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'We asked firms if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed'

Plus: 'Stop being evil and we'll give your products a chance'

QuoTW This was the week when Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 8 got what can only be described as a bashing from the folks over at Gartner.

Reviewer and research director Gunnar Berger didn't seem to think that the OS was all that good. In fact, when it's not on a touch device, he reckons the software is:

In a word: Bad.*

And he's not the only one to think so. Having surveyed the enterprise masses, Gartner discovered that they weren't exactly frothing at the bit to get their hands on Windows 8:

We recently did a large field research study and specifically asked all of our interviewees if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed. The fact is most enterprises are still trying to get to Windows 7 and few enterprises are ready for Windows 8.

Redmond was also catching a bit of flak this week from the penguin crowd, when the words "BIG BOOBS" were found in the Linux kernel. Yes, indeed, whenever HyperV virtualises Linux, the following hexadecimal string is used:

0xB16B00B5

Which is a clearly an unprecedented insult to women everywhere. Suitably chastised, a mortified Microsoft said:

We thank the community for reporting this issue and apologize for the offensive string. We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.

The penguin crowd were also unimpressed with Oracle's latest attempt to try to woo Linux-lovers. Having failed to persuade folks that its Unbreakable Linux was better than Red Hat Linux, Oracle turned to CentOS.

The firm is claiming that it will turn a CentOS machine to an Oracle Linux machine for no cost at all (other than the small print). That small print is Oracle support, for which users can fork out at least $499 a year per system.

Despite its cunning plan, potential users saw through the tactics, with one posting on a forum for Hacker News:

That 'support' word, right there, is the thing that makes me stay as far from Oracle as I can. It's like "Dude, here's the software. Have it, it's cheap/free." When things go wrong you get stung for exorbitant support/consulting fees, because, hey, you're tied in. With nowhere to go.

Another said:

I'm not going to build a business on top of a product that might be used next week as a tool to sue me or my friends. This was the only deciding factor when I chose Postgres over MySqL earlier this year for my company.

If you want to market to linux nerds, you need to change the perception of the company, because that's what matters most right now. Stop being evil, and then we'll give your products a chance.

Aside from the many patent skirmishes of the week, Apple was also disappointing Wall Street expectations with a less-than-anticipated, but still pretty grossly massive profit of $8.8bn for the quarter.

Not really anything to be ashamed of, but analysts still went looking for the thing that might have caused the great fruit machine to stop chugging out dollars and decided that it was all the hype of the iPhone 5. Basically, Apple's problem is that customers are always hanging on for the next shiny iDevice.

Chief Tim Cook said it was pointless to worry about the rumour mill because it's engineered by Apple anyway there's nothing the firm can do about it:

We try very hard to keep our product roadmap secret and confidential, and we go to do extreme activities to try to do that [...] That, however, doesn't stop people from speculating or wondering and will never do that. So, it's a great thing about this country, people can say what they think and so forth, and so, I'm not going to spend any energy trying to change that...

In Blighty, Virgin Media was in trouble for its Olympic-themed adverts claiming that folks wouldn't have to put up with buffering if only they would sign up to Virgin broadband.

The ad, featuring Usain Bolt and Richard Branson, was challenged as misleading by rival BT and regulator the Advertising Standards Authority agreed. In its ruling the ASA explained Virgin's defence:

Virgin Media said they considered the claim 'I want everyone to say bye-bye to buffering' to be puffery and that Usain Bolt, in the character of Richard Branson, was expressing a wish that he would like everyone to be able to say bye-bye to buffering and not claiming that they actually would.

Unfortunately, the ASA figured that if someone said something wasn't going to happen on the telly, people might think they actually meant it. ®

*He has since retracted the statement, pulling the word "bad" from his blog on 24 July. Fingers were pointed at Vulture Central for taking his words "out of context".

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