Top 5 Things Microsoft Can Learn from Linux

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-07-28 Print this article Print

Opinion: Here are some things Microsoft should learn from its open-source competitor if it doesn't want to lose the top spot. (Linux-Watch)

Last week, I listed the top five things Linux can learn from Microsoft. Well, its a two-way street: Microsoft could really stand to learn a few things from Linux, too. Yes, I know I sound like a crackpot to some of you, since most of you are reading this on Windows-based PCs. But consider, if you will, just how late Microsoft always is with its software releases. Think about how Microsoft applications are known for having all the security of an open door. Contemplate how Linux is chewing away at the server market and starting to become a real player on the desktop.
What should Linux learn from Microsoft? Click here to read more.
Finally, lets not forget that Apple, with its new Intel-based Macs, has come back from its near-death desktop experience to start to gain desktop popularity again. Yes, Microsoft may be at the top of the ladder now, but there are signs of decline everywhere. Companies can, and do, fall from the top rung all the time. Microsoft is no different. Remember when everyone bought IBM PCs? IBM isnt even selling ThinkPads anymore. Are you too old to recall when everyone bought American-made cars? Today, General Motors and Ford keep shrinking, while Toyota and Honda keep expanding. I can also recall when Pan-American Airways was the American airline for international travel. Pan Am closed up shop in 1991. No, if Microsoft wants to stay on top, the Evil Empire could stand to take some lessons from its most dangerous competitor—and thats Linux. 1. KISS ("Keep It Simple, Stupid") Have you ever thought about the fundamental reasons why Microsoft couldnt hit a software release date even when its as easy to hit as the broad side of a barn? I have. Symantec points out more potential security problems in Microsoft Vistas code. Read more here. Some of it is pure business tactics. Microsoft has always loved to stifle competition when someone comes up with a new idea by announcing that it too will implement this latest notion in a program to come "real soon now." The result? Customers dont buy the newly released product, but wait instead for the Microsoft version. Thats not the whole story, though. Microsofts programs over the years have become a massive compilation of spaghetti code that defies anyone to have a good, clear view of whats really going on. In programmer circles, Microsoft is the very model of modern bloated software. Read the full story on Linux-Watch: Top Five Things Microsoft Can Learn from Linux Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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