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Sam Ramji, Microsoft's Open Source Guru, Is Moving On

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the onward-and-upward dept.

Businesses 155

barking_at_airplanes writes "Some called him crazy a few years ago when he joined Microsoft to run the Open Source Software Lab, but Sam Ramji endured and made real differences to how Microsoft treats open source and how open source people view Microsoft. Ramji is now heading back to Silicon Valley to join a cloud computing startup. Sam comments in his announcement: '46 months later, I am amazed at the changes that have occurred for the company, for the team I belonged to, and the sentiments of the industry.' It's a statement which, 46 months ago, few Slashdotters would have thought could come true! With Sam leaving, can Microsoft's positive momentum into open source continue successfully? Bill Hilf says they're 'actively seeking someone to fill Sam's shoes.'"

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155 comments

I know! (5, Funny)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397937)

Hire Stallman!

Re:I know! (2, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397963)

I just had this image of Stallman and Ballmer in a room together.

Then, I had this thought of them becoming the best of buds and ruling the World.

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398035)

I just had this image of Stallman and Ballmer in a room together.
Then, I had this thought of them becoming the best of buds and ruling the World.

  1. ???
  2. ???
  3. Profit!!!

Re:I know! (2, Insightful)

FunPika (1551249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398055)

Even scarier would be Stallman, Ballmer, Gates, Jobs, and Torvalds all together in the same room planning to take over the world...

We would all be screwed.

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398165)

Even scarier would be Stallman, Ballmer, Gates, Jobs, and Torvalds all together in the same room planning to take over the world...

They already did. Haven't you noticed?

Re:I know! (4, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398195)

Stallman: We must only use free-software, by my definition
Ballmer/Gates: We must use only Microsoft products
Jobs: I don't care what we use but it has to look cool and have shiny logos on it
Torvalds: I don't care as long as it does one thing and does it well.

Yeah ... I wouldn't be too worried.

Re:I know! (5, Funny)

aetherworld (970863) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398519)

Wait... so we would get free Microsoft products that look cool and only do one thing, but they do it well? Can we please lock those guys up in a room already until they come up with that idea?

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398713)

You would get a streamlined Mac OS X with a Microsoft logo on the box released as freeware that can run on any PC.

Hum, please DO lock them all together!

Re:I know! (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399471)

Wait... so we would get free Microsoft products that look cool and only do one thing, but they do it well? Can we please lock those guys up in a room already until they come up with that idea?

They have already written FDISK decades ago...

Re:I know! (2, Insightful)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399179)

Can you really attribute the Unix philosophy to Torvalds? I mean, the fact that Linux started as a Unix clone kind of goes against attributing that to Linus.

Re:I know! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29399681)

He's the only one of the four who understands and follows it.

Re:I know! (2, Funny)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400597)

Even scarier would be Stallman, Ballmer, Gates, Jobs, and Torvalds all together in the same room planning to take over the world...

I'd rather see them in a room playing D&D. That would be interesting.

Re:I know! (4, Funny)

Timosch (1212482) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398291)

I just had this image of Stallman and Ballmer in a room together.

Uhm, the chairs would propably get caught in Stallman's beard.

Re:I know! (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399139)

I swear there's a Chuck Norris joke in there somewhere...

Re:I know! (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400445)

I swear there's a Chuck Norris joke in there somewhere...

You mean something like.. "Underneath Chuck Norris's beard is another fist, but underneath RMS's beard is the source code for Hurd?"

Re:I know! (1)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399371)

That's funny, because as soon as you mentioned Stallman and Ballmer in a room together the only thing I could envision happening is some kind of antimatter detonation.

At least the world will be rid of both their odious presences. ;)

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29399591)

That's funny, because as soon as you mentioned Stallman and Ballmer in a room together the only thing I could envision happening is some kind of

sweet sweet lovemaking.

Appropriately enough, my captcha is "apology".

Re:I know! (1)

HitoGuy (1324613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399845)

No kidding. To be rid of the two biggest proponents of the two worst extremes of software philosophy.

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398029)

Stalin?

Sincerely yours,
Stevie B

Re:I know! (4, Funny)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398087)

Better yet, have Microsoft 'ask Slashdot'. I'm sure there'll be lots of people with ideas on how to continue/improve things.

Re:I know! (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398213)

And RMS just helicoptered from his grave.

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398543)

He's not dead yet. (A pity, I know.)

Re:I know! (3, Funny)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398607)

If getting a job offer from Microsoft didn't kill him, I'm not sure what would. Ninjas?

No, wait, that's been tried. (http://www.yale.edu/ypu/blog.html)

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29400341)

But how do we know he wasn't looking at his recently purchased cemetery plot when he read the comment? Perhaps with his helicopter?

Really? (5, Insightful)

kubrick (27291) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397973)

Sam Ramji... made real differences to how Microsoft treats open source and how open source people view Microsoft.

[Citation needed]

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

minsk (805035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398141)

I believe it.

A few years ago, Microsoft was ignoring Free Software and Open Source. Now Microsoft has moved onto misleading branding, false marketing, patent threats, and courting developers with what traditionally turned out to be empty promises.

So, the same way they treat other competition.

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398283)

"Now Microsoft has moved onto misleading branding, false marketing, patent threats, and courting developers with what traditionally turned out to be empty promises"

[Citation needed]

Re:Really? (1, Funny)

minsk (805035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398331)

[Citation needed]

[1-999 [slashdot.org] ]

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398511)

Sorry if I don't trust your source. It's always been a little slanted...

Re:Really? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398725)

I'd even say it's always been a little slanted, period.

Hint to humorless mods: it's about the website name.

Re:Really? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400495)

If you have to explain the joke, even to those willing to moderate, then it's not worth it. LET THE EASY ONES GO

Re:Really? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399963)

"[Citation Needed]"

Actually, citations aren't really needed for common knowledge. For example, if I say the Earth is spherical, I don't need to provide a citation to back it up.

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400009)

Single patent system, so they could effectively fight Open Source (which is not centered in a single country)
http://politics.slashdot.org/story/09/09/02/2036227/Microsoft-Pushes-For-Single-Global-Patent-System?from=rss [slashdot.org]

Failed attempt to sell out a small portions of less useful patents to patent trolls
(this was most likely a tentative attempt and the next one will have a bigger impact)
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/09/08/213217/Microsoft-Letting-Patents-Move-To-Linux-Firms?from=rss [slashdot.org]

Suing TomTom because it is using the FAT filesystem
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/25/232212 [slashdot.org]

'Releasing GPL drivers' after found violating GPL
http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/07/23/1327205 [slashdot.org]

'training' BestBuy employees with false facts
http://linux.slashdot.org/story/09/09/05/195219/Microsoft-Attacks-Linux-With-Retail-Training-Talking-Points [slashdot.org]

I hope you are satisfied by the citations.

Re:Really? (1)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398409)

To be fair, Microsoft has made a big push into opening their source code and helping spearhead community-led projects. Two examples:

Granted, the first one isn't a true open source project in that they don't accept patches from the community, but I think that if you compare today's Microsoft and their culture toward sharing source code with the community is quite a bit different from what it was, say, 5 years ago.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398833)

"âoeAdditional Use Rightsâ specifically excludes the right to distribute the software outside of your company and, because the software is a pre-release version, also excludes the right to disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Licensorâ(TM)s prior written approval."

"use of the software within your company as a reference, in read only form, for the sole purposes of debugging your products, maintaining your products, or enhancing the interoperability of your products with the software, and specifically excludes the right to distribute the software outside of your company."

So, not only can you not share the code, you can't even change it yourself. They may as well just call it viewable code, or read-only code.

Doesn't look terribly open to me at all.

Re:Really? (1)

HitoGuy (1324613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399881)

Look, another Micropologist buying the "we like open source" bullshit used as a cover for Microsoft's EEE approach to FOSS!

Have you even READ the shared source licenses?

Re:Really? (1)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400907)

Have you even READ the shared source licenses?

Did you even read my comment? I said "To be fair, Microsoft has made a big push into opening their source code and helping spearhead community-led projects."

No where did I say that Microsoft was using OSI-compliant licenses or that they were even working on open source projects. Just that they were opening their source code (making it available) and helping and encouraging community-led projects. Those are two undeniable facts, regardless of whether you're a "Micropologist" or "Microhater."

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400061)

Granted, the first one isn't a true open source project in that they don't accept patches from the community

There's nothing about open source that says that the original maintainers have to accept patches from outside the initial group.

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400855)

Granted, the first one isn't a true open source project in that they don't accept patches from the community

There's nothing about open source that says that the original maintainers have to accept patches from outside the initial group.

True. Although I prefer Jeff Atwood's definition of open source [codinghorror.com] :

  • The project must use an OSI approved license
  • The project must use a commonly available method of public source control
  • The project must provide public evidence that it accepts and encourages code contributions from the outside world.

