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If You're Going To Kill It, Open Source It

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the get-some-goodwill-for-your-investment dept.

Hardware Hacking 245

ptorrone writes "MAKE Magazine is proposing big companies like Cisco and Sony consider 'open sourcing' their failed or discontinued products. The list includes Sony's AIBO and QRIO robots, IBM's Deep Blue chess computer, Ricochet Wireless, Potenco's Pull-Cord Generator, Palm, Microsoft's SPOT Watch, CISCO Flip Camera and more. MAKE is also encouraging everyone to post about what products they'd like to see open sourced."

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245 comments

The Space Shuttle (5, Funny)

clemdoc (624639) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973282)

Opensource the Space Shuttle :)

Re:The Space Shuttle (3, Interesting)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973316)

Concorde

Re:The Space Shuttle (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973476)

What needs to be open sourced about Concorde? The principles are well known, its the economics that are the deal breaker. Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed, Embraer and Bombardier could all produce a supersonic civil aircraft if they so wished - but it would have such a small market, it wouldn't make financial or business sense for them to do so.

Re:The Space Shuttle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973688)

Hence the definition of a "failed" project. Open Source it so the everyman can study it and break it appart reuse any pieces they find interesting. It's not just so someone can use it in business it's about knowledge sharing and general interest and possible unforseen resuses of technologies.

Re:The Space Shuttle (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973690)

What needs to be open sourced about Concorde?

The ignition keys.

Re:The Space Shuttle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35974062)

Well all the schematics, although the principles are the same if you had the blueprints you an make real solid works model, and make design changes send it for manufacturing assuming that the proper tolerances are kept and you have a new concord. Any plane and project can be made from scratch but the work that has already gone into a project would reduce time to production.

Re:The Space Shuttle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973828)

How about PSN? Amiright?

Well, we know Sony won't be doing it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973312)

No text needed outside of subject.

Palm (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973314)

"Palm" is on the list. In its entirety. Low blow lol.

Re:Palm (3, Funny)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973358)

You have that already. Everyone - barring a glitch in the system - is issued two at birth. Usually they come with five "finger" add-on expansion units free of charge, too.

Now, it's up to you to supply your own ink, back up your data regularly, and take care of the daily maintenance to keep your Palms in good working order...

Re:Palm (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973776)

Mine get cold. Is there any way to produce a temperature-regulating covering for them? Perhaps a hair-like substance...

Re:Palm (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973820)

A number of companies produce insulative protective coverings. They come in the form of "gloves" and "mittens."

There are also storage devices called "pockets" available on most clothing.

Re:Palm (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974068)

It has built in sync to other "palms" and can be used for system defense. However, it has a tendency to be used mostly for porn.

AIBO is dead? (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973318)

I thought I kept up with news for nerds, but I missed that one. When did AIBO die? Was there an outcry, like a great disturbance in the force or anything?

Re:AIBO is dead? (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973370)

No, just a bunch of electronic yipping.

Actually, it was over 5 years ago [cnet.com] that it happened.

Sony have just been jerkholes about people trying to continue to use and improve the toy they spent a buttload of money on since.

Re:AIBO is dead? (1)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973416)

There have been several different models since their introduction on May 11, 1999 although AIBO was discontinued in 2006. *snip* On January 26, 2006 Sony announced that it would discontinue AIBO and several other products as of March, 2006 in Sony’s effort to make the company more profitable.

From TFA.

Re:AIBO is dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973504)

The American CEO killed it as one of his first moves. I assume that's one reason he was hired, to deal with all the sacred cows the company had accumulated over the years.

Re:AIBO is dead? (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973578)

to deal with all the sacred cows the company had accumulated over the years.

So Sony is the corporate equivalent of a Mooby's? Wait... actually, that kinda makes sense.

But no, the reason he was hired was to be a distraction, really. Sony's real business model has always been to try to take over [kotaku.com] the standard so that everyone has to license from them.

Consider the following list:
Beta vs VHS -> Sony collected royalties for over two decades on Beta in the form of Betacam recording and the professional TV industry (where image quality did in fact matter more).

