×

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

Thank you!

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

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

Microsoft's Mundie to Continue OSS Outreach

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the so-much-excitement-for-one-guy dept.

244

Techie writes "In an interview with eWeek Craig Mundie, Microsoft's new co-head-honcho and chief research and strategy officer, says he plans to continue to push the Redmond software titan forward with its goal of greater interoperability with software licensed under the GPL." From the article: "Even in Bill's own public remarks, he pointed out that he thought his iconic status and the way that was reported tended to overemphasize his role in the company's innovation and execution. This is really a transition that has been in the works for a couple of years, with a couple to go before, and we will see the emergence of a lot of great talent that has today been portrayed as all Bill. This is a company with, in many cases, the best people in the world. "

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

244 comments

At the risk of sounding like Fark (4, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559543)

Its a trap!

Re:At the risk of sounding like Fark (5, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559553)

It sounds more like Emporer Palpatine trying to bring Anakin over to the darkside.

Bad analogy (4, Funny)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559716)

The emporer had force powers that allowed him to control weak minds and shoot lightning from his fingertips. Microsoft has money and a bunch of software that works sorta, most of the time, in some ways, if you don't try to do something important with it. I guess they both have covert control over the senate, but if MS was designing the death star, the rebel alliance wouldn't have needed to fly through the exhaust tunnel, or hit a thermal vent the size of a "womp rat" because the reactor would have been put on the outside to remain compatible with deathstar 98 and to allow a certain class of star destroyer to dock that hadn't been used for ten years.

Re:Bad analogy (2, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559815)

I thought IBM designed the DeathStar, to which I proudly own 2, one of which has data loss, but works.

You forgot a line. (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559699)

Its a trap!

"... Get an axe!"

If you need to know the source, then rent or download Army of Darkness for crying out loud. And I don't care if people on Fark never quote that movie. It's the perfect reaction to M$ strategy.

Re:You forgot a line. (5, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559761)

The source is Starwars VI Return of the Jedi nomatter where else you've heard it. IIRC Admiral Akbar utturs these highly profound words when he witnesses the power of the "fully operational battlestation".

It is not supprising you have heard the line elsewhere though. George Lucas was never one for highly momentous lines, witness the usually talented Natilie Portman looking like a moron when she says pearls like "hold me like you did on naboo" and "you're breaking my heart Aniken". Hell, the only memorable lines in the 6 movies were Han Solo's which were probably snuck on the script when Lucas was visiting the shrine to himself for his daily devotion.

Re:You forgot a line. (2, Informative)

James_G (71902) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559836)

Maybe you should rent or download it first. Then you'd know that the line is actually:

It's a trick. Get an Axe.

Re:You forgot a line. (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559859)

Hmm. That may answer some questions...

1981...

A developer is slaving over a hot compiler. As he finishes the last line of code of MS-DOS, the operating system that was going to free us all, he recites the magic words, "Klatu, verata, nik... uh... nikaahem. Necktie! Nickel! It was an N word! It was definitely an N word!"

Re:At the risk of sounding like Fark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559713)

I think you're lost - this isn't fark. Do you see cliche kitty around here?

Re:At the risk of sounding like Fark (2)

Arker (91948) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559726)

I think userfriendly [userfriendly.org] says it all.
Two year transition? Come on. Am I the only one that thinks this means the moment they try to do things differently he's going to step right back in and send them packing?

So they want to be friends, eh? (5, Funny)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559545)

So they want to extinguish their bad-guy image, and extend an embrace towards the GPL?

Wait, maybe I have this backwards...

You can only trash something for so long (5, Insightful)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559569)

I think they are realising that OSS isn't going away, each year it continues to get stronger and because of its structure they cannot aggressivly compete against it in a traditional sense.

We are already seeing huge benefits of OSS and what it can achieve and I think Microsoft have realised if they are going to have any future in it they need to work with it to some extent.

Re:You can only trash something for so long (4, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559747)

From a quarterly report filed with the SEC by Microsoft on January 31, 2003 (emphasis mine):
Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations...
Challenges to the Company's Business Model. Since its inception, the Company's business model has been based upon customers agreeing to pay a fee to license software developed and distributed by Microsoft. Under this commercial software development ("CSD") model, software developers bear the costs of converting original ideas into software products through investments in research and development, offsetting these costs with the revenues received from the distribution of their products. The Company believes that the CSD model has had substantial benefits for users of software, allowing them to rely on the expertise of the Company and other software developers that have powerful incentives to develop innovative software that is useful, reliable and compatible with other software and hardware. In recent years, there has been a growing challenge to the CSD model, often referred to as the Open Source movement... The popularization of the Open Source movement continues to pose a significant challenge to the Company's business model, including recent efforts by proponents of the Open Source model to convince governments worldwide to mandate the use of Open Source software in their purchase and deployment of software products. To the extent the Open Source model gains increasing market acceptance, sales of the Company's products may decline, the Company may have to reduce the prices it charges for its products, and revenues and operating margins may consequently decline.


Three and a half years later and they're just starting to figure out what to do about it. They've known for a long time OSS would be significant competition. So far the only thing they've proven is they have no idea what to do about it.

gay flamebait getalife (fagging beta) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559547)

Slashdot continues its streak of constantly insulting Microsoft as childishly as humanly possible.

Get a fucking life you disgusting nerds,
(fagging beta)

Re:gay flamebait getalife (fagging beta) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559628)

Awww! I think someone needs a hug.

