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brandon moore
June 19th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Let me begin by saying I use Ubuntu as my main OS. I rarely boot into Windows for anything. I like Linux, and Ubuntu in particular because of its philosophy of making software available to anyone. I started with FOSS because it was free and it worked. I couldn't afford MS Office as a college student and didn't want to steal it. Now, however, I use Linux for the same reasons I use software like OpenOffice, NVU, OSCommerce, The GIMP, Firefox, etc. I agree with the philosophy.

All that being said, I also appreciate Microsoft and all it has brought to the world of operating systems and software. I can't argue with people wanting to make a buck. I think Microsoft's software is largely overpriced and they have brought much of the piracy upon themselves. But at the same time, Microsoft's innovation (and, more recently, Apple's innovation) has brought a great deal of functionality and usefulness to the world of the ordinary computer user.

Without companies like Microsoft and Apple, I believe many of the developments that have been made in various distributions of Linux may not have happened. There are some great Linux distros out there - like Ubuntu and OpenSuSe - but Microsoft seems to me to be more intuitive and easier to configure than even the best Linux distros. I know progress continues to be made everyday, but I fear without the giants like Microsoft and Apple, the progress of Linux distros may slow down.

In the end, we need Microsoft to keep making good software (and I do believe it is good) for the greater good of the world of technology.

Lord Illidan
June 19th, 2006, 02:22 PM
With regard to innovation in the case of Microsoft, I don't agree. Microsoft copied most of its ideas from other sources, and bought the rest. However, yes, without Microsoft, computing today wouldn't be where it is.

Microsoft is easier to configure up to a point. For example, my c-media 8738 soundcard will not install under XP. And I tried and tried. Finally, I used it with Linux, and it was recognised instantly.

Also, don't tell me that regedit is easy to configure.

For advanced users, Linux might actually be more userfriendly, because they don't have to search high and low for a function. In Windows, you have to struggle through a GUI made for newcomers/newbies. (no offence to them).

And yes, without MS and Apple, Linux would fall down. Same for the other Oses. Because competition drives innovation. MS begin working hastily on IE7 because of the competition offered by Firefox. It is now quickly harrying Vista because of Linux and Apple's growing userbase.

tornhelm
June 19th, 2006, 02:32 PM
Illidan, you CAN get the 8738 working on XP. All you need to do is integrate the driverpacks.net "Sound B" into your xp install and it should automatically detect it for you.

Lord Illidan
June 19th, 2006, 02:39 PM
Illidan, you CAN get the 8738 working on XP. All you need to do is integrate the driverpacks.net "Sound B" into your xp install and it should automatically detect it for you.

You think I haven't tried?

tom-ubuntu
June 19th, 2006, 02:45 PM
I agree with Lord Illidan opinion: competition is good for progress. It keeps pressure on the projects to be innovative, finding new concepts, aso. And yes, the stole things from others. But in many cases the also improved it, or migrated features to a new concept.

Also I also would say, without Microsoft we would not have such user friendly GUI's as we have now. Perhaps Computer could just be controlled by geeks via the console ;)

Lord Illidan
June 19th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Microsoft's strategy is simple. Take the main idea, and repackage it. The main work is already done, now make it more userfriendly, etc.

Innovation - 0.
Userfriendliness for Joe Public soars.

Dragonbite
June 19th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Microsoft does make some pretty good products... where they have competition; Office, Visual Studio, Exchange, etc.

When there isn't any competition, they have no reason to update; Windows, Internet Explorer, Solitaire, etc.

Microsoft, in my humble opinion, is coming into a role-reversal, where they are not the up-and-coming underdog fighting tooth-and-nail for the dominant position anymore. Linux (and Apple) are the "underdogs" for the most part.

One advantage of being the underdog is you get kudos points if you are able to "beat the man" and if you fail then it's "Microsoft's fault".

Microsoft doesn't get that benefit anymore. Now they have to rethink their strategy and outlook to one of the market dominator and that's no easy feat!

There comes a time when a company needs to change its thinking and often that requires a removal of the people who got them there and replace them with people who can manage the company for the long-haul. Change their goals from Growth to Value.

