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Microsoft's Magical 'Myth-Busting' Tour 649

Posted by michael
from the drive-offensively dept.
Mz6 writes "Microsoft has launched its 'Get the Facts' road show -- the tech equivalent of a political battle bus -- to tour the country and convince the wavering that Redmond is as at least cheap and as secure as its open-source rival and to spread the word that Windows is better than Linux. Nick McGrath, Microsoft's head of platform strategy, described the campaign as 'a reality check we're bringing out', aiming to tackle the 'myths' surrounding Linux. Microsoft's road show will be in Edinburgh on June 17, Manchester on June 29 and Newport on July 7."
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Microsoft's Magical 'Myth-Busting' Tour

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  • Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:07PM (#9402142)
    "La-La-La-La-Myth-Busting-Tour!
    • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

      by kfg (145172) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:19PM (#9402298)
      And here's another clue for ACs,
      The walrus is Steve.

      KFG
    • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

      by NoData (9132) <_NoData_.yahoo@com> on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:27PM (#9402380)
      Scroll up, scroll up, write this way!

      Scroll up
      Scroll up for myth-busting tour.
      Scroll up
      Scroll up for the myth busting tour.
      Scroll up (AND THAT'S AN INTIMATION)
      Scroll up for myth-busting tour.
      Scroll up (HEED OUR INTIMIDATION)
      Scroll up for the myth busting tour.
      The magical myth busting tour is waiting to take your pay
      Waiting to take your pay

      Scroll up
      Scroll up for myth-busting tour.
      Scroll up
      Scroll up for the myth busting tour.
      Scroll up (WE'VE GOT LOTS OF FUD TO BREED)
      Scroll up for myth-busting tour.
      Scroll up (COME AND BASK IN OUR GREED)
      Scroll up for the myth busting tour.
      The magical myth busting tour is waiting to take your pay
      Hoping to take your pay

      Scroll up
      Scroll up for myth-busting tour.
      Scroll up
      Scroll up for the myth busting tour.
      Scroll up (AND THAT'S AN INTIMATION)
      Scroll up for myth-busting tour.
      Scroll up (HEED OUR INTIMIDATION)
      Scroll up for the myth busting tour.
      The magical myth busting tour is waiting to take your pay
      On your servers we'd like to stay
      The magical myth busting tour is dying to make *nix go away
      Dying to make it go away, keep you at bay
      • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

        by NoData (9132) <_NoData_.yahoo@com> on Friday June 11, 2004 @06:33PM (#9402918)
        Feelin' inspired. Here's another one off the Magical Myth-Busting Tour album.

        (CHORUS)
        Let me shake you down, cuz we're going to
        Strong arm the deals.
        Statistics not real.
        Leave nothing in your bankaccount
        Strong arm our deals forever.

        Lying is easy with code closed.
        Misrepresenting all we steal.
        It's getting hard to sue someone, but it all works out
        SCO does our dirty work for cheap

        (CHORUS)

        No BSD is in our code-tree
        I mean not that you'd ever know
        That is you can't, you know, see the API but it's all right
        And if it's not, well that's too bad.

        (CHORUS)

        Platform lock-in makes you feel queasy
        But you know we know you'll join our team
        You think "dot-NET" will be "dot-NO" cuz it's all wrong
        But that's how we play monopoly

        (CHORUS)

  • Hmm ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by cryms0n (52620) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:07PM (#9402152)

    Nick,

    This word 'reality', I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • And in conjunction with cryms0n's post

      Nick,

      This word 'secure', I do not think it means what you think it means

    • Re:Hmm ... (Score:4, Funny)

      by aka-ed (459608) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (cilbup.tbor)> on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:23PM (#9402335) Homepage Journal
      It's a product rollout: MS Reality.

      • Re:Hmm ... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Rei (128717) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:50PM (#9402579) Homepage
        > It's a product rollout: MS Reality.

        Oh great. A life size talking paper clip following me around; whenever I try to load the dishwasher, it asks me "Are you sure you didn't mean to put the dishes in the compost bin?" and offers to do it for me in the future. Just what I need. :)
    • Re:Hmm ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nizo (81281) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:37PM (#9402469) Homepage Journal
      Look at this tidbit from the website:

      "Is Linux More Secure Than Windows?"
      Laura Koetzle with Charles Rutstein, Natalie Lambert, and Stephan Wenninger
      Forrester Research

      After collecting a year's worth of vulnerability data, Forrester analyzed Windows and four key Linux distributors on key metrics of responsiveness to vulnerabilities, severity of vulnerabilities, and thoroughness in fixing flaws.

      * Responsiveness: On average, Microsoft had a fix available 25 days after a security issue was publicly disclosed.
      * Thoroughness: Microsoft was the only vendor to have corrected 100% of the publicly known flaws during the study's time period.
      * Relative Severity: Windows has the fewest vulnerabilities and the fewest "high severity" vulnerabilities of any platform measured.
      • Re:Hmm ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by stevey (64018) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:46PM (#9402545) Homepage

        The problem with many studies on security is that they are not comparing like with like.

