09/09/2004: Interesting analysis....
over at NewsForge: Linux cannot compete with Longhorn. Interesting conclusion for an open source advocate to come to? Well, things aren't quite as they seem:
Wait. Hear me out. I'm not saying that because Longhorn is a superior platform in any way. I'm saying it because Longhorn is not real, it's just the latest codename for the next version of Windows. As everyone knows, the next version of Windows is always the best operating system of all time: it's always faster, more stable, and more secure than anything the world has ever seen before. Comparing a real operating system like GNU/Linux against the marketing dreams of the malignant monopoly from Redmond is like comparing your geekiness with Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet: a futile and unfulfilling exercise.
Microsoft has always preferred to compete with its core competencies: FUD, astroturfing, false advertising, rigged benchmarks, funding "independent" studies, being channeled by submissive scribes and sycophantic industry analysts, and attempting to freeze the market long enough for them to catch up with the competition. Longhorn will probably fit into all those categories before it materializes, but its primary purpose is the latter. It's just another train-load of BS designed to freeze the market until the next version of Windows gets there.
Actually, I think my conclusion to this story was written last year, by someone else. Roger Howorth wrote in a story called Longhorn's long haul which appeared in PC Magazine UK last December: "Of course, the real question is why does Microsoft seem to focus on promoting Longhorn rather than products that are available now. Perhaps Microsoft hopes that if it focuses on next-generation technologies we might forget about its rivals of today."
Let's not make the job any easier for the spin-meisters at Microsoft by trying to compare a real operating system, available today, with whatever happens to be on the coders' desk at the witching hour two years down the road. It only serves to lend Longhorn some much needed appearance of substance.
Len on 09.09.04 @ 06:25 AM CST