Friday, May 18, 2007

I've Had It! - No More Microsoft Products

My house is now a Microsoft-free zone.

For a long time, Linux has been my primary operating system of choice. However, for most of the time, I had one machine running Windows 2000 to fall back on for those few things that didn't seem to work just right in Linux.

However, due to Microsoft's recent actions in making threats against the Linux / open source community, I've decided to act on principle, and go all the way and delete Microsoft Windows off my spare computer. Finally! I've eliminated the last tenticles of The Raptor of Redmond.

The "Raptor of Redmond", you say? I'm not sure who coined the phrase, but I was introduced to it by Peter Salus. It reflects on Microsoft's predatory tactics and also their office in Redmond, Washington. I feel it is a fitting title.

Microsoft is having a tough time competing against the free software and open source communities. You can sense the desperation when Microsoft makes the patently (no pun intended) ridiculous claim that free / open source software violates over 200 patents! I have no doubt that the community will fight and win against Microsoft in this.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft is not disclosing what these "patent violations" are. It seems like Microsoft is counting on people NOT KNOWING what they have up their sleeve for a long time. As Larry Augustin has observed, Microsoft doesn't want the public to see what they are, because they KNOW they will be refuted/repudiated thoroughly just as happened with the SCO suits. They are going to try to run with this "paper tiger" as long as they can, carrying out deception in an attempt to scare people away from Linux and other software or at least find ways to extort money out of those users. They don't need to win a single lawsuit, but they can use this to their advantage still.

This threat of action of Microsoft is very much like the suits that SCO brought forward: Threatening yet frivilous. Their primary value is as a deceptive scare tactic. They invoke lawyers as a sort of obstruction. They try to wear down their opponent.

With all due respect, I find some of Microsoft's tactics sleazy.

It looks like lawsuits will be coming if Microsoft walks their talk. You heard it right: Microsoft is threatening to sue their legitimate competitors, not because of patent violations, but because it seems to be their only way to stay afloat. But, what is even more embarassing is that Microsoft is not even threatening a company in particular!!! They are suing a movement! A community! A worldwide group of developers and users! This is true reactionary non-sense. It is truly pathetic. I hope the counter-reaction to Microsoft's threats will be the deadly blow that slays the brute and unsightly Raptor of Redmond, or at least causes it to change its ways and embrace a movement that is good and necessary (the open source movement). And if the Raptor of Redmond should rest in peace, we can hope that it does not pull a phoenix on us.

For those who wish to know more about what is going on, check out assesments by : cnn, Linux Today, CNET News, ZDNet, etc.

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