Overcoming THE FEAR [of Moving to Linux]

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| This being Halloween, it seems appropriate to talk about fear. Why don't more
| desktop users adapt to free computing? THE FEAR.



Why I am afraid of Windows Vista

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| Dawn decided that Vista wasn't worth the upgrade if she didn?t even
| get the pretty bells and whistles, besides, using a computer without
| your mouse might be pretty annoying!


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| The Scary World of Linux Computers.
| Dunkelberger likely wasn't intending to suggest that the iPhone was
| running Linux, but instead that it is a full computing environment
| with multiple vectors for potential exploits to attack. It is
| interesting that he brought up Linux however, because it is a scary
| subject for IT staff beholden to Microsoft.
| The majority of Microsoft oriented corporate IT staff I've worked with
| have a sort of reverential fear of Linux. They like to talk about it
| in a respectful sort of way, but they are often afraid to actually use
| it. Deploying a Linux server without an outside support agreement is a
| very scary task to users who have felt safe for years in their
| codependent relationship with Microsoft.
| After investing tens of thousands of dollars into their troubled
| relationship, after spending sleepless nights nursing NT servers back
| to health after they fall off the wagon to binge on worms and the
| other malware they have a genetic propensity to be addicted to, after
| growing dependent upon calling up the Redmond Father's TechNet for
| advice on how to deal with the regular schizoid mania and subsequent
| crashing of Windows, it's difficult to start over with something
| entirely new.
| IT managers are a whipped bunch. Linux is an allure associated with
| danger, like a pretty girl on the bus who smiles at the haggard,
| middle aged family man. She's just being friendly, not inviting him
| into a blissful world. He knows he has to think about his commitments
| to Microsoft, all of the fighting that would have been for nothing,
| all of the holding back of hair that he's already dealt with and wants
| to use as credit toward an established relationship. It's too much
| starting over, too late in the game.
| Today's adherents of Microsoft are like the COBOL programmers in the
| 90s: too old to learn new tricks, and too tired to even want to try.
| They are dinosaurs, dependent upon resisting change to maintain their
| proprietary world.
| Change isn't resisted successfully for long, but holdout adherents can
| oppose progress and tenaciously hold things up for longer periods of
| time than one might imagine possible.
| Is Linux Really a Problem?
| Of course, there are lots of phones that run Linux already--far more
| than run Windows Mobile--and they are not plagued by security
| problems.
| There are also tens of millions of embedded routers and phone systems
| running Linux or its BSD cousin, and none have suffered a scourge of
| security rashes anything remotely like Microsoft's Windows. Perhaps
| security isn't just a product of being powerful or having market
| share.
| Why would the iPhone's closed BSD environment be a special security
| risk? Hackers working on the iPhone have to build and install their
| own shell before they can even control it in ideal settings in a lab.
| If iPhone enthusiasts can't hack their own phones without first
| manually installing their own root access and shell environment, why
| are pundits distributing scary stories about the potential for iPhones
| to turn on their human masters and form a rebellion mechanical army of
| robot terrorists?
| Why didn't these flacks ever tell us about their brainstorming efforts
| to imagine security problems for Windows Mobile devices?


Macs on the network: Time to panic?

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| The facts reveal a coming resurgence. Apple sold 36% more Macs in the second
| quarter than the same quarter last year. *
| [...]
| or the most part, connecting a Mac to a corporate LAN doesn't have a
| world-shattering effect on performance or support. According to William
| Green, director of networking at the University of Texas in Austin, the Mac
| has had a minimal impact on the school's infrastructure. *
| "All OSs behave differently; if you have a multivendor environment, you have
| to deal with the differences," said Green. "There have not been any special
| problems related to Macs." *


Annual report: Microsoft sizes up its competition

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| Client (PC Windows): "Competing commercial software products, including
| variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple Computer,
| Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems," Microsoft says in the latest
| filing. "The Linux operating system, which is also derived from Unix and is
| available without payment under a General Public License, has gained some
| acceptance as competitive pressures lead PC OEMs to reduce costs."