“Microsoft is in its most vulnerable moment”

An interesting read about Microsoft, its threats and the plan to meet the competition.


  • Nice find there, Robert! I couldn't help laughing at their attempt to hype up a sense of crisis at Microsoft.

    Microsoft has enough "weight" (figuratively speaking) and cash (literally speaking) to exist for a long time. Even if they begin developing products that nobody wants, which is unlikely, or making dead wrong decisions in ever aspect, which is unlikely, they can live on pure inertia for a decade.

    Microsoft isn't going anywhere, no matter how hard these corporate "writers" at BBC want you to believe.

    As to Linux winning over desktop, their fantasizing is plain funny. As is, Linux as a desktop stands no chance of beating XP or Mac OX. I think Mac OS would gain more market share as a wonderwul OS over the clumsy Linux (I run all three of them!)

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Thank you!

    It always interesting to find these kinds of speculations, usually exaggerating the situation as being very dramatic. 🙂

    From my point of view, Microsoft has an enourmous financial strength.

    And, like you, I also prefer Mac OS X over Linux.

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    I don't think Microsoft will have to worry too much about Linux taking over the desktop just yet. Especially not for home users.

    I've been trying to switch over to Linux myself this weekend. Now, I've been programming computers since 1980. I've worked as a software developer since 1990. I've worked with MS-DOS, VAX/VMS, several Unix versions and Windows. I've written applications in everything from Z80 assembler to C++ and Java. But trying to make a simple modem connection work in Linux has so far proved too much for me.

    I somehow doubt that most home computer users will accept having to recompile their OS kernel just to install a modem.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Tough weekend? Lots of swear words? 🙂

    I agree with your main point, for Linux to become mainstream it has to become a lot easier to use.

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    Not much swearing, but I spent quite a few hours reading a Linux manual. Outdoors. In a lawn chair. So I now have a rather severe sun-burn.

    Most desktop stuff is easy enough to use. Even if there aren't many downloadable binaries for stuff, getting the source and building it yourself isn't too hard. OK, so <code>tar xvzf foo-bar-1.0.7.tar.gz</code> may not be perfectly intuitive, but <code>make install</code> isn't too bad. 🙂

    I remember installing FreeBSD on my old laptop, years ago. It was not easy to get it to detect all the pieces of hardware, and configuring XFree386 by hand grows hair on your chest. The first Linux installation I did ended with a continuous hex dump, and I had to remove the battery to get it to stop.

    By contrast, the Red Hat installation on my desktop box was a piece of cake. It found all the hardware equipment (except the bleeping modem) and set up the X server perfectly all by itself. Even the cordless mouse worked on the first attempt. In fact, it works better than under Windows.

    In all fairness, the modem/PPP problem is not really the Linux people's fault. It's the modem manufacturers who use closed-source code for their drivers, and won't make drivers for Linux.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    …configuring XFree386 by hand grows hair on your chest

    Ha ha ha! 😀

    I've played around a little with Red Hat and I think it's ok, but I still regard it as way too advanced for home users.

  • Hey, Tommy, a fellow assembler and C++ developer here! Aaaaah, those were the days. 🙂

    I think the most viable Linux desktop alternative (among all Linux flavors) is Linspire. They used to be called Lindows, but brainiacs who came up with this name got their asses sued by Microsoft, so they became Linspire. Anyway, I really like their “Five-O”. The only bad thing about it is it’s dumb when it comes to installing it in VirtualPC or VMware. Other than that it’s clean and has the bare minimum an average Joe needs for everyday work.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    I've heard of Linspire but never had the chance to test it. Maybe one day I'll get the opportunity… 🙂

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    I managed to get it sorted. Linuxant offers a driver that works with my modem, and I'm now able to go online.

    It was nice to edit /boot/grub/grub.conf and change the default OS from Windows to Linux. 🙂

    Apache, PHP and MySQL are now up and running, as is the latest Mozilla build. I've added NTFS support so I can mount my Windows partitions as well.

  • Carl says:

    Those folks at the BBC of course are trying to generate drama to sell ads, of course and I can't blame them.

    But as for the topic of MS: They are getting bigger and they are getting slower.

    I read this IE7 Blog Entry and all I could think of was "they're too worried about the 3rd party apps" and "the big customers are calling the shots" and "they're trying to upset the least number of people."

    I saw this in play at IBM when I worked there. You end up with okay products and a loyal corporate base, not the best products and the best customer experience. This comment is from a Microsoft supporter. Five or six MS Certifications — .NET all over my resume. They are getting bigger. and bulkier. and slower. Do you see it too or am I imagining this?

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Congrats to your new life! 🙂


    Yes, of course, journalists have to make a living their way.

    I think you're right about Microsoft, and in general. I just wonder if that's the future scenario: Companies that produce stuff that's "good enough", with us never being able to reach top quality while using their products.

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