        For example a Microsoft person should be looking at a bare install with XP, IE 6, and all service packs. Nothing else.

        To contrast that with a Linux system you'd install RedHat / Debian and tons of extra softawre, basically whatever comes as part of the "default" installation - however this clearly has a lot more software included, Emacs, Vi, etc.

        On the Linux side trivial security problems with games, or whatever would be counted - artificially inflating the security exploits on the Linux side.

        True there have been several kernel security problems over the past few months, but they should be pretty much all that is compared against Kernel flaws in Windows + Internet Explorer bugs.

        • Re:Hmm ... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bersl2 (689221) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:56PM (#9402631) Journal
          Also, shouldn't ease of exploitability be taken into account? As I recall, there was a theoretical kernel vulnerability in Linux (in mremap()?) that remained unfixed for a long time, but no one could seem to demonstrate how to exploit it.
          • Re:Hmm ... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by happyfrogcow (708359) on Friday June 11, 2004 @06:14PM (#9402787)
            can't forget, when they say "Publically known flaws" does that mean flaws that they have released information about? or are they flaws that they know about but havn't released info about? or are they flaws that the entire public knows about regardless of microsofts "official public awareness" or them?

            apples to apples, thats all i want. they just need to clarify this.
      • by mangu (126918) on Friday June 11, 2004 @06:06PM (#9402707)
        I don't know if this is a legend, but I have read that, according to the formulas used by aerospace engineers, a bumblebee can't fly. It's useless to extrapolate empiric rules, the only thing that matters is the practical result.


        There used to be a site called alldas.de where crackers submitted links to the sites they defaced. Apache had, and still has, at least three sites in the web for each site based on a Microsoft server. Yet, when I checked, Microsoft had four defaced sites for each defaced Apache site in alldas. So, the practical reality says Microsoft is about twelve times more insecure than Apache.

        • by lothar97 (768215) * <owen@smi g e l ski.org> on Friday June 11, 2004 @06:56PM (#9403084) Homepage Journal
          It's all about methodology:

          "It doesn't mean bees can't fly, or that engineers say they can't fly. It just means that insect flight is very complicated and, even with computers, our fluid dynamic modeling techniques aren't yet able to quite handle such a complicated problem. Then there's the problem of verification. If you can't measure the pressures and velocities around a wing, how can you verify your calculations?"

          At least says Dr. Galapagos [ftexploring.com]

        • by kardar (636122) on Friday June 11, 2004 @07:13PM (#9403232)
          It's how filesystem corruption happens, when something causes the data to be written incorrectly, somewhere along the line.

          If Microsoft is telling the truth about the end result of a business choosing their products is security and TCO equal to or better than Linux - the bottom line, so to speak - what a business will actually experience - then I fully support an individual's right to choose whichever software platform they think is best for themselves or for their business.

          But if what happens here is that some data gets fed to potential customers, and those potential customers choose to choose Windows, and then five years later they realize that their TCO and their security was not what they thought it would be - the bottom line, that is - then the customers will realize that the data they were fed was wrong, and Microsoft will lose customers.

          So in a sense, this is an experiment that will take perhaps a decade. If this information is not suitable or not of the accuracy and appropriateness necessary to help businesses make informed decisions about security and TCO -- the bottom line, the end result for the business -- then while Microsoft might make a sale today, the word of mouth and customer experiences in the future will do significant damage to Microsoft's reputation.

          You see how so many people already don't take them seriously and how everyone makes fun of this already. If those folks are correct, which as it has been pointed out, the studies are comparing apples and oranges, then this situation is only going to get worse, and the computer illiterate will begin to not trust Microsoft.

          So while it might be easy to fool a computer illiterate person once, it is going to be next to physically impossible to re-gain that person's trust once that trust has been lost. And if you think about it, I don't see how we can expect there to be only one major OS vendor in the world anyway. Maybe when computers were a new thing, when computers were just a new-fangled toy, but as computers become a part of our lives, and as computers become something similar to cars, something that we use every day and something that is a serious part of our everyday lives, I just don't see how we can move forward, given this widespread adoption of computers, with having only one proprietary OS vendor dominant. It's simply unrealistic.

          It appears that MS is, unbeknownst to itself, laying the groundwork for a massive alienation of its own customer base. The way that they can prevent this, or at least mitigate it, is to tell the truth. But what IS the truth, and can they even say it?
  • windows cheap ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by selderrr (523988) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:08PM (#9402158) Journal
    uhm. Me thinks we need a new definition of cheap here.