Re:Really? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398449)

That was nearly my exact thought. (Of course a citation — just as on Wikipedia — actually means nothing and is just a obfuscation of the fact, that there still is no proof. [Argumentum ad populum [wikipedia.org] ])

I don't see some real differences. I just see some people believing that there are differences, because of some people saying that there are differences, because of either some other people saying that there are differences [circular reasoning [wikipedia.org] ] or because they made it up (including favorable interpretation) as part of their job [viral marketing [wikipedia.org] /PR].

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29399081)

No need for a citation, I've heard him in a couple of occasions and his speech is totally along the lines of we do it better and FOSS is crap.

No big loss, simply a politically correct PR left M$.

What are you smoking? (5, Insightful)

Grokmoo (1180039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29397983)

The article claims Ramji has improved relations between Microsoft and open source people? Since when have relations between Microsoft and open source been anything but negative? We read stories on here almost every day about some new point of conflict.

Re:What are you smoking? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398021)

The article claims Ramji has improved relations between Microsoft and open source people? Since when have relations between Microsoft and open source been anything but negative? We read stories on here almost every day about some new point of conflict.

Hang around Groklaw much?

"OMG! Microsoft is teh EVIL! Did you see Psystar is suing Apple! They're REALLY trying to destroy the GPL! Somebody (hint... hint...) really wants to destroy the GPL!!!!"

Think I'm kidding? Yeah, I know the Groklaw legions will mod this down. But seriously, read Groklaw with the same skepticism PJ aims at, say, SCO, and you'll see what I mean. For someone who basis her entire site on respect for due process, she sure doesn't need due process or even any evidence to put on the tin foil hat and start seeing Microsoft goblins behind every tree and rock.

Re:What are you smoking? (1)

HitoGuy (1324613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399901)

No, I just direct all of Microsofts "warm fuzzy" PR directed at the FOSS community with a sizable boulder of salt. I saw no sign that Ramji was anything but a pretender int he first place. If Microsoft were truly pro open source, they wouldn't FUD it so much.

Re:What are you smoking? (2, Informative)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398333)

The article claims Ramji has improved relations between Microsoft and open source people? Since when have relations between Microsoft and open source been anything but negative? We read stories on here almost every day about some new point of conflict.

In all fairness, Microsoft has been spreading misinformation the whole time Sam Ramji has been working there. Why would they stop now that he's leaving?

Re:What are you smoking? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399695)

Why would they stop now that he's leaving?

Out of sight, out of mind? If he was their primary supply of FOSS news...

Re:What are you smoking? (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398551)

It sort of feels like Microsoft's relations with OSS are "less negative" now, so I guess that's an improvement. It is, of course, possible that they've merely moved from denial to trying "embrace and extend". But due to the way OSS works I doubt that tactic will even work - in the end - if they try it.

Re:What are you smoking? (4, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399361)

that Microsoft Linux Lab is just a training facility for Microsoft upper management so they can be exposed to what open source is and so they can then be moved into other positions within Microsoft and use what was learned to advance Microsoft Windows or at the very least, protect its position. It's not about making money of open source, it's about understanding it and the people behind it. They go to open source conventions, not to sell Microsoft open source products but to see what others are doing and talk to them to learn their strengths and their weaknesses. They join open standards bodies not to move open standards forward but to move them in directions which leave holes open for Microsoft to leverage and to slow down or distract the committees while Microsoft embeds similar technologies into Windows or their other desktop or server apps.

Do pay any attention to the man behind the curtain. Microsoft's Linux Lab is a travesty. It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. And then some. IMO

LoB

Re:What are you smoking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29400829)

Since when have relations between Microsoft and open source been anything but negative?

If you look beyond the FSF, Groklaw, and Boycottnovell, you'll find things aren't as negative between MS and open source as the aforementioned noisemakers want you to believe. They see Microsoft behind pretty much everything, and don't do a good job of separating fact from speculation.

What often happens at those sites is that someone speculates that Microsoft is behind some particular thing they see as anti free software. That speculation then gets mentioned on other sites. Eventually, it gets mentioned on a blog at one of the major tech news sites. Then back on groklaw or BN, someone reports that, saying that news site has confirmed the original speculation! The notion then spreads among these sites and the blogs that follow them that reporters from the news site have verified the story.

BN goes even farther, and often cuts out the middleman. BN will make some speculative claim. Then in a future story, they will mention it, and cite the first story. A third story repeats the claim, but not calling it speculation, and cites the second story. It's amazing how much of the claims at BN evaporate if you try to follow the cites all the way back to an original source.

