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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.

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  • MS scorns Israeli OpenOffice defection (The Register, 2003.11.24)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The Israeli Ministry of Commerce - essentially the treasury - has suspended all contracts with Microsoft. First out of the door is the Israeli employment agency, which will replace 550 out of 700 users with OpenOffice.

  • Brazil Leans Away From Microsoft (Excite News, 2003.11.16)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Paying software licensing fees to companies like Microsoft is simply 'unsustainable economically' when applications that run on the open-source Linux operating system are much cheaper, [said the head of Brazil's National Information Techonology Institute]. ... [T]ens of thousands of Brazilians [...] regularly visit the 86 free 'Telecentro' free computer centers in Sao Paulo, a sprawling city of 18 million. All the centers' computers use open-source software, and the Telecentros cater to working class Brazilians without the means to buy computers. They learn how to send e-mail, write resumes and cruise the Web.

  • Vietnam embracing open-source products (The Mercury News, 2003.10.30)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The initiative is Vietnam's solution to software piracy, a rampant problem that threatens to derail the country's economic aspirations. ... Microsoft Windows and Office cost at least $140 in Vietnam -- way out of reach for most people, where the per capita annual income is roughly $420. ... Open source is especially appealing to developing countries such as Vietnam, which see it as a way to help close the technological divide that separates rich and poor nations.

  • In open source gain, Bay State locks horns with Microsoft (Boston.com, 2003.10.19)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Microsoft has fought open-source mandates with limited success. Proposals similar to Massachusetts', including ones in Oregon and Texas, have been shot down after complaints from Microsoft and other technology companies whose products could be shut out. Microsoft also aggressively lobbied th e Defense Department to cut its use of open source software...

  • Israel slams the door on Microsoft (The Register, 2003.10.14)
    [Government] [Monopoly] The Israeli Ministry of Commerce has suspended all governmental contracts with Microsoft, and indicated that the ban will last throughout 2004. The de facto suspension means no upgrades for the duration, at a time when Microsoft is looking to roll out its Office 2003 upgrade; and the Ministry is said to be examining OpenOffice as an alternative.

  • UK tests open source waters (BBC News, 2003.10.10)
    [Government] [Linux/Open Source] [The UK's Office of Government Commerce] has just announced a deal with IBM to trial open source software - programs where the source code is available to users to read, change and even give away to other people - in nine different areas of government. ... [It] should not be forgotten that the UK Government, like the rest of us, is already a major user of open source software, just because so much of the net's infrastructure depends on it.

  • IBM, Brazilian government launch Linux effort (InfoWorld, 2003.10.10)
    [Government] [Linux/Open Source] Brazil's government already has a number of Linux pilot projects in progress... But Friday's agreement involves all government agencies ... 'It's an overall commitment, across the board'...

  • Mass. Wants to Use Linux-Type Systems (iwon News, 2003.09.26)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Massachusetts... will become the first state to adopt a broad-based strategy of moving its computer systems toward open standards, including Linux...

  • Experts: Reliance On Microsoft A Danger To National Security (CRN, 2003.09.24)
    [Government] [WOW!] According to the report and its seven authors--security consultants and leaders of several security firms--the biggest problem is the over-reliance by corporations and governments worldwide on Microsoft's products. ... While the report's authors note the seriousness of their recommendations, they stood by them. 'When the government uses a product whose monopoly position undermines its security, anti-trust becomes a national security issue'...

  • Virus Knocks Out U.S. Visa Approval System (Slashdot.org, 2003.09.24)
    [Virus/Worm] [Government] [T]he State Department's electronic system for checking every visa applicant for terrorist or criminal history failed worldwide late Tuesday because of a computer virus, leaving the U.S. government unable to issue visas... [It was warned] that the Welchia virus had been detected in one facility. Welchia is an aggressive infection unleashed last month that exploits a software flaw in recent versions of Microsoft Windows.

  • Microsoft at the power point (The Economist, 2003.09.11)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Modern governments generate a vast number of digital files. From birth certificates and tax returns to criminal DNA records, the documents must be retrievable in perpetuity. So governments are reluctant to store official records in the proprietary formats of commercial-software vendors. This concern will only increase as e-government services, such as filing a tax return or applying for a driving licence online, gain momentum. In Microsoft's case, security flaws in its software, such as those exploited by the recent Blaster and SoBig viruses, are also a cause of increasing concern.

  • Japan, China, Korea may develop Windows replacement (Reuters, 2003.08.31)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Japan, South Korea and China are set to agree to jointly develop a new computer operating system as an alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software... the three nations are likely to build upon an open-source operating system, such as Linux, and develop an inexpensive and trustworthy system.

  • Microsoft software "riddled with vulnerabilities", trade body claims (the inquirer, 2003.08.28)
    [Security Hole] [Government] [WOW!] The US Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has urged the US Department of Homeland Security to avoid using Microsoft software. ... It accuses Microsoft of being more interested in economic marketing and competition than security...

