Feeds

Linux, open source baffles MS witness

Is it easy, is it hard? Confused by that, too...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

MS on Trial Dean Richard Schmalensee claimed that the threat of Linux (to Microsoft) after the AOL-Netscape merger had increased, but did not explain how this could be. Schmalensee admitted he had found it "frankly hard to keep up with all the developments in Linux", and was puzzled that "serious corporations are spending serious money on Linux" investments. He disagreed with the DoJ economist witness Franklin Fisher who had said in January that "the notion that operating systems such as Linux... [is] really going to succeed in taking away much, if any, of the business from Microsoft Windows, is a joke. Schmalensee contradicted himself about Linux: "One of the interesting issues with Linux has always been ease of use, and that issue is being increasingly addressed in two ways: first, by vendors shipping - OEMs shipping Linux pre-installed, which deals in part - which deals with Linux's traditional difficulty of installation; and second, with the development of a couple of graphical user interfaces that makes Linux more attractive on the consumer side." Later, Schmalensee controverted his "ease of use" comment about Linux and claimed it was "difficult to use". It seemed unlikely that he had used it, and for him to be put forward as an expert was ridiculous. Schmalensee said he had studied the open-source movement "a bit" in preparation for his testimony and found it "a fascinating phenomenon ... quite extraordinary" but to an economist "it is a little bit surprising that this works, frankly, but it does seem to work". He clearly could not understand why it worked, especially without capital investment. It posed long-term competitive constraints on Microsoft, he thought. Schmalensee's problem of course was that economics was the wrong discipline to bring to bear: sociology and psychology were far more relevant. Although some OEMs were offering Linux machines, "for a large OEM making a choice, choosing a single system, I believe Windows, at present, is the only viable alternative." This was an unwise statement for Microsoft's witness to have made, as it was only one step from saying that Microsoft had a monopoly. Schmalensee had no idea whatsoever about how many PCs were loaded with Linux, but he was happy to characterise Linux as a major threat to Microsoft. ® Complete Register Trial coverage

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.