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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was pretty mad about the performance of Windows Vista, which is his own words was "not executed well".   (Source: Tech Digest)

Listen up, adds Ballmer -- "There's nothing free about Android."  (Source: Yahoo Video)
Microsoft CEO's keynote was full of juicy comments

This week such noted guests as Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Jeff Bezos — chairman, president and CEO, — landed in Redmond, Washington for the annual Microsoft CEO Summit.  Unsurprisingly, the keynote speech was given by none other than the CEO of the world's largest tech company and protege of tech pioneer Bill Gates, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer is one of the most energetic and influential figures in the tech industry.  He is also known as one of the most polarizing, for his wild antics and unscripted sound bytes.  Thus you could virtually guarantee his keynote would be pretty interesting.

At the speech Ballmer let his fellow CEOs exactly how he viewed Windows Vista -- an overambitious product botched by a poor launch and poor timing.  He stated, "Just not executed well. Not the product itself, but we went a gap of about five, six years without a product.  I think back now and I think about thousands of man-hours, and it wasn't because we were wrong-minded in thinking bad thoughts and not pushing innovation. We tried too big a task, and in the process wound up losing essentially thousands of man-hours of innovation capabilities."

The admission was surprisingly forthright, when contrast with Ballmer's early statements on Vista's performance.  Initially, despite poor sales Ballmer blamed factors such as piracy, refusing to blame Vista.  As time has passed he has slowly grown more critical of Vista.  Of course the operating system is no longer Microsoft's flagship product, so that could have something to do with his changing attitude as well.

Many analysts have been highly critical of Windows Vista's performance.  The OS came at a $6B USD research and development cost to Microsoft, yet failed to come anywhere close to surpassing its predecessor, Windows XP, in market share.

The upside to that flop, though, was a rich operating system base that allowed Microsoft to push out Windows 7 -- essentially a performance tuned Vista with some extra gloss.  Windows 7, by contrast, has been a wild hit, passing Windows Vista in seven months and cruising towards passing Windows XP.  While that success can't entirely numb the sting of Vista among Microsoft's brass, it does provide a degree of vindication of their overall strategy.

Despite his candor about Vista, Ballmer had no qualms about saying that the super-hot selling Android smart phone operating system from Google was inferior to Microsoft's own smart phone operating systems.

In an interview with Fortune Ballmer commented, "I think what you mostly what you see in the market is that there's a lot of dynamism.  You know, people are up, they're down, they're sideways, they're this.  The whole market is growing.  But, in terms of share and popularity there's still a lot of opportunities for innovation."

"And I think Apple did some good stuff, but they're not number one in the market.  You know, number one is still Nokia, number two is still RIM.  And they did some good stuff.  And you know Android is done more of a... Google has done more of a software only approach.  Which has advantages.  That's our approach.  They hit the market with a good window relative to touch."

When asked about Android giving away Android for free versus Microsoft, which charges smart phone carriers, Ballmer took issue with that assessment, stating, "And there's nothing free about Android.  I mean at the end of the day as we certainly have asserted in a number of cases you know there's an intellectual property royalty due on that.  Whether they happen to charge for their software or not is their business decision."

Ultimately Ballmer is right -- Android isn't free.  It's certainly an expensive project for Google.  However, it's hard to deny that Ballmer essentially dodged the question.  At the end of the day Android is free to handset makers and consumers.  That answer would be a tough one for Ballmer to give, though, when the upcoming Windows Phone 7 comes with a fee, which is ultimately passed down to the consumer.  And then there's the additional fact that Android currently has some abilities that Windows Mobile does not, like copy and paste and multi-tasking.  Ballmer's response, while technically correct, thus left plenty unsaid.

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Google's "Freedom"
By Tony Swash on 5/22/2010 8:28:26 AM , Rating: 5
Came across this interesting take on Google's recent announcements:

It included this perceptive statement:

"It’s true that Google doesn’t want to control what you do. That’s not where they make their money. They make money by watching what you do. They want to watch it, record it, analyze it, and then monetize it by serving ads to you.

Let’s re-interpret Google’s keynote highlights through the perspective of the paranoid. Tinfoil hats on:

Google wants to make sure that every part of your life happens under their searchlight. They don’t want you to use desktop apps; they want you to use apps on the Web, so that they can observe how much time you spend at each task, and get at least a vague sense of the data you work with.