  • The quiet war over open-source (Detroit News, 2003.08.22)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Government] [Monopoly] [Microsoft] is lobbying furiously in state, national and international capitals against laws that would promote the consideration or use of open-source software. [T]he World Intellectual Property Organization [(WIPO)] ... was intrigued by the growth of the open-source movement and welcomed the idea of a meeting devoted to open-source's place in the intellectual-property landscape. ... In short order, lobbyists from Microsoft-funded trade groups were pushing officials at the State Department and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to squelch the meeting.

  • 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.

  • Spreading Internet worm shuts down [Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration] (SunSpot.net, 2003.08.12)
    [Virus/Worm] [Government] All 24 offices of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration were shut down by the [Blaster] infection by noon, sending more than 700 customer service workers home and turning away hundreds of people looking to renew licenses and vehicle registrations. ... 'Instead of just spreading itself, it could spread itself and delete everything on your computer,' [Gartner security research vice president] said.

  • 'LovSan' Worm Crawls Into Philly's City Hall (NBC 10, 2003.08.12)
    [Virus/Worm] [Government] An Internet worm is spreading like wildfire on millions of computers around the world, and it has infected Philadelphia's City Hall. ... [It took] out approximately 5,000 of the city's 15,000 desktop computers.

  • City rolls out desktop Linux (itWorldCanada.com, 2003.07.25)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] [T]he City of Toronto's Children's Services Division (CSD) recently decided to migrate 450 of its PCs over to Linux client workstations... The bottom line ... is that with 62 branches, a main office and remote locations including 58 daycare centres, it didn't make sense from a cost perspective to buy and maintain traditional PCs.

  • Voting machine fails inspection (CNet News, 2003.07.24)
    [Government] [Security Hole] University researchers delivered a serious blow to the current crop of electronic voting systems in an analysis of one such system's source code in which they concluded that a voter could cast unlimited ballots without detection. ... For one, the manufacturer chose Windows CE as the operating system--a bad choice from a security standard, [Avi Rubin, an associate professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University] said. 'Windows has a long history of new releases of patch just about every week,' he said. 'You can't run voting machines on Windows.'

  • Linux reaches Afghanistan (BBC News, 2003.07.15)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The UN hopes that training government workers to use Linux will help the country close the technology gap that separates it from many other countries. ... Broadly free, Linux is becoming a favourite among many organisations who want greater control over what they can do with software. In contrast to Microsoft operating systems, Linux gives programmers much greater flexibility to scrutinise the core of the program and to adapt it to their own ends.

  • US Army Signs $471,000,000 Deal for Microsoft Software (Slashdot.org, 2003.06.26)
    [] [Government] Microsoft will provide software for 494,000 Army computers during the next six years. ... the Army is going through a reseller, when clearly they have the purchasing power to buy direct; and most of the computers they purchase are normal consumer machines which will be purchased with Windows and Office already installed, so the Army will be paying twice for each machine.

  • U.S. military computer attacked (MSNBC, 2003.03.17)
    [Security Hole] [Government] [MS IIS Webserver] Another source told MSNBC.com that several Web sites with '.mil' domain names have recently been targeted with the same attack method. Microsoft's director of security assurance, Steve Lipner, confirmed that several customers were hit with the attack last week, but he refused to identify them. The flaw allows an attacker to break into computers running Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system and Microsoft's Internet Information Service Web server product - probably the most popular configuration for Web servers running Microsoft software ... All machines are vulnerable by default.

  • Europe finds MS guilty, but wonders what to do about it (The Register, 2003.03.12)
    [Monopoly] [Government] There are two basic areas the Commission wants to tackle - server software, and Media Player. It's concluded that Microsoft is giving itself preferential treatment in links between desktop and server operating systems, and that it should therefore order Microsoft to give its rivals more information. ... The Media Player issue differs in that the argument is really the old bundling/integration one we saw over Internet Explorer. From the consumer's point of view there clearly are conveniences and benefits offered by having a standard player come with the OS. Some - The Reg included - might argue there are associated inconveniences related to the ultimate ownership of what you thought was 'your' record collection, but the initial convenience is still pretty clear.

  • Great wide open (source) (Mass High Tech, 2003.03.10)
    [Government] [Linux/Open Source] And with [the Massachusetts Department of Revenue] currently using Windows 95 and Microsoft not budging on per user licensing costs of between $500 and $600 a seat, Akers sees open source/Linux as the best solution for the Commonwealth's DOR... [This solution also allows them] to get at the source code and customize the software to meet [their] needs.

  • Microsoft pushes for weakening of anti-spam law (The Seattle Times, 2003.02.26)
    [Government] [MSN Hotmail] [A] proposal pushed by Microsoft ... would weaken Washington's tough law against unwanted e-mail... [and] carve out a broad exepmtion [for] Internet service providers -- including Microsoft.

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