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Microsoft Counted As Key Linux Contributor

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the strange-bedfellows dept.

Microsoft 305

alphadogg writes "For the first time ever, Microsoft can be counted as a key contributor to Linux. The company, which once portrayed the open-source OS kernel as a form of cancer, has been ranked 17th on a tally of the largest code contributors to Linux. The Linux Foundation's Linux Development Report, released Tuesday, summarizes who has contributed to the Linux kernel, from versions 2.6.36 to 3.2. The 10 largest contributors listed in the report are familiar names: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google. But the appearance of Microsoft is a new one for the list, compiled annually."

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305 comments

whoa (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564533)

Did hell freeze over already??

Re:whoa (5, Informative)

Soilworker (795251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564613)

No. Microsoft just found a way to make money on open source OS.

Re:whoa (5, Insightful)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564713)

My understanding is a lot of the stuff they contribute is to get things that should be interoperable there, eg. smb and of course interop helps sell a more hetrogenous environment to corps (so they don't all run and flee to linux, but also linux doesn't break when talking to a Win server).

Re:whoa (2)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565517)

IIRC from reading the forums and bugreports, samba has accumulated plenty of printing regressions since 3.2 or so, and nothing was ever done about them. It's been quite long since one could use, say, driver for HP LaserJet 8000/8100 directly via samba, without using a local printer port :(

Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564975)

Have YOU personally contributed more than MS to Linux programming efforts?

* Be happy they have contributed thus... even IF it serves their own ends? It serves Linux also, for interoperability of both (which SHOULD be, of course, the end goal).

APK

P.S.=> I am taking a risk on this here, as to your possible answer... but? Well, because the world's generally more full of "armchair QB talkers" vs. actual doers? I'd say you have not... apk

What's your opinion of hosts files? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565015)

I've been trying to reduce malware attacks on my NT 3.5 server that I maintain for legacy production purposes, but all of the antimalware apps for NT 3.x seem awfully bloated.

Re:What's your opinion of hosts files? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565245)

(If your comment were serious, I'd say sandbox it in a VM.)

Assuming you're not just "trolling" (u are)? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565345)

Upgrade to a newer version of Windows Server: That's not even supported anymore, or patched for, either (for many years).

That's your biggest problem...

(Of course, that's also assuming you are even being straight with me here (and you're probably not)).

* That's a start though!

(Even though I am fairly certain you're attempting to 'troll' me, which IS rather 'weak').

APK

P.S.=> As to what hosts files can do for you, and what I think of them for added speed, security, and even extra 'anonymity' to a degree?

Well, ok - Instead of ME talking? I'll let your own /. peers tell you what they think instead:

---

22++ SLASHDOT USERS EXPERIENCING SUCCESS USING HOSTS FILES QUOTED VERBATIM:

---

"I want my surfing speed back so I block EVERY fucking ad. i.e. http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ [someonewhocares.org] and http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm [mvps.org] FTW" - by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday December 13, @12:04PM (#38356782)

"this is not a troll, which hosts file source you recommend nowadays? it's a really handy method for speeding up web and it works." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday March 22, @08:07PM (#39446525) Homepage Journal

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363) Homepage Journal

"I actually went and downloaded a 16k line hosts file and started using that after seeing that post, you know just for trying it out. some sites load up faster." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 17, @11:20AM (#38086752) Homepage Journal

"Ever since I've installed a host file (http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm) to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] " - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050) Homepage Journal

"you're right about hosts files" - by drinkypoo (153816) on Thursday May 26, @01:21PM (#36252958) Homepage

"APK's monolithic hosts file is looking pretty good at the moment." - by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday November 17, @10:08AM (#38085666)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012) Homepage

"It's a good write up on something everybody should use, why you were modded down is beyond me. Using a HOSTS file, ADblock is of no concern and they can do what they want." - by Trax3001BBS (2368736) on Monday December 12, @10:07PM (#38351398) Homepage Journal

"Let me introduce you to the file: /etc/hosts" - by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday December 19, @05:03PM (#38427432)

