Mandrake Linux 9.1 is an easy-to-install and easy-to-use GNU/Linux operating system distribution. In our 5 July 2003 article, HP to Ship Desktops with Mandrake 9.1 Linux Pre-Installed - Good News for Mandrake Linux and Fans, we made several statements to the effect that Mandrake Linux is a better desktop solution than is MS Windows -- especially when it is pre-installed on a PC computer.
Microsoft, through its PR agency Waggener Edstrom, was afforded an opportunity to refute those statements that Mandrake Linux is a better desktop solution than is MS Windows. Microsoft has failed to refute those statements.
The Mandrake Linux v MS Windows Challenge
Instead, Microsoft elected to respond with some non-responsive, PR-speak, humbug. In so doing, Microsoft has failed to refute the statements to the effect that Mandrake Linux is a better desktop solution than is MS Windows. Therefore, we consider Microsoft effectively to have admitted, by omission and default, that Mandrake Linux is a better desktop solution than is MS Windows -- especially when it is pre-installed on a PC computer.
On the other hand, Mandrake founder, Gaël Duval, has no problem telling MozillaQuest Magazine why Mandrake Linux is better than Microsoft Windows. You really have to love the simple, candid honesty of this man, Gaël Duval. He tells it the way it is.
Simply put, you can boil Gaël Duval's statements down to Mandrake Linux is less expensive, more stable, and has more and better software included with the OS distribution than does MS Windows. Moreover, Mandrake Linux is virus-free. For as little as $39 you have a complete OS and software package with which you can do just about anything you need to do -- including office productivity tasks.
Windows XP Home Edition is listed on the Microsoft Web site at $199 for the full version and $99 for the upgrade version. Windows XP Professional is $299 for the full version. There also is a statement there: Under the Windows XP End-User License Agreement (EULA), you may install one licensed copy of Windows XP on one computer. Additionally, Microsoft requires product activation in order for you to use the Windows XP operating system, for which you already have paid Microsoft or one of its resellers.
Microsoft Product Activation Note
There are many reasons why Microsoft product activation is a bad thing. Discussion of all the bad and obnoxious things about Microsoft product activation is beyond the scope of today's article. However, a word of caution to anyone who is considering installing Microsoft Windows XP on a computer system. The Microsoft product activation mechanism that Windows XP places on your system can shut down your computer until such time as Microsoft decides to let you use your own computer. In other words, Microsoft, not you, ultimately is in control of your Windows XP computer system
There is something that you can do to counter the Microsoft product activation mechanism if it does shut down your Windows XP system. Install a GNU/Linux distribution on your computer before Microsoft can shut you down. This is called a multi-booting configuration. If you use a current GNU/Linux operating system such as Mandrake 9.1, you can boot into Linux and then access all your files on the computer even though the Microsoft product activation mechanism has shut down your Windows XP system.
In sharp contrast to Microsoft Greed, if you buy merely one $39 edition of Mandrake Linux 9.1 you may install it on as many computers as you like -- with no additional charges from Mandrake. Moreover, Mandrake Linux does not require any product activation nonsense nor does it require product registration, which is 100% optional with Mandrake Linux. Please see the Microsoft Product Activation Note in the sidebar.
If there were no other reason to chose a GNU/Linux OS distribution over MS Windows XP, not having to put up with the Microsoft product activation mechanism would be more than reason enough to chose GNU/Linux!
Here is the operative text of our request for a response from Microsoft:
Here are several excerpts from that article that involve MS Windows.
"For the most part, the Microsoft Windows operating systems are not any easier or any more difficult to install than are the assortment of top-notch, Linux operating system, distributions -- such as Mandrake Linux, for example."
"When Linux and Windows operating systems are pre-installed by hardware vendors on new computers, Linux and Windows are in many ways on an even footing. Moreover, the GNU/Linux OS with the KDE desktop suite likely is superior to both the MS-DOS-kernel-based and MS-NT-kernel-based MS Windows desktop environments."
"Pre-installed on a good computer system, Mandrake Linux 9.1 ought to be as good as if not better than an MS-Windows-based system."
Do you have a response to these statements?
Here is Microsoft spokesperson, Tara Gregory's, evasive response to our statements.
Thank you again for your inquiry regarding HP's announcement. At this time, Microsoft is not responding to specific questions on this topic.
We work closely with OEM partners to deliver compelling options to our mutual customers. Yes, HP also offers competitive operating systems, but we believe their customers will continue to select Windows XP Pro/Home as the right choice for their desktop OS because of its value in productivity, security, compatibility, overall ease of use, and the rich PC experience it provides. We put our competitive energy into making sure our products deliver what customers want.
Customers are telling us that they continue to choose Microsoft Windows XP for its value in productivity, security, compatibility, and overall ease of use, especially in the corporate environment.
While this statement seems to address Microsoft's position as to HP's announcement that HP will now offer computers with either MS Windows or Mandrake Linux pre-installed, it does not respond to the question of whether "a Mandrake Linux 9.1 computer system is as good as, if not better than, an MS-Windows-based system"." It merely recites that Windows XP Pro/Home provides a rich PC experience and has value in productivity, security, compatibility, overall ease of use.
The issue as to Microsoft here is whether a Mandrake Linux 9.1 computer system is as good as, if not better than, an MS-Windows-based system. Microsoft spokesperson, Tara Gregory's, response is not responsive to that issue. The issue is not whether Microsoft works closely with OEM partners. The issue is not about where Microsoft elects to place its competitive energy.
Moreover, when Microsoft's response is analyzed, it clearly is mostly FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) -- more about that later in this article. Additionally, Microsoft did not answer any questions about its FUD, evasive statements, and un-supported claims.
Please see Parsing Microsoft's FUD-Filled Response at the end of this article on page 3 for an in-depth parsing and analysis of Microsoft's response.
Mandrake Linux 9.1 is an easy-to-install and easy-to-use GNU/Linux operating system distribution. We have not completed our Mandrake Linux 9.1 testing yet. However so far, it seems to be even better than Mandrake Linux 9.0, which we gave very high marks.