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Re: Windows Definitely Headed for Its Death

  • Subject: Re: Windows Definitely Headed for Its Death
  • From: r.e.ballard@xxxxxxx
  • Date: 20 Oct 2005 16:35:36 -0700
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DFS wrote:
> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> > ===

> > WINDOWS  Vista  was already said to be a trainwreck, primarily due to
> > its inability  to deliver something innovative.

Remember, all they have to do is change the veneer a bit and it's an
"innovation".  The real "innovation" will be new clauses added to OEM,
Corporate, and End User, License agreements.  More restrictions, more
limitations, more anticompetitive contract stipulations.

Microsoft can add Fischer Price icons and their marketing department
can make it sound like the greatest innovation since fire.

> > It gives no compelling  reason whatsoever  for users to upgrade.
> > People who have
> > had the chance to fiddle with  the Vista beta build can confirm this.
> > In fact, it seems to be  lag- ging  behind  other operating systems,
> > notably Mac OS X as was  previously confesses by a Microsoft
> > evangelist.

Note that DFS does not challenge the statements above, only includes
them in the quote, to make it appear that his challenge of the one fact
nullifies all statements made up to this point.

> > On  top  of it all, hardware requirements of Windows Vista make it
> > rather unappealing.
> What requirements are those?  MS hasn't haven't released them.

Nope.  But you can pretty much bet that Microsoft will want everybody
to buy new hardware.  If new hardware isn't required, then the OEMs
will hate Vista, but if it IS required, then the corporate customers
will resist Vista.

> > Novell have said that Vista will drive away
> > Windows users and ultimately  lead  them to Linux.

The one feature that Microsoft could add that would make Vista very
desirable would be virtual machine capabilities similar to those added
to Windows 2003.

> And 2005 was supposed to be the Year of Linux.  So was 2004, and 2003....

Actually, 1998 was the "break-through" year for Linux.  It was when the
number of Linux systems exceeded 10 million based on available
estimates of the time.   This triggered an interest in Linux on
servers.  Furthermore, it prompted research that indentified servers
and they discovered that 17% of the servers used by corporations were
running Linux.  Prior to that time, most corporations DIDN'T EVEN KNOW

Today nearly all corporations have Linux servers, roughly 40% of the
"box count" is Linux, and the satisfaction with Linux servers is
extremely high.

Linux on the desktop will be an EVENT DRIVEN Breakthrough.

The first key event will be the ability to identify which machines are
"Linux Friendly" vs the machines which are "Linux Hostile".  If OEMs
find that "Linux friendly" machines are selling better, at higher
prices, and bringing in more profit, then they will begin to directly
market machines as "Linux Friendly" like it was an additional feature
and made the computer worth more money.

The second key event will be when the OEMs begin demanding the ability
to comingle Linux and Windows information.  When the OEM can provide a
single web site, single ad, or any other source of information and say
in every ad for that product "This machine support Windows XP, Red Hat
Enterprise 4, and SuSE 10.1", then users can make the choice based on
information available at purchase time.

The third key event will be that Microsoft will no longer be able to
quash benchmarks, benchmarks will be available, in English (or any
other major language) and will be unrestricted by Microsoft's editorial
interests.  These "benchmarks" would include feature comparisons,
performance and stability comparisons, and ANY other comparisons which
might influence a purchase decision.  At the rate things are going, we
might not see any help from the government in this matter until early
2009.  There may be a possibility that Europe, Australia, or some other
English-speaking country will decide that corporate censorship of
comparative information which could influence purchase decisions
(benchmarks) is fraud, false advertising, and a violation of a number
of consumer protection laws.

The fourth key event will be that Microsoft will lose it's control over
final configuration and OEMs will begin shipping Linux-Host
Windows-Client machines which run VMWare or similar virtualization
software.  Microsoft will fight this one tooth and nail, but may find
that they don't have much choice.

Interim pressure will form from those who install Linux and Open Source
Software on their own.  As users begin to get more familiar with OSS
and Linux capabilities, it will become something they are unwilling to
do without.  Many people are now downloading cygwin to Windows, loading
VMWare or Bochs or Microsoft's virtual machine and installing Linux as
the client.

Additional pressure is coming from Linux "Server Appliances" and
companies like Linksys, D-Link, NetGear, and others may just decide to
create an "Appliance" that can communicate with a Windows "client"
using VNC, X11, or Remote Access.

This last scenario is probably the most real threat of all.  There are
already a number of "Network Hard Drives" which could easily be turned
into "sidecar PCs" that would simply plug into the ethernet port or
USB-2 port of a regular PC and would be able to give users a "Desktop
Linux" experience.