"I use a hosts file" - by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 13, @01:17PM (#38357816)

"I'm tempted to go for a hacked hosts file that simply resolves most advert sites to 127.0.0.1" - by bLanark (123342) on Tuesday December 13, @01:13PM (#38357760)

"put in your /etc/hosts:" - by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @09:17AM (#34429688)

"A hosts file certainly does not require "a lot of work" to maintain, and it quite effectively kills a LOT of advertising and tracking schemes. . In fact, I never would have considered trying to use it for ddefending against viruses or malware." - by RocketRabbit (830691) on Thursday December 30 2010, @05:48PM (#34715060)

---

And, THERE YOU GO DIRECT QUOTES FROM SLASHDOT USERS TOO, & ON HOSTS FILES USEFULNESS TO THEY AS WELL!

---

Also, how about a DIRECT QUOTE from a respected security pro (from securityfocus.com, a division of SYMANTEC/NORTON) on the note of HOSTS files too?

Resurrecting the Killfile

Oliver Day, 2009-02-04

FROM -> http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/491 [securityfocus.com]

---

PERINTENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS:

"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet â" particularly browsing the Web â" is actually faster now."

and

"The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

and

"This is a solution I've seen used in small communities around the Internet. Not application-based killfiles, but diving down through the network stack and blocking things at a lower level using host files. The host file is the first file that applications query when looking for an address on the network. Each of the hosts considered as unwanted guests can be given an entry in the host file pointing to 127.0.0.1, the default loopback address, effectively blocking them."

---

And, there you are... apk

Re:Assuming you're not just "trolling" (u are)? (0)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565567)

WTF is wrong with you and host files? They work for some people, some other people (myself included) block bad stuff at the local caching nameserver. Big fucking deal.

Alas, your insistence may signify an underlying psychiatric disease. I'd talk to a doctor. You may be getting first signs of schizophrenia or somesuch. And I am serious. There's a form of schizophrenia that manifests itself with people believing, initially maybe innocuously, that others are there to "get them" in a way. You show that pattern. Get evaluated. You'll save yourself and your family potentially a lot of grief. Or else you're just dim.

Re:Assuming you're not just "trolling" (u are)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565643)

He answered a question. WTF's wrong w/ u? Learn to read, moron.

Re:whoa (5, Funny)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564871)

Why not? It looks like this will be the year of the linux desktop!

that's for virtualization. (5, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564535)

I was wondering "why the hell?" TFA says:

"Much of the work Microsoft did centers around providing drivers for its own Hyper-V virtualization technology. Microsoft's Hyper-V, part of Windows Server, can run Linux as a guest OS."

Why that couldn't be included in the summary?

Is this news to anyone? (5, Funny)

John Mister (2609887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564575)

Microsoft has always been one of the best innovators about new technology. Against the popular belief on Slashdot, they have contributed a lot to computer technology, innovations, and of course, Linux too. Stop the hate and accept that Microsoft also has many technically knowledgeable persons who also contribute to Linux. When reading this hate about MS I can't but think that YOU are who is having problems with dealing with it.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564607)

I hope this was meant to be funny.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564707)

I hope this was meant to be funny.

Of course not. Microsoft has contributed more to the knowledge base of predatory marketing, monopoly abuse, and price manipulation than any other company in recent memory. You would have to go all the way back to Standard Oil to find a company that has given us more in these important fields. Many companies look up to Microsoft and use their history as an template for themselves, and like Microsoft, they are much richer for it.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (3, Informative)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564617)

I didn't see any hate there, just surprise that a company was contributing to what is essentially a rival product. That's pretty reasonable, and doesn't portray Microsoft in a bad light at all.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564837)

I would argue that linux, in the scheme of home computing, isn't a rival product. How many regular joe-schmoe characters see linux as a viable alternative to windows?

I bet that number is pretty small. Does that mean linux is less valuable (before the firestorm), no, no it does not. Does that mean that linux doesn't matter, no, again, it does not.