I won't be surprised to see a cultural change go through Microsoft after Vista is pushed through the door (whether successful or a bomb).

One thought about innovation is I don't see too many programs out there doing what is not a rehash of something available for Windows. Their implementation and features may be different but so often it looks a lot like trying to "copy" Windows and Windows programs, than to "innovate".

Lord Illidan
June 19th, 2006, 05:14 PM
Microsoft does make some pretty good products... where they have competition; Office, Visual Studio, Exchange, etc.

When there isn't any competition, they have no reason to update; Windows, Internet Explorer, Solitaire, etc.

Microsoft, in my humble opinion, is coming into a role-reversal, where they are not the up-and-coming underdog fighting tooth-and-nail for the dominant position anymore. Linux (and Apple) are the "underdogs" for the most part.

One advantage of being the underdog is you get kudos points if you are able to "beat the man" and if you fail then it's "Microsoft's fault".

Microsoft doesn't get that benefit anymore. Now they have to rethink their strategy and outlook to one of the market dominator and that's no easy feat!

There comes a time when a company needs to change its thinking and often that requires a removal of the people who got them there and replace them with people who can manage the company for the long-haul. Change their goals from Growth to Value.

I won't be surprised to see a cultural change go through Microsoft after Vista is pushed through the door (whether successful or a bomb).

One thought about innovation is I don't see too many programs out there doing what is not a rehash of something available for Windows. Their implementation and features may be different but so often it looks a lot like trying to "copy" Windows and Windows programs, than to "innovate".

Actually Explorer is one of the main programs they are trying to update. After 5 years of doing nothing with IE 6, MS woke up and found that Firefox had taken 10% browser share.

All of a sudden, IE 7 was the new "innovative" browser with tab browsing and RSS support...crap!

Virogenesis
June 19th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Actually I don't need windows why, because they try to lock in, they do not try to work with others.
They work alone until they find a company they like and buy then integrate it into the os.
Ctrl alt delete is even an IBM idea, microsoft got where they are through ******* IBM when ibm clones came out microsoft made their product work with it.

wmcbrine
June 19th, 2006, 05:41 PM
"Innovation" is a slogan at Microsoft, not an actual practice. I had to laugh when I read "(and, more recently, Apple's innovation)". Windows has always been based, for the most part, on Apple's ideas.

I think Microsoft may have had some value historically, but nowadays it does more harm than good. It's time to replace it.

nuvo
June 19th, 2006, 07:01 PM
Microsoft is important in computing simply because it allows those who may not be so technically skilled to get a PC running as Windows doesn't often require terminal work, you just install security software, set up your internet and off you go.
While I could say that Ubuntu made life easier than Windows XP did (no drivers needed for my graphics card or WiFi upgrades... or my Microsoft wireless mouse =D> ), I have delved into terminal usage to get some things done (such as installing things through apt or configuring things), which can be scary for new computer users.
Linux isn't often installed on systems as standard, so Windows offers a pre-installed OS that has wizards for setting things up and which can build confidence in using a PC until you want to go on to other things such as Linux.

In their current state though, I don't think Microsoft is going down the right path.
It's not that I think they should aim to be more like Linux or anything, but I think they have some very poor practices and their blind beliefs that their way is law is kind of irritating since Microsoft is, quite literally, damaging the standard of internet content with Internet Explorer (so IE7 will have better standards support, but some things will still render poorly).

