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IBM Pushing Microsoft-Free Desktops 417

walterbyrd and other readers are sending along the news that IBM is partnering worldwide with Canonical/Ubuntu, Novell, and Red Hat to offer Windows-free desktop PCs pre-loaded with Lotus software and ready for customizing by local ISVs for particular markets. The head of IBM's Lotus division is quoted: "The slow adoption of Vista among businesses and budget-conscious CIOs, coupled with the proven success of a new type of Microsoft-free PC in every region, provides an extraordinary window of opportunity for Linux." One example of the cooperation: "Canonical, which sells subscription support for Ubuntu, a Linux operating system that scores high marks on usability and 'the cool factor,' will re-distribute Lotus Symphony via their repositories. Symphony 1.1 will be available through the Ubuntu repositories by the end of August."
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IBM Pushing Microsoft-Free Desktops

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  • I gotta say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:59PM (#24489133)

    ...Microsoft-free personal computing choices...

    Has a nice ring to it, don't it?

  • by Howitzer86 ( 964585 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:02PM (#24489157)
    I guess I should start learning linux. Maybe buy a few books to study and frequent the irc channels. It finally looks like it might have a shot at replacing Windows.
  • Nine To Five (Score:2, Insightful)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:02PM (#24489171)
    Canonical, which sells subscription support for Ubuntu, a Linux operating system that scores high marks on usability and 'the cool factor..."

    I stopped reading right there.

    If there is anything less "cool" on this world than the corporate desktop I have yet to find it.

  • by sleeponthemic ( 1253494 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:04PM (#24489183) Homepage

    But I've never met any "common man" family with a linux based PC. I find it strange to hear that previous article on penetration of linux in new PCs in the UK up to 2.8%. As good as linux desktops are, I still can't quite believe that Joe Bloggs with zero knowledge will comprehend the virtues and not be seduced by the fact that almost everybody around him is running windows
    As I say, it might just be "where I am". I can't recall anywhere generic selling linux based desktops here so no real surprise I don't know anybody who fits this bill.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:05PM (#24489191)
    If people start associating Linux with Lotus Notes.
  • Re:Perfect example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c_forq ( 924234 ) <> on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:05PM (#24489203)

    ..from 'world domination' to 'also run'...

    Eh, they seem to be doing better than Standard Oil, Carnegie Steel, and I would even say Ma Bell.

  • Re:Nine To Five (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MrMista_B ( 891430 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:06PM (#24489207)

    Um, since when is Ubuntu a 'corporate desktop'?

  • by NNKK ( 218503 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:12PM (#24489279) Homepage

    How much support does Microsoft give you for those purchase prices without paying more for additional support? Almost none? I thought so.

    What parts of the system does Microsoft's support cover? Just the core OS, which is largely useless by itself? Yeah...

    What does Ubuntu's support cover? Well, it's for a year, and it includes the "core" OS and all of the hundreds of applications that come with it.

    How much would you pay for Windows with a year of core OS support, plus a year of support for several major third-party applicationswithout which you can't really do anything? Thousands? Perhaps tens of thousands?

    Where's the problem again?

  • Re:Perfect example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:15PM (#24489313)

    I'm surprised you mentioned Ma Bell, as AT&T seems to have almost all its pieces back together again. It seems that they aren't such a Humpty Dumpty after all.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:19PM (#24489369) Homepage

    Windows support ain't free and it's largely useless in my experience. It's either "try rebooting" or Nothing to do with us, you need to contact the third party" buck passing.

    PS: Linux support isn't compulsory, the cost of the Windows license is...

  • by greenguy ( 162630 ) <estebandido@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:21PM (#24489391) Homepage Journal

    Frankly, I'd rather see Microsoft in that position -- humbled, force-fed a fresh perspective, and one player among many -- than totally ground out of existence.

  • by magus_melchior ( 262681 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:26PM (#24489437) Journal

    So iamhigh's argument is: Canonical's support contracts are too costly and doesn't give Windows desktops/server admins any reason to switch.

