Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on June 14, 2002 11:48 PM
Oh, crap. With so many well-established distributions to choose from, Wal-mart picks a relative newcomer -- Lindows -- which is the only distribution that promotes the use of Microsoft software.
Given that Lindows touts their ability to run Microsoft software as their main advantage, I have suspected them of being secretly backed by Microsoft. I note the fact that this ability only sprang up once we no longer needed it -- when it would, in fact, hurt Linux.
The reason we no longer need the ability to run Microsoft software, is due to the arrival of StarOffice 6.0 and OpenOffice. But Microsoft would like to prevent the growth of OO/SO6, and would much rather have us using MS Office, even if we end up running it on Linux.
These days, Microsoft's biggest lock-in comes not from Windows, but, rather, from MS Office and Outlook. It is extremely important to Microsoft to keep people using Office and Outlook for the next while, because Microsoft is currently working on tying both into .Net, thus creating widespread use of Microsoft secret protocols over the Internet.
Another thing that made me suspicious was Microsoft's lawsuit against Lindows. Microsoft rarely sues anybody, not to mention the fact that Lindows was a minor start-up distribution that was likely to go nowhere. By suing, however, Microsoft gave Lindows a big boost in publicity, not to mention a reputation as a Microsoft killer, when Microsoft lost the case (as Microsoft's lawyers knew, from the beginning, was inevitable).
Now some may dismiss this theory as paranoid, but you have to look at Microsoft's history. Microsoft pretended to embrace OS/2, but it was just a ploy to sidetrack IBM and WordPerfect. Microsoft pretended to embrace the use of Windows APIs on Unix, but, as the Bristol court case showed, it was just a con, designed to hook Unix applications into Windows servers. And Microsoft pretended to embrace Java, but it was just a fraud intended, in Microsoft's words, to "turn Java into just the latest, best way to write Windows applications."
Thus, for Microsoft to secretly promote a Linux distribution, centered around the running of Microsoft software, with the purpose of getting/keeping people hooked on MS Office products, is well within the realm of possibility.
But, whether you believe me or not, our immediate goals, as Linux users, should be the same:
1. Use, and promote, native Linux applications, whenever possible.
2, Stay away from all Microsoft products, including operating systems, applications, and Internet protocols.