points people have made so far but I don't see how anyone can argue against the fact that file compatibility on Linux is way ahead of Windows & OSX and hardware compatibility has come along with leaps and bounds, for example I bought a brand new HP multifunction printer a couple of weeks back and all I had to do was download the HP Toolbox from Software Centre plug the printer in and everything just worked.

    I've built hundreds of Linux systems in the last few years for friends, family and a few local businesses and I hardly ever have any hardware compatibility issues, the only one I can think of recently was related to a network driver (the chipset was only a few months old) which after a quick Google I found required a small download from software centre, mostly they just work.

    I dual-boot with Windows, which for the time being acts as a glorified games console, ironically when I recently installed Windows 8 it refused to install drivers for a Microsoft webcam and blue-screened... it works fine in Ubuntu! I wasn't getting anywhere and had my eye on a new one anyway so bought myself a new Logititch HD one instead, worked instantly in Ubuntu.. required drivers to be installed in Windows 8... just saying.

    The fact is that my kids have solely used Ubuntu at home for years, my 11 year old daughter can install and configure everything she needs herself when she wants to do a fresh install of a new version etc, she recently installed 12.10 when we built a new desktop together (an early Christmas present for the kids) and my 5 year old installed a couple of games from software centre that she forgot about without needing any help at all.

    She's just started secondary school and guess what... the school ditched Microsoft Office completely last year, they still use Windows so that the kids are familiar with it but they do everything in the cloud so that kids can carry on with work at home etc, they primarily use Gmail & Google Docs but also OpenOffice for working on more complicated projects and recommend Chromebooks as the best option for homework etc due to price and reliability. Oh and all software they use in ITC is multi-platform, Windows, OSX & Linux ('scratch' for example).

    One more thing... before I built myself a new work desktop earlier in the year I'd had the same hardware for more than three years, unchanged, it ran as well as it did when I first bought it and hadn't had a reinstall in all that time, however I had upgraded through five versions of Ubuntu... without a single issue.

    I wonder how many Microsoft fanboys will vote this down for no reason other than the fact I'm talking about alternatives in a positive way? Lol

    1. localzuk

      Re: A little fed up with all the Linux bashing

      Funny thing - the FSF don't like Ubuntu. So, even with your love letter to it there, you'd still not be liked by Stallman and co. You use a system that has ties to a commercial entity (Amazon adverts in search) and 'spies' on you by sending your searches to their servers.

      I am in the middle of migrating from Windows to Linux Mint. Works great for me. I'm also porting software I've written from C# to Python.

      But, I also don't release my software as 'Free' and am happy that Steam is on Linux now etc... So, I'm probably seen as evil by the FSF too. However I see it as actual freedom - I have the freedom to choose to do these things if I want to do so.

      1. Luke 12
        Boffin

        Re: A little fed up with all the Linux bashing

        Surely it would be easier to port it to Mono?

    2. fmaxwell

      Re: A little fed up with all the Linux bashing

      Linux, especially Ubuntu, is great -- until something goes wrong. Then it can turn into a bloody nightmare.

      I had a case where I had to call Red Hat regarding an X-Windows problem. It was solved with a command line that was about 120 characters long and looked a lot like old-school modem line noise. We've got multiple different flavors of Linux boxes at work and some of the most brilliant engineers you're likely to meet (we build satellites, space probes, and rockets) and even they, with degrees from schools like MIT, find themselves perplexed. One of them recently set up dual monitors on a set of hardened RHEL machines and we can't drag windows or icons between monitors. He swears he did exactly what he did not the standard (not hardened) RHEL boxes and got totally different results.

      Lest you accuse me of being a Microsoft fanboy, I hate Microsoft and switched several years ago to Macs (after running Microsoft OSs since they bought Seattle Computer Products' SCP-DOS, renamed it MS-DOS and PC-DOS). I chose Mac because of the superior build quality and for the OS with the BSD underpinnings. No regrets.

      1. Noodle Noggin

        Re: A little fed up with all the Linux bashing @fmaxwell

        "We've got multiple different flavors of Linux boxes at work and some of the most brilliant engineers you're likely to meet (we build satellites, space probes, and rockets) and even they, with degrees from schools like MIT, find themselves perplexed."

        In fairness, no reason why they should have to understand Linux if they want to design rockets. They're using it as a tool for their main job, after all. They should be concentrating on that rather than dicking about with OS stuff. Use the OS/apps which get the business's work done in the workplace and people can use whatever the hell they want at home.

  19. fmaxwell
    FAIL

    How about if GNU opens its own mall stores?

    "According to FSF campaigns manager Zak Rogoff, the fact that the demonstrators were escorted off only underscores the FSF's message"

    No, it underscores the message that the half-dressed furries from FSF were trespassing.

