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Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
Friday, August 26 2005 @ 12:11 PM EDT

There's always one kid in the neighborhood nobody wants to play with. Maybe he's a bully, or extremely neurotic and hard to get along with, or maybe he's just not nice, a prize hypocrite, the kind of kid that acts like a saint when adults are watching but then pinches you hard to make you cry the minute they look away, and then when you complain, lies and says he didn't do anything, or claims it was you that pinched him first.

When the mean kid throws a birthday party, absolutely nobody wants to go, especially not you. You only go if your parents force you. Sometimes you go if he tells you there will be a pony to ride or great gifts or something, but in the end, you wish you had followed your first instinct and stayed home, after you end up mistreated at the party and the pony ride turns out to be only for the birthday boy. The next time you are invited and he promises there will be a clown performing, you stay home, because you don't believe a word that mean kid says to you any more, and you figure the clown will be inside a tent that only the birthday boy is allowed to enter or some such.

Microsoft is like that tricky kid nobody wants to play with any more, because he's been too mean. Could that be why, when Microsoft invited OSDL to join Microsoft in some research to compare Linux and Windows, OSDL didn't say yes? You think? Go figure.

Microsoft has this idea in its head that Linux is its competition, and since in their world view, business is like warfare in which only one side can remain standing at the end, I gather they decided to invite OSDL to help Microsoft damage Linux. And pay half, to boot. The FOSS world view is much simpler: nobody cares about Microsoft, except for wanting them to leave FOSS alone. If they really wish to cooperate, Microsoft can make its APIs available to FOSS developers and design everything strictly according to accepted standards, so GNU/Linux systems and applications actually work well with Microsoft software and can interoperate.

But, no, instead, Microsoft's "Get the Facts" general, Martin Taylor, offers to roll in a Trojan Horse into the heart of the FOSS community with a sly sign on it that says, "Let's Get to the Bottom of Which OS is the Best, 'Kay? It'll Be Fun. And May the Best Man Win." I'm sure the parameters of any research would have been carefully crafted to tilt always toward the conclusion that Microsoft is better. Or, as someone with the nym jkrise wrote on Slashdot:

Looks like MS wants the OSDL to endorse an opinion about the Windows Server OS -- so they can FUD the market with something like: "The OSDL, of which Linus Torvalds is a member, has admitted that the Windows Server Operating System has been found to deliver superior performance and TCO in 326 out of 1,028 customer situations... including Clippy, DRM, Windows Media Player, the registry, MSN messenger."

I don't think research about Clippy is needed, friend. Let's concede that Clippy is entirely Microsoft's and just honestly fess up that we have nothing quite like it.

FOSS doesn't pay for "independent" studies, silly Microsoft. Once you pay, they aren't independent. Get it? And we don't secretly commission studies either. If folks want to study such things as what operating system is better at various functionality or which is cheaper in the long run, feel free. Don't forget to factor in viruses and malware, though. You need to calculate all that down time, if the goal is accuracy. Microsoft's analysts keep forgetting to do that. Oh, and look at longer than three years, will you? And add in what it will cost you to upgrade your hardware to get on board the Vista train.

Businesses are making such comparisons all the time, so all you need to do is look at the stats to see what they have concluded, assuming, as I think we must, that whatever they buy reflects their opinions. We don't need Laura Didio, independent as she may or may not be, to investigate. Just look at the uptake of GNU/Linux and you'll probably conclude that Microsoft's Get the Facts campaign didn't work out.

Here are some statistics for you:

In the first quarter, computer servers running Linux generated $1.2 billion in sales, representing 10.3 percent of server revenue, an all-time high, according to IDC, a tech data firm.

Windows server sales more than tripled those of Linux, but Linux sales grew at a faster rate. Windows sales were up 12.3 percent from a year ago, compared with Linux's 35.2 percent growth.

That's US only. So, Microsoft has a clue at last that absolutely no one with half a brain takes its "Get the Facts" campaign seriously. They just can't figure out the why of it, and so they imagine it's a problem of *who* is paying for the studies. Now, I try hard to be nice, and so let me please explain to Microsoft why no one believes them. I suggest that we first take a longer-than-usual look at Microsoft's "Get the Facts" campaign, as a reasonable prediction of what Microsoft's approach to "research" might be. Feel free to laugh.

By the most remarkable of coincidences, it seems that every single study Microsoft has posted to its Get the Facts website finds that Microsoft is just as good as or better than Linux at absolutely everything. Considering that most of the world has pretty much voted for Apache, part of the LAMP stack, as the best server solution as compared to Windows, either most of the world has lost its cotton-pickin' mind, or something is off about Microsoft's studies. Look at this hilarious list, just the first few pages of their offerings on Get the Facts, starting here, and since it all says exactly the same thing, feel free to let your eyes glaze over or speed read, skipping all the way, once you get the idea:

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Role Comparison Security Report: Database Server Role
    In a comparison of relative security, this commissioned study found Windows Server 2003 running SQL Server 2000 SP3 to have fewer vulnerabilities than Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) running Oracle 10g or RHEL running My SQL.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Switching from Sybase Means Saving Money, Boosting Performance
    This study found that completed migrations to Microsoft SQL Server resulted in significant savings for hardware and ongoing maintenance; better performance, scalability, and business intelligence; and proof of the effectiveness of the Sybase to Microsoft SQL Server Migration Workshop Framework.

  • Get the Facts: Solutions
    Discover the benefits of investing in Microsoft Windows instead of Linux through case studies profiling live installations at small, medium, and large businesses.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Case Studies: Few Plan to Migrate Windows to Linux
    During in-depth interviews for an independent analyst report, Windows 2003 and Windows XP are praised for noticeable improvements in performance, reliability, and security by executives responsible for company technology resources.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Independent Audit Measures Swifter, Easier Deployment for Microsoft Windows
    "Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 vs. Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 2.1 Deployment." In terms of time and complexity, deploying Windows is easier and faster than deploying Red Hat Linux, whether installing from scratch or configuring an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) installation.

