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New OEM's who installed alternatives . . .
. . were asked by their customers to remove those alternatives and install Microsoft products. I have been an OEM since 1984, so I know of what I speak.

Lets take DR-DOS, for instance. During the DOS/Win3.1 era, most of my machines went out with DR-DOS, because it cost less and was capable of doing things MS-DOS could not (task switching memory management and lots of utilities, and an MSCDEX replacement that loaded in high memory, for instance).

Even those customers making heavy use of DR-DOS features not available in MS-DOS said they would accept not having those features because "MS-DOS would be less trouble".

"Trouble"? Yes. Every time my customers called tech support for some software package, support would actually ridicule them for using non-Microsoft products, and refuse support until this was corrected. Every software publisher had the same attitude, and made that attitude more than clear, "Other than our package, your computer should have only Microsoft software on it".

Of course these software publishers are all dead now, killed by the Microsoft monopoly they did so much to create, because users didn't want the hassle. "Everyone's going to Microsoft, and we don't want to be different. Going with Microsoft will make it easier for us".

eMachines recently was shipping computers with StarOffice installed. They got tired of the customers complaining about having to take it off because they were going to install Microsoft Office, so they don't do that anymore. I saw this happen at my clients. When their "expert" came in, the first thing he'd do is rip off StarOffice and put that magic silver CD with the hand written titles in the drive, because "everybody's using Office, we can't be different".

No, blaming the OEMs is just an attempt to shift the blame from where it belongs. Many OEMs tried alternatives, both operating systems and applications software bundles. The users spoke, and what the users said was "Microsoft and only Microsoft!".

I have no sympathy whatever for users who are now caught in Microsoft's extortion racket. As I said, they went in with their eyes open, knowing the end result of monopoly, and were willing to pay that price. They shouted down anyone who would offer alternatives. They haven't the slightest right to complain about that price or the licensing conditions now.

Microsoft is perfectly within their rights to run enforcement audits and police raids, and I support their right to do so. It's in the license, the license their customer freely accepted. Will these raids help alternatives become more popular? No, they will not. Every article I've read about a Microsoft enforcement action concludes with a quote from the penalized company, and it's always the same. "We're a Microsoft shop and depend on their products. No, we will not be looking at alternatives".

Only where Microsoft moves to restrict choice by unfair business practices should they be punished, and they should be punished very severely for that. They are, after all, a monopoly, even though that's the fault of their customers.
[link|www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New Come on, tell us what you *really* think...... ;)
New What I really think . . .
. . . is that I really enjoy explaining Microsoft's terms and conditions of license and the consequences of violating them, and the BSA's snitch programs, and upcoming registration requirements, and "software as a service" to people who have finally started paying attention - and watching the expressions on their faces.

They used to just say, "Yeah, we know you don't like Microsoft, but that's what we're using 'cause that's what everyone else is using.", but they don't say that any more.

I have a nice little flyer entitled Software Licensing I hand out. It's based on my Web article [link|http://www.aaxnet.com/topics/slicense.html|Software Licensing]. When the BSA comes to LA, and those lawyer letters start going out, this will be even more fun.
[link|www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New *evil grin*

Imric's Tips for Living
  • Paranoia Is a Survival Trait

  • Pessimists are never disappointed - but sometimes, if they are very lucky, they can be pleasantly surprised...
New That flyer must make for some good stories.
Do tell. Please.

Wade.

"All around me are nothing but fakes
Come with me on the biggest fake of all!"

New And of course
Every time my customers called tech support for some software package, support would actually ridicule them for using non-Microsoft products, and refuse support until this was corrected.
...
I have no sympathy whatever for users who are now caught in Microsoft's extortion racket.

this was the user's 'fault'? They should have been willing to do without technical support?
When their "expert" came in, the first thing he'd do is rip off StarOffice and put that magic silver CD with the hand written titles in the drive, because "everybody's using Office, we can't be different".

