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2012 May 28 09:01

Reasons to Avoid Microsoft

[Bug] [Education] [Government] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Security Hole] [MSN Hotmail] [MS Internet Explorer] [MS IIS Webserver] [MSN Instant Messenger] [License] [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] [MS Outlook] [Piracy] [Privacy] [Virus/Worm] [MS XBox] [MS Windows XP] [WOW!]
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These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.

  • Hidden Fees Discovered for "Free" Windows 7 Upgrades (Mouse Print, 2009.10.01)
    [License] Since June 26, retailers and computer manufacturers have urged shoppers to buy computers already on store shelves loaded with the much-maligned Windows Vista operating system because they would qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it was released in October. As it turns out... some computer purchasers will be asked to pay shipping, handling and other junk fees that total between $11 and $17 to receive their "free" upgrade [discs].

  • One Year Later, "Dead" XP Still Going Strong (Slashdot.org, 2009.06.30)
    [MS Windows XP] [License] Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP a year ago today, no longer selling new copies in most venues. Yet according to a report from InfoWorld, various downgrade paths to XP are keeping the operating system very much alive, particularly among businesses. In fact, despite Microsoft trumpeting Vista as the most successful version of Windows ever sold, more than half of business PCs have subsequently downgraded Vista-based machines to XP...

  • Windows 7 Licensing a "Disaster" For XP Shops (Slashdot.org, 2009.06.16)
    [License] PCs bought after April 22, 2010, however, can only be downgraded to Vista — no help for XP-based organizations, which would be wise to wait 12 to 18 months before adopting Windows 7, so that they can test hardware and software compatibility and ensure their vendors' Windows 7 support meets their needs. XP shops that chose not to install Vista will have to either rush their migration process or spend extra to enroll in Microsoft's Software Assurance program...

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  • Windows screwup forces Ubuntu shift (The Inquirer, 2006.12.31)
    [Linux/Open Source] [License] A match made in hell: You never quite wrap your head around how anti-consumer Microsoft's policies are until they bite you in the bum. Add in the customer antagonistic policies of its patsies, HP in this case, and vendors like Promise, and you have quite a recipe for pain.

  • Microsoft's OPM for the masses (Engadget, 2005.07.14)
    [License] [WOW!] Sure, monitors can get a big dated ... but when have you had to upgrade your monitor to avoid functional problems in the new OS? That all changes with Longhorn. ... Whether you're plunking down money for one of the new ultra-fast LCD displays ... or you're becoming the envy of neighborhood with [a] widescreen display, you're buying a monitor that won't play nice with premium content in Longhorn. So what will happen when you try to play premium content on your incompatible monitor? If you're 'lucky', the content will go through a resolution constrictor. The purpose of this constrictor is to down-sample high-resolution content to below a certain number of pixels. ... The result is a picture far fuzzier than it need be. ... If [Microsoft's 'Output Protection Management' system] determines that your monitor falls below the security restrictions ... you could be greeted with a 'polite message explaining that [your monitor] doesn't meet security requirements.' ... 'But I use VGA with my monitor,' you say. Too bad. Unless you upgrade your monitor...

  • Making customers miserable the Microsoft way (CNet, 2004.04.07)
    [License] When it comes to Windows server software, it's tough to justify an added expense for an operating system that pretty much does the same thing as before. Try explaining that one to senior management. Customers also balk at the plan because Microsoft has a history of charging to support product upgrades that never occur. ... customers paid twice [for SQL Server] -- once for the initial license, and then again for the right to upgrade.

  • Microsoft users decry no bang for big bucks (Network World, 2004.03.08)
    [License] A host of Microsoft users say they have received nothing in return for the tens of thousands of dollars spent on software maintenance contracts set to expire this summer. ... Hundreds of thousands of customers are thinking twice about renewing software maintenance contracts that will expire by July.