*hug*

There. All better?

Re:gay flamebait getalife (fagging beta) (0, Offtopic)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559639)

Get a fucking life you disgusting nerds,

That's MISTER disgusting nerd to you.

I'm not following the question (4, Interesting)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559554)

Microsoft executives have recently said they are committed to a greater outreach to the open source community and to make Windows software interoperable with that licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Is that a priority of yours and something you plan to move further forward?

I have been one of the principle people architecting the way we are going to step up to this bigger question around interoperability, and that will certainly be a focus of mine going forward, along with Bob Muglia.

Isn't interoperability more a question of standards compliance than licensing? Or did eWeek's question pertain more to 'general interaction', as if Redmond needs to be more aware of the existence of, say, Ogg.

Re:I'm not following the question (5, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559583)

Yeah, Maybe if they want to interoperate better with OSS they should implement CSS 2, or transparent PNGs. Or maybe use ODF in their next word processor. Or fix their broken Kerberos implementation. There's a million things they could do to make it easier for their software to interoperate with GPLd softwaree. Maybe they should release some specs to their API, file formats, and network protocols so that OSS programmers don't have to guess how things are done, or reverse engineer them.

Re:I'm not following the question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559814)

Yeah, Maybe if they want to interoperate better with OSS they should implement CSS 2, or transparent PNGs...

Did you know that the web and web sites are not the center of the IT world for MOST people? Did you know most people dont care about your blog? Jesus. Go back to your Massivly Multi=Player Crap Fest...

Re:I'm not following the question (4, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559597)

Looks it's a computer journal. The job of a computer journal is not to ask hard hitting questions. It's to suck up to your advertisers and to make sure you get their press releases published as articles and to generally act as their publicity agents.

If Ms wants to play nice all they have to do is the publish some specs. NTFS, SMB, Active Directory, Office file formats etc. I mean full disclosure. They could also remove the DRM from their file formats which prevents open office from even attempting to open their files.

Ask yourself this question. Is a company which makes sure that the sample files it ships with office can only be opened up with MS office serious about playing nice? I don't think so. NOTE TO SHILLS: The previous statement has nothing to with the capability, the files are locked and refuse to be opened by open office.

Anyway this is Mundie we are talking about. If he doesn't lie a dozen times by lunch he feels quesy.

I resent (rather than resemle) that (5, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559869)

Looks it's a computer journal. The job of a computer journal is not to ask hard hitting questions. It's to suck up to your advertisers and to make sure you get their press releases published as articles and to generally act as their publicity agents.

I hear this all the time, and I've come to the resignation that it's just a fact of life that people want to think this way, but frankly it's bullshit.

I am a senior editor at InfoWorld. [infoworld.com] I can tell you unequivocably that the editorial staff at InfoWorld is not in the business of sucking up to advertisers; indeed, we are not involved in the business of procuring advertisements in any way. Any reputable publication has a "church and state" policy with regard to sales and editorial. InfoWorld does, and I have no reason to believe our distinguished competition at eWeek is any different. (Of course, they're not as good at their jobs as we are, but they're not crooks.)

At InfoWorld we are also not in the business of repurposing press releases, nor do we accept any so-called bylined articles contributed by vendors. Any "advertorial" is clearly marked as such -- it's the rules.

Editorial staff at computer journals do nurture relationships with major technology vendors but that's because it's necessary to what we do -- which is report on IT. We may not print answers to the "hard-hitting questions" as often as you might like. In many cases, however, the reason you don't see answers to those questions in print is because the person we ask refuses to answer them.

You don't have to believe me, of course. But come on -- do I walk around saying programmers don't do anything but eat Cheet-Os, drink Mountain Dew, and add bugs to software?

Deeds rather than words. (5, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559607)

Ok here's a tip I got from my karate instructor, when someone's spoiling for a fight and are clearly about to start flailing, ask them a question, something dumb, irrelevant and obscure. When they take their eyes off you to think about it (and yup, people do exactly that when they're thinking, one of the reasons mobile phones are so dangerous in cars) you kick them in the balls and run for it.

The moral is watch what people do, don't listen to what they say.

The guys at the top of companies are all politicians, they tell you what you want to hear while continuing as always.
 

Re:Deeds rather than words. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559638)

Example:

While being mugged:
"Take it easy man. All I've got is a 16 dollar bill!"

No question? (4, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559733)

Ok here's a tip I got from my karate instructor, when someone's spoiling for a fight and are clearly about to start flailing, ask them a question, something dumb, irrelevant and obscure. When they take their eyes off you to think about it (and yup, people do exactly that when they're thinking, one of the reasons mobile phones are so dangerous in cars) you kick them in the balls and run for it.

All that leadup in your story and you didn't give us a good question? I was severely disappointed.
"What is the weight of an unladen swallow?" If they ask african or european, just fight them, they're a wimp.

Re:Deeds rather than words. (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559735)

Argh!
When they take their eyes off you to think about it (and yup, people do exactly that when they're thinking, one of the reasons mobile phones are so dangerous in cars)

This would prove that radio talk shows cause accidents, that radio quiz shows cause accidents and that advertising causes accidents. For that matter, trying to figure out the nuance in the song you're listening to would cause accidents.

If you can't drive and talk on your cell phone, don't do it. But I've seen a lot of people who can't drive and talk to their passenger successfully either and yet that's still legal.

