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Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 12:17 PM EDT

You just have to read this, The Truth About Linux and Windows". Business Week's Steve Hamm looks more carefully than most at Laura DiDio's latest piece of work and finds it wanting:

I've got a bone to pick with the never-ending stream of studies by tech research outfits comparing Linux to Windows. For starters, it seems like about half of them are paid for by one camp or another. Even when analysts aren't on the payroll, this is really complex stuff—and useful facts are hard come by. And, beyond complexity, some studies just make me scratch my head. For example: a recent one put out by the Yankee Group. I just don’t trust its conclusions.

So, finally, the mainstream press is noticing that something is wrong with the methodology of some of these studies, and Hamm carefully documents exactly why he questions the results. He is not a Linux "extremist".

I think now that she made her statement about Linux "extremists" to blunt criticism of her study, but it didn't work. People are not stupid, at least not the ones who aren't paid to be, and if they stop and think and look below a press release's claims, they can see what is what. The key seems to be to ask, as Hamm did, how the study was structured.

Joe Barr has done a fine job of looking below the surface of the InfoTech "study" on small and medium businesses and Linux. You know. The one that said "most" small and medium businesses aren't interested. Or as VNunet gloomily headlined it: "Linux fails in small business market." Already? It just got started, last I looked. Anyway, that isn't what I hear. Yet according to Info-Tech it not only isn't making inroads yet, it is losing momentum.

It turns out, once Barr started to peel away the wrapping, it isn't true anyway that most are not interested, unless you put a determined spin on the ball. Amazingly enough, Info-Tech supplied the spin, and we have Joe Barr to thank for making them retract their bogus numbers:

My first reading of the study caught a glaring contradiction between the words and the figures in the study. According to the original study text, "Of those not running Linux today: 48 percent are not interested..." According to my math, 48 percent of 73 percent is only 35 percent of the total, and that's a long way from "most."

Info-Tech thanked me for catching the error, and said the text would be corrected to remove the phrase "Of those not running Linux today." So the 48 percent that are not interested is now officially 48 percent of the total respondents. But that's still a minority view, not "most" as Info-Tech would have you believe.

So, caught in the error, they correct it in favor of dissing Linux. He goes on to explain how they did that, and it's truly astonishing. Meanwhile, they found that 27% of small and medium businesses they surveyed are already using Linux.

I don't know. That seems like a lot to me. Let's look at the numbers now. Putting on my math hat, if only 48% are not interested, I gather 52% are? Then how about this headline:

Most Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Are Interested in Switching to Linux

I know. I'm being silly. But their headline was just as silly. OK, here's another headline, just as accurate:

Nearly One-Third of All Small and Medium Sized Businesses Have Already Switched to Linux

Is Info-Tech really going to argue that it used to be more? I notice on their website, they have the vnunet article linked, but somehow they didn't add Joe Barr's article. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes folks do what they do just to get hits. I know. There are other possibilities.

Meanwhile, Barr asked OSDL and IDC to comment:

So is Linux really stalled in the mid-size market as Koelsch asserts? Not according to others we asked. Here's what Bill Weinberg, open source architecture specialist for OSDL had to say:

We don't see any evidence that Linux usage is stalling in companies that have less than $1 billion in revenues. The IDC data released in December takes into account small, medium and large organizations and reflects the clear and pervasive trend towards Linux with worldwide revenues for desktops, servers and packaged software running on Linux forecast to grow to $35.7 billion by 2008, a compound annual growth rate of 25.9 percent.

Dan Kusnetzky had this to say:

IDC is observing an expected evolution in the market for Linux operating environment software. More and more of the time, organizations are purchasing Linux pre-installed on systems rather than acquiring the software and pre-purposing an older system to support a Linux-based function. This trend tends to produce the following changes in the market -- 1) fewer copies of Linux are purchased, 2) increasingly the enterprise version (containing maintenance and support services) rather than plain distribution is selected, 3) the revenues produced by these copies of Linux are growing and 3) fewer but larger systems are put into use to run Linux-based functions.

