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Jeremy Allison Calls Microsoft Dangerous Elephant

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the tell-us-how-you-really-feel dept.

Microsoft 306

oranghutan writes "At the annual Linux.conf.au event being held in Wellington, NZ, one of the lead developers for the Samba Team (and Google employee) Jeremy Allison described Microsoft as 'an elephant that needs to be turned to stop it trampling the open source community.' Allison has been an outspoken critic of the vendor since he quit Novell over a deal it did with Microsoft that he saw as dangerous to open source intentions. And now he has evolved his argument to incorporate new case studies to explain why Microsoft's use of patents and its general tactics on free software are harmful.

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Frist elephant (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30846950)

jeremany allinson won't stop me from tampling on all other forst post attempts !

Better than an 800 lb GORILLA !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30846952)

Apeshit !!

Flamebait of a story (0, Flamebait)

elloGov (1217998) | more than 3 years ago | (#30846974)

This demagogue is appealing to a cult of automated Microsoft haters as a Google employee. How do you moderate a story Flamebait?

Re:Flamebait of a story (1, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847290)

Really. I've been hearing this kind of talk for nearly 20 years. Open source looks pretty healthy to me.

In the second case study, Allison argued Microsoft had tried to corrupt the open Internet by, among other things: Refusing to follow HTML standards and creating Internet Explorer-only websites; pushing its Windows-only media format; aiming to make ActiveX the only way to develop applications; and trying to replace Java with .Net.

And how successful were they at these endeavors? Apparently, not very.

Re:Flamebait of a story (2, Interesting)

happy_place (632005) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847464)

I think a threat that intimidates many is Novell's progress supporting .NET with Mono because they can't see MS supported at all. They've done a fairly decent job of it, of late. The interoperability between the visual studios development environment then to instantly port to Linux, is getting better and better. This opens the possibility of making Windows compatible with Linux, and keeps the developer platform of choice soundly on a window's box.

Re:Flamebait of a story (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847652)

What's .NET?

Re:Flamebait of a story (4, Funny)

cwrinn (1282510) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848094)

What's .NET?

A TLDN, duh.

Re:Flamebait of a story (1, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847508)

Of course it's flamebait. It is mere provocation. I learned nothing from the story.
Any good suggestions for better tech news aggregators?

Re:Flamebait of a story (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847674)

How do you moderate a story Flamebait?

You vote it down in the firehose.

Re:Flamebait of a story (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847810)

what do you call "Subverting an international commitee" (re: OOXML fiasco)? is that flamebait? If so, what isn't flamebait? When GPL advocates just roll over dead? Or when MS's proprietary specifications become world standards at the behest of MS? color me confused.

Re:Flamebait of a story (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848160)

MS proprietary specifications are world standards. That's what some people are trying to change.

Re:Flamebait of a story (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848204)

Or when MS's proprietary specifications become world standards at the behest of MS?

Because OOXML is the one and only time that some company's proprietary product becomes an IOS standard, right? Oh wait...

It wouldn't be a problem (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30846996)

It wouldn't be a problem if the FLOSS community would stop stealing from legitimate patents holders. I know you FLOSS developers are busting your ass, writing code, and what not and not getting paid for it, but.....God! What a bunch of losers!

How about inventing something of your own instead of stealing ideas from others!

If you were any good you'd be getting paid for what you're doing.

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (1, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847024)

Yeah his butthurt is especially funny in light of the fact that he's most famous for reimplementing Microsoft software.

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (3, Insightful)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847150)

Seems to me that he makes some pretty valid points.

But then, I'm not on the MS 'turfing payroll, I'm just an independent IT person who likes to use whatever solution works best for a given situation...

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (1, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847448)

Same here... when a business unit comes and asks how long will it take to develop XYZ, and you give them figures for .NET and for Java, they usually go with .NET because it's cheaper and faster to develop. Not universally true, but we certainly find it the case.

Either way, there's always going to be a war between Microsoft and Open Source... when Open Source offers something that is *better* than closed, then it will be used. It's simple, really. The unfortunate thing is that most open source projects are fragmented and disjointed, and not well funded or organized like Firefox is. And that article from a few days ago pretty much spelled out that Firefox without Google would be yet another disjointed open source project.