    Grow the f*** up! The FSF isn't winning over consumers by acting like asses in a Microsoft store and being escorted off the premises. Instead, the shoppers there are thinking about what an immature bunch of jerks the FSF people are.

    As others have said, they need to spend more time making Linux work right without a bunch of post-install bit-twiddling. I went through multiple distros on my AMD-based HP laptop (not my main machine) and none of them worked right. Most of them ran the fans full-speed, ignoring the temperature sensors. Others would not see the USB WiFi dongle. One saw the dongle but would not work with my WPA 2 network (that works fine with OS X, Windows, and iOS devices). I finally had to switch to a different dongle even though the one that Linux could not get to work on WPA2 worked fine when Windows XP was on the laptop.

    And I don't give a rat's ass if Linux worked fine for you on 28 different computers. It didn't work fine for me on a mainstream system that ran fine with multiple different Windows installs. Others report similar problems. So it needs further development before it is ready to be a mainstream desktop OS. This isn't an opinion or an invitation to debate. I don't have time to waste on zealots who refuse to acknowledge reality: Man-made global warming is real, creationism is a fantasy, and Linux is not ready for prime time. Stop attacking everyone who criticizes the state of the Linux universe and fix Linux if you want people to use it.

    1. eulampios
      FAIL

      Re: How about if GNU opens its own mall stores?

      Wow, don't wanna destroy all the fun you're having with MS, OSX et al on your HP machine that doesn't seem to like Linux.

      Here's my own experience with a Toshiba laptop tha seemed to hate Windows 7 by crashing constantly with a short warning in the middle of a session. Both Toshiba, and MS "experts" were playing football in deciding who's fault it really was. The rest of the Windows experts were as useful and logical as shamans and creationists .

      So yes, Microsoft and their OEMs need to spend more time making Windows work right without a bunch of post-install bit-twiddling Remember that consumer has to pay for that crap.

      1. fmaxwell

        Re: How about if GNU opens its own mall stores?

        "Wow, don't wanna destroy all the fun you're having with MS, OSX et al on your HP machine that doesn't seem to like Linux."

        It's really not that much fun -- it's just an old laptop sitting in front of the toilet in the downstairs half-bathroom.

        "So yes, Microsoft and their OEMs need to spend more time making Windows work right without a bunch of post-install bit-twiddling Remember that consumer has to pay for that crap."

        Your experience is out of the ordinary and, as others have shown here, mine with Linux is anything but. If your experience was even remotely common, Microsoft's share of the desktop would be as tiny as Linux's. Probably even smaller, since Linux costs nothing and, as you point out, Microsoft gets a handsome price for their OS.

    2. Ceiling Cat
      Pint

      Re: How about if GNU opens its own mall stores?

      Most of them ran the fans full-speed, ignoring the temperature sensors.

      I'm betting that the laptop you're referring to is an HP G62 laptop or similar. My HP laptop certainly doesn't like linux quite as much as Windows did, but here's the deal :

      Your laptop needs a BIOS fix in order to get the fans and sensors running properly. HP, more than likely, will not provide such a fix, as the laptop was shipped with an HP-Specific OEM version of Windows, which contains fixes for the fan problems.

      How the hell would I know? Because I own an HP G62 laptop. I know that from day 1, even running Windows, the machine ran hot. Recently, during a file backup, the laptop hit 70 degrees Celsius. Granted, I was using it on a flat, laminate-topped desk without a cooling pad, but still.... AFAIK no processor should run at that temperature for an extended length of time, and certainly should never hit that temperature with the (very inadequate, even by HP's lax standards) fans running full-bore.

      I put up with it because it was an entry-level 15.6" laptop with 3gb of Ram and a 2Ghz processor, whereas the other machines within my price-point were sub-2Ghz Netbooks with a 7" screen and 1gb ram. Now, I'm trying to find the bill of sale to check whether or not it's still under extended warranty. The shop clerk said that even if I OC the video card and cook the machine it would be replaced under the terms of their extended warranty.

      Beer, because I'm thirsty.

      1. fmaxwell

        Re: How about if GNU opens its own mall stores?

        "I'm betting that the laptop you're referring to is an HP G62 laptop or similar. My HP laptop certainly doesn't like linux quite as much as Windows did, but here's the deal :

        Your laptop needs a BIOS fix in order to get the fans and sensors running properly. HP, more than likely, will not provide such a fix, as the laptop was shipped with an HP-Specific OEM version of Windows, which contains fixes for the fan problems."

        Thanks for the insight, but I'm afraid we have different series of laptops. MIne's a ZE4100. I eventually found a Linux distro that worked right and I know that bone-stock retail versions of Windows XP had no problems with the fans.

