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Microsoft madness

Readers decry arrogance, lack of flexibility.

Your only blunder, as you put it (“Justice for Microsoft?”, Insights, January 2002), was in underestimating the arrogance and blatant dishonesty of George W. Bush and John Ashcroft and the degree to which this administration is in the pockets of big business to the extent that they will take advantage of any diversion (e.g., 9/11) to further cater to big business at the expense of the rest of us. I am still wondering why TU Electric (our local electric utility) is alleged to have needed financial help for the “losses” they sustained as a result of 9/11. These things are unbelievable.

However, equally unbelievable is the arrogance of Microsoft. I would not buy a car, or indeed anything else, that would not have support in the form of parts, etc., after three years or less from the date it was made and I purchased it. Microsoft was selling Windows 98SE less than a year before the announced demise of support (the following June). Microsoft is the only company I can think of that gets away with this sort of thing, and of course it is because of its monopoly in operating systems. The fact that they were not brought to their knees by our questionable attorney general is downright criminal.

A couple of months ago, when I saw a modem that included software for Linux as well as Windows and Mac, I thought that there might be a glimmer of hope on the horizon, but I don’t see any trend by other manufacturers to follow that lead.

Karl Tipple

In reference to COMPUTERUSER’s “On Point” discussions regarding the viability of Linux for the desktop: I am among the growing number of desktop computer users that would love to escape from the luxuriously appointed prison cell that is Windows. However, at the present time there are two major obstacles that deter me from converting to Linux.

The first is my continued perception of Linux as the software equivalent of an unassembled log cabin kit. It’s one thing to complain about Microsoft’s obnoxious business practices; it’s another thing entirely to duplicate Microsoft’s as-yet-unmatched ability to deliver software products to those of us obliged to use a desktop computer to perform useful work. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t eventually like to know a lot more about the fascinating world of Linux, but that I have work to do first.

The second, but equally important, obstacle is the exchange of files with users of Microsoft Office. I’m more than willing, indeed eager, to use the applications that run under Linux. But before I convert to Linux I need to be completely confident that I can work alongside a user of Microsoft’s Word, Excel, or PowerPoint applications without either of us needing to waste time “tweaking” or otherwise re-formatting exchanged files. I have yet to see this important issue addressed in any forum.

In short, when a well-productized version of Linux appears, one that addresses the essential needs of a desktop business computer user, I for one will eagerly embrace it. Until then, I feel obliged to wait and watch for the opportunity to make my escape from Windows. For what it’s worth, I truly hope I won’t have to wait much longer.

Riley B. VanDyke

You are such a no-nothing (sic) idiot. It is obvious from your stupidly wrong diatribe about Microsoft (“Justice for Microsoft?”, Insights, January 2002) that you [know] nothing about software, business, or law. These impediments doesn’t (sic) seem to keep you from wasting ink, though.

Can you say “opinionated moron”?

Peter Edridge

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