Data Centers

Sanity check: Could one of these five companies be the next Microsoft?

Although Microsoft's downfall has been predicted countless times over the past decade, the software giant is as pervasive as ever in business technology. However, if there were going to be a company to knock Microsoft off the top of the hill, TechRepublic's Jason Hiner thinks it would be one of these five candidates.

In March 2005, I was walking through downtown Chicago on my way to an event at the Microsoft office on West Wacker Drive, and I was thinking about the growing perception that Microsoft was yesterday's news. Linux and the Internet were the future, and Microsoft was the past. And then I looked around at all of the Chicago skyscrapers and thought, "I wonder how many licenses of Windows and Office are running in these buildings?"

At that moment, it was undeniably clear to me that Microsoft was still the biggest, most influential, and most pervasive company in business technology. And since I had previously worked in IT and was well aware of how much time and effort it takes to migrate from one platform to another, I realized that Microsoft was going to be a major player in biz tech for a long time, even if things changed and they went into decline on new deployments.

I was also aware that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates had repeatedly said that some day a company -- possibly a little guy -- could certainly come along and outmaneuver Microsoft and take its place at the top of the IT industry, just as Microsoft swept in and grabbed that spot from IBM, the previous king of IT.

So, if a company were to take Microsoft's crown, who would it be? The graveyard of failed challengers is littered with names like Netscape, Novell, Sun Microsystems, and even a reborn IBM. All of those companies -- with the exception of Netscape -- are still ticking and doing important work, but none of them is threatening for the top spot in the industry.

Here are five companies that are threatening for the top spot in the industry, or could be soon.

5. Zoho

This is the only real "little guy" on the list. I've written about the fact that Zoho already has an online office suite that is better than anything from Microsoft or Google. While the product is really good, what has been equally important for Zoho is that it has proven that it knows how to execute. Microsoft got to where it is today because it was faster and more effective at executing than any of its competitors, even if the products themselves weren't always better. In 2007, Zoho has been running circles around Microsoft and Google in online office apps. It seems as if Zoho is releasing a new product or a key product update nearly every week, while Microsoft's office suite and Google's apps have been stagnant by comparison.

In just the last few weeks, Zoho has released Zoho Start (a user dashboard for files) and Zoho Business (a way for businesses to manage its online office users) to add to its growing stable of more than 15 programs. Zoho is quickly morphing into a platform. The question is whether that platform will extend beyond online productivity software and become something much larger and further integrated into the various layers of computing and the Internet. If Zoho continues its current pace, it has the potential to become a giant and create the next great business software platform.

4. Amazon

In this context, don't think of Amazon as the online bookstore that it is most famous for. Think about Amazon as the company that built the world's most robust e-commerce platform. Think of Amazon as the company thinks of itself -- as a technology company that happens to do retail and e-commerce. With Amazon Web Services (aws.amazon.com), the company is positioning itself as a data center company and a business enabler. It wants to run virtualized data centers that are scalable, flexible, and modular and to allow individual companies to focus on the things they do well and let Amazon streamline the platform.

Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and Simple Storage Service (S3) are examples of this strategy. If the future does turn out to be "in the cloud," Amazon could be the big winner if it pulls off this strategy. It could create a modular software platform with an ecosystem of lots of small to medium software vendors to deliver solutions that are intangibly integrated as part of the platform.

3. Apple

Wasn't this war over a long time ago? I know that's what you thought when you saw Apple on this list. And it's true that Windows soundly defeated the Macintosh in the operating system wars of the 1990s. While the Mac is making a nice little comeback right now, it's certainly not going to unseat Windows as the world's most prevalent desktop OS any time soon. Apple's greatest hope for the future is that the global tech market will rapidly expand and that the size of individual computers will shrunk and be much more focused on mobility.

In 2007, with the iPhone, Apple came out of nowhere to create the world's best smartphone and the first truly usable Internet device that can fit into your pocket. If the future puts mobile devices at the heart of computing, then, with the iPhone (along with the Mac and Apple's servers and software businesses), Apple could be well-positioned to move beyond just its niche market and make a bigger play in the technology market. I wouldn't bet on it, but then again, I would have never predicted that Apple could jump to the head of the class in smartphones, either.

2. Google

You thought this one was going to be No. 1, right? Then you've never heard my Google is overrated spiel. Nevertheless, Google remains the hottest company in the tech market and the darling of both average users and Wall Street investors. Google is one of the few companies that is actively building a platform aimed at directly competing with Microsoft, even if Google is sometimes reluctant to publicly admit that. Google already has an application platform and has long been rumored to be working on a mobile phone platform (gPhone) and an operating system (GoogleOS).

