Someone has posted the entire Best Buy “indoctrination” presentation along with their own comments. I thought I’d pick out a few of the juiciest bits. Warning: some parts may be heavy on sarcasm.

Where to start?

PCs run more of the software programs your customers use most.

…As compared to what, ARM? Nice how they can’t separate hardware from software. Of course, Linux runs and Firefox just fine. I wonder how many customers are using those?

Peace of mind

With Windows 7, your customers can feel confident in their purchases and know exactly what they are buying.

That’s excellent news! I wonder if this means Microsoft is finally over their GPL allergy, or if they went with a more liberal license such as MIT/BSD. Because, of course, the only way I can know “exactly what [I am] buying” is if I am able to inspect the source code of my software. Otherwise how do I know it isn’t filled with hidden back doors, security vulnerabilities and anti-features? Not to mention that “purchase” and “buy” don’t need to apply to Linux, since there are many free (gratis) distributions.

Regular updates

Windows is regularly updated[…]

That’s odd, I have the strangest feeling of déjà vu. Maybe it’s because I already talked about updates? While I can’t fault this statement at face value, the implication is wrong. Not only does Linux (as in the Linux kernel) also get regular updates, most GNU/Linux distributions feature regular updates for the entire system – every piece of software you have installed – not just the core OS.

Free downloads

Windows offers free programs for download to help keep your customers’ PCs safer

Oh, the audacity! Most GNU/Linux distributions would end that sentence at “…for download”; last I checked, Microsoft still charges for their office suite. And, while it’s true that there aren’t as many “programs to help keep PCs safer” for Linux, that’s because they aren’t needed on Linux (and the ones out there are largely also free – and not just gratis, but Free as in libre as well).

There’s no guarantee that when security vulnerabilities are discovered, an update will be created.

Yup. Right on the money. Wait, that was supposed to be talking about Linux? Those two-year-old critical unpatched vulnerabilities I keep hearing about in Windows must have confused me.

What shall we take away, they asked?

Really, Windows has one, and only one thing going for it… critical mass. For better or worse (usually worse), Microsoft has had a near-exclusive monopoly on computing for the last decade or so. But that’s changing. They’re behaving more and more like a wounded, cornered animal, and one has to wonder why…

This too, shall pass.


“Ethics? We’ve heard of it” — Microsoft

“You know what Microsoft’s problem really is? They’ve lost the ability to feel ashamed.” — Pamela Jones

So it seems Microsoft has taken it upon themselves to “educate” Best Buy employees about the numerous “benefits” of Windows 7.

I’m not surprised Best Buy is going along with this.

I’m surprised they needed Microsoft’s help.

The thing is, back before I got my current job, I interviewed with Best Buy once (to be a sales floor associate). I think I know why I didn’t get the job. See, there was a question about how to help a customer secure their computer.

Any guesses why “well, let me tell you about these free tools” didn’t go over so well?

Best Buy’s priority (indeed, that of most corporations) is not the customer. It is to make money. Microsoft may be the most egregious (or at least the best known) example of putting profit before people, but they’re hardly alone. And so it is no surprise that Best Buy would lie to make a sale.

They don’t care about the customer, they don’t care about ethics, and they have absolutely no problem with dishonesty and even outright extortion. It’s all about the money for these people.

As far as what Microsoft is up to… Scott Adams hit the nail on the head.

Linux and Updates


One excellent feature of Linux that Windows needs to emulate is managing updates. Most Linux distributions have an update tool that handles updates for you, not just of the OS (whatever you take that to mean on a system that’s built from parts from many diverse suppliers) but for everything installed on your system, so long as you installed it from your distro’s package repositories. (Most users won’t ever need to go outside of the repositories.) You can even configure automatic updates if you like, but unlike Windows, the OS doesn’t pressure into turning them on. (Most of the time it doesn’t turn them on automatically, either, which Windows is known to do. I can’t say “never” because there’s been at least one instance where it did, but it was a bug, and you’d better believe it got fixed.) And while “user friendliness” is pushing more distributions to adopt “updates are available” messages, you can always turn them off, and Linux will never reboot without your permission due to updates. You might get prompted that you should reboot, but you don’t have to.

See, Linux handles updates (more specifically, in-use files) better than Windows. If you’re a Windows user, you may have seen “file in use” errors. Except for the occasional application that implements its own concurrency-prevention methods ( comes to mind), you simply don’t see this on Linux. That’s because Linux has no problem deleting an in-use file. On Windows, you can’t do that. On Linux, it just detaches the file from the file system, and cleans it up when whatever had it open either closes it or goes away. This is why, on Linux, it is easy to do updates. You simply replace the old application with the new one. With a few odd exceptions (most notably Firefox), you can keep using the application because the file isn’t actually deleted immediately; you’ll get the new version when you restart the application. (The reason it sometimes doesn’t work is if an application reopens a file that has changed since the application was started.) So you never have to reboot after updates. For most applications, restarting the application is enough. Only for the kernel and a few core system services do you not see the benefit of updates until you reboot.