    His argument rests on this straw man: reduced cost is allegedly the only reason to switch to Linux. This ignores Linux's advantages such as lower hardware/software cost, access to source code and thus customizability. It also ignores the possibility of adding a Linux desktop or server for testing purposes.

    Notice: He doesn't tell you how much a Windows Vista Open License costs in addition to a full support contract (!) from Microsoft or partner vendors, let alone a Windows Server 2003/2008 CAL + contract. Notice that it would be costly to him in terms of both time and resources to transition to Linux, and so he wouldn't be motivated to switch over anyway. Nowhere should a Linux evangelist ever demand that all Windows shops convert to Linux, for this reason. No one's forcing him to use Linux if Windows is working just fine, so he's mostly ranting about nothing. Worst case, he's a Microsoft evangelist.

    I'm sorry, but he doesn't deserve those Insightful mods. Ironic that he predicted Flamebait mods, but as of right now no one's tagged him as such.

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:27PM (#24489469) Homepage
    That's the point I think most people don't understand. Why you buy Vista Ultimate, it doesn't entitle you to any support. You get one or two phone calls, and you have to use them within the first 90 days of registering your software. After that you're on your own. $59 for each support request. If your computer came with Vista installed, you don't get any free support from MS, they want you to call the company who manufactured your computer. How is a company with access to the source code for windows supposed to give you proper support? At least when you pay Canonical for support, they are actually prepared to answer your questions without any additional fees, and are actually able to issue software patches against the product, as most (all??) of it is open source.
  • Re:Perfect example (Score:3, Insightful)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:32PM (#24489521) Journal

    I'm surprised you mentioned Ma Bell, as AT&T seems to have almost all its pieces back together again

    I'm sure that you posted the revionist history tha the current AT&T managment would like to see, but it simply isn't true. The present AT&T is not the same as the old one. Another company assembled the pieces, not the old AT&T.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:37PM (#24489577) Homepage Journal

    Okay how many support calls do you get with Windows support. I think our current package is like four calls a year but that is for developers and not the server.
    Next does the price for support go up per cal?
    When you want to add more users what will the cost be?
    Want to use a VM and add run more servers on the box? What will that cost?
    Want to add a backup server? What about development server?
    Unless you are using the entire Microsoft software stack why not move to Linux? Of course there is the added cost of retraining you to use Linux but as an Admin learning Linux is worth while if for no other reason that a good Linux Admin will find it pretty easy to move into Solaris or AIX as well as Linux.

    Also frankly Linux support is optional for a Windows server it is mandatory.

  • Who uses support? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by reidconti ( 219106 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:37PM (#24489587)

    Seriously? If you want a professional to do work for you, it's called "professional services", costs an arm and a leg, and only occasionally does something other than totally hose up your environment.

    The "support" for most software (and even hardware) goes about as far as "is it plugged in?"

    The only support I ever use is hardware support, and half the time, even with Sun, you have to tell then what part to send you.

    Does anybody really sit on the phone with IBM, Sun, Microsoft, to try to troubleshoot a complex problem?

  • Re:Perfect example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChrisA90278 ( 905188 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:42PM (#24489667)

    IBM has been a technology company for over 100 years. The company was founded in 1896, back when information technology was a new idea. I think they learned about "change" long ago. They adapted to the invention of the vacuum tube and every other new technology of the 20th century. How many other tech companies from the late 1800's are still around?

  • Re:Perfect example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BoChen456 ( 1099463 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:44PM (#24489685)

    I'm sure that you posted the revionist history tha the current AT&T managment would like to see, but it simply isn't true. The present AT&T is not the same as the old one. Another company assembled the pieces, not the old AT&T.

    Who cares which company assembled all the pieces. The pieces are back together, so the old company is back together.

