Table of Contents
James D. Corder
As you are aware, 369 is building their new classroom this summer. In fact the blue prints are at the City of Columbus as we speeak for permits. Our new facilities will allow us to open 10 more seats in our program. Therefore, on Tuesday May 11th 7:30p.m. 369 is having a First Nighter.
Interested Youth [young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20] should contact us to make arrangements for both them and their parents to come to this one hour meeting.
James D. Corder
Saturday May 8th 10:00a.m. at the Church.
James D. Corder
Bring your unwanted stuff and junk to the Reformation Lutheran Church [Hamilton & Livingston Ave.] Friday May 28th 7:00 p.m. with your Venturer for the Book Making Sleepover.
Saturday May 29th 8:00a.m. until 3:00p.m. we will have our bi-annual Garage sale.
20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
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I am the captain of my School's A Grade debating team and we have a debate next week on the topic - `The Micro$oft monopoly must be squashed and we are debating in the affirmative.
So... As you and the members of your Venturer Crew have information and more knowledge on the topic in comparison to myself and my fellow debaters, I was wondering if you could circulate this e-mail around your crew and perhaps have some of your crew put together some arguments for us and have them e-mailed back to me via this address.
Myself and my team would be eternally grateful for any assistance you or your crew could provide. I am simply asking the expertise of Venturer Crew 369 to be loaned to me in a great time of need. (groans from background) :o)
Please give it some thought and reply ASAP as the debate is on Monday 26 April 1999. I look forward to your reply and thank-you for your time.
Hayden, I don't know if you can bring up the American Anti-Trust laws in Australia or not. However, Congress broke up AT&T [Largest phone/technology company in the world] because they were a trust [monopoly]. I would not want to argue if the American Anti-Trust laws are fair or not. But Micro$oft is a "trust" by said definition.
Second: look into the fact that if you want to buy Micro$oft, you only have one vendor. UNIX has 75 "separate" vendors!!! [That I know of]
------------------------------------------------------------------------- 386BSD Auspex AUX AIX ArchBSD BTOS BSD cbUNIX CLIX Coherent CTIX DCOSx, DELPHI DGUX OSF1 DomainOS DSR-NX Dynix ESIX FreeBSD F-BSD-Arm HP-UX HarrisCXUX Helios HEP-UPX Hurd IDRIS Interactive Irix Linux LynxOS MachTen Minix MV-UX NCRSVR4MPRAS NetBSD NeXT NonStopUX OpenBSD OS-MP Plan9 POSIX PTX QNX RiscOS RT SCO ODT SCOOpenServer SCO XENIX SINIX Solaris SPARC64 SPP-UX Stellar SunOS Sys III Sys V Topix T.R.O.N. Ultrix UMAX-VRT UNICOS Unixware R40 UNIX V-88 USG UTS VENIX Version 5 Version 6 Version 7 Xenix -------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I don't like the support and/or service of Digital Equipment I can call Sun Microsystems, etc... Sure, there are more than one place that sells Micro$oft. However, if you don't like the way the OS performs, you have no choice!
Look into Solaris the UNIX Operating System by Sun Microsystems It sells for around $20.00 in the USA. Look at Netscape [Free] and Staroffice [Free]. You have a complete desktop for under $50.00. Micro$oft Office alone is more!!! In America, you can purchase Sun Workstations cheaper than you can PCs...
There are a number of reasons why Microsoft (R) can be considered a monopoly. Especially in the personal computer market. One of the points that I most often dwell on when bashing microsoft(tm)(R) is the lack of buyer choice. When a person buys a new personal computer from virtually anywhere, there is no question about what will be installed on that computer. Windows 98 (tm)(R)(c). (Until about 2002, when windows 2000 (tm)(R)(c)(*)(mt) comes out and that will be the defacto standard for installations). You can't even specially request a non-microsoft operating system to be pre-installed, nor can you request to have no operating system installed at all. Almost every distributer personal computers is under contractual agreement with microsoft to pre-install every single computer with their operating system.