        I initially bought the machine to use at customer sites but the fans were so loud when they kicked on (under Windows) that I would get dirty looks from people trying to present and participate in the meetings. Horrible, horrible machine and it really makes me appreciate the efforts that Apple puts into engineering quiet cooling into their laptops. Hell, even the Dell laptops were quiet by comparison, and that's just sad.

  20. GrahamsTenPenneth
    Stop

    Microsoft is old and slow like my Grandad

    Not talking about Windows, I mean the company.

    There was an email a while back from Bill Gates complaining about the website experience.

    I think this was generally met with a "whatever...!"

    This was when he was still CEO.

    Google is getting with aggressive marketing campaigns and Apple is having yet another second wind.

    It appears MSFT is looking stagnant (the share price) and dividends are no longer competitive.

    I hear even in the background IBM have woken back up from hibernation now that it appears the behemoth is heading toward heat death.

    I expect them to bring out OS/3 next year.

    Everyone and his mother is join the tree huggers: Google, Apple, Samsung, ... to name but a few.

    Of course Intel, AMD and ARM have always had thriving open source projects.

    Goodbye Microsoft, it's been fun.

  21. MR J

    http://www.simplicitycomputers.co.uk/ was started in late2008 (I think) and made "elder" type OS solutions the key part of the project. This is built on top of MintLinux but it could have been built (with more work, and a valid Microsoft Product Key) on top of XP/2k or perhaps even Vista/w7/w8. Most of the guys I know who did overlay utilitys have moved from windows to avoid some of the harsh restrictions.

    I think there is a place for Microsoft to keep making OS's, Personally I see no glaring problems with the things they make. A lot of the problems people are complaining about are UI or Non-Working hardware.

    Non-Working hardware tends to just be down to lax driver support, and in recent years it has gotten a LOT better. I am sure a top of the line BD burner or the newest 11ac network cards migh thave issues, but they will have those issues in Windows too! Once every MFGR starts releasing drivers for their hardware to fit multiple platforms then that will not be a problem. In fact, I have seen some AppleOnly hardware work in Linux based PC's because that community can sometimes get drivers working.

    The UI problems are simply down to the fact that users are so stuck on using one configuration that they really struggle when they move to something else. You can take someone from a car they have driven for 10 years and put them in a different MFGR's car and have the same sorts of complaints. A lot of people want it to look and feel just like Windows. Look at the move from windows7 to windows8 Touch Mode, people are up in arms about it. With the dominance MS gets out there this wll be pushed to millions of users who think they have no other choice (GNU, Linux, OpenSource, whatever) and they will adapt. Those users will then look at Windows7 and laugh at how crapy it is, they will also look at the GNU offerings and say how crappy those are.

    Ubuntu has recently came under fire from Stallman for some of the same reasons that W8 is currently under fire. Keep in mind that there are times when Apple and Microsoft have not been on the bad end of the stick from the GNU crowd.

    Locking down hardware and software is just the way it is, If you can force your userbase to rotate every 4 years then that's a lot of income. 7 billion people who buy a new os every 4 years, a lot of potential there.

    I am not pro or anti MS, the are just another global corp who will do what it takes to win, even if that is not legal or ethical. The GNU crowd wants a "free" society where users are not put under huge restrictions and requirements, It is a nobel goal.

    It is not just software that has the ills that GNU / MS / APPLE fight about.

    I have a set top box more powerful than any roku box. It is hardware-locked by the vendor so I cant update it to support things like Netflix, games, or proper network streaming. It is Abandoned by the MFGR (Pace) and they released newer (low spec) hardware that has more bells and whistles. In the world of FSF/GNU My hardware would be good for another 10 years.

    Try putting windows7 on a 486 JUST so you can have the latest microsoft browser JUST so you can view web pages. Try ripping your whole CD collection using Windows Media Player with the DRM option enabled and then buy a new PC ;P....

    If you cant see the problems at that point then you truely have your eyes closed.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Classy

    How crass can you get.

  23. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    FSF *did* protest at Apple stores, and Microsoft is a monopoly

    "Microsoft got its "monopoly" just because PC clones were (and are) cheap. I couldn't afford a Macintosh or something like that when I was a student - I could buy a PC clone and thereby MS software. Blame expensive proprietary hardware/software - like Apple - for that, not MS."

    Nope, Microsoft is not a multiply convicted monopolist just because PCs are popular; it's because of the nearly continuous anti-competitive behaviors they have shown, forcing their competitors (or marginalizing them at least) in one market after another. Illegal bundling. Contracts requiring an OEM to pay for Windows on ALL computers, whether they want to put it on all of them or not. Lowering prices when there is competition (to undercut them on price) then jacking the price back up afterwards. Making changes to intentionally break competitor's products. Using undocumented features to give themsleves an advantage over their competitors (see Windows 8 -- they allow their own Office and IE to use features that are not just undocumented like in the past, but that NOBODY ELSE IS PERMITTED TO USE.) The list goes on and on.

