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The Continuing War Against Microsoft's "Facts" Campaign 316

Posted by timothy
from the sometimes-they-come-back dept.
davidmwilliams writes "I've been rallying against Microsoft's so-called 'Get the Facts' site for the last fortnight in my blog. Rather than give any legitimate comparison facing off Windows Server vs similarly spec'd Linux options, the Microsoft spin doctors opt for bunkum and hogwash with sensational headlines that don't have any substance underneath. Here's the state of play, including an update on my request to Microsoft PR to do something about the blatant lack of integrity displayed. I also go over the latest case study put up by Microsoft: they promise to show why people are choosing Windows Server 2008 over Linux using the City of Uppsala as an example."
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The Continuing War Against Microsoft's "Facts" Campaign

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  • who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436)
    people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.
    • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:48AM (#23298066)

      people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.

      Also shockingly, if they are continually fed lies without anybody disagreeing, this affects what they feel suits their needs best.

      • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

        by yorugua (697900) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:17AM (#23298806)

        Also shockingly, if they are continually fed lies without anybody disagreeing, this affects what they feel suits their needs best.
        "There won't be anything we won't say to people to try and convince them that our way is the way to go." -Bill Gates
    • Two wrongs don't make a right... or do they?
    • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AftanGustur (7715) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:51AM (#23298086) Homepage

      people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.

      You are right, but the keyword is "feel"..

      If I spend a million dollars in publicity where I suggest product X is, not only, superior to product Y, but also that everybody is going for product 'X'.

      It would be normal for you to "feel" that product 'X' suits you best, even though it doesn't.

      • by Tribbin (565963) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:52AM (#23298310) Homepage
        Since the improved GPU-detection of 'Product X' you won't have to fiddle with xorg.conf anymore. This leaves me with no 'feel' of satisfaction when it works.
      • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by denzacar (181829) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:31AM (#23298622) Journal

        If I spend a million dollars in publicity where I suggest product X is, not only, superior to product Y, but also that everybody is going for product 'X'.

        It would be normal for you to "feel" that product 'X' suits you best, even though it doesn't.
        Yeah, I know what you mean...

        Imagine them making a series of commercials that way.
        Lets say... with a young, "hip" and slim actor portraying their product (A) and a older, fat, bespectacled, "corporate drone"-like actor portraying the competition (B).
        And then let them play it out so that product A is not just better than B, but B also sucks. Like... you know.. big time.

        Pure evil!
      • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by number6x (626555) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:57AM (#23300740)

        'feel' might be the wrong word, however it is a good way to confuse 'best' product to market with the best product.

        The prouct that wins in a competitive open market is rarely ever the product a human would 'feel' was best. Often they would 'feel' it was an inferior product.

        As an example try to think of the best hamburger you ever ate. I know that this is a matter of opinion, but that's the judgment I want you to use. What was the hamburger you 'feel' was the best you ever ate? One that makes your mouth water just thinking about it. You're thinking of how you could plan a road trip right now so you can taste it again.

        I know all the vegans reading are calling me an insensitive clod right now, but stay with this...

        Was the hamburger you thought of a McDonald's brand plain hamburger? The plain regular McDonald's hamburger is clearly the market leader in hamburgers. It has complete market dominance and is the undisputed all time best seller in the market place. Billions and Billions served.

        The product that the market place chooses as 'best' is rarely what a human would think of as 'best'. Market winners are usually best described as 'adequate'. They get the job done, and usually not much more. However the best to market is also cheaper. a product that functions adequately and costs less usually grows to dominate its market. More expensive products that offer more functionality can usually still carve out their own niche in a market, but they will not dominate.

        Sony Beta was a superior product to VHS. It was also more expensive to license. VHS dominated the mass market, but Beta survives in the production studio where the extra cost is justified by the greater demands for sound and image quality.