Standards may involve licenses (5, Interesting)

zzatz (965857) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559645)

"Isn't interoperability more a question of standards compliance than licensing?"

Standards often include patented features. Most standards bodies require a minimum of RAND licensing. RAND is not sufficient to allow GPL implementations, however. Microsoft has a history of crafting licenses and patent grants that preclude GPL implementations.

The benefit of open standards comes from opening up competition, by removing standards compliance from control by a sole source. In the current market, Microsoft can crush any competitor that uses the same business model as Microsoft, so 'standards' that may only be used by similar commercial enities don't offer real competition. Only Free software, supported by a business model that can't be crushed by Microsoft, has shown a serious threat to Microsoft's domination. Yes, Apple, Sun, and others have had an impact, but they are vulnerable to changes in management direction. Sun may have saved Java from Microsoft, but they could turn around and sell it to Microsoft. I don't expect that to happen, but it's possible.

Interoperability with standards isn't enough. The standards need to be open, too. There's a lot of professional PR doublespeak about what 'open standard' means, but I rely on one test: can someone write a GPL implementation that complies with the patent licenses?

Re:I'm not following the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559688)

Isn't interoperability more a question of standards compliance than licensing?

On the practical side of things you might be surprised how much work goes into make sure that even things built to spec actually interoperate, that was the reason for the old bake-offs (till some pinhead with no sense of humor sued them to make them change the name). I've seen this a lot with newer protocols, many implementations are done before the spec is finished - so you wind up with several ways to do everything.

On the pinhead side of things you might be surprised how often standards are based on non-free technologies...

"interoperable" not compatible (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559819)

The key phrase is "interoperable with software which uses the GPL", sounds like maybe a compatibility layer for using Linux stuff to me (will have to name it LINE or something I guess). So they can say, you can run your Kontact or whatever (insert Linux only software title here) on Windows, there's no need to deal with sound or video driver hell...

Or maybe MS certified VPC for Linux, that would make "Windows Software interoperable" with GPL stuff.

They really isn't any mention about "documents", "media" or "data", and I don't think that is their intent.

Don't trust Mundie (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559563)

Don't trust anything Mundie says about F/OSS any farther than you can spit. Just a short time ago, Mundie was Microsoft's anti-open-source poster child. [zdnet.com] Now he's pulling an olive branch out of his ass. Either he's lying through his teeth, or he's talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Microsoft's sins are legion. They have a hell of a lot of work to do before they should expect anyone with a brain larger than a peanut to trust them.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (2, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559600)

Or you know, maybe he changed his mind. Not everyone who has strong opinions is irrational.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559648)

Only on Slashdot.

Or did you forget what site you were posting that on? Slashdot: News for lunatics, stuff no one else cares about.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (2, Funny)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559655)

So what happened? Did God speak to him last night and pointed out the error of his ways? Exactly how does one change such fundamentally held beliefs in such a short time anyway?

I think occams razor applies here. He has lied dozens of times in the press already. What's more likely? he is lieing now or he has truly changed his mind and now wants to make sure all MS products can work with GPLed software.

Let's take a vote.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559697)

Maybe someone just showed him some numbers that demonstrated that opposing OSS would cause MS to lose money in the long run. Also, I fail to see what a vote has to do with the truth; if popular opinion did reflect the truth science would be much simpler. Special relativity? Let's take a vote.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559715)

Or, perhaps, by "embracing" the "enemy" M$ hopes to "destroy" them in the most profitable way possible. Irrelevence. If M$ starts conforming to standards and convinces enough people to buy into their crap then the OSS movement becomes irrelevent. Especially with "Trusted Computing" controlling the software running on the hardware. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'll be happy with the computing power I have for the next 30 years.

Of course, I could be wrong. The Free Software movement has been around as long as I have been old enough to recognize myself in a mirror, so I'm sure it will keep going with its current momentum. The question is, will it retain momentum in the business world.

At any rate, even if M$ did conform to standards, it would only be long enough to extinguish the competition.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559743)

"Also, I fail to see what a vote has to do with the truth; if popular opinion did reflect the truth science would be much simpler. Special relativity? Let's take a vote."

YOu missed my point entirely. The vote was not on what is the truth, it's was what is more likely.

Is it more likely that...

1) Mundie is lieing?
2) MS has changed their tune and wants to play nice with GPL?

My bet is on 2.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559789)

What is likely has nothing to do with opinion either. (If we all think that a die will land on a 6 it is no more likely to than if we all thought it would land on a five.) The problem with your argument is that no matter what MS does you will not be convinced that they are playing nice with the GPL, and thus it is not falsifiable, and hence not rational.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559821)

"he problem with your argument is that no matter what MS does you will not be convinced that they are playing nice with the GPL, and thus it is not falsifiable, and hence not rational."

Right. I won't and I am guessing most people won't either. Since we all lack the ability to read his mind we have to guess at which if the possibilites are more likely. Perhaps you have some special skill which allows you to read his mind and know for sure that he has changed his mind and is now sincerely interested in playing nice with the GPL. Please let us know how your super human powers of mind reading have convinced you that he is not lying this time.

