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Microsoft Compares Windows And Linux 468

Posted by timothy
from the horses-for-courses dept.
Halcyon-X writes "Microsoft is hosting a discussion on Windows and Linux between its two top Linux consultants. Martin Taylor and Bill Hilf talk about the various OSS licenses, focus on the open source development model, competing implementations of administration tools, TCO, and risk assessment. Also available in offline formats, doc (which looks fine in OpenOffice.org) and wma as well."
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Microsoft Compares Windows And Linux

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  • by FyRE666 (263011) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:48AM (#11208282) Homepage
    "...For example, one thing that normally comes up is that Microsoft is anti-open source, and they've used some of our activities as Microsoft versus open source. This is definitely not the case. Yes..."

    And that's the point at which Martin Taylor (the MS talking head) confirmed that this discussion was yet another dull FUD exercise and I stopped reading. Seriously, this is getting very old now. They need some fresh new script-writers over at MS, otherwise they're in danger of losing even their most avid fans!
    • Windows is open source. Its unbelievable but true [slashdot.org]
      • Windows results open source by a glass cut.
      • Windows is not Open Source as most people use the term. Windows even goes so far as to call it's program Shared Source, which means you can look, but you cannot touch. I imagine there are even provisions in there that forbid you from working on competing open source projects such as Linux.

        Of course, Windows is only Open Source once you pony up some dough, or have significant buying power in order to make Microsoft feel it's worth it. Joe Schmoe developer isn't going to be seeing Windows' source any time so
        • by nathanh (1214) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @01:17PM (#11210291) Homepage
          Windows even goes so far as to call it's program Shared Source, which means you can look, but you cannot touch.

          Look, but don't touch.

          Touch, but don't taste.

          Taste, but don't swallow.

          Hrm, if Bill Gates is the devil, as I have now undoubtedly proven, does that mean Ballmer is the person who gets spread-eagled naked in front of me to tempt me into a life of sin.

          Oh my god, I've just gone blind, and I think I threw up a little, help, help...

    • by Dogers (446369)
      I know loads of people are going to whinge at this, so like Martin says at the end - LET THEM KNOW!

      He gives his email address, martinta@microsoft.com - email him and let him know why you use linux. Get chipping!
    • The thing is, Martin Taylor is right, and your post proves that. MS has proven very willing to deal with opensource, and indeed the GPL, several times - case in point the Services for Unix toolkit, which has the added benefit of being able to download various GPL licensed tools from Microsoft servers. Over the past year MS has released several old and new projects under None GPL compatable but OpenSource licenses (GPL isnt the only opensource license - live with it). The thing that people cannot underst
      • by SQLz (564901) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:52AM (#11208818) Homepage Journal
        I don't think the community wants MS to open up the Windows source. Even MS said that doing so would be 'a threat to national security'. What we do want is for MS products to better interopate with open source.
      • by nolife (233813)
        Releasing some of your own tools under some type of open source license is NOT equal to "working with the open source community". Working with the open source community IMHO, would be releasing tools or at least specifications that allow any non MS products to work better or integrate into existing MS products. This may happen on a small scale now but it is VERY limited.
      • by jonwil (467024)
        There are good reasons (Financial and others) for Microsoft NOT to Open Source products like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows etc.

        However, there is no big overriding reason why they couldnt open source specific components.
        For example, the Internet Explorer HTML rendering engine.
        Or the code for the Microsoft Visual Studio C/C++ Runtime Library
        Or the code to Solitare.
        Or whatever.

        In fact, I have said it before and I will say it again, open sourcing the IE rendering engine & core makes sense. By open-s
      • >various GPL licensed tools from Microsoft servers

        knowing their position on gpl, i imagine that the only reason they licensed anything under it, is that it was already a gpl product they tinkled with. So they were forced to do it.

        and "MS has proven very willing to deal with opensource, and indeed the GPL," ???
        As they were very willing to deal with internet and indeed netscape, with operating systems and indeed IBM, with wordprocessors and indeed wordperfect etc...

        Funny, in all those cases, i don't rec
    • We know the only way we win with customers is by having a much better solution to offer our customers.

      Hahahahahahahahaha
    • by brad-x (566807) <brad@brad-x.com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:39AM (#11208671) Homepage

      "yet another dull FUD exercise"

      I'm finding it amusing how easily everyone is dismissing this rather than paying attention to it and gleaning important points.

      Martin for example quite rightly points out that IBM, Oracle etc. are not throwing their lot in selflessly and wholeheartedly with Linux, they're augmenting a customer solution with open source products where their own proprietary software is lacking (they need an OS stack on which to run websphere, for example).

      These kinds of points are strong, not because they're obvious, but because they indicate that in a lot of respects, adopting an open source operating system does not mean embracing free and open software. There is always cost and propriety.

