Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Claims 'We Love Open Source'

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the admiral-ackbar-unavailable-for-comment dept.

Microsoft 464

jbrodkin writes "Everyone in the Linux world remembers Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's famous comment in 2001 that Linux is a 'cancer' that threatened Microsoft's intellectual property. While Microsoft hasn't formally rescinded its declaration that Linux violates its patents, at least one Microsoft executive admits that the company's earlier battle stance was a mistake. Microsoft wants the world to understand, whatever its issues with Linux, it no longer has any gripe toward open source."

cancel ×

464 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Meet the 4 stages (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347278)

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -- Gandhi

We've already gone through the first 3 stages over the past 15 years. And just so you're not confused, winning != world domination.

Re:Meet the 4 stages (4, Funny)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347402)

winning != world domination.

I for one... oh wait, what? really... damnit!

Re:Meet the 4 stages (5, Informative)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347610)

Embrace, extend, extinguish.

Never forget. Microsoft has never helped open source. They have only contributed to their own version of it, which is very much unlike open source as it was defined 10+ years ago.

Re:Meet the 4 stages (3, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347768)

Never forget. Microsoft has never helped open source.

Um, maybe you didn't think of it this way, but Microsoft is the reason why the open source community is so strongly driven. Open Source users don't have the reputation of hating Microsoft for nothing. So in a large way, Microsoft helped Open Source in a huge way. Its all part of the balance.

Re:Meet the 4 stages (5, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347958)

The assumption is that Open Source would never have been created, that there'd be no advancement, that the world needed a Microsoft to foster a competitive environment.

I followed the industry from the very beginnings of Microsoft and have been part of that industry for nearly 3 decades. What I can say is that had it not been for Microsoft the industry would be much bigger, more competition would have been fostered, greater improvements in the computer and interface would have been made, there'd be more markets and more competitors in each market, which easily would have dwarfed what Microsoft "might" have done in the off-hand way you describe. I give them no credit.

Re:Meet the 4 stages (5, Funny)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347728)

1. First they ignore you
2. then they laugh at you,
3. then they fight you,
4. then you quote Gandhi
5. ???
6. Profit

Not too surprising? (4, Informative)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347306)

This shouldn't surprise anyone too much. Ten years ago some people really thought that Linux was going to replace Windows on everyone's desktop, open source projects were going to kill Office, etc.

Which never happened.

The reality is that there's room for both open and closed source software in the world.

Re:Not too surprising? (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347432)

One should explain that to Microsoft, who still continues to make not-so-veiled patent threats against Linux.

Microsoft is the enemy of open source, pure and simple.

Re:Not too surprising? (4, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347526)

Your problem is that you seem to view each of Microsoft and open source as monolithic united entities with a single mind and vision.

Sure, I'd fully expect MS to try to slap the shit out of, say, OpenOffice if it's infringing on one of their Office patents. Note that I'm not arguing for whether that would be right or wrong, only that you should expect it.

But there's open source software that does a million other things that Microsoft isn't directly trying to sell a product for. And why wouldn't they, especially internally, be a fan of and use the hell out of any of that?

Re:Not too surprising? (4, Informative)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347662)

There's a group of companies that contribute some of their patent portfolio to protect Linux. Attempts at squishing Linux with Microsoft's patent portfolio will only result in a nuclear meltdown in a patent war. Just don't live with the false impression that Linux can't defend itself. And remember, Microsoft is on the loosing end of most patent lawsuits.

Re:Not too surprising? (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347746)

Despite constantly losing patent lawsuits, microsoft are still pro software patents... As much as MS lose out from patent lawsuits, linux is worse off... While MS can afford to license patents like those on h.264, linux as a whole cannot, and individual distributions would need to sacrifice many of the cost benefits of linux in order to fund the patent licenses.

Re:Not too surprising? (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347820)

But there's open source software that does a million other things that Microsoft isn't directly trying to sell a product for. And why wouldn't they, especially internally, be a fan of and use the hell out of any of that?

Because they make their living off of providing proprietary software, and to be more precise, they are living off of incremental improvements to existing proprietary software. And the open source model is gradually showing people that they don't have to pay $$$ for good quality software.

What I think has happened is Microsoft sees the pace of the open source threat is making it less of a risk than they once thought. People still buy machines pre-loaded with Windows, and they pick up a copy of Office Home & Student edition for their kids to use in school. The price is low enough that most of them can afford it. And business licensing still rakes in truckloads of cash.