Microsoft's Open Source Strategy (3, Insightful)

sk999 (846068) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398039)

Here is how Bill Hilf explains Microsoft's Open Source Strategy:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=203100965&pgno=3 [informationweek.com]
".. our PREFERRED plan is to LICENSE ... versus LITIGATE."

Gee, where have we heard that before? Oh yes. Darl McBride, CEO of The SCO Group:
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2003/07/59701 [wired.com]

"We would PREFER LICENSING to LITIGATION,"

Such a nice bunch of guys.

Re:Microsoft's Open Source Strategy (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398597)

In all fairness, Bill Gates used to brag how Microsoft never sued anyone (before the TomTom fiasco). They use FUD, but they didn't follow through on threats. I'm curious if the TomTom suit was an isolated incident, or the future direction of Microsoft.

One of the major failings of the United States is that money can trump justice in civil suits. Simply bankrupting another company in a lawsuit can guarantee you victory, which is why TomTom rolled over, rather than fight a battle they likely could have won in court.

Astroturf (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398609)

Anyone else notice all the Microsoft Astroturfing at Slashdot of late?

Re:Microsoft's Open Source Strategy (1)

HitoGuy (1324613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399921)

I'm not surprised. Every so-called "pro-open source" move in Microsoft can too easily be seen as a way to lull gullible fools into a false sense of security.

Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398065)

Microsoft has announced Microsoft CodePlex [today.com] , its new Open Source foundation.

"We want to be more responsive to your needs," said Sam Ramji of Microsoft during a Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit panel this week as he wiped rotten tomatoes off his suit.

"We want all open source innovation to happen on Windows. In practice, Windows is too slow, and just putting Linux underneath the same software stack triples performance. So we're running the Windows versions of the software on Linux using Wine. We'll also be funding the Wine on Windows initiative."

The new Microsoft Amazingly Open And Genuine Public License allows you complete freedom to use, modify and redistribute the software provided that every copy comes with a DVD of Windows Vista Ultimate, you acknowledge that Microsoft's FAT patent protects a remarkable and valuable innovation in computer science and all accompanying documentation is in OOXML. Also, all your data belongs to Microsoft.

The overwhelming dominance of Microsoft was assured, he said, pointing to their success in paying netbook manufacturers to use Windows XP and paying US retailers not to stock the Linux versions of the computers. "We're also enforcing our patent on right-clicking. And on the number seven." Ramji reassured journalists of his absolute faith in the power of Microsoft's vision, just before quitting to work somewhere -- anywhere -- else.

Re:Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (4, Interesting)

minsk (805035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398161)

Don't knock it... someone porting Wine to Windows might just be the only way to get old applications to work properly :)

Re:Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (4, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398439)

*cough* [winehq.org]

Re:Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (1)

minsk (805035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398499)

So, *you* porting Wine to Windows might just be the only way... :)

Re:Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (1)

Cheesetrap (1597399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398781)

On a side note (sorry for offtopic), I wonder how many people will be blocked from going to that page [winehq.org] since it says "make bombs"? :P

ALLAAAAH

Re:Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398581)

Microsoft actually said after Vista's release that emulation/virtualization was likely the future for Windows, as they planned to seriously break APIs moving forward. They said instead of a full virtual-PC, they'd be able to do low-level emulation or virtualization per application. Since 7 was so rushed, we didn't get to see this fully realized. Instead 7 ships with Virtual PC. But I think something like Wine on Windows to intercept old Windows API calls will literally be a part of the next (post-7) OS from Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398755)

But I think something like Wine on Windows to intercept old Windows API calls will literally be a part of the next (post-7) OS from Microsoft.

So... we wait another 6 months or so? /duck

Re:Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400487)

Windows 7 will not run Civilization 2, even in compatibility mode. Unfortunately, neither will wine :( vmware or virtualbox FTW

Re:Microsoft promises to play nice *this* time (2, Insightful)

cenc (1310167) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399965)

MS "embracing" open source I believe is the ultimate nuclear option for MS to take open source apart from the inside out. Watch them put on the sheep's clothing, and then try and run it in to the ground.

Well, I guess (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398081)

that all depends on what Ramji means when he refers to MS's "positive momentum". Did MS become viewed more as more positively against open source because they tried to sell patents to patent trolls? Did they become viewed more positively against open source when instead of joining the existing open source community at large they created their own "open source" foundation?