I thought it would be worthwhile to contact Novell and just ask them if they find interest in Linux in small and medium businesses, and here is the statement from Bruce Lowry on behalf of the company:

"We see significant interest in Linux among small and medium sized businesses, as well as greater flexibility and reduced risk of vendor lockin. This is an important segment of the market for Novell, and, together with our extensive channel partners, we are actively promotion Linux in this space."

The Info-Tech study found that large enterprise is going increasingly to Linux. Do they really believe this will not impact eventually on everything else? Does Microsoft think the whole world is stupid? We're not. Neither is Microsoft. They just announced that they will provide support for Linux on their Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1, and let's let Ms. DiDio have the last word as to why they are making this move -- because customers demand it. Connect the dots, folks, next time you read another "study":

Although Microsoft could conceivably add support to other products, that does not mean it is now fond of the system, said Yankee Group Laura DiDio.

"They're fighting Linux on every front, and aggressively," she said. "That's why there's the focus in Asia, where Linux adoption is growing."

The company also has stepped up a marketing campaign that compares Windows favorably to areas where Linux is thought to be dominant, such as cost effectiveness andsecurity . But it also recognizes that some of its customers use Linux, and so it has to address that, DiDio noted.

"They're not going to turn their backs on customers just because they don't like Linux," she said.

Well, well. This may be higher math to an analyst, but I am able to deduce from Elizabeth Millard's article on the announcement that more and more businesses are switching to Linux. Duh.

Of course, I have to read between the lines, and shove analysts' obfuscations aside to arrive at that clear conclusion. And I take it Microsoft and I have reached the identical conclusion. Linux use is growing at such a pace, they can't ignore it any longer, and calling it a cancer didn't work out. GNU/Linux use just keeps on growing. Neither are the "studies" deflecting interest in switching to GNU/Linux or at least adding it to the mix. Hmm. Whatever could be next, I ponder?

Let me guess. Patents, perchance? And you know why that won't work either, Microsoft? Because customers will despise you for it. And our pocketbooks will follow our hearts. And then what will you do to get us back? Nobody admires a bully. Just a friendly tip. Business 101: The customer is king. That would be us.


Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies" | 447 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here please
Authored by: jbb on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 12:23 PM EDT
... to make them easier to find.

SCO cannot violate the covenants that led to and underlie Linux without
forfeiting the benefits those covenants confer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Nick_UK on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 12:45 PM EDT
Also Linux is used in Business that isn't 'discussed'

I am Sysadmin/Network Admin for a large Global Company, my
Company (UK) being a satellite of our parent Company in

On my own back, I run local GNU/Linux Intranet servers
delivering 1/2 GB a day - have been for 4 years.

Last year, parent Company moved to GNU/Linux DHCP/DNS
servers (MS version was unstable). I run two of these at

But this never gets said about nor recorded externally...
we just do it, and it works.


[ Reply to This | # ]

OT- Off Topic
Authored by: DBLR on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 12:46 PM EDT
Please use link code to make your links clickable:

For example <a href=""> Link Text

Set the Post Mode "HTML Formatted".



"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is
a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin.

[ Reply to This | # ]

These studies would be worthless to end-users even if they were correct
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 12:51 PM EDT
Even if the studies were correct about how popular any particular piece of
software were, they're worthless to end-users (although maybe interesting to


Sensible businesses should choose software based on whether it fits their needs
(features, reliability, support, flexibility, etc.), not based on whether it's
fashionable or not.


[ Reply to This | # ]

It's not working...
Authored by: Latesigner on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 12:59 PM EDT
According to Hamm The Yankee Group declared a year ago that it was turning over
a new leaf.
I gather he can't come out and say that he questioned the report and got the run
around but he does a great job of disabusing any reader of the belief that the
The Yankee Group has reformed.

The only way to have an "ownership" society is to make slaves of the rest of us.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Despising Microsoft?
Authored by: fb on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 12:59 PM EDT

In my little corner of the world, the relationship between Microsoft and its customers has been characterized by, well, mutual and thinly disguised contempt, for a long, long time.