Speaking of business, most are still loading up on Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server, IIS, Active Directory, etc., and the pace of change is not heading to Linux at an appreciable rate.

On the other pan of the scale, it costs Microsoft a lot in terms of money and goodwill to do battle with people who just want to give away free software to poor kids in Africa. P.R.-wise that's an unwinnable battle. It's best to smile and nod, and pat the little ESR-wannabees on the head and say "that's a good boy, go out and play with your GNU friends, the grown-ups want to sell Mommy and Daddy some real software."

If Ballmer is now B.F.F. with Open Source, you can bet that they've done the math and this works out better for them on the bottom line.

Fight to win, sue for peace when you can't (4, Interesting)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347648)

Microsoft is the enemy of open source, pure and simple.

I think that used to be the case, but Microsoft seems to have a more nuanced view now. They recognize that Linux is a strategic threat, but that doesn't mean that any and all open source projects are similarly dangerous to their core interests. They have far more than Linux to contend with these days, and they're finding allies in unlikely places.

That said, Microsoft has flip-flopped so many times on open source it remains to be seen whether they truly understand that they've lost the ideological war over open source (and more importantly, free software).

Re:Not too surprising? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347786)

Given that most corporate stances toward(or against) OSS tend to be about the old adage "commodify your complements", I would assume that MS is largely similar. Linux is a more or less unmitigated evil; because it provides a relatively easy migration path onto cheap x86 or A64 boxes for legacy unix guys, and the cheapest commodity web-serving platform, as well as doing pretty well cutting into WinCE's marketshare. On the other hand, if people want to run Drupal or something on IIS and Windows server, why would they complain?(unless its to upsell them to sharepoint).

In point of fact, MS makes available a tool for automatically installing all of the following 3rd party webapps [microsoft.com] , largely OSS stuff, on Windows server/IIS. Commodify your complements...

Re:Not too surprising? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347522)

Your right, but it sure is getting them at the top and bottom. Lots of servers and many phones, tablets and other devices where windows CE once played.

Re:Not too surprising? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347564)

Lots of servers and many phones, tablets and other devices where windows CE once played.

It's very possible that I just don't know enough about the mobile space, but was Windows CE ever, at any point, a commercial success? If so, I blinked and missed it, but I do freely admit I don't know a lot of the history there.

Re:Not too surprising? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347752)

was Windows CE ever, at any point, a commercial success? If so, I blinked and missed it, but I do freely admit I don't know a lot of the history there.

I have a presumably Chinese made $99 GPS in my wife's car. They must be selling millions of the things. It runs Windows CE.

Re:Not too surprising? (4, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347562)

Ten years ago some people really thought that Linux was going to replace Windows on everyone's desktop, open source projects were going to kill Office, etc.

Which never happened.

I've been noticing more companies are dropping the Bundled Office for a discounted price and using OpenOffice instead. Don't get me wrong, I agree with windows being unlikely to disappear. But I could see Office becoming a free product included with Windows in order to stay competitive with the Open Source Alternatives.

And if by some magical cosmic occurence that everyone switches to Ubuntu overnight, I could even see Windows becoming free (as in beer) to stay afloat, while they pull something out of their hat to make enough money to sustain themselves.

Re:Not too surprising? (2, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347598)

I've been noticing more companies are dropping the Bundled Office for a discounted price and using OpenOffice instead.

It's very probable that my experience does not represent the whole, but I have literally never seen OpenOffice in use in any of the many businesses I have worked for. Even when I've worked with IBM employees they were still using Outlook instead of Lotus, much less OO.

Re:Not too surprising? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347924)

We use it here for CSRs. I have worked in many place were low level employees got OO.org, or students.

Re:Not too surprising? (2, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347702)

Microsoft sustains itself on billions of dollars every quarter. I doubt a free Windows and Office would lead to other services and products that could sustain them.

It is inevitable that Windows and Office will fall by the way-side. That's one of the major complaints about Microsoft. When those products go what else do they have? A patent war?

Re:Not too surprising? (4, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347792)

It is inevitable that Windows and Office will fall by the way-side.

Based on what, exactly?


That's one of the major complaints about Microsoft. When those products go what else do they have? A patent war?

When people stop using databases, what does Oracle really have?

When people stop searching for things on the internet, what does Google have?

