How Microsoft Will Die

by James R. Stoup Jul 01, 2005

Longhorn, by the features

WFS: Cut
.NET Framework: Cut
Integrated Search: Cut
Avalon: Who knows?
Indigo: Who knows?
IE7: You can repaint a Kia, lower it down, put rims on it and think you are cool, but at the end of the day it is still a Kia.

And so it goes, on and on. Feature after feature is cut, promise after promise is broken, and what do we have at the end of the day? XP SP3. If Microsoft fails to deliver something approaching decent with Longhorn then they will be in trouble. Big trouble. And most people haven’t even realized this yet. But they will soon enough.

Why are they in trouble?

Momentum. It all boils down to momentum. Google has it. Sony has it. Apple has it pouring out of its orifices, Microsoft though. . .not so much. 

You see momentum is what pushes that reluctant manager to go ahead and upgrade his system instead of waiting for something better or (very scary music plays in the background) switching to Linux. Momentum is what gets a word of mouth campaign going that convinces your everyday user to go out and buy the latest OS. Momentum is what keeps the media friendly, sort of. 

But lately MS has been getting all of the wrong types of momentum. They aren’t getting that “battering ram” momentum no, it’s more like at sinking ship momentum. You see the ram is going through, but the ship is going down. Big difference.

Right now Microsoft can’t even hold a press release about Longhorn without either saying its going to be delayed again or that they are cutting even more features. This really makes them look incompetent. I mean, I know they are incompetent but this really lets the rest of the world in on the joke as well.

And no matter how they spin it they have now reached the point where it’s impossible to make the situation sound any better than it is. Three years ago they could have made these announcements from a position of strength. Two years ago they could have made these announcements and then lied heavily in hopes of saving face. One year ago they made these announcements and it started looking really scary for anyone whose business depended on Longhorn. And now this year these announcements make them look like a company that is adrift, with no real vision, desperately trying not to drown. Congratulations Bill you have officially lost any momentum you thought you might have had. 

The 3 nails in the MS coffin

In order of importance:

1. Microsoft
They have always been their worst enemy. Shoddy software practices are forced on programmers due to incompetent managers which in turn produces the mess that is Longhorn. Even if the computing world was relatively quiet (which it isn’t, not by a long shot) then MS would still be in deep horse pucky over the gross stupidity that their leadership has shown. And to make matters even worse management has now realized that this time there isn’t going to be a “quick fix”. There are no more features left to cut. This time the deadline is real because their competitors are getting their act together in a way that hasn’t ever happened before.

2. Apple
Making matters worse is Steve Jobs. He has Apple humming like fine tuned violin. Tiger is everything Apple promised and its only been released for three months or so. And I imagine things are only going to improve.  And if that wasn’t enough Apple is going to squeeze out yet another OS before Microsoft can get Longhorn out the door. Ouch, yet another kick in the balls. Then you have this whole Macintel thing going on plus rumors about the iPod/ITMS/movie business all of which draw the attention of the media towards Apple’s successes.

3. Linux
Never forget Linux. They may be a disorganized, fragmented group who may not present a challenge on the desktop but they are chipping away slowly at MS’s dominance. Then on the server side Microsoft has finally realized that they are fighting a losing war. And this is evidenced by the growing number of MS backed “independent” research groups claiming Windows server is (pick one, cheaper, better, faster, more secure etc.). Those tactics speak of desperation. They are a smear campaign plain and simple.

This is a good indication of how bad the situation currently is and how much worse its going to get. Think about how much of a market share Apple has. Something like 3% of yearly sales with an install base of about 10-15%. Now, think about its mindshare. What is mindshare you ask? Well, its the extent to which people know about a phenomenon. The iPod has enormous mind share. You might not own one yourself but chances are you know someone who has does. The iPod alone has made Apple’s mindshare sky rocket. Now factor in the ITMS and how profitable it has been. Now think about the recent announcement of their switch to Intel. And then there is the ever present rumors about them starting a movie store much like the iTMS. People can’t stop talking about Apple and Jobs is just fanning the flames, trying his best to fuel the fires and feed the rumor mills.

