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Microsoft Sees Linux As Bigger Competitor Than Apple

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:10PM (#26986873)

    Apple is dieing..

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:11PM (#26986895)

      That's because they use BSD.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stewbacca (1033764)

      Apple is dieing..

      Really? Are they making toy metal cars in their die cast process?

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:20PM (#26987077) Homepage Journal

      Apple is dieing its hair.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Because gentlemen prefer blondes, and so do queers.
    • by Aphoxema (1088507) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:25PM (#26989751) Homepage Journal

      Apple just isn't a threat. They fill a niche, and because of the strong OS-centrism the users who go with Apple there's just no wrestling them away, but they're also a selective breed. Anyone can use a Mac, but not just anyone wants to. It's still a centralized ideal in proprietary software.

      F/OSS changes the game completely and if it were to succeed Microsoft just couldn't fight back, there's no way they'd survive selling mice, consoles and 'Office Productivity Software'. It would be the death of the software giant.

      Proprietary software is restrictive, Free software is, well, free! It's so easy to spin proprietary software as evil and free software as good, but if free software were already the accepted norm, how could you possibly break it claiming proprietary software was good?

      Microsoft and Apple compete with each other. GNU/Linux just slowly assimilates as necessary or as remotely useful. If anything, Microsoft should be supporting Apple's ass to keep afloat the competition they can pull the same rope with.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by eechuah (30147)

        It's clear to me now! Microsoft is Terran, Apple are the Protoss and Linux is the Zerg...

      • by styrotech (136124) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @09:33PM (#26991513)

        Apple just isn't a threat.

        That is especially so in the context of what Ballmer was talking about. His point in the talk seemed to be that pirated Windows was (by far) their largest competitor, and the one they want to focus most on beating.

        When looking at where else all those unlicensed users would go if they didn't become legal Windows users, Apple doesn't really come into it much. People with illegal copies of Windows would typically either be cheapskates or live in a developing country - neither of which are really Apples typical customer base. Linux on the other hand is better placed to pick them up if MS gets too heavy on them.

  • Makes sense... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i.r.id10t (595143) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:12PM (#26986917)

    Makes sense... a PC user can switch to Linux by downloading a LiveCD (or whatever) and installing or just running from the disk. A PC user has to buy new hardware to switch to Apple.

    • Re:Makes sense... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DriedClexler (814907) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:48PM (#26987665)

      Yeah, but unless you REALLY know what you're doing, you risk locking yourself out of your computer and/or losing access to files.

      For my part, I switched recently, and despite buying new hardware (I had to upgrade anyway), it's been an easy, smooth transition. The used computer I bought had Vista on it, and I installed Ubuntu 8.10 over it. I was surprised at how easy it was to install the OS and change settings. For wi-fi, all I had to do was plug in a USB adapter I had up and running on my previous computer and entire the password.

      They've come a long way since three years ago when I ... didn't get it to work out. Of course, I haven't yet tried to move over my previous computer's hard drives or critical files like email.

    • Re:Makes sense... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mdarksbane (587589) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:18PM (#26989625)

      The real core of the threat is emerging markets, and this is where their "piracy is number 1, linux is number 2" thinking comes from.

      There are hundreds of millions of people in India and China who will be getting enough income to purchase a computer or computer time in the next decade. Windows at $100 a pop is a much bigger deal to them than it is in the US, when that could be a full month's salary.

      Almost all of the massive piracy statistics you here are coming from those areas. You can buy pirated copies of windows at normal shops for a dollar or two.

      In fact, one could easily argue that pirated copies of windows are one of the largest barriers to Linux adoption as well.

      These areas of the world hold the largest potential in this sort of field, where there is already large amounts of market saturation in western countries. And that's why they don't consider Apple a threat - it is very likely you will never see copies of mac os x being sold in shanghai for a buck each.

      • Re:Makes sense... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Erikderzweite (1146485) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @10:59PM (#26992531)

        I wouldn't even consider the software piracy as a threat to Microsoft. The corporation benefits hugely from high level of piracy in emerging markets. Only because of pirates it is able to hold absolute monopoly in many countries without spending a penny for it.
        They get full regions of the earth which are dependant on Windows and have built Windows-only software ecosystems for free!
        They don't want to fight piracy -- people will still be able to buy XP or Vista for 1$. And pirated DVDs which are sold now are more like Linux distributions -- they have all the software you might need: MSO, Photoshop firewalls antiviruses etc. Very convenient and Linux is very hard pressed to top that offer. That way Microsofts monopoly will remain for years to come.

