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Microsoft Free, One Year Later

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  • I'm sure that many people will point at his failures (IE6 for some activeX websites & visio) as proof that linux is still not ready for the desktop. But these apps aren't available for the Mac either & few are suggesting OS X is not ready for the desktop.

    Unfortunately, what's preventing business's adopting Linux or OS X is the fact that the various 'solution providers' & VARs make more money reselling Microsoft products.
    • Linux Visio Clone. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:31AM (#23647895)
      Linux has a Visio Clone: Kvivio. Import the Cisco Symbols from DIA and you are all set.
      • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:54AM (#23648003) Homepage Journal
        Linux has a Visio Clone: Kvivi

        The article was talking about interoperating with .vsd files. Unfortunately, neither Kvivio nor Dia can do that (not last time I needed it anyway).

        Import the Cisco Symbols from DIA.

        Why not just say "Linux has a Visio Clone: Dia"
        • by mebrahim (1247876) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:47AM (#23648459) Homepage
          KDE vs. Gnome, Terminal vs. GUI, Vi vs. Emacs, ... and now Kivio vs. Dia! Nice!
        • by kbielefe (606566) <karl.bielefeldt+ ... m ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @09:18AM (#23650711)

          I find it interesting and a little aggravating that people always imply it is the open source software that isn't interoperable, i.e. "Kivio and Dia can't do that." Visio and the .vsd file format are the ones actively trying not to be interoperable, i.e. "the .vsd file format can't do that."

          The problem goes away if the people you work with also use open standards. Even if they don't, usually all it takes is for someone to send you an exported image file instead of a .vsd file, as I rarely have to edit a file someone else controls.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by marcosdumay (620877)

          The article was talking about interoperating with .vsd files.

          Dia can import .vsd files.

      • by pwizard2 (920421) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:40AM (#23648189)

        Linux has a Visio Clone: Kvivio.
        Don't you mean Kivio? [koffice.org]?

        I use Koffice quite often, and Kivio is one of my favorite apps in there.
      • Nope (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WindBourne (631190)
        Kivio is NOT capable of reading/writing visio file format? In fact, none of the "visio clones" can do that. If OOA was smart, this is the one place that they would expand some effort. It is SORELY lacking. In fact, any of the companies that are pushing OOA, would do well to decode the format, and then write a GPL (or berkley) library for interacting with said format. The clones would incorporate that quickly, and Sun would most likely jump on creating a clone as well.
      • by herve_masson (104332) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @06:02AM (#23649071)
        As much as I like dia and kivio, naming them "visio clones" is at best far fetched; If you're using visio seriously, they're not really playing on the same level yet.
    • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:58AM (#23648017)
      I find Linux more capable on the Desktop than Microsoft. There are often times when MS's (using XP) internal burning software is inadequate - like burning images. I don't know if it's fixed yet, but for a long time XP just would not burn an image with its built in software and you had to use something like Nero. Never had a problem burning an image running any linux distro. Same with mounting .iso right from the harddrive as a cd-rom. It usually required some pay-for software (Alcohol 120%) in Windows, while a 2 minute search yield a few command lines to do it in Ubuntu. I know I'd rather save the money.

      A typical mainstream Linux distro is ready. It's often superior in many ways to MS, as MS seems to deliberately makes their OS do almost nothing useful beyond the basics it seems (or was it that Monopoly ruling that caused this?) It's now just 3rd party apps for most people. Web Browsing has reversed itself (there are enough people who wouldn't switch from Firefox due to plug-ins they can't get in IE).

      On the Corporate Level, solution providers are slow to change if they're an MS only shop. I even know the university/college level has problems. Blackboard and other such garbage.

      I suspect the oncoming economic shitstorm may finally get corporations to really tighten their belts and that company-wide OS licenses may just not fit in the budget anymore looking ahead 5 years in some places. I just hope the current/next generation of purchase managers learns from the past and looks to do away with vendor lock-in in so many areas as much as possible.
      • by jfim (1167051) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:09AM (#23648059)

        I find Linux more capable on the Desktop than Microsoft. There are often times when MS's (using XP) internal burning software is inadequate - like burning images. I don't know if it's fixed yet, but for a long time XP just would not burn an image with its built in software and you had to use something like Nero. Never had a problem burning an image running any linux distro. Same with mounting .iso right from the harddrive as a cd-rom. It usually required some pay-for software (Alcohol 120%) in Windows, while a 2 minute search yield a few command lines to do it in Ubuntu. I know I'd rather save the money.

        A two minute search on Google yields CDBurnerXP [cdburnerxp.se] as a freeware CD burning tool and Daemon tools [daemon-tools.cc] as an image mounting tool for Windows.

        It might not be free as in speech, but it sure is free as in beer.

        • by jay-be-em (664602) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:23AM (#23648115) Homepage
          Personally I'm very wary of installing random non-open-source apps on my desktop. I feel a lot better about something that is in the main Debian repository and more or less gpl compatible.

          Hell, check out that daemon tools page you linked:

          "Dear DAEMON Community,

          it come to our attention that someone released a fake DT PRO version that is
          contaminated with trojans and viruses, among the fact it is only a DT Lite and
          not a PRO version!

          We cant underscore enough how important it is that you always download from our
          official sites and affiliates!

          Nowadays, and with the popularity of DAEMON Tools, it is not unusual to see such
          attempts to harm others (and, after all, also our reputation).
          Rest assured: we double-check all uploads to our official sites and frequently check
          them further to make sure you get no harmfull viruses/trojans!"

          Frankly just googling and then downloading stuff that looks like it could help is bound to lead to a malware infested computer. One of the very clear things that good Linux distros have over Windows is the use of a centralized software repository.

          • by jfim (1167051) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:14AM (#23648351)

            it come to our attention that someone released a fake DT PRO version that is contaminated with trojans and viruses, among the fact it is only a DT Lite and not a PRO version!

            DT Pro is the version that you have to pay for, thus getting it for free from some shady website should at least make you think twice, in the same way that you probably shouldn't download kernel sources from untrusted websites without checking the MD5/SHA checksum.

            Frankly just googling and then downloading stuff that looks like it could help is bound to lead to a malware infested computer.

            I haven't been infested with malware in the last decade, although this is only anecdotal evidence.

            One of the very clear things that good Linux distros have over Windows is the use of a centralized software repository.

            It is indeed convenient for installing various software packages --- which is sorely lacking in Windows --- although the usage of a centralized software repository does not guarantee that the binaries will be free of defects/malware either, since someone could poison the upstream source of software(which already happened in the past [slashdot.org]) and the maintainer would have no clue.

            • by timbo234 (833667) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @07:52AM (#23649743) Journal
              , since someone could poison the upstream source of software(which already happened in the past [slashdot.org]) and the maintainer would have no clue.

              True, but once the upstream project discovers the problem the distro repo. maintainer can release the fixed version as an update, which will automatically apply to all users of their distro.

              With random Windows apps I'd have to keep checking their websites or news sites myself to keep track of these issues, or any other security issues with the app. And then manually download it.

              The current method adopted by many Windows apps of each having their own 'update manager' process running in the tray is not a sustainable in any way.
            • by huckamania (533052) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @12:06PM (#23653939) Journal
              I find the centralized software repos to be one of the big turn offs for Linux. Most of the things in the repositories are stuff the average user has no knowledge of and almost no way to gain knowledge about.

              Someone should look at downloads.com for a model of how to present software to end users. It has ratings and reviews from the cnet editors and visitors, screenshots of the products, they test the binaries for malware and offer multiple download sites usually including the makers of the software.

              If something like this existed for Linux, it would go a long way to getting more people on board.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by drinkypoo (153816)

                If something like this existed for Linux, it would go a long way to getting more people on board.

                All of that functionality except the virus testing is available on freshmeat.net, which points you to home pages - which hopefully have links to official download sites.

                Of course, download.com sounds a lot nicer than freshmeat.net. But whatever.

          • by Technician (215283) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:50AM (#23648477)
            it come to our attention that someone released a fake DT PRO version that is contaminated with trojans and viruses, among the fact it is only a DT Lite and not a PRO version!

            Tried any bootleg copies of Microsoft compatable software lately? In Linux, malware is the exception. In Windows, you better have your AV up to date as malware, trojans, and viruses is pretty much standard on the shady side of town.
          • by ninjeratu (794457) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @07:39AM (#23649659)
            5? Informative? It's just FUD with a non sequitur example. Randomly downloading an executable and expecting it to be as advertised is not what this is about. He found free software for Windows, thus dismantling the OP's argument. What you did was to compare a software repository in Linux with anything randomly downloaded from the internet. That's not only inaccurate .. it's stupid. Your example is furthermore flawed because if you'd downloaded DT from the original site (or any other repository you might trust, like Softpedia or FileForum) you wouldn't risk the trojan. There you have what you could call your precious "centralized repository". Add a rogue/unknown repository for, I don't know, MP3 support in Fedora and you're about as safe as you are downloading programs from the evil innertubes! Having a warning from the authors in the authors' site as an example of the benefits of "centralized software repository" in Linux vs freeware on the internet is *facepalm*. It's like saying communism is superior to capitalism because "it's centralized planning and thus perfectly safe and fun for the whole family". Yes. I can use stupid analogies too. The "centralized software repository" you like is just convenience. Someone compiled software so you don't have to. It's not safe, nor is it for the greater good of the users. Don't find what you want/need in the main repo? You either do what the poor Windows users do and download a package from some evil random website, or compile yourself from some evil random website with sources. Difference being...? Well, there is one thing. Microsoft isn't allowed to add too many freebies in it's OS because of monopoly allegations (Media Player in Europe for example). Linux just copies stuff they like from the Windows platforms and call it something funny//witty/similar and often get away with it. It's a "port" and not a "copy". The OP argued about free software in Linux versus, what he believed, were only commercially available software in Windows. He's wrong, and your argument is too.
        • by rolfwind (528248)
          I don't know how old CDBurnerXP is (I'm talking about an experience I had with Windows when switching to the very first iteration of Ubuntu when Linux finally stuck) but Daemon tools plain didn't work for me back then.
      • Google for "read ISO Windows" gave this link as the first hit. It has a link to an ISO mounting utility from Microsoft:
        http://weblogs.asp.net/pleloup/archive/2004/01/15/58918.aspx [asp.net]
      • by atari2600 (545988) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:50AM (#23648241)
        Knowledge is power:

        - Windows Reskits have cdburn.exe and dvdburn.exe - very capable tools for recording media
        - D-Tools is free and is an excellent tool

        I have multiple machines running Linux and Windows (this particular laptop I am posting a reply from is a Linux only Thinkpad) and Linux is not really more desktop capable. I am playing the devil's advocate here: good for you if you managed to figure out that Linux works better for you.

        It doesn't work better for everyone. I need Photoshop (Sorry, I am not too bright to use GIMP), I need a couple of my RTS games that I play casually and I need my Windows Rhapsody client. I use wine for Photoshop, Caesar3 and I use Vmware + Windows 2000 for Rhapsody. I also need Windows to watch streaming Netflix and I'll be creating an XP image in the near future just for Netflix (Netflix supports only WinXP and higher).

        So now do you get an idea? Linux isn't desktop ready because a majority of the rest of the world isn't ready for Linux. This is a 100% Linux laptop and still I need to rely on wine and Vmware to use the applications I really want/need.

        My first Linux distribution was Redhat 5.2 and it's been quite a journey - Ubuntu 8.04 for me is the closest I've seen to a perfect Linux desktop but as much as I love it and use workarounds to keep using it fulltime, the distribution isn't there yet. Linux *isn't* there yet. I want it to be and I'll rejoice the day I have to stop using my workarounds.

        I love using my Linux laptop over my windows machines at home (one's a high end gaming machine, the other's a pretty decent Windows Media Center box) and I love using my Linux machines at work (5 boxes running Linux and one Windows notebook) but I do keep windows around for Windows does tasks that Linux cannot do for me yet.

        I usually bash Microsoft and Windows freely but I also do acknowledge Linux's shortcomings. If you believe otherwise, well, there is this certain cliche about ignorance and bliss...
        • by Technician (215283) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:56AM (#23648507)
          Linux *isn't* there yet.

          Are you implying something is there yet? From what I've seen, Apple is closer to "there" than MS. Especially with Vista. MS may be close, but they are headed away from target. At least Linux and Apple are headed in the right direction.
          • by FictionPimp (712802) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:39AM (#23650217) Homepage
            I've had a strange trip on finding what was 'there'. I went from Microsoft (dos to xp), to linux (ran the gauntlet over the years, redhat, fedora, gentoo, debain, ubuntu), and just last month found my sweet spot with apple.

            I've actually explained OSx as a *nix that works as advertised. While ubuntu was almost flawless without messing with it, the key word there is almost. There were minor annoyances that were always floating to the surface. After switching to my mac, I've found that none of those are there. My sound works perfect, my wireless is perfect, my multiple monitor support is perfect, All my favorite apps exist on mac (including all my old linux apps), and mac has some great features ubuntu didn't have.

