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Microsoft Linux Business

Microsoft Decides To Take On Linux On Low-Cost PCs 349

e5rebel writes "Microsoft is launching a program to promote the use of its Windows OS in ultra low-cost PCs. It is an effort to stop Linux dominating this market but Microsoft is insisting on limiting the hardware specs of these devices."
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Microsoft Decides To Take On Linux On Low-Cost PCs

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  • by pwizard2 ( 920421 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @11:55AM (#23361340)
    If the plan is to deliberately cripple the low end Pc hardware specs, then how can you get decent performance out of windows? I remember that XP would barely run wel lat all on my old computer, so wouldn't Windows 2000 be more suited to this task?
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @11:59AM (#23361372)
    Can someone convince me that these devices are [very] useful to the point of replacing the notebook? You see, I will be returning to this September and would like to consider one of these devices as a replacement for a notebook. Can I for example, load on the Eee PC?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:06PM (#23361440)
    What were the specs of that old computer? The 1 GHz and 1 GB RAM limits that they impose seem high enough to me.
  • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:06PM (#23361442)
    In this month's print edition of Popular Mechanics they do head-to-head comparisions of Mac and similar PCs (iMac vs Gateway One, for instance).

    The Mac's smoked the PCs in pretty much everything, despite the PCs having more RAM. More telling was that the Macs ran Vista faster under Bootcamp than the PCs did.

    The morale of the story is, Windows fails even in its native market. I think they're hoping that by getting into this market, they'll make the products so unattractive that no one will buy them (and clearly, if no one wants the EEE running Windows, then no one will want the EEE running Linux, right? *sigh*) at all anyway.

    Note, I am not a Mac user -- I'm just saying that there are serious deficiencies in the Windows/PC platform from the get go, and they need to cover that up by making something even worse.
  • by alegrepublic ( 83799 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:09PM (#23361472)
    If Microsoft attempts to force manufacturers to cripple their products, it is going to be hit hard by antitrust authorities, as this is a clear-cut case of monopoly abuse. So the Europeans will draw more cash from Microsoft and the American politicians will increase their pardon fees. At one point, this is not going to be financially profitable to Microsoft: European antitrust penalty + American pardon fees + very little money from the crippled computers = net loss. So their only goal seems to be killing that market before it becomes unstoppable. But people are sick and tired of carry heavy weights around, so they have to fight not only against the zero cost of Linux but also against the comfort level of travellers, and even if they were able to kill Linux no marketing campaign is going to convince people to carry more weight around other than in their belly and bottoms.
  • Re:The pitch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AndGodSed ( 968378 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:12PM (#23361494) Homepage Journal

    like most of their similar pitches
    I went for an interview recently, and the owner of the company remarked on my Linux experience and told me how much better the MS environment is for developing in, and how good a "properly set up and maintained" MS server is.

    His pitch was a word for word copy of the MS FUD you get on their website.
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:13PM (#23361504) Journal
    With MS trying hard to limit a company's hardware, that means that they will prevent sony and others from competing directly. So NOW is the time to start a hardware company. Do several platforms. The first being something that is XO style. Then go to next levels, which would be just above what MS is blocking. At that level, make it have touch screen. And of course, make it with some form of OSS (most likely Linux). This will allow you to hold down costs, and compete against the big boys
  • And? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by ditoa ( 952847 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:17PM (#23361528)
    And what is the story here? Of course Microsoft were going to come up with some kind of deal with the manufactuers of this "new" generation of lowered powered ultra portables. I don't really have a problem. People can use what they want and if Microsoft make another edition of Windows for ultra portables that is fine with me. Competition is a good thing no? Forcing end users to use something they don't want isn't a good solution, choice is. Is that what we say Linux is all about?

    I run XP on my first gen Eee PC because I wanted Windows. It runs just as quick as the default Xandros and other Linux distros I put on it. I didn't have to do anything special to get XP running on it either. I borrowed an external CD drive from a friend and installed XP. Installed the drivers and thats it. Same thing for Ubuntu.