What's different now is that a bad relationship is starting to matter since there's a way out. And, as SCO has demonstrated, the threat of a costly divorce is not enough to keep a couple together anymore.

[ Reply to This | # ]

27% of all S,M,L,& XL businesses use Linux damn?
Authored by: dhonn on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:01 PM EDT
Thats alot more than before.

Plus if thats true and enterprises are the ones really adopting the most, I'd
say that probably 70% of of L and XL sized enterprises are running Linux.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Another SCO: Microsoft supports Linux, then sues its Linux users?
Authored by: dhonn on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:09 PM EDT

I am thinking that this might not happen but to Linux users NOT using MS-Virtual

So if Micrsoft supports Linux then it has no right suing their own customers or
any users of Linux.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Dear Yankee Group,
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:17 PM EDT
All you have to trade on is your good name. If that name becomes tarnished, you
have nothing.

Recently a sales group decended on us with a pretty good power point
presentation. One of their strong points was a study by the Yankee Group.

After the sales people were gone, one of my coworkers said that he was impressed
by the results of the study (which had nothing to do with Linux btw). I shared
what I have observed about the quality of your work. The result was that the
study had no effect on our buying decision.

Once that scenario repeats itself enough times, you are out of business because
nobody will be willing to pay for your studies because none of the target
audience believes you any more.

[ Reply to This | # ]

PR Hacks...
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:18 PM EDT
Two excellent articles about how much of what you see in the "news" media is actually the work of PR hacks:

Paul Graham - The Submarine

Bryant Urstadt - A Sell-Out's Tale

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: epcraig on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:18 PM EDT
No matter what Microsoft's wishes for their
patent portfolio, they still must realize that
someone else has the biggest portfolio (and
they're not afraid to use it to defend the GPL,
ask SCO).

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ one little mistake in B-101
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:24 PM EDT
Customers - you and me - are NOT Microsoft's customers. We are their consumers.

Dell, Gateway, CompUSA and like are thier customers. Even Disney, Bank of
America or any org that BUYS directly from Microsoft is their customer.

Yes many of the bells a whistles installed in Windows are to make us happy...
but the overhead they add, make the Dell and Gateway VERY HAPPY.. we by new
machines to programs as fast as we did on the old, before the bell and whistle
used up all the processing power.

This is why MicroSoft liked the CPU priceing model at Dell and Gateways, they
get the money as Dell trys to make customers happy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Of course we use Linux - wherever it is applicable
Authored by: freeio on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:46 PM EDT
My day job is as a senior engineer is a modeling and simulation company in a major aerospace center.  I suppose we are typical of the second or third tier of so-called "beltway bandit" companies.  So, do we use gnu/linux?  Oh yes, and the entry has come from the technology side of the company, as opposed to the business side.  We use free software (not just gnu/linux) all over the  technology side.

Oh, I am sure that the HR people and accountants use M$ software, and our timekeeping system will only work with the very latest version of Internet Explorer.  We have come to expect that sort of lock-in from the business office.  Quite frankly, as technical mercenaries, all we really care about HR is the we get paid on time.

On the other hand, our labs and technical offices are full of systems running gnu/linux, and we continue to build and install more of them.  The reason is very simple - we need the freedom to configure and change them at will, to run our simulations (image battlefield-simulation video games on super-steriods, complete with climb-in and strap-in helicopters and tanks - very cool stuff) and lab work.  The key here is FREEDOM.  We could afford the M$ stuff, but it does not give us the openness required to do our jobs.  We need the freedom to manipulate absolutely everything to build our systems.

This past week I assembled three new systems from scratch for our lab (no M$ tax paid on bare boxes), installed a customized version of SuSE 9.2 on one of them, and used g4u (NetBSD based) to image that system onto the other two boxes so that they would be identical.  Will these show up on linux use statistics?  I would guess not, since my personal SuSE 9.2 kit was only paid for once.  Trying to count free software installations at any company is an exercise in futility, unless they are licensed by the seat, which ours are most certainly not.

freeio - Free Software Designs for the Free Software Community.

