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Microsoft Linux Business

Microsoft Acknowledges Linux Threat To Windows 348

angry tapir sends along coverage from Good Gear Guide of a recent Microsoft !0-K SEC filing: "Microsoft for the first time has named Linux distributors Red Hat and Canonical as competitors to its Windows client business in its annual filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The move is an acknowledgment of the first viable competition from Linux to Microsoft's Windows client business, due mainly to the use of Linux on netbooks, which are rising in prominence as alternatives to full-sized notebooks. ... 'Client faces strong competition from well-established companies with differing approaches to the PC market,' Microsoft said in the filing. 'Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Canonical, and Red Hat.'"
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Microsoft Acknowledges Linux Threat To Windows

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  • This Is News??!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @09:52PM (#28950669)

    A throwaway line in a 10-K report which nobody reads or takes seriously is given a front page news story on slashdot??

    Are you guys really this desperate to drum up the anti-Microsoft pagehits?

  • by pasamio ( 737659 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @09:52PM (#28950671) Homepage

    This isn't an acknowledgement of Linux, its something to use as ammo to prove that they don't have a monopoly. Don't get the warm fuzzies over Microsoft acknowledging Linux because its just marketing and politics.

  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:03PM (#28950761)

    Very good point. The true indicator of Microsoft considering itself to have real competition is when it starts pricing its products competitively.

  • by lamadude ( 1270542 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:04PM (#28950771)
    A monopoly does not necessarily mean that you have no competitors.
  • by blackraven14250 ( 902843 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:08PM (#28950789)
    I think it can serve both purposes, if played right.
  • by FlyingSquidStudios ( 1031284 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:13PM (#28950825) Homepage
    Not according to my dictionary...

    1. Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service: "Monopoly frequently ... arises from government support or from collusive agreements among individuals" (Milton Friedman).
    2. Law. A right granted by a government giving exclusive control over a specified commercial activity to a single party.
    a. A company or group having exclusive control over a commercial activity.
    b. A commodity or service so controlled.
    a. Exclusive possession or control: arrogantly claims to have a monopoly on the truth.
    b. Something that is exclusively possessed or controlled: showed that scientific achievement is not a male monopoly.

    Unless you think 'exclusive' doesn't mean 'exclusive'...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:15PM (#28950837)

    In 2003 Microsoft wanted everyone to have a 'trusted computer' to make sure the owner couldnt fuck with the proprietary software. of course many software companies and Google realised that wasn't going to happen so they decided to push SaaS and have everything run remotely through a horrible, JavaScript laden web interface.

    but i tell ya its better than the alternative MS was pushing. still because the good old enemy that is MS is being cut down to size does not mean it's a good idea to give up on free desktop-based client software. Web apps and other remote apps are not the best way and certainly not the most efficient method but it is the new way of making money from software.

    As the owner of a webb app you have total control over when it is accessed, you can see everything clients are doing, you can put as many ads on it as you like and nobody will slate you for distributing 'adware' or 'spyware'. As long as you do everything server-side you have almost 0 chance of your stuff being pirated. This is better than DRM, its better than trusted computing and all without the invasive 'get out of my PC' sentiment associated with Microsoft's client-side type of security

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:18PM (#28950867)

    ... and why does that matter? Linux is clearly not "Unix" (and GNU's Not Unix)

    I don't see Free/Open/Net BSDs on those lists either.

    Most of the software available compiles with the Gnu toolchain. The GNU base system (coreutils etc.) isn't exactly the same as on most Unix variants either. Use it on its own merits.

    I hear shit like this from Solaris snobs all the time.

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:21PM (#28950885) Homepage

    It's not just posturing for the SEC this time. Talked to one of our vendors back east this afternoon and his mom liked his netbook so much he bought her one, then his dad wanted one, then another one for his step-mom. That's bad news for Microsoft for two reasons: One, Linux really is competitive on low-end hardware. The combination of Linux, Gmail, GoogleDocs and online services gives netbooks functionality that makes the OS less significant.

    And, two, Microsoft can't demand their normal margin on a netbook OS. The cost of the unit is so low MS is forced to price their product lower. That's hurting revenues and that trend will only continue to accelerate. Windows 7 will run on netbooks, but not particularly well. Windows Mobile isn't going to gain them any market share and they can't sell XP on netbooks indefinitely.

    The netbook trend caught MS flat-footed and they threw XP at it to fill the gap while they scramble around to try and find a solution. But there isn't one this time. Microsoft built their market at the top end of the scale, not in the appliance market. Their software isn't made to run on low-end hardware, they have no appliance market strategy.

    This time, I think they're entirely justified of being afraid of Linux.

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:21PM (#28950891)
    In the real world and for anti-trust legislation, you aren't required to have 100% market share to have a monopoly. The fact is, Microsoft were found to have one, and they aren't in a much different position now, as far as Windows installed based goes.
  • "Microsoft loves to describe Linux as a 'UNIX variant'."

    Microsoft is right. Linux is Unix. It's why I started using it. Can it legally be called Unix? No. But if it walks like a duck, etc, it's a duck. Linux is after all a clone of Unix. It's Unix in all but name. A clone of a dog isn't a cat after all... it's a copy of a dog. Comparing Unix and Linux to DOS and XP isn't a good comparison. The former is an OS and a copy of that OS. The later is an earlier OS and it's evolutionary descendant, and XP is more of a nephew to DOS than a son, considering that NT was conceived as a different OS than DOS... it was just built to be largely compatible with DOS.

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:43PM (#28951071)
    They are so like children.

    We are not ... you big poopy-head.

  • Ok Ok.. I get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joocemann ( 1273720 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:48PM (#28951121)

    .... I'm supposed to load Ubuntu, fire up chromium, load and flip off the screen before jumping on the bed for a quick victory fist pumping.... ........ now my point... what does 'acknowledgment' do to reality? Nothing. It's about as effective as some guy on the side of the road giving you a 'nod' because he looked your way... Doesn't really change anything you're doing, where you're going, or whats actually happening... does it....

    Its nice to see linux prevailing, but lets not all get so worked up about 'acknowledgements' quite yet, lol.

  • by guyminuslife ( 1349809 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:50PM (#28951135)

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Torvalds and Tanenbaum get in a famous fight over the fact that being a "monolithic kernel operating system" is precisely unlike Minix's microkernel solution?

  • by wampus ( 1932 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:50PM (#28951145)

    Are you guys really this desperate to drum up the anti-Microsoft pagehits?

    Posted by kdawson on Tue August 04, 20:46

    In short, yes.

  • by wampus ( 1932 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:59PM (#28951231)

    It's rather worriesome. I don't really have an answer why.

    Because no one outside of the faithful really care. Why would vendors waste time advertising something that is irrelevant to 99% of consumers? At best, for business sales Linux is more of a bullet point than a feature to be trumpeted.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:00PM (#28951237)
    The last thing anyone needs is a netbook that is running an OS that was intended for a full-power PC. The latest Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, etc. all ship with features and software that expect lots of memory and CPU time -- not something you are likely to have on a netbook. What should really happen is for the distro maintainers to create their own netbook spins, which cut out a lot of the features that are unneeded on a netbook and slim down the OS.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:10PM (#28951301)

    Most buyers were never offered a choice between 'Linux on netbook' and 'XP on netbook'. The reason for this is twofold: 1) MS bribed and bullied manufacturers and retailers into selling XP, in many cases only XP; and 2) Retailers do what makes them the most revenue, with XP they can sell-up on games, 'security' and other add-ons. With Linux this was all that was needed.

    What buyers were offered was a choice between 'XP on netbook*' and 'Vista on laptop'. In many cases the laptop was cheaper. They did not want Vista so they bought XP, it was irrelevant that they were called netbooks because they no longer were.

    When crippled Windows 7 is forced onto netbooks, and no XP, we will see that 'indows netbooks' will just be another small laptop and real netbooks with Linux will be offered again.

    * Netbooks used to be light, cheap, no moving parts, long battery life. XP broke that because they required bigger disks (HD) more processor and more screen real estate so that they became small laptops.

  • by GuyverDH ( 232921 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:18PM (#28951357)

    The real kicker is what can the company try and coax/cajole/force other companies / people to do based on their desire/want/need to get their product.

    In the case of M$ Winbloze, they had the gall (and it worked) to demand that computer manufacturers buy 1 license of their product for every computer they sold, regardless of the O.S. it was distributed with.

    They did this with a plethora of other currently existing and now extinct computer manufacturers.