I'm not against open source... just use what works best. Usually the cost of the software is far cheaper than the loss of functionality or cohesiveness I'd get if I went with open source.

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (5, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848200)

when Open Source offers something that is *better* than closed, then it will be used.

Not necessarily. I've worked with multiple companies that have "outlawed" open source for supposedly legal reasons. I've also worked in one company that used only MS software because they had a huge contract and preferred the one-vendor solution, even when some cases would call for a better solution from another source. So in many cases open source can't even get in the door because of business decisions, not technical ones.

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (5, Insightful)

domatic (1128127) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847472)

His being a high-profile developer, this part of the rant struck me as absolutely valid despite the making light going on in the rest of the comments:

"So you see this especially in the appliance market where Microsoft will go to a company — off the record as this is never ever done in public — and say 'this product you have there, shame if someone brought a patent suit. So you have two options you can re-architect — here is Windows — or the other thing is why don't you give us a cut on all the free software you are using?'. It is an attempt to create the work that we do, into a Microsoft revenue stream. I don't know about you but that really pisses me off."

The antitrust actions against MS to date have been misplaced IMHO focusing on things like browser bundling. The regulators seem to have no clue about the really evil crap like subverting the ISO and threatening product vendors who use FOSS.

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (0)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848190)

And how exactly does he know about all these "off the record" activites?

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847842)

usually the solutions that work best are the most compatible with the least amount of effort, and cost yourself and your customers the least amount of money. Where do you think any MS solution lies with that.

hint: in the long run, it doesn't.

Payroll? (4, Funny)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847882)

But then, I'm not on the MS 'turfing payroll

Do you happen to have any idea how I can get on the MS Apologists' payroll?

I'm too broke to keep doing this for free :(

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (5, Informative)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847666)

Um...

SAMBA wasn't developed as a clone or a replacement for anything Microsoft produced. In fact, SAMBA (then known as server, or nbserver) predated Windows NT release.

Microsoft themselves offered patches early on (1993), even before the product was named SAMBA. Probably because it was advantageous to Microsoft. Simply, the idea was to have Unix boxes act as file servers for Windows. Windows didn't support NFS (directly - SMB is the native protocol - Beame and Whiteside supported NFS on NT in 1994, but this would be an extra-cost client expense).

Of course, eventually NT "grew up" and began to support more infrastructure operation, but, even today, SAMBA is a vital part of the "Windows Enterprise". If you are running Power or Sparc on servers and want to share to Windows, it's really the way to go.

AT&T offered a licensed Microsoft SMB implementation (Advanced Server for Unix), which was sub-licensed by some Unix vendors (SUN, HP, SCO, and possibly others). Unfortunately the quality of the implementation was questionable. SUN spent two years cleaning up the code before releasing it as PC-Netlink (HP and SCO may have offered it earlier). Microsoft didn't release the NT SMB code to AT&T until 1994. SUN released PC Netlink on Feb 1, 1999.

Which meant that from 1992/3 to 1999, the only way to run an SMB native file server on SUN was to use SAMBA. (You could have run NFS using Beame & Whiteside/Hummingbird).

How is SAMBA copying anybody here? (if we assume that a Windows NFS client had been made available by Microsoft, SAMBA would never have been popular).

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848268)

How is SAMBA copying anybody here? (if we assume that a Windows NFS client had been made available by Microsoft, SAMBA would never have been popular).

You mean other than cloning Microsoft stuff like Active Directory? And that's not the only thing they've cloned from Microsoft's SMB implementation.

Re:It wouldn't be a problem (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848322)

SAMBA wasn't developed as a clone or a replacement for anything Microsoft produced. In fact, SAMBA (then known as server, or nbserver) predated Windows NT release.

Actually that's not entirely true and what exactly is the relevance of the NT release (as Microsoft had an SMB implementation before it was ever released)? One of the original purposes of SAMBA was to create an SMB implementation that was compatible with Microsoft's LAN Manager (which was built off of SMB running atop of the NetBIOS Frames protocol) that predated SAMBA by some years.

