Last week I spent 3 hours in line to get tickets to the Creed fan appreciation show. The Thomas and Mack is just in front of UNLV so there were tons of college students in line just before their next class. Either that or they cut class for half a day to stand in line. I expect the show to be a packed house on Oct. 29th.
There is an article on IIS versus Apache (10 things to do with IIS) and more flame on the fire on how much better open-source software is than Microsoft's. Within my software development career of 12 years, I have worked with many software on both sides of the equation. Although there is truth to the technical aspects that says open-source software is generally more robust, it is also true that Microsoft is winning the war. The reason behind the success is NOT within the technical arena. It is within the MINDS of the users. Microsoft, for the past 20 years, have spent untold billions of dollars on brainwashing the public into believing that its software is superior. For the most part, the brainwashing worked. If I were to spend that much money to disguise the fact that the emperor has no clothes, I would succeed too. Just look at the tobacco industry. All someone needs is an infinite supply of money and lots of time (20 years or more). The knowledge that tobacco kill is not exclusive. People have known about it forever. Everyone must know someone who is a chain smoker. It should be obvious when you see the degradation of health that person goes through. Amazing.
The con men of the world know that people are not basically rational beings. We love to think that we are and it boosts our ego to believe that we are higher than the primates for being so. We love to believe that we are driven by truth and will act according to truth. The reality is that truth has no more power over us than the little ant that crawls on your porch. The con men have known ways to BEND the truth. To bend the truth you bend the mind. If someone were to point you at the moon and tell you that it is the sun (most of your life), you would know that the body that rises at night is the sun. 'Tis the sun and not the moon that breaks the night every night. McDonalds have known that. We all know that eating McDonalds at least 3 times a week will make us look like Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston, right?
Well, back to software. The way to go about opposing Microsoft is NOT in the technical camp. Even if an open-source solution were perfect, free, easy to use, Microsoft would still win. People would still buy Microsoft, pay the Microsoft tax on each PC, and go about praising the wonders of Microsoft. Why? Because they have already convinced the public. Period. The best way to oppose Microsoft is not to throw more developers at open source. It's not about convincing developers to open source (the developer pool is very small anyways and is negligible). It's about letting people know that the emperor has no clothes. It's about trying an open source solution and telling as many friends as you can your honest opinion. That's how we undo the brainwashing. That is why Microsoft is so afraid of the Internet. That is why China is so afraid of the Internet. It gets the truth out and undoes the years of brainwashing.