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Re: California's report of Microsoft "remedy"

On Sep 2, 3:05 pm, "John Bailo, Texeme.Construct" <jaba...@xxxxxxxxxx>
> On Sep 2, 9:01 am, Linonut <lino...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> If California thinks that way, then let them standardize the entire
> state government on Linux, and demand that all their associated
> vendors do so.

Remember, when Microsoft settled the class action suit with
they offered free copies of Windows for all of the PCs used by the
public schools.

One of the reasons for this was because so many of those PCs were
configured with Linux.  Corporations had installed corporate licenses,
which nullified the OEM license.  When these companies donated
the computers to the public schools, they had to remove Windows.

To make the PCs functional again, the school system had two choices:
They could buy Windows licenses at a price of $299 (retail), or
possibly at the "educational rate" ($199).
Or they could install Linux, with a top retail price of around $50 per
Several versions were available for even less, even free.

While $200 doesn't seem like much to a school system like Los Angeles
public schools, you still had to multiply this number times the number
computers needed by the schools.  In addition, there was a desire to
assure that kids from low-income families could afford used computers
that were not properly licensed with Windows, and use them legally,
with Linux.

Keep in mind that this $200 didn't include the cost of Microsoft
(another $300-$400), Antivirus (another $100), software to teach
(another $400-$600).  To get all the features offered by Linux on
computers, the school system would have had to pay $1000 to $1300 per

Remember, the PCs were being donated because the corporations needed
to replace these machines that could not run the current version of
with PCs that could run the latest software and OS.  Or these PCs had
corrupted by viruses and malware.and it was cheaper to replace them
than it
was to repair them by reinstalling new images, installing all of the
and reconfiguring the personal information.

Microsoft decided that it was better to give out $200 million worth of
(based on MSRP Values), than to let millions of kids spend 4-7 years
with Linux,
and then try to win them back when they graduated.

Microsoft didn't act quickly enough in Mexico, India, China, South
South America, and Eastern Europe, and ended up losing a significant
user base to Linux, which then became so skilled in computers that
were able to provide off-shoring services.

There are many who are angry that these jobs are going offshore rather
than to U.S. workers.  The problem is that U.S. workers don't have the
skills in Unix, Linux, Java, and Open Source software required by the
companies who need to use these technologies.  Why?  Because the
public school systems didn't put Linux on the PCs and took the
solution.  As a result, the kids never got into HOW computers work,
WHY they do what they do, and how to make them do new and
different things.  They didn't even learn how to diagnose problems.

Today, corporations often find that they have to "recycle" perfectly
functional computers, simply because nobody has the skills to do
root cause analysis on Windows systems to find out WHY a PC
has failed, and to make sure that it never happens again.

In the countries that use Linux, they have learned how to do
root cause analysis, find the problem, fix it, and make the system
even more stable than it was before.  There are even consultants
and companies who compete for bragging rights by fixing flaws that
can't even be exploited (frame buffer overrun threats, that are being
called by a program that has already properly sized the buffer.

> California is the eighth largest economy in the world (if it were a
> country).

I think New York City is the third or fourth.  Linux was getting very
popular in Brooklyn and the Bronx, starting in the mid 1990s.  The
wall-street companies were putting PCs in the back alleys, and
encouraging anyone who wanted them to take them home.  They
couldn't run the latest versions of Windows, but they ran Linux
quite nicely.  The transition from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 created
several million Linux machines, and the transition from Windows 95
to Windows NT 4.0 created several million more Linux machines.

What used to be "Alphabet City" and "Lower East Side" have now become
the "Newly fashionable Lower East Side".  The "Silicon Ally" crowd
produces the web sites for Madison Avenue advertizing agencies.
They often use Macs to create the artwork, and Linux to create the
Perhaps one of the reasons Apple decided to implement Unix for OS/X
was because so many of their customers needed Unix compatibiliy for
theri work.