So? (0)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847052)

Who cares? That's about as news-worthy as Alistair calling Morrigan a "sneaky witch thief".

Move along. Nothing to see here...

Re:So? (2, Funny)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847136)

Apparently under the latest version Alistair can hurl insults at Morrigan under WINE, so it's all good.

Re:So? (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847424)

Apparently under the latest version Alistair can hurl insults at Morrigan under WINE, so it's all good.

That's F'd up because I gave all my wine to Wynn to get her approval up. Damn...

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30848134)

More like calling MS barbarians because "swooping ... is... bad..."

African or Asian? (3, Funny)

jgardia (985157) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847152)

sorry, there are no European elephants....

Re:African or Asian? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847956)

Of course there are European elephants. They are smaller than the African elephants; however, African elephants are non-migratory.

Re:African or Asian? (3, Funny)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848418)

I would rather compare Microsoft with a Komodo Dragon.

Poison and infection in a single bite causing a painful death for the victim.

So??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847156)

Using your patents is shady? I can think of a whopping 2 Microsoft patent suits.. Tom Tom and Tivo. WTF are you retards crying about now?

SNORE (0, Flamebait)

endeavour31 (640795) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847194)

Ho hum - another anti-MS rant by another Stallman butt-puppet. When something new comes along - then let me know. Slashdot hopefully has more to offer than just a repository for negative sentiment regarding MS and commercial software. The world is big - let MS and open source slug it out in the marketplace.

Wow! (1, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847198)

I wish I could talk trash like him.

Oh slashdot what happened to you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847216)

I really don't like the tone of the summary, it's almost as if there no bias whatsoever against MS with the proxy & safe language, "x described y as", "that he saw as", "evolved his argument". What the hell is wrong with you slashdot? Why are you not stating those things as fact? MS is evil, Steve Ballmer is a chair throwing maniac, etc. Have you been taken over by MS zealots and anti-OS shills??

Oh how I long for the slashdot days of lore when the MS trolls and shills were easily recognizable and always in for a game of the ol' troll-trolling. Well, still anti-MS over here!

Re:Oh slashdot what happened to you (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847400)

Oh how I long for the slashdot days of lore....

Oh how I long for the slashdot days of yore... Fixed that for ya

Help! Help! A horrible heffalump! (2, Funny)

johndiii (229824) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847238)

A. A. Milne saw this coming. :-)

Re:Help! Help! A horrible heffalump! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847568)

And while everyone is watching Heffalump, The Woozles are taking over the world!

How un-news worthy is this? (3, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847246)

"Microsoft produces software that competes with FOSS" is basically the headline. Well who knew?!

Something they're also learning is that the above statement doesn't necessarily mean they can't work with FOSS in areas that are mutually beneficial. This, believe it or not, is happening too.

Re:How un-news worthy is this? (0, Troll)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847454)

I think the headline looks more like "Pro-FOSS nobody doesn't like Microsoft." You know, just like all the other headlines.

Re:How un-news worthy is this? (1)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847462)

Yeah, I think this might actually be the literal definition of FUD. We could just go over to UrbanDictionary and add an entry with a link back to this story.

Re:How un-news worthy is this? (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847872)

And who knew that a Google employee and FOSS advocate would bad-mouth MS at a Linux conference?!?!? When I read this I was so shocked that I dropped my monocle AND did a spit-take! That's the fourth monocle I've broken this week.

It makes sense too... (3, Insightful)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848022)

I can think of a few people off the top of my head that I know who would take a Windows based solution from Microsoft for the cost of licenses + support, over a Linux based FOSS solution with a similar or lower cost of support, and I'm sure all of you all do as well. Microsoft would be downright foolish not to court that market segment.

My favorite part though, as per TFA:

"We have a system that is absolutely free that we can do anything with, so why are we so obsessed with picking on Microsoft? ... Shouldn't we leave the elephant alone and stop poking it with sticks? Well, the problem is they aren't going to leave us alone."

