Very Worried at MS .net

Alistair Davidson lord_inh at
Tue Jul 17 00:17:31 UTC 2001

MJ Ray wrote:
> "John Peter Tapsell <John Tapsell" <tapselj0 at> writes:
> > Reading the comments thrown up on /. about MS helping out on the
> > linux .net, I have suddenly realised quite how damn powerful MS is
> > going to become.  If they gain full control of a globally and
> > totally accepted passport scheme, they will control all.
> I'm more concerned about these developments in another way: why does
> GNU feel the need to play catch-up to a Microsoft attempt to play
> catch-up to the free tools we already have?  We should continue by
> better integrating the free tools and polishing them, not by this
> silly action.

Agreed. Personally, I'd far rather apt-get, or even buy on CD, a
software libre package than pay a subscription to an ASP. Unless some
ASP comes up with a truly killer ap that cannot be replicated by more
traditional methods then I should imagine most users will feel the same.
Which would you pay- a £10 shipping fee for the latest version of Open
Office or £10/month for a subscription to an equivalent proprietary

> > I am suddenly very afraid - if you don't see why, cruise at  3+ points on /.
> > under that article, and read everything.
> I would, but life's too short to pay much attention to splashsnort.
> Skimming it, I don't see what you're getting at.

There are some quite interesting posts further down, by a user called
anticypher. I don't know how much of what (s)he says is true though.
> > I'm starting to think that if we stick to FS, we are going to lose big time.
> Really?  I'm thinking the converse.  Although I detest this
> .net-gazing, I see that other Free Software projects are likely to
> achieve my aims even though there is immense waste in these other
> projects.

.net does have some nice features, but I'd far rather use an truly Free
version (ie, with an open standard maintained by an independent body
among other things) than a true .net clone. What's to stop microsoft
from breaking compatability with mono in the next version and
potentially killing my service?

I think I'll stickj with Java for the time being. Now, if only that was
maintained by an independent body...
> > We don't have the time, MS are comming up to big and too fast.
> They're an irrelevance, as ever.  Ignore them.

I think we need to monitor what they're doing, but what we need to stop
is obsessing about it so much. Free Software products are currently
ahead in terms of technical quality and (of course) freedom. We're
catching up fast with the proprietary folks when it comes to user
friendliness (when machines with GNU/Linux/BSD/Hurd/whatever
preinstalled become widely available, that'll help an awful lot too).
What we need to really start focusing on is coming up with new ideas for
improving user friendliness IMHO. If we can innovate in technical areas
we can do the same when it comes to user interfaces, and it's vital to
do so- ultimately, your average user is far more interested in his/her
system being easy to use than how fast or stable it is. It's the sad
truth that they'll put up with several crashes a day to avoid using a
command prompt.

Rick's World:

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