[Bug 1] Re: Microsoft has a majority market share

Kevin Cole kjcole at ubuntu.com
Thu Dec 20 18:51:38 UTC 2007

Mark Shuttleworth wrote:

> The set of people who will build their own kernel with all the firmware
> removed is very, very small, and they can help themselves. We, at
> ubuntu.com, aim to reach a wider audience, which is people who are
> passionate about free software and want a trusted, convenient place to
> get it. They will make their own decisions about non-free applications
> they might add, just as you describe. Dell is aiming for a slightly
> wider audience, of people who are willing to try something more advanced
> or new, but don't want to stumble on something they consider a basic
> element, such as DVD playback, just because there are US patents on that
> technology.

Is there any commitment on Dell's part to promote the philosophy, and
encourage the unencumbering of DVD playback, etc?  If so, then embrace
them. However, if I tell people that I sell Coke and Pepsi, but then
dilute one with the other simply to satisfy folks who want Pepsi in a
Coke bottle, then it's not the right direction to go.  Eventually it
will become so diluted and polluted that the names will mean nothing,
the differences between them will mean nothing, and the philosophy will
mean nothing.

Point in case: OpenOffice.  I've had Free (libre) zealots sing the
praises of the OpenOffice suite.  When I commented that WordPerfect had
a more intuitive "openness" several people at a LUG meeting swore up and
down that OpenOffice's "show hidden characters" was as good as "Reveal
Codes".  Even the choir is starting to preach off-key.  It took an
actual comparison for them to realize what's been lost by assuming that
MS Office is the pinnacle of creation.

Fine, we don't want to beat them into subversion.  (We all know they
should use bzr.) Or as I like to say: "If you don't behave, we'll invade
and bring freedom and democracy to your country."  But we do want to
keep them clear on what the differences ARE.  And Dell needs to be a
part of that.

For people who don't care, there's always Microsoft Windows.  For
others, there's Linux -- in whatever flavor you choose, the sloooowly
evolving Haiku Project, and countless things we've never dreamed of
either already happening or being thought up by some 5-year-olds with
vision and no dogma to stop them. But without the will to help change
things from companies like Dell, Microsoft will eventually win patent
rights, etc, and distributions will lose, just because it becomes too
much of a pain in the ass for the average Joe to fight the system.  You
and I will continue to take the watch apart, and put in a better
mainspring, and we may be able to do it for our friends.  But we'll be
the outlaw watchmakers and  locksmiths, and still relatively small in

It's happened with other technologies... (See the documentary "What Ever
Happened to the Electric Car?")

Microsoft has a majority market share
You received this bug notification because you are a member of Mozilla
Bugs, which is a bug contact for firefox in ubuntu.

More information about the Ubuntu-mozillateam-bugs mailing list