    People bash on about XP being slow and crappy on these low power systems but in reality it isn't. Vista is going to be another story and so I welcome Microsoft's efforts to make Vista run as well as XP does currently. Stripping extra services out which only 0.1% of Windows users actually use will help greatly. One thing I assume they will do is setup some kind of specification for what is and isn't a "lower powered ultra portable laptop" and then only license this "special version" to OEMs with a system that meets the specs. I also welcome this as it gives Linux a spec to aim at as well.

    All in all I welcome Microsoft's decision. Competition is good for us (the consumers). Let's enjoy it and give them feedback on what you want/don't want.
  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:36PM (#23361642) Journal

    How will Microsoft compete?

    They don't compete any more. They mandate. Their problem seems to be that OEMs are now following along by releasing systems under their mandate, but also building neat stuff outside the mandate. They can't do anything about the fact that their mandate subtracts value, making the new Linux gear immensely popular.

  • by Maestro485 ( 1166937 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:36PM (#23361644)
    They aren't as concerned about these ULPC's from running Windows as they are that Linux will use these low cost devices as a springboard into the desktop market. They want to limit the specs so that any machines sold over that spec must be sold with a Windows operating system. That way, anyone outside of the low-cost niche market will still be forced to buy Windows.

    It smacks of anti-trust issues but that really isn't a big surprise anymore.
  • Re:The pitch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpricejones ( 950353 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:39PM (#23361654)
    I think it's worthy to note that Vista costs as much as the low-cost PCs.

    (I base this on the near 300 dollars for Vista Ultimate and near 200 dollars for Home Basic.)
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:47PM (#23361708) Homepage

    The PC industry is terrified of low-cost laptops. They see $199 laptops in bubble packs at every WalMart, with a profit of about $1 per unit. Dell is in trouble; their custom-build business model is dying. So Microsoft's approach to driving up prices looks attractive.

    It won't last, but it might be good for a few years.

  • by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:57PM (#23361778)
    exactly, I was STILL using a Dell Latitude C610 with a 1.0Ghz P3 up till 3 months ago. Used iTunes, firefox, open office, YouTube, the whole thing. HD video is out, but other than that it was perfectly functional. Those things STILL sell for $300 on Ebay! The eeePC is just a smaller version of the same thing. Figure the processor is a little more efficient and the ram a bunch faster, and what was a $1500 laptop is now $500 and 1/3 the cost & size!
  • Re:The pitch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:01PM (#23361806)
    Yeah but was the guy a chump or was he just baiting you to assess your reaction?

    And just because the guy's a chump doesn't mean that he's wrong. If their cheap hires are *nix illiterate or they suck so badly as an employer that they can't retain staff; then the point-click-drool solution doubtlessly is "better" for them.

  • by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:02PM (#23361824)

    I remember that XP would barely run wel lat all on my old computer

    IIRC it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 800mhz and about 512 MB of Ram
    Ridicilous! I started computing in the '80s, when CPU speeds where counted in a few MHz, with a few hundred KB's of RAM and a floppy drive at best. Yet, power it on, and it's ready for input in 2 seconds, with interactive development environment ready. Insert a diskette, type a short command and your favorite game loads in another 5 or 10 seconds.

    Any PC built from, say, year 2000 or later is at least 100 times faster, with equally improved memory, graphics and background storage. Does it feel slow? Then either:
    • You're running the wrong software (like the wrong OS, too much spyware or other crap), or
    • You're using the wrong tool for the job (like trying to run Crysis on a Pentium 3 with onboard video), or
    • Your budget doesn't match your requirements.
    Either way: complain all you want, but claiming such a computer is slow, is simply inaccurate.
  • Re:The pitch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AndGodSed ( 968378 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:14PM (#23361920) Homepage Journal
    Let me say this: I did not get the Job, but I am not upset at that, I was going for the interview in the spirit of "if I don't get it I don't mind."

    I have a ton of respect for the guy, he has build a successful business, and is obviously good at what he does.