I am afraid the rest of us who do not share your amazing powers of mind reading will have to simply make do with taking a look at his past track records and making judgements on based on that.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (0, Flamebait)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559845)

Well you are entitled to your opinion, but your unfalsifiable belief in it is what most people would call fanaticism. For example Islamic fanatics will believe that their extreme reading of the Koran is correct no matter what evidence you present them with. Not that I expect you to blow anybody up, but being so closed to the possibility that you may be in error actually makes the positions you defend look bad.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (0, Offtopic)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559880)

YES!. I am exactly like a terrorist!. There is absolutely no difference at all between my looking at mundies track record on the truth and deciding that he is probably lying again and blowing up a building killing three thousand people!. Those two acts are indisguishable from each other. There is no difference whatsoever!. I am exactly like a islamic fundamentalist.

You on the other hand can read minds!.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559891)

Do you even bother to read what I have written?

Re:Don't trust Mundie (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559907)

Yes you compared me to a islamic fundamentalist because I think mundie is lying again and because I have pointed out that he has lied at least a dozen times in the press already.

It seems to me that perhaps you are more like a islamic fundamentalist then I am. After all accepting the word of a known and habitual liar without any hesitation whatsoever is an act of zealotry. It's very similar to believe who still follow preachers who predict the end of the earth even when the day passes without incident.

Of the two of us I would say you are the true zealot. I base my beliefs of what somebody has done in the past. If somebody lies to me a dozen times then it's reasonable for me to believe that they are lying again. It's unreasonable for you to accept that they are telling the truth now.

I am afraid in this case you are islamic terrorist and not me.

Re:Don't trust Mundie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559807)

Just like US wants to play nice with Iran...

Re:Don't trust Mundie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559693)

I trust them completely.

Sincerely,
Mr. Peanut

The best people in the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559566)

"..This is a company with, in many cases, the best people in the world."
 
Are you serious? The best people in the world?! Oh, really? And you're the one who defines what makes someone / some group of people "the best in the world"?

Re:The best people in the world? (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559578)

I was more thinking that Sun had the best people in the world, but apparently Microsoft buys a lot of good researchers to think up the next-great-thing and patent it so the public never gets to see it.

Global Warming isn't anymore ! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559570)

Hell just froze over.

Let's see if I have this right... (5, Insightful)

greenguy (162630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559577)

I am neither a programmer nor a lawyer, so there may be some nuances I'm missing, but here's how I see it.

- FLOSS reveals everything there is to know about how it operates and interoperates.

- Microsoft reveals as little as possible about how it operates and interoperates.

- Microsoft has a high-profile, highly-paid person trying to figure out how to make the two work together. So far, this appears to be quite a challenge for them.

Unless I've missed something crucial, Microsoft will never fix this problem to everyone's solution. The problem isn't in their software. The problem is in their business model. But they can never admit that, so they'll go on trying to figure out which size wrench to use to hammer the light bulb into the socket.

Re:Let's see if I have this right... (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559641)

Edit: "...to everyone's satisfaction,..."

And I did use the Preview button!

Not exactly (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559664)

You wrote:

- Microsoft has a high-profile, highly-paid person trying to figure out how to make the two work together.

What would be more accurate would be:

- Microsoft has a high-profile, highly-paid person trying to figure out how to make the press and public think that the two work together.

This is a much easier job.

Re:Let's see if I have this right... (1)

tiocsti (160794) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559698)

Not all free software (let alone all open source software) is easy to read, nor well maintained. In many cases, it's just barely more readable than a disassembly.

Re:Let's see if I have this right... (4, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559763)

Not all free software (let alone all open source software) is easy to read, nor well maintained. In many cases, it's just barely more readable than a disassembly.

Sure, but that's because Free software is a ridiculously big umbrella. Not all commercial software is particularly easy to read (even if you could get the source) nor well documented, nor well maintained. For every random crappy sourceforge project you care to point out, I can find a crappy Win>insert name here< demoware program that's just as bad. What we're talking about here is major Free software products - you know, the ones that Microsoft might actually give a crap about interoperating with, like Linux, Apache, Mozilla, OpenOffice, etc. I think you'll find those projects are actually relatively easy to read, quite well documented, and well maintained. In fact I'll bet that they are at least as easy to read, and at least as well documented as Microsofts own stuff - the issues with turning over documentation of APIs in the EU antitrust case strongly pointed to the poor and chaotic state of even Micorosofts internal documentation.

Re:Let's see if I have this right... (4, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559709)

That's exactly right. It's more than just a problem in their business model, though. As others have pointed out it's also a problem of mindset and perception. They've had a very long-standing mentality in their management that promotes disconnectedness. They need to change a lot more than their business model. Their management needs to fundamentally think differently about their software.

It's too hard...... (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559806)

Microsoft could have interoperability with FOSS overnight for a cost of Bill's pocket change, if they wanted to.
It is simply that they don't want to do it and for reasons which make no sense to anyone but them.

M$ finally learning the IBM lesson (5, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559586)

IBM was the Microsoft of it's time and now it's a darling of geeks everywhere. All companies eventually have to learn to transition from being an entity that makes standards to merely contributing to them. Microsoft will learn this lesson albeit the hard way but they will learn.

Then in the future we can adjust our ire towards future threats like Apple for closing Darwin off to development and Google who is probably amassing more power than any one company should.

Re:M$ finally learning the IBM lesson (5, Insightful)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559656)

How is Apple closing off Darwin any more of a "threat" than Microsoft never opening Windows in the first place? You're being ridiculous.

