Re: which bill in which washington?

Randall Randall (
Wed, 28 Oct 1998 15:25:53 -0500 (EST)

Jeffery Fabijanic wrote:
> Emmanuel Charpentier <>
> > 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

I must disagree. While I have never used (or heard of) Nisus, I have tried WordPerfect, Claris, and various other word processors, and have found that Word is more intuitive (for me) than any of the others. And Word on Windows machines is even fairly stable (though it seems to crash very often on Macs).

> 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,

Excuse me? Over three users *per* computer? So two MacTerminal (tm) stations are sold for every Mac? :) Maybe you meant 3.2 computers per user? That would seem more likely, in my experience (both when I used Macs at work, earlier this year, and at home now, where my wife and I need 5 computers total).

>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.

Much of that is due to the iMac, I believe, which siphons from Windows users, not Linux (or anything else, really).

> 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

Linux users, or Redhat users?

> 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. ]

I will go look, shortly...

> >>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

Laughably so, yes.

> (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.

The problem is that these practices only work when those affected (consumers and resellers) feel that Microsoft products are better enough to warrent the trouble of dealing with them. If the product was seen as inferior, or even just barely as good, their market share would vanish. Admittedly, because of the installed base, this would require either Windows compatibility or free software, or both.

> >(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)

Yes, I agree with Emmanuel, here.

> 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.

I guess this depends on what you consider an 'impact'. Linux has already made a real impact, if by this you mean that other major OS vendors are carefully watching, and planning to imitate some of its features. Ballmer has already made a statement about being "worried" about it (though that may have been for the sake of the DOJ).

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

Me, too. :) Actually, one of the major reasons for switching to Linux, for me, was its stability. This is a big point for *anyone* who spends more than 5 or 8 hours a day at the computer, I think.