Heh. And now, the BSA comes in, and - shows them just how wrong they were.
No, blaming the OEMs is just an attempt to shift the blame from where it belongs. Many OEMs tried alternatives, both operating systems and applications software bundles.

OK. Point taken. Blame should go toward anyone that refused to support alternatives because it was easier to just accept MS development shenanigans. Do you really think it reasonable to blame those who needed support, and then were denied it because they weren't exclusively Microsoft? Routinely? Is thier reaction to that unreasonable?

Now comes payback, though.

MS abused the market so badly that the only way to be free of thier control was to escape the marketplace entirely. To transform Microsoft itself into a 'legacy'. And now those that wouldn't support alternatives have got to adapt or die (well, in the long run).

Imric's Tips for Living
  • Paranoia Is a Survival Trait

  • Pessimists are never disappointed - but sometimes, if they are very lucky, they can be pleasantly surprised...
New There's a lot of blame to go around.
Even those customers making heavy use of DR-DOS features not available in MS-DOS said they would accept not having those features because "MS-DOS would be less trouble".

"Trouble"? Yes. Every time my customers called tech support for some software package, support would actually ridicule them for using non-Microsoft products, and refuse support until this was corrected.


So... its the end user's fault, for not forgoing support for their other software?

This is a case where there's lots of 'right' and lots of 'wrong' - and there can be a lot of overlap.

From your endusers perspective, it *was* less trouble. If they had MS-DOS, then the other vendors couldn't say "thatsyourproblemcallusbackifitreoccursafteryougetridofitgoodbye".

From the third party perspective, it was less trouble to "only" test on MS-DOS and/or to think the problem was likely there.

Of course these software publishers are all dead now, killed by the Microsoft monopoly they did so much to create, because users didn't want the

Some of them. But lots are shaken out because that was during a "boom time". Dbase isn't dead due to Microsoft. :)

No, blaming the OEMs is just an attempt to shift the blame from where it belongs. Many OEMs tried alternatives, both operating systems and applications software bundles. The users spoke, and what the users said was "Microsoft and only Microsoft!".

What and when? Not since Win 95 shipped. How many offered OS/2?

No, the OEM's are partially to blame, but Microsoft had THEM in the vise by then - For a lot of reasons.

Users were one, but the preferential licensing was another - and that took off because OEMs were greedy.

Microsoft is perfectly within their rights to run enforcement audits and police raids

I have to disagree with the "police raids". Microsoft, if they feel a crime has been committed, should file charges as anybody else, not get some cops for the afternoon to go roust and intimidate.

Addison
New Blather what you wish
[quote]I have no sympathy whatever for users who are now caught in Microsoft's extortion racket. As I said, they went in with their eyes open, knowing the end result of monopoly, and were willing to pay that price. They shouted down anyone who would offer alternatives. They haven't the slightest right to complain about that price or the licensing conditions now.[/quote]

Open eyes? At what time? My Gateway computer, purchased circa 1990, came with Windows 3.0 and (I think) DOS 5.0. My Tandy 1000 circa 1985 came with MS-DOS 2.1. Choice? What choice?

I HAD NO CHOICE. That's the crux of the lawsuit.

Me? Eyes open? WTF are you smoking?

Me? I burn with righteous anger at Apple, which had every chance in the world. My first computer was the Radio Shack Color Computer, a 6809-based computer. I'd hacked it pretty well; replacement keyboard for the chicklet monstrosity, modified for 64K RAM, floppy drives.... C compiler, OS/9 (familiarity which landed me my first job), even so, I was eagerly looking forward to working on a 68000-based computer.

Apple with one hand snared the market for 68000 computers and with the other hand did a Jackie Chan face smash by pricing them out of my meagre existence. The alternatives Atari and Commodore made attempts to compete but were gone by 1990. (Well, maybe Commodore could have done better, but they made too many of their own mistakes. It was when I heard the pricing for the first Amigas that I ordered my first 8088 clone computer.)