And all the while the media focuses on Apple do you know who they aren’t talking about? Microsoft. Think about all of the buzz that MS has gotten in the past when they released a new operating system. And here they are about to release an item they claim is their most revolutionary product ever and . . . no one is listening. No one cares. Redmond is no longer where all of the news is coming from. If you are about to release a killer product, something that is going to save your company and allow you to ride its success for years to come, the last thing you want to hear are yawns.

News flash! Longhorn is going to be drastically overshadowed by Leopard and Macs running Intel. Make no mistake about it, Jobs is a master showman. As such, he will wait untill the best moment possible and then try and wow the world with all of Apple’s new toys. Who wants to cover a stripped down, bare bones, bug infested OS like Longhorn (which is already being called XP SP3 if that gives you any indication of how bad things are) when you can go look at Leopard running on a pumped up PowerMac with Intel’s latest and greatest chip inside?

Linux learns to game

More bad news for MS is called Cedega. And do you know why it is bad? Because it allows Windows only games to be played on a version of Linux called Linspire. Uh oh. Thats not good.

Gaming is the one area in which Microsoft can truly call their own. No one really even competes with them on the desktop as far as gaming goes. Anything else and Apple and Linux can put up a good fight but not when it comes to games. Until now. With the release of this product Half Life, GTA, Doom 3 and the rest can now be played in Linux. And if they can do it for Linux then they can do it for Mac.  And that simple fact should scare the heck out of Microsoft. Because if that program is ported to OS X then the top games in the industry can be played on a Mac, using Intel’s fastest chip, using NVidia’s best graphics card on a 30” aluminum display. Over night PowerMacs could become the best gaming rig in history.

And remember, its gamers who drive companies to produce the best product possible. Normal people don’t go out and buy the latest and greatest stuff just because it’s out, gamers do. When you are playing Doom 3 you want it to be as realistic as possible and if that means buying a $300 video card then they will do it. If that means buying the fastest processor they will do it. And if that means upgrading to the newest OS then they will do it. Say, we don’t know anyone coming out with a new OS any time do we?

Realistically how long do you think gamers will stick with Windows if it turns out that the best gaming experience can be had on a Mac? And if the rumors are true and Apple does bring AltiVec to the Intel side of things then it is quite possible that Apple may be the ones who very soon are producing the fastest computers anywhere. And remember, gamers always want more power.

Women and children first

Here is my best shot at what Microsoft could do to try and turn things around:

1. Admit defeat
If only to themselves MS has to admit that Longhorn is a complete and utter failure. To have come this far, spent this much money and wasted this much time to ultimately produce an OS which barely has any of the features that was to make it great, is a beyond pathetic. Time to own up to the fact that everybody screwed up.

2. Thin the herd
First one out the door needs to be Ballmer. He is an idiot on a good day and he has just reinforced that image with his bungling of the Longhorn situation. After he goes then its time to go down the line trimming the fat and doing some serious house cleaning. Once that is done then look outside the company for a few decent managers.

3. Do your best
Since Longhorn is the only thing you got at the moment that is what they are going to have to sell. Try to make the best out of a bad situation. This is the point at which you should be treading water while you work on something else.

4. Dump it
Throw all of the current Windows code away. All of it. Everything from 9x to XP to Longhorn, everything has to go. It’s all crap and its time to jettison those reeking piles of poorly written, buggy code.

5. Start over
This may be the hardest pill of all to swallow but the way I see it they have two choices. Plan A, try and make a new OS from the ground up. Just like the people who designed Unix, security and stability have to be your main goals. But that approach is going to take time, a lot of time in fact. And time is something that MS doesn’t have much of right now. So, they might want to look at plan B. Plan B involves doing pretty much what Apple did. Use BSD as the core of your OS then build around it. Now, I realize that doing this would be a major embarrassment and would require the biggest software company on earth to swallow its pride, but ultimately they would see that it’s the best choice.

