Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I have a rant...

So, Microsoft started this Linux bashing campaign, and it just pisses me off.

Mainly because they say things that aren't true.  The latest smear campaign Microsoft has launched includes a "training" program where Best Buy employees will be able to purchase a copy of Windows 7 for $10 if they complete it.

All I've seen is one screen shot from the "training" program, and it has me fuming!

So, the first thing that the campaign is trying to get across is that Linux does not work with cameras, printers, scanners, iPods, and MP3s.  That is just ridiculous.  I admit that Ubuntu doesn't come with DVD and MP3 playback ready to use out of the box (unless you purchase a computer pre-loaded with Ubuntu from Lenovo or Dell)  however, in the Ubuntu case, all you have to do is search Google and you will learn all you need to do is install the restricted extras package and you'll be all set.  As far as printers, cameras, and iPods, they all work fine.  I admit that iTunes doesn't work in Linux, but there are tones of other programs you can use to purchase, organize, and playback your music collection.

The next argument that the campaign tries to argue is software compatibility.  I admit, if you try to run a program in an operating system it was not made for, you might have some problems.  However, there are countless free programs to replace the software you purchased for Windows;  just about everything has an open source equivalent.  Why?  Because there is a demand for the software (hence why you bought it in the first place.)  Even if you insist on using your Windows software, you still have options.  Code Weavers has created a software suite to handle what ever you want.  If you want to run office software, they have Cross-Over Linux (or Cross-Over Mac) and if you want to play games they also make Cross-Over Games.  This is where I really get a chuckle, because the two largest solutions for running Windows games in Linux (Code Weaver's Cross-Over Games and Transgaming's Cedega) both have full support for the game Microsoft specifically lists as unsupported (World of Warcraft.)  I admit, you have to purchase software in order to get the support, however $70 will get you full support for a huge number of Windows applications and Games (including Microsoft Office, iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, Windows live essentials, and a lot more.)

Then we come to the part where I really get confused... Microsoft claims there is no "authorized support" for Linux.  I have no idea where they are coming from on this one.  Linux has traditionally been all about community support online via forums and chat rooms, but all the major Linux vendors (Red Hat, Debian, Novell, and Canonical) make their money by selling training and support plans.  Plus, distributors like Lenovo and Dell both offer support for Ubuntu.  As a result Linux support is just as good, if not better, and Windows support.

The final point I am aware of Microsoft making to bash Linux is their statement that Linux doesn't support Video Chat on all major IM clients.  I admit that Pidgin, the chat program that has come with every Ubuntu version, does not support video chat, but Empathy supports video chat as well as many other clients like Skype and Gizmo5.

So, why am I spending so much time on this?  Well, because Microsoft is full of crap, and they just go around making up anything they want and everyone just goes along with it.  It's like the Mojave Experiment.  You remember the commercials?  They made it look like all these people loved Windows Vista.  The real story is that they had a marketing team come up with a list of things people had said they wanted, then they sat people in a room and said "Would you like it if Windows did...?"  The result is that Microsoft was able to convince computer illiterate people that they love Windows Vista, even though they have never used it.  They just left out the fact that in order for Windows to actually do what they say, you need to buy a $1000+ computer.

Anyway... I know I'm just ranting.  I hate Microsoft Ad campaigns... I think I've only liked a couple of commercials Microsoft has ever come up with... and the last one I liked was a Windows 95 commercial.

Ok, so there is my rant.

Later,

     SteveO