  • Get the Facts: Trial Software
    Discover the benefits of investing in Microsoft Windows instead of Linux through case studies profiling live installations at small, medium, and large businesses.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Windows 2000 Earns High Security Rating During International Standards Testing
    "Overview: Windows 2000 Common Criteria Certification." Windows 2000 passed the stringent functional security requirements of the International Organization for Standards (ISO) Common Criteria Evaluation.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Licensing and Support Acquisition Costs
    Comparable for Windows Server, SUSE Linux, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux "Server OS Licensing and Support Cost Comparison—Windows Server 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, and Novell/SUSE Linux 8." After an analysis of publicly-available pricing and licensing terms, a Microsoft-sponsored cost comparison by BearingPoint shows that licensing and support costs do not significantly differ between Windows Server 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, or Novell/SUSE Linux 8.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: A New Approach to Software Architecture
    Modeling Uncovers Microsoft's Cost Advantages
    "Modeling Software Architectures and Platform Choices," by Roger Sessions, CEO. An analysis based on enterprise architecture requirements shows that Microsoft technologies are nearly one-third the cost to implement compared with IBM WebSphere products when building a browser-based order-entry system.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Windows File Servers Achieve Significantly Better Throughput Than Linux File Servers
    "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 vs. Linux Competitive File Server Performance Comparison." File-server benchmarks measured superior peak performance for Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, compared with Red Hat Linux in all hardware configurations from 1 to 8 processors.

  • Get the Facts: Server Solutions
    Discover the benefits of investing in Microsoft Windows instead of Linux through case studies profiling live installations at small, medium, and large businesses.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Windows Server 2003 Outperforms Linux for File Serving
    "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition vs. Samba 3.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3.0 File Server Performance Comparison." Analyzing file-server throughput using industry-standard NetBench test shows that Microsoft Windows Server 2003 outperformed Samba 3.0 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux in multiple test configurations.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Yankee Group Refreshes North American Linux and Windows TCO Report
    Yankee Group (April 2005): A non-sponsored report calculates that 88 percent of corporations report that Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 operating system provides performance and reliability that are equal to or better than Linux in comparable usage scenarios.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Windows Server 2003 Outperforms Linux for File Serving
    "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition vs. Samba 3.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3.0 File Server Performance Comparison." Analyzing file-server throughput using industry-standard NetBench test shows that Microsoft Windows Server 2003 outperformed Samba 3.0 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux in multiple test configurations.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Interoperability Projects Benefit From Microsoft-Based Service-Oriented Architectures
    "Interoperability Through Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs)." This white paper outlines the service-oriented architecture approach to interoperability, which delivers excellent scalability, better ability to leverage existing systems and applications, lower IT costs, and improved user productivity. Microsoft SOA technologies are a strong choice because Microsoft developed most Web service standards, offers integrated developer tools, and has a compelling cost/value proposition.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Interoperability with Windows a Key Goal When Developing Applications, Say IT Managers
    "Interoperability: How Technology Managers Rate Microsoft and Its Technologies for Development." Among 800 IT decision makers, 72 percent give the Microsoft platform top interoperability marks, with 55 percent pointing to Web Services standards as helping to achieve it. Microsoft sponsored this report.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Concentrating on Windows Platform Leads to Financial Health for VAPs and VARs
    "An Assessment of Business Health Among Value Added Providers and Resellers." A study of value added providers (VAPs) and value added resellers (VARs) conducted by Management Insights that was commissioned by Microsoft uncovered a strong relationship between concentrating on the Windows platform and financial success.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Info-Tech Research Group: 2005 Information Technology Priorities
    Info-Tech Research Group, an information technology (IT) research and advisory firm, surveyed over 1,400 small-and medium-sized business IT professionals and determined that Microsoft Windows is preferred over Linux.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Info-Tech Research Group: 2005 Information Technology Priorities
    Info-Tech Research Group, an information technology (IT) research and advisory firm, surveyed over 1,400 small- and medium-sized business IT professionals and determined that Microsoft Windows is preferred over Linux.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Detailed Financials Show Total Linux Costs Are Higher Than Windows Costs by 5 to 20 Percent
    This non-sponsored analysis by Forrester of long-term Linux deployments concludes that operating expenses for some companies can overcome initial purchase savings, making Linux's total cost of ownership greater than that of Windows.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Worldwide Assessment of Server Operating System Deployment and Preference Share Among Value Added Providers
    This server preference and deployment trend study was completed by Management Insights, a leading global market research firm. The data shows that for small and medium VAPs both Linux deployment for the past year and likely Linux usage for the coming year is expected to remain flat.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Database Consolidation: Reducing Cost and Complexity
    In this non-sponsored study about database consolidation, AMR Research surveyed 251 companies and found that consolidation projects offer companies the hope of lower costs, greater ease of database administration, and the chance to improve the quality of their database technology.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Windows Server Offers Compelling Advantages Over Unix as ERP Hosting Platform
    "Migrating UNIX ERP Installations to a Windows Server Environment: A Qualitative Assessment of Business Impact" by META Group, Inc. This study of completed migration efforts shows a positive business impact when switching enterprise resource planning systems from UNIX to Windows Server.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Microsoft .NET Development Platform Delivers 25 Percent Lower Development and Support Costs Than J2EE/Linux
    "The Total Economic Impact of Developing and Deploying Applications on Microsoft and J2EE/Linux Platforms," by John R. Rymer, Vice President. Analyzing real-world custom application-development projects pinpoints areas where Microsoft tools save money: lower product costs, lower labor costs due to simplified development processes, and lower maintenance costs.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Large Enterprises: Switching from Windows to Linux "Prohibitively Expensive, Extremely Complex, Provides No Tangible Business Gains"
    This non-sponsored study about total cost of ownership (TCO) by Yankee Group found that a major Linux deployment or switch from Windows is four times more expensive and takes three times longer than a Windows upgrade.

  • Get the Facts: The Total Cost of Security Patch Management
    Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: In this study, Wipro surveyed 90 organizations, that use both Windows and open-source software, to determine the costs of patching both environments under similar conditions. Read the conclusions from this study.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Windows Users Have Fewer Vulnerabilities
    "Is Linux More Secure Than Windows?" After collecting a year's worth of vulnerability data for this non-sponsored report, Forrester then analyzed Windows and four key Linux distributors on metrics about responsiveness to vulnerabilities, severity of vulnerabilities, and thoroughness in fixing flaws.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux
    Leading companies and third-party analysts confirm it: Windows has a lower total cost of ownership and outperforms Linux. No single analysis of Windows versus Linux provides definitive answers for every company.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Comparing Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere/J2EE
    "Comparing Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere/J2EE: A Productivity, Performance, Reliability and Manageability Analysis" by David Herst with William Edwards and Steve Wilkes. A Microsoft-sponsored study finds that Microsoft .NET running on Windows Server provides better productivity, reliability, performance, and manageability than IBM WebSphere/J2EE running on Linux.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: File, Web, and Database Server Administration
    Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: File, Web, and Database Server Administration: The Realities Windows and Linux Administrators Face and Their Demands for Change. Based on their survey of more than 200 enterprise IT administrators, META Group found that the ongoing costs of management and support for Linux offset any upfront acquisition cost advantages relative to Windows Server.

  • Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Role Comparison Report: Web Server Role
    "Role Comparison Report: Web Server Role." This study presents a role-based comparison of the relative security of two different platforms, based on quantitative factors—such as numbers of security software flaws and time to patch—and qualitative factors—such as ease of configuration and default security stance.

Is that not a hoot? And I don't have to say a word, do I? Such a list doesn't pass the snort test. Maybe in Redmondland, it does, but the rest of us see the Emperor has no clothes. According to Microsoft, everyone agrees that Microsoft has the best solutions, and yet most of servers in the world are Apache. What happened?

What happened is the studies are not being believed. Now, Microsoft would like OSDL to pay to do similar silly studies with them. Um. No. This doesn't pass the laugh test either:

In an interview with eWEEK, Taylor said that he had been reading an opinion piece in one of the Linux magazines that identified the need for the Linux and open-source community to come up with its own facts-based effort. That motivated him to contact Cohen and suggest this.

I believe he was referring to an article in LinuxInsider. Cluebat for ya, Mr. Taylor. I don't think LinuxInsider is viewed in the FOSS commuity as a "Linux magazine," maybe because it mostly publishes anti-Linux material, as far as I can see. Here's my guess. Might Microsoft's PR firm have arranged for the article, so that Mr. Taylor could use it as the "excuse" to approach OSDL? No? Who knows for sure, but with Microsoft... well, tell me it's not like them, do. Here are some responses to hearing about their offer, with some countersuggestions:

  • Red Hat:
    Red Hat, Inc. spokeswoman Leigh Day, in Raleigh, N.C., told eWEEK that Red Hat had no interest in seeing any such initiative with Microsoft, adding that she was not sure how a joint venture with the Redmond, Wash. software firm could ever be independent.

    Red Hat also believed that funded research was typically not objective. "We disagree with the idea of using 'research' as a tool to create FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt] in the marketplace. Instead we use real-world customer testimonials instead of lab-created, situations to demonstrate the price, performance, scalability and security of Linux," she said.

  • Con Zymaris, Cybersource:
    Unfortunately, the kind of joint research that Microsoft proposed, namely more paid-for analyst comparisons, is designed to extend the Linux vs. Windows war-of-words, not help users of either platform. Cybersource has an alternate suggestion: it's time for Microsoft to actually do what's best for its own customers and the industry in general, by working towards making Linux and Windows work better together.

    "Most businesses will end up running a combination of proprietary and open source software," said Cybersource CEO Con Zymaris. "By joining with the open source industry and working towards reducing the interoperability headaches between the two, Microsoft can help its own customers as well as make it easier for users to select and move to the platform best suited to them."

    To date, most of the effort towards improving interoperability between Linux & open source and Microsoft platforms, has been shouldered by the open source community.

    "Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl, Sendmail, BIND, Python, Zope, PostgreSQL, Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, FirebirdSQL and several thousand other open source technologies have been ported to run on Windows. In comparison, Microsoft has not made any effort to bring any of its major technologies, such as Exchange, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer, IIS, SQL Server, to Linux," continued Zymaris.

    "When it comes to sharing data on disk or on a network, Linux's Network File System (NFS), EXT2 and ReiserFS filesystems are open and documented for interoperability, as are the Kerberos and OpenLDAP authentication protocols. This is in sharp contrast to Microsoft's NTFS, SMB/CIFS and Active Directory, which are encumbered through lack of technical interoperation documentation or by legal firewalls."

    "Just as importantly, open source developers provide full, unfettered access to protocols, document standards and XML schemas. In return, Microsoft keeps the information required to work with Word, Excel, Access, Outlook and Exchange, secret. Even when Microsoft makes claims towards interoperability, as with the recent Word XML schemas, they nobble that effort by releasing information under a licence which prevents implementation in common open source forms," continued Zymaris.

    Cybersource suggests the following as actually useful joint-research that Microsoft can co-operate with the open source community on:

    1) Publish (in an un-encumbered form) the information necessary for third-party software to interoperate fully with Microsoft Office, Exchange, Windows Media codecs etc.

    2) Stop the 'intellectual property' land-grab on XML schemas, communication protocols and document formats. Interoperability information should never be legally encumbered: that defeats the purpose.

    "In order for Linux and Windows to properly interoperate, we need to establish a common 'language', with agreed syntax, forms and rules -- this is what schemas, protocols and document formats do. Microsoft has thus-far done its best to subvert that common language with either technical or legal obstructions, causing problems for users. It's time to change tack and assist both Windows and Linux users by working towards interoperability," Zymaris concluded.

Oh, no! some may exclaim. Microsoft has turned over a new leaf. It realizes Linux is here to stay, so it's decided to make some changes. Oh? Really? Then explain this quotation from Kevin Johnson, a Microsoft group vice president:

Speaking at the company's annual financial analyst meeting on Thursday, Kevin Johnson, a Microsoft group vice president, said the software giant is focused on offering specific products and services aimed at three types of workloads where Linux is now a common choice: Web servers, high-performance computing and edge servers.

"We are targeting product and technology offerings to the unique needs of running those workloads," he said.

The plan is an extension of the Microsoft "Get the Facts" campaign, which the vendor launched in 2003 to compare the value proposition of Windows versus Linux in an effort to show customers that Windows offers a better return on investment in most cases.

Johnson said Microsoft's plan to target areas where Linux is especially popular will help Windows displace the open source operating system.

Well, talk about leopards and ability to change spots and everything. Here's Martin Taylor on the next phase of his Get the Facts strategy:

Taylor says the battle with Linux will continue to rage in areas such as web servers, Unix migration and high-performance computing for which Microsoft plans to launch a new product, Compute Cluster Edition, in the first half of next year.

