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The power of custom

© February 2006 Anthony Lawrence

This is an interesting article on Two ways Microsoft sabotages Linux desktop adoption. I think the title is a bit off: Microsoft doesn't directly control Linux drivers and the problem of stubborn users has more to do with what they are used to than anything Microsoft has specifically done or not done.

Have you ever thought of it the other way around? For some of us, whose primary computer use never has been Microsoft Windows, trying to force us into a switch would be every bit as difficult as trying to switch ordinary Windows folks to Linux or Mac. Everything is wrong, everything is uncomfortable. Where are my Red, Yellow and Green Window controls? There's no "grep", no "sed". Almost nothing is text files, which makes "grep" and "awk" partly pointless anyway. I could add in a lot of Unix-like tools and even shells, but it still wouldn't quite be "right" - Windows has different ideas about task scheduling and it's not a subtle change at all: you can actually feel the difference.

Admittedly, assuming I was allowed to add other programs and utilities, I could probably make myself a lot more comfy on a Windows system than a Windows person ever could if they were forced to use OS X. For one thing, like most Mac and Linux folk, I'm at least partially familar with Windows anyway: it's hard to miss it. But many a Windows user has never had their eyes on anything but a Gates controlled desktop, so their adjustment is harder right off the bat: they aren't visiting a relative's house; they've been uprooted and plucked down in a completely foreign place.

A lot of what that article wants to blame on Microsoft is just human nature: we like what we are comfortable with, and we don't like change.

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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

Take Control of Pages

Take control of Apple TV, Second Edition

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, Second Edition

Take Control of OS X Server

More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Tue Feb 21 09:54:04 2006: 1677   drag

There is a iota of truth to this article.. It's mostly BS though.

Were it comes in is that Microsoft has a LOT of influence over vendors. Hardware manufactures, software, and big OEMs. Basicly if they piss of Microsoft then Microsoft can put them out of business in a blink of the eye.

On episode 123 of "The Linux Link Tech Show" they interviewed the original author of SAMBA. He obviously is very knowledgable about Microsoft, Windows, and especially their networking protocols. In there he gives a couple short examples of Microsoft flexing their muscle on OEM-style computer vendors. (they were very short and there was very good technical information, like how they want to make CIFS the premier Unix network file system and how it is designed to bypass the window-compatability cruft if it detects that the client systems are linux/unix and how nfsv4 dropped the ball with the ACLs by following MS's docs too closely.)

One was that a vendor with a 'cosy' relationship with Microsoft. They were planning on developing a low-cost NAS-style device based around SAMBA and got pretty far in it. He later found out that they dropped the project. The reason was was that Microsoft found out about it and told them that they aren't suppose to be using their own software and own file systems. Microsoft is the one that provides the software and filesystems and they aren't allowed to do it themselves. The vendor said 'ok' and killed the project.

This was a while after all the anti-trust/monopoly stuff.


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