    They then continued to grab anything that they thought could entice users, and bundle it into the operating system. gui text editors, word processors, games, disk degragmentation, disk compression, networking, to name just a few...

    They buddied up to software houses, talking about improving their products, only to release their own competition of said products within a fairly short development cycle.

    They stole websites and product names from other companies, by threatening lawsuits, just so they could use the name. (A quick search can find at least one - look for a product with M$ main OS name, and defender in it)

    They embedded their own borked web browser, then made the automatic update/patch processes only work with theirs, disallowing any 3rd party browser from being used to simplify fixing/patching their OS.

    They took international standards and bastardized them, and released them as their own, under their own lock and key product names / tools - usually breaking them utterly.

    They ran roughshod over the international standards boards across the world to force (in any way they could) their standard down everyone's throats, without it even really working, or having a truly definitive definition of said standard.

    Those and literally thousands of other examples are the reason that a company like M$ can be considered to be monopolistic regardless of the number of competitors they have.

  • What market? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:28PM (#28951433)
    The "market share" of Linux is hard to define, in any case. Sure, sales of RedHat or other commercial distros can be counted, or you could make a case (maybe) for using the LinuxCounter stats, but the simple fact is that there are many who simply download a distro and distribute it ad lib, which is sort of the whole point of free software. We will never really know how many users are running Linux.
  • by _merlin ( 160982 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:36PM (#28951487) Homepage Journal

    It matters because as long as GNU/Linux isn't standardised, and can subtly change behaviour between releases, you don't have a stable platform to target. If you're developing against the UNIX 03 specification, you know that your application will behave as expected on any of these systems []. Stability and standardisation means a lot when supportability is a major consideration.

  • Re:What market? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by reub2000 ( 705806 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:39PM (#28951511)
    Don't forget that many linux installations are on computers that originally came with an OEM copy of Windows, which counts as a sale of Windows. The best way to assess market share is through a survey.
  • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:39PM (#28951515) Journal

    Perhaps in the 90s you would be right, but now UNIX is a Linux wanna be.

    Q: "What is Unix?"
    A: "It's an old Linux like Operating System."

  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:44PM (#28951535)

    lately. Since February.

    I wish to buy (not have to install) a linux one. But I can't. Just the old models had linux.

    (Which is why Asus lost a sale from me.)

  • by wampus ( 1932 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:46PM (#28951547)

    So "paid shills" is the new "year of the Linux desktop," correct? You may not be saying it, but you are strongly thinking it.

  • by moon3 ( 1530265 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:55PM (#28951587)
    Linux ~ UNIX is a trademark issue, POSIX "Portable Operating System Interface for Unix" compliance is an IEEE standard implementation issue. These are two distinct problems.
  • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <> on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:58PM (#28951607)

    The problem with pretending that any Linux distro is a competitor to anything is that none of the Linux distro's have a viable economic model. Living on charity doesn't cut it for real programmers.

    Though not in the same league as Microsoft, there are Linux distro companies and venders that make a nice profit. One which is in MS's league is IBM, and it had gross profits of $45.66 Billion [] on revenue of $97.27 Billion. That's less than $1 Billion less than Microsoft's [] profits. Redhat [] had profits of $546.45 Million on revenue of $670.33 Million. And I bet though his net worth isn't as much as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, Linus Torvalds is worth more than a million dollars. as are other Linux developers.


  • Yawn... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SwashbucklingCowboy ( 727629 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:59PM (#28951613)

    This is NOT news. You'll find this in every such filing going back for years people...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:24AM (#28951809)

    Cloud computing is the fourth generation dumb terminal:

    Gen I: VT100 (I could technically list real TTYs which printed line by line on paper). Command line and text screen based.
    Gen II: X terminals. Basic graphics, perhaps some XDMCP.
    Gen III: JavaStations/thin clients. A client that has a basic OS, but then connects to a server for all other functionality.
    Gen IV: Cloud computing. Client has a functioning OS, local cache, but the app level is moved to remote.

    Same problems apply. How do you trust your server with your data? You never know if your company confidential stuff is being slurped off to your competitor. You don't know if the apps will remain. A cloud computing company can shut its doors and go out of business stranding everyone. Contracts? Better talk with the bankruptcy trustee. The private data can be sold from a backup cloud provider to another company who doesn't have a privacy policy and who will happily index and sell to the highest bidder all info stored.