      Another point which isn't often raised and which Microsoft is hammering on is yes, their solutions are at times more expensive, but do they provide more value to the customer, and this is the point which is most often dismissed as FUD, although it's valid.

      Objectively speaking (objectivity being in short supply in this environment) some Microsoft products do provide better value in terms of functionality. From my point of view, Server 2003 is an excellent turn-key workgroup server, Office 2003 is an excellent collaboration suite (spare me the Linux banter about samba and OpenOffice.org, it's not the same). Whereas for enterprise level services such as public web services, e-mail, border security, I'd place more value in UNIX-based systems.

      The foregoing is not FUD. It's "the right tool for the right job". Microsoft doesn't strongly compete in top-level enterprise services like border security, and it doesn't do a great deal of business replacing UNIX systems or placing itself in environments where UNIX would ordinarily be. Why? Because it doesn't provide as much value. But at the workgroup level, they're a competitor and everyone just has to deal with that.

      • by nolife (233813) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:30AM (#11209153) Homepage Journal
        You are making very specific points about specific products and services being better then others and the most logical choice.

        Office 2003 is an excellent collaboration suite.
        Server 2003 is an excellent turn-key workgroup server.


        Then you comment on having the right tool for the job. I truely do not think you believe that though.
        How can you state the specific products above are the right tools for the job but never actually state or define what job they are being used for? In your nameless scenario where you suggest Office and 2003 server is the best and most logical solution, could you explain why Samba and Open Office would not be an option?
        I have installed and serviced quite a few small businesses and I have used a variety of solutions including MS servers, Samba, Novell, MS Office, Word Perfect, and Open Office, various data backup methods, and various remote administration tools. What was used was not determined until we discussed what they need, want, and what they currently have. I do not use a hunch that assumes one choice is always better then the others. I'll admit though that given the choice (the company does not know what they need or does not care), I will suggest the Samba/OO route. The only time that becomes an issue is if they later decide they want MS Word installed. Not for functionality, not for stability, not for ease of use, but only when compatibility with others becomes a limiting factor.
      • by Decaff (42676) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:46AM (#11209314)
        From my point of view, Server 2003 is an excellent turn-key workgroup server, Office 2003 is an excellent collaboration suite (spare me the Linux banter about samba and OpenOffice.org, it's not the same). Whereas for enterprise level services such as public web services, e-mail, border security, I'd place more value in UNIX-based systems.

        Firstly, samba IS the same as Server 2003 as a workgroup server. That is it's point. Secondly, how can Server 2003 be a turn-key server? All servers, no matter how small, need configuring, integrating with existing systems (such as existing networking), account management and backup configuration. By the time you have done that, there is going to be little to choose between Server 2003 and Samba.

        As for collaboration, Office 2003 may well be good for this, but in my experience such features are rarely used. I have performed many migrations from MS Office to Open Office + Evolution, and after getting used to the change in UI, most users have not noticed any difference in functionality. Microsoft frequently adds 'perceived' value, but not actual value in terms of everyday use. If you really do need some collaboration Evolution works well with MS Exchange.
      • by FatherOfONe (515801) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:47AM (#11209327)
        You Quote the article
        "Martin for example quite rightly points out that IBM, Oracle etc. are not throwing their lot in selflessly and wholeheartedly with Linux, they're augmenting a customer solution with open source products where their own proprietary software is lacking (they need an OS stack on which to run websphere, for example)."

        I would somewhat agree but the main point is that companies are now putting large resources behind open source/Linux. Compare this to three years ago. So yes IBM will probably not open source Websphere and Oracle will not opensource their DB, but the fact remains that both companies are now working to improve the kernel and other features of the OS. Also companies like Oracle will now FULLY support a system like RedHat ES running their DB. They will provide you the RPM's and everything. So if you are like say 99% of the mid size companies that run a pure DB server (nothing else special loaded on the server) this is a good thing.

        You quote:
        "Another point which isn't often raised and which Microsoft is hammering on is yes, their solutions are at times more expensive, but do they provide more value to the customer, and this is the point which is most often dismissed as FUD, although it's valid."

        I call you out on this. We need to define value for the money. This is the ambiguous TCO that is talked about. I will gladly put Linux and open source products against most of Microsofts. But before we debate on that issue we need to define TCO. Also, I would like to add that I have been part of one of the worlds largest I.T./Microsoft only shops. I have also been in a pure Linux environment as well. I will say that both technologies have "issues", but if you want to talk about "value" and TCO I would love to debate you on it.

        You quote:
        "Objectively speaking (objectivity being in short supply in this environment) some Microsoft products do provide better value in terms of functionality. From my point of view, Server 2003 is an excellent turn-key workgroup server, Office 2003 is an excellent collaboration suite (spare me the Linux banter about samba and OpenOffice.org, it's not the same). Whereas for enterprise level services such as public web services, e-mail, border security, I'd place more value in UNIX-based systems."