Late 1994/1995/early 1996 there were some that had OS/2 Warp. But again, was there a choice? The choice was that of staying inland, or of going to the Warp beachfront during Hurricane Andrew. And we know how well Hurricane Warp/Andrew did.
You are righteously angry, but don't spend that on the poor end users, and even the poor slobs who like myself bought Intel PC's because that's all we could afford and because they came pre-loaded with DOS (and later, Windows). Hell, I went down to Computerland after I got my first 8088 PC, and they did offer the choice between PC-DOS and MS-DOS.

Even those of us who had a clue back in 1985 had little fucking choice, Andrew. IMO. And after Microsoft's tightened predatory lock-in agreements circa 1990 1991, NOBODY had a choice.
Unfortunately, that isn't why Microsoft is being prosecuted in the courts; they've chosen to pursue the internet browser/internet thing.
(Which, IMO, I thiink Microsoft is guilty at, but less so than their behavior from 1990-1995.)

French Zombies are zapping me with lasers!
New Poor baby
I bought a computer once too, and it came with DOS. Since it had DOS on it, I was forced to use only Microsoft software. No, I don't think so. I have purchased hundreds of software applications over the last 20 years, but I own only one from Microsoft, Microsoft Basic for CP/M-80 on 8" floppy. Somehow I survived.

The DOS/Windows content of a brand name computer has always been about $40. For a "white box" it's twice that, but you can get the "white box" without DOS/Windows. So for $40 out of a $1,500 purchase 95% of users sacrificed their computing freedom and settled for inferior software? No, that wasn't the reason.

Microsoft's tactic was to make it just a little more trouble to use software from other vendors, knowing that over time "just a little bit" was adequate. Not despite Microsoft's public declaration of monopoly intent, but because of it, people migrated steadily to the "all Microsoft" model.

"It's the safe choice because Microsoft is going to drive everyone else out of business." "At least we know Microsoft will still be around in two years". "Yeah, it's better, but it'll be a little easier if we go with the Microsoft product. "Self fulfilling prophecy.

It was to avoid "just a little more trouble" that users not willingly, but enthusiastically sacrificed their freedom of choice. The more competition eliminated, the fewer decisions to make, so users liked it better and better.

The only time anyone rebelled was when Windows 3.11 came out. It was a release with only one purpose - break Windows compatibility in Red Box OS/2. OS/2 users screamed, and Microsoft backed down, removing the product from the market within just a couple weeks. So totally was it gone from the market they re-used the 3.11 designation a year later.

No, the users had choices. They still have choices (though not nearly so many now), but they choose Microsoft, specifically because Microsoft limits their choices "and makes life easier". They will bitch about the costs a Microsoft monopoly can charge, but they won't do anything about them because they'd rather pay than make decisions or risk "compaibility problems".
[link|www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New While we're casting blame about here...
How much of it should be assigned, to, oh, say, VARs who install Microsoft products?

How much should be assigned to people turning a blind eye to license violations, and doing work anyway?

So for $40 out of a $1,500 purchase 95% of users sacrificed their computing freedom and settled for inferior software? No, that wasn't the reason.

No. Because it all came together.

Have you replaced the icemaker in your fridge? Did you replace the stereo in your car? (I have, but only because the factory one died).

Because that's what it came with. And no, you *didn't* get much of a choice, even back in DOS days. Remember, this was the time of the per-processor licence. If you wanted to buy a OEMed computer, you got DOS.

This was *not* the fault of the users. At least not 100%. They wanted the best price for the usable product. That's maximizing their money. Quite rational.

The OEMs, similarly, it was optimal to use Microsoft, in order to get the deals required, they were paying them ANYWAY, so why not toss them in for free?

Microsoft's tactic was to make it just a little more trouble to use software from other vendors, knowing that over time "just a little bit" was adequate.

Yep. And any OEM who would offer a "Choice" quickly found that they had to pay (lots more) for a component of their best-selling system.

And while I prefer choices, I have to admit that there's a certain *good* about having a "standard". At the time, there wasn't a real standard, for anything. Disk formats weren't compatible....

If you got MS DOS, because that's what you had at the office, and its what everybody you knew had, well, that's a *sensible* decision.

