Thursday, April 14, 2005

Newsflash: Microsoft Just Doesn't Get It

So Billyco wants to incorporate Wikipedia-like features in to Encarta. Good luck.
But it is asking them to reveal the source of their information if possible, and the editorial staff will check for both factual errors and evidence of bias.
So MS continues it's command-economy style approach to the internet, whereas Wikipedia gives away knowledge for free. Anyone who's used Wikipedia for any length of time can vouch for the generally high standard of information there. I didn't even know Encarta had a website, that's how little Microsoft matters these days.

On other MS matters, a proposal: What if we made all game manufacturers release Windows games for Linux as well? Most of the big games are coming out on multiple platforms already - Xbox, PS, Gamecube, PC - so adding a Linux requirement shouldn't be too difficult, should it? And gamers have got to be one of the last markets that Linux hasn't been able to crack, right?

They wouldn't even need to put the games in the stores, so long as you could order them off the net. Obviously, they should be released at about the same time, with no difference in price. Surely this can be done?


adam said...

Can and is. Porting games over to the Linux variants is easier than to most other platforms, since the OS is usually being run on the same x86 hardware as Windows. Most major games see a Linux release anyway, since the dedicated multiplayer hosts are often run on Linux machines. You'll usually see the Linux version much earlier than one for consoles or OSX; most consoles are or will soon be running on IBM's powerPC chips, as are all G5-based Apple products, which have a diffent architecture than Intel/AMD's x86.

As for game downloads, it's slowly becoming a norm. Companies like Virtual Programming offer all their new releases as pay-and-download.

john said...

So I guess there's more at work than I thought. I guess I assumed that it was the intransigence of gamers that explained Windows' continued dominance.

So if I can get most games for Linux, is there any good reason for me to stay shackled to Microsoft? I've been thinking about slapping together some of my older hardware and making a Linux box to get familiar with the OS. If I don't even have to give up my gaming, then that's just bonus.

adam said...

Well, you can always set up a system with a bootloader that lets you choose which OS to run at startup, so you can have both Linux and Windows on one machine.

I'm not sure if "most" games are being released for Linux, it would be a better idea to check out individual favorites and see if there is a native version. But if there isn't, there are also things like wine, which simulate a Windows API (the way that a program interfaces with the computer) and let you run just about any Windows program. However, the Linux Game Tome lists ~1500 entries (including my recent favorite Darwinia), so between those and wine, you should be able to keep yourself busy.

Then you've got Open Office, Firefox, etc., which probably take care of most of your other needs.

I'd say it's worth some exploration.