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Old 01-27-2007, 05:06 AM   #1
Simon Bridge
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Ten Reasons to Upgrade to Linux


10 Reasons you should get Linux instead of Vista (v1.3)
http://apcmag.com/5082/10_reasons_you_should_get_vista
... I was reading the above (please do the same before judging the below) and it struck me that Linux, perhaps, beats Vista on it's own turf. The headings in each section are the suggested "reasons to get vista" in the article. (i.e. They are not my own: I have just chosen a short linux elaboration on them.) The commentary is why this is a strong point in Linux. Enjoy...

1. UI built for the era of video and digital photography
... GPhoto (and varients) come with major linux distributions and support cameras out of the box (no driver disk needed). Hotplug your camera and you're away.

2. Image-based install
... Linux images can be downloaded free of charge, either directly or via bittorrent. However, most major distributions are available on CD or DVD ROM from the distributor or from your newsagent on the cover of a magazine. You can even "try before you buy" with no risk by running demo versions from the media without ever installing a byte.

3. Up-to-date driver base and better driver handling on installation
... linux (out of the box) hardware support is second to none. The vast majority of devices are supported by relatively few drivers, many of which are included in the OS. Linux doesn't require vendor supplied drivers for most hardware.

4. Desktop search and search folders built in
... each distribution has an array of GUI-based and power-user search tools to locate and sort anything you care to name. (I'd like to improve this one.)

5. Sleep mode that actually works.
... ACPI in the linux kernel dosn't expect laptop manufacturer to second guess your operating system requirements in their firmware. Linux has a dedicated team constantly improving all the ACPI functions such as sleep and hybernate. Where there are problems with this, they are likely to get fixed.

6. Rock-solid laptop encryption
... Whole disk encryption with a variety of rugged keys has been available for a long time now.

7. Better file navigation
... and a navigation method for everyone

8. Inbuilt undelete
... yes - breadcrumbed folders, following the web page model. Even favorite folders... if you really want. All practically from the beginning.

9. DirectX10
... DX10 will not be made for XP. Good video will become impossible for you because MS says so. Linux uses the OpenSDL system instead - being open, it will always work.

10. Face it, you have no choice
... Linux is written for you. Vista is written for the multimedia industry. Who you gonna call?

The same magazine also includes ten reasons not to buy Vista.

Please note: This post is a work in progress, and should not be considered complete. I will edit it in response to commentary from readers. Thus, statements made below may not relate to the version you see above.

Versions:
1.0
1.1 - removed "all" reference from #2 and tidied it up
1.2 - removed "all the time" stuff from #5 and clarified the meaning
1.3 - added "vendor drivers not required" line to #3

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 01-31-2007 at 05:33 AM. Reason: This post is "improved" in responce to commentary (below)
 
Old 01-27-2007, 06:13 AM   #2
unSpawn
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While I applaud your effort itself you know articles like that are only a marketing effort to compare the Richmond Playstation-like OS (abbrev.: POS) with its predecessors. This IMHO means that if you compare GNU/Linux with POS, you're playing by *their* rules, not by ours (like we would have any ;-p). GNU/Linux and POS are incomparable in many ways. You also know GNU/Linux has it's own set of quirks and problems and happily not addressing those (even unintentionally, I am sure) means misinformation.
IMHO real life cases are still the most effective to show Linux Laughs Last.
 
Old 01-27-2007, 06:22 AM   #3
alred
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>> "Ten Reasons to Upgrade to Linux"

i think "jumping" from system to system was never an upgrade ...

the better one would be "10 reasons why you still need linux ..."


//but probably a little bit humble in tone though ...


.
 
Old 01-27-2007, 07:58 PM   #4
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
you know articles like that are only a marketing effort to compare the Richmond Playstation-like OS (abbrev.: POS) with its predecessors.
Oh yes, that is plain in the article. The "alternative" ten reasons you don't want vista in the same mag suggests keeping XP for eg. (Though it is linked on badvista.org)

We need to take care when we advocate linux though:
http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilber...-20070125.html
... funny yes, but it is also how many windows users see us.