DAT vs standard audiotape vs CD Audio -> DAT was actually very popular in Europe and Asia for a good while. Licensing restrictions and "piracy worries" kept it mostly out of the US thanks to the MafiAA.

Minidisc vs CD Audio -> See DAT. Minidisc eventually came back for another, even more stupid round as the "UMD" they were pushing in the PSP.

ATRAC audio vs MP3 audio -> The reason nobody in their right mind would ever buy a Sony portable music player as compared to, say, a Nomad or iPod.

Sony MemoryStick vs SD Memory Sticks -> Sony keeps pushing out their own proprietary lines of gear. PSP and a host of cameras keep this line alive and it sells, despite being way overpriced compared to the SD Micro format.

Think about it. Why did the PS2 have a DVD drive? Sony was part of the DVD consortium. Why did the PS3 have a Blu-Ray drive? Same reason. Before the PS3 launched, HD-DVD was actually winning the format war despite Sony USA refusing to put out any of their movie catalog in the format.

That's the Sony business model. Try to win a "format war" in a way that everyone has to pay you royalties to license your format. Everything else is ancillary at best.

Re:AIBO is dead? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973986)

Before the PS3 launched, HD-DVD was actually winning the format war despite Sony USA refusing to put out any of their movie catalog in the format.

It was "winning" only because there were really no Blu-Rays out at that time, but even at that point HD DVD had abysmal sales. When Blu-Ray was launched in earnest the top Blu-Ray titles was outselling HD DVD by wide margins and even the dual format titles were selling something like 5:1 in Blu-Rays favor.

Re:AIBO is dead? (1, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974052)

Incorrect.

You forget the moment in 2008 when Sony paid Warner Brothers a metric shit-ton of cash to go Blu-Ray Exclusive.

Before that moment, HD-DVD was outselling Blu-Ray. It was really that simple.

Won't Happen (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973332)

Not going to happen for two reasons:
- More often than not, technology or techniques developed from said projects are used in future or ongoing projects.
- Only one thing worse than your project failing is releasing it in the wild and having another company or group making it successful without you.

Re:Won't Happen (1, Redundant)

Bibz (849958) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973348)

In theory it's a good idea and would benefit everybody, but like parent said, it probably won't happen for many reasons.

An other reason :
- There might be some trade secrets embedded in the products

Re:Won't Happen (1)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973364)

I think that was the presumption.

Re:Won't Happen (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973376)

I'll give you number 4:
-The company that released the product likely did not invent every piece of technology in it. Especially with the kind of hardware in this list, at least some parts or patents on some parts were licensed from a 3rd party.

If we really cared, we could probably get this list to 20, guy who wrote this article is dreaming.

Re:Won't Happen (1)

KillAllNazis (1904010) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973450)

But he's not the only one.

Re:Won't Happen (3, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973506)

We hope some day ayaaayhayyy you'll join u-huh-us

And ideeeee-yaaaaas will be free again!

Re:Won't Happen (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973518)

Dreaming? Dreaming is free!

Re:Won't Happen (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973926)

For now

Re:Won't Happen (3, Funny)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973936)

Dreaming? Dreaming is free!

No it's not. Daytime dreaming costs our economy billions, even trillions of dollars every year! What society needs is a brainwave analyzer and a dream counter, so dreams can be taxed and lost productivity converted to money, to be funneled back to the economy through the usual channels.

Re:Won't Happen (3)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973478)

Number 5: some parts are GPL, but the license terms were not followed...

Re:Won't Happen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973434)

Herp derp, uhhhh, uh huh huh huh huh, uh, garsh ah wish ah cud reed as gud as u!

Force it to happen? (2)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973508)

I think there is some room here for forced hostile takeovers. Say an open source consortium forms and a pool is created to buy a company and release its code.

Forget old and failed stuff. I think the first target should be quickbooks.

Re:Force it to happen? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974032)

Uhh, I'm afraid that you are dreaming, more than anyone else here. How 'bout a guick list of the comanies most likely to form such a consortium, who actually have the money to do forced hostile takeovers? I think the wealthiest company that is freindly to open source is IBM, but they have their own ideas on open source. Then, there's Oracle, with their Open Office and Java - oh, wait. Not really that freindly, right? Going down the list - well, there's Red Hat. Wonder how large a company they could eat in a hostile takeover? Then there are dozens of second stringers, most of which are just getting by.

