[linux-elitists] A plea for relief from Microsoft's escalating anti-competitive tactics

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Wed Mar 10 11:44:59 PST 2004

begin David Mohring quotation of Thu, Mar 11, 2004 at 07:28:57AM +1300:

> the IT manager
> asked. The salesperson was quiet for a moment and then stated "There
> will be legal issues".

And there were legal issues with GIFs, and there are now legal
issues with MP3s, and will always be legal issues as long as
we have DMCA-like laws and software patents.   Microsoft is
just a good player of a game that has some problem rules.
If you can help fix the rules, go ahead.

> Adding pressure can also be effective. 
> Microsoft loosening contracts for PC makers
> http://www.arnnet.com.au/index.php?id=1128938332&fp=2&fpid=1
> Amid mounting pressure from competition regulators, Microsoft will scrap
> a clause in its licensing contracts with PC manufacturers that prevents
> them from enforcing any hardware patents they have that may have
> implications for software.

Effective? Smells like a really bad idea to me -- the regulators
just removed a powerful _disincentive_ for hardware vendors
to get software patents.

Complaining about Microsoft is counterproductive.  You can get
some people to join the Free Software movement and contribute
with the promise of freedom, or the opportunity to hack.
You can get other people with claims of TCO or ROI.  You can't
get people to switch by squawking about being a victim.

Users smell blood in the water, and they're out of there.
Nobody wants to be stuck supporting a loser -- even one that
was in the right.  Even Jon Corbet bailed on his favorite
calendar program when it didn't get maintained for a while --

Even if you win an antitrust case against a proprietary software
vendor, what do you get?  The right to license on "reasonable
and non-discriminatory", and free-software-proof, terms.

Either walk like an alpha male salesperson who is going to
give the "Linux" customer big ROI and low TCO, or march like
a reformer who is going to free Dmitry's ass and his code
will follow.  But please don't come on this list with pleas
about things other people should do.

If your carpal tunnels are still usable after writing that
manifesto of yours, here are a couple of ideas. Larry Augustin
uses Microsoft Excel because the Free spreadsheets are missing
at least one key feature he uses.  Other people use Microsoft
Exchange because they want "You want a meeting. You look at
people's calendars and set something up.  Messages go out." --

Don Marti
http://zgp.org/~dmarti                      Learn Linux and free software 
dmarti@zgp.org                        from the experts in California, USA 

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