    We had a frank discussion on the platform they use, and he has worked with Linux before. What I did notice was the aforementioned FUD reference. I'd expect more from a guy like this.

    If the MS platforms were really that much superior to the Linux platforms why not have more specific and substantiated arguments? I smelled either a test, like an above poster mentioned, or he really believed the FUD, since he had no recent experience in a linux environment - by his own admission ten years ago at the newest.
  • by wertigon ( 1204486 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:14PM (#23361928)
    It's time for manufacturers to tell Microsoft "Look, we do this on our terms. If you want to cooperate on our terms, fine. If not, then take your fucking ball and go home!"

    Seriously, there's a great alternative out there. Microsoft is, for the first time in a very long time, in a position not as the big bully, but as the kid trying to get popular. Let's see how they manage to cope with this...
  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:27PM (#23362018) Homepage
    That is an abuse of power gained through their monopoly. They know users would feel more comfortable with Windows so companies would like to use it so they're offering it at a low price but forcing companies to hold back on innovation.

    If this is true then people should complain to their governments. I'm sure we can count on the US gov doing nothing about it but hopefully the EU will put a stop to that at least happening over here.
  • A modest projection (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vtcodger ( 957785 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:30PM (#23362044)
    Open source is likely to be a very good software environment when it is finished. However, that will take at least a decade, maybe two.

    Microsoft OTOH is caught in a dead end. The only chance I can see for them to be relevant 20 years from now is a gamble and not at favorable odds. They need to loose WGA, meaningless product definition, and all the other annoying and ineffective marketing tricks and focus their considerable talents on building the best servers and desktop systems they possibly can. They have lost over a decade since their last user oriented release (Windows 95) and will already be playing catch up in many areas.

    Yes, they will leave money on the table short term. But if they can get their act together, they may have an expanding base of happy and enthusiastic customers ten years from now. If they don't do that, they are doomed to lose out to Apple, Open Source, and Google who do have such a base.

    BTW, I just had to deal with a series of hardware and software meltdowns that required getting both a Windows XP and a Linux PC up with just basic install software and a backup of the old applications. Neither operation was fun, but Windows was especially awful -- a sort of ongoing horror show of stupid and arbitrary constraints on what could be done and how it could be done. The only place where Windows was clearly superior was in installation of a network printer. And eventually CUPS will be usable by mere mortals, so Windows won't even have that to brag about.

    To sum it up. Windows and Open Source both have a long way to go. Open Source looks to be chugging along. Windows is lost in a horrendous swamp. It isn't hard to see the eventual outcome.

  • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:31PM (#23362046)
    See, I understand Microsoft's point of view. I just don't see why the hardware people would acquiesce to this crap. Their success so far as shown that they don't need Microsoft. People are buying them anyway.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:57PM (#23362264)
    Actually I agree with M$ on this apart from the part where they want to sell their OS at very low price.

    1st. I'm fed up with the fact that specialist PC-shops and service providers have witnessed declining margins for years and years. Due to impropper competition from retailers without history/knowledge and expertise on these markets for instance. I mean why are shops like ALDI with expertise in food retail nowadays selling PC's? They can't provide proper assistance, proper sevice nor have expertise at obtaining quality products to customers. Or impropper deals with OS-developpers or hardware developpers( e.g. Microsoft giving free rides to schools while consumers have to pay full premium prices in shops). It's impossible these days to maintain a profitable IT-business these days. While all other industries artificially keep their prices up to maintain high profits.

    Look around. Fuels get more expensive (yet the actuall costs involved don't), foodprices have increased +20%, and this is with a lot of products and services EXCEPT computers. You get more PC power for significantly less money these days. It has now become at a level that to further decrease prices material-quality and durability is at stake. In that case I completely agree that low-priced PC's should NOT detoriate profits from other higher profile products. In fact I would like to see a price increase on all IT-equipment and use that money for better quality products with a better lifespan unlike the made-in-china-crap we buy these days. I think that there's NO NEED for these ULCPC's at all. Because they probably end up Ultra High Crap PC's anyway. We don't need more crap already.