I like your idea, and it makes for a whole bunch of pipe dreams, but unless the government open sources the mints so that we can print our own money, this aint' gonna happen.

Re:Won't Happen (4, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973520)

This and also : patented technologies used that might leave a company liable and similarly licensed technology used that cannot be open sourced. They're asking companies to take a product they are about to kill and spend a lot of money on it to go through the code weeding out anything that might expose them to lawsuits. In exchange for what, exactly ? It might be a boon to customers using legacy products but you want those using your new products, there's zero upside for companies on this.

Re:Won't Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973642)

- Only one thing worse than your project failing is releasing it in the wild and having another company or group making it successful without you.

Letting someone have a chance to improve it after you've failed is bad? That's news to me. I'll continue to let others take over where I have failed. And if they succeed, I'll feel good for them instead of feeling bad for myself.

Re:Won't Happen (1)

enemorales (1172133) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973778)

Not going to happen for two reasons: - More often than not, technology or techniques developed from said projects are used in future or ongoing projects. - Only one thing worse than your project failing is releasing it in the wild and having another company or group making it successful without you.

Is it that if you opensource something you also immediately transfer (or give away) the right to commercialize it? (I think that, for example, there is a Qt commercial license which is different from the non-commercial one).

Re:Won't Happen (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974134)

Is it that if you opensource something you also immediately transfer (or give away) the right to commercialize it?

Yes, at least according to OSI's definition of open source. No license can discriminate against commercialization to be considered open source.

I think that, for example, there is a Qt commercial license which is different from the non-commercial one

That usually means that the open source license used is copyleft (most often GPL), and so it forces any redistributer to also distribute their code if they distribute binaries liked to it.

The 'commercial' license isn't copyleft, so it does let you distribute their software without opening up yours.

Re:Won't Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973912)

3. If you have a failed product but remain in a similar market, you don't want to wind up competing with yourself.
4. There are very few clean-room implementations. The technology behind the Aibo, for example, probably came from two or three dozen different companies.

Re:Won't Happen (1)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974020)

Its just bad business. it would be like giving away stuff that you get a tax right off for burying in a landfill.

IP is the problem (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973334)

All products would most likely need an audit which would take both time and money...to avoid any legal trouble that could happen. Something I doubt either company would do for the sake of giving people free shit. But you never know, maybe they have higher moral fiber than I think :)

Nope. (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973342)

These companies don't want to compete against their own products (released to open source). They'd rather make these products disappear forever, and force customers to buy the newest gadgets.

Basically it's the same strategy Microsoft follows when it refuses to open source Windows 3 or 95 or XP.

Re:Nope. (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973524)

These companies don't want to compete against their own products (released to open source). They'd rather make these products disappear forever, and force customers to buy the newest gadgets.

Basically it's the same strategy Microsoft follows when it refuses to open source Windows 3 or 95 or XP.

Exactly. Companies don't want the public to improve their old products, preventing them from buying new ones. For example, let's say Cicso opened up the software of all of their old routers. The open source community would take those routers and improve on them, giving them features only available in new routers. Now companies will upgrade their old routers instead of buying new ones.

Also, there is a liability issue. In the example above, what if someone found a security hole by examining the software that opened up companies that use Cicso routers? What if that whole was unnoticed and ported to the new routers by Cicso? Suddenly, the entire Cicso product line, current and discontinued would need an immediate patch, costing Cicso a fortune, not to mention any legal liability to companies that were already attacked.

Yeah. Not going to happen.

Re:Nope. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973556)

Yeah, if XP was opened, WINE would probably get a huge boost in compatibility, and I'd either use WINE or use the opened, vastly improved XP over Windows 7 (Which I only prefer because of Aero, really)

An Open Source Windows XP might last looong... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973742)

Windows 7 is a bit better, but not by much. So if XP was opened and available for free, I guess many people would stick to it. Hardware vendors might bundle it by default, to avoid paying for Windows 7. In short, it would really hurt Microsoft's Windows 7 business.