  • Rockin' on without Microsoft (CNet, 2003.08.20)
    [Linux/Open Source] [License] ...since jettisoning all of Microsoft products three years ago, Ernie Ball [the world's leading maker of premium guitar strings] has ... gained notoriety as a company that dumped most of its proprietary software... Ball's IT crew settled on a potpourri of open-source software... plus a few proprietary applications that couldn't be duplicated by open source. [The] transition was a breeze, and since then [the CEO has] been happy to extol the virtues of open-source software to anyone who asks. ... 'one day I got a call that there were armed marshals at my door talking about software license compliance'... 'I saved $80,000 right away by going to open source, and each time something like (Windows) XP comes along, I save even more money because I don't have to buy new equipment to run the software.' 'What support? I'm not making calls to Red Hat; I don't need to. I think that's propaganda...What about the cost of dealing with a virus? We don't have 'em.'

  • Chinese ministries upgrade homegrown software (Forbes, 2003.08.15)
    [License] [Government] Fifteen Chinese ministries have upgraded their office software to the latest version of a homegrown brand, a rival to Microsoft Corp... The government has been pushing the development of a homegrown software industry and a national standard for open-source Linux software to counter the spread of Microsoft in the last few years.

  • Your Loss, Their Gain (Infoworld, 2003.04.04)
    [License] [WOW!] A little advice for any company looking to sell off part of its operations during these troubled times -- you might want to check with Microsoft first to see how much it's going to cost you. ...Software Assurance is that very expensive maintenance program Microsoft pushed on volume-license customers last year by eliminating separate upgrade pricing. ... Did this mean SA customers would lose their investment on licenses that were part of a transfer? '...you become obligated to pay for the years that remain on the SA agreement covering those computers, but that agreement is terminated and Microsoft provides no further upgrades under it. The acquiring party just gets the rights to the current versions you already had on those computers.' ... Microsoft will [receive additional] license costs without providing a thing.

  • Colleges Signing Secret MS License Agreements (Slashdot.org, 2002.12.24)
    [Education] [Monopoly] [License] Microsoft is requiring colleges wanting cheap licenses to keep their license terms secret [...] in direct contravention of state public records and Freedom of Information laws.

  • Microsoft: You Need Permission to Sell Our Software (Slashdot.org, 2002.Oct.29)
    [License] [WOW!] Microsoft has objected to the sale of bankrupt KMart's Bluelight.com Internet unit to United Online. Microsoft's objection to the sale is based on the non-transferability of software licenses protected by copyright law... This action... should serve as a warning to any corporation that has a significant investment in Microsoft licenses. Dependency on Microsoft licenses may grant Microsoft the ability to veto your business decisions.

  • Is Microsoft Licensing Forcing Banks to Break The Law? (Boston.internet.com, 2002.Oct.22)
    [Government] [License] [The] chief information officer at Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union [...] believes that the terms for the end user license agreement (EULA) for Microsoft's Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) and XP Service Pack 1, might well put the credit union in violation of new federal privacy laws.

  • Stealware: Kazaa et al Stealing Link Commissions (Slashdot, 2002.Sep.27)
    [License] We all heard about spyware, well now Kazaa, Morpheus and LimeWire [software for Windows] are sneaking a new type of nastiness onto your computer, software that - without you even knowing it - redirects commissions for online purchases you make from other vendors you make back to them. For example, if you buy a CD from an affiliate of Amazon.com, say some charity, the software fools Amazon into crediting the commission to Morpheus, not the charity!

  • Catch WMP (Guardian Unlimited, 2002.Aug.08)
    [Piracy] [License] "I have been collecting music using Windows Media Player to copy from CDs. When I needed to reformat my hard drive, I copied all my files to CD-R, re-installed my operating system and copied them back, only to find my music would not play." ... Microsoft's web site says: "By default, Windows Media Player ... is configured to protect content that is copied from a CD to your computer from unauthorized... When this feature is enabled, each track that is copied to your computer is a licensed file that cannot be played on any other computer unless you backup and restore your licenses on the other computer." Reformatting the hard drive has made your PC, in effect, a different computer. Since you did not back up and restore your licenses, there is no obvious way to play the protected files.