Quote:
i think "jumping" from system to system was never an upgrade ...
"upgrade" is, of course, metaphorical. It cannot be "technically" an upgrade since the word implies an improved version of the same system. However, it can be an upgrade of the whole (computer+software) in the sense that you end up with an improved version of the same technology. Note: what is being upgraded has not been spelled out

Quote:
the better one would be "10 reasons why you still need linux ..."
But it wouldn't fit so well with the articles then would it?

Personally, I don't think these are the ten best reasons for migrating... they just happen to be some hacks idea of the ten best reasons for getting vista (unspoken: if you already have XP).

Anyway - the list is not positioned for proper discussion, we are all linux aliens (see link above) right?
//but probably a little bit humble in tone though ...
 
Old 01-27-2007, 08:40 PM   #5
PatrickMay16
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Quote:
5. Sleep mode that actually works.
... always, and all the time. Without requiring a laptop manufacturer to second guess your operating system. Linux has a dedicated team constantly improving all the ACPI functions such as sleep and hybernate.
People really shouldn't say stuff like this. I've seen unnumerable help threads on all the linux forums I've been to with titles like "Hibernation doesn't work", and on my own laptop (IBM thinkpad T22) when I tried using hibernation mode, the thing turned off and I had to remove the battery for it to come on again.

Quote:
6. Rock-solid laptop encryption
... Whole disk encryption with a variety of rugged keys has been available for a long time now.
Sure, but only an experienced user will be able to set it up.

It's stuff like this that causes people to come along and post a "linux is not ready for the desktop" thread once in a while. I'm not saying it's bad to promote linux, but this is plain giving people wrong ideas.
 
Old 01-28-2007, 02:11 AM   #6
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
It's stuff like this that causes people to come along and post a "linux is not ready for the desktop" thread once in a while. I'm not saying it's bad to promote linux, but this is plain giving people wrong ideas.
I's a bit like that "linux has the best out-of-the-box hardware support: people actually don't care - they just care that their own hardware doesn't go.

What is startling there is that people then complain that their hardware is not supported natively in linux... when it isn't supported natively in windows either (they needed a driver disk and special software). No other OS gets this expectation! The complaint should be that the vendor didn't include a linux driver in their driver disk. (Or that the OEM chose locked-in hardware without informing the customer.)

However, everything I've said is defensible in the same light as the original claims about Vista. Unlike the article, I have posted to a forum where people can make informed objections so I am unlikely to mislead anyone. Consider:
Quote:
I've seen innumerable help threads on all the linux forums I've been to with titles like "Hibernation doesn't work"
... there are two points to be made here;
1. People seldom post "heyy - my hardware just worked like a charm" threads. They mostly post when they have a problem. (But see the HCL...)
2. I didn't claim that it works for your laptop

Aside: When I first got my laptop, I had trouble getting the ACPI functions to work properly. But when I compared with someone with the same laptop and windows, I discovered that windows was actually lots worse (despite having special windows specific stuff in the firmware). So I felt a bit better. Further, all I had to do was wait and a few months later... everything was supported and worked flawlessly. It still won't suspend in the OEM WinXP home it came with.

Quote:
Sure, but only an experienced user will be able to set [6. Rock-solid laptop encryption] up.
... it's still there. And it ain't that hard to set up. See the November issue (72) of Linux Magazine for eg.

TrueCrypt has a GUI to set it up, and DMCrypt is part of the kernel. One can encrypt files or whole partitions in about three commandlines. Whole disk encryption is an extension of this...
http://tldp.org/HOWTO/html_single/Di...ryption-HOWTO/
... link for folk who got here searching for encryption howtos.

You do need to know that it is there. It is simpler than many newbie tasks in linux. However, it is just waiting for user interest for this to come as an option in the installers of larger distros (SUSE, Fedora, etc)

The weakest one is #4 ... linux doesn't have the actual search helpers that vista boasts. I recall that RH9 had a gui search tool, but it vanished in FC1 never to be seen again. Users didn't want it. Even the slocate database isn't always enabled by default.

