Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Microsoft and the *nixes

By zonem in Op-Ed
Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 10:00:33 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

I have for a long time disliked Netscape. Not only that, but I haven't been very happy with Mozilla, and browsing with Lynx or Konqueror tends to be a pain for various reasons. When in Windows, I stick with Internet Explorer. In the last several months, I have gotten over much of my dislike for Microsoft and now I'm wondering, well, will there ever be an Internet Explorer for Linux? Or maybe for the BSDs? Here's some food for thought.


Several occurences lately have prompted me to submit this story. First off, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 5 for MacOS X. OS X, of course, is a BSD based operating system, so I imagine that Microsoft took some time developing and porting IE to a BSD-type OS. (I know, I know, its not the same thing. Microsoft is also in it for the money as it means an alliance with Apple, nevertheless...)

Internet Explorer continues to impress me. The quality of that product (security problems aside) has convinced me that some of my old conjectures about Microsoft (the whole evil evil corporate empire bit) were a bit extreme. What directly prompted me to post this story, actually, was that a number of posts on various other discussion web sites seem to have authors that share my newfound viewpoint of Microsoft. Now I'm not saying that they're a great benevolent group of nice guys, I'm just saying that I want their tried and tested product on my operating systems of choice. (Linux and/or FreeBSD, to be more specific). Moreover, I very much like MS Office too, and that would be another good step to user productivity for man users.

Now, I'm not trying to start a discussion with "alternatives" -- people posting how great wine is or this app or that app (how good gnumeric is or how far mozilla has come in the last several months). My question is: what can I as an individual, or the community as a whole do to facilitate a large corporate company like Microsoft to move in the right direction, so to speak?

This does raise several problems, of course, so I'd be glad to also hear people's opinions of what Microsoft would do if they decided that development for Linux/BSD is a viable option? Would people use their software, buy it? etc.

P.S. I'm all for good closed source software, as long as it is better than open source alternatives.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Microsoft should:
o Leave the linux and BSD communities alone 11%
o Release Internet Explorer and MS Office for Linux and/or BSD 45%
o Die 42%

Votes: 152
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by zonem


Display: Sort:
Microsoft and the *nixes | 59 comments (43 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
This may be closer than you think. (3.29 / 17) (#1)
by untrusted user on Sun Jan 28, 2001 at 08:22:12 PM EST

For about 3 years, Internet Explorer has been available for Solaris and HP-UX. This port was done by Mainsoft using their MainWin library. Now guess what: MainWin for Linux is announced for Q1 2001. So, Internet Explorer for Linux might be just around the corner.

...and when it gets here it will be crap... (3.25 / 4) (#22)
by coolvibe on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 07:55:10 AM EST

I have *used* the solaris version of IE, and trust me, you *don't* wanna know what a piece of bloated crap it is. Maybe on Windows it's all smooth and stuff, but the amount of cruft that gets installed when you install IE on Solaris puts a new meaning to the word *BLOAT*. Needless to say, I ditched it after playing with it for a day, and installed Netscape on my SPARC Solaris box instead. Much better...

--
Yet another community site: hackerheaven.org. Now in juicy Scoop flavour!
[ Parent ]
blergh... (3.50 / 4) (#23)
by coolvibe on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 08:01:00 AM EST

I hate replying to myself...

Basically what my rant there is about that M$ wil probably pull the same shit as they did with Solaris, and that sthe speed of the MainWin cruft (which basically installs windows in your *nix OS, including registry's and stuff) will be dismally slow.

--
Yet another community site: hackerheaven.org. Now in juicy Scoop flavour!
[ Parent ]

Opinions may differ. (3.25 / 4) (#26)
by ambrosen on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 10:18:08 AM EST

And I am using the solaris version of IE right now, because I prefer it. Admittedly, it's using half as much memory again as the Netscape I'm running, but it does the job, and I guess the extra space is the size of the Windows ported libraries it's using.

