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Reader Feedback Friday: Open Source and Vista

It's our last Reader Feedback Friday of the year! We'd love to take an opportunity to go back over all the events of 2007 in RCPU, but your editor is on vacation right now and is more than willing to just let a few more readers do the talking. So, here goes:

On the Netherlands going open source, we got an e-mail from Fred that was especially impressive for his use of the word "utopianistically":

"I think that it's getting a bit old to keep hearing that open source can be expensive, etc., because of all the problems folks are having working with the Microsoft products elsewhere. That's a bit like saying we can't change because everyone else won't change at the same time. Someone has to go first, and everyone has to realize that there is more than one way to accomplish a task.

"Of course, most of those costs and problems would not exist if Microsoft didn't habitually find ways to ignore, corrupt or bypass standards that have been created specifically to facilitate interoperability and compatibility. Ideally, Microsoft would return to the days of providing software that was relatively clean, simple and functional. Utopianistically, Microsoft would stop trying to leverage its de facto monopoly (albeit a well-planned and strategically earned one) to prevent the up-and-comers from gaining a foothold just as Microsoft once did. Compete based on quality and value instead of barriers. What a concept..."

Eddy had a different take (and one we've heard before); he's not happy with Microsoft's customer support. That might just be enough to drive him away from Redmond's wares:

"With Microsoft's insistence to switch -- or should I say, destroy -- their support options by transferring support to folks who cannot speak or understand English and who are not able to solve any computer issue, we too may soon be switching to open source. Microsoft isn't competing with open source products; they are competing against themselves."

Not everybody is so down on Microsoft, though. Christopher says that it's not Vista that has problems after all:

"Technology moves forward; IT people need to get their heads out of the '80s and get a life. This is really making me angry that those stoopid IT people can't make their own stuff work on Vista with included drivers...they're doing something wrong, and I bet I can prove it... I like my pretty operating system. It runs everything I need at speeds that I think are acceptable and troubleshooting any problem is 500 percent better than doing it in XP! That is for sure. That alone makes it worth it for me to install it on client locations that can run it and that don't use some dumb vendor who refuses to program for Active Directory and claims workgroup security is just fine, but wants to run dBase and code everything to run under administrator."

The message from Christopher, then: Don't blame your tools, Vista haters.

Thanks to everybody who took the time to write. Keep the letters coming to [email protected].

Posted by Lee Pender on December 21, 2007 at 11:54 AM


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