6. Decouple
There is no need to make IE so deeply attached to your kernel. Bad things happen when you do stuff like that. Same thing with Media Player, uncouple it. Strive to make the system as small as possible. You build the basic system and then offer pieces that can be attached as needed.

7. Move on
It’s time to tell the public that if they want to use the newest applications for then they need to upgrade. Everyone who still uses 98 has to get real. All of you still using 95 need your head examined. And any of you using ME, God help you. Microsoft needs to stand up and inform people that they will no longer bend over backwards to accommodate their old, clunky, piece of crap software. Its time to update all of your applications. 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP and Longhorn are dead, move on. That step alone would make the OS much smaller, faster and more secure.

8. Accept the losses
Microsoft is going to lose market share no matter what they do. If they followed this strategy then they would lose market share faster than if they stuck it out with Longhorn but in a few years they would be in a much better position to come back and reclaim what they had lost.

Wrapping it up

So, there you have it. The current state of the Longhorn, a prediction of things to come and a few hints for the folks in Redmond. It will be fun to watch what happens in the industry in the next few years. We will see if I am right. What do you think? What did I miss?

Since I have received so many comments that seem to dwell on the same point let me clarify my position.  I don’t think Microsoft is going to go anywhere soon.  However, I do think that they are on the downturn.  They have reached their peak and now they are in decline.  It will take a long time for their influence to fade (a decade at least) and for a good part of that time they will still be a force to be reconded with.  But that still doesn’t change the fact that, as a company, they are falling instead of rising.

Check out my views on all of Microsoft’s business endeavors (present and future) here:
Microsoft’s Future Prospects


  • To quote Beeblebrox
    “To be honest, I’ve always been a little skeptical of Mac-fanatic reports of their experiences with XP.  For some reason, Mac-fanatics seem to go through extreme problems with XP that no one else I know seems to have.”

    I suggest that Beeblebrox read Winn Schwartau’s ‘Mad as Hell’ rant regarding his experiences of Windows. He is clearly not happy with the amount of maintenance he has to do and the downtime he experiences with Windows and has switched to Mac as a result. Winn is certainly not a Mac fanatic, but he is regarded very highly in the IT industry. Therefore his experiences must be taken seriously.

    I agree that many Mac fanatics exaggerate the problems with Windows, but to say that Windows does not have many problems because (1) ‘I don’t experience any’, and (2) ‘I don’t know anyone else who does either’, is a weak argument. Maybe Beeblebrox knows many Windows users intimately, but there is plenty of anectodal evidence to suggest that many Windows users have issues with Windows’ stability. These peoples’ experiences may vary considerably, and what is the surpirse in that? Apart from the operating system, we all run very different PC’s both from a hardware and software perspective. Furthermore, we all do very different things with our PC’s. So when some people complain that their PC does this or that, it just isn’t good enough to retort with a ‘Well, mine doesn’t do that, so you are wong’.

    In short, it is a logical fallacy to conclude that ‘I don’t know anyone that has these (ie Windows) problems, therefore they do not exist’. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    For the record, I am both a Windows and Mac user. I prefer Macs. It is my platform of choice. But I agree with sentiments above (from Beeblebrox too) that Windows OK. I use it many hours a day in my work as well as at home. For the tasks that I do at work, Windows is perfectly OK. I have owned my current Mac for only 3 months, prior to which I used PC’s exclusively for 7 years. Before that I owned a Mac LCII and used many various Macs owned by others. I don’t find that Windows crashes all that often and my Mac has crashed once so far. What do I do to crash Windows? I open too many applications at once, I insert my USB flash drive (which Windows refuses to recognise), or I try to shift between documents too quickly. My wife is good at crashing the PC. She is very impatient and clicks on this and that and when nothing happens, she clicks even more. Sometimes the PC survives, sometimes it does not. What made my Mac crash? I had just installed a new application and tried to open it. Upon opening the whole thing froze completely. I restarted the Mac and then the application worked fine. No crashes since. While Windows does not crash very often at home or at work, I still have to do a lot of ‘Ctrl-Alt-Delete’s’ to close programs. This usually also requires the need for a restart as the PC’s performace sometimes suffers after a ‘Ctrl-Alt-Delete’ is required. Sometimes when shutting down I have to click on ‘end now’ as some program is preventing the system from shutting down. All these little interupptions are frustrating and waste time and can lead to loss of data. On the Mac I have had to force quit a handful of times, and each time it occurs neatly, with no residual effects (ie no restarting required). Not as much time is wasted, and no data lost. Which would you prefer?