They want you to use their mail service, so that they can better understand your relationships with other people.

They don’t want you to send data to your phone via a secure, user-controlled cable. They want you to do it through the Internet, so that they can note the sort of music you like, the locations you’re interested in, the places you’ve been.

They also want to be able to “push” apps onto your device that you might not want, and let websites push data into specific apps. They want the ads they push onto your device to have an unusually close level of interaction with your phone hardware and the data therein.

And Google wants to know what you do in your living room. What shows do you watch? What shows do you record? Once you’ve recorded them, how long until you watch them? Do you watch them all the way through? Did you pause during a commercial? What did you do during that pause? Did you visit a site or search for a keyword? What was that keyword?

OK, tinfoil hats off. That’s hot stuff, eh?

I’m not suggesting that Google is this devious. What you’ve just read is simply what happens when you run the pages of Google’s two developer keynotes through the same software that interprets all of Apple’s motives as sinister, controlling, anti-freedom, and anti-innovation.

In truth, both companies have ambitious goals for themselves and want to create two things: Priority 1 is immense positive cash-flow. Priority 2 is terrific products and services, which lead to successful accomplishment of the first priority. If their own goals collide with another company’s, that’s not their lookout."

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By SkateNY on 5/22/2010 11:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
Let's all be adults here, even for those for whom this is a huge stretch.

No company controls us. Advertising and marketing use coercion in the service of having consumers first buy and then continue to use their employers' products.

Once I make a purchase, I'm free to break, abuse, forget about, trade, sell, lend or discard the product.

The grand delusion among Apple, Microsoft and Google critics is that each of them, in their own way, forces us to do and buy things we either don't need or want.

There's not only an app for that; there's also medication.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By Tony Swash on 5/23/2010 10:56:19 AM , Rating: 3
The grand delusion among Apple, Microsoft and Google critics is that each of them, in their own way, forces us to do and buy things we either don't need or want.

Exactly - that's the point I was trying to make with the quote I posted.

The notion that Apple is closed (bad, reduces freedom, locks customer in) and Google are good (open - everyone is happy in and free in Googeland) is just plain daft. People can buy or use the products and services of either company.

Each company has a different business model which seeks to maximise its own advantage - but that's just business. Whats silly is couching everything in some juvenile human rights context as if one company is evil and another good.

No is forced to buy Apple products so if anyone doesn't like them just shop elsewhere. Similarly you don't have to use Google to search.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By B3an on 5/23/2010 11:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's nice to see a well written and mature post by you Tony. Not the usual Apple fanboy stuff. Keep it up.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By The Raven on 5/24/2010 10:41:16 AM , Rating: 5
It's not that they force you to use their products. It is that they "force" you to CONTINUE to use their products. I'd say using the word 'force' is hyperbole, but it is well employed.

(The following scenario may or may not be filled with inaccuracies, but is used to illustrate a concept. I have heard as much so I am rolling with it. Oh nevermind, I'll just change the names so I don't get sued.)

If you buy music on your uPhone, you might have to use uTunes or an uPod to listen to it. You can't just decide to start using WMP or Rhythmbox when you get sick of uTunes. So you will continue to use uTunes because of the DRM that is attached to it. Or you can forfeit the hundreds of dollars that you spent building your library and start over again with a different content distributor like 7digital or Amazon (which BTW you can use with any media player).

So you are being strongly coerced into use iTunes because of the data (songs) that you will forfeit. You had the freedom to choose it in the first place, but now you feel like you don't. That is what people are talking about.

If you were to be a little bit more detailed in your statement, I think that you would find why people prefer to be free in 'Googleland'.

Apple is closed (bad, reduces freedom, locks customer in)
Google is good (open - everyone is happy in and free in Googeland)

You point out here why Apple is bad, but don't really point out why Google is good (and I use that statement loosely).
But I guess this is why you don't seem to value the freedom that they are pushing with Android. Research why an open OS is better and then come back and fill in you own blank (the part where you mention Googleland).