How is Google amassing so much power....by launching a bunch of free services that next to no one actually use? I'd be far more scared of a company like Yahoo!, which has far more data about its customers than Google will have in the next 5 years. Yahoo! offers the full range of portal services, and unlike Google, people actually use these portal services. Portal services can amass far more data than search records ever could. Gmail is far behind Yahoo! Mail in terms of users, as is Google Finance, Picasa Web, Google Calendar, Froogle, Google Maps, Google Talk, etc. Despite having better technology (IMHO), Google is an also-ran in the portal market.

With a Calendar service, for instance, the Calendar provider could potentially view your entire life schedule and what you do in your time and use that for advertising purposes. With a Mail service, they have access to your communications. With the majority of people using google.com, they have access to search records attributed to a random IP address, and they have absolutely no way of actually tracing that IP address to a person without a court order, which they simply would not get.

Wow, Google has like so much data about like the 5 million people worldwide that actually have accounts on Google.com! Oh, and they can trace your IP ADDRESS!!!! *shivers* (/sarcasm)

Oh, wait, I'm on Slashdot, conspiracy theories and fearing all companies that make more than $10 million a year in profit is the norm here. Carry on then!

(disclaimer: I use services from both Yahoo! and Google, depending on the service, and also MSN Messenger. I have no problem doing so, because I'm not paranoid of everything that exists to make money)

Re:M$ finally learning the IBM lesson (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559856)

Google makes some people concerned (not me personally, mind you, but some people), because they are getting increasingly good at correlating apparently unrelated or distantly related data. Yahoo may have more user data that's an obvious risk, info that's at least roughly like a SSN or pay voucher in that some potential abuses are obvious, but Google shows some real ability at taking lots of normally innocuous data, i.e. the equivalent of shoe size and brand of pet food, and getting something unexpected from some of the combinations.
          As an example - Google is where people discovered searching for certain strings let 'outsiders' access security cameras made by at least two major manufacturers, if they were installed with default setups, and just at a guess at least 100,000 people now know the tricks involved (and it's still a workable exploit). If you don't know what those strings are, just Google. I'd submit that when this became public knowledge most black hats thoughts swiftly turned to possible misuses of a security camera they can control, so unlike many exploits, the 'what?'s' and 'why?'s' were already answered in a way obvious to the script kiddee, and the next step was to master the 'how?'
        Yahoo has info that many people shouldn't have given out in their profiles, and certainly, the more frequently and variously portal services are accessed, the more really sensitive data a typical user will be risking. I'd go so far as to say a clueful and concerned user will still have a great deal of trouble avoiding some risks. But, most of the illicit uses for that info are less obvious than for a SSN or PIN, and often, finding out how to abuse such info is best done by turning back to (you guessed it) Google for instructions.
          Paranoia about this is easy (just look at those people who think Google Earth is showing real time updated sattelite data, and could be used to see who's parked in someone's driveway at that exact moment). Still, not all such concerns are paranoid - there's a reasonable residuum that justifies caution.

Re:M$ finally learning the IBM lesson (2, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559757)

Good point. Centralisation of power did neither the USSR nor ancient China nor IBM any good, and Microsoft is growing into a monolith large enough to suffer from to similar problems, problems that have their origin in the difficulty of internal communications -- e.g. not the type of mail, but the sheer bulk of it. By the time any catastrophe has made it through all the layers of frightened functionaries, the only message from within your own Empire that survives is refined into "All is well with the Empire, your Majesty".

I think a bit of decentralisation is in order, if Microsoft is to survive the transition you speak of. This was a lesson known to IBM when they set up a separate, independent subsidiary to build an answer to the Apple ][. The PC that resulted from that (irrespective of it's tragically poor initial design) allowed them to create a product that did not have to answer to layer upon layer of Mainframe-oriented processes and their entrenched apologists.

If Microsoft were to break up Office into separate parts with the "glue" between them componentised, then perhaps that "glue" could be adherance to a standard rather than tight coupling of applications. It seems as if they're still trying to develop a "Lotus 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9..." instead of a decent series of independent products (Drag and drop is nice, but sometimes I just want to copy a table, not embed a spreadsheet in a document).

One wonders if the communications between all the components of Office isn't beginning to break the boundaries of efficient operation in much the same way. Messages grow exponentially, irrespective of the medium.

To be honest, Bill is one bright geek. But even if he were the right hand of Heaven on earth he can't resolve detail out of a message once it's suffered from bureaucratic data compression.

I guess that's why they call some people "Exponents" of a particular technology.

Something I learned in 4th grade (-1, Offtopic)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559591)

If you're forced to write a report on something, you can't copy it out of an Encyclopedia, but if you write it in your own words then you're writing a report and not plagurizing. I wonder if that works in code too. Read some GPLed code, and rewrite it in your own words, are you then not plagurizing?

Re:Something I learned in 4th grade (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559618)

That is correct. To make it easier to defend your position, often a company will have one group read the protected code and write a spec. Then a second group will code the spec. This is quite common.

Re:Something I learned in 4th grade (0, Offtopic)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559674)

Please explain the relevance of this comment to anything else in this story or in any other comment?

Re:Something I learned in 4th grade (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559739)

Read some GPLed code, and rewrite it in your own words, are you then not plagurizing?


No, you aren't plagiarizing in that case. That's what the phrase "your own words" means -- you own the words because you wrote them yourself.

