back to article Microsoft tells US retailers Linux is rubbish

As the launch of Windows 7 approaches, Microsoft is distributing literature to American retailers claiming that Linux works with few peripherals or online services, offers limited software capability, affords no authorized support, does not work with games "your customers want," and cannot use video chat on any of the major IM …

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  1. Goat Jam
    Gates Horns

    Hey Microsoft

    If Linux is so crap, then why are you so scared to allow OEMs to dual install it on their PC's?

    Are you afraid that if you were to give users a choice that many of them would choose to say "fuck off Microsoft" perhaps?

    Oh, and while I'm at it el reg, WHERE IS THE EVIL BALLMER ICON!

    Or the one with Fat Steve with a Festeresque light bulb in his mouth at least!

    Bill because, see above.

  2. zonky
    Linux

    I notice there is no section:

    Keeping your OS and installed apps up to date

    WIndows: Extremely difficult / Very Expensive

    Linux: Easy.

    But like, consumers don't want to be secure, do they.

  3. Jeremy 2
    Grenade

    Windows Live Messenger...

    A casual Google suggests that contrary to the claims, there are several MSN/Live Messenger clients for Linux. Of course they're not MS software but they (presumably) work none the less so to say they're "not supported" is bogus too. Although I don't know why I'm surprised about any of this. Their marketing people aren't stupid and presumably recognise the threat from Ubuntu (compared to other Linux flavours)...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Microsoft Partner Program = FAIL

    After seeing this post and another upon another site (http://www.overclock.net/windows/569458-microsoft-attack-linux-retail-level-probably.html), I sent an e-mail to Microsoft's Partner Program and asked for my account to be removed. When they asked 'why', I told them I no longer wanted to be affiliated with a company that uses unethical tactics for competitors (i.e. Linux).

    As I am a long-time reseller/partner for Red Hat & MySQL, when it takes this type of FUD marketing to deal with competing products and/or services, then I really start to loose faith in a company's abilities -- especially from a partnership stance.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Support includes

    iPods.... which interestingly MS would like to kill off.

    Perhaps it is time for Apple to downgrade the quality of iPod/iTunes for MS machines? (Note the joke alert!)

  6. Morris Maynard

    All of the claims

    are true.

  7. Alan Esworthy
    Linux

    Foetid Dingo's Kidneys

    What a load of <title>. I'm posting this using an HP notebook I picked up for a song because it had suffered a disk failure and the replacement was virgin - no Windows license included. So, I burned an Ubuntu disc, put it in the drive, and in very little time and with no real effort, here I am wirelessly connected (with encryption), networked to my HP LaserJet, running iTunes for my iPhone (via Wine), and using the same browser and email client I've been using for years (Firefox and Thunderbird).

    I'm not bragging, just stating that this was an extremely straightforward setup - simpler by far than XP.

    I've been using computers of one form or another since before many of you were born, since 1972 actually. I've had to learn quite a lot about most platforms I worked on, and I've worked on almost all of them at one time or another. I mention this because I had to check to see what version of Ubuntu I'm running (9.02 it says) because - sorry for the shouting - I HAVE NOT HAD TO LEARN SQUAT ABOUT LINUX BECAUSE IT JUST WORKS. And it works more reliably and with far fewer complications than any Windows I've used (and I actually still have the floppies somewhere for the text-based Windows Version 1).

  8. Llama-made
    Linux

    O noes!!!11

    Microsoft bashes Linux with highly debatable 'facts'? News at 11.

    The relentless and unstoppable slow waddle of the penguin carries on regardless. Ballmer might as well change his name by deed poll to Canute.

  9. Charles Manning

    Mixed bag

    Some of this is just plain rubbish, but there are shreds of truth too.

    Linux pros:

    * USB and BT devices tend to "just work" without having to load up drivers etc.

    * No virus problems.

    Linux cons:

    * Some stuff really depends on software supplied by device manufacturers, and that's all Windows specific. Apps for driving web cams, for example.

    * Ubuntu etc still tend to need hoop-jumping to get basic stuff like youtube working. Yup, in theory Ubuntu will automatically install the plugins but is doesn't always do so.

    * Get something problematic like a mild disk corruption that needs an fsck and most people are stumped. You need a tame *nixer to fix that sort of problem.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Alan Esworthy

    What happens if you put a FAT32 usb drive into your ubuntu machine and try to write to it?

  11. bbneo

    Microsoft doesn't work with peripherals...

    My April 2007 Dell Vista Notebook wasn't compatible with its own "certified" Intel 945 gm graphics chipset, *nor* was it compatible with the DVD burner that Dell shipped in the machine. Took about a year and a half and *two* OS reinstalls (hours!) to fix those problems.

    Recently reinstalled Windows XP on my mother's Compaq Presario desktop... took *5 hours*!!! And when it was through, it didn't recognize the Netgear USB wireless adapter... had to truck the wireless modem/router from its basement hole and move the computer to connect directly so that I could download the damn driver.

    I installed fedora 10 Linux on the same machine. It took less than an hour and didn't have any problems with drivers for: the display, the usb mouse, the HP printer *or* the Netgear wireless router. Screw Microsoft. They only want your money.

    Dress with Tux.

  12. bbneo

    iTunes works with Wine!!!?

    Thanks. I might not have dared to try to install iTunes with Wine and sync my iPhone, but maybe I will now. That's about my last Windows specific app... my last reason to boot into Windows again, ever. ;-)

  13. danny_0x98

    Going Green

    Compatible with most software? Arguable but who wants to argue?

    What most people want (as long as we keep mum about those server room purchasers)? Well indeed, Yet a retailer with an eye on the Wall Street Journal will see that Apple makes a ton of money despite not being what most people want.

    Still, it is most and not all isn't it? Perhaps the retailer should be advised "and those folks who want a Linux system are quite used to buying Windows and blowing it away. We make a sell, you make a sell, and the buyer ends up happy and how else could we achieve 100% satisfaction?"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Alan E

    I have had the opposite experince with Linux, crap wirelss roaming, if the wirless decides to work at all.

    One laptop does not make a comprehensive test you know.

    That said MS are being very unreasonable telling lies like this.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Titles are so last century

    I remember (with distaste) my last XP installation. Load the operating system (about an hour). Load driver disks for motherboard, video card, sound card, scanner, three printers, webcam, TV card (about another hour). Load various applications from CDs/DVDs - half a day. Upgrade to latest service pack and updates around two hours

    Then load Mandriva in the spare partition - about an hour. Load the NVIDIA video driver - five minutes. Load latest patches - an hour. Nothing else needed, as all the other peripherals 'just worked' and the appropriate application software came on the installation DVD.

    So, what's easy?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Unflattering penguin.

    See how Microsoft chose a penguin who is sort of downward and unhappy looking for linux. maybe Linux needs an upward facing and happy looking penguin. things like that matter to the unwashed masses.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    WINE

    Stop with the wine references. Saying that something runs on Linux via wine is misleading and dishonest(IMHO).

  18. Jan Hargreaves
    Thumb Up

    Re

    Morris: cant do anything but agree. i'm afraid they are all true.

    Alan: perhaps that is because you have learnt everything along the way. try giving ubuntu to john smith and asking him to set up a wireless network or sync his itunes downloads to his iPod. with windows its easier. surely you cannot disagree? don't get me wrong, linux is great - i use it on my server - but these booklets are not intended for us tech geeks.

  19. jake Silver badge

    This would be laughable, but try to remember ...

    The idiots on the ground at most "home electronics" stores are brain-dead, minimum-wage slaves to whatever Corporate says they must do. Well over half of them probably believe the MS propaganda, because they quite simply don't know any better!

    This in turn will be passed on to the consumer, who in general is even more clueless.

    The truly sad thing is that there is no way to prosecute Microsoft for what is (in essence) "false advertising by proxy" ... I get thrown out of "office supply" stores on a regular basis for loudly allowing as to how the sales-droid is clueless, simply parroting the company sales pitch, and can I please talk to someone with a little bit of technical knowledge?

    It's hard to fight a huge corporate marketing machine with a gigantic war-chest ... but I have found that when addressing individuals & small groups it helps to point out that Microsoft does not exist to help individuals get on with their computer needs, but rather Microsoft exists to pay it's corporate shareholders. Linux & the BSDs (including GNU, GCC, Sendmail, Apache, Mozilla, KDE, Gnome, et ali), on the other hand, exist because someone had a need for a computer tool, wrote it, AND DECIDED TO SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD.

    There is a big difference, at least in my mind.

    Another thing to think about is that huge corporate entities will eventually go away. Where are Burroughs, Sperry, Allied Signal, Philco, Amdahl, Remington Rand, DEC and ROLM? What about fscking Enron? All gone.

    On the other hand, FOSS, by its very nature, is here to stay ... and I think Microsoft is not only scared spitless, but too much of a dinosaur to be able to change its business model fast enough to remain viable for another ten years (or so).

    Time will tell. Onwards & upwards.

  20. John Savard Silver badge

    Just Because It's FUD

    doesn't mean it isn't the truth. Because of Microsoft's dominant position, to most ordinary people, a computer with Linux on it instead of Windows would be a lot less useful.

    Of course, Microsoft has done a lot to keep it that way, but disingenuousness is not the same as inaccuracy.

  21. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Flame

    Well, well, well, well...

    We know the perception that Microsoft wants to create regarding Linux.

    What we also want to know is the perception regarding Mac. A depliant about this meant for professional salespeople MUST exist. Oh wait, you mean they have lawyers on call?

    Windows has its advantages. Where do you get treated to an arcade game of "you may be in trouble/upgrade now/download XYZ/consider upgrading for a fee/agree to this-and-that EULA" popups and sundry retarded and mutually inconsistent dialog boxes for hours on end _for free_ the first time you switch on a newly bought machine?

    ...And then you still get to install Vista SP2 manually. The win cannot be topped.

  22. Big-nosed Pengie
    Gates Horns

    What a pity

    that false advertising isn't illegal.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    AC@0224

    @Alan Esworthy #

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 9th September 2009 02:24 GMT

    What happens if you put a FAT32 usb drive into your ubuntu machine and try to write to it?

    It just works. Even an NTFS one would just work. Though why would anyone in their sane mind want to use FAT/NTFS on flash storage I don't know...

  25. Daniel 1

    Why so surprised?

    Be honest, if most companies could simply print outright lies about their competitors' products, they would do.This is no different to the fact that, if they believed they could get away with it, Ford would tell you that you would die screaming, in the flames of your wrecked SUV, if you bought a Mitsubishi. In fact, since the target, here, is 'Linux' (as a way of using computers) as opposed to buying everything from Microsoft, this is more like Ford attempting to prove that cycling gives you cancer. 'Linux' isn't a competitor, in the sense that Apple or IBM are, so Microsoft can - and will - print and publish whatever it likes. Who's going to sue?

    The one thing you can be sure about, is that this is nothing to do with ensuring customers can make informed decisions about their purchases.

  26. Ian Ferguson
    Grenade

    Missing the point

    Rather than claiming that Linux is incompatible with most devices (technically incorrectly), Microsoft should just point out how easy it is to set them up in Windows, and how bloody complicated it is in Linux.

    I'm sure the Linux fanboys are whining about how every item in the list can be achieved just fine in Linux, but the fact is 99.9% of consumers don't have the patience or motivation to try.

  27. MarkOne
    Megaphone

    Microsoft went off the boil ALONG time ago.

    almost all their products are inferior to the competition

    Xbox (poor mans PS3)

    IE (not as good as Opera, Chrome, Firefox or Safari)

    IIS (not as good and much more expensive and less flexible than Apache)

    Silverlight (poor mans Flash)

    Windows (poor mans MacOS)

    Zune (poor mans Walkman/iPod/iRiver)

    The only 2 products that are still better than other peoples, are their developer tools (Dev Studio) and Office.. When all your products suck so badly compared to everyone else's, the easiest thing you can do, rather than making them better, is to brainwash clueless consumers with propaganda.

  28. ChrisInBelgium
    Gates Horns

    Most people believe these lies anyway

    Real world experience:

    Installing Vista on a desktop with Nvidia graphics card, run of the mill motherboard with Nvidia 2 chipset, a Topcom wireless adapter, an HP printer and a cheap webcam. Result: no drivers for the motherboard chipset, no drivers for the wireless adapter. Vista not working.

    Installed since then Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04, openSuse 11.1, and Mandriva 2008, ALL worked without asking for any driver, wireless card just works, even the webcam.

    In case you wonder why all the different distributions? It's a system with removable harddisks, so I can switch the OS in a matter of seconds, and I like to experiment.

    Who are they kidding though?

  29. sandman

    And...

    Does anyone really expect any company not to do all it can to defend and expand its market position? At least Microsoft haven't got round to sponsoring coups, hiring private armies and destabilising foreign powers. On an unethical scale of 1 to 10 this campaign rates about a 0.5. Wow, a handful of people might not buy a Linux net box or whatever because of it - big deal.

    Despite some of the major Linux distros now being owned by large companies I haven't noticed them marketing to the consumer in an effective and ruthless manner like Apple and MS. If Linux really is ready for the mass market this is what is required, technical superiority isn't enough, as those of you who might remember Betamax video will know.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @danny_0x98

    "...will see that Apple makes a ton of money despite not being what most people want......"

    Umm. You do realise the absurdity of this statement now you get the chance to re-read it, I hope?

    I agree that generally speaking no-one wants MacOS but Apple make their money from iPods, iPhones and assorted consumer equipment, not computers.

    You may see a lot of people here slagging off iPods and iPhones but they just have some irrational beef that makes them try to project their own desires on an otherwise contrary world.

    People want iPhones and iPods.So they buy them. And Apple makes bucketloads of dosh selling them.

    Your statement is equivalent to claiming that the Zune is the world's number one music player because Microsoft make a lot of money.

  31. Phil 68
    FAIL

    @AC 9/9/9 2:24

    <quote> What happens if you put a FAT32 usb drive into your ubuntu machine and try to write to it?</quote>

    It works instantly with no problem at all reading and writing, as it does if said USB drive contains FAT16, NTFS, ext3, ext3, ext4, HFS, HFS+, xfs and probably a load of other file systems I've forgotten to mention.

    Same question for Windows (any version).

    What happens if I plug USB drives with all of the above file systems on it into a Windows machine. Works for FAT, FAT32 and NTFS but none of the others. Oh dear :(

  32. Gary Turner

    Bringing truth and light to MSS Fanboyz

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 9th September 2009 02:24 GMT

    What happens if you put a FAT32 usb drive into your ubuntu machine and try to write to it?

    Um, it writes a fat32 file? Actually for as long as I've used Debian (since 1999), portable storage has been mounted as an MS file system to make cross platform transfer of files easier. You can, of course, change file systems easily enough for some particular reason.

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 9th September 2009 04:20 GMT

    Stop with the wine references. Saying that something runs on Linux via wine is misleading and dishonest(IMHO).

    Why is that? Is saying that you can recharge you batteries from the wall socket misleading or dishonest? You do use a wall brick to transform the 120/240V 60/50Hz to a small DC voltage, don't you? How ever can you say you're charging from the house current?

    WINE is simply a wall brick that provides Windows applications with the "right voltage" from the Linux house current.

  33. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    I like this

    Especially the bit that says Linux doesn't support messenger. Surely that is a good thing, one huge reason to go to the penguin.

    Having spent four hours last night trying to install office 2003 in vista and getting setup.exe is not a win32 application, I am so glad I made the switch to linux.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jan Hargreaves

    If you know Windows then it's easier on Windows. No shit, Sherlock. If you find a computer agnostic geek and present him with the latest copy of the major operating systems, I'd guess something like OS X, Linux, Windows.

    Personally, on Windows, I can never keep track of which window I'm supposed to be paying attention to. And why do windows with config stuff in them look the same as windows with files in them?

  35. Kevin Rudd

    @Anonymous Coward 02:24

    I can't comment for what happens on Alan Esworthy's machine, because I are not him, but on my Ubuntu machine, a laptop with stickers on it saying its made for Fista, when I plug in USB-fat32 it magically opens a file manager "work-space" (not a window) and I can copy, delete, whatever, files to it, with no problems I might add.

    What were YOU expecting to happen AC? as you did not state it.

  36. Mark 110

    On WoW

    I tried to move to Linux but playing WoW just became a real pain the backside. Not because I couldn't run WoW through Wine - I could - but because my guilds voice com app (Teamspeak) was just a real technical nightmare to get working. I might try again when Teamspeak 3 comes out but I've already preordered Windows 7 which is a dream to use.

    The slides Windows have been distributing are extremely misleading however. I had absolutely no compatibility issues or problems getting the software I wanted when I moved to Linux, it was just one app (that hasn't had a major revisons in over 5 years) that caused me problems.

  37. Mike Cardwell

    Microsoft isn't lying

    I've been using various distributions of Linux for over 10 years and will continue to do so, but as for the claims made by Microsoft ... What are you complaining about? They're all true ... Consumers need that kind of information...

  38. Test Man
    WTF?

    XP?

    I find it funny that some of you compare the latest version of Linux to XP. You know, XP, the 8 year old operating system against Linux distributions barely a few months old. And you wonder why it takes so long for XP to recognise your cards and peripherals. Maybe if you repeated your test with Windows Vista or even Windows 7, then you'll find that it recognises your stuff in seconds, unlike Linux.

    But you geeks continue trying to justify Linux and let the real world just get on with just using computers, whatever OS is on it.

  39. dave hands
    Gates Horns

    Getting what you deserve.

    Anyone who takes the word of a Corporation with a record like Microsoft's deserves all the lies they hear.

  40. adnim Silver badge
    Grenade

    Call a spade a spade

    "But many of the claims are misleading at best."

    But many of the claims are just down right lies.

    There ya go Reg corrected for truth.

    I have a couple of friends that use windows live, so I created a live account in order to chat to them via messenger. I don't know which part of windows live doesn't work under Linux, for I have not had any problems using Ubuntu and Firefox with the service.

    Perhaps there are some features within windows live that use proprietary technology in which case any failure of any browser under a Linux distro would be the fault of MS for shunning open standards.

    Linux is still not ready for the desktop as far as your average, never used a computer before types go. Nor is it ready for those who are used to MS software making all the decisions for them. It does however get closer with every release and this frightens Microsoft.

    Finally. when has dis-information and FUD not been a part of MS marketing strategy?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    It never fails to impress me

    When I download a linux CD image (I've tried a lot of distributions), burn a CD, boot it, and the free software comes up having configured all my hardware and I open the browser and I'm on the net - no drivers to install, no configuration to do. If I go wi fi I put in a short set of magic numbers and there we are.

    Windows can't run from a cd and needs me to find a bunch of driver disks to make anything work, and this I have to pay for.

    Most applications I need are in the live cd I make and the rest can be downloaded easily.

    The only reason I still use windows is one particular application that doesn't have a linux version - Fugawi maps.

    In my experience WINE is not an answer for a busy person who hasn't got time to mess about all day.

    I reckon many people have difficulty with linux because they assume it works just like windows - they do need to read some couple of paragraphs about the essential differences, particularly with permissions.

    But I would tell anyone - get a live cd and boot it - what can you lose apart from your chains to microsoft

  42. david bates

    Ububtu V Vista

    Shockinly Ubuntu will work with my scanner and onboard sound out of the box (so to speak). No such joy from Vista, which despite various attempts to fix itself still fails on both count.

    My Xubuntu-based samba server is visible to my Ubuntu machine and netbook, and my two XP Home machines, but strangely not to my XP Pro machine for reasons I cannot fathem.....

    Easy, eh?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Does this mean

    Microsoft are developing a Linux version of windows live 'essentials'?

  44. The Infamous Grouse
    FAIL

    Missed the point

    All these commments listing technical reasons why Microsoft's 'analysis' is wrong (or right, depending on your affiliation) are fine but what I'd like to know is what Microsoft's marketing people were thinking? Since the release of the first public beta they have had a public relations dream with Windows 7. The majority of people who've tried it love it, even many who were stung by Vista, and have spread the word. Previews, reviews and blog postings have been extremely postitive. Magazine articles have repeatedly sung the praises of "Microsoft's best operating system yet."

    Is there really any need for sniping at the competition in any form at this stage? Windows 7 is going to be a massive, massive success with those planning to upgrade or buy it preinstalled, and a great chunk of those have made that decision already. Microsoft aren't going to push the numbers much higher playing games like this; on the other hand people who are teetering on the edge of decision may just decide that seeing money wasted on competition-slating half truths is enough to convince them NOT to wing their money to Redmond.

    As for the "sales partners", dear God. Are they really so technologically challenged as to require great big simplistic, primary coloured, easy worded flash cards to be able to flog their wares effectively? It's like looking at something from a nursery school.

    Very sad.

  45. magnetik

    Re: WINE

    "Stop with the wine references. Saying that something runs on Linux via wine is misleading and dishonest(IMHO)."

    Why? A program running in WINE is very different to the same thing running in a VM. Some Windows apps actually run faster via WINE than native Windows. You also don't need a Windows license. So, it can be argued that in many cases it's actually advantageous to run a Windows app via WINE than in Windows.

  46. asdf Silver badge
    WTF?

    Re: AC@02:24 GMT

    What happens is exactly the same as windows, almost any version of linux since 1998 happily writes correctly to the memstick (almost all decent distros automount it for you as well). You may be thinking of ntfs instead of fat32. Even then many modern distros include ntfs-3g write support by default (although I recommend against this in general for noobs because if ntfs is marked dirty linux won't write to it not to mention if doing a lot of IO in linux I have seen ntfs get corrupted under linux but this is more M$ fault for going out of there way to fight interoperability). As for linux over windows for noobs I could care less as long as I never have to work for another crappy windows only shop again (ever notice windows only shops have the most parochial developers and as well as the biggest dickhead M$ ROI coolaid drinking managers?).

  47. Peter D'Hoye
    Linux

    Time for Linux to wake up

    As much as I hate the tactics used by MS, their facts are not far from the truth. I moved to 100% linux (ubuntu 9.04) some time ago, and there is *a lot* of work on usability in Linux. A LOT.

    Also, my printer is 'supported' but the quality is crap, so I have XP in a VM whenever I need to print pictures.

    Video chat indeed doesn't work well, or try to find *any* open client that combines IM and VOIP well. Only one is available (empathy) and they are STILL busy fixing their bugs to get VOIP to work well.

    NONE of the email clients comes close to what outlook offers. Can you imagine that the thunderbird addressbook doesn't have a field for birthdays? This is 2009, you stone-aged idiots. It will be supported in a few months. Wow.

    Sometimes I think of handing MS the money and install windows. Just to get my work done instead of fiddling with linux for hours to get it working the way it should.

  48. zenkaon

    What a load of bing

    Almost everything they list is a load of bing. They do have a point about video over IM. I note that they do not mention security, running on low-spec hardware or running on very high-spec hardware. I guess most customers don't want a supercomputer or a cloud, but if you do.....

    I've never had to install a camera driver in Linux, all cameras use ptp and gThumb imports from everything I've ever plugged in. Installing my wireless printer took 5 minutes for each of my Linux boxes, on a vista laptop it took almost an hour (Even with all the HP crapware turned off). iPods are eaten for breakfast by most linux media players (amarok, rhythembox), not sure about zune but no one owns any so not really an issue. As for old hardware, my 1998 TV card never even ran in winXP, but works a treat in every Linux distro I've used since 1999.

    The only part of the web that doesn't work under Linux is Macromedia shockwave and silverlight, but that's fine by me. (I know about Mono - I've chosen to skip).

    Games?? Buy a console. Anyway, what's wrong with KTron??

    So are Micros~1 saying this because:

    (a) They genuinely believe it or

    (b) They are scared shitless

    My guess is that Balmer is an (a).

  49. MarkOne
    FAIL

    re: What a pity

    Indeed, as every part of their business would be sued, Like the Xbox Movie service adverts recenty that told you Xbox from £159 (the £159 model needed another £90 spending on it to get a hard drive, and then another £40 a year to get the privilege of paying even more to download movies)...

    Still in this world of morons, Microsoft are keen to take advantage of their stupidity.

  50. The Original Ash
    Grenade

    Nothing to see here

    Move along.

    All of those claims are true. Very, very true. I've tried using CentOS, Ubuntu from 6.10 up to 9.04, Fedora Core, and Mandriva, and *none* of them have supported wireless connectivity out of the box. I use a very mainstream Belkin 54g network card, and have done for around 4 years; Plenty of time to get a driver which works into any build.

    I'll not get into 3D graphics, gaming, and emulation requirements. Someone has already stated that claiming a product "runs on Linux" through WINE is being no less deceptive than any of this Microsoft FUD.

    FUD doesn't have to be un-true, by the way.

  51. The Dark Lord
    Welcome

    I for one welcome...

    ... your job creationist activities, El Reg. Is the moderatrix so in danger of redundancy that you have to post such a non-story just to get all the commentards fizzing? (Yes, I understand the irony of posting in such a thread).

    Seriously, if the makers of Nurofen said "You taken Anadin? Still got that headache? Well, no surprise since Anadin's crap", nobody would bat an eyelid because everyone would see it for the marketing guff it is. But if someone, especially Microsoft, bash every commentard's favourite OS (well, the ones who aren't practising in the Church of Steve), there's a flood of ludicrous comments.

    Seriously folks, you don't HAVE to write a comment...

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair to Microsoft

    they're deploying exactly the same tactics against the Mac:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/09/08/microsoft_unleashes_retail_talking_points_attacking_linux_macs.html

    Someone at Redmond is absolutely hell-bent on destroying all the goodwill W7 has acquired entirely on its own merits.

  53. Pete 2 Silver badge

    These days the O/S is irrelevant

    Most people[1] don't care what logo pops up on their screen when they switch it on. They don't care whether the software they got with the PC is open source. They DO care that it just works - with no configuration necessary (no "just open up this file and edit these lines ..."). They do care that that they can plug in their camera / printer / music / phone / you-name-it and it will just work - without having to search around on the web for an application and then install it (see: no configuration, above).

    Most people don't even care about the price, since the O/S comes bundled with the box that they wheel out of the store on a trolley - straight to their car, so talk of a Microsoft or Apple "tax" is irrelevant. As is the fact that they can download a Linux instance for free, provided they have a pre-installed O/S to do the downloading, in which case why bother?

    For most people (and we're still talking about the "real" people here), tinkering with software is not their hobby - just as tinkering with old cars isn't, either. They just want to GET STUFF DONE, so the flexibility, choice of different applications and options can be a positive disadvantage if they have to stop, pick up some documentation (provided there is any), read it and work out for themselves how to perform a task.

    The problem with the Linux crowd (full disclosure: kernel hacker since 1983, Linux since 1991, this host AMD64/Ubuntu) is that they're fighting the battles of 10 or 15 years ago. The O/S is not unreliable any more, nor is it insecure. The choice of applications: all fully integrated, with wizards an' such, is vast - including freeware if youi like. For Linux to succeed, it needs a "killer app". Something that it, alone, can do - that everybdy discovers they absolutely need. This will never happen, as almost all freeware that is written for Linux is portable to Windows, and as soon as it becomes a sucess that's exactly where it goes, to meet the bigger user base. Which just goes to underscore the original position, that the O/S is irrelevant.

    [1] that's _real_ people, not us techies, but your mum, your boss, your neighbour

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Aahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

    Can these fucking retards piss off...

    I put in XP and it didn't recongnise my netgear wireless router / HP UBS printer etc etc...

    Ok stick in a 8 year old copy of Linux and see how you go.....FFS.

    Fancy MS not releasing drivers for someting a decade in the future....

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Unfortunate Truth

    'Most Customers Want Windows' - It's a fact. There's no getting away from it.

    Linux is great, it's free, it's speedy (most of the time) and Linux is capable of doing anything Windows can. HOWEVER, 99% of the time you have to faff with it and fiddle under the hood.

    Consumer PCs for non-techie people need to work out of the box and continue that way. Windows still leads in that field (most of the time).

  56. Rod MacLean
    Flame

    RE: WINE

    AC wrote: "Saying that something runs on Linux via wine is misleading and dishonest(IMHO)."

    It's only misleading and dishonest if you say it works on Wine and it doesn't!

  57. Geoff Mackenzie

    FAT32 pen drive on Ubuntu

    Re: @Alan Esworthy #

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 9th September 2009 02:24 GMT

    >> What happens if you put a FAT32 usb drive into your ubuntu machine and try to write to it?

    Er, it writes to it. I've not had any trouble.

  58. Rod MacLean

    Windows

    Recently it has seemed like someone has opened a door in the floor right under Microsoft and they are scrambling to grasp on to something before they fall down it.

    In a morass of Microsoft FUD, this rates quite highly. If WIndows was actually any good, they wouldn't need to smear their opponents. Notice the way that they said nothing bad about Apple - is it because Apple have big lawyers?

  59. Loki 1
    Go

    @Anonymous Coward 02:24

    Question: "What happens if you put a FAT32 usb drive into your ubuntu machine and try to write to it?"

    Answer: It works. If you have a distro like Mint they also come with built in NTFS support as well so "they just work". IIRC all distros for the last million years have had built in FAT32 support.

  60. Number6

    Blah

    To the AC asking about USB FAT drives, it works just fine on my Linux system.

    As for wireless, I've happily used more than one laptop with Linux. Early experiences were mixed, but the last few Fedora/Ubuntu installations, the wirless and the suspend/hibernate has just worked.

    The only reason for Windows at the moment is to run a program where there isn't a Linux version. Given the number of apps where there is now a Mac version, it can't be that hard to provide Linux versions as well, assuming there's no adverse pressure on suppliers. Of course, we know from past history that Microsoft never put unfair pressure on suppliers to drop the competition.

  61. Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani
    Linux

    Level playing field

    If Microsoft starts to talk about HW and SW compatibility, they risk entering a minefield. Because depending on the machine and the software you're using, the user experience can be from fantastic to an absolute nightmare, And that's true both in Windows and Linux.

    In Linux, older hardware runs better than in Winodws, that is if Windows runs it at all. As an example, I'm writing this on an Acer A150 netbook running Ubuntu 9.04. When I got it, last xMas, it took me more than a week to make 8.10 work. When 9.04 came out, it was a painless experience. My old TV card keeps working in Linux since five years ago, but stopped working in XP. Newer HW can, in contrast, lack the necessary drivers. My TDT USB stick TV tuner still does not work under Linux but works in XP (the drivers are being written as we speak by the wonderful kernellabs team)

    Windows iTunes is a dog compared to Linux Amarok, for example, provided that you don't want to purchase music. P2P? A piece of cake under Linux, a spyware/malware feast under Windows. Let's not talk about the plethora of server software that runs and keeps running under Linux after simple installs and the ordeal that is to create the same setup in Windows. But Windows still runs Office much better than Linux plus Wine and OpenOffice still lacks some functionality for enterprise level Office things.

    Microsoft are not being objective, they know that. What the sales rep know is another story.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Let them continue to use Windows.

    We don't want this peaceful, rarified atmosphere messed up by the ignorant hordes.

  63. bexley

    FAT32 just works of course

    [quote]@Alan Esworthy #

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 9th September 2009 02:24 GMT

    What happens if you put a FAT32 usb drive into your ubuntu machine and try to write to it?[/quote]

    It "just works". I'm not sure if your just asking our of interest or if you trying to make a point?

    I've got a 1TB USB drive plugged into my Ubuntu box and it just works, permissions are a little strange, it sets 770 on all of the directories but other than that there are no problems.

  64. James Billingham
    Go

    @Anonymous Coward and WINE

    Duh why is saying it runs on wine not saying it runs on Linux? If they were saying it runs on their VM image of windows through Linux then you may have a point. Wine is an implementation of the Windows APIs on Linux not an emulator so its perfectly valid to say Linux supports those Windows APIs exactly as Windows XP supports the Older Win95, Win3.1 APIs natively...

  65. Andy 97
    FAIL

    Nice work M$

    Telling people what they know already.

    Linux is a hobbyists OS unless you have ninja-like skills, but it's free and fun to mess about with.

    Why wouldn't someone download an iso and install as a dual boot?

    I wonder what sort of people these leaflets are aimed at? The over 60's?

  66. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    What most customers want...

    ...is XP. Actually, even better would be an edition of Windows 2000 with all the bugs fixed. If MS had spent the last ten years working on *that*, their OS dominance would be unassailable. Fortunately for the Penguinistas, MS are stupid and have spent the decade pissing about with the once familiar UI and adding bloat faster than Intel can increase CPU speeds.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    blah

    oh god why don't you linux tossers give it a break - I have said it before and I'll say it again, you can't even give linux away! no-one wants it! it has no fricking software! and don't go on about how many free apps there are - most of them are useless. windows has the software people actually use, such as photoshop, dreamweaver, visual studio, whatever - linux has no software people actually want to use. No, GIMP is not an alternative to photoshop, and no, Nvu is not a replacement for dreamweaver.

    Honestly if linux was a viable alternative to windows as a desktop OS it would, with all its fecking "flavours" and "distros", manage more that 1% share of the desktop market. honestly. shut up all of you please shut up.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why bother with iTunes

    Sure, you can use iTunes under wine. But why bother?

    amarok is much much better than iTunes, and has full iPod support (including backing up your music off your iPod onto your PC - try doing that with iTunes...).

  69. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Grenade

    Whine

    "World of Warcraft ... can run on Linux via WINE"

    And Linux can run under MS Virtual PC. So a Windows PC can run all Linux programs and I know as a fact, from bitter experience, that WINE cannot run all Windows programs.

    Bottom line is that MS are correct; what most users want is the familiarity of Windows and the familiarity of applications they use day to day. Most users are just that, "users", not developers with a schooling in Computer Science or Software Engineering. If nothing else there is a much larger user base amongst friends and work colleagues familiar with what they are using themselves to help when they get into difficulties.

    On device connectivity, most users insert the CD and plug in the device. If it works great, if it doesn't that's the end of it, "fail". Most users don't know about searching for the right device drivers ( if they exist ) nor know which to get. Most users expect "plug-in and go", and that's more likely to be the user experience with Windows than Linux.

    Some ask why MS go to such efforts if they are not "scared of Linux". Well that seems obvious to me with Net Books and similar being offered with Linux installed and potential purchasers being told, "It's just like Windows, you can do everything Windows does" ( isn't that the Linux mantra ? ). MS have the perfect right to point out that what's promised may not be reality. So-called "false claims" are made by Linux fanbois as well as MS.

    Of course MS are going to use every trick in the book to keep the potential market on-side and away from competitors. Maybe Linux fanbois should stop bleating about what MS does and actually counter the arguments; demonstrate how Linux is just as good. Unfortunately, "Download this, re-compile the kernel, and off you go" just doesn't cut it compared to "insert disk, come back in a couple of minutes and it will just work".

    The real irony is, as a Windows user, I have some very skilled Linux friends ( working on Linux and *nix professionally ), but whenever I need them to fix something on my Linux box it's almost always a case of, "Hmm, it should be that command. Maybe you need SUDO. No. That's odd". If real pros flounder at the myriad of distros and kernel versions how the heck are normal, Linux illiterate users expected to fare any better ?

    Linux is great for servers and the net book / laptop / desktop where users are happy with what's installed; email and browsing is generally as good on Linux and Windows ( as it would be on any OS with just limited applications ). And, sure, MS need / want to sway users from choosing that path or lose revenue.

    Linux can counter Windows by doing the same comparisons. Would the Linux comparison be any better, more truthful, less free of "false claims", FUD and disingenuity ? I suspect not.

    Just saying Windows is not better than Linux is not the same as proving Linux is better. The latter is hard to do, which is perhaps why all we usually have is the former. Linux needs to make a convincing case for itself for mid-range end-users. I believe it cannot at the present time.

  70. Patrick O'Reilly
    Gates Horns

    A boy named SUE

    Shouldn't the Linux Foundation be able to sue Microsoft for defamation? As you can see here they have debunked most of the issues expressed by M$.

    I do find it interesting that Apple is missing from this list, shouldn't it be:

    Windows: Great (because we own it)

    Apple: OK too (because we own lots of their stock)

    Linux: Bad (because we can never own them)

    Another vote of support here for the Steve 'Fester' Balmer icon.

  71. LaeMi Qian Silver badge
    Linux

    Windows Support?

    Like anywhere you get what you pay for. Linux is only "unsupported" (by which I mean, self supported via the whims of the forums) if you download it free. There are plenty of vendors out there who you can pay for top-line support - they can even open up the code and fix bugs for you if it is suitable to the contract you have with them (try getting an independent MS-Windows support service to do that!!!. Heck, try getting Microsoft themselves to do that, even organisations large enough to have their own standing army have failed on that one).

    At least in LinuxLand, if you don't like the support you are getting from one place, there are plenty of others to try, or at least to play your support provider off against the competition for better service and/or a better deal (can anyone say "free market"? - no it isn't pronounced "mon-op-ol-ee"!). Particularly for the people who buy retail, the commercial software sector's idea of support is "we have your money, now be a good little consumer and piss off to the user forums we are kind enough to host on an old server in the corner." (Not to say there aren't some great company techs on these forums, but it is generally pretty obvious they are great (and on the forums) in spite of their company, not because of them).

    On the upside, now all the Vista refugees are finally drifting back to Windows, the white noise of "Just reinstall your OS" advice on the Linux forums is well on the decline allowing the quality-of-unsupport to rise again.

  72. Falanx
    Linux

    Re: Llama-made

    It was actually spelt 'Cnut'. Not joking :-) Ironic, that...

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    windows apps on linux

    if you don't mind paying a small license fee (like about $15 I think) you can use CodeWeavers instead of wine. They have a Mac version too.

    CodeWeavers is based on wine, but they've made the effort to ensure that it works fully with various popular Windows apps (e.g. Photoshop, Office etc) and with various games. You don't need a Windows license, but you do need a license for the software you are installing - though I've no doubt cracked copies would work too.

    It works very well. And no I don't work for them, but I did get a free license last year when they spent 24 hours giving them away...

  74. Joe Cooper

    Video chat on IM networks

    I actually quit using Linux after about 8 years - now I use Windows 7 and Mac.

    But I gotta mention, I did use video chat on one network in particular.

    MSN.

  75. Gav
    FAIL

    WINE is not the solution

    Saying that Linux does it all, when it's running an emulator to pretend it's Windows, is really not a recommendation for Linux.

    All your end user is going to ask is why am I running one system to pretend to be the other? It sounds like it would be a lot simpler if I just run the latter to begin with.

  76. Andus McCoatover
    Linux

    @Alan Esworthy - USB FAT-32

    Works a treat. Use 'luckybackup' for, er, backup, and transferring files. Cost me a fuc*king fortune, however. €15. For the 8G stick.

    Now, go 'stick' your head up a dead bear's bottom, there's a good boy. Remember to breathe deeply.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    proxy!

    getting Updates to work.....

    windows:

    open IE, Tools, settings, connections, lan settings, enter proxy IP or address.

    run windows updates.

    ============================================

    Linux:

    first we need to create a new file in the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/ path like this

    su sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/proxy (to create the file)

    then type in the following

    Acquire::http::proxy “http://domain\usersname:password@proxyIP:8080”;

    or edit the apt.conf file

    then type in the following

    Acquire::http::proxy “http://domain\usersname:password@proxyIP:8080”;

    Or

    define in apt.conf

    Acquire {

    Retries "0";

    HTTP {

    Proxy "http://domain\usersname:password@proxyIP:8080";

    };

    };

    ( how secure is this having to hard code login details in ! tsk!)

    Then run your updates, if you have the right repositories specified..

    so which was easier??

    Linux should be reserved for the very nerdy with no social life..

    And windows for the rest of us.

    How you'd explain this task to a non techy end user on the phone is something that i'd not wish to attempt.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Oh come on

    everybody knows what OS to put on your desktop....

    Linux for "dodgy websites"

    Windows for actually doing something productive

    But beware - too much dual booting can lead to blindness.

  79. WonkoTheSane
    Linux

    Updating your PC

    Microsoft:-

    Run Windows Update

    Reboot (possibly multiple times)

    Run Office Update

    Reboot (possibly multiple times)

    Repeat

    =Run separate updates for each of your software packages

    =Reboot (possibly multiple times)

    Until done

    Linux (Ubuntu 9.04 for example)

    Run Update Manager

    Give Admin Password

    Reboot (ONLY if kernel or video card driver updated)

    Done!

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "PCs run more of the software your customers use most"

    Are they suggesting that a computer with Linux on it isn't a PC?

  81. magnetik

    @Jason Bloomberg

    "And Linux can run under MS Virtual PC. So a Windows PC can run all Linux programs and I know as a fact, from bitter experience, that WINE cannot run all Windows programs."

    Linux can run any Windows program through the likes of VMware. Do you understand the difference between WINE and a virtual machine?

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    nom nom nom

    I ♥ cheese

  83. Fuzz

    @ BKB - On camera software

    "there isn't any equivalent on Windows at all as far as I know, except expensive software tied to particular camera makers."

    XP includes the "Scanner and Camera Wizard" not sure what the Vista equivalent is, this allows taking pictures using a USB connected camera. I think it works with any PTP enabled camera and also with webcams.

  84. Cameron Colley
    Linux

    Who cares?

    Personally, I leave people who buy MS products to it -- I've given up telling "Microsoft people" about Linux as most people are too lazy, stupid, or dependant on crap like iTunes to use it. I've given up trying to support them though as I've no wish to learn _another_ Microsoft OS -- if Windows is so easy to use nobody should need tech support anyhow.

  85. Graham Marsden

    Come on, El Reg...

    ... We need the Ursine Mammal Defecating in an Arboreal Environment icon NOW!!

  86. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Linux

    RE:Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 9th September 2009 10:29 GMT

    getting Updates to work.....

    In my case (Fedora 6) click on Applications-system tools-software updater

    type in root password

    click ok

    Some of us linux freaks are fed up typing into the console too

  87. Nigel 11
    FAIL

    Doh!

    They would say that wouldn't they. It's like considering anything the Pope has to say about protestantism as reliable and unbiassed.

    As for "few" printers, HP ought to consider legal action. (but of course they won't, because they also sell PCs and need Microsoft). hplip (open-source supported by HP) supports virtually their entire product range.

    http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/supported_devices/index.html

  88. Robert Ramsay
    Coat

    Gah! I'm so angry!

    I fought for people like you in the war - but I didn't get one!

  89. Victor Szulc
    WTF?

    LOL!

    The statement that "Linux can run X and Y" always comes with a caveat... "If you use WINE/ Virtual PC/Have advanced computer skills" and so on. No wonder Linux is an utter failure on the desktop as well as in the business world.

    Being dependant on certain software in order for you to run the programs you're used to using on your PC, taking a gamble any time you buy a new piece of hardware, and being dependant on the good graces and technical support of geeks, who'll love to mock you for your lack of computer expertise, or for using "commercial non-free software" is NOT what your regular consumer wants. Why is it even newsworthy that Microsoft points this out?

    It's amusing to read how "simple and easy" Linux supposedly is compared to Windows XP (Another proof of what a failure Linux is... In order for the comparison to be even remotely fair, they compare the newest version of ubuntu/whatever with Microsofts 8 year old OS!) Too bad that regular computer-users somehow manage to use their Windows for years, without ever realizing, that what they really, really want is Linux, lol!

  90. Neil 6

    Price?

    Microsoft are right. That's why they have such a market share.

    It doesn't make Windows better than Linux technically, but it is definately more user friendly.

    If the masses switched to multiple Linux Distros we'd be stepping back 20 years in term of usability.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By Boris the Cockroach Posted By Boris the Cockroach, Wednesday 9th September 2009 11:18 GMT

    And fedora through a proxy???

    As yet, I've not found a distro that will work with a proxy server via few simple clicks..

    Answers on a post card please...

    Linux is good for certain applications.. nagios, mrtg, smokeping, apache etc,, but an end users desktop isn't one of them..

  92. James Hughes 1

    Linux vs Vista

    Ok, I'll join the fray.

    Other half uses Vista on a new Acer thing. Nice and fast and pretty, but she keep looking enviously at my Ubuntu system because her wireless networking is so erratic - constantly dropping in and out, despite my best efforts to fix it (why should I need to upgrade the router software?).

    Ubuntu on both my ancient desktop and a newer Acer laptop has worked very well - wireless was a doddle, USB sticks/drives no problem. Only issue has been a recent kernel upgrade that broke the video driver. Now this would really have stumped a novice (or even more experienced) user - took me a few days on and off to figure it out. That was defo. a low point, but since I found no reference on the net about it it would appear to be a relatively rare issue.

    As to the apps available, I guess a lot of people commenting above haven't really looked very hard. I have been stunned by the quantity and quality of many of the available apps - from graphics to music to photo management etc. All free. Many similar apps of equivalent quality are of course available on windows, but at a price.

    For me, Skype works with webcam, Spotify works, OpenOffice works, Eclipse works, BBC iPlayer works (ITV using silverlight doesn't - the OS version sucks at the moment), Firefox works, email/calender works, DVD ripping/shrinking and playback works. Even Tomb Raider works (under Wine - does it still work under Vista?). I'm happy.

    As for a performance comparison with Vista - her machine is a 3ghz thing, and appears slower in general usage than my AMD Athlon 2Ghz, which has less memory. That's a real plus as I don't need to upgrade just yet, although it's on the horizon.

    So, in precis, if it wasn't for the bad (and so far unfixed) wireless networking on Vista, it would be absolutely fine. If it wasn't for the bad experience with the (third party) NVidia graphics driver on Ubuntu (but now fixed), it would be absolutely fine. So equal in problems, but the Ubuntu machine and associated software cost very little in comparison with the Vista one.

  93. Alastair McFarlane
    Coat

    Broadly...

    ...MS are correct. To a retailer, the majority of their customers want Windows. However to put plain wrong values on the cards is, well, plain wrong.

    Currently MP3/camera/printer support is fantastic for Linux, with many devices working straight out of the box with the drivers in the kernel. Does that count as "few"? I think not.

    Disclaimer: My main OS in Windows XP, though I dual boot Ubuntu 9.04. I run a webserver on Ubuntu 8.04, and am upgrading my windows install to Windows 7 soon (I would have waited 6 months but it was less than half of the retail price!).

    I also work in a retailer part time and am rather used to these misleading material from suppliers. I am lucky enough to know when what I'm reading is wrong - many of my colleagues are not.

    Getting my coat because I never thought I'd comment on a Linux vs. Windows comment article, it's just two damn infuriating reading all the closed-minded arguments (on *both* sides)

  94. Chika
    Flame

    Here we go again!

    Although, this time, it seems that M$ are behind it. As if we really needed yet another line of M$ vs. Linux arguments!

    Yes, this is FUD. FUD doesn't have to be lies. FUD also doesn't have to be truthful. You will see, reading through this, every old argument for and against each side trotted out yet again.

    Has every person that has contributed *really* tried both sides? Are they making reasonable claims about each OS? If either is "No", then they can be disregarded. Let's face it, anyone that just comes on and says "it's all true" or "it's all lies" without even a slight explanation of why they say it can be regarded as a troll and leave it at that.

    And yes, I use both and more. I don't mind WXP, though there are problems. I don't mind Linux (I tend to use openSUSE), but it isn't perfect either. I've had reason to use Vista, Unix, Windows 7, RISC OS and each has its flaws. What really matters is whether you can do what you want to do with it and leave it at that. I stopped believing marketing folk long ago since they have almost the same lie rate as politicians!

    What matters here isn't which is better. What matters here is that, like the people I said should be disregarded above, the claims of the Microsoft ad men aren't sufficiently substantiated and should be disregarded. After all, it's these people we have to blame for the rise of M$ and every shitty product that we have had to bear with ever since, to the extent that M$ has taken a lot of flak, even when they do, on occasion, produce something worth the effort.

    Anyone that takes sales reps at their word deserve all they get.

  95. Andrew 16
    WTF?

    Re: WINE is not the solution

    "Saying that Linux does it all, when it's running an emulator to pretend it's Windows, is really not a recommendation for Linux.

    All your end user is going to ask is why am I running one system to pretend to be the other? It sounds like it would be a lot simpler if I just run the latter to begin with."

    Read that comment back to yourself, except replace Wine with XP Mode and Linux with Windows 7.

    Oh except that you need to have a chip that supports VT (or VT-X, forgot which) or the AMD equivalent to use this, which limits you to the latest processors / motherboards, with certain OEM computers having support for this disabled in the BIOS with no way of enabling it (other than hacked bios's).

    Wine doesn't have any specific hardware requirements, other than the ability to run Linux.

    Now I work as a support technician supporting both Windows and Linux in server and desktop roles. The problem we have is actually selling a support contract on Linux due to customers rarely experiencing problems, they much rather pay for ad hoc support on Linux as and when required (not very often), while trying to get us to include large numbers of support hours in their contracts for free for fixing Windows issues.

  96. Andus McCoatover

    @Proxy!

    Here's how.

    Get up one morning - Icon saying "WGA has detected security ^W^W^W^W new updates available for Ubuntu. Would you like to update? PS, we won't tell Redmond."

    Ubuntu Update manager, natch.

    Click, go for shave, shi*t and shower (male thing, Moderatrix. Unless you shave, too - in which case, please post a link to the video..).

    Anyway, by the time I've finished watching porn on the giant waterproof plasma screen in the shower, the update's done. (So's the download...) While the Windows Wa*nkers are still waiting for the thing to reboot, before Mummy comes home from getting her pension cheque cashed, in case she catches him watching xhamster. (So I've heard, anyway)

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    yeah?

    But windows 7 is nice thou..

    I just works..

  98. magnetik

    @Patrick O'Reilly

    Microsoft do not own any Apple stock! They did buy some non-voting Apple stock many years ago but sold it.

  99. Andrew Dyson
    Linux

    re: proxy!

    Er, instructions for getting your updates through a proxy on debian-based systems:

    Open up your Synaptic package manager, go to Settings-> Preference -> Network. Enter your proxy server details like : username:password@proxyserver.net, and put the proxy server port (usually 8080).

    Not really much harder than Windows was it?

    yeah, a few things still need to be done on the command-line in Linux, but that number is ever-decreasing, at least in the major distros anyway. Sometimes of course it's easier/quicker to do it on the command-line, if you're lucky enough to know what you're doing. Handy to have that flexibility - there's a few things you can do like that in Windows, but nowhere near as many.

    Also, consider whether this is something "Joe Average" would even attempt? Whatever the O/S, he'd probably get his nerdy mate to do it, since he'd either (a) not have the faintest idea why his updates weren't working, (b) have no idea what a proxy server even is. Or (c) he doesn't know he needs updates (or that updates even exist) and goes happily along not worrying and not asking anyone for help.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    To be blunt

    This is downright illegal. Because its bullshit.

    I have many devices and NOT ONE has failed to work FIRST TIME with Linux. Additionally, I do have an iPod (and several other MP3 players) and they all work and synch without a single hitch or exception with Linux.

    My experience with people (some elderly) is that they find Linux MORE user friendly when it is set up properly for them than Windows, doesn't lock up or crash without warning, is robust and JUST WORKS. Anyone I've exposed to Linux has had no problem wholeheartedly embracing it and fall into using it with NO PROBLEMS. Its also endlessly customisable and can "lokk and feel" like anything.

    Microsoft is seriously worried or they wouldn't be pulling this shit.

    Oh, and incidentally. I know for a fact MS has many Linux/UNIX installations at Redmond for research and they accept applications in TeX, PostScript or DVI from 'nix machines by research fellows.

  101. supervinx
    Linux

    Another Linux story

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/linux_32.png

    Hi !

    I'm using Linux Ubuntu on a bunch of machines, and gradually removed all the dual boots with Windows.

    For some engineering and architectural specific software of a friend of mine, I created a Virtual Machine (VirtualBox) on a QuadCore system with WinXP (he paid for those sw and had a licensed copy of XP).

    I was given a notebook (Compaq 6720s, dual core centrino 1.8 GHz 4GB Ram) with Vista Home 32bit (so only 3Gb of RAM were accessible, factory standard ...).

    I never booted it up ... reformatted and installed Ubuntu 9.10 64bit ... I 've never had troubles ... even if with and old WinOnly external GPRS modem (a little wvdial script made ... wonder!)

    CPU load, when system is almost idle, is around 3-4%, Ram fingerprint is about 400 Mb (with Apache server, ftp server, telnet server ... other services ...).

    PS is fast, it seems not a notebook ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/happy_32.png

    Yes, Linux needs knowledge of the PC (many tasks are better done with console, Linux is not for the Point-'n'-click only dummy) ... has some drawbacks, like Windows ... but it's FREE, and,

    in the average, works a lot better than Win$ http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_up_32.png

  102. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    A couple of rejoinders ...

    @ Patrick O'Reilly : "Shouldn't the Linux Foundation be able to sue Microsoft for defamation?"

    I wish they would. Have the balls to stand up and be counted, and then the matter can be put to rest rather than fanbois on all sides crying, "mine's better than yours".

    So why don't they ?

    Is it because so-called "lies" are not lies ?

    @ magnetik : "Linux can run any Windows program through the likes of VMware. Do you understand the difference between WINE and a virtual machine?"

    I do. My Windows programs run on Windows and in a VM on anything I'd guess. They don't all run in WINE. As a "user" I shouldn't care about technicalities beyond do my applications run ? On Windows, Yes, on Linux, No.

    Do you understand it's a simple as that ?

    I was making the point that the VM argument is a red-herring; all OS's are equal if that's the way taken to run anything. WINE is equally a band-aid for Linux; when it runs a Windows App, great, when it doesn't it's useless, not fit for purpose.

    There's lots to praise Linux for, I run it as a server ( and wouldn't touch Windows with a barge pole for that task ), I have embedded Linux systems I tinker with, but for the desktop - which is the "most people" this relates to - it's not up to par with Windows.

    I installed Windows 7 RC and was amazed to find it was painless, fast, and found all drivers. That impressed me. It trashed the hard disk while reverting to XP-only which IMO is par for the course. But we're talking "user experience", and Linux is not top of the class there.

  103. Number6
    Linux

    @Proxy!

    I just looked at my laptop (running Linux Mint) and the update tool has a settings option to set proxies, just like you find under Windows. So no problems there.

    Linux has come a long way in the past few years. It still has some way to go, but for anyone who hasn't tried it for a while, you might be pleasantly surprised at the improved usability and device support.

  104. Grease Monkey

    Arse Covering

    MS are covering their arses. They know that if they tried running this shite in an advertisment it would get pulled and they would get a very public dressing down. Bad publicity. They probably thought that by doing it this way they would be covering their arses by making resellers spout the shit instead. Then the resellers would be the ones to take the flack.

    Somebody should make a song and dance about this in the mainstream media.

    However it doesn't help that a lot of resellers think like this anyway. A non-IT friend of mine asked about Linux in PC World and was told by the acne-attack-in-a-shirt that "Linux doesn't work with intetnet explorer, so you need windows to go on the internet". Ho hum.

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Despical yes, but not all wrong.

    I've tried Linux, however I found that it took MUCH LONGER to customise to my tastes, and keep updated, and even then, it couldn't do some stuff as well as windows. I'm sorry but WINE is not good enough, and you need plenty of spare RAM to run VirtualBox VMs of Windows.

    The Linux distro builders, and especially the Linux application developers, need to understand that computers are primarily tool, and time really is worth money! Until this is understand and acted on, I'll probably stick with windows.

    An example of the rampant OSS usability disconnect is NetBeans, I still have to dive into arcane project properties and XML files because not enough config is exposed in the project GUI.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wisdom from convicted criminals?

    Both of these companies have been convicted of consumer fraud and other crimes.

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    corporate ****ers

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/linux_32.png

    This is not the first Ive heard about MS lying to the general public and corporates, its quite rife in fact from what I can gather. I have heard at work of a 'representive' from MS attempting to

    talk an employee of a large client out of using linux based solutions because of lack of security.

    Fortunately this employee wasnt an idiot.

    They should be held to account and I hope this scuppers their 'partner program' which is obviously only meant to defeat any competition from the inside - the game they have always played - if you have an inferior product - either buy out the competition or if that doesnt work use alternative tactics.

    Most of the microsoft code base and applications has either been copied (badly) from linux/unix or bought from another company and hacked - they dont make software - they market it. So looking forward to more court cases while they dig they own grave slowly.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Welll let's look at it THIS way

    M$ certainly weren't sensitive enough when they made that, in the name of competition. The games topic is certainly true, after all unless you want to play year old games while the WINE crew try their darnedest to catch up you want to play the latest stuff while the online servers for multiplayer are at their peak. For ease of use it's certainly Windows that takes the biscuit there too. The Windows live stuff? Well OF COURSE it's going to run on Windows......that's a bit silly. If they are going to tell retailers what to put they could do a bit better and have them say "Unless you want to have a fun time trying to wriggle through a trainwreck of bash shells trying to get stuff that you don't even know if it'll run on your linux distro because the lot that make is are fighting with their stuff that they think is coolest. Windows, it just works! Just make sure you RTFM..

  109. Cameron Colley
    Flame

    Out come the power users I see.

    I notice how many of the people sticking up for Windows are the ones who know how to install Windows and its device drivers as well as how to do complicated (by man in the street standards) things like using a proxy.

    How many old dears know how to install Windows? How many know how to set a proxy server?

    I wasn't going to get involved in this whole thing again but I can't resist replying to the comments from people who think "Linux is too hard" because they assume they "know about computers" because they know where the dialogue boxes in Windows are an are used to the typical MS hidden settings:

    If you don't understand how to, for example, set a proxy server in Linux you do not know about computers -- you just know about some operating system versions by Microsoft.

    If you can't install wireless drivers with ndiswrapper using instructions on the internet you don't understand computers -- it's very simple to do.

    I'll admit Linux has its limitations -- but granny not being able to install and configure it it is a limitation to Windows too.

    Both OSs have their places and their uses -- but morons who think they "know computers" and say "Linux is hard to use" piss me off -- if my computer semi-literate pensioner of a mother, amoungst others, can boot into Kubuntu and find her way around with no training you must be extremely stupid if you can't use Linux day-to-day.

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Doesn't anyone think that ...

    MS are not even comparing like with like? That makes their whole exercise invalid and meaningless.

    Its like comparing a Trebant to a Chieftan tank.

    With Windows as the Trebant.

  111. magnetik

    @Jason Bloomberg

    "WINE is equally a band-aid for Linux; when it runs a Windows App, great, when it doesn't it's useless, not fit for purpose"

    Depends on how you look at it. I consider WINE to be a complimentary system, not a band aid. Sure, I can run any Windows apps I might need in a VM but using WINE gives me advantages such as better performance and security. True enough it's more technically difficult to set up than a VM but CodeWeavers do a good job of making it easy enough to use for most people.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Anti-trust

    The DOJ needs to launch an investigation into this matter.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    atn: anonymous troll

    re: proxy, by Anonymous Coward

    "getting Updates to work..... Linux: first we need to create a new file in the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/ path"

    Total nonsense. The GUI installer in Linux is known as Synaptic. (Why do they have to engage in obviously willful untruths to get their point across. Surely the two systems can be judged on their respective merits.)

    http://screencasts.ubuntu.com/taxonomy/term/14

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    wndows vs linux

    I reinstalled my OSs the other day - I have ubuntu for general use (and work) as is more stable, runs faster - and doesnt require a fresh reinstall every 6 months after the whole thing has slowed down to a crawl, and a fresh untouched xp install for games ONLY.

    Here are the facts:

    It took about 6 hours to install XP + all the service packs and updates and drivers and third party software that you need because theirs is crap. This includes about 15 reboots after every fecking update which happens more and more often and hunting and downloading all the software from different places.

    It took 20 minutes to install ubuntu from scratch with 1 reboot after which most applications I require were installed already including drivers - and then another 5 minutes to install all the other software I required - wiht no reboots required.

    No contest. Windows users are all morons sick of hearing them stick up for that crap - games is what its good for only - everything else I can do on linux. Most of them probably havent even tried it - or are microsoft employees.

    Also my laptop came preinstalled with vista home which I tested briefly before wiping - took about 45 minutes to install with about 3 reboots - the whole screen then filled up with popups before hanging like a dog. Immediatley wiped and installed ubuntu with all graphics, sound and wireless working fine in 20 minutes.

    Windows is for idiots, linux is for people who are sick of windows been rubbish.

    Im technically minded and have used both for about 10 years so enough time to evaluate them both and make my own choice - I have also programmed in both for this time and windows api is hideous compared to Qt for example - windows obviously has the market share anyway but linux distros like ubuntu are catching up very quickly ...

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Who controls your grandchild's ability to get rid of a turd?

    Normally the notion that you (the consumer) should be using Windows is implied. The idea is not to actually consider that it's there or realise you're paying for it. Likewise retailers just accept Windows as a fact of life. When the explicit statement, "Don't use Linux" is issued by Microsoft that says a lot. The "I'm a PC" campaigns from Apple and MS both let the assumption be implied that PC=PC and Windows. They both prefer it that way. If either of them mentions any other possibility it's because they think the cat is already out of the bag and have commenced damage limitation. You don't hear anything from them about FreeBSD, mostly because granny isn't *already* using it.

    And once again, the main points are about third parties more than anything else. Each year this third party support argument is brought up by MS and their devotees, each year it is less compelling. The fact is some of those average customers have heard of Linux, some of them do understand vendor lock-in and an increasing number of manufacturers and developers are catering to these people.

    The use of these tactics by Microsoft is a positive sign for the future of open standards. This is actually good news for everyone now, better news for our grandchildren. They are the ones who will have control and ownership of all their appliances in the future because lock in tactics were undermined now and in the past. Imagine if your toilet refused to flush because you wouldn't pay for a software update? That's what we're looking at if we're not careful.

  116. supervinx

    Windows Apps

    When I switched to Linux I tried to use only Linux native apps ...

    A lot of Windows users only write some stuff and surf the web ... so they use easily a modern Linux distro ...

    You can't claim "Windows works" or "Windows is better" only because is more user friendly, and his kernel is a pain ...

    And there's no reason to put Linux in the shame because it needs more knowledge of the PC.

    IMHO I think that the PC shouldn't be used at all from people who doesn't know anything about ... I don't like the plug-n-play for dummies ...

    So, If you prefer Windows, I respect your choice ...

    I need an OS, with solid services and full control on the machine.

    If you need a multimedial toy (expensive and clumsy), your choice will be Windows.

    If you need something else, your choice is Unix or Mac.

    Windows is more supported, yes, there's a lot of money around it.

    Once I went to a conference (I'll not reveal the brand) and they told that there's not support for Linux. When the conference ended, they told me: "We can't distribute Linux drivers ... we have an agreement with Microsoft ... but if you send us an email, we'll give them to you"

    This speak for itself.

    I understand that M$ sees a threat from a totally *FREE* OS ...

  117. Mike Gravgaard
    Pint

    For Cameron Colley

    I agree with everything you wrote... I used Windows 7 today (the release not RC) and must admit I don't really see the point why people think its so good - I don't really see the point in Windows any more...

    Alot of the problems/issues with Windows still mean to be there:

    - Indexing on drives by default.

    - GUI seems to have stupid changes (why did they medal with the GUI???).

    Good point, seems quite quick on low system resources (3.0GHz P4, 512MB RAM) thugh I bet if McAfee was installed on it, it would run like a dog - I know if I insalled linux (Ubuntu) on this, it would run like shit off a shovel..

    I personally don't run Windows at hom anymore, I used to use Windows 2000 and Windows XP but got tired of reapriing or reinstalling it - I think every device in my house now runs Linux of some description.

    Router - Netgear DG834 v1 running OpenWRT though doesn't autodial ADSL connection.

    PVRs - Both Humax boxes run a linux flavor though cannot find the source code for it...

    My three PCs run either Debian or Ubuntu - I prefer Debian for my server but Ubuntu is good for normal desktop PCs.

    My mum uses Ubuntu - seems to run quickly and I don't really need to look at it to often.

    My Amiga 4000T will run Debian 4 Etch or Lenny if I can find a case for it..

    I do have Windows XP on a VM and caddie but this only gets used if I have a Fallout 3 or S.T.A.L.K.E.R craving...

    I think Microsoft are scared that businesses will adopt to linux.

    Mike

  118. Dusty Wilson
    Linux

    Why I use Linux (and other complaints)

    1) WINE stands for WINE IS NOT AN EMULATOR. It is not an emulator. It's basically a chunk of DLL files that provide the same DLL dependencies in Linux as Windows.

    2) World of Warcraft works perfectly well in Linux via WINE. And it's not difficult. Install WINE (no, you don't have to configure it), pop in your World of Warcraft disc (or go to wherever you downloaded it if you don't use a game disc), and double-click the WoW installer. That requires ZERO usage of the command line or anything strange. Easy. If you can't figure that out, you shouldn't be installing things on any OS.

    3) My step-mother, father, and fiancée all use Ubuntu. I didn't provide any training. They are very happy. My step-mother is especially happy since her Ubuntu install runs much faster than the XP install that was formerly on the box.

    4) I have a ton of customers (I do tech support for a living) that need hand-holding for Windows. A few that I've converted to Ubuntu haven't called in ages for help. It just works. And they aren't techies. The few that I've moved to Mac OS X also haven't called in ages. It just works. But *all* of those people were previously on Windows and did need help all the time. Windows is *not* more reliable or easy. But I lose money (hourly pay!) every time a customer moves away from Windows.

    5) I stopped using Windows myself ages ago. I think the last time I used it as the primary OS was in 2005 or so. Every game I want to play works without tweaking and messing about. Every application I need is either already in the package manager (simple click of "Applications > Add/Remove..." and navigating to the app I want) or works perfectly well via WINE. WINE lets me use all of the annoying Adobe products (Flash, Dreamweaver, etc) that I want without fail.

    6) I get to use applications that follow proper standards without the headache. No need for the "Adobe Quick-Start Tooltray" (whatever it's called) nonsense. No "quick-start" anything. Everything runs perfectly fine and fast without this pre-loading/memory-wasting junk.

    7) Everything that is required to properly use the computer is available and is easy in Linux. If you are trying to do something that requires a techie to figure out, you'll need a techie to do the same thing in Windows. And in Mac OS X. Just because *you* know how to set some special thing in Windows doesn't mean that everyone else does. And just because you don't know how to set it in Linux doesn't mean it's actually a difficult thing to do. It's almost definitely just as easy to set that special thing in Linux. And sometimes you won't even need to do that tweak.

    8) When was the last time you had to defrag a drive in Linux? I'll let you spend time thinking about that. Never? Yeah, me either. How about anti-virus?

    9) When was the last time you screwed up your Windows install because of some bad/buggy program you installed? With a proper package management system (no, you don't know it exists.. just go to the "Applications > Add/Remove..." thing), you can very cleanly purge anything you don't want on your system. It's just like you never had it installed in the first place.

    10) When was the last time your mother screwed up her Windows install (... she doesn't know *how* it happened, of course)? I'll tell you when my step-mother last screwed up her Ubuntu install: it hasn't happened. And she doesn't know anything about computers that your mother doesn't know.

    11) Hardware? I haven't had a problem. My desktop computer runs perfectly well with two monitors, NVIDIA video card, surround sound, wireless keyboard, USB mouse, bluetooth-sync'd phone, SD cards, bluetooth headset, gigabit ethernet, wireless card, Sprint wireless card (stopped using it a couple years ago because I didn't need it anymore), bluetooth dialup networking via phone, and everything else I've thrown at it. I have never, ever had a hardware problem in the last three years. On the other hand, when I installed Windows on a spare laptop so my girlfriend (now fiancée) could watch some Silverlight-required thing, I had to use a separate computer to download the wireless drivers, the video drivers, the sound drivers, Silverlight itself, a ton of Windows updates, and had to prove to Microsoft that I didn't steal the whole mess.

    And here's some techie extras: (which are completely optional and not at all required for happy computing)

    1) On my network, it takes about 5 minutes to install the newest Ubuntu release... with no preinstalled OS nor an install disc. Tell the computer to do a netboot (PXE, for those in the know. Just press F12 or whatever your motherboard likes you to do) and pick "Install: Ubuntu 64-bit Stable" or whatever architecture/version/distro you want. It installs from a local proxy (but fetches new files if there are newer versions). It installs all of the fancy little codecs and plugins and junk that you want. It makes sure you can play encrypted DVDs on your fresh install. No need to install extra stuff later. This single, initial install does it all at once. And as a bonus, a complete computer-phobe could use the installer. And no need to pay for some per-seat or per-computer license for this nice installer system.

    2) Want to make your own packages? Go ahead. You don't need to ask the Linux gods or vendors for permission. You don't need a local install server. You even get the bonus of signed, secure packages from your custom trusted source. For my Debian-based and Ubuntu-based servers, I have fancy, custom packages that do everything I want to do. My Debian server usage is very advanced; my packages make it so easy to go from new server to working server doing real work in less than 20 minutes. And that even includes scheduled encrypted, off-site backups.

  119. Bernie 2
    Pint

    Windows vs Linux

    I grew up on Windows but now my affiliation lies with Linux, with which I have relatively little experience.

    I use Ubuntu, and have used XP and Vista (but not Win7 - I just don't care any more) and they each have their pros and cons. I'm not going to BS anyone that either OS is better. If I had the money I'd happily give OSX a fair trial too.

    These marketing materials are only putting into print what the majority of Windows users (and by extension the majority of PC users) have thought for years. The majority of users think Linux is shit. And it's an opinion they will hold vehemently without having a shred of actual knowledge on the subject. Do I want those people on board with Linux? No not really.

    All MS is doing is putting their target markets opinion into words and printing it up for the sales reps (as if they don't already know?) And that's just good marketing tbh.

    I do find it amusing that Windows Live doesn't work on Linux. Can anyone guess what made me switch to Ubuntu? That Live stuff thoroughly bolloxed up my Vista install. Nice.

    /Beer because that's what I was drinking when I wrote this

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Incidentally ...

    Linux installations don't start slowing to a crawl within weeks and astoundingly (to those first intoduced to Linux) it doesn't need defragging, third-party anti-virus or anti-malware software, it never thrashes the disk like hell, I find it runs Windows games just fine, its a joy to program with and there is no tie-in to anything.

    I've never had hardware or compatibility problems and yeah even my printer works. Just fine. Even though its an HP. Never even had to search for a driver for it. Common Unix Printer interface worked well.

    Every utility I spent years ammasing for Windows was already there installed by default with Linux. Oh and I can make it look/feel like any other OS I like if I have a mind to.

  121. The First Dave
    Happy

    FUD?

    Well, there is plenty of FUD on both sides, and this is no worse than either side has pulled out in the past. I notice that none of the commenters above dared to say that you could get good support for Linux. I wonder why?

    What would have been really interesting would have been if Apple were included in the comparison too - but since they would have rated as 'Best' in each category, that might have spoiled the effect, no?

  122. Michael Schmidt
    Linux

    Rubbish

    This is the latest example of unfair business practices by Microsoft. How many lawsuits have they lost? Linux has a history of being cutting edge - multiprocessor support, advanced disk systems, and now USB 3.0. Ubuntu's goal is a 10-second boot time in the near future (how long does Windows take?). Official support is available with several distros, such as Ubuntu, SUSE, and Red Hat. Hardware support is, in my opinion, no worse than Vista. The Gutenprint project has made printer incompatibility rare, indeed. Community support is excellent. And all the free software you need for basic work. WINE takes care of compatibility with a lot of Windows apps.

    I've used Ubuntu for several years and own no Microsoft products. My biggest complaint is that it is boring! No firewall intrusions, no viruses, no registry repair, no blue screen of death, no disk defrag. It just works, day in and day out. Oh, and how about compatibility with open-source standards. Then the big one --- it's free.

  123. Captain Thyratron

    Both arguments are correct.

    Sod 'em both. I'm sticking to Solaris.

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fingers plugging the holes....

    Really, funny I went to LINUX in the mid-90's because I needed a good technical computing environment, back then you did have to tweak C-code and device drivers to get things going. I converted over to LINUX a little over a decade later for a 180-deg opposite reason I wanted something that "It Just Works", I was sick of:

    - Defragging

    - Hunting for drivers for every piece of hardware

    - Firewall

    - Anti-Virus

    - Registry corruption

    - recovering from Mal-Ware

    - BSOD's

    - Forced upgrades that Break everything

    - Forced upgrades that cuase network problems, machines that couldn't even talk to each other

    - Forced upgrades that make you relearn the wheel

    - Product activation/WGA/nagware

    - Having to support family/friends/neighbors with problems with "that other OS"

    - Wireless never working

    This comparison is a load of Crap, and support from any of the commercial distro's (Red Hat, Canonical, Xandros is probably MUCH better than the usual alternatives (Apple, MS)

  125. jg007
    WTF?

    stop being stupid!

    Microsoft = A Company = Requires Money to pay it's staff and shareholders !

    Hopefully most of the people on here actually work for a living and don't just claim benefits, would you all sugest that people stop using whichever product of software your company makes and look for a cheaper or free alternative??. Also do any of you complain when you go into your local supermarket and you are bombarded by adverts that their products are cheaper and better than the competition?

    Linux and open source has a place and is fine used by a percentage of people but if it were used by everybody there would be several issues not least of all that it would not exactly help the economy and many of the readers of the register were nobody to pay for any software ever and that hackers / malware writers would then be forced into finding ways to attack it more than at present

    and as far as the comments for ubuntu = works , my PC works day in day out without any problems despite me regularly installing and removing software

  126. Werner McGoole

    I am now MS free... yay!

    After progressively switching to Linux apps all I had left was the archive of my old Windows disk... After grabbing the personal data I still needed, I invoked the command:

    rm -r /windows

    Boy, did that feel good!

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    @The Original Ash - Belkin drivers

    Due to patent crap and trolls making reverse engineering illegal, writing drivers is not as simple as just coding.

    All the device writers are allowed to do is write wrappers than allow you to extract the Belkin driver firmware from the Windows drivers, than interface that with the Linux driver code. Distros do not have right to pass the firmware code out, so you have to do it yourself, so the distro makers don't get taken to court!

    The thing that always amuses me is that you install the distro, then says it cannot install the wireless card without downloading the drivers first. Yes, but the wireless doesn't work yet, so how to I get the drivers down to make it work!?! You have dig out your trusty old ethernet cable and wire up to the router, under the stairs in my case, get the drivers, then pack the cable away, go wireless!

    Thank Microshaft! Thanks for making the industry such a pleasant place to try to simply use a piece of hardware I paid for, its mine but I want use differently without your malware ridden piece of crud O/S!

  128. The Spook

    MS software can seriously waste your weekend!

    I totally trashed GDM (Gnome Display Manager - one of the many choices for a graphical desktop environment for *nix) the other day on my Ubuntu system (completely my own fault, being a little too zealous when removing 'orphaned' packages).

    This in itself is not a unique Linux phenomena, I have terminally broken *plenty* of Win installations, they are just not as easy to fix.

    So, I was faced with two simple choices (only no.2 would have been available with Windoze);

    1) find, fix and reinstall the broken packages using the command line.

    2) reinstall the OS.

    I estimated that I might spend and hour or more on option 1, so I got out my CD and reinstalled (20mins).

    Now, *here's the real killer*. After reinstalling the OS from scratch and rebooting, everything was still as I left it. Junk on my desktop, emails in my inbox, all passwords remembered, browser favourites, even my WPA keys! Do that on a windows box. I bet you can't.

    Personally, I have pi$$ed away entire weekends reinstalling Windoze and the apps I had, then copying back all my data (if I had a recent backup).

    The secret sauce? my home directory (it's like 'My Documents' but better because it actually contains *all* your stuff!) lives on a separate partition to the OS.

    People that whine about Linux being hard to use make me want to puke. Have these people used Windows? I can only imaging that they haven't. My 2 year old daughter can use a Ubuntu machine with ease and, best of all, she can't break it. She can break a windows box in a few minutes!

  129. The Spook

    Linux - it just works!

    I became battle-hardened on XP, but have had the misfortune to use both Shista and Win7.

    To be fair, Win7 is a helluva improvement on Shista, but it still blows bigtime in comparison to any modern Linux distro. I have to work with crappy MS products, but I wouldn't switch my own machines back if you paid me. Probably not even then!

  130. Stan 2

    Who want's 'em?

    In all honesty, what kind of a fskced group of people is going to want to have anything to do with the kind of gobshites who are going to believe this?

    We know the kind of idiots PCworld .etc employ, we know the kind of idiots that are also users and we don't want them clogging up the forums asking where the "any" key is.

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