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
IE and Solaris (4.00 / 2) (#48)
by dvNull on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 02:04:12 PM EST

Well for one thing, IE on windows uses many Windows DLLs which are loaded when Windows boots. This is not so in Solaris OR HP-UX. IE ends up being a HUGE piece of bloat, big enough to make Netscape look like a starving child.

IE on Linux if a possibility will not be much different.




If you can see this, then the .sig fell off.
[ Parent ]
There needs to be a FAQ for this (4.00 / 11) (#2)
by enterfornone on Sun Jan 28, 2001 at 08:24:27 PM EST

First off, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 5 for MacOS X. OS X, of course, is a BSD based operating system, so I imagine that Microsoft took some time developing and porting IE to a BSD-type OS.
OS X is a BSD kernel with a complely different GUI API. Porting to OS X will not in any way help you port something to X11.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
More than just the GUI (3.83 / 6) (#10)
by pete on Sun Jan 28, 2001 at 09:32:41 PM EST

While that's true for the GUI stuff, of course, there is more to IE than the GUI. Network access, file handling, different-than-Win32-thread model, the COM libraries that IE is built on, etc. I'll freely admit I don't know the first thing about the Mac, but I am a Win32 and Unix developer. It would surprise me if MS went directly to the Mac's APIs instead of more standard calls for some of the things I listed above.


--pete


[ Parent ]
direct api (3.66 / 3) (#42)
by bse on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 06:47:44 PM EST

from what i've read abuot IE5 on macos 9, it is a much better product than ie5 for windows; because the developers had to use direct MacOS system calls, instead of re-writing the windows api each time they wanted to add or do something.

so it means the mac version actually plays by the rules; isntaed of the windows one making up its own rules.

---
"Please sir, tell me why, my life's so pitiful, but the future's so bright? When I look ahead, it burns my retinas." -- Pitchshifter - Please Sir
[ Parent ]

What GUI API did they use? (3.00 / 4) (#15)
by regeya on Sun Jan 28, 2001 at 11:42:10 PM EST

Is there a chance they used the Openstep GUI stuff? If so, there may still be a chance, via GNUstep. AFAIK they're working on incorporating OS X additions to the API.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

They used Carbon (3.33 / 3) (#21)
by coolvibe on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 07:50:19 AM EST

Which means it does *not* use the Cocoa/*step-ish stuff. Basically, they didn't do any porting, except that they carbonized IE5 zo it will run on *both* (MacOS 8/9 and MacOS X).
--
Yet another community site: hackerheaven.org. Now in juicy Scoop flavour!
[ Parent ]
Opera (3.37 / 8) (#14)
by timefactor on Sun Jan 28, 2001 at 10:28:19 PM EST

From a not large corporate company. It's at least the equal of IE5 on Windows. Supports CSS-1 and 2, user style sheets, XML. It's awesome. I haven't tried the Linux beta yet but it's available, as is a BeOS version and a Mac alpha. It isn't free as in beer (unless you want the ad-free version) nor speech but it's awesome.

- I cannot believe in the existence of God, despite all the statistics. - Borges
Linux opera (3.00 / 3) (#16)
by joto on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 12:01:58 AM EST

The linux version of opera still sucks. But I agree that the Windows version is very nice. Of course, when 90% of websurfers use IE, no browser will be able to work as good on any pages, but Opera is impressive!

[ Parent ]
... has become better than you think. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by static on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 09:57:58 PM EST

Beta 1 and beta 2 were pretty dismal. Beta 3 was significantly better and Betas 4 and 5 were also each better. I'm using Beta 5 now and it beats the pants of Mozilla 0.7 most of the time. It's still not perfect, of course, but I'm looking forward to a real non-beta release :-)

Wade

[ Parent ]

don't count on it (3.42 / 7) (#17)
by kei on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 12:28:48 AM EST

Found this on LWN: LINK
"Linux is simply a fad that has been generated by the media and is destined to fall by the wayside in time. Windows 2000 will gradually overtake the Linux share in the server market. In fact, the advent of Linux has spurred Microsoft's developers to move up a gear. The arrival of new competitors in applications or operating systems development provides us at Microsoft with the driving force to create even better software products.

