C++ problem -Problems

Matthew Burgess matthew at linuxfromscratch.org
Fri Aug 27 17:49:34 PDT 2004

On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 20:18:36 -0400
Hui Zhou <zhouhui at wam.umd.edu> wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 11:07:10PM +0100, Matthew Burgess wrote:
> >On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:49:59 +0100
> >Ian Molton <spyro at f2s.com> wrote:
> >
> >> building an OS is not a job for an idiot.
> >
> >Someone should have told Bill Gates that :)
> You think Bill Gates is an idiot? :) or his employees?
> I understand why people call him a thief, but I don't get why he is an
> idiot, in what aspect?

It was a joke :)  Whilst many derogatory terms can (rightfully) be
applied to Mr Gates, I don't think that "idiot" is one of them -
at least not from a business acumen point of view.  The level of
vendor-lockin he/Microsoft have achieved is, I believe, without
compare, although the methods by which he has achieved such
massive market share are somewhat dubious to say the least
(http://www.google.com/search?q=microsoft+drug+dealing is but one

It remains to be seen whether he can get a clue about the threat that
Linux & FOSS pose to his business plan in time to prevent it from losing
too much market share.  His reactionary approach as opposed to
being proactive in regard to even simple features like pop-up blocking,
spyware detection/removal, software firewalls, etc. are causing concern
amongst more and more of his userbase.  The fact that the corporation,
its products and its userbase are so huge now, means that patches to
rectify security flaws and implement security enhancing features are
becoming slower and slower to get to market.  There's also the cynics
(myself included) who believe that whilst there is money to be made from
selling firewall and anti-virus solutions, Microsoft will continue to
only pay lip-service to the problems it causes its users on a daily

Unfortunately, computer software seems to be treated like it _should_ go
wrong, and that these problems are unavoidable.  If your car, or your TV
set, for example, were as unreliable and unsafe as the vast majority of
software is today (it's not _just_ MS Windows), there'd be an absolute
uproar, and I'd think that hefty fines would be levied on the guilty
parties and entire product lines would be recalled.  It's about time
people didn't just accept the amount of time and money wasted in dealing
with viruses and the like.  Unfortunately though, because of the
aforementioned vendor-lockin, your Aunt Tillie is likely to only ever
see MS Windows installed on her new 4Ghz/1GB RAM/200GB HDD machine fresh
from PC World (which, incidentally, all she wants to do with is surf the
'net and read email, but the spotty kid at the store insisted that she
needed the latest and greatest spec machine, and she knows no better
so bought it anyway).

It's 01:45 here and whilst I could go on I'm sure you get the point. 
And no, I don't have any solutions or suggestions on how to rectify the
above situation.  They'd all probably revolve around breaking up MS into
smaller chunks, making it illegal to bundle _any_ OS with any PC,
unhooking WMP and IE from the Windows OS, etc, etc - none of which
are _ever_ going to happen (cash reserves will always be more than
enough to persuade the Powers That Be that this isn't a Good Idea).  All
I can say is I'm doing my bit by refusing to put any of my money into
Microsoft's coffers.  The more people that do the same might just be
enough to make Bill & Co. aware that their users _do_ care about the
quality of the product they receive, and that their current products
aren't meeting those requirements.  Unfortunately, it looks like more of
Microsofts userbase need to be made aware that they don't have to put up
with viruses and spyware, etc - they're not part and parcel of owning a

With that, I'll step down off the soap-box...for now anyway :)



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