We could claim that linux is better organized and the organization published) ... but that sooo many people find the file-tree mystifying.

Of course - not all ten point apply to every distro. Not even to every major distro. Developers just do not have all these as priorities, and rightly so.

If one were to construct ten reasons to migrate to linux, properly, the list would be quite different. I understand there are threads about this.
 
Old 01-28-2007, 11:16 PM   #7
sundialsvcs
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Nice try, but let's get reasonable.

You are 'a consumer.' You want to achieve "an intended, contemplated result.

Presumably, you want to get there by means of what is for you "the least complicated and the least error-prone path." (Because, you want "result," not 'the [present[ means to it...')
Quote:
Originally Posted by bones(??)
"I'm a doctor, dammit, not an operating-systems engineer!"
If you want to achieve that by means of embracing Linux, then "come on over, the water's fine!" But realize also that doing so is not the only way or necessarily "the best (for you, here, now...) way" to achieve that result!

The choice is up to you. I "have done that, am here now, and so on." But the choice of what you will best choose to do... is up to you. If that means 'join us,' then "welcome aboard!" And if that means 'not,' then "Godspeed!"

Forsooth, it means all the same to me. And it be not the slightest statement, neither for thee nor against thee!
 
Old 01-29-2007, 12:24 AM   #8
Simon Bridge
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I'm sorry, but I don't see what that has to do with the previous posts.
 
Old 01-29-2007, 08:55 AM   #9
hand of fate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
2. Image-based install
... All linuxes can be downloaded free of charge, either directly or via bittorrent.
Not true. Not all distributions are available as a free download. Doesn't look like that statement was well researched
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
5. Sleep mode that actually works.
... always, and all the time. Without requiring a laptop manufacturer to second guess your operating system. Linux has a dedicated team constantly improving all the ACPI functions such as sleep and hybernate.
Check that. I know personally that sleep mode doesn't work at all on my Linux system, so it obviously doesn't work "always, all the time"!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
7. Better file navigation
... and a navigation method for everyone
A completely unjustified remark. What do you find "better" about it? "Better" is entirely subjective anyway. All you saying it's better means is that you personally prefer it. So what?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
10. Face it, you have no choice
... Linux is written for you. Vista is written for the multimedia industry. Who you gonna call?
Care to elaborate? Linux is not the only system in the world, and everyone has the ultimate right to decide what they do with their own equipment. Obviously the user does have a choice!
 
Old 01-29-2007, 07:50 PM   #10
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hand of fate
Not true. Not all distributions are available as a free download. Doesn't look like that statement was well researched
OK - name ten.
Quote:
Check that. I know personally that sleep mode doesn't work at all on my Linux system, so it obviously doesn't work "always, all the time"!
Again, I didn't say it works for you. This is on par with the claims in the article - sleep doesn't work in vista for everyone either, yet it is claimed to work "always" and "all the time". I think this refers to sleep in XP which can be erratic even when it does work. I suspect the statement needs to be read: "when the sleep mode works, it will always go when invoked...(etc)". A considerable weakening of the statement I agree - hence my version.
Quote:
A completely unjustified remark. What do you find "better" about it? "Better" is entirely subjective anyway. All you saying it's better means is that you personally prefer it. So what?
I didn't claim this was better - just that it existed. I said there was a desktop search tool for everyone... perhaps just not for you? Did you read the article being spoofed?
Quote:
Care to elaborate? Linux is not the only system in the world, and everyone has the ultimate right to decide what they do with their own equipment. Obviously the user does have a choice!
You seem to have misunderstood what I was doing. The point heading are not mine. These are provided in the article in the link... the article claims that "face it, you have no choice" (to change to vista). There is an unwritten assumption that the only alternative is to use XP, yet there are other OSs out there.

(BTW: if you check the vista eula and the hdcp specs, you'll find that MS disagree with you about this "everyone has the ultimate right to decide what they do with their own equipment" opinion you just spouted. When we say, in English, "I have no choice", this is never literal. Literally, there is always and ultimately a choice.)

