Tbh i think the whole discussion here has kinda gone off of the topic and onto what people “view” as MS.
MS has a lot of product’s and bundling them together with Windows OS is imo wrong, Yes IE, WMP, Messenger are all meant to be “choices” but they are sorta put into the OS and offer an “integrated” feel to end-user’s. The problem is the effect it has of making MS even more dominant in many areas…
Novell, Sun, IBM, HP and many other manufacturer’s try to break away from the “Bundling” effect but due to the “integration” of software they can’t totally do it. This has become the “Standard” that most user’s see.
Linux try’s to break away from it by offering a choice of app’s from many developer’s all Open-Source be them Free software or Proprietary software. The problem come’s when it get’sto the desktop. People have gotten so used to Windows and Plug and Play (Pray if you want to call it that like I do :P) that change is a hard thing to make. People “expect” linux not to be “exactly” like Windows in the sense of how it look’s or feel’s but most expect it to be the same at the “hardware” level.
As we all know that’s not the case, Linux by design isn’t like that it’s modular, rely’s on thing’s outside the base system to achieve other task’s. Windows is a “for dummies” system, it’s basically “fool” proof in the way it works, or that’s how it seems to most. Linux on the other hand has always had the “it’s for techies and geeks” problem. OpenSuse, Ubuntu, Mandriva are trying hard to break that perception and imho they are doing really well at it. We have a long way to go before we reach the ease of use of Window’s. But the Window’s has the advantage of a large corporation and one standard behind it, Linux has the prob of it being made up from many smaller companies/devs that never seem to the outside world to be able to agree on anything lol.
Take the whole RPM/DEB argument, there is no one standard for package management, each one has it’s own advantages and drawback’s. The argument at the base is the same as the argument over Open-Source and Proprietary software. Advocates for both side’s battle tooth and nail to protect their chosen standard. Even though neither is “better” than the other people still argue the fact.
Linux was and never will be a “replacement” to Windows. The infighting over what they see as “standards” will make sure of that. But Linux is a **** great “Alternative” to Windows. Imho Linux offer’s more than Mac OS X or any of the other less specific OS’s out there. Linux has many advantages by it’s design over other OS’s, it does not limit Architecture, does not impose boundaries (in the sense of hardware limits). It try’s to be a jack of all trade’s. It does suffer from the “master of none” syndrome though. Linux is great at a lot of thing’s but excels in nothing at all from a desktop perspective.
That’s what the end-user see’s. They see the bickering between distros, developer’s over which language is better, FOSS, GNU whatever. All they see is the infighting that isn’t apparent within MS. What linux has to do is much as it has done in the past, simply advance. Get better with each release and for the user’s of the software to drop all the petty infighting and aim to make “Linux” and the distro you choose the best it can be. No distro is better than another in the sense of content. Where they differ is in implementation. Look at OpenSuse and the KDE integration against that of Kubuntu or even Fedora. OpenSuse totally eclipses the other’s in almost every aspect of integration. What the user’s of linux in general need to do is learn to respect MS for it’s achievement’s. But also learn that sometime’s these law-suits and the likes are made by companies jealous or frustrated at the dominance.
If we keep fighting MS then Linux will always be where it is today. If we stop fighting MS and start looking at our own base to improve then MS will not bother any of us that choose OpenSuse or Linux in general.