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Microsoft's Open Source Guru Faces Tough Fight

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the in-hostile-territory dept.

Microsoft 432

coondoggie writes "Microsoft's Sam Ramji is like a turkey knocking on Thanksgiving's door. Ramji has the unenviable task of stretching his neck out into the open source world as Microsoft's representative. On top of it, his employer has preheated the oven with years of hubris, sleights of hand and broken promises. Ramji's Sisyphean task was evident last week in Portland at the Open Source Conference (OSCon) and will likely be fuel for chatter at next week's LinuxWorld gathering in San Francisco."

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So welcome them in.. (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412185)

Microsoft is good at winning the game when people are agressive towards them. Which I know its very easy to get hostile towards them. But they are somewhat lost when another group is their host and they are not in control. So we should be welcoming, give them a drink of the kool-aid and treat them like one of the gang. Its going to be hard and we'll have to keep an eye out for deception, but I think we should start playing nicer with them and hope that they do the same. Perhaps Microsoft would see the light and become friendlier to open source and open standards. Unlikely, but so was getting Excel working under Linux through Wine if you asked someone 10 years ago.

In the end, open source is simply a better model for software development and its a lot more impervious to threats than proprietary software is. Businesses just don't get that. In a business, the software focus is on making money. In open source, the software focus is on quality and empowering the end user. In the end, open source and the user will win. Heck, we're already winning, Microsoft is interested in open source (regardless of the reasons).

Don't throw arrows. Be diplomatic.

Re:So welcome them in.. (4, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412213)

Don't throw arrows. Be diplomatic.

You're right, that would be ineffective without a bow. Throw spears instead.

Re:So welcome them in.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412263)

1 - Getting Started

The female dog normally comes on her first heat between the ages of nine and
fifteen months. Attempting intercourse with her at this time is not
recommended since these changes in her biochemistry are confusing enough
without having you trying to do wierd things to her. I would strongly
suggest waiting untilher second heat if all appears normal.

2 - The right bitch for you

As a rule of thumb, a dog the size of your average German Shepherd Dog is
large enough to comfortably accomodate your average sized human male.
However, this is not always true. I will go into further detail about signs
of discomfort and warning signs later. Saint Bernards, Great Danes,
Newfoundlands and other huge breeds should have no problems accomodating
a human male.

3 - Prepararation is the key!

In preparing to have sex with your dog, you'll need to run down to the local
drug store and pick up a few things. Namely; KY Jelly, (do NOT use a petro-
leum or oil based lubricant.). Wet and Astro Glide, both of which can be
found at your local adult shop, work as well. Also, if you're near a
medical or veterinary supply, surgical lubricants are good too; latex gloves.
If you're going to be messing around with a stray dog or a dog you do not
own it doesn't hurt to rubber up! You can get infections or a fever from
bitches with vaginal infections or brucellosis, (see the 'Zoophilia and Your
Health' PIP for more information on this topic); condoms. If sharing a dog
or picking up a stray, protect yourself. Although dogs do not carry AIDS,
it has been theorized that the virus could survive long enough inside a
bitches' vagina long enough for you to contract it, or anything else, if
you have sex with her immediately after an infected person. Remember also
that if she has a yeast or bacterial infection, you could get it too;
surgical soap. If you know the bitch is in good health and you'd like to
insert whatever strikes your fancy into her, I recommend you clean it
thoroughly. A bitches' vagina is a very vascular area and, especially when
in heat, is quite susceptable to infection; nail clippers. Nails could
carry dirt on them or scratch the delicate inner lining of a bitches'
vagina. Cut them nails down and file them. You'll also look stunning with
your new manicure :); and lastly, MilkBones! Buy these with everything
else if you really want to squick the counter people :)

4 - In the trenches

Once you've got your bitch and your supplies, it's time to get to work. I
do not suggest attempting sex with a bitch out of season, especially if she
is not your dog. You may wind up getting bit, which may mean changing your
name to John Wayne Bobbitt. A bitch in heat is your best bet, but just
because she's wet and smells nice doesn't mean she's 'in the mood.' How
can you tell if she's in the mood? Check the discharge. The discharge of
a bitch in 'Standing Heat' should be pinkish / creamy white. This cycle
lasts for between seven and nine days and is in the middle of the complete
heat cycle.
If the discharge is a dark, blood red, she's just coming into or going out
of heat. It never hurts to try but DO NOT force her. She may say no the
first time. Bitches are known to tease and may jump forward or fall over
in front of you. However, if she reacts hostily to you, STOP IMMEDIATELY.
Definate signs that a bitch is receptive are; Flagging--raising of the tail
over the back exposing the genitals, Soliciting--rubbing her butt in your
crotch, sitting on your face, etcetera, and Play Posing--being excessively
playful, jubilant, etcetera.
Once you're both consenting, you may consider some foreplay. Fingering her
will bring you both hours of joy and amusement :) The bitches' "clitoris"
is located about 3/4-1" (in large breeds) into the vagina. The clitoral
ridge is fairly prominant so easy to find. Rubbing this will cause her to
start thrusting and she'll love you for every moment of it. If she's your
dog or if you're certain she's healthy, you may want to engage in some
'puppylingus.' Most bitches have a bitter-sweet taste when in standing
heat and I definately recommend the aroma.
With all teasing done, it's time to start your engines! The vagina of a
female dog takes a sharp turn upward so you will have to enter from a
seventy-five to eighty degree angle. The average body temperature of a
dog is 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit so expect her to very hot and moist.
I don't believe I need to tell you what to do from here on in .
Enjoy!