            I'll still keep a linux workstation at home and keep up to date. Windows is gone from my house, I sold the last copy I had of it with my last computer. But going forward, I think I'm sticking with apple. Unless their DRM gets 100% unbearable.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Zemran (3101)
          I have been M$ free for many years. I used to run Linux on my desktop but now, because I move from country to country a lot, I switched to a laptop and chose a MacBook Pro. I have no problems in staying M$ free but I think I will stick with OSX in the future rather than return to Linux. I can still do all the Linux stuff, including RTS games etc. that people say do not exist (although I prefer games like Civ and Neverwinter Nights). I can also get all my work done without trouble.
        • WINE as workaround (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @05:03AM (#23648839)

          This is a 100% Linux laptop and still I need to rely on wine and Vmware to use the applications I really want/need.

          As far as I can get the applications I want to run with WINE, I consider Linux desktop ready. WINE is technically a 3rd party app but easily enough available. Ubuntu actually has it as part of the distribution.
        • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @05:46AM (#23649011) Homepage
          This is a 100% Linux laptop and still I need to rely on wine and Vmware to use the applications I really want/need.

          That's all very well for you, but I still need to rely on Linux for my audio software, which just plain doesn't work in Windows. So, Windows isn't ready for the desktop either.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          If your definition of "desktop-ready" is "works exactly like Windows", then no non-Windows OS will ever be there. There will always be Windows apps that will not work for Linux. This isn't a "shortcoming" of Linux, and it is not the job of developers to make Linux completely compatible with Windows applications.
          • by berzerke (319205) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @12:55PM (#23654941) Homepage
            The main problem isn't "works exactly like Windows", it's a double standard a great many people have. Windows is judged far less harshly than Linux by many non-techies, and this extends to open source apps as well.

            For example, I had one user almost scream at me that Thunderbird wasn't showing linked images in his email messages and to remove Thunderbird and put him back on OE. He couldn't stand that behavior. When I pointed that he didn't have Thunderbird and was using OE, then he told me, "Never mind, it's OK."!

            Sadly, this is not an isolated case. A hardware vendor I know tried putting on OpenOffice.org (OOo) on new computers for free when the customer didn't buy MS Office. He quit due to people's double standards. They expect him to support OOo for free and called constantly, but these same people are willing to pay for MS Office support when, on occasion, they do call for support.
      • by pwizard2 (920421) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:56AM (#23648277)

        MS seems to deliberately makes their OS do almost nothing useful beyond the basics it seems (or was it that Monopoly ruling that caused this?) It's now just 3rd party apps for most people.
        I may be wrong, but I was taught that there is a division between an operating system and the applications that it runs. The OS is supposed to handle things like IO and memory, while the real functionality comes from userland applications (often third party) interacting with the OS. True, Microsoft gives you almost nothing out of the box, but in a way, so does Linux in some instances. (some distros give you the kernel, bash, compilers, the core utilities like cp, rm, etc, and some sort of package manager and let you fetch the rest yourself, while other distros come fully loaded.)

        If you want to compare raw out-of-the-box functionality, then I agree with you-- a default no-frills XP install is practically useless compared to the average default Linux install, which mostly gives you what you need, though there are exceptions.
        • by jmpeax (936370) * on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:10AM (#23648331)
          Exactly. A Linux distribution is the OS plus userland applications.

          The Linux OS itself doesn't provide any of the functionality the GP talks about.
          • by Icarium (1109647) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:36AM (#23650195)
            These threads are always fun to read.

            If an app crashes on a Windows box, it must be Windows fault. If it crashes on a l/unix box, it must be the app's fault.

            If an app that runs on Windows has a price tag attached, it must be Windows fault. If an app that runs on l/unix has a price tag attached, the developer needs thier head checked.

            If an app comes comes preinstalled in Windows it's bloat (and Microsoft's fault, even though most of the adware/shareware/freeware has nothing to do with them). If an app comes preinstalled with l/unix, it's a feature.

            Yes, Windows is not free and it's not open source. When viewed purely as an OS, it certainly isn't perfect. But please, for the love of God, how is it Windows' fault that *any* other application is not free, and most app/security problems because of poor 3rd party coding? Yet every time this discussion rears its head, people trot out a list of free alternatives to applications that have absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft or Windows (as an operating system) as a reason for how much better thier lives are in Windows free world.