    Cheap as in heineken ? Or cheap as in Duvel promo ?
    • by nizo (81281) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:13PM (#9402228) Homepage Journal
      Cheap as in "look at all the free software that gets downloaded to your computer" cheap. Or maybe cheap as in the type of shots that will be flying around here soon :-)
    • Re:windows cheap ? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dasmegabyte (267018)
      Cheap as in paying $99 for a web brower, email client, multimedia jukebox with CD burning and portable device management, image and text editor, three fun little games, easy file and setting manipulation, a platform that plays 90% of software available for a personal computer and ten years of updates for the same.

      That's pretty cheap, man. I'd still go with Panther for $129, but it's a good price considering everything you get.
  • Bit of info (Score:5, Informative)

    by PatrickThomson (712694) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:08PM (#9402165)
    for the internationally-impaired, the tour is in the UK.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:09PM (#9402171) Journal
    Geez - what's next in the political emulation attempts... negative attack ads against Linux?

    Oh, wait...

    • by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:57PM (#9402637) Homepage Journal
      Yes, and I've got some word of it in advance:

      (sinister music) The Linux operating system has a dark secret - one its supporters don't want you to hear. It can be used by terrorists, and can be installed to operate machines that kill puppies. We don't know about you, but that doesn't sound so free and wonderful to us. What other secrets might Linux be hiding?

      (happy, relaxing music) But Microsoft Windows won't stand for this. Its proven inefficiency helps thwart terrorist activities of every kind. By the time a terrorist installs Windows XP Home Edition on their computer, adds Service Pack 1, installs all of the many patches from Windows Update, implements an antivirus solution, removes the infection of the Welchia worm that was installed prior to downloading the RPC patches, as well as the Sasser worm that was installed prior to downloading the LSASS patches, the forces of good can save those puppies. And if the terrorist tries to share files with his fellow evildoers, no more than six of them will be able to access his machine at a time. Now that's security America can count on. "I'm Bill Gates, and I approve this message."

  • Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mekkab (133181) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:09PM (#9402177) Homepage Journal
    I'll burn off some Knoppix cd's and Crash the party!

    (will they have booth babes?)
  • by Izago909 (637084) <tauisgod@BOYSENgmail.com minus berry> on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:09PM (#9402179)
    RJR and Phillip Morris unveiled their plans for a traveling road show to promote cigarettes as an effective weight loss solution as well as a stimulant and antidepressant.
  • by interociter (587446) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:09PM (#9402180) Homepage
    If we all work together as a team, we can insure that there isn't a single moment on the tour where there isn't a "Powered by Linux" sticker visible on the tour bus.

  • by MsGeek (162936) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:10PM (#9402187) Homepage Journal
    I was hoping this was going on in the US...it would be fun to attend. If only to jeer and heckle.

    Hopefully some British LUGs will be on the case.
  • by ron_ivi (607351) <[moc.secivedxelpmocpaehc] [ta] [ontods]> on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:10PM (#9402188)
    Anyone have a compatability checklist of file-formats supported by Windows (standard distro) vs file-formats supported by Linux (a standard distro)?

    I'm thinking stuff like .ogg, etc.

    OTOH, if we want to play like msft who probably counts ".doc" and ".ppt" as file formats, we should probably count .fvwmrc, .bashrc, sendmail.cf as well. :)

    • '.doc' and '.ppt' are the two of the three (with Excel being the other) most important file-formats to support. (Actually, you could probably list each version of DOC and the rest. It's not like MS ever releases a new version that can be read in the old...)

      Those are what businesses use everyday, and have thousands/millions of documents in. If your desktop platform doesn't support them, you're business doesn't work these days.

      Of course, that is for desktop platforms...
  • Same (Score:5, Funny)

    by andrej73 (779231) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:10PM (#9402190) Homepage
    >Redmond is as at least cheap and as secure as its open-source rival

    Yes, and I am as at least rich as Bill Gates.
  • by sarah_kerrigan (764949) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:11PM (#9402195)
    Hello,

    Windows is the best OS, you know. If you use it, you find it makes your mind processes improve all the time, it teaches you how to temple your nerves when something goes wrong (very often, I mean)... and it's much more beautiful (there's something magical in that funny blue screen, don't you think so?)

    Muaaaaaaaaaks
    --
  • Ah, more FUD. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Roland Piquepialle (787366) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:11PM (#9402202) Homepage

    This is a load of FUD.

    Microsoft want you to believe that while, Microsoft software may be more in the purchase price department compared to open source software, it's less in implementation costs or maintenance costs, and its TCO will be lower.

    This is, of course, considering the plentiful viruses, worms and other security issues, not the case in reality. The winner in this case is Open Source software.

    Open Source software, of the BSD kind and the GPL kind, has totally changed the way we think about and work with software. One day, we will be able to scientifically determine what software we need to suit our needs. We will know ahead of time exactly what limits and what capabilities each piece of software has. IT managers will be able to sort through real facts based on real research, rather than a bunch of shallow articles and biased reports. Software will survive on its merits alone.

    The whole industry is going to benefit by this, in a large, large way. The question one day will no longer be "Microsoft or Linux?" but "Which Open Source software should we use, and why?"

