Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2348 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] World-largest Linux Migration Project

----- Original Message ----- From: "Roger Oberholtzer" <roger@xxxxxx>
To: <opensuse@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 10:50 AM
Subject: Re: [opensuse] World-largest Linux Migration Project

On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 12:05 +0200, Neil wrote:
On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 8:14 AM, Roger Oberholtzer <roger@xxxxxx> wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-04-02 at 20:31 -0400, Sam Clemens wrote:
> > That's mostly due to M$ bundling Word with new machines
> > to drive WP out of the market (making Word *appear* to
> > be free, whereas WP would cost extra.)
> >
> > The whole purpose of this, of course, was to eliminate
> > a very popular cross-platform application, thereby
> > driving everyone into Windows whether they wanted to
> > be there or not.
> Devil's advocate here:
> I wonder what a pay-for-it software company thinks of Linux distros
> including 'free' apps automatically? It must do to them what MS did to
> WP and others. If MS was smart, they would make a Linux version of Word
> that must be purchased just so they could take Linux distros to court
> for including things like OO. Make Linux distros stop including all > this
> free software that is locking folk into Linux. :)
> --
> Roger Oberholtzer
> OPQ Systems / Ramböll RST
> Ramböll Sverige AB
> Kapellgränd 7
> P.O. Box 4205
> SE-102 65 Stockholm, Sweden
> Office: Int +46 8-615 60 20
> Mobile: Int +46 70-815 1696

True, the fact that Linux distro's install a lot of usefull programs
by default could be seen as such. However: it is not feasible to offer
an OS that doesn't offer things as browsing and text processing out of
the box. The default browsers and text processsors are, however,
platform independant, and do not lock you to Linux.
Also the target is not to suppress the other browsers and text
processors: If Seamonkey is found superiour to Firefox by enough users
they will switch, or a distro wil emerge having SeaMonkey as default.
Micro$oft will not change their defaults, whether the users think
another program is better or not. They will continue enforcing their
software. That's the major difference

I was making a point - and not one I really believe. But I think is can
be made. As to the motivation on the part of Linux distros for including
these things, well, that is what the court case would be to decide. I do
think MS could put itself in a position to ask a court to question if
the Linux motivation is different from the MS motivation as seen by the
courts in, say, the Netscape decision. The courts did not like/believe
MS' defense. MS could argue that Linux distros are now doing the same
thing. Or at least that the effect to MS is the same as it was to
Netscape, no matter what the stated motivation of Linux distros is. So,
if MS ever starts making Linux software no one really wants, there may
be more than one reason. I think the Netscape decision was based on the
economy of the user (why pay for it when you have one free) and not
technically that one was better than the other.

But enough of this useless banter, no?


But, MS does still include a browser, and a media player, and an email client, and a backup utility, and a disk defragmenter, and a disk compressor, and several other apps that used to be or can still be 3rd party add-ons.
Just as linux distro's and every other kind of system does.

The only problem was the exclusive and/or mandatory nature of their browser and the artificial nature of the incompatibilities. IE: there was no technical justification.
And of course, that behavior of theirs was exposed long before Netscape way back with DR-DOS or earlier. Other things like flat out stealing stacker
It's like how a business is free to hire or not hire anyone they want (may produce/include any software or features they want), and yet they are not allowed to base hiring/promotion/compensation decisions on ethnicity or race or sex that don't have any bearing on performing the task (may not artificially render someone elses product incompatible and non functional simply because it's someone elses producrt not MS's).

Or at least, they can't do that and continue to market their overall product as a platform that others may develop for. I actually don't see any moral reason why they couldn't produce a product that operates computer hardware, in which all components are 100% produced by themselves and there is no such thing as Netscape or Winamp etc.. I would not use such a system given any choice, but I don't see any ethical problem with it. It's merely market demand that OS vendors all allow some form of general purpose 3rd party development, not a constitutional right. What was the iphone before the sdk just recently came out? It was a very popular, perfectly legal, 100% closed operating system with *gasp* a built in browser and no other browser was possible! Still true for Blackberry. Oh you can do some 3rd party development within MIDP but you can't displace the browser that way.

Back to desktops, there is nothing in any linux or freebsd or other system that cares much which browser you use, or if you even have any browser at all. You can use konqueror in gnome or IE in both, or have nothing but lynx or no browser of any kind installed at all.

So, it was an interesting and worthy thing to consider, but I think we can safely say there is no problem and Novell/RedHat/etc is not doing what MS was crucified for doing.

Brian K. White brian@xxxxxxxxx
filePro BBx Linux SCO FreeBSD #callahans Satriani Filk!

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