    I run AVG antivirus free, Adaware personal, and spybot on the PC. I also have Zonealarm (the basic one). I have to spend time updating these on the PC and running scans. I would rather spend my time of an evening doing something else. I have no need for these on the Mac (except for the firewall which is in the OS). Someone high up in Intel was quoted as saying that he had to spend an hour each weekend removing spyware from his daughter’s PC. Is that a good use of time? In my opinion, no, but on a PC this maintenance must be done otherwise the whole system will break down.

    But these are only my experiences. I run basic apps, Word, excel, internet browsers, mail programs. At work I run software specific to my profession, but so what. A PC should be able to handle that. I usually have a couple of apps open at a time (4 at most). Similarly on my Mac. From my perspective I would rather spend time enjoying computing and using it for the taks I want to do, not in system upkeep etc as required on a PC. That is why I prefer to use a Mac. It does not waste my time as much as any PC I have used. From my Internet reading, there are many people who feel this way, and the number appears to be growing.

    That is my perspective. You all have your own.

    I also have a perspective on what I think regarding the future of Apple and Microsoft, but that is for another day.

    Whatever!!! had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 7
  • “Someone high up in Intel was quoted as saying that he had to spend an hour each weekend removing spyware from his daughter’s PC. Is that a good use of time? In my opinion, no, but on a PC this maintenance must be done otherwise the whole system will break down.”

    If that “someone” actually knew anything about computers he would know that batch scripting (.bat files) and the task scheduler can solve the problem completely, in a single hour. My PC doesn’t require active maintenance, it heals itself while I sleep. This is what my computer does at 3 AM in the morning, once a week…

    1. Wakes up from power-saving mode

    2. Opens command prompt (batch script)

    3. Run Disk Cleanup on all drives

    4. Delete cache and history from browsers (Opera and Firefox)

    5. Launch Spybot Search & Destroy (which automatically updates itself, scans for problems, fixes them, reapplies the immunity feature if necessary, and closes itself.

    6. Defragments all of the drives (except the partitions for my swap file and my Photoshop scratch file)

    7. Creates a backup of the system on another partition.

    8. Closes itself.

    9. Goes back into power-saving mode 20 minutes after.

    There is absolutely no need to maintain a computer, by hand, an hour each week. Whoever does that is clueless about computers, and certainly shouldn’t be employed at Intel.

    megamanXplosion had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 11
  • In regard to the “Mac-fanatics” comments, personally I’m far from one.  Yes, I’ve found that Macs are making my daily work routines more productive and in my experience I’m experiencing no lockups as opposed to my Windows machines, however as I stated far up above here - I have no desire to see MS disappear from the face of the planet, nor will I replace my PC for a few purposes any time soon.  It’s simply been easier to do the work I need to do on my Mac, mostly in areas of reliability.

    The above post though, of self-sufficient computer maintenance, is a point well-taken.  However, suggesting that anyone who does NOT know how to do the above mentioned 9-point maintenance routine is “clueless” is just plain ignorant.  99.9% of the population couldn’t set their windows machines up to do that kind of maintenance, hell, half of those people probably aren’t aware most of that stuff needs to be done.  Now I agree that if you can’t pump gas you probably shouldn’t be driving a car, but what you’ve suggested here amounts to ‘if you can’t pull the engine, turn the rotors, change the plugs, and drain the transmition - you shouldn’t be allowed to drive’.  It’s nonsense.  For that remaining .1% of us, sure - we can do this and get away with it.  I run scheduled maintenance on 3 PC’s on a regular basis.  The average Windows user?  Heck no.  The average Windows user isn’t aware there is such a thing as fragmentation.  Most of them wouldn’t know they had a virus until someone told them so.  I just spent the past 3 years doing nothing but mobile PC repair and I can count on one hand the amount of users that knew how to defragment a hard drive, out of over 3500 customers.  Yes, we can all do these things if we are aware that those problems exist but let’s face it, shouldn’t all OS’s be just a little bit more self-sufficient?  At least warning of fragmentation levels?  The possibility that a virus exists? 