5 - Out of heat and spayed bitches

If the bitch is your own you may want to try her out of heat. The same
rules apply except be sure and use an excessive amount of lube and be very
careful. You can do a lot of damage if you try and force her and that'll
be a difficult one to explain to the vet.
Most spayed bitches cannot have intercourse because of the removal of their
reproductive organs. They do not come into heat and very few show interest
in sex. You can try 'fingering' a spayed bitch of 'puppylingating' her but
intercourse is strongly advised against unless you have extensive experience.

6 - Anal Sex

The same rule of thumb for size applies to anal sex as well. There are
some dogs that like anal sex, others that tolerate it, and those that can't
stand it. Most dogs will not be immediately comfortable with anal sex but
if you choose to continue, instructions on how to do so follow. If your
dog reacts with an expression of pain or anger, STOP IMMEDIATELY. Your
dog is not suited for anal intercourse.
Start by touching the anal area of your dog and let them get comfortable
with it. Do not dive right in and insert anything. Wait until they
freely alow you to touch under their tail. Be patient. While touching
around their tail, wear gloves. Numerous worms and bacteria which can
cause a variety of illnesses can be found in dog feces. NEVER MAKE ORAL
CONTACT WITH A DOG'S ANUS. The result could be a nasty infection or a
case of tape, ring, or hookworms, among others. Once your dog is
comfortable with you feeling around their anus, try inserting a VERY well
lubricated, gloved finger. Do this over and over again until your dog
seems comfortable with it. Once again, if your dog seems to be in pain
or react violently, STOP and DON'T try again. Gradually increase the
number of gloved, well lubricated fingers you use until the number of
fingers inserted comfortably represents the width of your penis. You
may then attempt anal intercourse with your dog.
Remember; 1.) Not every dog enjoys anal sex. The majority do not,
2.) Always rubber up and never have oral contact with the anus and
3.) STOP IMMEDIATELY if your dog shows signs of pain or discomfort.
If you notice worms in your dog's stool, bring your dog to the vet with
a stool sample.

Re:So welcome them in.. (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412281)

Don't throw arrows. Be diplomatic.

You're right, that would be ineffective without a bow. Throw spears instead.

No. Throw chairs!

Re:So welcome them in.. (1)

aXi (6533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412737)

Try to explain 'em what they did wrong in a way that truly hurts them. Fine them for each infraction they did to the opensource community and every other company out there they brought to extinction, or even the brink thereof.

No, no.... (2, Insightful)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412893)

I hear what you're saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" But I really think we can beat 'em. Have you tried the latest Ubuntu?

Re:So welcome them in.. (0, Redundant)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412313)

And here I was thinking you were going to say "throw chairs instead".

Re:So welcome them in.. (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412443)

I know the perfect amazon tribe [slashdot.org] to shoot arrows!

Re:So welcome them in.. (5, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412483)

Ramji has the unenviable task of stretching his neck out into the open source world as Microsoft's representative

I think the the weapon you are looking for is an axe

Re:So welcome them in.. (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412649)

Will it blink [damninteresting.com] ?

Re:So welcome them in.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412247)

I think we should start playing nicer with them and hope that they do the same.

That's what Neville Chamberlain thought, too.

Re:So welcome them in.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412255)

Odysseus has left a wooden horse! Victory is ours!

Re:So welcome them in.. (3, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412329)

These analogies fail on me and you both obviously thought you were clever, and they were easy to make. However they are just wrong.

Open source doesn't really have an hierarchy "to take". Its obvious that traditional software businesses are having trouble adjusting to the new paradigm. Its amusing to watch these businesses try to fight it. If you want to use war analogies, it more like Japan facing the atomic bomb. What could it do against such a new force it new nothing about?

Probably the same thing! (3, Funny)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412911)

Great analogy. I think MS is going to do EXACTLY what Japan did facing the atomic bomb:

Implode, be incinerated, be eviscerated, bleed to death, slowly fall apart from radiation, and gasp desperately for a few more breaths of air, ultimately surrendering. Have you tried Vista?

Re:Probably the same thing! (5, Funny)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412999)

Implode, be incinerated, be eviscerated, bleed to death, slowly fall apart from radiation, and gasp desperately for a few more breaths of air, ultimately surrendering.

...And then become a worldwide cultural phenomenon for animation and video games?

And.... (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24413011)

.....And dominate the auto industry with reliable hybrids.

but.... (2, Funny)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24413019)

.... still be very bad drivers.

Re:So welcome them in.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412337)

So we should be welcoming, give them a drink of the kool-aid and treat them like one of the gang.

That's what they want, man. I say let them rot in the courner.

Re:So welcome them in.. (3, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412357)

So we should be welcoming, give them a drink of the kool-aid and treat them like one of the gang.

That's what they want, man. I say let them rot in the courner.

No! They are not expecting to like the kool-aid. They are expecting to get their foot in the door and have some leverage to dominate the open source community. I realize that. But we have to give them enough kool-aid so that they start liking it.

