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Linux Pre-Installation Is Growing

Gaël Duval Tells Why Mandrake Linux Is Better Than MS Windows

Microsoft PR Does Not Refute Mandrake Linux Better Than Windows

Mike Angelo -- 11 July 2003 (C) -- Page 3

Article Index

Wrap Up

Microsoft's response to the conclusion that a Mandrake Linux 9.1 computer system is as good as, if not better than, an MS-Windows-based system falls woefully short of refuting that conclusion. Moreover, Microsoft's response is wholly unconvincing and is chock-full of FUD.

On the other hand, Mandrake's Gaël Duval presents a persuasive set of statements to support the conclusion that a Mandrake Linux 9.1 computer system is better than, an MS-Windows-based system.

Mandrake 9.1 is an excellent choice for pre-installed desktop Linux computer systems. We compared Mandrake 9.0 to MS Windows as a primary operating system in our article, Mandrake Linux 9.0, Desktop Magic You Can Use: A First Look.

Mandrake 9.1 is even better than 9.0. You can use Mandrake Linux 9.1 as your primary, and perhaps only, operating system. 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 computer system.

If you feel that you need to use any of the Microsoft Office applications such as Word or Excel, rather than the comparable, free, Linux applications such as AbiWord, KOffice, or OpenOffice, or the reasonably priced StarOffice, you can install CodeWeavers CrossOver Office so that you can run the Microsoft Office applications on your HP-Mandrake Linux computer. In other words, you do not need to do Windows anymore.

HP spokesperson Elizabeth Phillips mentions that HP's pre-installed GNU/Linux computer system offerings help promote Linux overall. This is one of the most important things that we can do in this respect. It is important that HP and other computer system vendors and OEMs are helping to promote the GNU/Linux OS by pre-installing it on their computer system products.

In turn, it is important that the GNU/Linux community favor HP and the other computer system vendors and OEMs, who are helping to promote the GNU/Linux OS by pre-installing it on their computer system products, by purchasing those products from those vendors. One reason for this is the force that will drive continued and increased offerings of pre-installed GNU/Linux computer systems is consumer demand for them.

That reason goes to vendor economics. Another reason goes to consumer economics. For example, the HP-Mandrake boxes are priced about $50 below the prices of comparably configured MS Windows XP machines.

Someplace in this discussion there is a light-bulb that should be lighting up for GNU/Linux fans and advocates. It has to do with increasing demand for pre-installed Linux-based computers. Do not buy a computer system that does not come with Linux pre-installed on it.

In the long term, it is not whether GNU/Linux or MS Windows is the better operating system that will drive the availability of pre-installed Linux PCs. It is the demand for pre-installed GNU/Linux computers that will drive that availability. The good news for the GNU/Linux community is that the demand for pre-installed Linux PCs is growing.

Parsing Microsoft's FUD-Filled Response

We parsed Microsoft spokesperson, Tara Gregory's, response to our HP-Mandrake computer story. Then added follow-up questions to the parsed Microsoft statements and e-mailed that to Microsoft spokesperson, Tara Gregory, in order to give Microsoft a full opportunity to reply to the parsing of its response to our HP-Mandrake computer story.

Microsoft spokesperson, Tara Gregory's, terse response to that e-mail was Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter.

Here are the follow-up questions and comments that were sent to Microsoft spokesperson, Tara Gregory. Her original statement items are preceded by Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory. The follow-up questions and comments are preceded by -MozillaQuest Magazine and indented.

For organizational purposes, Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory's, response, Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter, is repeated ad seriatim throughout this parsed follow-up statement and questions section. However, Microsoft spokesperson, Tara Gregory's, response was not actually made in this ad seriatim fashion. It was made only once and meant to apply to the entire set of follow-up questions and comments.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: Thank you again for your inquiry regarding HP's announcement. At this time, Microsoft is not responding to specific questions on this topic.

-MozillaQuest Magazine: Actually, 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". The response that you have included below is not responsive to that issue.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: 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.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: 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.

-MozillaQuest Magazine: Have these customer recitations been made with their awareness that comparable Linux-based systems are less expensive than comparable MS Windows-based systems, that much more software comes with the Linux-based systems than with MS Windows-based systems at a lower system cost for the Linux-based system?

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: Do you disagree that comparable Linux-based systems are less expensive than comparable MS Windows-based systems, that much more software comes with the Linux-based systems than with MS Windows-based systems at a lower system cost for the Linux-based system?

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: What comparative bases of Linux and MS Windows do these customers have to make such recitations? Have they used both an easy-to-use Linux-based system such as Mandrake 9.1 and MS Windows?

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: How do we know this is actually what customers are saying or is it something you all just made up because it sounds good?

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: Do you have names and e-mail addresses for these alleged customers?

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: How many customers allegedly are saying this?

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: Is this actually what they allegedly said, or are these really statements made up by marketing/advertising/pr people?

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: How does the Windows OS itself enter into "productivity"? Is not that more a matter of the software/applications that one chooses to run rather than the OS used to run them?

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: What are the bases for your claims as to productivity, security, compatibility, and overall ease of use, especially in the corporate environment for MS Windows as opposed to the latest major Linux distributions such as Mandrake 9.1, SuSE 8.2, and Red Hat 9.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: To the extent that you are referring to the corporate environment, what are the bases of your comparisons of MS Windows (which versions) and Linux? Please keep in mind that Mandrake, SuSE, and Red Hat all have business and enterprise grade Linux OS products as well as consumer and SoHo grade Linux OS products.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: If you are not familiar with these products and want to get up to speed on them quickly, please check the MozillaQuest Magazine Linux Articles Index. http://mozillaquest.com/indexes/Linux_index.html

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: I use both MS Windows and Linux OS products. My evaluation is that Linux is now as good as or better than Windows in many respects. Actually, if the comparison is made OS to OS, Linux is the better OS. And if the comparison is made desktop to desktop, KDE in Mandrake 9.1 is superior to MS Windows.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: There is more hardware compatibility for MS Windows but that is a matter of driver availability rather than the OSs themselves.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: Another issue is software. The biggest issue there seems to lie in a few applications and/or applications suites where the MS Windows-based applications seem to be more popular and perhaps better than the comparable MS Windows-based applications -- the Microsoft Office suite and some of the Adobe products for example. However, that is not an OS to OS comparison. That is an application-to-application comparison.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: However, many if not most of theses applications can be run on Linux-based systems via CodeWeaver's CrossOver Office, Lin4Win, and so forth.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

-MozillaQuest Magazine: Please see my articles, "Mandrake Linux 9.0, Desktop Magic You Can Use: A First Look" and "Mandrake Linux 9.1 Retail Packs Available" for more detailed discussion of why I think Mandrake 9.1 with the KDE desktop is a better desktop solution than the MS Windows desktop -- particularly the "Desktop Magic You Can Use" article.

Microsoft spokesperson Tara Gregory: [Microsoft has no further comment regarding this matter]

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