Friday, August 27, 2004

27 August 2004: Advertising

Good to see Microsoft never change their ways. After their various battles in recent years with the likes of Netscape, Sun Microsystems and Apple, along with US and European governments, they're still out there, winning the war with marketing rather than products.

Good also to see that the authorities don't let them get away with it. The Register reports that Microsoft have had to withdraw an advertisement claiming a Linux Server costs ten times as much to run as one running Windows XP. In fact, the "comparison" had the Windows OS running on a far superior Intel Xeon system, with Linux struggling along on some IBM zSeries hardware. The Advertising Standards Agency concluded that the comparison had nothing to do with Windows or Linux, but it did serve as a decent comparison between Intel and IBM hardware. Microsoft has been forced to withdraw the advertisement.

But the damage is done - that advert is the kind of thing your average Pointy-Haired Boss reads while on his third coffee of the morning between executive meetings (no, I'm not thinking of anyone in particular at QAS, honestly) and thinks: well that proves it, we were right to tie ourselves into Microsoft for the rest of eternity. Or worse, well that decides it, we're not having Linux servers on which we'll run our systems, the company will grind to a halt and it will cost a fortune. The PHB probably won't even hear about this retraction.

And none of the above takes into account the undeniable fact that many versions of Linux are free, compared to the ridiculous Microsoft pricing structure. And then of course Linux is far more stable and just doesn't get hit by viruses in the same way.

And, from a personal point of view, would Citeseer work on a Windows machine? Not a cat's chance in hell. The Citeseer Diaries - soon to be published on these very pages - have been a hard enough slog to get through, without having to worry about dodgy second-hand implementations of GCC and Make.

On the other hand, Windows has that decent pinball game. I'm glad I kept my laptop dual-boot.

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