    Cloud computing can be a tool if used right, but people are retarded if they think they can just move their business operations to offsite app providers. All it would take is a backhoe cutting the Internet links or a glitch on the cloud computing provider and that company will have no access to their stuff needed for basic daily production.

    Want to know what cloud computing is actually useful for and not just hype? After you got your backup fabric in place, your tapes and your offsite rotation with Iron Mountain in production, you use the cloud as a third line of defense of data, making sure your stuff is encrypted before it leaves your machines. This way, should Amazon decide to just shut down S3 one day, you can still get backup data from your tape safe.

  • by derGoldstein ( 1494129 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:40AM (#28951933) Homepage
    I think this is the equivalent of an Ox shaking off flies with its ears.
    "Yeah yeah, competition... Sure, disclosure, whatever... Stop bothering me, I'm eating"
    (and if you're thinking of Ballmer while reading the word "Ox", that's your mind, not mine...)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:57AM (#28952053)

    Windows 7 will run on netbooks, but not particularly well.

    I have to disagree with this.

    I have been running the Windows 7 RC on my eeePC 1000H for a couple of months now and it is much more responsive and much easier to use than the Windows XP that it replaced.

    If the pricing is right (and this is the kicker) then Windows 7 will be a serious threat to the Linux offerings on netbooks.

    Keep an eye out for MS cutting a deal with netbook manufacturers for inclusion of Windows 7

  • no competitors.

    yes it does. wtf?

    No it doesn't. Microsoft was found to be a monopoly, which is not illegal, yet it has competitors.


  • monopolies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @01:21AM (#28952195)

    What is the standard companies are measured against to determine if they are monopoly or not? 90% market share? What ever 'feels' about right? How can one avoid crossing anti-trust laws if one cannot know when they will apply or not?

    It is not illegal to be a monopoly, what is illegal is to abuse monopoly position.


  • by yoyhed ( 651244 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @01:22AM (#28952199)
    Regardless of whether you are making good points, you really lose credibility with shit like "M$ Winbloze". Just so you know.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @01:24AM (#28952213) Journal

    The dutch railroads (NS) never had a monopoly in holland. Not even when they completly controlled ALL rail travel because well, there was always the steam train in De Efteling (attraction park) and even some tourist trains.

    I think most sensible people would have exclude these and say that a company that has 90%+ of a market has a very effect control, even a monopoly. It would depend partly on the market, but MS software is sadly one market where a monopoly quickly arrises. MS software a market? Indeed.

    Lets say that Shell controls 100% of all petrol stations, would they then have monopoly on car fuel? No, cars can run on different things after all, but I would still say that Shell would effectivly have a monopoly.

    MS software only interoperates with itself. It is famous for it, so the question is not so much wether other operating systems exists but wether anyone else can compete with MS on offering software that works with MS software. Just as I can put Shell and Exxon petrol in my car and not have it explode, can I run Active Directory and something else seemlessly together? How about the latest open office files?

    Petrol is standard, and that allows for far easier competition, especially since Shell has no problem selling its fuel to "white" stations.

    Windows and Office are NOT standards, they therefor have become their own market and it is a market MS controls (it can and does change its formats and protocols at the drop of a hat, to stop competitors from offering competing products).

    Monopolies in the real world are not just about market share, and the market is not just a product category but oftne a product itself. For instance, lets say that printer catridges became regulated, that they all had to be the same shape with the same interface. Speculate what this would do to the printer industry? More expensive printers (no longer subsidised by outragous catridge prices) and cheaper catridges and never going to a store to find your model is no longer sold.

    That monopolies are bad is proven by none other then MS itself. Internet Explorer was dying because with no competition, MS had no reason to improve it. Even today IE8 is still the runt of the litter because MS has had enormous problem gettings it people to produce something of reasonable quality again. That MS ignored IE for so long is proof enough they were a monopoly as well.

  • by Desert Raven ( 52125 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @02:28AM (#28952567)

    You seem to be fixed on #6. The problem is that you don't understand #1.

    #1 doesn't require that there be no competition, only that you have enough influence to control the market. MS has shown in many ways that they had or have that level of control, though I will admit it is eroding.

    At the time that MS had a near 100% lock on the browser market, it was obtained because of their near lock on the OS market. That is monopoly power. At the time that MS bullied the PC makers into purchasing a license for every PC they made, regardless of what it shipped with, that was *absolutely* monopoly power.