I would have to say, yes. So, in that aspect Ramji is correct. MS has created increasing distrust of them. So, I guess that is a positive movement, as it is an increase, not a decrease.

This is the first I've heard of him. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398095)

This is the first I've heard of him. If I had heard of him before now, I sure as hell didn't remember him.

"Success", "open source" and "Microsoft" can only come together in one way: the release of ALL of Microsoft's source code under the BSD or MIT licenses. We're talking .NET, Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, SQL Server, and all of their lesser-known business software.

That clearly hasn't happened, so there hasn't been any success here.

Re:This is the first I've heard of him. (1)

HitoGuy (1324613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400005)

For me, three things have to happen before I buy Microsoft's pro-FOSS bullshit:

1. They gotta open something substantial (Windows? Officer? Internet Explorer?) under a license NOT of their making and NOT because they got busted violating said license (The GPL virtualization drivers they recently opened are an example of "getting busted," not that they were substantial in the first place).

2. They have to genuinely help an open source project directly without conditions such as having to use .NET or the like.

3. They have to MAINTAIN this course for at least five years, a decade being preferable.

Technically they did "open" .NET by making it an ECMA standard, however since the OOXML fasco showed ECMA to be in their pocket, and the fact that standardization does not magically indemnify everyone, AND the fact that legally Mono is only allowable under Novell FOSS projects I wouldn't really treat .NET as an open standard.

As for SQL Server, there's already a superior open source SQL implementation out there.

!change (4, Insightful)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398103)

they still do all these "little things" like screwing Grub after Windows installation, something they can fix in one person/day. Not to mention "big" things, like document formats etc. I don't know what this guy is really talking about...

Re:!change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398425)

That's not an open source issue. They screw anything in the MBR, open source or otherwise.

Re:!change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398443)

Use EasyBCD [neosmart.net] to get Windows to play super-nice with Linux and BSD.... The Windows boot manager can do magic!

as John gotti was to the garment district.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398143)

fauxking fiddles is to the softwar 'business'. ie; a threatening parasite with just one goal.

Not ever Microsoft employee is evil (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398555)

The overall direction of the company is evil. They have done plenty of evil things. Balmer is still a patent troll. But Microsoft is a giant company win tons of divisions. And many of their employees are real, decent human beings. Not all Microsoft divisions agree with patent trolling, FUD, extinguishing open standards, etc. In fact I talked to a Microsoft employee who once said you have to realize this is a company that doesn't have the management or foresight to have the Exchange team directly tied to the Outlook team, because Exchange is a separate server product, where as Outlook is merely part of the Office team.

I think a lot of people fail to notice that Microsoft is LESS EVIL than they were before. No doubt, guys like Sam Ramji played a part in that. For that, I am grateful.

Kudos to you, sir.

That being said, does his non-compete kick into effect since Ray Ozzie said Microsoft's future 100% lies with cloud computing, and Ramji is going to a competing cloud computing company? And do you want to run a start-up trying to compete with a multi-billion dollar behemoth that likes to crush competition?

Re:Not ever Microsoft employee is evil (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398903)

I think a lot of people fail to notice that Microsoft is LESS EVIL than they were before. No doubt, guys like Sam Ramji played a part in that. For that, I am grateful.

How are they less evil? All they have done is simply went from ignoring OSS to attempting to embrace and extend it. All they have done is realize that OSS is in actual competition to their software and if they don't at least make improvements to their software, people will chose OSS over MS software.

And do you want to run a start-up trying to compete with a multi-billion dollar behemoth that likes to crush competition?

One way MS likes to crush competition is by buying them. When you get millions for your company for doing very little, I'd say its a success. Yeah, if your an employee things might not be as good, but if you are owning the company? Its a great thing and you get a pretty early retirement if you so choose.

I feel like I'm in a time warp here (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399043)

It is like I stepped into a time warp or something. The exact location on the hard disk holding the timestamp field for your comment must have been hit by some neutrino or something and fiddled the bits so instead of "Sept. 12, 1997" it read "Sept 12, 2009".

I mean seriously, comment is *ancient*. It is like those hippies on Height and Ashbury who are still all dressed up for the 1960's--same signs, same slogans, same everything. Like they are trapped in time.

All they have done is simply went from ignoring OSS to attempting to embrace and extend it.

