Emerging Tech

The smartest thing anyone said about the end of the Bill Gates era

The Bill Gates era in the technology industry has come to an end. Despite all of the attention generated by Gates' official "retirement" from Microsoft, I only found one useful perspective on the issue.

The Bill Gates era in the technology industry has come to an end. Despite all of the attention generated by Gates' official "retirement" from Microsoft, I only found one useful perspective on the issue.

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With June 27, 2008 supposedly Bill Gates' last day as a full time employee at Microsoft as he prepared to dedicate his time to the Gates Foundation, the media swarmed around the story, writing retrospective pieces about the world that Bill Gates made and predictions about how a Gates-less Microsoft would act in the years ahead.

The frenzy got so bad that during the weeks surrounding Gates' retirement, tech journalist John Dvorak kept ranting about the thousands of redundant stories being published about what he considered a non-event (Dvorak believes it was a publicity stunt and that Gates will be back full-time in the future). Nevertheless, Dvorak's continual rants across various media outlets only added fueled the fire. Everyone had a story about Gates' retirement and many of them also had opinions about the Gates legacy.

Now that the dust has settled on Gates' retirement from Microsoft, I'd like to add one last opinion on the subject. Actually, I'd like to highlight the most intelligent opinion that I read during all of the frenzied coverage at the end of June.

Ironically, it came from The Economist in its article The Meaning of Bill Gates. It's ironic because in 1991 Gates said that he reads The Economist "cover to cover" every week, so it seems fitting that The Economist was the only publication to really get it right about Gates' retirement. The article ran in the June 28, 2008 issue and here are the most poignant quotes from the article:

Inevitability and temperament are two hallmarks of Gates the innovator. The third is the transience of all pioneers. The argument was brilliantly laid out by Clayton Christensen, of Harvard Business School. The perfecting of a technology by a well managed company catering to its best customers leaves it vulnerable to "disruption" by a cheaper, scrappier alternative that is good enough for everyone else...

Mr Gates had the good fortune to be perfectly suited for his time—but he is less well-equipped for the collaborative and fragmented era of internet computing. This does not diminish his achievement. Nor, as some would have it, does his philanthropy necessarily magnify it. Whatever the corporate-social-responsibility gurus say, business is a force for good in itself: its most useful contribution to society is making profits and products. Philanthropy no more canonises the good businessman than it exculpates the bad. In spite of his flaws, Mr Gates is one of the good kind. Some great industrialists, like Henry Ford, stick around even as the world moves on and their powers fail. Mr Gates, pragmatic to the end, is leaving at the top.

I'm not sure Gates is leaving on top -- Microsoft probably peaked in 2006 before the launch of Vista -- but this is pretty close to it. Gates has always known and feared that an upstart would do to Microsoft what Microsoft did to IBM. Linux was supposed to be that upstart, but it has since passed the mantle to Google.

Google has made Microsoft an underdog again, and that's a role that fits Bill Gates very well.  However, Gates has been through all of this before, and this time he's made it clear that he'd rather spend his time fighting malaria and other diseases than battling Google for dominance in cloud computing.

Nevertheless, although he may not be as well-suited or have the same powerful vision for the new collaborative age of computing, I still think Gates could ultimately find a new vision to inspire users and turn a profit for Microsoft. And, if Microsoft falters in the next couple years, I fully expect Gates to swoop back in and try to come to the rescue. John Dvorak and I do agree on that.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

321 comments
CodeCurmudgeon
CodeCurmudgeon

Bill Gates' biggest contribution to the software industry was the discovery that people will accept poorly documented, ill-defined development tools. Back in the days of big iron, everything you needed to know about a compiler or utility was clearly defined in a big honking book. In the Gates era, the quality and usability of documentation declined precipitously, and people now spend thousands of dollars learning how to use tools that once upon a time they woould have only had to look up their questions in the well-indexed manual. Bill Gates: The man who changed Computer Science from a branch of mathematics to an experimental science.

Foraminule
Foraminule

Techrepublic used to be a very good site: full of tips, useful information, and thought provoking essays. It is now filled with people serving their audience as the last two posts to "Sanity Check" makes plain. I'm sure many of you at Techrepublic will join the ranks of CNN, IBM, and Microsoft.

pweir
pweir

"Nevertheless, Dvorak???s continual rants across various media outlets ONLY ADDED FUELED the fire." should read, "Nevertheless, Dvorak???s continual rants across various media outlets ONLY ADDED FUEL TO the fire." or "Nevertheless, Dvorak???s continual rants across various media outlets ONLY FUELED the fire."

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

Not sure anyone in the UK is surprised at the notion that Bill Gates was holding back the company and had to go to make room for a professional management team.This story is been drawn out too long and is frankly of no interest anymore around the world.Like Bill gates move onto a more topical story.Tech Republic can do a lot better!

yawningdogge
yawningdogge

Bill Gates is gone, but Microsoft has not changed and it will not. Under Gates, MS wrote good-looking, easy to use, crash prone, bug infested software. That will not change and that's what really matters.

Tearat
Tearat

I am disgusted by volume of them that include The end justifies the means From the time IBM introduced the PC till now I have yet to see any proof that software is responsible for the price of hardware The proof I have seen is hardware manufacturers competing with each other to produce reliable and affordable hardware At the same time the software industry was being monopolised by mostly foul and very little fair means But I guess it doesn't matter to many of you how you get what you want Just so long as you get it Cheers guys What a fun read that was

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

That after his last keynote, as he walked off, the shutdown tune from XP was blasted out over the PA! Not sure if this was on purpose but it raised a laugh.

webmaster
webmaster

"Whatever the corporate-social-responsibility gurus say, business is a force for good in itself: its most useful contribution to society is making profits and products." This new-age catechism may be a handy tool to eulogize a great transformer but I sincerely hope this is not the basic tenant of "The Economic Times" _ a very influential consens-producer and a driving crusader for the holy-lands of De-Regulations, that has not only determined the direction of global business in the last decades but shaken and rattled the thick concrete walls of other social and political institutions. The only place where they have felt a hard resistance and felt themselves helpless are those, where they were confronted with old forms of religious organizations and religious beliefs. The Last Wall! Understandably this has been declared as something redundant and primitive. Their basic assumptions are Darwinian. And as such it would be a self-contradiction to claim anything as a law, when it is only a transitory social widely prevalent appearance of the times directly bound with the present "Weltanschaung." Business is a force for good in itself. Under given social structures, that characterize the stage of technology and political organizations of the world at the present, one may truly claim, that the most useful contribution to society is making profits and products. Even when the profit does almost always include the general wealth of the public, those squeezed from the absolutely uncontrolled assets of mother Nature (the assets of human, animals and plants of present and future). Yes the Photo-Film producers and Camera producers never give a damn, where their customers(consumers)dispose off those batteries and other accessories. This is never a part of their budget calculations. This is paid (if at all) by the tax-payer or through incurring a big minus by creating a depleted Eco-system, the global heritage of future generations, who may probably be paying for it for decades to come. I am not referring to Microsoft here, but the above catechism, making profits and products, without any ethical standards. This sounds really like a teenage school-catechism or those that are recited at the beginning of the days chores in the modern temples, those stinking smog-factories in the East or for that matter implicitly shared in the glass penthouse abodes with a view of urban skylines of the big corporations in the West and in certain modern Nations in the East. I sincerely hope the author is not representing an episteme of the respected Editors and writers and the publishers of "The Economic Times." In a post-Muhammad-Yunus world, I doubt if the classical Keynes-Friedman ideologies possess the only valid theory concerning business reality or the human nature and the human condition, least of all concerning that of our Eco-system. And to be Darwinian, we may claim that there maybe somewhere a lemur of today (Bill Gates) who may be smiling at these big reptiles (IBM). I may add here this a not a critic of arguments put forth here concerning Bill Gates. I am personally only too aware of the fact, that this man has been a great motor and a social-techno-transformer, in this crucial phase of human development. One of his greatest legacy may be fact, that he has brought the minds of world closer in the last end. The best proof is that I am writing and arguing here, an average Tom Dick and Harry, something I would have never done nor found a congenially easy platform to express it in, in a pre-windows age. As for Linux I am not that far. And Apple I could not afford. Windows I can, especially all that software. More important than my screed here is probably Bill's own vision: A surgeon virtually operating from thousands miles off, a patient in another country. No critic therefore on the assessments of Bill's achievements. I am just sad to witness here too the ubiquitous use of a cliche; so rampant in modern media to justify almost anything, one is set out justify or eulogize. Good in Itself? Products and Profit? Even when it means... Contergan? Bhopal? Chernobyl?

