Yes, but you overlook the fact that you're REALLY smart, Rob. I dare
say that 97% of the PC-using population cannot install Linux because
it's too difficult for them to figure out how to do that.
Those require ease of installation (and upgrading), and they require top
notch support lines to walk them through things. As far as delivering
software with those features, Microsoft is as inexpensive an option as
they come. Microsoft software really is a decent value for most of the
people and businesses that use it.
(You might argue that NeXTSTEP or MacOS or BeOS delivers higher quality
software, and you might be right, but who knows where any of those
companies will be in a few years? With Microsoft, companies also buy
piece of mind that the software they install will be supported by the
company's support lines for many years to come. In the minds of many
middle managers, this is a good thing.)
> Why does Microsoft not go in for open systems?
Because in most cases, that is just plain bad business. The number 1
and 2 rules of business are Know Thy Customers and Know Thy Competitors,
respectively. Microsoft is, above all, a business, that does market
surveys of customer needs, and that ascertains its competitors'
weaknesses. Staying proprietary is a good way to stay ahead of the
competition while adding extensions that appeal to the customer base.
It may not be fair, and it may not appeal to everyone's sense of taste,
but it is sound business. The people who work at Microsoft are smart.
> Does Microsoft deserve to be bashed?
Maybe, or maybe not, but I do know this: everyone I've ever met who
works at Microsoft has been intelligent, passionate about what s/he's
doing, and tenacious to an admirable degree.
Microsoft's tastes may not appeal to you, but the world is cool in the
fact that we are not all Borg who blindly follow the tastes of a single
leader. If you don't want to be in the 97% of the population that
Microsoft products appeal to, all the power to you: stake your flag in
the ground of the 3% and assert your independent tastes. But don't deny
that Microsoft does what it does (in appealing to those 97%) really,
Tip 33. If it works, use it. On the other hand, don't use it just
because it works. This is a Zen riddle. Only yin-yang programmers
can understand the contradiction it entails.
-- Paul DiLascia, Microsoft Systems Journal, Vol 8 # 11, Nov 1993