__/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Saturday 18 March 2006 08:36 \__
> Bottom line - until Linux is sitting on the retail shelf, right next to
> - or IN the machine that displays Microsoft's technology - there will
> be reason to deal with the issue of Microsoft's control of the market.
You voiced this argument before. It's intersting. You perceive our role as
advocates as necessary until the shopkeepers take it onwards and become
advocates themselves. A shop assistant must make sales, which in turn
translate into money, so incentive will be there to motivate and defend
Linux, even in the commerical sector. I am only 'worried' about free
downloads, which will make Linux a poor seller, money-wise. I may be wrong
> The real issue here is not Microsoft's technology, which is reasonably
> good, but Microsoft's contracting policies. While Microsoft is very
> careful to not state explicitly in their contracts that the OEMs cannot
> install Linux or Open Source alternatives, Microsoft insists on final
> approval and control of the configuration, especially from power-on to
> the first "desktop display". Microsoft DID explicitly tell Compaq that
> they were about to revoke the license for one of their lines
> (Presario?) because they had removed the IE icon and replaced it with
> the Netscape icon on the desktop. IE hadn't been removed, but the user
> had to go to the start menue to access it. - still, this was enough to
> trigger a complete revocation of all Microsoft licenses. Appearantly,
> Compaq would have had to "re-purchase" those licenses if they didn't
> cave in to Microsoft almost immediately.
That's just appalling. It is a demonstration of possessiveness across the
Windows desktop. Microsoft are currently working on a 'Photoshop killer', so
apparently the strategy continues to be: "observe how other third parties
complement the O/S (e.g. Netscape, Borland), then copy and drive away, using
pre-installation and other inconveniences posed upon the innocent user".
> Microsoft also attempts to manipulate the market through control of
> advertizing an publicity. Again, Microsoft doesn't explicitly state
> that OEMs are not allowed to mention Linux in the same ads as Windows,
> however, Microsoft licenses the use of the Microsoft trademarks and
> logos. OEMs who want to advertize that their machines use Windows -
> must get final approval from Microsoft on both content and placement of
> the advertizing. Microsoft can leverage nearly $20 billion in
> advertizing as well as web sites, and even the telephone sales
> programs. If Microsoft wants to get a message to a publisher who has
> been doing too much Microsoft "bashing" or "Linux Boosting", they can
> have OEMs pull as much as $2-3 million worth of advertizing in a week.
Google "linux". See top.
> Microsofts license agreements almost all restrict benchmarks. Most
> ISVs limit the publication of true performance benchmarks on beta
> products, partly because these beta releases often run with critical
> diagnostic code still enabled. Microsoft restricts all forms of
> benchmarks, including ANY type of comparison between Microsoft products
> and ANY competitor products. For example, even a simple feature
> comparison between Windows and Linux is considered a benchmark.
> Performance benchmarks between Windows and Linux - even production
> versions - are also restricted. In all cases, Microsoft has final
> approval and can offer revisions, rebuttals, and can require that
> "Microsoft Friendly" customers or "experts" be interviewed - even if
> the comparison is between the CIO of a Fortune 500 company who is
> singing the praises of Linux and a "president" of a 4 man consulting
> company whose primary source of revenue is promoting Microsoft. Then
> Microsoft can restructure the content to make the article appear to be
> an endorsement for Microsoft's products - even if the original article
> was a glowing endorsement of Linux or OSS products.
Fortunately, some countries deem this illegal, immoral and undesirable.
Hopefully, more countries will wake up at some stage. Norway's PM seems to
be the more enlightened among the leaders.
> Linux ambassadors know that they in a game where Bill is using a marked
> deck, and he has the "magic glasses" that let him read the cards, and
> the deck is stacked and the dealer can give him cards off the bottom of
> the deck. But if you don't at least "play the came" you have no chance
> of winning anything.
Speaking of which, I bet you have already read about Microsoft going
head-to-head with IBM. I am aware that you used to be working for IBM (maybe
still are). With IBM out of the pictures, there will not be cards in the
deck. Microsoft's intent is to offer choice -- among editions. Novell, Red
Hat and some others continue to give financial backings and endorsement to
Linux, so Microsoft choose to choke the tunnel at it root.
> Perhaps Microsoft will eventually give up their defenses, or the courts
> will order them to drop these defenses. Ultimately, the market may
> just keep swinging into Linux even in spite of all these defenses and
> the market will demand that Microsoft drops those defenses. This might
> me $2-3 more per license, but it also means that over an extended
> period, the Windows license count could go down.
It already goes down and inevitably it will all collapse. I have little or no
doubts about it. The widespread adoption of Open Source is only a matter of
time. We merely try to speed it up a bit, don't we? Even Unisys have made
such bold predictions recently.
> Microsoft has nearly saturated the market and will be seriously
> challenged to try and get that market to drop their current versions of
> Windows, especially Windows XP, and switch to Vista --especially if
> there is a premium price or loss of flexibility involved.
> On the other hand, Linux has penetrated about 10-15% of a market with a
> potential of over 800 million systems. With Linux and OSS growth
> rates as high as 400%/year in terms of volumes and revenues, there is
> every possibility that Linux could be a far more lucrative market than
> Vista even in the first year.
10% was my prediction too as I am spotting many 'Other' or 'Unknown'
operating system among those whose identifiers are uniform and somewhat
orthodox. I look forward to seeing the impact, O/S-demography-wise, of the
$100 laptop. For a while, Microsoft have capitalised on a rather wealthy
subset of the market.
Best wishes and thanks for sharing some thoughts,
Roy S. Schestowitz | "Software sucks. Open Source sucks less."
http://Schestowitz.com | SuSE Linux ¦ PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
1:30pm up 10 days 6:07, 9 users, load average: 0.20, 0.29, 0.40
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