Very Worried at MS .net

MJ Ray markj at
Wed Jul 18 00:13:45 UTC 2001

John Peter Tapsell <tapselj0 at> writes:

> As a hacker, an FS enthusiast, and hard core linux guy, I agree 100%.
> However, looking at it from a more business side, I have to disagree.
> We are years and years behind MS.  It doesn't seem it, and we seem
> sooo tantatlilisingly close, but MS have the infrastructure we
> don't.  More then ever we need to go back and fill in that
> infrastructure (/me is thinking of examples such SMB etc), but doing
> so would make us appear to stand to still.  It is all political.  It
> is the politics that will make or break us - not the technical side.
> (Or is this very statement being disproved by linux - I cannot tell,
> I have nothing to compare it against in history)

You are far too pessimistic.  In the important ways, we are still
years ahead of MS, but in the periphery that makes our public persona
we do lag behind.  What we need to do is to change our image, to make
Free Software the people's favourite.  Some might say that we don't
need to win the beauty contest on the publicity front, but if we
don't, winning the technical beauty contest may turn out to be
irrelevant, sadly.  Such is the fickle nature of consumerism.

A strong part of this must be raising the level of technical
sophistication amongst our users.  Today I've introduced two users to
new things: one has just had their first GNU/Linux box installed, set
up with a mix of free and gratis software so that they can get their
work done more efficiently that on their previous closed platform.
It's also more secure, which is important for that member of senior
management.  The other has just seen machine suspend/resume working as
it should on a desktop machine for the first time.  Not such a big
thing, but still impressive to that user, who I think now realises
that what MS say isn't necessarily the reality.

> If MS has, and pushes .NET, it _does not matter_ if we ourselves
> would never use it / dislike it / get round it, if businesses use
> it.  Imagine if businesses use a passport system for every bit of
> email, when surfing, when talking to each other.

I can't see that happening.  Many companies, mine included, will never
swallow handing over of key control.  We fought UKG over RIP (and
pretty much lost, ho hum, never mind, we're just off-shoring critical
things now) and we will fight MS over .NET.

> Now you come along, and they ask you to implement a nice email
> server.  Fine says you, and whips out your nice sendmail server, and
> configure it perfectly... ah except it won't authentificate against
> MS certificates, and make the companies email 'secure'....

Sendmail?  Exim, maybe.

We are a long way from this situation and if it ever happens, then we
have lost an important battle.  I don't think that implementing .net
for MS is going to help us win it.

> Java is dead.  MS killed it, and are being sued for it - but it was worth the
> suing.  (/me is thinking of MS's java version that was not cross platform)

Oh, stop it... this is so funny it's almost killing me... have you any
idea how much Java programmers cost my company to train and then
retain?  Java is very much in demand and far from dead.  Oddly enough,
we're not hiring C-hash programmers and haven't even heard of any
companies that are.

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