Complicated rights issues (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973344)

The company doesn't necessarily own all the rights to all the components. My dad and I wrote a BASIC interpreter for the PC in the 80s, but when we decided we wanted to release the source, we realised that Walter Bright owned the code that we had licensed to do the floating point arithmetic.

If anyone wants to take on an MS-DOS BBC BASIC interpreter written in assembly, and fancies writing a new module to do floating point to replace the code in question, let me know and I'll talk to my dad about it again.

Re:Complicated rights issues (1, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973412)

You know what ? Release the code, give a liberal licence on your own copyrighted code, mention that the floating point was Walter Bright and that he reserves all rights to it.

Then if someone wants to have a complete open source implementation, they will remove this code and replace it.

Re:Complicated rights issues (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973782)

Except that without the rights to redistribute that code, you're advocating copyright infringement.

Re:Complicated rights issues (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973874)

Just another prime example of a Slashtard telling others to do something that will get them thrown into court that they wouldn't have the sack to do themselves. This place is full of that kind of crap.

Re:Complicated rights issues (3, Insightful)

noname444 (1182107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973816)

Just release what you legally can. If someone is interested they can replace the floating point parts.

Re:Complicated rights issues (1)

Al Kossow (460144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974096)

Consider donating it to the Computer History Museum

Interesting title there (0)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973346)

I misunderstood the intent of the title as "if you want to kill something, open source it"... which would make sense considering how more and more open source projects are being shot down in flames by lawsuits and patent claims.

Re:Interesting title there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973516)

... and by bad, amateurish project management.

Re:Interesting title there (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973568)

Or to take a leaf from Nokia's book: if you want to kill yourself, form a partnership with Microsoft and then Accenture.

All cars. (1)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973354)

Once they are - say - 10 years old - the complete source and schematics of the ECU, as well as all other parts of the car are revealed.

won't happen (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973360)

Too many licensing issues and agreements with other companies. At least that's the excuse IBM gave against open-sourcing OS/2. Damn, linux would be amazing with a modernized WPS :(

Re:won't happen (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973400)

WPS?

Re:won't happen (1)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973448)

Work Place Shell. (Sort of like the window manager in X.)

Re:won't happen (1)

tomservo84 (990233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973474)

Obviously "White Powdery Substance"

Re:won't happen (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973462)

OS/2 has also been renamed and is still being sold by a different at around $260 a seat.
http://www.ecomstation.com/where_purchase.phtml [ecomstation.com]

If IBM was to open source OS/2, not only would Microsoft be all over them (it was, remember, a joint development effort), but they'd probably be in violation of the agreement with eComStation which allows that company to modify and continue selling the thing.

Microsoft SPOT watch (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973368)

I thought that the .NET Micro Framework (the platform that the SPOT watch was based) is currently open source. At least, you can port it to the platform of your choice. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=16fa5d31-a583-4c0d-af74-f4d5e235d5bc [microsoft.com]

Re:Microsoft SPOT watch (1)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974126)

You are correct. There are several open source companies that are selling hardware based on the .NET Micro Framework, including TinyCLR (FEZ product line) and the Netduino.

Microsoft's official site on the .NET Micro Framework is at http://www.netmf.com [netmf.com] .

I've personally used it for several projects with great success... they really did a nice job on it and you can even use Visual Studio to develop for it, which makes it incredibly easy to debug as well. (Attached debugger to the hardware, for example.)

Bill

Use it, license it, or lose it (2, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973372)

That should be the law..

Re:Use it, license it, or lose it (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974094)

Nah, R&D might just be working the kinks out.

Putting decent limits on copyrights and patents, and making it easier for bullshit patents to get the old heave ho, will go quite far by themselves.

There are probably patent issues with this (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973374)

Even though something is "failed or discontinued", that doesn't mean that there are a lot of patents based on it. Open sourcing some of these would probably raise the wrath of the legal departments. So I guess a lot of companies would rather decide to just sit on the stuff, instead of opening some other can of legal worms . . .