Of course Microsoft is going to compete with your solutions. They're a god damned software company that makes every type of application they can produce without getting [successfully] sued by their competitors. I've never actually said this before, but...

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Re:It makes sense too... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848178)

I can think of a few people off the top of my head that I know who would take a Windows based solution from Microsoft for the cost of licenses + support, over a Linux based FOSS solution with a similar or lower cost of support, and I'm sure all of you all do as well. Microsoft would be downright foolish not to court that market segment.

Sadly, certain governments are part of this segment.

Microsoft bullies FOSS with patents and conspirato (4, Insightful)

ComputerInsultant (722520) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848238)

No, the headline is "Microsoft bullies FOSS with patents and conspiratorial coersion."

When Microsoft patents obvious things, then uses those patents to threaten law suits, that is a threat.

If Microsoft was competing by building great software, we would be having a different conversation. This conversation is about Microsoft competing without building software.

Turning an elephant? (1)

gnarlyhotep (872433) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847252)

Is this some new cleric ability in D&D 4.0? Back in my day clerics could only turn undead.

Re:Turning an elephant? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847324)

nope. its the new Mouse class that has the innate ability.

Re:Turning an elephant? (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847520)

I was hoping it was a new mount... The Dangerous Elephant, we'd ride all over trampling everything in its path. Now if only somehow we can strap a shark on its back, we'd be unstoppable.

Re:Turning an elephant? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847988)

Only if said shark has a frickin' laser beam attached to its head.

A rebuttal (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847278)

And I - being no one of significance, am going to call Microsoft a small, fluffy, harmless kitten that needs to be petted.

Take THAT.

Re:A rebuttal (1)

oatworm (969674) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847656)

So... when I "kill kittens", I'm killing Microsoft? That explains a lot, actually.

Re:A rebuttal (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847822)

And Microsoft will provide you with a comfy chair to do it in.

Re:A rebuttal (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847900)

Microsoft gives Morbo gas.

...if Microsoft ceased to exist.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847292)

..who would you (the OS crew..) invent then as Our Pantomime Villan?

Ubuntu and Commercial Software. (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847296)

Want Open to win? Stop being bloody purists. See, Ubuntu Software Commercial Survey [google.ca] for a pragmatic approach. Ubuntu is a bridge, get the Windows people over first and once they know what they're doing they can compile their own Gentoo. Commercial software on Linux is also such a bridge, let it in: as long as the core operating system is Open who gives a crap. If the commercial is amazingly good compared to the Open then it will survive while the Open matures. But don't deny your users the commercial because you're being a dick about it. Follow the Linux philosophy: Openness, including commercial. Then work with it yourself, I have converted two of my family-members desktops over to Ubuntu within the last month, not including my own. If I wasn't using a "stupid" distribution it wouldn't have happened because I have no idea of the required options while building your kernel. Support the bridges, they all lead into Open.

Re:Ubuntu and Commercial Software. (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847660)

Commercial software on Linux is also such a bridge, let it in

There is no one stopping you or anybody else from making closed source applications on GNU/Linux, if you want to.

Re:Ubuntu and Commercial Software. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847870)

That is correct. The issue I am referring to is the fragmented beliefs throughout the Open community. That is where the appropriate tools for the appropriate people are poo-poo'd because of relative expertise with the systems. Also there is the matter of priorities, Open development does not lead where specific individuals would always like, as a concrete example: Photoshop alone would draw many more users to the Open sphere than the GIMP is capable of at this time. And if Adobe does not see fit to port Photoshop, then at the distribution level: create a package which when installed correctly configures WINE and copies the required files from the users media. Users do not care for all the reasons in the world when it does not do what they need it to do. Making it do is the responsibility of the distribution, and different ones are suited to different categories of users. So, more power to the Gentoo people but please do not poo-poo my Ubuntu as that will prevent me from joining the Gentoo camp at a later date.

Re:Ubuntu and Commercial Software. (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847878)

I don't want open to 'Win.' I want it to continue, and to be viable, in parallel with other software licensing methods. And a dab of pragmatism is good for that, but it needs to stay open.