e-paladin
e-paladin

..because if there was something better, people would be using THAT instead. Use, buy, or make better software if you can... or shut up. It is good enough because it created an entire industry. It makes $ and that pays the bills (or, in this case, Bill) and it gets better over time to keep others from spending thier money elsewhere. This notion of whining in disappointment when something doesnt live to your expectations isn't constructive. Just dont use the product. The whining only sits at the bottom of bloggs doing nothing but make it harder to get to someone with a point. Apple is a perfect example of 'good enough'. Wozniac, for all his brilliance would have never gotten out the hobbyist phase without Jobs and it took the two of them to build that which is Apple. The 'innovator/creator' and the 'business/hustler' managed to make a sellable (good enough - Apple 1) PC, which is what financed them without selling off too much of thier company and then developed the Lisa (ack - not good enough, although brilliant! (It has a GUI! Thanks Xerox PARC) Then developed the Mac... pre-sold to the country during the Superbowl and other bold advertizing strategies. Floundered in the PC industry against Big Blue and the like not so much because of concepts or technology but utility. I can go on and on but the bottom line is - It failed when it was not 'good enough' and prospered when it was. If you think anything on an Apple pc is 'finished', or 'perfect', why come out with updates, patches and newer machines? Because good enough IS good enough until something better comes along. Hopefully it's your better something that people are buying. No different in OS's or software.

Tearat
Tearat

Because so few would recognize the Vista tune

webmaster
webmaster

I may add here Hines, claiming anything said by anyone as the smartest, maybe a typical American way to favor a point of view. One could also have said very smart instead of the smartest. I hope moreover this is no indication of the countless, sometimes even bizarre points of views manifested in all the varied discussions here, as being imbecile. I do believe some of them are equally smart even if not smarter. Or may be you read only magazines and points of views of the professionals only. Thank you?

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

True MS did perfect some industry innovations however if MS was not holding a monopoly position competition would have spawned greater innovations earlier to everyone's advantage. History is littered by failed entrapaneurs who have the skills to hatch innovation but not able to manage it. Pride or fear to relinquish what they created to someone more able to takes things forward is a well-recognised ingredient of failure. I like to think that the software industry least for a while will drive forward at a more rapid pace with some very exciting innovations.

Tearat
Tearat

Is a generalisation that is unlikely to have the same meaning for different people It has got to be the most stupid term I have ever heard Two movers are moving a piano It slips and lands on the foot of mover A Who curses at mover B ?why didn?t you hold on to it properly? Mover B says ?My grip was good enough because it didn?t fall on my foot? When you idiots get a clue let me know If you reply I will want precise definitions of good enough

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]Good enough IS good enough...because if there was something better, people would be using THAT instead.[/i] If your statement is correct, please explain the following: - People used VHS videocassettes, even though Betamax was "better" (technically superior). - People pay $1000 or more to buy an automatic transmission with a new car even though a manual transmission provides better gas mileage and requires less maintenance (and is therefore "better") and comes standard. - People use Windows, even though BSD Unix or many Linux distributions are considered technically superior. People make choices based not only on quality, but on price, ease of use, and many other factors, [u]using the information they have on hand[/u] to make those choices. The ?choice? of operating system is a choice most consumers don't even know they have.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Use, buy, or make better software if you can... or shut up.[/i]" Thank you. I'm sure glad you've given me permission to discuss the matter, since I use better software. "[i]It is good enough because it created an entire industry.[/i]" Are you one of these people who think Microsoft created the software industry? What poppycock. "[i]This notion of whining in disappointment when something doesnt live to your expectations isn't constructive. Just dont use the product.[/i]" . . . but you just gave everyone permission to complain about how Microsoft is doing its best to squeeze all the better software out of the market, as long as they use the better software! Are you taking it back now?

apotheon
apotheon

On the other hand, they might have used the XP tune because associating him with Vista would have made him look bad.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Business is a force for good of itself. I was going to rip you a new one! Good job I read it first. :p

Tearat
Tearat

Stupid is using the term GOOD ENOUGH From there you go off track ?Before DOS/windows there was no cohesive industry making PC?s for the home and small business, hence no OEMS pumping out machines and no IT industry to maintain them. Unless you picked up the TRS-80 or a PET or any of the myriad custom builds, each manufacturer was using a different OS - sorely lacking much useable software. There were machines built for specific purposes and they did one or a few jobs well (better than doing it by hand?), but nothing like what the PC developed into. Windows started as a program that you could buy that offered a GUI for DOS and the two together gave us a glimpse of what was possible. It coulda happened at the time to maybe a few OS?s like UNIX, but it didn?t. The interface from hardware to the user had been changed in a way not done before.? Dos was before Windows Which makes your statement look stupid Since my statement was about Windows not Dos Get it? You should lookup CBM?s history by the way I would have used the C64 as and example ?And why did the PC develop into what it is today? The standards got set by needs of usage and the most usage was on Windows. Processors and the registers imbedded their architecture; memory; graphics; hard drives; power supplies; motherboards; they were all built to fill the demand that Windows users were having since that was where the $ was. They were the dominant users of their product.? No the PC developed into what it is today because of business practices and marketing The same ones that have been used in every market where over marketed crap has become the norm The only difference is the mad paranoia of Bill and co Windows has never been standard Microsoft have failed to stick to their own standards ?Yes I see now. Its Windows fault that there are scumbags out there to try and take advantage of us. And that if the majority of us went to other OS?s then there wouldn?t be, lol. I would hope all new OS?s could do a better job; they have a lot of history to learn from. But any dominant OS player will have those seeking to compromise them for profit.? Nice try There are scumbags who would always be around The reason so many are attracted to this industry Are the pathetic attempts at security Made by a lazy corporation called Microsoft Don?t even think of writing The security through obscurity myth Windows is the easiest target Market size has nothing to do with it Money is money The crooks will take everything they can get Keep in mind I said crooks not crook What one will ignore others will grab ?I?m very hopeful for linux based distros (like Ubuntu) to take over since it appears that MS is kind of losing the path with Vista. I think that it makes sense that no one should own and profit from what has become a basic necessity. There is plenty of $ to be made elsewhere and having the world add it?s collective knowledge to an OS could only be a good thing. But as good as Linux is right now, it still just a bit shy of replacing Windows as far as from the ease of use point of view for the average consumer, plus it would be nice to consolidate the number of distros. Maybe by next year that wont be the case and if Vista is any example of the OS?s that MS wants to put out, then maybe their time has passed.? I have always believed the hardware manufacturers should be the ones developing the OS that runs on the products they are making money from At this time they have the chance to support others who are doing most of the work An OS created and maintained by a profit motivated company A Company that did not make the hardware that the OS was going to be used on Was always destined to fail It was only a matter of time As the need for greater profits increases the PC manufacturers/assemblers will find it more and more difficult to justify the added cost of MS Windows They will start to look at low cost open source alternatives Some have already ?Bill Gates has done a great thing and who knows, maybe the idea pool in his head has not run dry, but I don?t feel that the company is what he intended it to be when he started out. Maybe by stepping outside of the arena he can see the stadium for what it is right now.? Thanks for the laugh Bill Gate just happens to be the person at the top In the company you had/have the people who have created the OS called Windows They managed to do that in spite of the management The badly designed defective OS is the result You tell me how many times has someone in management screwed up the products your company produces You can ignore the cost control and saleability ones They are reasonable It?s the ego and stupidity driven ones that I don?t like Stupidity can mean lack of knowledge Off topic has happened a lot in this discussion But when it comes to your off topic We must all obey Is that it? Accountants use software to do taxes Software, which just happens to run on Windows I bet the accounting software works a hell of a lot better than Windows But I would hate to try and use the accounting software to watch or record TV Don?t start to think the software built into windows is best for that I guess you don?t use media centre much Have you even had a real look at what Vista can or cannot do?