Taylor also wants to work closer with governments to ensure decisions about Linux migration are made based on fact and not politics. “We will continue to roll up our sleeves and sit at the table and partner with the public sector.”

Compute Cluster Edition, eh? Would it be useful to have a nice research study ready in the first half of next year on such a theme? Yes? No? I suggest a name for their Ask-OSDL-To-Be-Rubes initiative: I call it Microsoft's Does Not Compute initiative.

And just in case that long list of Get the Facts wonders has you a bit brainwashed, and you are starting to think Microsoft really does have fewer security issues than Linux, and that the world is flat, do review this fact-based response by Nicholas Petreley that The Register ran. And here's the study that had reporters in the UK laughing out loud, remember?

If Microsoft wants to have nightmares, I suggest it ponder this thought just before sleeping: FOSS beats you on the one issue that you will never be able to win on, ethics. Even corporate thugs like to do business with trustworthy people. And frankly, the more tricky studies you publish, the more you highlight the ethical deficit on your side.

Nighty night, and don't let the bedbugs bite.


  


Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean | 386 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections go here Please.
Authored by: Hiro Protagonist on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 12:24 PM EDT
Corrections (if any) go here Please.

---
I Grok... Therefore... I am.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dear Microsoft...
Authored by: seanlynch on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 12:35 PM EDT

Dear Microsoft,

Thank you for your interesting proposal, but I believe that you are requesting a partnership with the wrong open source group.

Please review OSDL's mission statement. You will see that OSDL has three main goals.

  • Enterprise-class testing and other technical support for the Linux development community.
  • Marshalling of Linux-industry resources to focus investment on areas of greatest need thereby eliminating inhibitors to growth.
  • Practical guidance to our members - vendors and end users alike - on working effectively with the Linux development community.

    It could be that, at first glance, you interpreted point one to be about the kind of testing in support of marketing that your proposal speaks to. This is not true. OSDL is dedicated to enterprise class testing that supports projects developed in the Linux Community. Microsoft may not be familiar with this kind of testing, but we assure you that it is an industry standard practice in much of IT.

    If Microsoft has software products that it would like to port to the GNU/Linux platform and if you want the products tested for things like quality assurance, stability, security, interoperability with other software, and adherence to international standards, OSDL would be the perfect candidate.

    However, it is not part of our mission to engage in testing in support of marketing.

    Thank you again for your interest in OSDL, and when you are ready to port or create software for Open Source platforms such as GNU/Linux, please review OSDL's membership and affiliate programs.

    We would be more than happy to help you learn about the kinds of testing we help our partners, members, and affiliates conduct to ensure quality, stability, security, dependability, and interoperability. We look forward to that time, and wish you luck in your search for an open source organization that wants to join with you in your marketing venture.

    Sincerely,

    OSDL

    :)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

  • Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 12:43 PM EDT
    It's Microsofts own fault.
    Every time it forces its face into something that looks like a friendly look,
    people run away . Why ?

    Well we all remember how MS got IE of the ground and into there "OS"
    so quickly.
    Ofcource they had to pay up some dozen laysuits later for stealing it and
    calling it there own, but that was probably the calculated risk they took.

    Every company that ever worked with MS on a equal basis got screwed over bigtime
    by them, Either nuked out of business or taken over and dissolved.

    Retep Vosnul.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    OT here, please
    Authored by: overshoot on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 12:43 PM EDT
    Clicky, preview, instructions at bottom, all that.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Let's assume MS is right...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 12:59 PM EDT
    Let's assume that Microsoft's "studies" are accurate: they outperform
    Linux on benchmarks and TCO.

    So what?

    I'd happily give up some performance and pay a bit extra just to be free of the
    Microsoft DRM manacles. *Anything* just to free from their standardized
    "lock-in" strategies.

    Microsoft misses the boat again... and from what I can tell, it doesn't care.
    As long as MS and it's Hollywood co-horts are able to throw money at their
    favorite Congress-person, there's no need to fret about the future. Somehow,
    someway, there's always an out strategy that consists of bundles of cash. It
    worked with the current administration, why wouldn't it with the next?


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    www.spec.org Win2003 trounced by Linux
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 01:04 PM EDT
    Look at the numbers for the HP DL386 published this quarter. For some reason
    that is unclear to me, an identical configuration as SpecInt numbers that are
    15% higher for the SuSE Linux run. All else appears to be eqauls. the Win2003
    server does come out about 9% faster for int SpecRate which indicates there are
    some kernel hotspots in Linux that could still be improved. At this point, there
    just isn't enough difference in performance between Linux and Windows to use
    that as a basis for cohoosing one over the other. Price is a different story.
    Win2003 server costs a lot more, not matter how much Microsoft spins it. The
    fact is that even things like remote logins cost extra money on Windows which
    is ridiculous, but MS needs this because heaven forbid you put one copy of MS
    Office on a mahcine and let 20 people use it, something that costs nothing with
    OpenOffice, and only a few bucks for StarOffice.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: fredex on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 01:18 PM EDT
    I don't think research about Clippy is needed, friend. Let's concede that Clippy is entirely Microsoft's and just honestly fess up that we have nothing quite like it.
    Yes, it's true, we DO lack anything like clippy. You know what? we're DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY that way!

    Why would anyone want to waste their time and effort on an ANNOYING animated paperclip when there are bugs to fix or features to add? It reminds me of the Donkey in Shrek, except the donkey is a whole lot less annoying.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 01:25 PM EDT
    Here's all the OSDL needs to know:

    'Ind ependent' report used MS-sourced data to trash OSS

    Some excerpts:

    When Microsoft announced victory in its battle with open source for the hearts, minds and wallets of Newham council last month, the press naturally asked to see the report Newham's decision was allegedly based on. Er, yes, the report would be forthcoming, we were told. So we gave it a few days, and asked again. And again. And again. But mysteriously, although Microsoft executives are prepared to shout from the rafters about what's in the report, the report itself never seems to arrive.
    Fortunately, there are ways to get hold of documents that have been presented, as the report was, to public bodies, so if Microsoft is still unable to find it, then The Register is now in a position to help them out.


    ...

    But the bottom line is that the headline 'finding' of the study is based on data submitted by Microsoft but not verified by Cap Gemini and is specifically qualified by Cap Gemini as Microsoft's 'belief.'