        What the company really want is to milk those markets, to go after government institutions, companies and OEM's -- big targets which can be forced to pay (especially the governments).

  • Servers? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sean_nestor (781844) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:12PM (#26986927) Homepage
    I think thats sort of a "duh" statement when you consider server usage as well as desktop usage.

    Mac servers can't be much of the server market.
  • Embedded Difference? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:13PM (#26986933) Journal
    Could Microsoft be accounting for embedded distributions of Windows CE versus embedded Linux compiled into his numbers? I think that might give it an edge over Apple's. Ballmer's presentation is just citing "use." Which could be pretty accurate while Net Applications analysis is also accurate for desktop/notebook/server situations. Don't see a lot of explanation past the charts on either of these links.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lordtoran (1063300)

      Nope. I just think they estimated WORLDWIDE market share. Outside of the US, Apple doesn't sell. I live in a large city in Germany and there are exactly zero places selling Macs. In fact, I have never seen a Mac for real. People using Linux on their laptops can be sighted occasionally, however.

  • Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Techmeology (1426095) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:13PM (#26986943) Homepage
    Of course they're worried! If Linux (and the rest of the open source projects) become even slightly common, Microsoft have lost. They can't buy Linux, they can't do deals with it. They don't seem to be able to out perform it either. Short of zapping every magnetic and (some how) optical media on the planet, Microsoft cannot kill an open source project of a large magnitude; there'll always be community members willing to take over where one was "bought" by Microsoft.
  • Microsoft sells software.

    Apple sells hardware.

    While there is certainly a small amount of overlap in their product lines, they aren't really in direct competition.

  • by olddotter (638430) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:16PM (#26987001) Homepage

    Perhaps after the success of the switch adds Apple inched ahead of Linux on the desk top. But if you look over the last 15 years, I believe that there has been more Linux on the desktop than Apple OS's.

    It hasn't been in anyone's interest to say that. I think that is even true of the Linux companies. For a long time they wanted to be under the radar under dogs. Perhaps because they didn't want a fight to the death with Microsoft.

    • by David Jao (2759) <djao@dominia.org> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:12PM (#26989535) Homepage

      Perhaps after the success of the switch adds Apple inched ahead of Linux on the desk top. But if you look over the last 15 years, I believe that there has been more Linux on the desktop than Apple OS's.

      It hasn't been in anyone's interest to say that. I think that is even true of the Linux companies. For a long time they wanted to be under the radar under dogs. Perhaps because they didn't want a fight to the death with Microsoft.

      This is an excellent observation and it lies at the heart of Linux's success. Anyone who fails to grasp this point is not even in the right ballgame.

      In terms of economics, the most important difference between free and proprietary platforms is that free platforms do not require a large userbase in order to thrive. The number of skilled developers willing to work on Linux for free would remain very high even if Linux's userbase were to drastically shrink. (This is incidentally the main reason why Microsoft cannot win against Linux, at least not by any means available in the marketplace.)

      By contrast, a proprietary platform requires a large userbase in order to even survive, since the only way for a proprietary platform to get developers is to pay them a salary, and salaries require money, which requires users. There are no volunteer developers who are even able, let alone willing, to contribute code to Microsoft Windows for free, because of the locked-in nature of the platform.

      That's why proprietary vendors routinely inflate their usage numbers. Larger numbers are necessary in order to convince new users that the platform is worthy of adoption. If a proprietary platform does not have a lot of users, then it has no future, and rational users would not risk selecting that platform. That's why OS/2 died, and that's why Solaris (despite being made free recently) is about to die.

      We thus have a situation where every vendor, other than the Linux vendors, has a huge economic incentive to inflate the reported size of their userbase. I don't necessarily mean illegal activity here; there are well known legal methods by which usage numbers can be inflated. For example, Microsoft counts every Vista OEM license as a Vista sale even if the user exercises downgrade rights to XP, and so on. In any case, it doesn't surprise me at all that the actual market share of Linux is far higher than what is being reported.

