Feeds

Microsoft tells US retailers Linux is rubbish

'What most customers want' is Windows

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

As the launch of Windows 7 approaches, Microsoft is distributing literature to American retailers claiming that Linux works with few peripherals or online services, offers limited software capability, affords no authorized support, does not work with games "your customers want," and cannot use video chat on any of the major IM networks.

"What most customers want" is Windows, the literature says, not Linux.

According to a sales employee working in an Office Depot store on the east coast of the United States, a Microsoft representative recently provided him and his fellow sales staff with booklets that attempt to put Linux in an unfavorable light. And the booklets mirror information from a Microsoft online training course given to Best Buy employees, just brought to light by the Advanced Linux Technology blog.

One booklet shared with our Office Depot salesman includes a page that looks like this:

Microsoft Linux pitch

And another booklet includes this:

Microsoft Linux pitch

The claims are not unlike those Microsoft has made in the past, and Redmond has acknowledged the materials are authentic. "Microsoft works with its partners to help them prepare to sell our products in a competitive marketplace," a company spokeswoman told The Reg, before referring to the Best Buy slides. "This deck, which is just one of many reference materials we provide our retail partners, was specifically developed to show sales professionals the important differences between Linux computers and Windows computers, so they are well equipped to help customers purchase a PC that gives them the experience they expect."

On both charts, Microsoft cites Linux.org and the Microsoft Windows Compatibility Center as sources. But many of the claims are misleading at best. As pointed out by the Best Buy employee who took Redmond's online training course, World of Warcraft - Microsoft's example of a game "your customers want" - can run on Linux via WINE, a free software app for getting such Windows apps onto the open-source OS. Countless outfits provide Linux support. Video chat is available from Skype and other services. And using an iPod on Linux is far from unheard of.

But our favorite bit is Microsoft's claim that Linux doesn't work with Windows Live Essentials, the company's very own collection of online services. This claim is correct. And should come as no surprise. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.