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December 29, 2004

Windows Talks Linux

I finally got around to looking at a /. story where Microsoft employees talked about Linux and open source.

I'm only about half-way through the article, but I don't have a problem with most of what I've read so far. There are some good points but a lot of it is just them stating facts with this "Aha" tone like they just debunked some open source myth.

They bring up how what most people call "Linux" is actually a combination of around 1500 individual software packages and could lead to support issues because Red Hat, for example can only be held responsible to support what software they created, not GCC, for example. Well, no shit; I've never called Microsoft support with any questions, but I imagine if I did call and ask them to help me get Thunderbird working on my machine they'd fall all over themselves trying to help, right?

My crappy DirecWay ISP will only work with Windows so I have to run it to serve the other computers I use an internet connection. My wife mostly uses that computer, it also has the best speakers connected so I have Winamp (RIP Nullsoft) spinning some tunes, too. That box must have at least several hundred non-Microsoft applications running on it. Because it doesn't have 1500 non-Microsoft applications on it, does that mean it's better supported by Microsoft?

I try not to be anti-Microsoft. I try to give the devil its due at every opportunity, but anybody who reads that conversation can hear the script's pages being turned, right? This is propaganda at its best (or worst). It reminds me of those infomercials where the "Host" introduces "Todays Guest" who is the inventor of the "Juice-Master 5000". The "host" serves up slow-pitch softballs and the "guest" drives them out of the park. Is it any wonder why there is so much anti-Microsoft sentiment?

Anyway, back to the things I agree with in the commercial. They never say "Linux sucks" literally or figuratively, they concede a few times that Linux might have something to offer (if only in "certain circumstances"), and they talk about using Windows with Linux in a network. If nothing else, these statements indicate that they are now aware that they can't get away with just dismissing Linux and other open source software as inferior.

Posted 15 years, 9 months ago on December 29, 2004
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