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03.10.10

Microsoft Still Spreads Lies About GNU/Linux, Faces Rational Opposition

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell at 5:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Nola puppet productions

Summary: The same old myths that Microsoft spreads in the media contradict reality and fact; the GNU/Linux userbase resists hostile intervention

YESTERDAY we gave a new example of Microsoft TEs smearing GNU/Linux in the technology media. SJVN has politely responded to the same FUD without exposing the messenger, who is a former Microsoft employee whose job still appears to be boosting of Microsoft (we have gathered many examples to show this and got in touch with the actual person, who politely denied it).

Here are the rebuttals to particular technical points that were exaggerations, lies, and spin (for example, the typical suggestion that GNU/Linux needs to look and act like Windows in order to succeed).

I found it more than a little sad that someone in 2010 could still think that Linux is “still a non-starter on the desktop.” Please — wake up: We’re all Linux desktop users now.

No matter what you’re running on your desktop — Windows 7, Snow Leopard, XP, whatever — you use the Internet, right? And you use Google to search? You talk to your friends on Facebook, Twitter of some other social network, yes? Then congratulations — you’re a Linux user.

Thanks to the Web, desktop Linux is everywhere. The old desktop metaphor is dying. Every day that goes by the lines between what used to be a desktop, a server, and the network keep blurring. Don’t think so? Answer me this: How much work could you get done without access to the Internet?

It goes on and discusses more areas such as the desktop. On the desktop too there is this issue of bad reporting regarding market share and the following new rebuttal just posted by Jeff Hoogland:

For starters how do these places collect their statistics? What websites do they pull their data from? The content of a webpage very much determines the type of operating system that a person is likely to view it on. For instance these are the operating system statistics from the last month for my own (primarily Linux-focused) blog :

* Windows: 44.4%
* OSX: 8.03%
* Linux: 44.03%
* Other: 3.54%

[...]

Beyond just looking at the source of web statistics of operating systems, when it comes to the global market as a whole, you have to consider the countless systems that are offline or are rarely connected to the internet. Unlike OSX where you can count the systems by the amount of Apple hardware sold or Mircosoft’s Windows where they can count the number of activations, a single Linux ISO download can account for multiple (sometimes even hundreds) of offline (or online) installations.

Truth be told, will we ever truly know the precise market share of each operating system? No, we will not. From my four sources here (and others you can find around the internet) I’m inclined to believe that currently Windows floats somewhere around 88%, OSX around 8%, Linux somewhere close to 2%, and the rest can get lumped into that wonderful “other” category.

What do you think? Know of another credible source for market share statistics regarding operating systems that I didn’t mention? Let me know!

This is an issue that we explored several times before. Here at Boycott Novell we get similar percentages (similar to the above). In a way, Boycott Novell is a ‘vacuum’ of GNU/Linux traffic in the sense that it is one among many GNU/Linux sites that ‘deplete’ from the presence of GNU/Linux users in sites that give away their users’ privacy (for Microsoft- and Apple-sponsored firms like Net Applications).

Speaking of this Web site, there seems to be misunderstanding when it comes to the effect of Boycott Novell (especially when it comes to so-called divisiveness); The site actually addresses potential problems, it never strives to divide, but where a division does exist it’s often a case of people who cross over (for money) to a side that’s hostile towards GNU/Linux. Shane Shields has just explained why it’s OK if “the Linux community is fragmented” and here is part of his argument:

So while the Linux community may look fragmented to those outside looking in, in reality it has a stronger, larger bond than any proprietary company can ever hope to achieve. It is the individuality of it’s members which drive and motivate innovation as well as the shedding of unneeded cruft. What is good in Linux quickly propagates through the rest of the Linux community and what is not fades away.

This is, in my humble opinion, the reason why Linux is becoming so powerful and in a surprisingly short time has surpassed the capabilities of older, more established operating systems. This is why proprietary companies have made efforts to either embrace or destroy the Linux community. Those who have embraced Linux have not lost anything and those who tried to destroy it have, in some cases, lost everything.

Microsoft has tried to embrace Novell; to a great extent it succeeded, but Novell is rejected by many who are using GNU/Linux, so this ‘fragmentation’ can be seen as a defensive one, and thus not a detrimental one.

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