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:51PM (#24489749)

    If only there were some old Lotus ideas in this. WordPro's (and 123s) InfoBox was the best user interface module I ever used. If was very easy to work proper (with format classes) and it was quick to use. I installed it in every company i worked, and soon everyone had it, and was used to it. There are still people who now have to work with that nightmare of an UI that Microsoft provides (a modal dialog to get to all formatting options... really??), the comparably bad imitation that Openoffice is (why does open source imitate more than innovate? and wort of all: imitate Microsoft? either you can say how bad MS is, or you can imitate it. you can't have both.), or another - strangely similar - office package, who tell me how bad that thing is, compared to SmartSuite. (Yes, this is all subjective. But for the vast majority i think they (would have) liked SmartSuite more.)

    But instead of just implementing the InfoBox in OpenOffice (an idea that i would pay serious money to have), they just used the sidebar click-orgy paradigm + the gnome dumb-down* paradigm. ;)
    Great... idea...

    * No, I do not have anything against simplifying the UI, as long as it's only for people who WANT it simple [eg. don't want to spend much, or don't have much resources for it]. Make your UI *SCALABLE* and make everyone happy. :)

  • by freeasinrealale ( 928218 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @08:59PM (#24489851)
    Well I live in Canada. And yes, 'joe sixpack' or the common man here in NA doesn't really care about 'Linux' or 'Windows'. I am a part owner in a family run brewery here in Ontario. We brew and sell craft beer or 'real ales'. Recently I was at local watering hole that sells Big Name Swill. One customer was amazed at how our brew tasted fantastic, reminded him of how good his beer had tasted back in ole Blighty. After finishing the real ale, he ordered up his regular - Bud Light. (We price ours the same as regular beers). As A Linux fanboy for many a year, I have also tamed my enthusiasm for converting Win users to Linux. Most people don't want to know what an OS is. Like a PVR - switch it on - and it works. Linux will succeed when the big boys start marketing it, just like the 'swill beers' that now dominate the world markets. Me - I'm happy with our small base of real ale fanatics.
  • Re:I gotta say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @09:09PM (#24489953)
    It sure does. That nasty part is that as bad as MS has been, If IBM was still dominant, Personal computing would probably be an order of magnitude more expensive and far more limited. I think if MS hadn't come to prominence, things would be even worse than they are now.

    They still suck of course.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @09:42PM (#24490323) Homepage Journal

    If IBM really wants to help replace Windows PCs with Linux PCs, it can do a lot more than just partner with Canonical. IBM could help fix the two biggest gaps in Linux's ability to "do what Windows does": full PDF and SWF suites that "just work".

    PDF is a standard format that Adobe dominates with Acrobat. It's the favorite way for offices to send around read only documents that will have no chance of problems. Unless you send it to someone with Linux, in which case something funny can happen. Not so much in reading it, but if they do indeed want to make changes anyway. The SW for editing and managing PDF docs isn't so reliable on Linux, and not at all widely available. It's probably easy for IBM to fix that problem, because PDF availability for Linux isn't so bad, just needs some more "formalizing". Getting a brand name, but still open source, edition from IBM with support and training will help.

    The real problem that needs engineering is Flash. GNU's Gnash player for SWF is all some Linux distros, like for PowerPC, have for playing YouTube and all the other Flash web content. More and more Flash is used for commercial sites, especially as Flash starts to run on mobile phones. But Gnash barely works, and often doesn't work with YouTube. IBM could really level the playing field by making enough contributions to Gnash that it "just works", even as Flash evolves and other players have to keep up with it. It takes a place like IBM to do that to Adobe's dominance without Adobe either winning or even killing the competitor. Gnash is also pretty close, so IBM's investment in it would be the finishing touches that make all the difference in corporate IT strategy decisions.

    PDF and SWF are still Windows territory. With a little investment, IBM could not only make Linux a first class business platform, but also take (and deserve) credit for it under an IBM logo.

    And if Novell paid a little more attention to Evolution, which competes with Outlook, the whole Desktop could be a Windows killer in the right hands.