            If anything, it's the community that should take the blame for the lack of free/open source software on Windows, not Microsoft. /rant

            *Disclaimer: I have nothing against either Windows or linux and use both. This rant courtesy of having had to work with some very rabid linux fanboys in the past. The kind that would regularly spend hours, or even days, fine tuning whatever shiny new app they'd discovered for thier linux box - and then turn around and use it as an excuse as to why thier actual work isn't done (and no, they were not sysadmins).
        • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:17AM (#23648361)

          I may be wrong, but I was taught that there is a division between an operating system and the applications that it runs. The OS is supposed to handle things like IO and memory, while the real functionality comes from userland applications (often third party) interacting with the OS.


          And how joyous it would have been if IE were not so tightly integrated with Windows following that theory.

          However, wanting certain capabilities bundled with the OS is not necessarily asking for it being integrated with the OS.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mattsson (105422)
          An OS with no bundled applications is rather useless from an end users point of view.
          Most people expect the OS to come bundled and pre-configured with applications like a window-manager, file-manager, text-editor, http-reader, cd/dvd-tools, other file-managing tools (copy, move, etc), configuration-managers, tcp/ip-stack, bluetooth-stack, etc, etc.

          Why does Windows come with less powerful applications bundled than most other OS's, then?
          MS also sell (or license, which isn't exactly the same) applications, whi
      • by DMadCat (643046) <dmadcat@moond a n s.com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @07:47AM (#23649711)
        I work on the UNIX team in a large corporation and I can't get even them to switch to a linux desktop.

        It's like everyone is afraid of even looking at something they're not familiar with.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hey! (33014)

        A typical mainstream Linux distro is ready.

        Years ago, when we said "operating system", we meant what today is called a "kernel". Of course, the OS came with enough utilities to organize and execute programs. And there were often extras thrown in.

        Then software in general, and OS's in particular, became products that competed. This meant having lots of features became important to the vendors. "OS" came to mean as much, if not more, the stuff that goes around the kernel. When people ask "Is Linux ready

    • few are suggesting OS X is not ready for the desktop

      While I wouldn't say that OSX isn't ready for the desktop, I would say it might not be ready for the corporate desktop.

      One of the places Microsoft has put a lot of effort is into large-scale enterprise systems management. Features of Windows like Active Directory, Group Policy, WSUS, etc are what corporate clients really care about. They want to be able to easily and centrally manage users, permissions, operating system updates, and software restrictions. Unless/until there are tools that allow you to do these kinds of things with OSX and Linux, I think you'll see some hesitation on the part of large corporations.

      I know you can do some of this stuff for Linux (user management with LDAP, customized package repos, etc) but I don't know about OSX. I do know however that there is a big difference between "ready for the desktop" and "ready for the corporate desktop".
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        You can do it with OS X server if you so wish.

        In all honesty though, neither Linux nor OS X is really that great in a corporate environment (I'm in a design house - a lot of Mac systems). There's too much mucking around trying to get things to work. At least windows has all the stuff prepared and integrated and ready to roll. I haven't found (haven't really looked either) a distro that integrates in a server/client set-up like this yet. If there was one I might well go to it.
      • I am a Mac OS X sysadmin. You can do many of the same things with Mac clients that are possible in a windows world. Mac OS X server allows you to push down group or user policies, or policies based on computer (if the computer is bound to open directory). Open directory is based on LDAP. It is also possible to setup Mac clients to authenticate against active directory or Novell eDir in theory. In the latest version of Mac OS, it is very easy to bind to active directory.

        It is also possible to authenticate against an open ldap server (actually osx uses open ldap) and setup kerberos. The LDAP schema (i suck with ldap) has two fields that are used to push down policies. Apple uses an XML format to describe all the policies which can be used even without OS X server.

        The reason I feel that OS X is not ready for big environments is that it's inflexible. You can only hack around so many "features". For instance, we had a hack that's worked for 10.4 to bind to a Novell eDir server on campus without using Novell's schema changes for Mac support. We do not control the Novell servers. However, this appears to be broken in Leopard (10.5).

        For the most part, we've had good luck migrating from a windows and mac environment to Mac only. I work for the computer science department at a university. I did not make the decision to migrate as I would have chosen BSD or maybe Linux based on our needs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      A major problem is that many companies have aging Access / Visual Basic applications and other custom made applications that are tied to Windows. WINE is an option of course, but some of them are probably so badly programmed that even Windows have problems running them...
    • by kboodu (927349) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:32AM (#23648167) Homepage
      Unfortunately, what's preventing business's adopting Linux or OS X is the fact that the various 'solution providers' & VARs make more money reselling Microsoft products.