  • Servers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0racle (667029) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:17PM (#26987017)
    There is more money in servers then there is clients, and it's an area that MS could still grow in. In this area Linux companies and traditional UNIX are competitors to MS whereas Apple is most decidedly not.
    • Re:Servers (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jason Earl (1894) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:07PM (#26988121) Homepage Journal

      Actually there is far more money in clients than in servers. The profit margins on server software (and hardware) tend to be higher per sale, but in terms of both gross revenue and total profit clients wins hands down.

      Heck, that's why Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla of software. Windows makes truly ridiculous amounts of money, and the fact that Microsoft controls the end user experience at a very low level gives Microsoft a great deal of leverage.

      Microsoft has a very profitable server software division, but its profits are barely a third of Microsoft's Client division, and MS Office (another piece of client software) generates nearly as much profit as Windows.

      The client rules, plain and simple.

  • Let's not forget that Linux can be installed on any architecture. Apple may have a larger market share (depending on where you get your data from of course, lol), but they still have a limited compatibility range making them less viable.
  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:18PM (#26987033) Homepage
    OSX can only realistically come from one over priced manufactuer where as Linux is free and can be installed on any machine.

    The economy is in the dumps. Would you be worried about the over priced guy with no net book or the guy that's infiltrating the netbook space quite well when that's a fast growing sector?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elashish14 (1302231)
      Let's take it one step further. Apple sells you software. Red Hat, Novell, Canonical, etc. sell you support. Software comes free - you can hire your own IT to manage it if you want to....
    • Apple sells high end products. Apple's target audience is people who will pay more for aesthetics, and for a bottom liner on troubleshooting. Apple's less concerned with selling more products than selling more expensive products. A single digit market share isn't a problem with this model, because Apple's skimming the cream off the market, and leaving PC manufacturers to compete on price with very slim margins.
    • Re:Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tom (822) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:24PM (#26988535) Homepage Journal

      The economy is in the dumps. Would you be worried about the over priced guy with no net book or the guy that's infiltrating the netbook space quite well when that's a fast growing sector?

      Frankly, I would be very worried about a competitor who is growing in double-digits despite being considerably more expensive than I am. Very, very worried.

  • The Net Applications survey seems to be centered on desktops and personal-use devices only, while Microsoft's graphic conceivably includes OS deployment across all kinds of devices (desktops, servers, network appliances, etc.).

    If you take servers into account (especially web servers and certain network appliances), aggregated Linux installations could very well top aggregated Apple OS product installations.

    Also note that the Net Applications survey segregates Macs (presumably including MacOS System 9 and ea

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:21PM (#26987087)

    The day the manage to lock out piracy, a lot of that group will switch to Linux, not pay full prize full Windows licenses.

    I can understand why they see Linux as a bigger threat. Linux is something completely different than Windows, MacOS is "just" another proprietary closed source company controlled desktop OS. These days, more and more people see the advantages of free sofware, and Microsoft will never be able to catch up with Linux on that one.

    • by InvisibleClergy (1430277) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:33PM (#26987345)

      Thing is, a lot of more computer literate people understand the following workflow:

      1. Have a task which needs done
      2. Get a tool to do the task (Or choose one which you already have)
      3. Use the tool to do the task.

      Most people, however, are not computer-literate. They don't understand "Word Processor" but they do understand "Word" in reference to MS Word.

      They do the following:

      1. Have a task to do
      2. Use the tool they know to do the task

      The very idea that there are more word processors than MS Word still blows the mind of people like, say, my grandmother.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Technician (215283)

        They do the following:

        1. Have a task to do
        2. Use the tool they know to do the task

        The very idea that there are more word processors than MS Word still blows the mind of people like, say, my grandmother.

        The problem for MS is when there is another option out there in use, the chances of someone spending hundreds of dollars to switch from the tool that does the task to another high priced tool is pretty much nil. Those who switched are unlikely to switch back. Those who switched are likely to share the knowl

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:23PM (#26987117)

    An operating system's installed base is not the same as the market share.

    Market share is measurable because it's based on percentage of sales over a given period of time.

    Installed base is difficult or impossible to measure, because it's the percentage share an operating system has over the entire population of computers. This means the market share of Macs and Linux machines is underestimated. Macs, because they last on average 2 years longer than Windows PC's. Linux, well, because hardly anybody pays for Linux since they can legally get it for free.