3 things that I think are needed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559595)

-Posix compatibility for threads
-Posix compatibility for files
-Signals and fork

I put signals and fork on the same line because they would be nice but not totally necessary. I understand that Windows doesn't work the same way as Unix for such things so it might be difficult to implement them.

I think that support for unix threads and files would go a long way towards not requiring that applications have a custom portable library for Windows VS others (linux, unix, mac). How many ported applications use the old posix compatible functions on Windows? Probably a ton.

Who'd doing what? (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559605)

This [microsoft.com] Craig [slashdot.org] Mundie [zdnet.com] ? What a joke. So is he a hypocrite or a liar?

In a related announcement, Microsoft announced that Raynard D. Fox will be their new Executive Vice-President for Henhouse Security.

Fast Query (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559620)

So why is it then, that the latest Vista beta (2) does not support SMB 'Slow Query' (which works well with Samba), only Fast Query (which only works with the very latest versions of Samba)? Too bad for all those people who have ethernet connected Hard Drives running Samba which don't support firmware updates...

With one caveat ... (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559622)

This is a company with, in many cases, the best people in the world.

The best people that money can buy, certainly ... maybe not so many now that Google is on the scene. The problem with Microsoft is how little the use of that talent translates into actual products. One has to wonder if the reason that Microsoft keeps so much highly-paid intellect on staff is more a matter of keeping those brains away from the competition (or from becoming competition) than for developing new products. They've used that principle in their lobbying efforts in Washington: hire everybody who's anybody and make sure that nobody else can have them. A Microsoft spokesperson once called that "sucking the air out of Washington."

Late to the Party and Overdressed (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559625)

It's often been noted that MS overall tends to follow on the innovation of others. Netscape's early dominance as a browser is the most often pointed to example.

It's not unlikely that MS has been waiting for F/OSS to die only to watch it grow stronger. MS may now see F/OSS as something it must embrace, (images of a giant anaconda). Bill Gate's impending retirement as chief architect may in part be a way to remove himself (perhaps Ballmer will follow) as a way to distance MS from his and Ballmer's past attacks on F/OSS as a commie plot. Both men may have too much of an ingrained distaste for interoperability with F/OSS.

As Chairman Gate's will have a duty to steer the company in the direction of greatest profit, and given the entrenched position of F/OSS, that direction will require MS to work toward interoperability with F/OSS.

just my loose change

dog pile! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559635)

The only microsoftie I have personally seen trying to do something right with open source is Bill Hilf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Hilf [wikipedia.org] ) I know because I use to work on his Linux team. I guess it's good that other microsofties are dog piling on his work but hope he gets the credit. guns and admin

Sic transit gloria Mundi(e) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559644)

There might be a different reason Gates is quietly retiring. Even more than open source software it is the commoditization of hardware that will increase price pressure on the OS, and this is a trend that even M$ cannot fight. They will have to somehow justify the fact that the OS represents 20% of the price of a desktop (and an even larger percentage in the future), and I would like to see Mundie doing that. Maybe Gates prefers to hide now so he won't have to be around when this question will be asked by a large enough number of people.
      I think this is one of the main reasons M$ is pumping up the minimum specs for a computer to run Vista. More expensive hardware will make their OS cost a smaller percentege of the final price of a new coputer.

outreach? please don't bother (4, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559660)

I tell you what. If MS puts their patents on the table and removes their support of SCO and copyright liability, then I'll consider talking. Until then, forget it, actions speak louder than words.

what else do they want? (2, Insightful)

m874t232 (973431) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559667)

I'm not sure what all this "outreach" is supposed to be about. FOSS licensed software is there for all to use, including Microsoft. FOSS developers are making enormous efforts to accomodate Microsoft already, to interoperate with Microsoft software, and even to reverse engineer Microsoft's protocols.

If Microsoft wants even more cooperation from FOSS developers, all they have to do is dedicate patents in areas like FAT, .NET, and SMB to the public domain (so that people can create interoperable implementations without nagging legal questions), and document and stabilize formats and protocols like those used by SMB, Exchange, Office, Sharepoint, and others.

So, open source is already doing all it can do under the limits that Microsoft itself is setting for open source. If they want open source to support Microsoft products even better, it's in their hands.

They don't get it. (3, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559675)

Microsoft declared _war_ on Linux, the GPL and anything else that threatens their hegemony. And we're just supposed to smile and say thank you when they want to "increase interoperability" between Windows and Linux? After all the bullshit they've pulled? This is a war, and if Microsoft wins, we're screwed with DRM, formats that change year after year, and more monopoly tactics that wipe out budding technology like Ballmer steps on an ant. There's a reason why Penguinistas don't like Microsoft and it's because we've seen what happens to Microsoft "partners." It's like watching people get tossed in a tank of sharks and then being asked if I'd like to go for a swim in the new pool.

Craig Mundie is an ass.

Hey Craig, how come I can't get Word Perfect for Linux anymore?

--
BMO

Re:They don't get it. (1)

krray (605395) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559769)

"There's a reason why Penguinistas don't like Microsoft"

I believe you meant to say trust.

And no, I know many (even those "devoted" to Microsoft products) that do not trust them. Any further than they could bribe Bill himself. They're history (as a company) has proven themselves to be completely untrustworthy. There's really very little they could do anymore to garnish my personal interest. Yeah, I'm one of those still (grudgingly/happily?) using Win2K -- and very thankful that I'm not caught up in the DRM showing up in XP. There's also a reason my servers run Linux and my desktop runs Linux/OS.X. Windows is there only when "I have to".

