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Microsoft or not Microsoft?
Thread poster: Eva Gustavsson

Eva Gustavsson  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:51
English to Swedish
+ ...
Nov 20, 2002

Somehow the idea of making Bill Gates richer than he already is, together with the new registering and control functions in the XP generation of programs, does not appeal to me very much.



What makes me a little unsure about using other programs is, however, will other programs be fully compatible with the Word or Excel files that the clients send me? And will my translated files be in perfect order for the clients\' Microsoft programs when they get them back?



Is there anybody out there who has managed to be successful without Microsoft and how do you do it? Staroffice? Openoffice? Linux?



In case somebody wants to know more about registration of MS software:

http://www.arachnoid.com/boycott/index.html

This website is rather \"angry\" but interesting anyhow.



Eva


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Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:51
English to French
+ ...
good idea, but... Nov 20, 2002

Hi, what you quote is a very wide debate on the www. I knew the webpage you quote, I use arachnophilia myself. But our clients are faaaaaaaaar below that level of ethical consciousness.



First, please don\'t confuse operating systems and applications.



In my experience, after having tried many things, if you want to be fully compatible with the client, you\'ve got to have exactly the same thing as the client.



However, I work for Mac and Red Hat Linux, and I would love a job proposal on Openoffice.org format.


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bergazy  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 06:51
Croatian to Italian
+ ...
Why don't you try this Nov 20, 2002

http://www.software602.com/

on this address you will find great 602PC Suite, very good (and free of cost ) alternative for Microsoft products.



Bergazy


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JCEC  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:51
Member
English to French
I hate registering and I hate dongles Nov 20, 2002

But users have only themselves to blame. These protection schemes are on the rise because there has never been so much software piracy.



I\'m a software developer and I was recently asked by a client to supervise the deployment of software among freelance suppliers.



I was stunned. I have never seen so many gold disk copies of Termium and Le Grand Robert, not to mention the illegal copies of Windows 2000 and Microsoft Office.



Yes, sofware can be expensive. It is expensive because software development itself is expensive and because there may be as many as 5 users per copy sold.



Isn\'t it about time we asked ourselves why we are so lax where Bill\'s intellectual property is concerned and yet are ready to charge like bulls when the integrity of our translations is being challenged ?



My deepest apologies for the likely to be unpopular message,



John



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Carolyn Denoncourt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:51
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Agree with John (JCEC) Nov 21, 2002

John\'s point is very well taken. I also work with software developers and I find people are quick to embrace the benefits of a world wide standard in an operating system and programs written to run within that system. But people want all the development costs to be paid by the developers instead of the users. Despite all their annoying flaws, the Microsoft products are worldwide standards now and although there are alternatives, using those alternatives will usually mean trying to swim against the tide and that\'s an added inconvience for someone trying to work entirely through the electronic media today.



By the way, I heard an impressive statistic recently stating that Bill & Melinda Gates give more money to world healthcare now than the World Health Organizations\' entire annual budget. If that\'s true, I think I\'ll have to stop criticizing Bill Gates\' wealth as I used to do.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-21 02:38 ]


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Maria Riegger  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Microsoft in imperfect and more people should switch to Linux Nov 21, 2002

Hi,



I find all of your ideas interesting, and agree with JCEC that customers demand exaggerated expectations from software developers and should shoulder more of the cost HOWEVER I think that Microsoft products are in general pretty shoddy and full of bugs. I would not be willing to shell out lots of money for such an imperfect product. I use Microsoft products for work because my clients do, but for personal use I find Linux faster, more efficient and overall more user-friendly.



FYI I asked the TRADOS and Déjà Vu people if they planned on issuing versions of their software compatible with Linux, and they said flatly NO. Of course this is understandable since there is so much more demand for Microsoft products and it\'s time-comsuming to create versions for other OS\'s. My opinion is that more people need to use Linux and move away from Microsoft, yet that moves us back to the idea that customers have a lot to do with the problem, it\'s their own fault for letting themselves be dependent on Microsoft.



Also FYI Bill Gates and his wife actually have their own charitable foundation: The Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation.



Cheers to all,

Maria


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Eva Gustavsson  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:51
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pay for quality, not for crap Nov 21, 2002

I agree with the point that if you want quality you must pay well to get it. And I also agree about the software piracy.



Now, I don\'t think that Microsoft provides the kind of quality worth paying a lot for. For one thing I consider it a consumer right to reinstall programs, that I have bought, after a hard disc crash. Without fussing! And installing them on two computers that I use myself, too. Second, I would like to make an extra backup of programs that I have bought, so that I can keep copies in several places. The more I pay for the program, the more I want to do this. Third, Microsoft Software have flaws, like for instance they are said leave more opportunities for viruses and such (I don\'t know if this is correct, I am no expert on this issue). Fourth, MS applications certainly break down quite often and have to be restarted. Fifth, it is not possible to buy the previous version, Office 2000, any more. Microsoft bought all the copies back from the retailers.



Admittedly MS software has two advantages: It is usually more user-friendly than many others and they represent something similar to a standard. Do these two things make them worth the high price?



About confusing operating systems and applications: Microsoft sells both. An application must be adapted for the operative system that is to handle it. If I had known more about the new Microsoft registering stuff when I bought my computer I had probably bought a Mac instead. But I did not. And there is also the question of WHEN an application turns up in a version adapted to other operating systems than Windows. So it is worthwhile to discuss the two things together.



And thanks for the adress to 602PC Suite!



Eva
[addsig]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:51
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Long term experience with MS and other applications Nov 21, 2002



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-21 10:52 ]


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Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:51
English to French
+ ...
Historical perspective Nov 21, 2002

There are two eras in Microsoft\'s awfullness: instability and installation rights. Instability was mainly a thing of Windows 98. It was not so bad before, and it is not relevant any longer. Installation rights on the contrary is something that is getting worse since XP, and threatens to become totalitarian with Palladium.



Now, alternative Operating Systems are not a paradise either. They are often clogged with people who want to have their tribal war, with minds so narrow that they embarrass the software producers themselves.



Besides, my historical analysis makes me convinced that we should not help alternatives Systems: they must be left to harsh competition, in order to become as user friendly, stable and standard as Windows, or more.



But alternative Systems only survived because there were common public standards: http, rtf, mail, txt, html, and many others. What we can do is foster those public standards:

-change HTML into XHTML in order to come back to webpages standards, independant of Iexplorer.

-change .doc into the XML public standard proposed by Openoffice.org



If public standards are everywhere, then alternative software will flourish.


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JCEC  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:51
Member
English to French
Fair is fair ! Nov 22, 2002

There is absolutely no doubt that Microsoft has an unfair advantage by controlling both the operating system and the application market.



But let us not forget that Windows XP is a far more complex piece of software than the operating systems of mainframes were in the 70s. And the perceived value of software has been affected by both the Internet craze and the decline in hardware prices.



In \"prehistoric\" times, mainframe software and hardware were available solely on a rental basis. When I developed the first version of my programming language, I paid my computer time at $ 600 an hour on machines that were thousands of times slower than a modern pocket calculator. The first MT system I worked on ran on a supercomputer which rented for $ 3,000 a day. My first 11 Mb microcomputer hard disk cost me $ 11,000. Ouch !



Also, Microsoft has long been in a perfect double bind by trying to maintain its own technology evolved from Windows 3.0, and the IBM OS/2 technology which eventually became Windows NT. There was a need for a true multi-tasking business operating system with adequate security and a fast operating system for home applications. Unfortunately, the kind of speed required by applications like games is best achieved by addressing the BIOS directly which is a definite no no security-wise. It is only with the advent of even faster hardware that both could be reconciled.



We now live in an era where, in some countries, it is cheaper to buy a plateful of memory chips than a good steak, but definitely harder to digest.



Microsoft is now on top of the world and, seen from the outside, it appears that preference was given to US technological supremacy over fair competition.



John

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-22 02:23 ]


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:51
Member (2002)
English to German
Microsoft products are NOT bad Nov 27, 2002

I\'m tired of all the MS-bashing I\'ve been witnessing for years. Microsoft, just as any other company, makes different products with different levels of quality. On the whole, the quality they offer is by no means lower than that offered by any other software house; in fact, it is a LOT above average.



