A Response to: Fuck you, Richard Stallman and other GNU/Trolls

You’re interested in Richard Stallman? Man, you seem to be sexually confused. I’d get counseling if I were you. I mean you’re interested in a 50 plus graying geek? Sheesh.

Comedy aside, as to the rest of what you wrote, it was awfully confused. OK, so you want to rant. Think first. If you don’t think, your arguments won’t make any sense.

Anyway, I’m taking your comments out of order, but you should be able to figure it out.

It is a rant to express my core belief that freedom is open to interpretation.

I have friends in the People’s Republic of China who believe they are free. Do you believe they are free? Are they free? For that matter are you free? There are levels of freedom, but freedom itself isn’t open to interpretation. Check out the entry for “FREEDOM” at Dictionary.com, there’s no mention of “FREEDOM” being open to interpretation.

Now let’s take your GPL section. You start off with:

I believe viral copyleft licenses like GPL are evil.

Really? I think that the GPL licenses were the greatest change to computing since the disk drive was invented.

“Freedom or Death” is not freedom. Wikipedia defines freedom as “Freedom is the right to act according to ones will without being held up by the power of others.” How am I even remotely free if I *have* to license all my code under GPL if I use GPLed libraries? Isn’t the right for a person to release liberal or proprietary software come under his/her freedom too as long as it’s not harming anyone?

I want the freedom to use the BSD or MIT license in my projects. I’m preventing from even referencing GPL libraries (not LGPL) while I’m trying to make open source software available. How is this fair?

People need proprietary software for their livelihood. Yes dual licensing or selling GPLed code is possible – but maybe not completely feasible. A developer hoping to make a living from small games cannot use GPLed libraries because that would violate the law.

If Richard Stallman had to make a living from writing software rather than whatever he does, I’m curious how much of his code he’d really open-source.

I believe that projects can open source re-usable components (google => protocol buffers, facebook => thrift, microsoft => asp.net/mvc).

I will never shun anything because it’s proprietary licensing.

While I prefer open source projects like everyone because you can take a look at the inner working, there are only nine projects who’s sources I have truly looked into with good depth.

My idea of freedom includes the freedom to make it proprietary. It’s your code, you can do what you want with it. I prefer releasing under MIT/X11 license and that’s my choice.

While the GPL is all about choice, it doesn’t give me any real choice. I *have* no choice

Ironically, mono is largely GPL/LGPL as well.

You are totally free. There’s nothing stopping you from writing your own libraries, and licensing them under the MIT or BSD license if you want, or from starting a project to produce MIT or BSD licensed libraries.

But when you talk about “Freedom”, it’s all about you. What about my “Freedom”? Shouldn’t I have the freedom to write software, and license it the way I want? Shouldn’t I have the freedom to demand payment from you for using my GPL licensed software, in source code if you write something that incorporates my code? The copyright act says I do. And you shouldn’t complain that it does, after all, the same copyright act prevents someone from using Windows as the base for something and not compensating your employer.

You talk about fairness. But only fairness as regards to you. Isn’t part of fairness compensating a creator for his or her work? So why do you regard compensating me as unfair?

The bit your wrote about “Proprietary Licensing” is really confused. I will however to admit to have an IMac and two MacBooks. But 95% of the software I’ve installed on them is GPL. The quality is better.

You have the freedom to take any project you write proprietary. You don’t have the freedom to take a project I’ve written proprietary (unless you meet my terms – and I’m expensive).

There are two main mistakes I see in your thinking so far. Your first mistake is that you think that the GPL is about YOUR choice. The GPL is about MY choice. My choice to use it, and to expect anyone who wants to use my project to pay me back by using it. Your other mistake is thinking that this is about “Open Source”. It isn’t. It’s about “Free Software”, with free being defined as software that is licensed so that IT CAN NEVER BE TAKEN PROPRIETARY. That’s what this is all about.

