Microsoft to Linux: 'Bring it on'

Microsoft to Linux: 'Bring it on'

Summary: Microsoft has popped up at a Linux conference in London to fight its corner and encourage Linux developers and vendors to battle for the desktop market


The increasing take-up of open source on the desktop will drive Microsoft to create better products in response, the software giant said on Wednesday.

Bradley Tipp, Microsoft's national system engineer, told the Linux User and Developer conference in London that competition was good for the whole software industry and would lead to better products emerging from Redmond.

"The thing I like is that Microsoft does its best work and is most innovative when it has competition, so bring it on," said Tipp.

Tipp's comments echoed the view expressed on Tuesday by Matt Asay, director of Linux business office at Novell, when he claimed that the lack of alternative desktop operating systems had given Microsoft little incentive to improve its software range.

Tipp appeared as part of a debate at the conference, where a number of players in the open-source scene, including Asay, gave their view on the future of Linux on the desktop.

Asay told the event that Linux's penetration into the desktop market mirrored the progress it made in the server space three or four years ago.

"There's probably not real competition on the desktop today," said Asay. "In a year, or two years, we'll see frantic competition."

Robin Wilton, programme manager for Sun's Java Desktop System group, said that Linux's strengthening grip on the desktop market had many benefits.

"We will see increased choice and competition. It's a positive outcome," Wilton said.

One show attendee flagged up how difficult it is to buy a laptop that doesn't come with proprietary software already installed.

Jeremy Allison, of the Samba team at Hewlett-Packard, agreed that this is a problem, and admitted that the first thing he had done with his work laptop was to reformat it and remove Windows.

"I was annoyed that I couldn't get a refund. It's a scandal that you can't do that," said Allison.

He added that HP recently said it would ship laptops with a version of Linux pre-installed and predicted that the IT industry would soon see "much more from HP in that area".

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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  • Jeremy Allison, of the Samba team at Hewlett-Packard,: " I was annoyed that I couldn't get a refund. It's a scandal that you can't do that,"

    Does Hewlett-Packard employ brain dead morons these days?
    It would appear so.
    HP or anyone else is totally free to pre-install any operating system they want, including Linux.
    Why on earth would someone who actually works for HP(no less) deliberately pre-install Windows on his laptop and then turn around and whine that he can't get a refund, if this wasn't yet another pathetic grandstanding by a vicious Linux hater and attack dog?
    Hey Jeremy Allsion, GET A LIFE!
  • Matt Asay of Novell :" There's probably not real competition on the desktop today, in a year, or two years, we'll see frantic competition"
    Now where did I hear that one before?
    Ah yes, I remember. It was back in 1998, when the Linux crazies confidently predicted they were going to take out Windows on the desktop "in a year, or two"
    Six years later in 2004, Windows has if anything a BIGGER market share on the desktop (at 96%) than they had in 1998.
    When are these Linux ostriches going to take their heads out of the sand a and face reality for a change?
    The Mr Micawbers of the Linux lotus-eating community are always going to kill Microsoft "next year"...untill next year actually does come around. LOL!
  • I can't see why Microsoft people would take the pain of going to these conferences if they didn't think something different is happening.

    It's obvious that competition can only be good. Sadly, Apple doesn't compete on the full scale of the IT market, leaving the entire x86 market to Windows. That leaves linux as almost unique competitor on everything from embedded to big irons.

    Also, if you are not a large shareholder of Microsoft, | see no reason to rejoice about their continued dominance of the IT market.
  • thats funny

    Linux has gained more of an audience in the last 'few years' than Apple has managed to in 20....

    read your facts right or you'll be the only one left using winblows.
  • Back in 1998, GNU/Linux did not even have a decent web browser. Today, it has better browsers than IE, excellent media players, a free and quite nice office suite, two easy-to-use and full featured desktop environments, and so on...

    Linux desktop is light-years ahead of what it was back then, and every day you can see signs that it is already a quite mature alternative and it is being considered seriously by many. You have to be blind not to see a change is happening right now.
  • Er, not sure why the first comment characterized Jeremy Allison as a Linux hater. Seems to me the article quotes him as saying he REMOVED Windows from his laptop to install Linux?