    So, essentially, market share figures are highly inaccurate for estimated the installed base of any given operating system.

  • Apple USES software to move their hardware.

    You're comparing Apple to lemons.

    M$ sells software, (there is no branded computer called Microsoft, is there?,) and as such Linux is IN DIRECT COMPETITION, (there is no branded computer called Linux, is there?)

    Because Linux is FREE and M$ costs, look for the same idiot managers to jettison M$ for the same reason they jettisoned IBM in the '80s and for the same reason: because Linux is FREE and M$ costs.

  • by slashdotlurker (1113853) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:27PM (#26987219)
    Linux is a more fundamental threat than Apple. Apple, fundamentally, is another commercial vendor - one that can be dealt with, cajoled, threatened, and God forbid, even bought. Plus, Apple's focus is on hardware.

    Linux cannot be dealt with in that fashion. The business model is different. Microsoft can pull a Novell or a Xandros deal, but that either 1) ends up helping those distros, or, more worryingly, 2) does nothing to fight the multiheaded hydra that Linux is. Add the fact that it cannot be bought or threatened with any serious lawsuits, its a major headache for Microsoft. All Microsoft can do, is to slow down its rate of adoption, through a combination of tactics, and that is what they have been doing for the past 10 years. This is also good for Linux, as it is giving the developers breathing time and space to improve the quality. In looks department, they are already comfortably ahead of anything Vista or Leopard throw up. The only missing pieces of the puzzle are UI workflow design (where Apple has a superior product) and apps (where Microsoft is ahead). The latter is changing, while the former, is IMO languishing a bit for Gnome, though KDE4 has made some notable improvements.

    Microsoft's overall domination of the PC is currently not under threat, but Linux's success is forcing it to slash profit margins and do other things that it would rather not have do. The reason is that unlike Apple, Microsoft's userbase is full of people who want quality for a good price and don't want to be fooled into paying for pricy stuff they really do not need.

    It is not the year of linux on the desktop yet. But its coming, and that is giving people in Redmond sleepless nights.
    • by SpinningCone (1278698) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:51PM (#26987713)

      actually i think your missing the real point. its not really about who you can threaten.

      Apple has a business model which literally cannot take a market majority. the day Apple hits 30% it can no longer be apple anymore. however Linux can go all out.

      but even that is an aside in these times of recession people have a vested interest in their hardware. XP is getting long in tooth and vista was a flop if 7 doesn't pony up there will be a huge body of unsatisfied people who cannot afford to go buy a mac but *can* afford to download a Linux distro.

      once Linux gets enough of a market foothold support for the platform snowballs. more drivers come out more people get linux etc etc.

    • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:48PM (#26990149) Homepage Journal

      The business model is different. Microsoft can pull a Novell or a Xandros deal, but that either 1) ends up helping those distros, or, more worryingly, 2) does nothing to fight the multiheaded hydra that Linux is. Add the fact that it cannot be bought or threatened with any serious lawsuits, its a major headache for Microsoft.

      It's even a bit more fundamental than that. The core of the matter is that for "foundation" software, like operating systems or office suites, open source is the inevitable endgame.

      In general, every widespread product drives gradually towards commoditization, where profit margins are driven to the lowest levels that capital sources will allow (any lower and capital flees to better ROI). But the marginal cost of software is zero; no capital is necessary to produce additional copies. For custom and niche software, there are too few people interested in the software to drive commoditization, so the software can be profit-generating. For software that is consumable content and differentiable, like games, there is opportunity for profit. But for stuff that everyone needs, and which provides few opportunities for differentiation, commoditization is the natural course.

      Without the presence of open source in the market, the commodity price level would remain above zero, even once the software was "perfected" (meaning real differentiation is no longer possible), but if open source enters the game, as long as it is sufficiently functional that it is cheaper for some individuals or organizations to fix the ways it fails to meet their needs rather than buying commercial software that does, then the open source code will continue to improve, which increases the segment of the market that finds it acceptable, or nearly so. And remember that cost isn't just dollars. Ill effects of monoculture, perceptions of vendor lock-in and even just plain dislike -- even if irrational -- are all "costs" that some people apply to commercial software.