e-paladin
e-paladin

Sigh.. ? Windows was not the only OS to offer those things Windows just happened to be the one installed on most new computers It also helped that the OEMs had fixed most of its problems including hardware and security? Before DOS/windows there was no cohesive industry making PC?s for the home and small business, hence no OEMS pumping out machines and no IT industry to maintain them. Unless you picked up the TRS-80 or a PET or any of the myriad custom builds, each manufacturer was using a different OS - sorely lacking much useable software. There were machines built for specific purposes and they did one or a few jobs well (better than doing it by hand?), but nothing like what the PC developed into. Windows started as a program that you could buy that offered a GUI for DOS and the two together gave us a glimpse of what was possible. It coulda happened at the time to maybe a few OS?s like UNIX, but it didn?t. The interface from hardware to the user had been changed in a way not done before. And why did the PC develop into what it is today? The standards got set by needs of usage and the most usage was on Windows. Processors and the registers imbedded their architecture; memory; graphics; hard drives; power supplies; motherboards; they were all built to fill the demand that Windows users were having since that was where the $ was. They were the dominant users of their product. ?I see you chose to ignore the virus spy-ware ad-ware epidemic Let also ignore the fact that Windows has created an entire industry dedicated to security because of its mountain of security flaws Lets ignore the fact that no other OS is even half as bad? Yes I see now. Its Windows fault that there are scumbags out there to try and take advantage of us. And that if the majority of us went to other OS?s then there wouldn?t be, lol. I would hope all new OS?s could do a better job; they have a lot of history to learn from. But any dominant OS player will have those seeking to compromise them for profit. I?m very hopeful for linux based distros (like Ubuntu) to take over since it appears that MS is kind of losing the path with Vista. I think that it makes sense that no one should own and profit from what has become a basic necessity. There is plenty of $ to be made elsewhere and having the world add it?s collective knowledge to an OS could only be a good thing. But as good as Linux is right now, it still just a bit shy of replacing Windows as far as from the ease of use point of view for the average consumer, plus it would be nice to consolidate the number of distros. Maybe by next year that wont be the case and if Vista is any example of the OS?s that MS wants to put out, then maybe their time has passed. Definitely as the average users knowledge gets better (as always does of a technology over time) something like that could take place, but you should always remember your roots. Bill Gates has done a great thing and who knows, maybe the idea pool in his head has not run dry, but I don?t feel that the company is what he intended it to be when he started out. Maybe by stepping outside of the arena he can see the stadium for what it is right now. ?Here is a question Which OS are they most likely to have success with? You can leave out Apples products they are a computer manufacturer That would be the same as using a restore disk with HP, Dell etc On the subject of VHS and Beta Those machines are more likely to successfully turn themselves on record a program and turn themselves off, than all if not most Windows PCs Also they will not need to start up five minutes before the event No you may not use suspend or standby That would make your PC a great deal less power efficient The power requirements of the VHS and Beta machines make the Windows PC look like power sucking black holes? You?re off topic and making no sense but I?ll bite. Quite a few OS?s today are easy peasy to install once the machine is built, it doesn?t prove anything for any of them. It?s what they do ?right out of the box? that counts. And I?d hate to do my taxes on a Betamax.

Tearat
Tearat

"what I think of the term "good enough"" After this It is a shame how smart people will use generalisations to defend their argument when they can think of nothing else Yes I am a hypocrite I have done it I expect better from others than from myself Also it is not an excuse to do it because someone else has done it That would be two wrongs make a right I also wrote my reply ?Still being stupid? before reading this I have no idea why people in the IT industry would give so much credit to a person for running a company A company, which just happens to be lucky enough to have some employees Who were smart enough to recognise the work of others And include it in the projects they were working on All that can be said about Bill Gates is He was lucky enough to be in the right time and place when IBM came calling He has been very lucky to be in the industry at the right time Anyone else could have been just as lucky He was also very lucky IBM came calling before Microsoft went bust I have been interested in computers long enough to remember what Microsoft products were like before the IBM PC and DOS 1 It makes me wonder what the modern PC would be like if IBM had chosen some one with real talent I think they would have been awesome things of wonder I also wonder what we have missed out on For everyone who reads this Corporations in almost every industry have slowed down innovation In almost every industry innovation has come from individuals, small business or education institutions The better corporations recognise this and will actively support them That does not mean they are responsible, but it shows they accept the truth Cheers Steve Ps I think that has enough ?enough?s? in it

Tearat
Tearat

Good enough = term used by fanboy morons to defend their pet OS ?Windows versatility was unparalleled. It was a user friendly software environment. The variety of hardware and software you could use was also a breakthrough. But it was far from perfect... It was, however, good enough? Windows was not the only OS to offer those things Windows just happened to be the one installed on most new computers It also helped that the OEMs had fixed most of its problems including hardware and security I see you chose to ignore the virus spy-ware ad-ware epidemic Let also ignore the fact that Windows has created an entire industry dedicated to security because of its mountain of security flaws Lets ignore the fact that no other OS is even half as bad ?It all has to do with purpose of usage and who your audience is supposed to be. To understand a technology's most useful purpose and modify it toward that end IS the point.? Good of you to contradict yourself Is that good enough to show you don?t have a clue what is good enough If you insist on using good enough in your posts it will show that it is good enough to consider you to be a moron The only groups who are responsible for the IT industry are 1 The companies who make the hardware They will continue to try and make it more flexible, cheaper and reliable 2 The IT workers who have taken the junk that companies like Microsoft produce (they are not the only ones who produce junk) and turn it into something that can be used by an average person If you don?t believe me Give an average person a computer with a blank hard drive An OS setup DVD or CD Driver disks or disk Application install disks Sit back and see how far they get No you may not give them a restore or recovery disk No you may not help in any way whatsoever Here is a question Which OS are they most likely to have success with? You can leave out Apples products they are a computer manufacturer That would be the same as using a restore disk with HP, Dell etc On the subject of VHS and Beta Those machines are more likely to successfully turn themselves on record a program and turn themselves off, than all if not most Windows PCs Also they will not need to start up five minutes before the event No you may not use suspend or standby That would make your PC a great deal less power efficient The power requirements of the VHS and Beta machines make the Windows PC look like power sucking black holes

