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Dvorak on How Microsoft Can Kill Linux

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the i-miss-silicon-spin dept.

Microsoft 842

gewg_ writes "John C. Dvorak thinks he knows the way Redmond can kill Linux. Basing his premise on the relative dearth of device drivers available for Linux (compared to what is available for Windows), he sees an opportunity for the Borg to embrace and extinguish." From the article: "The immediate usefulness of Linux running under Windows is obvious. You can use all the Windows drivers for all the peripherals that don't run under Linux. Drivers have always been an issue with Linux as PC users have gotten spoiled with Windows driver support. Today's user wants to grab just about anything and not worry about installing it and making it work."

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Where'd the last story go? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778459)

Did the editors delete it [slashdot.org] ? Little late to take down a dupe.

Re:Where'd the last story go? (3, Insightful)

sentenzux (541471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778474)

If only this one had been a dupe too, this would have been REALLY funny :-)

Re:Where'd the last story go? (1)

sentenzux (541471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778523)

My god!!!

They are even removing comments. I did reply to "Where'd the last story go" but can't find it anymore...

Hey, slashdot, what are you the HELL doing with your users... I'll tell you: soon you'll lose them!

Re:Where'd the last story go? (1)

TeeJayHoward (763315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778642)

I agree. Wasn't slashdot all about NOT erasing user's comments or stories? TRUE freedom of speech and all that? I DO note that there is no way to remove or edit a comment I made...

Re:Where'd the last story go? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778670)

I think the editors realized the peasants were about to riot. But they can't just remove a story without people noticing and becoming angrier.

Re:Where'd the last story go? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778680)

Are you sure it isn't? I clearly remember reading it a week or so ago. That was probably at OSnews or something though.

Re:Where'd the last story go? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778476)

I was able to read some comments, type up a comment, and once I hit *Submit* it says "There is no discussion to post to"

Re:Where'd the last story go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778484)

They can't erase all the evidence. It still shows up in user listings of posts [slashdot.org] .

Re:Where'd the last story go? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778492)

Yeah, I think that about sums up this article.

WHAT!? (0)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778465)

I thought Microsoft was hell bent on using blunt for trauma.

Re:WHAT!? (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778501)

s/for/force/

Dammit!

Confused... (2, Interesting)

TeeJayHoward (763315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778502)

And here I thought users wanted an operating system that was fast and didn't crash... Doesn't using linux under windows defeat the security and stability of linux?

Re:Confused... (2, Interesting)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778690)

It also defeats its freeness (both senses of the word). Dvorak mentions how Microsoft could find a way to stop it being free libré, and it is not in Microsoft's interests to give it away free gratis. If they do, casual desktop users might go for the free Mandrake, SuSE, Fedora, or whatever, compared to MS-Linux which costs.

There will always be the Linux fanboys refusing to buy whatever Microsoft makes anyway.

Yeah, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778471)

Can Dvorak detect life on Mars?

What do you mean I'm in the wrong story?

Re:Yeah, but (1, Funny)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778553)

Are you kidding? Dvorak is a prime mover behind SETI. He convinced us we weren't going to find any intelligent life here and that we'd better look for it in a Dvorak-free solar system.

vmware (4, Interesting)

codepunk (167897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778473)

Sounds like vmware to me....nope did not kill linux and likely never will...

Re:vmware (1)

xianzombie (123633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778540)

Funny, I used VMware to run Windows under Linux. Ran like crap on my system at the time, but it did run.

A part of me would like to go back to Linux, but the ease of use for Windows is just too...easy, for me now, its comfortable and functional (XPpro). 'course the OS itself is about the only MS program I'm actually running, thanks to the likes of OpenOffice and Firefox, etc.

Re:vmware (1)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778665)

Yeah because VMware costs an extra $100+ on top of the cost of Windows. That's the only reason. If Microsoft provided a vmware equivalent, bundled for free with their OS, then why would anyone bother to use linux directly, unless that's all they used on that machine?

-1 Troll (5, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778475)

Does anybody still take a word that says seriously anymore? All he ever does is troll for ad hits by saying something which will piss off one fringe group of computer geeks or another.

Honestly. Why ever link to that joker?