    Microsoft is severely threatened and it knows it. Pay no attention to it and it will eventually go away.

    • Re:Ah, more FUD. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by riptide_dot (759229) * on Friday June 11, 2004 @06:02PM (#9402669)
      I am in agreement with the parent that this is Microsoft being backed into a corner and doing their best to FUD their way out of it...

      IMHO, there are two quesitons that we need to ask ourselves continually, about any new software (open source or not):

      What does it do well?
      What does it do poorly?

      Answering those questions (honestly) about Windows should server to shed light on why Microsoft has the largest desktop market share - Windows is easier for non-techie people to use effectively. Microsoft OSes, no matter which side of the debate you take, do have their merits. I know there's no way my parents, for example, would be able to navigate a Linux desktop, as a lot of the cool functionality that I take for granted in Linux would not only be lost on them, but would probably also serve to confuse them.

      All I'm trying to say is that while Linux is a great new trend that the desktop world is gravitating towards, us Linux fans need to not only keep in mind what companies like Microsoft have done wrong, but also what things they have done right.

  • by Dareth (47614) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:12PM (#9402220)
    ... and bound to be much more educational than this other one.

    Magic School Bus [scholastic.com]

    Besides, Ms. Frizzle be the schnizzle dizzle!

  • by Sean80 (567340) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:12PM (#9402221)
    I think the important thing here is that, irrespective of whether or not we believe that Microsoft is spreading a little bit of mythology if its own, they're doing something that Linux really isn't capable of doing.

    Every day, Microsoft employees are physically in CIO and CEO boardrooms trying to convince executives that Microsoft is a better bet than Linux. Even with a large body of evidence to the contrary, this is something Linux is missing - the financial warchest to use the media and "war buses" to convince people to the contrary.

    There's no such thing as reality - there's only what you believe. The best ideas in history of gone down because nobody believed in them. The worst ideas in history have flourished because somebody sold it stronger than anybody else.

    So yeah, they may be spreading their own version of the truth, but, as is obvious, I think we should be very, very wary of that truth being accepted as reality.

    • by Tantris (553205) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:24PM (#9402341)
      Linux does have that now. Do you think IBM, Novell/Suse, and Redhat are just sitting around? IBM has gotten a bunch of big installations of Linux done. Novell/Suse just got McDonald's to test changing over it's POS's. Microsoft is not the only one doing this anymore.
    • How exactly do they make a believer out of a CIO who's test linux rollout has reduced costs on the project by 30% over the past 6 months?

      A LOT of companies have testbed installs out to see for themselves what the TCO is. You would expect them to believe their own results in their own company more than a magic MS fud-bus.

      I'm also not so sure that the non-tech managers would appreciate the implied 'you wouldn't know good TCO or ROI if it bit you' message.

    • Every day, Microsoft employees are physically in CIO and CEO boardrooms trying to convince executives that Microsoft is a better bet than Linux. Even with a large body of evidence to the contrary, this is something Linux is missing - the financial warchest to use the media and "war buses" to convince people to the contrary.

      Isn't IBM doing this kind of promotion for Linux? Maybe they're not spending quite as much money for that as MS does for their stuff, but anyway.

      Other companies also do it in smaller s
    • by Apreche (239272) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:36PM (#9402455) Homepage Journal
      That's why we need to go out and do this. A big problem linux has is that all the geeks who support is usually expend their efforts preaching to the choir. I'm guilty of it as well as everyone here. Look at this, every day on slasdhot we sit around telling each other that linux is awesome. Anyone who reads slashdot already knows it and doesn't need to hear it again. Only I'll still read slashdot because of insightful posts like the parent.

      Instead of posting on a linux forum about how great linux is go out and talk to people. Omg! going out of the house! Ok, well maybe you geeks with no social skills should stay in your mother's basements and wait for us to tall you. But the rest of you linux users should get out there and spread the word in a real way.

      I work for a small company and the boss just hates paying for software. He doesn't really know so much technically about linux, but he knows that its free. Go find a small business that pays too much for MS licenses and make a "sales call" in your spare time. Heck, just converting random people to firefox is a step in the right direction.

      Whatever your coding isn't that urgent that you can't wait to do it later :P
  • This just in...

    Apparently Microsoft's tour bus crashed because of a faulty driver.
  • Anyone notice... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by haute_sauce (745863) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:13PM (#9402236)
    ...That the tour is taking place in Europe, where they were just slammed with HEAVY antitrust fines, and not the U.S. ?
  • by CHaN_316 (696929) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:15PM (#9402253)
    <style='howard dean' stance='jumping around screaming and sweating'>DEVELOPERS Developers developers developers! I want you to go to Arizona, or New Mexico, or Oklahoma, or Delaware, or South Carolina, or North Dakota. Viva New Mexico!! YIIEEHAAA!!!!!!!<style> -Steve Ballmer
  • by 14erCleaner (745600) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:15PM (#9402261) Homepage Journal
    From the article:

    "Our source code is our only intellectual property," said [MS spokesman] Barley

    So have all of their thousands of software patents been invalidated, or are they about to donate them to the public domain?