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Windows versatility was unparalleled.[/i]" How exactly was MS Windows so "versatile"? I'm curious how you'd justify that statement. "[i]Denying that it is because of Windows the software industry has grown to what it is today and people truly are more productive today than ever before is sillyness.[/i]" Claiming that MS Windows must be the reason the software industry has grown just because it is (in some sense) "bigger" than other software vendors seems like the "silly" position to take. If you have some [b]other[/b] arguments in favor of that position, please share them. "[i]They innovated the way companies run and how people comminicate and interact.[/i]" I see Microsoft managed to "innovate" the way it dominates a market -- but it sure didn't create any new innovations in the way its customers operated. That would require doing something nobody else was doing at the time. "[i]We all know that MS has had a fair share of anti-trust issues in the EU right? What if in 2003-4 when this was all happening, Bill Gates just turned around and said, 'Your right and I'm sorry... I will no longer allow the sales of Windows outside of the US. I'm sorry if it looked like I was taking advantage. Use something else.' There was no viable competitor that could have taken over in the home, or in the small business.[/i]" . . . except for all the competing software that [b]would[/b] have taken over the market for home and small business use. "[i]Huh?[/i]" If you didn't understand, perhaps you should have read it more closely. You used the phrase "good enough" a couple of times. Maybe you should read [b][url=http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p=534]what I think of the term "good enough"[/url][/b]. While you're at it, check out [b][url=http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=270472&messageID=2563848]what Techno Rat thinks of it[/url][/b], too.

e-paladin
e-paladin

Do you remember what it was like programming before the GUI? There was good reason it wasn't in every home. I was there and am glad to still have all of my hair. I've used OS's before and after (I'm on a tripple boot system as we speak) and am no MS fanboy, just an observer. I never implied that MS created anything. Software; operating systems; the internet all came from elsewhere. The way these things are handled might or might not be handled better by another source. Windows versatility was unparalleled. It was a user friendly software environment. The variety of hardware and software you could use was also a breakthrough. But it was far from perfect... It was, however, good enough. Denying that it is because of Windows the software industry has grown to what it is today and people truly are more productive today than ever before is sillyness. It was our chaperone to the information age. It all has to do with purpose of usage and who your audience is supposed to be. To understand a technology's most useful purpose and modify it toward that end IS the point. Was Beta better than VHS? Maybe on paper at first, but not many people owned a TV set that you were able to see much of a difference on anyway. Go tape a football game on that... wait $5000 wasn't enough to allow you to tape past halftime? Purpose of usage won that war. RCA convinced the Victor Corporation (JVC) to make the 4hr recorder for home use that they could sell (they had asked Beta manufaturers first but had a different purpose of usage understanding - better utility), sacrificing picture quality because it was good enough. Good enough to sell a ton of them at $999 (which was thier sales pitch '4 hours, $999') Giving them plenty of cash to impove thier systems to always be technologically competitive and much cheaper (Like AMD around 2005) than Beta. Windows came out 15 years ago, became mainstream about 13 years ago and has out sold (yes, sold - not given) any operating system out there ever since. (Although atm not sure if that'll continue to be the case) They innovated the way companies run and how people comminicate and interact. We all know that MS has had a fair share of anti-trust issues in the EU right? What if in 2003-4 when this was all happening, Bill Gates just turned around and said, 'Your right and I'm sorry... I will no longer allow the sales of Windows outside of the US. I'm sorry if it looked like I was taking advantage. Use something else.' There was no viable competitor that could have taken over in the home, or in the small business. Nobody like a big bully, and MS has done some pretty shady things, but until recently (ahem, vista.. purpose of useage?) it still served its purpose and been good enough to stay ahead of its competitors. ". . . but you just gave everyone permission to complain about how Microsoft is doing its best to squeeze all the better software out of the market, as long as they use the better software! Are you taking it back now?" Huh?

Tearat
Tearat

We will never know if Bill Gates was any good at what he did Since he and the other board members of MS Refused to compete on an even playfield It takes very little skill to steal something It takes a little more skill to avoid jail It takes a small amount of additional skill to not get noticed or end up in court It takes a great deal more skill to create the thing being stolen But you have to be some sort of brain dead moron to worship a crook But no surprise there Just part of living in a world that thinks criminals are cool Did you know that the coolest of them are murderers? Please don?t start using The end justifies the means It just makes you look stupid One more thing MS will continue to have problems until they put their products before profits or the price of its shares But that is total un-corporate like so don?t hold your breath

Buff Loon
Buff Loon

Bill Gates was good at what he does, not perfect, and in some cases poorly. Bill Gates was not alone MS, there are thousands who write or coordinate the code they write, and make human mistakes. Could an other OS be better?...Yes there have been some, though much simpler and not as all serving as MS tries to do. MS has its problems and probably will continue to have, so long as it is written in the same ideaology, trying to serve the world with its many personalities needs and wants. Bill Gates was good at what he did, could someone else have done better?...I think Yes, but nobody has done so yet.

Tearat
Tearat

He is leaving MS because he is getting slow and lost some toes

apotheon
apotheon

Bill Gates went around maliciously dropping things on other people's feet.

aandruli
aandruli

Things fell on everyone's foot but Bill's --that's why he was good enough.

Tearat
Tearat

As much as you like you don?t have to steal it Please use it against the idiots who use these stupid types of generalisations By the way there are many good generalisations But not when it comes to software ?That is brilliant? Thanks I try to do the best I can I wish others would make some effort Cheers Steve Edited bacause some of it was stupid

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

My programming experience speaks for itself; in this case refering to limited experience. :) I can see how Vim and Emacs are both suited to programming. Vim is completely foreign to me after using Dos Edit/Notepad style editors for so long. Still trying to get my head wrapped around it since Vi is available on a *nix install 99% of the time. I should see if I can find a Dos/Windows build of it I can add to my flashdrive toolkit. My grief with editing code was purely during tests and exams in school. You get the paper question sheet and two or so booklets of empty paper to answer in. There was always the big question at the end; write a program that ... I get how being able to just sign down and write out the programming lines in order by pencil makes for a better programmer overall. I'm such a hakish type though. My process is still very much at the try and try again level. Write the code, run the program, fix where it broke or confirm if it did what you intended. It's not as blind trial and error as an early student but it's not sitting down and writing the whole module then testing and correcting it. I also tend to write an ugly stack of code to get the program doing what I want then I go back over it slowly refining the code and adding in cosmetic features. PHP was really what opened it up for me. I'd done shell scripting but that still feels like dealing with .bat/.cmd files rather than an actuall program at my level. I wrote a basic PHP starter page in Joe editor. when I reopened the page in Joe, it automatically colour coded the PHP and I went; bugger, this is easy, I was trying to make it so complicated last time I tried. Now, off to read your long response. With programming, the worst or most inflamitory you could do to me is point out much I haven't learned yet. (edit); wow that's some funny squishy. Notepad, it's a little complicated to open but then it's obvious. Pico, a little more complicated than Notepad. Studio, it's hard, it's easy, it's complicated. Vi, good fraking luck-oh, wait.. this is easy. Emacs, wheeee!! I love that emacs is just a swirly.. hehe.. the graphs are true but damn funny.

