I read an article the other day, quoting Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, as saying they were more concerned about Linux as a competitor than Apple. Perhaps they should be. Today my wife and a coworker both got a zipped archive from a colleague. Neither one could open it…that is how I got involved. I saved the file to a directory on the desktop, a good place to start. Then I “Open”ed it and tried to extract the files. The wizard opened, suggested a folder name to extract the files to, and said it was done. I closed the wizard and thought that was easy. I went to look at the files; the wizard had created an empty folder. I tried again, but this time I read the last dialog of the wizard, the one that said it was done, more closely. It said something to the effect that some of the files had been blocked. They were dangerous because they had come in over the internet! There were instructions that supposedly indicated how to unblock them but they didn’t work. I told my wife I didn’t know how to do it.
She had a meeting so she left. I went back to my desk. Hmmm? I have a notebook with the latest LTS version of Ubuntu running on it. Let’s see what it does. While it booted up, I transferred the zip file to my flash drive. After I logged in, I plugged in the drive and dragged the file to a folder on the desktop. I double clicked it to open it and told it to “Extract All”. Two pdf files appeared. Wow! It did what it was supposed to do. I copied them back to the flash drive and then copied them to my wife’s computer.
Microsoft and their cohorts, Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc. know what you want and force you to take it. They are so helpful that it is almost impossible to get anything done anymore. We have changed the home page on my wife’s computer countless times and the Lenovo helper changes it back to its webpage every time. Do they not understand that she bought it for her use, not theirs? Linux can be frustrating but you can do what you want/need to do with it…and it’s getting better all the time. Ubuntu is very impressive, not as pretty as Windows Vista but it works…actually maybe it is more beautiful than Windows. One of the things that used to make Windows attractive was that the user interface was consistent from one application to another. Not anymore. Microsoft violated their own principles with the new MS Office 2007. Open Office is more Windows compatible than Office 2007. I could go on…I have many more tales of woe, but you get my drift. I have a couple of Linux machines. I now have a MacBook. I like to use them. I still use the Windows machines but I usually end up frustrated or disgusted with them.
At least you can still put the picture of your choice on your Windows Desktop…productive stuff like that. Microsoft should be worried…