Microsoft wants businesses to have to pay for Linux

From Boston Globe. Boston, Mass.: Apr 21, 2008. pg. E.1

Al Gillen, software analyst at IDC Corp. in Framingham, said that Microsoft wants businesses to pay for software, even if it’s Linux instead of Windows. “From Microsoft’s point of view, nonpaid Linux is a bad thing,” he said, “because it implies that there’s no value to the operating system, regardless of what operating system it is.” Persuading companies to pay for Linux turns it into a commercial product, like Windows. That makes it easier for Microsoft to compete against Novell. “Over time, of course, Microsoft is going to try to move those customers off of Linux and onto Windows,” Gillen said.

I found this article while researching for a school project. I disagree with what Al Gillen said. If an operating system can be obtained free of charge, that does not imply that it has no value. The air that I breathe is obtained by me free of charge, but that does not mean that it is worthless. The grass that I walk on outside has no monetary value, but it is necessary to prevent runoff and sustain the food chain.

Reading between the lines, it makes Microsoft look bad that the open source community is producing free operating systems, while Microsoft’s operating systems sometimes cost as much as the computer that they run on.

Microsoft is obviously getting more and more worried with the development and growth of Linux. Unfortunately, they have so much power that it can be quite scary at times. Each time I hear about something like this, all I can think is how awful and controlling they are.

Unfortunately for them, in the process of attacking Linux, they are bringing more attention to Linux. Why would businesses pay for Linux when it’s free elsewhere? I could see a paid-for Linux distro being copied into a free Linux distro.

It’s all a mater of perspective… and for one thing, the fact that Linux and most OSS products can be used free of charge, does not mean it’s a free product all over. The way companies make money is by charging for support. So economically things still keep going, it’s just a different business model.
Nothing new here, as this has been around long enough, but this is clearly a market where. if the trend leads to more OSS market, Microsoft would not know how to survive unless drastically changing their business model (and way of thinking strategically).
Red Hat survives because it offers a specific service and setup as also Novell is surviving and growing strong once again. As others also.
Even in the OSS world companies can distinguish themselves by adding value to the same basic product (maybe even more so).

It’s nice that Microsoft might ‘want’ something, all the more it’s good people can make up their own minds about it. And from where I’m sitting the lock-in setting (lets all do Microsoft) looks much more like a bad thing to me…

I would love seeing the market share leveling out normally once again, and I personally think that’s what will be happening in the next three to four years. Bringing MS back to a 70% or so…

Agreed. Since Apple has business practices that are much more benign than Microsofts’, we might see an increase in the Mac’s market share and Linux’s share, and a slight decrease in Microsoft’s market share, in the next few years. I can see that happening, especially since Vista wasn’t as widely accepted as was anticipated.

Agreed. Since Apple has business practices that are much more benign than Microsofts’

Add encryption to iPods to prevent 3rd party to be able to sync with iPod, I don’t call this “benign”

On the other hand, “free linux” wont exist if nobody paid. That’s why I predict that ubuntu will fail unless they find a more viable business system than: emptying Mark’s pocket. Novell and Redhat do sell their product: SLED and RH linux cost money to be deployed. That’s one of the reason why opensuse is free: it’s backed with Novell’s revenue with other software to become a testing ground for SLED and SLES. So it’s not really an invalid statement.

Note: M$ use freebsd to control their hotmail servers so lol.

Now all of that being said, I think the real issue lies not with whether an OS and all its services and support is completely free or not, but whether it has good value.

For example, I paid $50 for a copy of SLED 10.2, and I got some basic tech support for that money. I was able to call Novell for help with the installation process, and they helped me get it installed over the phone. I also got 2 DVDs and 10 CDs, for both the 32 and 64 bit versions.

For Windows XP (Vista had not been released yet), I had to pay about $140, and that only included a 32 bit version of Windows, and tech support by phone costs $59 extra. That puts the cost at $200, which is 4 times as much as what SLED cost me. Therefore, the value that I got when I bought SLED was much more than the value I got when I bought my XP CD a long time ago, when I used to use Windows.

