Using 'common sense' to clear the Microsoft fog of illusion.

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4. Unable to comprehend security issues.

Even when the United States government warns people to avoid using specific software for personal security reasons, the Microsoft sheep act like they don't understand the reasons. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) [ ] recommended that people stop using Internet Explorer. The advisory states that there are a "number of significant vulnerabilities in technologies relating to the Internet Explorer domain/zone security model, the DHTML object model, MIME type determination and ActiveX. It is possible to reduce exposure to these vulnerabilities by using a different Web browser, especially when browsing untrusted sites." In the eyes of CERT, Internet Explorer's architecture is at the heart of its security problem, not just that millions of copies are in use. The most compelling thing an alternative browser offers, therefore, is an alternative architecture, one less tightly integrated with Windows.

"With a regular Web browser, a security vulnerability might let someone crash the browser. With an integrated Web browser they can crash the whole operating system. The tight ties to Windows means that the slightest IE security issue becomes an OS-wide panic. It's not just IE, either: Windows Media Player, Outlook Express, and even DirectX, are all, in my opinion, overly integrated and give hackers too much access to core PC functions."

5. Confuses commodity with quality.

Toothbrush, disposable razor, ballpoint pen, hotdog, fast-food hamburger -- these are commodities. You can have thousands of these for every $1 it costs to make them. Which do you enjoy more: A) The overcooked hotdog and soda at a grocery deli? Or... B) Your favorite brew and the steak you've just grilled out on the patio? We throw away ballpoint pens when they run out of ink, but a gold-plated hand-crafted heirloom would be treated with more respect. We simply do not assign VALUE to a commodity. The Windows operating system is designed to be a generic "one-size-fits-all" commodity.

6. Thinks professional means expert.

The word "professional" simply means that one is paid to do a certain job. We like to attach connotations to that word and *expect* that a particular "professional" is the best candidate for the task, can give expert advice, has a well-grounded understanding of his field of study, and should be relied upon to tell the truth {professionals actually have very compelling self-serving reasons to lie -- but that's another story... }. Microsoft fanboys try to use these connotations to discredit the quality of Linux due to it's volunteer contributions from the community. Heck, the evening news is full of exposes showing plumbers and auto-mechanics fraudulently charging high prices for shoddy work. Someone please explain why a paid workman is *so special* that their work is better or that their advice is more trustworthy than someone who does the task as a hobby?

For a closing note I want to ask why it is that the type of person I call "Microsoft fanboy" is typically someone 20 years out of high-school who complains about making less than 20k and they haven't advanced their career beyond a beginner-level state government job?

Your last post was so fun, I couldn't wait for this one :P

4. There have been severe security issues with IE 6 and earlier, which came out in 2001 and by 2005 (the date of your cited article) had proven itself to be a huge security risk. And, as you mentioned, the integration with the OS was retrospectively a stupid thing to do. It was, however, an artifact of a time when security received much less focus industry-wide, and considerations for the consequences of said design were probably not given much thought. Now that Microsoft has released a new OS and browser version, both featuring new security models, the products have been much better behaved (though they've not been out long enough to say with certainty how much they've improved). As Firefox gains more popularity, there are also an increasing number of bugs being found in its code - not as serious as some of the IE bugs, but some compromising nonetheless. Of course, this doesn't even touch the standards compliance issue, which hopefully will be a huge focus for IE 8...

5. A lot of the Windows design came at a time when Microsofts mission was simply to have everyone using their product. By impressing the generic one-size-fits-all box of software in front of everyone, they nearly succeeded at their goal. Fortunately, they've since come to realize that they can't force everyone to use the same product. I would note, however, that since the advent of Windows NT in 1993, there have been 2 very different branches of Windows aimed at the desktop platform... up until XP that is. On the other hand, aside from making the user choose which packages to install, how are Linux distros currently any different? You get the same OS as the next guy running your distro, you just install different packages; similar to running the same Windows kernel and installing different software.

6. The difference between a professional and a hobbyist is the amount of training received by the former and generally not by the latter. Many, if not most, of the OSS developers contributing to Linux and other projects are or have been software developers in the past. Your point here is really dull...

As to your final question, I wonder why it is that you take a stereotypically tech-ignorant persona, then label them as a Microsoft fanboy? Typically a fanboy will have some tech-savvy and will give their spiel with at least some idea of how to possibly back it up. Instead you chose a group that has typically only been exposed to Microsoft (or other commercial) products, and don't understand anything about software development or the risks associated with software, nor is it likely that they will anytime soon. They certainly wouldn't know about a nigh-secret society of developers who build software in their free time (admittedly this is an exaggeration, but the OSS community hasn't received much publicity), nor about the benefits and drawbacks therein.

{responding to Infarction's comments}

4. Why do you believe Microsoft would ever aim for standards compliance?? It has always been in their best interest to keep everything proprietary.

5. Many different versions of the Linux kernel exist, so if you are compiling your own, you get to choose the kernel that best suits your needs. Likewise, the 'distros' show a good deal of variance. Small distros like DSL and Puppy tend to use the older, smaller kernels to save space. Other distros try to keep more current. Also, why is it that Microsoft's embedded versions (Windows CE and the like) are *SO* different from the regular Windows that it is like programming for an entirely different OS? With Linux, you don't have that problem -- your existing products just work.

I don't "paint" the fanboys, those are simply the colors they show me.

PS - See also the comments here: