[I]It would make a great story if Microsoft redefined itself and found its way back to its former 90s desktop glory days, but it's just not true, Mini-Microsoft not withstanding.[/I]

That would take daring of the kind a startup has. A young company with nothing to lose and everything to gain. A few mavericks who dare to take on the incumbents. Microsoft is an incumbent itself now. It will take a near bankruptcy to force MS to reinvent itself IBM style.

[i]It's just the same old, same old application bloat we've been seeing for years and that's just not what I want from my office suite.[/i]

They have no other choice. They have been adding on stuff for years and they have been preserving backwards compatibility for so long, that people have come to expect the same, but with more glitz.

Since MS is an Empire, they try to play it safe. Reinventing their whole stack is a risk they are not willing to take. A complete rewrite of Windows and Office, removing the legacy cruft, would make them young programs again, with all the risks of the market possibly rejecting them. It would also remove a lot of lock in to the legacy Win32 API. MS won't take that risk.

Even if the RMS Microsoft is slowly getting overloaded and decrepid, a slowly sinking ship is better than a new fast cruiser which is out of the race.

Cheap potshots at Red Hat/Novell.

[I]We, at HLNS, want the community version users to know that there is more to free than just cost. While free (As in beer), might sound great on the surface; there's no commercial support, training or certifications to support it[/I].

Which is patently untrue. Maybe HLNS doesn't support the community version, but since the code is free as in speech and as in beer, anyone can offer support or training for it.

Stop thinking in terms of single vendor, single support option. Pressing the proprietary cookie cutter on FOSS just clouds your vision.

So what if the vendor tries to cash in on the lemming attitude that "the one who sells it should also be the throat to choke." It's a free market.

The true beauty of FOSS lies in the fact that anyone can support it. The source code isn't a trade secret and the licensing gives us many of the rights the copyright holder has, so we are not beholden to the copyright holder for changes.

Of course being CIO in this circumstance, means you really have to start doing your job. No more pointing fingers. You can't blame company Foo, if your chosen support partner Bar for Foo products screws it up.

I don't think Apple is out to get Linux or anybody else for that matter. Apple is trying to keep up with the market.

The days that Apple carried that etherial magic of being truly different, with their promise of "It just works!", are rapidly coming to an end. When they used exotic hardware, they produced these machines that only a handful of people truly knew through and through, so there could be that smidge of truth in their claims.

Today, Apple is just one hardware manufacturer amongst the many. They sell x86 laptops and desktops. They produce halfway decent software. They make music players and mobile phones.

The biggest problem Apple has on the computing side is their use of non-exotic, off-the-shelf and run-of-the-mill parts. Although Apple is still top notch in industrial design when it comes to computing, their machines can be compared oranges to oranges with the competition. Before Apple went x86, "we from the Cult of Intel" couldn't really compare PPC 970 to Intel Pentium III. PPC just might be that magic chip, that makes computing an exceptional joy.

These days an Intel Core 2 Duo is an Intel Core 2 Duo. An Ati is an Ati and an NVIDIA is an NVIDIA. When a comparable hardware line-up is put next to each other, and Apple is twice as pricy on average, people just conclude that Apple makes very expensive casings. Since most of us just chuck our boxen under the desk, looks aren't that important... ...