What sets Microsoft apart from the competition is public image more than anything else: the rejection they often meet with is in stark contrast to the outright adulation that often surrounds alternatives such as Linux, Opera, DéjàVu etc.



Don\'t get me wrong: I use Opera, DéjàVu and some other niche programs with cult status and I\'m reasonably satisfied with them. This is exactly why I\'m aware that they have their fair share of bugs just like any MS product. It\'s just funny to see the uncritical acceptance of bugs in their case (\"never mind, there\'s a workaround\"), while Microsoft regularly gets chased around the block for the same errors.



Microsoft is also often criticised for its pricing. While they do make a lot of money with their software, their prices are several orders of magnitude lower than other software with a lower customer base. If the amount of work put into MS Office were priced like Trados or DéjàVu, you\'d have to fork out well over USD 10,000 to get it.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-27 10:31 ]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:51
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Thank you Endre Nov 27, 2002

An I thought I\'m the only one here, who uses Microsoft and is satisfied with them.



And you all can be sure - there is nothing in the computer world, that does not hang. Even Apple does!



When you compare the pricing of MS Office and the possiblities you get with it with the pricing for a single tool like QuarkXPress - this are 900 EURO to 2.300 EURO!



Jerzy


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:51
Member (2002)
English to German
Thanks, JCEC, for the glimpse into the rearview mirror... Nov 28, 2002

I remember that my first computer also had a 10 MB disk, but by that time (1989) I got the whole (used) thing for 200 dollars . 11,000 dollars, wow.



Also I hadn\'t been aware that WinNT is based on OS/2 technology - thanks for that as well. For anyone interested in more information on OS/2, I\'ve found this:

Very concise

Fairly detailed, nice nostalgic screenshots



Sorry, I\'m drifting off topic. Still, an anecdote on the side: yesterday, I tried to access microsoft.com for some mouse drivers (yes, I even use Microsoft hardware ) and I had to switch to Opera because Internet Explorer 5.5 (the version prior to the very latest one) wouldn\'t display anything - now this is something Microsoft could feel embarrassed for.



Finally: my previous posting was not intended as an apology for Microsoft. I am fully aware that its undisputed monopoly is economically inefficient. I was just calling for evenhandedness in both criticism and praise (JCEC\'s posting hadn\'t appeared yet - the delay to which non-platinum postings are submitted is a nuisance).


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:51
German to English
+ ...
Microsoft or not Microsoft? Nov 28, 2002

>>Is there anybody out there who has managed to be successful without

Microsoft and follow the

link to \"Linux for Translators\". (I\'m re-vamping the site at the moment, so I

can\'t give you a direct URL.) For a translation memory application that runs

on Linux, point your browser to www.marcprior.de/OmegaT/OmegaT.html. As

well as being free, both OpenOffice.org and OmegaT run on Windows as well as

Linux (and Mac), so you can play around with them for a while on your existing

system to get some idea of what the alternatives are.



Finally (that deadline is screaming at me): I\'m not particularly

anti-Microsoft, I\'m not interested in Microsoft-bashing for the sake of

it, and I certainly don\'t recommend that anyone switch from Microsoft to

Linux. I just happen to have done it, and I\'m willing to help anyone else

who\'s interested.



Marc





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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:51
German to English
+ ...
Microsoft or not Microsoft Nov 29, 2002

>>Is there anybody out there who has managed to be successful without

Microsoft and follow the

link to \"Linux for Translators\". (I\'m re-vamping the site at the moment, so I

can\'t give you a direct URL.) For a translation memory application that runs

on Linux, point your browser to www.marcprior.de/OmegaT/OmegaT.html. As

well as being free, both OpenOffice.org and OmegaT run on Windows as well as

Linux (and Mac), so you can play around with them for a while on your existing

system to get some idea of what the alternatives are.



Finally (that deadline is screaming at me): I\'m not particularly

anti-Microsoft, I\'m not interested in Microsoft-bashing for the sake of

it, and I certainly don\'t recommend that anyone switch from Microsoft to

Linux. I just happen to have done it, and I\'m willing to help anyone else

who\'s interested.



Marc





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