    2ndly. Why favouring those socalled "emerging markets" while WE had to pay full premium prices for these products? Has anyone thought of that? I think that those countries should improve their own social culture and lifestyle and hence improve life quality and associated wages without us favouring them with ultra-low prices. This is NOT fair to us. I don't want to pay premium prices so that some chinese guy can get it cheap! They already have the jobs that we used to do last year. Get wages up so that chinese ppl can pay the same prices as we do. Fair and square!

    So I want ppl to complain and demand REFUNDS from M$ if they go through with this! I've paid 99 euro's for my XP home If M$ is gonna sell XP home now for 19 euro's then I want a refund of 80 euro's. Period! Fair play also to us!

  • Re:So... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @02:35PM (#23362568)
    Don't be silly, hardware manufacturers just want to sell hardware; the benefits of a proprietary OS (if any) do not go in their pocket but in the OS manufacturer pocket.

    If the hardware manufacturers are extra-cautious that's because of the retaliatory power of MS. For any equivalent setup (market-segment wise) they'll always go for the MS solution because MS has the power to screw them on the Windows/Office segment. So they only go non-MS when they can tell the monopoly ogre "we really tried, but none of your solutions fit, and if we ignore this segment competitors will eat us".
  • Breaking the rules (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @03:04PM (#23362800) Journal

    The rule was, never release a new platform that won't run the latest version of Microsoft's products. ASUS broke the rule and can't make their new product fast enough. Their new deal with Microsoft just highlights that if you break the rules and succeed, you get new rules.

    Maybe ASUS will take the money and run, Maybe they'll deprecate their Linux offerings and move millions of XP Home eee machines and be happy. I don't think so, but that could happen.

    It doesn't matter. If ASUS won't break the rules somebody else on their way up will. This whole scene will play out over and over. Marketing deals cannot halt innovation because it's the innovators that bring the interesting new products that catch our attention and gain the most enthusiastic early adopters.

  • Re:The pitch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @03:11PM (#23362856) Journal

    The fact is that it's quicker to develop high quality software on the MS platform.
    You may believe that this is a fact. Other people strongly disagree with you. Personally I prefer to withhold judgement, because I've never seen any remotely convincing research into the subject -- pretty much everything I've ever read that discussed it was devised and funded by someone with a vested interest in promoting a particular solution.

    I agree with much of the rest of what you've written, at least in so far as you acknowledge that it's your personal opinion rather than objective fact. Personally I find Linux has advantages of its own. Windows may well be "more integrated" when you only use Windows, but when you're working in a heterogenous environment, mixing x86 PCs with Solaris servers and other systems older and wilder still, trying to integrate Windows is a right pain, thanks to its sadly limited support for standards such as POSIX. As with most things in IT, it's a question of choosing the right tool for the right job... sometimes that's Microsoft, sometimes it isn't. I wish people on both sides of the divide would stop treating this as a religious issue and start applying braincells...

    By the way, to the kneejerky anti-Microsoft zealot who modded the parent "overrated" (the coward's choice): please grow up. If you disagree with someone's opinion, then don't mod them down -- post a reply instead, explaining what they've got wrong.
  • by cheros ( 223479 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @03:30PM (#23363008)
    The guys who take the decisions have huge share packages. Do you really think they'll do anything that reflects reality and thus nuke their potential retirement?

    It's already hard enough work to keep shareholders from bolting after the Vista debacle, the EU fine (which IMHO will get worse as a problem) and the ISO farce which will come back to haunt them. The amount of BS that is required to drown out reality is enough work as it is without someone trying to be realistic about their prospects as well..

