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Why defend Microsoft?

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The two best alternatives out there are SuSe Linux and Apple. Why don't we go with these products? Why is the whole history of the market (of people choosing the best product) turned upsidedown here?

The best Linux (SuSe) still cannot play games that come anywhere near MS systems. Updating and installing software is still a nightmare in some cases if it doesn't already come with the distro. Some of the programs that come with distros don't even work, and there is no across the board standards for libraries (which is why software upgrading can be such a pain). Also, new programs are still installed using the command line. Security is the only real plus that Linux has, and price. That, and I think it looks a lot better than Windows, and it is more flexible as far as user control goes, that comes in a price of a lot of learning though.

Apple is expensive, proprietary, and the hardware (especially for the price) is not quite up to PC levels. Although it to has the above advantage of security, or so I've read. It also has the advantage of great sound, and video software.

I don't want to come down too hard on the competition. I prefer Suse Linux myself, and when I am online on Windows, I never use a MS product.

For people that want to get on the computer to get work done, and not work on the computer itself, Microsoft has been the one that has delivered. That has been the bottom line.

I argee with your basic point that Windows buttom line the best operating system to use. The primary reason for this is the vast selection of software titles that are only available on a Windows platform.

If take away the large software base though, with the release of OS X, Apple is hands down better. They just realeased a "Mac Mini" that starts at $499. Dollar for dollar, its the best home computer you can buy. I think these new low-priced Macs are going to do huge things for Apple's market share.

In the Linux realm, I have to disagree with your statement about SuSe being the best. The biggest problem I've had with SuSe, is the bloat. When you install it, they install everything on your hard drive but the kitchen sink. I remember I installing once, after choosing one of the more minimal installation packages, and seeing it installing some file relating to German zip codes. Maybe things have changed, I haven't tried it in a couple years. My personal favorite distribution is Mandrake. I've been wanting to try Gentoo out, but the installation process looks like a weekend long affair. The beautiful thing about Linux is that you can literally do anything you want with it. Depending on what you want to do, there are 100s of different distributions to choose from.

I don't see Linux being a serious contender for the average home user market unless somebody completely rebuilds a new graphical user interface for it. The X Windows system that drives all the current Linux GUIs is horrible. Even the best top-level GUIs (KDE and GNOME) in Linux don't hold a candle to Microsoft, and nobody comes close to OS X in GUI quality.

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Microsoft, almost single-handedly, made possible the entire computer industry as it exists today by providing a useful people-friendly operating system installed on millions of personal computers throughout the world,  and it spawned a software industry measured in the trillions of dollars yearly, and you want us not to put up with Microsoft's "stupidity?"  Thanks for pointing out how amazing it is that so many of us have been duped by the poor quality of Microsoft's product. Ah, yes, we all long for the good old days of the Altair computer in 1975, before Bill Gates messed it up with Basic.  :( 

That's funny!

It is discouraging when I hear people bashing MS & then I find out their very livelihood depends upon using an MS product.

Dear Stephen, what I am about to write is not necessarily directed to you, but to everyone else here that has made a post as a result of what I said, as well as to anyone else that is uninformed.

It is not all about the Operating System; it is about all the applications that run on it, such as the Office programs. Yes, there are 'runners up,' but MS Office is considered to be the standard and you are Out of Luck if you do not use these programs when communicating with others. This is also easy to prove: MS products are proprietary. Try opening a Word doc in Adobe Acrobat and you'll see what I mean. Although there seems to be a tremendous effort to constantly upgrade the ‘bells and whistles’ of software applications to continue to make them fresh and appealing to the general public, there are those of us who rely on these products to do the jobs that they were originally intended to do, and that is create output that is proper and timely, especially when documents require wholesale re-construction at the expense of the author and the audience of these. I am not going to go into detail; that would be unnecessary, but I will if someone wishes me to provide examples.

I have a friend who has just recently sent a long paper to MS development detailing the issues he has had with Windows, Word, and Outlook. He has put countless hours into creating this paper and dealing with the issues that it contains. MS couldn't pay him enough in consulting fees for the work he has had to perform as the result of having to deal with the problems with their products. The least they can do is provide him with free software since his work and suggestions are what allow them to make those trillions of dollars. He talked to a development supervisor in person because of the number of cases he has had to open; they also have called him personally on his cell phone to talk about it. He is also an industry professional working for the largest corporation in the world. They respect his position and experience. Also, he is a teacher of Microsoft Office products to clients, and part of his job involves extensive utilization of the Office applications suite producing technical writing documents.