Tux et bona et fortuna est.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Now that you mention it
Authored by: tangomike on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:47 PM EDT
"Does Microsoft think the whole world is stupid?" - PJ

Well, maybe not the whole world, but a lot of it. The headlines matter more than
the reports themselves. A lot of people don't have the time to check out the
basis for the headlines, so they do stick in many cases.

On the other hand, even the measures and predictions by reputable firms are
suspect. I run a shop with over thirty Linux servers. We buy copies of Linux,
but run them on many servers per copy. Some of those servers came with Windoze
installed; we couldn't avoid the Microsoft tax that came with the hardware; we
just wiped the drive to install Linux. Then there's the closet Linux machines,
as mentioned in a comment above.

The bottom line is that Linux penetration must be a lot larger than any measure
I've seen which counts dollars or packages sold. IBM has figured this out. I
can't get support for my Linux servers from Microsoft and its partners. Nor can
I buy software for Linux from them. If you're a company that wants to grow in
the computer industry Linux is a good place to be. There's a lot of us in the
world who will pay for stuff that doesn't depend on M$.

M$ is really caught here. Their ActiveX security hole can't be closed without
breaking lots of applications. If you leave it open you spend lot's of time
fighting spyware and viruses. Close it up and your applications break, so your
reason for running Windoze O/S just disappeared (Only the O/S and office suite
are profitable for M$). What to do? Switching O/S starts to look like short-term
pain for long-term gain.

Longhorn/Shorthorn/Dumbhorn may well be too little, too late. Many IT shops are
really tired of getting release 1.0 and having to patch and update to fix stuff
that shouldn't have made it into production and onto their machines. The
resistance to XP SP2 is just one sign of that. Another is how many machines are
still running 98 and NT. Linux is now a viable alternative. We can thank TSCOG
for part of that. Their suit actually helped clear a lot of FUD and raise FOSS

Will M$ use patents? You bet! Bill can't resist it. He just doesn't think of
"fair" the way many of us do. He never has. So get ready for the
patent fight. Bill can't make competitive software but he can play Monopoly

Nothing screams 'poor workmanship' like wrinkles in the
duct tape.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives titles for Yankee Group study
Authored by: _Arthur on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 01:55 PM EDT
The best entry wins a FREE copy of Linux !

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 02:13 PM EDT
As sysadmin looking after a small organisation there are two reasons to look at
Linux. I really don't care what the surveys say at all. What really counts is
the results. I tried Red Hat (purchased) a few years ago but I felt, then,
things weren't quite ready and I had too many issues. No arguments on that one
please as every situation is individual, at the time this was not for me. Now
the boot is on the other foot and I have to make a move. The reasons are as

1) Windows and especially XP, has gone too far from a useable operating system.
When I spend 2 hours installing and 10 hours tuning, just to get rid of all the
rubish I don't want users to see let alone use, it is too much of a pain. Even
after that I am still spending time cleaning up after users. When that old
message about 'not having used a desktop item for some time and do you want to
delete it?' comes up I must say I feel a sense of panic, having put icons to
programs on there for the users to use. The registry has become a monster that
kills the machine when the system hive has filled up with too much rubbish -
argh, why dispense with .INI files at least they can be deleted along with the

The security is a joke. It does things I tell it not to eg auto updates is
disabled but I have had to put in a firewall filter to stop it as it still calls
home. It refuses to do things I want it to like take the read only off a program
directory as the program needs to change data there when users are running it
(there are better ways but take that argument to the program writers please).

No, Windows has gone too far. Office not much better with zillions of unuseable
features, features, such as the ability for users to just pull any template off
the M$ web site without a clue what local effect that may have, product mixes
that force you to buy things you don't need and IT STILL HAS BUGS.

