Microsoft Hatred FAQ

John Bokma john at
Sun Oct 16 16:51:48 CEST 2005

Steven D'Aprano <steve at> wrote:

> On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 05:26:51 +0000, John Bokma wrote:
>> Steven D'Aprano <steve at> wrote:
>>> On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 00:47:09 +0000, John Bokma wrote:
>>>> Ok, let me spell it out for you: If all your applications are web
>>>> based, and the OS shouldn't matter, why do Linux distributions
>>>> matter? It doesn't matter which one you use to run, for example,
>>>> OpenOffice. Yet people pick a certain distribution. Why? Well, one
>>>> reason is that people like to belong to a group. So even if it
>>>> really doesn't matter which OS you are going to use to access a web
>>>> application, or even which browser, people will pick a certain
>>>> browser, and a certain OS, just because. 
>>> Dude, do you think that Microsoft gives a rat's tail[1] for what a
>>> handful of computer enthusiasts and geek programmers pick?
>> So you missed the point again. 
> "Again"?
> What exactly *is* your point? You seem to be oscillating from
> "Microsoft doesn't care what browser people use"

I didn't write that.

> to "Microsoft cares
> deeply what browser people use". I don't understand what you are
> trying to say. 

Neither that. I wrote: People *care* what OS they are using. Hence, even 
if there is a standard web platform for applications, and it doesn't 
matter what you use, people still will prefer MS over others. Even if 
they can't see any difference. I already wrote: look at CDs. There are 
several factories producing CDs. There are labels put on the same batch 
of CDs. So one can buy brand X, and brand Y, but basically you buy CDs 
made by factory Z, batch W. And yet people make a great deal about how 
much better X is compared to Y for burning CDs.

So even if the OS doesn't matter from a technical viewpoint (which I 
don't see happen soon), people are able to attach matters to their 
choice. It's like those cookies that every year get more tastier, 
better, etc.

>> So basically you're saying that even if web based applications become
>> the shit, everybody keeps running Microsoft? So I am right :-)
> No. My point is, IF web-based apps become popular, and back in the
> 1990s people thought that they would,

Some did, some didn't. I didn't. I always said the Notworking computer 
was just that: not working.

> and they would run on any
> browser, then you could run your browser on any operating system on
> any hardware. That's what Microsoft wanted to stop, by gluing the
> browser to the OS.

And how exactly was that going to work?

>> Ah, sure, you really think that a business is going to run office 
>> applications on a web server? Are they already moving to Linux with 
>> OpenOffice (free as in speech?).
> As I said, back in the 90s that's what people thought, including
> Microsoft. 

So, you have contacts in high places, or you make it up? *I* didn't 
think that back in the 90s, and I remember quite a lot of people didn't 
think it either. The diskless Networking computer had quickly a harddisc 
added, and I, and many others said: what's the difference? How much does 
a harddisc save and how much costs does it add not having it? The 
picture was clear to me, and others back then: thin clients are not 
happening. The whole PC idea is that you can shop your hardware, put it 
in a computer, and have your own *Personal* computer.

> As for OpenOffice, yes, there is a slow migration away from MS Office.

Yup, like the slow migration away from MS as an OS. 

> If you are in the US, the UK or Australia, you probably won't have
> noticed it,

I am in Mexico, am Dutch, and have been living in NZ for 2 years. The 
only companies who say that it's going to happen are the ones that do 
Linux support (go figure).

> since it is a tiny trickle in those countries. But in the
> emerging IT markets of Asia (especially China), Europe and South
> America, that trickle has become a steady stream.

I am in Latin America, and it's not happening here as far as I know. 

> Especially now that Gartner has claimed that migrating from current
> versions of Office to Office 12 will cost ten times more for training
> alone than migrating to OpenOffice, I think we can expect to see that
> trickle start gushing in the next twelve months or so.

LOL, well, I am not going to hold my breath.

>>> That is why MS
>>> decided to bundle IE with Windows and (try to) kill off Netscape as
>>> a competitor. 
>> So and when exactly do we see the web based office?
> Rumour has it that Google is preparing to do exactly that.

Yeah, rumours.

> Personally, I don't see the point. I would never use a web-based
> office suite, but then I don't even like web mail. 

Yes, I agree with you. But, like I explained in a related thread 
somewhere else some time ago, a web based office will get users. As I 
said, I live in Mexico. Most people here don't have money for a PC (and 
no, they are not going to buy those miracle machines like AMD is 
promising), so they go to Internet cafes when they need one. Students I 
know already rely a lot on Hotmail, Gmail, etc, to store and exchange 
their homework. They edit it in an Internet cafe, email it, etc. So I am 
sure that in Mexico, people might going to switch to web based office.

> What's more important these days from Microsoft's strategic planning
> is multimedia.

And advertising, which is quite related of course.

> Yes, they want -- need -- to keep control of the office
> suite, Office gives them something like 1/2 their revenue. But for the
> long-term, they want to lock folks into their proprietary
> Internet-based multimedia systems (e.g. streaming wmv over mms)
> because they think that this will give them control of a very
> lucrative business. I can't really disagree with them.

Yup, I don't see MS disappear very soon now, nor do I see major shifts 
(like desktop to network) happening very soon.

John                   Small Perl scripts:
               Perl programmer available:
                                        I ploink :-)

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