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SubjectRe: [OFFTOPIC]: MS Porting Office to Linux?
On Sun, 14 Mar 1999, Mikulas Patocka wrote:

>Now they're going to destroy linux :-(

I highly doubt it.

>Windows installation programs generally put garbage to registry, modify
>autoexec.bat, config.sys, win.ini and other config files and copy a lot of
>dlls to windows/system directory over the original ones. And many of these
>programs do it without asking the user.

Yes, in DOS/Win, they do do that.

>So what do you think the MS Office instaler for linux will do? Installers
>are run with root privileges, so they can do what they want. It will
>surelly create a lot of waste over the whole filesystem, modify existing
>config files so that some programs stop to work and overwrite the
>libraries in /lib and /usr/lib with Microsoft(r) versions.

Highly unlikely. If M$ were to do that, due to the high number
of technical users using Linux, their mistake would be found 10
minutes after releasing a product by hackers running gdb, strace,
and other tools. Any system modifications and/or other unwanted
activity by Microsoft's software would be found quickly, and they
would get no end of bad press in Linux-land. Some company that
gets bad press from us, is not going to make it in our world -
not even by the PHB's. They read slashdot and lwn now too.

>They can't stop linux working immediatelly after installation of MS
>Office, but I_am_sure, that the installation will make linux or some linux
>programs unstable and unusable.

Again, this would only make Microsoft look bad - not linux. It
would be determined rather quickly that M$ was up to something.
Likely less than a week after a release. It would be blasted all
over the place, and they would get fried.

This is our land, they must play by OUR rules.

>And the user says: "grrr, that linux is shit - when I run Office on
>Microsoft Windows, it doesn't crash so often".

I doubt it highly. Office is likely to crash in Linux - merely
because it is M$ that will be programming it. It is however
unlikely to crash *LINUX*, and so it will only make Microsoft
look bad.

Think about it. A linux user encountering crashes with
MSanything will come to Linux mailing lists for help. The
problems will allready be widely known, and they'll be told the
truth about what is going wrong - most likely in the application

If it is a true problem with the OS, it will be fixed.

For those that are paranoid, and think M$ will replace system
libraries, think deeper about it. This could cause a big lawsuit
for them, especially if they cause loss of data from apps that
fail due to replaced system binaries, etc.. It would be like a
trojan horse IMHO. If one is paranoid, they can always install
and use Tripwire to ensure that no system files change, and/or
use "rpm -Va".

In Linux it is much easier to see what a given program does when
it is installed on the system. I hate Microsoft and their crappy
programs and operating systems, but lets not be too paranoid.
Try to be realistic. They want to make money here, and will be
jumping into the Linux market before too long. They are highly
unlikely to screw up the OS or other programs if it makes them
look bad as it will lower their sales dramatically. Also, it
would likely land them in with the DOJ again.

My $0.02.

Take care,

Mike A. Harris Linux advocate GNU advocate
Computer Consultant Open Source advocate

The DVORAK keyboard layout RULES! I memorized it in 45 minutes
and I don't think I'm ever going back to QWERTY!

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