I don't see M$ releasing any products (especially not IE or Office) anytime soon. Not when they rely on those products to keep a stranglehold on the desktop, and view Linux as a threat to their OS, instead of an opportunity for their software.
--
"[An] infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program."
- /usr/src/linux/Documentation/CodingStyle

Alternatives... (4.43 / 16) (#18)
by joto on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 01:59:28 AM EST

It's not so bad, here are the alternatives...
  • Netscape 4
    It's a bit bloated, crashes too often, starts to show it's age and is not that standard-conforming anymore. But it's relatively responsive, things still work, so it's still the one I use for general surfing. I wouldn't mind if someone stepped up and maintained it...
  • Mozilla
    Even more bloated, crashes almost as often as netscape. A bit more unresponsive. Some random annoying bugs. The newest version 0.7 is the first to seriously make me consider using it, earlier versions were too unresponsive. It's definitely maturing rapidly.

    I used to say lot's of ugly stuff about Mozilla, but if they actually make it work (and things start to look better), it has an awesome design! Mozilla could very well be the next Emacs, a browser built out of reusable components and tied together with a high-level scripting language, with all kinds of interesting extensions. Some of the projects on mozdev.org show the potential for this technology. You may never want to leave mozilla in the future (just as you never leave emacs now). But first they've got to make it work ;-(

    I hope the mozilla developers know what they are doing. And I am becoming more and more convinced they are. Considering how good mozilla 0.7 is, it definitely seems like they will have a usable browser by 1.0.

  • Konqueror
    I love it. This is the browser that looks and feels most like IE. It is fast, responsive and everything seems to work well. I have had some trouble with random crashes on my system (probably fixed by now, but I'll wait for an rpm), which made me go back to netscape. While mozilla aims to be the next generation browser, and perhaps is a bit too general, konqueror aims to be a direct competitor to IE. And in my eye, it succeeds pretty well. I just wish you could helix-update the latest version...!
  • Galeon
    This is the mozilla rendering engine in a GTK gui, and you need to install mozilla before you install Galeon. Galeon is like konqueror, in that it aims for competition with current browsers, not future. Some people love it, I've had some problems with crashes on it, but it could just as well be a versioning problem somewhere in the Gtk/Glib/Gnome/Galeon version soup. From what I've seen of it, it seems ok, a bit like netscape 4. When gnome/gtk/glib and mozilla stabilizes a little, maybe this will be a good browser for most of us. But if that happens, maybe it isn't needed anymore. Anyway, it's a lot more responsive than mozilla at the moment, so if you are at a slow computer, it's definitely worth considering.
  • Opera
    Not free. On Windows, it kicks ass! Much faster than IE. The latest version for Windows is adware, which means it can even be popular (face it, not many windows users would shell out money for a browser these days). But you can still register it to remove the ads. On linux, you have to use the previous version with a 30 day try-before-you-buy standard shareware deal. As all linux browsers, it still crashes a bit too often. But it's almost ok. If hope they will make a killer linux version soon...
  • Arachne
    Not free. I haven't tested it, but it seems like something that in the future could be a very good alternative to Galeon or Konqueror. This one will even work without X (it will work in X as well, in a fixed size window..). It is very lightweight, and should be good for those sitting on older computers.
  • Nautilus Nautilus aims to be the biggest bloatware ever (even more so than Mozilla). Everything from file-management, package management (rpm, dbpk?), mp3 playback to web-browsing shall be included in one giant program. The web-browsing part will be stolen from mozilla, as galeon do now, so you will probably prefer to use either galeon or mozilla instead, as they will be more geared towards browsing.
  • StarOffice
    Even StarOffice includes a browser. And it ain't that bad either. Of course, I still prefer a dedicated browser, but given that the source code for StarOffice is open, it would probably be possible to steal the browser-part if someone is interested.
  • Others
    Never say never, maybe some smartass will show up with a kickass browser out of nowhere. It has happened before, you know...