      Over time, therefore, open source inevitably displaces commercial software in commoditized spaces. Microsoft and other software companies might kid themselves that they can continue innovating and adding value to their applications indefinitely, but in most cases they're wrong.

      Whether they fully recognize this and are just delaying the inevitable, or whether they think they may be able to find a way, someday, to stave off the growth of Linux and OpenOffice, it doesn't surprise me at all that Microsoft recognizes Linux as a greater threat than Apple, because Apple isn't threatening to commoditize Microsoft's cash cows. On the contrary, Apple wants to find ways to push the price UP. Linux and OpenOffice, however, are real, direct and apparently unstoppable threats to Microsoft's major revenue sources. Even if the Linux installed base were half of OS X's, they would still be wise to worry.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Strudelkugel (594414)

        It's probably worthwhile to recall that Microsoft did not start out in the OS business. They were more interested in providing compilers. Gates didn't want to get into the OS business, either. But, IBM needed an OS, so Gates and Allen bought one.

        Windows makes a fortune for Microsoft today, but lets assume that Linux completely undermined the Windows franchise. Seems to me Microsoft could offer something like .Net VMs as the "OS", selling tools and apps that require it to run. I'm not saying this will happ
  • And so long as they refuse to license their OS, they never will be. The vast majority of the market is uninterested in Apple hardware.
  • Fair enough points (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rinoid (451982) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:40PM (#26987501)

    OK so Apple's share of the worldwide computer shipments is 7-10 million units.

    Funny thing is, there are other ships floating out there in them competitive waters Mr. Ballmer.
    Witness: iPod, iPhone, iTunes, and notably WebKit

    I see a much lower percentage share of IE on sites I manage and barely a blip of traffic from Chrome with Firefox and then Safari taking places 2 & 3.

    We don't need to discuss how iPod/iPhone has affected the landscape.

    I'm more interested in how WebKit plays in the equation.
    Webkit is more than just plain old eyeballs, it's increasingly driving standards with support for CSS,/HTML specs, and, offline db support that make content development less dependent on proprietary tools like ActiveX plug-ins or Flash and more dependent on a web browser (typically not one from MSFT).

    He's a cocky bastard and he just got lucky. Wonder if he'd do as well as Paul Allen outside of the MSFT play pen?

    Not to mention that fleet sales are what propped up Detroit for a long time ... now what's happening to them? I mention this because the ultra low cost and low cost devices are equivalent to fleet sales.

  • by johnny cashed (590023) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:40PM (#26987513) Homepage
    (to microsoft)

    Listen, and understand. That linux is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel DOT hedblom AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:52PM (#26987755) Homepage Journal

    I revently took a course in Microsoft AD after having been a linux guy since RH 5. I couldnt in my wildest dreams think that Microsofts server products are such pile of manure that they are. The more i learn about Windows the more surprised i get that people stand for all the shortcomings, the bad usability, the lack of customer centric solutions and the costs.

    In my mind there are just some small things that needs to be pieced in for Linux to be a really dangerous threat to Windows. Most of the things already exists for a Linux solution to completely replace a Microsoft centric network.

    I have run Linux Terminal Servers, Linux Fileservers, Linux webservers, Novell, Windows various solutions and Novell Linux solutions. The only thing really needed is an easier and faster way of setting a Linux solution up. Novell and Windows is very hard and tedious to manage once setup but its really easy to get a minimal system up and running. Linux on the other hand is very hard to setup but very easy to manage on a daily basis.

    If someone packages a solution where you can get a file, print, ldap and policy handling up and running without much fuss i think Linux would explode. Windows integration is from my view overrated, its much more important of making it easier to get up to speed with a pure linux network. Right now to much work is put into following Microsofts whims around with AD and whatnot instead of building a better solution on linux. A copy can only be so good as its original.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:06PM (#26988113) Journal

    When I was a kid, I had an Apple IIgs and a DOS box. The Apple was a nice machine, but the DOS box felt a lot more like a computer. At the time, I had a full instruction manual for DOS. That manual included descriptions of all the COM and EXE files on the system, their switches and examples of how to use them. Apple lacks that raw computing experience. It is there in the terminal window, but you don't need to go there to use the OS. Linux on the other hand still has that natural and exposed underbelly that geek kids can get into. Some kids are curious and those kids like figuring out how things work. Those kids don't need mommy and daddy to shell out $1000 for a computer that runs OSX because they can get Linux for free and run it on a 486. Those kids are a lot more likely to go a school that will move toward open source as a cost saving measure, as opposed to a school that will come up with a lot of money to pay the Apple tax.