Does it mean that Microsoft could care less about linux in its current form as a rival? Maybe?

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1)

C3ntaur (642283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565021)

I'm a pretty technical user and have been using Linux as my primary desktop for over a decade. Lately, even I am having trouble seeing it as a viable alternative to windows.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565299)

I'm a pretty technical user and have been using Linux as my primary desktop for over a decade. Lately, even I am having trouble seeing it as a viable alternative to windows.

Try switching away from Ubuntu. Try Debian, Mint, Fedora, etc... That should stop your worry.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565025)

In terms of Microsoft's future, I certainly see them as competitors. Microsoft's innovation (and especially growth) has been practically stagnant over the past decade. Apple, on the other hand, is poised to take over the desktop market leveraging their huge mobile device market share. If Windows 8 (or whatever follows) doesn't hold consumers' loyalty to Microsoft, I expect to see a quick change in the market numbers as current Windows machines become obsolete.

On the other hand, Microsoft's lock-in in the business world is nearly complete. It's a royal pain in the ass to migrate entirely off a Windows system, so Microsoft has a steady market there. That's also right where Linux is making and can continue to make substantial growth, as startups and small businesses look for easy ways to just get a working business system running, so they can get on with their real work. Microsoft can solidify their market share by cleaning up their licensing mess (costs, limitations, and options, primarily) and Linux's outlook can improve with the help of tools like Webmin to make administration easier for GUI-loving and non-Unix folks.

That's how I see it, at least. I expect interesting times ahead.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565491)

In terms of Microsoft's future, I certainly see them as competitors. Microsoft's innovation (and especially growth) has been practically stagnant over the past decade. Apple, on the other hand, is poised to take over the desktop market leveraging their huge mobile device market share. If Windows 8 (or whatever follows) doesn't hold consumers' loyalty to Microsoft, I expect to see a quick change in the market numbers as current Windows machines become obsolete.

Unlikely. First, Apple's in a *really* nice spot on the computer side. It's a spot everyone else doing Windows PCs wish they were in. They're making money hand-over-fist on computers - and they move less product that say, Dell. Yet Dell's not making much (if any) more money on computers than Apple is, but Dell's shipping at least 10 times more computers than Apple.

Sure Windows 8 may move some more people to Apple, but not enough to make a significant dent for Microsoft. After all, Apple has deliberately chosen not to participate in several PC markets - like low-cost (sub $500) market. They only have one portable computer below $1000 (and really, at $999 it's splitting hairs).

Apple's strategy is to stick to premium products - nicer screens (1366x768 is fine on an 11" screen, but not a 13", and the top end comes with 1920x1200 (not 1080) by default), nicer processors (Mini uses an i5, not say, an Atom or even i3) and so forth. Sure there's some lock in (iMac hard drive anyone?), but the premium experience is what Apple is selling.

And Apple's concentrating more on iOS than OS X these days, given how people have established they want a "computing device" but without all the hassles of owning a fully-functional computer. A locked-down experience is perfectly fine for them without worrying that that "Your PC in infected!" popup will steal all their information.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565437)

Lol. You think Microsoft makes their money off of home computing?

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565045)

It really doesn't make much sense. They are helping Android Linux to beat Windows Phone.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565459)

The Linux portion of Android is about the same as the MS-DOS portion of Windows 9x. Everything else runs on a VM.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564751)

The problem is that roughly three quarters of the things Microsoft brags about being their own "innovations" are actually things that all of the other Operating Systems (or software projects) have already had available for years. Then the things they actually do innovate that are worth using, they barely talk about. Further, your over-reaction makes you look like a paid shill - the GP post wasn't hating on Microsoft, it was asking why the specifics of the contributions were not included in the summary, when they're very much relevant. Specifically: Most of Microsoft's contribution to Linux was geared towards making it run more smoothly inside of their own operating system. It was pointing out that they weren't doing this to be altruistic, they were doing it to further their own products and services. (Which is of course, what they should be doing, as a publicly traded company with a responsibility to their shareholders. Acting against those interests by making charitable contributions to their own competition could land them in trouble.)