The "fault" here is Microsoft's grand plan, which worked well. In essence, they made it very easy to get to a standard, and no real reason not to use it.

It was to avoid "just a little more trouble" that users not willingly, but enthusiastically sacrificed their freedom of choice.

No, it was to avoid a lot more trouble. As you indicated, it was 3rd parties that would refuse support if you weren't running MS.

Well, hell, how are they expected to continually rebel against the establishment when they can't get any work done?

And meanwhile, *you* were happily installing and billing MS software, no?

Addison
New Yup, we were giving the USERS what they asked for.
We offered a range of operating system (SCO Unix, Esix Unix, Multiuser DOS, DR-DOS, PC-DOS, OS/2, GeoWorks). Most took DOS because it was appropriate for their use. We installed DR-DOS unless specifically asked for MS-DOS (and guess what, DR worked better and cost less).

Actually I don't see any problem with DOS. It was available from several vendors (MS, IBM, DR) and was nothing but a file loader and I/O handler anyway. Most of it was documented (except networking, which Microsoft tried to keep secret).

APPLICATIONS is what I'm talking about. There used to be plenty of viable applications, and no, it wasn't a LOT more trouble to run WordPerfect instead of Word, etc. etc. etc. If Microsoft just controled DOS/Windows, people could easily switch to Linux or OS/2, but that isn't the case. People can't switch because Microsoft holds a monopoly with MS OFFICE, not because they hold a monopoly with Windows.

APPLICATIONS didn't come with the computer, they were, for the most part, purchased as a separate item, even if it was OEM versions that were purchased. USERS selected the applications they ran, not OEMs. Whenever we set up a system, we encouraged users to select non-MS applications, but USERS SELECTED MICROSOFT, so of course we installed it for them.

Now Microsoft is doubling their monopoly with Internet Explorer to make it 10 times as hard to switch. USERS have gone along with this. It wasn't a lot harder to select Netscape or Opera, though it's getting a lot harder because USERS have allowed a new monopoly to develop. It was just a little easier to go along with the ride.

[link|www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New "Poor baby".
So you've made YOUR buck off of Microsoft, contributed to their dominance, but its not YOUR FAULT, not at ALL.

C'mon, Andrew, get off of it. Its all partially our fault.

Yours, Mine, the OEMs. In fact, I might have a stronger case of less blame than you - because I've had VERY little to do with Microsoft, comparitively.

Actually I don't see any problem with DOS. It was available from several vendors (MS, IBM, DR) and was nothing but a file loader and I/O handler anyway. Most of it was documented (except networking, which Microsoft tried to keep secret).

What networking?

DOS didn't network.

But you previously blasted the USERS for picking the OS that was supported, that they could get their work done on.

APPLICATIONS is what I'm talking about.

Ah. Silly me, I saw you blasting people about DR-DOS and DOS, and I read that as "operating systems".

There used to be plenty of viable applications, and no, it wasn't a LOT more trouble to run WordPerfect instead of Word,

Nope, used to be less.

But then it was CHEAPER to run Word. And all the OEMs had package deals that let you buy Word cheaper. And then you could buy Word AND Excel cheaper than Wordperfect....

And OEM's started BUNDLING Office for "Free" with their systems. I've got old PC mags that have Gateway ads with the "Free Microsoft Office" with their Windows 3.1 systems.

APPLICATIONS didn't come with the computer,

To get back to a prior point, when you WEREN'T talking about apps - by and large people take what's on the computer when they get it.

Including Office. Which was "free" and the other machines, it was easy enough to install it on.

And you'll notice as the pricing boom lowers, that the costs are being found.

Hell, just in '97 they *gave away* Office 97, to lock it in as the defacto suite... (the $5 kinko's "demo").. Because they didn't have monopoly leverage - yet. By 98, 99, they did.

And who could oppose them?

BTW, in 98 and 99, I sold a fair amount of WordPerfect Office - when it was cheaper ($50 versus $299) than MS Office. But now M$ owns the distribution channels now.. and everybody's got it at work (thanks to "deals" that are turning sour for the businesses).