From the article: I think that the culture of the company is rich and established. After 31 years, Bill has put a fairly indelible imprint on the company. A lot of people have 'grown up' inside this company and we do what we do the way we have grown up doing it to some extent. I don't expect there to be any abrupt change as a function of that.

The irony in this statement is one of my jobs today -- working for a +30 year old company with people who have been there forever. So many processes are butt back-ass-wards that nobody even realizes it. They're so used to doing it the way it was done because that it how it's always been done. Unfortunately those processes won't work with this company and allow for growth in sales -- nor will it work with Microsoft and "playing nice" in the GPL world.

The only way Microsoft would EVER even get my attention again is if they came out with "Microsoft Linux" with Word/Excel -- and even then I'll probably tell them to go jump and go with Suse, Redhat, whatever -- and OpenOffice. You see -- I *still* remember buying many servers ~10 years ago and HAD to pay the "Microsoft tax" if I wanted server grade hardware from my choice of vendor(s). Funny thing is ... they all still run Linux to this day...

Re:They don't get it. (1)

rifftide (679288) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559900)

The only way Microsoft would EVER even get my attention again is if they came out with "Microsoft Linux" with Word/Excel

Then we could all download it and tell their reps, "I shall gladly pay you Mundie."

Microsoft's OSS "Outreach" (-1, Troll)

hitmanWilly (983469) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559690)

Maybe in bizzaro world, I'd believe this, but that's not where we live. It'll be a cold day in HELL before MicroSUX ever accepts open source as a legitimate option for developers/users. All they'll ever do is try to exploit and destroy anything they can't market/package/sell for way too much money. Forget Iraq. Forget Bush. Gates is the real megalomaniac and Microsoft the real evil empire. LONG LIVE LINUX!! LONG LIVE OPEN SOURCE!!

Wasting our time... (2, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559717)

Several techniques to waste your time

1. Speculating WHY / WHETHER REALLY Microsoft is suddenly cosying up to Open Source and GPL.
2. Speculating WHY Vista is getting delayed.
3. Speculating WHY DNF is getting delayed.
4. Speculating WHETHER Gates really stepped DOWN ... FROM Chairman TO Chairman.
5. Speculating WHETHER Ballmer might get promoted to Chair-Man.
6. Profit! (Note... this list is always Profitable for Microsoft - not you. One last time... Misrosoft is not a philanthropic organisation - Gates might be one individually. MS is answerable to it's shareholders, and it's only motive is MONEY, not shipping Vista, developing a better Office, kicking Gates, or rewarding Ballmer.
7. If we want to spend your time PROFITably, I guess we can simply skip such articles, and start using REAL open source apps, or writing more code under the GPL.

Such articles are a real waste of time, IMHO.

Re:Wasting our time... (2, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559824)

7. If we want to spend your time PROFITably, I guess we can simply skip such articles, and start using REAL open source apps, or writing more code under the GPL.

If only the comments within /. could be used for GPL code..... it would be pretty buggy tho'

Advance to stage 4! (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559728)

  1. They ignore you
  2. They laugh at you
  3. They fight you
  4. They try to accomodate you you are here!
  5. You win?

Think for a sec: what if MS code (bits) went GPL? (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559762)

For a long time, we've had the evidence that their code has deficiencies.... glaring ones. The closed source model bites for numerous reasons, including masking the quality (or lack thereof) in code, algorithms, and so on.

What if MS coders across the world did F/OSS code? Is that competition for all of the coders that can lay claim to kernel trees before 2.2 in Linux? Or those that can do a conditional compile for another processor/platform other than Intel/AMD/Via?

What if those coders were actually good? Or what if they were bad? What happens when an army of formerly (actually currently in the closet for the most part) closed-source coders start contributing to the GPL? Do we care what Craig "The Fibber" Mundie says an any way? No. We get potentially great code contributions with Microsoft sanction, and perhaps even blessing.

So fornicate Mundie, and let him incentivize coding under the GPL. It's a PR move any way..... so nice, too, that eWeek swallowed it whole without a challenge.

Sheez.

Tipping point (4, Interesting)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559781)

Microsoft is on the horns of dilemma.


When Linux was only a tiny or isolated part of the OS market, it's was to MS's advantage to do everything they could not to recognize, support, or interoperate with it.

But as Linux reaches a significant size, MS's lack of interoperability becomes a liability. People start not bothering buying Windows licenses because it doesn't work well with their favourite OS (e.g., read and write common file formats), despite the fact that Windows may have functionality they would like to access.

As Windows begins its descent from dominance, it will be forced to start "playing well with others".

This prediction is worth everything you paid for it.

Makes perfect sense (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559792)

It's been good for business elsewhere, it'll be good for business for them.

I don't see this as any more shocking than Apple or IBM embracing open source, and MSFT's technologies have been increasingly more accessable to developers.

Stoop to childish namecalling and whining, but it's not your decision, it's theirs.

MSFT's stock has been slumping hard lately, it might be a good time to pick some up.