  • by HenrikOxUK (776979) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:16PM (#9402267) Homepage
    Here is more coverage of the event [softwarefreedomday.org] with pictures.
  • by nizo (81281) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:18PM (#9402284) Homepage Journal
    "Server OS Licensing & Support Cost Comparison -- Windows Server 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, and Novell/SUSE Linux 8"


    Read the report (2.12 MB Microsoft Word file)

    Ironically if it wasn't for the pile of open source tools that can read that on my harddrive right now, I would have to go spend about $600 just to read this file (think OS+Office+new machine to run the OS).

  • by bman08 (239376) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:19PM (#9402297)
    If I was one of those guys who doesn't know there's anything but windows (who's to say I'm not?). This van strategy, like a lot of recent MS plans, would only serve to remind me that there is competition. Why would the undisputed leader of the software world need a van tour? Because they're afraid of something, i'd think.
  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:19PM (#9402299)

    Makes it easy to critique a straw opponent when you redefine the terms to mean what you want them to mean. Microsoft defines "free" as in "beer" and anyone who knows much of anything about Linux knows the "free" aspect of Linux that represents the most value, is the "freedom" aspect of the OS, not the purchase cost.

    As long as Microsoft is comparing based on cost, they either just don't get it, or think they can bamboozle their audience.

    On the other hand, anyone who is interested in a comparison based on the "free"dom-ness of the two OSes, will find the Microsoft presentation a complete non-sequitur.

  • by elviscious (681985) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:20PM (#9402303)
    I bet that their battle bus is really just one of those short yellow buses.
  • by Otter (3800) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:20PM (#9402312) Journal
    It's a term that didn't sit well with other open-sourcers. Novell's technical director, Steve Gaines, said: "There's a huge amount of passion around open source... It's far more positive; it's 'let's create alternatives' not 'let's trash something someone else has done'."

    Definitely gotta love...

    A) Novell buys a bunch of Linux companies and suddenly their executive is the authority on what open-source "is".

    B) Nawwww. Oh, no, there's never any 'let's trash something someone else has done'! Perish the thought!

    Speaking of which, Microsoft sucks, SCO sucks, Sun sucks, Apple sucks. Also: KDE sucks, GNOME sucks, Debian sucks, Red Hat sucks, 2.4 kernels suck, vi sucks, emacs sucks, Cowboy Neal sucks.

  • Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rick and Roll (672077) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:21PM (#9402325)
    Well, this should come as no surprise.

    If things continue as they are, this would only be a small obstacle for Linux and other alternatives.

    I think, however, that Microsoft is just using as much marketing as they can to hold of Linux until Longhorn can come out. With .NET's browser apps, if they can just keep most of their current customers for the time being and transition them over to this, lock-in is assured.

    Linux really needs a better graphics toolkit and GUI framework. Otherwise, people will be going with XAML a lot of the time. Hopefully something can be done about it. Hardware support is part of the problem, but the glitches in toolkits such as GTK+ and Mozilla XUL are also a big part of the problem. QT is crystal clear and lightning fast, but because of its licensing Sun isn't promoting a PLAF for QT. Too bad.

    I think Trolltech should give serious consideration to the idea of putting QT under the LGPL. It would allow their platform to grow a lot, and they could start selling development tools and maybe extra controls instead.

    In any case, Microsoft won't switch me, nor a lot of Linux devs over to Longhorn. I could see them making my job tough though.

  • MYTH 1) Linux is actually a pleisiosaur from the cretatious period living in a lake in Scotland.

    FACT: Linux is an operating system kernel.

    MYTH 2) In Mandarin Chinese, the phrase GNU/Linux, loosely translated, means "Bit the wax tadpole."

    FACT: Linux is developed by hard working, intelligent programmers who submit their source code to a community repository, where fans of the operating system can retreive, adapt, and download the kernel at their leisure.

    MYTH 3) In 1953, a saucer full of Linux crashed landed on a farm in Roswell, New Mexico.

    FACT: Linux is used in solutions from many of the top software firms around the world, including IBM and Sun Microsystems. Because of its open codebase, it is easy to adapt to just about any hardware configuration without costly customizations.

    MYTH 4) Douching with Linux directly after sex prevents pregnancy and/or veneral disease.

    FACT: Linux installations make up as much as five percent of the desktop computers in active use, and as much as 80% of webservers.

    MYTH 5) Linux is a quality server operating system but still kind of a shoddy platform for everyday usage due to a number of conflicting desktop standards, graphical toolkits and a tireless devotion to supporting underpowered legacy systems rather than creating a single, modern standard. Attempts to critique this obvious shortcoming are met with an intensely emotional tirade that neither solves the inherent problem nor serves to edify the critic.

