Reasons to Avoid Microsoft
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt
These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and
others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.
Last 17 Articles
- The Hidden Cost of Using Microsoft Software
Detractors of free software like to point out it's not really 'free,'
and claim that its Total Cost of Ownership is often comparable with
closed-source solutions... [yet] they never include a very real
extra that users of Microsoft's products frequently have to pay:
the cost of cleaning up malware infections. For example, the UK city
of Manchester has just paid out nearly $2.5 million to clean up the
- The Anti-ODF Whisper Campaign
Groklaw is examining the possibility of an anti-ODF [OpenDocument Format]
whisper campaign and the effects it has had on the ODF and OOXML
[Microsoft's Office Open XML] Wikipedia articles. In the ODF article, Alex
Brown [convenor of the OOXML BRM] bends the truth to make it seem like no
one is supporting ODF, and that it is a flawed and incomplete standard.
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- Linux Allies Rebut Microsoft 'Get the Facts' Campaign
[A] 17-page research report entitled "Get the Truth on Linux Management"
[has been published] that challenges Redmond's claims that Linux has
a higher TCO (total cost of ownership) and systems management costs
than Windows. The study's overall conclusion is that Linux may,
in many cases, be substantially less expensive to own than Windows
- Novell hits back at Ballmer's anti-Linux memo
(Computer Business Review,
Ballmer's memo was sent to Microsoft customers and partners last week,
and criticized Linux's record on security, total cost of ownership and
indemnification, among other things. Ballmer referenced a number of
analyst reports that have long been the weapons in its Get The Facts
campaign against Linux. Now Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell has
accused Ballmer of being selective with the truth.
- Windows v Linux security: the real facts
Myth: Open Source Software is inherently dangerous because its source
code is widely available, whereas Windows 'blueprints' are carefully
guarded by Microsoft. Fact: This 'inherent danger' clearly has not
manifested itself in terms of actual attacks. Windows-specific viruses,
Trojans, worms and malicious programs exist in huge numbers... the claim
itself hinges on the view - rejected by reputable security professionals
- that obscurity aids security. ... we find that vulnerability metrics
used by the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) return 250
results for Microsoft, with 39 having a severity rating of 40 or
greater, and 46 for Red Hat, with only three scoring over 40. So
simply making claims based on that one metric (as Steve Ballmer did,
again, earlier this week) is like judging a hospital's effectiveness in
dealing with emergency cardiac care from its average speed in dealing
with all patients.
- Microsoft slammed over misleading Windows Linux claims
An advert [Microsoft] ran compared
the two operating systems to each other, but Windows was running on
a measly dual 900MHz Xeon configuration, while Linux was running on a
z900 IBM mainframe. ... The ad claimed: "Linux was found to be over
10 times more expensive than Windows Servers".
- Analyst: Security Woes Add to Windows Cost
Prominent security analyst John Pescatore has put a new twist on the
Windows cost of ownership debate with a call for enterprises to add
the expense of managed intrusion prevention software to the price of
Microsoft's operating systems. ... 'Attackers will continue to develop
worms that will cause damage equal to, or more severe than, the system
shutdowns and network congestion caused by the Slammer worm. Enterprises
that are dependent on Windows systems must invest both in means to
patch more quickly and in host-based intrusion prevention software
for all Windows PCs and servers.'
- AtStake CTO loses job after Microsoft report
The chief technology officer of computer security firm AtStake...
has been fired after taking part in writing a report criticizing Windows
as posing a national cybersecurity risk... Bruce Schneier, chief technology
officer of network security services firm Counterpane Internet Security and
a co-author of the report, said the situation illustrates the power Microsoft
has to silence critics.
- The quiet war over open-source
[Microsoft] is lobbying furiously in state, national and international
capitals against laws that would promote the consideration or use of
open-source software. [T]he World Intellectual Property Organization
[(WIPO)] ... was intrigued by the growth of the open-source movement and
welcomed the idea of a meeting devoted to open-source's place in the
intellectual-property landscape. ... In short order, lobbyists from
Microsoft-funded trade groups were pushing officials at the State
Department and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to squelch the
- Windows costs less than Linux. A bit. Sometimes - MS study
Windows 2000 servers are cheaper to run than Linux ones, sometimes,
says an IDC study which was by strange coincidence sponsored by Microsoft.
... The differences in cost IDC identifies are relatively small, and vary
depending on the tasks involved. For example, supporting 100 users on a
networking server would cost $13,263 for Linux, and $11,787 for Windows;
obviously, the 'difference' here could easily be wiped out by a Windows
server upgrade, or by the network in question being run by a company with a
background in the Unix, rather than the Windows, space.
- Trust us, Microsoft asks in secure computing push
A global powerhouse famous for steamrolling competitors is now asking us to
trust it as a crucial government partner in information security.
- Memorandum Submitted by Members of the Free Software Users' Group, Kochi
We... have recently come across what the government calls the IT@SCHOOL
project. ... we submit that implementation of the scheme as it is would
harm the long term interests of our State, the general public and the
Country. There would be very serious violation of our citizens' basic
legal and constitutional rights. ... We find the manner in which the software
to be used at the schools is chosen, and manner in which it is chosen, to be
disturbing. The syllabus has prescribed software by brand. It is regrettable
that the government has not framed or adopted any guidelines or standards to
be followed for choosing the software. ... Providing schools or other
educational institutions software at little or no cost, while the same
software is sold at very high prices in the open market is a marketing trick.