The final frontier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412349)

If you ask me, the major battle between Microsoft and Open Source is the upcoming battle for dominance of our social organization. I mean no less than our very systems of governance. From Microsoft, we have Facebook [pcworld.com] (and of course, there is MySpace). From open source, we have metagovernment [metagovernment.org] . I really have no idea who might win that one.

Re:The final frontier (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412589)

What would be so bad about Microsoft running the Government? Think of all the synergies!

: Blue screen of death penalty.

: Zune for Government: finally, a user base!

: Just announced for MS Government 2009: 10% tax breaks for everyone! (Details of software may vary from description, including variance in the tax cut by negative 50%.)

: President Emeritus Gates

: MS Government Home Edition (voting restricted to school board elections)

: All Mac and Linux users are welcome to participate in government. However, MS Government requires Windows Vista (plus 3GB RAM, 700GB HD, 2GB video card, and 36" monitor) of course.

: Click paperclip for assistance. "It looks like you are trying to complain to your Senator. Would you like to be arrested, be disappeared, compose a letter, erase your hard drive?"

: Balmer in charge of troop morale

: MS Government 2009 upgrade for only $349.95! (Additional $799.95 for Pro edition, which allows for basic network connection.) MS Government State Edition and Local Edition easily added on for only $299.95 each! Additional family licenses available at discounts of up to 5% for families with more than 10 children.

: Microsoft Bob Dole. Combining two compelling personalities!

: MS Government Justice Pack 2.0 - Allows for participation in the legal system (as plaintiff or defendant). Release expected soon, but you can buy now for only $949.95!

Re:The final frontier (2, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412683)

I know you will hate me but, in all seriousness, I had actually hoped Bill Gates would leave Microsoft and go into politics. I have my reasons and I'll keep them short.

A country is about a lot of things and one of the most important things is about keeping the majority of the people happy. Honestly? The vast majority of Windows users are quite happy. We, here, probably wish that they weren't but they are.

There comes a time when a government must do things that go against their normal routine. Bill would likely have done all sorts of unethical things to help return the United States of America to its former glory but it would have served us, the citizens, well.

His ability to make wise choices is not something we can really argue about if we look at reality. We might not *like* his choices but they accomplished what he'd intended which was to make the computer a personal device that anyone could have and make himself and his company filthy rich. He did that quite well.

I wouldn't want him as a more than a single term president. I'm hoping that the people who read this know the difference between Ballmer and Gates. I wouldn't want Ballmer running my local PTA honestly but I really think the business acumen demonstrated by Bill would do a great deal to getting our country to the point where it is stable again.

I can picture it now...

Bill: We're spending WHAT on WHAT???
Aide: Millions per day on the war that people don't like, sir.
Bill: No patch in sight?
Aide: None from the generals on the field sir.
Bill: Well, screw it. Bring the boys home, let 'em rest up, and tell the world to wait for SP1.

Re:The final frontier (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412897)

A country is about a lot of things and one of the most important things is about keeping the majority of the people happy. Honestly? The vast majority of Windows users are quite happy. We, here, probably wish that they weren't but they are.

I wish the North Koreans weren't so happy under a dictatorship either...
I think civil rights would suffer even worse under the likes of Bill Gates because he cares little about the wants of his users when they pay him in an open market. But when you go to the government, you have little choice in the matter. So he pretty much has a total monopoly from the get go, and less regulations thanks to the ever expanding powers of the executive branch thanks to the current administration. You would be a fool to think that he wouldn't use his political power to further Microsoft's profits by eliminating the use of Linux at all levels of government, thus putting our country at even more risk from China's electronic attacks. Not to mention what he would like to mandate for federal school funding. Granted there are checks and balances to the system, but I'd rather have inept politicians blunder through that, than having a sly business man like Bill Gates work the system in ways it was not meant to be.

We need Bill Gates about as much as we need Obama or McCain, which is to say not at all...

Dear Know-Nothing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412351)

Let's look at Open Source from an input/ouput perspective.

Idiots go in, garbage comes out.

It's no coincidence that Linux is a Desktop failure. Too many cut corners. Too little effort put into the details. The kernel is an ugly unwieldly blob that's stuck 2 years behind now.

-Lack of objectives
-Lack of motivation
-Lack of desire
-Lack of planing
-Lack of control

That's the open source model. There's lots of good feeling backslapping, though!

Might want to think before you troll (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412407)

Yeah. Apache, Firefox, MySQL, Asterisk, PHP, Wikipedia, BIND, Postfix: all COMPLETE FAILURES.

Utter crap that nobody ever uses, right?

You forgot: (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412939)

Linux.

And some others that I like:

Gimp
SumatraPDF
Pidgin
Open Office
Dscaler
Zsnes
VLC
Virtualdub
Audacity
Thunderbird
Virtualbox

Re:Dear Know-Nothing (3, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412437)

Yeah, FOSS is *so* far behind that MS is desperately throwing money around trying to get a foot in the FOSS door. "Dear Know-Nothing", indeed!

Re:So welcome them in.. (5, Insightful)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412413)

Dear mods, this isn't funny. It's the correct approach. When your enemy agrees to play nice, playing nice back doesn't mean assume they are friendly, it just means play nice.

Re:So welcome them in.. (4, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412439)

Well I may not have been the biggest fan of his last few movies, Sam Raimi has done a lot of nerdy work and deserves our respect, although I'll be damned if I can remember when he started working for Microsoft, I guess Spiderman 3 really was that bad.

