_________Long post follows. My apologies for your patience. _________
The adoption of the open source Eclipse
IDE is a great asset to Linux. Eclipse is not just software, it's a community that has its own distros. And once you get beyond Photoshop (and yes, GIMP doesn't really compare), you see lots of industry steadily moving development off the Windows platform, from IBM, Google, Borland, IBM, QNX Software, Rational Software, etc. If I recall, the "Photoshop" cry was the last thing Apple was heard claiming over and over as they nearly went extinct
trying to keep people from using it on Windows. Then they "Jobbed" the stock options, built the DRM iPod, and have "roared back" to 4% share with OS X (okay I'm trying not to laugh either). Therefore I take Renegade's
arguments at face value; that is, he's really making a straightforward, simple point — when you get down to Level-1, just you, the keyboard and mouse, we're all looking for the best software. "Support" however, is relative. Sites like LinuxQuestions.org
will help you do anything with any problem. And they won't charge you the mandatory minimum $49 Microsoft asks.
The march of open source is relentless, if for no other reasons than by freeing customers from proprietary lock-in and lack of choice. Interoperability is created by open standards (which is different from open source). Just as they have for Apache, BIND, DNS, Eclipse, Fedora, Firefox, Hibernate, JBoss, Kerberos, LDAP, MySQL, Perl, PHP, Python, PostgreSQL, Sendmail, Tomcat. The list goes on. No, these are not desktop applications, but where would customers be without these technologies? All these were developed openly and I didn't have to pay one dime for any of them, much less continue to pay to license them. The GPL is a GREAT thing, otherwise, why should a corporation
make profit off the hard work of others who gave their expertise, time, and efforts freely? On the other hand, Microsoft thinks so much of its Office "ribbon" that it won't license its look and structure to direct competitors. Thank goodness for that!
My second point is skewed differently, in that Microsoft has not demonstrated any loyalty to me. In fact, like Adobe et al., Microsoft has succeeded only in criminalizing the consumer
. Virtually every "innovation" in the last several years has been to keep me from doing something. In Vista, Microsoft has made certain content files not copyable
. Vista also makes it very, very slow to copy, rename, or delete ordinary files (see the Technet article linked at the post). I won't even address the user-hostile EULA, WGA, OGA, and Windows Activation... (I didn't steal your software. I PAID for it. Why are you still treating me as though I'm a shoplifter?) I'll never begrudge Microsoft the freedom to make a profit. But then Microsoft should not begrudge me from walking away from them; further, they should stop actively hindering and frustrating me from using open source software through amoral patent litigation
, supporting SCO lawsuits, bogus anti-Linux surveys, and not to mention how they're gaming ISO NBs right now for MS-OOXML.
Until a few years ago, I loved Microsoft. I still use and enjoy apps like Expression Web. But ANY company, ANY developer, ANY one who treats me (and my money) as if to presume
I'm a thief, a pirate, and a criminal until I prove otherwise everytime I boot my computer doesn't need me, much less want me at all. So why should I look favorably at anything they do when I'm viewed under that perspective? I guess I'm trying to say that no one gave Microsoft more chances than I did over the past twenty years. When's Microsoft going to give me a break? Apple had it's day in the mid-80s (briefly), then Microsoft went on a 20-year run, but the encroachment of Open Source will continue not because I support it, but because industry and governments do. Desktop-friendly distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, Xandros, Freespire, and others will only pick up speed over the life of Vista and its successors.