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    On holiday - I thought.
    Authored by: Nick_UK on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 01:40 PM EDT
    Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Windows File Servers Achieve Significantly Better Throughput Than Linux File Servers "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 vs. Linux Competitive File Server Performance Comparison." File-server benchmarks measured superior peak performance for Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, compared with Red Hat Linux in all hardware configurations from 1 to 8 processors.

    Perhaps here's why. This is a mail I sent to affected users here from home while I was on holiday today - yesterday I rolled out a patch that broke.

    Hi all,

    I would like to apologise for the problems caused today.

    It was not really an oversight, but one of these things, but it is still unexcusable. The patches were tested, but it appears not every permutation of OS and laptop was done - that is entirely my fault.

    Thanks to Ray for the 'hands on' work, I believe you are back in business.

    I will be addressing these issues with (******) - the patches applied yesterday were 'passed' and endorsed as to be rolled out on a critical basis on all (******) connected machines. If we get any more like this, it will indeed be critical. I either myself or Ray will have a heart attack.

    Again, sorry for the problems I caused. I will resolve this for the future so it never happens again.

    Nick
    * For those technically minded, Microsoft fixed a security issue with their SMB protocol - this is the protocol that talks to servers with regard to file sharing. Obviously the patch broke communication with our fileservers - as they are a non-microsoft product, the SMB standard is adhered to - Microsoft change the standard to suit themselves, often with results we had today.


    The patches:

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS05-011.mspx
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS05-027.mspx

    Ummph.

    Nick

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Trademark question.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 01:59 PM EDT
    " I believe he was referring to an article in LinuxInsider."

    Naive question.
    Why does the LMI allow them to use the Linux® trademark?
    I thought that the idea was to protect the integrity of the mark, and not
    allow it to be used for detrimental purposes.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Why is it always Red Hat Enterprise Linux?
    Authored by: cmc on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 02:38 PM EDT
    Have you noticed that in all of Microsoft's "studies", Windows is always compared to Red Hat Enterprise Linux? Last I checked, that was not the only Linux out there. One of the largest, definitely, but certainly not the only one. Why not compare Windows with Suse, Debian, Knoppix, Mandrake/Mandriva, Slackware, Linspire, etc?

    What really gets me about these "studies", however, is the apples-to-oranges comparison. They compare Windows to RHEL (typically RHEL AS). Why would you purchase RHEL AS instead of downloading it? For support, right? Because with RHEL, you get support. With Windows, you don't. With RHEL, support is included in your annual subscription. With Windows, you have to pay for support. Here are the support pages for each:

    Red Hat Linux Enterprise - Support options and pricing

    Microsoft Windows - Help and support

    Oh yeah, Microsoft says this on their help and support page: "If the product was already installed on your computer when you purchased it, contact your computer manufacturer." So if bought a Dell server with Windows pre-installed, it looks like Microsoft won't help you.

    But look at the pricing. RHEL AS is $1499 for the Standard Edition, and you get web support (2 business day response time) and phone support (M-F 9-5 GMT [global] or M-F 9-9 ET [North America]; 4 hour response time), all included in that $1499. And that's for a server with unlimited clients. Windows Server Enterprise 2003 for 105 users would cost you $5979.75 ($3299.95 for WSE2003 with 25 clients, plus $669.95 for each of 4 20-client licenses), and that's with NO SUPPORT. Support for Windows costs you $99 for each instance of email support (1 business day reponse time) and $245 for each instance of phone support (wait time will vary). So just using those numbers shows that you need to have Windows for 4 years with no support, in order to match the price of RHEL AS.

    Now, if we're talking desktop systems, then we have to factor in the cost of cleaning up viruses and malware... And since most companies like to keep computers around for a long time, you're often working on old machines. So if you're paying an outside company an hourly rate to clean your systems, it can cost a lot. I typically charge between $135 and $270 per cleaning (per system), depending on how long it takes. The funny thing is, even when you tell people to use Firefox and Thunderbird instead of Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, they don't, so they get re-infected and call you back, and pay again. Or you have an employee who goes to porn sites, gets infected, you have the system cleaned, and then they do the same thing that very day and you have to have the system cleaned again the following day. So if you call someone in to clean malware from just one system per month, that's an extra $1620-3240 per year (on top of the Windows licensing fees, which will be anywhere from $145-235 per system, or more, for Windows XP Pro).

    When I look at the costs, it amazes me how they can claim that Windows has a lower TCO. The only thing I see that Windows has going for it is a larger supply of software. But a lot of companies (especially large companies) use custom software. So yes, it will cost a lot to change that software from Windows to Linux. But it will most definitely pay for itself in the long term.

    cmc

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: jbeadle on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 03:09 PM EDT
    ...the kind of kid that acts like a saint when adults are watching but then pinches you hard to make you cry the minute they look away, and then when you complain, lies and says he didn't do anything,...

    PJ, you talkin' about Eddie Haskell again?? ;-}

    -jb

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: TwinDX on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 03:34 PM EDT

    # Get the Facts on Windows and Linux: Windows Users Have Fewer Vulnerabilities
    "Is Linux More Secure Than Windows?" After collecting a year's worth of vulnerability data for this non-sponsored report, Forrester then analyzed Windows and four key Linux distributors on metrics about responsiveness to vulnerabilities, severity of vulnerabilities, and thoroughness in fixing flaws.

    I'd love to know what parallel dimension this is true in. And how they got there. And what OS their dimension hopper was running!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    "high-performance computing"
    Authored by: Yossarian on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 03:38 PM EDT
    "Taylor says the battle with Linux will continue to rage in areas such as
    web servers, Unix migration and high-performance computing for which Microsoft
    plans to launch a new product,"

    I work for a VLSI start-up, and we run some tools that take
    days. There is no point running those on Windows because
    the risk of losing a couple of days because of an OS crash
    is just too high. We bought an IBM Linux server, and we
    are happy with the service. BTW the VLSI tools area will
    remain a growth area as long Moore Law holds.

    Microsoft will have serious problems penetrating this
    market because:
    1) Service. IBM service is much better than my past
    experience with Microsoft, where we paid for service
    contracts but could get no good answers.

    2) Crashes. When I run heavy calculations, or even some
    games, on Windows, I have to reboot at least once per day.
    This is unacceptable in VLSI design tools.