  • Microsoft EULA asks for root rights [control over your PC] - again (The Register, 2002.Aug.02)
    [License] [MS Windows XP] Windows [XP and 2000 Service Packs] contain a new condition which asks you to allow Windows to go and install future updates. ... 'I don't agree to let Microsoft 'automatically' (for which, read 'at Microsoft's discretion, and without my knowledge or consent'), install 'updates or fixes' (for which, read 'digital rights management facilties') so I hit 'I don't agree' and cancelled out'...

  • Rosetta Stone - What If Palladium Doesn't Work? (I, Cringely, 2002.Jul.18)
    [License] [Privacy] Palladium seems like a whole lot of effort just to protect us from viruses and spam and to keep us from stealing movies and software, but you have to remember that this kind of big hardware (not software) initiative is core to Microsoft's business model. ...Palladium is clearly in Microsoft's interest, in the interest of shrink-wrapped software companies, in the interest of hardware makers and movie studios, but is it in our interest as users, customers, consumers? ...Palladium is entirely for the benefit of other folks, not us. We just pay for it.

  • TCPA / Palladium Frequently Asked Questions ((FAQ), 2002.Jul.09)
    [License] [Privacy] [MS Windows XP] 'So I won't be able to play MP3s on my PC any more?' ... '...doesn't the law give people a right to reverse engineer interfaces for compatibility?' ... 'So a `Trusted Computer' is one that can break my security?' Now you've got it.

  • MS Palladium Patent (Slashdot, 2002.Jul.07)
    [License] [Privacy] [MS Windows XP] Microsoft's patent for Palladium [includes] ... 'wherein protecting the rights-managed data comprises: refusing to load the untrusted program into memory.'

  • Microsoft's Digital Rights Management--A Little Deeper (BSDvault, 2002.Jun.28)
    [License] [Privacy] [There] is a [new] patch that fixes all previous vulnerabilities [in Windows Media Player] and three new vulnerabilities. ... These security related updates sound more like version upgrades to the OS, since new functionality is added, and Windows Media Player will be used as an agent to download and install the new software 'automatically.' ... Even if the purpose is to install an automatic update utility, the owner of the computer should be in control and not be subject to 'Things That Happen Behind Your Back.' I don't think a firewall will help either--you must allow Media Player content to pass through in order to use it.

  • MS to eradicate GPL, hence Linux (The Register, 2002.Jun.25)
    [Linux/Open Source] [License] ...Microsoft fed an 'exclusive' story about its new 'Palladium' DRM/PKI Trust Machine to Newsweek... As the obstacles to Windows migration fall away, inherent virtues like better security and privacy (your Linux box does not automatically connect to servers at Microsoft whenever you search your hard disk, for example), freedom to configure, redemption from the MS update crack-addiction, and low cost of ownership will strike more chords with the computing public. ... Palladium is a means of infesting the commons with hostile digital fauna. As these new services and applications become more plentiful, the need for the Linux desktop to deal with them according to Redmond spec will increase as well.

  • Ruling lets Iowans seek Microsoft refunds (Des Moines Register, 2002.Jun.13)
    [License] [Government] The consumers say Microsoft unlawfully and willfully maintained a monopoly that artificially drove up the price of Windows 98. The company violated the state's 1976 Competition Law, the plaintiffs allege. That law says monopolies are illegal because they exclude competition and fix prices.

  • Schools cry bully over Microsoft licensing fees (ComputerWorld, 2002.Jun.04)
    [Education] [License] Microsoft Corp. has earned a failing grade from school districts in Oregon and Washington, where administrators say the company's licensing tactics could force a rapid move to open-source software. ... 'Microsoft keeps saying it cares about education, but they don't have a clue what we're dealing with...'

  • Firms Reject Microsoft Licence Plan (IT Toolbox, 2002.May.17)
    [License] Many IT managers say they will not sign up to Microsoft's controversial Software Assurance or Upgrade Advantage schemes because they calculate it will be cheaper to buy Microsoft software piecemeal when they require it. Many others are seeking alternatives such as Linux... 'We have not signed up. We are actively seeking alternatives to Microsoft.' ... 'We have not signed up and are evaluating OpenOffice.' No IT Week readers contacted said that they would sign up.

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Collection originally created by, donated to LUGOD by, and maintained by Bill Kendrick.

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