    However, I agree re: complaining about not being able to get a refund. So don't buy a computer with a preinstalled O/S that you don't want. If the company doesn't give you an option (HP aka Compaq aka proprietary garbage), go elsewhere.
  • Anonymous from Munich (where else?) : "Back in 1998, GNU/Linux did not even have a decent web browser. Today, it has better browsers than IE, excellent media players.."
    Back in 1995 Microsoft had NO browser at all. Today Microsoft has over 96% of the browser market worldwide! How about that?
    IE continues to be by far the best browser on the market (that is why practicaly every corporation and every consumer on the planet uses it), far surpasing anything Linux has ever come up with (another reason why consumers by their billions have rejected Linux en masse).
    As for Media players, Windows Media Player is today by far the best media player n the planet, and guess what? IT DOESN"T RUN ON LINUX! LOL!
    Plus the media content companes ike Time Warner and Disney are increasingly going exclusively for Windws Media Player for their content ...and content is KING.
    You want to watch Kobe Bryant in his latest slam dunk on ESPN (owned by Disney)? Well you need Windows Mdia Player for it pal, and guess what? Your crapy Linux cannot and will never be ale to play Windows Media Player. So long sucker!
    Linux take out Microsoft on the destop? Not a chance!
  • Anonymous from GA :"Er, not sure why the first comment characterized Jeremy Allison as a Linux hater. "
    That characterisation of Jeremy Allison as a "Linux hater" was meant to convey "a Linux fanatic who hates Microsoft".
    The rest of my post makes it clear what I think of this Jeremy Allison (I think he is an insignificant little worm who is grandstanding in a very big way).
    Any lack of clarity on my part is regreted.
  • Smithy, somehow I don't think Jeremy Allison of the Samba team at HP will have much to do with the hardware division of HP, therefore if he gets a new laptop, he may go through different channels but he'll end up with the same product as the rest of us.

    The issue here is it's extremely difficult to buy a PC *without* Windows on. If what you want is a Linux machine, then you've paid (an already supremely rich) Microsoft a large amount of money for a licence you're not going to use. If this seems ok to you, why don't you just send me
  • Steve (UK) : "The issue here is it's extremely difficult to buy a PC *without* Windows on. If what you want is a Linux machine, then you've paid (an already supremely rich) Microsoft a large amount of money for a licence you're not going to use. "

    I am not quite sure what planet you are coming from, but here in America,Walmart(the world's largest retailer by far) has been selling PC's with Lindows (a version of Linux) pre-installed in it for at least 3 years now, and just recently WalMart started selling PC's with Sun's version of Linux desktop pre-installed. In neither case do you end up paying a cent or a penny to Microsoft!
    If a tiny company like Lindows can do it and a non-IT firm like WalMart can do it, explain to me how you can claim that HP, the second biggest IT firm on the planet after IBM, cannot sell their own PC's with Linux pre-installed, especially since HP has already announced the availability of Linux desktop PC's in Asia.
    Lets not forget that WalMart has also been ib business in the UK for at least 3 years when they bought a big UK retailing group, so your claims and Jeremy Allison's claims simply don't stand up to close scrutiny.
    Its pure grandstanding and anti-Microsoft propaganda.
  • Steve (UK) : "What I can see is that the number of Linux lovers appears to be equal to the number of users, and the number of Windows lovers appears to be limited to Microsoft and you. I think that speaks volumes. "

