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366 comments

Surprise, surprise! (3, Interesting)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | about 7 years ago | (#18780123)

Microsoft does not act to make desktop Linux more attractive.

Aw, come on (5, Funny)

lukas84 (912874) | about 7 years ago | (#18780149)

It supports BOTH platforms. Windows AND Mac. How much better can it get?

Re:Aw, come on (1, Interesting)

BecomingLumberg (949374) | about 7 years ago | (#18780227)

Oh come on, self righteous defenders of Linux! I love my Linux, but take a joke already. If you don't know what sarcasm is, you obviously haven't been here that long.

Re:Aw, come on (2, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 7 years ago | (#18780623)

It supports BOTH platforms. Windows AND Mac. How much better can it get?
;) Indeed.

This got me to thinking, though - they support Mac. Perhaps that could be leveraged into Linux support somehow? I mean, Macs have a BSD-like basis, and a neat set of well-documented Mac APIs on top of it (Cocoa, etc.). How hard would it be to take a Silverlight runtime and write a 'wrapper' (an emulation layer, perhaps like WINE but on a much smaller scale) to get it to work on Linux?

Something tells me the problems might not all be technical. The Silverlight's Mac version's EULA will probably say something like "You may only use this software on Apple Macintosh computers running OSX".

(But then, Novell have this 'interoperability' arrangement with Microsoft, don't they? They're already implementing Microsoft's .Net on Linux, perhaps they'll implement Silverlight as well? That might be amusing/interesting.)

News? (2, Insightful)

solevita (967690) | about 7 years ago | (#18780153)

Is anyone surprised by this? After all, a few stories down from this on the front page is news of the Microsoft Firefox plugin [slashdot.org] that works "only on Vista and XP". Who would have ever imagined that this would be any different?

Re:News? (1)

solevita (967690) | about 7 years ago | (#18780183)

Ignore my previous comment, I see what this is all about now. Summary should be renamed to "Submitter pushes traffic to own site, ad revenue follows".

Re:News? (1)

tsalaroth (798327) | about 7 years ago | (#18780407)

Actually, I'm pretty sure Matt doesn't profit from the ad revenues, the Dani in daniweb does.

He did, however, push traffic to his own blog on the daniweb site.

Unless there's something I don't know about Matt - like he's a Dani's boyfriend/partner/stalker or something.

just as i was being bashed by people in the other (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | about 7 years ago | (#18780171)

thread about microsoft's development tools.

"one needs to 'experience' new products before drawing them off the list" they said.

"this is anti ms rant" they said.

and i said "ms has a bad track record when it comes to hidden motives and reliability".

and voila, now this.

Whatever - Flamebait Story (5, Insightful)

N8F8 (4562) | about 7 years ago | (#18780175)

I'm as much a Linux fan as the next guy but I HATE when I see this crap where MS is supposed to wipe the penguin's ass. Time for hte Open Source folks to innovate or get out of the way. Adobe(Macromedia) Flash has been around for a LONG time and I have yet to see anyone attempt to come up with a serious Open Source alternative.

Mod parent up (0, Flamebait)

Timesprout (579035) | about 7 years ago | (#18780215)

Parent is totally correct. Its _always_ someone elses fault with way too many OSS advocates. Where is the blinding brilliant and innovative Open Source Solution that MS are supposed to be stealing from?

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780271)

If you wish Xcode would reformat your code for consistency, GTFO.
If you're overwhelmed by IB's multi-paletted interface, GTFO.
If you've ever typed a backslash outside of ASCII art, GTFO.
If you can't intuit your way from HyperTalk to AppleScript, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real [imageshack.us] Mac [imageshack.us] geeks [imageshack.us] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780283)

While I agree with the gist of your argument, creating an open source replacement for an existing proprietary software application is not innovation, it's imitation. If the imitation is better than the original, you could call it refinement.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (2, Interesting)

dalesc (66212) | about 7 years ago | (#18780329)

You're clearly not "as much as Linux fan as the next guy" or you might have thought it through for 10 seconds before commenting.

If Silverlight is widely adopted, a whole bunch of the web becomes inaccessible to Linux users. What if sites Linux users depend on start to use Silverlight because it's easier to code than, say DHTML. What if my bank decides to use it? What if it gets used for more than just pretty animations? What if it becomes a critical component of a site?