        I would agree that some of Microsofts products do provide some value. Would you agree that they also provide vendor lock in? That is something that needs to be looked at in TCO. You bash Samba and OpenOffice but I wonder how much you have used them. Microsoft talks a lot about listening to their customers and building software that adds value to them, but I argue that they provide software that tries to lock your company in to their technology, then they try to slowly up the amount you have to pay to Microsoft over time. They are little different than a drug dealer. Their core responsibility is to make as much money as possible all why claiming to add value.

        The last core issue that Microsoft and most companies fail to see is that opensource is more about freedom and communication that anything else. Because of opensource software you currently have a 64bit operating system for AMD64, and companies like TIVO are free to "add value" to their customers without having to talk to potential competitors. Now cell phones are starting to standardize on opensource software. Why? Because there is significant value in it. What about the next great gadget out there? What OS do you think they will choose to run on it? Windows? What if Microsoft may become a competitor of theirs?

        Another large issue that Microosft seems to fail to mention in the entire article is the enormous growth of Linux and opensource in such a small amount of time. To be honest though, by them "talking" about it, they must realize that they do not add as much value as people think and that far more developers are working on it than they mentioned...

        We do agree that Microsoft does "add value", just that value comes at a c
        • by brad-x (566807)

          I call you out on this. We need to define value for the money. This is the ambiguous TCO that is talked about. I will gladly put Linux and open source products against most of Microsofts. But before we debate on that issue we need to define TCO. Also, I would like to add that I have been part of one of the worlds largest I.T./Microsoft only shops. I have also been in a pure Linux environment as well. I will say that both technologies have "issues", but if you want to talk about "value" and TCO I would love

          • by hey! (33014)
            there was also Lotus Notes, but we didn't spend a great deal of time looking into that option

            Ummm, why not? Certainly the client software has some warts, but it's been proven in workflow applications for years, has a good security track record, and can sync to palm pilots?

      • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @12:41PM (#11209912) Homepage Journal
        Objectively speaking (objectivity being in short supply in this environment)

        Indeed so. I've recently completed an intensive 7 month research project in which I compared the performance of Windows 2000 and 2003 with Linux/Samba running on the same hardware. It was very interesting to see how empirical reality stacked up against commonly accepted wisdom on the comparisons between Linux and other solutions.

        Commonly accepted wisdom reads very much like your post did - nebulous, dismissive, voice-of-reason style speak that derives an almost guaranteed collective harrumph from Slashdot moderators and the IT community at large. Office 2003 is a collaboration suite? WTF? It's not even intended to be used as a "collaboration suite". It's a desktop application suite, and a rather bad one at that (with the possible exception of Excel). Microsoft's collaboration suite is Exchange. The competing products are Notes and Groupwise. To make a claim regarding 2003 as a collaboration piece, much less a good one, is to ignore the well-known problems of version incompatibility between Office releases, document rot, and the ability to recover hidden information within documents, all of which directly controvene collaboration.

        I performed thousands of tests and generated more raw test data than would fit on a DVD because my company needed to know the facts about server performance. I didn't trust what was being said on blogs and fora about the various products. I installed and tested numerous operating system/application configurations. My testing revealed that not only is Samba better, more stable, and faster than Windows file services on the exact same hardware, but Windows can't even remotely compete. Performance analysis baselines and processor utilization levels during testing weren't even comparable. There was no "voice of reason" about it - no comfortable anti-groupthink rhetorical position into which one could arrogantly recline and dispense half-truths and irrelevant tripe. There was only fact - hard cold reality. Sort of like how every major Internet virus disaster, spyware infestation, and countless other sorts of electronic calamity occurs as a direct result of using Microsoft software. You can't spin that. You can't moderate that. It simply, relentlessly, is.

        Further standing in plain sight is the source code for Samba. Because we had access to the innards of the file server system, we could further optimize the already exemplary out of the box performance of the system and fine-tune it for our specific needs. We now have a file server system that could never be matched in performance or cost by a monolithic, proprietary solution that attempts to be all things to all people from its ignominious perch within a cardboard box.

        So yeah, objectivity certainly seems to me to be in short supply. Luckily for me and my company, however, choice is not.
      • "they're augmenting a customer solution with open source products where their own proprietary software is lacking (they need an OS stack on which to run websphere, for example)."

        Yeah, they had that before supporting open source, they called it AIX.