    And currently, MS still holds monopoly power over the non-apple hardware desktop OS market. You really can't convince anyone that there is a statistically significant number of non-windows desktop OS installs on PC hardware.

    There's also some argument that they have monopoly in the office software market now. They hold the lion's share of the market, and those small few that do compete live and die by their ability to read/write MS format files.

    As for the server side, MS never really had monopoly there, and probably never will.

  • by dna_(c)(tm)(r) ( 618003 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @03:08AM (#28952833)

    Which still comes back to the fact that Slashdot just isn't important enough for Microsoft to waste time or money astroturfing.

    They advertise here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:23AM (#28953361)

    Frankly, Linux is inside routers, set top boxes, embedded devices, PMPs, mobile phones (WebOS and Android are linux), and runs more than half the internet servers and the majority of the worlds top supercomputers and datacentres. Yet none of these companies are wearing the Linux badge, you don't hear Palm, Google, IBM, Linksys, Cisco evangelising Linux all over the TV and radio.

    This is to be expected and, possibly, welcomed. IBM promotes "IBM Solutions/Partnering". Google promotes "Ad Sense" or "Chrome". You pay to promote your trademarked names. Do BP, Shell, Exxon, or Mobile promote "chemistry" or "hydrocarbons" or, even, "oil". No, not even "oil". They promote their branded forms of energy that clean engine gunk with a rainbow in the background. It has been said you could liquify (pun alert!) Coke and simply the brands alone would be enough to rebuild the company in a few years. Coke does not promote "high fructose corn syrup". As linux takes over it does so as part of somebody's branded solution: Tivo, Tom Tom. Something you can sell!

    Why should this be welcomed? You can sell Linux too! And I don't mean you need to become Redhat but you do become an expert at providing software solutions to small and medium business' problems. Or extend the software for customized solutions. As inhouse work (even if you are a contractor), you won't even need to release code aside to people who pay your fees. Neither the CEO nor his cute secretary will care that Linux is under the hood (they will care about low or no licensing costs). Would you rather tell them that this is just Linux and it is 100% free and they could do it for themselves if they weren't such fucking morons? The same might be said for heart surgery or real estate. People who don't know what Linux is don't want to know what Linux is and when you explain it to them they might feel appreciably smarter or more well informed but they want - they need - to get back to that $600 Dell or $1000 Apple that scratches their itch out of the box. BSD got into that Apple now Linux needs to get into that Dell. Nobody cares what BSD is.

  • by arizonagroovejet ( 874489 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:19AM (#28953779)

    They embedded their own borked web browser, then made the automatic update/patch processes only work with theirs, disallowing any 3rd party browser from being used to simplify fixing/patching their OS.

    Having the user install updates to their operating system via the web browser is such terrible idea that I think it's actually a good thing you can only do it with Internet Explorer.
    Installing operating system updates via web browser means you have to give the web browser the ability to modify parts of the operating system. I'm sure I don't have to explain why that's not good. Also it trains users to expect things in their web browser to ask them for permission to install things on the machine and since a lot of users will simply click on pop up messages without reading them properly just to get rid of them, well, you can see where I'm going with that I'm sure.

  • Real threat? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uffe_nordholm ( 1187961 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:24AM (#28953819)
    Apart from the obvious "Linux is a threat to us and therefore we are not a monopoly" I think Microsoft may very well percieve Linux as a threat to them, but for slightly less obvious reasons.

    The major reason that Linux is a threat to Microsoft is that it is (usually) free, and nobody can compete with free in the long run. Given enough time, Linux would eventually conquer the desktop. But it would be decades, if not centuries. If nothing else, Linux's small presence on the market means that Microsoft cannot raise it's prices too much, or people will start seriously looking at the alternatives. And if they discover the alternatives are good enough (or better then Windows) for no money (or very little money) the game will be up for Microsoft.

    There is a more threatening aspect of Linux though. It is not one that matters every day, but in the long run Microsoft must deal with the fact that a lot of "Linux" is a community. A community of users and developers spread around the globe cannot be purchased and shut down as if it were a competing company. Suppose Microsoft purchased Cannonical and shut it down. They have not really gained anything, since they can't stop the individual developers from continuing their work, even if it is in their spare time.