Any site that deploys Silvershite is going to get a pretty strong email from me.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (2, Informative)

N8F8 (4562) | about 7 years ago | (#18780429)

Silverlight is based on C# (a reduced subset) which is a public standard that is already being implemented for Linux in the Mono project and the DotGNU project. It's a matter of effort, little else. And you same arguments hold true when you turn this on it;s head and say that Firefox 3.0 features for building XUL applications will make it hard for IE users and developers.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780645)

The problem isn't the .NET framework aspects of Silverlight. The Linux community could develop a compatible implementation, and you're absolutely right that the burden is on them to do so. The problem is the VC1 video CODEC, which is encumbered by many patents. The Linux community can certainly come up with their own VC1 implementation, but anybody who distributes it is going to be open to a lawsuit.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

N8F8 (4562) | about 7 years ago | (#18780693)

It's up to content producers to decide what video codec they use. MPEG-4 is a valid alternative and the market seems to lean toward non-proprietary media codes.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

Timesprout (579035) | about 7 years ago | (#18780525)

No its a frequent refrain round here about how badly Flash sucks, all the smart people have it disabled, cant be arsed looking at sites which require it, etc. MS start to develop a competing technology and suddenly it's the end of the web? Get real.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780351)

Because to make linux a viable desktop it has to meet with the current accepted standards, which happens to be Flash, which happens to change drastically everytime Adobe releases a player (or so it seems.) Look at all the pages that refuse to work without Flash 9. Also, how happy do you think Adobe would be with us engineering a tool to work with their precious format? The fact is there are Open Source alternatives to MS crap. We have open source media formats and media players. We have an open source OS and an open source office suite. We have an open source browser. However, practically none of these are compatible with "accepted standards". If your goal is to see Linux as a desktop for the masses, then it will not happen with Microsoft continually trying to kill off competitors who support it. (Look at Real and now Adobe.)

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (5, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | about 7 years ago | (#18780379)

That is highly unrealistic. The biggest reason is that as soon as Microsoft pushes Starlight as a 'critical update' (as they did for IE 7) its market share will take a massive jump to over 60%. The best Linux/OSS could manage in an initial stage would be 10% and that is a WILDLY OPTIMISTIC estimate.

If I were a media manager, considering the current penetration of Flash, I might think about targeting a platform with a 60% share in addition to Flash, 10% would be extremely unlikely. So, a new OSS rich media format wouldn't work not because of the player but because of the content producers.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

N8F8 (4562) | about 7 years ago | (#18780471)

Or look at it from MS's perspective. Flash on one side, Google Office on another side and XUL in FF 3.0 on another. Either add their own version of Browser-As-Platform or they sit back and lose the market.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 7 years ago | (#18780699)

The best Linux/OSS could manage in an initial stage would be 10% and that is a WILDLY OPTIMISTIC estimate.

Know who I want to see enter the fray? Apple. I could easily imagine them releasing a slick little web plugin that's open source and well-hyped. After all, whether you like them or not, nobody makes mundane things seem sexy and must-have like Apple. I bet they could get much higher market penetration than 10%, especially if they talked the Firefox team into including it by default.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780405)

The serious Open Source alternative to Flash is supposed to be animated SVG + JavaScript, I think.
No guesses as to when MS Internet Explorer will support that. I don't even know if Firefox does.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | about 7 years ago | (#18780629)

And unless IE supports it out of the box (like Flash and soon Silverlight), most developers won't use it.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780425)

Flash has been around for a LONG time and I have yet to see anyone attempt to come up with a serious Open Source alternative

You haven't really looked hard enough.

1. I'll discard the obvious open-source reimplementations of flash, some of which work pretty well nowadays (e.g. gnash), they're not really alternatives to flash as a platform.

2. Java applets ARE a serious alternative to flash. A bloaty alternative, but java has a superset of flash functionality, and the bloatiness matters much less in 2007 than it did in 1997. Java is now open source. Okay, it wasn't always open source (it was always "source available" though), so maybe that doesn't satisfy you either.

3. Obviously, one could use Mono to implement java applet-like functionality. Not sure anyone's bothering, but it's mentioned as something suitable for a "StudentProject" by the mono crowd.

4. Most serious "total alternative": javascripted SVG/SMIL animation in native Firefox: http://brian.sol1.net/svg/2006/01/09/smil-animatio n-in-mozilla-report/ [sol1.net] . THAT is open source, open standard work.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (5, Interesting)

alexhs (877055) | about 7 years ago | (#18780469)

Wow, a copy of an OS News flame post [osnews.com] :) (same team of astroturfers ?)