Re:-1 Troll (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778512)

the same reason they link to Roland Piquepaille

Re:-1 Troll (5, Funny)

stromthurman (588355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778532)

In a post-Columbine world, it is critical that we at least one inflammatory troll to replace Jon Katz.

Boring day? (1, Funny)

theolein (316044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778478)

Post an article by John, "The clueless one", Dvorak.

Re:Boring day? (1)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778521)

I betcha Jon Katz just changed his name and thought nobody here would notice...

What would MS-linux have I can't get from (5, Interesting)

georgeha (43752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778488)

Cygwin or MS Services for Unix?

Plus, there are quite a few hardware devices that work in Linux and not all versions of Windows, for instance my Kensington SVGA webcam, fine in Linux, not available in Win2k.

Re:What would MS-linux have I can't get from (0, Flamebait)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778510)

Windows can dominate over Linux if it had no bugs. Pfff... Ah hahaha

Re:What would MS-linux have I can't get from (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778684)

Windows can dominate .. if it had no bugs.

Note that is exactly what Microsoft claims. All those problems with security holes and viruses - that's the user's problem

FOCUS Magazine Interview with Bill Gates: Microsoft Code Has No Bugs [cantrip.org]

Gates:
No! There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed.

FOCUS:
Oh, my God. I always get mad at my computer if MS Word swallows the page numbers of a document which I printed a couple of times with page numbers. If I complain to anybody they say "Well, upgrade from version 5.11 to 6.0".

Gates:
No! If you really think there's a bug you should report a bug. Maybe you're not using it properly. Have you ever considered that?

Re:What would MS-linux have I can't get from (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778671)

Plus, there are quite a few hardware devices that work in Linux and not all versions of Windows, for instance my Kensington SVGA webcam, fine in Linux, not available in Win2k.

Tell that to the owner of a Microtek Scanmaker 4850 scanner.

poop (-1, Offtopic)

timmytheraw (592950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778490)

im drunk and its 11 am

Re:poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778571)

You lucky bastard.

Re:poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778588)

You are not alone, though time varies across the globe.

And maybe the dope is of a different kin.

Don't click (4, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778497)

Please don't click the link.

John Dvorak knows the state of Linux drivers versus Windows (or Mac) perfectly well. This is an excellent example of writing something obviously incorrect so you get a huge amount of hits and links from people that (rightly) disagree.

Exactly like the Science Citation Index, actually, but speeded up about 20 times.

Re:Don't click (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778549)

Too late - I already fell for it. I guess my only recourse at this point is to have a load tester click on all the ad links on his website a few billion times until his advertisers ask for a refund of all ad revenue for today and maybe the month.

I'll start that now.

Re:Don't click (3, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778580)

You should RTFA. The actual quotation is "Drivers have always been an issue with Linux as PC users have gotten spoiled with Windows driver support". I don't see how a rational person can disagree with this.

Re:Don't click (2, Interesting)

Sxooter (29722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778675)

lemmesee.

Number of times I've been forced to reinstall my entire windows partition due to a buggy driver scramming my whole box? dozens and dozens.

Number of times I've been forced to reinstall linux for the same problem: 0

All my peripherals (mp3 player, digital camera, printer, USB mouse / graphics pad, etc...) work on both windows and linux.

So, again, how are people spoiled by windows driver support?

Re:Don't click (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778689)

I'll disagree with it. The major market for Linux is in servers, and hardware support on server hardware is excelent. I've installed Linux on a huge range of servers, from dedicated Linux systems ordered from a vendor especially to run Linux to re-purposed low end Dell systems which previously ran Windows 2000. I've never had a single problem with hardware support on any of these systems.

Even on consumer hardware Linux supoprt is adequate. The vast majority of Linux users are quite happy to spend a few minutes researching Linux support before they purchase new hardware, and most essential consumer hardware is supported. You should take a look at some of those boxed hardware devices on the shelves next time you're in a store; quite a good number of them include Linux drivers on the CD and say so on the box.

90% of Linux users don't care if the Quxxinator 2000 WMD Gt Pro, only $75 on special offer, isn't supported on Linux because they have no need for it. That's just the way it is.

Re:Don't click (1)

erikvcl (43470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778623)

Dvorak is a dinosaur. His columns were mildly entertaining back in the days when PC Magazine was actually worth reading (does it even exist anymore?).