> > To many, adopting
> > Windows Vista  probably means acquisition of a new computer, which
> > will most probably contain Windows  pre-installed for a variety of
> > reasons that involve anti-fair  trade practices.
> Only if you consider the OEMs selling what they want to sell to be "anti-
> fair trade."

The real question is:

  Given the choice to freely and easily pick from all of the available
alternatives, and all of the available ways of making BOTH Linux and
Windows available on the same machine, what tactics will Microsoft use
to make sure that the OEM installs ONLY Vista and ONLY in a
configuration that makes installation of other operating systems as
difficult as possible.

Keep in mind, if Vista comes out in late 2006 as currently anticipated,
a 600 gigabyte hard drive will cost roughly $100.  With 1/2 terabyte,
there is no valid reason why an OEM should be allowed to exclude
competitors to Microsoft.

There are two possibilities.  Either the OEMs are actively involved in
collusion and should be prosecuted under the Clayton act, or the OEMs
are being coerced by Microsoft's monopoly power in which case we need
to examine exactly HOW Microsoft maintains this exclusive market
position, and which of these tactics involves illegal activities.

The courts have already ruled against Microsoft.  There are numerous
judgements against them.  At this point, it may be necessary for a
prosecutor to begin the process of starting a criminal investigation
against Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer based on racketeering RICO laws.
A criminal investigation would allow the prosecutor to go after all the
records sealed by the courts, and would compel those who have settled
with Microsoft in the past to testify against Microsoft in the criminal

> I know you Linux hypocrites would love to force the OEMs to sell Linux
> machines, despite the fact (that's capital FACT) that it would shortly drive
> all of them out of business.  You whiners believe in 'choice' only when it's
> the choices you want.

Actually, I'd just like to see the OEM contracts.  Nearly every
monopoly in the United States is regulated, their contracts are made
public, and their business practices are scrutinized by both government
regulators and consumer protection groups.

Microsoft continues to break the law with impunity, continues to defy
any attempt at even the most benign regulation, and refuses to permit
the disclosure of contracts which exeed $40 billion in direct revenue
and impact the nature of purchases exceeding $4 trillion globally, and
has an impact of nearly $4 trillion/year in lost productivity.
Microsoft sells to the United States government and government
contracts and yet will not allow it's contracts to be made available
for public review.

If GM or General Dynamics told congress "I want $800 billion/year from
the United States but I won't tell you what it's for, why your are
paying the money, or allow you access to any information which would
allow you to compare my products to those of my competitors (even
though I won't even tell you what my product is), they would be getting
the same treatment a Ken Leay or the head of WorldCom.

> > Windows  XP was first introduced to the public in late 2001 and, as
> > we approach  the  end of 2005, Windows XP is worse than ever
> > before.  The  many critical  patches, which came in the form of
> > Service Pack I & II have made it  slower and less likely to interact
> > with all underlying modules  grace- fully.  With more Windows viruses
> > in the wild, it requires more  attention and  maintenance than
> > before,
> With SP2, it requires less effort than ever.

Many feel that SP2 IS a VIRUS.  It breaks more third party software
than it protects, replaces high quality software with inferior
software, and often produces a useless machine once it has been
installed.  Many companies are STILL refusing to allow their employees
to install SP2.

> > which has definitely led to unrest among its users community.
> > In the mean time, Apple's Tiger has been gaining strength and has
> > even surpassed, in term of it functionality, the Microsoft equiva-
> > lents  -- something that even Microsoft could not truly deny. KDE, in
> > the mean time, has been growing very rapidly and it is now comparable
> > with any other  desktop layers and often surpasses the competition in
> > terms of  its functionality. See, for instance:
> >
> > * KDE Plasma
> > * State-of-the-art Linux Screenshots
> > * Next Generation of X
> KDE is a nice desktop, no doubt.  Far superior to Gnome or any other Linux
> window manager/desktop environment.

KDE is a set of tradeoffs.  It uses more memory and CPU cycles to get a
really artistic graphical look and feel.  Other competitors use less
resources and produce a faster and more effecient display, but at the
cost of eye-candy and other "polish" features.  TWM is uglier than sin,
but it can run on a 486 with 16 meg of RAM and still produce a nice
fast workstation.

> > It is also worth mentioning Ubuntu Linux, which has done tremendously
> > well at  easing  a transition to a free operating system. Hewlett
> > Packard  have recently started selling Ubuntu desktops and laptops,
> > as a matter of fact. Ubuntu comes in just a single CD, its hardware
> > detection is admirable, and moreover it is stable and user-friendly.
> > Its bundled Live CD makes another big pro as users who are too
> > resistant to delete Windows can have a period of  adaptation  and
> > gain some re-assurance with regards to their  platform migration.
> Don't make us laugh.  Gnome-based Ubuntu is a joke.  Anyone used to a real
> OS like Windows will find it primitive and slow and amateurish.