Don't be a Nevile Chamberlain. (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412445)

So far, we've won the game because they've been aggressive to us. And this is not talking about the distant past, the OOXML debacle is still going on and as far as I can tell they committed real, actionable fraud [openmalaysiablog.com] in connection with it which has gone unprosecuted.

I think we should fight Microsoft, not Sam Ramji. We should just make it clear that Sam works for a company with a monopoly conviction and a long record of dirty fighting.

Microsoft's joining Apache, to a great extent, as an anti-Linux play. They still can't stand the GPL, it's too fair for them, but they think they can take some of the oxygen from Linux by being more of a platform for Apache-style software. And the Apache license lets them "embrace and enhance".

Don't give up now, folks. Only your vigilance and your willingness to point out when Microsoft plays dirty tricks will keep them from getting away with even more of that.

Bruce

Re:Don't be a Nevile Chamberlain. (2, Informative)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412565)

Microsoft licensing under apache but especially LGPL [networkworld.com] is a small miracle.
From what I understand, the apache license and the gpl are compatible now - in the sense that something licensed under Apache2 can be brought into GPLv3.
Nevertheless their past actions will make it very difficult for open source developers to have any kind of trust.

If we create great PHP support and we create excitement among PHP developers then there is opportunity for Windows Servers, Ramji said.

:: shudders ::
Just what the world needs, more windows servers ...

Re:Don't be a Nevile Chamberlain. (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412799)

LGPL isn't GPL. You can still "embrace and enhance" LGPL code. GPL is the real test.

Re:Don't be a Nevile Chamberlain. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412997)

One bad apple bribed someone and a couple other countries appealed the ruling. That still doesn't explain 90%+ voting in favor of OOXML. Get a grip Bruce. Fight your battle but do so on intellectually honest grounds.

Re:So welcome them in.. (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412575)

So the choice is supposed to be between being aggressive towards Microsoft and starting to "play nicer with them"?

How about a third option: wake up.

Don't throw arrows. Be diplomatic.

Good advice. Diplomats are not known for their trusting souls.

Re:So welcome them in.. (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412601)

"In open source, the software focus is on quality"

No, it's on building your own project which replicates another piece of software exactly but under another license or with some tiny change. Then pissing everyone off on your mailing list and having 3 groups of developers fork on you, each taking the direction you "should" have taken. after the ego cools off all the mini projects release hacked scripts to allow migration, which no one can get to work. When users complain you tell them to RTFM, and that it's all very simple and if they don't like it they can use MS products (which they end up doing)

Re:So welcome them in.. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412833)

This is one of those posts where "insightful" and "troll" both apply.

-jcr

Re:So welcome them in.. (1)

jadedoto (1242580) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412749)

I always thought the reason Microsoft tripped up competition was because of Gates' die hard business strategy and willingness to stop at nothing to get what he wants. Obviously that model served him very well.

Ballmer's seems to be a little different. Historically from what I've seen, he seems more open to competition. Gates always struck me as snoody towards it (i.e. "Yea, every kid in a garage can put me out of business. I'd like to see them try."), whereas Ballmer would say, "Yea, every kid in a garage can put me out of business. I sweat bullets because of them."

I agree, we should welcome Microsoft to the modern world of software. We may all be stealing code from each other, but Gates' Open Letter didn't stop it- free code came before Microsoft's closed source strategy and will live long after it. Microsoft either joins the program or fizzles out like Unix proper did.

Re:So welcome them in.. (4, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412797)

In the end, open source is simply a better model for software development and its a lot more impervious to threats than proprietary software is. Businesses just don't get that. In a business, the software focus is on making money. In open source, the software focus is on quality and empowering the end user.

Or... more likely they do get it. (At least to the extent that you reveal in your post.) OSS is a better model for software development, but that doesn't mean it's a better business model. A business's goal isn't (and at least a large part of me says "shouldn't be") quality and empowering the end user except to the extent that they make business sense, and it is (and "should be") to make money. (There are limits to the "should" parts of that; e.g. violating the law or human rights or something like that.)

So is closed or open a better business model? I have no idea. But I suspect neither do you.

Re:So welcome them in.. (2, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412813)

In the end, open source is simply a better model for software development and its a lot more impervious to threats than proprietary software is.

Yes.

Don't throw arrows. Be diplomatic.

Why? What possible reason is there to be "diplomatic" towards Microsoft? The company has been rude and arrogant towards anybody they have dealt with. They have cheated Americans out of many billions of dollars through bundling, tying, and their illegal monopoly. Was Microsoft "diplomatic" about the companies and jobs they destroyed when they faked demos or made false product announcements?

People choose to work for Microsoft. Why not tell them what you feel about their company?

Re:So welcome them in.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412933)

There is no point in talking to him. Until the leadership of Microsoft changes (i.e. Steve is gone), the attitude of the company will not change. Until the attitude of Microsoft changes from the top, Sam and those hapless Microsoft open source cronies who succeed him are irrelevant.

Microsoft is an more evil company than most, we all must work to vanquish it.

Shades of Gray? (5, Interesting)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412191)

From TFA:

The first questioner from the audience wanted to know what it would take for Microsoft not to claim patent infringement violations in open source code.

I'd like to know what it would take for Microsoft to actually back up those claims with proof in a public forum. But that's probably a question for Steve Ballmer, since he's the one who seems to flog the patent FUD.

OTOH, I have contracted at Microsoft (once as a dev doing an intranet site for a testing lab, once being the editor in charge of a couple of sections of the MSW homepage), and it's an interesting culture there. It's not the Death Star with Ballmer walking around, periodically strangling people with his mind just to show who's boss.

In a company that big you can't escape the control freaks and evidence of The Peter Principle [wikipedia.org] , but you also have people there like my manager on the intranet site contract, who was the best manager I've had in the 23 years since I started having managers. For all the greed and arrogance people here like to claim go into Microsoft products, there are a lot of people who are there because they love what they do and Microsoft gives them the opportunity to get paid well for doing it. I met some awesome people at Microsoft, people I really respect.

I switched to Mac to avoid Vista. I use NeoOffice instead of MS Office. But I can say that despite some of the aura of badness Microsoft gives off as a company, there are people there who are truly dedicated to the company being a good citizen, putting out good products, and getting along with others. The people who give Ramji a hard time really haven't given him a chance.

Re:Shades of Gray? (4, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412419)

Hasn't Microsoft trained us over time with a reverse skinner box approach, by offering cooperation and failing to deliver on the open principles they committed to?

Microsoft has earned the negative attitude they receive with years of practice, hard work and dedication. It's like posting at -1. It takes time to dig yourself out of it and Microsoft can't just create a new account and start over.

If Ramji really wants to be taken seriousyl, he should be prepared to be received poorly for some time to come and take that in stride.

no doubt the color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412467)

As a company, they are #000000.

MS is a big powerful company now not so much that they had great stuff, at best they had adequate stuff that really wasn't designed to be used on the internet, I mean egads look at the issues over the years, but that they were just so predatorily atrocious in doing business time after time after time. I guess it is OK that some folks there are "nice guys", but the company remains collectively..an abomination. I mean they are teh megasuck. Like others have pointed out, years of dissing open source and mumbling the patent threat with nothing so far to back it up but more threats is pretty rude and rank behavior, and near as I can see, designed on purpose to influence markets, so where is the SEC with all of that?

    I sort of feel just a teensy bit sorry for their "open source" spokesperson, but really, he cashes the check, that check is probably quite decent, and he knows he is going to be catching flak for a long time because of his corporation's past track record and their well deserved reputation of embrace, extend, extinguish. I see absolutely zero indication that they really have changed anything, other than a new slyer/sneekier approach.

Re:Shades of Gray? (0, Offtopic)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412481)

I use NeoOffice instead of MS Office.

Have you given OOov3 a try? It's still beta 2 as of now, but I personally like it better than NeoOffice; the only thing that crashed on me was their database software; everything else seems quite stable.
*nawcom prepares to be modded Off-topic by grumpy moderators*

http://openoffice.bouncer.osuosl.org/?product=OpenOffice.org&os=macosxintelaqua&lang=en-US&version=3.0.0beta2 [osuosl.org]

Re:Shades of Gray? (1)

Ptraci (584179) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412787)

I don't know about him, but I use Neo-office because I don't want to have to use X11. The Aqua version is still in Beta.

Re:Shades of Gray? (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412485)

I'm sure there's tons of really great people working at Microsoft. It's easy to put a kind face on Microsoft when you think of the examples of nice people who work there. But when it comes to business, Microsoft is not that nice guy.

No, that's Apple (5, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412519)

It's not the Death Star with Ballmer walking around, periodically strangling people with his mind just to show who's boss.

That's what Apple is like.

Re:Shades of Gray? (4, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412623)

Unfortnutely the good actions of 'the little people' are completely overshadowed by the greed and arrogance of the top decision makers. As with many global companies, and countries for that matter, most of the people that get to the top are, or become, twisted and evil, even if the general population is really quite nice once you get to know them.

Re:Shades of Gray? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412657)

I met some awesome people at Microsoft, people I really respect.

Hell yeah. Tantek springs to mind. Terrific guy. He did the great Mac version of IE that Microsoft put to slow painful death for embarassing the Windows IE team.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantek_ [wikipedia.org] Çelik

There will be others. There are plenty of really good people working in really shitty companies. That doesn't make the companies less shitty.

The people who give Ramji a hard time really haven't given him a chance.

Microsoft made the bed he's lying in. It's a huge bed and they've kept it burning for years. I can feel sorry for Ramji and like him as a person, but it doesn't change for a moment that he is representing Microsoft. Microsoft has worked hard to earn all the contempt and hate and distrust, and strapping a big-eyed puppy to their bumper doesn't change a thing.

Ramji is an ornament. If he was CEO there might be something to give him a chance for. As it stands, he means nothing.

And if he chooses to be their public face, then he's going to get covered is all the shit that's going to be thrown at the company he represents. Who Ramji is & how earnest he might be is completely irrelevant.

I think now is an appropriate time to say... (2, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412199)

"Sucks to be you!"

Re:I think now is an appropriate time to say... (2, Funny)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24413013)

Wow... +5 Insightful goes really cheaply these days. I was aiming for +3 Funny :P

Sisyphean? (1)

drmofe (523606) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412215)

Herculean, surely? Maybe even Gargantuan.

Re:Sisyphean? (2, Funny)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412245)

I like it. Sisyphus has a nice... playful ring to it!