        Of course IBM and other COPORATIONS are not aiding open source for their health. Corporations exist and drive toward a single aim, making money. IBM has spent sums of billions promoting open source software and releasing open source software because they feel th
      • They point out that they indemnify end users by paying out money to companies suing over patent infringments.
        Last I checked it was Microsoft that was sued for infringing, not me, not you, Microsoft. We can't infringe if we didn't know the code was in there. They sure as hell better pay when they get sued and lose. No individual user is going to be sued for Microsoft's patent infringement. This is called covering your own ass and pretending that it is for the benefit of your customers. The theory of deepe
    • What we found was about 72% of them felt that Microsoft is the top of all vendors in supporting their major interoperability concerns... So that's another proof point where we both want to make sure that it's easy to manage and operate our stuff, so to speak, within our stack as well as Microsoft and Windows applications on top of our stack, but then also working across with heterogeneous technologies as well.

      Do you seriously expect us to believe you? If so, then I will anxiously be awaiting:

      • MS SQL S
  • Wasn't there an idiotic TCO sheet running around the internet a while back?
  • by jimius (628132)
    Why do I feel like these "consultants" will favour Windows anyway, and bring examples like how Linux infringes on a ton of stuff and throw in some SCO as well.
  • by PtrToNull (742886) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:54AM (#11208327)
    Please use the correct title, RMS is rolling in his grave right now.

    Oh wait.. he's not dead yet.



    -- this sig is a speck of your imagination, enjoy it.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:54AM (#11208328)
    ,,,of when my GF compared herself to the x-wife. I knew the outcome from the beginning...who wouldn't?
  • by mogrify (828588) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:56AM (#11208339) Homepage
    .../2/d/4/2d4d387b-97af-4923-897d-320fe070e864/...

    ...friendly URLs.
  • by parvenu74 (310712) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:56AM (#11208341)
    Someone just got finished telling me in another thread (the speil on Vadalia Desktop [slashdot.org]) that the linux community is all about choice and is not interested in competing with Windows. If that is the case and the truth, why do you even care about a story like this, or care that M$ thinks they are competing with you? After all, it's all about freedom of choice isn't it -- or it is only about choice as long as the choice is Linux?
    • because ms has a nasty way of 'competing'?

      linux community!= linux companies, which ARE in direct competition with windows(anyone who would say that a companies producing an operating system, spreadsheet and writing applications weren't in competition with microsoft are idiots ).
    • You're right. I don't give a rats ass that my next door neighbor runs XP on their computer. That's their choice. I personaly run Linux, at home and at work.

      Linux was started becuase _we_ the community wanted it. Then it was realized that Linux could replace windows. Sirens sounded at Microsoft. We became their cometition.. but that's not something Microsoft is used to.. a non-profit community was now competition. Sure, they can slam some linux companies into the ground and feel satisfied they took c
    • It's not entirely about free (as in speech) choice, although that's part of it... among other things, it's about raising the standards of software practices. It would make the 'Net a more secure, more stable system if more standards and software were subject to the most rigorous scrutiny possible. At this point, the open source model is the best thing there is for knowing that everything is as bug-free as possible. Two (or thousands of) heads being better than one. Except for improving the general qua
  • Whew (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrpuffypants (444598) * <.mrpuffypants. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:57AM (#11208349)
    Finally, an impartial review of Windows vs. Linux. I have no doubt that at the end of this article the Microsoft engineers will recommend the clearly superior Linux OS over Windows Server 2003.

    /me goes to RTFM and weep in the corner.
  • by Mjlner (609829) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:57AM (#11208350) Journal
    That is not entirely correct, since their objectives are to help people migrate away from linux. A linux consultant is an expert that consults on the topic of linux.

    And yes, I did RTFA, so I know that neither Taylor or Hilf, nor Microsoft use the term. They are, in fact, more accurate and honest about what the do. Taylor "[ensures] customers understand the benefits of the Microsoft platform" and Hilf "[leads the] Linux and Open Source Technology Analysis Center" at Microsoft.

  • Great marketing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OwlWhacker (758974) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:58AM (#11208356) Homepage Journal
    It ends with a great piece from Martin Taylor on how fantastic Windows Server 2003 is. Then it points to www.getthefacts.com [getthefacts.com].

    That's not really comparing Windows and Linux, it's issuing more FUD, and another attempt at pushing those NT users to 2003 rather than an alternative OS.
  • by savagedome (742194) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:59AM (#11208360)
    From the article

    We believe the way to integrate software, and the way to get software to work in a heterogeneous environment, is through promoting open standards

    Does Microsoft Office ring any bell Mr. Bill Hilf?!
    Put your actions where your mouth is and open up .doc
  • by fireman sam (662213) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:59AM (#11208364) Homepage Journal
    After reading that I couldn't get the image of Bill and Marty from KBBL out of my head.

    Marty: Hey, thanks Bill. Yes having access to the source code or the "building instructions" is evil. And we at Microsoft will keep you save from all the evil stuff.

    Bill: That's right Marty. And the next person who rings in will win a months supply of IE updates.

    Marty: Watch out Bill, that slashdot crowd is trying to take us off the air.