Move on man. Update your slogans and chants. Embrace and Extend was awesome for its time... back in 1998. It is 2009. The world has moved on. Reading your post fills me with sadness and pity. Find something else to protest or at least come up with pithy new lines. ... PS: You should be ever so thankful that the neutrino didn't flip the bit so it was "Feb 31, 2009" or "00-00-0000" because those perfectly valid MySQL dates aren't so valid in the real world :-)

Re:I feel like I'm in a time warp here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29400053)

Prove they're not just doing embrace, extend, extinguish. Microsoft has too much of a history of this madness for us to outright trust them without something more substantial to back up their claim.

Sorry, but I'm not about to blindly think Microsoft's suddenly not threatening FOSS anymore. The Halloween Documents (Which spanned a great deal of time.) made their stance quite clear.

Re:Not ever Microsoft employee is evil (3, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399101)

How are they less evil? All they have done is simply went from ignoring OSS to attempting to embrace and extend it.

They've made patent pledges not to sue, allowing others to use their patented technologies for free. Old Microsoft would never have done that.

The IE team has worked to better respect web standards. The IE team even sends open encouragement to Firefox, saying they welcome innovation and competition. I read an interview with an IE developer who said his daughter accused him of breaking the internet. Since IE 6, the IE devs have made several positive strides for far more compliant rendering.

Microsoft is assisting the Mono developers, but again Mono owns all copyright on all the code, and the code is GPL. Microsoft is also assisting the same developers with Moonlight.

When you load IE, it prompts you to choose a search engine. Firefox and other browsers simply give you a default with no choice.

Microsoft has released a boat-load of technical documentation, enabling the Samba devs to reach 100% feature parity for better interoperability.

Microsoft just released GPL code directly for the first time. It was Hyper-V drivers for Linux, which is self-serving, but it does benefit interoperability. It is possible in joint ventures like these to have a win-win. I'm fine with that.

There are plenty of examples like this. It is entirely possible that Microsoft is only playing nice because the EU is demanding it. Or it could be that they honestly want to start playing nice. Either way, the result is that Microsoft is less evil than before.

Is Ballmer still a patent troll? Yes. Is Microsoft brainwashing Best Buy employees with FUD? Yes. Was the OOXML fiasco illegal? Yes. (It is against US federal laws to bribe foreign officials). Was it illegal when Microsoft used bribes to block foreign Mandriva deals? Yes.

But Microsoft is more open than they were before. They used to be 99% evil, and now they're more like 90% evil.

Re:Not ever Microsoft employee is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29400151)

"They've made patent pledges not to sue, allowing others to use their patented technologies for free. Old Microsoft would never have done that."

Oh you mean the cross patent deals, particularly the one with Novell which stated Novell's the only one authorized to actually use Mono? Or did you mean the unenforcible "community promise" PR, neither of which are exactly reassuring to those who know better than to blindly trust everything Microsoft says except for apparently people who buy all of Microsoft's PR? Microsoft has made promises before. Not one of them, no matter how altruistic they look, were upheld. It'll take more than a document on their website saying "we won't patent troll FOSS developers" to convince most FOSSies these days.

"The IE team has worked to better respect web standards. The IE team even sends open encouragement to Firefox, saying they welcome innovation and competition. I read an interview with an IE developer who said his daughter accused him of breaking the internet. Since IE 6, the IE devs have made several positive strides for far more compliant rendering."

Funny that, despite the IE team's best efforts that you claim they made, IE8 scored the absolute lowest of all web browsers in the Acid3 tests. They made lip service to standards and kept on doing what they've always been doing at best. As for the IE devs sending "encouragement" to Mozilla, that's just more PR. They'd clap happily if they could find a way to wipe the Mozilla foundation off the map like they did Netscape.

"Microsoft is assisting the Mono developers, but again Mono owns all copyright on all the code, and the code is GPL. Microsoft is also assisting the same developers with Moonlight."

Beware when Microsoft begins assisting your development. Everyone they've helped ended up with a knife in their back. And frankly I see Mono as nothing but a patent trap. Just because Microsoft "helped" the Mono developers doesn't mean they'll come after them later. And they likely will. The GPL is not going to protect us from them.

"When you load IE, it prompts you to choose a search engine. Firefox and other browsers simply give you a default with no choice."

Interesting, when I first open Firefox, it gives me a choice, Google being among them, but when I open IE for the first time, it immediately takes me to MSN without a word. Are you just pulling crap out of your ass now?

"Microsoft has released a boat-load of technical documentation, enabling the Samba devs to reach 100% feature parity for better interoperability."

