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Editor's Note: Microsoft is Scared of the Penguinistas!

More FUD Tactics from the Evil Empire

  • December 22, 1999
  • By Kevin Reichard

Never ask a lawyer to do a penguin's work.

In a weirdly phrased technical posting from Support Services, Microsoft insinuates�but doesn't come right out and say�that if you want to run the upcoming Windows 2000, you'll need to delete Linux from your PC. To quote:

The partition types used by the Linux and Windows operating systems are incompatible. To remove Linux from your computer and install Windows 2000 or Windows NT, you must manually delete the partition used by the Linux operating system. The Windows compatible partition can be created automatically during the installation of the Windows operating system.

This is utter nonsense. The partition types used by Linux and Windows are different, not incompatible: both types can coexist quite nicely on the same machine. If you're currently running a machine that has any version of Windows on one partition and Linux on another partition, you can overwrite the Windows partition when installing Windows 2000 and just leave the Linux partition alone. (This is exactly what was done in the LinuxPlanet offices, where a machine with both Windows NT 4.0 and Slackware Linux 7 was upgraded to machine running both a beta version of Windows 2000 and Slackware Linux 7.) These operating systems coexist quite nicely. The one thing to watch that is Windows 2000 likes to take over the PC's master boot record and displace LILO, but a reinstallation of LILO after Windows 2000 is configured addresses that issue.

Is Linux such a threat to the big, bad monopoly that Microsoft must resort to out-and-out deception to battle the inevitable? Has our rag-tag army of open-source evangelists and penguinistas managed to do what the U.S. Justice Department, a sea of lawyers and the full force of the U.S. government failed to do: bring down the Evil Empire of Redmond? Apparently so. This technical posting from Microsoft reeks of fear.

And to make things worse, Microsoft botched the instructions on removing Linux from a PC in favor of Windows! If you do indeed want to replace Linux with Windows 2000, there's no reason to go through the rigmarole of removing Linux partitions and rewriting the master block record with LILO�Windows 2000 does these things automatically. Misinformation is one thing, but technically incorrect misinformation is another.

Fear, uncertainty, doubt...and misinformation�what we've come to expect from Microsoft. This time, the penguins will not go quietly.

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