Feeds

Microsoft tells US retailers Linux is rubbish

'What most customers want' is Windows

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.