Now let’s look at Patents, FUD, and Mono:

There are two kinds of open source users in the world – People who love open source, and people who hate microsoft and proprietary software. I’m part of the first, which one are you?

I’m the third sort, who love FREE SOFTWARE, dislike OPEN SOURCE, and don’t give a shit about proprietary software. As to Microsoft, the company is in deep financial trouble, read their SEC reports.

I know NOTHING about patent law and how dangerous having these applications on your machine can be. In other words, I know as much as you do about all of this

Wrong. Unlike you I know a lot about this, it’s part of my job. While there may not be much danger to an individual, there’s a lot of danger to organisations, such as the Free BSD Foundation.

Most open source softwares replicate some features which may be patented. Do you think there won’t be patent issues over Openoffice or Gimp which replicate commercial software’s functionality.

An interesting statement, do you have any proof that “Most open source softwares” are infringing, or is this just an opinion?

A mentor of mine told me that patents are to prevent companies from getting sued, not to sue companies.

In that case how come Microsoft sued TomTom? I’m sorry, your mentor doesn’t know what they are talking about.

You don’t want to keep a free implementation of a language on your machine, but you are okay with downloading off bittorrent and aren’t worried about getting sued.

Um, what does this have to do with “Free Software” or “Open Source Software”?

GNote represents the limit of FUD to me. Tomboy is awesome and Sandy Armstrong doubly so.

Why is Gnote FUD? It’s an example of Free Software at it’s best. A programmer had an itch, and scratched it by writing a program, then released it so others could use it. It appears to be just as competent as Tomboy. That said, neither one is worth the time and effort to use in my opinion. But again, that’s part of Free Software, the freedom not to use something.

I’m no expert on patents, but “There might be risk” sounds just like “There might not be risk”. At the end the question is whether it’s finally worth it.

You don’t appear to be an expert at anything. What I said is “There is a risk”. And there is, based on how the Patent Act operates. There is a concept called “Due Diligence“, which lays certain responsibilities on organisations like the Fedora Project Board, the Free BSD Foundation, the Ubuntu Foundation, etc.

Please read Jo Shield’s article if my intellectually devoid rant hasn’t convinced you.

I did, and I rebutted it as well. Jo was not happy that I did.

Roy Schestowitz (of boycottnovell.com) is a dick. Period. I would never respect anyone who spends more effort spreading fear and bringing things down rather than contributing anything significant.

Let’s see. Roy spots a danger to the community, and talks about it, and that isn’t contributing something significant?

On Mono and C#:

Have a look at gnome-do, which runs on mono(http://do.davebsd.com). That thing you’re feeling when you open the link is pure undiluted lust lust.

The thing I feel is undiluted yawn.

Firefox has 80,000 lines of code. The MonoDevelop project has 800,000 lines. The Mono project (just mono) has 8 fucking million lines, let’s not forget the debugger, compiler and gtk# bindings. (ohloh.net)

Number of lines is not proof of quality. If it was, Windows Vista would be one of the most fantastic programs ever, rather than a slow, bloated, hog. In my personal opinion Windows 2000 was a lot nicer.

I have met the nicest and most helpful people I know on the Mono project. Even the most busy and experienced of devs (hello mhutch and lluis!) take time off to help (and spoonfeed) me whenever I need.

Glad you’ve had a good experience.

C# is plain awesome. I used to think it was bloated and MS specific (just like most of you), but an awesome standard library, coupled with type safety, innovative features and tight IDE integration make it a killer platform for development.

I could go on about how blissful an experience it is to write code in a full featured, statically typed language. But you’re too full of propoganda to listen.

C# seems spectacularly inefficient to me. But hey, whatever turns your crank.

Why Evolution?

On Groklaw PJ asked:

Why, exactly, is it so hard to get rid of Mono, if Evolution doesn’t require it?

I think that PJ’s question should have been, why is it so hard to get rid of Evolution, if Gnome doesn’t require it?