You're forgetting the work aspect here, and how M$ has played that, hard.

No, its NOT all the USERS fault.

Its yours (and mine), too.

Addison
New It is all our faults
You, me, the OEMs, the government, even the King of the PATATO-People. We all made Microsoft rich.

DOS did not have networking built in, you needed WFW or Windows 95 for that. Before that you had to use Novell Netware, Banyan Vines, LANTastic or some other DOS based driver (Client Access/400 for DOS, etc) to network, and then later came the Windows network drivers. Then with networking built into WFW and Windows 95, who needed the other guys? Just switch to an NT server and plug in the "Client for Microsoft Network" drivers. Then switch to SQL Server, Exchange Server, SNA Server, IIS, etc. Until everything is supported by the same software company. It was easier to just order from MS, than buy from several different vendors, just ask the Pointy Haired Bosses that now run IT shops that use mostly MS technology. If they had to, they would only give support money to one vendor. Since the same OS that came bundled with the workstations and servers was also made by the same guys who made the other stuff, it wasn't hard for the PHBs to standardize on MS technologies.

Oh, by the way, don't forget to blame Microsoft for making it easy for the PHBs to choose Microsoft products over others by the simple fact that most of the MS stuff is bundled with new hardware systems.

Sure Linux, SAMBA, MySQL, and other software applications could do the job better, but the PHB wants something they can futz with themselves without editing techie-speak text files. If they cannot get MS, the PHBs may eyeball OSX next? ;)

Anyway we are all to blame for making Microsoft number one. But what can we do to suggest alternatives?
"I can see if I want anything done right around here, I'll have to do it myself!"Moe Howard
New You can spread the blame any way you like . . .
. . . but as a person who has fought Microsoft for over 15 years, who has heard his clients tell him over and over "We know you don't like Microsoft, but that's the way we're going to go", I'm not accepting any of it.

Was I successful? not particularly, but I do have a few clients on OS/2 and Linux desktops and a number on Linux servers. Why was I not particularly successful? Because I wasn't getting any support from anyone. Everyone else was taking the path of least resistance.

So you can say "We're all guilty", but you're not speaking for me.
One other thing - If you think there's any profit in Microsoft software, think again. Microsoft publishes a single price, and customers expect to get that price. That's the same price the distributors sell it for.

Microsoft's official word is "No, you won't make a dime on the software, but think how much you'll make on the support". That's why everyone pushes Microsoft products so hard, Microsoft products require so much support, and so many add-on products to make them work.

Personally, I think it is unethical to promote a product of this sort without full disclosure of what's involved. If the customer still wants it, well, there's nothing I can do about that. If I sell it to him, and it doesn't work out, I get a chance to sell him something better down the road. If I don't sell it to him, I'm out of the picture.
[link|www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New I suspect that your ethical performance is unusual.
Hell: I *know* it is. Even at IWE, and over the years - too many times has this er M$-bonus of infinitely expandable maintenance been umm - 'presented' as a boon, without any indication that there is a duty to disclose - that which you have suffered to know.

So while the blame game certainly includes the duplicitous, the forgetful among your cohorts - You actually explained your rationale and STILL: they would not hear.

(I indeed wonder what % of consultants et al - ever even mentioned such subjects? We'll never get many to fess up.)

I don't see though, finally - how we could separate out the pig-ignorance of the buyer (even after sufficient experience to have grasped a few concepts like 'lock-in'? yada yada) AND the hand-in-hand encouragement of the complicitous and duplicitous shills.

I takes a Whole Village to produce an ethically fucked-up society. Like This one. And good 'ol IW-Bob L. was prolly one of the not-quite so predatory ones: yet *HE* didn't even get the poverty of the McDonalds scenario! let alone some finer ethical (duties?)

Ugh.