Seriously, there is none so deaf as he who will not hear.

What about all these fine standards made available by the W3C [w3.org] ? SMIL [w3.org] maybe ?

Wait, nobody uses it because MSIE, used by 80% of people, doesn't implement it. Who's at fault ?
From the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , implementation have been made mainly for handheld and mobile devices... where MSIE doesn't rule.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (-1, Redundant)

N8F8 (4562) | about 7 years ago | (#18780523)

Befor you commen, take a serious look and compare SMIL to Flash, Silverlight and XUL in FF 3.0. Or look at it from MS's perspective. Flash on one side, Google Office on another side and XUL in FF 3.0 on another. Either add their own version of Browser-As-Platform or they sit back and lose the market.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (0, Offtopic)

Aladrin (926209) | about 7 years ago | (#18780649)

I guess you're going to just keep posting that same comment over and over and over until you get modded up on it, eh?

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

N8F8 (4562) | about 7 years ago | (#18780727)

No, actually I was trying to make the same point to another commenter. In this case the person was implying that the W3C standard was a valid alternative that MS could have chosen to adopt instead.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780481)

Note that Active X doesn't exactly have wide support outside of IE either? Only thing I have to use IE for now a days is a help desk application that uses a bunch of Active X controls.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#18780543)

Actually, I've been batting around ideas lately for a cross-platform, independent, free/open source format and browser plugins (not necessarily compatible with anything like Flash or Sliverlick) for video and other interactive media, with support for open standards like Theora-based video, Vorbis-based sound, SVG-based graphics, JavaScript, XML and even GTK. The idea is to come up with something that allows Web developers to do fancy things with video and interactive media that hasn't been done before -- further blurring the lines between desktop and Web apps.

If anyone's interested and/or has ideas, you know where to find me if you look at my .sig.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

N8F8 (4562) | about 7 years ago | (#18780587)

Actually, I don't believe there is much that would prevent someone from writing an extension to Mono that supports Silverlight (WPF/E) applications. Silverlight is basically XAML + C# running as a browser add-in.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | about 7 years ago | (#18780637)

Sounds like a wonderful idea, but what about gnash? It is open, and can view flash files up to Flash version 7 from last I heard. Perhaps building upon it would be a good decision?

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

eMbry00s (952989) | about 7 years ago | (#18780717)

Software patents kind of get in the way. Adobe are big software patent proponents, and would without a doubt shoot down any project trying to take a bite out of their market.

Re:Whatever - Flamebait Story (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | about 7 years ago | (#18780759)

Gnash [gnu.org] is one that I know of, it seems to be just a replacement for Flash.

You're right that MS can "invent" whatever technologies they want to, but unfortunately anything that relates to the infrastructure of the Internet needs to be open and cross-platform. Companies like Google, from what I've seen so far, at least encourage everyone to keep on standards that everyone can use. MS loves to suggest things are free to use, but then makes them depend on certain things which actually aren't free. So they lay the trap, it becomes popular, then they start strong arming. If you haven't seen this from MS, you've been living under a rock.

Open standards will and should win, closed are a threat. That's the point.

Unnecessary technology (3, Insightful)

Werrismys (764601) | about 7 years ago | (#18780177)

We already have java for real stuff and flash for multimedia whatnot. They are ubiquitous and well understood, tested technologies. Silverwind is already dead.

Huh? (4, Interesting)

aurelian (551052) | about 7 years ago | (#18780179)

Does that mean every technology or product released by anybody not supporting Linux is a 'step back for Linux'?

Re:Huh? (1)

Svippy (876087) | about 7 years ago | (#18780255)

No, only Linux users... and this annoys me, because I was seriously trying to get to the store this day. All the steps forward seems like the worst hassle.

Re:Huh? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 7 years ago | (#18780511)

Does that mean every technology or product released by anybody not supporting Linux is a 'step back for Linux'?
Anything that is not pro Linux is a step back for Linux. Just ask any Linux advocate.

First Vista then we'll see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780185)

Don't be so much in hurry. Let them first to have it working on Vista then in 5 years Linux port will become an option.

What did you expect? (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 7 years ago | (#18780193)

they have yet to suggest any sort of Linux platform support.

That is one of the main goals behind Silverlight, to take control of the active media web content delivery mechanisms, so that Microsoft can provide support only for "friendly" operating systems.

Do you really think that Microsoft would do anything to promote the Linux platform on the desktop?