Re:Is this news to anyone? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564905)

Microsoft has always been one of the best at purchasing small competitors with new innovations and new technologies. Very little comes directly from Redmond - is this a bad thing? Not mine to comment on.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (0, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564965)

MS mostly just copied the ideas from Commodore (preemptive tasking) and Atari (both of which developed the idea of a multimedia PC that could playback videos and music).

Here's a name you should remember and admire: Jay Miner. He produced most of the innovations from 1977's Atari VCS/2600 through 1985's Amiga. It took Microsoft about 10 years to catch up, and Apple 15 years (OS 10).

The guy who developed the SID music chip also deserves some credit: Bob Yannes.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565685)

Preemptive multitasking was in daily use well before Commodore or Atari got incorporated. Video and music playback on workstations also predates consumer computing availability of the same.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (2, Informative)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565129)

> Microsoft has always been one of the best innovators about new technology. Not really. Microsoft are early adopters, but they are not really innovators who discover new stuff (with a few exceptions). Ask yourself who invented: TCP/IP? virtualization? 3D graphics? MP3s? the web browser? DOS? vector display graphics and printing? the spreadsheet? the word-processor? the smart phone? Javascript? VM based applications (nb: .NET is a Windows-oriented re-implementation of the JVM that has been extended in useful ways)? blah blah. Unfortunately it seems you don't you your computing history at all (easy for those who pre-date it to remember what went on). The rest of your post is true though - but don't believe the mythos that Microsoft created the computing environment we have today - they are genius' at moneytizing it, but they didn't invent it.

Re:Is this news to anyone? (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565641)

In all seriousness, there's some cool stuff coming out from Microsoft Research. Everything else, if it can be considered innovative, is half-baked. The dimwits who specified and documented winapi had no clue how to formally specify stuff. Thus all the undocumented behavior that applications exploit in light of no documentation and no clear direction as to the rationale and intended uses behind various APIs. Thus we have stuff that MS had to work around over and over to maintain compatibility with broken applications; stuff that wine people have to deal with as well. As far as MS complaining that app writers are getting things wrong: well duh idiots, you can't write the docs, you'll pay for it. Yeah, I've been consistently pissed about that, even back in the times of 16 bit winapi -- even as a kid back then I realized that they were not saying things that should have been said.

Of course with various non-standard Linux APIs, you're entirely on your own. But at least there's no pretense of documentation, and you can look at the code.

Re:that's for virtualization. (0, Troll)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564631)

It's measured in "changes", too... so I'm cynically assuming that Microsoft had to convert every variable to Hungarian notation, duplicate a few hundred functions, and add a glass-styled animated panel to the boot display.

Re:that's for virtualization. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564969)

if i recall correctly that microsoft invented Hungarian notation? :3

Re:that's for virtualization. (2)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564641)

It's a summary, not the whole article.

Re:that's for virtualization. (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564981)

Silly me, I thought the summary was supposed to summarize the article.

Re:that's for virtualization. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565451)

And it does quite well.

Re:that's for virtualization. (1, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564665)

It's a juicier narrative to portray it in the way the summary did--that even though Microsoft once depicted Linux as a "cancer", Linux must now be so awesome that Microsoft is one of its key contributors. Providing context buffs out some of that luster.

I find it far more intriguing that the key contributors to Linux are companies and not independent individuals, since the old storyline used to be that devoted hobbyists were gathering on the internet to do a better job than commercial companies, back when the "year of Linux on the desktop" was always right around the corner.

Re:that's for virtualization. (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565083)

It's a juicier narrative to portray it in the way the summary did--that even though Microsoft once depicted Linux as a "cancer", Linux must now be so awesome that Microsoft is one of its key contributors. Providing context buffs out some of that luster.

Yeah, instead it's that Linux is so awesome Microsoft can't afford not to ensure it is compatible with their hypervisor. Of course it's no surprise that in the virtualization market being able to virtualize Linux is a key feature.