2) To fit 2 machines with Windows and Office will cost me $2,000 approx where I
am. That will buy me one more good machine ie 3 for the price of 2. Sorry, no

The bottom line is that I now have to take a serious look at alternatives with
Linux now in the spotlight. My next laptop will be Linux - pre installed. If I
had wanted Windows I would have to pay more so that supplier seems to be getting
his act together.

No, I don't need these articles that compare percents and get it wrong. I have
to look at what is under my nose and if I don't like the stink - move.

Forgot I'd logged out - my bad.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 02:35 PM EDT
I can't speak for other businesses but in our embedded system side of work we
are switching to Linux as fast as we can. Would a business whose sales were in
the range of 40 to 80 million a year be considered small?

-- Anon

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: luvr on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 03:05 PM EDT
"Whatever could be next, I ponder? Let me guess. Patents, perchance? And you know why that won't work either, Microsoft? Because customers will despise you for it."

Yes - patents will be next.

The day will inevitably come when Microsoft's Reich collapses. Microsoft is all but stupid and knows that, too. Microsoft also realises that it cannot aggressively pursue its patent portfolio without chasing its customers away.

However - When its customers keep running away anyway (i.e., once its Reich starts collapsing), its business will shrink so badly that it will no longer feel obliged to care (even just a teeny weeny little bit) about its reputation; keeping the cash flowing in will be its only priority, and it won't mind using organised crime tactics to reach that goal.

Now, if their criminal tactics are supported by the legal system (as software patents obviously are), then who is going to stand up and fight them? Who will have the resources (specifically, cash) to support the long and costly judicial procedures? (And, yes - I do realise that Microsoft will have lost much of its business by the time these procedures start; but they will still be sitting on that huge pile of cash that they collected over the years, so they can still sit it out - much longer than anyone else.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patents are just a holding operation...
Authored by: geoff lane on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 03:07 PM EDT
Microsoft is keen on patents this year as it's a quick fix and a large patent portfolio is always useful for playing patent-poker with IBM and others.

However, be assured, MS will soon try to get laws past that will effectively make open source and free software illegal. The actual means by which this will happen are not yet clear but a law requiring a programmer to carry liability insurance could kill FOSS dead overnight in the USA.

(In a slightly related point, MS currently advertises heavily within Linux orientated web sites. When MS decides to end that revenue stream, many such sites could be forced to close.)

We have not yet seen MS fight for its life.

I'm not a Windows user, consequently I'm not
afraid of receiving email from total strangers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I think PJ put on the wrong hat
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 03:21 PM EDT
``Putting on my math hat, if only 48% are not interested, I gather 52% are?''

Probably not. There is usually a significant number of respondents who check
the ``don't know'' box.

A better observation was Joe Barr's original statement that, as written, the
48% only applies to the 73% of non-Linux using respondents. But according
Barr, this was corrected by Info-Tech who intended the 48% to apply to all

Without knowing the percentage of ``don't know'' responses, the best that
can said is that less than half of respondents have no interest in pursuing

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: TerryL on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 03:55 PM EDT

Ive read the Steve Hamm piece and I must say it was good to see someone question and push for answers from Yankee Group / Didio and, for me anyway, show up just how.... what's the word... questionable? dubious? unsubstanciated? their results are.

I know it's tempting to just talk about how biased and seeming stupid their results look from our (i.e. Linux supporters) side, but their reports are read by uninformed, non-technically trained, managers, (my own employer is forever touting reports from Yankee and Forrester), and they are the ones that often control budgets and make decisions. That's why I've always been a bit uneasy about just talking down the reports, referring to Ms. Didio as "Didiot" WITHOUT providing details, "with specificy" as to why we think the results are a "load of rot". I don't think it helps us to be taken seriously by those manager types. That's why I'm pleased to see that someone finally provided the "with specificy" as to why the results aren't worth the paper needed to print them out.

Anyway, all-in-all it's been a good week, the case trundles on slowly in the right direction (we'd all like it to be over but perhaps a slow, deliberate, no loop-holes, win will be best in the long run, no chance for appeals, a clear sign to other roving free-booters, that Linux isn't an easy target and is probably best left alone unless they have a serious case.

