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The basic premise of the article is that the point of having a closed source vendor stand behind you pointless, since only that vendor can provide support for their system. This is, of course, completely unlike the FOSS world where everyone and anyone can provide support for anything. As an example from the article, see:

This leaves people using microsoft products at the mercy of microsofts whims and whether their problem will be fixed or not is all dependent on microsoft. Sure there are plenty of companies that advertise their support services. These companies can only deal with configuration problems. Real bugs in the programs can only be “fixed” by microsoft and no other. Most of the time this fix, unless you have a lot of money to throw around, will, at best, be released in the next months update cycle. Probably the fix will wait until the next version release or maybe even not at all.

Microsoft supports its corporate customers sufficiently, otherwise, they would lose said customers. The argument has been made that the reason for Microsoft’s stagnation in the consumer markets lately has been its singleminded focus on the corporate world.
Contrast this to the magic tree-dwelling elves that all come out of the woodwork to support Linux.

Open source is a completely different story. There are several companies which support open source. These companies provide the same sort of support which microsoft does and more. Generally the support the company provides is focused on their own released Linux distributions. However, one companies support for one particular distribution has the butterfly effect of helping to improve all other Linux distributions too.

I’m sure in a corporate setting people are going to install random fixes from random companies other than their vendor. If you run RHEL your stuck relying on RHEL for fixes otherwise its likely you’ll void the support contract on whatever fancy proprietary application you are running on top of RHEL. Its not like you can get fixes for RHEL from Novell. Still, the other seems to think that’s how it works as evidence by

Before Canonical there was and still is the big daddy of open source companies, RedHat. Their focus is on the enterprise and supporting their version of Linux. There is also SUSE which have been bought out by Novell, not a small name in computing circles, which provide, you guessed it, enterprise level support.

So just right there, off the top of my head, is three, not one but three, companies which provide support services for Linux similar to microsoft.

As a random aside, note that Linux advocates apparently have an aversion to spelling Microsoft correctly. Even in this semi-legitimate posting, he can’t capitalize Microsoft even though all of the other vendors are.

But back to the point at hand, Microsoft certainly doesn’t provide less support than Linux vendors since the cross-polination of support fixes that stands are the center of this articles argument makes no sense. This is obvious when one realizes that the great truth of Linux is that it is not a single entity when it is convenient and it is an uniform environment when it is.

#1 Posted by DrLoser on May 31, 2010 3:17 PM

Let’s just assume I was going to support those poor, huddled masses who used Windows in 1995.

Let’s assume that this is before Bill G “turned on a dime” and decided that the Internet was the future.

Let’s assume that 10, no, 50, no, 1000, no, countless dozens of customers are waving their cash-flow at me and insisting that they need a proper IP socket stack, integrated into the OS.

Well, let’s be honest, the first version of WinSock was crap.

Even the second version of WinSock was crap. But it was crap that did the job. You downloaded it — it was integrated into the OS.

However: you were always at the mercy of a small company in Britain who wrote winsock in the first place. Or a small company somewhere else who did the same thing. Or a small division inside MS who beat them to it. It’s just not fair, is it?

Now. Let us sit back and ruminate on the idea of a universal Linux video/audio/WiFi/elephant tickling system.

Any time now …

#2 Posted by DrLoser on May 31, 2010 3:21 PM

“Open source is a completely different story. There are several companies which support open source. These companies provide the same sort of support which microsoft does and more.”

Same? More?

These dimwits need to go back to fifth grade and figure out what terms like “equivalence” and “comparative” mean.

Damn their eyes.

#3 Posted by DrLoser on May 31, 2010 3:29 PM

“However, one companies support for one particular distribution has the butterfly effect of helping to improve all other Linux distributions too.”

Illiterate, insane, and with the added benefit of using chaos theory as a totally inappropriate metaphor.

“Arguably the worlds most popular general usage Linux distribution, Ubuntu, has the support of Canonical, a company run by someone who has risen higher than anybody I know of in the computing world.”

Illiterate, insane, and with the sort of hero-worship you’d expect from Beethoven (3rd symphony) before realising that Napoleon was, well, just another pointless little dwarf.

This is fun. Let us know when Locutus checks in to the Priory.

#4 Posted by ChrisTX on May 31, 2010 6:07 PM

“Most of the time this fix, unless you have a lot of money to throw around, will, at best, be released in the next months update cycle.”

Almost, only that there are hotfixes for that, and those are not pushed on Patch Tuesday.

Secondly this is quite amusing, considering the Oombooboo guys still didn’t fix the volume bar bug, and that not “after months in an update cycle” but after releases. But bah, I forgot, you got the source, you can pay someone to fix it!

#5 Posted by JoeMonco on Jun 2, 2010 4:03 AM

“It covers every single program in that Linux distributions official repositories. If that doesn’t sound like much then lets say that these three Linux companies offer guaranteed support for tens of thousands of programs. There is no possible way, even if hell freezes over, that microsoft can provide that level of service.”

Yep, EightMillionApplications™! Can I hear a “hell yeah”? No?

“Lets say that you like the product, say RedHat Enterprise Linux, but don’t wish to deal with the company. Well there is plenty of other choices where specialised companies can provide that service for you. Unlike the companies orbiting microsofts black hole, these open source specialised companies have complete access to the source code and can provide the exact same service as the parent companies.”

Got a problem between your applications and the OS? Here’s how you are supposed to fix it – read the source code for the operating system from back to front, reverse-engineer the damned thing in some human-readable way, find out where the source the problem is and work your way around the problem with whatever hokey, esoteric hacks that you can think of. Well, at least, that’s pretty much the amount of effort that you need to go through in order to produce and support a Linux application.

#6 Posted by ChrisTX on Jun 2, 2010 2:42 PM

“Lets say that you like the product, say RedHat Enterprise Linux, but don’t wish to deal with the company. Well there is plenty of other choices where specialised companies can provide that service for you. Unlike the companies orbiting microsofts black hole, these open source specialised companies have complete access to the source code and can provide the exact same service as the parent companies.”

Right, that is why RHEL is actual utter crap, and everyone buys CentOS and support of some weird Chinese SLA provider of your trust!

Last time I checked, the guaranteed binary compatibility – which is one of the main points of RHEL – is totally maintained after recompilation.

But of course, that point is understandable, since those freetards use Windows as well ( for games, amirite? ) but don’t want to deal with Microsoft as a company.

Just one last question, Microsoft does have access to their source code as well. So what’s the difference to Red Hat and others? Magic pixie dust?

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