    If I were Microsoft and I was focused on the next generation of geeks, I'd be scared shitless of Linux.

  • by wfolta (603698) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @06:31PM (#26988703)

    SO you believe that Ballmer must be stating only the facts, no agenda here?

    What I've noticed from Ballmer over the years is a consistent pattern: what Ballmer perceives as a manageable threat, he mentions as a threat, but what he views as a huge threat he mocks and makes fun of.

    Look at Open Source, or Macs, or the iPhone. When he's really threatened, he disrespects and mocks in order to appear especially confident. A sort of Tough Guy Reverse Psychology.

    So yes, I know Linux partisans will say it's a desktop threat to MS with more potential because every Windows box is a potential Linux box, but I think Ballmer's "tell", as it were, is saying that he is scared by the Mac and in particular the fact that Apple has an obvious and coherent Mac-iPod-iPhone spectrum of products that can easily include netbooks, tablets, surfaces, or any other form-factor. And that Apple has basically managed an end run around Microsoft in the content realm (Music & Movies).

  • by gillbates (106458) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @07:27PM (#26989803) Homepage Journal

    Who thinks we'll see a Microsoft Linux distro in the future?

    I mean, think about it - to continue with Windows, Microsoft must:

    1. Write drivers for practically every piece of hardware in existence, or risk getting blamed for system instability caused by the hw vendor's outsourced drivers...
    2. Continue to patch numerous holes in the operating system on an ongoing basis.
    3. Continue to push for proprietary and closed standards in order to increase its market share.

    Microsoft isn't good at any of these, yet they continue to pour money into Windows, in spite of the fact that it has very little value as a platform. People buy Windows for the familiar user interface (which MS actually got right), not for its security or stability. Why wouldn't Microsoft put its interface and API on top of a Linux kernel? They can still do the proprietary Windows thing, but let the Linux folks get the device drivers and system stability right.

    I know some people here are anti-Microsoft, but if MS hoisted Windows onto Linux, you'd have many, many more drivers written for Linux, and the choice of OS would be practically moot. For the end user, it would come down to the choice between running a free WM such as KDE or GNOME, or paying some extra for the familiar Windows UI. And we could dispense with the incompatibilities with the two systems, and get the best of both worlds: the stability and security of Linux, with the ease of use and familiarity of Windows.

  • Not suprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @08:00PM (#26990327) Journal

    Two reasons: Apple is smaller because it requires specialist hardware that is fairly expensive. NOTE this does NOT mean I am claiming Apples are overpriced, just that you can't turn an obsolete PC into a perfectly fine linux server or desktop.

    Second reason is that Apple is a straight competitor. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates/Steve Ballmer ain't enemies, they believe the same thing: Software should be paid for and the end user does NOT get to own the piece of software let alone use it in any way that they want to.

    Linux on the other hand says "Here is all this great software, use it, don't pay for it and do with it what you want how you want to for as long as you want to." EEK!

    Or to keep it simple, an Apple buyer might be persuaded to buy MS office for the Mac. A linux user is a far thougher sell and might even use something like OpenOffice or even worse Abiword (remember that OpenOffice is as complex as MSOffice but Abiword, that is so scary because it says "not only am I not going to pay for MSOffice but I don't even need all that it offers").

    Apple is a competitor, Linux is an assault on the very principles that MS thinks should govern software.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Second reason is that Apple is a straight competitor. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates/Steve Ballmer ain't enemies, they believe the same thing: Software should be paid for and the end user does NOT get to own the piece of software let alone use it in any way that they want to. Linux on the other hand says "Here is all this great software, use it, don't pay for it and do with it what you want how you want to for as long as you want to." EEK!

      Do you know many Linux developers? Do you know where the average person is likely to get Linux? Linux ships pre-installed by for profit companies, just like OS X and Apple. Most Linux developers are not freaky hippy socialists, but are paid by commercial companies and enjoy spending those paychecks. Apple develops FOSS software and contributes their changes, just like most other companies that work in it. They don't just make FOSS but few major contributors do. Most profit from closed source software, hardw

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