Even if the phone and OS rumors turn out to be false in the short term, make no mistake that Google does not just want to be an Internet search company. Its ambitions are far larger, and it is one of the few companies that has the kind of capital needed to take on the Microsoft empire. Google wants to use its war chest of cash to build the next generation computing platform, whatever that turns out to be -- and the engineers at Google will likely play a key role in shaping it.

1. Cisco

You could rightfully argue that Cisco is already the king of a large domain in computer networking. And while it may appear to have very little to do with the next generation platform that could replace Microsoft technologies, you need to keep in mind two important factors. First, if the future of computing is cloud-based, the network will be a much more central part of computing than it is today (and networking devices will need to be much smarter and more sophisticated). Second, Cisco may be the world's most effective company at acquiring other companies, and in recent years it has been acquiring more than just networking hardware businesses. For example, WebEx, Tribe.net, IronPort (security software), Five Across (social networking), and NeoPath (storage systems).

Cisco is re-fashioning itself as a technology company for the masses. This strategy can be seen not just in its recent acquisitions, but also in its $100 million "Human Network" ad campaign that has been squarely aimed at the general populace and not just techies and business execs. Although Microsoft and Cisco have recently agreed to partner on their burgeoning unified communications technologies, both Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Cisco CEO John Chambers admitted that they are still competitors. If Cisco's recent acquisitions are just a taste of more to come and it lands a few big acquisitions in software and platforms, it would clearly become the No. 1 contender for Microsoft's crown.

Who do you think has the best shot at becoming the next Microsoft? Join the discussion.

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

246 comments
lefortc
lefortc

I can see your point about Cisco, but let's face it Google is the online king, and if they come out with an OS, Microsoft will have a serious force to be reckoned with. Google never does things in a small way, or without much thought and research, testing, and more testing. I think they are just waiting for the right time to pounce.

bob_dole010
bob_dole010

When (not if) Microsoft dies, i believe that Red Hat will come out on top, that is if google doesnt create its own Super OS called the GOS

ben.rattigan
ben.rattigan

OEM is they key to getting into Microsoft's territory. Microsoft does so well because all PC manufacturers preload Windows on their PC's and offer little or no alternative. With the exception of those small systems buuilders and Apple, only Dell and Lenovo are offering Microsoft alternatives on new PC builds. Most of yoru average home users don't care what their desktop OS is as long as they can still get their email, type a document or create the odd spreadsheet, get on MSN messenger or similar and browse the web. Most users just buy a PC, looking for a good deal and spec and will buy a PC regardless of the OS.

mvyas
mvyas

I would say that Microsoft's penetration is very very deep and it would take alteast 10 years for any compony to even compete Microsoft. I am sure that your probable five companies will change within 2 years and none of the company will be even your pick for continues 4-5 years which can compete Miscrosoft

jkbh92
jkbh92

......that could take over, "Apple" and "Linux", though not many people use Linux, I think it's becourse they have to install it them selves, so with the fact their starting to have Linux preinstalled, people will get it seen as theres no need to install an OS, I mean if you stuff a single thing up, you'd have to start all over, or pay around $100 to get it installed for you and as for Apple, I mean it's user friendly interface, it's got a damn high chance Ps: Linux with it's open source can have alot of features added

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Somebody is hacking BitTorrent.

JonathanPDX
JonathanPDX

Not likely. There is and always will be only one Microsoft. Linux, while ballyhooed as the next big O/S has so many flavors to choose. It may be fine for small businesses and such, but what kind of support structure and R&D is dedicated to it and its users? Who's to say that whatever flavor a big company chooses isn't flushed down the drain when that flavor's parent loses its funding (or some other such occurrence.) Apple is way over-priced for what it does, beyond being slick and pretty and are they REALLY interested in becoming another Microsoft, or in retaining their position of being 'edgy' rather than being the 'conformist.' As for using web-based applications...the web is going to need to get a lot better as far as speed, security, and reliability. There are just too many holes and problems with letting someone else have access to one's files, regardless of how secure they promise they may be.

malbadr
malbadr

============================ The graveyard of failed challengers is littered with names like Netscape, Novell, Sun Microsystems, and even a reborn IBM ============================ IBM !!! how about you think of it again

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

That was in reference to the iPhone which is no doubt, the newest smartphone available but by no means "the first truly usable Internet device that can fit in your pocket." As far as browsing in your pocket is concerned, the Nokia N800 is a much better device and came out previous to the iPhone public release. It has an active developer community behind it and an open and extensible OS. I've no doubt that the iPhone will generate a developer community of it's own but there are no signs of osX being openned to the masses for truly free use. Just look at what the hardware hackers are doing with it already. As a smartphone, the iPhone is currently the darling baby of the bunch. It's what Palm could have made the Treo line if it's management wasn't barely competent enough to not yet be bankrupt. Overall, we'll see how the listed companies jockey for possition. I'm sure there are also a few companies unheard of that will offer some challenge also.

lisa2k65
lisa2k65

Myself, being a student in IT; I truly believe that any of the above could be but reading Jason's comments are very persuasive. I say that because they all sound good but are they good enough to be true. i honest "think" Google will be the next because it is faster than Yahoo and MSN, ran by Microsoft? I have plenty to learn and this group will give me what i need to learn. On a message board, I'd rather be learning hands-on (learn faster).