To say Microsoft is ripping off Apple is something I wouldn't bother saying since many OS's have similar idea's to Apple and Apple isn't exactly innocent of stealing themselves, be it from other companies or from their users (Xerox, the whole refurbished iPod at new iPod prices thing).
Alpha transparency, logically designed application switchers and such have been done by many companies in the past, some even before Apple got there.
Apple always had the advantage of using a specific base hardware specification and almost set in stone variants of that base spec (so, you've got a MacBook with a slightly better CPU have you... Same goes for everyone else with that model) while Windows has had to run on many varying types of hardware.
For a Mac, if it's the basic spec or more, you know it's going to work with all the pretty features (unless you want to install the latest version of OS X, where you need to be sure your system model is supported), but with a PC, you have to make sure your OS supports lower specification units as well as top of the line ones and every little bit of hardware around, so you really end up either having effects turned off by default, or not implemented at all.
With Vista though, it looks like Microsoft has decided to push out a more visually appealing OS that won't work for everyone, but which aims to bring to look and feel of Windows up to the standard of OS X and such, or possibly better in some respects if they got the idea that people want better themes that you don't always provide.
With XGL already prancing about like some kind of teen pop sensation on Linux, I'd have to say that we aren't that much better when it comes to looking pretty, but at least XGL is a choice which you know will cost you performance rather than a hardwired feature that's still going to sit there taking up HDD space if you can't or don't want to use it (XGL is an option extra, as is using it, but AERO will be there regardless of if you want to use it).

I suppose visual effects are the way we're headed, but at least our system (XGL) is evolving at a rapid pace, is optional, will support themes (if you don't like Aqua, don't buy a Mac) and doesn't need a PC capable of sentient thought to run.

To be honest, if Microsoft stopped making OS's after Vista, I think the computing world would keep going regardless as Microsoft hasn't made any real innovations in Windows recently other than making it less ugly (or more ugly in XP's case).
Apple would be a more viable option for more people if it didn't cost nearly 1,000 for a base level iMac Core Duo or if the Mac Mini actually appeared to have some grunt and features you'd expect in a similarly priced PC (people who want a PC and don't really care about what it looks like or how the OS is designed under the hood would probably pick up a Dell tower with a monitor, printer, keyboard and mouse for the same price with bigger Ghz and Mb numbers because it sounds like it'll offer better performance).
OEM versions of Windows are common mainly because Microsoft is pretty picky about it (not liking system builders to install Windows as a dual boot OS) and it means system builders can put more powerful hardware in to appeal to gamers and such who think you need overpowered hardware to do anything with a PC.

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 07:08 PM
Bill Thompson said this about OpenOffice.org :

And of course Microsoft Office is still the leading tool for creating and managing documents, presentations, databases and spreadsheets. Even the best open source projects, like OpenOffice, are just attempts to replicate the functions and appearance of Office, showing little real innovation.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5087998.stm
I don't think that OO.o is the best "open source project" in terms of innovation.

aysiu
June 19th, 2006, 07:09 PM
Yeah, OpenOffice is just stealing Microsoft Office's ability to export to PDF. Damn ripoff!

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 07:10 PM
Yeah, OpenOffice is just stealing Microsoft Office's ability to export to PDF. Damn ripoff!
No, but that is the only thing that I can think of that is innovative. Mind you, MS were going to copy this, but Adobe wasn't having it. I'm not saying that free software has not got interesting ideas (Gimmie for instance), I just don't think OO.o is one of them.

renis
June 19th, 2006, 07:12 PM
we dont need microsoft

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 07:15 PM
we dont need microsoft
Yes, you would say that - http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=199643
They have stolen lots of ideas (mainly from Apple), but I don't think many ideas in Linux were stolen from them.
Sort of unrelated, I had issues with The GIMP in windows, it kept crashing, and it said to send an error report to MS. I did, and to my amazement, they actually gave advice to speak to the GUG about the issue.

aysiu
June 19th, 2006, 07:17 PM
I kind of like the idea that OpenOffice supports the open document format, even though it has very little practical value, since .doc is the standard.

It's also freely available to all three major platforms--Windows, Mac, and Linux--which is more than I can say for Microsoft Office. Again, not much practical value in that (except for Linux users), but that's one way to be innovative.

Honestly, though, what does the new Microsoft Office have over '97? The only thing it ever did was confuse all my co-workers when we upgraded, because it created wizards for things that could be done simply before, and it shifted around the toolbars, so all the buttons they were used to were now somewhere else.

There's only so much you can innovate in an office productivity suite, except for extreme power users (who seem to be the minority of the population using Microsoft Office). Most users I know need bold, italics, indent, and different font sizes, and that's about it... maybe mail merge.

