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back to article Laptop Hunters snare Microsoft on Linux

Microsoft has made a tactical mistake in deciding to compete with Apple on price in its latest, much debated, Laptop Hunters TV ads. Until recently, Microsoft was pushing hard on the "value" of Windows. Now, though, the Laptop Hunters ads have turned the spotlight on the consistently high and - and recession proof - price tag of …

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Gold badge

"It's funny because it's true"

"It's funny because it's true". That's about all I have to say. I really hadn't thought about it but it IS a bad strategic mistake of Microsoft to emphasize low prices, when they add quite a lot to the price of them (both licensing fees, and extra hardware needed to run their software, especially with Vista.)

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Go

Linux distributors need to get off their duff

Linux distributors do need to get off their duff and begin advertising Linux.

It would be really interesting to see Linux advertise and Apple squeeze from the other side. Everytime Microsoft claims to be cheaper solution, Linux needs to prove that Linux is the lowest option. And everytime Microsoft tries to get its premium price because of features, Apple needs to step forward.

About the only thing Microsoft can say that would be true is that consumers are forced to buy Microsoft products primarily because of other applications that have the platform as a prerequisite.

Microsoft simply does not provide the lowest cost solution. Neither does it provide the highest quality of product.

And the more you know about systems the more likely you will benefit from Linux not from Microsoft or Apple.

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Gates Halo

good point but...

Doesn't the guy say that he wants the laptop to be functional? Liniux may but free, but I'm sure he doesn't want to screw around with config files for 2 years before he can use it.

Face it, Windows is usable, Linux isn't!

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Of course if you ignore...

1) Return on investment for large companies (i.e. retraining _every_ worker on the new systems) that and support.

2) Companies, and home users for that matter, want to able to ring up and ask a question as to why something doesn't work (and of course they want an easy solution) and expect either an immediate answer or one within a week, not some crap forum were your post could take weeks before someone even reads it.

3) They want their apps(esp. Games for home users) that they have paid for to run on it (before anyone points out 'but WINE will work" nobody wants to have to pay for additional hardware to run an app at the same speed that they were before)

4) they don't give a toss about 'you can edit the source code'

@ the article, yes he could have bought all that, but he wanted a laptop with a large screen that was powerful, not a Fisher-Price 'my first computer', he probably want s ot do something revolutionary, like play games on it.

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Bull.

So this guy compares an 18.4" laptop with a P8600 Core 2 Duo CPU, 4GB RAM, DVD rewriter/BR drive and a 500GB HDD with a netbook and blames the difference in price on Microsoft's licensing policy? Right.

If I wasn't so busy laughing my arse off I'd explain the principle of "total cost of ownership" to him, and that the average Microsoft customer is in no way interested spending days on end tweaking the operating system until WiFi finally works, or rebuilding his system every six months in order to update to a slightly humourously named "latest" version of the o/s that promises to finally manage to do the things that Windows has been able to do for the last 5 years.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Linux hater. In fact, I'm running three servers on CentOS and Debian and deal with it professionally on a daily basis. It suits me well on machines that I can lock in a cupboard and forget about. But for the average user it will only become of interest if the last trace of cryptic command lines are purged. And people like Jim Zemlin shut up, because their comments make them out to be just the kind of rabid Linux zealots Joe Bloggs doesn't want to be associated with.

The user of limited technical ability (and, let's face it, they are the vast majority) is not interested what o/s they run, as long as it stays invisible and allows them to do the things they want, namely running applications without hassle. And at the moment, that's really only Windows.

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Stop

Silly argument IMO

>"Shopping around, Giampolo could have got: an HP Mini 1000 notebook with Atom processor, G1 Google phone, a 42-inch plasma-screen TV, Neuros DVR and still have given back to the planet by donating a One Lap Top Per Child PC. All, of course, running Linux."

True, or he could the same set of devices but with Windows XP on that HP Mini 1000. Afterall there's little to no difference in retail price between the two.

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Linux

There are times

Honestly when I think that whom ever MS has as it's ad agency is secretly working for the competition. Because time after time they produce crap advertising that does nothing but shoot MS in the foot. Not that I'm objecting mind you, I'd love to see MS run out of town but wow the junk adverts they shell out good money for is just mind boggling.