I find it far more intriguing that the key contributors to Linux are companies and not independent individuals, since the old storyline used to be that devoted hobbyists were gathering on the internet to do a better job than commercial companies, back when the "year of Linux on the desktop" was always right around the corner.

That hasn't been the case since Linux became Linus' job. Though those hobbyists -- including Linus -- did a good enough job that they companies took notice, now didn't they? For over a decade the many contributions of companies to Linux -- not least of which being distros like Red Hat -- have been used as proof that Free Software doesn't mean the death of the paid programmer.

Of course anyone who thought it did in the first place didn't understand the market for programmers. It's always been the case that the majority of programmers are employed solving the specific business needs of specific companies, not creating shrink-wrap per-license software.

You don't understand (2)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564683)

"Microsoft Serves Self" wouldn't be controversial enough for New Slashdot.

Re:that's for virtualization. (2)

miknix (1047580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564825)

Why that couldn't be included in the summary?

The author wanted us to think, April fools!

Re:that's for virtualization. (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565111)

Why that couldn't be included in the summary?

Simple. Wouldn't be as sensationalist for those who didn't bother to read TFA and jumped straight to posting about hell freezing over. More comments, more ad views.

AND IT WAS COMPILED ON A LINUX BOX (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564539)

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Re:AND IT WAS COMPILED ON A LINUX BOX (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564585)

HA HA
ON TEH SPOKE
GOLF CLAP
CONGRATS
adshfu fhuf ruh vvf v fuid v ashfuio awe

Remind me ... (1, Funny)

lysdexia (897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564541)

... to ship that fur coat to Satan. I'll bet he's cold down there.

Re:Remind me ... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564735)

LOL, but those who believed that the last decade MS declaration were truthfully evaluating linux and FOSS have probably given all their money to a nigerian prince, dunno how many are still here.

Re:Remind me ... (-1, Offtopic)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564879)

... to ship that fur coat to Satan.

Sorry what? The whole first part of your sentence is missing.

Subject lines... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565375)

...often have what you think is missing.

Re:Remind me ... (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565507)

It's in the subject line.

I am a -SUBJECT- field! (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565679)

Yes. Where it should not be.

Woosh.

I call B.S. (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564561)

Last I heard, all of Microsoft's contributions to the Linux kernel have been strictly to improve Linux support for Microsoft products, e.g. to allow Windows Server to be a host for Linux clients. That's fine, but it hardly counts as "key" contributions in my book.

Re:I call B.S. (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564645)

If it increases interoperability, that is a rather high priority for any operating system whose proponents wish it to remain viable. I am no fan of Redmond, but I have managed to make a lot of money supporting their products.

Re:I call B.S. (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564689)

If you make a closed, proprietary system that is not interoperable, then work to change everybody else's system so that it can work with yours, do you really deserve a pat on the back for that? Every action from beginning to end was wholly self-serving.

Re:I call B.S. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564855)

Red Hat's involvement is also self-serving.

Your point?

Re:I call B.S. (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564957)

Red Hat's involvement is also self-serving.

Your point?

How is that the same thing?

Fundamentally, what Microsoft is doing here is submitting changes to the Linux kernel that allow Microsoft to maintain a closed, proprietary product line that competes with free alternatives. If Microsoft's proprietary virtualization technology did not work with Linux, it would fail. So Microsoft has made its proprietary virtualization technology work with Linux ... by making changes to Linux. There's nothing "wrong" with that, but there's also nothing particularly admirable about it, either -- and to trumpet a headline claiming Microsoft is "a key Linux contributor" only serves Microsoft's anti-Linux marketing goals.

Re:I call B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564885)

For-profit company takes actions which serve their needs. More in the news at ten.

Re:I call B.S. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564963)

Every single contribution to the linux kernel (or any open source project) is inherently self serving. Every one of the companies listed benefits from the contributions they provide. That's the entire point of open source, you modify it to suit your needs. So what if you don't like Microsoft, too fucking bad.