Re:Ubuntu and Commercial Software. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848012)

I would like to see the relative market shares reversed. From today's mostly-closed with a little-open to instead, mostly-open with a little-closed. It is the right thing to happen and because the other side is playing dirty-tricks you have to focus on the "win" in the dows or they will screw you over old-boy style. Because, after all, the primary law of a corporation is that it must make a profit for the shareholders. This rule is above ethics in priority, Microsoft cannot choose to do the right thing and allow Open to "win." It is not an option, so treat them that way.

Microsoft hater hates on Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847312)

Film at 11! /sarcasm

Really, is this actually news?

Not News, Not Important, Not True (0, Troll)

the roAm (827323) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847314)

First off, this isn't news, which is glaringly obvious. If I said something along the same lines, would I get my own slashdot article? Probably not If I were, however, a little girl who felt betrayed by my corporate overlords making a deal with one of the most reliable companies on the planet, thus giving me and my fellow employees more job security, so I quit and start yelling WAHHH THE BIG BAD MICROSOFT MONSTER IS MEAN AND SO IS MY FORMER EMPLOYER AND MICROSOFT IS AN ELEPHANT RAWWWWR!, I probably would get this article.

How about something important and interesting, like the pork meat being created from stem cells? That's pretty fucking cool right there. Delicious progress.
Instead, we're fed this bullshit. I know we all love open source, theres nothing wrong with that. This, however, is NOT news, nor is it IMPORTANT to anyone, and as I'm about to present my case, it's not TRUE either.

"Oh, but wait, roAm, what about the fact that Microsoft is doing all these naughty things to threaten the open source community?"
FUD -- and as we all know, Microsoft's special brand of FUD only really works for promoting their products, not squashing the competition.
OSS is the elephant in this situation. A docile, elegant creature that never forgets. Microsoft is more like an annoying horsefly buzzing around the truck of said elephant, incessantly annoying the elephant, which can't quite seem to smash the annoying bug, but at the same time this is irrelevant because the bug has a limited lifespan compared to the near-immortality of the elephant.

Scale-wise, I know this comparison is skewed, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Re:Not News, Not Important, Not True (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847498)

> would I get my own slashdot article?

I would, it would make me rich. RICH!

But yeah, isn't humour the point of having an article? I laughed at MS being called an elephant. That makes Novell a rhinoceros, Red Hat a hippo, and Apple a...snow leopard?.

most reliable companies on the planet (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847886)

"If I were, however, a little girl who felt betrayed by my corporate overlords making a deal with one of the most reliable companies on the planet, thus giving me and my fellow employees more job security, so I quit and .."

Novell gave away the family silver for a buch of vouchers. They also took to uttering vague IP protection threats against the Open Source community on their web site. They also stoped promoting their own desktop and recommended Windows instead. At least one of their technical people has the personaly integrity to resign. Person abuse from some a******e is not required.
--

reliable at what exactly?

Redirecting the elephant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847320)

Microsoft wants marketshare (to make money), open source wants marketshare (for a variety of reasons, some of which involve making money)
Microsoft isn't going do anything to benefit its competitors (without getting something out of it), open source advocates aren't going do anything to benefit its competitors without (without getting something out of it)

There's nothing about either side that can be redirected.

Well... duh! (3, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847340)

Microsoft is a software company, selling proprietary software, with a business model based around lock-in and obscurity on file formats and the like. Open source is the complete opposite of what MS's business model needs. Now obviously MS's business model is (was) a pretty good one considering they got very very rich with it (one of the richest companies in the world, if not the richest). Business wise they're a winner, no contest. Open source is breaking that.

Absolute winners for MS are of course Office with their doc format lock-in (slowly being eroded by OOo), and the Windows/Exchange/Outlook combo for which I don't know of any true competitor. Plus the many windows-only games of course. MS needs to keep their sources closed, their standards theirs and theirs alone, and needs to keep competitors out of their network. The network situation is improving but it is still very much everything except Windows talks easily to everything except Windows, and Windows talks easily to Windows alone.