Re:Sisyphean? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412325)

I don't. It kind makes me itchy.

Re:Sisyphean? (1)

skaet (841938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412587)

A little too playful if you ask me ;)

Re:Sisyphean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412295)

Hercules completed his tasks. Sisyphus was doomed to fail for eternity.

Re:Sisyphean? (2, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412323)

I thought the same thing. Sisyphean makes is sound like he just can't win. Of course, that might be accurate.

Re:Sisyphean? (2, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412663)

I thought the same thing. Sisyphean makes is sound like he just can't win. Of course, that might be accurate.

Given that Microsoft has traditionally played the eagle[*] to FOSS' Prometheus [wikipedia.org] , I'd guess that there are more than a few people who don't want Microsoft ever to win.

-----

[*] Microsoft actually thinks it's Zeus in this legend, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Should change the R to G to get extra geek pts (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412279)

It still kills me how close his name is to Sam Gamgee.

militant, defiant, rebellious (3, Insightful)

ndnspongebob (942859) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412305)

We are open source, we accept all code but we are also a community. This community must be respected. Corporate entities will run all over us and then want to be friends. Must we lie down and take it or resist and be defiant because we are the movement? I know what I am saying is controversial but I say it with a reason. Bow once and bow a thousand more times. Microsoft is the main enemy, defeat him and we will conquer all. I may be in the few, but I say rise because the time is now and it is time to strike.

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (4, Insightful)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412475)

Wow, no idea what you are trying to say, it spanks of rabble rousing. In the end, what exactly does open source deliver? That is the question. It's being asked by a lot of people. And we as a community need an answer, which we don't actually have. A philosophy is not an answer. The proles will look to the MS shill for an answer. The question should be, what will we give him to take back, beads and trinkets?

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (5, Funny)

Shihar (153932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412489)

Corporate entities will run all over us and then want to be friends. Must we lie down and take it or resist and be defiant because we are the movement? I know what I am saying is controversial but I say it with a reason.

You rebel! An open source person with an anti-corporate message!? I don't believe it. You must have massive balls. This reminds me of the time when Greenday stood up against the evils of Bush. A pop-punk band speaking out against conservatives was pretty progressive and unusual at the time, but they to pererviered and finally won the community to their side. Your fight will be long and hard, but I hope that in the end you too convince the wider open source community that Microsoft is the devil.

You are a brave soul to be so bold with such a hostile pro-corporate crowd. Standing up for what you believe in, with no fear that the open source community might respond with hostility and skepticism is a bold act. I salute you for going against the grain and taking such a controversial "Microsoft is bad" stand. If only there were more brave men like you.

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412547)

(clap) (clap) (clap)

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412571)

This reminds me of the time when Greenday stood up against the evils of Bush. A pop-punk band speaking out against conservatives was pretty progressive and unusual at the time, but they to pererviered and finally won the community to their side.

So you're saying that Americans have such a low approval rating of George W. because Greenday told them that he was no good? And here I thought that it was because of general facts floating around on nearly any news network anybody can get their brain tuned into. Shows what I know.

Dookie was much better than anything Greenday has made in recent times IMHO.

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412729)

Yeah. Green Day was so much better back in the early nineties when they invented punk rock.

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412747)

Wait, what? Greenday is still around?

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (1)

Ptraci (584179) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412823)

You really need to tune up your sarcasm detector.

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (1)

ndnspongebob (942859) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412993)

In the end, the question is do you trust Microsoft or not? The ways I see it, Microsoft is the biggest enemy to Open Source. If we defeat it, we set an example for others to emulate. I could also say, hey, I love you man, your the greatest!!! but do you really believe me? especially when you know I'm sarcastic?

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412717)

I know what I am saying is controversial

I think you misspelled "incoherent". Just goes to show that you shouldn't always rely on the spell chequer for everything.

Re:militant, defiant, rebellious (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412751)

We are open source

The Borg called. They want their slogan back.
         

Re:militant, defiant, ignorant (2, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412943)

Microsoft is a single entity in one sense, but it is also a community, or a political organisation, if you will, comprised of lots of people with differing agendas and varying levels of "evilness". Adhering to a militant stance as a stated policy and assuming defiance as a fixed position is not just very lazy, it is short sighted, counter-productive and stupid.

Sure, it makes everything easy now. You don't have to think about what your "enemy" is doing, just reject everything as bad because it comes from Redmond - just like how anything that Muslims do is terrorism and anything the Jews did in central Europe in the 1930s was evil and subhuman. It actually doesn't help anyone though.

Microsoft can make public gestures of reconciliation and receive public rejection. This gives the wider community the impression that Microsoft is fair minded and willing to cooperate with others while the FOSS community are is some bigoted group of crackpot zealots. So Microsoft wins the battle for hearts and minds while the FOSS community, through a conscious choice of ignorance, loses. Pressure on Microsoft to share protocols and adhere to genuine open standards is diminished while the world of FOSS remains an obscure backwater.

Yeah, I've come across this approach personally many times, and it's never been successful for the militants in the long term. It tends to be one of those behaviour patterns that intelligent teenagers grow out of. Sometimes it's just the militants who lose, mostly it's everyone.

Of course if everyone was determined to adhere to a militant approach, I suggest marching in the streets wearing brown shirts as a good start to impress the general population and win supporters. Worked for Adolf.