Rather than refute each point head on, it occurred to me to take each point and make some sort of linux/OSS/FS version.

If you think I haven't done a good job - fine.
From your suggestions, I should go keep the tone more general... so I can remove the "All" from that iso availability... maybe say that "all major distros" (which leaves "major" subjective). Or perhaps just say that linux is available this way - since I have been somewhat disingenious in this regard with other points.

Can you suggest improvement to each point - or do you thing ground should be conceded on some of them.

Bear in mind, we should not take any of this too seriously. My proposition is that linux (as a generality) can beat vista in it's own terms. But this is misleading, since vista is supposed to champion the proprietary-model in marketing. Linux explicitly flips a bird at this model. To compare the two head on like this will always be misleading.

So it is in fun.
Please bear in mind the point of the original post
 
Old 01-29-2007, 08:30 PM   #11
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From the top of my head, I suppose:
- Red Hat Enterprise
- SuSE Enterprise
- Mandriva's paid editions
- Linspire
- Xandros
- MEPIS Pro
- Oracle (if you consider it a seperate OS)

You can't get those for a free download, last I checked. (Fedora, openSUSE, etc. don't count.)

(Oh well, just 7. Close enough :P)
 
Old 01-29-2007, 08:40 PM   #12
Simon Bridge
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I have been quite startled with some of the replies. Folk seem content to tear down the image I was hoping to present rather than try to make it stronger. For all that, the strongest argument seems to have escaped all those who have posted so far. Vis: this is besides the point! Linux isn't trying to beat anyone on their own turf or anywhere else. Making direct comparisons like this, and taking them seriously, will just make it look like we are trying to be like windows. Indeed, it increases the pressure to be like windows. This is undesirable indeed.

You should also know that I have been around a while. I know the foibles of linux quite well thank you. I also know that personal experience is not a good guide. But, to avoid further misunderstandings, I thought I'd provide (breif, therefore incomplete) qualifications to each point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
10 Reasons you should get Linux instead of Vista
http://apcmag.com/5082/10_reasons_you_should_get_vista
Do do do do read this article before posting critisisms. The whole point is to demonstrate that similar statements about linux are at least as valid as those made about vista. Some are a bit weaker, but most are stronger. The proposition is that the overall effect is favorable to linux - without invoking anything like freedom and so on that are genuine advantages.

If you think the argument is weak - by all means offer a stronger one.

1. UI built for the era of video and digital photography
... GPhoto (and varients) come with major linux distributions and support cameras out of the box (no driver disk needed). Hotplug your camera and you're away.
Interetsingly, no-one has pointed out that quite a few cameras are not supported in gphoto... however, no cameras are supported in windows without some manufacturer provided driver. i.e. Vista is caiming to do something linux users have been used to for years - out of the box camera support - and I bet it still needs manufacturer drivers.

2. Image-based install
... Linux images can be downloaded free of charge, either directly or via bittorrent. However, most major distributions are available on CD or DVD ROM from the distributor or from your newsagent on the cover of a magazine. You can even "try before you buy" with no risk by running demo versions from the media without ever installing a byte.
ISO download is the mainstay of linux distribution. Sure there are commercial linuxes which cannot be downloaded without paying a fee - but these are still available under another name... i.e. RHEL -> CentOS, White-Box etc. Here I am exploiting the fact there are thousands of linuxes to make the statement true. I could also have said, "All linux images are freely available" and exploit the free=liberty definition.

3. Up-to-date driver base and better driver handling on installation
... linux (out of the box) hardware support is second to none. The vast majority of devices are supported by relatively few drivers which are included in the OS.
"Out=of-the box" being the key phrase here. Trouble is, there is always something that doesn't go and that is the thing folk will scream about. Note: vista is making a big thing about the shear number of drivers pre-installed... I would like information about the number of drivers pre installed in the various linuxes: how would I find out? (Yes I know it is misleading - in linux a single driver may support many devices, in windows a single driver typically supports one or a few devices.)