    Yeah? Will you excuse me while I laugh?
    Let me see.. Windows has over 96% share of the desktops on the entire planet, even including China where 99% of all software piracy is of Microsoft Windows or Office, resulting in Microsoft totally dominating the Chinese market (the world's fastest growing big PC market) as well.
    Linux on the other hand has an underwehelming less than 1% of the world desktop market.
    Going by your premiss that "number of Linux lovers appears to be equal to the number of users", there doesn't seem to be many people who are particularly fond of Linux are there?
    And.. using your own yardstick, the world's consumers must simply LOVE Windows, having voted overwhelmingly for Windows with their ceckbooks! :)
  • Yer I agree... Windows is by far the OS of choice. I'm not biased towards either, like hardware: I go with whoever meets my needs. I am primarily a gamer and dual boot Windows and Linux. Linux performs worse in every game than Windows, Linux is nowhere near as easy to use as Windows and quite frankly, Linux is nowhere near as satisfying to use as Windows. I agree that Linux is more customisable but Windows does the job perfectly. It has a huge database, XP is rock solid and performs excellently. All these Windows-bashers should take a good look at the industry: if Linux truly was a better platform, game developers and software devlopers would release Linux versions first.
  • Smithy, I believe you're missing a point here.

    In my experience, the people who use Windows don't realise there's a choice, or don't have the choice, usually because there are particular applications that they have to have that aren't available on Linux. That is why it has such market dominance.

    I don't want to use Windows. I have to use Windows. Is this a good state to be in?

    A little while ago I used to use my home computer basically for internet access, email and some word-processing, so I downloaded Mandrake and used that. Guess what? It was fantastic! The random crashes I got with Windows just went away.

    Since then I upgraded the hardware with the intention of playing games as well and had to install Windows for that. Now I run a dual boot system and use Mandrake for everything I can and Windows for everything else. I see a lot more blue screens these days.

    Hopefully the efforts of Walmart will increase the installed Linux base, thus persuading software developers to create Linux versions of their software, creating CHOICE, which is what this is all about. I seriously worry when one company has control of 96% of the computers on the planet. It gives them carte blanche to do what they like and screw the users. You have Linux to thank for the fact that MS even gives the slightest consideration to security and non-sloppy programming these days
  • I think it's a little more complicated than your simple "deduction(s)"
    1) Linux is "Low-Cost" or even "Free" ... as in no money needed to just obtain it,
    and install it if desired.
    1-b) I've not mentioned the / any cost(s) in *time* related to any needs for
    "learning" to use/manipulate &/or maintain a linux system.
    2) As it happens that much of the initial-Linux-base-of-users I'd say are the
    more tech-oriented-folk, and also, cost-concious/ perhaps even cost (monetary)
    "fixated"... ie they want a great deal (as in very very cheap, or free),
    this presents an opposing ideology to the general "market-forces" at play
    with much software to date, especially including games, (a.k.a. game software).
    Many software makers, and especially many software game makers are doing
    what they do for the financial returns. For them, this works well in the
    "Windows-world". In the Linux-world, however, (where many are seeking great
    stuff that is free--monitarily), the game-software makers' objectives do not
    mesh well. Not that it is an impossibility or insurmountable difficulty...
    mind you, it's just that I see it as a "tougher-sell" for the game makers
    when going the Linux-route/ trying to break into the Linux-side of the market...
    Might I also inject the chicken and the egg metaphor.
    As developing games for / to run on Linux systems will/does require some
    "extra efforts" for the developers due to the differences in the software
    platform, as compared to the Windows platform. Couple that with the need
    to generate reasonable returns in order to sustain development, and you
    will (might?) realize that it will take some effort to get this ball rolling
    enough to generate {some reasonable} "self-sustaining-lift".
    Hope I threw enough metaphors in there for you :) And maybe I even made
    a point in there as well. :)

    I will offer you my apologies for my gramatical/syntactical atrocities,
    if you will agree to at least consider what I've tried to get across to you.

    P.S. I am curious, what version or versions of Linux have you used/ are you
    using? I am intending to try it out myself quite soon. :) -Thanks

  • "The thing I like is that Microsoft does its best work and is most innovative when it has competition, so bring it on," ??

    Since when has Microsoft ever been innovative ? Quickly now, name a real innovation that ever came from Microsoft !

    Microsoft is a leopard that will never change its spots. I should know, Ive been watching them for more than a decade. The saddest thing is that people still believe their propaganda.