In the future, I believe that Linux and Unix companies will continue to provide superior value to their customers, which will make more businesses consider open source solutions and migrate toward Linux.

Sorry, try as I might, I can’t let this comment go… :wink:

Apple makes some brilliant products, and I know people find value in using them. BUT, let’s be serious. Apple is refining the art of vendor lock-in to a level that Microsoft could only dream of.

Apple IS NOT the model we want companies emulating. On the surface they have well executed and innovative products, but underneath they are building an infrastructure of customer dependency.

I’ve certainly got nothing against people that prefer Apple products, choice always rules, but I cringe when I see people who advocate OSS pointing to Apple as some sort of guidepost in the “better path” from Microsoft. Frankly, the idea of an industry dominated by Apple scares me more than than the current one dominated by Microsoft.

Just my 2c…


Agreed, though it might not be so locked in if they dominate, because they’ll have a very wide range of hardware support/drivers (similar to XP)

Microsoft would charge for the air that you breath if they could.

M$ & Apple are nothing but rapist’s of the software world. Just like what has been said here before on this thread I will quote this example because it hits the mark of M$. I wont even get into the mess of their crappy server products. Product (A) needs M$ product (B) etc etc.

had to pay about $140, and that only included a 32 bit version of Windows, and tech support by phone costs $59 extra. That puts the cost at $200

Note: M$ use freebsd to control their hotmail servers so lol.

HAHA I know , I remember a few years back when their own homepage was still being hosted by bsd servers. This goes to show what a company thinks about their own IIS web server/technology. I guess they don’t practice what they preach.

Since Apple has business practices that are much more benign than Microsofts’.

Sorry but like others have said ‘NO’ . Apple is bringing DRM a whole new level, and quite frankly Steve Jobs can pretty much be compared to Gates himself. Anyone ever read the book ‘Fire in the Valley’ ?? very interesting read. With OS-X running a bsd kernel(cause they couldnt make their own) and selling their ‘pretty’ OS for lots of $$$ sickening, not only all the other political nonsense surrounding their products. Someone had mentioned here the encryption on new iPod devices, that killed a couple opensource projects overnight like podzilla and rockbox ports to the newest iPod generation. That is anything but benign.

rant Oh btw Most Business do pay for Linux its just for support and supported Updates, but its not thousands of dollars in license and support , like in the bend over ms world

This was true in the past, but it isn’t anymore. MS uses Windows Server now to operate their Hotmail service.

Probably why it sucks so bad. and FF3 don’t work with it correct ?

FF3 works just fine with it, no problems here.

I dont know I dont use any of their services , I think I read somewhere what their was an issue with FF3 where it wasnt working , probably fixed by now though.

Just like you couldnt download anything from their website with ff in the past ++ needed that nice little activeX trashlet. But this has been fixed also.

Wow, Apple sounds just as bad as Microsoft.

I believe that computer users need as much choice and freedom as possible, and that is only available with Open Source operating systems. Microsoft restricts their software, and Apple does the same thing with DRM and the “trusted platform module” lockout chip. I like to have the freedom to put any OS on any hardware that I want, without paying extra for either. That’s only possible with Linux, Open Solaris, etc.

although solaris jumped really late on their own bandwagon with their open solaris release , also they opened it up under the CDDL license, bizarre but typical Sun if you know the history.

Common Development and Distribution License - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I have a copy of Solaris 10 x86. I should install it on a separate partition and get some experience with it.

Now that Sun is selling Opteron systems too and seem to be moving away from Sparc hardware I find myself continually wondering how they are managing to survive as well as they are.

Actually that’s not true anymore, they migrated over to Windows servers around 2000. Now most of their live services (including hotmail) are entirely based upon windows server.

The thing is, microsofts MSN empire, now windows live, keeps buying up web-services from smaller companies, who are running things like netbsd etc.

See Overview for a technical case study of their migration.



p.s. they should have migrated to Suse!

OS-X running a bsd kernel(cause they couldnt make their own).

It’s a combined FreeBSD, Mach and Huxley kernel, actually. I reckon OSX is about 75% Opensource"borrowed" software. They took KHTML and turned it into a horrible thing indeed (Safari). etc.