With most their documentation still remaining secret, and the only reason they did this much was due to EU intervention, not out of the "goodness of their hearts."

"Microsoft just released GPL code directly for the first time. It was Hyper-V drivers for Linux, which is self-serving, but it does benefit interoperability. It is possible in joint ventures like these to have a win-win. I'm fine with that."

Did you even RESEARCH that point? The only reason they released them under the GPL was because someone caught them in the act of violating the GPL in the first place and was about to make it public. It had NOTHING to do with interoperability.

"There are plenty of examples like this. It is entirely possible that Microsoft is only playing nice because the EU is demanding it. Or it could be that they honestly want to start playing nice. Either way, the result is that Microsoft is less evil than before."

Microsoft IS only playing nice because the EU is demanding it, or they are pretending to lull gullible morons like you into thinking Microsoft is suddenly wanting to be helpful to FOSS. They're still evil, and their CodePlex and Mono work is merely an example of Microsoft trying to hook cgullible morons like you into thinking they are while also getting their IP hooks into as much FOSS as they can.

"Is Ballmer still a patent troll? Yes. Is Microsoft brainwashing Best Buy employees with FUD? Yes. Was the OOXML fiasco illegal? Yes. (It is against US federal laws to bribe foreign officials). Was it illegal when Microsoft used bribes to block foreign Mandriva deals? Yes."

And they're all examples of why every pro-FOSS PR stunt (Like helping Mono or the foundation of CodePlex.) Microsoft pulls is utter and complete bullshit.

"But Microsoft is more open than they were before. They used to be 99% evil, and now they're more like 90% evil."

No, they're still 99% evil, they're just pretending to only be 90% evil.

Re:Not ever Microsoft employee is evil (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400865)

Microsoft has made promises before. Not one of them, no matter how altruistic they look, were upheld

Outright lie. Microsoft has made a number of patent pledges. The EU demanded they work on interoperability. Not only had Microsoft maintained these promises, but I'm not sure they can afford to break them in the future because of the EU. However, keep wearing that tin hat. I prefer to operate in reality.

Funny that, despite the IE team's best efforts that you claim they made, IE8 scored the absolute lowest of all web browsers in the Acid3 tests.

Another lie. IE6 can't handle the test at all. IE7 scores a 10/100. IE7 was an improvement on IE6, and IE8 scores higher than IE7. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. are still MUCH MORE compliant, but it shows that the IE team has made progress on a more compliant browser. Again, this was a pledge they made, and honored despite your statement otherwise.

And frankly I see Mono as nothing but a patent trap.

Well, that is your paranoid opinion. The facts are that Microsoft made a patent pledge to protect Mono. Again, that pledge is part of the EU deal.

Interesting, when I first open Firefox, it gives me a choice, Google being among them, but when I open IE for the first time, it immediately takes me to MSN without a word. Are you just pulling crap out of your ass now?

Reading Comprehension 101 - I said search engine, not home page. Firefox defaults to a search engine without asking. IE asks you to pick one.

Did you even RESEARCH that point? The only reason they released them under the GPL was because someone caught them in the act of violating the GPL in the first place and was about to make it public. It had NOTHING to do with interoperability.

Again, a lie. Microsoft developed some code, which they had not released yet. They asked someone for advise. That person told them they had to license the code under the GPL to get it in the Linux kernel. Given that they hadn't released up to that point, there was no GPL violation. Had they modified GPL code, released a compiled version while denying access to the source code, or refusing to license it under the GPL, that would be a violation. Microsoft made no violation. They just didn't understand how the GPL worked initially, but did in fact comply.

Did you even research the point?

Apparently not. Fucking ACs. Grow a brain, and also grow a pair and post under your name.

Microsoft IS only playing nice because the EU is demanding it, or they are pretending to lull gullible morons like you into thinking Microsoft is suddenly wanting to be helpful to FOSS.

Or, perhaps the possibility exists that all these employees who spoke out against past Microsoft practices, said they don't believe in them, and wanted to move Microsoft in a more open direction. And note I didn't make a definitive statement, because we can't know peoples' motives for sure, but you pretend to know for sure. Wonderful assumptions on your part. You assume every Microsoft employee is a liar, and malevolent.

Re:Not ever Microsoft employee is evil (1)

Cheesetrap (1597399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399171)

a multi-billion dollar behemoth that likes to crush competition

To be more exact, they tend to half-kill things and then eat them.