So amusing (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559793)

I love the responses to this article. No matter what they do everyone hates MS. If they had announced that they weren't going to be compatible with OSS eveyone would have, justly, been accusing them of being evil. However instead MS has agreed to at least interoperate with OSS, and yet everyone still accuses them of being evil (not in general mind you, evil on this specific issue, i.e. They are going to corrupt the standard!). This indicates the many people's opinions about MS are not based on the facts (although most of us knew that already), and thus are best described as irrational.

Are you kissing their asses ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559822)

... because M$ pays you, or because you hope that if you kiss their asses long enough maybe M$ will notice and pay you ? Since you are doing the asskissing for free, what incentive do they have to pay you in the future ?
Remeber: Just because you are ignorant it does not mean that you are not wrong.

Re:So amusing (1)

Captain DaFt (755254) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559860)

Actually, The haters are a minority, just very, very vocal.

OTOH, Microsoft has done many unsavory things in it's day, and the past is littered with companies that trusted them.

Actions speak louder than rehtoric, so before I, personally, trust them, I'm going to have to see some (a lot actually) trustworthy behavior.

nothing irrational about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15559881)

When someone attacks you, you respond, and not always politely.


There is a direct proof [catb.org] indicating that the bullshit SCO lawsuit was brought into being directly by Microsoft. That lawsuit was not just Microsoft "competing to win", it was Microsoft attempting to wipe Linux off the map permanently via the courts instead of the market.


If you honestly expect people are going to forgive Microsoft for this kind of bullshit because their new asshole-CEO has decided that co-operation is now a better plan, then you and Microsoft have another thing coming. Don't get me wrong, I fully support the idea of interoperating with Microsoft products, but my goal is to do so in order to eventually eliminate them, the way they have (and no doubt continue to) tried to do to us, with the difference being that we WILL win WITHOUT pulling any unethical or illegal bullshit stunts like the SCO lawsuit or the Stac theft.

Microsoft words: "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish" (4, Interesting)

tm2b (42473) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559893)

Snort. Gee, I don't know why anybody would ever be suspicious of Microsoft [catb.org] .

Go read those papers, the "Halloween documents." They aren't just random FUD, those are internal Microsoft documents stating exactly how Microsoft intends to destroy OSS.

"Embrace, extend and extinguish" isnt' a summary that was randomly invented by OSS paranoiacs, according to sworn testimony the phrase came out of Microsoft VP Paul Maritz' mouth in Intel's meetings with Microsoft . [wikipedia.org]

So we're supposed to not be suspicious when they announce that, gee golly, they're serious about embracing?

You're either a fool or a shill.

Re:Microsoft words: "Embrace, Extend and Extinguis (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559902)

I wouldn't say that we know for sure that Microsoft is playing nice; I am saying that we have to admit that there is a possibilty. It is more foolish to insist that you opinions on Microsoft are right and need never change no matter what Microsoft does (assuming that they actually work on comparability and not just release press statements).

Bill Gates & interoperating with GPL'd softwar (1)

Helldesk Hound (981604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559813)

interesting that BillyG announced his retirement around the same time that M$ started to talk positively about interacting with GPL'd software.

I wonder what the real story is behind both these moves...

Makin' Monee (2, Interesting)

infosec_spaz (968690) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559823)

I don't care what ANY large company says, they are in the business to make money for both their Upper management, and their stockholders. IBM, Sun, Cisco, etc...All of them are saying something about opening up their source in one way or another, but in the end, they are doing so, because they have some grand scheme about how it is going to make them profit in the end.

Underpants Gnome theory, Step#3 - Profit.

There was an article posted here last week about how Bank of America was outsourcing IT positions, and making the employees being replaced train the Indian/whoever replacements.

I emailed BofA, and asked them why they would give away all of my financial and personal information...There response, was...To make money for us, and our stock holders...it all comes down to some douche bag in an ivory tower making decisions based on how much he wants his bonus to be this year.

My 2 cents.

Don't worry! (0, Flamebait)

Hikaru79 (832891) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559827)

From the summary:
[Bill Gates] thought his iconic status and the way that was reported tended to overemphasize his role in the company's innovation and execution.

Haha. Did someone here think that Bill Gates was intimately involved in all of Microsoft's wonderful innovations? Anyone?

Proof precedes belief. (5, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15559888)

With some groups, I'm willing to extend trust. MS, however, has a track record. They will need to PROVE that they are trustworthy before I will trust them. Even then it will be an iffy kind of thing for a decade or so.

But proof comes first.

1) Stop campaigning for closed standards. This is the first step towards earning trust.
2) Stop attempting to corrupt existing standards. This can be done simultaneous with 1.
3) Stop spreading FUD. If you continue to act like an enemy, there's no way I'll be willing to trust you.

Those steps are negative, but essential. Until those conditions are met there is no possible positive action that I would trust.

4) Do something positive. There are lots of options here, but if a government forces you to it, then it doesn't count as a positive action from you. Merely neutral (at best).
Possible examples of positive actions are:
1) Pushing an open standard, and adopting it in your own programs.
2) Opening the file format specifications beyond what the EU is demanding. (Alternatively, creating a new Open file format specification and adopting it...but this is 1 again.)
3) Releasing a version of MSWind that doesn't automatically remove the ability of other OSs on the same drive to boot. (Yeah, Linux isn't so good about this either. SuSE seems to do this, but most distros presume that they are the grand PooBah *AND* the Lord High Executioner wrapped into one bundle.)
4) Other. (I said there were lots of choices. There's really too many to enumerate.)

But proof comes before belief.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

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

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

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...