    3) Qualification. I don't want to deal with problems
    which are related to the interaction between a tool and
    a platfrom. I don't have to because most tools' vendors
    make the effort to qualify their tools on common platfroms
    ("platfrom" is software & hardware). It is easy to do
    that on Linux because you can follow problems into the
    OS and see what "really" went wrong. Also, if a tool
    stopped working on a new Linux version you can find what
    OS change caused the problem and negotiate with the
    Linux vendor to solve that.

    I can't see what stratgey can put MS in this, very
    profitable, market.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 03:39 PM EDT
    To me this says it all - and is so simple and obvious - well it is a joke.

    ""Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl, Sendmail, BIND, Python, Zope, PostgreSQL,
    Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, FirebirdSQL and several thousand other
    open source technologies have been ported to run on Windows. In comparison,
    Microsoft has not made any effort to bring any of its major technologies, such
    as Exchange, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer, IIS, SQL Server, to
    Linux," continued Zymaris."

    How about just making our mail clients better by helping to make our mail
    clients connect to your exchange calendar better.

    How about making office be able to save in open office file formats?

    How about training so called developers to write to open standards instead of
    just ie standards.

    these are just a few of a simple things they could do and would be a huge step
    in closing the gap with the open source community. our stuff is out there and
    published it would most likely cost a lot less to provide these three things
    than it would to fund a fud study. so go ahead an do those any time you want
    because you can look at our source.

    this is such a joke they want to do nothing but make us go away just like they
    did with os2.

    well, we are here to stay so I would say it would be in your best interest to do
    those three things.

    oh ya one last thing - all this drm crap you are providing the mpaa and riaa you
    can make it work with linux also - although I still wouldn't buy any drm'ed
    music but it would be a good PR stunt.

    now to me all these things would cost a lot less than funding a useless fud
    study. but that's just me and I am no Billy Gates.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    It's Not Easy Being Green
    Authored by: meshuggeneh on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 03:44 PM EDT
    Oh PJ... is this in some way connected to a pensive celebrity frog?

    :)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: blacklight on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 03:56 PM EDT
    "But, no, instead, Microsoft's "Get the Facts" general, Martin
    Taylor, offers to roll in a Trojan Horse into the heart of the FOSS community
    with a sly sign on it that says, "Let's Get to the Bottom of Which OS is
    the Best, 'Kay? It'll Be Fun. And May the Best Man Win.""

    OSDL's response should be: "No interest: OSDL has a mission and Microsoft's
    request amounts to a distraction from that mission" If Microsoft thinks
    it'll be fun, then may Microsoft have fun playing with itself. As for "May
    the Best Man Win": I can visualize Microsoft spending its own money to
    launch a media blitz, letting everyone including its biggest customers know that
    Linux won. Not bloody likely.

    OSDL has a good, strong relation with its corporate partners. I would guess that
    Microsoft would like to tap into it and exploit it for its own benefit.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Please remind me...
    Authored by: MplsBrian on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 04:04 PM EDT
    When was the last time a Linux OS update required a hardware upgrade?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The problem with the kid...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 04:17 PM EDT

    that P.J. describes, in my experience, is that he/she doesn't recognize the fact that people don't want anything to do with that individual because of how he/she treats them. That's true even when someone takes the time to explain it to them. Ex.

    1. Jim Bob: you guys are idiots
    2. Susie: stop calling me an idiot or I'll have nothing to do with you
    3. Jim Bob: Susie, you're an idiot
    4. [Susie leaves]
    5. Jim Bob: Now why did Susie leave? What an idiot.
    Now, whether that lack of recognition is deliberate or what-have-you I don't know. MS seems to have that same kind of personality defect.

    RAS

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Glad to see
    Authored by: inode_buddha on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 04:25 PM EDT
    I'm glad to see that somebody else finally got the facts:

    Microsoft has this idea in its head that Linux is its competition, and since in their world view, business is like warfare in which only one side can remain standing at the end, I gather they decided to invite OSDL to help Microsoft damage Linux. And pay half, to boot. The FOSS world view is much simpler: nobody cares about Microsoft, except for wanting them to leave FOSS alone. If they really wish to cooperate, Microsoft can make its APIs available to FOSS developers and design everything strictly according to accepted standards, so GNU/Linux systems and applications actually work well with Microsoft software and can interoperate.

    ---
    -inode_buddha
    Copyright info in bio

    "When we speak of free software,
    we are referring to freedom, not price"
    -- Richard M. Stallman

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: Bas Burger on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 04:40 PM EDT
    "Computer Cluster Edition, eh? Would it be useful to have a nice research study ready in the first half of next year on such a theme?"

    Do we really need a cluster of BSOD?

    ---
    DIRECTUS ELATUS PERTINAX

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Windows Clusters
    Authored by: davcefai on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 04:40 PM EDT
    Imagine it: A cluster of Bluescreens!

    No doubt MS will introduce other colours so that you get a tasteful rainbow
    effect on the monitors when the cluster goes down.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Well done pj
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 05:07 PM EDT
    I really hope the media picks up on what Con Zymaris said.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    It's the other way.
    Authored by: Stumbles on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 05:20 PM EDT
    No it's not that the birthday boy is the only one that gets to enjoy the clown. It's that you show up and find out that you are the clown.

    And that IMV is exactly how Microsoft would play the results, no matter what it turned out to be. In fact it would not surprise me they would game it so that Linux did "win". After which all those analysts, media mouth pieces of various sorts and "think tanks would start a media blitz of how "unfair" the test was.

    ---
    You can tune a piano but you can't tune a fish.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Real Problem: It's Microsoft
    Authored by: digger53 on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 07:37 PM EDT
    They are habitually dishonest. Anything else cane be dealt with, even meanness.
    Their crappy software can get better, in fact it has. The corporate culture of
    dishonesty, treachery, and enslave the customer seems unlikely to ever change.
    Even if Windows & other MS wares were better than Linux and the BSDs, I'd
    want nothing to do with them or their products, because of who they are and what
    they are. Deals with Mephistopheles always favor Mephistopheles in the end.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: Security
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 26 2005 @ 08:24 PM EDT
    At one time, (I believe it is still the case), Micrsoft's Eula for its Java
    runtime stated (in ensense, paraphrasing), "Not to be used in nuclear
    facilities, airplanes or traffic control, or anywhere that lives are at
    risk."