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 07:19 PM
I kind of like the idea that OpenOffice supports the open document format, even though it has very little practical value, since .doc is the standard.
Not an ISO one though - ISO/IEC 26300 (http://www.iso.org/iso/en/CatalogueDetailPage.CatalogueDetail?CSNUMBER=43485&scopelist=PROGRAMME), but .doc is the "de facto" one, at the moment anyway.


Honestly, though, what does the new Microsoft Office have over '97? The only thing it ever did was confuse all my co-workers when we upgraded, because it created wizards for things that could be done simply before, and it shifted around the toolbars, so all the buttons they were used to were now somewhere else.
It's more expensive! MS haven't had to change Office, as there wasn't any competition, not sure why they are making Office 2007 all weird and different, mabye they feel they have some competiton.

Lord Illidan
June 19th, 2006, 07:21 PM
we dont need microsoft

Renis, this is not a senseless microsoft bashing forum. Give your reasons, then bash away, but not before.

Open Office might not be innovative. Sure, is Microsoft Office innovative??

In Linux, I daresay we copied the looks of the GUI and some of its features. Nothing else, however. And we are fast moving away from a MAC/WIN GUI, as enlightenment, fluxbox, IceWM, Ratpoison and the like can attest.

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 07:24 PM
Open Office might not be innovative. Sure, is Microsoft Office innovative??
Not at all, it doesn't have to be, as there is no competiton. Also people are confused by change, unless they demand it themselves.

In Linux, I daresay we copied the looks of the GUI and some of its features.
My first Linux experience was an old Mandrake 7.2 CD that my brother left lying around, and both KDE and GNOME looked the same, and they looked similar to Windows. Now though, both are completely different, it's amazing how they have progressed in these 6 years.

Harold P
June 19th, 2006, 07:42 PM
One thing I don't like is how everything says "Designed for Windows XP".

Kind of annoying, although a lot of things are cross-platform, some things are just... well, you know? That's one big thing that keeps Microsoft so "up there", lots of things are made just for it.

renis
June 19th, 2006, 07:48 PM
One thing I don't like is how everything says "Designed for Windows XP".

Kind of annoying, although a lot of things are cross-platform, some things are just... well, you know? That's one big thing that keeps Microsoft so "up there", lots of things are made just for it.
mine does not. i built my computer.

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 07:54 PM
One thing I don't like is how everything says "Designed for Windows XP".

Kind of annoying, although a lot of things are cross-platform, some things are just... well, you know? That's one big thing that keeps Microsoft so "up there", lots of things are made just for it.
No, but then running GNU/Linux on it is ironic, be glad they don't build computers that say the ritual om, and then disappear in smoke as soon as a Linux CD is in it, but I'm sure they are working on that.

Harold P
June 19th, 2006, 08:24 PM
mine does not. i built my computer. I have a built computer also, but you need hardware to make a computer function, correct? Say, you wanted to buy this video card, and it seems to only work under Windows. That's what I'm talking about...

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 08:38 PM
I have a built computer also, but you need hardware to make a computer function, correct? Say, you wanted to buy this video card, and it seems to only work under Windows. That's what I'm talking about...
Then you buy a nVidia one. I didn't especially pick all my hardware for this computer to make sure Linux supports it, it just did. Places where you have to be careful are scanners, printers, daft non-usb mass storage cameras, WLAN cards.

Lord Illidan
June 19th, 2006, 08:41 PM
Then you buy a nVidia one. I didn't especially pick all my hardware for this computer to make sure Linux supports it, it just did. Places where you have to be careful are scanners, printers, daft non-usb mass storage cameras, WLAN cards.

Printers : Stick with HP...

Also be careful with webcams..

prizrak
June 19th, 2006, 09:28 PM
MS is actually a great enabler and pusher.
Back in the day MS made Altair work, after that they teamed up with IBM for cheap PC's. Then Windows came out that made those cheap PC's useable by the general populace. I know that Apple was around and was probably better, but that was more expensive than your average IBM clone.