I tried Ubuntu, not the best version of Linux I've ever tried, but
still, it's a good effort for a single-cd live-cd implementation.  When
you only have 640 meg on a CD, it's hard to decide what parts would be
"best" to install.

> > Windows is dying. The writings are all over the wall...
> As is the case with so many of the stupid MS and Windows proclamations made
> by you silly cola bozos, there is NO evidence to support anything you say.

The best evidence is Microsoft's own financial reports.  The percentage
of revenue coming from Operating Systems sales has dropped
dramatically, the number of units shipped has also been dropping
significantly over the last 10 years.  Windows 95 sold HUGE volumes,
Windows XP annual sales in terms of unit volumes actually deployed to
end-users are very low.

At the same time, the unit volumes and growth of Linux license
shipments has continued to be dramatic.  Linux is still the fastest
growing segment of the IT market in terms of both Unit Volumes and
revenue.  Open Source software is becoming much more widely accepted
and many organizations are now requiring justifications for NOT using
OSS and purchasing commercial products instead.

Microsoft has done with Longhorn/Vista exactly what it did with NT 3.1.
 Microsoft didn't have a real 32 bit product and yet Intel was tired of
holding back on it's 80386 and 80486 chips.  Furthermore, UNIX was
picking up steam and both SCO and Interactive UNIX were threatening
Microsoft's MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 market.  Microsoft "promised the
moon", in fact, the promises were so big that the federal trade
commission under Bush I was considering fraud and false advertising
charges against Microsoft and Bill Gates.

Microsoft kept showing beta copies of NT, but demanded final approval
and rewrite contro over any reports to be published to the media.
Furthermore, Microsoft used it's leveraged advertizing budget of nearly
$40 billion in co-op advertizing to punish any publisher who wrote
glowing reports of Solaris, OS/2, or even Linux.  McGraw-Hill had to
sell off Byte magazine to keep Microsoft happy, and C/Net had to take
Byte out of print and off the news stands to make Microsoft happy.

Microsoft tries to put up a public face that everything is really
wonderful, but the constant scope reductions have shown that it could
take Microsoft another 10-15 years to deliver the features,
capabilities, performance, security, reliability, and support currently
available on SuSE or Red Hat Enterprise Workstations.

Microsoft has to convince everyone that they need to write software
that WON'T run on Windows 9x or Windows NT or Windows XP and will ONLY
run on Vista, at the same time, they have to make sure that Vista will
run ALL of the software currently running on Windows XP.

Meanwhile, Linux has made it possible to have the best features of
Windows 95 without purchasing a Microsoft license, and all the best
features of Windows XP professional using the XP Home Edition license,
AND they provide better security, support, recovery, and management

Microsoft can continue to try and play it's strong-arm tactics, but
even the OEMs have to be fed up with Microsoft trying to use X/Box and
X/Box-360 to knock out their game user market, and then try to ignore
D-Link, NetGear, and a number of other companies who could flood the
market with $200 "Linux Desktop Appliances".

Waiting for Microsoft is a huge gamble that will provide very little
pay-off other than a slight surge in PC sales in early 2007, possibly
at profit margin that MIGHT actually cover the cost of production and

Pushing back on Microsoft, demanding that Microsoft's favorite contract
clauses be removed from license agreements, has a risk as well.
Microsoft can't just refuse to sell them licenses, that might drive a
company like HP or Dell to decide to sell Linux on ALL of their boxes
and let customer pay an EXTRA $70-100 for the retail OEM license, or
they might even stop selling Microsoft Vista altogether.  They might
just decide to sell the glut of overpurchased XP licenses they have
been purchasing over the previous 4 years and just plop both Operating
systems into the hard drive, or even install Linux as the host and
Windows within a "Bochs".

Finally, there is the possibility that appliance makers such as Sharp,
Panasonic, Phillips, Magnavox, and other "consumer appliance" maker
might start selling Linux powered machines.  These companies have been
very successful selling Linux devices in Asia, Europe, and South
America.  They are looking at the U.S. market and quite likely to
decide that there really is a market for a $200 "add-on" that lets your
old Windows XP or Windows 9x box run Linux desktop.

Keep in mind that the only barriers remaining are Microsoft's illegal
contracts.  Microsoft is supposed to have a "Compliance Officer"
watching their every move, but he also seems to be part of the
marketing department as well.

Microsoft can probably continue these tactics for a while longer, but
if Vista turns out to be as much of a bomb as NT 3.1, it's unlikely
that any of the OEMs are going to want to wait another 2-3 MORE years
for a 64 bit "Chicago".  Would OEMs, Corporate executives, consumers,
students, and other computer purchaser really be willing to wait until
2015 to have Windows with all of the features available in SuSE 10.1
Linux professional today?


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