Oh yeah, PJ, keep up the good work, where I work could almost be the source of inspiration for the Dilbert cartoons so I need something (apart from Dilbert cartoons) to provide a meaningful focus when the boredom and stupidity of day-to-day office life gets too much.

All comment and ideas expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of any other idiot...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Telling comment
Authored by: RedBarchetta on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 04:58 PM EDT
"They're fighting Linux on every front, and aggressively," she said.
Another non-sequitur from Ms. Didio.

How come small to medium sized business "aren't interested in migrating to Linux," yet Microsoft is "fighting Linux on every front."

It make absolutely no sense.

Collaborative efforts synergise.

[ Reply to This | # ]

An Honest Headline
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 23 2005 @ 05:08 PM EDT
Linux Use Down Slightly in Lindon, Utah-Based IP Litigation Companies


[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft uses Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 03:24 AM EDT
I know for a fact that Microsoft makes use of Linux because they design computer chips (believe it or not!), and they do their simulation under Linux.

Let me stress, I know this for a fact. It's not covered under NDA, but I'm sure they they wouldn't be happy for me to tell the world this fact.

I don't like the marketing that Microsoft makes use of, but I understand the need for them to do this. When a company stops growing, it's extremely painful to all involved, monetarily. You can complain about the ethics of deception, but the alternative is people losing their jobs, their homes, their ability to send their kids to college, etc. and the primary duty of a public company by law is to serve the interest of their investors, in any way they can.

Business is war. If you don't believe it, either work for a very small company or start one, and you'll find out. It's rough out there, and everybody is gunning for Microsoft.

Most of you cannot appreciate the position Microsoft is in but I can. They are in transition, and if it's not a smooth one, it will be worse for the industry and you than better. I feel that Linux will inevitably take over because cheapest, not best (I am not commenting on Linux or Windows quality - just cost), seems to win. Microsoft doesn't make all crap, they make some amazing things and they have commoditized a lot of wonderful things, like the PC which back in 1995 was a superior platform for Unix for $1K than a 5,000 dollar Sun workstation. If you think Microsoft is evil, just imagine Apple or Sun being in the same position.

I think Linux will win regardless, the question is, will Microsoft lose? If Microsoft loses, you might later come to regret it, because there are a lot worse companies that make take it's place, like Oracle which is run by a pretty lousy guy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Great work - but keep digging because there's more water under the gate
Authored by: Frank Daley on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 03:52 AM EDT
Congratulations Steve Hamm for a detailed exposure. However there is plenty more
in that river still to be uncovered.

And a suggestion for another river desperately requiring exposure - the lock-in
contracts between Microsoft and PC manufacturers that punishes them if they
offer desktops/notebooks for retail sale with non-Microsoft Windowing software.
Now there's an anti-competitive watergate just waiting to be exposed.

Witness the absurd lengths that HP has had to go through to sorta ship Notebooks
with Linux, they have to pre-load FreeDOS and supply a CDROM for the customer to
install themselves.

Why? Let's get the reasons exposed for all to see.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic for PJ
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 04:01 AM EDT
Nikon has included proprietary encrypted white Balance information in their NEF
raw data format, thereby denying other software venders and open source
developers the possibility to develop compatible software
See /.slashdot

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Switch" to Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 10:23 AM EDT
Why is there this fascination with the "switch" to Linux?

A lot of the studies and subsequent discussion seem to be based on the premise
of a Windows-only business suddenly switching overnight to being a Linux-only
business (desktops, servers and all). It should hardly be surprising that not
many companies are considering that. But surely that can't be what they are
trying to say, is it?

Many companies I have worked with have moved systems to Linux, but only those
where any other system that depends it won't notice the difference - eg.
back-end servers, network infrastructure and the like. If there is a growing
interest in Linux among small/medium businesses, I imagine that this would be
where it is.

