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Please Don't Pick On Microsoft 8 April 2002 Edition
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According to IDG, a local company (Infraserv) has lashed out at Microsoft's "Software Assurance" programme by filing a complaint with the Commerce Commission alleging anticompetitive behaviour.

My first thoughts on hearing this were "good on ya, it's about time Microsoft's high-handed attitude to the market was reigned in" -- but then I changed my mind.

Come on folks -- Microsoft isn't the only circus in town.

If companies think Microsoft's "Software Assurance" or any other product/service offered by the company for that matter, is poor value -- then don't buy it!

Instead of filling Billy-boy's wallet with chump-change and lining the pockets of lawyers, why not bite the bullet and shift platforms?

Aardvark's Web-site Survey Service
If you're launching a new website, upgrading an existing one, or just frustrated that your web-presence isn't performing as it should then maybe you need an Aardvark Site Survey. Read more...

Let's face it, Microsoft has more than enough skilled sharks and effectively bottomless pockets so battling them in the courts will, at best, produce just a moral victory.

Even if the Commerce Commission rules against Microsoft, odds are that the company will simple do something equally as tricky to squeeze money from its corporate customers -- and then everyone's back where they started (except the taxpayer and Infraserve who will still be out of pocket). Why not just move to a new OS and/or office-productivity suite AND free yourself from Microsoft's shackles forever.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • K12LTSP... - Drew
  • Complaint against MS... - Grant
  • Have Your Say

    Microsoft is very much aware of the threat that alternatives such as Linux, Lindows, Open Office, and other alternatives represent to its dominance -- and that's probably one reason for the existence of the "Software Assurance" programme.

    It appears that the software giant fully expects competition to bite into its market and the SA strategy is simply a way of giving them two year's breathing space before they have to come up with an effective countermeasure.

    Here are some of *my* recommendations for checking Microsoft's overzealous (ab)use of its virtual monopoly:

    • Smart IT managers should right now (if they haven't already) be transitioning their users away from MS Outlook. There are plenty of fine alternatives on the market and some (like the home-grown Pegasus Email) are even free.

      The costs associated with staff learning a new tool will likely be more than offset by the significantly reduced exposure to the endless stream of opportunities (which are still coming) that Outlook represents to your friendly cracker and virus writer. Remember -- just because it comes as part of the Windows package doesn't mean it's the best tool for the job!

    • Someone in your organisation should at least be learning about Linux and evaluating it as an alternative to Windows for some (if not all) applications. Linux has proven itself to be a great platform for implementing intranets and other server systems -- with the added bonus that (just as in the previous example) you'll be freed from the endless stream of bugs and vulnerabilities that are included as a standard feature of Microsoft's IIS.

    • Someone should also be looking closely at the various alternatives to MS Office. There are a few and some are very, very good.
    In short -- stop ya whining and use your initiative.

    Sure, in the case of a large company with many workstations and many staff, the costs will be high -- but do you really think that Microsoft are going to do anything other than continue to hike their prices in coming years?

    Bite the bullet now, while you can still afford to!

    And stop feeding the damned sharks :-)

    Have your say.

    Aardvark's Garage Sale
    It's time to clear out the closet here at Aardvark's country residence so I'm having a bit of a garage sale. I need to spend a whole lot more time and money on my jet engine R&D activities (now that the defense industry has shown a very real interest) -- so I'm trying to scrape up some more cash.

    I'm selling my pulsejet manufacturing business. This would be perfect for either a semi-retired engineer/machinist who wants to earn some pretty good money building these things and exporting them to the world -- or an established engineering shop who want to break into a new (very export oriented) market. I can provide an ongoing stream of orders through my website and since I've run out of time to meet the demand, the sale will include a growing "waiting list" of new customers ready to place their orders.

    Anyone interested in any of these things should drop me a line.

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    Security Alerts
    Two new "critical" bugs patched in IE (ZDNet - 01/04/2002)

    Second Java hole poses Windows risk (CNet - 20/03/2002)

    Microsoft offers patch for Java software (CNet - 06/03/2002)

    CERT Warns of Flaws In RADIUS Implementations (InternetNews - 6/03/2002)

    Webmasters Urged To Plug PHP Security Hole NewsBytes - 27/02/2002)

    Virus Alerts
    'Bill Clinton' Worm Gets Around (NewsBytes - 22/03/2002)

    Gibe worm poses as a Microsoft update (ZDNet - 6/03/2002)

    German worm makes PCs kaput (The Reg - 20/02/2002)

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