I can't count the number of times it has been easier for me to set up devices on Linux than in Windows.

There is one small problem... (-1, Redundant)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778500)

Dvorak has pretty much not uttered anything remotely competent or accurate since inventing Ethernet. Why should this blather be any different? :)

Finkployd

Re:There is one small problem... (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778621)

Dvorak has pretty much not uttered anything remotely competent or accurate since inventing Ethernet.

Dvorak invented ethernet??

Re:There is one small problem... (3, Informative)

BacOs (33082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778641)

John Dvorak didn't invent Ethernet - Bob Metcalfe [about.com] did

I disagree completely with Dvorak (5, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778505)

John Dvorak has been in the computer industry about as long as Univac, but I really disagree with him on his points in TFA.

The first thing I disagree with is his assertion of how useful Linux would be when running under Windows. Is anyone crying for this?

His second assertion that Microsoft could create a flavor of Linux with their driver-base that people would adopt is just as loony. Beyond its quality nature, isn't one of the reasons people switch to Linux to get rid of Microsoft and their business practices and high prices?

Re:I disagree completely with Dvorak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778559)

You actually read the article and responded to his "points?"

I guess there's nothing left to say except:

YHBT YHL HAND

Please refrain from feeding trolls in the future.

Re:I disagree completely with Dvorak (5, Insightful)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778659)

"His second assertion that Microsoft could create a flavor of Linux with their driver-base that people would adopt is just as loony. Beyond its quality nature, isn't one of the reasons people switch to Linux to get rid of Microsoft and their business practices and high prices?"

The thing I don't get is that he acts like Microsoft owns the drivers. The hardware manufacturers own the drivers. If Linux becomes the dominant OS, hardware manufacturers will write drivers that run directly in Linux. Why would they continue to write drivers that run in HAL when it is just a piece of cruft attached to the real OS?

A pathway to switching (2, Insightful)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778666)

One of microsofts biggest assets is that fact that people are familiar with their UI and reluctant to change.

If a user run MS-Linux and liked it, then they could make sure their next system had hardware that could run gpl-linux.

And I really doubt microsoft would move down a pathway of familiarizing people with linux.

Not exactly... (4, Insightful)

The One KEA (707661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778509)

I'll readily admit as soon as the next person that Linux doesn't support all of the latest & greatest hardware. That doesn't mean that it doesn't support last-generation hardware though - as long as you do research and buy the right sort of hardware, you can usually build a system where almost every piece is well-supported by any given Linux distro.

Companies like Intel and ATi are examples of how the hardware manufacturers are realizing that Linux users want to use their hardware too.

Is it hot in here? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778515)

I blew my boyfriend last night and he filled my mouth with the creamiest orgasm. Yum! I love non-dairy cream if you know what I mean.

Re:Is it hot in here? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778575)

does your boyfriend like creampies? Make him go down one you after sex, for creampies and snowballs.

Start the Microsoft bashing.....NOW. (0, Troll)

i41Overlord (829913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778520)

Threads that mention Microsoft end up as free-for-alls to bash Microsoft.

Threads that mention Linux end up as free-for-alls that revolve around the view that Linux is 256x better than Windows.

This thread that mentions Microsoft killing Linux will surely spark some flames.

Linux under windows? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778524)

When windows crashed would it save the data that was being used under linux to a tmp file, like linux does, would would a screen with bill gates dancing in a ton of cash and laughing pop up?

This guy needs to get out there, and play with linux a bit more, instead of just reading all the M$ fud

They're using the wrong OS to begin with (3, Interesting)

Khan (19367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778525)

"Today's user wants to grab just about anything and not worry about installing it and making it work."

If they want to just install a device and go, then why are they bothering with Windows? Isn't that what Apple OS X is for?

Of course, it's so obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778530)

This was a stupid story when it was on OSNews and it's stupid now. In what universe would making Windows drivers available in Linux hinder Linux adoption in any way? I'll note that Dvorak doesn't have a game plan for how this would work for Microsoft; what's their exit strategy exactly?

"Well Mr. Balmer, 90% of our customers are now using a POSIX operating system with API's we don't control and we're fully commited to continued support. Now what?"

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Microsoft make their money by controling the platform and they control the platform by controlling the API's. How would supporting an open standards based platform with a few drivers hurt Linux and help Microsoft?