The corporation resorts to such tactics in order to reap benefits of having a
pool of people who are familiar with their software packages... The
corporation whose brands and products are prescribed does not publish
standards used in their software. Even in respect of standards recognized by
the entire industry, this particular corporation is known to create its own
variations outside the scope of such universal standards. Such extensions to
the standards are not published by this corporation and
information/files/programs using such extensions cannot be accessed except
with applications or programs available exclusively from that particular
corporation. ... This situation is known as 'vendor lock-in' or 'vendor
dependence'. This is contrary to public interest and harmful to the society
in the long run.
- Ad fiasco: we will act, says Ballmer
Microsoft may consider sanctions against a public relations consultant who
tried to pass herself off as someone who had switched from the Apple Mac to
Windows XP in a high-profile US advertising campaign... The software company
was forced to pull the advertising, which mimics rival Apple's Switch campaign
from Windows XP to the Mac, after [ireegularities were noticed] in the case
study of an anonymous woman that was presented on the Microsoft Web site.
The indiscretion strikes to the heart of Microsoft's attempts to turn around
its unscrupulous image, while it tries to build support for its technical
initiative chief software architect and founder Bill Gates dubbed last year,
- Microsoft's Ballmer Sees Free Software as Enemy No. 1
Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is telling his employees to
focus on the threat that Linux and other free programs available on the
Internet pose to sales at the world's largest software maker. ... 'The
advantage of open source is pretty hard to match,' said Ram Mohan, chief
technology officer at Afilias Ltd.
- Microsoft embarrassed by satisfied customer who never was
Red-faced executives at Microsoft Corp. on Monday pulled a breezy
advertisement purported to be by a free-lance writer who switched to using
Windows software from the rival Macintosh, amid questions about whether the
woman actually exists. An employee at a public-relations company hired by
Microsoft ... later acknowledged she was Microsoft's mysterious convert.
The Associated Press tracked Mallinson by examining personal data hidden
within documents Microsoft published with its controversial ad. ... Trouble
erupted after [someone] noticed a photograph showing the woman with a cup of
coffee was a stock image available for purchase elsewhere on the Internet.
... Documents accompanying the ad, which encouraged other Windows users to
tell Microsoft about their experiences, included hidden references to
Mallinson's name, public relations firm, Wes Rataushk & Associates Inc.,
and personal Web site.
- Organisation for Internet Safety launched
A Microsoft-backed security organisation set up almost a year ago has
finally had its formal launch. ...when it was first suggested last autumn,
the OIS was criticised by members of the security industry who suggested
that a limited disclosure standard could be used as a stick with which to
beat other researchers into line.
- Ballmer: United, we'll stomp on Linux
'Linux is a serious competitor,' said Ballmer. 'We have to compete with
free software on value ... so we need to justify our posture and pricing.
Linux isn't going to go away...' 'Linux is not about free software, it is
- Group campaigns against open source
Microsoft and other software companies are ramping up a lobbying effort
that aims to convince governments to think again about adopting open-source
software. ... The initiative takes aim squarely at what has become one of
the major themes in the software business this year: government use of
- Ballmer 'fesses up to Linux/Windows cost FUD
Windows is a lot more expensive to run than Linux, Microsoft CEO Steve
Ballmer has finally confessed. ... an old page on the MS Web site claiming
that the lower costs of Linux are 'a myth' has been removed.
- Ballmer: Linux Changed Our Game
Since the arrival of Linux, Microsoft has been forced to abandon
its traditional value proposition of being the lower-cost solution...
- Open source invites terrorism - study
A Washington think tank ... is preparing to release a 'study' warning
that the widespread use of open source software will allow international
terrorists to have their way with us. We imagine the argument will have
to go something like this: Microsoft software is safer because the company
carefully conceals its security flaws ... We say that because we know they
can't possibly try to argue that MS offers inherently more secure products.
Although they might; ... the Institution takes money from [Microsoft].
This could explain why [they] would, with a straight face, recommend the
MCSE as a qualification for adult participation in a democratic economy
superior to a university degree.
- Study: Open source poses security risks
The ADTI white paper, to be released next week, will take the opposite line,
outlining 'how open source might facilitate efforts to disrupt or sabotage
electronic commerce, air traffic control or even sensitive surveillance
systems,' the institute said.
- Anti-Unix Web site back online
Although it's less than a week old, the site has received a great deal of
attention, but probably not the kind that Microsoft and Unisys wanted.
Early this week, it was discovered that the anti-Unix site ran on Web
servers powered by FreeBSD, an open-source version of Unix ... The
companies shifted the site over to Windows 2000 and Microsoft Internet
Information Server on Tuesday, the same day the site went blank.
- Microsoft's anti-Unix campaign backfires
A $30 million advertising campaign ... has turned into a public relations
nightmare for [Microsoft and Unisys]. ... Embarrassed by the revelation that
the promotional website was actually running [Unix] ..., sysadmins hurriedly
switched the system over to a Windows/IIS combination. ... The campaign
didn't name the evil from which users should flee [but hinted at Sun
Microsystems] ... but the alternative on offer was to jump through a
window, which literate readers will know as defenestration, a popular
way of inviting kings to commit suicide in 17th century Europe. The
'jump to your death' route seems to be the path followed by the
advertisers themselves, as the promotional website itself has performed
some form of ritual suicide in its migration to Windows.
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