Once you have your pre-installed-with-microsoft-computer, you can choose to format the drive and install another operating system, but there is little point. Schools and colleges across America demand that electronic submissions of papers and other documents be in proprietary formats such as microsoft word. I recently had to turn in a design spec for one of my CIS courses. The spec HAD to be in word format. Me, having a computer that booted solely into FreeBSD (my choice for a desktop system), had no way to save a document in that format. I ended up spending a lot of time in a microsoft computer lab to complete the spec. Why don't schools choose to use open formats for documents? Because someone would have to learn something. They wouldn't want anyone to have to learn something unnecessarily.
A broken up microsoft would force them to open up their formats so that they could share within the divisions. With this in place, how you worked with a document, would not depend on how much you spent on an operating system.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Application Microsoft FreeBSD ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operating sytem Windows 98 - $80 FreeBSD - Free, or $20 for CD + all applications. Document editor Word - $40-$60 WordPerfect - Free Almost anything Windows version - $60 FreeBSD/linux version - Free -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Makes Sense to me!
For the moment, let's not concern ourselves about Microsoft being a monopoly or not. We pretend Microsoft is just another business. Just look at Microsoft. We'll use a car metaphor, "If your car did _____?" I'm very tempted to use the "microsucks" euphemism...
(1) Microsoft has terrible products and services. Their systems crashes twice daily (meaning you have to reboot... or a program fails to run smoothly). What would you do if your car quits working twice a day for no apparent reason?
(2) Microsofts' products come with curdy support. Call up one of their technical hotlines. You pay them money. Their answers are usually "Pay more to upgrade to our latest version". Or if you were reporting "bugs", they are called "issues" and (as a home user, or a small corporate user) it gets relegated into a black hole. (Especially now. There are reports that Microsoft is "putting all their manpower" into their Windows 2000 project. Who has time to report and fix bugs in existing products?) OH, and the official recommendation from Microsoft is to reinstall Microsoft Windows 95/98 every month, or risk having a very unstable computing environment. What would you do if your car dealer, manufacturer, or insurer told you that, because your car quits working twice a day, you have to take it into the shop for several months and have it reworked? By the way, you have to pay for the car to be reworked. What if your car manufacturer, dealer, and insurer told you, to go replace the engine and transmission every month? Never mind that the car came with the defects when it was first bought!
(3) Microsofts' most lucrative business is the business applications: Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc. Word 5.0 works fine for some people, and Word 6.0 absolutely sucked. In a business setting where people sends documents back and forth, it is convenient to have everyone using the same version. Why? Because Microsoft changes the format of the documents from version to version. Take an office floor where everyone is using Word 97. Someone snags Word 2000 because he thinks it is cool. He is using the converters so people still using Word 97 can read his stuff. One day, he got tired, or piqued, or annoyed, and just sent something out in Word 2000 format. The person receiving it can't read it, so they have to keep it as Word 97 format. It happens several times. The Word 97 user decides to look into Word 2000, thinks it is cool, upgrades. Two people are now sending the stuff. Pretty soon, they are annoying everyone with sending Word 2000. They start looking into upgrades so they are not hassled. It spreads like a bacterial colony. The entire floor gets Word 2000. Word, a the full, corporate cost, gets expensive. Or maybe the Vice President decides that his secretary will start using Word 2000, in which case everyone in his part of the company upgrades.
You bought a car one year. Next year, another model comes out with the driver seat in a different place. Or maybe the left-right turn signals are different. Or maybe the engine doesn't take the same gas (you have to buy the gas from a certain dealer). The local government follows along and changes the traffic signals and lane assignments. What would you do?
Hopefully, you know the answers to all the car questions. It is simple: go get another car, from another dealer, from another insurer. The last one is ludicrous, since car manufacturers have to cater to the traffic laws. Or is it ludicrous? At least with traffic laws, you don't have the government changing them to suit their whims, or force you to pay more taxes so they can keep changing them. The basic fact remains. You don't like the car, you go buy a different one. Don't like the Ford models? Grab yourself a Chevy.
The answer for Microsoft, though, is not as simple. Let me ask you: would you give up your Microsoft operating system, with its office programs and browsers? Wipe it clean and get something else? Consider getting a Mac. Or a (gasp) desktop UNIX. If you do, congratulations. If you don't, why not?