Bad support (1, Funny)

Pugflop (797868) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778531)

L1NuX |)03$n'T $uPp0RT |\/|Y K3YB0aR|)!!! :-(

So, let me get this straight... (4, Insightful)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778534)

What he's saying is, if Microsoft starts supporting Linux that Linux will go away?

If that were true, why hasn't Windows gone away?

Dvorak thinks that open-source developers will stop working on their stuff if they perceive it as benefitting Microsoft. I say this is obviously not true; there are many, many projects now that run on Windows (like Firefox, just to pick one major example), and their developers don't seem the least bit deterred by running on Windows.

innovation not taking a nosedive? (1)

ruxxell (819349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778536)

it seems to me that killing access to the windows device drivers might do the exact opposite, and INSPIRE people to learn how to write their own drivers instead of having to rely on the ones provided by the devil.
am i right? if there's a need for it, people will usually come up with it on their own. just because we all like to plug-and-play existing solutions does NOT mean we wouldn't invent our own wheels in the absence of a freely available one.

just a thought.

---------
ask Aziz, he knows!

Qwerty on how Linux can Kill Microsoft... (2, Funny)

DeathFlame (839265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778538)

"John A. Qwerty thinks he knows the way Linux can kill Redmond. Basing his premise on the relative dearth of device drivers available..."

Wait wait... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778541)

Who is this John Dvorak and why should I care what he has to say?

CoLinux already does this (2, Insightful)

narsiman (67024) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778542)

But still since cygwin is feature complete . . Nuf said.

whatever (1)

overbom (461949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778544)

I've read about projects that can use windows drivers. I think there's one for wireless adapters. This is probably a paid link anyway; sensationalist story to drive up the ad revenue. meh.

Thank you, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778546)

Captain Obvious!

Doubtful (2, Interesting)

Hornsby (63501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778556)

This analysis is relatively shortsighted considering that there are many many factors beyond device drivers influencing people to use Linux. I would say that freedom from proprietary protocols and file formats is a major factor, and that's something Redmond will never have.

Windows drivers on Linux (5, Informative)

blirp (147278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778558)

What he's missing is projects like NDisWrapper [sourceforge.net] that simply allows us to run standard proprietary Windows drivers on Linux.

M.

Re:Windows drivers on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778596)

Yes, and just as he predicts all development on Free WLAN drivers for Linux has ceased now that we can use closed source Windows NDIS drivers.

What do you mean that hasn't happened? John "Ad Hits" Dvorak said it would!

Interesting, but ... no (2, Insightful)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778565)

It's an interesting article--but I doubt just drivers would satisfy most people. There's applications they'll want to work, too. (That said, I'd personally be delighted if all my hardware would work under Linux; then I'd never need Windows. But I could just as easily have gotten Linux-friendly hardware ... and if you want Linux-ish distro that "just works" ... there's OS X. :)

Not a dupe, but might as well be (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778569)

I give up. Slashdot is at new lows of dupe/hype/waste of good bits these days.

"Secret Project" my ass (3, Insightful)

Caligari (180276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778573)

Oh no! Top secret M$ project to "kill" Linux!

Its called Cooperative Linux, and has been around for quite some time.

www.colinux.org [colinux.org]

Yet, suspiciously, the Linux kernel running on my laptop hasn't spontaneously died. Hmm. This Dvorak chap is quite the retard.

Dvorak forgot about the flip side (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778577)

Dvorak says microsoft can sell a driver layer plugin for Linux based on the idea that vendors will only support the MS driver layer. Likely what would happen if MS in any way supported linux is that more hardware developers would support linux directly, taking away the power MS would have temporarily gained by using a driver layer.

what about older devices? (1)

drycht (151758) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778581)

I have experienced that many older/legacy devices have much better support in Linux. They might have drivers for Windows 98 or 95 exclusively and no longer work under XP. So if you don't feel like just throwing some old cards out and getting new ones, sometimes Linux is the only answer.

However, video card drivers are an entirely different matter...

But how does Microsoft keep making money? (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778583)

Sure they sell the drivers, but how often does someone need to buy a whole new set?

And if it really took off, developers would start making their drivers for linux anyway.