4. Desktop search and search folders built in
... each distribution has an array of GUI-based and power-user search tools to locate and sort anything you care to name. (I'd like to improve this one.)
I still consider this the weakest of all... I am reduced to stating the existence of desktop search tools ... I'd like to clarify what this vista "built in" tool is and how it differs from the XP version. There is also mention of a "my favorite searches" folder where links to frequently saught items appear. This all sounds like encouraging user stupidity to me, something which is anathema to OSS/FS development.

5. Sleep mode that actually works.
... ACPI in the linux kernel dosn't expect laptop manufacturer to second guess your operating system requirements in their firmware. Linux has a dedicated team constantly improving all the ACPI functions such as sleep and hybernate. Where there are problems with this, they are likely to get fixed.
OK OK, your laptops ACPI is wonky - often this is due to a poor BIOS setup and it is dodgy in any windows for which the vendor dosn't have an OEM license. I've actually seen DSDTs where there is a line which basically states "If not windows <version> then break/hobble ACPI". This is the "guess your OS type" part comes from. (The fix is to get linux to tell the bios that it is actually windows.) Linux users should go through their BIOS settings and disable anything in there concerning power management.

6. Rock-solid laptop encryption
... Whole disk encryption with a variety of rugged keys has been available for a long time now.
Linux systems tend to be harder to set up that windows though - compare the linux firewall an the windows one. Windows still give three settings only? It is similar with encrypted filesystems. Linux gives a great deal of configuration flexability, and the option to encrypt the entire drive is not usually available at installation. Anyone know of at least one distro which does, let me know.

7. Better file navigation
... and a navigation method for everyone
In the vista case, this is really part of the desktop search thing. Here I have just stated that a choice exists. You can navigate files how you like. Presumably, once you have found the method you like, this is best for you. I'd like this to be stronger, but it is unclear what the XP file navigation is like which is "improved upon" in vista.

8. Inbuilt undelete
... yes - breadcrumbed folders, following the web page model. Even favorite folders... if you really want. All practically from the beginning.
Nobody has questioned this one... but I found it funny that the article was making a thing of vistas "go back" button in it's file browser. Dosn't XP have one?

9. DirectX10
... DX10 will not be made for XP. Good video will become impossible for you because MS says so. Linux uses the OpenSDL system instead - being open, it will always work.
Nobody has questioned this one. It is a reference to HDCP for "premium content" which I trust doesn't need a reference. "Premium content" is, of course, anything the supplier wants protected - only initially is this HD content. "Always work" is tricky here too - witness all the threads about nVidia or ATI... though I gather the open source supported cards are reliable.

10. Face it, you have no choice
... Linux is written for you. Vista is written for the multimedia industry. Who you gonna call?
The original article states that you will have no choice but to switch to vista (from XP). This is like those evangelists who think the only alternatives are xiatinty vs atheism (or vs devil worship etc). I think I make a better case - though, of course, you always have a choice. (Same comments work for the BSD versions too, or anything OSS/FS.) Here your choice is between casting off the (XP) chains you have OR donning much heavier (vista) chains.

I hope this clarifies these points and what I am trying to achieve here. Please try to keep criticisms constructive. If you think a particular point is not well argues, please present a better argument. Thank you.

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 01-31-2007 at 02:23 AM. Reason: adjusted #5 in line with original
 
Old 01-29-2007, 09:39 PM   #13
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorophose
From the top of my head, I suppose:
- Red Hat Enterprise
- SuSE Enterprise
- Mandriva's paid editions
- Linspire
- Xandros
- MEPIS Pro
- Oracle (if you consider it a seperate OS)

You can't get those for a free download, last I checked. (Fedora, openSUSE, etc. don't count.)

(Oh well, just 7. Close enough :P)
Fedora and OpenSUSE etc do count - they are linuxes... but you mean that they don't count as a free version of the commercial release. Certainly the vendors claim they are different. Fedora is aggressively and self-conscuously different... but see below.