      It's not just the Microsoft products that keep businesses using Microsoft products...it's the business processes that are wrapped around the existing software. Upgrades are expensive, but less expensive than conversions to new software (and processes). There are also costs (and questions) regarding conversion of legacy data.

      Until businesses can migrate to systems that are agnostic to specific processes (and applications) , it will be difficult to show a positive return on investment for the large expense.
      • Upgrades are expensive, but less expensive than conversions to new software (and processes). There are also costs (and questions) regarding conversion of legacy data.

        There is some of that, though I'd argue that it's ultimately more expensive long term to stay locked in at the process level. Data conversion, I assume you mean file format conversion. Access db's, linked spreadsheets, that kind of thing. Those can be tricky. Luckily the trend toward the browser as a software front end is making that les

    • Visio, 'ey? (Score:4, Informative)

      by dgun (1056422) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @06:12AM (#23649115) Homepage

      I think if that was the only thing keeping me on MS's suckware, I would find a way around it.

      The main reason businesses run Windows is the same exact reason most home owners run Windows, because it is the default OS. They never give it much consideration to begin with, it's just what comes in the box.

      The fact that this monopoly has been allowed to continue all these years is outrageous, really. If 90% of people owned Fords, it would mean that either Fords are way better or that they have unfair competitive advantage.

      The Microsoft monopoly in the OS market is the single greatest problem in technology today and the negative effects of the monopoly cascades in every direction.

      Visio became popular, not based so much on its merits, which I'm sure it's a fine piece of software, but more because MS leverages the Windows monopoly to push software of every sort. People then used Visio and the closed, proprietary formats of Visio and now because they have so much work stored in these formats it is a deterrent to considering an alternative OS. The problem comes full circle.

      So there's my anti-Microsoft rant for the day

      • If 90% of people owned Fords, it would mean that either Fords are way better or that they have unfair competitive advantage.
        Likewise, if 90% of passenger cars in the U.S. ran on gasoline, it would mean that either gasoline engines are way better or that they have unfair competitive advantage. Does the market share of of gas cars and diesel cars fit into your analogy?
  • by nguy (1207026)
    There are several good alternatives to Visio for diagramming on Linux (some of them actually more convenient than Visio IMO).

    But the 2008 version of Visio may be a hosted application like Gliffy. It's a slick, Flash-based, collaborative application, and you can incorporate diagrams into any document by URL (as an image), including into Google Docs.
  • by patio11 (857072) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:32AM (#23647905)
    ... a computer.

    Film at 11.
  • What I dont get.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:37AM (#23647921)
    I really fail to grasp why corporations (NOT individuals) fail to understand the ramifications of such EULAs and MS software contracts.

    Negotiating a seat deal with MS leads to a very nasty possible outcome: invasion by Business Software Alliance. If you refuse, you invalidate all your licenses... and they always find something "illegal". It's one thing to switch because of some perceived wrong or being high and mighty, but a corporation is a corporation. When it comes to software, they literally open themselves up for heavy liability if they accept MS and other COTS software.

    GPL means something else too: if you dont create software, you can ignore any "bad side effects". Only violators who refuse to share source are gone after. Usage is truly free of legal ramifications.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Take the analogy of building a house. Sure you can buy a piece a land and do it by yourself.

      But most people pay contractors to do it. And it costs a lot of money, and there's a lot of delays, troubles, etc. But eventually they feel happy and comfy.

      Of course, if a pipe breaks... when you built it yourself, you're the sole responsible for this.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by robo_mojo (997193)

        But most people pay contractors to do it. And it costs a lot of money, and there's a lot of delays, troubles, etc. But eventually they feel happy and comfy.

        Just as people use existing software because they are incapable or otherwise unwilling to write their own, people pay contractors to build their houses because contractors know how to build houses and can probably do so a lot cheaper and faster than you.

        Of course, if a pipe breaks... when you built it yourself, you're the sole responsible for this.

