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Re: Guardian on Microsoft Linux conference

From: Dave
Subject: Re: Guardian on Microsoft Linux conference
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 21:11:33 +0100
User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)

Paul Jarc wrote:

Dave <> wrote:


Payload delivered: Linux only good enough for that cheap web server.

He never said "cheap", and he never said this was the only use. It is one of the more popular uses, so it seems entirely reasonable to use it as an example. I think the author is closer to your viewpoint
 than you think.

Halloween XI: Get The FUD
22 Jun 2004

I've just seen a dispatch from the front lines of the FUD wars, Huw
Lynes's report from one of Microsoft's Get The Facts roadshow in Great
Britain. It's a fascinating read, especially when considered in context
with Halloween VII and more recent leaks out of Microsoft. The outlines
of the next stage in Microsoft's anti-open-source propaganda campaign
are becoming clear. It's a good time to take stock of where we are, what
our favorite evil empire is doing, and how best to respond.


The Dog That Didn't Bark

So, how does this FUD campaign differ from all other FUD campaigns?
Let's start by considering the things Microsoft is not doing in this
road show.

1. They seem to have abandoned using the "open source is
intellectual-property cancer" argument directly. This follows the advice
their own survey group gave them two years ago that this tactic was
backfiring badly. Instead they're pushing this line through bought
proxies at SCO and elsewhere.

2. They've quit claiming that Microsoft's products are technically
superior. Instead, they talk up transition costs.

3. Similarly, innovation, which was every other word out of a Microsoft
exec's mouth a year ago, now seems to have quietly exited their
voculabulary. It isn't in Huw's report, and it doesn't show up on the
Get The Facts page.

4. Finally, we're not seeing the very recent Microsoft line that
actually all software is proprietary because it's owned by somebody, so
there's no difference between proprietary and open source.

Like the dog that didn't bark in the night-time, these omissions are
significant, because Microsoft marketing is thorough and ruthlessly
opportunistic. You can bet money that the reason they're not making
these arguments is because they tried them on smaller focus groups, or
individually with key customers, and they didn't fly.

The New Party Line
Now let's review what Microsoft is doing. Huw gives us five bullet points:

1. Claim that linux isn't free.
2. Pretend that Shared source is the same as Open Source
3. Make a big deal about the migration costs of moving to Linux
4. Use the Forrester report to claim that Linux is insecure
5. Belittle the quality of the toolset available on Linux

I'll take on all of these, but in reverse, saving the most interesting
for last. Do I even need to point out that most of the factual claims
are blatant lies brought to you by the same people who got caught faking
video evidence in their Federal antitrust trial?


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