Patent litigation (1)

ZorkZero (6507) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973390)

It's a nice thought, but with all the crazy patent litigation going around, why would moneyed corporations put themselves at risk? Too many vultures out there.

Not going to happen... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973406)

If you put an alternative for people to use instead of your new and improved pay-for version, you're not going to sell as much.

Previous story: Nokia Outsources Symbian OS Work (2)

A Guy From Ottawa (599281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973430)

So I'm assuming it's a coincidence this story about releasing "abandoned" products was posted by timothy right after the "Nokia Outsources Symbian OS Work" story right? Wishful thinking? ;)

Re:Previous story: Nokia Outsources Symbian OS Wor (1)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974034)

Symbian was released under the EPL (which was later changed [groklaw.net] to a mostly-closed license) in 2010.

Full source code dump is available here [sourceforge.net] and some other stuff are available here [google.com] .

Did Deep Blue cheat? (4, Interesting)

Atari400 (1174925) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973532)

I think the only way to find out would be to see if Deep Blue would make the same move again, and what the code looked like that would prompt it to do so.

Re:Did Deep Blue cheat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973910)

What are you talking about? In chess, both players can see the entire game state at any given time (nothing is hidden), and I seriously doubt Deep Blue would be programmed or permitted to make any illegal moves. How would it possibly cheat?

IP squatting (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973552)

The reason these companies will never open-source even their 'failures' is because the greed is so consuming that they will squat on the IP of even the failed projects hoping to some day milk some extra cash from it.

Case in point: the 1990s DOS game Ascendancy. It was developed by a tiny outfit named The Logic Factory; not at all Big Corporate Business even. Its source has never been released. A sequel was promised for over a decade (Duke Nukem Forever, anyone?), though it never materialized. The game eventually found its way to abandonware sites, but recently they were served with C&D notices. Why? Because the original developers, after some FIFTEEN YEARS (remember, this was a DOS game), had dusted off the thing and ported it to the iPhone/iWhatever and wanted to again 'protect' their precious IP.

So this IP squatting isn't corporate behavior, it's human behavior. It's selfish or tribalistic greed.

Re:IP squatting (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973674)

I actually have no problem with this. They dusted off their IP and are using it again. If they were to leave it to languish and still sent out the C&D letters, then you would have a point of it being pointless.

Re:IP squatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973934)

It's theirs, they can do what the hell they want with it. WTF is this entitlement complex some of you people have with demanded other peoples' work for free?

Re:IP squatting (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974130)

Perhaps the giants upon whose shoulders he was standing aren't too happy about him wearing cleats?

I'd address the entitlement complex of the creative mind that wants to hog all the credit and profit for the final product without remembering what it needed to get there.

100 percent originality is very difficult to achieve.

Windows XP (1)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973590)

n/t

The Dead Products Aren't The Endgame (2)

Dredd13 (14750) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973598)

The reason a lot of these things will never be open sourced is simply because the technology is still economically viable, and will be used for other things, even if the PRODUCT involved isn't. The AIBOs and Deep Blues of the world aren't the "endgame", they're a way of getting the tires on a given technology to be kicked for a bit.

Re:The Dead Products Aren't The Endgame (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973914)

Bringing back dead projects mostly create software zombies, the ghosts of the old project might come back to scare you (IPs, bugs, patents, people..). It is always better to start again and build from ground up a better product, even if you need to reinvent the wheel here and there, but that is mostly for the better anyway.

Re:The Dead Products Aren't The Endgame (1)

Dredd13 (14750) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973960)

But that's THEIR decision to make, not yours or mine.

open Mac OS 9 and os/2 (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973608)

open Mac OS 9 and os/2

Re:open Mac OS 9 and os/2 (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973760)

Considering that Mac OS 9 was mostly a mixture of Pascal and 68k Assembler mixed with a bit of ppc Assembler, you most likely wouldn't want that :)

Re:open Mac OS 9 and os/2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973952)

Well, OS 9 was actually a great deal of C code ( Carbon API prepping and all ) , but if you dial back to OS 6 you're absolutely right not to mention all the onboard ROM code.

