Re: which bill in which washington?

Jeffrey Fabijanic (
Wed, 28 Oct 1998 13:05:39 -0500

Emmanuel Charpentier <>

> Having a very usable OS like windows on all desktop, in synergy with
>office is the trump microsoft has been using for a long time. And their
>integration with low cost intel.

These are canards - propagated in large part I suspect by unscrupulous marketing types and empire-building IT mgrs. Windows is only "very" usable compared to what it was like 5 years ago - it has been and is still far behind the curve compared to other GUI-mediated OSes. Many university-run ergometric studies support this.

And it is much more expensive to maintain a Windows LAN than a Mac LAN. Initial hw costs are greater, but support and training costs are lower, and Apple computers depreciate more slowly than their cheaper Intel/clone counterparts. Again, there is hard data to support this claim.

> But as a programmer, I'm biased against them. And yet they do make
>some great products, their people are very good in what they are doing...

I would have to disagree. Several of their products are good (Excel remains an example of MS at its best), most are merely passable, and too many (and amongst these some of the most widely used) are absolutely horrid. MS Word is a horror, from both user and support viewpoints, for example. Almost any other widely available commercial WP app is better - Nisus, WordPerfect, Claris, et al. Faster, more stable, less cluttered, and more intuitive. I suspect that centuries of productivity hours have been poured down the MSWord drain.

Randall Randall here:
>> Well, as someone who uses a PC with no microsoft software at
>> all, I don't think that he'd have much control. :) With no
>> intervention at all, I think that Windows will go the way of
>> MacOS (which has fewer users now than Linux, IIRC).

Untrue (YDNRC). According to recent Dataquest research, more than 22 million computers *currently* run MacOS (70% of a total sold base of over 30 million since its introduction 1984, Macs may cost a bit more, but apparently they are built to last as well). With roughly 3.2 users per computer, that means that there are about 70 million Mac OS users worldwide. Apple, btw, has increased its desktop mkt share over the last year - an underreported story even in the face of that company's recent triumphs in the marketplace.

Linux installed base is increasing rapidly (and please note that I am one of "those crazy Linux users"), but even the most optimistic (and somewhat self-serving, it should be noted) estimates by Red Hat puts the installed base of Linux users around 7.5 million. More realistic estimates put the number between 250,000 - 1.5 million. [Harald T. Alvestrand has a Linux counter project, some quite rational thoughts on the difficulties in getting good numbers for this estimate, and links to various other attempts to pin down an accurate estimate. ]

Also check out Quinn the Eskimo's *very cogent (and funny) essay on the "Perils of the Installed User Base Argument"

>>The only
>> reason he got *that* much market share is A) marketing, and
>> B) usability.

Well, this is the point on which Justice disagrees, innit? They maintain (and are attempting to show through evidence and testimony) that MS got and held a lot of that mkt share through unethical and illegal anti-competitive practices. Btw, for Max and others who seemed to have missed the distinction, it is various *monopolistic* practices which are illegal, not actually being a monopoly.

>(as a side note, linux is still quite tough to use and configure, count
>1-2 more years for it to really get into the general market)

I think Linux has a great future as a server OS, but I am skeptical that it will *ever* reach the desktop in a way that makes a real impact on the other OSes. Nor is this neccessarily a bad thing - I don't want to drive a 747 to the grocery, and I don't need a passenger car that can seat 300 and can hit Mach 0.8.

But baby, I *love* having that 747 at my beck and call!


|    Jeffrey Fabijanic, Designer         The Future exists,
|        Primordial Software               first in Imagination,
|   "Software of the First Order"            then in Will,
|    Boston, MA  * (617) 983-1369              and finally in Reality.