Dvorak's a big windbag (3, Informative)

YellowElf (445681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778584)

Dvorak seems to have these amazing insights from time to time, but I can't seem to remember one that really came to fruition. In the aritcle, he makes all these assumptions about technology but he doesn't know what he's talking about. Then he uses his unfounded assumptions to conclude that all MS needs to do is embrace and extend Linux. For a more thorough discussion on this very article, see this discussion on Groklaw [groklaw.net] . Search for the second "Dvorak". --dv

Interesting concept but.. (1)

false-hopes (788551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778591)

Tring to "sew" anything proprietary into the linux kernel taints it. Who would want a tainted kernel? Not me, that's for sure.

Complete nonsense... (1)

james_bray (188143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778594)

I quote: "The idea here would be to cut the driver layer out of Windows and attach it to Linux directly"

Yeah right! And how *exactly* would that be achieved?

The only way I can see is by rewriting said Win32 drivers for Linux and distributing them under a proprietary license.

In which case, they will all be disassembled, examined and free replacement drivers made available.

As I said, nonsense....

Today's Users (1)

k1ngbenny (860030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778601)

Today's user wants to grab just about anything and not worry about installing it and making it work.

Apparently yesterday's users were more interested in dinking around with stuff that hopefully didn't work.

Drivers (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778604)

Drivers have always been an issue with Linux as PC users have gotten spoiled with Windows driver support.

In my own experience (you may have fared differently) Linux has many more builtin drivers than Windows - SuSE has managed to put a distrubution that works with almost all my hardware automatically, while Dell has given me an XP Install Cd and an XP Drivers CD. There are more drivers available for Windows, but most of them rarely work automatically.

This is only turned by the fact that many Windowses come preinstalled, giving a false sense of drivers. If you have ever just reinstalled XP you will see how much doesn't work immediately.

Heh heh (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778605)

Yeah because I never have any problem at all with device drivers unders window, no sir, none at all.

A Great Disturbance in the Force (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778606)

Making Linux run under Windows would "work" for a lot of the gaming crowd -- MSLinux would still require the sale of an MS licence, and would presumably be "easier" to set up than the current dual-boot configurations.

Personally, I use removable hard drive racks. It ain't dual-boot, but it lets me game on a system I don't care about, and store XP disk images on the system I do care about. (Solves the reactivation thing pretty well, too -- I have a disk image of an activated XP/SP2 without installed video/audio drivers, which seems to work a little better when I swap hardware and install the new drivers cleanly.)

The real question is what would it sound like if Redmond were to pull out the Death Star and kill Linux. Probably sound something like a dupe of a 30,000-year-old Martian microbe story that suddenly cried out in terror that there was "nothing to see here", only to be suddenly made invisible.

*rimshot*

Mr. Know-It-All (1)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778612)

John C. Dvorak thinks he knows the way Redmond can kill Linux.

John C. Dvorak thinks he knows everything about everything!! :p

forgetting something? (1)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778622)

what mr dvorak is forgetting is that if that ms-linux driver layer can install on ms-linux then it can install on any linux. it may take some tweaking, but isn't that all part of the fun of linux?

Doesn't seem very plausible (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778626)

First of all, the suggestion that Microsoft could subvert the GPL by selling 2 separate products, MS Linux (GPL) and a drivers package (proprietary) is kind of silly. Why wouldn't people just buy the driver package and use another distro with it? The code in the GPL'ed project that accessed the drivers would necessarily be open source as a part of that package, and could be taken by the other distros.

As for the whole idea of the article, one wonders how Mr. Dvorak would explain that Apple hasn't killed Microsoft yet. After all, damn near every peripheral works right out of the box on a Mac without getting into driver hell. Of course, being who he is, his repsonse would probably be "because Apple suxx0rs, D00D!!! My brother B1FF SEZ SO!1!"

Poor analysis (1)

Tyrell Hawthorne (13562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778627)

If Microsoft actually produced an MS-Linux that was the standard Linux attached to the driver layer of Windows, giving users full Plug and Play (PnP) support of all their peripherals, nobody would buy any other Linux on the market.

*sigh* Here Dvorak goes taking giant leaps in his conclusion. Being able to plug and play a scanner isn't the top priority for everyone. We have no problems with drivers for our servers at university. The fact that your software is non-Microsoft, and in fact non-corporation means you have a great freedom. You know that no one can come and boss you around. That's worth a lot in many situations. It's about control of your investments, and it feels better when the control belongs to you than some corporation. Cf article earlier today about Microsoft disabling Windows Activation [slashdot.org] .