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maxmin ( 921568 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @09:56PM (#24490479)

    Because it feels like software designed by committee. "We need feature X, oh but we've run out of 'room' under the menu it should be under, so stick it under the Utility menu under the Tools menu." And so on. Good software takes usability into account, and that evidently didn't continue after IBM bought Lotus.

    Back when IBM introduced the PS/2, they offered a hardware option they rather blithely dubbed the "Data Migration Facility." Otherwise known as a cable adapter for connecting two computers together. The style of thinking which produced that product name suffuses and pervades throughout IBM's corporate culture.

    That's the best I can do to prepare you for the Lotus Notes experience.

  • Re:Perfect example (Score:4, Insightful)

    by burnin1965 ( 535071 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:11PM (#24490655) Homepage

    'also run'

    Hmm, and who was the winner in this race they ran?

    Based on IBM's income statement [] they are fast approaching $100 billion in annual revenue. To put this into perspective Exxon Mobile, that company that has made the news by making record profits for any company ever [] by gouging consumers, is a $116 billion in revenue corporation.

    And how can it be they are an 'also ran' and yet they are continually on the leading edge of many technological [] breakthroughs [].

  • Re:Good thing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:14PM (#24490677) Journal

    Because it breeds the thought that there are alternatives to MS software. It's easier to 'convert' someone that has an open mind.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:17PM (#24490713) Homepage Journal

    As I said, the problem with PDF isn't reading it, or storing it. The problem is the rest of the tools. Adobe's got all kinds of tools for managing the lifecycle of Acrobats. But Linux can generate a new one from scratch, and read them (most of them). But all the other stuff is out of reach, which makes Linux not an option for lots of businesses. Corporations are document ecosystems, and Windows (or Macs) are necessary for a lot of it.

    BTW, "ps2pdf" isn't making businesses adopt Linux as much as the Adobe suite is helping Windows.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:17PM (#24490717) Homepage

    The problem with Windows experience is that Microsoft is bound and
    determined to make that 10 years of Windows experience obsolete with
    each new release. I can learn something on SunOS in college and apply
    it again on Ubuntu Linux 20 years later.

    Not only will the Linuxen share the same underlying tools but those
    tools will be similar if not identical to all the other Unixen. If
    nothing else they will all share the same conceptual framework.

    What 10 year old or 20 year old nugget of information still serves
    you in WinDOS?

    Does this years version of office even look like last years?

  • by DXLster ( 1315409 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:57PM (#24491167)
    "Once upon a time, I worked at a company that used Linux as their primary desktop OS. The interface was horrible, ugly, cluttered, and didn't follow any of the conventions of the prior OS (Windows), or of any other possible prior OS." Good for you. How about evaluating a product on its current merits instead of issues you had "once upon a time." [] There might be a lot to dislike about Lotus Notes, but your experience with it in a bad implementation 8 years ago is not sufficient justification to karma whore by attacking it now.
  • Sounds good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @11:04PM (#24491241) Journal

    That it's actually attractive enough an idea to make it the theme of an advertising campaign is even better. Perhaps "Vista free" is this year's "Fat Free" of the computing world. Imagine the Vista logo with a red circle and strike on the box of PCs, phones, printers, scanners, external media, routers and switches along with the text: "Don't worry. This product does not contain or require Windows Vista." Or maybe this nice logo. []

  • Re:HA! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @11:48PM (#24491613) Journal

    licensing issues

    They weren't really licensing issues. They could get over the non-exclusive licensing DOS thing. That was merely shrewd dealing. IBM's real axe to grind was OS/2. The partnered with Microsoft to codevelop it. Microsoft dragged their heels and made it buggy (some say on purpose) so that it would compare poorly with Windows. This was perhaps the initial "knife the baby" experiment that was so successful it became the default Microsoft development partnership strategy. This strategy peaked with the Sendo incident []. Since they succeeded so publicly in that endeavor other phone manufacturers are brilliantly reluctant to partner with them. This is why your phone probably doesn't have a waving quadcolor flag on it.