Although Microsoft did indeed provide a tremendous service to the world with their innovations, the very fact that they have received all of this money means that they have a responsibility to provide the level of quality in their products that is indicated by those earnings. I will use Hank Rearden as an example. Can you imagine him putting out the crap that MS has put out?

--Brian

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Although Microsoft did indeed provide a tremendous service to the world with their innovations, the very fact that they have received all of this money means that they have a responsibility to provide the level of quality in their products that is indicated by those earnings.

Did you notice what a whole bunch of people wrote here? Namely, that the reason why Microsoft is so successful, the reason why so many people buy their product, is because people do value their product?

I will use Hank Rearden as an example.  Can you imagine him putting out the crap that MS has put out?

Argument by repetitive bizarre assertion. Like I said before, enjoy your abacus.

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Although Microsoft did indeed provide a tremendous service to the world with their innovations, the very fact that they have received all of this money means that they have a responsibility to provide the level of quality in their products that is indicated by those earnings.  I will use Hank Rearden as an example.  Can you imagine him putting out the crap that MS has put out? 

--Brian

The "crap" that MS is putting out now? Or, as you say, MS has put out? What is it? Those innovations were in the products that they offered the public and the public gobbled up. The public continues to buy MS products overwhelmingly in many PC areas.

Why?

Like I said before, in a post you probably didn't read, there are alternatives. Why not OpenOffice.org (which I use)? It is freaking free compared to $300 or so for MS's. Why hasn't that wiped out MS's office line? OOo isn't the only free office suite either. How about Atlantis Ocean Mind word processor for people that want to write, but not script and have 250MB suites?

And the other two alternatives for operating systems (Linux and Apple) aren't really the only choices either. How about FreeBSD! Ha! I'd love to see my parents trying to send me their holiday pictures with that thing. I'd have them buried before they finished.

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If take away the large software base though, with the release of OS X, Apple is hands down better.  They just realeased a "Mac Mini" that starts at $499.  Dollar for dollar, its the best home computer you can buy.  I think these new low-priced Macs are going to do huge things for Apple's market share.

Yes, I heard about this on NPR the $499 Apples. I almost peed, I've always wanted an Apple, but couldn't justify the price.

In the Linux realm, I have to disagree with your statement about SuSe being the best.

It has changed in the last couple of years. Of course it still tries to give you the kitchen sink. But, its installation tool Yast is much easier to use and you can cut it up as you please. I started with Windows, so I can't (won't) go over to having to do everything myself. Suse is the distro that most resembles MS (as much as a Linux system can).

Just go to the two companies websites to see where the two companies have gone. Of course Suse now has the advantage of being owned by Novell.

Edited for extra quote screw up, thanks Mr. Speicher!

Edited by Thoyd Loki
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Nobody mentioned the Office alternative I use... PC Suite by Software602. Its a mere 29meg download and supports certain office extensions: .doc/.xls In most cases the support is right on, worst case scenario is a slight formating error.

The OS I am currently using is a pre-release version of Windows XP x64 Edition and it is flawless. Driver support is low, but it is picking up. I must say it works QUITE well given that it is not even fully supported, and is an unfinished product. I'll take beta Windows over linux any day. :)

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As perhaps the only Java/J2EE developer who fights for Microsoft, I've had this conversation so many times, you wouldn't believe it.

I recall taking a class in database systems, as part of my grad degree a few years ago.

The Comp. Sci. professor was very good, a highly-disciplined and informed man with a thick Turkish accent. I enjoyed his lectures, which he peppered with sharp non-technical observations that were usually spot on.

However, he made a statement about the future of programming languages, a statement with which I disagreed.

We had been discussing the emergence of a language (say, 6th generation) that would be so human-readable that coding would become like writing or talking. One of the students brought up the work Microsoft was doing in that area via Visual Basic.

To which the professor scoffed: "All these attempts to make programming easier....it's code, it's supposed to be cryptic!"

I now understand, looking back, the philosophical premises that led him to that conclusion. His statement could easily apply to some present-day musical lyrics or to some philosophical writing (e.g. Kant, Hegel), but this is not to say he was Kantian or Hegelian. On the contrary, his notes, manner and teaching style were very clear and ruthlessly well-organized.

I think he'd absorbed that traditionalist, "this-is-how-we've-always-done-it" attitude from his colleagues. It is no surprise how, in spite of what Microsoft has shown to be possible, there are still many programmers who pride themselves (sometimes in a petty way) on the ability to memorize "cryptic" commands in UNIX or some application executed on commandline.

But, I guess they too are not to blame ultimately: they're just trying to do their jobs as effectively as possible.

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