Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Microsoft Realm and How To Tackle It.

As an Example, I'm going to take into consideration our Maltese IT Degree.

The Microsoft Realm in Our Studies.

I am currently reading a course in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Malta. Here in Malta, IT is considered as one of the strongest sectors of the country. Here is one of the reason why 99% of the population in Malta and Europe runs Windows, and maybe MAC, and why IT Students are afraid to use Linux or other Operating Systems.

1. Microsoft Biased Topics

I was taking a peek at our Timetable for next semester. One of the subjects I have listed is about Object Oriented Programming.

I like Object Oriented Programming, I was then eager to check out about the topic. I liked it until I had seen the description.

"Java & C# for .NET Framework Platform"
Why .NET? Why use Microsoft products for learning? How on earth are students supposed to learn programming when they're already closed to Microsoft products? The .NET Framework (pronounced dot net) is a software framework developed by Microsoft that runs primarily on Microsoft Windows.

That serves Microsoft pretty well here in Malta, since we have an ever growing Software and Online Betting industry. Applications in .NET are not runnable on other OSes like Linux.

Luckily enough.. I will be studying a different version which does not include .NET.. *phew*


An online - Microsoft Marketplace for IT Students, giving them the opportunity for free Microsoft products like Windows itself, Office, and Developer tools. Some Applications also come with a price, however greatly reduced for students. Yes, this is another why how Microsoft brainwashes our students to use and get used to (maybe even get hooked) to their stuff.

3. Microsoft Seminars/Conferences

The ICT student association and the IT department are constantly getting Microsoft to produce seminars and conferences, even opportunities like scholarships for us students, which is a good thing (I'm not blaming the ICT association nor the IT department), but this is also another way how Microsoft tries to brainwash everyone to think they are the best company to choose.

4. Usage of Windows

The University Labs use Windows, Every working PC in the premises is running Windows. Where's Linux? Where's MAC?

The whole point is that Microsoft gets ALL THE CREDIT because it works for it. Yes, it is a multi million company and it invests in students. But how on Earth do we want Linux, Open Source and any other kinds of computer platforms to grow if we keep on using Microsoft products. It's like this company is taking control of our knowledge, and not just taking control - but limiting it to where it needs. Where's Linux? NOWHERE.


So let's all do one thing. Do you really want Linux, particularly Desktop Linux to grow? If yes you should do something about it. But what can we do?

You're an IT Student? 
It may be time you launch a Linux Fan Club or Linux Branch in collaboration with your Student Organisation. Maybe give suggestions to lecturers to start teaching Linux and include it in your academic studies.
You're an IT Lecturer?
Let your students know about Linux. Give examples of Linux in the real world, and show how much more powerful Linux is than other platforms. Show the fun stuff.
You're an IT Technician?
Offer a Pre-Installation of Linux at a cheaper Price. Let the your customers know that as Linux is free, you can save up to a $100 in Licensing! 
You're a Company Director?
Try Linux on some of your computers at the Office, just so others can try it out and get used to it. 
You're a Normal Employee? 
Ask one of your bosses to let you use Linux during work instead of Windows.
You're an average Person?
Use Linux Yourself. Get to know about it. Install it on old computers. Tell your friends about it constantly.  


I know that I will probably face a lot of criticism about this, but I've never actually liked the idea of having hundreds of distributions with the same base. Let's face it - a normal user would install One type of operating system once, get used to it and leave it there. So why do we keep creating distributions instead of focusing on one particular Linux OS? It's just not good marketing.

Take Windows or MAC. Yes they do have different versions, say Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Home, but it's WINDOWS 7, and that's it. People may get confused at which Linux distribution to use. Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, CentOS, Fedora,.. etc


People completely new to Linux will find the switch from Windows to Linux harder than we might think, so we might consider launching Linux Groups and Forums for dummies who never actually tried Linux.


Promote it on your Social Network, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Make a Linux advert on your website. Promotion is the key.

Any other suggestions? Feel free to comment below :)


  1. Here in Ottawa, Canada... we have similar issues. The college I go to is very Windows centric. They force you to have a windows 7 or 8 to do anything. We are however doing a lot with Linux. We have an entire lab room filled with Fedora installs and it even has "LINUX LAB" on the door in a fancy plastic sign. We have many classes that require a dual boot or a VMWare install of Fedora/Ubuntu/CentOS. But instead of making these classes fun and informing them of all the wonderful benefits of Linux, they make it ugly and hard and even I almost hate the class.

    I just got elected as the class rep... I'm going to fight for more freedom in Open Source and OS agnostic lessons.

  2. I'm a Linux Advocate in my Town. Been pushing Linux as a server in big companies and Desktop were I have opportunity. Stay focused on friendly Disto: for me Opensuse and I've found with personal computers Zoran Distro - based on Ubuntu.

  3. Great post thanks for sharing. On my opinion why still lots of people using Windows is that it is more user friendly that other Operating System.

  4. As a Software Process Consultant and ALM MVP I specialize in the implementation of Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio and Microsoft Test Manager. I am responsible for helping customers improve their software processes by properly implementing Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server tools in a manner that is compatible for their organization.microsoft software I have worked with a variety of clients since 2008 and upgraded/installed TFS Server, provided training, created custom software processes, implemented release strategies, automated build scripts, and improved software development practices.

  5. nice i really like this its looking awesome.