Reviews

Readers on Amazon.com:

The following reviews appear in Amazon.com listing for Just Say No to Microsoft by Tony Bove.

Here’s an excerpt from Daniel McKinnon’s spotlight review:

While the author spends a lot of time focusing on the Macintosh and Linux to avoid the scourge that is the mighty Microsoft, my favorite part of this book and what I think makes this a great read is the history contained within.

Here’s an excerpt from Anthony Lawrence’s spotlight review:

It doesn’t matter if you are a committed Microsoftie, someone who dumped their OS years ago, or someone just starting to get tired of putting up with the problems of viruses and never ending expense: this is a great book for anyone… I noticed another reviewer complaining about inaccuracies and Microsoft bashing: actually I think the author worked hard to avoid any of that, but unfortunately just telling simple truths about Microsoft does look like bashing: it’s impossible to avoid.

From D. Donovan, Editor and Sr. Reviewer of “California Bookwatch” also appearing on Amazon.com:

Finally: a clear history and explanation of Microsoft’s pitfalls and how to overcome them – by switching to an alternative that works.

From the review by Thomas Duff (“Duffbert”):

The writing is strongly opinionated, but that’s what makes it fun to read (in my less strident opinion). Some of his statements caused me to mentally step back and wonder why I continue to live with some of the limitations that Microsoft has put on my computing experience. While I won’t be removing all vestiges of Microsoft from my computing environment, I will be more willing to question the common wisdom going forward…

From Andy Kaufman’s review:

By creating humorous examples that parody Microsoft’s configuration and options, the author has turned techno-babble into an entertaining and enjoyable read. I strongly recommend this book for anyone looking for an alternative operating environment and for everyone who is frustrated with Microsoft products. You won’t find a more interesting and entertaining computer book on the market today.

Book Reviewers:

A.P. Lawrence — Information and Resources for Unix and Linux Systems: Just say NO to Microsoft:

This is, in fact, a fascinating book that is well worth reading even if you are solidly staying with Microsoft or had jumped ship long ago… Tony Bove has a definite knack for noticing what’s important and succinctly explaining it. If this book were software, we’d say that it is “feature rich”. There’s an amazing amount of information packed into a few hundred pages… I highly recommend this: don’t hesitate, buy it, you won’t regret it.

MacMerc.com, by Brian Burnham: Review: Just Say No to Microsoft from No Starch Press:

It’s not often you find a book that makes you laugh, cry and rethink your life all at the same time. It is even more rare to have this kind of epiphany with a book from the computer section. But this irreverent, well researched guide to why and how to hate the Redmond Giant hits the spot on so many levels… There are things you would have never thought about that Bove covers here, like forgotten details lurking in your Word document. From safety concerns to possibly the worlds longest living bug – the book walks you through the evil truth embedded in every aspect of Windows, Office and Media Player.

Applelust.com, by Dr. Neale Monks: Book Review – Just Say No to Microsoft:

…lots of ammunition here for Microsoft-bashers, as well as plenty of advice for anyone thinking about making the switch. It’s a partisan piece of advocacy, rather than a balanced review, but that doesn’t really diminish the book’s value in any way. In short, an entertaining and useful read, and definitely something for Mac advocates everywhere to share with their PC-using pals.

Lockergnome.com book review:

In “Just Say No to Microsoft” Tony Bove explains clearly and at length why making your computer MS-free is not only practical but worthwhile… He ends the book with an appeal to all who have dumped Windows for a better alternative to tell their friends and bosses. Let others know what you’ve discovered. Chances are they aren’t even aware viable alternatives exist. Better yet, buy them a copy of “Just Say No to Microsoft” and let them decide for themselves.

HubCanada.com: Book challenges the house that Gates built; book review by Erin Bell:

Just Say No To Microsoft serves two purposes. It’s a historical eye-opener by providing a detailed and seemingly well-researched account of Microsoft’s business practices from the early 80s through to the late 90s, a period characterized by a series of aggressive and often petty (if not downright shady) business moves on the part of Microsoft… The book also contains a fair amount of practical how-to information and tips for those who either want to try out some of the alternatives suggestd, or simply learn to get a better experience out of the Microsoft products they’ve decided to stick with, such as setting up Windows Media Player so that it is no longer the default player for all media on the computer. Just Say No To Microsoft is a good introductory resource for bringing various software alternatives out of the underground and making them accessible to the average office worker or home user. It doesn’t go easy on the software giant, but Bove’s tone rises above that of the petulant, mud-slinging axe-grinder. If nothing else, the book will provoke discussion and shake up entrenched ways of thinking that have no doubt contributed to the monopoly Microsoft has enjoyed for more than a decade and continues to enjoy today. It’s worth a read.

Kickstartnews.com, book review by Robert Boardman:

Right from the first page author Tony Bove’s direction is clear. Interestingly as well, Bove provides about as much information for people who want or need to have Microsoft on their computers as he does for people who have or wish to change operating systems… This book presents an unusually rational argument for getting Microsoft off computers–certainly more rational than the typical Microsoft bashing evident in so many places. Bove gives clear guidance for anyone who wants to make the change. Surprisingly, even Microsoft fanatics will be able to learn more about their favorite corporation from this book… You need this. Highly recommended.