    FACT: Actually, this is entirely true.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:24PM (#9402342)
    http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/facts/default.asp
    Win2003 less then RedHat E3 or Suse8?
    was it per copy or per seat?
    per copy i can beleive

    i find it hard to believe that windows won on the per seat.

    http://www.redhat.com/apps/commerce/rhel/es/
    $3 50 - $1000 (no seat limit?)

    http://www.pricewatch.com/
    winServer 2003 5 seats - $150
    winServer 2003 25 seats - $1150

    so take a small business 100 machines plus servers.

    windows - $4600 per server
    redhat - $1000 total (for the uber delux edition, just to make it more fair)
  • Hrumph (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NanoGator (522640) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:26PM (#9402370) Homepage Journal
    Any of you that have followed my posts know that I'm not exactly anti-Microsoft. I've had good experiences with Windows both as a desktop and a server OS. (On top of that, my first Linux based server was rooted within 2 weeks of installing it. More secure my ass.) Despite that, I still go "yeah right" when the claim is made that Windows is better than Linux.

    In the desktop world, the major problem with Windows is the need to reinstall it every few months or your computer gets sluggish. In the server world, though I've had impressive up times (>6 months, for example) you really have to set it up right the first time, then never mess with it again except to install those MUST INSTALL NOW patches.

    Microsoft has come a long way. It's pretty darned cool that you can set up a web server or mail server with Microsoft without really needing to get a lot of outside information. (At least up to the point of where you secure it....) Every year, they lock it down a little more. It really is a pity that I can't get Microsoft's interface with linux's functionality/reliability. Or... would a Mac server do that? Does Apple make that sort of machine/OS?

    Well I'm just rambling now. Figured some of you might be interested to hear from a not-so-disatisfied MS customer.
  • Jihad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by br00tus (528477) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:31PM (#9402416)
    From the article [com.com] - "From the talk today, it seems that Microsoft have appreciated the difficulty of persuading the passionate Linux folk. One Microsoft exec described the anti-Microsoft feelings as a 'jihad.'"

    Yes, that's subtle, comparing Linux advocates to Al Qaeda and Iraqi rebels. This is after Jim Allchin calling Linux a "destroyer", Ballmer calling it a "cancer" and so forth.

    I take it as a matter of faith that Microsoft desires to destroy Linux. Part one is public relations, part two is getting the government to go after it.

    It didn't escape my attention that the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution's Ken Brown is saying he's looking into the employment agreements of Linux contributors to see if any of the employers might own the copyright to off-hours work of Linux contributors. I remember a prominent case a few years ago where some developer wrote something after work and his employer sued him later saying it belonged to them even if it wasn't work related. The battle stretches from the workplace, to the government, to big business as far as I can see - the employment agreements wage slaves have to sign due to poor collective bargaining power helps lead to the destruction of Linux (or perhaps just a monkey wrench like the one that stalled BSD for years and years in litigation). It is already having an effect - Linus is spending time worrying about legal nonsense instead of developing the kernel. It doesn't just go away when ignored, Microsoft and company seem to desire some sort of primitive accumulation of the digital commons. The solution is to look into the OSDL and their Linux legal defense fund and that sort of thing. The travesty of employment contracts which comes in to haunt Linux has to be fought in workplaces. These people are playing for keeps. And it has already had an effect if you think about it.

  • actually, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pb (1020) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:34PM (#9402444)
    I think it's really nice of Microsoft to go out and fund all these independent studies to determine the relative merits of Windows vs. Linux. I mean, because Linux is free and all, the opensource community can't really afford to spend the money to fund these complex studies by high-profile analysts and IT think-tanks.

    But fortunately for us, Microsoft *can* afford to do so! It's really amazing how they can spend all this money on marketing, advertising, touring the countryside, etc., and *still* be more affordable than Linux, which has none of these added expenses. How do they do it?

    Well, if I were Microsoft, I'd commission a think-tank to study the issues. But since I'm not, I'll just naively assume that they must find a way to pass the costs along to consumers and OEMs.

    Come to think of it, that might also explain why it's Bill Gates--and not Linus Torvalds--who is worth billions of dollars. Hmm...
  • by Niles_Stonne (105949) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:42PM (#9402509) Homepage
    Linux Users' Groups should follow the bus passing out CDs for free (or even just the cost of the CD). Challenge Microsoft to give out their OS. The LUG members should also hand out contact info and meeting times for their meetings - that way they can find out where to get good support as well.

    Signs such as "Windows is CHEAP, Linux is Inexpensive." should be used liberally as well.

  • by greymond (539980) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:45PM (#9402536) Homepage Journal
    MS Rep: Microsoft is now more secure than ever, not to mention our proven track record of security in the past.

    Person 1: Hasn't your security been laughed at in the past?

    MS Rep: Microsoft's NT and 2000 platforms set the ground work for our current XP OS.