Currently the biggest thing that I will give MS credit for is UMPC. TiVo has been out for years before MCE was concieved, however only now DVR's are catching up. There are tons of FOSS DVR projects and now even cable companies offere DVR settop boxes. This was mostly due to MS pushing it's MCE systems through OEM's. There needs to be either a big company that can push certain things onto the market or an association that can do the same. MS MCE has been putting pressure on cable providers to create interfaces for HDTV Tuners.

All in all, while we don't have much need for MS anymore they did do alot of things to push PC's onto an average user, which of course drove the prices down. As always there are good and bad things about MS.

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 09:31 PM
TiVo is Linux though, not to mention many other devices. TiVo might be in trouble with the GPL v3, as it wouldn't allow what they are doing.

rai4shu2
June 19th, 2006, 10:24 PM
The real chain of innovation is from Apple, Atari and Commodore. Microsoft simply copied their ideas.

If we do need Microsoft it would only be to remind us that monopolies are bad, and you can clearly see the result: botnets, spam, software piracy, software "upgrade" scams, software patents, etc.

bruce89
June 19th, 2006, 10:34 PM
The real chain of innovation is from ...Atari...
For the ST? I have 2 of them lying around.

Harold P
June 19th, 2006, 10:42 PM
See guys? This is sad. We have to adopt to one's (almost) monopoly. Which I don't like...

Well, at least get molded by it.

K.Mandla
June 19th, 2006, 10:56 PM
MS is actually a great enabler and pusher.
:KS

prizrak
June 19th, 2006, 11:35 PM
:KS
LOL that's a good one.
No matter though, the x86 does owe alot to MS as there was no Linux at the time, unfortunately.

blastus
June 20th, 2006, 12:40 AM
Microsoft is important in computing simply because it allows those who may not be so technically skilled to get a PC running as Windows doesn't often require terminal work, you just install security software, set up your internet and off you go.

The only reason why non-tenhically orientated people use Windows is because their computer came with it installed, configured, and ready to go. The same people could also use Linux, if OEMs sold computers with Linux installed on it, configured, and ready to go.

Non-technically orientated Windows users just don't install security software, set up their Internet and off they go. It all depends on their level of experience and IF and ONLY IF the WHQL certified drivers for their hardware actually happen to work. I can already count several occasions where certain hardware that came with my computer or Windows-certified hardware that I've bought, simply doesn't work with Windows.

For example, my new LCD monitor doesn't work in Windows XP even with the latest WHQL driver for my NVIDIA card AND the latest WHQL driver for my monitor. I did have to configure the monitor to work on Linux, but the point is is that I got it to work in Linux, but on Windows XP forget it. Still another time, the dialup modem that came with my last computer was so damn flaky on both Windows 2000 and XP that it was useless--it would randomly drop connections for no reason. The fact that the modem was Windows-certified and I was using the latest WHQL drivers for it didn't do anything. All this even after reinstalling Windows XP from scratch several times, uninstalling/reinstalling WHQL drivers, playing around with configurations, etc...

AndyCooll
June 20th, 2006, 01:20 AM
I'm not sure that we do need M$ anymore. I've never had a problem with M$ per se, I have more issues with their dominance and their methods of attempting to maintain that dominance. I'd much prefer to see a more equal and competitive environment, because for me it is this type of environment that drives innovation best.

I don't think anyone (even linux fanboys) can deny the positive influence that M$ has had at certain stages of the adoption of home computers. However the market is changing, and in many ways M$ and their products are now almost becoming a hindrance. Why? Simply because at the moment most peoples familiarity with computers is a M$ one, and the real innovators have to get over that obstacle first just to be heard.

:cool:

Dragonbite
June 20th, 2006, 02:05 PM
I remember there were some beige boxes at work with these funny little ports and when I asked the IT department (I was in Accounting at that point) they said they were USB ports but couldn't tell me what used it at that time.

Then Apple came out with the G3 iMac which eliminated the old ports (except NIC and modem) and replaced them with USB ports!

Apple didn't invent it (USB), but they helped pull it into the spotlight and pushed to have printers/scanners and hard drives start using it.

Sometimes innovation isn't actually MAKING something, it is seeing what is out there, what works, how it can be used and marketing for everybody to see!