Coffeehouse Thread

33 posts

The times they are a changin' ?

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  • User profile image
    jamie

    Windows / Office has - for a long time - had 90+ % of their respective markets, and as such, they have been in a position to somewhat... force users to do things their way, mostly for lock in reasons.

    Some examples might be:

    - No more installing Win over a previous win install ( deletes folder)

    - No way to simply install an app, then once its in a folder, it will always run ( not needing to be installed again)

    - the abominations autocomplete / win clipboard and OLE - mainly lockin OS wide features
    ( * MS Engineer: "Just copy in and out of notepad to remove all that junk"  Me: "why not leave it alone to begin with??")

    - Selecting text

    - EVERYTHING PowerPoint DOES

    - Activation, Activation and activation.


    With the Open Source world activley and busily thwarting these cruel and un-natural interventions -

    (cross platform, no activate, free, works as youd expect - not to "prop-up" OS - or other ap)

    ..put in place mainly to "enhance" proprietary software companies hold over its users.. will we be seeing a more RELAXED stance on these issues - or are things just about to get worse?  ( quicken Tongue Out / Lawsuits / Patent fights)

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    I'm sorry Jamie. Normally I can catch what you're saying (and why, even if others can't) .... But this time I can't.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    With open source programmers - building and designing things - in a natural way - not to prop up another products - will MS stop adding and designing stuff for no other reason than Windows/Office lock in

    Examples phrased different:

    Windows :  you need to activate
    Linux:  you dont need to activate

    Windows:  50 paragraph EULA
    Linux:  NO eula

    Windows - you need CALs
    Linux - you dont need CALs

    Windows - you need keep track of all software licences
    Linux:  you dont need to do this

    Windows - Lets make the clipboard do weird stuff that only MS or MS sanctioned apps can use
    Linux: lets make the clipboard copy and paste NORMAL

    Windows:  Clippy "Are you typing a letter?"
    Linux: 


    So from the above list - every UN-NATURAL thing - that most people do not want - or do not like - has been REMOVED in it;s OSS counter part.

    So my question was - Can MS see this?  ackowledge it? Change it? Fix it?

    Or are they going to ignore it - and let OSS slowly and simply make software run the way people would seem to want.

    The mere differences in the list above - hopefully illustrates what bugs people about windows as they havent put it in to linux

    * the power to dictate how you want things to be - only works when theres no alternative.
    Now that alternatives are shpaing up.. will they act or ignore?




  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    The big Linux vendors (e.g. RedHat) most definitely DO want you to keep track of software licenses.  That's how they stay in business and make money, after all.

    X11 cut-and-paste of simple text has been broken ever since they decided to support TWO clipboards and not specify which one apps should use (or even HOW apps should use them).  Most apps now agree on one standard, so that if you stick with one distro you won't get shafted too badly, but it's taken them 20 years to get that far.  Hardly a shining example of responsive behavior to customer feedback Smiley

  • User profile image
    jamie

    There may also be a parallel drawn between Music Industry and MS

    Music industry was closed - demanded a certain way of doing things - high prices - treated artists badly - slow to react in giving consumers what they wanted

    Internet created free distbribution network, artists and users embraced it -  labels trying to sue customers

    MS was closed, demanded certain way of doing things, high prices, made Devs follow complicated specs ( to raise barrier to entry in markets)

    OSS /Internet created open and free system based on community and participation


    * And no - a bus trip in europe isnt going to save the day


    ***** actually heres the easiest way to say it:*****

    We all no OSS takes the best stuff about Windows / Office and trys to "clone" it  ( mono etc)

    But what about the things they DONT put in - on purpose?

    To me it shows exactly what people dont like - so you should use that as a guide to what people dont want

  • User profile image
    lars

    jamie wrote:

    Windows:  Clippy "Are you typing a letter?"
    Linux: 


    Hmm. We need an open source Clippy!

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    warren

    You must REALLY be off your rocker to believe that Microsoft is using

    jamie wrote:
    - Selecting text


    as a way of locking people in to their platform.


    Most of your other points are extremely easily disproved, and yet you continue to smear your false bullshit all over this forum. 


  • User profile image
    sbc

    I suppose the benefit of Linux distro's is that you have far more freedom to do what you like with the software.