> There is no need for it to whine and cry about the "Microsoft
> monopoly" like a little girly mahhn state.

When Arnols won the governer's seat, I wasn't sure what to expect.
I must admit that I'm quite pleased.  He is a fiscal conservative
like a Republican, but he also understands that there are several
million people in his state who need to learn the skills necessary
to succeed in a globalized economy.  Many need to learn English,
they need to learn reading, writing, math, and science, not just
football, cheerleading, and gang-banging.

Arnold tried to find the best people he could, Democrat as well
as Republican, to lead the state's numerous functions.  The state
still has a problem of overpriced real-estate (is that a problem?),
and congested highways.  Arnie made HUM-Vs popular, but
also encouraged the use of Ethanol in gasoline and hybrid cars.

I don't know whether Arnold took the bribes from Microsoft,
but it's clear that the California Attorney General is not
backing down.  The DOJ has dismissed all of the issues
raised by the California group, who was chartered to investigate
complaints sent to their "not so public" web site.  The group,
doing their job, has noted about 50 major issues where Microsoft
has openly defied the courts.  The DOJ ties the Judge's hands
by talking to Microsoft, getting a token promise of a concession,
or a really lame explanation, and claiming that they are satisfied.

The Settlement has actually been totally ineffective.  The only
thing it did was trigger a similar case by the E.U., and that court
is much more aggressive.  It is interesting to note, however, that
since they started making things harder for Microsoft, top leaders
in Germany, France, Spain, and Italy have all been deposed and
replaced by more "conservative" candidates - who seem to be
more sympathetic to Microsoft.

In late 1984, shortly after Microsoft outgrew Lotus in terms of
to become the largest software company in the world, Bill Gates
told a reporter that is true goal was "World Domination".  He
would take over the computer applications, the network, then
financial applications, and finally gain total access to, and control
of, the world's information.  This would allow him to influence
elections and create a world government controlled by Microsoft
and it's Allied corporate partners.

At the time, nobody took it seriously.  Nobody except those
who had been participating in usenet newsgroups.  They already
had a network which spanned the country, which allowed the
sharing of information, and which was already being used as
a public forum to discuss solutions to problems ranging from
computer glitches to abortion.

It was this interview which led Richard Stallman to write the
GNU manifesto.  He understood that if Microsoft were to
succeed in it's quest, they could hold the world's information
hostage.  Richard had already formalized the General Public
License, and began asking the original authors of BSD code
to publish their code as part of the GNU project.

Had it not been for GNU and OSS, Microsoft would have achieved
total domination in about 1994.  We would have paid a LOT more
for Internet Access, and a LOT more for cable, music, and video.
Publishers would have had to pay a LOT more to Microsoft for
the means and access to publish their content (Minimum starting
fee of about $1 million, and $1 million/year just for licensing,
rights, and connection).

Had there been no Linux, and no OSS, Microsoft would have been
able to kill off all competition completely by 1993.  The ONLY
internet service for publishers or consumers, would have been MSN,
and the ONLY sites you could access were those controlled by
MSN.  All e-mails would be routed through MSN (and therefore
readable by Microsoft).  All BBS discussions would be hosted
by MSN (and therefore readable by Microsoft).  Even private
business transactions would have only been possible through
Microsoft channels, using Microsoft software.

The only reason Microsoft hasn't been able to kill off OSS, is
because there isn't a stock they can buy to gain control of it.
They tried using SCO as a puppet to file a FUD lawsuit, demanding
huge sums of money for rights to a few hundred lines of code
that they didn't even own.  They had hoped to kill of Linux.

Microsoft has tried to claim that Linux distributors have
violated numerous patents, but they aren't willing to publicly
state exactly WHICH patents they think may have been
violated.  Perhaps this is because they are afraid that
the patents would not only be nullified, but would end up
under the control of GNU or Debian, or some other
"Open Source Only" organization.

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