I imagine that there would be many companies moving their servers and
infrastructure and their less-noticable (but probably still very important)
systems over to Linux, but significantly less moving their more-noticable
systems over (like user desktops). Is this anyone else's experience?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 10:52 AM EDT
I don't think the question Linux or Windows tells the whole story, either. In
the contect of the study, the question should have been Windows or Linux/*BSD.

I work in an environment where all the desktops are still windows, but all of
the servers are OpenBSD.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Business 101, corrected
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 01:36 PM EDT

Business 101: The customer is king.

Sorry, PJ, but you just flunked Business 101. The customer is king, except when one company has a monopoly. Then that company is king.

A situation that Microsoft would like to continue indefinitely.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-Topic: Sources, Biases and Hit Counts
Authored by: lilo on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 03:33 PM EDT
P.J. wrote:
....I have come to the conclusion that sometimes folks do what they do just to get hits....
I think there's much truth to this, and it's important to remember that it's true not only of people who might oppose our positions, but also of people who support them.

For example, a selection of Andrew Orlowski articles on The Register:
'Cool it, Linus' - Bruce Perens
T orvalds knifes Tridgell
The Larry and Linus Show: personalities vs principles?
Linus Torvalds in bizarre attack on open source
The articles support free software, but they also identify well-known personalities with extreme positions (often on thin supporting documentation), quote third parties rather than participants, and generally characterize disagreements in extreme terms.

Nothing is new about this sort of journalism. The role of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in the Spanish-American war is worth researching. And The Register is not unique in this respect (indeed the site often produces articles which are quite worthwhile). But, as a community, we need to pay attention to our sources and understand clearly whether an article provides balanced analysis or just rides people's emotional reactions to subjects.

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Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 07:02 PM EDT
The thing I've never been able to understand is why Microsoft have put so much
emphasis on bashing Linux rather than attempting to promote their own strengths.
I'm probably going to receive a shower of virtual tomatoes and eggs for this,
but IMHO Microsoft *do* have some experience in figuring out what the proverbial
clueless, non-technical end user wants in an interface. Considering that this
demographic are probably still the majority of the computer using population,
Microsoft have an enormous opportunity to sell to these people.

Windows has always been garbage in terms of stability and security...we know
that. But its supposed ease of use is the one thing which, in the past anyway,
Microsoft used to pride itself on. I can't figure out why in their competitive
campaign re Linux, they haven't been putting more emphasis on this...Since
KDE/Gnome notwithstanding, this area is still at least a *percieved* area of
weakness for Linux in some areas.

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switching vs. using
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 08:29 PM EDT
One of my small-business clients uses Linux for some functions and MS-Windows
for other functions. He has no immediate plans to migrate further from
MS-Windows to Linux, or vice-versa. He's happy where he is.

Has he "switched" to Linux? As former President Clinton might say,
that depends on what the definition of "switched" is.

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Virtual PC not *adding* support for Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 10:30 PM EDT
MS bought it from a company called Connectix. Hit google. They are NOT adding
Linux support, they are just putting it *BACK* on the menu options. It has
always had Linux/BSD, yadda, support. Anyone with a copy at home or work, check
on the config files yourself, it's plain text...

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Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 11:31 PM EDT
Those who say "Linux is too difficult to use or not ready for desktop
use" have either never used Linux or must find it equally difficult to use
Windows. My five year old son uses Mac at school. But at home has absolutely no
difficulty using Linux(Fedora core 3).

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Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Mecha on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 11:48 AM EDT
I am in the boat as everyone else. My Company had one linux server handling VPN
services and nothing else when I first got here. I have since moved them off of
IE to Firefox and have added three more linux servers. One of which is a LAMP
server that took over duties from a dumb MSSQL server which now does nothing
(well not really "now", it never did anything to begin with!!). The
other two are file servers.

LINUX! Because Microsoft should have no business in your business!

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The real Microsoft view Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 12:26 PM EDT
The following quote is attributed to Jim Allchin, Microsoft's group vice president in charge of platforms, as reported by Neil McAllister at Infoworld:

"Linux is the expected winner," Allchin says, "with its lineage from Unix. But we're happy, because we're winning market share."