I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to comprehending licensing and related issues, but as far as I can tell Microsoft's biggest contribution to the Open Source / Free Software Movement has been the continued tendency to obscenely restrict and retard peoples' ability to use their computers and software as they see fit (I'm thinking primarily of 'premium content protection' in Vista onward), thus waking more and more people up to the alternatives (by motivating them to look elsewhere).

Here's a link to an audio podcast of the article (actually starts at 5:52): Cost Analysis of Vista Content Protection by Peter Gutmann [archive.org] .
And the source site (please don't try to download the PDFs, the useful info all appears to be on the HTML page and the site seems to be speed throttled): HERE [auckland.ac.nz] .

Re:Not ever Microsoft employee is evil (1)

Cheesetrap (1597399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399745)

Mirrored the PDF Here [gliktch.com] for anyone interested (though as I mentioned, the HTML page has the useful info). :)

Just like the US in Vietnam... (0, Troll)

riffzifnab (449869) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398559)

Declare victory and get out.

Re:Just like the US in Vietnam... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398639)

Would you prefer it to be like the US in Germany or Japan -- declare victory then stay forever at the behest of a puppet government? ... wait, what are we talking about again?

Re:Just like the US in Vietnam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29398879)

Better than the US in Iraq -- declare a draw, give up and go home.

Re:Just like the US in Vietnam... (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398901)

LOL... So true.

But here, who is leaving whom? AFAIK, Ramji left Microsoft. But I would think that Microsoft fits the mold of the US much more so than Linux - Microsoft being a very well funded, top-down, conventional type force and FOSS being an underfunded but extremely resourceful, often ideologically motivated and relentless opponent with whom fighting resembles playing a game of whack a mole. And if we cast the role of FOSS as Viet Nam, also receiving some funding from other large conventional powers (e.g. IBM), and has the public onside.

But perhaps the domino theory does apply more to MS than to Viet Nam. If MS didn't fight Linux, I wonder what the installed base of Linux would be today. e.g. "Here! We'll document all our proprietary protocols so you can build a nice competitor for exchange, samba etc., we'll end the Microsoft tax, we'll let you have the netbook market and while we're at it we'll make ODF the standard save option in Office."

Re:Just like the US in Vietnam... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399307)

Strangely, Donald Trump made that exact same quote word for word when interviewed about solutions for Iraq.

My turn!!!! (1, Flamebait)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29398689)

MICROSOFT IS TEH EVIL!!!! +5 Informative

LINUX IS TEH BEST EVA!!! WOOT!!! +5 Informative

BALLMER IS AN ASS!!!! PWNED!!!! +5 Funny

LINUX ISN'T THE BEST!!! -5 Troll

Might I suggest (2, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29399759)

In recognition for his outstanding achievements in bridging the gap between FOSS and Microsoft, let me suggest Miguel de Icaza [tirania.org] . I doubt there's another human who's done more to embrace Microsoft patented technologies and extend them into popular Linux distributions. With his advocacy on OOXML, his dedicated efforts on Mono and Moonlight he's proven himself a capable mimic who can transform Free and Open Source Software from the type of innovative cauldron that gave us our current rich selection into a uniform platform that consistently replicates Microsoft, only perpetually two years behind.

They should get him - if only they have what it takes to lure him away from Novell.

Re:Might I suggest (2, Insightful)

Blice (1208832) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400477)

Head of Gnome, right? Lead developer in bringing Microsoft .NET to Gnome, worked in Novell as vice president of development (which is partnered by Microsoft) and now is a director for Codeplex, Microsoft's new opensource foundation.

If that isn't unsettling enough, he's a /b/tard. Look at this post from his twitter:

"That last picture from @abock is photoshopped. I can tell because of the pixels and having seen a lot of shops' myself."

holy shit

I just think this guy is a massive troll. I can just picture him doing all this Microsoft shit with a troll face.

The entire development cycle of Gnome suddenly makes sense to me now.

Gnome developers: Look at all this cool stuff we can do for Gnome!!! We'll be way more awesome than Microsoft now with this stuff!
Miguel de Icaza: No. I want to keep Gnome stable and unimproving. *trollface*
Miguel de Icaza: But lets go ahead and bring .NET to Gnome. *trollface*

Another gem:
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Sep-10.html [tirania.org]

"I hope that I can last more on this foundation than I lasted at the FSF, where I was removed by RMS after refusing to be an active part of the campaign to rename Linux as GNU/Linux."

Re:Might I suggest (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29400505)

Miguel has enough money and lots more power ru[i|n]ning GNOME than he would as Microsoft's poster child.

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