Monday, January 26, 2009

Microsoft debunks Linux myths

Finally Microsoft - in the person of vice-president Jim Allchin, amongst others - speaks the truth. Not because they want to, but because they are forced to. The quotes in this article are taken from the exhibits 7168 and 7175 of the "Comes vs. Microsoft" case, which were published by Roy Schestowitz. Note that these protocols were made in 2002, when Linux was much less mature. The same applies to Windows, of course. It is up to you to decide how much progress each platform has made since then.

Linux is just as expensive as Windows
Cost is a first thing on everyone’s mind right now given the economy and pressure on cost reduction. (..) We really need some here. (..) If the IDC report won’t cut it, then we get another one done. Some customers know that Linux isn’t really free, but we need to help the other customers see this.

Microsoft admits that Linux is cheaper than Windows since it is willing to "investigate" this over and over again until it gets the results it wants. Yes, this was the start of the classic "Get the facts" FUD campaign. It also shows that Microsoft has no scruples whatsoever to buy fake reports or to bribe editors and journalists in order to obtain the publicity it so desperately needs.

Windows is just as capable as Linux
So what I want to know is how, from your perspective, are our products not matching up today; what should we, in your opinion, be doing about it?
Linux is getting in some places based on the fact that customers are trying to scale up and they can’t run applications independently/safely on Windows.
Customers are very smart about the problems (eg., registry issues, lack of support from 3rd parties (..), etc.)
Customers are very disappointed (outright angry!).

Microsoft states several times that their products are seriously lacking in various aspects and Linux is fully capable of filling that gap, since it doesn't have these problems in the first place.

Linux is difficult to use
So is Linux going to be harder? I disagree with you. (..) Click, click, click you’re done. Same thing with Linux.
It’s going to get even easier. It will catch up with utilities and so on. And it’s already there. So I think it’s very close to being there.

Yes, Microsoft says "Linux is easy"! So, don't take my word for it; ask the "experts"!

Windows is just as secure as Linux
What can we do - what’s the number one problem with Microsoft that you have? Security.
And like I said, there’s nothing we can do to - every time we try to - we got the FBI involved, but our hands are tied.
I mean, it’s not like Linux or Solaris or - you pick your system.

Microsoft acknowledges that Windows has a serious security problem, unlike Solaris or Linux systems. In the same sentence they also debunk the myth that Windows problems are solely due to their marketshare. The funny thing is that they try to "fix" their problems by pursuing the perpetrators. Although that is not a bad idea, it won't make Windows any more secure.

Linux is not a threat to Windows
My conclusion: We are not on a path to win against Linux We must change some things and we must do it immediately.
I have more and more clients asking me about it.
Is it something to worry about? I believe so.
We feel a huge threat from Linux.
I am scared.

Your honor, I rest my case.


Anonymous said...

Wow, you really twisted some of that content. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely Pro Linux and its all I run at home, and at work. I try my best to use it where possible.

The problem I have with what you have said is that you have missquoted, your section says:

"Windows is just as secure as Linux...
every time we try to - we got the FBI involved, but our hands are tied.I mean, it’s not like Linux or Solaris or - you pick your system."

The last part of that section seems to be used in reference to disclosure of bugs and vulnerabilities, NOT that Linux is more secure then Windows which is what is suggested in your wording.

Here is the actual extract from the document:

MR. AJLLCHIN: Let me push on this just a minute. We
said that we were going to get focused on this trustworthiness.
And what that meant was more transparency. Anytime that we found
something we were going to publish it. We’re now getting abuse --
I mean, it’s not like Linux or Solaris or -- you pick your system.
It doesn’t have as many -- in many cases more than we do; it’s
just that we’re coming out and we’re being very proactive about it.
Is that a mistake on our part? I think it’s the right thing to do
with the customer, so

MR. MARTIN: Well, I agree with you it’s the right
thing to do. And I’ll tell you, the one thing I’ve found so funny
lately is that bug inside of SSL on Linux has so devastated so many
customers just around the country. And all of a sudden everybody’s
looking at that going, "Microsoft doesn’t have that problem, do
they?" And all of a sudden now everybody’s like, "Oh, you know
what, I don’t think I want to really consider Linux anymore."

Anonymous said...

Microsoft will never lose the desktop, I don't understand why they worry.
It's probably a function of greed; they want it all and wont share.
There will always be a majority who want a chauffeur driven OS and Microsoft will have them forever. A minority will want to drive themselves, collisions and all, and they are not interested in Microsoft and never will be.

Unknown said...

Hopeless article....
First off all Linux is a Great Operating system... No Dought about it..
but Windows 2003 / 2008 are even better now than any linux flavour i have used... At enterprise level it not whats easy or difficult it matters how much features do your product have and how many resources( HR + H/W + Support) i will have to use...
If you compare Linux support or technian or employee is much of a Large recurring expense than a windows admin (Who is offcourse dumb)... but you cannot say linux is cheaper... secondly Microsoft will never agree on this & i think this is a completly fake arcticle...
This is the difference between Microsoft and Opensource... They fake to any extent to prove they are right... Even if i Love opernsource but I am really Fanatic about Microsoft's policy of Selling there products and making them too good...

Anonymous said...

"Microsoft will never lose the desktop, I don't understand why they worry."

I can buy a 130 euro netbook, retail and VAT included, with a 7'' screen (110 euros on-line). It runs Linux and WinCE. Indeed, NO XP/Vista/7.

427 out of the top 500 supercomputers run Linux (85.5%).

And on the desktop? I still have to see (or hear of) the first viable Linux virus.

Seems the desktop market is in a pincer movement.


r_a_trip said...

Even if i Love opernsource but I am really Fanatic about Microsoft's policy of Selling there products and making them too good...

I wonder what gets people so loyal to MS and rabid about MS' mediocre products. Back when I was still addicted to MS' promise of a wonderful system in the next version, it was a continuous stream of disappointments.

Every version from Win 3.11 to Vista has its share of annoying problems. Win 3.11 was a toy on top of DOS. Win95 was an exercise in instability. Win98 wasn't finished. Win98SE was MS finest moment in consumer OS design. Still, Win98SE was the champion of system degradation, but you could at least get under the hood and keep it running for as long a possible. Win ME, need I elaborate? Windows XP. Stable but malware prone. WinXP SP2. Stable but treating customers like criminals. Vista. Stable, but an annoying system hog with the same tendency to treat customers like criminals.

Windows 7? Probably the same promise of the best Windows ever and still having quirks that drive you up the wall.

I won't and can't claim that GNU/Linux is flawless, but in comparison to the continuous niggles MS has in so many area's, GNU/Linux is bliss.

Anonymous said...


Same old MS tactics outlined in the documents. But it's 2009? You forgot to mention market share? It is still the MS tactic to write like this.

Linux is great


windows is better...
every one involved with Linux is fake...
Linux is not cheaper...
Linux does not have the features...
Linux does not have support...
Linux is fake ... but I love opensource...
MS policy of selling makes them good...