Brian G
Brian G

Cisco too dumb and slow. Apple is ADHD (oooh look at the pretty colors). The rest of them you still have to boot an OS to open a browser. As long as Microsoft is the dominant OS, you can't knock them off the application mountain. Duh.

rmbecker
rmbecker

I would like to see Google embrace and partner with a Linux developer. The influx of that kind of cash for R&D could put Linux over the edge in acceptance by the common user. I haven't bought a MS product in nine years and I don't feel left out a bit. Albeit my technical knowledge is much higher than the average user, it's still a choice. My extended family all use Linux and I happily support it to keep them off the expensive and unnecessary MS teat.

theMusicMan12
theMusicMan12

Frankly, I find that the discussions when it comes to Apple at TechRepublic to usually be one sided. Which is to be expected from a web site that caters to enterprise techies - which we will all agree is primarily a Windows-based environment. I am an Apple Fanboy, but I am not dogmatic in my love of their products. In regards to comments made earlier. To have a successful business one does not need to have a near monopoly in the market that they compete in. If you assume because Apple has a small market share that they have or are failing then you might want to read the next earnings press release at the end of this coming quarter or go back and read some of the archived ones. If you do you will discover that they have a very profitable and viable business. What is wrong with marketing to a niche market if that is profitable - and it is? Apple has learned from its failures in the past in terms of playing nice and working with other companies collaboratively. Yes, they are still a little heavy handed as I am sure NBC will attest to, but usually they are to ensure that the best possible product and experience are delivered to the consumer. If you look at recent history you will see Apple working with Google (Google maps app on the iPhone), Starbucks (iPod WiFi store), and other collaborations. As far as the quality of its operating system and products. Please do not comment back to this post if you have not used a Mac in the past 5 years for more then an hour. The first reason being that since OS X the Mac operating system has evolved into an elegant, stable and secure piece of software(there are not absolutely secure pieces of software). But do not expect to sit down in front of new iMac and expect to love the operating system if you have been using a Windows machine all of your life. Things are done differently and are so because of a different UI philosophy and mind set. Because you so not understand it at first does not make it bad or wrong. I find it debilitating to work on a Windows computer, and I do every day, not because it is a terrible OS, but because I am more familiar with the OS X UI and way of doing things. In regards to the amount of software that people claim as such a godsend for the Window user. If you think about it I am not sure you want to claim all of the thousands of crappy junkware $5.00 applications as a victory over the software available to a Mac. If you walked into a computer store and 75% of the applications for a Windows-based computer disappeared the world would not be a worse place. I do not know how many print shop, 3D home building/ landscaping, or teach yourself to type programs we really need. Any software (with the exception of games and maybe a minority of others) that one would need is available for the Mac. It might be harder to acquire because stores do not carry them usually but they are available. With the rise of the internet a lot of software is available for download there by negating that problem. Just because there is X product for Windows and not X product for Mac does not mean that their is not Y product for Mac that has the same functionality and fulfills the same needs. As for the multiple button mouse thing. My god. It is not like the Mac did not have contextual menus, you just accessed them a different way. I am sure that is completely incomprehensible to use two hands while using a computer. Control-click works just fine, but Apple has now released a mouse with multiple buttons and you could have always used a third party mouse to be able to use right click to access the contextual menus. In fact I find it hard sometimes to navigate Windows without using the right click functionality, but in OS X you can navigate just fine without right clicking, but if you do then it serves as an enhancement and not a necessity. If not licensing their software to hardware manufactures ensures that I have the best possible product in my hands as a consumer then so be it. Do people have trouble with their Macs - absolutely! However, I know for a fact they do far less than with other producers of software and hardware. Just look at the surveys done and you will see. I could go on for days with this. However, let me say my final peace. Do not discount the Mac and OS X because of a smaller market share. There are reasons for this and it does not have anything to do with the quality of its product. Do not bash an operating system that you have not throughly sought to use and/or understand. Try it for longer than 5 minutes you might come to like it. But be forewarned it is not Windows and things are done differently for a reason. Seek to understand it and you will be throughly amazed and pleased.