    Later, in the same Eula, they claim that Sun contractually obligated Microsoft
    to make this disclaimer.

    If you look for the Eula/License agreements for the Sun JVM, JRE or JDK, you
    would not find it - at least not any longer.

    I have a suspicion that this statement was never true - except for the Microsoft
    JVM.

    However, I suspect that the Eula disclaimer for the Java JVM has far more to do
    with the quality of the operating system than Java or Sun itself.

    A year or two ago, there was an outage in a nuclear reactor that caused the
    power grid to go out in a significant portion of the country. Around the same
    time, there was a significant outbreak of a Windows worm at the same time. I
    still have my doubts that the two were completely unrelated.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Clippy Equivalent
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 12:02 AM EDT
    Actually, Clippy the irritating paperclip has been cloned. This was a joke, based on a "User Friendly" comic strip, but it has been done. See the "vigor" package in Debian, or see vigor.sourceforge.net.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 04:59 AM EDT
    I don't know where to put this, but is anyone else aware of this piece of satire? Please expect to see this again, when it's closer to the top of the page. Novell

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Linux tops TPC benchmark.
    Authored by: CypherOz on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 08:26 AM EDT
    get the REAL facts... Linux tops TPC benchmark.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/050810/092823.html

    IBM Shatters Computing Performance Barrier
    Wednesday August 10, 12:52 pm ET
    Record-Breaking IBM POWER5 Server Running Linux and DB2 Is 23% Faster Than HP
    and Oracle
    ARMONK, NY--(MARKET WIRE)--Aug 10, 2005 -- IBM today announced that an IBM
    POWER5 processor-based eServer p5 570, running Linux has attained a milestone in
    computing history, soaring past other servers and setting a new world record for
    online transaction processing performance for 4-processor servers of 197,669
    transactions per minute (tpmC) according to TPC. Until today, no Linux based
    server in history from IBM had claimed a top TPC-C mark.

    On the industry leading TPC-C benchmark test, the IBM eServer p5 570 running DB2
    UDB 8.2 on Linux and IBM FAStT TotalStorage turned in the best 4-processor
    server result ever by topping the best performance of the HP Integrity server
    and Linux running Oracle 10g by 23% and outperforming by 51% the HP ProLiant
    system running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server 2000. To
    set the new TPC-C record, IBM leveraged the combined power of its POWER5
    processor-based server -- the eServer p5 570 -- and Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS
    4 running IBMs DB2 Universal Database. The IBM system also set a new world
    record for best 4-processor Linux price/performance at $3.93/tpmC.

    ---
    The GPL is enduring, not viral

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem:
    Authored by: Wesley_Parish on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 09:31 AM EDT

    I find Con Zygmaris spot on:

    To date, most of the effort towards improving interoperability between Linux & open source and Microsoft platforms, has been shouldered by the open source community.

    What Microsoft could do to rectify things, in my view, is release the MS Win9x, the MS WinNT 3.x and 4.x, the MS IE 5.x and Outlook, and the MS Office 97 source trees under the CPL or MPL so that the horrendous security risk its massive installed base poses, could be rectified.

    Until they do that, like it or not, they haven't got a snowball's chance in h*() of being believable.

    ---
    finagement: The Vampire's veins and Pacific torturers stretching back through his own season. Well, cutting like a child on one of these states of view, I duck

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    echo chambers and the mighty wurlitzer
    Authored by: ENOTTY on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 09:56 AM EDT
    I believe he was referring to an article in LinuxInsider. Cluebat for ya, Mr. Taylor. I don't think LinuxInsider is viewed in the FOSS commuity as a "Linux magazine," maybe because it mostly publishes anti-Linux material, as far as I can see. Here's my guess. Might Microsoft's PR firm have arranged for the article, so that Mr. Taylor could use it as the "excuse" to approach OSDL? No? Who knows for sure, but with Microsoft... well, tell me it's not like them, do.

    In a way, this scheme mimics the numerous think-tanks, policy institutes, "research" facilities, wacko religious groups, "Concerned Citizens" organisations and their related publication arms of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, funded by well-heeled rightwing cranks and foundations (not just US-based) that will endlessly cite each other and make their propaganda respectable enough to appear in the mainstream.

    Unsurprisingly, these spheres also overlap in multiple ways, one example being TechC entralStation.com, featuring everything from junk science articles purporting to "debunk" global warming or evolution to comically hysterical anti FOSS screeds (those smelly, communist Linux hippies).

    It's a mixture of corporate lobbying and an eleborate psyops campaign.

    And, of course, co-opting a respected individual or organisation is always a good way to push your hidden agenda.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    FYI: MS adverts on Linux search
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 11:43 AM EDT
    So there I was reading about server sales #s on 'el Reg' (High-end Unix servers resilient in Q2), and I decided to do a google search for Linux on Dell.
    So I popped "linux site:www.dell.com" (no quotes) into google and lo-&-behold the "Sponsored Link" was:
    "Windows vs Linux www.microsoft.ca/getthefacts Read In-Depth 3rd Party Performance Analysis on Linux & Windows!"

    The good news is that google cave back www.dell.com/linux/ as the first result.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Reason fo MS Proposal to OSDL
    Authored by: bbaston on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 01:41 PM EDT
    MS knew going in that the OSDL would refuse to participate in any fashion with MS. Sooo, why did they do it? It seems reasonable that all MS FUD campaigns have themes. Once you see the theme, you should see interrelationships between various MS initiatives. MS does continue its FUD spin with the OSDL move?

    To MS, OSDL's refusal, expected refusal, is another example of FOSS refusal to work with MS. This spin is meant to offset MS refusal to allow nonMS stuff to interoperate, refusal to port apps to other OS's, etc.

    A second reason for MS proposal to OSDL may be to negate the impact of a gathering of reference material intended to assist small business management in their considerations of FOSS business decisions.

    Bill's minions will be able to say, "The reference that OSDL offers to you, Ms. Small Business Executive, is biased. Why, they refused to work with us in putting it together! We gave them the idea, and they just gathered together unprofessional, misleading, amateur stories that you shouldn't even consider!" Embellish ad obnoxium.

    The link PJ provides led me to my "tainted information spin" thought.