M$FT is doomed !! Linux is the WINNER !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412307)

It doesn't matter that Linux has 90% of all the computers in the known universe, M$FT just don't know who they be foolin' wit. Linux is eating M$FT's lunch !! God confirms it !!

why is this a problem? (5, Interesting)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412377)

why can't we just ignore them? I mean seriously, if there is one thing we (oss guys) can agree on... SURELY this is it. For many years, hate for M$ has been the only thing that the free software community could agree on.

why can't the entire free software crowd just stand up and say "No thanks", we aren't interested in what you have to say.

if you think that M$ will ever help free software in any meaningful way, you obviously haven't been paying attention over the past couple decades.

there is good news in this though. M$ is obviously noticing that every day there are people installing linux who used to use window$. They know that linux on the desktop is closing the gap and many other companies stand to profit from it. After years of pretending OSS didn't exist, or worse yet, attacking it in underhanded ways, they don't have a piece of the action. This whole M$/oss thing, just means they are realizing there is a chance that maybe OSS really IS the next big thing.

My prediction is that a huge company with unlimited resources like google will package up a nice, distro, call it something flashy, advertise the hell out of it, and give it away for free. I am well aware of the options that already exist, but the average person is not. It takes flashy marketing to capture the market.

how can M$ possibly compete with other companies who come in at a price point nearly $0, with a better product, a good ad campaign, AND profit margins of nearly 100%? They can't. Someday the house of cards will fall. They know it, they think, they can adapt by getting involved with OSS. They will fail because we hate them.

Keep your friends close... (4, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412441)

I am not a Linux kind of guy, but if I were, I would want Microsoft to be as open, honest, and helpful as I can get them.

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412447)

Hell, they don't even have to get involved in open source at all. Even with all the exposed source code Apple's APSL gives to OSS programmers, they make a good, secure, high-quality product. Microsoft can probably do the same. I'm your GNU/BSD OS user myself, so don't take this coming from an MS fanboy; I just think MS has just been lazy for the last decade or so.

If I were in charge of Microsoft and I decided that I wasn't going to let Free Software take my customers, I would: (a) redesign the entire kernel and OS from the ground up, and (b) create a secure enough product that the third party anti-virus/PC security software industry would be forced to dissolve due to the lack of need for their software. Just a little bit of the many ideas that I came up with in my caffeinated brain within the last minute or so.

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412783)

The closest they have come has been...

Shared Source Licensing Programs:
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/Licensing/default.mspx [microsoft.com]

That program hasn't really changed much since '02 or so though I understand some license changes (progressively towarards allowing derivatives but not anywhere NEAR open in the true sense) have taken place.

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412629)

"how can M$ possibly compete with other companies who come in at a price point nearly $0, with a better product, a good ad campaign, AND profit margins of nearly 100%?"

no one can complete with a fantasy.....

unlike rabid OSS people, MS isn't totally single minded. they could have one section of the company embracing OSS while another tries to destroy it, that's just how big companys are.

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412693)

a price point nearly $0, with a better product, a good ad campaign, AND profit margins of nearly 100%

They'll make it up in volume.

Re:why is this a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412703)

M$? How juvenile.

Unless you are blind, Linux isn't closing any gap. Microsoft still has the vast majority of all users and the quality of software is argueable. Personally, I would say that most commercial software is still years ahead of what open source offers and I'm not being a sympathizer, I'm being a realist.

If you think I'm being a troll, then I challenge you to name some open source software that doesn't have an equivalent or superior commercial competitor.

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24413005)

I don't really know anything about closed source software since it is so goddamn expe$ive. heh, I am sure that I am the only one juvenile enough on slashdot to ever call them M$.... you are a tool. I will use YOUR term commercial software throughout to refer to closed source software, to avoid confusion.

nothing equivalent to portage in the commercial software realm... at least not that I am aware of. A program that can download an entire OS and complete set of whatever application source code I want, and compile it for whatever embedded device I want to dev for, with just a handful of simple commands...

I don't think I have EVER heard someone say that apache has a counterpart in the "commercial software world", at least not one that is worth the money.

besides, to say that commercial software is years ahead of its OSS alternative is silly for several reasons.
1. computer technology is ALWAYS years ahead of the functionality that the average desktop user needs,
2. one thing that commercial software will NEVER have is a way for me to add my own custom feature and give it away. that freedom is important to me, and many others. If you make a copy, that does not REMOVE a copy from me, so why should I give a shit. I could continue, but I am no longer interested in typing at an AC tool.

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412771)

why can't we just ignore them? I mean seriously, if there is one thing we (oss guys) can agree on... SURELY this is it. For many years, hate for M$ has been the only thing that the free software community could agree on.

why can't the entire free software crowd just stand up and say "No thanks", we aren't interested in what you have to say.

Because, no matter how much you'll dislike my saying this, that wouldn't be very open now would it? Will you vet every donation to ensure it isn't from Microsoft in some way? Will you disallow perfectly good code additions simply because of the source?

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412875)

how can M$ possibly compete with other companies who come in at a price point nearly $0, with a better product, a good ad campaign, AND profit margins of nearly 100%?

100% of what, nearly $0?

(I am being somewhat facetious here. But only somewhat.)