Personally, I don't think the future is so dark. At present I still choose netscape, but it's probably only one minor upgrade from either of the mentioned programs before I start to switch. It isn't so much the lack of usable browsers on linux that is the problem. The main problem is that everyone is developing for IE. Sadly the only way out of that is for Mozilla (or Netscape 6) to become a success also in the Windows world. Until that happens, we will have to live with websites only viewable under Windows.

Hush now. (2.75 / 4) (#20)
by Holloway on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 06:05:53 AM EST

> Mozilla could very well be the next Emacs, Shut-up! You'll jinx it! ;)


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]
That's no good to me (3.00 / 3) (#35)
by itsbruce on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:06:21 PM EST

Mozilla could very well be the next Emacs

That expresses everything I don't like about Mozilla in a nutshell. Where's the browser that's going to be the next Vi? Time to give BrowseX a go, I suppose (first time I saw that name I thought it was some new perversion).


--

It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]
It's called lynx (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by joto on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:16:53 PM EST

Where's the browser that's going to be the next Vi?

It's called lynx. Too bad most websites are now created in something that, (to keep emacs/vi analogies floating) would best be described as MS-word format. So neither emacs nor vi will be very helpful in viewing other peoples websites...

[ Parent ]

If we're talking text browsers (3.25 / 4) (#38)
by itsbruce on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:19:03 PM EST

Then I prefer w3m.


--

It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]
w3m is for loosers! (none / 0) (#58)
by mikpos on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 10:51:08 AM EST

links does frames properly (none of that faux-table nonsense). And it does text colours, which is pretty cool for a text-based browser.

[ Parent ]
Konqueror rocks! (3.00 / 4) (#43)
by bjrubble on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 07:12:20 PM EST

I was downloading the Mozilla daily builds on a, well, daily basis, until I installed Konqueror a few weeks ago. Wow! It's fast and looks great. It's still a bit of a crashfest, and missing some features, but it's an excellent browsing experience 90% of the time and is developing quickly.

[ Parent ]
Nautilus != Bloatware (4.00 / 2) (#46)
by ilmari on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 07:41:46 AM EST

Nautilus aims to be the biggest bloatware ever (even more so than Mozilla). Everything from file-management, package management (rpm, dbpk?), mp3 playback to web-browsing shall be included in one giant program.

While it may be capable of doing all that, it's not in one giant program. It'll be by using bonobo components, running in separate address spaces (using CORBA to communicate). When OpenOffice becomes fully componeticized and gnomified, if you have it installed, nautilus can display its documents using the bonobo component, so you won't have to load the extra gui stuff if you just want to view the document or make some corrections. If you need all the extra toolbars and such, you launch the full app. Idem with mozilla, rpm, dpkg (gmc does something similar with rpms, you can browse their contents and install then by executint the "install" script within).


--
ilmari
[ Parent ]
I doubt it will happen... (4.22 / 9) (#29)
by finial on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 11:16:41 AM EST

...because there is no real need for it unless and until Linux becomes an accepted desktop system. Face it. Like it or not, Linux is not a desktop system for anyone other than an "expert." Ask yourself whether you could give a box containing, say, a Mandrake install to your mother and say, "Install this." Do you think it would happen?

Quoting page 25 (of 99!) of the Mandrake 7.0 Installation guide:

You will have to write down the basic address(es) (Input/output range) used, together with the IRQ(s). Also note down the DMS channel(s) used for the sound cards.

Um, yeah.
Try explaining what that means to someone who has trouble double clicking.

Don't get me wrong, Mandrake does a good job explaining what is going on and how to get your system working. I mean, all of Chapter 6 give an excrutiatingly detailed description of the physical layout of a disk drive. My point is that, in order to gain general acceptance, they shouldn't have to do that.

The majority of people aren't interested in how a computer works, they are only concerned that it does. And that is where Windows scores a bullseye. You plug it in, and turn it on. Answer one or two questions (like: "Enter the number on the cover of the user guide here and press 'Next'.") The same for Mac. Plug it in, turn in on and there you are.

So, I think we can assume that Linux will not be used by the general public until two things happen: 1) It comes pre-installed AND there is a reason for the general public to ask to have it rather than Windows. Note that I said general public. Not Microsoft haters, Mac lovers, or other specialty OS users.

This will not happen until Mom & Pop can walk into Best Buy, CompUSA or, more likely, Sears and they see a pimply-faced salescritter who can answer, without smirking or condescending, the question "can it do the e-mail?"

It is exactly this reason there will never be an IE for Linux. Who is the average Linux user? The average Linux user is a computer expert of one sort or another. And that Linux user is a very special kind of computer user. He or she is a computer user who, in all likelihood, views Microsoft as the evil empire. Take a look at Slashdot or any other Linux-centered site. Look at the Penguin computer ads ("Mr. Gates, I'll be your server.") So, the average Linux user wouldn't use IE anyway, so why waste the time to create one in the first place?

Why is there one for OSX? Because it's destined for the general user's desktop. The box comes from Apple pre-installed and pre-configured: plug it in, turn it on and go.

One last analogy. I hate cars. I no longer own one, I don't want one and I know very little about them. I like it that way. But sometimes, I have to use one. As far as I am concerned, if I turn the key and the car doesn't start, it's broken. If that happens, I call someone to come and take care of it. If it breaks down too often or is too hard to use, I get rid of it. There are people who can not drive an automatic. It's probably not that they can't but that they never learned how and probably don't want to. They shouldn't have to. Linux is a 5-speed stick. Windows and Mac are 3-speed automatics.

solaris (3.25 / 4) (#30)
by mstevens on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 11:49:27 AM EST

There's an IE for Solaris. Are you saying Solaris is an end-user product people can install without thinking?

[ Parent ]
Oh? (3.00 / 4) (#32)
by finial on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 01:33:27 PM EST

No, I'm not saying that. I didn't know there was IE for Solaris. Still, Solaris is something for a corporate environment, not for a "normal" end-user's desktop. It does come (pretty much) pre-installed, a plug it in, turn it on box. But you're right, it's certainly not an end-user product.

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't ask my mother to install Windows either (3.50 / 4) (#34)
by itsbruce on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:00:35 PM EST

Even though she is a competent MS Office user. Installing Windows 9x is rather easier than installing Linux but it's still beyond most non-tech-literate people. The vast majority of Windows users are using systems that were either preinstalled or installed by the IT staff at work - and even then many of them manage to mangle their systems. Every so often I am persuaded to look at some colleague's home PC, to try and fix what ever they've done to it. It's always a depressing experience.

A pre-installed Mandrake system is entirely manageable from the GUI and shouldn't present the average user with any problems - apart from the lack of familiar applications, that is.


--

It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]
I hear ya! (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by SubPar on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 09:18:19 PM EST

I'm thoroughly convinced that the perception that Windows is easy to install stems from a lack of need for most people to install it.

I've had a number of problems installing Windows. Just recently I was installing Win98SE on an old P200, and while the install went fine, Windows didn't have drivers for most of the hardware. There's one potential barrier right there. People aren't going to enjoy squat if it's stuck at 640x480, 16-colour with no sound, nor any connectivity due to a lack of modem/network drivers. Sure, the hardware manuals should have driver installation instructions (this assumes they actually have the manuals), but even then, things happen. While installing the network card drivers for this P200, Windows asked for the Win98 CD. It was in the drive, but it couldn't find what it was looking for since it was looking in C:\WINDOWS\CATROOT for some stupid reason. Win95 was even worse. After installation, Win95 couldn't find the CD-ROM until I loaded its DOS drivers during bootup (after which it worked fine without the DOS drivers). What Joe Schmoe is gonna want to edit his config.sys and add the line "DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\OAKCDROM.SYS /D:MSCD001 /V /L:E"?