    [yes, I'm being sarcastic, but MS *is* taking huge hits, whatever spin they put on it. To have to report a loss *after* they had several months to massage the figures with creative accounting is a *very* bad sign]
  • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheLinuxSRC ( 683475 ) * <slashdot.pagewash@com> on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:38PM (#23363646) Homepage
    ...and MacOS is the only commercial OS that has never had a zero day exploit in the wild

    Wow... [] I cannot [] believe [] you said [] that [] out loud. []
  • Re:The pitch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:50PM (#23363752)

    The thing is and someone else commented on this further up is that developing on Linux is pretty similar to developing with Microsoft's solutions.

    Both have point and click build your own GUI programs. It's just that you use windows at home, work, etc so you build your programs to only work on that OS.

    It's exactly the same as the Internet Explorer only websites from the 90s.

    You seem very familiar with Microsoft's solutions but have you ever truly looked at other solutions? I think not otherwise you would have structured your comment differently.
    I tried to avoid direct comparisons with Linux products, because, as I indicated, I know much more about Windows / console development than Linux. I'm not entirely surprised to hear Linux has some great point-and-click solutions. I was actually rebutting the common disdain some developers have for these high-level development tools, not trying to indicate that Microsoft is the only one providing them.

    When you say "solutions", are you talking about OS or development tools? With regards to OS, then no, I'm mostly familiar with Windows. As far as development tools, I've used products from Borland, Watcom, Microsoft, and SN Systems. Professionally, though, the game industry is currently dominated by Microsoft's tools. Every single game company I've worked at (five) have used Visual Studio.

    It may sound strange, but most developers I know (including myself) are fans of Linux as a general principle. I've been hankering to install Linux on one of my old dev boxes and work on some freeware games. Maybe I'll actually make this happen in the near future. It might be fun to start another side project.
  • Re:The pitch (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @05:15PM (#23364014)
    Every Microsoft stockholder believes the FUD. They *have* to. Their money depends on it. Just a thought.

    I had the same experience just from shopping at Radio Shack. I go in for a USB thumbdrive, I happen to mention at the salesdrone that I run Linux. Suddenly the button was pushed, and for the next ten minutes I was treated to a pre-recorded response coming out of the guy's mouth, total cost of ownership this, 235 patents that, he even used the phrase "get the facts". Here we are at the mall with people milling all around us, and I thought for a minute he was going to blow a whistle and sic the thought police on me.
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @05:24PM (#23364086) Journal
    Because Joe wants to run Calendar Creator or some such nonsense

    This dismissive attitude is one major reason that Linux isn't further along taking over the desktop.

    Name me a good Linux alternative to the following software:

    1) Microsoft flight simulator 2004 or FSX
    No Flightgear doesn't even come close to cutting it. It's years behind.

    2) Chessmaster X or XI or even Fritz
    Don't start with GNUChess or XBoard, which only do very basic chess, don't have any coaching

    3) Rollercoaster Tycoon 3
    Yes it's a game. It's also a simulator of sorts. However name me a 3D environment in which I can design a running theme park.

    4) Realflight G3 or G4
    I'm not even aware of a remote control flight simulation package on Linux. Practice here stops me crashing planes which means I get to spend less time and money building and more time flying them.

    So far it's games and entertainment, but they're important to me. Let's get broader

    5) Photoshop
    Yes I know it's a typical complaint but Gimp really doesn't do everything I want to do and really is more awkward to use. I'm still trying to use GIMP where practical since I hate Vista with a passion and XP is being killed off. I'd like to get some familiarity with an environment i may be forced onto in a year or two.

    6) Omnipage pro
    Solutions that only OCR single column text are useless to me. I got Omnipage SE "for free" when I bought a printer, Okay so I paid for it but I didn't have an option to get the printer without it since it came bundled. Anyway the OCR solutions aren't near as feature complete.

    7) IE only websites.
    I'm willing to admit that when it comes to web browsers and Office software, Linux isn't far behind. However if I'm doing my banking with someone whose only catering to IE am I suppose to drop every other consideration and move to a different bank at great expense just so I can go to Linux? Or do I have to use VMWare? Be reasonable.