Tearat
Tearat

?There is really no one 'selling' the OS other than techies, and although that is a good endorsement for an OS it does not ensure the average user of an easy transition to an unfamiliar environment. A switch like that needs to be 'sold'. Just having it available might not be good enough. No one directly profits from its existence? Apart from the cost savings the company makes by not buying a Windows licence for Linux systems Also there may be some savings in not having to rewrite drivers for every new version But not if they continue to support new Windows versions with old products Neon has some more But I will leave that to him or her? You never know with these forums

apotheon
apotheon

I typed up an extremely long response to Neon Samurai, and decided to post it elsewhere instead. Check out the [url=http://sob.apotheon.org/?p=473][i]Of course MS Windows is better! It has Visual Studio![/i][/url] entry in my personal Weblog for details. It's basically a discussion of different development styles between the languages and platforms common to MS Windows and Unix developers, and the tools that are appropriate to each. The title may seem slightly inflammatory at first glance, but the actual content of that entry is much less so. One thing I wanted to address here, and didn't there, is this statement by Neon Samurai: "[i]How I hated those University programming tests where we'd be asked to hand write a complete program; how the F do I insert lines and reorder the code around?[/i]" It's much easier to do so, I find, with Vim than with something like the default editor that comes with VS -- or with a word processor application like MS Word or OO.o Writer, for that matter. For instance, swapping two lines can be achieved with nothing more than typing [b]ddp[/b] (or [b]ddP[/b] if your cursor is on the second of the two lines rather than the first), so that there's no need to do any click-drag highlighting, or to use the Home key, Shift key, and arrow keys to position and move the cursor around for highlighting, followed by something like Ctrl-X, arrow keys, Ctrl-V (or worse, using the right-click context menu) to do the actual cutting and pasting. An editor like Vim has a [url=http://unix.rulez.org/~calver/pictures/curves.jpg]very steep initial learning curve[/url], but it definitely offers an impressive return on investment.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"No one directly profits from its existance (although in the long run it could be argued the user does, which is an interesting paradox) so who wants to take the expense of avertising it." Red Hat, Novell, Mandriva, IBM, Cononical, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Engarde Secure Linux, .. They are selling a complete product and services though, not just an OS kernel with no shell or booter. The end user benefiting from the OS and empowerment along with the Vendor is a nice balance too. "As for tools to write code, that is also not much of an argument. I'm sure if enough people were using the OS, a decent standard framework would develop naturally and/or someone will come up with a better tool." I'm the same way, Studio is a crutch I got hooked on throughout highschool and university programming courses. My problem in aproaching programming for Linux was thinking I needed the full blown IDE there too; Joe editor, apache and a browser is all that is needed for PHP. In general the text editor and GCC or interpreter is all that is needed for any language. I've not met many windows programmers that have the old-school skills to pop open Dos Edit write code without the Studio crutch. (I'm learning to do that myself though with simply .vba coding where applicable.) (How I hated those University programming tests where we'd be asked to hand write a complete program; how the F do I insert lines and reorder the code around?)

e-paladin
e-paladin

At the rate of improvement that Linux distros like Ubuntu are for the average and power user, it will be no time before we will be looking at two sides of the same coin. Major vendors like Dell are selling pre-builts with Ubuntu on them as an option so the availability is potentially there. Ubuntu's usability and easy-to-customize framework is very tempting but not easy to find on the Dell website and might need some more serious blundering on MS's behalf to really have people looking for it. There is really no one 'selling' the OS other than techies, and although that is a good endorsement for an OS it does not ensure the average user of an easy transition to an unfamiliar environment. A switch like that needs to be 'sold'. Just having it available might not be good enough. No one directly profits from its existance (although in the long run it could be argued the user does, which is an interesting paradox) so who wants to take the expense of avertising it. Without getting into too much detail, or too political a discussion, I think a key to integration of other OS's like Ubuntu/Edubuntu could be in making them more available in schools. For all the Vista bashing going around, one good thing about it is that the 64 bit version of it is just about seamless compared to the 32 bit version which is big. If history is any indication, that gives it a strong foothold into the future. However, its advances in usability, integration and the ability to unify all the technologies we might own in my opinion has not gotten better. Although it is a new OS even at its core it's not necessarly any better than the one it is replaceing. There were a lot of promises that just never showed up (what happend to WinFS?). As for tools to write code, that is also not much of an argument. I'm sure if enough people were using the OS, a decent standard framework would develop naturally and/or someone will come up with a better tool. While I personally think no one person or organization should own or profit from an OS, I don't necessarly share that feeling for software in general. It allows anyone with the knowledge and vision to add whatever they feel is missing to an OS, with the user base being the final judge. It allows hardware vendors to make available better, faster, and cheaper hardware. And it allows those that spent the time to make useful programs the opportunity to profit from it without forcefeeding it to the user in general.

Tearat
Tearat

I think MS has some very tough times ahead What do they have to offer in the future of the OS market? Most of the important stuff has been worked out For business Windows and I will include Office Have been there for a long time now There is not much left to offer in the way of improvements In fact there is not much for anyone to offer not just MS Someone said on this forum Office 97 was enough for most I will say Windows 2000 and office 2000 is all most business?s need The same can be achieved with Linux and Open office Any competent IT department should be able to set up a secure workstation with those two choices They should be becoming familiar with Apple's choices by now What I see most online is the lazy IT pros trying to justify the fact that they are too lazy to learn about anything but MS Windows and Office For the MS home user Games have always been a mess so forget it Home office XP and Office 2000 will work fine Multimedia Tough but Most add on apps do it better than the MS ones All MS had to offer with Vista was A pretty but copied desktop Yay zzzzzzzzzz Some minor security improvements Mostly to fix their own incompetence Some small improvements in networking Again mostly to fix their own incompetence Some speed improvements (Well somewhere it has them I think) Again mostly to fix their own incompetence And nothing else that is memorable But don?t the salesmen spin it well Don?t know why the salesmen or saleswomen care People will still buy new PC?s They will always need an OS But it is a different thing altogether for the PC makers They need to show an increase in profit Buying Windows is a cost Re developers for different Oses Sorry I should have said ?Windows only software developers? I will fix my post

apotheon
apotheon

Actually, Techno Rat, there are quite a few developers who work primarily with MS Windows and primarily use Unix or Linux-based systems at home. Those guys will likely have no problem making the switch from MS Windows to Unix and Linux-based systems, as needed.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If MS looses dominance on the home user's desktop then the end user has benefited from the market forces and better system. If MS remains competitive and maintains it's market share by being forced to compete through product quality and design then the end user has benefited from the market forces and better system. Either way, the end user benefits. Here's hoping your predictions come true.