MeThinks
MeThinks

I think out of the list Google and Cisco will be at the top when the smoke clears. They have the advantage with being known by more people and understood by more people than the other companies.

akujenga
akujenga

I'd say Google poses the biggest threat.

fredscomprepair
fredscomprepair

I'm not sure on this one? I like openoffice.org a Sun Microsystem's free solution to Word, Power Point, and Excel. And I just read that IBM will now get involved with the fairly new office suite, offering it with their new computers. So look out Microsoft Sun Microsystem and IBM are two peas in a pod, so to speak?

mike
mike

Where is Oracle? Larry is buying the software world.

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

The only contender I see is Google -- but my biggest FEAR is that it will be Google. For Chris and the others in London and the UK -- if you think you are under surveilance by the Government now -- you have no idea what being spied upon and having your data accumulated means until you've met Google. (Even my tinfoil hat is no protection.)

sstyer1407
sstyer1407

I am not exactly sure why I read through this whole stream. The initial question is an interesting one. So lets divide up the market into its components... 1) User hardware, 2) Software, 3) Back end. I will agree with the opinion that Microsoft has too much market initial with the current setup (desktop PC) for any one to make a large dent in Microsoft's dominance. Microsoft took advantage of platform change to get to where they are. It was not the first (my family's first computer was the TI99/4A which hooked directly to the TV). But somehow Microsoft made the right decisions at the right time. So to topple Microsoft I think a similar platform change will be needed. Jbarlett described the change that would be needed. Once wireless access is limitless and the security issues have been plugged, a handheld could possibly deliver everything a home user would want... with the exception of unlimited space to store all their data and this would be the job of the backend/company server/web. I could see the day when I want to see a movie, pull out my pocket computer, connect to my online storage and tell it to send it to the wireless access display in front of me. If I needed a full size keyboard a wireless access could locate the nearest one. I could pay a vending machine or at the store by typing in my personal access code (I know there are places in the Far East that already does this with their cell phones). Any one who solves the obvious issues and provides an affordable user interface that is very simple and easy to use will flip the table on Microsoft. Most likely that hardware provider will support open source. IBM and Sun are big supporters of the open source because they want the back end part of the market with their servers. And since most of the choices given in the original article were web-based, the author is probably thinking the same thing. But with open source there will probably be no monolith in the software environment. It will be hardware makers (both the user device and the back end) that will make out.

alaniane
alaniane

are gamers and Microsoft has the advantage. One of the biggest complaints, I have seen on Linux blogs is the lack of support for animation and graphics needed for high-end games. However, for businesses gaming is not an issue and Linux does offer businesses a viable option Since the OS was designed as a multi-user OS from the beginning, it fits in well with a networking environment and security. Microsoft's Achilles' heel has been trying to move its single computer architecture into a multi-computer architecture. Although Win XP comes from NT which was designed for multi-computers, the Home version still had to provide for the migration of Win 98 users. Other problems with MS Windows is that many of application developers for the platform are still developing applications using the single computer paradim. You have to install and run their applications under admin privileges even though their applications do not need admin privileges. It's this inertia that could allow a Linux distro to sneak up on MS.

lmenningen
lmenningen

None of the proposed companies (in their current form) have a chance. Also, a replacement company for microsoft is not likely to be one in the "me too" business. Microsoft cannot be compared to the Ma Bell's that provided a wire-connected communication service or to Standard Oil which provided a physical delivery system. Breaking up Microsoft will not solve any global problems, it'll just shift things around. Who knows, the next MS might be someone in the RFID business to implant into and control 6 billion people, or maybe some entirely new field, but it has to be dealing with some thing that everyone (emphasis on everyone) wants.

seanferd
seanferd

YES! Please expand on the meanings of both of these statements and their relationship. I really am interested. No joke. Even if you are joking. Rage on.

alaniane
alaniane

would probably suit larger businesses even more than small businesses since they can afford to have their own development staff. Linux allows them to tailor the OS to suit their needs. They also have the resources to support the OS in-house. Smaller businesses generally lack the ability to tailor the OS to their needs and our more reliant upon boxed solutions. Microsoft has generally depended upon this fact to lockup the market. If Linux is starting to make serious inroads into the small business market then it is a significant threat to the MS OS. I am impressed by how user-friendly the Linux OSes are becoming. It will be interesting to see how far it penetrates into the small business market.

t2nm
t2nm

It's too early in the fight to tell. It can go many different ways, but I do think that if things keep heading in the direction they are now it's clearly Google. Apple is making some headway in the changes they are making. I don't think that Amazon can gain enough ground. But I'd love to see that happen. Or to see Cisco make the jump. I guess we'll have to wait to see. I think something big will happen in the next 12 to 18 months.

qwertycodeascii
qwertycodeascii

If Google will support Linux developers perhaps we won't have problems with driver compatibility issues & technical support anymore. That means Linux will be more powerful! Well, Google and Linux have something in common... They both started for free.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It's always been a measurment of the market success of a business. That's usually conveniently overlooked when people start saying "oh, but they only have X% of the market so they are insignificant and crappy." I think the summary to your post (about as long as mine seem to get) is: 1. Apple makes a good product, have a look before you bash it 2. Stop waving market share graphs around like they proove anything about product quality I would say one thing about Apple though; every year a new freaking iPod that's little more than a cosmetic change of some sort. Not very Green of them when you think of how many school kids run out to have the latest version so they can still be cool like there friends. Does Apples take-back program extend to all there hardware or just disposal of computer parts? (I'm asking honestly because it came up in conversation today.)

brian.sinclair-james
brian.sinclair-james

Yeah, Apple makes a great product. Yeah, they _own_ a small market. The advantages of good design and a nice OS won't make them the next Microsoft, though. Their ability to integrate entertainment is something that could be leveraged into greater market share (and they are clearly trying to position themselves for it), but the strategic advantages you list are exactly what keep them reigned in from becoming the huge success of Microsoft. Apple just isn't offering any revolutionary lines of software/hardware that will change that. They can't copywrite all forms of touch screens, and there is simply too much data and information already created for Apple proprietory standards to take over without letting everyone play in the sand box.

jbartlett
jbartlett

The next "big player" will be in a business that is just in an R&D lab today. M$ got big because it hit the market at the right time with the right product and made billions by squeezing-out the competition. Just as IBM did before. The technology is mature and the market is saturated right now so the battle is for market share. When the "PC revolution" started the demand for desktop computing was wide open and about to explode. M$ and other companies could produce crappy stuff and the demand was so great that businesses and people bought it up as fast as they could ship it. Today he market is saturated so M$ "invents" market demand by introducing "new" products that are just rehashed versions of released software. I think the next big consumer thing will be small portable wireless devices with 24 hour plus battery life. Consumer applications will be primarily web-based (ala Google, FaceBook and other tripe) maybe it will be called web 3.0. Gamers will get niched because there is more money in selling console games. Convergence in the gaming business will reduce the developers to a smaller number who will be tightly grouped on a specific console type and will drop "PC" as a platform for development. This trend is already occurring, only the real keeners will continue to build a $4K gamer PC when a console will run the same game better for $500. I'm sure there will be 23 people chime in and prove they've built a 60fps killa gamin' syztem for $124 but I really don't care. Business computing will also move more and more to web-based applications and "thick" applications will run on Citrix and/or Terminal Server. The cost for businesses to keep updating Windows and Intel hardware every few years for no gains in efficiency and speed will not continue much longer. Linux, BSD, SunOS etc. already power the web, M$ never will. I think the next big battleground will be in the embedded OS and the simple networking that links smart devices together. This underlying technology will be absolutely invisible to the user. All the user will ever see is the application UI.

jkbh92
jkbh92

Like, I'm into web design, and I've relised, web design always has some kind of connection to all the other IT field's, and so even if someone is almost a nobody, yet their great at web design and have received alot of knowledge about all IT fields, they could easily come out of nowhere and become the "King of IT" and yes I know I said I learnt that web design has alot of connections with all other IT fields, but I don't know much about those fields, I'm just saying that if some next to nobody relises that web design is connected to the other areas, and they know alot about the other areas, they could easily decide to jump in front of Microsoft without a problem, it doesn't have to be a next to somebody, it can even be a next to nobody to take over I'd love for it to be someone just like me, but hey who's gonna beleive a fifteen year old(Teenager) would give decent IT services?

pickleman
pickleman

> I am impressed by how user-friendly the Linux OSes are becoming. The terms "user-friendly" and "Linux" don't belong in the same sentence, unless you're preparing the audience for a joke. User-friendly? Are you high? Have you tried installing video drivers in a Linux distribution recently? Oh yeah...REAL user-friendly...

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

OPINION: A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof but also means A judgment based on special knowledge and given by an expert. See http://www.answers.com/topic/opinion?cat=biz-fin Are you an expert? Do you have a confidence? Just questions. And btw... what does student mean to you? I think you should go and look that up... And yes I do think that he would be this way with customers, but I dont think he is a consultant. I used to work with consultants all the time. Being polite and having common decency is the FIRST thing I expect. Why should I lower myself to that level in order to gain respect? I do not need to do it. At the end of the day I think that he is just a trumped up school boy who thinks he knows something because he can search on google. Its bad behaviour, point. Too often people tolerate it, meaning they pu up with it... and so hooligans grow from opinions like you have. I have no time for such people, life is too short for such behaviour, and there are way too many people dying from wars caused by people with attitudes like that... it needs to be stopped.