And by the way, would people please stop shouting about killing free software. If people want to continue developing free software, they will. Software patents is the only thing I can think of that could present a severe blow to free software, but that would probably move a lot of development underground.

Sounds familiar (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778629)

It sounds like he's saying that all Microsoft wants is peaceful coexistance.

Hi John! (1)

psavo (162634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778635)

Please, go fuck yourself senseless with you 'quality' windows drivers.

I've nothing but endless stream of problems with microsoft/windows drivers. Since switching totally to Linux (circa 1999), there've been no problems _that couldn't be solved_. Yeah, that involves contacting various developers and describing you problems with detail. But that's just something that isn't possible with windows.

And why shouldn't they? (2, Insightful)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778637)

"Today's user wants to grab just about anything and not worry about installing it and making it work"

I mean, all i hear, over and over, is how linux is BETTER than windows.

This last week i've been trying, over and over, to get ANY linux distro to boot upto a graphical user interface, so that my brother can use it without the worry of using the command line (which i think he could also use if he really tried). I've had no end of problems, first there was the problem of commands which stupid names, and commands which appeared the same.( xf86config is NOT xf86cfg )

I tried many distros, livecds and netinstalls, all of which failed in a different (And sometimes amusing ) ways. However, this just goes to show that linux is FAR from what is needed for the adverge JOE user to switch.

Plus its huge lack of support for games (i know its gathering but for joe, he just wants it to work) and such ideas as just plugging in some hardware and having it work.

Im not a windows lover, i hate m$ as much as the next guy, but unless someone can provide something which at least has a gui (yeh cmd line might be great but its not what i want) which works OUT OF THE BOX (or at least with very little configuring) then m$ are going to continue to win.
Oh, and i also use firefox.

Not primarily about drivers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778638)

I'm not sure that Windows actually supports more drivers "out of the box" than Linux does. In fact, I would say that across platforms, Linux has much better driver support overall.

Linux has two issues, and two issues only. The first is a common packaging format for third party products. This means that I shouldn't have a firefox install for each distro, period. The Firefox guys should be able to create an install bundle that works on all versions of Linux. Macromedia should be able to as well, so that it will automatically detect Firefox and install the plugin appropriately.

Secondly, it needs >98 percent of all options to be available from the GUI *and* context aware from multiple different contexts. One of the best things MS has done is make configuration options available from so many different locations. You can get access to the display driver information by right-clicking the desktop. Truly brilliant, regardless of whether they were the first to do it. In my opinion, SuSE's YAST system is the closest to this I've seen on Linux (I haven't surveyed every last distro), but it still is not as well integrated as it could be. For example, when you click an option, it takes a long time for the option to come up and without any hourglass for a status indicator. Furthermore, even when configuring such things as SAMBA, it doesn't give you the most common things you might want to do as the most obvious options. Providing a long list of every possible option that you can indicate in smb.conf is hardly what I would call making a configuration option GUI-aware.

spoiled by windows drivers!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778640)

"Today's user wants to grab just about anything and not worry about installing it and making it work."

he's obviously never tried to install half the sound cards made in the last 5 years under windows xp?

more linux drivers than Windows CE drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778643)

I've been trying for a few weeks tpo find a RTL8150 USB Ethernet driver for Windows CE.NET 4.2 on the StrongArm platform. There are thousands of posts concerning the linux rtl8150.o module, even a BSD rtl8150 driver is avaiable on multiple platforms.

Finding a CE 4.2 rtl8150 driver for strongarm seems impossible.

*Not* the death of Linux (1)

gihan_ripper (785510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778653)

I disagree. The proposed solution is really more akin to having another UNIX out on the market. To most users, Linux isn't just the kernel, but the group of free applications (mainly GNU apps) built on top, *and* a certain way of thinking about what software is and how one should use a computer.

Linux drivers are becoming better every day. Most users should have no problems running a modern machine on a modern Linux. Thus, there is little motivation to switch to MS-Linux. On the other hand, existing Windows users would need a lot of persuation to switch from Windows to Linux, even if it is MS-Linux.