    If you are a large company, then it is best to go with Novell/RedHat/IBM to get support for the OS and apps on it.

    However, you do not have to - you could hire people to support and develop it for you. You are free to install on as many machines as you like, without worrying about license fees.

    With Windows, you have to pay Microsoft for the privilege of using Windows (through CAL's etc). If you want OS changes (or changes to Office), they are out of the question.

    Of course, you can always extend it by writing new software, but you cannot change the design of the OS.

    What would make Longhorn really appealing is far more control over what the system looks like and how it behaves - you may want it to behave like the OS Docker, or reorganise the Start Menu like how it looks in KDE/Gnome (i.e. 'Start' >> 'Internet' >> 'Email' or 'Start' >> 'Games' >> 'SimCity' or 'Start' >> 'Office' >> 'Word Processing'). The ability to change how Windows Explorer behaves (and looks) would be good too.

    What is needed is a completely new look to the OS that can increase productivity (with the option to go back to the classic look).

    It also needs a better security model - when you log in you log in as a standard user (like a sandbox mode), but whenever you wish to make system changes, you are prompted for a password. This should be done automatically - so if someone writes a custom app that can change system settings, you get the same password prompt as you would get if you went through the control panel.

    A quicker way of user switching would be good as well. The best thing would be if you could get rid of the registry completely - everything set up in .config files (even file types, i.e. in a file called 'explorer.exe.config' or something similar).

  • User profile image
    lars

    Have you tried running some of the OSS/Free/whatever office suites? The basic functionality of the word processing and spreadsheets are pretty good. And they handle MS Office formats.
     
    Porting custom extensions like macros on the other hand is said to be non-trivial. Custom extensions/macros/templates is one of the reasons people stick with MS Office. Not having to learn what is different in the other suites is another. And since it's a pretty good piece of software I think alot of people simply like it. I like Office since it has so much more coolness under the UI. The tight integration is good to work with. Even tho some featues may get on your nerves. Still, there usually is some way to customize the behaviour if you look for it hard enough. Isn't there for instace a way to turn off smart tags?

    I don't feel locked in by Office. Other programs can read, edit and convert the files created in Office. So I'm not afraid of that. Office is abit bloated tho. Just for fun I tried running Office97 the other day and man that really hauled a** in comparison.

    And Office have Clippy. I love Clippy!

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Jamie,

    I'm only going to tackle these because it's fun to re-educate. I'm not doing this because I disagree so much as I think you've got a misconception about the "true open source" mindset and the "real world open source" mindset.

    Activation: Most definitely need to activate if you want support. You can totally use all current versions of Windows without activating, though doing so will (of course) nullify any and all support (excluding Windows Update).

    EULA: Actually, many products do in order to qualify for support or to take advantage of non-OSS features (like Red Carpet in SuSE).

    CAL's: Again, many do have connection limitations, after which time you do need to upgrade your license. Not CAL's per say, but the same net effect (in a corporate environment, which is the only time I can see CAL's applying anyways).

    Software licensing: Again, this is where the "real world OSS" comes in. You buy SuSE for 80-500$. That's one license. You push it out using ZENWorks using PXE-Boot to 3000 PC's. That's another 80-500$/PC (not quite, as Novell gives huge volume discounts, but the effect is the same: you pay per 'object'). You need to keep track of this somehow.

    Clipboard: Erm... Lots of non-MS stuff does copy / pasting quite nicely. Like this nice little input at C9 accepts formatting from Word just fine and dandy. I can copy / paste from Photoshop into Paint into Corel into Fireworks into Freehand...

    I actually hear what you're saying, I just think you're getting the 'user' side of OSS and trying to compare it to the corporate side of Microsoft. In the corporate world all software companies do essentially the same thing, and for very good reasons.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Wow.. Jamie you clearly have never used an open-source 'solution' in your life. I'm all for OSS but most of it is pretty poor for the 'normal user'. I mean every piece of software uses a non-standard GUI toolset which don't link to one another.

    X11 or whatever they are calling it, is bad on paper and has been badly implemented. The problem is they convert the users actions to a standard protocol and then back out to be executed which even on paper creates a massive bottle-neck. Even if you forgive the speed issues, you then come to actually use these GUIs that are completely customizable but at the same time completely unusable. I would compare X11 (Gnome, KDE etc) with Win3.1, 95 just completely blows it out of the water. We are not talking about the kernel here (The Linux Kernel rules!) we are talking purely about the options for graphical interfaces and desktops.

    I could go on pointing out all the separate areas that Linux/Desktops need to address but I have only so much time on my hands.

    [Just to make it clear, I love the Linux Kernel + Linux Operating System (bash etc)]


  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    I'm sorry Jamie. Normally I can catch what you're saying (and why, even if others can't) .... But this time I can't.

    He's drunk again.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    ***** actually heres the easiest way to say it:*****

    We all no OSS takes the best stuff about Windows / Office and trys to "clone" it  ( mono etc)

    But what about the things they DONT put in - on purpose?

    To me it shows exactly what people dont like - so you should use that as a guide to what people dont want



    i dont see what's so hard to understand about that:
    copy what they dont add like they copy (mostly) what you do add.

    - re- clipboard auto complete:
    There are too many annoying and un-natural things about the way this was implimented - that can only seen as change for os sake  ( STOP COLLECTING!)

    - There are lots of Linux installs you buy ONE and run as many as you like

  • User profile image
    Manip

    From both a user AND a programmer I love the Windows clipboard. It just stores whatever the software tells it to, so if your having problems with what it is copying then it is the software not the OS.

    Also, 'autocomplete' and the clipboard have NOTHING to do with one another.

  • User profile image
    lars

    I'm not sure times have changed all that much. The OSS movement benfits from the threat of the "Evil Empire". Microsoft benefits from the threat of losing its central cash cow (it remains paranoid and agile). Both benefits and drives innovation forward. Having a nemesis is a good thing. Especially for the users of the software.

    And it's been that way as long as I can remember.

    Windows vs Linux.
    Windows vs OS/2
    PC vs Mac
    Amiga vs Atari ST
    C64 vs Sinclair Spectrum (in europe atleast)

    And so it goes on. At times there have been many more players, but most of the time only two have been the major contenders.

    Eric Sink is doing some very interesting blogging about The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. Check out his post about Law #8: The Law of Duality. And why not subscribe to his RSS while you're at it. It's a very good blog.

    /Lars.


  • User profile image
    Manip

    Yeah exactly. In the games (console) industry you have two big 'winners' with one drop-out...

    Playstation + Sega CD + Nintendo 64

    Sega CD died

    MegaDrive + SNES + Atari (ST?)

    Atari died

    PS2 + GameCube + X-Box

    GameCube is dying

  • User profile image
    lars

    I'm not sure if I follow you, but I'll give it a try.

    What you want is Microsoft to remove activation, EULAs and CALs? How would you like it to work?

    The clipboard stores some piece of data with indication of what the format is. Some programs like MS Office uses that information to retain formatting information between applications. That is an optional feature and not a bug in Windows. I think it's called Smart Tags and I'm sure that it can be turned off in the settings.

    I'm not sure how you think this could turn into a lawsuit?

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    true to both last posts - so back to main theme of thread:

    can we expect actual changes in Windows, to reflect the growing competition - or more lawsuits?

    As a long time Windows user - who doesnt use Linux - but is interested in some of its philosphies ( free as in speech - not as in beer(zippy)..

    i truely hope MS will RELAX some of the things that have gotten into Windows - and Windows programs in general - due to lack of competition in those years

    - quicken - the most unfriendly and stringent  activation by ANY software company

    - Adobe product activation
    - MS activation, eula - that request more than just indemnity against the software it self ( what you create, whats on your machine, the ability to monitor, the ability to change/delete

    I guess we're heading to a DRM proprietary controled world on one side - and a free ( as in speech) and open one on the other.

    Microsoft's war on GPL -  "Microsoft has two goals from its patent licensing program. One is to create a new, stable revenue stream. The other goal is to make writing free software illegal." (theregister.co.uk)

    Instead of an new age of lawsuits and patents.. why cant MS "turn the battleship" - end many of the things many users dont wont - and further blur the lines between closed and open.. like this SITE Smiley

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