    This is not to say that either way of doing things is any better in this area, obviously Mac’s have a virus problem equal to their marketshare and therefore don’t really require the upkeep a windows machine does (And I’m quite certain this would not be the case if the roles were reveresed, a great many Mac virus’s would exist and we’d spend hours scanning our Mac hard drives just the same).

    And while on the subject, it was mentioned above that the Mac Mini was slow.  cool but slow.  I agree, in fact the comparison I had made was with an iBook 1.33GHz and a Dell XPS Gen 5.  Oddly, my experience has been that my iBook mops the floor with my Mac Mini (1.42GHz w/512MB RAM) and I’m clueless as to why.  I’m getting a LOT of slowdown just using Safari, though most games, etc. play just fine.  A good example that not everything is honkey-dorey across the board.

    dickrichards2000 had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 112
  • Re: #32 The individual that was quoted, in a very large public way, was none other than the gentlemen who was just recently made the number one head guy at Intel…you know the one that runs the whole show.  The one that showed up at WWDC on the stage with Jobs to confirm the deal with Intel.  I say he should be fired tomorrow.

    So should all of the IT Nazis I have to deal with within the dozens of customers that I have who either are all Windoze or Mac/WinTel mixed. 

    Why is it that I can assign one IT person per 100 Macs and then have to assign 1 IT person per 10 Windoze boxes on networks.  Again, the keyword here is ‘networks’.  And that’s a fact Jack!

    I would love to put my thirty years of experience against anybody on this list on the subject of ROI and COO in a small to large enterprise Macs versus WinTel anytime.

    Unless you’ve done it and got the T-shirt there is no use even discussing it.

    Norsk had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 8
  • I did not mean to imply that users who cannot do batch scripting are clueless. I was mainly talking about the “someone” who works at Intel. How others seemed to have gotten involved was not intentional, just bad wording. I apologize.

    Should operating systems maintain themselves in a more intuitive manner? Absolutely. Microsoft has realized this, and that’s why they’re working on a product called OneCare (that is already in beta testing.) One care automatically defragments the computer, runs disk cleanup, backs up the computer to CD/DVD or another hard drive, protects against spyware, protects against viruses, etc. without the user having to do anything. A good quote in retrospect: “A small step for Microsoft, a giant leap for their users.”

    I would have to disagree with your comment about Mac’s virus problem being equal to their marketshare. On the contrary, its much smaller because its security is inherently superior to Windows XP. For example, Macs use a least-privilege user access system while Windows XP typically gives full administrator privileges (assuming the user is under an administrator account, which the majority erroneously are.) That is a massive different in security policies!

    Longhorn’s security has been greatly enhanced though. Longhorn has adopted the least-privilege idea of computing, full volume encryption (I don’t think Mac has this, correct me if I’m wrong), two-way firewall, more people will have 64-bit processors with data-execution prevention enabled by default (less buffer overflows,) anti-spyware protection will be included by default (from what I’ve heard), etc. Longhorn has seen a massive improvement in privacy and security. From what I seen, Mac users may feel envious of Longhorn’s security when it’s released. That’s just an opinion though, so please do not stab me in the eye.

    Anyways, if all things go as planned, Longhorn’s maintenance will be transparent to the user. Basic upkeep, privacy, security, etc. will be handled by the operating system instead of relying on the user. My guess is that Longhorn will be the most successful operating system ever released by Microsoft smile

    megamanXplosion had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 11
  • I agree that many Mac fanatics exaggerate the problems with Windows, but to say that Windows does not have many problems because (1) ‘I don’t experience any’, and (2) ‘I don’t know anyone else who does either’, is a weak argument.

