Essay on Social Issues

1706 Words May 15th, 2015 7 Pages
Abstract
Linux and Microsoft operating systems have been developed and marketed in two very different ways. Microsoft has become synonymous with monopoly and substandard software, while Linux is based on free, open source and the concept of open standards, full disclosure and sharing. Microsoft attempts to discourage consumers from using the Linux solution by suggesting that the operating system is less than perfect, yet it remains blind to its own operating system's problems existent within Windows 95/98 and Windows NT.
It's a well-known fact that Microsoft dominate the software market despite these facts. Are they operating within legal and ethical boundaries? And is it possible that they could fall from grace because of this?
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UNIX is an open system, and has recently seen quite well established market gains, and there are several reasons for this. Above all, it is solid, dependable, standard and scalable. Workstations are becoming popular and competitive with the ascendance of NT. Popularity is also due to the fact that it's open source – ‘Companies in the US that are already using open source operating systems plan to use it on almost 23% of their desktop machines by January 2002. Open source software will run more than 34% of their company's servers by 2002.' (USA Today 06/01/00)

While companies like IBM, Oracle, and Netscape have begun to integrate their business model with open source, many traditional software companies continue to focus on purely proprietary solutions. In the web server space, Microsoft's complete denial of the open source phenomenon is almost amusing. The Apache web server has more than 50% of the web serving market according the Netcraft survey (http://www.netcraft.com/survey,07/01/02).

When you look at advertisements for Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) you see that they own over half the market in web serving – over half the commercial server market. When compared against competitors like Netscape and Lotus, they have a substantial edge in the market share, but that "edge" looks puny in the overall server market where Microsoft's 30% is dwarfed by Apache's 57%.

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