    Bill: That's ok Marty, we have the latest IIS, we are as safe as... NO CARRIER

  • by jacobcaz (91509) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:00AM (#11208366) Homepage
    • So to give you an example, like I said I've run a lot of Linux shops in the past, I run a lot of commercial Linux here. If we have a particular problem in a certain piece of software, anything from let's say from a Kerberos library to Apache to Samba to any other application that might be on that distribution when we go through that chain of support with our commercial Linux distributor, there is a gap between what they're able to supply and what they have to go back to the open source community to get an answer for to get it resolved. In many cases the response is we need to stick with the version that's available at the time that we purchased that distribution, so for example if I'm running Apache 1.3 on my Red Hat Enterprise server, although I may want Apache 2.0 because it might have new features or it might have some new capabilities, I'm outside of my support model now with Red Hat. This is just an example.
    Interesting he talks about this, but don't you usually have seperate support contracts for the OS and your core apps? I have a beast of a box that runs Windows 2000 Advanced Server but I'm free to run any RDBMS or web server I desire on it. I don't like IIS? Fine, I install WebLogic or WebSphere and I don't lose my support of the OS from Microsoft. I am currently running MSSQL Server 2000, but that could just as easily be Oracle 10g and I don't worry about support for either the app or the OS.

    In fact I don't want to worry about whether my OS vendor will support my web suite - it should be decoupled so I can run the apps I need to run my business whether it's IIS 6.0, Apache 2.0 or WebLogic 6.1.

    • by FreeLinux (555387) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:34AM (#11208608)
      Well, look at it from another angle. One that more closely parallels their example.

      Suppose I am running Windows 2000 and it comes with IIS 5.0. I'm tired of all the security problems and it lacks a couple of new features that IIS 6.0 has and I really want. So I install IIS 6.0, from a Windows 2003 CD, onto my Windows 2000 system. Surprise, surprise, it doesn't work. There are all sorts of library issues and other problems.

      So, I call Microsoft for support. Their support tells me that IIS 6.0 on Windows 2000 isn't supported. They say that I need to stay with IIS 5.0 or, better yet, upgrade everything to Windows 2003 which comes with IIS 6.0

      How is this example any different than the one that they gave?

    • Back in another age, I worked in tech support for several well-known companies. On page 'one' of every tech support manual every written, it says

      In the event that the user is having a problem with our software and another company's, never attempt to fix the problem. Instead, insist that the problem lies in the other software. Tell the user to disable the other software and the problem should go away <g>.

      If the user says that he called the other company's tech support and they told him to disab

    • Interesting he talks about this, but don't you usually have seperate support contracts for the OS and your core apps? I have a beast of a box that runs Windows 2000 Advanced Server but I'm free to run any RDBMS or web server I desire on it.

      Well, that's partly true and partly untrue. Most support contracts for enterprise applications are very specific about exactly what OS versions you're allowed to run. SAP and Oracle both come to mind: "with version X.Y.Z. of our product, the supported configurations
  • Unbiased (Score:4, Funny)

    by Stiletto (12066) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:00AM (#11208372)

    This should be as unbiased as "Slashdot hosts a discussion between the RIAA and the MPAA".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:00AM (#11208373)
    Hi. I'm Troy McClure. You might remember me from hosting videos of other impartial Microsoft seminars as "Apple: A Scourge or a Mere Annoyance?" and "*BSD: If It is Not Dead It Should Be"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:01AM (#11208380)
    They found Window's was better.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:04AM (#11208394) Homepage
    Before it was paid for TCO studies that...shockingly...showed MSFT products with the best TCO. This is just a new tact to smear OSS. As illustrated by this recent article [boston.com].

    Some of those efforts are legitimately aimed at making sure a proprietary code base isn't inappropriately using open source code. But it doesn't take much tweaking to try and make OSS look like some kind of virus. An image based on ignorance, but when has MSFT ever hesitated to promote an uneducated view when it suits them?

    They're really turning into a sad, pathetic company. It's bad enough they produce bloated, insecure, DRM crippled, overpriced software, but to magnify it by being such low class PR whore is just embarrassing.

    MSFT is living proof that no good deed goes unpunished.

  • by corporatemutantninja (533295) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:04AM (#11208399)
    I quote: "...promoting open standards that can allow companies like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Sun, as well as other types of software and other types of technologies to work together and still co-exist in a competitive environment."

    What seems to be missing here is "...and small, new companies that challenge the assumptions of these established players."

    • Small new companies that can't afford to purchase more expensive, perhaps more useful (to them) solutions?

      It took my company 4 years of Linux use before it grew to the point of needing to adopt a Windows solution internally.