At this point there's still no credible threat to Windows on the desktop or Office on the horizon, and anyone who says otherwise is either trying to sell you something or has adopted Open Source as a religion rather than a merely very good idea.

Re:Not too surprising? (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347948)

If Linux ever became a large enough presence on the desktop in the enterprise or the home, you can almost bet that they'd roll a version of Office for Ubuntu or whatever the "big" Linux distro was. Same as they do with Mac Office - Macs are a "big enough" factor - at what, 8-10% of the desktop / laptop market? - that they support Office on them. If Linux achieved a similar market share, you'd see them writing software for the platform.

This doesn't mean it would necessarily be *good* or *open source,* but make no mistake about it - they'll go where the money is. If Windows died tomorrow, they'd shift gears to porting their apps to the new "dominant" player.

Re:Not too surprising? (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347762)

More than having room for both ...

Having both gives an opportunity to better use the right tool for the right job.

Microsoft also loves goatse (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347310)

And now so can you. [goatse.fr]

*cough* (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347316)

...... tumbleweed

My question (4, Insightful)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347324)

This is what I want to know: Is Microsoft's new stance a sort of "this is the way the world is going, we'd better at least pretend to get with the program," or is it more like "we need to do a better job with PR of covering up our continuing efforts to break and absorb every platform that isn't ours?"

Re:My question (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347412)

Microsoft has been doing this once or twice a year since somewhere around 2003. Just wait, the latest turncoat from the open source community to get hired up for whatever craptastic OSS lab Microsoft is setting up this week as part of its never-ending propaganda campaign will come on here and want us all to submit questions, to which he will give misleading non-answers, just so the vile pigs at Redmond can go "We're trying to engage the community!"

Re:My question (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347642)

Microsoft has been doing this once or twice a year since somewhere around 2003. Just wait, the latest turncoat from the open source community to get hired up for whatever craptastic OSS lab Microsoft is setting up this week as part of its never-ending propaganda campaign will come on here and want us all to submit questions, to which he will give misleading non-answers, just so the vile pigs at Redmond can go "We're trying to engage the community!"

As in, "Redmond expects that every developer will do his duty" and "Engage the community more closely."

Re:My question (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347504)

they cant brake and absorb linux. they tried for the last 5 years to do it and failed hard. they cant buy it away they cant sue it away etc. they even tried to patent troll but i think after they watched other company's patents get shot down they gave up on that. so what else can they do other then damage control being linux is pretty much on everything now really the case with the phone market. it isn't the little nerd os anymore.

Re:My question (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347510)

This is what I want to know: Is Microsoft's new stance a sort of "this is the way the world is going, we'd better at least pretend to get with the program," or is it more like "we need to do a better job with PR of covering up our continuing efforts to break and absorb every platform that isn't ours?"

Yes.

Re:My question (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347694)

This is what I want to know: Is Microsoft's new stance a sort of "this is the way the world is going, we'd better at least pretend to get with the program," or is it more like "we need to do a better job with PR of covering up our continuing efforts to break and absorb every platform that isn't ours?"

The exec was mis-quoted. He actually said, 'We embrace Open Source.'

... And we all know that Microsoft's embrace is like an anaconda's.

Re:My question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347824)

What's the difference? They are a large public corporation with fiduciary duty to shareholders and all that. They'll do what they will do to that end.

It's a trap! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347326)

I see what you did there.

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347774)

Of course they will say, "I love you!" just like what I said to that hooker before I strangled her last night.

Riiight. (4, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347346)

I don't see how would this favor MS. For IBM, it made sense as IBM is a services company and works in their favor.

For Microsoft, their business is in selling software, and everybody else is a competitor. In the case of Open Source, a very annoying competitor they can't get rid of easily.

They can start by ending all the funny business with software patents. That would be a first step, but I doubt very much it'll happen. Much more likely that there's some kind of trap here.

Re:Riiight. (1)

Some.Net(Guy) (1733146) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347396)

Re:Riiight. (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347632)

Obligatory pictures are not obligatory here.

Care to make an ASCI version?

Re:Riiight. (2, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347406)

For Microsoft, their business is in selling software, and everybody else is a competitor. In the case of Open Source, a very annoying competitor they can't get rid of easily.