The other part of this is that the companies using closed source OSs/apps to get as much money as possible usually prey on the uneducated who don't realize that they are 'stuck' with that product or they face a large manuf/dev induced penalty. This in turn takes market share away from those companies/organizations that are selling/giving a slightly less polished (due to inferior funding) product that uses open standards, and we go around the wheel over and over again until people realize that they're being scammed.

The critics are just trying to get us out of the wheel sooner than later. So don't hate.

Besides, I'd rather hear someone cry about how Apple, Microsoft and Google are evil than hear any more about the iP-- or iP----.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By Tony Swash on 5/24/2010 6:43:09 PM , Rating: 1
If you buy music on your uPhone, you might have to use uTunes or an uPod to listen to it. You can't just decide to start using WMP or Rhythmbox when you get sick of uTunes. So you will continue to use uTunes because of the DRM that is attached to it. Or you can forfeit the hundreds of dollars that you spent building your library and start over again with a different content distributor like 7digital or Amazon (which BTW you can use with any media player).

You do realise that you can export iTunes DRM protected tracks as an unprotected MP3 file on a CD anytime you want don't you?

Nobody is locked into anything. Its a bit of a hassle to do it but its doable. As far as I know, based on what Steve Jobs has said publicly, Apple would remove DRM from iTunes in an instant if the music labels would go along with it. Apple don't make much money on selling music - they make it from selling the iPod - and are not particularly interested in DRM except where it is required to get the music labels to sign.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By The Raven on 5/25/2010 4:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
Look bro, as I said I was trying to explain the concept of being locked in by a company. Not tell it how it is with iTunes. That is why I used 'uTunes' instead.

So if you are saying that there is DRM on iTunes you are therefore locked in to using Apple products to use those files. Yes, you can burn a CD and then rip it into some .MP3s. You also can hold a microphone up to your speakers, cut some wax, and slap some vinyl on a victrola. But it is not the same thing. And there are a lot of other things out there that are more difficult to convert (or impossible).

Try opening a .PST file with Thunderbird or Evolution. You can't. Because it is a proprietary format. Though a company could design their software to read it or make a converter if it were an open standard. But no. If you want to read all the e-mails that you have been saving up over the years and look up your old contacts, you'd have to buy Outlook again. I don't know all the details of this particular case, but due to the popularity of Outlook, I'd figure that there are some converters out there that do the job half assed to well. But they won't do a perfect job because it is not Outlook.

The same applies to the DRM protected .AACs that you are talking about. The quality of the files will degrade during the conversion process that you speak of. So you are not able to take what you bought with you when you change music players.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By elFarto on 5/26/2010 9:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has recently released documentation on the PST file format.


RE: Google's "Freedom"
By The Raven on 5/26/2010 3:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sweet! Well I would really care if I used Outlook. But it is nice that it will be easier to get other people away from Outlook if they want to. Thanks, that's good to know.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By The Raven on 5/25/2010 4:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
Also, even if the burning and ripping of CDs did result in a perfect transfer of the .AACs, it is still a hassle as you said, and that would factor into someone's decision to switch to a different program. I mean I have hundreds of CDs myself and if I had bought all that on iTunes, I would probably never pull myself away from iTunes.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By The0ne on 5/25/2010 5:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
You and I know there are millions that don't understand what you've just said, not a single word. That is the scariest part for me.

RE: Google's "Freedom"
By hiscross on 5/26/2010 12:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
It appears from the not so savy responses that some people like being tied up to enjoy their hinded desires. I always wondered why a certain group of people use public bathrooms for their pleasures, now I think I know. For the rest of us, who enjoy life with the opposite sex and can make a decision, walk, and chew gum at the same time agrees with your thread. Nice post.

oh ballmer
By meepstone on 5/22/2010 12:19:55 AM , Rating: 5
Some of his responses he sounds like he see's the big picture and knows more than apple or google when it comes to cell phones. Yet they have the worst of the 3 mobile OS's. He is wading in his own bullsh*t, no wonder their mobile OS is poop.

RE: oh ballmer
By mcnabney on 5/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: oh ballmer
By SunAngel on 5/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: oh ballmer
By quiksilvr on 5/22/2010 3:31:31 PM , Rating: 3
So you're saying they DON'T want to expand and make billions of dollars more because people will say "it's a monopoly!" even though it wouldn't be? Do you think before you comment?

RE: oh ballmer
By SkateNY on 5/22/2010 8:22:19 PM , Rating: 3
Not gonna happen...meaning that MS will not dominate the market.

They're late in the game and, with all the complaining about other mobile operating systems that don't support cut-and-paste, multitasking and/or Flash, they have a long way to go to catch up to the rest.

WinMo 7 reportedly will not support in-browser support for both Flash and Silverlight, and it's not due to be available until Q4 of this year.

RE: oh ballmer
By clovell on 5/24/2010 1:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
And mark mine. This time next year, Palm will be reporting a profit.

RE: oh ballmer
By greylica on 5/22/2010 10:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
There are rumors that Microsoft is pushing IP over HTC, so that even if Google offers a better software ( Free software is improving everyday and is getting better to use than closed source and proprietary softwares like Apple and Microsoft ), they will always be pushing HTC over the wall about it. Then, HTC have to pay for Microsoft even when nothing Microsoft is being sold...
Pushing IP prices is probably their tactic in case for a non distant future, whereas Google Android will be the award winning for it's free software. What is interesting, is that they never show reaaalllyyy what those patents are, their behavior is like a drug dealer guarantee offered to you in order to pass over the Guetto...

RE: oh ballmer
By mckinney on 5/22/2010 11:27:49 AM , Rating: 1
Balmers check list..

1. History of XP, Vista, and Windows 7. (check)
2. Say everyone else is doing "OK" (check)
3. Tell them "there's still a lot of opportunities for innovation" (check)
4. Dont tell them we are getting our A$$ kicked (check)
5. Say "the others are not free", but not that we charge for ours (check)

RE: oh ballmer
By SkateNY on 5/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: oh ballmer
By T2k on 5/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: oh ballmer
By mckinney on 5/27/2010 12:13:18 PM , Rating: 3
ROFLMAO, talk about clueless posts... :D
You mean those investors who get [b]regular dividents

Talk about clueless, MS doesn't pay dividends. They stopped giving market guidance on their performance.

enjoy stable growth ever since the company was founded?

Thats very sentimental. Show me stable growth for the past decade. This is technology, and it changes and shifts direction.
Show me stable growth for the past decade. Ok, I will show you. If you invested in MS 10 years ago, your stock would be worth half of what it is today.

RE: oh ballmer
By mckinney on 5/27/2010 2:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
I mispoke as MS did start paying a dividend again. 1.60% average over 5 years. Googles has gone up over 50% and they pay no dividend. If you were an investor, which would you rather own?

RE: oh ballmer
By mckinney on 5/22/2010 11:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
I think Balmer displays more anger and frustration over other companies successes than he does over his companies failures.

I mean, he pretends to smash an Ipad in the picture above or smash an Iphone at his company meeting. He vows to "Kill Google" and throws chairs. I think he is a little loony.

Vista was "Not executed well".
By NuclearDelta on 5/22/2010 1:31:08 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe firing squad next time?

RE: Vista was "Not executed well".
By ApfDaMan on 5/22/2010 4:40:33 AM , Rating: 4
Burn it at the stake.

RE: Vista was "Not executed well".
By AssBall on 5/22/2010 9:55:40 AM , Rating: 3
Heheheh... Despite it's flaws, I'm pretty content with Vista on all three of our systems. I still reccomend it hands down over XP (provided you have more than 1GB RAM). It works okay, and I don't have to shovel out $400+ or w/e for 3 keys of Win7.

RE: Vista was "Not executed well".
By leexgx on 5/22/2010 10:27:34 AM , Rating: 2
vista was to harsh on the hard disk subsystem apart form that it was good OS (but device company's was not very interested in it at the start due to its new driver model) as long as you got SP2 installed for vista it works quite well and responsive but i bet they never port over the fixed windows 7 tweaks over to vista

mostly due to superfetch and system restore/shadow copy service {that relates to trustedinstaller.exe service}

if you had RAID 0 hdds vista would norm fly, widows 7 they fixed the above issues superfetch now has an I/O prorty now so if the hard disk is in use Superfetch will pause untill the disk access is idle again, i done wonders with system restore and shadow copy as it no longer ties the system up for about 5-10 mins when your installing software or installing an device driver

RE: Vista was "Not executed well".
By rburnham on 5/24/2010 10:52:46 AM , Rating: 2
I agree on the Vista points. When it came out, we had it running on four PCs in the house, both, three of them 64-bit, and rarely had issues. There was an older Sony digital voice recorder that had no drivers for the 64-bit version, hence the one PC with the 32-bit version. Other than that, pretty smooth sailing. Then again, we use all AMD and ATI hardware, and I hear Nvidia drivers in Vista, at least early on, were not good.