    It’s not any more weak than the “my XP machine crashes daily and therefore ALL XP crash daily.”  In fact, my argument is stronger because I’m not saying that XP machines NEVER crash.  I’m saying that my XP machine not crashing daily means that XP in and of itself does not crash daily.

    The point is that if many of us use XP without any problems, then the problem probably isn’t XP but rather what the user is doing with it.  If you and I both buy a BMW, and you rag yours out, drive it into trees, scratch it, and never change the oil, then it doesn’t make much sense to blame the car, does it?  “My BMW won’t even start, therefore BMW’s suck.”  It depends on the user and what he’s doing with it, it depends on the hardware.  It makes no sense to blame the OS alone.

    The fact is that I push my machines quite a bit, doing a lot of graphics work.  Other than running AVG in the background, I do ZERO maintenance work.  I don’t do any of the things listed above as basic care for my XP machines.  And yet they never crash, never get viruses, never get spyware.

    Whatever the problems these users are having, it’s not because XP is some inferior, crash-prone, laggy system; because XP in and of itself isn’t any of those things (inferior being a bit more subjective of course).

    I’ll put it this way, if I posted here about how my OS X system crashed daily, was laggy from opening just Mail and Safari, do you think everyone here would blame the OS or would they blame ME?

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 2220
  • I did not compare Mac virus percentages to marketshare.  That’s in your head not mine.  No mention of same in my post.  One has nothing to do with the other.

    It’s the GUI and apps that could come under attack in the Mac OS X world not the UNIX kernel.  Not after close to fifty years of ‘hole plugging’ and BSD is the most secure and stable version of the 110 flavors of UNIX.  It’s the kernel.  It is BSD that sits underneath the OSX GUI.

    UNIX systems have been doing self maintainence since the beginning of ‘dirt’.

    How about DARPA 1968-72.  IBM UNIX for DARPA the original internet.  It all has to do with ‘services’ (UNIX) versus ‘memory addresses’ (Windoze).

    640 characters per string is a huge limitation and it’s still there and will be as long as MS-DOS is.  Windoze sercuity problems lie within the 55 million lines (or more) of code coming from MS-DOS and the GUI.  That will never get fixed!  Until they start over it won’t happen.  It will go on and on.  One vulnerbility after another.  98,000 viruses, trojan horses, and worms already out there.  And another 1000 a month coming into the wild.  How many of those 98,000 are sleepers?  Two nasties reappeared in the last 60 days.

    I would suggest you study up on the history of the development of UNIX all of the way back to the Bell Labs over fifty years ago.  It was designed to be shared from day one.  MS-DOS was never intended to be shared.  Retro engineering very rarely works and certainly hasn’t for M$.

    I certainly believe that Longhorn will be another XP ‘spiff it up’ job.  With very little reason to upgrade certainly from a security point of view.  They will be lucky to get it out within the first quarter of 2007 let alone by the end of 2006.

    I don’t care who produces the OS.  It could be the ‘SaltPeter’ people.  Just as long as it works and I don’t have to spend my companie’s resources ‘fixing’ all of the problems.

    Norsk had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 8
  • “I did not compare Mac virus percentages to marketshare.”

    I know you didn’t. I was referring to dickrichards2000.

    “I would suggest you study up on the history of the development of UNIX all of the way back to the Bell Labs over fifty years ago. It was designed to be shared from day one.  MS-DOS was never intended to be shared.  Retro engineering very rarely works and certainly hasn’t for M$.”

    I stated that Mac users “may” feel envious of Longhorn’s security enhancements like full volume encryption. And that is an “opinion.” Why wouldn’t Mac users want full volume encryption?

    I would also suggest that you read up on Windows itself. MS-DOS was made obsolete with Windows XP - several years ago.

    megamanXplosion had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 11
  • Re:  #23 did you take your Mini-Mac out of the box and plug into the wall or did you bump the RAM up to at least 512.  Because if you didn’t it is going to run slow.  Might have to cough up 65.00.  Why is it that you people cannot state what the specs are on the box that you are having so much slooooooownesssss with.  Just make a blanket statement.  See I just made one.

