Mini-Microsoft Cutting Room Floor

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Enjoy your Mini-Microsoft OS debate here

Mini here: below are a number of comments I haven't let through because I'm so not hosting another OS debate right now. There is no end to it and, as the past has shown, not much interesting comes out of it. No moderation here on this page, so feel free to jump in and carry on the conversation here, vs. the main blog.

 

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Oy, an Extreme Bummer!":

You are truly clueless about Linux. The EeePC does come with a "simplified" UI, but the full Linux UI, Gnome or KDE, are at least as usable and powerful as Xp

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Oy, an Extreme Bummer!":

I like open source as much as the next guy, but the user interfaces for Linux just aren't there yet for anything more complicated than web browsing.

Have you checked out a recent version of, for instance, Ubuntu? It makes all sorts of things easy and user-friendly.

The problem is not that Linux can replace Windows for everyone, but that it can for at least half the population. This puts Windows in the position of being the Rolls Royce of operating systems, which is completely contrary to the business model of "cheap but good enough" that made it a giant.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Oy, an Extreme Bummer!":

>> Haha, fell for that old myth about Microsoft's network stack containing BSD code, eh?

Erm, except it's not a myth. It did contain BSD code and even some BSD tools. Extract strings from ftp.exe and nslookup.exe and see for yourself.

And it's OK, since BSD allows the use as long as you don't misrepresent the origin of the code and show it if requested. And it was never misrepresented.

This so called pig already runs on more than 15% of the worlds computers. The only OS with more desktop share is XP which actually had a slower start.

I wonder what fraction of that 15% actually got to choose what OS they would like. And if they had that choice, how many Vista users would have chosen XP.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Oy, an Extreme Bummer!":


This so called pig already runs on more than 15% of the worlds computers. The only OS with more desktop share is XP which actually had a slower start.

I wonder what fraction of that 15% actually got to choose what OS they would like. And if they had that choice, how many Vista users would have chosen XP.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Oy, an Extreme Bummer!":

This so called pig already runs on more than 15% of the worlds computers. The only OS with more desktop share is XP which actually had a slower start.

I question your statistics. Does 15% take into account all the people and corporations have have downgraded to XP? I have personally helped half a dozen friends and family put XP on their new computers because they didn't like Vista, or helped them find computers that came with XP pre-installed.

As for Vista having faster uptake than XP, I wonder about that too. First there's the numbers game above, but it was also widely reported at Vista's launch that nobody was lining up to buy it the way people did with XP. Something seems fishy.

As for monolithic ... huh? Total nonsense, do you even know what an OS is? Just how isn't Linux or any other OS monolithic? What are you going to do, replace process creation with something else.

You are talking about the kernel while practically speaking the OS is more than that these days. A huge flaw with Windows is that if you install a program/driver/service, it becomes part of the huge wad of goo that is your system--a massive, quivering, random collection of DLLs, reg keys, files, shortcuts, etc. that can't be untangled. (And Microsoft doesn't even try to offer UI to do so, aside from the crappy Add/Remove Programs feature.) That is the 'monolithic' impression people have now--not Torvalds vs. Tanenbaum.

Unix does a somewhat better job of this with package management, and Apple does a much better job with its bundles. Neither are perfect, not by a long shot, but still better.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Oy, an Extreme Bummer!":

"There are no config files to maintain."

I fail to see this as an advantage. Having config files means that if I want to backup/clone a program onto a different machine (or a test machine), all I have to do is copy the files.

It is actually one of the nice things about most open source software. Especially when we are talking about the base OS. Because if you do something stupid, you can always just modify the incorrect files directly only using a live CD.

Mind you, this advantage is really for non-technical users. But most config files shouldn't be touched directly by these users anyway.

Personally, I avoid projects like Mono. I'm terrified that the standard will change, and the Mono Project will have difficulty duplicating the changes. That leads to three options (not upgrading, migrating to the closed version, or using a non-standard version) and none are desirable.

Now, as for what the second poster said. I think it would be a big mistake for MSFT to build a new core for Windows. Projects like ReactOS and WINE exist because people want to run Windows binaries elsewhere. If the API lacked the complexity of Win32, it would be much easier to clone. And unlike OS X, there would be huge demand to clone it (GNUstep did clone its predecessor).

Finally, back on topic, I'm sorry to see MSFTextreme go, I really enjoyed reading his blog. His juxtapositions of MSFT to other companies seemed particularly insightful.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Oy, an Extreme Bummer!":

The Vista problem is that it took SEVEN YEARS to produce an absolute pig.

This so called pig already runs on more than 15% of the worlds computers.


Does not follow. Microsoft Windows is an illegal monopoly, remember? Market penetration does not function by means of competition, which allows customers to express their favor or disfavor through their purchasing patterns.

Even by your logic -- if you disregard customers' inability to turn away from Windows in significant force, because it's bundled with the computers they buy -- the 15% is famously, historically low. If customers expressed a preference for Vista (i. e. "liked it") that number would be much higher. 15% is probably the absolute floor for a major Windows release.

15% market share != customer preference, and customer preference != "operating system is not a pig" anyway.

 

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Oy, an Extreme Bummer!":

"The Vista problem is that it took SEVEN YEARS to produce an absolute pig. Because it it is so monolithic, with everything seemingly depending on something else."

This so called pig already runs on more than 15% of the worlds computers. The only OS with more desktop share is XP which actually had a slower start.


MONOPOLY

Pronunciation: \m
ə-ˈnä-p(ə-)lē\
Function: noun
1 : exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action
2 : exclusive possession or control
3 : a commodity controlled by one party
4 : one that has a monopoly

See, skip, when you have a monopoly you can be a pig and still find yourself running on 15% of the world's computers.

Sheesh. I work at Microsoft and yet I wouldn't have the balls to make such a silly assertion.



2 Comments:

  • 15% market share in 18 months since release... interesting.

    Many businesses operate on a replacement cycle of between 3 and 5 years. I'm with a charity and we are careful with overheads... so have a 6 year upgrade cycle.

    So if *everyone* was on a 6 year cycle and the market was static in size, 16.7% of the world's PCs would be replaced each year.

    Comparing this with a 10% penetration per year since release, and ignoring the fact that the PC market is growing in unit terms, Vista is not doing well. The other 7% (or more) p.a. of new or replacement systems are running XP, MacOS, or something else.

    Again, what is remarkable about the Vista effect is that *end users* are complaining about it and asking for something else. Normally end users take whatever you give them and think it's great.

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