And yes, I'd take Vista over XP any day.

What Ballmer's "Android Not Free" really means
By abakshi on 5/22/2010 7:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think you missed the main point of what Ballmer was saying. Microsoft believes Android (like desktop Linux, but more so, given than Microsoft has over a decade of experience and patents in mobile devices) infringes on its patents.

HTC now has to pay Microsoft a license for every Android device it sells, so Ballmer's saying that Android is not free because you have pay Microsoft in order to be indemnified from potential infringement suits:

RE: What Ballmer's "Android Not Free" really means
By mckinney on 5/22/2010 12:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
So why didn't MS just take on Google instead of HTC and go to the source? Why didn't MS go after Motorola? LG is also starting to put out Android handsets.

There was also word of cross licensing between HTC and MS. Their IP complaint could have been about the Sense UI. I am thinking that there was something that MS wanted from HTC. Too much speculation and not enough facts.

RE: What Ballmer's "Android Not Free" really means
By abakshi on 5/22/2010 1:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
Whenever Microsoft has issues with OSS patent infringement, they only go after companies making money off of it, which in this case is phone manufacturers and not Google.

They are in talks with all Android phone manufacturers-- here's a quote from MS on the Engadget article linked:

"Microsoft has a decades-long record of investment in software platforms. As a result, we have built a significant patent portfolio in this field, and we have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to ensure that competitors do not free ride on our innovations. We have also consistently taken a proactive approach to licensing to resolve IP infringement by other companies, and have been talking with several device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform."

HTC also has to deal with the Apple IP suit, and by licensing MS patents, it could potentially be shielded from many of Apple's claims.

Microsoft probably did this in order to establish a precedent for Android manufacturers (having to pay MS for licensing) and to help out HTC, which is pretty much single-handedly the reason why Windows Mobile still exists today and is central to the company's Windows Phone 7 strategy.

By mckinney on 5/22/2010 3:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
we have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to ensure that competitors do not free ride on our innovations

Google is a competitor of MS and Google does make money on the OS by using it as a platform for advertising. Google did sell a Google branded Handset. Its poor sales were due to marketing not the product. There is no guarantee that Google wont come out with another handset and sell it through a carrier.

If what you said was the case, MS would be allowing Google to use and re-license MS technology, something MS has never allowed and MS shareholders would not tolerate. MS shareholders could sue the company over that. This could merely be over the FAT license that is used on the microSD card for all we know.

What MS tells Gizmodo, and what MS is actually doing might be two different things. MS isn't telling and neither is HTC.

By SkateNY on 5/22/2010 8:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft seems to be learning to be patient, despite their impulsive CEO.

Once Android becomes ubiquitous, and if it is in fact the case that there are patent infringements within the Android mobile OS, then MS will make the smart and financially expedient move of suing in lieu of collecting royalties.

Android seems to be doing very well, but in part due to the fragmentation of OS versions and devices, there is no central agency that has the capability of ensuring that they're not taking care of their own business.

A bit ironic, considering that MS has, at least in the past, suffered from the same "ailment" in terms of hardware fragmentation that is ostensibly Windows compatible.

By abakshi on 5/22/2010 7:18:29 AM , Rating: 3
You're mixing up Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7.

Windows Mobile has had copy-and-paste and multitasking for a decade now, along with dozens of features that Android lacks, like Bluetooth-controlled dialing and functional Outlook syncing (which WM and iPhone do but Android can't-- the Google Calendar connector kills lots of metadata, and HTC's Sync client for Android is pretty patchy).

It's the upcoming Windows Phone 7 OS that (at least so far) only has copy-and-paste within the MS Office apps. It doesn't have full multitasking like Windows Mobile or Android, but rather a system that lets applications continue to run for a few minutes after exiting (to finish uploads, etc.) and then use background notifications.