Simple. Microsoft has an effective and efficient monopoly -- effective and efficient for themselves. The consumers get shafted.
Never mind Microsoft's arguments that is what the consumer wants (I mean, come on, are those scenarios what you really want?), or why wouldn't they have a $16 billion dollar cash reserve.
As this is a debate, it is always a good idea to look at the opposing side as well. You do want to know what the other side is going to say in order to refute it.
Much of their argument will go something along the lines of how there are other types of computers than the common PC. Mr. Corder has already brought up the multiple varieties of the UNIX box. As well, there is the Macintosh OS (I'm the only Mac user in the group, so I kinda feel the responsibility of bringing this up ;) ). So upon purchasing a computer, the user has the option of three different operating systems.
And now the time for the rebuttal:
The majority of America does not want to have to deal with a command line prompt. This unfortunately says that most consumers are not going to buy a UNIX box. As well, they are not going to install Linux. This leaves the consumer the choice between the Macintosh OS and the Windows OS. In these two, the market share and software support is much higher for the Windows OS, so it feels as though there is a trust. Because the difference in these are so incredibly glaring, it seems to the normal consumer as though they do not have a choice.
The magazine the Economist had some several excellent articles on the issue of the Microsoft Anti-trust suit. I think they were published a month or two ago. They talked about what a monopoly exactly is and is not and how microsoft fits into that definition. I found they articles to be very enlightening, you may want try to find them.
Martin J. Garvey, The Hidden Cost Of NT, InformationWeek, 20 July 1998.
"Windows NT systems carry lower sticker prices than their Unix counterparts, but ongoing maintenance and support requirements can make them much more costly to run."
Ann Harrison, In LINUX We . . ., Software Magazine, Cover Story, September 1998.
"Randy Kessell, manager of technical analysis for a Southwestern Bell operation center, notes that because UNIX allows his company to do more remote network administration and software loads than was possible with either Microsoft or NetWare products, it has driven down their network management costs."
Ann Harrison In LINUX We . . .Software Magazine Cover Story, September 1998.
"Tim Payne, director of database marketing at Oracle, says many of his company's corporate customers have made large investments in UNIX. When Oracle announced in July that it would be offering 24x7 support for Oracle8 on Linux, he says 300 customers called the next day asking about availability. `It's reliable, it's proven, it runs on commodity Intel boxes, and it's a really low-cost alternative to NT,' says Payne."
Peter Coffee We do not have a failure to communicate PC Week, 4-13-98.
"Notably, I did not get a single message from anyone who took the position that Windows NT was good enough. Quite the opposite: Several messages expressed a resigned expectation that Windows NT 5.0 would stagger out the door, burdened with immature add-on services but without achieving corporate-class reliability in its basic functions.
"I heard from one reader who said that at his site, Linux on a 486 is outperforming Windows NT on a 200MHz Pentium, and he has Linux machines that have been running without interruption since before Windows NT 4.0 was released."
Barbara Darrow and Stuart Glascock Microsoft Admits NT Trails Solaris Computer Reseller News, 28 July 1998.
"We have a Solaris box that hasn't been rebooted in two years," said James Domengeaux, president of Comspace.Com, a Houston-based Web reseller. In comparison, NT servers are rebooted often, he said. "That's a problem especially in e-commerce if you're talking transactions per second, because how many orders do you miss?" he said.
Mark Gibbs Lookin' into Linux Network World March 30, 1998.
"`I know three companies that are silently putting more and more into UNIX . . . at the expense of NT, simply because NT falls over too often,' says Peter Flynn, a consultant in Cork, Ireland. NT is known to crash too frequently for many IT manager's tastes. Typical causes are memory access violations and I/O errors.
"These companies aren't inclined to talk about their decisions `because of pressure from upstairs,' Flynn says. `The buy-Microsoft-only ethos has taken over from the buy-IBM-only, and managers who decided [against advice from technology people] to use NT rather than UNIX are now unwilling to lose face,' he adds.