    Person 1: Maybe, but hasn't your Windows 95, and 98 OS's been nothing but trouble?

    Person 2: Yeah and what about Millenium?

    MS Rep: Windows 95 and 98 are just older and so are not supported anymore, I have no idea what this Millenium is you speak of.

    Person 2: What are you talking about of course you do I have a install disk righ there.

    MS Rep2: We don't know what you are talking about, security please escort this man out.

    Person 3: Hay what about the bug reports on IE that occur every week.

    MS Rep: Ok will security please escort out all the slashdot and wired readers, thanks.

    MS Rep: So what do we think of MS now?

    MS Rep2: I think its great
  • Oh, the irony... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by karmatic (776420) on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:56PM (#9402630)
    When I try to load the Get The Facts [microsoft.com] site in IE, it loads just fine.

    When I try to load it under Mozilla Firebird 0.7, I get redirected to http://www.microsoft.com/info/customerror.htm, with the error "We're sorry, we were unable to service your request. As an option, you may visit any of the pages below for information about Microsoft services and products."

    Doesn't only showing the page to the people using your product kind of beat the purpose?
  • by miyako (632510) <miyako@@@gmail...com> on Friday June 11, 2004 @05:58PM (#9402647) Homepage Journal
    Not that I particularly mind MS shooting itself in it's foot, but I really wonder if Microsoft is doing itself more harm than good by bringing so much attention to Linux. I know a lot of people who completely dismissed Linux prior to Microsoft making such a big deal out of showing it's competitive. I just wonder if microsoft is inadvertently drawing attention to the competition.
  • by HermanZA (633358) on Friday June 11, 2004 @06:01PM (#9402660)
    Thanks Microsoft, this will raise the profile of Linux and bring it to the attention of more people, which is exactly what we need!
  • I have my own :) (Score:4, Informative)

    by vandan (151516) on Friday June 11, 2004 @06:17PM (#9402811) Homepage
    I've put up my own site on MySQL and Access, at: http://enthalpy.homelinux.org/MySQL/ [homelinux.org]

    I've got a couple of pages on setup instructions and code examples, and finally a cost comparison with a full Microsoft stack. The full Microsoft stack doesn't exactly come out on top... If anyone has any comments on the figures, feel free to respond - I want it to be at least as free of bullshit as Microsoft's "Get the Facts" campaign :)
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Friday June 11, 2004 @06:29PM (#9402888) Homepage
    And the best idea they can come up with is a bus? So who is going to come to the bus and walk away thinking, "Gosh, maybe Windows is really cheaper."

    I'd say the odds were pretty much zero.

    The only thing that could save MSFT now is a fully operational death star.

  • My favorite MS Lie (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ira Sponsible (713467) on Friday June 11, 2004 @07:17PM (#9403273) Journal
    "Switching from Windows to Linux Prohibitively Eexpensive, Extremely Complex"

    I did this 2 days ago. Rebuilding a fried box, reinstalling Windows took about 3 hours (including a 45 minute search for my legitimate license key), I had to constantly babysit the computer for a each prompt, and when it was finally complete, did not work properly. Rather than waste the rest of the night trying to troubleshoot the damned thing and get it all working I gave up, stuck in the Lindows cd I got for free, clicked I agree and started smoking a cigarette. Before I was done smoking the install was completed and was waiting for me to reboot. Now all I have to do is apt-get the programs I want to use (already using the windows version of just about every GNU/Linux software anyone needs on a pc) and I'll be done.

    I'm kinda lazy and cheap, but not stupid.
    Do I pick Windows (Pain in the ass to install, Hell to operate and protect, and expensive to buy and get support for, which needs to be periodically reinstalled when it stops working for no apparent reason)
    Or do I pick Linux (easy to install, free to get, and millions of developers that give you the info you need to keep things going for free on a stable platform that can be trusted not to inexplicably decide not to work)?

    -Yeah, I know I picked Lindows in this example, but I've tried installing other distros, and they were all easier and faster than the Windows Reinstall Hell I've been through many times.
    -Yes I do still use windows, they have some of my important data locked up in some of their apps that I can't use without their platform. I've learned from this mistake and am going through the painful transition of RECREATING the info in opensource formats.
    -Damn. That last one let me know that Microsoft is right. It really is a complicated, expensive and painful procedure to transition from Windows to Linux: Complicated because you have to free your info from their locked-down shitty closed source applications-usually fixing a crapload of errors generated by these same apps, wasting a lot of time(=money), and wishing you never made the mistake of using Microsoft crap in the first place (painful).
  • by rayd75 (258138) on Friday June 11, 2004 @07:33PM (#9403376)
    I find it highly amusing that Microsoft chose to use PDF files on this particular page when throughout the rest of their site they've pretended that Word documents are some sort of universal standard. Finally an admission by Microsoft itself that Word isn't the best format for publications you acually want EVERYONE to be able to read.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday June 11, 2004 @07:36PM (#9403392) Homepage Journal
    Go to the tour stops, and act responsibly while you pass out flyers, cds and hurl tough questions at the speakers...