While we're building a wish list... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973632)

Allow me to introduce you to the elephant in the corner that is owned by IBM - OS/2 Warp. Remember that? You know, the 32bit GUI OS that ran windows applications faster and more securely than the version of windows that was available at the same time?

I think I just came across another ATM recently that was running a specialized version of Warp; so I guess we can't call it completely dead yet, even though IBM won't sell it for any amount of money.

Re:While we're building a wish list... (2)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974106)

IBM won't,

http://www.ecomstation.com/

even being open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973634)

wouldn't have helped microsoft bob.

Could reveal too many security holes (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973640)

Just because a product dies doesn't mean people stop using it.

So if a software product is killed off, and the code made available for everyone (not just the good guys) to inspect, who pays the cost of patching any security vulnerabilities that are found as a result?

It's not that the holes weren't there before (you never know, they may *be* the reason the product got canned), just that until it was handed to the world on a plate, there were easier vulnerbilities in other products to exploit. I have to say that if I had a company that used a product which was subsequently hacked after its source was released, I'd have a stampede of lawyers headed right for the door of the people who released that code.

Re:Could reveal too many security holes (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973852)

Sounds like a feature rather than a bug.

By releasing the code when it goes out of support, any customers who depended on the product can hire someone to do a code-review/security-audit rather than continue using it with the holes in place.

F*CK... (1)

cfriedt (1189527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973686)

yeah!

Seriously - if a company no longer supports a product that still has a fairly large market, a lot of (particularly north-american) people will just throw the product in the garbage. Look at the billions of __WORKING__ cellular phones that end up in landfills. If users were given the freedom to improve the firmware on these aging products and make them relevent and useful again, we could give those devices away for free to people in the world who need them, or resell them.

It's better than waiting 1 million years for something to decompose in a landfill.

AmigaOS (1)

transami (202700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973696)

The people in control of this code are living in a outdated and dismal delusion.

I'm no corporation, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973704)

Open source it, and when someone makes it work, hire them. They probably completed it as a hobby when your team of salaried engineers in million-dollar labs couldn't hack it.

But no, can't risk someone embarrassing us by making it work. If we can't profit from it, nobody can have it.

Microsoft Bob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973712)

Microsoft Bob. Or the Clippie.

Companies wont do that because it creates problems (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973722)

Like Competition...

Look at Blender for example. It has became a MAJOR contender in the 3d space. the last release has taken steps that are starting to pass horribly overpriced commercial products like Maya.

The hair and smoke simulations in Blender are just short of magical. and it's constantly getting better.

Re:Companies wont do that because it creates probl (1, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974080)

Look at Blender for example. It has became a MAJOR contender in the 3d space. the last release has taken steps that are starting to pass horribly overpriced commercial products like Maya.

And by major contender you mean it's still used by almost no one in the game or movie industry, right?

irix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973756)

Dead versions of unix for dead hardware.

Why add more gas to the fire.... (1)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973850)

Yeah, like there arenâ(TM)t enough dead open source projects out there already. You may not like that comment but it's an undeniable truth.

From the inside... (1)

skrimp (790524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973880)

So let's say I work for a company that has software used by a few fairly large financial institutions and my company wants to kill that software in favor of something..."else". The net result is that the customers are under heavy pressure to purchase the "else", and I'm going to be out of a job. Can I plant some open source libraries or source code into the product, sit back for a while, then demand the company release the rest of the product as open source?

Re:From the inside... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974100)

Can I plant some open source libraries or source code into the product, sit back for a while, then demand the company release the rest of the product as open source?

Do you want to be taken to court and sued for a value many times your life's worth?

sgi, please open source IRIX! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35973990)

At a minimum, I'd like to have the access to IRIX's software management subsystem source code, inst(1M) and roboinst(1M).

It's a shame that such advanced technology is bit-rotting away on some tape...

Please, please open source IRIX!

Microsoft BOB (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35973998)

I like the interface.

xhpcalc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35974104)

Please, now that my HP-15C has stopped working the handy software version that was once available as an X-window application under HP/UX about 10 years ago would be wonderful to get.

NASA programs all should be open source... (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974132)

after say an 8 or 10 year exclusion period, say. But if I had to pick one, it'd be Voyager.

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