When I'm at it, I was thinking of their two most high-profile competitors.

Apple: they couldn't care less about open/closed source and will likely go with the wind. Except maybe iTunes but then that contains DRM which requires the closed-source obscurity to not be cracked before it's released. OS-X is largely open-source even. Apple is a hardware company, after all. They make software to sell their hardware.

Google. Google appears to love open source: they are all about interoperability. Everyone on the Internet, everything on the Internet, the browser is the platform. Which browser? Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari? What would they care. Operating system? Irrelevant. Hardware platform? The cheaper the better, whether it's a laptop, phone, desktop or "slate". As long as the device understands standards. And open source is pretty good at exactly that: standards.

Yahoo is likely in the Google camp, being an Internet company. Though I don't hear much of any software developments coming from there. And they are quite friendly with Microsoft.

Then there is Microsoft's Bing. Gaining market share rapidly, got some positive comments a few stories ago here on /.. Makes me wonder where that stands really, as Bing just needs a standards-compliant browser. I haven't used the site, but I understand from the comments that it is pretty standards-compliant at the moment. And with the current market share of non-IE browsers, they will have to. You can't afford to lose 30% or so of your market, especially as that 30% will tell their friends "Bing sucks, doesn't work properly, use Google, that works good". People don't tend to try again later.

Re:Well... duh! (2, Insightful)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847910)

Then there is Microsoft's Bing. Gaining market share rapidly, got some positive comments a few stories ago here on /.. Makes me wonder where that stands really, as Bing just needs a standards-compliant browser

Bing is a 'weapon' product. They're only producing it to compete with and ultimately defeat Google. If and win Google is hobbled, they will be able to pay less attention to Bing and more to their lock-in product lines.

Call Wine One One and get a wambulance (0, Flamebait)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847344)

Look this is the real world. If Linux wants respect you can't do it by crying about MS, Google, or any other company.

Just take the high road, fight the good fight, and take care of business. If open source is truely great it will work out. Don't try and take on MS just write better code and better systems.

The truth of Linux's and OS adoption is less about MS, and more about the little tweeks to make Linux easier not only for your grandma, but even for techs. Instead of some arbitrary command line arguments to change a driver option...make a check box on a dialog...both side wins. Make a GUI tool to configure Apache. The truth is many technical folks actually want that.

Let me write a few more... ...You want some wine with that cheese? ...You need some open source vagisil ( can a women please come up with the equivalent for men...).

Seriuosly can we a baby crying icon for these stories?

Re:Call Wine One One and get a wambulance (1)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847482)

In TFA, this is what Allison suggests. OSS needs to build the future they want. He says that patents will still be a threat, but that OSS has a firm foothold in the current software landscape and will be hard to dislodge by patent trolling.

Re:Call Wine One One and get a wambulance (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847942)

In TFA, this is what Allison suggests. OSS needs to build the future they want.

But first it needs to have a good cry. He's apparently getting a head start.

Linux taking on Microsoft :) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847636)

"Just take the high road, fight the good fight, and take care of business .. Don't try and take on MS just write better code and better systems .."

'Linux' isn't trying to take on Microsoft, it's the other way around. A company with a long time enmity towards anything open source and not adverse to using any dirty trick to get its own way.

Comes v. Microsoft [groklaw.net]

Microsoft EDGI: How It Works [boycottnovell.com]

Re:Call Wine One One and get a wambulance (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848020)

If Linux wants respect you can't do it by crying about MS, Google, or any other company.

Have you ever listened to what your Great Leader Ballmer has said about the competition?

What is it with these fucking pro-MS concern trolls on Slashdot?

Mart

Map Reduce? (2, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847350)

Mr. Allison, What is Googles software patent policy in regards to things like the recent map/reduce patent?

Re:Map Reduce? (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848082)

This is what I was thinking. The biggest threat to OSS is not forms of less open and more closed software, the two can coexist, but patents. Look at what is happening with phone and media devices. A patent to show a telephone number on a screen? A patent to let the user choose a TV show. How can OSS be written in this environment? Anything is going to violate a patent.

