Article by Goblin[RFD]

Windows V Linux

First article for a few days.  The global credit crisis has many people saying that Linux will become more popular as a result with both personal and business users adopting it in an effort to save money.  Whilst yes, to some extent this may be true, I tend to disagree that this credit crisis will bring the downfall of the Windows platform and Ill explain why, and what I believe will happen.

Firstly, as this is a Linux blog and I am a Linux supporter I believe I need to mention that.  If you check a previous article I did on people claiming to be impartial yet working for MS at the same time, I believe that there are many posters on the net who will try to distort and manipulate the facts to favour Microsofts platform.  This may come because of some unswerving loyality to the product. ignorance of other products or they have a financial interest in MS.

Ive been posting on Microsoftwatch.com recently, which has turned from being a site aimed at highlighting all things MS to a platform where people are venting their opinions on MS as a whole, and it doesnt read well.  Whilst I find this great, and hope that I may have played a small part in changing the direction of that particular blog, I do have worries about this current anti-MS attitude that has seemed to grab hold of even the average user, with no particular interest in the workings of the Windows platform.

My worry is this, the reason why Windows is so popular is for its “one click operations” its hardware support, and its fancy little asthetics.  I think Windows users are largely responsible for the binary monster that is Windows, as they are the ones that demanded the silly effects, the complete nannying by Windows and all the other bloat that is associated with Windows.  Theres a popup/add on for almost anything in Windows, and Im sure if you coughed too hard near to your mic, Windows would popup a message giving you a perscription.

It is this that worries me.  If these users suddenly flood Linux with their demands and expectations, it wouldnt be long before Linux users end up with a similar monster to Windows.  I dont want that.  Linux has been functioning quite happilly all these years without major adoption, so why do we need to change?

I am a great supporter of Ubuntu, as I believe its the best distro out there to offer “something for everyone” whilst still remaining very functional.  I believe its distros like Ubuntu would be targetted by Windows migration, and because Ubuntu (unlike Windows) actually listens to what its users want, I think this would result in a very different Ubuntu in a very short period of time.  Most WIndows users dont know (or want to know) what the CLI is.  Hence why I know many XP users that gazed with child like bewilderment when I called up a dos prompt on their computers.

Mainstream migration from Windows to Linux?  No thanks Id rather the Windows users stayed where they are.  We do have Windows users to thank for one thing, that is cheap technology.  If MS hadnt required higher specs than what they should, people wouldnt be constantly buying new machines or upgrades (which is what keeps the price low for the home user) – so in that respect we all owe a great deal of thanks to the MS users who dip into their pockets at a moments notice just so that they can run their latest software.


Anti-DRM or Anti-Piracy?

I read the anti-drm arguments regularly, and at one point I had a decent little debate with a user on this blog about DRM and its issues.  The anti-drm argument (IMO) is put forward by three types of person.

1. The pirate, who enjoys fighting what they percieve to be an evil corporate monster and has no problems infringing copyright, because at the end of the day, they dont want to pay for products, they want them for free.

2. The activist who doesnt like what they percieve to be digital enforcement and believes they have  a moral argument again DRM.

3. The person who has paid for a product and encountered difficulties with DRM.

Come on, this is silly.  The anti-drm argument is really an anti-piracy one, if piracy didnt exist then we wouldnt need DRM.  Its not rocket science, DRM is an attempt by companies to secure their profits, and surely when they own the product they are trying to sell isnt that their right?

Instead of rants about how DRM is the most evil thing since The Spice Girls and fighting with the companies employing it, shouldnt these people be targetting the pirates and trying to curb the behaviour which is responsible for DRM in the first place?

Ive said many times before software freedom for me is the ability to share, adapt, use software (that is software that has been released as such) but software freedom should be for everyone, and if a company wants to sell their product with restrictions then that is their right (after all, if you dont like it, dont buy it)

For users who have purchased a DRM based product and have encountered difficulties with it.  Fine, get your money back (its your consumer right to do so, if it doesnt function as advertised)  The best way to get a message across to companies about disatisfaction is not to buy the products.  I had a debate once with a chap who tried to make out that the disapointed kids that couldnt play a game because of DRM was a problem. COME ON PEOPLE, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY HERE.  If people cant get over the fact that they may not be able to play a game on their machine because of DRM, then they are in for a lifetime of depression.

If piracy stopped overnight, so would DRM (as companies wouldnt need to protect their investment)  Take your anti-drm campaign to the pirates, not the companies.

Since I only use opensource products, DRM is not an issue to me.  My taste in music, requires me to order my albums direct from the small bands I listen to and I wouldnt go near itunes if you paid me.  Thats my choice, you have one too. Pirating a game because DRM has caused problems is simply wrong, and will only serve to encourage companies to new and better ways of safegaurding their investment.

If you have problems with a product, get your money back or dont buy it, its really quite simple.

Hey, its just my opinion.  Id love to hear yours.