Could recent Microsoft clamp-downs, missteps accelerate Linux adoption?

Could recent Microsoft clamp-downs, missteps accelerate Linux adoption?

Summary: Is it me, or has there been a recent wave of headlines from Redmond that add up to a Microsoft clamp-down of the sort that could easily drive people away from destkop Windows? The most recent of these, which not surprisingly has drawn a very vocal reaction from some ZDNet readers, is a news story about how the grace period that allowed Microsoft customers to disable the automatic installation of the security update-laden Windows Service Pack 2 is coming to a non-negotiable end.

TOPICS: Windows

Is it me, or has there been a recent wave of headlines from Redmond that add up to a Microsoft clamp-down of the sort that could easily drive people away from destkop Windows? The most recent of these, which not surprisingly has drawn a very vocal reaction from some ZDNet readers, is a news story about how the grace period that allowed Microsoft customers to disable the automatic installation of the security update-laden Windows Service Pack 2 is coming to a non-negotiable end. (So says a page on Microsoft's Web site.) Says's Ina Fried in the story, "Microsoft is alerting customers that it will soon start delivering Windows XP Service Pack 2 to all customers using Automatic Update, whether they want it or not." In other words, the only way to stop SP2 from being installed is to disable Windows' Automatic Update, which in turn could disable other updates that users want or need (for example, one like this that addresses a problem with third-party security software).

Larger enterprises can also redirect Windows AU feature to their own update servers. Even so, it seems as though Microsoft is becoming less flexible about the sort of granular control that end users and businesses can have over their desktops--an approach that's philosophically antithetical to the virtues of Linux as extolled by its advocates.

Even further tightening its control, in the same week that the SP2 news surfaced, Microsoft announced that in an effort to curtail misappropriation of the certificates of authenticity that come with pre-installed versions of Windows, it would disallow Internet-based activation of Windows for people looking to re-install Windows from the original media that came with their PCs. Let's forget for a minute that the idea of activating products runs counter to everything the Linux and open source community believes. Perhaps we should be asking if this is a sign that, once again in the history of PCs, another software copy protection scheme has failed. After all, as the technology was described to me back in the days when Windows XP was coming to market, Microsoft's Product Activation for Windows (WPA, not to be confused with Wi-Fi Protected Access) contained some rocket science for fingerprinting systems in a way that prevented the use of unauthorized duplicates of Windows. Apparently, that technology isn't working out. So, to address the problem, as well as Microsoft's discovery that one of its most promising revenue growth opportunities is to crack down on piracy, the logistics of managing Windows just got even more complicated.

In response to my question to Microsoft as to whether the move could be perceived as the Redmond, WA-based company becoming more inflexible and whether that

Topic: Windows

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  • ZDNet trolls' opinions do not reflect reality

    [i]"The most recent these, which not surprisingly, has drawn a very vocal reaction from some ZDNet's readers, is a news story about how the grace period that allowed Microsoft customers to disable the automatic installation of the security update-laden Windows Service Pack 2 is coming to a non-negotiable end (so says a page on Microsoft's Web site)."[/i]

    The vocal reaction to this non-news out of Microsoft was by a small group of people who for some reason view Microsoft as the anti-christ incorporated. To think their opinion reflects the general consensus among Windows users worldwide is laughable.

    Heck - 90% of the people who posted negatively about this "news" didn't even read the damn article before posting their rants!
    • Unfortunately

      These rants appear to represent a growing portion of the tech community. Some of which are coming from such high places that they influence company purchases.

      If Microsoft Continues this upsetting trend, I do see more migration from not only server side, but also a desktop movement aswell.
      • Absolutely Right

        [i]Some of which are coming from such high places that they influence company purchases. [/i]

        Like meeeeeeeeeee. Me. Me. Me. I work with customer decision makers just about every day. And I can promise you there's a lot of anti-Microsoft feeling out there in the business community. Not so much over WGA, more about license costs and those pesky TCO's that never seem to be as rosy as the projections. But not to fear, when confronted with a lopsided TCO MSFT will blame the customer! HAHAHA! I've heard it with my own ears. Or us, which is why I make it a point to be at those meetings. You can take a MSFT solution partner TCO projection and add 30-35% to it. That will still be under but not as far under. Those kind of discrepancies have an effect after a while and the opposition is starting to take root.