    • by Quixote (154172) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:46AM (#11209318) Homepage Journal
      We believe the way to integrate software, and the way to get software to work in a heterogeneous environment, is through promoting open standards

      Can somebody hit Bill with a clue-by-four and ask him about
      1. Samba, and why the Samba project had to reverse-engineer everything?
      2. Microsoft Office, and the hoops OpenOffice.org had to jump through to reverse-engineer their document storage format?
      3. NTFS, and why Linux still can't support NTFS write natively (without using a MS DLL)?
      4. All the hidden system calls that Microsoft uses internally, and which came up in the anti-trust case?

      I can't understand how people like this guy Bill can look themselves in the mirror every morning. Lying pathetically to make a living is no living.

  • Herr Goebbels investigating issues of journalistic integrity in 1940s Germany.
    • Reminds me of the comfy fireside chats between Hitler and Mussolini regarding the relative merits of representative democracy and genocidal totalitarianism. Ah, those good old Telefunken sets made you think you were right there next to them...
  • I'm all for "reading the article", but this is far too long and I have a bit of work to do. Can anyone post a brief synopsis of what they're saying?
  • This says it all: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rabbit78 (822735) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:08AM (#11208430) Homepage
    As General Manager of Platform Strategy, I'm responsible for ensuring that our customers understand the benefits of the Microsoft platform. I also spend a fair amount of time doing a level of comparative analysis, making sure our customers understand the differences between Microsoft and some of the key alternatives in the marketplace, specifically Linux and open-source alternatives. Today, Bill Hilf and I will be spending time talking about that. Welcome, Bill.
  • by DarkRecluse (231992) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:08AM (#11208431)
    But hey, we're just technologists talking about the best solutions for customer issues...we just happen to agree on everything and lead eachother from one issue to the next.

    Discussion = earnest conversation.
    Propaganda = The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.
    ( ref. www.dictionary.com )
  • by Decaff (42676) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:11AM (#11208451)
    It's obvious that Microsoft still does not 'get' key aspects of open source:

    "I always ask the question of customers and yes, there's always a free version, there's Debian, there's Gentoo, there's different distributions that they can pull down and use in a different environment, but when you really want to deploy it in a mission-critical way, when you really want to have something that's broader from an infrastructure perspective, they want something that has support"

    The freeness of the version has nothing whatever to do with the support. I use a server that is Debian but has commercial support.

    I also found the following comment very amusing:

    "in Windows Server particularly, some of the things that struck me as innovative were some of the server management tools. The ability to take a Windows server and literally dynamically change it from a DHCP infrastructure server to a streaming media server, or more importantly, taking a file/print server and adding a variety of other services, maybe make it a domain controller, maybe also make it a Web server."

    Wow! How 'innovative'! Maybe he should look at a tool like 'dselect' under Debian. I can also 'literally dynamically' add and remove services from my server. Anyway, the idea of having a single machine that is nothing more than a DHCP infrastructure server suggests Windows is not the most powerful system.

    • Maybe it's "innovative" to them since their previous versions needed a reboot.

      I guess Microsoft doesn't accept something as existing unless they do it themselves so everything they do is "innovative" to them.
      • Re:Misunderstanding (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Decaff (42676) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:31AM (#11208588)
        I guess Microsoft doesn't accept something as existing unless they do it themselves so everything they do is "innovative" to them.

        Yeah. Reminds me of a description on their website of Object-Oriented features in VB.Net as 'innovative'. Considering those features were in Simula 40 years earlier, I found this amusing.
  • What did you expect? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@gm a i l .com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:11AM (#11208455) Homepage
    Honestly. That they would conclude "OSS sure smells sweeter than pushing this ungodly overstuffed OS on people"???

    Get Gates and Torvolds at the same table. Then I would be listening. Short of that it's just one-sided banter [same goes if it was say Linus and another developer at a table]

    Tom
  • This is like listening to two Microsoft employees bashing Linux... Oh wait...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:23AM (#11208514)
    The linux community needs to write a lucid response. Calling them names does not win the marketing battle.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:23AM (#11208515)
    From the article "...Microsoft Windows, over a five-year period, offered anywhere from 11 to 22% greater TCO.."

    TCO stands for Total Cost of Ownership, right? Surely an 11 to 22% greater TCO would be a disadvantage, right? :P
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:30AM (#11208575) Journal
    #include //indemnification, etc

    #include

    #include

    #include

    #include

    #include

    #include // Note: I did agree with them in that nearly all migrations will require not just an admin, but probably several developers. They did correctly state that this is not what people want to do (pay developers and have to maintain something). I think this is a valid migration cost, and a good point. However, once enough migrations are done, and the developed migration tools realeased, the impact should be nil.

    #include // An obvious lie, because it happens everyday in Linux. Fact: MS can never have the QA testing that linux has, bu virtue of their development models. It was stupid for MS to pick a fight here.

