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Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by cwerdna, Jan 11, 2012.
Brief promo at
More info at News Headlines.
I kind of miss the days when he was Head Honcho at Microsoft. Hating on Steve Ballmer just isn't as fun.
He certainly did change the world by assuring that 80% (?) 90% (?) of computers world-wide would be intentionally infected with an operating system inherently prone to hacking, an OS virtually guaranteed to be infected if the owner is not savvy enough to run an anti-virus program and other anti-malware protection and keep it all up-to-date. An OS released with all the security gates open and a welcome mat for hackers. Sort of like selling a car with no brakes and a leaky gas tank. Imagine any other field where a necessary component is left off and you have to hire a separate company to supply it on a yearly subscription basis!
If Digital Research (the creator of CP/M) had gotten the contract to provide the OS for the IBM PC, the entire world of computing would be far more user-friendly today. There will always be computer criminals and cyber crime, but those who fight it would have a much easier time of it if the world's major OS was not designed to give criminal hackers the advantage over home computer owners.
Yeh, MS is the VHS of the computer world.
No doubt, Apple designed things better.
But Bill Gates was an excellent businessman.
In the Beta vs. VHS analogy, an affordable OK product will win out over an excellent but pricey product....Apple has tended to be the pricey product....it would be kind of like selling the Prius for what they are asking for the Chevy Volt right now (without the battery fires - of course)
Low price drives a lot of things - look at Walmart. Hybrid sales are not doing as well because car buyers are more cost conscious, although they are looking more than they did at conventional fuel-efficient cars.
While I'm a Windows user, the effort over the last couple of weeks to tune up my HP notebook is worth noting.....people at Windows 7 Forums told me: "You are working too hard - this is Windows 7 - not Vista!" I've spent lots of time deleting HP bloatware and lots of hidden crap in my system tray, but found out a lot of 3rd party utilities are not needed. Windows 7 is a lot better than it's predecessors, but I've been conditioned to high maintanence. While I've not worked with Apple OS much, I'd suspect remarks to the effect: "it's OK, but still behind Apple...." What little I do know is MS wants to release Windows 8 as soon as it's stable because they don't have much market share in tablets or smartphones - Windows 8 has tablet functionality.
It's not about Apple vs. MS. It's about a programming philosophy that makes hacking difficult (Unix/Linux) vs. a programming philosophy that presents an open door to intruders, requiring the use of third-party security software that most computer users don't bother using.
It's about a business philosophy that permits programmers to get away with failing to perform overflow checking.
Apple vs. MS has a lot to do with the fact that Apple is principally a hardware company and MS is principally a software company. Windows can be run on Apple hardware (sort of) and Unix & Linux can be run on PC hardware. The issue is that the software that MS puts out is badly designed and badly executed, while Unix is too expensive and Linux is difficult for a computer-literate non-tech to set up. Apple started out with a crap OS, but finally switched to Unix, making Unix (in the form of OS X) affordable, though it is tied to high-end hardware. If you want cheap, poor quality hardware you cannot run OS X.
Bill Gates is indeed an excellent salesman. The problem is that he applied his genius for selling to a product that is garbage (Windows). If the measure of a businessman is how large a market share he garners, then Gates is one of the greatest businessmen in history. But if the measure of a businessman is the quality of the product he manufactures, then Gates is one of the worst.
Apparently Windows 7 is better than earlier versions. But they still have to issue a patch every week for all the new security holes found during the week. And most computer users will not upgrade. They'll keep using the OS that came with their computer, and most won't use an anti-virus program, and so Windows assures that there will be massive bot nets for the criminals to send out mountains of spam and DOS attacks, and hacking banks, and keeping the military busy trying to prevent terrorists from hacking into the nuclear weapons control software.
Thanks, Bill, for creating a true dystopia by selling your defective software so effectively!
Windows XP was actually pretty good (well, for Windows). Then Microsoft went and released the horror known as Vista and thus drove millions of people (myself included) into the waiting hands of Apple.
I heard mostly good things about Windows 7, but I already determined "never again!"
One of the great alternative history questions: "What if Jobs had never been kicked out at Apple?"
What many of us hope would happen is the price of the Macs would have been lowered, the market share would have increased to the point they would have been a strong alternative to Intel/Windows. Instead the Pepsi guy (forgot his name) took in the profits until MS caught up - then it was too late.
Microsoft made their fortune and nest with MS-DOS and stuck with it - it's their liveyhood. The best I can see is they gradually move to a different OS.
It took them 15 years or so, but their OS is no longer constrained with the 640K memory roof, short file names with other disk management problems, etc.
Another challenge MS has is their OS is open. Thousands of 3rd party software can run on Windows. The choice is great, but the quality control is compromised.
I actually bought a copy of Vista - never installed it.
The horror stories had me thinking I paid for malware.
So I used xp for a decade then went to Windows 7.
Reports on Windows 7 is it's much less bloated, stable. Buying anti-viruses and utilities are really not needed.
My 1st experience with xp was bad.
I made the mistake of skimming and ignoring my printer and modem drivers would not work on xp. So I upgraded and had a desktop that completely would not work. My next mistake was bringing it to CompUSA for repairs....the experience highlights why they are not around. The 20ish repair dude behaved like the Federal bureaucrat that just does not give a damn...
"You will have to do a clean install and kiss years of personal data goodbye" - They don't do backups?
"We won't refund your $100 xp upgrade CD - gotta pay another $200 for the full Windows xp CD"
Gave him my work and home numbers - he intentionally left the bad news on my work voice mail immediately after I left at 8:30 pm.
Took the desktop after paying $100. A mom-and-pop shop fixed it WITHOUT deleting my personal data for $100
In other words, my first xp experience made me afraid of Vista and it turned out to be a good thing.
Gates was the ultimate Ferengi. His genius was in exploiting others. Many people credit him with DOS, but that was his ultimate coup: he bought it for a pittance form the original authors, and licensed it to IBM for a fortune. Years later when MS was forced to change to a more modern OS they built on VMS, originally a Digital invention.
In fact, their years of domination really only boil down to a few key anti-competitive strategies: embrace and extend open standards or public domain work, abuse monopoly position; and buy out creative start-ups with "offers they cannot refuse." You can see the MS ethos still today in the way S. Ballmer conducts himself, but now it is a caricature because MS does not have the monopoly leverage required to make it work.
Business people revere Gates; creative people pretty much dismiss him.
To say I do not respect MS or Bill Gates would be an understatement.
Actually, it would be much, much worse if Apple became the market leader Microsoft is today (and I say that as an Apple Fanboy). at least M$ only has a monopoly on the operating system and office software. Apple would have a monopoly on the operating system and hardware, which is worse (their office software always was, shall we say, lacking, so I can't ever picture them even in the wildest "what if" scenario being market leader there).
Back to the documentary... unfortunately, CNBC misleadingly marketed it as a new piece and used the word "premiere". It turns out it originally aired October 2008 (and even says so at the beginning of each segment). I skimmed thru it and am >90% sure I'd already seen it before.