    As for Apple stores -- FSF *did* show up at Apple stores in both 2006 and 2010. They are continously filing complaints against Apple for policies such as disallowing GPLed code in app store apps. I think you'll find FSF will not be showing up at Microsoft stores months from now either, it doesn't mean they are giving them a free pass.

  24. The Alpha Klutz
    Mushroom

    as we can see the shutting down of freedom of speech

    and restriction on neuronal activity under a diagnostics framework designed to turn a human being into a human resource. they discriminate against all kinds of people their agents are run by the same scientists who ran the nazis. they want to do experiments on your DNA.

  25. Lamont Cranston

    Don't use Windows 8 - it's confusing and unfamiliar!

    Here, take this Linux disc, which is equally confusing and unfamiliar.

  26. LawAbidingCitizen

    MS have really scewed up

    I think MS have dropped the ball with Windows 8. It's a disjointed attempt to try and merge traditional desktop (mouse/keyboard) with the new touch paradigm. Personally, I think it's a complete failure (I see its virtues on touch devices, but even then...). The way it switches from the standard desktop back to the crazy tiled interface is confusing, unintuitive and a jarring experience.

    I'm a Linux user. I love Linux. I have freedom of choice, and I choose Linux. I resent the fact that every single time I buy a new laptop I have to pay for a Microsoft Windows license. I have just ordered a Chronos 7 (700C7C). The first think I will be doing when I get it is installing Linux. Yet, a portion of what I paid for the unit is for a Windows license. In most countries, this is an illegal business practice (bundling to maintain a monopoly is legally considered anti-competitive in most countries). But it doesn't stop there - Microsoft are attacking on all fronts, and EUFI is another example of such an attack - slowly eroding the freedom to install an alternative OS for folks like myself.

    Reading the comments above, I kind of feel like that I'm criminal for using/liking Linux and the freedom to choose. I cannot believe the number of people who defend Microsoft as though it was their religion being attacked. I'm stunned at the number of people who are subjugated by Microsoft and lovin' it (although I fully understand how it got to this point).

    I can understand why Steven Sinofsky "left" Microsoft after the Windows 8 release. The first time I witnessed Windows 8 I thought that someone was parodying the real Windows 8. The fact people are taking Windows 8 on a non-touchscreen desktop/laptop makes me feel like I've crossed over to some twisted and warped alternative reality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS have really scewed up

      "Reading the comments above, I kind of feel like that I'm criminal for using/liking Linux and the freedom to choose. "

      Read more - Linux users happily attack those who use their freedom to choose Windows. Frankly, your comment about WIndows users "defending their religion" is laughable. In most cases people are simply defending themselves (though there should be no reason for them to,) from Linux zealots. Note - the use of zealot with regard to what seems a large number of Linux users was chosen as being a perfect fit.

  27. The_Regulator

    Wow

    Some people need to get a life!!!

    1. Homard
      Happy

      Re: Wow

      Couldn't agree more !

      Family in bed and I've read all the comments on here on my new toy. How sad ?

      GNU guys invading a store is not the way to go.

      I love Linux and have used it for over a decade. The old Linux desktop had advanced features such as multiple views with easy access. Windows has never offered the same. Why is such a powerful feature not being touted ? I can do things at the command line that no other system can achieve. So massive power. But a modern Linux distro does my head in. Yes it installs fine but WTF with the UI ? Really don't like it.

      Don't like Windows either. Don't like paying the security tax. But windows XP has outlasted anything else I can think of in terms of on going support.

      Never used Apple kit so I can't comment. But a locked in environment is no go for me. So I won't be trying.

      My Android mobile phone is great. This tablet is great. It works.

      Windows 8 looks good for mobile devices too.

      The bottom line is I no longer have time to spend fixing things that don't work. I have more pressing things. I expect things to work without further effort. Sorry if you consider me lazy.

      Computers are a tool. Use whatever you want, or doesn't do your head in.

      Seasons greetings to you all :-)

  28. Davie Dee

    why why why

    why do people feel the need to shout from the roof tops about what I can and can not use or do with the property I choose to do it with?

    im going to bad mouth anyone with any open source based OS from now on, yup, even ones based on open source like iOS and Android.

    im going to pick fights with you just because I can, im going to downvote anyone who even mentions them, im going to take all comments regardless of their origin or nature as a personal attack on me.

    Im going to force everyone to listen to MY opinion and im going to keep doing it until EVERYONE listens and believe me, and my ways are the right way!

    FFS guys, some of you really need to listen to your selves, we all have the choice of what we want to use for our personal devices, just because someone may disagree with you doesn't mean that either of you it wrong.

    The only person who is wrong are the people who proclaim that their way is the best way and everyone other way is stupid.

    each to there own

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