All right then. It's been started. I've been thoroughly and sufficiently provoked. Years of hearing baseless accusations of "Microsoft is evil." and reading such pitifully witty memes as "Micro$oft" has caused me to pop. We're going to settle this. The monolithic Microsoft productivity suite vs. open-source and third-party platforms. Or vs. anything for that matter. Microsoft can take them all on.
From the last thread:
Main wrote:I doubt I'll succeed, but I'm willing to make the attempt. So, here's some reasons:Now, your job is to convince me to use anything but Microsoft C#, the latest Windows Server, and .NET services. I would like reasons that don't have anything to do with the current standard of the market, the availability of programmers, or compatibility. And I'm also not so stingy as to rule out things that will cost more but save in productivity in the long run.
1. Programmer quality. If you have a small startup and are only hiring 2-8 coders, the quality of their work is important. Said quality of work has been measured to vary by 10 times or more. And - here's where it actually becomes an argument against MS - there is a strong correlation between the quality of someone's work and the quality of the tools they choose.Paul Graham wrote:When you decide what infrastructure to use for a project, you're not just making a technical decision. You're also making a social decision, and this may be the more important of the two. For example, if your company wants to write some software, it might seem a prudent choice to write it in Java. But when you choose a language, you're also choosing a community. The programmers you'll be able to hire to work on a Java project won't be as smart as the ones you could get to work on a project written in Python. And the quality of your hackers probably matters more than the language you choose. ...
This argument is absurd. You see, long ago in a land far far away some business executives got together and created this idea called the Interview. Depending on the business application and the necessary quality of your programmers, it's bad business practice to put out a job advertisement that says "Wanted: C# Developer" because you're just going to end up getting the programmers you describe. Instead, (and this is what Microsoft even does for their own employees... and I would know) you interview the candidate and watch for their abilities in other languages, and put the focus on problem solving capabilities and their ability to grasp "tough" language concepts.
Potential employees having a correlation between their 'preferred' language and their productivity says nothing (or even the opposite) about that language's productivity. Of course better programmers are going to seek out greater challenges and more progressive languages, but that is another question entirely from what language is best for a business. If I'm a business, screw academia, I'm gonna make some money.
2. Source code availability. This one almost never matters, but when it matters it's important. If your web app is going down randomly due to a bug in an underlying (closed) platform, you then have to work around the platform, as opposed to debugging and fixing it - or paying someone else to do so. This is unlikely, but it's nice to know that you don't have to trust another company to fix things, even if you think they're trustworthy.
Just saying, if you're a large enough company (and you don't have to be that large) Microsoft assigns you a personal correspondent to the server and language development teams, a person who also aids you in troubleshooting and debugging.
3. Microsoft are evil. Windows has major design flaws. I cannot back these statements up with the quotations, references, statistics, anecdotes, and soul-destroying hateful rage that they deserve, so I'll turn to someone who can.
Not to spend too much of my time reading an article that presents only one side of the story, I'll simply say that it's thesis seems to be centered around the argument "Oh Noes Microsoft is a corporation that makes money and they try to make money!" And everything else are just things that you'd expect from, well, a corporation that makes money.
Design flaws: Sure they exist, but it is entirely in Microsoft's best interests to fix them to avoid bad PR and bad software sales. The article also attributes this sort of thing to "bad programming" What's this? A corporation can have bad programmers? No way! If the writer of the article has such a huge problem with it, I would invite him to apply to Microsoft's OS department so that he can personally fix it.
Lack of Innovation: That is hilarious. I can't even dignify this with an answer. Maybe Microsoft is too fed up solving real world problems to have time to provide cutesy little demonstrations to the media of the "next big thing." Google and Apple have the media bent over a couch.
Industry and Standard Bullying: Depending on how "free radical" and "gotta take down the Man" you are, this can be seen as either destructively manipulating the market or simply trying to implement a productive standard.
Seriously, if you don't like Microsoft's products, don't buy them. (I'm talking directly to the writer of the article, not to anyone on this thread who does exactly that)... And don't even begin to claim that Microsoft has some sort of monopoly on the market. That ship sailed years ago. The only thing they have a monopoly on is the Windows platform... Which... they... make.
So in summary, Microsoft is a business. They make money by providing value to the industry through the creation of software. And their products are excellent.
Keep in mind, this is "Religious Wars" so I'm not going to claim to be 100% objective. I would like to have some good refutations so that I can learn more about these things, so please, keep anything personal to a minimum.