Think. An email client is not a necessary part of a desktop. An email client isn’t even a necessary part of a Linux Distribution. Oh, they can bs useful in some cases, if you wish to use one. But for those who want an email client, each has their own favourite, and this being Free Software, there’s a wide range available, each with it’s own special capabilities.

And then you have Evolution. It’s integrated into the Gnome desktop, to the point where removing it is impossible from a practical point of view. Oh, you can remove it. But when you do, your desktop becomes unstable. It was just like running Windows again as I watched the computer reboot for no apparent reason. Which got me thinking, doesn’t the close integration of Evolution into Gnome remind you of how Internet Explorer is closely integrated into Windows, to the point where it cannot be easily removed (if at all?)

When staff at the Gnome project were asked about removing it, and given reasons why removing it was desired (you don’t leave unused software installed on a business system), the response was on the lines of “Live with it”, and “Removing it will ruin the ability to install updates”. This may not seem very important, but consider the following scenarios:

1) Business or Consumer uses webmail only – no need for desktop email client
2) Business of Consumer uses different webmail app – no need for Evolution

Every business I know installs ONLY the software required for the employee to do the job they are assigned to do. This makes support a lot easier for IT, so the ability to customise in this way is very desirable. Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, and Outlook Express are all “integrated” into Windows and can’t be removed. With most Linux distributions you can remove almost anything, which makes Linux superior for business use. Unless you pick the Gnome desktop, where for some insane reason the Gnome project has decided to integrate Evolution in the same manner. In effect by making this choice, the Gnome project has declared it isn’t interested in being used as a business desktop.

So why is Evolution so tightly integrated info Gnome? I don’t know. I do know that Evolution is a Novell project, and my trust of Novell as a company is at an all time low due to their sponsorship of the Mono and Moonlight projects. I know my paranoia is showing by saying this, but if Novell is deliberately trying to poison Free Software through Mono and Moonlight (or just too stupid to know what they are doing), what’s to stop them from doing the same thing with Evolution?

Stallman's statement on Mono

Jo Shields and the other Mono fans have been claiming that Richard Stallman has no problems with Mono. Well, they are wrong. Richard Stallman has real problems with Mono. If you don’t believe me, read it in his own words.

For those too lazy to click on a link:

Debian’s decision to include Mono in the default installation, for the sake of Tomboy which is an application written in C#, leads the community in a risky direction. It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.

The problem is not unique to Mono; any free implementation of C# would raise the same issue. The danger is that Microsoft is probably planning to force all free C# implementations underground some day using software patents. (See http://swpat.org and http://progfree.org.) This is a serious danger, and only fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. We need to take precautions now to protect ourselves from this future danger.

This is not to say that implementing C# is a bad thing. Free C# implementations permit users to run their C# programs on free platforms, which is good. (The GNU Project has an implementation of C# also, called Portable.NET.) Ideally we want to provide free implementations for all languages that programmers have used.

The problem is not in the C# implementations, but rather in Tomboy and other applications written in C#. If we lose the use of C#, we will lose them too. That doesn’t make them unethical, but it means that writing them and using them is taking a gratuitous risk.

We should systematically arrange to depend on the free C# implementations as little as possible. In other words, we should discourage people from writing programs in C#. Therefore, we should not include C# implementations in the default installation of GNU/Linux distributions, and we should distribute and recommend non-C# applications rather than comparable C# applications whenever possible.

OK Jo. You didn’t like my suggestion that we get a proper legal opinion. One of the reasons mentioned was that Richard didn’t have any problems with Mono. Well, Richard has problems with Mono. Since Richard’s supposed approval of Mono was the only valid reason you gave for not getting a legal opinion, what do you say now?

Monotremes and Monotrolls

Yep. Monotremes and Monotrolls. Monotremes, because they lay eggs. Monotrolls, because in their efforts to get Mono more widely accepted, it appears that they’ve had the opposite effect. There have been so many articles and posts in the last several weeks, that it’s difficult to properly cover them all.

But it’s worth trying.

Exactly when the fireworks started I don’t know. I know that there has been concerns about Mono for years, and yes, I’m one of those who have been automatically removing Mono from any Linux installs I do for years. However things have really heated up within the last month or so.

One of the earliest articles in the current war was Mono: An Infectious Disease. Nice title. Sure to get both sides fired up. But is the title accurate?

A couple of days later Sam Varghese posted an article titled Fedora casts Mono into outer darkness. Not quite as inflammatory, though it makes one wonder if Sam isn’t a Mormon.

But the war didn’t really start there. It appears that the person to blame for the war is an out of work programmer, who made an April Fools Day post statingIn my attempts to fight my own boredom, as an unemployed hacker[1], I took on myself to do something: porting Tomboy to C++. It is actually not that hard, just a lot of work to do manually because there is over a dozen of thousands of lines of code. This show me that the door is open to reimplementing Gtk# software (or parts) in C++ with not too many problems, making it easy to have them available for C applications.

Now he wasn’t trying to start a war, but that was the effect. On April 6th he posted about the 0.10 release of Gnote, and the comments were interesting. The Tomboy community was outraged that someone could try to out Tomboy, Tomboy. But hey, this is Free Software. Why do you think we have KDE, XFCE, Gnome, Enlightenment, etc. Because someone was scratching an itch.

Of course the anti-mono folks spotted a chance. You get rid of one more mono application, you are that much closer to removing Mono. So then Jo Shields posted an article in Apebox called Fitting the kitchen sink onto a CD. In this article it’s pointed out that space could be saved on the Ubuntu CD if certain things were done. These things would have increased the number of programs that depend on Mono in the Ubuntu install CD to three (Tomboy, Fspot, and the newest one would be Banshee).

At this point things started to go downhill fast. Banshee would have replaced Rhythmbox, so the Rhythmbox fans were upset. It would have increased the number of Mono programs, so the anti-mono camp was upset. About the only people not upset were the bloggers like me. We were getting a ton of great copy!

Me and Ubuntu tried to clear up some of the issues, with a series of articles, Disinformation Disinfected, Pt. 1, Disinformation Disinfected, Pt. 2: The False Dilemma, and Disinformation Disinfected, pt. 3: Banshee in Ubuntu, and then wrote a final article I give up.

Various things appeared to be happening in the Ubuntu Forums including accusations of censorship. Linux Canuck declared that Ubuntu is driving me away. Nice good catchy title.

Carla Schroeder offered a chance for Mono proponents to set the record straight and Jo Shields took her up on this, with an article titled A Guest Essay In Favor of Mono.

At which point Robert Millan replied with Mono in the default install? which inspired Robert Millan in the default troll?, and finally The very best of anti-Mono zealots.

So what does it all mean?

It’s quite simple. A fairly large number of us have severe issues with Mono. We have concerns about whether Mono should be included as part of a Linux Distribution CD because there is no way to be sure of the legal status of the Mono project at the present time. We don’t believe that the Mono cheerleaders are acting and thinking logically. We don’t believe their assurances that Mono is unencumbered with Microsoft patents, because quite frankly they cannot make that statement. Only Microsoft can make it, and Microsoft, at present, is remaining curiously silent.

open…: Microsoft cocks a snook at the EU

Glyn Moody wrote Microsoft cocks a snook at the EU. I often agree with Glyn, but not this time.

Microsoft is trying to make the EU Competition people out to be fools, by delivering a version of Windows that won’t give customers what they want, and will block their competitors. Microsoft has a channel, and can get Internet Exploder disks to their customers. The competition doesn’t.