        I h

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:37AM (#23647923)
    Protip: You're not the first person to use linux for a whole year.
    *Gasp*
  • Open Source is nice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ux64 (1187075) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:47AM (#23647975)
    We used to use Windows at our corporation + only open source programs. It was quite natural to move from Windows to Ubuntu, because it was the only commercial program that we were using. We have been happy since. No license hazzle.
  • over 45 days... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:50AM (#23647981)
    ... and my coworkers still have no idea that I switched to free software.
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:56AM (#23648009)
    I suppose all the 'Year of Linux' people will come out and say 'This is the year of Linux' and so on and so fourth.

    Linux has had many years, and for what it has been up against, an illegal government coerced monopoly with more and more stress being put on it from every direction, it has not disappointed me in the slightest. With a dignity I hope that I have a tenth of when I die, Linux users and Linux developers have fought, and some died defending the vision of Linux and the FSF to preserve a future where some of us still do control how our computers are used.

    To that end, every year Linux stays alive and relevant is the year of Linux. You see, Linux is fighting constantly a war against complete eradication. Not just Microsoft, but many software vendors, hardware makers, governments, and yes, a malevolent user base hate Linux, and every minute of every day seek to find ways of eradicating Linux from this world. A world where Linux is quarantined into certain sectors like server environment, is a path to extinction like Netware.

    As far as Linux in the social arena. Linux as a social movement in its aspect as a social reform movement need not die out. In the Internet world, Linux is a symbol of transparency, of honest behavior, and accountability. Without Linux we would all be staring at a dark Palladium filled future.

    So, in the name of the secular Linux social movement for transparency, property rights, freedom of speech and what not. Try and see what you can do to prevent Linux the OS from going into that quite good night. Develop. Write code, fix drivers, create new ideas. That driver for that hardware, that new application may be the driver or the program that changes history.

    Yes there are aspects of Linux that are difficult. So, lets make sure this year isn't the last year of Linux, the year Linux became as obscure as DR-DOS, and Amiga, and the Z80. because, I'm sorry, but some things have to be fought for.
    • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:03AM (#23648035) Journal
      With a dignity I hope that I have a tenth of when I die, Linux users and Linux developers have fought, and some died defending the vision of Linux and the FSF to preserve a future where some of us still do control how our computers are used.

      I didn't realize that free software was such a dangerous thing to get into? Did someone overdose on pizza and coke while kernel debugging late one night or something???
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ady1 (873490)
      What you wrote is totally amazing.
      Although I have to ask, would you be kind enough to share what you're smoking?
    • by jmpeax (936370) * on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:39AM (#23648431)

      Linux users and Linux developers have fought, and some died defending the vision of Linux and the FSF to preserve a future where some of us still do control how our computers are used
      Oh please. Rubbish like this will only ever increase the gap between closed and free software.

      Come back down to Earth. The fight is about getting people to look at software differently in order to facilitate more productivity and ultimately better business.

      How do you think the general public, let alone a company, would respond to your sci-fi inspired, quasi-revolutionary imagery? You would either be dismissed as delusional or dangerous. In either case, you wouldn't be helping your cause.
  • visio alternatives (Score:3, Informative)

    by z_gringo (452163) <z_gringo AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:51AM (#23648255)
    I also gave up windows entirely around the first of this year. I had been running debian on one system and windows on the laptop up to that point, but more and more I was using debian for almost everything. Visio was a big deal for me too, but I am getting used to using Dia. Visio is better, there is no doubt, but Dia is adequate, and I am slowly converting all my drawings to Dia. I sure wish there was something that could read .vsd files. The other thing that kept me on windows so long was that I could not get my work's VPN to work on linux, but I was trying to get it going on Fedora. It seems to work ok on Ubuntu. Thankfully, the wireless drivers also work well on ubuntu, so at this point, I have very little need for windows.
  • by atari2600 (545988) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:59AM (#23648287)
    It might have to do something with the fact that I am a non-native speaker of the language but I read the title thrice...

    Was it:

    1. Microsoft Free (a year ago Microsoft was released from prison after making a deal with DA which included the real scoop behind flying chairs)

    2. Microsoft Free as in Pick Your Free Tibet Joke /sharonstone> I kid.

    From the article, towards the end he mentions he uses XP and enjoys it as well but also mentions All I can say is that for the last year, I have been using Open Source exclusively and I am loving it!...

    Quick, someone hire him?

  • by EEPROMS (889169) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:05AM (#23648313)
    I switched over to Linux around SuSE 6.0 days and to be honest I have never looked back. I now use Linux 100% at work and at home after doing a LPIC-101/102 course at my local college. This leads me into another funny story were I now have a whole branch of the company were I work at now running on Linux. The company has a Windows/OSX/Unix technical support contractor and because Linux has been so rock solid for us he didn't even know we had a branch here. This was simply because no one has ever rang him for help (and yes I have been away for weeks at a time).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:07AM (#23648321)
    From the private journal of madgreek:

    Day 365, "Microsoft-Free":

    I'm so glad this sham is over. I can't *wait* to get back to using a fully-featured OS with productivity applications capable of handling actual, real-life, grownup business needs.

    Oh, and I can't wait until I don't have to f-ing hack my own drivers for new "cutting-edge" (and by "cutting-edge" I mean 2-year-old, in common use my the majority of PC users) hardware.

    To be honest, I actually didn't even *use* Linux except to boot, start a VM, and run Windows to actually get the Grown-Up Work done for the last nine months.

    ... Just six more hours... Maybe I can pass the time by playing a fun, modern (and by "modern" I mean something slightly newer than nethack) game on my Linux bo- Uh.. Nevermind. I'll just talk to Eliza in emacs until this cruel, horrible torture is over.
  • Sharepoint? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @03:10AM (#23648333)
    He's just lucky that his company hasn't discovered Sharepoint yet. Once every important document that you need is locked up on a sharepoint server, than even OpenOffice isn't enough to work on them properly.

    It's Microsoft's best lock-in tool in years.
  • Games? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rog7 (182880) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @07:33AM (#23649621)
    I tried switching to Ubuntu this year too and my results were different.

    I was entirely unproductive in achieving any entertainment with games. WINE was a lot of work to get things playing and even then they didn't quite play correctly. Steam was a pain in the arse, so was WoW. I didn't even bother trying once Age of Conan came along.

    On other applications, things were generally fine, I've kept Ubuntu running on basically a glorified Gmail + browsing box. I've also got a Mythbuntu PVR running. I still use BSD and Linux in server situations.

    But for desktop, for me at least, if it's inconvenient for games, regardless over whether Microsoft is an evil empire or not.. it's just a no go as a Desktop OS. Games are what separate it, otherwise it's just a browser box and I can do that without a desktop at all.

    Maybe other folks get more mileage out of Gimp vs Photoshop, though I doubt that too unfortunately, My take on Linux after all these years is still that the desktop experience unfortunately lacks.

    Wishful thinking isn't cutting it. I wish it would.. er, okay now that's just going in circles.
  • by vorlich (972710) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @07:37AM (#23649647) Homepage Journal
    for over a year now and I far prefer it to XP, even though XP did have many qualities I was comfortable with. I think the fundamental aspect of a Linux Desktop is that you have far greater absolute control over what is happening beneath the surface of the GUI. The only applications lacking in Linux are Indesign ( I have Scribus but there is no comparison) Photoshop and Dreamweaver and none of these have alternatives with the appropriate professional edge. Having said that I have been using photoshop and indesign in VMware and I think they work fine - there is a very slight decline in speed but this is made up for by the fact that Ubuntu boots in about One minute (when I do reboot it, I just hate to see that uptime number go down) and XP boots into VMware so quickly it's photons are in danger of hitting those from it's shutdown. Now that alone is worth the very tiny amount of technical effort require to set up VMware. I haven't migrated Dreamweaver yet - just so many tedious passwords and settings to work on - but I will.
    Honourable mention must also go to the rather idiosyncratic but peerless MS Acess - the little database that could. Adobe Premier while a tad bloated is also rather useful and slightly better documented than the equally peerless cinelerra - which I do like but often feel you need a brain the size of Manhattan to use it. The only thing that prevents me turning our laptop all Linuxed-up-to-the-max is that it has a wifi that defeats human reason - had it working about twice so far and just got bored. Also my partner has an iTunes account (spits) and that particular worst-piece-of-garbage-ever-written has sadly no real substitute - Amarok needs an iTunes Store account but I guess chances of that monopoly breach are slim. And no, I won't be running iTunes in Vmware - I have telephone directories I could be reading.
    I should also mention the unremitting geek-joy of remote desktopping my main pc from my tiny ipaq while lying in bed watching CSI and then running MS Access in Vmware (fortunately you can zoom in!).
  • Great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bytesex (112972) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:19AM (#23650029) Homepage
    Can I write an article now, headlined: 'Microsoft free, ten years later' ? Seriously folks, it's been that long.

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