Tearat
Tearat

There is the 64 bit as well as the business versions I gave up trying to explain the differences to most people Windows is easy for people Because computer hardware makers and assemblers install the OS Because they install and configure the drivers Because they fix most of the mistakes made by Microsoft And finally Because most people buy a computer not an OS If the computer hardware makers and assemblers did that with another OS That OS would soon become the dominant OS Those are the only reasons Windows dominates the market Microsoft is so stupid that they will finally go to far The hardware makers and assemblers will get pissed off They will then make PC?s with another OS Windows only software developers will have no choice but to follow them They will then have to compete with the existing developers who have a better understanding of that OS and the development tools I expect most of them will go bust It would be interesting to know how many Windows developers are able to produce for other OS?s 10 percent of the world wide market is not small it is huge That is 1 in every 10 dollars That is more than enough for many It could be the difference between staying in business and going broke Edited to change Software developers to Windows only software developers

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]I'm responding for the average home and business user. That user is not someone who has advanced computing knowledge. I daresay that most of those people have no idea what an .iso file is, much less the inclination to figure out how to get a copy of Linux downloaded, burned and installed.[/i] Yet you expect that same user to be able to program? [i]Whoopdy do! You saved $360 bucks on your computer! I bet I could have saved you more by building it from components rather than buying it pre-built.[/i] I bet you lose. The Core 2 Duo E6400 (2GB RAM, 120 GB HDD) was a refurb. Can you build the equivalent for only $300? I seriously doubt it. You will also note that I stated ?second desktop? in my post; I built my primary desktop myself. One can only hope you build PCs better than you reason. [i]Actually, the car/truck analogy isn't so silly. Let's talk about a Civic vs. an 18 wheeler big rig. [/i] You go ahead and do that if such a ridiculous comparison makes your point. To clarify, I had in mind a Civic vs. Ridgeline comparison. [i]As for development, I'll admit that my experience is limited, but I do have some. [/i] If you have development experience, you are [b]not[/b] the ?average user,? the vast majority of whom wouldn't recognize a development environment if it punched them in the nose. [i]You call me ambiguous and then say "many" businesses and "quite a few" businesses. How many are "many" or "quite a few"? [/i] [u]All[/u] the large-scale (chain level) point-of-sale software of which I'm aware runs under Unix/Linux. Every store I support has a Unix/Linux store server. I support two major grocery chains. We're already over 2,000 [u]installed[/u] instances of [u]leased or purchased[/u] Unix/Linux software. Count the chains. Here, I'll help you. Sears, Macy's, JCPenney... [i]My point with the "quickly and easily develop code" statement was to show that with the .NET framework, Microsoft has introduced a product that allows for good software to be quickly and easily produced. [/i]   a. At the beginning of your post, you claim to be responding for the average home and business user. In my experience, the [u]average[/u] home user [b][i]does not[/i][/b] program. The average home user browses the web and checks email. The average business user doesn't program either, but uses Word and Excel and whatever proprietary business software is required, and browses the web and checks email.   b. I'm not a developer, but I know one or two. According to them, .Net and ?good software? are mutually exclusive terms. [i]The original statement stands. It's correct. Good enough IS good enough.[/i] I hope you don't take your car to a mechanic who subscribes to this philosophy; I don't want to be on the same road with those brakes. [i]You just have to remember to take in to account all of the variables when comparing products. You forget to do this in your worship of Linux and your blind hatred of Windows. [/i] What worship? What blind hatred? I can't criticize deficiencies in an OS I both support [u]and[/u] use? I'll bet that neuron's lonely. Edit: clarify

apotheon
apotheon

I'm going to assume that your statements here are in some respect a reply to me, as well as to NickNielsen, what with the "you guys" and the "both" in the title of your own comment post. "[i]You guys are both idiots[/i]" Your attitude is in serious need of adjustment. "[i]I'm responding for the average home and business user.[/i]" . . . and I responded in kind. "[i]That user is not someone who has advanced computing knowledge.[/i]" If you think I suggested the "average home user" is someone who has "advanced computing knowledge", I guess you must not have read what I actually posted. Please do so before saying I'm an idiot again. It might make you seem less idiotic to actually know what you're talking about. "[i]See, I basically said 'Most people want to pay to have their oil changed, and that's a good solution for them.'[/i]" . . . which disagrees with [b]nothing[/b] that I said in my reply to your last comment in this subthread. "[i]You responded with 'You're completely biased against the home mechanic who finds cost savings and joy changing their own oil. Plus, changing oil is cheaper, and therefore easier.'[/i]" I just checked, and nobody in this discussion has said that but you. "[i]The fact of the matter is that Linux is confusing to most non-advanced computer users.[/i]" Are you referring to Slackware? Maybe you're talking about 1998. "[i]Just the sheer number of distros causes distress.[/i]" I wonder how people like you manage to select a breakfast cereal in the morning. Do you sit around in your kitchen in the morning agonizing over the dozens of options for eight hours before calling your boss to say it'll be another couple hours before you can get there, because you haven't been able to get past that distressing decision-making process? I assume you must have bought [b]all[/b] the cereal in the store, of course, because grocery stores aren't usually open long enough to accomodate someone trying to decide from among the dozens -- maybe even hundreds -- of option in the average store if you have that much trouble choosing from among multiple options. I suppose some stores are open 24 hours a day, which might give you the opportunity to waste an entire weekend trying to decide which cereal you'll buy. I think you're probably alone in your difficulty deciding from among multiple options, though. I think most people probably don't have this problem. If they did, I'm pretty sure the cereal aisle would be packed the entire weekend with decisiveness challenged shoppers in the local 24 hour grocery store, and I just haven't seen that happen. In fact, the cereal aisle is usually pretty deserted by about eight at night. I can't imagine how harrowing an experience it must be for you, selecting a brand of toilet paper. "[i]It took me hours of research to figure out that I should try Ubuntu (vs. Red Hat, Gentoo, etc...), not because I'm a newbie, but because I was unfamiliar with the choices. Compare that to someone who either buys a computer with Windows PRE-INSTALLED, or else goes to Best Buy and has (then) 2 choices, Win XP Home or Media Center, or (now) 3 choices, Vista Home Basic, Premium or Vista Ultimate.[/i]" So buy a computer with a Linux distribution selected, installed, and configured for you. Easy. "[i]An article I just read puts Windows' market share right at 90%.[/i]" 1. Popularity doesn't make something better. 2. Popularity doesn't make something easier. 3. Those statistics are wild-ass guesses. Yes, I'm sure there are more copies of MS Windows out there than of all Linux distributions combined -- but 90%? Who knows? There's no way to measure the market share like that with any reasonable certainty. You can't track popularity of open source OSes available for free download and allowed to be freely redistributed by watching sales figures, after all. "[i]Again, when a user gets their Windows machine home, they most likely have some experience and know where to go to get their Email, Web Browser, games, etc...[/i]" Do you have the same freak-out about a new MS Windows OS as you do about a new non-Microsoft OS? The difference, moving from XP to Vista, is as significant as that of moving from XP to Ubuntu. "[i]One guy I know who's a Linux nut develops in Python, because he said it's the best to use for Linux.[/i]" Opinions are like rectums -- everybody has one, and they tend to stink. Anybody who says Python is "the best to use for Linux" is just expressing a personal, biased opinion. The same goes for Ruby, Perl, Scheme, C, OCaml, Haskell, Dylan, Tcl, Common Lisp, or any of hundreds of other programming languages. "[i]my experience with what I think is standard for Linux (Python) vs. what I use (Visual Basic) left me cheering Microsoft.[/i]" Considering your opinion of Visual Basic, I think we can safely ignore your opinion of pretty much everything else, now. You clearly know little or nothing about the subject, but you're willing to hold forth on the virtues of one language over those of another, regardless of this lack of knowledge. It's pretty obvious that you're doing the same thing with regard to operating systems, but your statements about the differences between Python and VB make your lack of knowledge and willingness to pretend to know something despite that not just obvious, but pretty much incontrovertibly proven. "[i]I may not have all the information, though.[/i]" Ya think . . . ? "[i]of the 10% that's left, the majority goes to Mac.[/i]" Probably inaccurate. Hell, Mac probably doesn't actually have even the paltry fraction of the market it claims -- because not only is its claim based on sales figures, but its actual market share can't even be improved by "piracy" the way other commercial OSes can, since the OS is tied to the hardware. That means that while there are surely more copies of MS Windows in actual use than the sales figures suggest (but not as many more as the increase in number of Linux-based OS installs over what sales figures suggest), for MacOS X, deployment in the Real World can only be [b]less[/b] than sales figures suggest. Hell, probably one in ten people I know who have Mac laptops have replaced MacOS X with an open source OS. They just like the hardware from Apple -- not the software. "[i]So tell me, am I better off developing a product for the 1% of business users, or the 90?[/i]" Even if we assume your numbers are accurate (which they certainly aren't), you can't answer the question of where you're better off doing your development work that easily. Other factors come into play. For instance -- how saturated is the market, in each case, with regard to the type of software you're offering? How dominated is that market by a single player? Will your offering provide some functionality that is missing in the major options within one niche, but not in the options within a different niche? What kind of deals do you have to make with other businesses to gain a foothold in each niche? Do the OS choice tendencies of people who use the type of software you plan to offer differ from those of the market at large? Does your software offering depend upon the capabilities of the OS in some way that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to support certain OSes? Your criteria for what platforms to target when developing software seem to be a trifle simplistic. I can only assume this has something to do with: A) knowing little or nothing about business B) knowing little or nothing about software development "[i]My point with the "quickly and easily develop code" statement was to show that with the .NET framework, Microsoft has introduced a product that allows for good software to be quickly and easily produced.[/i]" We've already determined that you clearly know nothing of note about software development. Maybe you should stop making a fool of yourself now. "[i]The truth of the matter is that, with the exception of spending the time to learn how to code, the software I write isn't all that difficult or complicated. That's a product of .NET.[/i]" Library calling syntax for the .NET framework is obtuse. It could be [b]much[/b] easier -- but it's not. I guess you wouldn't know that, though, unless you were more experienced as a developer. Sure, it's an improvement in terms of ease of use over, say, using Boost with C++, but that's not saying a whole lot. In fact, the .NET framework stuff is disturbingly similar to working with Java. If you think that something so Java-like is easier than anything you can do on an open source system, it's pretty obvious you don't know crap about software development on open source systems. "[i]Good enough IS good enough.[/i]" It's easy to make a statement like that. It's tautological. Unfortunately, it doesn't say anything [b]meaningful[/b]. "[i]You just have to remember to take in to account all of the variables when comparing products. You forget to do this in your worship of Linux and your blind hatred of Windows.[/i]" Pot, kettle. Get to know one another. News flash: Most users of open source OSes know more about MS Windows than the vast majority of MS Windows users. In fact, professional Unix and Linux admins often know more about MS Windows than the average professional MS Windows admin.