In my original response to Glyn, I said that I thought that the EU would see what Microsoft was doing, that the move was pretty naked. It appears that I was right as Microsoft’s offer has been declined. Several lawyers are quoted stating the don’t understand the EU’s move. Well, it’s obvious that these poor deluded fools have never dealt with Microsoft…

News on Zotero suit

Sean made another post on the tenth (don’t know how I missed it) stating that the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice due to lack of jurisdiction. Unfortunately that’s all he knows.

What this means so far is that Thomson Reuters is free to bring the suit again, in the correct jurisdiction. The problem is that the term jurisdiction can cover a lot of territory. Say I live in Florida, you live in Oregon, and I sue you in Florida. Unless you have some connection with Florida (like for example you own a winter residence there) the Florida court has no jurisdiction over you. A court can also lack jurisdiction if it is the wrong court, for example some types of suit are required to be tried in Federal Courts, and cannot be brought in a State Court. Jurisdiction in this case is complicated by the release on the Internet of Zotero, is the proper jurisdiction the location it was downloaded, or the location it was downloaded from? Until we can read the written dismissal it’s impossible to tell.

The question now is, what will Thomson Reuters do? The term “Without Prejudice” means that they have the option of refiling the case in the correct jurisdiction, wherever or whatever that is. However they have spent a lot of money so far, for no gain, and ruined their reputation with the Academic and Free Software communities. Would pursuing the suit further bring them any gain, or would it cost them more in lost reputation?

And of finally there is the ultimate question – do they even have a case? The basis of the original lawsuit was that the University which underwrites Zotero had once been an EndNote licensee, and the EndNote user agreement prohibits reverse engineering. A lot depends upon the definition of “Reverse Engineering” used by the court which is the correct jurisdiction (and with knowing what the correct jurisdiction is I can’t even try to look it up). Another issue is what jurisdiction the license specifies for settling license disputes. Some states implemented UCITA, a set of rules governing license disputes. Other states have implemented anti-UCITA laws. If you live in a State with an anti-UCITA law, the state specified in the license doesn’t count, you have to be sued in your state. UCITA has been criticised for being to unfavourable to the licensee, which is why anti-UCITA legislation exists.

Each jurisdiction (damn that word) has slightly different rules for how the court operates, what is allowable, etc. At present there just is not enough information to make an informed guess as to what will happen.

Which is frustrating as all get out. Meanwhile I’ll keep on using Zotero. It’s a great addon, and it makes my writing a lot easier.

Charlie Demerjian

Have some interesting news. Charlie Demerjian, ranter par excellence has left The Inquirer and founded his own new site, Semi Accurate :: News for the Everygeek. Guess my last reason for reading The Inquirer is now gone. The same thing happened to it’s predecessor (heck, the only reason I go to The Register website at all is to get my BOFH fix.

Notice how many news sources have stopped delivering anything other than pablum? It’s advertising. To attract advertising they tone down what made the sites interesting in the first place, and then loose readers. I wonder that the advertisers don’t have the brains to figure this out.

Oh, and guess who the biggest advertiser is? Yep. A certain convicted monopolist in Redmond. And the second biggest is also a convicted monopolist. The very companies that would be the targets of much of the more interesting rants. Is it any wonder that sites have to tone down their coverage?

Smart Phone Death Match

You know, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I said a while back that I really don’t think that the Pre is going to sell well. I think I need to qualify this statement considerably. When I say that I don’t think the Pre is going to sell well, I’m comparing it to the IPhone. The IPhone has sold spectacularly well, and the IPod Touch has had a halo affect on IPhone sales (same OS, same apps). The Pre doesn’t have that. Also the current Pre is CDMA only. It will sell in the US. Palm could sell it in Canada too, and probably will, but most of the rest of the world is GSM, and unless they have a GSM version, they have no hope of matching IPhone sales.

And of course my definition of “selling well” may not be the same as Palm’s definition. Say Palm needs to sell 250,000 units per year to make a profit, and save the company. If that’s what they need, and they make or exceed that level, then they are doing well, even if their sales are no where near as good as Apple’s are with the IPhone.

And of course there’s the question of whether the Pre was ever meant to be competition to the IPhone. Maybe it was aimed at RIM instead, and if so, comparing it to the IPhone isn’t fair. Maybe it was aimed at Windows Mobile and Symbian. I spent some time trying to remember exactly what the folks at Palm said, and I didn’t remember any of them specifically saying that the Pre was aimed at the IPhone. I do remember most of the usual suspects saying that, but we know how accurate they can be – several of them said that Apple was planning to sell 1 million IPhones on the first weekend it was available, when Apple hadn’t even built a million phones for the launch.

So is the Pre designed to compete directly with the IPhone? I went to Palm’s web page, read the features and specifications, and my conclusion is that it isn’t. What it’s designed to compete with is Blackberry and WinMobile phones, and against them, it has some real advantages. Oh, Palm wasn’t shy about borrowing things from Apple, like the touch screen, or the Apps store. But let’s face it, considering what a success the IPhone has been, anyone who doesn’t borrow things from Apple would have to be an idiot.

So, yes, I think that the Pre, based on it’s own merits, should sell quite well. Palm won’t sell as many phones as Apple. But Palm probably doesn’t need to sell as many phones as Apple did to have a hit. Hell, Apple probably didn’t need to sell as many phones as they did to have a hit (not that you hear them complaining).

Will Palm be able to sell enough phones to stay in business? I don’t know. I hope so. Apple and RIM need competition badly. I don’t know if any of you have used a Blackberry. I have. They are a terrible phone. And the keyboard? It’s total crap. If Palm can take some market share from RIM, RIM will have to get off their duffs and do something. Apple hasn’t shown any signs of getting fat and stupid yet, but the competition they’ve had has been so incompetent, that I wouldn’t blame them if they did. So I hope that the Pre helps Sprint keep customers who might otherwise switch to AT&T for the IPhone. Apple needs competition. And while the Pre doesn’t really direct competition with the IPhone on features and capabilities, it looks like a hell of a lot better phone than anyone else has come up with so far.

The real loser will be WinMobile. If you compare a Pre with a WinMobile phone, the Pre looks incredible, and since it has the corporate Outlook/Exchange features, who needs a Windows phone?

As to Android, I don’t see the Pre and the Android phones as competitors. Pre is going to be business phone. Android is going to be a consumer phone, thanks to the Google name. That said, while Android and the IPhone are both consumer phones, they don’t really compete, and neither competes with the Pre. Where it gets interesting is that all of them encroach on WinMobile territory, and all of them attract new users to smart phones, but for different reasons.

It should be interesting seeing how it all works out. After all, Nokia isn’t going to roll over and play dead, nor is Sony Erricson, or HTC, or for that matter Microsoft (though their financial issues may limit their capabilities). And you can bet that RIM is making it’s plans. Jim Balsillie needs lots of money for his attempt to bring an NHL team to Hamilton Ontario, and RIM is the foundation of his fortune.

Oh Hell

You know there are some things that really piss me off. Some goof ball using the name “Yggdrasil” posted a comment to my article Trolls and Linux and the rotten little son of a bitch had the gall to call me sensitive!

Actually I find it quite funny. I write about trolls, and lo and behold, Yggie, a fairly well known troll shows up, and proceeds to write a pro-Microsoft screed which accuses me of being dishonest. Think of the odds. I write something critical of Microsoft, on a blog that almost no one knows exists besides a few friends. It gets one mention on a relatively popular site, and I get a pro-Microsoft troll popping up the next day. A fairly well known troll. What does this tell you?

It tells me that no dissent is tolerated. If you are anti-Microsoft, and you get noticed, someone takes action. Someone proceeds to tell you why you are wrong, what you should think, what is allowed and what isn’t.

And the evidence is of this everywhere. The Inquirer used to publish a lot of articles critical of Microsoft. After Mike Magee sold The Inquirer, the articles critical of Microsoft dropped off dramatically. Even Charlie Demerjian, one of the best writers at The Inq no longer calls out Microsoft as often, and as hard as he used to (I have no doubt that Charlie will disagree with me on this, and yes, I will let him know that I wrote it). Also check out the comments to the few stories which aren’t complementary about Microsoft. The trolls are our in force for every one.

The Register also used to be independent. In the early years, it was very critical of Microsoft, it no longer is. It still publishes The Bastard Operator from Hell but The Reg is but a milksop these days.

Carla Schroder mentions trolls in her CV:

It was not always easy; you definitely need a thick skin in the FOSS world. It’s a self-selected group, so it’s chock-full of mavericks, the socially-inept, just plain trolls, and all manner of folks who don’t understand the importance of courtesy and respect. But these are not representative of the excellent people who really do things. The best FOSS people are polite and pleasant. I do not believe that anyone is so invaluable and indispensable that they can be excused from common courtesy. The world itself is full of mean people, and there is no remedy other than learning how to deal with it. Girls are still often raised to be passive doormats, and they are not taught how to set and achieve goals, or that they are even worthy of going after what they really want. There are no shortcuts; all we can do is dig in, do our best, and not allow the naysayers to derail us.

In the article that started this, Carla got 58 comments. They are interesting reading, and proof that her article is accurate. Ken at the Helios Project has also noticed the trolls, and that they are getting worse.

Now I don’t hang out at Paul Thurrott’s Windows Super Site. Why would I? I don’t use Windows. So why do so many Windows users show up on Linux blogs? Insecurity. They’ve spent years trying to keep Windows running, through blue screens of death and other disasters, and now they’ve got to try to make the rest of us put up with the same shit? Are they crazy. Well, yes, They have to be. Either than or they are still living in their parent’s basements, and have nothing else to do with their time.

And they reflect the company. Which reflects it’s founder. Lazy. Insecure. Greedy.

That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.

Tech-No-Media Bovine Excrement (I'm trying to be polite)

Erlik over at Tech-No-Media just published a post, that looked like it halfway made sense. Up until he wrote “Part of the success of Netbooks” at which point he went off into fantasy land.

Well, me being me, I had to correct him. And looking at it before I posted it, I decided I liked it, so here it is.

*****

Part of the success of Netbooks is due to the fact that since they ran Windows some consumers have purchased them as the replacement for a full sized laptop.

Pardon Erlik, but you must have been asleep for a good bit of the last couple of years. Netbooks were a success long before Microsoft even noticed that the form factor existed.

Netbooks were a success in spite of Microsoft, not because. Before Microsoft noticed the Netbook market, viruses weren’t a problem, Netbooks ran faster, Netbooks didn’t have a registry, and so on and so on.

Microsoft’s entry into the Netbook OS market was the worst thing to happen to Netbooks.

Just wait. I predict that within 18 months, Microsoft will panic, and start trying to sell Windows CE for ARM based Netbooks. I’m not sure if there’s a MIPS version of Windows CE, if there is, they’ll offer it for MIPS as well. Microsoft is trying to make everyone think that ARM and MIPS based Netbooks aren’t real computers. Well, consumers aren’t stupid. They know a computer when they see one, and a computer with a 6 hour battery life that sells for less than $200.00 is a dream come true.

I also bet that we will see 10″, 12″, and 14″ screens on ARM and MIPS powered Netbooks within the year, as the vendors producing them try to take market share from the big Notebook OEMS.

You just watch. Microsoft may think that they’ve made a smart move, but since Windows XP doesn’t run on ARM or MIPS, they’ve just shot themselves in the foot, because unlike Dell, Acer, Lenovo, etc. most of the makers of the ARM and MIPS based devices aren’t current Windows licensees, and Microsoft has no hold on them.