Has Dvorak ever run Linux? (3, Insightful)

cheesedog (603990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778656)

Dvorak makes a couple of assumptions that immediately betray his lack of knowledge:

1) Linux device drivers are a big problem

and

2) Putting Windows PnP in Linux would be an easy task

I have a problem with #1 because, well, I haven't had a problem with device drivers for years. The first thing I do with a new computer (and I've gone through 5, from Dell and HP, in the last few years) is reformat, install Windows, and then install Linux. Guess which one is easier to install? Guess which one requires special driver disks and arcane "press-F8-at-the-right-time-during-the-install" crazieness to get things working? That's right: windows. With Linux, stick the CD in, click a few buttons, and done.

The problem with #2 should be obvious to everyone: one of the main tasks of an OS is to manage devices. Look at the code in the kernel that does this. Sure, there's other important stuff (vfs, memory management, process management, etc), but if you count the lines, the heaviest piece of the OS is device driver management. Ripping this out and sticking in Redmonds garbage would be disastrous.

Now, user-mode linux is a different beast. Even virtualizing the hardware could get things to work correctly under Dvorak's scheme without so much effort. But what he suggests is not only ludicrous, its outright silly, and really illustrates how out of touch he is with how technology works.

You can't kill!! (1)

megarich (773968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778661)

You can't kill something that's free.

And on that note, this is such a moot point anyways. MS should worry about eradicating the spyware problem it help start and putting out reliable, VALUED filled products (i.e not charging $1000+ for a stupid word processor/spreadsheet/database suite). So with all that discontent surrounding ms' head to even suggest it can kill linux without cleaning up its act first is just pure ludacrious

RTFA - nothing to see here... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778662)

Okay, BFOTO (blinding flash of the obvious):
If MS developed an "MS Linux" as described, it would be one of many distributions. Even if it became "the dominant" one (the only good use for which would be to use the Windows drivers for devices Linux lacks driver support for), then stops supporting drivers for their own flavor of Linux... ummm... hmmm... what would happen? Oh -
Dvorak suggests that this somehow magically kills *all* of the different flavors of Linux. (Not *nix, he mentions only Linux).
He also alludes to some heretofore unknown, undiscovered-but-for-M$-lawyers hole in the GPL that would somehow allow M$ to pry Linux from the hands of the community into its control.
I RTFA'd twice, but John, you lost me on this. I can only guess you were looking for more hits to your column website from ./. I got suckered... Ad revenue whore, anyone...

lack of drivers? (1)

MattW (97290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778667)

I've been spoiled by SuSE. Back when I was going to schoool, we had to walk 5 miles through the snow, uphill both ways, with no shoes... er... I mean, we had to actually compile a new kernel to make almost anything work. Driver support? Hah! Better check for drivers BEFORE you buy.

The only thing recently I've had linux not immediately recognize was a year ago when I bought SATA for the first time... and windows didn't have a driver for it either. (And the Dell truemobile card in my laptop; but given that there IS no linux driver and you can still get it working, that's not so bad)

We're not far off at all from linux getting premium support as an OS from almost everyone. The good companies already recognize how much enthusiasts love their linux boxes.

And the users would still need MS how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778672)

MSLinux would be no different than other Linuxes, except it came bundled with the drivers. So you buy it once, then layer RH, Debia, etc on top. Sure, you pay MS for the driver layer, but that will put it further out of the public mind, where it will die - how many of the general public even know what drivers are, anyway?

what a stupid article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11778674)

this is the stupidest thing i ever read

TROLL WARNING - DO NOT CLICK TFA!!! (1, Interesting)

ites (600337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778682)

It's a troll!

Seriously, Dvorak has turned into a troll! Like, I mean, WTF? "Windows will run Linux as its secret sex slave and cut off all its oxygen. SCO was the trial run for that..."

Dvorak just made my permanent black list.

What about the opposite? (2, Interesting)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778683)

Why not run windows under linux (ala VMware)

When it crashes hard, kill it's pid and move on.

I hardly think it work well the other way around (as per FTA)

Now as for drivers.

I like ndiswrapper. Wish there were more like it. generic wrappers for windows drivers.

then the manufacturers that are pressed for cash can still "support" linux and the larger manus can develop native drivers (or release specs).