    I won't go on, and I could.
  • Re:The pitch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RightSaidFred99 ( 874576 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @05:32PM (#23364140)
    You're right, it's my opinion but it's an opinion based on personal experience. I work in an environment with thousands of Linux computer servers. I've developed a lot of automation for that environment in mostly Perl, C/C++, and Java. Then a few years ago I started doing more "enterprise app" type development. I was just dumbfounded at how much fun it was on the Windows side of the fence to develop software. On the web services front, they had a huge lead with the WCF stuff (Sun only just now catching up with Metro/Glassfish) in terms of supported web standards, ease of development, integration, etc... IIS 7 is really quite nice, and SQL server especially since SQL2005 is also very nice to developers in terms of integration. C# as a language blows Java away. VS2008 just works. It's just night and day compared to trying to make 10 different tools developed by 10 different groups of people interoperate on the Linux side.

    We also haven't had many interop issues. We have our Linux machines authenticating against Active Directory for single sign on, our web services can talk to eachother, etc...

    On the other side of the coin, we run EDA tools on those thousands of Linux compute servers. There was a (hairbrained) scheme several years ago to switch those over to run on Windows. It was a laughable disaster. EDA design on a large scale is best done on Linux - period. By all means pick the right tool for the job. For enterprise application development, many types of web development in fact, and a whole lot of other internally developed software Microsoft is usually the right tool.

    Going back to the original post, the sad thing is that most MS bashers aren't qualified to know what the right tool for the job is because they don't really know anything about modern MS environments or development tools ("probably wr0t3 it in VB lolz").

  • Many UMPCs run XP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob Simpson ( 533360 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @06:24PM (#23364530)
    Actually, most UMPCs run XP or Linux - and all of the decent ones []. Many aren't that expensive... not as cheap as the eee, but comparable to a conventional budget laptop. And the Raon Everun [] gets 4 to 5 hours with real-life use... double the battery life of the eee. With the extended battery, it gets up to 11 hours. Unlike the eee, it's barely warm to the touch and is nearly silent. Unfortunately, the Geode processor is a bit underpowered (hopefully there'll be an Atom version) and the unique hardware is not yet supported under Linux.
  • Re:The pitch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @06:47PM (#23364694)
    I wonder how well/poorly "Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs" would run on Ultra-Low cost PC's. From Wikipedia:

      "Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs ("WinFLP") is a thin client operating system from Microsoft, based on Windows XP Embedded, but optimized for older, less powerful hardware. It was released on July 8, 2006. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is not a full-fledged general purpose operating system. It includes only certain functionality for local workloads such as security, management, document viewing related tasks and the .NET Framework. It is designed to work as a client-server solution with RDP clients or other third party clients such as Citrix ICA."

    It runs nicely with a ~600MB install footprint and only 64MB of ram for the base OS. However, the licensing for WinFLP might be a bit of an issue.

    More info at: []
  • by JesseMcDonald ( 536341 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @07:02PM (#23364802) Homepage

    Regarding your first point: X-Plane [] is an advanced commercial flight simulator package available for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. It should compare favorably with MS Flight Simulator.

  • Re:Good ole joe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @08:42AM (#23368352)
    Difference is in papers and wage.

    Ok, it is too simple of course, but I wholeheartedly I agree with your parent post. Everything is made difficult by fact that PHB are usually very incompetent in dealing with IT systems, and yet, they wanna a) dictate which product to use (as they have better "friendship" with salesman who pimps up lastest Microsoft solution than with technician which usually lacks good communication skills and which is smarter, therefore untrusted by leadership. Strangely, but it is how human mind works) and b) implement on their vision. Usually both of these points heavily conflict between each other.

    So, again, I agree with parent - in such situation if I see no benefit with dealing with such company, I drop it. Life is too short and there are lot of other potential good companies, who really trust judgment of mine and are ready to say what they want and listen what offers I have.

    And let's not forget - did good, open source and free software can really make your business fly. If someone don't get it after several good and clever presentations - well, their call.

Maybe you can't buy happiness, but these days you can certainly charge it.