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[Fsfe-uk] Re: [discuss] Open source software News

From: Paul
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] Re: [discuss] Open source software News
Date: 01 Aug 2003 07:36:58 +0100


> And of 
> course, the Titanic of IBM's product initiatives ... OS/2. 

OS/2 was not a Titanic. MS basically had just about every PC company
over a barrel with Windows. IBM could not convince anyone of the
benefits of OS/2 and it went the same way as GEM and other far superior
products. It didn't help with IBM execs not exactly supporting it.

> Look 
> for Microsoft to be deeply involved in assisting SCO's legal and marketing 
> shenanigans. As far as McNealy's comments are concerned, one could like them 
> to the efforts of a drowning man who attempts to stand upon another 
> struggling swimmer in an attempt to preserve himself a little longer.

I think this is a different. While MS maybe helping SCO out with this
(and if anyone should know about how to flout an EULA, it's MS), we know
why MS is doing it; they are scared senseless by the very large threat
Linux and it's "unholy" bretherin (IIRC, they were called that in the
halloween document) as for probably the first time since the destruction
of DrDOS, they have a true competitor (look at all of the FUD and
blatent BS they've spread around which for most people has been largely

IBM is now selling a lot of machines again now that their prices have
come down and with the partnership with SuSE. MS were fuming when they
lost the German contract; even with the slush fund to reduce the cost
they lost out. Other countries are following the same path, especially
in the developing parts of the world. Look at most of central and South
America (MS Brazil has one of most lack lustre balance sheets of any of
the MS places, sure, it turns a profit, but only just in some cases).
Even China and Russia are getting in on the act.

With this sort of following and opening of doors, it's little wonder
that MS & SCO are trying to scaremonger, and quite without cause. If you
look at the Caldera EULA, then you can see how little SCO really have to
fight with.

> Everybody who cares needs to contact their 
> elected representatives and let them know that their vote will be cast for 
> politicians that support open source. Anyone with the passion needs to work 
> on educating the masses on what is at stake by writing, speaking and  
> demonstrating.

This is exactly what we have been doing in the UK. Over here we have a
really awful position in that a good chunk of our GPR is thrown at MS.
Roughly 110 million UKP is just given to MS for the licences in school
(if a school is signed up, they have to pay - not on a per machine
basis, but on a per student basis. If they're signed up and don't have a
machine, they have to pay). The NHS gives somewhere approaching 55
million to MS with other services providing a large chunk (Universities
are approaching 90 million p.a.). There are a couple of glimmers of
hope. The UK Police have come over to Linux (all new work stations and
terminals will be linux based) and more educational establishments are
spending their money more wisely by not giving it to MS and using Linux

The big problem we have over here is that the Government decided that MS
should be the provider to education (mainly as our PM admitted to not
knowing anything about computers and did what everyone else did, bent
over and accepted MS in) and getting breaking the inertia which has
built up is pretty much an uphill struggle. MPs don't give a damn (why
should they, when 95% of all UK machines are Windows machines - and
quite a few don't understand the first thing to do with computers let
alone the massive waste of money which is given for broken, insecure and
downright dodgy software from MS)

Oh well. All good fodder for my talk on the 16th at the 6th DNS
convention in Blackpool (http://www.dnscon.org for info).


One OS to fool them all
One browser to find them
One email client to bring them all
And through security holes, blind them...

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