Microsoft Hatred FAQ

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Sun Oct 16 09:49:50 CEST 2005

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. 


What exactly *is* your point? You seem to be oscillating from "Microsoft
doesn't care what browser people use" to "Microsoft cares deeply what
browser people use". I don't understand what you are trying to say.

>> They want
>> to control the business world, and believe me, corporations don't pick
>> the OS of their computer because they want to join a community, they
>> pick the OS that lets them run the applications that their business
>> needs to run.
> 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, 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.

>> Operating-system independent browser-based applications threaten the
>> ability of Microsoft to tie that choice to Windows.
> 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.

As for OpenOffice, yes, there is a slow migration away from MS Office. If
you are in the US, the UK or Australia, you probably won't have noticed
it, 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.

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.

>> 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. 

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. 

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


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