Ashton
I.T. appears to mirror exactly - the general miasma. Fuck the 'science' idea / ploy! it's all about 'degrees':

BS, M$, and Piled Higher and deeper. Billy eats lunch of merely Another predatory Corp. Whom do ya cheer for?

(Oh I Know: Excellence !)
New Then you're in denial.
And there's no point in saying much more.

So you can say "We're all guilty", but you're not speaking for me.

If you sold it, installed it, then YES, you're as guilty as I. Hell, probably MORE, because I've fought it and refused to run it in most of my jobs. Was ordered to in a couple of them, which is why I'm not there, anymore.

But yes, I had a hand in it. SO DID YOU.

Being holier-than-thou might make you feel better, but the facts ain't there.

Sorry.

I sold maybe 10, 15 systems that I installed Windows. So I'm partially responsible (This was Win95 OSR2, past when there was really a choice).

I've administered Windows systems. I've helped people with their problems, rather than insist they change. So I'm culpable... *too*.

Addison
New Lighten up: you sincerely tried. So did Andy. No 'blame'
except by the Puritans - who can blame 24/7. You ain't one o'Them are ya?

Unless you believe that some idealized Individualist would stand on the necks of giants while loading OS/2 with your free hand.. as the guards are coming to eject you from the building (?)

Hey.. I know of damn *few* like my author friend - who bloody well informed his publisher - they um Like his work(s) -

I intend to stay with this version of Word on DOS; see no use whatsoever for any other features or tailfins - I write. I don't play with toys for their own sake.

(that's an approximation from memory). He stayed. They accommodate. But very few can get their way, unless they have the moxie and the talent. And will not be pressured for stupid reasons. Colin is Welsh - that may help ;-)


Sorry Addison - the sheep who welcome shearing, always have to shiver til the wool grows back into their eyes. And, it will. XPalidocious anyone? NETPassportHailMary-Storm anyone?


A.
     MS chases Windows licence fee from kids charity - (brettj) - (34)
         They should. - (addison) - (32)
             How often do we have to pay for Windows? - (brettj) - (31)
                 Whether called 'license' sale or lease, - (Ashton)
                 The answer is "Yes". - (Andrew Grygus) - (29)
                     MICROSOFT HAS A MONOPOLY - (imric) - (27)
                         OEM's who installed alternatives . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (16)
                             Come on, tell us what you *really* think...... ;) -NT - (tjsinclair) - (3)
                                 What I really think . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (2)
                                     *evil grin* -NT - (imric)
                                     That flyer must make for some good stories. - (static)
                             And of course - (imric)
                             There's a lot of blame to go around. - (addison)
                             Blather what you wish - (wharris2) - (9)
                                 Poor baby - (Andrew Grygus) - (8)
                                     While we're casting blame about here... - (addison) - (7)
                                         Yup, we were giving the USERS what they asked for. - (Andrew Grygus) - (6)
                                             "Poor baby". - (addison) - (5)
                                                 It is all our faults - (orion)
                                                 You can spread the blame any way you like . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (3)
                                                     I suspect that your ethical performance is unusual. - (Ashton)
                                                     Then you're in denial. - (addison) - (1)
                                                         Lighten up: you sincerely tried. So did Andy. No 'blame' - (Ashton)
                         Minor correction, not all IBM's fault. - (a6l6e6x) - (9)
                             Not Digital Research's only mistake. - (Andrew Grygus) - (8)
                                 Full agreement. - (a6l6e6x) - (7)
                                     It was the Lattice C compiler. And they live! - (a6l6e6x) - (2)
                                         Weren't they the ones who did the C compiler for the Amiga? -NT - (tjsinclair) - (1)
                                             Yes, indeed. - (a6l6e6x)
                                     A big problem was Kildahl - (Andrew Grygus) - (3)
                                         Good points. -NT - (a6l6e6x)
                                         excellent viewpoint - (boxley)
                                         The Amiga and Linux - (orion)
                     Well said, as usual, Andrew. -NT - (tjsinclair)
         Let's hope they hit some widows, geriatrics next- preferably - (Ashton)

Tracers work both ways.
387 ms