This story was originally on my web site but since that site is having issues (I don't control that server, it's on solaris (ick), it run's netscapes web server (ick)), I copied it here for people to play with. this site has a lot better web server, as well as a better internet connection. So, this time, I have put it someplace where it's much easier to read (and should have a lot better time handling the connections)

microsoft loses its head (again)

So naturally, surfing the net, I came across the official microsoft linux FUD page. I'm not sure I even know how to respond to this - instead of just attacking microsoft in general I'll stick to the bits I have personal knowledge of.

  1. Reality: Linux Makes no Sense at the Desktop.
    We'll start with this point, since I find it the most amusing one, personally. I don't think they've been paying attention to the world, do you? look at all the various works that are being done by various parties, be it the GNOME camp, the KDE camp, enlightenment, windowmaker, etc. Just because it doesn't act like windows, and it doesn't look like windows, that doesn't mean it's not usable.
    Maybe they should spend some time investigating how difficult it is for people to use windows before they start harshing on other systems.
  2. Linux does not provide support for the broad range of hardware in use today
    Well, maybe we don't support all the hardware out there, but because of companies like microsoft it becomes increasingly harder to support some hardware because you make people feel they have to hide how everything works. The REALITY of the situation is that linux really DOES support the bulk of hardware out there - exception maybe being modems, since winmodem is about the poorest idea that anyone has come up with. Update: in response to various emails I would also like to point out that linux runs on a broader range of architectures than x86 (like windows), including alpha, ppc, arm, 68k, etc.
  3. Application support is limited
    Okay, this is just total crap. Sure, the same applicatiosn aren't found on linux as are found under windwos, but the reverse is also true. I can't use a lot of the familiar X applications under windows, either. So what's your point? You talk about ISV's supplying software for windows (93%) but then you forget about all the rest of us who don't write software that you have to pay money for. Maybe you should investigate this further, too - take a look at,, linuxgames, and many others.
  4. cumbersome nature of existing GUIs
    Right, you must be talking about windows here. makes sense, it's difficult to maintain windows boxes, so the inverse must be true, eh? ick.
  5. Linux security model is weak
    because it's based on the unix security model? that's your argument?
  6. a user who needs any administrative capability must be made a full administrator
    that's crap and you know it! haven't you ever heard of SUDO? oh, I forgot, you windows people don't really understand permissions delegation if it's not in a point-and-click gui.
  7. windows nt security is easy to set up and administer with tools such as the security configuration editor
    right - this tool is going to keep your box actually safe from stuff. GIVE ME A BREAK! you can't configure all the services that users add onto their system from it, keeping THEM from having buffer overflow problems, etc. PLEASE do some research people!
  8. total cost of ownership
    You never ONCE explain where all these bizarre linux costs came from. oh, wait, you made them up. you didn't bother taking into account all the free help out there for support, including web sites, community, newsgroups, etc. I hate it when people make up numbers like that to make themselves look good. - update: these numbers that microsoft used came from the cost of running solaris on a sparc. I hardly see how these relate to running linux on an x86 costs. (thanks for reminding me to put this information)
  9. Linux needs real world proof rather than anecdotal stories
    there are LOADS of linux realworld success stories, not just anecdotes. Feel free to contact any of the customers of VA (and now companies like dell, penguin computing, etc) and talk to them for yourselves. don't take MY word for it.
  10. largest file size is 2gb
    oh come on - that's a system dependant limit - on a 64 bit system you don't have this problem (and iirc ufs doesn't display this problem als, even if only read-only ) NOTE: I clarify this due to some emails I received.
  11. swap size limited to 128 mb
    that's not true with the systems you even tested with (2.1 removed this limitation iirc) even before that you could have multiple swap partitions

I'm going to stop here, because I just don't have time to go muhc further than this. I hope that microsoft does some more research before they put up more pages like this one. If anyone from microsoft is reading this, and wants to explicitly give me the rights to put up benchmarks of their OS, fileserving, webserving, SQL server, etc... I'll beat you at your own game. If not, then you're just lying chicken behind the same wall of crap you always do.

Oh, and to those people wondering why my site was so slow after the slashdotting, unfortunately I do not a) control the bandwidth to my site nor b) can I increase the number of processes that my web site is allowed to run at once. if I controlled the machine I would have more luck tuning my server (my apologies, I don't get hit from slashdot and every day). I will likely move my server to my current employer thanks to the overwhelming crushing that this article has caused my server to take. (nice hideous runon sentance - but I'm no english major, either)

Also, before anyone attempts accusing me of linux bigotry and posting FUD, etc - I'm only rebutting the things that they have said. should someone come out with something worth switching to tomorrow from linux I would do it in a heartbeat.

Update - 10/06/1999
I have done a few minor updates in here. I removed the benchmarks statement since I don't have statistical data (yet) to back it up. I'll probably get sued from microsoft for posting benchmarks against their servers since that breaks licensing agreements... But what would really interest me is to see tuned linux systems put against tuned NT systems, with a random third party chosen for benchmarking (it is unfair to have advance knowledge of the benchmarking suite -s since that's how sun rigged their benchmark performance results). But the main thing I would like to point out is some email that I got from someone (whose name will go unmentioned unless they tell me to) complaining about open source. I'll quote what they said here:

Open Source hasn't helped the industry in anyway. It's succeeded in making RedHat rich from support income, but it hasn't made it less-expensive for me to own a computer. It certainly didn't help Netscape, and still doesn't show signs of assisting them. I think it's about time you guys took a look at your game-plan.
and, my response:
It's not about making it less expensive to own a computer. MAybe you misunderstand the whole concept of everything. And maybe you also misunderstand how redhat has gotten money - it's not from support income, it's from folks investing who believe in the concept. The concept of you being able to benefit from everyone else's work. I have spent almost every day for the past several years of my life working on free desktop software - and I will work every day for the next several years doing the same thing, very likely. I won't ever force you to use it, I won't ever force you to pay for it, but I won't ever take money from people for it, either. Hasn't helped the industry - you're completely correct. the software industry is a dead-end - making money off of commodity software is a dead end. Netscape didn't grok what would be involved in converting their model - mozilla isn't ready because they had to remove so much from their code they had to start the whole thing over from scratch. Who benefits from opensource? everyone. users end up with better product, developers end up with scores of code to base their code off of - since the licenses explicitly allow them to copy the code and take advantage of the work other people have done. In fact, if it's a project like enlightenment (one that I work on) licensed with the X license (not the GPL) you can actually repackage the source as part of a commercial project. It's a win-win situation for everyone.

Also, I'd like to comment that if microsoft's servers are so good, why does hotmail (a microsoft site) run on freebsd/solaris and apache? Just food for thought.

--Mandrake (10/05/1999)