[NMLUG] And no XP for Thee

Tim Price nmlug@swcp.com
05 Nov 2001 15:12:00 -0700

I couldn't resist passing this on. Brian Livingston has written 
several articles over the past few months recommending against
buying Windows XP. I don't remember him ever recommending Linux,
but as some of his readers mention in this article, companies
are looking at Linux as an alternative to Windows XP, Office XP 
and Passport, because of Microsoft's new license agreements.

BRIAN LIVINGSTON:     "Window Manager"     InfoWorld.com

Monday, November 5, 2001

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Posted November 2, 2001 01:01 PM  Pacific Time

A FEW WEEKS AGO, in a column entitled,
I recommended that people should avoid buying Windows

Since then, I've been deluged with e-mail from readers
who've come to the same conclusion. Too many customers
may now have become alienated for even Microsoft to ignore.

I'm going to focus on as many of your comments as I
can. I'll start with a reader who fears reprisals, so
I'm withholding his name.

"We are a small IT consulting firm that has built the
majority of our business around Microsoft and its
products," writes this reader. "We have always
championed Microsoft (and Bill Gates) as a great
company/person and one to be proud of and to emulate."
But, he continues, "How things change! Given
Microsoft's behavior concerning Windows XP, Office XP,
licensing schemes, Passport schemes, etc., we've seen
a previously unknown groundswell of dislike, concern,
and outright anger at Microsoft by our small and
midsize business customers.

"Not one of our customers has asked us to price or
order for them Windows XP or Office XP (and most have
said never). Almost 100 percent of our customer base
has no interest in XP, and for the first time have
asked us to order and pursue Linux solutions for them.
It seems clear that Windows 2000 is the end of the
line for most of our customers, and we have no choice
but to pursue the Linux avenue if we intend to stay in

Some readers, however, like XP and criticized my
statements about Passport. Their views were similar to
those expressed by Iain McDonald, project director for
Microsoft Windows.

"You don't need a Passport to run Windows XP," McDonald
writes. "I'll say it the other way: Windows XP does
not require a Passport -- you are 100 percent wrong on
this. Yes, a Passport will help if you go to enabled
sites, and if you go to those, it's what you need to
have identity."

Truth be told, I never said Passport was required to
run XP. I said in my column, and I quote, "Microsoft
made Passport a requirement to use Windows Messenger
and other features."

But perhaps I was too kind. Jack Naylor is a
professional engineer with three techie sons and a
six-PC network. He writes: "It may be a great idea to
avoid using Passport, but I'm afraid it's going to
take more than just avoiding Windows XP, at least if
you want tech support for any Microsoft product. My
11-year-old, against my strong advice, purchased a
Microsoft game -- MotorCross Madness2. After the
Microsoft consumer-products support site failed to
solve numerous install problems, we were directed to
contact technical support. However, to contact
Microsoft technical support via e-mail, you must sign
up for a Passport account." Hmm.

I'll report on more readers' views next week.

Brian Livingston's latest book is Windows Me Secrets.
Send tips to tips@brianlivingston.com. Go to
http://www.iwsubscribe.com/newsletters  to get Window
Manager and E-Business Secrets free each week via e-mail.

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