However, open source hasn't been a serious (as in market share) competitor in the areas where Microsoft traditionally makes most of its money. I mean, sure, they'd make a huge pile of money and love it if everyone with Linux servers dumped them for Windows servers, but that's never going to happen.

Also note that Microsoft isn't likely to GPL Office or anything like that. They're probably just coming to see its adoption as orthogonal to their core business more often than not.

Re:Riiight. (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347542)

As long as it runs on Windows they don't care.
Google Docs is seen are more of a threat than OpenOffice ever was.
PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby... They run on Windows so they are all good with that.
Firefox? Better than Chrome and it runs on Windows. Plus they don't sell IE and Microsoft knows that it has lost the "standards" war when it comes to browsers.

Re:Riiight. (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347430)

That would require them to get an entirely new business model, and at this point the one they've got still works plenty well. They bring in large amounts of cash every year and their market share is still large enough to represent a formidable opponent to any that might try and compete with them. Sure it won't go on like this forever, but at this point there's very little incentive for them to do anything too radical. The only change I'd think they should be making is dumping Ballmer for a geek or nerd, or at least somebody that gets the technical aspects of their business. Which I'm not personally convinced he gets. Steve Jobs over at Apple for better or for worse over all gets it or at least for the most part is smart enough to let people who do know that stuff get things accomplished.

Re:Riiight. (0, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347484)

The problem is, you don't realize that there isn't anything in OSS that really competes with MS when it comes to home users.

You may shoehorn your friends and family into running Linux, but you didnt' really do them a favor and just because they don't bitch at you doesn't mean they like it.

Microsoft likes OSS software because it sets the bar incredible low. Its not an insult, its just reality. Most people try something OSS, get tired of having to look all over the Internet just to get it to START working, let alone fix some annoying attribute of it and go back to MS because as much as it suck, it sucks less than the alternatives.

Estimated time till marked as troll: -15 seconds.

Re:Riiight. (0, Offtopic)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347576)

Because you are trolling. I know normal folks who are very happy that they don't get viruses anymore. Nor have to pay for anti-virus software, etc.

Sure some OSS software is crap, about 90% of it, but that is the same ratio for closed software. For MS the ratio might actually be worse. Outlook is a piss poor imap client and Sharepoint is a lousy CMS. Add to that the other evil stuff they do, like requiring signed drivers for x64 and you see that they like setting the bar low too.

Re:Riiight. (0, Offtopic)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347656)

Outlook is a piss poor imap client and Sharepoint is a lousy CMS

And democracy is the worst system of government, except for all the others that have been tried.

(Alternately, Outlook is more than an imap client and Sharepoint is more than a CMS.)

The world is full of products that everyone seems to hate that nonetheless enjoy a ridiculous level of marketplace dominance because even if they are terrible, they still seem to be the best for what most of the market wants. Flash, for example.

Re:Riiight. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347818)

Most home users only need an IMAP (or pop3) client to talk to their ISP, there are many people out there using outlook for a task it's extremely poorly suited to.

Sharepoint is often used as a CMS too...

If you want an IMAP client or a CMS (as MANY people do), the MS tools are overpriced and considerably inferior to the alternatives.

Re:Riiight. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347962)

Outlook is a lot more, but folks use it as an IMAP client, when it sucks in that role. Same thing with Sharepoint, most installations use it only as a CMS, which it sucks at.

Re:Riiight. (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347686)

Last millennium called, it wants it's critique of OSS back. It also wants its snowclones [wikipedia.org] back, but it said I could use them this one last time because it's for a good cause.

Re:Riiight. (5, Interesting)

Reapman (740286) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347714)

Not troll, just, at least partially, wrong.

Your vision of Linux is rather laughable, and reminds me of Linux fanboys that think of Windows as a Win95 box. Both OS's have progressed passed that point in history.

I just spent a week of evenings fixing up two Windows XP comptuers because they were completely unusable. Windows isn't some holy "it just works" operating system.

Another example, my mom is now running Ubuntu, at least temporarily. When I setup her computer I set it up with Dual Boot capabilities in case something happened to her Windows. Well it started slowing to a crawl, and I couldn't figure out why. I ran out of time to diagnose, so she's setup in Ubuntu and is doing what she did before just fine. I showed her how to get back into Windows if there's something she needs, and watched her do it to make sure how, but so far she hasn't felt the need.