    Even if Microsoft started buying all companies that released a Linux distro, they cannot win: once it becomes obvious that to become a millionaire you just have to release a Linux distro, new distros will be popping up so fast that rabbits will reproduce slowly, by comparison.

    I think the only way for Microsoft to keep "winning the game" against Linux is to constantly produce better and better software for lower and lower prices. Since Linux's market share seems to be growing, Microsoft is already under pressure to not raise their prices too high, and this pressure will increase several times over with increasing market share for Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:14AM (#28954209)

    You are trying to stop contempt that is wholly deserved being heaped upon MS.

    Only those who want a reason to ignore criticism against MS will use "you said M$" as a reason to ignore them. Because the complaint is accurate and that is all that is available.

    Not having "M$" wouldn't make them believe the critisicm because they do not WANT to believe the criticism.

  • by Insanity Defense ( 1232008 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:43AM (#28954381)

    Very good point. The true indicator of Microsoft considering itself to have real competition is when it starts pricing its products competitively.

    Consider their pricing of XP Home on netbooks. It was a big enough change to affect their bottom line.

  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @07:26AM (#28954707)
    Maybe Linux failed, but if Microsoft had a victory, it was a Pyrrhic one. They were trying to kill XP and move to Vista when the netbooks took off, and instead they had to keep extending XP in order to keep in the game in this emerging market. Netbooks aren't going anywhere, in fact I suspect we'll see a continuing trend of similarly powerful machines at lower costs vice more and more powerful machines at the same or higher cost. Microsoft's products, bloatware they are, are not poised to succeed in this market. Personally, I see a bright future for Linux here. Maybe I'm wrong though.
  • by Old Sparky ( 675061 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @08:33AM (#28955411)

    Tried to buy a netbook with Linux recently? I have, and I can only find two retailers, with one rather low-end model each.

    I'm still trying to wade through the FUD and determine how much pressure Microsoft has put on retailers to only offer Windows on netbooks. I suppose I'll never know.

    But I do know this;

    Netbooks are selling like hotcakes, but are only offered with spinning hardrives and WIndows XP.

    From TFA, "...Microsoft is trying to discourage the production of inexpensive computers where Windows becomes the most expensive component because it can't make as much money on Windows on these devices, and they could drive down the price of Windows."

    Solid state drives (SSDs) are the obvious choice for netbooks, for obvious reasons.

    And since SSDs cost more, XP has acknowledged problems with wear-leveling on SSDs, and the unknown Microsoft influence factor, manufacturers end up selling thousands of netbooks with WIndows and old-fashioned, spinning hard drives.

    A sad byproduct of this is that according to economies of scale, cheap SSDs should by now be ubiquitous.

    Once again, progress is stifled; we should have cheap netbooks with solid state drives and Linux, but we're stuck with Microsoft's version of How Things Should Be.

    Thanks again, Redmond.

  • by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:07AM (#28956783)

    This recurrent claim of anti-Microsoft bias early in Slashdot discussions involving MS is so frequent that it's hard to believe it's anything other than a deliberate tactic by their reputation management team.

    You did see which "editor" posted the story, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:55AM (#28957695)

    I hate to say it, because I'm a linux fanboy, but Linux on netbooks has more or less failed. Manufacturers like Asus dropped the ball by shipping too many Linux machines with screwed up configurations (and also with the crappiest Linux distros available). MS also recognized the threat and entered the ring fighting. The result is that most retailers are pushing netbooks with Windows, and most people buying netbooks are buying them with Windows. Maybe this will change if ARM-based netbooks really take off, but I suspect it will be the same story all over again.

    Ah, but at what cost? Microsoft is indeed selling the OS shipped on the vast majority of netbooks today, but linux on netbooks is anything but a failure: MS was forced to sell OEMs an out-of-date OS, which they'd been trying to phase out, for pennies on the dollar.

    For the first time since MS got majority share of the OS market, they were forced to compete. They still have the market share, but when they're not making anywhere near the amount of money they could've been (and, for once, the OEMs had good footing to negotiate), it's sort of a hollow victory.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @02:36PM (#28961083)

    Regardless of whether you are making good points, you really lose credibility with shit like "M$ Winbloze". Just so you know.

    Taking offense to Microsoft's pet names has become a badge of honor for some. I find it hard to take them seriously when they never seem to defend the likes of "Rat Shack" or "Found On Road Dead". It make you seem tools. Just so you know.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken