Microsoft Exec Says 'Open' Means 'Incompetent'

from the oh-really-now? dept

Glyn Moody points us to the news that a Microsoft exec is criticizing the Brazilian government's support for open source software using some pretty weak arguments. This isn't new. For years, any government that supports open source software is attacked (falsely) as not supporting private enterprise. However, what's really ridiculous here is that the Microsoft exec in question, Hernan Rincon, president of Microsoft Latin America, seems to be making even more specious arguments than usual, claiming that "open" really is a way of saying "incompetent":
"When you can not compete, you are declaring open. This masks incompetence." (translated)
That's quite a statement, and one made with no basis whatsoever. Openness could "mask incompetence," but I'd argue that it's much easier to mask incompetence with a closed solution. Open generally is the opposite of "masking" anything. He also makes the typical FUDian arguments that open source is more expensive to run, which isn't quite accurate (or, realistically, depends on what it is you're trying to do). But this claim that openness is about incompetence is just plain ridiculous.


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  1.  
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    Jon Renaut (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Incompetence experts

    If anyone knows a little something about incompetence, it's an executive from the company that produced Windows Vista (and 95, and 98, and ME, and . . .).

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    From the company that perfected incompetency. Just push it out, and patch it later.

     

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  3.  
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    interval (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Incompetence experts

    Yeah, this could be a Streisand moment for Microsoft.

     

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  4.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Perfected Incompentency

    I second that. If anybody should know incompetence, it's Microsoft.

     

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  5.  
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    John Doe, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    Open does support private enterprise

    Just look at RedHat, they didn't create Linux but they have built a good business around supporting it. Open source has created many jobs and allowed many more to use it for their jobs.

     

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  6.  
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    testcore (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Open does support private enterprise

    That's what I find funny when cluebies like this exec claim that open source is somehow anti-private enterprise. Companies like IBM, Red Hat, and Canonical all seem to be pretty successful ventures, and yet they're all major contributors to FOSS. So how is supporting them against the free market again?

     

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  7.  
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    crade (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Microsoft releases opensource stuff too.
    "Executive" means incompetent if you ask me.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Incompetent programmers in OSS get heckled out by those who are know what they're doing

    Where as in a closed source, idiots can congregate and no one will be the wiser. Case in point, Windows ME.

     

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  9.  
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    Will Sizemore (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Push and Patch

    MAN do I hate Push and Patch! Oh, wait, that's not the problem. Much of open source is that way too. The problem is more, "Push This and Don't Let Anyone Else Patch So We Can Get More Money."

    At least with Open Source Software, anyone who IS competent, can reasonably obtain the code and patch it themselves.

     

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  10.  
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    fluor2 (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Just another view

    I am not impressed with comments here. Microsoft have a LOT of good solutions and I do admire the stability of the recent operating systems since Windows XP.

    "...free programs require more work and investment from the government to keep them running and updated." Well that IS the truth. You might think it might not apply to goverments as they have a pretty non-changing environment. Well, you are wrong. There is much changing everywhere now, and the costs of developing and maintaining a linux-platform might become bigger than one wants.

    The phrase open means incompetent was meant for Google and not the brazilian government.

     

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  11.  
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    Steven (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    *nix

    So I suppose Microsoft will immediately move all of it's servers away from the incompetent *nix variations and all to MS Server?

    Somehow I doubt it.

     

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  12.  
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    Sebastian, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

    Did I just get agitated, this easily?

    Did I just get agitated, this easily? If it weren't for open source, there would not be an internet. Idiot.

     

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  13.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    MS lies about OSS FUD easily debunked

    Another Mircros~1 exec being schooled on this topic:

    http://gnuwin.epfl.ch/articles/en/reponseperou/villanueva_to_ms.html

     

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  14.  
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    tracker1 (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Just another view

    I don't know about this either. Web-based applications seems to be the majority of all development outside core applications these days (in numbers of man hours of development time, not in terms of usage). As long as these apps support a given browser in use, then maintaining the actual desktop clients becomes easier, even in OSS. There are management tools for maintaining OSS, just as with commercial software.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Now that is good to hear.
    Because when the big boys start squeaking its either because it is hurting or because they are afraid.

    It makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside.

     

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  16.  
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    Kleuske (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Observation

    An incompetent programmer would be likely to _hide_ his incompetence behind the locked doors of an ironclad EULA, non-disclosure agreements and (in particular) a (very) closed source model. Allowing others to view the actual code, seems something for more self-confident and competent programmers.
    But hey... M$ fudding it isn't exactly new. They've been playing this card as long as they exist.

     

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  17.  
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    F, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    idjut can't RTFA

    Read the original article, fool!

    The president of Microsoft Latin America, Hernán Rincón, sent word to Brazilian government: "innovation software does not happen in the hands of governments but the private sector."

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Open does support private enterprise

    Yeah just came in here to mention this. Red hat example = Microsoft fail. I am disappoint.

     

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  19.  
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    anonymous coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    Re: idjut can't RTFA

    Moron.... read past the first line. Speaking of hypocrisy you belong in there with the microsoft hypocrite...

     

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  20.  
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    the Janitor, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Just another view

    ...where should I start here.. You know Windows Vista exits right? half baked OS that even Microsoft admits was a total disaster.

    Don't get me wrong, Microsoft does have good products as well -but the creators of the 'Kin' phones and all those crappy operating systems should not be talking about 'Incompetence'. First they need to clean their junk code before criticizing others. But then again, what else can you expect from Microsoft execs.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:52pm

    Not that I agree with this guy, but perhaps the logic behind the reasoning is that one might open up their software so that it can have contributions by people who are better programmers than they are, thereby hiding their own incompetence at developing a quality product on their own. It's not inconceivable that a business executive would see things this way.

     

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  22.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    The fishbowl effect

    The "incompetence" line does get trotted out fairly often, but, as others have pointed out, it really doesn't work that way.

    If you're genuinely incompetent, no open source project is going to grant you commit access (or accept your patches) into their central trees.

    And when you *do* have such commit access, the immediate publication of you changes to anyone who cares to see them is a hell of an incentive to make sure that it's code you can defend as reasonable! Dodgy hacks still happen, of course, but they're almost always accompanied by a comment explaining why the dodgy hack is necessary and/or asking for ideas on less hackish solutions.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if they're right or wrong. They're Micro$oft and the average end user will think they are right. Who cares about truth really?

     

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  24.  
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    abc gum, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Just another view

    "and the costs of developing and maintaining a linux-platform might become bigger than one wants."

    Check this out- it's great
    Microsoft Windows: A lower total cost of 0wnership

    http://www.immunitysec.com/downloads/tc0.pdf

     

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  25.  
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    greggler, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 7:35pm

    LOL at the FUD

    LOL at the company with a browser market share less than half of that owned by open source browsers. Double rainbow LOL that 8 years after XP and over $6 billion of OS development results in a product that can't convince 64% of their installed base that it is either safe or worthwhile to upgrade. I'm betting this particular comment goes down poorly for Microsoft.

     

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  26.  
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    Joe, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Just another view

    dude- the GNU/Linux ecosystem adapts allot quicker than Microsoft and other closed source ecosystems to change. All one has to do is look at the patch management systems in place and how they work and also how patches are managed. Anybody can find a bug, anybody can write a patch, and the maintainer can approve/deny a patch or write a patch from scratch. And those patches then end up getting to the users faster because users don't have to manually download / and or OK each patch through a different update mechanism. GNU/Linux distributions have repositories so the programs get patches for the applications through whichever package manager update system they use rather than 20 different update programs like on MS Windows or Mac.

     

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  27.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Just another view

    fluor2 wrote:

    I am not impressed with comments here. Microsoft have a LOT of good solutions and I do admire the stability of the recent operating systems since Windows XP.

    None of which is relevant to the discussion at hand. That’s what a “strawman” is.

    "...free programs require more work and investment from the government to keep them running and updated." Well that IS the truth.

    The most spectacular counterexample to why you’re wrong has to be the London Stock Exchange case. Back in 2008, Microsoft mounted a major publicity campaign, crowing about the fact that the LSE had chosen Windows over Linux to run its trading system.

    Over the subsequent year, the system suffered major performance and reliability problems, culminating in a major outage that left the entire system unusable for an entire day.