Re:I call B.S. (3, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565049)

Every single contribution to the linux kernel (or any open source project) is inherently self serving. Every one of the companies listed benefits from the contributions they provide. That's the entire point of open source, you modify it to suit your needs. So what if you don't like Microsoft, too fucking bad.

Yes, but unlike Microsoft, most of the companies who contribute hardware drivers to the Linux kernel (such as Broadcom, for example), don't have a history of trying to destroy Linux. In this case, the fact that Slashdot is claiming Microsoft is suddenly "a key Linux contributor" is even more valuable to Microsoft than the actual kernel contributions it has made. Framing the story in this way helps Microsoft craft messaging that subverts Linux.

Re:I call B.S. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565149)

Yes it's a conspiracy. The secret evil plot to destroy linux by........ making it work better? WTF are you smoking?

Re:I call B.S. (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565339)

In this case, the fact that Slashdot is claiming Microsoft is suddenly "a key Linux contributor" is even more valuable to Microsoft than the actual kernel contributions it has made.

No it isn't. They want to sell their hypervisor. Customers want to run Linux. If they can't virtualize linux, or can't virtualize it efficiently, then the customers won't buy Microsoft's product. Being a player in the virtualization market, which is an increasingly large portion of the overall server market, is worth much more to Microsoft than a little "What, us destroy linux?" P.R. that only slashdotters care about and only slashdotters will notice.

The real story here is that Microsoft can no longer afford to use incompatibility as a lever against Linux. The fulcrum has moved, and now Linux has the leverage in that fight.

Re:I call B.S. (4, Insightful)

John Mister (2609887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564649)

Last I heard, all of Microsoft's contributions to the Linux kernel have been strictly to improve Linux support for Microsoft products, e.g. to allow Windows Server to be a host for Linux clients. That's fine, but it hardly counts as "key" contributions in my book.

Why wouldn't it count as key contributions? Windows has market share of 95% on desktops and almost 50% on servers (used more on internal servers like exchange than your typical apache+centos cheapo host). Still, MS works to maintain some compatibility when they really have no reason to. I think that deserves some appreciation.

Re:I call B.S. (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564793)

Still, MS works to maintain some compatibility when they really have no reason to.

No reason at all? Are you sure you've thought this through?

Re:I call B.S. (0)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564915)

Welcome back. I was wondering when you'd resurface....

cheers,

Re:I call B.S. (5, Insightful)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564757)

Last I heard, all of Microsoft's contributions to the Linux kernel have been strictly to improve Linux support for Microsoft products, e.g. to allow Windows Server to be a host for Linux clients. That's fine, but it hardly counts as "key" contributions in my book.

A large number of contributors put in source code which is "relevant to their interests". e.g. graphics card manufacturers contribute towards open source drivers and improvements to X.

Personally I see nothing wrong with this, and quite frankly makes a good change from when Microsoft did everything possible to hide how their stuff works e.g. *cough*Samba*cough*

Hyper-V (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564565)

I do believe they've basically only added support for running Linux as a guest OS within their VM solution, Hyper-V. They haven't contributed to the betterment of Linux on the whole.

Re:Hyper-V (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564677)

They have more than you have. Enough said, fanboi.

Re:Hyper-V (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564725)

I do think that's a legitimate contribution, even if it's obviously self-interested. To the extent that people use Hyper-V, it's good for Linux to have support for running under it, and it's good that Microsoft contributed the resources to make that happen instead of leaving it for other contributors to try to get it working. Similar to how Sun/Oracle employees contributed a considerable amount of the kernel's Xen support.

It is fair to be aware that that's the entirety of their contribution, so it doesn't signal some more general engagement with kernel development.

Re:Hyper-V (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564763)

I don't disagree with your assessment. I was just trying to make it clear what they contributed because the headline can easily be misconstrued. In proper /. fashion, I didn't read the article.

