Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Microsoft, Linux & India
How to hate Microsoft, a blog by an MS employee.
Microsoft and Indian Languages - impressive work.
Microsoft seems to be putting in lot of resources to capture the Indian market by focusing on Multilingual systems, Geographical information systems and Sensors and sensor network applications.
Remember "Your potential. Our passion."
As far as my opinion is concerned I have been enjoyed working on Win2k (WinXP is fine, but needs requires lot of RAM and hopefully Longhorn version might be a better as it might be Bill Gates desperate attempt to prove that he can innovate :P)
"The last generation of operating systems cost about a billion dollars to develop. In fact Apple spent roughly a billion dollars to deliver OS X . They get to amortize that investment over 3 million annual buyers. Microsoft spends the same billion dollars to develop XP and they get to amortize that investment over roughly 120 million users a year ... [Apple] can't sustain that business model. The next generation operating system, the one that will ultimately replace OS X and XP, is probably going to cost $1.5 billion to $2 billion dollars. So, Apple's underlying economics will never allow them to support their next generation operating system. If (Microsoft's) Longhorn is ever successful, the pressure that will place on Apple will be enormous because Apple simply will not have the resources with 8 million active users to ever be able to support it." - Where Does Apple Go from Here?
Also worth reading is an article What's next for Google.
But for some reason it is essential to promote OpenSource & GNU
Its not as if all open source softwares are free. In fact some of it is copyrighted too. Take for instance Linux... the operating system is open source, but there are many versions of it in the market. Most famous being Red Hat Linux, which retails for about 7000 rupees a copy!! Then there are loads of freeware... like versions of linux brought out by tech magazines and stuff...
Another minor point is that linux shell programming is not an easy job... it takes a team of people days, sometimes even weeks just to replace all instances, configure the binaries and RPMs (these are pre packaged software u get with any linux installation... they vary form installation to installation) etc...
How many CDs does windows come in?? One. Red Hat Linux 7 comes in FIVE CDs... and most magazines bringing out versions of linux have at least 3 CDs.
Have you ever wondered why Microsoft pays well, hires good people and has so much resources for R&D... yet unfortunately most of its products are not technically the best - yes they do well, but its probably more due to the questionable use of muscle power, unfair business practices and good marketing strategies for these very substandard products... (Mac OS-X has great GUI while Unix is almost perfect as the OS and IE & Outlook suck big time and the best alternative these days are Firefox & Thunderbird)...
Redhat has virtually stopped their linux version for desktop users. They now support a project named fedora which is absolutely free. Mandrake is the only remaining free, stable and user-friendly Linux distribution I guess. Others (SUSE/Novell etc) are not really free or maybe they are there just for the hype and to form a "bandwagon".
Yeah, some zealots will say Slackware or Debian but those are for experienced people in my opinion. Though people on some newsgroups and communities have been claiming to be using Debian and Knoppix for more quite some time now and promoting them as great, infact FAR more easier to maintain than any other distro they have known, I am yet to try my hand on it.
Most of the non-nerdy guys, like me, have some flavor of Linux installed besides the Windows OS and we ocassionally boot into it, go to KDE, do some routine stuff and log out. Linux gurus love Debian or Slackware and its good, and for Gentoo you really need broadband connection. Also Mandrake 10.1 seems to be the best choice if you need linux on a loptop. I think the lack of affordable broadband is the only real major hurdle against a linux boom in india.
Just a comment on one community: Google Luit Linux, a small [50 mb] distro compiled by an Indian dude...I checked out the live CD..runs XFCE...sweet...I think second hand desktops from the first word with XFCE in indian villages could work wonders for literacy and awareness amongst rural folks...
Sometimes I feel totally lost and just cannot comprehend the lingo at these communities and newsgroups.