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24413021)

believe me I understand your point. My prediction is that someone, (likely google in my opinion) will come up with a way to make a few dollars off of a person using their distro.... so 100% of that. If the software works and is nearly free, and is advertised (the critical missing piece thus far)... I believe the day will come when people decide to use it. then there is the whole issue of selling tech support packages and all the old tricks we have already seen. I do get your point though.

Re:why is this a problem? (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412931)

... profit margins of nearly 100%? I mean, if you factor everything out but the actual CD production cost... sure. But that's a naive way of calculating margins.

This is B.S. at its finest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412409)

I smell a rat! This fool will follow Microsoft's deception or he will be looking for a new job. That is reality. Microsoft is not going to allow their source code to EVER be open sourced.

It all has to be a joke, and written to give open source advocates a nice fuzzy feeling inside. Try again. bla!

Re:This is B.S. at its finest! (3, Interesting)

wizzat (964250) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412549)

I was there when he was being grilled at the final keynote. Honestly, O'Reily (the OSCON sponsor) had to ask people to *STOP* asking the MS representative tough questions... but he even gave the harder questions a go. Not everyone wass going to be happy with the answers, but... they won't ever be, right? It's coming from the Ebil Micro$oft, afterall.

MS is changing with the times, as any successful corporation really must. There are even some pretty compelling business reasons for this, I'll wager. For instance, MS can (I presume) distribute this "free" software without typical development costs (and I presume it wouldn't hurt them to distribute the source code for these free utilities). They can instead focus their developers on ensuring that FOSS interacts and is integrated well with their products and services. They even receive free bug fixes and are likely to contribute bug fixes themselves.

Evidence of this business practice is emerging even now: MS is a platinum sponsor for Apache, and contributed a MSSQL patch to ADOdb (BSD license, not MS). Of course, MS isn't the only large corporation doing this (Sun, HP, IBM, Google, etc).

Well, at least, that's my theory for the sudden about-face.

Oh Poor Ramji (5, Insightful)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412517)

Poor, poor Ramji. I feel so sorry for him. Getting his head cut off and all. Boo Hoo. TFA is pure Microsoft FUD. Yeah, Microsoft is trying to get along with Open Source. Sure.

Microsoft wants to kill Open Source and don't ever forget that.

Hey Ramji, after all your employer has done to promote Open Source like backing SCO and buying off ISO, why don't you just crawl under a rock someplace and quit wasting our air. Just go cash that big check and live in some kind of peace and harmony with your bought-off ass.

Re:Oh Poor Ramji (0)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412941)

Microsoft wants to kill OSS? Look at Microsoft Research...

And I was called a zealot ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412607)

... last week when I suggested that anything Microsoft submitted to open source projects needed to be checked three times over before being accepted and that it might be simpler to just reject anything they did try to donate whether it be code or cash.

I'm glad to see that there are still a few people who know how best to treat Microsoft, with caution.

Re:And I was called a zealot ... (2, Insightful)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412775)

That's because you are a zealot. Unless you're saying that the cash had been dipped in radioactive goo before it was handed over, there is no reason for an organisation not to take a donation for a good cause just because it came from a company you personally don't like.

Army of Darkness & Open Source (2, Funny)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412615)

While filming Army of Darkness Sam Ramji defied conventional filmmaking, keeping costs to a minimum by utilizing a variety of improvised measures. Rather than invest a ton of money into a specialized dollie, for example, Mr. Ramji got a few extras to help carry his camera crew in scenes of the movie. It *totally* figures that he's an open source dude, you know? I didn't know he was working for Micro$oft now, though...

Re:Army of Darkness & Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412809)

Sam Raimi (the director of Army of Darkness and the Spider Man Films) and Sam Ramji (the aforementioned Microsoft employee) are two different people.

Re:Army of Darkness & Open Source (2, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412961)

No shit, sherlock.

I don't give a **** about Microsoft... (1, Flamebait)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412715)

just stop polluting my favourite projects with windows only perversions... Open source is supposed to be cross platform... I don't want any "improvements" made to projects so they run better on windows... in fact I'd prefer it it if people stopped porting things to run on windows... make all the best stuff available on Linux...

Re:I don't give a **** about Microsoft... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412821)

"Open source is supposed to be cross platform" and then you say " in fact I'd prefer it it if people stopped porting things to run on windows"

I hope you are taking the piss.....

Re:I don't give a **** about Microsoft... (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412879)

Open source is supposed to be cross platform...

Says who?

There are a lot of open-source projects that are platform specific. Sometimes that's what you need.

-jcr

They're coming. (2, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412745)

They are coming. Their are quite a few of them, but they are coming. Remember what I said about "Preventing the last year of open source and Linux?" While Linux is strong now, do realize that we got a break.

In Vista, I expected the Harbinger of Linux's Doom. I expected another Windows 2000. I was pleasantly surprised how bad Vista turned out.

We got a break, we got lucky, and Linux will survive to fight another day, but the monsters are still out there. At this point, Linux needs to focus on combating OSX. Apple is as lethal a threat as M$ is.

Funniest truth I have ever read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412765)

I love the comparison of turkey at thanksgiving's day door and pre heated oven. I feel sorry for the guy.

Q&A Session Transcript? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24412839)

For those of us who were unable to attend the conference, is there an online transcript of the Q&A session? My best efforts at locating one have been unsuccessful.

Colin Powell (2, Funny)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24412957)

So, he's kinda like the Colin Powell in George Bush's administration?

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