        And it doesn't help them that there are people like me encouraging OSS experimentation, handing out disks, showing them OSS cost studies and making sure the FTE (jobs saved) total is right next to the bottom line figures. And totally trashing the solution partners estimates, which are usually boilerplate fantasy trash anyway.

        Yes, Virginia, you can successfully run a business on OSS today. And you can take a huge bite out of license costs if you want to go hybrid...excuse me, the new term is "mixed source environment". Another puker buzzword.

        Although I agree with one point he made: The average user doesn't understand diddly squat about his PC or security. He just wants it to work and doesn't care who makes the OS.

        MSFT is their own worst enemy but it's usually good for a laugh most days.
        • ya microsoft

          who is this microcrAP... GIMME A break..
        • Absolutely wrong!

          Things like WPA do not affect the Enterprise user of Microsoft Products since their version doesn't require activation. As for not allowing OEM versions to activate over the net, that is also a red herring! The OEM versions also do not need to activate unless you change the motherboard or try to load it on a computer from another manufacturer. Not giving updates to users who cannot validate their OS is also of little trouble to anybody except those in violation of the licensing agreement. For the most part the people that post on this board do not make purchasing decisions for major corporations. For the most part many of them are disgruntled IS types that work in the trenches. Their posts show their lack of understanding of the issues involved and many of them have a hard time conversing in English. For the last ten years we have been hearing how this will be the end for Microsoft. Yet Microsoft consistently turns out a profit and grows their business. This will also prove to be much of the same!
          • Minor Correction

            I have a laptop I bought about a year ago with XP Home. I have had to wipe and reload it twice. Each time it dialed MS to verify my activation. If this can no longer be done Via Web, then I will be verey inconvenienced and may just decide to install Mepis instead.
            Mack DaNife
      • "Rants" is a good term

        <i>"These rants appear to represent a growing portion of the tech community."</i>

        The only point I was making is that the "rants" on ZDnet have, for the most part, been completely unrelated to the articles' content.

        Certainly. People are becoming more aware of Microsoft's security shorcomings and they are bitching about it. Shocking! "Putting the hammer down" (Example: turning the firewall on by default) on their customers seems to be the only thing that Microsoft can do to get any kind of security results with their *current* products. A complete *rewrite* (read: Longhorn) is what they *really* need to do to fix things, but that will take time. Microsoft dug their own hole and now they doing what's neccessary to get themselves out of it. You don't cauderize a wound because it feels good. They might lose a number of customers, but that doesn't guarantee their demise or any other platforms rise.

        <i>"If Microsoft Continues this upsetting trend"</i>

        Upsetting trend of what? Paying a little bit of attention to security for a change?
    • ZDNet trolls' opinions do not reflect reality

      Amen. Bashing MSFT has become a cult religion for some. Every day these tech deities can be found expousing their stupidity to the applause of their fellow believers. This article is just another example.
  • MS business plan

    i) Protect Win32 monopoly at all costs (eg disable WINE,
    damage alternate browsers or platform independent
    middleware eg java)
    ii) Keep talking up future products (eg next version will be
    secure, reliable, ...)
    iii) Spread FUD (eg software patents, ridiculous self-funded
    TCO studies)

    This hasn't changed for years now.

    The trouble with i) is it will prevent them from tackling
    malware, and this malware will force the enterprise onto
    anything but windows, ii) requires they eventually produce
    something and run the risk of ridicule if it doesn't meet
    inflated expectations, and iii) no-one believes TCO studies.

    Such is the market power of the desktop monopoly it will
    require considerable challenger to make inroads.
    Tellingly, MS has not had any success in any market not
    supported by the desktop (and workgroup) monopoly.

    Getting applications port from WIN32 will accelerate
    alternate OSes. Nothing else.
    Richard Flude
  • MS is about to loose big time!

    MS is about to kill it's self... Windows is lossing groudn daily, they cannot attract new customer, so they try to make those who allow they Monopoly to rise (the bad bad software pirates) pay for they WindowsXP... well i got news for then... they won't. When you are to the point that you catch a virus WHEN installing your OS or about anybody can gain controle of you webcam to spy on you, it;s time to change... i did... I am a happy LInux User, no more hourly reboot, malware, spyware etc.... and i am converting ever customer i have to it. (i am a computer repair guy)

    • dead

      MS is dead
      • my project for the future...

        after MS dies...and the fanboys masicate ol' bills body...they will move on to the next target...aka Steve Jobs...then after jobs...they will have no one to complain about or will they?
        • There will ALWAYS be someone to complain about!!!