TravisFx
TravisFx

Student - Look up "opinion". Then I'd say you are taking these things way too seriously. Do you really think he'd speak like that with customers? I doubt it. Shheesh I'd hope not. If so, I'd fire him too. Second, this is an open forum. Its not the UN. Who's here to judge others' methods of presentation, levels of decency and all? Its Open. Last thing I'd expect is everyone to be super polite, by the rules...ya ya..Its just a conversation for pete's sake. And this guy is a smart-ass. That's all. Best thing is to counter his smartass-ness with smarter ass-ness - if ya know what I mean. May even gain some respect from him! It works. Oh I would be sick of him too in a real hurry in a group of people in a real setting, if he didn't come around a bit. And if that doesn't work, throttle the shmuck!

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

You have totally missed the point... Pickle's profile shows him to be a consultant. If ANY consultant I hire, speaks like that, he is fired! It is all in how a person delivers their arguments... its about presentation, and being in IT, you should know that even more. Stop making excuses for bad behaviour. It has nothing to do with geekdom at all...it has everything to do with common decency and respect for other people, which clearly he has a lack off, and appears to be more a trumped school boy than an IT consultant. His counters... I have no time for... simply due to his manner in which he delivers and treats everyone in the forum. It is bad behaviour, and I for one (as well as others, I am sure) will not tolerate it. I think you need to re-evaluate your opinion slightly.

TravisFx
TravisFx

Ya know, I've been reading thru these here now in Oct and its pretty amazing that no one really could challenge this guy. I'm not talking about technical arguments either. There was a lot of wahhh, you're a troll and wahhh he's a bully.. wahhh. Jesus guys c'mon, you have to get out of geekdom for a bit. Yes he's abrasive and crass and you will meet people like that out there. But most of his counters were bang on and hard hitting that blew all of you away.

john.decoville
john.decoville

Pickelman is such an @#$%^&*( Shaun.G--good point, just resort to sarcasm. This forum has had several types who just spew sarcasm, putdowns and displays of bullying. We burn out after a while and they fade. Let's ignore them. And share real information. --John

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

Perhaps you should stay back on the corner of Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue West...in a tent or something, to gain a perspective of people as they pass by. As your mindless chatter has no meaning at all. It carries no intelligent comments or remarks, there is little sense in what you write, and at the end of it, people do not really care about you are saying, because you lack social skills, and cannot present anything is a decent way. If you cannot do this then leave the forum. Especially as everyone seems to know less than you, as you are trying to indicate by almost every post you put up. Quite frankly, Pickleman, people dont give a damn... to misquote a famous (or perhaps infamous line).

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

Hmmm seems you forgot about HAL... when items on the HAL fail to install who is to blame besides the authors of the drivers? If M$ was more forthcoming and less secretative, then perhaps when hardware companies made drivers it would be more compatible with M$... so yes it is still M$ that is responsible.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

Of course, when intelligent discussion fails... bring out the sarcasm...the lowest form of wit. Is that simply because you cannot reach higher? Or does intelligence fail you?

pickleman
pickleman

Fact: You should go back to playing with your dingos. Your senseless ramblings don't bode well for you in an I.T. forum.

troy
troy

1) Myth: If you took a survey of a thousand different people sitting in front of Linux for an hour, and the same thousand people sitting in front of Windows for an hour, you'll quickly see that user-friendliness is NOT just a perception. Fact: Yes, actually, I think you'll find it is. We ARE all talking about user-friendliness, not user*S*-friendliness, aren't we. There are quite a few different options of OS usage available and, while most may be more familiar and more "Comfortable" with microsoft, that is by no means the same as saying "Everyone" is. Someone who learned and was guided in the use of Ubuntu or MacOS or Fedora would be more comfortable with using one of the said OSs, and therefore that OS would be more "User-Friendly" for THAT SPECIFIC PERSON! (Please note the emphasis on the words "that specific person" and do not argu this post with just another narrow-minded, bigoted, self important tantrum) 2) Myth: Yeah, but too bad they're all text-based command line compilers. Is that your idea of a "tool"? Fact: Not all are, there has been quite a bit of development on *nix platforms in the area of GUI assisted development/programming tools. And, again, if someone who actually KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE DOING is familiar with these tools, then yes, they are a valid tool, not to mention a far more powerful tool in some cases. There are serious advantages of programming in code as, anyone who has actual experience, (rather than spending all their time on tech boards berating everyone for "Making themselves look like idiots" and, in the process, just making a bigger jackarse of themselves), will tell you. 3) Myth: It's not that expensive...and if you were a programmer as you claim, then you would know that both Microsoft and Borland offer all kinds of packages available to all levels of programmers from beginners to experts, ranging in price from $0 and up. Fact: The "Packages" you mentioned are directly as good as the money you wish to spend on them, with the exception that the price raises along a natural exponential function, the better you want. Basically, to break it down, you pay for crap, you get crap. You pay for gold, you get slightly less sloppy crap. With all the FUNCTIONAL (That's a primary factor) tools butil into *nix systems, why not use them?!? 4) Myth: That has nothing to do with being user-friendly. You're talking about cost now, not user-friendliness. Fact: Yes, we are talking about User-Friendliness, you're just in such a dire need of a head deflation you don't see it. So, actually, yeah, I think you DID miss the point!!!