I know some will cry that given the choice, no one would bother with the native ones. Make the wrappers work well and it won't matter.

spoiled? (1)

shdragon (1797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778685)

...have always been an issue with Linux as PC users have gotten spoiled with Windows driver support...

It's not called being spoiled, it's called progress. Why don't we go back to the days of ISA while we're at it & having to remember every IRQ and minute detail about every piece of hardware? Linux driver support and the community's ability to demand drivers and actually get them has gotten exponentially better since I began using it in '96.

A little tale for you (5, Interesting)

HogynCymraeg (624823) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778686)

I had a new hard disk a while back and I installed XP and Suse 9.2 on it.
Windows XP took around 15 mins to install, with a couple of reboots. I then installed my nvidia drivers. Rebooted. I then installed my firewall. Rebooted. I then installed the drivers for the cisco aironet card. Rebooted. I then installed the drivers for my Delta-Audio 1010LT soundcard. Rebooted. I spent over an hour installing all the drivers I needed to make my system *functional*.
Suse took ~20-25 mins to install with all the software I wanted. When I logged in, everything just worked...

People say they use windows because it just works. Bull. It's just that people have been conditioned to accept that installing drivers is not part of the installation process.

There may be more drivers available for windows, but I'll stick with the linux way of doing things and buy cautiously.

effect of the GPL (5, Informative)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778687)

the article said:
"Well, except for the fact that Microsoft would be unable to produce such a product without allowing the other vendors access to the driver code as part of the open-source Linux license arrangement (GPL)."

If the device drivers are not derived from any GPL code (and as they is currently proprietary, presumably they are not GPL derived), then Microsoft can make a version of Linux which uses the drivers. The modified linux is based on GPL code (i.e. the base linux kernal) and the modified linux is based on propietary code (device drivers).

GPL does not require that copyright holder of the original software to agree to anything (in respect of the original software). Only the author of the derived software (in respect of the derived work) agrees to license the software under the GPL.

This artical is simply FUD.

Proprietary device drivers which work under linux today.

Moreover: The majority of device drivers in MS Windows are not even owned by microsoft at all, but belong to the companies which manufacture the respective devices, and licensed to Microsoft.

Drivers (2, Insightful)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778692)

I was getting my shots for international travel at a county health clinic yesterday. Every terminal in this clinic (as probably every other one in the state) were running flat screen Windows systems that had one application: some sort of terminal server that logged into the mainframe where every financial, medical, and information app was running in text-only mode. The likely reason for this purchase was that some company offered sexy-cool flat screen machines with a promise that they'd work to make the mainframe app work 100% in the same manner.

My favorite two bookshops have web based terminals that allow a user to search for a book and not bug the employees. One is unable to get out of these screens and into Windows, but one can tell by the sound, cursors, and occasional reboots that they are really win machines running underneath.

All of this reminds me of those days in the 1980's when everyone was putting Apple ][ based end user terminals in their shops, but the app or utility that was being served was pretty trivial. When the Apple clones came out (like Franklin and their ilk) the expensive Apple hardware started going away. (You could tell on those machines because there were ways to crash the system or "break" into basic and see whose hardware it was.

My guess is that ultimately on web based terminals and other mainframe terminal services, that there's a huge market of machines that are being sold on price alone. As long as there are "some" varieties of cheap hardware that run with Linux, I can't see this ever becoming a lock-in... price is just too important for some people. To those markets, it's the lucrative OS that will fall out of fashion in favor of the cheap and functional alternative.

Way to kill linux. (2, Insightful)

generic (14144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778696)

Is if Microsoft released their source code. Companies and people who use linux use it for more than cost, but customization. We use a highly customized linux where I work, we have a kernel development team that modifies and tweaks our distro
to our specific needs. We can run Linux on a 500 mhz pentium with 512mb of ram, junk video card and an 18gig disk with no problems. No need for a video management solution to manage all 400 of our servers, no need for mice. Just SSH.

Perfect Match (1)

cvdwl (642180) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778698)

Great, so we get the stability and flexibility of the Windows Kernel with the ease of use of Linux. My, won't that be nice!

And, while it has been said many times already: Cygwin

SSsshhhhh!! (0)

danormsby (529805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11778703)

If you have found don't flipping publish it on Slashdot to advertise it!
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