    Dont act like a bunch of idiots that came to heckle.

    We all have a chance to make OSS look good and make a useful statment.. on Microsoft's dime!
  • by mabu (178417) on Friday June 11, 2004 @07:48PM (#9403461)
    Just in case this latest tour doesn't work, I'd like to offer some suggestions for Microsoft's marketing department for future promotions:

    * Produce a study that reveals "Linux users have smaller penises"

    * Include free Windows 2000 server license in new McDonald's Happy Meals.

    * Purchase one of the Internet backbone providers and start refusing to process packets from non-Microsoft networks.

    * Offer Microsoft-Certified-Linux-Professional-Systems-Eng ineer certification, which is in effect, a room where they strap people to chairs a la "A Clockwork Orange" and show them a never ending stream of Steve Balmer video speeches.

    * Release "Windows For Linux" desktop which at first appears to be a window manager, but actually removes Linux and installs Server 2000.

    * Start rumor that Linus Torvalds is a member of Al Quaeda.

    * Get patent on common sense and free thinking and charge all Linux users with IP infringement.

    * Update scripts of upcoming Star Wars and Harry Potter movies to show that Darth Vader and Valdemort are "powered by Linux."

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday June 12, 2004 @05:15AM (#9405641) Homepage
    This is a short write up of the event. Alain Williams wrote it &
    received comments from Phil Hands and Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton .

    The MS announcement
    http://www.microsoft.co.uk/events/Ms EStdEventDisp. asp?params=fHx8fDB8bXNldmVudHN8MHww&EventID=80 61

    ****

    All that you ever wanted to know about Linux but were afraid to ask.

    Officially called:
    20:20 Seminar Series: Microsoft Windows and Linux An open and honest technology discussion

    How is MicroSoft presenting Linux to its customers ? We need to know so that we can be ready for
    the challenge. MicroSoft is an important competitor, we cannot afford to ignore it, we cannot
    just dismiss it with a smile of smug superiority

    The undersigned were at the above MicroSoft presentation in London, England on 10 June 2004.
    This is not a literal report, more an attempt to extract the ideas of what was said as sound bites.

    There were some 300 delegates, about 90% wearing suits. MicroSoft was well aware that many
    Linux types were present.

    This was a carefully scripted event with someone acting like a TV chat show host. The banter and
    'off the cuff' jokes (it is a good idea to keep your contact list of girlfriends protected from your wife)
    were well rehearsed.

    First part: presentations

    Philip Dawson - Senior Program Director - Meta Group

    . Open Office is incomplete and incompatible.
    . Have to repackage when the kernel changes.
    . Difficult to replace MS support with Linux equivalent
    . Cost of ongoing integration & support
    . Desktop:
    * lacks ecosystem (exchange, active directory, office, 3rd party divers & apps)
    * lack of admin tools
    * requires ITO to do something
    * desktop is about breadth, Linux is narrow
    . Much of Linux uptake is Unix -> Linux migration, little Windows -> Linux
    . The costs between Linux and Windows balance out when you buy RedHat/SuSE (Debian is
    not suitable for the enterprise because there is no support).
    . Should focus on services
    . Problems with the different Open Sources licenses - if you want to base an app on Linux
    you need to understand all the different licenses otherwise you will get into trouble.
    . The Operating System is not comoditised, the battle is on the application stack, this
    is where the focus is.
    . Beware the corporate IP threat:
    * You may loose control of your own written applications
    * Liabilities from use of open source (eg SCO) (I think he said this)
    . If you deploy Active Directory do not deploy Samba
    . Moving shell scripts Unix -> Linux is difficult (ie so why not move to Windows)
    . There is no hardware saving if you deploy Windows or Linux - ie the same number of boxes needed.
    . He dismissed, as largely irrelevant, all hardware platforms other than Intel compatible ones.
    . There were several other cheap jibes that showed ignorance but which would be taken
    as true by many who are not familiar with Linux.
    . Don't look at the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), look at the ROI (Return On Investment).
    . MySql is incomplete and does not scale. Don't compare MySql to MS-SQL, but it would be rude to MS Access
    to compare MySql to it.

    Nick Barley - Directory of Marketing - Microsoft UK

    . Boardroom Boredom. Most boards don't really care about IT, they regard it as a cost that
    never really delivers on what it promises.
    . Why MS ? : "We make the complex simple"
    . MS provides simple packages apps.
    . "Its free v MS" is a not true headline, you need to look at the TCO.
    . Linux cost has moved to the same as the MS model - RedHat charges now
    . Ecosystem buzzword was used again, MS has a lot of partners: integrators, ISVs, ...
    . With MS you get the software all from one place, with Linux if comes from all over,
    he quoted Larry Ellison (I think) ''if you saw an airplane with wings made by differ

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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