Another example is XBMC's Live CD, where I was able to get a fully functional Media Center PC by simply putting in a CD, everything just worked. Now install Windows 7 and their Media Center offering. It'll work, and it'll work great, but I'll already be done watching a couple episodes by then in XBMC.

No, I don't go around installing Linux for my friends and family, Windows has real advantages over Linux (and vice versa). but to dismiss it without a second thought is doing yourself a diservice.

Re:Riiight. (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347794)

The problem is, you don't realize that there isn't anything in OSS that really competes with MS when it comes to home users.

How about Open Office? I know many home users that prefer a free install of Open Office to a pay for upgrade to Office 2010. With the docx file format coming attached to e-mails, many users were forced to upgrade their version of Office. Those of my clients who needed an upgrade opted for the free, and haven't looked back.

Re:Riiight. (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347828)

The problem is, you don't realize that there isn't anything in OSS that really competes with MS when it comes to home users.

By "home users", I assume you're talking about a standard desktop computer. For the sake of argument, let's say you're right about that. The thing is, there is so much else going on in the industry that home users and their desktops just aren't that important. Or, at least, they're not important beyond introducing future IT decision makers and developers to the Microsoft ecosystem.

You may shoehorn your friends and family into running Linux, but you didnt' really do them a favor and just because they don't bitch at you doesn't mean they like it.

YMMV. Me - I've given up on evangelizing and shoehorning friends and family. The funny thing about that is that last year, one of my household asked me to wipe her laptop and install Ubuntu. And she's been absolutely thrilled with it (although she does have her WinXP desktop for iTunes).

Re:Riiight. (1)

Nysul (1816168) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347530)

Hasn't Microsoft used BSD-variant code in several of their programs (or at least in the past)? I imagine high quality free code with few restrictions is beneficial for them, even if they simply assimilate it. I haven't RTFA but I imagine this isn't about that, or linux desktops, it is trying to establish more integration with linux server environments.

Re:Riiight. (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347854)

Microsoft has included BSD and GPL applications in their products in the past. And despite the dangerously viral nature of the GPL, much of Microsoft's products remain proprietary.

Re:Riiight. (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347640)

or they did give up on that being there watching other company's patents being crushed in the courts. and some conturys have gotten rid of soft where patents entirely meaning now even if they did win the victory would be moot. they would just go to a country without software patents. so even a patent troll defense would fail. its been proven those brod patents do not stand up in court anyways.

Re:Riiight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347710)

MS have discovered that PCs are replaced every X years, and we have kids, and they get PCs for the most part. Guess what company has a near monopoly on dumping their OS on these 100s of millions of machines each year? Yes, it's MS. They've got an near indestructible income source for the foreseeable future. Even if you don't use doze, chances are if you're not buying some obsolescence built-in Apple product, you're paying the Microsoft tax. Very few people bother with building their own rig compared to 10 years ago. Unless you want a screaming gaming rig, you can't even make parity on cost.

Linux has taken over the server market, an area MS was never taken seriously other than noddy file servers and exchange servers always down. Desktop is still controlled by the applications people need, and today more than ever, compatibility rules the roost, even if OSS has perfectly usable equivalents (except games of course). Linux is still limited to the shit FPS from a decade ago "with pride".

Re:Riiight. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347718)

For Microsoft, their business is in selling software

Sometimes you can sell more X by giving some Y (that depends in some way on X) for free. Case in point: IronPython is OSS, but depends on .NET which is free but not OSS, which depends on Windows which is not free (Mono is technically also supported, but most people who pick .NET also go with Windows in practice). Presumably, also, any server-side software written in IronPython would run on Windows Server (very much not free), and quite possibly use MSSQL for database (pricey!). So there's your cash flow.

In some cases, it can be more subtle. E.g. Visual Studio Express is free, but it results in more applications written for Windows, which increases the latter's attractiveness to end users. If making tools OSS increases their popularity even further, then why not?

But, really, it's all rather basic stuff that should be pretty obvious to anyone.

Re:Riiight. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347834)

...most people who pick .NET also go with Windows in practice...

Only because the phrase "Miguel de Icaza gave us free Mono" is sooooo open to misinterpretation... seriously, couldn't they have thought of a better name for that project, e.g. ".NOT"?

Windows wouldn't have a network stack without BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347348)

Of course they love Open Source. Free software supply: Imagine the margin.

Uh huh (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347368)

Oh look, Microsoft out there putting a hand out to the open source community, except for the largest, most important OSS project; Linux.