Free Software magazine, book review by Bridget Kulakauskas:

It isn’t just the catchy headings, which are clever paraphrasings of song titles and geeky cultural refecences; it’s also the air of genuine excitment which permeates the pages, and makes you feel inspired during and after the reading process. I think many people’s continuing use of Microsoft, even when they know about the insecurities, and the bugs, and the horror, is caused by inertia. And this is just the book to get them up and off their swivel chairs! Tony Bove has compiled a book that is informative and easy to read and understand… Part 2, “Rehab For Your Microsoft Addiction”, discusses some of the more pressing problems with Microsoft programs and presents alternatives. Part 2 is really excellent because it’s clear that Bove has done his research… This book is for EVERYBODY. Those who have migrated already (such as myself) can enjoy the read, sit back smugly and think “I knew that was an excellent idea”. Those who are teetering on the brink of migration may find the enthusiasm and assistance found in this book all the motivation they need to cross over… I think “Just Say No To Microsoft” would make an excellent gift for anyone with a windows computer!

Robert Scoble, author of the very popular Scobleizer blog and Microsoft technical evangelist, had this to say about my book:

Every Microsoft engineer and product planner should read it. Why? It’s a great specification for where our products fall short and demonstrates very well how our products and company are being perceived on the street. If that was the extent of it (to be a bible to people who hate Microsoft, and to be a spec for Microsofties for how to improve our products) then that’d be a fine reason to have this book, but there’s more. I actually am learning how to do stuff on Microsoft’s products that I didn’t know before. There’s a ton of tips in this book about how to use Microsoft stuff. Which, is sorta funny, given the title and premise for the book.

Ben Rothke for Slashdot — here’s the review, and here’s an excerpt:

The only negative to the book is that there are far too many anti-negative (sic) stories of Microsoft’s predatory practices. A few stories would be adequate, but there is no point in belaboring the issue in a book that is meant to be more technical and practical, as opposed to political…”Just Say No to Microsoft: How to Ditch Microsoft and Why It’s Not as Hard as You Think” is an interesting read that will open the eyes of those users to a cheaper, more secure and robust open source solution.

The Slashdot review itself was the topic of an excellent Bits and Bytes blog post in TechRepublic by Erik Eckel, Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple; here’s an excerpt:

Ultimately, Bove’s seeking to accomplish three goals. First he wants readers to understand Microsoft has inhibited innovation. He provides numerous sourced examples toward that end. Second, he demonstrates that most every computer user can function perfectly without Microsoft products. He examines the Macintosh, Linux and OpenOffice as just some of the alternatives available to disgruntled computer users. Third, he seeks to help Windows and Office users avoid many of the common issues that plague those Microsoft platforms by providing instructions and recommendations for eliminating problems and improving security.

More reviews appear on these blogs:

Download Squad: New book provides how-to for Microsoft-free PC

TrulyObscure: Microsoft’s Claws, Jigsaws, and Santa Claus

Bill’s Baby review

Blog Relations review

For a humorous take on going the other way, check out Switching to Windows — Not as Easy as You Think.

Interviews:

The topic of switching from Windows received a lot of attention due to an interview with XYZ Computing that appeared on Slashdot about a month ago. CNET News.com also included a mention in the Windows Blog by Ina Fried about the debate on this topic at the Cybersalon in Berkeley on Nov. 20, 2005.

Dr. Neale Monks conducted an interview for Applelust.com; here’s one Q and A from that interview:

NM: The other angle of attack for Microsoft critics is that it produces inferior products, with many people pointing to the security flaws of the Windows operating system as classic examples of this. Do you think this vulnerability of the Windows OS a symptom of its ubiquity (making it a tempting target for virus-creators and other malefactors) or is there a fundamental problem with the way Microsoft creates operating systems?

TB: There is a fundamental problem: Microsoft is trying to continue its monopoly by implementing an architecture that allows extensive customization (with hardware drivers) and choice among hardware products. If Microsoft would start from scratch with a new system, it would be less vulnerable, but Microsoft would immediately lose market share. On the other hand, if Microsoft divested itself of Windows and made the source code available, there would be many different “flavors” of open-Windows that would make it harder for virus exploits, but again, Microsoft would lose its domination of the system “market”. The only solution is for Microsoft to take the hit — either by re-architecting, or by divesting — and move on with decent software products.

I was recently interviewed by Let’s Talk Computers, one of the longest running radio computer talk shows (since 1989) with hosts Alan Ashendorf and Sandra Ashendorf. Produced in Nashville, Tennessee, it is broadcast via radio in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Texas and New Mexico and on the web. Here is the audio of the interview in Real Audio or (ugh) Windows Media Player formats.

I participated in a Washington Post Online Live Q&A with Kevin Dumouchelle, washingtonpost.com online, Dec. 16, 11 a.m. Eastern. Here is the transcript of the entire interview.

I was also interviewed for the Seattle Times column by Paul Andrews (distributed in Microsoft’s backyard), Mac takes bite out of Windows. See my blog entry, Sound Bytes in Seattle.

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