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Linux is too small

Yes, Linux is free, but no one* cares. This is a battle between Apple and Microsoft, Linux doesn't even register on the field. We can have fun by pointing out the flaw in the logic, but logic often doesn't win the day.

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Re: Rob D's "good point but..."

Clearly Rob D has never actually installed software on Windows or Linux. Because there's equal amounts of crappy software on Windows as there is on Linux.

To top it off, a lot of hardware works out of the "box" now in Linux, while it can be a 2 week tour of China's internet trying to find drivers for Windows that actually work!

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Giampaolo, you blew it

Congratulations, Giampaolo - you got the opposite of what you said you wanted - portability & battery life. You even got 4G of RAM the supplied OS can't use fully. Next time let Apple make the technical decisions on how to allocate your $1500, and you'll get a better, more up-to-date laptop for the same money.

Never mind, you wouldn't know the difference anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

I spot an MCP

"1) Return on investment for large companies (i.e. retraining _every_ worker on the new systems) that and support."

Whereas no Microsoft transition ever needs any retraining for anyone. Not for Vista, not Office 2007, not for end users, not for support people, none of them. Microsoft. It's intuitive. Always. For everyone. What did you want to work today? And it will, because it's Microsoft. Right?

"2) Companies, and home users for that matter, want to able to ring up and ask a question as to why something doesn't work (and of course they want an easy solution) and expect either an immediate answer or one within a week"

This gives the game away. Any corporate IT user in the real world knows that IT *never* have any answers for MS queries, unless it's (1) have you tried rebooting? (2) we'll have to re-image your PC, we can do it in a fortnight.

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The guy failed to take into account several things

One, Linux is a LOT more expensive to support and maintain than Windows. Each new revision requires new driver releases to go with it. And there's tons of things that don't "just work" with Linux that work with Windows. Many XP users are using the same drivers they had 5 years ago, or even 9 years ago with Windows 2000. In 6 months, all the Linux driver vendors will have to release new drivers for that specific release. He honestly thinks Linux is going to be that much cheaper? How much is HP going to charge to support that cluster***** of an operating system that has wild dreams of adequacy?

Two, Linux is far more vulnerable to today's threats. Today's threats do not arrive from a remote hacker. They arrive in your inbox from your infected friend. You run it, it drops some modified binaries in your .bin folder (while otherwise appearing to be exactly what it claims to be), and it soon has your root password and full control over your system. Then it installs itself seamlessly with the operating system (it's open source; it can modify core OS files without breaking them), and you'll never know it's there. You'll never be able to get rid of it without a full nuke, either. Then it takes advantage of Linux's full Unix TCP/IP stack and does some very nasty things. Honestly, once the full threat of widespread desktop Linux becomes realized, I would not be surprised if many ISPs start outright banning it from their networks.

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Giampaolo

"he wanted a laptop with a large screen that was powerful, not a Fisher-Price 'my first computer', he probably want s ot do something revolutionary, like play games on it."

Actually he doesn't want anything at all. He doesn't exist. He's imaginary. This is an advert. Giampaolo is a projection of what Microsoft hopes the customer looks like.

I actually find that an ever diminishing number of regular users want these gigantic old clunkers, with their huge screens and their big keyboards, all that top-flight, wizz-bang crap inside of them. The fact that ALL of the remaining people, who still want these toy mainframes, read the Register, (and that half of them own a Mac) is why we have these debates; but that doesn't change the fact that we are becoming a cultural irrelevance. People, like us, look at best sellers and ask "Who the hell would want that?" But flip it around: what normal peron would want a gigantic "laptop" with a graphics processor that uses almost as much electricity and produces almost as much noise, as an electric drill? Jesus, dude, you want to play games, buy a console!