    Microsoft's real problem is that they've peaked. They've maxed their desktop share at nearly 100%. Emerging markets aren't paying. All the people who are fully committed are on a subscription basis. In the server space and the High Performance Computing space there aren't going to sway anybody they haven't already. They have no route to grow except taking ownership of the hardware market and that's a serious no-no. They have a lot of powerful friends in that arena who have an implied mutual non-aggression pact: You stay out of PC hardware and we stay out of OS software. Microsoft broke this implied pact when they partnered with a company to be the OEM for a line of PCs in India, an emerging third world market where most of the growth is expected to come from in the next decade. That was a very bad idea.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:10AM (#24491807) Journal

    And if Novell paid a little more attention to Evolution, which competes with Outlook, the whole Desktop could be a Windows killer in the right hands.

    Novell's focus right now is getting Microsoft's IP into Linux, as I said they would do when they made their legendary deal. Mono with .NET libraries and binary Codecs (embrace, extend, you know what comes next...).

    Don't look for them to save you from teh evil Redmond Monster. They're a puppet now and they must dance when Ballmer pulls their strings.

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:49AM (#24492069)

    OOo was always basically a clone of Microsoft Office, even back when it was a closed-source app called Star Office. It was the only way to get anyone to use it.

    The reason, as far as I can tell, is that people tend to be confused by something that's different than what they're used to. For most people, that means that if it's not Office, it's confusing.

    Back when SmartSuite was still around, Office didn't have complete dominance as it does now, so there was half a chance of something new actually working. Not anymore. Witness the general backlash against Office 2007's UI, for example. Or Vista. Or KDE 4. Or Mac OS X, back when it first came out. Or the number of clueless users who thought "hey, my browser's broken" when they first saw Internet Explorer 7. And so on.

    OSS projects that try UI innovations tend to fail, because everyone invariably compares the software to some incumbent proprietary equivalent, and then complains that it doesn't work the same. Doesn't matter if it's better or not. Ultimately all the developer interest evaporates, and the project either dies, or slows to a crawl and never goes anywhere. Meanwhile, the lets-make-a-clone-of-[whatever] project is proceeding quite nicely.

    Hell, the only reason Blender is still going is because it has people who actually do use it contributing to the project, so they're quite able to ignore all the "but it doesn't work like 3D Studio / Maya / Lightwave / whatever" people. Not that 3DS, Maya, Lightwave, or any other commercial 3D app has an interface that's anything like another one...

  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert@slashdot. f i r e n z e> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @03:45AM (#24493043) Homepage

    Unfortunately people are used to microsoft, regardless of how inefficient their way of doing things is, people want familiarity.

    That's why many open source projects tend to copy them, as it's the only way to capture a large market share (if you do things the right way, you can end up with a small but loyal niche).

    Really i think openoffice (and other large apps) should have a config program like the menuconfig present in linux, so you can configure it before compiling, and choose to have a huge monolithic app (like it is now), or choose various features as modules (loaded as theyre used) or simply disable them, and also choose between several interface options (or build these as modules too so you can switch between them). Tho i'm sure this would all be a lot of work...

    As for you paying serious money for the infobox, why don't you donate to the project, offer a bounty to someone to implement such features or if your really that serious, hire some developers to implement it.

  • Re:Good thing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert@slashdot. f i r e n z e> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @03:55AM (#24493077) Homepage

    Because their programs save files in open formats that can be used without penalty in other apps...
    Thus, one person's choice of lotus symphony doesn't force you to also use the same app, you are free to use any app implementing the same standard format.

    I have no issue what software other people choose to use, so long as their choice doesn't harm my freedom to choose for myself.

  • Re:Great... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @03:58AM (#24493087)

    OpenOffice design came from StarOffice.