alaniane
alaniane

for a consultant you have missed the point completely. Whether an interface or OS is user friendly depends upon the preferences and skills of the user. Also, being user friendly is not exclusive of one system to the point that another system cannot also be user friendly. I did not say that Linux is more user friendly than MS Windows, I said that it was user friendly. I develop on the Windows platform and I use Windows far more often than I use Linux; however, I can still see how user friendly Linux has become. Maybe price does not equate to user friendly for you; however, for others price may make an item more user friendly. Not everyone can afford to drive a Bently or Mercedes. A Honda or Chevy maybe more user friendly for them because of the price. Also, it depends on the profession how user friendly Windows or MS Office is. In the legal profession Wordperfect tends to be more user friendly than MS Word. I found that out working temporarily in a law office. Publishing firms and graphics artist prefer Mac to Windows. I learned that working for such a firm. Although they used MS Windows for their Office work, their graphics and publishing software was run on a Mac.

pickleman
pickleman

> 1) User-friendly is a perception. It is different for each individual. Well, not exactly. If you took a survey of a thousand different people sitting in front of Linux for an hour, and the same thousand people sitting in front of Windows for an hour, you'll quickly see that user-friendliness is NOT just a perception. > The programming tools built into Linux are > more numerous than those built into Windows. Yeah, but too bad they're all text-based command line compilers. Is that your idea of a "tool"? Can you name a single programming IDE that comes free for Linux which is actually comparable to anything available for Windows? > You can get excellent programming tools for > Windows; however, you are going to pay a > pretty penny for them. It's not that expensive...and if you were a programmer as you claim, then you would know that both Microsoft and Borland offer all kinds of packages available to all levels of programmers from beginners to experts, ranging in price from $0 and up. And guess what -- the free IDEs that you get from Borland will run circles around anything available on Linux. > So, in this sense Linux is more > user-friendly than Windows. That has nothing to do with being user-friendly. You're talking about cost now, not user-friendliness.

alaniane
alaniane

1) User-friendly is a perception. It is different for each individual. 2) Stating that you could load your drivers hassel-free in Windows, but had problems doing the same in Linux does not negate the fact that I have had problems loading my hardware drivers in Windows and that Linux was able to load the drivers for me without a hitch. To me, whether a driver is easy to load or not is dependent on the hardware manufacturer and not the OS. If I am going to use a particular OS, I am going to choose hardware that is compatible with that OS. Windows does have an advantage since more hardware manufacturers are going to make sure their devices work in the Windows environment; however, I was pleasantly surprised when I loaded both Ubuntu and Fedora and they were able to find and configure the hardware on my system. Linux has made a big improvement in this area and even though I am Windows user, I have to admit that Linux has become a lot more user-friendly. Personally, I prefer Fedora over Ubuntu because Fedora allows me to boot into the commandline. As a former DOS user, I tend to prefer the commandline over the GUI. Also, Linux is far more user friendly than Windows when it comes to my occupation as a programmer/developer. The programming tools built into Linux are more numerous than those built into Windows. You can get excellent programming tools for Windows; however, you are going to pay a pretty penny for them. So, in this sense Linux is more user-friendly than Windows.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

Until you have sonme useful informative information to give, why do you not find an alternative site to air your prejudicial ad hominem attitude towards people. You call yourself a consultant but just attack people who probably have had FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE too. I know I have tried installing new drivers into windows and have had trouble with it working, while other times I dont... it happens to be the same windows, on the same platform, with the same drivers. It sometimes works and sometimes does not. When Windows can start to behave in a consistent manner, then we will try to use user-friendly and windows in the same sentence too.

