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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) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:34AM (#23298004)
    people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.
  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 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 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?
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:44AM (#23298280)

    if MS truely was so aweful no one would be using it. MS does something right, it's why they have stayed so much bigger than everyone else
    Yeah, just like an artist being on top of the charts is a accurate and undeniable evidence of their talent and excellence of their music.
  • by Dan541 (1032000) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:15AM (#23298388) Homepage
    Because the "facts" can be proven.

    Remember Linux comes in many flavors Microsoft get to pick and choose.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:17AM (#23298396)
    It seems you do not understand that most users have no technical understanding.
    I work tech support for an OEM and if you tell someone something (for example Ill take a real world example, Vista is underpolished, buggy, has compatibility problems, networking problems, shaky drivers, as well as hogging resources)
    If you tell these uneducated users that this is the case, and that Linux is perfect and works well, what do you think they are going to choose. Microsoft has been doing this to Linux since it arrived, this is why they remain a monopoly.
    The customers of Microsoft are not you, you are not even important enough to be considered a Microsoft customer. Microsoft has done an amazing job of convincing non technical business people that their software is the best, and they have succeeded in tricking them very well. The only problem is that more and more people like me are spreading the truth, that Microsoft is not the end all be all, and that you have a choice in what you use. When the computing industry matures a little more, maybe we will have a fair environment where choice is supported.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:21AM (#23298408)
    Telling people about things.

    MS put one example of choosing Windows 2008 over Linux as being a choice of such but it was a choice between Server 2003 and Server 2008.

    Does the article show any such similarly irrelevant examples? That would be using the same tactics. E.g. Show a linux-only shop (with a few windows NT boxes) having the NT boxes being moved to linux because NT was going out of support. Find any?

    The only similarity in the tactics is to use the internet to get a message out.

    That's not much of a tactic, is it.
  • 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!
  • by archeopterix (594938) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:32AM (#23298626) Journal

    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.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javilon (99157) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:37AM (#23298648) Homepage
    "A deeper point is this: do we really want to live in a world where lies and deception are regarded as the norm, and where all opinions are automatically worthless simply by virtue of their being opinions?"

    It is not only that. What stands out the most is what Microsoft has decided to call this: "Get the facts". They are trying to pass it as facts, when they are, at best, opinions. At worst, marketing rethoric. It has the smell of the ministry of truth all around it.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:38AM (#23298652) Homepage

    if MS truely was so aweful no one would be using it.
    And if smoking is bad for you then no one would do it would they?
  • 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>

  • by wilder_card (774631) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:50AM (#23298700)
    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.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Killjoy_NL (719667) <slashdotNO@SPAMremco.palli.nl> on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:28AM (#23298838)
    citation needed plz :)
  • Caveat Emptor: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by absurdist (758409) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:32AM (#23298856)
    This means YOU.
  • Marketing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by too2late (958532) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:37AM (#23298878) Journal
    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 thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:59AM (#23298972)
    If you can prove that it is fraud, I will join your class-action suit. I just don't see it as fraud when the attempt at FUD is so blatantly obvious.
  • by toby (759) * on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:26AM (#23299158) Homepage Journal
    Product B really does suck.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:26AM (#23299160)
    I prefer this analogy:
    "Microsoft is demonstrably the best OS in the same way that McDonald's ubiquity makes it demonstrably the best restaurant."

    Popularity is a poor metric of quality.
  • by toby (759) * on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:31AM (#23299208) Homepage Journal

    "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 embarrassing and incalculably costly stain on the history of technology.

  • 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.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @08:59AM (#23299458)

    The thing is, FUD exists on both sides of this (all three sides if you factor in Apple), and it always has. The problem with die-hard Linux advocates is that they continually insist that the only reason Microsoft is on top is because of marketing.

    The thing is, a lot of organizations, as well as individual users, actually do look at the options available to them and actually determine that the Microsoft offering is the best for their needs.

    I'll take a real-world example:

    Vista is underpolished, buggy, has compatibility problems, networking problems, shaky drivers, as well as hogging resources

    I've been hearing that ever since the early beta releases. However, I don't just listen to marketing, I try things out for myself and make my own decision. And guess what? I've found Vista to be extremely polished, with only a handful of bugs (minor annoyances, nothing that inhibits my ability to work productively), and I've had absolutely no compatibility problems, networking problems, driver problems, or resource problems.

    On the other hand, I've also tried Linux on the desktop (old Red Hat, Fedora, and more recently Ubuntu). I like it, but I still have enough problems with it that I'm continuing to stick with Windows. Of course, the server is a different story. I don't use Windows on any of my servers, they're mostly Ubuntu with one old Fedora box (which will soon become Ubuntu).

    The only problem is that more and more people like me are spreading the truth, that Microsoft is not the end all be all, and that you have a choice in what you use.

    Of course there are choices. Linux is being used by enterprise customers all over the world. Big business is considering the alternatives. However, you need to recognize that Microsoft's offerings actually do meet most business needs.

  • 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.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mhall119 (1035984) on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:52AM (#23300008) Homepage Journal

    The problem with die-hard Linux advocates is that they continually insist that the only reason Microsoft is on top is because of marketing.
    Actually the claim is usually that Microsoft is on top only because they are on top. More specifically, due to the ubiquity of Microsoft's mono-culture, you can't just provide a better alternative to one piece of MS software, you have to be able to replace _all_ of the pieces simultaneously.

    Consider the fact that one of the main reasons holding business back from using Linux on the desktop is Exchange, which has absolutely nothing to do with the OS. Or the fact that people don't switch to OpenOffice mainly because of file formats, which have nothing to do with the quality of the software itself.

    People don't switch to Linux, not because Windows is better, but because there is some critical piece of their Windows environment that they can't get on Linux (like Photoshop), or because they don't want to change their entire environment just to get the benefits of a better OS. Either way, it is resistance to change, rather than deciding on quality, that keeps people using Windows. If the tables were turned, and Linux, OpenOffice and Firefox currently had 80% market share, and Microsoft was trying to compete with Vista, MS Office and IE, nobody would be switching to them.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by His Shadow (689816) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:45AM (#23300596) Homepage Journal
    if MS truely was so aweful no one would be using it.

    This is nonsense, but I am not sure what kind of nonsense. The modern technological world is full of hardware, software and practices that are not optimal, or are simply stupid. The QWERTY keyboard is one of the most egregious examples: having been designed purely to sell typewriters, or slow typists down, it is an indefensible tragedy that it is the standard. Yet everyone uses it. That use does not excuse or deny it's true awfulness.

    Viruses, malware, grayware and a great deal Spam owe their entire existence to the miserable and fatally flawed security model of Microsoft's Windows. This cannot be meaningfully denied. Said ailments make the average PC users daily computer experience a nightmare of inconvenience and paranoia. Yet the vast majority are forced to use it. And that has nothing to do with the quality of the product. It has to do with the monopolistic strong arm tactics that prevented meaningful competition in the PC OS space.

    There is this idea that the modern capitalist ideal allows only the best products to survive and inferior products must change or disappear. This idea is mostly fiction. There are products that survive and thrive in the marketplace because they are good products, but they only serve to highlight the background noise of garbage products that owe their existence to the imbalance of the marketplace due to billions of cash bribes. Many of the these bribes are known as marketing.

  • Re:who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NickFortune (613926) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:50AM (#23300656) Homepage Journal

    welcome to the world of marketing. It's been that way for over 30 years now.

    Respectfully, I disagree. It's not marketing's world, it's ours.

    If the issue were purely a matter of marketers lying to one another then I might agree with the whole apathy-is-the-best-policy meme. But it's not, and we need to allow people to challenge organized deception without automatically assuming them to be tarred with the same brush.

    Obviously there are issues with astroturfers and viral marketers, and it's not always a trivial matter to tell them from the genuine seekers after truth. But if we simply assume duplicity whenever anyone challenges the marketers, then the battle is lost before it begins.

  • by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Monday May 05, 2008 @11:18AM (#23301022) Journal
    I think we're all looking at this very backwards. I use linux almost exclusively in several contexts and if there's one thing I can agree with, it's that shit is always broken. On a default ubuntu install, for example, it will throw a thousand HAL and D-BUS errors just trying to boot the system. Fedora or SUSE are no different. Common tasks take an unbelievable amount of time- information is scarce and unreliable.

    Running this sort of stuff in an enterprise requires you to have a cabal of "unix people" around who have an intimate almost religious knowledge of often undocumented unix inner-workings. These people write vast hideous perl scripts that are unmaintainable and largely unholy to mangle your systems into working conditions. This is the linux sysadmin way.

    I stopped using Windows because it cost money and it never broke. Nothing ever needed to be done or gone wrong. It was absolutely no fun. Even the most polished linux distribution is riddled with problems that require your care and attention. It's like a little flying machine made of hopes and dreams, and a wonderful hobby.

    I believe many IT folk were once DOS people who felt underappreciated when Windows got to a more working but less tuner-oriented state. Using the worst case scenario of irresponsible desktop windows use as an excuse (the 12 year old girl's windows 98 box), they legitimized the unbelievable amounts of time needed to create their "perfect" linux box, winning a place in their hearts and minds as an inspiring hobby.

    Now it's huge, it's corporate, it's competitive. So is Microsoft scrambling to keep this best kept secret quiet?

    No. They're focusing on linux because they can. It means they don't have to compare Windows Server as much to Solaris, which performs fantastically in HPC operations. I can think of many examples (which I can't name unfortunately since they're not public) where major banks with servers in Chicago started migrating servers to linux from Solaris and experienced miserable performance and reliability. Linux only competes with Solaris in the front end as far as this is concerned, making it a really easy target for Microsoft. Since people view linux and unix as the same thing, Microsoft can pick off the weakest but most popular unix in the flock and provide an accurate case while goose-stepping around the reliability, security, and performance of Solaris.

    By aiming more effort on linux, they can focus on its obvious amateur/scizophrenic implementation design flaws and weaknesses instead of focusing on their more serious technological competition in some commercial unices.

    Design by consortium yields sub-par results, so this a battle against people who believe they can run linux servers as a non-commercial operation- that is, not paying for external support. When business folk are aware that there is no "free" option, linux is no longer on the table as a free alternative. Since they have to pay for support no matter what, now they have to consider Windows side by side by technical merit. If the shop prefers Microsoft and the CTO realizes that running linux is not really free, a sale is made. That's all Microsoft needs in some cases.
  • by DaveWick79 (939388) on Monday May 05, 2008 @11:33AM (#23301226)
    Could you point out some specific features or functionality that a new version of Linux on the server would provide, that is an advantage over the old versions of Linux or even over older versions of Windows Server? In a computerworld.com article just a couple of weeks ago, Ubuntu's server was trumpeted as having the key new features of two virtualization environments and a greater number of ISV certifications for enterprise software that is certified for Ubuntu server. Not a lot to hang your hat on.

    I think the point that MS is making is that they are actually developing new features into the new server software that provide additional functionality for businesses, considering not just the server OS but also application servers. Remember they are not only selling to convert Novell and Linux servers to Windows, they are also trying to sell upgrades of their own OS, and for legitimate functional reasons.
  • 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
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @12:03PM (#23301606)

    Linux was considered, as were other operating systems. None could compete with Windows Server 2008 for the customer's needs, so they were not selected.
    If that is true, then why the hell does Microsoft's case study not say so?

    Because it doesn't, if you read it. It is strongly implied in the headline, but if you read the actual case study then it does not give any indication that any non-Microsoft solution was given serious consideration.

    Please, Microsoft apologists: back off, calm down, think rationally, and read what is being said, not what you incorrectly assume will be being said. Nobody with any sense is saying that Microsoft products do not offer value to customers. Quite the opposite: the reason this article was written is that Microsoft is saying that Linux products do not offer value to customers. And the point of the article is that the case studies Microsoft is citing to support this claim do not in fact prove any such point.

    This is not an attack on Windows, nor is it an attempt to promote Linux. It is an attack on deceptive marketing and an attempt to promote truthful competition in a fair marketplace. What is so bad about this that all the Microsoft apologists have to come out and try to stifle the debate?
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haeleth (414428) on Monday May 05, 2008 @12:27PM (#23301856) Journal

    McDonald's ubiquity demonstrates that for the market it's targeting, it is indeed, the best restaurant.
    No, you are making the same old mistake. McDonalds is the most popular restaurant, and it is the most successful restaurant, but those are not at all the same thing as being the "best".

    What does "best" mean? In the context of the market McDonalds targets, "best" means the optimum combination of low prices, efficient service, and food that looks, smells, and tastes consistently good. But the fact that McDonalds is more popular and more successful than any other fast-food chain does not mean that it actually scores better on any of these metrics: it just means that people think it does. In other words, we're talking about quality of marketing, not quality of product.

    And it's not even a great analogy, because the fast food market is very competitive, while the computer operating system market is about as uncompetitive as they come.

    People don't choose Microsoft because it's the best. People don't choose Microsoft because it costs less, or because it's more secure, or because it's more reliable, or even because it's easier to use. People choose Microsoft because it's familiar, because everyone else chooses Microsoft, because nobody ever got fired for choosing Microsoft. Most people never even get so far as evaluating alternatives or trying to decide whether or not Microsoft provides the best fit for their needs -- Windows is so ubiquitous that people simply stick with it automatically!

    There are reasons for Microsoft's ubiquity.
    Of course there are. The main one is that about 15 years ago Microsoft managed to achieve a situation where there was no serious alternative on the desktop, and then they leveraged the power this gave them brilliantly to entrench themselves firmly enough to become almost impossible to dislodge, however good the would-be competition becomes.

    To take your fast-food analogy in a different and possibly more successful direction, the reason Microsoft dominates the desktop is pretty similar to the reason fast food is more successful than haute cuisine: the vast majority of people don't care about quality, they just want to stay in their comfort zone and stick with what they've always been used to having. Whether Linux + OpenOffice.org is better or worse than Windows is completely irrelevant: most people will reject it purely because it's different.

    (The fact that you and your poor friend had trouble getting wireless to work in Ubuntu, on the other hand, is totally meaningless. I can counter that anecdote with another: I and a very IT-literate friend spent the best part of a weekend unsuccessfully trying to get wireless to work in Windows XP. Wow, now we have two opposing stories, and neither of them is a valid argument. [In fact, neither of us can even prove we're not exaggerating!] Can we drop the FUDdy silliness now and get back to rational discussion? Thanks.)
  • by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Monday May 05, 2008 @12:56PM (#23302188)

    I sure hope he doesn't discover the Brocade SAN switch we use runs Linux. Or our ESX servers.
    Maybe you should actually tell him about these things. The ignorant won't stop being ignorant unless you make some effort to educate them.

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