__/ [ Kier ] on Thursday 14 September 2006 14:06 \__
> Why is Linux such a threat?
> It's question I ask myself when I read all the vitriol directed at Linux,
> its users and advocates, not merely here but elsewhere. What are these
> anti-Linux people so frightened of? If Linux really is a poor and useless
> as they claim, how can it threaten their cosy little Window/Mac utopia?
> Why are so many of them reduced to posting filthy diatribes against it,
> rather than simply stating all its 'obvious' shortcomings?
Because, to them, it's seemingly better, it's free, its adoption is rising,
and they haven't got a goddamn clue what to do about it, let alone how to
use it. Using myths, stereotypes (sometimes a 10-year-old experience, for
convenience in arguments) can slow Linux down, but they cannot stop its
adoption. It earns the opposers some time. It's means of procrastinating and
postponing the inevitable arrival of this new wave of technology, which is
> It's amazing how much effort they seem willing to put in to denigrate
> something that's supposed to have only one percent of the desktop. Yet
> they find the notion that anyone might possibly dislike or want to
> criticise MS or Windows a positive affront.
Microsoft is another matter altogether. Microsoft is among those who resist
Linux and lie about it. But moreover, it's Microsoft /et al/ that brought
open exchange a code to an end in the first place. It is them who robbed the
world from quicker innovation, more competition, more jobs, and more choice.
I wrote the following half an hour ago < http://tinyurl.com/qgzxb > to
generalise greedy aspirations to the Web, as well as media.
I bet that even sites like YouTube will be fought against, either by charging
more for bandwidth or by making it so restricted that it's repellent. But
apparently, those who lose to free online media also decide to join the
rival, rather than extinguish it, which is most likely impossible. Fox
acquired YouTube yesterday (rumour perhaps). The fight against
comminication, exchange and distribution of code may have been easy, but the
fight over the Web (which also facilitates the spreading of Linux) is a lost
> now, I'm not one who thinks Windows is entirely without merit, despite
> it's many problems. But let's face it, MS has all too often made a rod for
> its own back with its bullying behaviour.
> Linux, on the other hand, isn't in a position to enforce its will on
> anyone. It must compete by merit, and all too often, in the real world,
> the good guys don't win, because the big compainies think they should
> always get their own way, regardless of whether this actually serves the
> So, why are the anti-Linux brigade screaming about how bad Linux is, how
> dangerous open source is, how dreadful we Linux advocates are? Is it that
> they're afraid they're going to miss something?
Yes, their skills. And skills have a close binding to employment, unless one
re-learns, which is time-consuming and potentially frustrating. There are
other factors too, e.g. software collections that have a price tag, hardware
that is Windows-centric, etc.
> MS and Apple *deliberately* create situations where the 'must-have'
> products are available only for their OSen, their devices, locking others
> out. They tell us this is a good thing, done for our benefit. But not
> everyone is fooled. Increasingly, users are demanding the freedom to use
> their own devices and products freely, without artificial restrictions.
Again: DRM; Web sites that require paid subscription, to which you would say
farewell within seconds...
Only ignorance, which is encouraged through marketing, can get the cattle
down the path to the slaughterhouse in the first place. Maybe a breadcrumb
trail would make a suitable parable.
> Linux users have this freedom form the start. They haven't bought the lie.
> Anti-Linuxers continue to believe, wrongly, that Linux users can't
> possibly use Linux without secretly wanting to return to Windows. They
> ignore the fact that the benefits Linux brings outweigh any downsides,
> such are there are - and they are getting less and less irksome as time
> goes by.
Windows becomes a nuisance more than something that's craved. When "that
other platform" intentionally makes it inconvenient for rivals to blend, you
shut the door and say "thank you very much". It's actually intersting that
when Microsoft shuts the door _out from Windows_ (i.e. lockins), it
ironically shuts to door _into Windows_. This means that nobody will ever
(be able to) come back.
An existence in a Linux-only world is extremely easy. What makes it more
difficult? Clinging on to a Windows machine. I gave up my Windows 98 laptop
over a year ago. It was more of a cumbersome peril because it would not
interoperate. It was like an island. Good riddance.
> If Linux is so bad, why are we still using it? Why are we willing to put
> up with the so-called 'inferior' apps and performance they insit Linux
> gives us? If Windows is so overwhelmingly superior, why are we using
For the record, Linux applications (KDE at the least) are far superior to
Windows applications (let's exclude commercial third-party applications from
this equation for the time being). It's easy for a Windows user or one that
only dabbles in Linux to argue otherwise. But thorough experience in both
worlds is what leads to an objective view. That's actually something that
Scoble told me when I asked him about WordPress/Apache/MySQL/PHP/Linux. It
wasn't long afterwards that he quit Microsoft. His experimenttations in a
"Linux world" had him discover another side and the scope of view extended.
With perspective, Windows and Microsoft software seemed as though they were
facing the wall.
> Clue: it has nothing to do with hating MS, no matter how many times they
> try to tell us that it is. That's just a side-effect. Oh, some may do, but
> then a lot of Windows users aren't that happy with MS either.
Some are in denial -- a state of inner conflict. Some are fed up when
something like WGA emerges and serves as an embodiment of the last straw.
> Linux users have woken up to the fact that the hype about Windows is just
> that: hype. Marketing-speak, designed to part the user from his money as
> often as possible. Better a solid system with a few rough (and getting
> smoother daily) edges that does what *you* want, rather than an overblown
> monolith that does what *they* want.
That's very much true. Windows has always been about hype. The Monkey Dance
comes to mind. An advertising budget of $900 million (for Vista alone) is a
concrete proof, in case you seek one.
Roy S. Schestowitz | "In hell, treason is the work of angels"
http://Schestowitz.com | Free as in Free Beer ¦ PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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