Normal people don't buy the kind of shit, we buy, anymore, because we're not normal. that's why we're sitting here reading comments, about an article, about an advert, in which an imaginary man buys a computer. Normal people don't do that. Microsoft appear to have decided to take Apple on, in an increasingly diminishing top-end, ubergeeky marketplace, in which things like price don't really matter as much as on-the-fly defrag, hot-zoning, and graphic-processing based on postscript: all that mad nonsense, WE care about. What normal person would use "Well, it's based on Unix...", as any kind of positive or negative argument, with regards buying a product?

I think Microsoft will lose, here, because, frankly, their software really is a bit of a honker, isn't it? Sure, you can become a specialist in keeping it running, buy it's a bit like becoming an expert in maintaining Italian car electrics (the question is not how it coud be done so well, but why it should be done at all).

All Apple will retain, however, is the ability to carry on selling the same number of niche, high-end machines, to people who care - same as they have done for the last three decades. Difference is, that Apple have diversified (albeit into making products whose popularity baffles many of us geeks) whereas Zune and Windows phones.... Well, even WE can see that they're honkers, can't we?

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jsp

FUD

The Linux dweebs might not have learnt much about ease of use yet but they have obviously picked up the idea of marketing FUD. But why does The Register report this without even the basic critical analysis in some of these comments?

@Lewis: advertising costs money. I doubt a business model based on providing Linux support provides much of an advertising budget.

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Licensing

Yes you can buy a Windows PC cheaper, and yes the current Mac prices are getting a bit rich to stomach. however in a business environment try price matching taking into account Licensing. Price up all your different Server and CAL licenses on Windows for a medium size business providing the usual Computer Services, then look at the straight Unlimited license that comes with an Apple Server. I have done repeated comparisons over the years as part of my job and Apple still comes out on top on TCO over a lifecycle.

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@RobD

Give me a config file over a registry edit anyday.

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Anonymous Coward

If linux is free...

Why should the proponents of Linux care if punters use Linux or not? I can understand in the server space, where money can be made from support...but what is gained if more people switch from Microsoft to Linux? Please don't give me the security excuse, because I use Windows (and Linux) and am completely malware free. Besides, if all the hackers and script kiddies out there started spending all their time looking for holes in Linux instead of Windows I'm sure they would find them.

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Paris Hilton

I had to look it up

The HDX X16 comes with 64bit Windows in Germany, so on paar with a Macbook pro but slightly more expensive :-)

At least it comes with DVB-T and Bluray, otherwise it would be really hard to find any drivers.

We are living in interesting times, Ubuntu supports my old Canon Pixma 4000 printer, my ancient Canon 5D camera and my even more ancient Canon FS2710 slide scanner. Not so lucky with Vista, neither 32 nor 64bit.

Oh, OSX 10.5 on my Macbook supports my hardware quite well and without any tweaks and workarounds, did I mention Vista which is a PITA compared to Ubunutu and OSX?

Paris, because what she supports .. ah forget it :)

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Wine is not an emulator

> They want their apps(esp. Games for home users) that they have paid for to run on it (before

> anyone points out 'but WINE will work" nobody wants to have to pay for additional hardware

> to run an app at the same speed that they were before)

Worth explaining here that wine really is not an emulator, it's an independent implementation of the Win32 API. Most applications run at similar speeds on Wine as they do on native Windows. Some run faster on Wine, because they can take advantage of a better underlying OS.

To be fair, not everything works yet on Wine, but it's pretty good.

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Linux

@Rob D

"but I'm sure he doesn't want to screw around with config files for 2 years before he can use it"

Not too hot in the competence department are we Rob ? I hope you're posting under a false name because if you work in IT your employer who could probably install Linux into a very useful state in an hour or 2 might just think you're not very good at it.

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Gates Horns

@ Lewis Mettler

You're absolutely right. Some snappy professional advertising highlighting the facts that Linux is easier to user, more powerful, more flexible and free would seriously dent Mickey$haft's bubble. If only the Linux vendors would pool their resources and invest in some of that, we'd really see Billy Boy shitting blue lights.

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Boffin

Human Nature

It's amazing how technical people ignore it. I would think an ad agency, on the other had, would definitely understand it. Some bright bulb thought "Recession == Cheap!"

Silly rabbit. The entire fashion industry exists to disprove that simplistic formula. People will rob banks to get the "cool, but pricey" stuff; especially when times are hard.