        Ford's Model T was inferior to other cars produced during its day. The other cars were hand made affairs. They were faster more comfortable and more powerful. Many were status symbols. The Stanley brothers would refuse to make a car for you if they 'felt' you were the wrong type of person to be seen in one of their vehicles. Ford however was the first to use complete mass production techniques to build his vehicles. This resulted in drastically reduced prices. His Model T was adequate and cheaper. Mass produced cars grew to dominate their market.

        The IBM PC was about the worst PC you could purchase when it was introduced in the Early 1980's. It was under powered, had almost no software that would run on it, and was more expensive than almost anything else on the market (except for the Apple III and the Lisa). They would have been a tremendous flop if it weren't for IBM's existing corporate customers. An Apple II, a Commodore, an Amiga, even the TRS 80 had more software and was cheaper. Their market share was also larger than IBM's. IBM sales were almost exclusively made to corporate customers who used the pc's as terminals for existing mainframe computers. Think about it, a $2400, 640K, green screen dumb terminal. (nice keyboards though). But then came the clones. When the Bios was reversed engineered the market place was flooded with cheaper clones that ran that knockoff of CPM called MS-DOS. The cheaper, but adequate, clones gained dominance in their market. Just like the cheaper but adequate product always does.

        A human would rarely choose the market winner based on how they 'feel' about the product. The market winner will need to perform adequately and to be cheaper. More expensive products can easily survive by offering more functionality or quality for their extra price (think gourmet hamburgers, Mercedes cars or Macintosh computers). Bill Gates knows his history and He knows the market place, and that is why he fears Linux. He knows that it is more than adequate and that it is cheaper. He will lose market dominance unless he can raise the cost of Linux (patent and copyright law suits that force license fees on Linux) or redefine what it means to be adequate (get enough corporation's documentation in patent encumbered formats that force a new mea

    • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

      by value_added (719364) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:21AM (#23298216)
      people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.

      For your benefit and others who similarly haven't read the article or missed its point entirely, the case study cited in the article involves the city of Upssala that has two networks, one a 150-server Windows network, and the second a 100-server Windows network with some Linux and Netware thrown in. Virus outbreaks and a need for increased control were cited as motivating factors for a change.

      The case study goes on about how TrueSec and the city participated in the Microsoft Rapid Deployment Program in order to get Windows Server 2008 pre-release version early. They made a test network, they purchased new hardware, they made a pilot deployment in January 2008 in the city administration network and things are looking ok so far.

      So, what do we learn? Firstly, the existing platform was far more of a Windows environment than a Linux one. The Windows-exclusive network was insecure. A third-party company who maintained the network - and who were a Microsoft partner - recommended new features in Windows Server 2008 that would help. So far, the Windows-exclusive network has been partially upgraded.

      Hang on? Where's the Linux aspect? Why is this on Microsoft's site? Weren't we promised we'd be told why customers are choosing Windows Server 2008 over Linux?

      Oh yeah, there was a single reference hidden away. "If you go with Linux, you can never be sure of what kind of support you're going to get" a server technician said. "Maybe the product is free, but you still have to put in the staff hours to basically support the product yourself."

      If there's a "suit one's needs" aspect to any of this, it certainly isn't in the article.
      • job security (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:38AM (#23298654)
        I asked our IT dept why they hadn't moved the infrastructure to linux they had two answers. The first, boring but correct, is that for a small company (which we were) MS just integrates too easily. The second answer intrigued me though. No one in the IT dept knows ANY practical linux - it wasn't looked for on CVs or needed day-to-day. Every time the CTO questions linux, they fight against it with the REAL reason being they would be effectively demoted as skilled hires came in above them to support the new systems.
        Now THAT's "suiting ones needs"
      • Re:who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by totally bogus dude (1040246) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:46AM (#23298682)

        "Maybe the product is free, but you still have to put in the staff hours to basically support the product yourself."

        Sorry to hijack your post, I didn't RTFA but this ticked me off.

        They strongly imply that you don't have to support commercial software yourself. As an aside: the fact that companies can go around making these sorts of claims and not get sued into oblivion for blatantly lying to the public (or hell, thrown in jail) says some pretty bad things about the state of our societies, IMHO.

        Unless you need someone to babysit you while you do basic tasks with the software, any reasonably competent tech is going to be able to install and use the software, regardless of whether it uses arcane text files or pretty tick boxes to configure it. If you have problems, you search the 'net for it -- chances are good someone else (or a lot of someones) have already encountered and solved the problem. The only times we've ever resorted to paid support from the vendor is when we have a really unusual problem we can't diagnose or fix ourselves; and guess what? The people providing the support are themselves simply reasonably competent (if you're lucky) techs who end up being just as stumped as you.

        This means that for servers and infrastructure, paid support is a fucking joke. This bodes poorly for the Open Source companies that want to make money from providing support, but that's just how it is. Maybe it'll work out different when there's actually competition: in theory, since everyone can see the internals there's nothing stopping anyone else from becoming an expert at the software, and anyone can find and fix problems in the code. So possibly for popular software there'd be enough competition to provide paid support that they'd have to be competent and actually fix things, instead of fobbing off the customer until they give up. Maybe the current state of paid support is simply a symptom of monopoly inefficiency.

        But I'm not certain about that. At its essence, paid support rewards good marketing of bad software. If the software does what you say it does, does it well, and is straightforward to set up, then there's not going to be any market for support.

        <rant>

        We use Sharepoint 2007 at work for our websites, and the licensing ain't cheap. Over $50,000 for each internet-facing server, another $20k for SQL 2005, and a bit of change for Windows licenses to run the servers and AD (plus additional licensing for the authoring environment). But that money's just a drop in the bucket compared to the money spent on developers to customize it and training of staff.

        I'm pretty sure Microsoft knows this, and that's why they're not afraid to release a half-finished product whose key features (like content deployment) don't actually work. So we spend even more money on their Premier Support service, who proceed to waste my time over the course of several months collecting gigabytes of trace files, doing repetitive "tests" and sending them the error logs (which are, of course, incomplete; seems that part's a bit broken too) and then stalling me for a while until they come up with some other pointless exercise to waste some more of my time.

        I'm positive they do this deliberately, because they know that eventually I'll get fed up with getting nowhere and resign myself to working around the defects. As I have, of course. But it's ridiculous that companies can charge you for the software, and then charge you again for (no) help with its problems, and then act like you're getting fantastic value for money.

        If I'm getting free support from mailing lists or forums or what have you, then I'm happy to go through all the debugging shit -- installing minimal clean environments to see if the problem is reproducible there, etcetera. It annoys me having to spend my time doing this if I'm paying for support from someone else, though. Isn't that what they're being paid to do?!

        </rant>

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mig (15526)

      people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.
      You are right, it can also be BSD.
    • Linux: The War Against Facts?

      A ready-made Microsoft campaign right there.
    • by toby (759) *

      (In the drugged sleepwalking nightmare world of falsitude that is the FUD ghetto MS tries to create,)
      People will choose the software that suits Microsoft's needs best. Unshockingly this is NEVER Linux.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:39AM (#23298024) Journal
    Doesn't anybody read H. L. Mencken anymore?

    -jcr
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wilder_card (774631)
      Geez, man, nobody reads anymore!! Where have you been? When they make this H. L. Mencken guy's book into a movie, maybe people will have heard of him. Of course, it won't help the spelling of "buncombe" unless it's in the movie title.
  • by Bender_ (179208) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:40AM (#23298028) Journal
    Nothing against a well founded unbiased comparison of different products. But your article already starts off stating that it is purposefully against one of the options. Why should this be any better than the Microsoft press department gibberish?

    • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:47AM (#23298060)
      1+(-1) = 0
      If we bash there lies then the two should cancel out, unfortunately
      1) they're bigger than us
      2) this article is preaching to the MS bashing choir, if you want to cancel out their fud you have to buy the same adspots they do, fight them were they fight. If anybody on /. is using MS its due to an informed decision, not some MS bull, so your not going convert anybody posting here. (maybe digg, has a few suckers who fall for MS bull) But most likely you have to buy some ads at PHB.com or preconfiguredservers.com
      • by Bender_ (179208)
        How about just having a third party review that compares products according to certain customer applications without using words and phrases suchs as "war", "rallying against", "Rather than", "legitimate comparison", "spin doctors opt for bunkum and hogwash" ,"sensational headlines", "don't have any substance", "blatant lack of integrity displayed"?

        Oh, did I just quote the entire article? Surprising how little substance remains after cutting out the polemic.

        • by Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:56AM (#23298318)

          > How about just having a third party review that compares products

          That is difficult to achieve when, for example, Microsoft and Oracle EULAs prohibit releasing the results of benchmarking.

          In Microsoft's case, this prohibition originated with SQL Server and now encompasses any product which uses the .Net frameworks including, apparently, WMP 11.

          Fortunately I don't have any such concerns with the software I use, OpenBSD. Does that make me a shill?

          • by Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:22AM (#23298414)

            Follow-up.

            SQL Server remains off-limits for benchmarking. From the EULA for SS2005 Std / Ent:

            5. BENCHMARK TESTING. You must obtain Microsoft's prior written approval to disclose to a third party the results of any benchmark test of the software.

            However the company has now changed its restrictions for .Net benchmarking. One can release results according to certain ( sane ) requirements on the condition that Microsoft can reciprocally benchmark your software:

            Benchmark Testing, Microsoft .NET Framework [microsoft.com]

            Still glad I don't use proprietary software.

            • by hackstraw (262471) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:06AM (#23300150)
              SQL Server remains off-limits for benchmarking. From the EULA for SS2005 Std / Ent:

              5. BENCHMARK TESTING. You must obtain Microsoft's prior written approval to disclose to a third party the results of any benchmark test of the software.


              How is this legal?

              I'm not just thowing a car analogy out there, but its the first thing that I thought of. Cars when they say they have XXX horsepower, these claims are within government guidelines on how to measure horsepower.

              The same is true for gas milage.

              Benchmarks are part of the decision making process, and they are useful within and between different products (eg, SQL Server 1998 vs SQL server 2001 vs Oracle 15).

              Yes, I know that benchmarks are not the end all be all, but they are a fairly standardized unit of measure that is used in many industries.

              I also just hate EULAs, especially ones that don't even stay the same within a single product.

      • "I'm no fan of Microsoft, but [MS bashing is outdated]."

        Sorry, it's not outdated. They are a criminal bunch of liars and thieves who need to be shut down for the sake of civilisation.

        Once that has been concluded: Bashing Microshit will be done only as a quiant ceremonial gesture when the winning side wishes to celebrate past victories in the great war to save technology from pure sick greed!

        In a couple of generations nobody will remember who Microsoft was, or if they do, only for what it truly is: an em

    • by crimson30 (172250)
      Nothing against a well founded unbiased comparison of different products. But your article already starts off stating that it is purposefully against one of the options. Why should this be any better than the Microsoft press department gibberish?

      Why? Maybe because it contains facts.

      Similarly, when proponents of homeopathy/psychic powers/etc put out a study/meta-analysis and skeptics come in basically with their minds already made up, do the facts that they bring up to prove their point somehow become less
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:52AM (#23298092)
    As someone who lived and studied in Uppsala and has worked in several places in the public sector in Sweden, I can tell you that there are LOTS of Pointy Haired Bosses and sysadmins theres who are unabashedly Microsoft-philes.

    The bosses because they all they know how to use is MS Office and they demand Outlook integration so they can book meetings and keep tabs on employees. Sysadmins because they are often self-taught (from magazines such as Datormagazin [datormagazin.se] and they feel threatened whenever someone suggests using something other than Windows.

    Sadly many Swedish universites are in the process of switching to AD.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Ironically Datormagazin is one of the most Linux friendly Swedish magazines, they even had a 5 page guide for people who wants to switch from Windows to Linux or OSX just a couple of months ago. :)

      People who actually read it should have a more nuanced view than the "Microsoft-philes".
  • Pot? Kettle? Black? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:52AM (#23298098) Homepage Journal
    "I've been rallying against Microsoft's so-called 'Get the Facts' site for the last fortnight in my blog. Rather than give any legitimate comparison facing off Windows Server vs similarly spec'd Linux options, the Microsoft spin doctors opt for bunkum and hogwash with sensational headlines that don't have any substance underneath.

    Not defending Microsoft, but decrying them using the same tactics you are admonishing them for using probably won't win you any followers that weren't on your side to begin with.
  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:55AM (#23298110) Journal
    It is impossible to get support from Microsoft for a company based in India; even if one is willing to pay money. Microsoft sells Server licenses and Volume licenses and Corporate licenses; but nowhere do they sell Support for server, desktop or home software - atleast in India.

    One has to go in for support from Microsoft partners and such, but the MCSEs who work there have little clue as to real problems faced by end users.

    It thus makes a lot of sense to invest in Linux-based Open Source solutions because IT users have no use buying just Servers and Licenses - the benefit comes from the applications built on top of the servers.

    At a hospital I consult with, for instance; we are replacing the entire in-house VB and .Net based system with a completely open source, open standards compliant system. The company that develops this software provides the necessary support for Linux as well. Unlike frequent virus, service pack and other application compatibility issues on Windows - post-Vista; we are yet to face a single issue with the Linux-based solution over the past 2 years.

    I think the "Get The Facts" page from Microsoft should be modified for each country and each industry - a general scenario makes no sense.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by r_jensen11 (598210)

      It is impossible to get support from Microsoft for a company based in India; even if one is willing to pay money. Microsoft sells Server licenses and Volume licenses and Corporate licenses; but nowhere do they sell Support for server, desktop or home software - atleast in India.

      Of course they don't, imagine how expensive it would be to do so! If they provided support in India, where the hell would they outsource to? You can't provide support in the same country as your offices with tech support- a fundamental requirement is that nobody can understand anyone.

      • by jkrise (535370)
        It would make excellent business sense for Microsoft to provide support in India. Because India is where software gets produced and supported; it makes sense to be liked by the developer community.

        Currently in India, most companies prefer to develop on Java and Oracle on Linux, or PHP on Linux - the LAMP stack. .Net has a long way to go - even the Microsoft Compare page talks about PHP, Apache etc on Windows - but few developers are swayed to tkae up Windows servers for Open Source development.
  • by ionix5891 (1228718) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:58AM (#23298124)
    i just spotted a "Get the facts" google adsense text block at the top of the page, rofl!
  • by gsslay (807818) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:04AM (#23298150)
    You mean to say that a sales and marketing website is manipulating the facts in order to show their product in a better light than competing products?

    I am honestly shocked! I commend you on your campaign and congratulate you on your inevitable victory. Microsoft can do nothing but shamefacedly admit their blatant bias here and comply with your demands.
    • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:14AM (#23298194)
      Wait a minute... you're saying people can lie on the internet in order to get me to give them money?

      How will I know which male performance enhancing products and Nigerian generals to trust?
      • by Gazzonyx (982402)
        As a general rule of thumb, don't trust the ones that contact you. Be weary of the ones you contact.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stelios78 (628238)
      I think what people are saying is that a company deliberately lies to its customers(calling this manipulating the facts softens the notion substantially). When a company cannot even get its own customers (who no doubt get substantial discounts to hand out their endorsements) to say the things it wants them to say, you know they are in trouble.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by archeopterix (594938)

      You mean to say that a sales and marketing website is manipulating the facts in order to show their product in a better light than competing products?
      There is a difference between waving something off as "marketing bullshit" and documenting particular manipulations. The former might give you +5 on Slashdot, the latter is more effective in real world.
  • by nguy (1207026) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:05AM (#23298154)
    That Microsoft site is even more disorganized than the Windows control panel or the .NET documentation.

    I think nobody is going to dig through that mess to help them make a decision. The only people who are going to bother with that are Microsoft fanboys trying to justify their OS with "data".
  • lol (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:08AM (#23298170) Homepage Journal

    my request to Microsoft PR to do something about the blatant lack of integrity displayed.
    You are questioning MS PR's modus operandi?

    The whole thing is a FUD campaign. It's purpose is to be blatant, to lack any integrity, and to cause as much uncertainty and doubt as possible. Yes, that includes doubt about the integrity of MS. Any doubt is good doubt, as long as it stops people from switching to Linux.
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:19AM (#23298208) Homepage
    I would think that a company intentionally spreading misleading information under the guise of facts would be illegal, if only so as to protect consumers. How is this not so?
  • by DerWulf (782458)
    there should be a rule against blatant pushing of blog or other websites that the submitter has any ties to.
    Really getting tired of slashdot being an ego deflation device for some people.

    I've been rallying against Microsoft's so-called 'Get the Facts' site for the last fortnight in my blog.

    Translation: I am a gigantic douche. Why in the hell would you grace what is essentialy marketing with so much attention and why can't you just say "two weeks" for the love of ...

  • by asifyoucare (302582) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:10AM (#23298364)
    Some random guy criticizes Microsoft in his blog. Its the beginning of the end for them I'm sure.
  • After years of study I feel only one voice has summed up this entire academic discipline:
    Tyler Durden: "Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:58AM (#23298492)
    ...as primarily a Linux user myself who works as a consultant in a telecoms company where most of our products are already running on Linux, can you please stop with this stupid idea that Linux is "at war" with Microsoft or Windows?

    Linux is an operating system, and a very good one at that, but please treat everyone else like adults who are capable of making their own minds up as to what OS they want to run. Fine, if they choose not to consider Linux then so be it, let it be their loss but let them get on with it.

    Unless you are fighting for open file standards (so Linux can interoperate on par with Windows) or pushing back on DRM, you will do more harm than good to Linux and the Open Source movement because you will appear as nothing more than a religious zealot.

    It's quite clear that recently, Microsoft is quite capable of putting its own foot in its mouth without your assistance.

    So I would strongly suggest your energies would be put to better use giving assistance to those who have just started to explore Linux - help them along with it, make their experience with it easier & firmly dissuade them from any thoughts that Linux people are not lunatic hippies but actually nice helpful people.

    Linux exists DESPITE Microsoft, not BECAUSE of Microsoft and it will still be here in years to come whether Microsoft is here or not.

  • by mike_sucks (55259) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:57AM (#23298728) Homepage

    I say pish-posh to that!

    /Mike

  • 1 - Make a slashdot sub plugging your own blog with a bit of flaimbait.

    2 - Get slashdotted.

    3 - Profit!

  • I've posted about this before, but if you buy Windows you don't know what support you're going to get. When we installed our first Windows domain servers we bought two servers and enough client licenses for our user base, and it was good. Then we upgraded from NT 3.1 to NT 3.51 and we started getting users kicked out because we didn't have enough licenses. So we called Microsoft, and they told us to make some changes to our license settings, and we did that, and EVERYONE started getting kicked out. Nobody could log in to the domain. So we called Microsoft back and they said, oh no, we'd used up the three free support calls, now we had to get a support contract, they were sorry that it was their fault they'd made things worse but they couldn't do anything about that... policy was policy, even if our whole domain was broken...