    If this discussion was so open, why not invite some outside people in?
  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:50AM (#11208783) Homepage
    Great quote from Jesus: "If a blind man follows a blind man, won't they both end up in a ditch?"
  • by tetrode (32267) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:56AM (#11208850) Homepage
    They cannot even get this intarweb thingy correct.

    Losers...
  • Article summary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Diomidis Spinellis (661697) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:02AM (#11208910) Homepage
    • The developers really putting work in open source systems aren't that many; Microsoft can hire more developers to do a better job.
    • Commercial Linux distributors are forced to create incompatible solutions as value-added propositions.
    • Studies have shown that developers believe Microsoft is the top vendor in addressing their interoperability concerns.
    • Commercialized Linux distributions limit the flexibility of the available open source solutions.
    • Microsoft provides higher quality support and at a cheaper price than Linux vendors.
    • Microsoft stands behind Windows provididing an extremely hight level of IP protection and indemnification.
    • Microsoft has a faster turnaround between a security disclosure and a bug fix than other open source systems.
    • Microsoft commits resources to do comprehensive QA and testing; the open source model leaves that to chance.
    • The Windows ecosystem of certified compatible hardware and software is a lot larger than that of Linux.
    • Microsoft leads in software innovation.
    • Re:Article summary (Score:3, Interesting)

      by l3v1 (787564)
      Microsoft leads in software innovation.

      And that shall be carved on their gravestone (and Seattle Computer Products also should be notified, just so they know).

      What I would like to see happen is to virtually equal out the financial situation of MS to the level of FOSS developers, and see how they could perform that way. For the ignorant masses out there, it would be a huge lesson to see how MS could perform without the trackloads of cash they posess, unable to spend on brainwashing marketing, FUD campa
    • Re:Article summary (Score:5, Informative)

      by Richard Steiner (1585) <rsteiner@visi.com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:52AM (#11209372) Homepage Journal
      > The developers really putting work in open source systems aren't that many; Microsoft can hire more developers to do a better job.

      Perhaps they need to read _The Mythical Man Month_ again. :-) Hint: it ain't always the number of developers that makes a project work.

      > Commercial Linux distributors are forced to create incompatible solutions as value-added propositions.

      This is different from Windows how?

      > Studies have shown that developers believe Microsoft is the top vendor in addressing their interoperability concerns.

      Which developers? Windows developers?

      > Commercialized Linux distributions limit the flexibility of the available open source solutions.

      Not really. They provide additional support options for customers.

      > Microsoft provides higher quality support and at a cheaper price than Linux vendors.

      Apples and oranges. Microsoft doesn't provide any support to non-enterprise customers without a pricey support contract. Others are forced to find third-party support in both cases, often from the same firms.

      > Microsoft stands behind Windows provididing an extremely high level of IP protection and indemnification.

      So do many major Linux vendors.

      > Microsoft has a faster turnaround between a security disclosure and a bug fix than other open source systems.

      That doesn't fit the statistics I've seen from third parties, and I think MS would be VERY hard-pressed to provide service as fast the Linux kernel folks have.

      > Microsoft commits resources to do comprehensive QA and testing; the open source model leaves that to chance.

      A software's distribution method has little to do with its development methodology, and even less to do with the formal QA methodology in use.

      > The Windows ecosystem of certified compatible hardware and software is a lot larger than that of Linux.

      Sure, but the actual number of peripherals that are supported by both systems is roughly comparable (with Windows having a lead in newer hardware and Linux a lead in legacy hardware support).

      > Microsoft leads in software innovation.

      Only in their own minds, I'm afraid...
  • In related news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slavemowgli (585321) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:05AM (#11208943) Homepage
    In related news, the german nazi party announced that Joseph Goebbels [wikipedia.org] and Heinrich Himmler [wikipedia.org] are doing a fair and objective comparison between Jews and aryans, available for free to any registered german of aryan descent.

    Seriously, guys, that's about how credible stuff like this is. (My sincerest apologies to everyone who lost relatives, friends, loved ones etc. in the holocaust, BTW)

  • by mikec (7785) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @12:17PM (#11209619)
    They still don't understand:

    So, fundamentally, you'll see maybe between 100 to 200 developers working on Linux at any given point in time. There might be a larger group that's helping test that, but the real work is within a small group and there's nothing really different there than many other software projects, commercial and open.

    At Microsoft, the real work doesn't include testing.
  • by gillbates (106458) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @02:17PM (#11210950) Homepage Journal

    When it comes down to it, actions speak louder than words. Microsoft talks alot about enterprise class reliability, etc... but I've never seen a Microsoft network that was truly enterprise class. Perhaps I've had a spate of incompetent admins, but every Microsoft shop I've been in has had problems with security.

    Case in point: a few days ago I received an email from a friend telling me not to send him emails with attachments anymore (They run Windows exclusively). Apparently, they are having such a problem with viruses that the company has just adopted a policy of firing (without warning, mind you) anyone who receives email attachments. While I don't like it, I'm not surprised; he's told me in the past that virus cleanup has cost this company millions of dollars per incident.

    So because Microsoft can't be bothered to write secure systems, his corporate email is essentially useless to the company. How "Enterprise Class" is a mail system which costs the company a additional few million dollars with every virus outbreak? Where's the ROI on a mail system that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't work?

    And we wonder why IBM can sell a mainframe with the computing power of a desktop PC for millions of dollars...

  • by eno2001 (527078) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @02:31PM (#11211124) Homepage Journal
    This bit here illustrates that they don't understand the "why" of Linux:

    So, Bill and I are here today to discuss the similarities and differences between Windows and Linux and open-source alternatives. Microsoft believes that customer needs drive the competitive debate. We know the only way we win with customers is by having a much better solution to offer our customers in making sure that we're addressing their pains over and above Linux and open-source alternatives.

    Linux doesn't exist to satisfy the business requirements of PHBs or bean counters. Linux exists to serve the needs of users who want to get more out of their computers. In some cases this CAN benefit the above mentioned PHBs and bean counters, but it's not the driving raison d'être of Linux. The needs of the people come first, and business second.

    For example, one thing that normally comes up is that Microsoft is anti-open source, and they've used some of our activities as Microsoft versus open source.

    This is something we can agree on. Microsoft isn't necessarily anti-open source. The misconception comes from the confusion over the differences between GNU GPL (aka free software: free as in speech) software and open source. Many people think that the primary goal of free software is to provide the course code. Of course this is not completely true, but merely a subset of what free software is. The 'free' in free software means that a user is free to do whatever they want with the software as long as they don't impact other people's freedoms (keeping modified GPL code to yourself if you are making profit impacts other people's freedoms). Microsoft is not anti-open source, they are anti-GPL. There is a difference as much as they want to muddy the waters.

    We believe the way to integrate software, and the way to get software to work in a heterogeneous environment, is through promoting open standards that can allow companies like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Sun, as well as other types of software and other types of technologies to work together and still co-exist in a competitive environment.

    That's why it's possible for me to use a Mac to administer a Windows Active Directory domain? Right? (cue: sound of wind) ;P

    It brings up another interesting misperception that we see a lot when we do this comparative analysis between Unix and Linux, and often we hear customers and folks in the marketplace talk about -- that Linux is Unix.

    Ask a "suit" a technical question and get a stupid answer. ;P Seriously, Bill and Martin you must be talking to the wrong people. Most technology managers worth their salt know the distinction between Linux and Unix, Free and Open Source, and the various Linux distributions. If you're getting people who think that Linux is Unix, then those companies must be putting you in touch with the golf set and not the real IT folks. There are certainly major differences between distributions, but there is one thing that all of them are capable of that you are overlooking. You can grab the source for many useful programs and compile it for whatever distro you're on. I've been doing this for years now. I want a media player that didn't come with Redhat, Mandrake or Fedora? I just download the source for mplayer or xine and I've got what I need.

    And you have to take a look, Martin, at the ecosystems around those technologies...

    Marketroid speak. The whole concept of the "ecosystem" is kind of lame. It's more like a universe. Some things work together and perform a beautiful dance (like solar systems) and other collide and cause major damage (like asteroids and planets or moons). But even that analogy is flawed because the world of computer software is it's own entity with it's own properties. Trying to make analogies to dumb it down for marketing purposes is pointless. Just as we had to get used to cars because they really weren't "horseless carriages", we have to get used to the sof

  • by jbolden (176878) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @06:54PM (#11223029) Homepage
    There was one point in the article I've hit a lot in real life that doesn't get mentioned much here

    think, Bill, that's exactly the decision criteria that customers need to understand. And I'm hearing more and more customers begin to hit that fork in the road saying, "Wow, I want something that's fully supported; however, I also want this broad flexibility of being able to do different things with my distribution." They're beginning to realize now that you can't have both of those worlds together, necessarily. You do have to either move more towards the side of fully flexible, open-source projects, which means you don't have that quote unquote award-winning vendor-level support, or you have more of a packaged software, commercialized software scenario which is a bit more like in the lines of how Microsoft distributes software that can be fully supported in a broad-based way.

    I think Martin is absolutely correct here. As people move to "enterprise" distributions designed to provide binary compatability long term they will lose many of the major advantages of Linux. They will be back in the rigid world where they don't have control.

    I see this all the time. For example to get a custom MySQL implemented on RedHat enterprise 3 we needed a custom Apache. The custom apache created problems with binaries like Oracle (yes we needed both, why is off topic). There was talk of a custom kernel, and while I though the custom kernel made a great deal of sense it totally killed the point of going with an enterprise distribution once you change the kernel no one is going to give you any meaningful support......

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