RE: Correction
By Gungel on 5/24/2010 10:10:47 AM , Rating: 2
There is an app for that:

It's Apple Day!
By iFX on 5/22/2010 4:19:51 PM , Rating: 3
Two articles on a Saturday (non-news day). One bashes Vista the other praises Apple and links to all their commercials from the last 5 years.

By wuZheng on 5/22/2010 12:20:47 AM , Rating: 2
"Thats our approach."

Heh yea, Google, those biters. ;)

Funny about strange bedfellows
By SkateNY on 5/22/2010 9:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
Once it was MS vs. Apple. Then it was Apple and Google vs. MS, with Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Apple's BOD. Now it's MS and Apple vs. Google, with Ballmer talking about Apple doing "good things," and Google/Android having problems.

It's a great country.

Puttin on the ritz!
By rburnham on 5/24/2010 11:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
He sure looks like Peter Boyle.

By Setsunayaki on 5/24/2010 11:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
I like what was said about "Android." People are needed to work on projects. People have to get paid as tech-work really is an expensive undertaking. Development without a business model to raise money only brings debt to the developer.

Someone can buy me a present and give it to me. Sure, It was free on my end; However, By no means was it Free to produce.

As Tom Petty would say....
By Indianapolis on 5/22/2010 1:14:10 AM , Rating: 1
By ChipDude on 5/23/2010 9:05:56 PM , Rating: 1
NO company dominates totally forever.

MS is another example, there very success is going to be their downfall. I don't care how smart Gates was or how energetic and smart Balmer thinks he is. History is littered with MS.

Will they dissappear, NO. They may go the way of GE and IBM, but the reality is their very success gurantees they won't be the innovators of the next revolution.

Any CEO who thinks they can with the outlandish comments like he makes is really destined to ruin his company

An understatement
By YashBudini on 5/22/10, Rating: 0
Fit for purpose
By Mikwag on 5/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: Fit for purpose
By SkateNY on 5/22/2010 11:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
I thought this was Apple's problem?

It's too simple. You can't screw around with an iDevice's innards. It's so easy to use, that it's a "toy." It doesn't do my laundry.

Apparently, one can, indeed, have one's cake and eat it as well.

By sleepeeg3 on 5/22/10, Rating: -1
What is "free"?
By drycrust3 on 5/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: What is "free"?
By mcnabney on 5/22/2010 1:56:28 AM , Rating: 3
First, the best antivirus for the Windows platform is MSE and it is FREE and uses very few resources.

Second, only idiots that doubleclick on executables sent from strangers or download bootleg software/media get virii anyway.

Third, if you gave up the feature and application-rich platform of Windows for the striped-down and naked offerings of a Linux build just for the fear of catching a virus you have some issues. That is like packing up the wife and kids and moving to Nome, Alaska because you heard about someone getting their car stolen at a mall.

RE: What is "free"?
By drycrust3 on 5/22/2010 2:24:23 AM , Rating: 1
No, I gave up Windows because I was having big problems gettin on the internet. I don't know if it was a virus or a problem with a driver that I had downloaded about a year before or something else. I downloaded Ubuntu just to see if it was a hardware issue on my computer ... well, I wouldn't quite say I never looked back, but I feel a lot happier with Ubuntu than with Windows.
I don't know what MSE is, but I had tried at least one popular free antivirus product and my experience was that even if it did detect a problem it couldn't deal with it. Later on I downloaded an antivirus product that I thought was good and paid for a licence only to find it wouldn't install on my laptop and the supplier didn't seem to care two hoots. By then was running Ubuntu for surfing and the like, so it more or less pushed me into going away from Microsoft completely.
Of course, there were a whole lot of issues to think about, such as inability to use Microsoft Word, which was actually a big issue for me at that time, but isn't so much now, and the limitations of Ubuntu and the other Linux distributions. Yes, I think I have tried all the more popular ones, and they all have limitations.
I guess that Ballmer would say that has a cost, but so does the continual peck and hunt of checking antivirus alerts or trying to decide what software downloads to use.
At least with the Linux central repository idea I know that someone has vetted the software and that it is safe to use, which saves me a ton in money as well.