Re:Hyper-V (1, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565443)

It's not legitimate at all. No one uses Hyper-V other but by mistake, or out of loyalty to Microsoft. Microsoft is trying to legitimize the use of its product at the expense of running Linux properly, and sabotages "Linux systems" that are built under virtualization.

Re:Hyper-V (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565089)

The hivemind approves of this post.

Re:Hyper-V (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565109)

how is that any different than Red Hat's contributions to linux? aren't they also self serving? They make their money by providing support for linux, so it is in their own interest to make sure the OS remains relavent so that people want to use it.

Re:Hyper-V (4, Informative)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565155)

They haven't contributed to the betterment of Linux on the whole.

I was with you on this for the past decade. Then on November of 2011, they went and did this [microsoft.com] . Real Linux drivers for SQL Server? Yeah!

And if you don't think that counts towards the betterment of Linux, then we're just going to have to disagree!

What other than Hyper-V drivers (2)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564579)

It mentioned that most of it was Hyper-V drivers so you can run linux as a virtual machine on top of windows, but what else? If that is it, then it isn't a big deal and how little is everyone else contributing if this made them rise up the chart so much?

Re:What other than Hyper-V drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564925)

Possible reason: The drivers involved a lot of lines of code, so it inflated their "contribution quantity", while others were more concerned with "quality".

Additionally, they are 17th, and how far behind the 16 major contributors ahead of them they are is not specified. If the contributor in 16th place contributed a million lines worth of code, and the 18th place contributed only a hundred thousand, then a hundred thousand and one lines puts you in 17th place, regardless of the million lines you'd need to beat to reach 16th.

Still a big deal (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564995)

I think its still a big deal, for many enterprise customers that need to run Linux VM's and dont want to ( or cant ) spend the money on the ( better ) VMware solution.

Top 20 varies quite a bit (5, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565095)

About 24% of changes are the result of people who have not declared an association with any company, and there is a very long tail of companies that have small changes, so while the top 5 corporate contributers are fairly consistent, the top 20 varies significantly from release to release.

In this case, these drivers have been 2.5 years in the making. They had been held out of the kernel for that time because their quality wasn't up-to-par before finally being approved. The metric used in this report basically comes down to git commits, and includes all the commits that were made in private git branches before being folded into the mainline kernel. So Microsoft has 2.5 years worth of work on Hyper-V credited to them during the 6 months in question, which amounts to 1% of the changes in that time period. It is a one-time blip, and not indicative of a trend.

In other news... (5, Funny)

Lohrno (670867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564587)

Several backdoors were found in the latest versions of the code...

Re:In other news... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564697)

Several backdoors were found in the latest versions of the code...

And the new kernel displays the Blue Screen of Death on a random basis.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565151)

And the new kernel displays the Blue Screen of Death on a random basis.

Like the glory days of Linux when kernel panics were rampant, even on "supported" hardware. Fail.

Virtual Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564599)

Possibly most of it was work to get Linux to work nicely with the Microsoft Virtual Server??

I think Microsoft realizes lots of people will run Linux workloads, but they would prefer that those are run under Virtual Server and not VMWare or other competing solution.

Finally, some backdoors in Linux Kernel!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564603)

Courtesy of Microsoft, maker of the "Friendly User-Controlled Kernel"{TM} systems.

Remember - they were threatened (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564619)

Remember - they were threatened with having their HyperV drivers removed due to lack of support.

And that could easily have spelled disaster for their cloud capability.

Gotta Let Them Start Somwhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564629)

Well, lets lets them crawl, and learn to walk before we ask them to run...
That they're even making these levels of contributions is noteworthy i think.

Re:Gotta Let Them Start Somwhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565051)

Finally, a sensible comment! Microsoft can be evil, just the same as any other large corporation that needs to think money-wise. Its part of staying in business. So if they have to keep their own best-interests in mind while making code contributions, then so be it. This is a wonderful start for Microsoft. Now we just need to find other areas for them to help with by convincing them it will benefit them in the end...

compiled annually? (4, Funny)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564663)

This is linux, there list needs to go to daily builds :-)

688 changes (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564667)

I would be interested to see what these changes are. There is no link TFA.