These are better ads for Apple than the "I'm A Mac; I'm A PC" ads.

Sadly, it won't help Linux at all.

Like I said: Geeks don't seem to understand basic human nature.

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Boffin

@Rob D - Don't use Windows much do you?

Or Linux

Unless you are stepping out of the mainstream with components Linux works and works nicely. This is an Acer Aspier 5930G lappy, Puppy Linux and Ubuntu in various forms have been used on this, wirelessly connected and done all sorts of computery things. No hassle, no config hell.

As a support guy with a few Windows machines under my control, I am no stranger to the command line and the hell of the registry. I can only assume you don't do much with your set-up

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Gates Horns

Don't forget the hardware cost...

These days you need a supercomputer to run Windoze. And if it runs, all it does is cause you pain...

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@AC 8/4 21:35 "Of course if you ignore..."

Well, actually not specifically you, but you some up the main points of the others...

1) Return on investment - and every time MS brings out new versions of its <insert package> there isn't a whole lot of investment in time and manpower to test it's suitability? There's a lot of renewals coming up for licensing (Vista will have created a bit of a bulge I suspect). And of course the same applies to retraining.

2) If you have ever tried to get support from MS you will know that it is actually provided by your equipment manufacturer (The EM of OEM License). Therefore, the support would still be supplied by them. If you've bought an actual copy of MS, cool. I wish you luck when you have 5 mins at work to call their helpline to ask for general guidance on a wierd thing that sometimes happens. "Hello, sir, do you have your license key and are you sitting by your computer?" "No, just a quick general question..." "Sorry, sir call me back from home. With your papers."

Add to this that the manufacturer will as part of the process of development have built drivers (as they would with MS as well), then drivers are available to run easily in Linux. No prob.

3) Can't argue with the gamers argument in the beginning, but they aren't a majority. Most people just email, twitter, surf. w*nk, write a letter on the computer. When a mainstream is created, the fringe software companies will take notice and go cross-platform. It wasn't so long ago that was a reason for not getting a Mac. Now the top software houses are developing there.

You also tail off onto something about hardware, couldn't follow that. I always thought it was MS that burned the hardware.

4) "they don't give a toss about 'you can edit the source code'": Good, but unfortunately they know nothing about closed software and how it inhibits innovational evolution either.

I am no 'fan boy'. Just a small business home office guy who felt Business Continuity was becoming an issue. I bought a laptop in urgent circumstances and had no choice but Vista. I really did try (For a friggin year!), but... no. XP is nearing end of release, so no hope there. I have to plan 5 years ahead and my upgrade then. So, where do I go? Linux.

It was only because my partner's parents got a new computer and someone dual booted it with Linux that I finally made the jump. They will openly admit to knowing nothing about computers but ranted about how much quicker it was. They had the choice right there in front of them, and they as users of a pre-setup computer chose Linux. What can I say?

Will MS license their software to be paid-for upon 'user-acceptance'. i.e. you pay Dell for your computer, Dell pays MS nothing. Upon booting it offers you MS or Linux, with a blurb. Of course, the extra cost (if any of course!!) in licensing and supporting either one of the systems is to be paid. Ooo, free or £X? Let's try free then if we hate it pay that vastly reduced, but still above 0 price for the other.

Laptop is running like a bird now, not like an overheating wind tunnel.

Ahh bliss.

nK

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Thumb Down

Missing the point again.

If it were only just about the money, Linux would have won ages ago but it isn't. The simple fact is Linux is just not as user friendly as Windows. If Linux is so good, how come so many people would rather put a pirate version of Windows on their computer than Linux when it's free?

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Bronze badge
Gates Horns

You can pay one way, or pay another...

Yeah, sure the Wintel hardware is cheaper, dollar/poundwise, but I'd love to know -- based on the current going rates for IT consulting -- how much extra it'd cost for all the time you spend patching Windows/IE and securing Windows/IE and getting Vista to run and scraping malware off the system, not to mention the Microsoft Tax you pay whether you want Vista on your goddamn' laptop or not.