Why does anybody even bother reporting this crapola? Microsoft is not open source's friend, save within the very limited capacity of what it figures it can control. Microsoft has been and remains one of the great enemies of open source.

How's that go again? (3, Funny)

johnhp (1807490) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347378)

I remember "embrace" and "extend", but I can't seem to remember the third phase...

Re:How's that go again? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347532)

???

(next comes PROFIT!)

Re:How's that go again? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347548)

Exfoliate.

Re:How's that go again? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347878)

Exterminate!!

Re:How's that go again? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347722)

I think phase 3 is "Taking all the customers you have successfully locked into using your software and giving them the butt-fucking they so richly deserve,"

Re:How's that go again? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347844)

I think phase 3 is "Taking all the customers you have successfully locked into using your software and giving them the butt-fucking they so richly deserve,"

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:How's that go again? (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347816)

there were actually 4. The complete ideal is embrace, extend, enfiltrate, and eradicate.

Obligatory (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347404)

In related news, they also claim they are against flying chairs.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347868)

In other news, the original After Dark crew is getting back together to make a flying chairs screensaver...

They really DO love "open source" (5, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347448)

The just have a different definition of what "open source" means than you and I. "Open Source" to Microsoft means that they are free to incorporate other people's work into their software with any reciprocation or release of the modified code. Unfortunately many companies feel this way open source code.

Re:They really DO love "open source" (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347776)

"Open Source" to Microsoft means that they are free to incorporate other people's work into their software with any reciprocation or release of the modified code.

Actually, if anything, MS is rather FOSS-phobic when it comes to using source code written by external parties. Any use of outside code requires legal review (as it should be), but particularly strong attention is paid to anything with open source licenses, and you'd better have a really good reason as to why you need it before the whole approval process will even get started. Consequently, there are very few cases of MS using open source code in its products (relative to overall code size) compared to industry average.

Re:They really DO love "open source" (5, Informative)

OutSourcingIsTreason (734571) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347822)

That isn't my experience. Several years ago I worked at a software house that was acquired by Microsoft. The first thing they did was audit our source code to identify all the modules derived from open source. Before the sale could go through we had to rewrite those modules from scratch.

Re:They really DO love "open source" (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347926)

In other words, they love BSD-style open source, where they can grab the network stack and incorporate it into their proprietary operating system. I doubt they're so keen on GPL-style open source, where they can grab a network stack if they share their entire operating system source with the public.

But they do like Open Source (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347452)

... they like it for Breakfast.

Privatize profit and code written by open source coders, outsource risk to the American public, and hire lots of H1-B workers from overseas instead of Americans ....

The five stages of grief... (1)

quarkoid (26884) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347460)

Reading this and thinking back, I can't help but think of the Kuebler-Ross model [wikipedia.org] . Back in 2001 MS were in denial. We've been through anger, bargaining and (arguably) depression. Is this now acceptance?

Re:The five stages of grief... (1)

srodden (949473) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347784)

As an earlier commenter observed, MS' core business is selling software, not services. Thus FLOSS (and to a lesser degree OSS) is the antithesis of their business model. For MS to now be courting the OSS world, it means they can smell money in sizable quantities. I suspect it's a ploy. False acceptance if you will. Any offering they make will have some gotcha. Perhaps their contributions to OSS will be offered under a MSOSS licence instead of a GPL. Or they'll offer technologies and promise to not enforce the patents then hold off long enough to let the techniques become entrenched then renig on the offer.

We Love Open Source (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347476)

... it tastes like kittens.

Re:We Love Open Source -- obligatory (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347716)

What's wrong with being drunk? You ask a glass of water that. I love red meat -- kill it, cook it, eat it, turn it to, well you know. My wife loves ice cream -- same issues. We're better off when they are honest about hating us, that way they fool fewer people into their traps.

Re:We Love Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347750)

I literally L'dOL at this :-D +1

Re:We Love Open Source (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347758)

Netcraft confirms it: BSD tastes more like a cross between Spotted Owl and California Condor!

Prove your love .... (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347482)

Open source to Microsoft
      prove your love,
sign your patents over to some open source license agreement.

Love is all about the commitment.

Re:Prove your love .... (1)

jpate (1356395) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347916)

yep. based on past behavior, I think it's fine to demand a pre-nup...