    FOSS does not consider MS as competition, merely as a morally challenged behemoth taking advantage of the world's uninformed. So, I wonder at the wisdom of such a central site ever being assembled with common FOSS endorsement.

    ---
    Ben
    IMBW, IANAL2, IMHO, IAVO
    imaybewrong, iamnotalawyertoo, inmyhumbleopinion, iamveryold
    Have you donated to Groklaw this month? See bio for Copyright.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Don't fall apart on me tonight
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 02:08 PM EDT
    What about that millionaire with the drumsticks in his pants
    He looked so baffled an' so bewildered
    When he played an' we didn't dance.

    Bob Dylan

    Title sounds like the Wondows User's prayer. For Millionaire read BILLionaire.

    Alan(UK)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    An idea - anyone want to pitch in?
    Authored by: cybervegan on Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 07:18 PM EDT
    I have a "root server" - running Fedora Core 2 and Apache, but costing
    me £££'s and doing nothing at the moment.

    It's one of those "white elephants" - great intentions coming to
    nothing (mostly due to life getting in the way).

    One of the many ideas I wanted to use it for is as a competition site - for
    instance, mimicing Formula-1 and the Rally circuit, but for servers. Working
    name "OSRally" - where events (long- and short-running) would be
    organised where teams compete simply for the glory of winning.

    Basically, the teams register their system specs and team profiles. Each event
    is outlined as to the challenge types which will be presented to participants.
    Every system is scrutinised, and all system logs must be securely kept and must
    be accessible at any time to the scrutineers, during the event and for a
    specified period thereafter. Any hardware and software combintation can be
    entered, as long as it is capable of completing the event. During the event,
    groups of grey-hat hackers attempt to disrupt each of the competing systems
    using a pre-declared set of methods, but the actual exploits which will be used
    must be kept secret until after the event - for instance, in a Web-Server
    Responsiveness heat, defacements are attempted, and in an E-Commerce Business
    Continuity event, data theft is attempted and maybe spoofed transactions too -
    you get the picture. All this happens online, with live stats provided on the
    OSRally site, and links to the relevant competitor's services are provided so
    that viewers can watch things happening in real time. All sabotage methods used
    must be pre-registered before the event, and anyone can propose a test, as long
    as they can describe it in minute detail.

    Nothing unethical must go on, and no dirty tricks - somehow, the systems must be
    heavily and vigilantly shielded from external threats (which would null and void
    the event if they occurred) by a vetted group of white-hats.

    Obviously, one server and one geek can't do all this, but it's a start -
    especially as I'm simply too niave at Apache right now. Am I totally insane for
    even dreaming this one up? I also wonder if Microsoft would dare enter, or even
    sponsor a team!

    Motor sports grew out of the face-off between early automotive manufacturers
    making wild claims about theri and their competitor's products - it was a way
    for them to try to prove their claims about their products in a neutral forum.
    Can we do that for computers? If we do, we have to be thoroughly fair, and
    accept the outcome even if we don't like it - but be spurred on to do better
    next time.

    crazy cybervegan

    ---
    Software source code is a bit like underwear - you only want to show it off in
    public if it's clean and tidy. Refusal could be due to embarrassment or shame...

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean
    Authored by: ine on Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 12:24 AM EDT
    TCO studies presuppose that two items being compared *are* comparable and
    interchangeable. But I cannot find any version of MS Windows that has a key
    feature that attracted me to Linux: liberty.

    How do you put liberty into TCO measurements? My guess is that people ignore it
    because they cannot quantify it, or do not want to.

    Any ODSL/MS TCO study would have to agree, explicitly or implictly, on a dollar
    value for liberty. Even to ignore it (as the MS-sponsored studies presumably do)
    is to give it a value of $0.00 - a value which is hardly uncontentious. And you
    cannot explicitly remove liberty from TCO, because it would no longer be a
    *total* cost. Liberty has to be handled - or mishandled - by every TCO study.

    Richard Stallman has campaigned long and hard about liberty in software. The
    restriction of software liberty has real long-term detrimental effects on the
    development of software: the free sharing of ideas has a multiplier effect on
    software development, as it does with science. The ODSL would be betraying that
    campaign to team up with MS on any other basis than one that MS would repudiate
    - that liberty matters.

    Of course, there is always Microsoft Liberty(TM) - the freedom to use Microsoft
    products and to buy Microsoft upgrades. But note: every dictatorship gives you
    the freedom to be a slave.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Free software for MS
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 05:28 PM EDT
    on the Microsoft site they now have a banner saying
    free downlaods for windows XP users. If you go to internet broswers they have a
    link to firefox!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    How Microsoft could pay for an unbiased study
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 29 2005 @ 10:41 AM EDT
    There are several issues that Microsoft absolutely must address:
    • The timeframe for determining TCO must be long enough to require at least one major Windows upgrade.
    • The number of seats must not be selected to fall at a particularly attractive price-point for Microsoft.
    • Assume the project will change. Part way through the project lifespan, it becomes more popular and more servers and staff are added, with more licenses.
    • Because software upgrades will be required and every version of Windows requires more hardware, add hardware upgrades to the budget.
    • Since MS will make some security claims, factor in the cost of protecting against and cleaning up from viruses, worms and spyware.
    • Since MS occasionally does make some of its development tools obsolete (VB6 anyone?), factor in a small cost estimate for porting. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and make it small.
    • Estimate the cost of license compliance, including the risk of a Business Software Alliance audit and fines because they will find something wrong.
    Trust me on this. Someone at MS has estimates on all of this. They know the numbers that go with these. In all likelihood, they are not in one coherent TCO study. They are probably separate estimates based on cases that don't compare. But they are studying this stuff. After all, you don't buy a company that builds a virus scanner without estimates of the market for the product. To do so would be a lack of due diligence and would get you into trouble with your shareholders and the SEC.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Reynolds and Reynolds
    Authored by: Wol on Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 07:12 AM EDT
    An email recently went out on the U2 mailing list smirking somewhat.

    A few years ago, R&R featured in a "Microsoft Success Story" piece
    about how MS made it easy for R&R to port their automotive dealer app off of
    the "legacy" IBM UniVerse database. R&R have just terminated the
    MS product (that was why the email was smirking) and written off an investment
    of $67M.

    There was a bit of sadness, too - that $67M would have done wonders had it been
    spent on enhancing the old product, rather than trying to write a new one.

    Cheers,
    Wol

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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