Re:What did you expect? (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 7 years ago | (#18780315)

so that Microsoft can provide support only for "friendly" operating systems.
Oh please ... then why is Mac included? My take is, if Linux wasn't fragmented into dozens of viable distributions MS would have supported Linux as well.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | about 7 years ago | (#18780589)

The thing is, it shouldn't matter which Linux distribution you're using -- or, for that matter, if you're using Solaris, one of the BSDs or even -- the ultimate exercise in teaching a gerbil to bark -- Cygwin. When you type ./configure, the magic pixies should sort everything out for you.

As long as the OS conforms (more or less) to the "Portable Operating Systems Interface (eXtended)" specification and includes an ANSI C compiler (with or without the GCC extensions, which are in themselves almost a de facto standard), any well-written C code should compile on it. And any code that doesn't is obviously badly-written :)

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780703)

I first assumed that Mac support was included to support (warning: generalisation) the creative Mac market...but it dosen't appear that the authoring software (Expression) is supported for anything but Windows, which puzzles me.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

twenex27 (1004369) | about 7 years ago | (#18780705)

so that Microsoft can provide support only for "friendly" operating systems.
Oh please ... then why is Mac included?
Because with only one manufacturer behind it, and being a proprietary platform, the Mac doesn't compete on Microsoft's home turf? Especially now that with the ability to run Windows XP native or virtualized, Windows does compete on the Mac's home turf.

My take is, if Linux wasn't fragmented into dozens of viable distributions MS would have supported Linux as well.
My take is, if Linux weren't fragmented into dozens of viable distributions it would never have gained the worldwide community necessary to make it the success it is. Microsoft has seen off all other corporate comers, why should OneAndOnlyLinux Inc. be any different?

Of course (3, Insightful)

dctoastman (995251) | about 7 years ago | (#18780195)

This is only a step back if people actually use Silverlight to develop content. And we all know Microsoft will, but unless they bundle it and make it the default with Visual Studio, then there probably won't be that large of an adoption.

Re:Of course (1)

Nuffsaid (855987) | about 7 years ago | (#18780293)

Very true, and the outcome is not written yet. After one year, I don't see lots of Windows Media Photo [com.com] format images around. The same can't be said about Windows Media Video, unfortunately.

Alternativly... (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | about 7 years ago | (#18780199)

The web community had yet to suggest any sort of Silverlight platform support.

Re:Alternativly... (2, Informative)

markjo (977895) | about 7 years ago | (#18780335)

Nope, no platform support at all. Well, except for maybe these guys.

From the press release:

Leading media companies and solution providers have announced support for Silverlight including Akamai Technologies, Brightcove, Eyeblaster, Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball, NaviSite Inc., Netflix, Pinnacle Systems Inc., Rhozet Corp., Skinkers, Sonic Solutions, Tarari Inc., Telestream Inc. and Winnov. All have indicated plans to deliver Silverlight-based experiences for their viewers and customers.

This better not take off (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780205)

Linux users finally get Adobe to provide current product support for Linux with Flash (and presumably a shockwave player), thereby making Linux as a Desktop more attractive, while Microsoft continues to do things to undermine it. If there is any doubt in anyone's mind (even you Mac fanboys) that Microsoft perceives Linux as a bigger threat, then you obviously are not reading the same news that I am.

Give Them A Break ... (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 7 years ago | (#18780207)

... they just finished the Media Player plugin for Firefox after toiling on it for years. They should have Linux support for Silverlight in ... let's see ... carry the one ... divide by zero ...

It's safe to say they will announce Silverlight for Linux at the next Mars landing.

Re:Give Them A Break ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780295)

Media Player is Windows only. It doesn't even work on Mac.

Microsoft kills it's own formats.

Re:Give Them A Break ... (3, Funny)

vivaoporto (1064484) | about 7 years ago | (#18780385)

Come on, this is Slashdot, speak adequately. It is safe to say they will announce Silverlight for Linux in time for the Duke Nukem Forever II teaser trailer.

Re:Give Them A Break ... (0, Redundant)

eMbry00s (952989) | about 7 years ago | (#18780665)

It'll be bundled with Duke Nukem Forever and API documentation for interacting with their servers.