Which open source? (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347494)

Do they love the development model? Or do they love the BSD licenses? Apache? MIT? Do they love the community spirit, the excitement an passion that "anyone can do this"? Notice in all of this however, that they don't seem to mention "Free as in Freedom".

Re:Which open source? (2, Insightful)

rantomaniac (1876228) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347806)

They love the open source software that is created around their products of course, just look at codeplex. It's full of Office, Sharepoint, WPF and XNA stuff.
And well, maybe it's fine, you can't prevent people from writing open source apps for their platforms. But it feels weird, this whole open source ecosystem springing up, that is completely incompatible with the Linux/BSD centered one. They're probably aiming for their community to displace ours as the number one thing people think when they hear "open source".

fannee doolee (1)

trb (8509) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347516)

Fannee Doolee hates open source, but she loves free software.

You know what they say... (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347618)

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish... If Microsoft doesn't make Windows or most of its core products libre/open-source, then they are talking out of their ass and just want people to stop hating them so much for their obvious anti-free stance.

Of course for MS, Linux isn't the threat.,.. (-1, Troll)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347638)

...OSX on Macs is the real threat. How is Linux going to win when most students take Macs to college, then Windows on laptops with Linux on nearly 0%

Riddle me that.

I think KDE4 and Gnome have ruined Linux on the desktop for a very long time.

Oh and don't bother modding this down as a troll or flamebait Its a serious question.

Re:Of course for MS, Linux isn't the threat.,.. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347788)

Which one is the question?

Re:Of course for MS, Linux isn't the threat.,.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347856)

dont worry about mac osX most of those students are dual booting to 7 and in 5 years when mac breaks compatibility with themselves ,... again they will be less prone to buy what Jenny has cause it looks cute, they are going to buy a windows machine for 2000$ less that does everything they were already using windows for

Fool me once, shame on you... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347668)

Who listens to what Microsoft says? Judge by actions and not rhetoric and even the most idiotic person should realize Microsoft is ant-GPL and Opensource except for instances where it benefits them directly.

I'd like to see official NTFS drivers for Linux (1)

ydrol (626558) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347682)

as opposed to rev.eng. ones? Then I'd believe. Too many NTFS removable drives floating around, and FAT barfs on 4G files.

Re:I'd like to see official NTFS drivers for Linux (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347904)

as opposed to rev.eng. ones? Then I'd believe. Too many NTFS removable drives floating around, and FAT barfs on 4G files.

FAT also is a good way to end up at the wrong end of a patent lawsuit. It would be nice to see some sort of patent agreement from MS.

Typical Microsoft, last on the train. (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347712)

nuff sed

Open source without income? (1)

ingilizdili (1882996) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347756)

Do open source authors have some sort of revenue out of their hard work in return for which they seem to demand nothing? SSL certificates, for example; do they provide some kind of income? And if that is the case, microsoft has a right to adopt some sort of defensive (or offensive) stance, I think.

Put your money where your mouth is (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347804)

And release Direct X under the GPL. Until then I don't believe they care much about open source at all. :)

Sure (0, Redundant)

Razorm (1451377) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347842)

Embrace, extend, then extinguish.

Is Anyone Still Scared of Microsoft? (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347892)

Since killing Netscape, have they succeeded at anything they've said they'd do, or that it was implied they'd do? Their list of failures is long, and each one has a multi-billion dollar price tag on it. Even after all these years, the only inarguably profitable lines are still Windows itself and Office.

About the only thing I can think of is X-box, which has become successful in its own right, though far from dominant. SQL Server is successful within its segment, though I don't know if its profitable. Visual Studio is the best IDE for developing on Windows, but they have no real competition there, and now they're giving it away.

How about OOXML? (4, Insightful)

VGR (467274) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347902)

How nice of them. They apologized for calling Linux a cancer.

Still waiting for an apology for the OOXML atrocity. In fact, it's going to take a lot more than a few contributions and nice words to make me put OOXML and its enormously dirty dealings in the past.

Microsoft loves Open Source? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347922)

bullshit

Translation ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33347974)

Translate the phrase: "We Love Open Source"
"Please Develop for our platform, we need more applications."

Sure they do ! (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 4 years ago | (#33347992)

Microsoft Claims 'We Love Open Source'

... with salt and well cooked.

(Tribute to MC Solaar : translation [myspace.com] of the song "Bouge de là")

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>