Google does not yet have a huge number of patents, but that will change in the future, and they will become likely become more general. Already, IIRC, they have patent on in game advertising. I can see a time when we might a OSS game engine that allows in context game advertising. I wonder if Google would sue.

elephant in the garden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847404)

If I put a wall around the elephant in the garden, won't it trample all my flowers?

Random anecdote (4, Funny)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847468)

I teach a computational physics class for freshmen.

When I was going over our syllabus, I said: "Email your homework here. Don't send us Microsoft Word documents. My TA and I don't have Word, we're probably not on a computer that does when we grade your homework, and we can't be arsed to go find a decoder for whatever the newest obscure Microsoft format is."

The students were shocked -- you don't have Word? Really? How is this possible? (Answer: LaTeX.)

(Except for the one guy with the Ubuntu laptop, in the back, who chuckled...)

Re:Random anecdote (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847522)

Cool story bro. I guess that's why you teach and not do ;)

Re:Random anecdote (2, Insightful)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847804)

Yeah, that doesn't work in the real world, in F100 companies.

Re:Random anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847858)

That's a shitty way to treat your customers.

Re:Random anecdote (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847922)

Don't send us Microsoft Word documents. My TA and I don't have Word, we're probably not on a computer that does when we grade your homework, and we can't be arsed to go find a decoder for whatever the newest obscure Microsoft format is.

The sad truth is that you can read Word files in OpenOffice as long as you aren't using the version of Word from 2007, but you can't open OpenOffice files in Word unless you install some extra plug-in.

This seems backwards to me that Open Source Software supports proprietary formats better than Proprietary Software support open formats. Que sera sera.

Re:Random anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30848206)

Uh, you can open Word 2007 files fine in OO.... noob

Re:Random anecdote (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847974)

When I was going over our syllabus, I said: "Email your homework here. Don't send us Microsoft Word documents. My TA and I don't have Word, we're probably not on a computer that does when we grade your homework, and we can't be arsed to go find a decoder for whatever the newest obscure Microsoft format is."

You "can't be arsed" to open a Word document? Seriously? Open a Word document? You're that close-minded that you feel it necessary to make your students jump through arbitrary hoops to appease your moral standing on a file format? I'm extremely grateful I'm not in a class taught by someone like you.

Re:Random anecdote (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848070)

No more closed minded than you arses that insist on sending that crap doc file format... docx.

Re:Random anecdote (2, Insightful)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848330)

So what obscure file format do you have them use? For you to call the basic .doc file format obscure is asinine. If you were to ask most people on the street what a .doc file was, they would be able to tell you that it is a document file. If you were ask most people on the street what a .ooo file was, they would look at you with a blank stare. Who is using the obscure file format?

Perhaps, if using anything associated with .doc is that distasteful for you, you should have your students print out their assignments and simply hand them in. That way you could read them no matter what file format the student chooses to utilize on their computer.

This just in - teachers can be assholes (1, Flamebait)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848336)

Yes, like many academics you like to demonstrate to your students that you are superior and in charge. There's no significant difference between you and the other guy who won't accept anything from his students that isn't in Word format.

Re:Random anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30848466)

Random anecdote? More like the random asshole of the day!

Bad move (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847570)

He just made himself a powerful enemy, and the elephant never forgets!

Not New, But I can Corroborate (5, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847620)

"So you see this especially in the appliance market where Microsoft will go to a company — off the record as this is never ever done in public — and say 'this product you have there, shame if someone brought a patent suit. So you have two options you can re-architect — here is Windows — or the other thing is why don't you give us a cut on all the free software you are using?'.

This is very common business practice in the U.S. not exclusive to Microsoft. Bigger companies want two things from the smaller companies they intimidate, revenue and market penetration information. If they don't get it privately, they certainly get it with patent/trademark litigation.

I'm not calling Microsoft out exclusively on this, but it should give the average /. an idea of how fundamentally frozen the American economy is by patent and trademark law.

Re:Not New, But I can Corroborate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30847990)

really and you have what to back that up?

