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More threats to Microsoft

Mon Oct 20 11:52:50 GMT 2003 More threats to Microsoft

Links: More on Massachusetts' Push for Open Source
Choosing Microsoft Products May Cost 10-40% More
Review: Office 2003 offers little reason to upgrade
Longhorn hinges on security

(Push for Open Source Link):

Although some analysts say open-source products may offer stronger security and greater reliability, the argument that they make it easier for systems to talk to each other falls apart if many of those systems are already Microsoft.

"Politically, there are only pros, but in terms of government employee productivity there are quite a few cons," said Schadler, the Forrester researcher.

When have politicians ever let little things like productivity interfere with political gain? It certainly is true that dumping Linux on Mass. government will cause confusion and turmoil, but the political tide is starting to demand it. Microsoft's awful security record doesn't help their case, and making Office into something that requires a Microsoft server just isn't feeding anyone's comfort index.

Sure, Microsoft can offer deep discounts (and already has), but politicians are more aware than anyone that these are just drug dealer ploys: free samples until you are hooked, and then we bleed your soul.

It's truly unfortunate that this SCO mess is clouding the picture for Linux. Other than that, all signals are saying that Linux can make a real leap forward to the desktop in spite of it really not being ready to do so. Of course, it is that very reality that is causing Microsoft and other vested interests to redouble their efforts to put Linux down.

I expect things to get very dirty. Microsoft isn't going to just stand idly by and watch state after state embrace Linux. If discounts and innuendo won't turn the tide, they'll push harder on the legal front, patents and copyrights, and quite likely attempts to invalidate the GPL and any form of Open Source. It won't be pretty, and we have to remember that it's never going to be clean and honest: there will be political alliances, complicated *redacted*-for-tat deal making behind the scenes, and general skullduggery. Technical merits are completely unimportant. In some ways that's unfortunate, but on the other hand, Linux isn't really ready for the desktop, so if politics make that less important than it otherwise might be, that can be good. We'll see..



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© Tony Lawrence



"I expect things to get very dirty. Microsoft isn't going to just stand idly by and watch state after state embrace Linux."

Desperate men do desperate things, as the old saying goes. Even though Bill Gates and his top level sycophants in the Microsoft hierarchy are financially set for life, they have a pathological desire to win any pissing contest at any cost, even when they have er...pointed themselves upwind.

"If discounts and innuendo won't turn the tide, they'll push harder on the legal front, patents and copyrights, and quite likely attempts to invalidate the GPL and any form of Open Source."

The only antidote to that sort of political poisoning is the Open Source movement educating politicians on the new order of things (if that's possible -- some politicos seem to be pretty dim at times). I'm no lawyer, but I fail to see how Gates and his buddies can invalidate the GPL. That document has existed for a long time and thus has the weight of precendent behind it. Still, one should never underestimate the ability of the legal system to do totally inane deeds.

"Technical merits are completely unimportant."

How true. If technical excellence really did matter, we'd all be on Macs instead of PC's.

--BigDumbDinosaur


Actually, the GPL has absolutely no precedent. It has never been to court: FSF has threatened a few people, but so far they have just caved in and settled.

The problem is that while it seems reasonable and enforceable to us, if the courts don't want it, they'll find a way to make it invalid. For example, they might say that because there is no money involved, it's not enforceable.


--TonyLawrence

"Actually, the GPL has absolutely no precedent."

True in the legal sense. However, the passage of time has lent a certain weight to the GPL that might be valuable in defending attempts to dismantle it. As I more-or-less said above, the legal system seems to have an amazing ability to come to totally illogical conclusions.

--BigDumbDinosaur

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