RE: What is "free"?
By spread on 5/22/2010 2:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
Most of your issues could have been resolved with a little bit of work. Internet issues? Probably a driver, bad network card... etc.

Word doesn't work? Maybe you should do a virus scan to make sure the system's healthy.

Good that Linux works for you, but big bad Microsoft isn't at fault for your issues.

RE: What is "free"?
By drycrust3 on 5/22/2010 4:08:19 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm ... no Word worked fine in Windows.
It is arguable that you are right regarding my problems not being Microsoft's problems, especially as I had downloaded a driver relating to the network connection about a year before. However I think I suspected the problem was actually a virus, which meant that whatever the fix was, it was temporary because my antivirus software wasn't detecting it.
However for Ballmer to say his system would be cheaper than Android seems a bit rich in light of the fact XP and co are getting to be of less and less importance to the end user, while the number of the malware protection products the user has to have installed is increasing, and that on the basis there is a "downtime" before a new malware protection product is installed (i.e. the computer was successfully attacked), then even "just staying afloat" is actually costing you money.

RE: What is "free"?
By GGA1759 on 5/22/2010 6:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think your whole issue was with a PEBKAC error.

RE: What is "free"?
By rburnham on 5/24/2010 11:32:10 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I like that.

That sure beats my "Computer not working? Kill yourself." response.

RE: What is "free"?
By retrospooty on 5/22/2010 10:22:28 AM , Rating: 2
"if you gave up the feature and application-rich platform of Windows for the striped-down and naked offerings of a Linux build just for the fear of catching a virus you have some issues. That is like packing up the wife and kids and moving to Nome, Alaska because you heard about someone getting their car stolen at a mall."

clap clap clap

Well said. Very true.

RE: What is "free"?
By ET on 5/22/2010 3:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
Second, only idiots ... get virii anyway.

I just want to point out that nobody gets virii, because there's no such word. Some googling might help convince you of that, or just look here:

RE: What is "free"?
By SkateNY on 5/22/2010 11:10:41 PM , Rating: 1
First, the best antivirus for the Windows platform is not using Windows.

Second, only idiots believe that doubleclicking on executables sent from strangers or download bootleg software/media is something that the vast majority of consumers knows or cares anything about.

The graveyard of Windows hobbyests is littered with arrogant pronouncements about who is "in" and who is "out" when it comes to swimming beneath the obvious on the available UI. Nowhere on Microsoft's Web site do they make it clear that your "solution" is either easy or easily available.

"Third, if you gave up the feature and application-rich platform of Windows for the striped-down [sic] and naked offerings of a Linux build just for the fear of catching a virus you have some issues. That is like packing up the wife and kids and moving to Nome, Alaska because you heard about someone getting their car stolen at a mall."

Actually, it's more like posting a gratuitous, biased and misguided opinion on an anonymous forum...for what?

Every OS has problems. People use what they use because they like what they use, regardless of the financial and potential personal pain they suffer as a result of their choices. You're a somewhat-less-than-shining example of this.

So you're in love with Windows and you hate Linux. Great. Thanks for sharing.

RE: What is "free"?
By n0nsense on 5/28/2010 10:19:19 AM , Rating: 2
The "virus" problem is more then enough to move away.
Even if the AV is free in terms of money. It costs performance loss during the scans. It costs time to keep it updated. Why should i even think about viruses ?
Anyway, I can't count my legal XP licenses of all flavors (bundled with PCs). I own Win 7 pro license. And still most of the time I use Gentoo on my main, Sabayon MCE on HTPC, Ubuntu on laptop. For me, the reason was ability to make my OS to be what i wanted it to be. And another big reason was data and profile migration. You know if you have TBs of music in lossless formats, over TB of your precious photos, spent hours to configure and customize each little app you use, spent days to tune your OS performance. And then you trying to tell me, that upgrading your HW is a good reason to do it again ?
No, thank you. I prefer to move the disk from old computer to new one (or copy from old disk to new disk).
BTW, the following said by you, just shows that you are "I know how to get to control panel in windows, so I'm power user"
Third, if you gave up the feature and application-rich platform of Windows for the striped-down and naked offerings of a Linux build


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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