    I oversee over 1000 Macs running OS X Panther (getting ready to go to Tiger) and the biggest problem we have is the occasional app that will quit and all we have to do is reboot the app…not the box.  And these boxes are running all kinds of apps at the same time along with the database business apps that we have put into place to manage retail, erp_mrp, healthcare, and many other vertical businesses.  Over half of those nodes are in mixed environments.  You know…Windoze Xtra Pain and OS X.

    I also oversee another 1500 PCs.  I only deal with our crossplatform apps.  But, boy do I hear it from the CFOs and the owners of these businesses about the money it’s costing them to operate Windows as compared to the Macs.  And the check-signers at the all Windows operations are after there IT people to find alternatives.  Now that is real life in real time.

    What really gets to the Windows IT Nazis is when we bring Mac OS X boxes into (that have a minimum of 512 Mgs of RAM) their networks and watch Bon Jour (Rendevous) go out and configure itself in minutes.  Their jaws literally hit the deck.

    BTW, Megaman…MS-DOS is still there.  And anyone or anything that tells you any different either doesn’t know what they are talking about or they are lying.  I wonder if M$ has ever lied to their customers or their OEMs…....nah!

    MacOS X has had full volume encryption for about two years or more.  It is called ‘FileVault’.  We ‘nix’ people don’t pay a lot of attention to security issues.  Haven’t had virus detector on a Mac since 1993.  There are 56 viruses for the Mac but they are all over ten years old.  Sophos, LLC One of the biggest and most successful computer security groups on the planet.  Located in the UK.

    Ta Ta,

    Have a great 4th.

    Norsk had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 8
  • Oh come now, Norsk. FileVault is NOT “full volume encryption”. From Apple themselves…
    “At home and away, keep your valuable documents safe with powerful AES-128 encryption. FileVault automatically encrypts and decrypts the contents of your *home directory* on the fly.”

    Your home directory is not full volume… and how it works on OS X couldn’t be…

    As to the actual article, there’s just too much in here that’s downright inaccurate (No desktop search?!!) or overexaggerated. Anyway, the prescriptions in here would actually kill Microsoft quicker than the things you claim would kill MS now. If Microsoft dumped its codebase in the ocean to rebuild Windows from scratch, you’d wouldn’t see Longhorn released until 2010, (remember Netscape!) and not a single person would buy it. People are going to want to run their existing applications on Windows, and they won’t go anywhere if this ability is compromised in anyway. There’s already issues with WinXP 64bit Edition because it can’t run 16 bit programs (which many installers are built as, even though they’re installing 32 bit apps).  Oh, speaking of that, I believe MS-DOS programs are 16-bit. (I bring this up only because Norsk says MS DOS is still in Windows… I guess Microsoft developed the first version of DOS that can’t run DOS). Anyway, long-story short, I think the analysis in this article is simply wrong.

    Ster had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 12
  • Re:#23 did you take your Mini-Mac out of the box and plug into the wall or did you bump the RAM up to at least 512.  Because if you didn’t it is going to run slow.  Might have to cough up 65.00.  Why is it that you people cannot state what the specs are on the box that you are having so much slooooooownesssss with.

    My Mac mini has 1 GB of RAM.  And my 1.8 Ghz laptop with 512 MB of RAM smokes it in the rendering tests I did, as well as opening and closing apps.

    But the same goes for the Mac-fanatics.  What exactly are you comparing?  Dick, which XP configuration crashes daily?  Which XP machine locks up when opening e-mail and a browser at the same time?  Because mine doesn’t, and I’d like to avoid one that does.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 2220
  • “BTW, Megaman…MS-DOS is still there.  And anyone or anything that tells you any different either doesn’t know what they are talking about or they are lying.  I wonder if M$ has ever lied to their customers or their OEMs…....nah!”