What a shame, for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780213)

I made a decision recently move away from Microsoft. This of course means that I will not be "upgrading" to Vista
I know that no one at Microsoft will have any sleepless nights over that. :) But it is kinda like saying it
doesn't matter to vote because you're only one person. I have installed Kubuntu on my desktop and my old notebook, and
got a new Macbook pro(mostly to see what they are all about). Of course it is not easy and entirely without problems to move away from ms. but at least I still (kinda) have the choice.
There's of course a lot of games I won't be playing in the future. But I think I will manage to survive that.
My biggest fear are video and audio codecs, goverment functions that require that you use their site to do something(taxes or whatever) and then they make the site incompatible with Linux or Mac.

Don't worry about the government sites... (1)

StressGuy (472374) | about 7 years ago | (#18780273)

So far, for me Konqueror works just fine. Sometimes you have to tell it to identify as IE or Mozilla, but so far, it's always worked. Opera doesn't do too bad either.

Cross-Platform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780217)

Speaking as a Mac user, streaming wmv content sucks, and it always has compared to QT video. And forget about watching anything with DRM (flip4mac does not, and will not, support). I know that wmv works much better on windows than in OSX. I don't know if this is a case of intentionally making the Mac product bad, or if they just don't really care enough to bother making a product that runs well on a competing operating system (don't get me started on the sub-par implementation of office products on Mac). Is there any reason to believe that the cross-platform support will be any better in this case, or can I look forward to a return to stuttering, low-quality streaming video?

Who cares ? I've just formatted my XP partition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780221)

I could care less.

I've just replaced Windows XP with the RC version of Feisty Fawn. It does everything I want to do just fine.

So seeing as XP had got to the usual "requires reinstallation" point (slow as mollasses etc.) and I've been enjoying Feisty so much I just took the plunge, wiped my Windows partition and have mounted the space as /home/media.

So no more MS for me (YMMV)

Linux Developers? (1)

adamchou (993073) | about 7 years ago | (#18780233)

Well, being that there is a pretty large portion of web developers out there that develop on Linux, why would they want to adopt this technology that they wouldn't even be able to use on their own systems let alone test it?

Re:Linux Developers? (1)

dhasenan (758719) | about 7 years ago | (#18780313)

More importantly, you'll only be able to use it with IIS, until Mono provides full support for .NET 3 and assuming that it can make up for any platform-specific code such as hard-coded paths in Windows format. So that locks out 60% of all web sites easily.

Still, I think Mono will become a more popular platform for web development. You can use MS's dev tools, which are pretty good, and then host your site on a stable, secure Apache server. And I haven't seen an open-source equivalent to ASP.NET, which would bother me if I had to do web development on Unix.

Re:Linux Developers? (1)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | about 7 years ago | (#18780739)

Still, I think Mono will become a more popular platform for web development.
And the minute it starts to hurt the monopoly, Microsoft will pull out some patents and start with lawsuits.

.NET (4, Interesting)

dhasenan (758719) | about 7 years ago | (#18780239)

It's based on .NET, so unless there are specific OS checks in the binaries, it should be possible to run the Firefox plugin with Mono (probably with modifications to Mono, since it doesn't have any .NET 3 support yet). And since there's a Mac version, we can be reasonably certain that things like UNIX-style paths are supported.

This is actually better for Linux users than MS's traditional behavior.

The solution (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 years ago | (#18780245)

The solution is; don't use it.

The problem is that many people will complain about this sort of tech, then use it anyway.

Re:The solution (3, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | about 7 years ago | (#18780299)

The solution is; don't use it.

Amen. It's going to be a new DRM infested attempt to get a monopoly in the media distribution market anyway - why the heck are you people outraged that it probably won't come to your platform? I'd be happy if it came to as few as possible.

Why would MS support Linux? (4, Insightful)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | about 7 years ago | (#18780247)

It's an honest question: Why would Microsoft release software to enhance Linux?

Linux users do not pay for software; that's the nature of the beast. I've been running Linux full-time since the early 1.x versions, and I've never purchased a single piece of software for it. So I don't see what the incentive is for Microsoft to support Linux.

Much as I love Linux and free software, it is self-defeating and unrealistic to demand that Microsoft (and other companies) support Linux. Perhaps the much-vaunted free software community should produce its own solutions that are better then the closed-source competition? Instead of complaining about what other people do, take responsibility for your own needs and write the software you want.

Isn't free software up to the challenge?

Re:Why would MS support Linux? (3, Insightful)

ausoleil (322752) | about 7 years ago | (#18780339)

Linux users do not pay for software; that's the nature of the beast.

Please, tell me how much the Flash plug-in for Internet Explorer costs. I forget.

I don't see what the incentive is for Microsoft to support Linux.