    So now they’re switching to Linux, the very system they previously rejected.

     

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  28.  
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    Ryan Diederich, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:35pm

    Hey....

    Although to us programmers and non-laymen, Microsoft may seem incompetent, but you must remember, they have a market share of over 90%. They didnt get 90% of computers to use windows by being incompetetent.

    There will always be someone out there who could do it better. Whether its the entire thing or individual parts, this is why "Open" is better. Microsoft should beef up their beta program and make it easier for users to contribute.

    In the mean time, the "This computer lacks Genuine Windows Software" window just popped up on my laptop, and THAT is my way of silently resisting.


    Sources:
    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=8

     

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  29.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:15am

    Re: Incompetence experts

    Yeah, my first thought was "MS = incompetent, where do they have room to talk?".

     

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  30.  
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    Pranav, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:18am

    Incompetence to compete

    We have to differentiate incompetence to compete from incompetence of a product.

    Please realize that it takes a lot more than developing the software/apps to make money off it. The product might be revolutionary but the developer might not have the knowledge to make money of it. (Remember the DOS ;)

     

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  31.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:40am

    Re: Just another view

    "Microsoft have a LOT of good solutions and I do admire the stability of the recent operating systems since Windows XP."

    While I admit that MS have some good software (even a stopped clock is right twice a day, right?), they're hardly a barometer of quality. We're talking about the company that released XP with large numbers of severe bugs that allows things like the Blaster virus to becomes rampant. The company that released Vista in such a shoddy state that my first Vista laptop was incapable of copying a file across my home network until SP1. That didn't even test certain classes of bugs because they didn't think 98 would become connected to open networks...

    "Well that IS the truth."

    Please tell me you're joking. I can point out hundreds of open source projects that receive nothing from government sources.

    "There is much changing everywhere now, and the costs of developing and maintaining a linux-platform might become bigger than one wants."

    There are numerous studies that show that a competent Linux administrator can maintain many more servers than an equally competent Windows admin.

    "The phrase open means incompetent was meant for Google and not the brazilian government."

    ...so what makes Google specifically incompetent? Google search, Chrome, docs, etc. vs. the equivalent MS product makes the opposite assertion....

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:44am

    If competence is judge by a product laden with DRM(Vista) that takes all the control over your machine and hand it to strangers then yah open source is incompetent because they can't do that.

    If competence is judge by the response time that takes months or years in Microsoft case then sure open source is incompetent for having fixes 2 days later, of course there are some issues that still didn't get resolved after years but the numbers are low on the open source front.

    If competence is about locking up every feature to make others pay more sure open source lost there, they don't lock anything, BTW that is one of the reasons I switched, because after expending $400 bucks on windows I discovered that I would have had to purchased a new one costing $600 dollars for the privilege to change the language of the OS, the last straw was that DRM crap embedded in Vista, I'm not giving up the control of my computer to a company that used to be consumer friendly but turned on people and got in bed with the entertainment industry which I hate.

     

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    mhenriday (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:02am

    Given Microsoft's own record of 'competence'

    in pushing products which cause end users and those whose task is to help them no end of trouble, the problem here seems to be one of definitions - Microsoft simply uses a definition of 'competence' - that which contributes to Microsoft's profits or otherwise is convenient for the company - which differs from that used by the rest of the world. A linguist might say that this usage of 'competence' is cognate with Microsoft's usage of the phrase 'standards compliant'.... Henri

     

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  34.  
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    Andy, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:12am

    Re: Just another view

    "the costs of developing and maintaining a linux-platform might become bigger than one wants"

    That's the case with any operating system or application. It is just the case that usually supporting and developing for windows becomes much more expensive than linux...

     

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    Arup Roy Chowdhury, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:14am

    And here we have blog idiots calling Linux users over zealots and critical of MS, time and again, fools like Ballmer, Gates and others openly bad mouth and put down Linux and open source and yet if the Linux user protests, its seen as M$ bashing.

     

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  36.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:44am

    Re: Incompetence experts

    MS claims open to mean incompetence?
    Heh, I guess it takes one to know one?

     

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    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:49am

    Re: Just another view

    I do admire the stability of the recent operating systems since Windows XP.

    You mean, were an application gone rogue can lock up the entire system so only a power-cycle helps and you loose all data not saved yet? Yeah, admirably stable.

     

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    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:51am

    Re: Hey....

    They didnt get 90% of computers to use windows by being incompetetent.

    No, they got it by stealing, copying and blackmailing competition and by means of other unlawful practises. A good starting point to read about this is here.

     

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  39.  
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    Adriano, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 5:24am

    Something I'm not... Something that you're

    I don't think so Mr. Rincon. But, I don't understand... Did you mean incompetence when YOUR company put to market place a lot of crap-software like a "money-collector" in order to finance you more poor software for next versions?
    So, I think that is more competent a large people's group collaborating into the same software coding, and not a huge set of engineers making software with closed eyes.

    Think about it man. You lose.

     

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  40.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:50am

    Microsoft and Incompetence? A tale of two smartphones

    1. Android. Enough said.

    2. Windows Phone 7 Series.

    October will bring the launch of Windows Phone 7 Series. Phones from the same company that brought you such fine products as Edlin, DOS 4, Windows ME, Internet Explorer 6, Zune, Vista and Bing. Phones with the kind of quality, stability, security and robustness you’ve come to expect from the Microsoft name. Yes, Windows Phone 7 Series is a new ballgame that abandons compatibility (and your investment) with Windows Mobile and literally dozens and dozens of developers who wrote apps for it. It is unconnected with the recent Microsoft Sidekick/Danger fiasco that made national news when it lost all data for millions of smartphone users worldwide. (Microsoft acquired the successful Sidekick/Danger and tried to “Microsoft” it.) After the Sidekick/Danger fiasco, don’t expect T-Mobile to be friends with Microsoft anytime soon. I’m sure the other carriers are also paying attention. Also don’t forget the recently launched, and recently discontinued Microsoft Kin phone! Microsoft spent over $85 Million in marketing for it, and managed to sell over 500 units! Microsoft announced that it wasn’t as bad as the press was suggesting – they only lost $120,000 per Kin phone that was sold. When asked about the Kin phone and the Zune music player, teenagers said: the what and the what? So be looking forward to Windows Phone 7 Series in October. (If at first you don’t succeed, use a shorter bungee.)

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:29am

    Re: Hey....

    "In the mean time, the "This computer lacks Genuine Windows Software" window just popped up on my laptop, and THAT is my way of silently resisting."

    Why do it silently?

    Use Linux!

     

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  42.  
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    SLK8ne, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    Re: It makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside.

    Muahahahahahaha >:D

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 9:12am

    "When you can not compete, you are declaring open. This masks incompetence"

    LOL ... bug a day Microsoft talking about incompetence.

    Thanks Mike you really made me laugh with that quote.

     

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  44.  
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    SLK8ne, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 9:12am

    Re: They didnt get 90% of computers to use windows by being incompetetent.

    No they got a 90% market share by cutting deals with the PC manufacturers to put MS OSs on their computers.

    Has nothing to do with technical competency, just back room business deals.

     

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  45.  
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    SLK8ne, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    I'd be insulted but....

    As an open source software lover I'd be insulted if this wasn't such a laughable comment.

    Excuse me sir exactly how many viruses and security holes have your operating systems had over the years? How many BSODs have your "competent" programmers inflicted on the general public?

    I'm a PC tech and I tell people who want to buy a new computer to go buy a Mac, or to shop online and get a Linux box. I know Microsoft products too well to honestly recommend them to anyone.

     

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  46.  
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    ted b, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Re: Just another view

    >>There is much changing everywhere now, and the costs of >>developing and maintaining a linux-platform might become >>bigger than one wants.

    >The phrase open means incompetent was meant for Google and >not the brazilian government.

    That phrase by Microsoft is part of their "My, my,.. you sure have a nice bakery/kernel/house/OS there.. it would be a shame if something happened to it. If you pay us, we will make sure that nothing bad will happen. We wont tell you which things but it would be in your best interest if you did." routine theyve been doing for the past few years.
    Their extortion routine didnt stop at Novell and the two other small fish that drowned i believe. Korean companies like LG and Samsung have been paying Microsoft for the right to use Linux for a few years now.
    Its really a great racket theyve set up using mainly FUD and all the insinuations and innuendos that such extortion entails.
    The ONLY way would costs of developing and maintaining a Linux platform cost more (than one wants they say) would be through such a taxation system.
    Microsoft is doing the same thing as mobsters do to the bakery and ice cream places in my neighborhood. They offer no proof that Linux used Microsoft IP but they offer companies piece of mind (they wont sue) that a bundle of cash will make them forget about these offenses.

    If Microsoft (which as a company does its best work in the boardroom and not the showroom) can manage to tax Linux, thats the only way costs will go up.

    So Im not impressed by your comment either.

     

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  47.  
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    notanexpert, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Just another view

    how can anyone admire the Vista operating system, even MS has admitted it is a pile of garbage. they sell people "not good" software, then dont bother to make them better, just offer to sell the upgrade. If your selling a product, you should be willing to stand behind it, as was not the case with vista

     

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  48.  
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    Will Sizemore (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    I agree with you, NotAnExpert...

    I do agree, but I'm only posting so in the hopes that if I don't check the, "Email me when there are new comments on this thread," box I won't get email chirps on my phone all night again. :P

     

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    rickie, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    what a silly comment

    If secure, stable, availability, low resources consumption, etc.... in open sources is some kind of incompetency what should be thought about Blue Screen of Death, Windows Vista inoperable, Windows ME trash, the third party security needs to patch and protect your Windows OS and data. Come on MS guys you can do better to criticize something you cannot understand "Open Source is for real" not the trashy, expensive license and inoperative system you are pretending to rent for the whole world.

     

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  50.  
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    Alan, Sep 18th, 2010 @ 8:37am

    Re: LOL at the FUD

    Or maybe, just maybe, their previous operating system was so stable and so usable and so bloody impossible to crash that people just don't care enough to upgrade. Going from ME to XP was a *huge* difference in stability. It'd be hard to get more stable than XP.

     

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    Jim (profile), Sep 18th, 2010 @ 7:45pm

    So Typical

    My IT won't give a second look to anything if it isn't Microsoft. They are under a false sense of security and could be saving taxpayers money. The argument is we don't know anything about (pick your poison) so we don't support it.

    I don't understand how IT gets away with this shit. When new environmental laws are passed I don't get to say, "I really don't know the details of that law so we are still going to use the old law".

    Done with my sort of off topic rant, but that rant is caused by Microsoft and their constant spewing of inaccurate info in regards to certain areas such as open source.

     

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  52.  
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    Jim (profile), Sep 18th, 2010 @ 7:45pm

    So Typical

    My IT won't give a second look to anything if it isn't Microsoft. They are under a false sense of security and could be saving taxpayers money. The argument is we don't know anything about (pick your poison) so we don't support it.

    I don't understand how IT gets away with this shit. When new environmental laws are passed I don't get to say, "I really don't know the details of that law so we are still going to use the old law".

    Done with my sort of off topic rant, but that rant is caused by Microsoft and their constant spewing of inaccurate info in regards to certain areas such as open source.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2010 @ 2:50am

    when you can't compete...

    If Open software can't compete, why is a Microsoft exec wasting his time discussing it?

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2010 @ 2:52am

    Re: Re: LOL at the FUD

    Hard for Microsoft, easy for anyone with *nix.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2010 @ 2:59am

    Re:

    So, would you say that a business executive who hires a programmer, or accountant, or anyone else, to do anything, rather than doing it him/her-self, is hiding his/her incompetence? Since when is teamwork hiding incompetence? The ability to work with others is one of the most powerful competencies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Carlos Gili, Sep 20th, 2010 @ 8:14pm

    Surelly MS Exec is terribly missinformed

    To make it Open implies that your work must be good, otherwise you would be ashamed to show it... On the other side of the coin there is MS that HIDE their MALICIOUS code by compiling it... and filling the memory and HardDisks with garbage just to make the PC slower and full of viruses... Proof of this malicious intention from MS is inside the "System Volume Information" directory on every PC, in which, I don't know why, the system stores copies of the user excel and microsoft word files!... Why?.... to fill the disk?...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Delhi Packers Movers, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 6:15am

    Packers Movers Delhi

    I appreciate work that you have put into this page. Genuinely and informative..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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