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Re: Microsoft's Anti-Linux Tactics - Summary

On Aug 31, 5:34 pm, Roy Schestowitz <newsgro...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> ____/ The Ghost In The Machine on Friday 31 August 2007 20:27 : \____

We are about to see the "Battle Royale" between Microsoft and OEMs
like Dell,
HP, Lenovo, and Acer/Gateway.

> > It won't be for long, if Microsoft has its way.
> > Presumably, Microsoft will want *all* new machines to go
> > out with some Vista edition.

According to Microsoft, all of the machines being shipped now are
licensed for Vista,
but according to Dell, about 1/2 of those machines are being shipped
with XP.  It seems
that Microsoft is using a provision in the DOJ Antitrust settlement as
a way to inflate
Vista sales figures.  It seems that Microsoft is giving the OEMs the
"option" of installing
XP instead of Vista on machines that have been licensed for Vista.

Lying to the press is not a crime.  Lying to the SEC is.  If Microsoft
claims that 99% of
the machines being sold by Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Acer/Gateway, are
being shipped with Vista,
as a way to maintain or increase the stock price, then that would be a
securities violation.
It would probably be a Sarbanes/Oxley violation as well.

It's possible that Microsoft is actually getting the windfall of a
slight INCREASE in revenue
per PC for the OPTION of shipping a machine with XP.  It seems that
OEMs would rather
spend a few dollars extra to get a license that allows them to sell
what corporate customers
and Web purchasers want (very high profit but "Have it your way - with
XP"), rather than
take a discount and end up with a glut of inventory they can't sell.

> >  The market is fighting this,
> > admittedly, but it's a losing battle, especially if Vista
> > SP1 is any good and the driver kinks get ironed out.

It's not unusual for corporate customers to wait for the first service
pack to be released.  After their experiences with Windows 95B
(which was orders of magnatude better than original 95), Windows
NT 4.0 with SP3 (which was way more reliable and stable than the
original no SP version, that would BSOD regularly do to conflicts
between 3rd party software and video cards),  And even Windows
XP with SP1 (which was also much more reliable than the original).

What is unusual is the rush by corporate customers to try and buy
XP systems while they are still available, and the rush by Web buyers
to not only buy machines with XP, but to insist, often paying extra,
for installation media.  Those "recovery partitions" are worse than
useless, and don't provide reliable recovery in cases of corrupted

The bigger challenge is that more and more of these machines are
"Linux Ready", sporting OpenGL compatible cards, instead of DirectX-10
cards.  The "Linux Hostile" machines have already been discounted 50%
and more.  I just saw a Toshiba laptop for $500 - that had been
for around $1500 just a few months ago.  It had the DirectX video
and the sign on the shelf said "Clearance Price".

In fashion, the styles that don't sell well during the season, are put
the back of the store at the store and sold on the 50% off rack.
Generally, if substantial quantities of a particular style end up in
the 50% off rack, the designer who created it has a very limited
future as a designer, as does the buyer who overpurchased the
undesirable style.

When $1500 computers start going out the door for $500, because
they have to get rid of the overstock before the computers are
obsolete, that's a big problem for Microsoft.  Normally, the retailers
are losing money, the OEMs end up losing money, and everybody
is looking for what IS selling to make sure that the same mistakes
are not made again.

Microsoft overplayed their hand with Vista.  They made the licenses
Home Basic too restrictive.  They tried to force OEMs to use Linux
cards in oder to get the nifty 3D features that were shown in
television commercials.
They tried to "lock out" 3rd party software ranging from Google
Desktop to
Symantic Antivirus by insisting on "Kerner mode" protection FROM these
terrible programs.

> They won't. 3 days ago, Microsoft told APC magazine that compatibility issues
> won't be addressed. They say they won't compromise security (but it's somewhat
> of an excuse).

Microsoft is between a rock and a hard place.  They bet the farm on
security package, which is the only feature that actually WORKS on
that do not come with DirectX-10 Video cards.  Now that the OEMs have
that DirectX/10 video cards are a losing proposition, Microsoft has no
pretty graphics
to show off.  Since XP can also be well protected by third party
and provides better support for virtualization, about the ONLY gambit
has left is the Security card.

Microsoft has created another disaster similar to Windows NT 3.1, and
Windows ME.
The problem this time is that there is no "Back pocket" version of
Windows that will be
out "any day now"

Meanwhile, Apple's sales are off the charts, prices hold firm, profit
margins are solid,
and even the most favorable reviews of Vista end with "but I'd rather
have a Mac".
The OEMs who are making Windows PCs are looking very intently at the
of a combination of XP and Linux using virtualization.  Ironically,
this might be Microsoft's
revival.  If they make an "XP Lite" or "Vista Lite" that is basically
a version of XP that
has been optimized to run as a virtual machine under Xen or VMWare,
then Microsoft
can still continue to collect revenue from the OEMs.

I had no trouble using VMware Converter http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/
to take a new Windows machine and generate a VMWare image that could
be stored on
a USB drive (Fat 32).

I then installed Linux, then installed VMWare Player, and then
installed the XP image.
The whole process took about 2 hours (I got distracted several
times).  When I was done,
I ended up with a machine that had the best features of Linux, the
best features of Windows,
and ran Windows faster than it ran in "native" mode.

> --
>                 ~~ Best of wishes
> Roy S. Schestowitz      | Wintendo O/S: which virus do fancy today?http://Schestowitz.com | Free as in Free Beer |  PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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