          Many years ago my mother and my then third farther became
          Born Again Christians. I was like 18 and not going to have any
          of that. So me and mom have had this kind of strained
          relationship ever since. I'd go home for Thanksgiving walk into
          the kitchen to find mom cooking and the first words she would
          say to me is "you are going to Hell" I would respond "You burnt
          the Turkey AGAIN!" Then at that time she would go off about
          the signs of the End Times and how it was obvious that the
          Soviet Union was for told in the Bible and it meant that soon the
          End Times would come...yikes! So when the Soviet Union fell
          she was silent for a time....but for many a year before 9/11 mind
          you she had found her new "someone to complain about" the
          Muslims and Islam. Again well before 9/11 and I remember
          telling her. "Mom you guys keep talking like that and sending
          your missionaries over there to convert the HEATHENS and such
          and you are going to get your war all right" sigh.

          Pagan jim
        • Why do 1D10+$ like you...

          think there is this militant zealotry. The only zealotry I see is pro-windohs users defending their OS and idol. Linux/former windohs suckers are so elated with their new discovery, they just want to share it with the rest of the world and help free other 'oppressed' windohs users! We don't sit at our computers in camouflage, sacrifice virgins and dance around pentagrams during a full moon! Now go use your childish/vivid imagination for something more useful. One last note: Apple may be a little expensive but they don't bully their customers and there OS's are not seething with viruses and worms so nobody from the 'Linux underground army' is gunna eat Steve Jobs' body if Apple goes under! >:-P
          • What is there to be elated about?

            I have never been oppressed using windows, never been bullied into anything, no virus' no worms, just plain old stability and no problems. I can do anything I want with my windows, unlike blownix, sit and hope someone will come up with wireless support or re-write support, what is with that? I just don't see any reason to switch to anything else, and for sure not blownix, maybe smac, but why??
    • Can Linux Do This?

      According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the $3 per share dividend that Microsoft payed its stockholders actually boosted the U.S. per capita income for December, 2004.

      [QUOTE] The U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday said that December's income gain would have been a mere 0.6%, if not for the dividend payment. While it is rare for a single company's dividend payment to impact incomes so strongly, Microsoft is a rare firm. With one of the most widely held stocks in the U.S., the software colossus forked over $32 billion. [/QUOTE]

      From <a href="">Forbes Magazine</a>
      • Can you?

        ;) think about the logic of your question first and expect it to come back at you.
        Linux User 147560
      • Suppose it depends

        On how many users own shares. What Linux can do for you is allow you to keep your $300.00 + $400 - $500 you paid for MS software and MSO in your pocket. So, unless every user of MS owns at least 300 shares then what is you point?

        Imagine all the extra money available for employees if companies did not have to spend $$ millions for mediocre software.

        There are three areas MS cannot compete with Linux. Security, stability and price. Something you obviously did not consider when making your silly brag.
      • And if the Colossus Collapses?

        Not that it will happen tomorrow, but the number of companies distributing GNU/Linux will contribute increasing amounts to the our per capita income as they continue to grow. However, it is unlikely that any single company will do what MS just did, simply because no single company will be able to control that much of the market. That's because there will be more competition at more levels. Collectively, they will contribute significant amounts of money to the US economy.

      • Is that "Redmond Economics?"

        What the "Colossus" did was return a slim portion of the billions it has been hoarding from the markets for years. Billions that were NOT used to fuel the economy, but instead to purchase competitors to prevent superior technology to reach the market, or to invest in "vaporware" publicity to circumvent user conversion.

        As was shown in the spring/summer of 2001, even a miniscule "tax rebate" averaging about $50 per person was able to keep the economy growing, though every other economic indicator said the recession should have started months earlier. Big companies holding vast sums of capital have never been able to expand the economy.

        So, while the MS dividend may have made a (slight) positive impact, we need to ask two pertinent questions: 1) How many people actually got a check? They'd have to own the MS stock - this mean you exclude managed funds and any 401K/IRA investments, and 2) How much have they inhibited economic growth by keeping all the money to themselves.