    "Innovation" in UI design is like driving a right-hand-drive in US, or driving a left-hand-drive in UK. Most, if not all will not appreciate it.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert@slashdot. f i r e n z e> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @04:32AM (#24493247) Homepage

    What do you get for your $293 worth of "desktop support"?
    What level of support do you get when you buy vista ultimate?
    How much does vista cost without support?
    Where are the other options for buying vista support (proper support from a company with the source code and an ability to actually fix bugs, not just simple installation guide support)?

    If you're going to compare the cost of ubuntu support, at least break down exactly what you get for the money, and which parts of the cost are optional (most people never call support).

    Also if your staff only know windows then they are likely to be a false economy, it has been well documented that competent unix staff can take care of more systems.. So while each individual staff member may cost more, the amount you save by having less of them can often outweigh the higher wages.

    Not to mention other savings they can make, the cost of the software, the cost (in time and money) of license compliance, savings on hardware as less hardware can be used to perform the same work, and older hardware can be used for long before needing replacing (often because older hardware is less power efficient (performance per watt) and thus not economical to keep running, rather than being too slow to handle the load).

    Remember unix was around long before windows, and there are plenty of people with 20+ years of unix experience or more...

    I have practical experience of this, having worked as both a unix admin and a windows admin, and worked in several places where a big function of my job was to steer the companies towards unix, and have saved several companies a lot of money by migrating various systems to unix (considerably more than the cost of my wages).

    My advise to you, is to put in the effort to learn unix... If you become sufficiently competent you will be able to command a higher level of pay, while introducing companies to various ways of saving money they probably didn't realize existed before. Especially in smaller companies this can take you a long way. Once you become used to unix chances are you will prefer it, and use it in preference to windows anyway, and aside from that having multiple skills and the ability to learn new things is always good, because you can never guarantee what technology will be in use years from now and it's not good to be stuck in a fading niche (think of all those people who trained in wordperfect on dos).

  • Re:Great... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brucmack ( 572780 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @05:11AM (#24493421)

    Can you expand on how maintenance was a nightmare? Because, as with any other technology, a solid initial design of a Notes app can easily create a functional and extensible system.

    The strength of Notes is exactly what you say - it's really really fast to create applications. There are definitely situations where you need to get creative to do something that isn't natively supported, but now that Notes runs in Eclipse, it's possible to just develop a Java plugin to do whatever Notes doesn't do nicely.

  • Re:Good thing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by donaldm ( 919619 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @07:30AM (#24494123)

    Because companies *need* to pay someone, for liability sake (don't ask me, ask the lawyers). Would you rather companies continue to give money to Microsoft?

    You are right the old saying in IT was "Nobody gets fired for buying IBM" now it's different and the new saying is "Nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft".

  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @08:33AM (#24494623) Homepage

    why does open source imitate more than innovate? and wort of all: imitate Microsoft? either you can say how bad MS is, or you can imitate it. you can't have both.)

    Sure you can. Not everything Microsoft does is bad. A lot of people dislike MS because they're closed source. Most people dislike MS because they're an anticompetitive monopoly, and as a resulttheir products are frequently buggy (because there's no competition to push them to do better), and won't play well with competitor's products (because that would allow the competitors to compete), and are bloated resource hogs that perform poorly.

    But most people like Microsoft's user interfaces. Not everything about MS UI design is great, but even where it sucks, it's what people are used to. Certainly things could be better, and it's not hard to come up with a list of things that should have been done better 10 years ago but haven't. But overall they have a decent, usable, familiar user environment.

  • Re:Great... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) * on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @01:21PM (#24499539) Journal

    I used to do Notes/Domino a million years ago, so this might be out-of-date.

    The only way to program it, especially for web apps, was spaghetti code. Everything was an evil mixture of formula language, VB, and sometimes Java spread out over 99 different places in a database. It's closer to programming Excel than something like PHP or ASP.NET. Plus there was no real way to do source code revisions. So, yes, maintenance was a nightmare.

    This was fine when original design goal was that endusers could create their own simple databases, but when it became more of an enterprise IT programming tool, its shortcomings became obvious.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle