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[tlug] Re: [OT] Say _no_ to the Microsoft Office format as an ISO standard

 On Sun, 8 Jul 2007 07:35:03 +0900, 
 "Josh Glover" <> wrote 
 in <>:

> On 08/07/07, Roger Markus <> wrote:
>>The one thing Microsoft does very well is play dirty (illegal is 
>>probably a more accurate term).
>Right, because Microsoft's success is solely attributable to 
>their playing dirty.

<snipping Josh saying a lot of things I can't disagree with>

I have always wondered when people talk about Microsoft.
What have they actually done that was illegal?  I am a bit
confused. Maybe I missed something somewhere.

Yes, I know that they are not well liked.  I know that they
are known for putting out really crappy product, and not
being very receptive to inputs on how to fix it.  Worse, they
are known for producing really nice betas, and then a crappy
final release once they add in all the third party crap that
the judge of the day demands they put in it.

Josh has pointed out a number of things that many of us tend
To forget when we are talking about everyone's favorite
software giant.

When they first created DOS, it WAS Gates that did most of
the work on that project.  He programmed like a man possessed.
His contract said that if he left IBM, he could take his code
with him.  That is what he did.  Nothing illegal, and if you
look at it in a certain light, the immorality of it also comes
into question.  He had an agreement.  He did a hell of a lot of
work.  He came to disagreements with his employer, and he left.

This slowed down IBM, but it wasn't long before PC DOS was born.
This was during a time when it did not matter yet what OS your
computer used.  There wasn't squat for support for software
outside of the Unix world anyway.

That brings us to another issue.  When Windows 3.1, and 3.11
came out, the cost of a Unix license was insane.  Why pay several
hundred dollars for an unfriendly, hard to understand operating
system, when for sixty bucks you can have one that has an easy to
Use, point and click interface that makes it hard for you to do any
permanent damage to your machine.  Yeah, they made some mistakes
when they made the move to Windows 95. :P

When Windows 95 and 98 came out, they had beautiful betas, but
too much userland stuff was added into the mix between beta and
release, and the result was that the release suffered.  They should
have done more beta testing after the addition of the new features.

However, on 75% of machines, you could put a windows disk in the
drive, and an hour later you had a fully functional operating system.
Yes, that statistic is about as good as any other, but the only 
machines I saw that had issues with it were older machines that
Suggested people not even try it on anyway.

A Linux install at the time was scary.  The average user would
not be able to get through it without much help.  Many of those
who where able, would rather spend the money for a copy of Windows
than go through the pain that was a Linux install.  Also, remember, at
that time the modern enmity between Windows and Linux was still no
greater than that between Linux and Unix.  Perhaps less so.  The idea
of "the computer illiterate masses flocking to windows" was encouraged
rather than the current "We can drag them all along" mentality.

The community was there, but they did not recruit.

I know this may seem different to some people here, but that is
the experience of someone who was first attempting to get involved
in Linux in that time frame.  The people were cool, but they were
not always as helpful as they are now.  More often than not the
response was the cryptic RTFM! when the person was at a stage where
That would not have meant anything yet even if it were spelled out.

Then there was the issue of documentation... Wow...  A thousand
packages, all with a copy right notice and a message saying that
documentation is a neat idea. ^^;;

As much as we hate to admit it, Microsoft did not force the
world to use windows.  Their methods are a bit strong armed,
but in most cases are not unethical.  Their customer service
people may be inept (honestly, that borders unethical there),
but they do not force people to install windows either.

Windows became number one because their people did a hell of
a lot of hard work, and spent a hell of a lot of money before we
were ever on the scene.  Being the underdog does not mean that we
are automatically right, nor does it mean that the world at large
is going to expect us to be right without more information.  You
can't come on the scene after the battle is half over and expect
to win just because you can say "Hey, we're cool."  You can't
expect to win long term war with mud slinging and FUD either.  If
we are Going to win people over to Linux, it needs to be honest or
Not at all, and the first people we need to make sure that we are
telling the truth is ourselves.

Look at Microsoft's history.  Look at their records.  Look at
actual researched and referenced resources, and not just at the
stuff you find on sites such as  I am not saying
that everything they say is bad, but it is hard to deny that it
is at least biased.


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