Re:688 changes (1, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564741)

Probably something they hold the patents on.

What's this, then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564835)

Link [networkworld.com]
Or you could RTFcomments. That would help.

Canonical (3, Funny)

gtirloni (1531285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564685)

Nice to see Canonical finally contributing something to the Linux kernel.

Wait... Nevermind, my bad.

Re:Canonical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565097)

Nice to see Canonical finally contributing something to the Linux kernel.

Don't forget to give SCO all the credit they deserve for their contributions as well!!!

Re:Canonical (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565471)

My ears are ringing from all those rimshots.

Resistance is futile (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564687)

All your OS are belong to us (eventually.....)

If you can't beat em... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564691)

Join em.

Where are you Canonical? (1)

Volanin (935080) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564739)

My first though when checking out the report was: "Whoa, Microsoft contributed more to the linux kernel than Canonical itself"... but later I realized that Canonical is not even listed there. Maybe I am wrong, but I have this inner concept that Canonical would contribute to these projects just like Red Hat, since they are the most "open-source-focused" companies currently... Well, I guess they indeed are completely different companies with completely different goals, and Canonical is somewhat more focused in the userspace experience (which surely is just as important).

It just goes to show how silly the list is (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565043)

MS contribution is for stuff to make Linux work on MS virtualization and interoperate with MS software since MS failed to convince all its customer to go pure windows so rather then risk customers going fully Unix, they now enable a mix. Pretty smart but it is self serving.

Meanwhile Canonical has done a lot in making a distro with the linux kernel that is easily usable. Its install program is one of the smoothest I have seen, far superior to either MS or say a Red Hat, but that has nothing to do with the kernel.

So, who is more important to the opensource operating system with a GNU userspace, a gnome/kde desktop and a Linux kernel? ALL, the very wide support shows a totally different picture then a few years ago. Drivers used to have to be made by a user who with his own money reverse engineered the code with the constant threath of a legal challenge. Now, things are open. Sure, it is far from perfect but for a long time linux was purely the domain of geeks who never even saw a girl outside their mother. Now it is being used by people who got their hands on actual boobies. Granted, their own as they are female but still, it is progress. One day the male and female linux user will meet and breed and the 7th sysadmin of the 7th sysadmin will be born.

I posted about this today here (prior to this) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564771)

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2759981&cid=39562581 [slashdot.org]

Quoting myself on it in fact:

"E.G.-> Android's built off Linux foundations - decades of them no less! Not "amateurs" either like it was early on, but also folks from Novell, IBM, & even Microsoft contributing to its core code"

* So, "Pro-*NIX penguins"? The "enemy" is not your enemy (for those of you that think that way to this very day).

APK

P.S.=> So much for "the evil empire" of 'M$' etc./et al... apk

I, for one, (2)

djdbass (1037730) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564783)

I, for one, welcome our new top-contributing Microsoft overlords.

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish... (2)

stobesel (641386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565131)

'nuff said.

MS a key contributor? (5, Insightful)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565191)

And yet, they haven't updated the linux version of Skype since they acquired the company. I have to wonder what their motivations are.

Not forgetting (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565273)

SCO. Whoops, did I really say that? Wipe, wipe, wipe...

rank quality/utility/nonpartisan/etc... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565595)

...and microsoft would disappear off the list again.

it would also disappear if a team of competent kernel developers had a closer look at microsoft's contributions and cleaned out all the bloat

Very old news: lwn.net had this in July 13, 2011 (4, Informative)

nick_urbanik (534101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565657)

I'm surprised to see this as news; it was discussed about nine months ago in Jon Corbet's article in LWN.net [lwn.net] .

K. Y. Srinivasan topped the list of changeset contributors with a massive set of cleanups to the Microsoft HV driver in the staging tree; it's impressive to see how much cleanup less than 15,000 lines of code can require.

It appears that Microsoft's contribution needed a lot of cleaning up to bring it up to scratch.

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