FLOSS Community Is Their Own Worst Enemy (5, Interesting)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847718)

I have no love for Microsoft.

But in the last decade I've seen Linux on the Desktop split between two different competing environments and API's, usability experts not being able to get any meaningful traction early on in FLOSS projects, newbies being flamed on IRC for asking questions, legitimate criticism of user experience issues being written of as FUD, billions of FLOSS company dollars going to enterprise systems buyouts and kernel hacker salaries instead of high quality user testing labs (and then saying FLOSS has no money for such things like evil proprietary companies do), etc.

When I look at Microsoft, I don't see FLOSS's greatest enemy; I see a boogeyman and a scapegoat used to explain FLOSS' lack of success at getting outside of a server room.

Re:FLOSS Community Is Their Own Worst Enemy (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847912)

Much of what you're saying is probably true, but there has been some movement. Ubuntu is overall as easy to use as Windows. Some things (like repositories and their associated application installation system) are definitely a lot better. I say this as a Mac user who will almost certainly never switch to either.

Re:FLOSS Community Is Their Own Worst Enemy (2, Interesting)

hellraizer (1689320) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848116)

newbies being flamed on IRC for asking questions, ...

that is the truth .... not to mention being mocked when they do not know "the unix way" of doing things .... like the other day when a colleague os mine asked how he could access the D: drive on a linux server, that question , got us on a talk that lasted 2 hours just to explain him "the unix way" :P

Re:FLOSS Community Is Their Own Worst Enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30848412)

billions of FLOSS company dollars going to enterprise systems buyouts and kernel hacker salaries instead of high quality user testing labs

Would you like to take a guess at the market for a good kernel that runs on everything from embedded systems to enterprise servers to supercomputers , vs the market for desktop users that want a shiny GUI?

I'd like to hazard a guess that a few companies will pay a lot more money for a good kernel that is optimized to run exactly what they need it to, than will all the users who use a shiny GUI.

That's not to say your other points shouldn't be addressed, but in this case, I suspect the real market is the business that needs a kickass kernel/OS, not the run-of-the-mill end user, and the money and effort goes where the market is.

Jeremy Allison Calls Microsoft Dangerous Elephant (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847726)

...when all they really wanted was a taxicab! DrrrTISH!

Microsoft is a zombie (1)

YouDoNotWantToKnow (1516235) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847852)

Ever since Bill Gates left, and possibly a while longer _causing_ him to leave, Microsoft has been a symbol of whats wrong with the economy. Company gets built around an innovative idea by a bunch of enthusiastic experts, grows big because it actually sells useful products that make peoples lives easier. Then it all goes awry, clueless MBA types (hi Ballmer) take over pushed forward by vulture capitalists, monetizing, marketing, market share hogging and patent litigations take over the core business of making useful stuff and the company turns into yet another corporate zombie.

Re:Microsoft is a zombie (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30848422)

Company gets built around an innovative idea by a bunch of enthusiastic experts

BASIC for the MITS?

Then it all goes awry, clueless MBA types (hi Ballmer) take over pushed forward by vulture capitalists

Balmer is one of the original employees, hired in 1980 to run the business side. Microsoft was never founded with venture capital money. Go back to flipping burgers, you stink in the knowledge department.

It's a good description (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#30847862)

...Allison described Microsoft as 'an elephant that needs to be turned to stop it trampling the open source community

That's a great description of Microsoft. Slow to get up to speed, difficult to turn once they get rolling. The real problem with elephants on the battle field is once they got a head of steam they would charge through the enemy lines, then turn around and charge back through the lines and trample their own people. Not exactly a smart bomb.

Microsoft response: (1)

Xebikr (591462) | more than 3 years ago | (#30848138)

Oh yeah? Well, so's your mom!

Evil Empirical Elephant on the loose!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30848192)

Get those trank darts ready Mr Allison .. I'm afraid your going to need them. After the Elephant gave you all the SMB protocol documentation you'd ever need its going to sit on you and suck out your nuts through its snout.

Elephants are scared easily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30848304)

The easiest way to stop an elephant from trampling, is with a mouse. Get back to work!

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