Ann Harrison, In LINUX We..., Software Magazine, Cover Story, September 1998.
"Randy Kessell, manager of technical analysis for a Southwestern Bell operation center,... adds that his company is thinking about replacing their NT network server with UNIX. `Our preliminary tests show that the UNIX solution is outrunning the NT solution,' says Kessell. `It's much faster.'
James Niccolai New chip to debut in IBM's RS/6000 Model S70 InfoWorld Electric, 12 August 1998.
"The new processor will also make IBM's S70 one of the fastest Web servers on the market when used in certain configurations, according to a certain benchmark test selected by IBM. In a 12-way configuration, the S70 delivered SPECweb96 performance of 9,081 HTTP operations per second, making it the first system to break the 9,000 barrier, according to IBM.
Michael Stutz NASA Greets Beowulf Wired News, 17 August 1998.
"Enter Beowulf, a system that uses a parallel-processing architecture and off-the-shelf machines running the freely available Linux operating system. One machine is the server node, and distributes a processing job to all of the other machines, which are client nodes.
"The total hardware cost for CCD's 24-node Beowulf cluster was US$57,000 -- as compared to most commercial Supercomputers today, which cost between $10 million and $30 million. The cluster gives 2.4 gigabytes per second throughput, which means that a 200 GB hard drive can be scanned in only 20 seconds. While it took five to seven weeks to analyze the evidence of several intruders in the recent Israeli hacker case, Talleur said it would have only taken a few hours with Beowulf.
"The Beowulf project was developed at NASA by Thomas Sterling and Donald Becker in the summer of 1994; today, anyone can buy a Beowulf CD-ROM -- Red Hat Software's Extreme Linux package -- for $29.
The Washington Post Sunday, February 8, 1998; Page H01
Cincinnati Bell Information Systems, for instance, has used Sun workstations and servers to process checks for several years. It recently bought several top-of-the-line Sun servers to handle the demands of a million bills a day. The choices, said James Holtman, CBIS vice president, were either Sun servers or IBM mainframes. Microsoft's technology "isn't quite there yet. It has a ways to grow to match those-size systems," he said.
Linus Torvalds talks economics and operating systems InfoWorld, April 9, 1998.
"The corporate IT managers notice someday what is that box in the corner and they tell them that it's the departmental Web server that's been running for a year and a half, and by the way it's running Linux. One normal reaction is to upgrade it immediately to NT, but what happens is that they go back to Linux because the performance dropped.
Quoted from: An In-Depth Analysis of Five Commercial UNIX Operating Systems and Windows NT Server 4.0 (Enterprise Edition) by D.H. Brown Associates, Inc.
"NT has long enjoyed an intuitive user interface for managing single systems, largely benefiting from the exceptional familiarity of the Windows look-and-feel adopted by the NT GUI. However, as users begin to deploy large numbers of servers, and geographically-dispersed servers, some of NT's architectural shortcomings for system management have become more apparent, deriving primarily from its design as a single-user system. The multi-user design of UNIX supports remote access at multiple levels, including the ability to login with a character session, via telnet, to edit configuration files, running GUI tools over the network-enabled X Window System, and now through Java versions of system management tools. NT currently enjoys none of these features. Rather, remote NT management typically involves either installing a local expert which Microsoft hopes will be easier due to NT's larger volumes and similarity to mainstream Windows versions or relying on layered system management products from Microsoft or third parties. Neither option, though, quite matches the efficiency of managing distributed UNIX systems."
James D. Corder
Though I am not an advocate of Linux, for in my opinion it is a toy operating system [as compared to Solaris, etc...], it is interesting to see how many corporations are abandoning Microsoft for it. Unfortunately, many IT managers are not knowledgeable in technology. Instead of being a leader they simply manage-by-magazine, and therefore, are overwhelmed by one of the best marketing departments in the world.
Unfortunately for these "green" IT managers, many of the fortune 500 will not talk about their data centers. They don't want the Cracker World to have any idea what is behind their firewalls. Therefore, Managers-By-Magazine never see the true power of the UNIX world. However, they will when CEOs higher successful CIOs!
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