alaniane
alaniane

card when I had Win 2000. Went to the site downloaded the driver NVidia said was for Win 2000. Driver crashed Win 2000. When I upgraded to Win XP the same thing happened. Eventually, SP 2 worked things out and the NVidia driver worked well with the system. Currently, here at work several HP printer drivers have given tech support headaches. The system here is Win XP SP 2 boxes running on Win 2003 server. You can blame the problems on the drivers and the hardware manufacturer for not getting the driver right; however, the same goes for the Linux drivers. Of course, I don't need cutting edge video drivers since I don't use my computer as a TV and I am not a gamer. I only need the computer to process data and to compile programs that I design.

pickleman
pickleman

> How many users really even know when hardware acceleration is on or off. Well, it's pretty easy to see when you're playing a game and you're getting one frame every 12 seconds...or if you're trying to watch a video clip and it's playing at 1 fps instead of 30 fps. Or if you're trying to drag a window around your screen and it's redrawing painfully slow. You don't need to be an expert to tell that something is obviously very wrong. > Windows can also be a pain to setup drivers; therefore, Windows according to your > argument is not user friendly. Okay, when was the last time you updated video drivers in Windows? It can't possibly get any simpler! You download the drivers from Nvidia (in my case), you run the Setup file, you press "Enter" and 10 seconds later it tells you to reboot the machine, and voila -- it works, and it was incredibly simple. When Linux achieves THAT level of simplicity and user-friendliness, then I'll consider recommending it to people as a free alternative. But in the meantime, please, don't even try and use the terms "user-friendly" and "Linux" in the same sentence, because you just end up looking like a fool. > . Obviously, your so blinded by your own prejudice that your arguments are specious at best. No, it's not prejudice. It's called FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE. You don't need to be prejudiced to see how ridiculously complex Linux is, even today after all these updates and new builds and new distributions over the years.

alaniane
alaniane

was standard by the time Win 3.1 came out. Win 3.1 native driver supported the card but failed to support its full functionality. How many users really even know when hardware acceleration is on or off. Most users never even change out their video cards or any other component within the machine. They let the tech do it. Your original argument was that it was difficult to setup drivers in Linux and therefore it is not user-friendly. Windows can also be a pain to setup drivers; therefore, Windows according to your argument is not user friendly. Obviously, your so blinded by your own prejudice that your arguments are specious at best. I use Windows and I like Windows; however, I was impressed with how friendly Linux has become in the past few years. Installing and configuring Fedora or Ubuntu is far simpler than it was to configure Redhat Linux 7.0. The UI has improved significantly and I was impressed with how well it detected and installed my peripherals. It may not be for gamers, but then again I use my computer for work and prefer the outdoors for entertainment.

pickleman
pickleman

> The drivers installed without any problems. Sure they did. > When I upgraded my VGA card back in the days of Win 3.1, I had problems getting Win 3.1 to recognize more than 16 colors. Well, considering that back in those days most video cards didn't produce more than 16 colors, I'm not sure what you're griping about. As far as all your other problems with video card detections under all those version of Windows you mentioned, the only thing I can conclude is you were using some junk video cards that were prevalent in those days, and the companies that made the video cards couldn't make proper drivers for them. You do know, I hope, that it's not Microsoft who makes drivers, right? It's the hardware companies. So if you couldn't get drivers to work, you should be blaming the people who made your hardware, not Microsoft. > Incidentally, Red Hat linux 7.0 had no problem detecting and installing the driver > for NVidia card despite the fact that the card manufacturer listed only Windows compatibility. Detection is not what I was referring to. Yeah, it detected MY video card too, but so what? What good is basic detection when all hardware acceleration was turned off, and in order to turn it on you have to jump into a shell and execute all kinds of scripts that would immediately eliminate 99% of the user base who would NEVER in a million years be able to accomplish it? Or what if you wanted to UPDATE your drivers to the latest version? Have you seen the instructions required lately? For as long as you have to drop to a shell and do things by hand, you can't call it "user-friendly". That's all there is to it.

alaniane
alaniane

installed video drivers in Linux. The drivers installed without any problems. That is far more than I can say for my experience with Windows. When I upgraded my VGA card back in the days of Win 3.1, I had problems getting Win 3.1 to recognize more than 16 colors. Win 95 SP 2 would not recognize my AGP card. Win 98 also had problems recognizing the AGP card. I went back to using a PCI card. Win 2000 would not recognize my NVidia driver until SP 3. Win XP also had problems recognizing the driver although it did give me 32K colors by default unlike 256 colors for Win 2000. Shall I go on to list Win NT 3.5/4 etc. Incidentally, Red Hat linux 7.0 had no problem detecting and installing the driver for NVidia card despite the fact that the card manufacturer listed only Windows compatibility. I am not anti-Microsoft. I use their OS and I develop on their platform; however, Windows is not without its problems with driver installations. If you are going to judge user-friendly by driver installations then Microsoft Windows is also not user-friendly.

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