There is a problem in trying to determine if a commercial release is sufficiently different to be called a separate OS. After all, "linux" (as in "All linuxes") is, in fact, the kernel. All the kernels are available for download free of charge.

But this isn't actually what we are talking about, so I don't want to stand on that argument too much. It also steps a wee bit beyond the liberties taken in the spoofed article. So, bearing that in mind, I still need to establish how different a commercial version has to be from the free version to count as seperate. (For eg, free and commercial Ubuntu are identical - you pay for support not software.)

Starting with RHEL, I am going to argue that the commercial releases are available in fact, if not in name, for download and free of charge.

* RHEL is available under other names... White Box, CentOS for eg.
* SuSE Enterprise is the retail version of OpenSUSE. It is available for a free download - see the OpenSUSE FAQ for more details.
* Linspire is free - Called FreeSpire: the only difference is access to the CNR package repository which is restricted for FreeSpire. You pay for better saccess to services, not for the OS. (OK, this is a recent change...)
* Mandrivia: though the Mandrivia website makes a great deal of the commercial product being "a different product", the differences are in the presence of proprietary products with the standard "download edition". The same page admits that it is possible to download Mandrivia Free and install the other bits (also for free) and thus have, de-facto, Mandrivia Commercial... the selling points remain: easier install and professional support.
Considering that it is possible to obtain the commercial version in the form of a live CD (Mandrivia One), the position that the commercial version is not available for free starts to look weak.
* Xandros: from 14th Sept 2006 it has been possible to download Xandros Premium free of charge. (OK 30 day evaluation... but I never claimed there were no time limits, only that the ISO was available for download and free of charge and this is the case.)
* Mepis Pro... according to the Mepis site, there ain't no such product. The only product requiring a subscription is MepisLite Desktop (A subset of SimplyMepis). It is possible to buy SimplyMepis from the Mepis Store - but you do not have to do this.
* Corel ... OK you got me there... but that is because it is a dead distro. It was first released in 1999 but died out quite soon. The development website vanished in 2002. Its code is now part of Xandros.

What was that about my research?

You still owe me three more... you only need one clear hit to disprove my absolute statement.
However, I have changed the wording of that point to make it stronger.

I should point out, in connection with this, that the visa article makes a big deal about being available for download as an ISO - something linux users take for granted.

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 01-29-2007 at 09:47 PM.
 
Old 01-30-2007, 06:22 AM   #14
frob23
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Wow, this turned into an evangelical argument pretty quickly. I think we can rule out reasoned debate once we need to start redefining common terms (like "all" "free" "distribution" etc.) to bolster a weak statement. Actually, once you need to start adding long clauses to each of your statements, to reshape the common understanding of what you actually said... it's almost pointless to even continue.

Since this is purely religious at this point, should we start going door to door and handing out little fliers?
 
Old 01-30-2007, 09:17 AM   #15
asimba
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Quote:
Not true. Not all distributions are available as a free download. Doesn't look like that statement was well researched
True - Micro$oft is free in Vietnam/China/Pakistan and in parts of India. It is easy to find .

Unlike Linux - If you so chose to buy it - Cost of CD and Support would be approximately say about $20.

Quote:
A completely unjustified remark. What do you find "better" about it? "Better" is entirely subjective anyway. All you saying it's better means is that
you personally prefer it. So what?
True - I love recovery consoles.


Quote:
Care to elaborate? Linux is not the only system in the world, and everyone has the ultimate right to decide what they do with their own equipment. Obviously the user does have a choice!
True - With Vista Bitlocker in place - People do have a choice(read - decision) to make - If they wanted to use Linux or Vista. With windows making dual boot as crappy as it could - It cannot be called healthy competition.

For People it would be easier to take decision - had it been fair competition but unfair things - Microsoft/Netscape Showdown, Microsoft/Novell Showdown, Microsoft/Oracle Showdown, Microsoft/Sun Showdown, Microsoft/Apple Showdown - I belv all these companies cannot be collectively wrong. But It can be equally subjective.
 
  


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