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

Whilst in business one of the main issues is reliability and trust to work with a supplier.The relationship is very clear 'AS A CUSTOMER I BUY YOUR PRODUCTS BECAUSE IT CAN CREATE VALUE FOR MY BUSINESS IN USING THEM' However as soon as the customer sees little or no value in using the product; they look elsewhere for the solution.This is a simply business relationship which the management at MS broke with their customers.Bill gates fell at the first fence and assumed that the customers would follow a technical solution he gave them rather than a solution hatched by his customers.This is not an emotional decision if MS want to produce a linux distro I will buy it as long as I trust them to support it and it does just what I want,when I want it and where.Bill will be melined for being a poor manager not a poor techi.We must also realise the company could have recruited good business leaders but failed to do so for reasons undisclosed.

mbm29414
mbm29414

I'm responding for the average home and business user. That user is not someone who has advanced computing knowledge. I daresay that most of those people have no idea what an .iso file is, much less the inclination to figure out how to get a copy of Linux downloaded, burned and installed. See, I basically said "Most people want to pay to have their oil changed, and that's a good solution for them." You responded with "You're completely biased against the home mechanic who finds cost savings and joy changing their own oil. Plus, changing oil is cheaper, and therefore easier." Cheaper doesn't mean easier. Plus, even though I have a whole lot more control changing my own oil (which I do, by the way), most people don't care about those details, and they only want their car to continue working without having to get under their cars to accomplish that. The fact of the matter is that Linux is confusing to most non-advanced computer users. Just the sheer number of distros causes distress. It took me hours of research to figure out that I should try Ubuntu (vs. Red Hat, Gentoo, etc...), not because I'm a newbie, but because I was unfamiliar with the choices. Compare that to someone who either buys a computer with Windows PRE-INSTALLED, or else goes to Best Buy and has (then) 2 choices, Win XP Home or Media Center, or (now) 3 choices, Vista Home Basic, Premium or Vista Ultimate. Seems Windows wins the ease of selection fight. Sure, it's more expensive, but that's for another point. An article I just read puts Windows' market share right at 90%. This is combined for home and business users. That means that most users buying another computer (the vast majority, actually) have experience with Windows that they most likely do not have with Mac or Linux. Again, when a user gets their Windows machine home, they most likely have some experience and know where to go to get their Email, Web Browser, games, etc... Windows wins again. Whoopdy do! You saved $360 bucks on your computer! I bet I could have saved you more by building it from components rather than buying it pre-built. Are you a moron for not choosing to build your own computer? Did you settle for "good enough"? Actually, the car/truck analogy isn't so silly. Let's talk about a Civic vs. an 18 wheeler big rig. If you have experience with the Civic, does that qualify you for the big rig? No. Why? Because they aren't equivalent. Sure, Linux and Windows are both OSs, but that doesn't mean that they work exactly the same. In fact, your argument in favor or Linux is founded on the fact that they're different. See how silly you are now? As for development, I'll admit that my experience is limited, but I do have some. One guy I know who's a Linux nut develops in Python, because he said it's the best to use for Linux. I tried Python, and the ease of use for it vs. Visual Basic isn't even close. Maybe there are other development systems out there, but my experience with what I think is standard for Linux (Python) vs. what I use (Visual Basic) left me cheering Microsoft. I may not have all the information, though. You call me ambiguous and then say "many" businesses and "quite a few" businesses. How many are "many" or "quite a few"? Surely, with Windows commanding 90% of the OS market, this "many" is really a relatively small number, right? I mean, of the 10% that's left, the majority goes to Mac. So tell me, am I better off developing a product for the 1% of business users, or the 90? Hmm.... Windows again!! My point with the "quickly and easily develop code" statement was to show that with the .NET framework, Microsoft has introduced a product that allows for good software to be quickly and easily produced. The truth of the matter is that, with the exception of spending the time to learn how to code, the software I write isn't all that difficult or complicated. That's a product of .NET. The original statement stands. It's correct. Good enough IS good enough. You just have to remember to take in to account all of the variables when comparing products. You forget to do this in your worship of Linux and your blind hatred of Windows.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]Is Linux better? NO![/i] That's a highly subjective answer. I have a second desktop running PCLinuxOS, with office software, a web browser, multimedia software and games. The PC cost $300 and had no Windows license attached. The software cost me $0. I saved $130 by [u]not[/u] purchasing a Windows license and another $230 by not purchasing MS Office. Did I do better? I think so. [i]Is it easier for the average user to get than Windows? No. (Yeah, I know you can download and burn a distro, but a lot of people don't want to invest the time.)[/i] What time? If I order Windows on-line, I have to wait three to five days unless I pay the overnight shipping premium. In the same amount of time it takes me to drive to the nearest OfficeBox and return, I can find the Linux distro of my choice, download the ISO, and burn a CD. I have the software I desire [u]now[/u], with the only cost being a prorata portion of my monthly access fee and a couple of cents for the CD blank. [i]Is it easier for the average user to run Windows or Linux? Windows, because the average user has experience with Windows.[/i] Is it easier for the average driver to drive a car or a truck? A car, because the average driver has experience with a car. See how silly that sounds? [i]Is it easier for me to develop for Windows or Linux?[/i] I have no idea what is easy or difficult for you. Do you have a basis for comparison? I'll admit I don't. I'm not a developer, I'm a service tech. [i]Is it easier for me to sell my programs on Windows or Linux? Windows. I would have a very, very hard time selling my (business) software to anyone who runs Linux, because very, very few businesses do so.[/i] Ambiguous statement. Very, very few businesses do what? Run Linux? Or sell software to businesses running Linux? Actually many businesses run Linux and quite a few others sell software to those businesses. [i]And by the way, I've found very, very few tasks that I can't accomplish quickly and easily writing code for Windows.[/i] How many average users have the knowledge to write code for Windows? I'm well above the average user and [u]I[/u] can't write code for Windows. I still think the original blanket statement that ?good enough is good enough because if there was something better, people would be using THAT instead ? is incorrect. What is ?good enough? for you may not be ?good enough? for me.