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Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: badanov on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 02:40 PM EDT
Never a good idea to speak ill of the dead.

Peace Through Superior Firepower

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Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 03:01 PM EDT
The whole premise of his/your point is the 48%/52% = most?

Tell me you have something more interesting to say. Likely, they did a study
asking - Q) Would you be interested in switching to Linux? Followed by answer
choices a) Not interested, b) Don't know c) Might be interested if X, and d)
Planning to switch.

If 48% of people said A. That pretty significant, qualifies as most, and seems
to represent the real world IMHO.

Could care less...

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domain name registrars..
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 04:06 PM EDT
I work for a domain name registrar and believe me, the thought of using windows
on a server would be met with gut-wrenching laughter..
Because none of us like to have to get up at 2am and go into work to
"reboot" a machine.. Linux or FreeBSD servers we can log in from home
and find out what is going on.
I have had a freebsd mail server that handled mail for 500k domains and email
forwarding for many more (about 1.5M mails on a slow day) that had an uptime of
over 400 days.
And it took years to discover that windows machines had a memory leak that they
could not stay on for more than, what, 27 days or so.. Why do you think it took
so long to find that error?

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Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 04:36 PM EDT
Also you have to consider that the source in these studies is information
gathered from IT managers.

My own manager, several hundred server environment, millions in hardware, he's
the boss, has said the following.

"Our mail infrastructure is utterly broken, we could use all the help we
can get"

This has not been the case for more than two years, he just has no idea about
anything going on under his command.

"SSH? Wait, wait, wait, we'll need training materials, regression testing,
all sorts of things before we can ever start using that." "What? We
don't use that anywhere."

This was in response to him overhearing a mention of SSH, which has been in
widespread use and implementation for years here as well.

My point being, this is the guy pulling the trigger on millions of annual budget
and would be the guy who would have told those surveys "We don't use linux
here." when in reality we have about a hundred servers up with it now and
probably 50 people running it as a workstation.

I've worked with probably three dozen IT managers now, spread accross many many
client sites. The aforementioned lack of clue is the 90 percentile state of
things as I've seen them in the industry so far.

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  • MS failure - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 05:51 PM EDT
Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 08:15 PM EDT
"GNU/Linux use just keeps on growing."

And Linux in general as well. In fact, I'll bet that GNU+BSD use is growing as

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Reality? Let's think a moment...
Authored by: XORisOK on Monday, April 25 2005 @ 11:24 PM EDT
On the LAN at home, I have WINXP, WIN98SE, WINME and SuSe 9.1 PRO.

They all work, (M$ in its own mysterious ways), and SuSe just came up and ran.
It is an excellent DISTRO, but it is a stretch to learn how to make it work. I
have problems with little things like a Firefox install, probably because I have
spent years (MS-DOS 2.0?) in the M$ world.

Yes, the interop is a bit of a problem, but all in all, a US 99$ copy of LINUX
gives me about all I need to match WINXP and Office 2K PRO.

Case closed, in my mind. Unless something breaks, which a "Dummy"
book won't tell you.

Why isn't there a book for "Windows geeks that want to do LINUX" book?

Cogito Ergo ZOOM - "I think, Therefore I drive fast!"

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Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies"
Authored by: StuartRothrock on Tuesday, April 26 2005 @ 11:50 AM EDT
Microsoft will also try to bridge the gap by embedding InteropSystems/Interix/SFU 4.0 into Longhorn. My daily activities force me to spend equal time on both Win and Lin systems. SFU is the second install I do on XP and Windows2003 OSes. Thank goodness SFU 3.5 is free now and is coupled fairly well with the OS. My work life would be much harder without it. If you aren't familiar with it, give it a test drive at SFU Home and the Warehouse - Supports pkginstall with full dependencies.

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Good finisher...maybe one better?
Authored by: crr on Thursday, May 05 2005 @ 05:12 PM EDT
"That would be us."
And we are not amused.


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