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Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by bb_baptist, Jan 23, 2003.
Read this great article at Financial Times
Cities and Companies Bullied by Microsoft?
HOUSTON -- The people who run this city recently heard a familiar pitch from Microsoft: Sign up for a multiyear, $12 million software licensing plan or face an audit exposing the city's use of software it hadn't paid for.
Microsoft warned that the city could be slapped with stiff fines for using any Microsoft software for which it could not produce receipts.
Scores of other businesses and public agencies, facing a similar dilemma, have agreed to the new licensing deals -- a linchpin of Microsoft's growth strategy.
The nation's fourth-largest city rebuffed the offer and has embraced an obscure competitor called SimDesk. SimDesk delivers software over the Internet at a fraction of the cost of Microsoft's Office, a software suite used on 94% of America's office personal computers. Houston is giving SimDesk to tens of thousands of residents and businesses, free. And it has begun using SimDesk as an Office substitute on at least half the city's 13,000 PCs.
Houston's moves could have a profound impact not only on Microsoft, but on the computing industry. If SimDesk proves to be a cheaper, workable Office alternative here, it could help achieve what Microsoft's rivals and antitrust busters could not: puncture Microsoft's monopoly and give tech buyers more choices.
''It's very cool technology,'' says retired software analyst Peter Lowber, who led the Gartner research firm's review of SimDesk last fall. ''It works.''
SimDesk isn't perfect. It lacks many sophisticated features of Office, such as the ability to customize spreadsheets, do slide presentations or work databases. The glaring shortfall: It has no track record, making it risky for companies hesitant to bet on unproven technology.
Yet, right behind Houston, Chicago, the nation's No. 3 city, recently launched a pilot program putting SimDesk on 150 PCs in 18 community centers. And about 50 public agencies in 27 states are checking out the technology.
I recently installed linux on a desktop I have (dual boot w/ Win2K). Parts of it I really like. I had mandrake 9 installed for a bit and then installed red hat 8. It has some benefits, like cheap and the software is very good for the most part. Howevewr, it is like using windows years ago, when you still had to know some DOS. With linux, you still have to know some basic unix type commands.
My brother (an IT guy) uses it some and likes it. But as he says, there is still a problem with a free software making money.
IF they keep automating it and making it easier, it could get additional market share ... overtake microsoft??? not for a long time I imagine.
I don't think so - open source does not have the support to make it truly viable in the business environment - the only reason UNIX is there is because of the support IBM provide - put it this way:
you have responsibility for a cluster of servers that deal with stock exchange trades - if they go down you lose 1 million every 10 seconds - who are you going to trust with that? a trans-global corporation or a bunch of unwashed coders that provide very little tech support?
It not only can, but will. I've been using Linux for everything except games for years, and despite many careless mistakes I've made, I have never had to reboot, reformat, or reinstall for any reason. It is remarkably stable, and it gets friendlier every day.
As for the comment about IBM, perhaps you don't realize that IBM recently pumped $1 billion into Linux and got back $1.5 billion as a result.
Linux now runs on everything from Palm Pilots to mainframes, and many (but certainly not all) of the platforms it runs on today it does so thanks to work by IBM.
I don't recommend Debian to novice Linux users, but as an experienced Linux user, I have to say it really lives up to the "last version of Linux you'll ever install" motto some people use. I run two simple commands every few days (or as infrequent as once a month, or as infrequent as you like) and in just a matter of minutes my installations of Debian are all updated with the latest software.
[ January 24, 2003, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
this may sound stupid. but, have you heard of Lindows ? Is it good ?
Read what existing users are saying about LindowsOS:
You may find this news article interesting