Talking to the 800 pound Gorilla


Originally uploaded by just4u2009

In addition to my quest to reach out to the general public, I desire to have discussion with the 800 pound Gorilla in the room.

So far I have been using the wwwuse twitter account to try to engage in discussion. No replies but it is still early yet. I am interested in a real honest to goodness fair and public debate.

We may not agree, Microsoft. Some may fear you due to your size and reputation. Many have ignored you with disgust for years. I do not. Instead I respectfully challenge your ability to be relevant for very much longer.

Jim Zemlin of Linux Foundation has said, “IDC already restated their growth forecast upwards for Linux due to the recession and I would expect analyst research to surface an even greater growth spurt for Linux over the last couple years as they get better at accounting for unpaid Linux and open source use. Linux provides better value than Windows, and in tough times this difference makes all the difference.”

Yet Steve Ballmer said “And because Windows 7 improves productivity, it offers the potential to increase billable time for mobile workers at a rate of nearly $600 per PC. This could return the equivalent of one-half of one percent of the company’s current gross annual revenue to the bottom line.”

Can you please explain how you believe that Microsoft Windows saves the customer money when you charge hundreds in licensing fees? Please contrast this “savings” with the cost of deploying a Linux desktop at no licensing fees.

Thank you very much.

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6 Responses to Talking to the 800 pound Gorilla

  1. nloewen says:

    compared to a computer designed for XP running a bad Vista install I should think windows 7 should provide some cost savings if you manage to get past the license fees.

  2. o e says:

    At where I have we have a choice to use CentOS and WinXP, I ended up with two machines and over the course of 18 months have found myself on the CentOS machine over 90-95% of the time where as initially it was 100% on the Windows and the CentOS was new. The applications are roughly equivalent (MSOffice vs. OpenOffice, Matlab on both, Mathematica on both, Outlook vs. Evolution, and so on) but the stability of the OS and apps on the CentOS machine is better, they run snappier (despite being on the older hardware) and there seems less learning curves imposed on the user (change for the sake of change) at inconvenient times. Granted the eyecandy and frills are less but the power and basic quality is superior. To those in the know the 800lb gorilla is more like the 40lb lemur. I don’t know what that Microsoft Rep. you quoted is saying but I made this migration as the CentOS machine seems to allow far more productivity.

  3. What Will We Use Editor says:

    Let’s discuss the customer’s cost, given nloewen’s assumption that you would save employee clock-hours if you upgraded a system to Windows 7 that was intended for Windows XP that was running Vista today.

    That means you, the company, have already invested about $179 per Vista Business upgrade, one business day of an MSCE’s time at the rate of $46/hour which is $386. Then consider the worker who is paid the American average of $19.13/hour without a computer at the desk for the day $153.04. Then consider a week of the worker’s time to adjust to Vista’s feature set and on the phone with tech support for an additional $765.20. Then let’s throw in another 3 hours of the MSCE’s time to give tech support and/or training at $138. We are now at $1235.24 assuming that the Vista install is fully functional. Since nloewen mentioned that the Vista install was bad then let us assume that there are several support calls over the course of a year for about $7000 of IT support staff and loss of worker time. Over $8000 has been spent on this money pit and we have not even factored in Windows Active Directory server or Exchange CALs, anti-virus software, or Microsoft Office licensing. We also know that the system in question was designed for Windows XP so let us suppose they upgrade the RAM at the cost of $75 for hardware, $184 for a half a day of MSCE time, and $76.52 of the worker’s time. Do you see how easily, $10,000 could be spent on this system before bringing Windows 7 into the question? Adding Windows 7 just doubles the cost overall because you again need hardware updates, more licenses, more loss of productive time, more training, more work for changing for change sake. Geeze, at the cost of $20,000 per seat, the Windows 7 software had better deliver “the new efficiency” under nloewen’s upgrade scenario.

  4. darryl says:

    >Can you please explain how you believe that Microsoft Windows saves the >customer money when you charge hundreds in licensing fees? Please contrast >this “savings” with the cost of deploying a Linux desktop at no licensing >fees.

    Sure I would be happy too…

    In the real world, people are paid for their time, it’s called “wages” or “income”. They have an employer who pays them to do certain things, (usually called a job).

    Now, if it takes you a full day to do something, and you are payed by the hour, you can say that job you did cost 8x(you’re hourly rate) + Tax and 401k.

    If you took twice as long to do that job, that task would cost twice as much for your employer, who has to pay you for your time.

    It’s called “productivity”, it’s about getting the job done with the minimum of time and effort waisted.

    So if a product increases you’re productivity, so you can get the SAME job done in a shorter period of time, you save you’re employer money.
    Depending on how much quicker you may save you’re employer ALOT of money.

    People needs “things” and “tools” to be productive, companies assess the cost benifits of increased productiviy agaist capitol purchase costs.
    If the benifits outweight the costs, it’s a wise decision for that company to make the capitol investment for increased producivity.

    Otherwise, we would still be using TRS-80 4Mhz 8-bit CPU’s and CP/M.

    But people work out ways of increasing producivity, they would out how to design and build faster CPU’s, they write software and programs that meet peoples requirements for increased producivity, and to take advantages of new and emerging technologies (like faster CPU’s) to again increase producivity.

    That is why not many people will use dial-up internet connections, they will pay extra to have DLS because their time is more important to them than the cost of the DSL connection.

    If you are a system builder, or have any experience as a system builder, you will be able to work out the OS cost of a high end computer represents approximately 5% of the TOTAL cost of the system.

    Less than the RAM, less than most HD’s, less than the motherboard, or the CPU and so on.

    But without the OS the rest of the system is worthless.

    So if MS have developed their products to increase producivity, that IMO is a good thing, and if FOSS do not do that same, what is their plan.

    So you develop FOSS to be less productive ? harder to use, take more time and more maintenance ?? and is that a good thing.

    So say you’re product increases productivity is a good and honorable thing, it shows you dont have “other” motives. So I have to ask what are you motives, if it is not to increase users producivity ?

    It’s clear people dont mind paying for product they find usefull, they will even spend as much as they can afford for a little extra, that is why luxury cars, big houses and nice clothes and jewelry is purchases. Not to increase producivity but to provide something someone wants.

    Paying for something that you want and like and can use, is not evil or bad or wrong.

    We have a choice, we are _NOT_ locked in, we know there are alternatives and we have a choice, great, so again what’s your problem.

    and it’s simple, the cost of an OS would be easily payed for with a few hours of saved work time.

    So if you dont like to see you’re clients producive, what do you want for your clients ?

    (it’s free, and it takes you more time to do anything, so you save money but give up some of your life span to save a buck).

    Somepeople like to just get the job done with the best tools available, and get on with living their live.

    Business, companies, traders, and so on dont go to work or form a company to “save” money or to buy cheap things, or to get things for free.

    People start companies to MAKE money, to employ people, give them jobs and security, but basically to make money.

    You dont make money by saving money, you make money by being productive, getting the job you are assigned to do,,, done.

    IT departments dont fret all day about MS license costs, or hardware costs, they focus on how to be productive and efficient.
    If that requires an outlay for a computer, or a software package and the level of work justifies the expense (for the sake of producivity) then the purchase will be made.

    When designing electronics, I used a commercial PCB/CAD and simulation package, in increased my productivity a huge amount, it’s much quicker for a computer to lay out a PCB than to do it manually.

    The PCB/CAD package cost well over $10,000 dollars, and was worth every cent because of the massive increase in productivity.

    So there is nothing wrong with stating your products are able to increase producivity.
    And if you cannot say that, you should be explaining why you’re products CANNOT increase producivity.

    Again, with the FUD, and claiming MS license fees criple people, if people dont want to pay for something, THEY DONT. it’s really quite simple.

    The problem as i see it with the FOSS model, is that producivity and customer satisifaction is not a priority or simply totally disregarded.

    FOSS have to basically give their product away and rely on support services and maintenance to revinue (ah la Red Hat), so with that model what is the incentive for FOSS to create maintenance and support free software.

    They are not trying to impress customers with quality, functionality, or reliability, FOSS programmers are not out of a job if they create product no one wants to buy.
    So what is the incentive for FOSS to create commercial quality and viable product.
    What FOSS programmer loses his job if he introduces a bug that breaks the system, or writes software that requires the likes of Red Hat to maintain.

    That is the real FUD the real fear is that FOSS will not see the light, and will not start to put the user and customer in the loop. FOSS developers will continue to “scratch that itch” and once they have the basic functionality (to the level where an experienced programmer can use it) they forget it.

    Rarly is the final step taken to refine a product to a commercial level, where the average joe off the street who just wants to get his job done and go home to the kids, will be happy to use you’re product.

    Until that time, if and when it ever comes, will be the time when FOSS/Linux finally starts to make inroads into the general computing community.

    Until then, without commercial quality product, and support and without FOSS/FUD (which few believe). FOSS/Linux IMO will remain a niche market.

    So it’s all about producivity, getting the job you need to do done.

    It’s not about idealogy, evil borg’s or FUD wars, it’s about the average man/woman who wants to get the job done, get paid and go home.

    Is it really that hard to think of the world as it is, in these terms. ?

    (a car costs alot of money to own, run and maintain) but the producivity you gain driving 20 miles to work, as opposed to walking is worth the investment.).

    It’s just that simple, walking is free but not that productive of your time, car is expensive but you’re time is worth more.

  5. Mackenzie says:

    @ daryl:
    I think FOSS programmers *do* try to impress people though. It’s an ego boost! “I made this software, and people LOVE it!” And I don’t see anything about FOSS that makes me not-productive. Well, I mean, that I choose to spend my time as a developer instead of doing other things might count, but it is not *necessary* for me to be a developer…it’s just what I like to do. And I think the step of refining to commercial level is what Red Hat, Novell, and Canonical have been working on for a long time.

    Again, with the FUD, and claiming MS license fees criple people, if people dont want to pay for something, THEY DONT. it’s really quite simple.

    That depends. Do they know they have a choice? If they can’t afford MS license fees and think they only alternative is an even-more-expensive Apple computer, but they *need* to have a computer…they may have to give up other things. Whereas if they are aware of their choices, they may spend $300 on food instead of on MS Office and just use

  6. What Will We Use Editor says:

    @darryl In the interest of productivity, I suggest you try running your posts through Writer so that your grammar and misspellings will be less.

    FOSS contributors take pride in their work by putting their own personal reputation on the line instead of hiding behind a corporate veil. If someone were to commit some bad code before just before dropping out of the project, the entire code base could be reverted to best-known-good by the new project maintainer. Moreover, if someone had inadvertently committed bad code, the co-project developers and the users themselves can make change suggestions. For more information on how this actually works, read

    The truth of the matter, OEMs would be better off if they could spend 0% of their per-system budget so that they can give the consumer bigger RAM, disks, faster CPU, and more power efficient systems. This is why the majority of the world’s web servers use Linux and Apache instead of Windows and IIS.

    Don’t think this translates to the desktop? Guess again! Small businesses have been looking into ditching the CALs and Microsoft Office for open source alternatives for some time now.

    So, answer this one: How is Microsoft Office 2007 a more productive tool to for the average office worker and home user?

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