I bought my G4 iBook a couple of years ago for about $1200, with OSX "Tiger" installed. I fired it up, and it just ran. I installed the AirPort drivers on it, restarted it, it found the router, and it just ran. I installed a copy of Little Snitch on it, and it just ran. I installed Adobe CS on it, fired 'em up, and the just ran. It didn't come compromised or backdoored or pwn3d or zombied or b0rk3n out of the box, it just friggin' ran.

I don't have to screw around with it. It just runs. It's sexy because it's powerful.

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Linux Quality

The bottom line is that price is not the deciding factor for consumers - there isn't really that big a difference in price. If somebody wants a Mac, they'll pay for it. Its not going to be that much more expensive.

And the funny thing is, Linux should be competing on quality rather than price. If you install the latest Fedora on a relatively new machine, you'll spend way less time hunting down drivers than you would if you install Windows XP SP3. Add to that the enormous ecosystem of software ready to run on Linux just a 'yum install' or 'apt-get' away, and you'd be surprised at the quality and breadth of software.

But Linux won't win on cost, because right now, hiring people who know Linux is not cheaper. Hiring people to program for Linux is not cheaper. Most of the time and money that goes into setting up and running an operating system (be it Apple, Linux, Solaris, AIX, HPUX, or MS) isn't licensing. Its part of the ongoing cost.

That said, an admin or developer with a working brain can setup Puppet or cfengine and really improve the quality of the system even further, if you've got a Unix OS. Say what you will about Linux, but Active Directory is a joke, and the configuration management tools for Windows either blow or cost too much.

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Microsoft VS Linux ok. Microsoft vs Apple NOT ok.

Linux & f.o.s.s. versus Microsoft I can see. Its a slow-mo fight but its on.

Microsoft vs Apple, I can't see.

Apple makes premium prosumer and consumer hardware and is doing a bang up job while laughing all the way to the bank.

Frankly its like trying to compare a Lamborghini versus a 2CV and a 18 wheeler truck except that Microsoft doesn't even make either of the 2CV or the 18 wheeler.

I can't imagine Steve Jobs wasting more than the occasional glance in the rear view mirror over this.

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Gold badge

@Rob D and AC

"Doesn't the guy say that he wants the laptop to be functional? Liniux may but free, but I'm sure he doesn't want to screw around with config files for 2 years before he can use it.

Face it, Windows is usable, Linux isn't!"

Rob D, this simply isn't true any longer. A distro like Ubuntu, there's no screwing around with config files. They are there in /etc, but the days of editing config files to set up networking, screen resolutions, etc. are long gone. I could make the same comment about the registry, really.. I've found recent distros allow MORE configuring through the GUI (before having to resort to editing config files) than Windows does (before resorting to regedit, typically.)

I have also found Linux far more usable than Windows.

@AC

"1) Return on investment for large companies (i.e. retraining _every_ worker on the new systems) that and support."

Businesses are finding differences in Office 2007 are harder to retrain for than OpenOffice. Vista is quite different too. Unless they literally stay with Office 2003 and XP forever, people are GOING to have to be retrained. Places that HAVE done large-scale Linux deployments have really found this to not be the problem they'd expected.

"2) Companies, and home users for that matter, want to able to ring up and ask a question as to why something doesn't work (and of course they want an easy solution) and expect either an immediate answer or one within a week, not some crap forum were your post could take weeks before someone even reads it."

Who do home users call? Certainly not Microsoft, they charge a large amount per call. Businesses can get a support contract if they are that worried about it, which, don't forget, they would have to do with Microsoft to get Windows support. I've found forums to be quite active, often times I'll do a search and my question is already answered. Usually the answer was posted within hours of the question.

"3) They want their apps(esp. Games for home users) that they have paid for to run on it (before anyone points out 'but WINE will work" nobody wants to have to pay for additional hardware to run an app at the same speed that they were before)"

Wine doesn't require extra hardware to run an app at the speed they were before. Typically, wine will run an app FASTER than native Windows. If it works at all, which is really the real problem with wine at this point.

"4) they don't give a toss about 'you can edit the source code'"

Won't argue about that. It's likely true.

"@ the article, yes he could have bought all that, but he wanted a laptop with a large screen that was powerful, not a Fisher-Price 'my first computer', he probably want s ot do something revolutionary, like play games on it."

Yes the article did gloss over this. But, the real point is true -- with machines dropping under $400 (and Windows costing a $40-100 extra), Microsoft is playing a dangerous game playing the price game.

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A

Lame..

MS Shooting themselves in the foot?

They have the biggest feet on earth, no matter what they do, inevitably they will hit one of their feet!

I'm just surprised that anyone gives a *BLEEP*!

Seriously, I don't get it..

... lame....

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Flame

@AC vs "ignore"

> 1) Return on investment for large companies (i.e. retraining _every_ worker on the new

> systems) that and support.

response A) vista & office 2007 are both significantly different to XP and office 2003, and will have similar training requirements

response B) large companies usually don't train their users on productivity tools like this anyway

>2) Companies, and home users for that matter, want to able to ring up and ask a question as

>to why something doesn't work (and of course they want an easy solution) and expect either

>an immediate answer or one within a week, not some crap forum were your post could take >weeks before someone even reads it.

response A) commercial support is available for linux, openoffice, etc

repsonse B) most home users ask their knowledgeable friend/child/colleague anyway

>3) They want their apps(esp. Games for home users) that they have paid for to run on it

>(before anyone points out 'but WINE will work" nobody wants to have to pay for additional

>hardware to run an app at the same speed that they were before)

response A) "games" is the *only* reason why anyone would really want a particular platform - everything else has a feasible & often cheaper and/or more effective alternative

response B) for really *good* games, go to your console, where you don't have to fiddle about with device drivers & video settings to get the optimum result

> 4) they don't give a toss about 'you can edit the source code'

response A) plenty of corporations find that they care about having access to source code when their favourite mission-critical application is arbitrarily EOL'd by the vendor, bought out & killed by a competitor, or need to work out how to efficiently integrate one application with others & can't work out why it's not working.

response B) but they might care about "you can read the data file"

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Anonymous Coward

Linux is an also-ran

I like Ubuntu. I love the concept of Open Source. I have no problem with Linux at all. But let's be honest - to the vast majority of users, there's the PC and the Mac. Both can fight over whatever features they want, but it's no lie to state that Apple make expensive products. They say it themselves.

Is a Linux computer going to be cheaper? Yes, but if the consumer is too scared to try it, you cannot blame MS for that. Most people don't want to know about bashing shells or whatever, just like they don't know how to change the oil in their cars... but they can drive. We shouldn't think everyone's got to be a nerd. Computers are just tools to mose people.

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Silver badge

Linux has gone a long way

Today on most hardware you simply install your modern (k)ubuntu distribution and after one reboot you're left with a fully functional system. There's no need for endless install orgys where you pop in CD after CD, and if you make a mistake, you'll have to start all over again.

Even the hardware support has gone a long way from what people are used with Windows. At work we had 2 workstations, a normal Kubuntu 8.10 one, and a Windows Vista (32 Bit) one. We got 5 random USB devices. 4 of them conformed to standard USB classes and therefore should run on any OS. One was a proprietary WLAN USB stick. The standard devices were a USB->Serial adapter, a USB->ethernet adaptor and an USB->Bluetooth adaptor. All of them, even the proprietary WLAN stick worked as soon as you plugged them in under Linux. _None_ of them worked out of the box on Windows Vista!

So unless you are prepared to get lots of support calls talking users through the process of installing drivers for hardware without having a CD-Rom drive, you might consider giving Linux a try.

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Gates Horns

What is it with window susers?

@ Frank Sattler - When did Windows become the golden standard for innovation and intuition? "as long as it stays invisible and allows them to do the things they want, namely running applications without hassle. And at the moment, that's really only Windows" Windows is invisible? Is it bollocks. XP was bad enough with its constant "are you really sure" style messages and ridiculous approach to security enforcement. Vista and UAC made it worse. The real problem (and if Microsoft had half a clue they'd abuse this) is that average users *think* that Windows *is* computing. Most users seem to think that Office is Windows!!!

@ Rob D: Way to prove that you are a fuckwit. Nice bit of trolling though. The amount of people that hated Vista because the interface changed slightly, and was therefore HARDER TO USE, is untold! They've done it again with 7! Windows just isn't intuitive, because THEY KEEP BLOODY MOVING THINGS!!! Whoever thought shutting down a machine from the 'Start' button was a good idea anyway? Twunt.

Why are you market share nerds so scared of entities that, as you constantly point out, have less than 10% market penetration combined? Is it because you know that they offer better products?

I agree with what Lewis Mettler said, except the bit at the end, obviously...

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@Mike

You're clearly one of these people who cares, mate.

Cares deeply.

You're also on f these people who thinks he can talk a reality into existence, simply by saying something is so. good luck with that one, my friend. You might like to know that Noel Edmonds has a religeon for people like you.

Oh, hang on.

You've already got a religeon, haven't you?

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Anonymous Coward

Cunning

Finally, a way to troll the Windows fanboys, the Apple fanboys and Linux fanboys all at once. Nice work!

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Anonymous Coward

@Mike 09:31

You really make yourself look like an idiot (and do the MS fan club no favours at all) here. I'll leave it to others with more time than I have to pull the specifics apart, but you are talking serious rubbish here. I will comment on one claim:

"(it's open source; it can modify core OS files without breaking them),"

Obviously.

Obviously you're an idiot.

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Bronze badge
Alert

@Conor Turton - Wake up mate!

Because of the simple dyed in the wool, western capitalist dogma.

"If it costs money it must be better than something that is free! If it was any good surely you'd be making money from it, right? Not just giving it away!"

Like they say up north, "You get owt for nowt!"!

That is irrespective of if the thing in question is any good or not. When you go into your local town and someone offers you something for nothing, your first thought is, why? What's wrong with it? Why are you trying to give me something for nothing? Is it broken or a trick? I know I do every time.

I use OSX at home, lucky enough to be able to use Ubuntu for my desktop at work. Sorry Bill and Steve B, but the world changed and you didn't keep up!

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Flame

Kill all Fanboys

Talking Head 1 - Linux is crap

Talking Head 2 - Windows is crap

Talking Head 3 - OSX is crap

Talking Head 1 - Configuration , total cost of ownership , Command Line !

Talking Head 2 - blue screen of death, virus prone , DRM !

Talkign Head 3 - style- over -function , vendor lock in, price

ME - All platforms (os + hardware to include apple) have their own setbacks - You should choose one that suits you best

<rant>

You shouldnt bother engaging in excessive fanboyism or repeating trite "facts" to hammer home why your choice is better.

Linux is hard to configure? Try setting up a home media system with windows "media centre"

Windows can be buggy ? Try installing a very modern game on wine

No computer system is perfect

I work in a tech support role and get calls from people with macs whos airport refuses point blank to connect to a wireless network because the psk is too short

I get windows users who cant go online because software updates have changed the settings in their lan settings

and I get linux users (mostly with netbooks) who cannot get their head round mozzilla thunderbird because its layout is different than OE

There is no 1 perfect computer system so please go cockslap each other elsewhere

At the moment ALL my web design , video editing, sound editing , music recording , emulation gaming , web browsing and general work is done off kubunut intrepid_ibex. all my pc gaming is done off the dual boot xp because I dont care to fiddle with wine (though it does run fallout 1 and a lot of pre win2k games without issue) because if im working im working and if im gaming im gaming.

</rant>

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Anonymous Coward

@Mike: one word: bollocks

I am no newbie. I was able to program at 12. I've used MS-DOS since it came out and pretty much every version of Windows there is. I've also used and/or maintained various flavours of UNIX, Linux and MacOS over the years so I think I am coming from a knowledgeable background. However I am not as geeky as all that and so can see things from the perspective of a "regular" user.

My opinion on this? My long suffering laptop was a cheap XP box with an AMD processor when it was new. It doesn't have the graphics card to look pretty using Vista/Win 7 (both of which have been installed) and it isn't the fastest or most memory-burdened machine in history. I use Ubuntu on it most of the time. Like pretty much every modern Linux distro, it installs cleanly, without asking too many geeky questions (unless you want it to ask them) and when it comes up it just works in the very same way that OSX is reputed to do.

It boots quickly. It surfs the 'net, does email, does chat and it has OpenOffice on it. I use Picasa to play with and organise my photos. I don't really do games but it does them okay. Facebook - sure. *Most* people just don't need any more and experience of hooking Linux up to corporate networks tells me that there's no issue there. I even remember putting a bunch of users' data onto a Samba server and modding the login scripts overnight to point at the new box and letting them run for a couple of weeks. Nobody, including the director of IT, even noticed that anything had changed.

At work I knocked up a lean and mean, locked down and basic build for our legacy PC equipment. Old PCs which were heading for the bin are now reimaged from a CD in about 5 minutes flat and becoming thin(ish) clients with a browser and 5250 access (all most of our people need) that just don't go wrong - and if they do, you just switch it off and on again...

Linux is not a bad option if you have something for it do do. It won't run sparkly games - mostly because they're presumably not written for it - and yes, sometimes, a bit of manual tweaking is desirable but that goes for Windows too. Like Windows, it works anywhere you put it and in an office environment where games aren't important, there is no reason why Linux couldn't be a viable contender both in the server room and on the desktop.

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@Mike

The hell you say??

You sir are a troll, and a pathetically transparent one at that.

If I'm wrong, and you're not a troll, I pray you are never allowed a position of responsibility in this industry, 'cause you're clearly an ill-informed, zealous fool.

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OSX is a competitor to windows, linux is not

Saying linux competes with windows on price is pointless because linux sucks a big bag of dicks.

Its like saying harrr this fecal matter is a better source of sustenance than your steak because its cheaper!

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Pirate

Windows is squeezed in the middle of Mac and Linux

Microsoft has been pushing against Linux for a few years now with the word that not only is Linux not free, but their Windows provided and integrated experience. The free part is a tough sell in my book but since they do own and control the whole OS and software stack on Windows and they tie everything together to block competition, well they might have something over some parts of Linux OSS packages.

But then they start going after Apple on price and say Windows is cheaper and your paying extra for fluff on the Mac. The problem here is that, like Windows, Apple owns the OS and software stack and also controls the hardware so the integration is pretty darn smooth. Far smoother than anything Microsoft provides.

They can't have it both ways. But, like much of what they say and do, it's lies, more lies, and pretty much 100% marketing rhetoric. One of these days the press and hopefully the public will catch on to it.

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Unfortunately, it's all too real

You may consider me a troll, but fact is, rootkits are real. And anyone can compile a doctored binary on an open source OS. Privilege escalation is also a very real threat. While it is possible to give primary priority to the /bin binaries, by default the user's .bin folder gets priority. If Linux becomes mainstream on the desktop, these threats will all too become real. Its security architecture is simply not set up to handle modern threats.

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Happy

@Mike

Hah hah! You had me going for a minute, but then my irony detectors kicked in.

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Go

Oh Yeah !

hehehehehehehehehehe

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Silver badge
Coat

odd

I'm not entirely sure what MS were hoping to achieve - was it some kind of co-marketing deal with HP?

Apple's success in the home market is based on the nifty software they have which caters for that market. Even if you can get a better hardware spec for a windows pc for the price of a Mac, Mac users don't care - the hardware is adequate and the software is superior for their purposes.

The "I don't want to spend that much" regarding a Mac is revealing. Yes he wants a Mac - he's just too poor (subtext: unsuccessful, a loser) to get one. The ad agencies really do seem to have it in (again) for MS!

The OS isn't too important and I don't know why MS is getting involved with hardware specs of systems which are almost certainly all going to run windows. Maybe if MS had something like time machine, iLife etc and bundled it with windows, with HP (or even Sony) producing hardware which looked anything remotely as lovely as a Macbook, then Apple might see some competition and we'd see a more accurate comparison of hardware+software pricing. As it is, I still need to carry around an external mouse for a PC laptop because the trackpads are so awful. Therefore, despite being a linux-only user, for laptop use, I'd rather have a Mac.

Icon: Giampaolo, getting his mac...

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