[ Parent ]
Double clicking? But that's obsolete! (3.66 / 3) (#47)
by leonbrooks on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 10:00:02 AM EST

Try explaining what that means to someone who has trouble double clicking.
Double clicking? I avoid that problem by using KDE. (-:

Also, unless your system is archaic you don't have to write down anything. If your system _is_ archaic (1) you're likely to know enough about what you're doing that such instructions are a cinch; and (2) unless you happen to have the OEM disks for *all* of your hardware, the odds of getting it working under Linux are *much* higher than under any Windows.

Ask yourself whether you could give a box containing, say, a Mandrake install to your mother and say, ``Install this.''
Actually, I'd bet on Mandrake 7.2 against Windows 98 in terms of achieving a successful install. Don't believe me? Boot it up and click on ``Recommended'' install mode, then afterwards tell me if this was easier or harder than a Win98 install. G'wan, I dare you! (-:

Let's not bother discussing how often it needs to be reinstalled, shall we?

This will not happen until Mom & Pop can walk into Best Buy, CompUSA or, more likely, Sears and they see a pimply-faced salescritter who can answer, without smirking or condescending, the question "can it do the e-mail?"
You can do that in Harvey Norman stores here in Oz right now today (well... tomorrow: the shops are all closed now) although the odds of getting a suitable pimply-faced salescritter are still down around the 20-30% level.
It is exactly this reason there will never be an IE for Linux.
Horse puckey. When Linux was too small to worry about, an IE port wasn't worth Microsoft's effort. Now that Linux is a growing (by leaps and bounds) threat, IE is a potential weapon against it (helping to lock people out of it), so can't be ported for strategic reasons (at least in Microsoft's paranoid view: I think the effect of porting it would be to kick one of the few remaining props out from under Netscape).

By the time Microsoft notice the open gate and bolted horse, any of the four or five Open Source competitors for IE will hammer it into the ground. Mozilla is already frighteningly good at things like DHTML and XUL and Konqueror under KDE2 is -f-a-s-t-. Give them another year and IE will be a joke.
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

Only sometimes... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by msphil on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 02:28:13 PM EST

Just a minor point:
(2) unless you happen to have the OEM disks for *all* of your hardware, the odds of getting it working under Linux are *much* higher than under any Windows.
I beg to differ, somewhat. I just installed Windows 98 at home -- on a machine which was hand-built as a Linux box 14 months ago (and for which I had NONE of the disks that came with the components). I downloaded the Matrox drivers from their web-site, the SoundBlaster drivers from their web-site, and everything else was detected.

Not easier than the corresponding Linux install (RH 6.1, since updated), but not noticably harder either, and I didn't have any of the disks.

And this is a concession coming from someone who has been quite proud to have never had a Windows box at home. If my wife hadn't needed it for specific, job-related purposes, it would still be Linux only...

[ Parent ]

I dunno (3.40 / 5) (#33)
by jdtux on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 01:58:23 PM EST

This doesn't look like it's going anywhere. You don't seem to want to hear about alternatives, only how we can try and get MS to port their products, which is pretty much impossible unless you have A LOT of money

Microsoft developing for Linux? (3.50 / 4) (#36)
by nanofish on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:10:35 PM EST

Could this happen if Microsoft is divided, with application development seperate from operating systems? Well who would buy IE for Linux, say for 50 bucks? I think this kind of thing would only be feasible for OEMs and they would rather just buy Windoze.

Why Anti-Microsoft? (3.83 / 6) (#39)
by Fred Nerk on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 06:11:32 PM EST

I must say, I'm really getting tired of all the Anti-Microsoft propaganda that is all over sites like k5 and /.
Myself, I'm a Linux user and proud of it. However, I don't use it because it's not Windows, I use it because I have a choice in how I want to run my system. Actually I use Linux on my servers, and a dual-boot Linux / Win2k on my desktop machine. I do a lot of web development, so I need a reasonable server to run my apps on (Linux w/ Apache/PHP/mod_perl), and I need a reasonable set of browers to test everything on (Netscape / IE5).

Every day, I'm finding it increasingly hard to include Netscape in the compatibility for my apps. I want to develop web applications with some real usefulness to a LAN user, who wants E-mail, group calendering, etc... And more importantly, someone who is used to applications like Lotus Notes or Outlook.

There are some great web groupware apps around, but I haven't found one yet that uses any of the advanced DHTML features in IE5.5. For all Microsoft's faults, they really have made a browser with some power!

To my original comment, I disilke Anti-Microsoft simply for the reason that they are Microsoft. By all means dislike their bloated, slow, generally buggy code in Windows or Office. Dislike their licensing practices. Dislike their anti-competitive stance, or their profit-hungry business model, but DO respect their good-bits.

</RAMBLE>

I'm a little confused... (4.00 / 3) (#44)
by regeya on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 08:22:54 PM EST

...where was the anti-Microsoft propaganda in the story?

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Anti-Microsoft software. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
by static on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 10:07:12 PM EST

I don't use IE because I get frustrated with it too quickly. For all it's much-vaunted power, it's still a shitty program to use.

Much of Microsoft's software tends to assume all computer users are part-idiot. Office is a terribly good example of this, with so many second-guessing tricks that make it harder to use than necessary. I get maximum usefulness out of Office 97 with almost all the automatic functions turned off. So I get annoyed with Microsoft for being overly condescending to their user-base. It will get them into trouble eventually.

Wade.

[ Parent ]

Nix on Micros~1.* (4.28 / 7) (#40)
by G Neric on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 06:20:49 PM EST

Internet Explorer was made available for Sun Solaris years ago. Ever ported software from Solaris to Linux? They could have done it with a snap of the fingers. They chose not to and the most plausible reason is that they considered Linux to be a threat in the OS market, and the other versions of IE sufficient to kill Netscape.

Internet Explorer continues to impress me. The quality of that product (security problems aside) has convinced me that some of my old conjectures about Microsoft (the whole evil evil corporate empire bit) were a bit extreme.

Doesn't surprise me that you were extreme before, as you seem to still be confused now. What does "evil corporate empire" have to do with quality of product? The old Standard Oil monopoly was an evil corporate empire, but nobody ever complained about the quality of the oil they sold. But they used their monopoly (and would have continued to) to take unfair advantage of their customers and competitors. If restricting supply to lower quality oils would have filled their coffers faster, they would have, as at times Microsoft has. Microsoft sat on the buggy DOS 3/4 monopoly for years, improving it only when DR DOS, QEMM, 386Max and Stacker did the innovating. It is competition that guarantees that the best software will be available, not your assessment of what is "good enough" based only on what you've thought of. How do you know how much better a browser could be if there were competing Baby-Bills producing them? Microsoft is single-minded in wanting to control the OS, platform, and standards of the software industry, and any horizontal software like office suites. All of it. Keep your eye on that ball and don't let yourself be distracted when they use cross subsidies from the OS industry to innovate just enough to kill the previous competition for browsers.

I'm all for good closed source software, as long as it is better than open source alternatives.

Everybody is in favor of more choice, and everyone is in favor of better. The open-source vs. proprietary and monopoly questions are entirely separate and you shouldn't make statements that seem to confuse them.

IE on Solaris (none / 0) (#57)
by rasilon on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 09:18:36 AM EST

Internet Explorer was made available for Sun Solaris years ago. Ever ported software from Solaris to Linux?

Have you ever used IE on Solaris? You get either seven clicks, or one scroll before it crashes and tries to DOS the box. Actually, you can now get about 15 mins usage out of the later versions, but it is still useless because anything that requires IE seems to require Windows as well and Netscape is better for just about everything else especially since version 6



[ Parent ]
Oh, ferpetessakes... (4.00 / 5) (#41)
by 11223 on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 06:38:36 PM EST

(OSX =~ /*BSD/) && (WinNT =~ /OS\/2/)

Basically speaking, while OS X may be *BSD at it's core, for programming it, it's no more BSD than WinNT is OS/2. The GUI and the major non-system-level API's are totally different.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.

Shouldn't it be... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by nstenz on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 04:36:28 PM EST

OS X = *BSD about as much as WinNT = VMS?
(Many parts of NT were modeled after VMS's design, and MS hired the guy who designed the majority of VMS, yes?)

I just think it's a better analogy. =)



[ Parent ]
Yeah, that too.... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by 11223 on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 06:14:04 PM EST

But WinNT has actually had compatibility with the early versions of OS/2, and it was originally Microsoft OS/2. The VMS influence isn't quite as visibile on the inside as the OS/2 influence given that the original NT codebase was the Microsoft/IBM OS/2 project.

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.
[ Parent ]

None at all (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by Fred Nerk on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 06:36:01 PM EST

Actually I don't think there was any, I was agreeing with the author.

Incidentally, my comment

I disilke Anti-Microsoft simply for the reason that they are Microsoft
should have read
I don't disilke Microsoft simply for the reason that they are Microsoft
but it was destroyed in a fury of cut-and-paste. Now if IE would only let me use gvim as the <TEXTFIELD> editor...

GNU/IE (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by mdavids on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 09:16:02 PM EST

Microsoft will port IE to GNU/Linux when there is some strategic gain to be had by doing so. At the moment, people are hesitant to use GNU/Linux because of the lack of quality desktop apps. Microsoft is not about to encourage users to migrate to a competing platform by making up the deficiency.

It may be that in time the dominance of Mozilla and Mozilla-based browsers like Galeon in the *nix world threatens to infect Windows with a competing middleware API. Mozilla is "written in itself" in XUL, a cross-platform, XML-based, insert-buzzword-here, platform which is exactly the sort of thing MS doesn't want to see getting a toehold anywhere, let alone on it's own turf.

So if you want MS to port IE, use Mozilla. Tell your friends how great it is, especially your Windows-using friends. Use it as a front-end for any applications you develop.

BTW, I've been using Mozilla M18 for months, and it's fine. I occasionally use IE, and frankly I can't find anything there that's lacking in Mozilla. It could stand some more optimisation, but that's only a matter of time, and unless you're using an older PC it's not an issue. If somebody could tell me what features IE has that Mozilla hasn't, I'll be much obliged.



Moving M$ - NOT (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by Dion on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 06:49:24 AM EST

>My question is: what can I as an individual, or the community as a
>whole do to facilitate a large corporate company like Microsoft to move in the right
>direction, so to speak?

Nothing, that is exactly the reason noone should ever use any non-Free software, that you can come to depend upon.

The reason for choosing Free software is not a moral one, it is very much a practical one, I have no problem with non-free software, but I don't want to give up my my freedom to use it, so I don't

If you have no control over the software you use then evenually you will end up in this type of jam, where you have a clearly dissatisfying choice, either endure the pain of a substandard OS with a nice browser tied into it or use an exelent OS with a substandard browser.

As I see it this is a simple matter of choosing wether you value overall quality and stability more than you value being able to view blinking, animated, pixelperfect, design heavy websites (which IMHO tend to be annoying and contentless).

I have made my choice and I live the the problems it has given me, but I'm also confident that Konqueror will evolve into a better browser than IE, in time, until then I'll have to do without the content free, basic scripted pdf-like monsters that some marketing types think are websites.

Don't bother with non-free (none / 0) (#59)
by hardburn on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 02:07:27 PM EST

Non-free software is simply evil. Even if its a better product now, it is a trap that will tie you to the vendor for a long time to come. IE is, frankly, a good browser, or at least its better then its competitors (Mozilla/Netscape aren't stable, others don't have enough features, so I guess being better isn't that hard).

While I'm not the purist that RMS is (I'm actualy typing this in IE now), I work twards the day that I will be. That means, instead of complaining about IE not being on GNU/Linux or FreeBSD, I help make libreware browsers better. This doesn't mean I activily develop them, but that I use them and send bug reports to the author.

So please, instead of pleaing to a closed-source, propriety vendor to port their shady product to your otherwise free OS, use Mozilla, or Konquer, or Galeon (my personal favorite), or whatever else. Get on the mailing list for bug-reporting and tell the authors when you have a problem.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


Microsoft and the *nixes | 59 comments (43 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!