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12/30/2003 Archived Entry: "Microsoft rant of the week"

This is wryly amusing: a Microsoft manager is asking Linux users why they like Linux. A pity he didn't think to ask why they don't like Windows. Now there's a well with no bottom.

Linux users are rightly suspicious. The "aw shucks, we just want to make our product better" line doesn't wash; we've been hearing that for years -- remember the vain hoopla about "Trustworthy Computing" two years ago? My guess is they're looking for a marketing edge, something they can say they do better than Linux. Perhaps they dream of some Linux user spilling the beans on some fatal flaw they can exploit -- hence the question, "List the top one or two improvements that you would like to see made to Linux." (Why would a Microsoft manager need to know that?)

Heaven knows Microsoft needs some kind of spin, when a survey of Microsoft customers finds that "38 percent said they were so mad at Microsoft that they were seriously considering a move to a rival platform". When competing products sell for less than a quarter of their price -- or are free -- and they have competition they can't just buy out. When for the first time in countless quarters, Microsoft earnings are flat, and their financial maneuverings are being compared to Enron's.

So this Linux user would like to give Microsoft some marketing advice:
1. Fix your bloated, insecure, unreliable products.
2. Charge a reasonable price.
3. Offer fair licensing terms.
4. Stop forcing unnecessary upgrades on your customers.
5. Stop trying to "lock in" your customers with software gambits.
6. Give up your predatory business practices.
7. Give up your campaign of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).

Do you think any of that will happen? No? Then why buy their products?


P.S. Thanks to Pat T. for the Yahoo news link.

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