    Yes, MS-DOS is still present but is obsolete. It really doesn’t serve any purpose in Windows XP for 99.999% of users. The remaining 0.001% are the 16-bit application lovers. It is a backwards-compatibility feature, nothing more.

    And, as Ster rightfully pointed out, FileVault does not do full volume encryption. If you were to sell a Mac then there is a good chance that someone could recover data you would not want them to have. Credit card numbers, telephone numbers, tax reports, social security numbers, passwords, street addresses, etc. are able to be recovered if they have not been securely wiped from the machine using a psuedo-random 0-rewrite scheme. Full volume encryption totally removes the possibility of that information being recovered by a malicious person. In my honest opinion, that is a feature to be envious of.

    megamanXplosion had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 11
  • As to the actual article, there’s just too much in here that’s downright inaccurate (No desktop search?!!) or overexaggerated.

    It’s definitely FUD, which I’m getting a little sick of on both sides.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 2220
  • Ster,

    You are absolutely correct.  I am mistaken and I apologize per File Vault.  Full volume didn’t register properly.  I was thinking in terms of data not applications.  I don’t care to worry about encrypting apps.  Not necessary in my opinion.  But data is data is data and must be protected and encryped.  That is my version of ‘full volume’.

    And MS-DOS, DOS, whatever, is still there.  I could care less about 16, 32 or 64 bit…it is there.  The back door is there and the crackers are still going through it.  End of story.

    I’m a thirty year software engineer/developer.  The company that I control has a partner who has a doctorate in business systems and 45 years of database architecting with 25 years with IBM alone who has developed a lot of the stuff we are using today back in the late sixties while with IBM and living through his fifth version of the internet.  Knows more and has implemented more about real time object based database applications than any other human being in this country since the majority of his colleagues are still screwing around with legacy ‘file record’ and ‘data bound’ systems to this day.  Combining that with my 30 years and our junior staffers adds up to a lot knowledge and a lot of doing.  No theorizing.

    So, I know exactly what I am talking about and I know what kind of a penalty the real business world is having to pay to maintain Windows networks and they are sick and tired of it.  Not the IT people but the people who are writing the checks.  IT has lost a huge amount of credibility over the past four years.  Especially after the year 2k debacle.

    So what does Windows bring to the table.  What are the benefits?:

    Freeze ups and lock ups
    Multiple daily machine reboots
    Directory/Registry failures
    Application incompatabilities
    DLL failures
    An average of 9 clean OS installs per year (PC Magazine annual survey).

    98,000 viruses, worms, trojan horses in the wild.  1000 new ones every month (Sophos LLC) computer security experts.
    Installation of weekly security patches for various parts of the Windows experience.
    Many security patches leave working applications non-functional after installation.
    Windows security applications now under attack by crackers.

    All of this adds up to loss of productivity and billions of dollars annually.

    And I have a 10 x 10 room full of documentation to back all of the above up.

    Mac OS X is here and it works.  And you don’t have to be a *nix geek to to make it work.  Our work gets done on time and on budget.

    Windows based work does not get done on time and runs over budget.

    And until M$ takes their OS off of ‘memory addressing’ I believe the security situation will not change.

    Say what you want about Longhorn but it is not here and won’t be for at least 18 to 24 months.  And based upon the great M$ track record and the grumblings that are coming out of their developer community things are not looking good.  But the M$/Longhorn apologists continue to hold out hope that it will arrive less than 5 years late with all of the funtionality that you all believe will be there. 

    You’ve go to be kidding.  I am not going to hold my breath.

    Norsk had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 8

  • BSOD
    Freeze ups and lock ups
    Multiple daily machine reboots
    Directory/Registry failures
    Application incompatabilities
    DLL failures
    An average of 9 clean OS installs per year (PC Magazine annual survey).

    Your company must hire idiots in their IT dept.  No wonder you hate them.

    I ran a studio with 10 networked XP workstations doing heavy graphics work and we experienced NONE of these problems, not a single one, and we had no IT person at all.  I lost more production time from distracted workers browsing the internet than any computer problems.

    It just sounds like more and more Mac-user progated FUD.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 2220
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