The jokes on you? Are the sales persons you are talking to laughing at your ignorance?  Has the sales rep been through a FUD course? IMO a good example of why you can't trust an opinion if there's money to be made out of it.
The jokes on you? Are the sales persons you are talking to laughing at your ignorance? Has the sales rep been through a FUD course? IMO a good example of why you can't trust an opinion if there's money to be made out of it.

Buying a new PC for some is often a daunting task.  Theres much to consider and whilst many of us take the hype, FUD and advertising with a pinch of salt, the customer who merely uses their PC as means to perform the “standard” tasks and do not see computing as a hobby, the story is very different.

In my opinion this is why Microsoft and its products have ruled the PC scene for so long, simply because users didn’t want to have to think about choices, users knew Microsoft products and (most importantly) IMO when something went wrong with them users blamed themselves not Microsoft.

Of course we know how the story ended – Vista.  Its only now where we live in more enlightened times that the idea of alternatives to Microsoft products are being used.  We see examples of this in Firefox, Open Office, Thunderbird, Abiword and we see people now more than ever migrating from the Windows platform to MAC, Linux, BSD or even more exotic options.  We see Google destroying Microsofts search engine, Ipod destroying Zune and the Xbox 360 being returned for the “red rings of death” more times than we hear “feature rich” from the MS faithful (and thats forgetting about the WII sales figures compared to Xbox)

So now we move onto allegations against staff at PCWorld and Curry’s and its being reported that some staff have been using social media to abuse customers by calling them “ignorant” and “retards” amongst allegedly a plethora of other abuse.  DSG (the parent company of the aforementioned stores) has apparently said:

We have clear guidelines for staff and will investigate any alleged abuse of customers. Delivering excellent customer service is at the forefront of everything we do, so we are very disappointed a small number of our colleagues have made these comments on a social networking website. We will take the necessary action with any staff found to be acting inappropriately.

For me this proves that when money is concerned an opinion given to you may not be that accurate.  The proprietary model now (IMO) is coming to an end, certainly as far as the desktop is concerned.  Whilst there will always be a need for hardware purchases, how many of those are simply to cater for bloated proprietary software requiring ever increasing specs?  Looking at Linux and its low requirements, just because hardware is not “cutting edge” does not prevent you from having a functional and fun tool that is capable of all (if not more) than what the proprietary options offer you.  Infact since I havent used Microsoft products in the home for years, I’d consider it a downgrade if I had to go back to using them.

When you see the championing of proprietary software, how can you be sure who you are speaking with?  With the Internet being so large, how can you tell that the view being given about the latest piece of proprietary software is correct?  FOSS advocates are different (IMO) I for example do not gain anything by you choosing a Linux distro over Windows.  I do not gain anything by you saving yourself money and choosing Openoffice instead of Microsoft Office.  With behavior from salespersons like the example above, why not try FOSS for yourself? One of many sources on this: http://tinyurl.com/nxtmys

Underhanded practices continue?

So we’ve looked at the hardware side where its alleged customers who may not have an interest in IT are laughed at and mocked, now we move onto software side.  Please follow this link: http://quaoar.ww7.be/ms_fud_of_the_year/569458-microsoft-attack-linux-retail-level-probably.html

The post is from a Best Buy employee who underwent Windows 7 training to sell Windows 7.  The author of that post has provided commentary and it shows IMO a very good example of the sales techniques that some use to promote Windows on the net.    Many lies are put about Linux on the net and my advice to any interested Linux user is simply to download a Live-CD and try it for yourself.

The danger being though, on the net its harder to tell a salesperson from an “ordinary user”.

Other examples?

Being a regular reader of comp.os.linux.advocacy we see examples of both of the above tactics being played out by certain regular users, we see the name calling of others and the championing of proprietary (mostly Microsoft).

So who are these users?  You can see them in action yourself and there is no insult too taboo for these “people” (including, but not limited to homophobia) .  Names you should look out for are Moshe Goldfarbe, DFS, Hadron to name but a few.  These “people” seem to take delight in disrupting and spreading FUD without any regard for the language or the insults they throw at others (IMO).  Just what these “people” are doing in a Linux newsgroup, I’ll let you make up your own mind.

I always say conduct your own research, I would not expect anyone to merely take my word for anything.  Keep in mind the news above and make decisions based on your own needs and experiences.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com