    So I asked on Usenet, got the right answer, and everything was working fine the next week when someone more senior from Microsoft called VERY apologetically and saying they'd reset our calls. For all I know they're still waiting for me to make 'em... because since then I've gone for the free "you don't know what you're going to get" support FIRST and it's always come through.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)
      Yeah sounds right. Someone at my company had an issue with Access. He called a few times, but since it was a hobby project and not something for the company, he was asked to pay for support. He paid his fee for them to look at it. All they did was take his money and respond "Oh, yes, we know about that issue. No, we didn't list it on the website as a bug because technically it's not a bug. It won't be in the new version of Access, but won't change it in this version. Thanks for calling." He was a b
  • Marketing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by too2late (958532)
    I've been a linux user for 6 years and I can't stand microsoft, but what they're is doing is not wrong, it's marketing. This is what companies do! That's how they sell their product. As a business owner myself, I'm all too familiar with the desire to do anything to sell your product. The OP's reaction is the correct one. Microsoft has every right try and sell their products.... the only thing the linux camp can do is fight back with the same tactics.
  • by codepunk (167897) on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:54AM (#23299390)
    You see Linux is a tool, it's cost and functionality is a competitive advantage. While Company
    A is stroking million dollar licensing checks each year Company B is running Linux. Company
    B is placing that million dollars into sales, marketing, equipment etc to put a hurting on company A's market share. I guess company B hopes you continue running windows.
  • I do prefer Linux because well, I do... but, honesty demands a few good look at everything.

    If we're going to get into, yet again, a tired debate about Windows vs Linux, let's challenge some basic "truths" about Windows circulated in the Linux community. A lot of these basic "truths" are circulated about older versions of Windows...

    1. Windows is unreliable. Not true. Any more, Windows Server is very reliable. IT departments in a number of my clients run Windows Server 2003 and can keep it up for years, if they want. I think it has been about five years since any Windows server I have seen has ever crashed.

    2. Windows isn't multiuser friendly. Not true. I know one guy who started an ISP, threw up a bunch of Windows servers and gave all of his customers unfettered access to their own SQL Server databases. I thought he was crazy. But, now he's a millionaire and his business is well regarded. In the enterprise scale, I've got multiple people connecting to Windows databases via RDP, and honestly, this setup makes VNC look like crap. Windows terminal services works so extraordinarily well that outsourced development teams in India are using RDP to run Visual Studio on US hosted boxes.

    3. SQL Server sucks. Not True. I think that was a pretty accurate claim up till around 7.0, but starting around SQL Server 2000, you could make a pretty good case for SQL Server 2000 for a lot of medium sized businesses and medium sized datasets. I've seen SQL Server instances running with terabytes of real row data (not just tons of images) and it holds up like a champ. Law firms, power companies, people that have big data, are using SQL Server and it works for them pretty well.

    4. IIS Sucks. Not true. I'm not a real big fan of ASP.NET, but, its working pretty well for a lot of people and keeps me employed. It has its hiccups, but, for the most part, if you build an application in ASP.NET and know -something-, the IIS/SQL Server/Windows Server stack is actually going to be there for your more than it will let you down.

    Of course, that's not to say Microsoft is perfect. They aren't. Internet Explorer STILL sucks, Word sucks (but MS Office still blows Open Office out of the water), the help in Visual Studio is just terrible any more, and there's a lot to not like about how Visual Studio manages projects and solutions. But, going around and saying that "everything Microsoft makes sucks", isn't true, and honestly, it never has been. For a lot of customers, a lot of the time, they have actually succeeded because they offer a better product.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Monday May 05, 2008 @11:49AM (#23301422)
    where previously, they would compare their finely tuned stuff to either old Linux stuff, some IBM mainframe running Linux, untuned or detuned Linux stuff. But now, they don't do any of those nasty kinds of things. They've changed and this is the new Microsoft. The open source friendly Microsoft.

    Made me laugh when the guy said he'd contacted Microsoft's PR company about these. As if they care. What they care about is if the deception is working. IMO

    LoB

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