apotheon
apotheon

There are arguments that can be made in favor of MS Windows over open source Unix-like systems, such as many Linux distributions. Unfortunately, you don't tend to make those arguments. Instead, you seem to lean more toward saying things that are not supported by evidence or logically valid, relying on your own subjective tastes and unexamined assumptions. That's what happens when you start out with a foregone conclusion and start looking for arguments to back it up rather than looking for facts and offering them to support whatever conclusion you've reached, though. This seems to be a common problem for people who have used MS Windows for a long time, and have barely touched anything else. Have you heard the term [b][url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias]confirmation bias[/url][/b]? "[i]Is it easier for the average user to get than Windows? No. (Yeah, I know you can download and burn a distro, but a lot of people don't want to invest the time.)[/i]" Yeah -- you don't have to invest as much time to go to the store and pick up a retail box, or to order one online. Oh, wait: that's not right. "[i]Is it easier for the average user to run Windows or Linux? Windows, because the average user has experience with Windows.[/i]" You're misusing the term "easy" here. All else equal, it's easier to [b]start[/b] using something with which you're familiar. [b]Continuing[/b] to use it is another matter, which may be affected by things like the design of the interface, the stability of the system, the maintenance that's required to keep it secure, et cetera. . . . and that's all assuming all else is equal. It usually isn't. For instance, setting up your system so that it's reasonably secure for home use is actually rather more complex a task for MS Windows than it is for many Unix-like systems. Setting up a laptop so it's reasonably secure for use on public wireless networks adds even more complexity, especially for MS Windows systems where many of the tools to achieve greater security are far more difficult to install and configure than their Unix-based counterparts. "[i]Is it easier for me to develop for Windows or Linux? Windows, because Microsoft makes some wonderful tools that allow me to make some cool programs.[/i]" It's easier to develop [b]some[/b] things for MS Windows, [b]if[/b] you're familiar with Microsoft's tools for developing those types of applications. In general, however, it's easier to develop software on Unix systems -- which are, after all, designed far more with the developer in mind than MS Windows. There's a reason that many developers answer the question "What IDE do you use?" with "Unix!" They're not kidding as much as you might think. "[i]Is it easier for me to sell my programs on Windows or Linux? Windows. I would have a very, very hard time selling my (business) software to anyone who runs Linux, because very, very few businesses do so.[/i]" 1. You might be surprised by the number of businesses that run Linux-based systems and other Unix-like OSes. 2. Whether it's easier or harder depends quite a bit on what kind of software you're trying to sell. 3. Sometimes, when it's more difficult to sell a particular piece of software for Linux distributions, that's only because there are already several very good alternatives available (many of them freely available), whereas MS Windows doesn't even have one credible alternative. While this might mean you do find it easier to sell a piece of software for MS Windows, it also means that if you're [b]looking[/b] for such software instead of trying to [b]sell[/b] it, you'd be worse off with MS Windows than with a Linux distribution or other Unix-like OS. "[i]And I've toyed with Red Hat and Ubuntu. There's just no way those are viable OS's for a lot of businesses.[/i]" There are a lot of businesses for which MS Windows just isn't a viable OS, either. What's your point? edit: typo

mbm29414
mbm29414

Nick, Your last comment shows the fallacy of your entire argument. You need to define "good" and "better" in terms of not only technical (or mechanical) quality, but also in terms of price, ease of use, availability, learning curve, etc. Is Linux better? NO! Does it do some things better than Windows? Sure. Is it easier for the average user to get than Windows? No. (Yeah, I know you can download and burn a distro, but a lot of people don't want to invest the time.) Is it easier for the average user to run Windows or Linux? Windows, because the average user has experience with Windows. Is it easier for me to develop for Windows or Linux? Windows, because Microsoft makes some wonderful tools that allow me to make some cool programs. Is it easier for me to sell my programs on Windows or Linux? Windows. I would have a very, very hard time selling my (business) software to anyone who runs Linux, because very, very few businesses do so. I'm not saying that Windows is perfect, or that Linux is worthless, but in my case, Windows wins the "better" argument by a long, long shot. It's not even close. And I've toyed with Red Hat and Ubuntu. There's just no way those are viable OS's for a lot of businesses. And by the way, I've found very, very few tasks that I can't accomplish quickly and easily writing code for Windows.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Ask any of the help at the BigBoxStore what your choice of operating systems is... The almost universal response I've received is a puzzled look followed by "Well, it comes with Windows." At the time (about 6 months ago), I was asking to see if I could still get WinXP instead of Vista. edit: spelling

rfolden
rfolden

"The ?choice? of operating system is a choice most consumers don't even know they have." And ~95% + of DESKTOP PCs ready for purchase today will be shipped with Windows. The other choices: 1. No OS at all. (though that is probably not going to net the consumer any savings, as this is typically not an option at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples, Ronnies, Donnies, Mickey's and Mikes. And I rarely see this ("no OS") listed as an option on desktop/laptop PCs from Dell, HP, BigBoy computing, etc. 2. OS/X -- Technically, the hardware this runs on is not a PC, in the strict IBM "Personal Computer" as presented in 1982 sense. But could be included in "PC" if allowed to be "yeah, it's a computer, and it's personal." 3. Linux -- shipped on an underwhelming number of DESKTOP units. 4. Other 'you're on your on - so roll your own' Operating systems. Note I intentionally left out 'server class' PCs, Minis and Mainframes, where there is a bit more choice in Operating Systems available. I apologize for my former comment. Generally, though, I have found the 'lack of choice of operating system' argument typically pointed out by Linux Zealots. I probably jumped the gun. Sorry.

rfolden
rfolden

... as it always seems to do ...