Another view is that they should support their paying customers who develop Silverlight content for their websites who may not give a hoot about Microsoft v. Linux and simply want the people viewing the sites they create to see all of their content no matter the OS platform they are using.

Of course, this could backfire on Microsoft too -- without all of the pertinent platforms supported, I won't migrate from Creative Studio to Microsoft products because I am not going to go to my customers and say that my preferred development platform is going to reduce their potential viewers.

Because it increases revenue ... (2, Interesting)

bmcage (785177) | about 7 years ago | (#18780371)

Let's see, Microsoft as an OS company has no need to support Linux, they only need someinteroperability.

Microsoft as a company in the market to provide content streaming systems has a lot of reasons to support linux: serving content from linux machines which is cheaper for businesses, accessing as much people as possible, marketing as a multiplatform system, possible revenue of people licensing this for use in mobile phones/pda/... running linux, ... It would increase revenue for this specific bussines.

The only problem is Microsoft is a lot of companies, and all are forced to protect the chicken with the golden eggs (Vista and Office), which means the bottom line of the specific department aiming at content streaming can be lower than it could be, if that means feeding the chicken.

They are selling the server (1)

shis-ka-bob (595298) | about 7 years ago | (#18780597)

I can come up with two reasons they should provide user tools for Linux.
  1. They make money by selling the new "Expression Studio" which sounds like Visual Studio for multimedia. They are giving the client away.
  2. It would allow Microsoft to state that they have turned over a new leaf, which may help them to establish more good will. They are in a very high stakes game getting OOXML approved by the ISO, if they could use Silverlight to reduce fears of 'global domination' it might help get OOXML approved. That would be much more important to MS than a new 'Flash Killer'
One question that I have, is it time to revisit Java applets for multimedia? Sun's JVM is going GPL, so installing Java won't require the hassle of registering with Sun. (ANY hassle reduces market acceptance) Applets work fine, they can do anything AJAX can do, Swing is mature & good looking, Java Media Framework exists and works fine. There are some beautiful applets for data visualization. There is a nice example of a java applet at http://www.idyll-on-the-rocks.com/tour/index.html [idyll-on-the-rocks.com] , which is a virtual tour of a home The photographer should learn about a Zeiss Biogon, there is no reason for this level of barrel distortion, but its still pretty cool to move around a house like that.

Re:Why would MS support Linux? (2, Insightful)

kosmosik (654958) | about 7 years ago | (#18780615)

Isn't free software up to the challenge?

We've done it already. By *we* I mean not only Free/Open Software Community but entire community that got together and works for better STANDARDS (like vendors, commitees and so on).

There are alternatives such as XUL (Firefox/Mozilla does it), SVG (Fx, Opera do it). For streaming media we have Ogg Theora and upcoming tag for HTML (Opera does it). All is here.

Problem with these alternatives it is not that they are technically worse or smth. - they are open (means little cost to implement), they do what they are supposed to do.

The problem is that Microsoft has MONOPOLY (convicted) on desktop operating systems and is using that monopoly to force their own standards and by these standards MS wishes to marginalize the competition. You have to be fucking blind or stupid to not see that. Ever heard about the browser wars?

Re:Why would MS support Linux? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 years ago | (#18780691)

I don't have a problem paying for software. However, I do have a problem paying too much for software. What is too much? Well, that's really a hard question, but it's basically defined by what I'm willing to pay. Take MS Office for example. It costs $CDN 180 for the "Home and Student" version and $CDN 497 for the "Standard" version. However, for my home needs, OpenOffice fulfills all my needs for $0. So why wouldn't I choose it? I really don't think that an office suite is worth $180, or even worse $500, when I can get a free version that does just as well. Even if OpenOffice wasn't free, and they charged $20-$80 a copy then I would still pay for it. Once OpenOffice gets closer to the cost of MS Office, it starts to look more attractive, but the price difference is so huge now that MS Office just isn't worth it. If MS Office was brought down to around $50, then it might be worth it, just to have real compatibility with everyone else using office. One program I bought lately was SageTV. MythTV was extremely difficult for me to set up. Sorry, I don't see why I should have to configure MySQL to get a PVR program running. SageTV was amazingly easy to set up, and it works flawlessly. It was also available at a price that I found to be worth it. I don't think that most Linux users have a problem with buying software. It's just that when presented with the option of paying extremely high prices for the commercial software, and nothing for the open source stuff, they choose the free stuff more often than not.

Sure it's cross platform compatable (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780259)

Sure it's cross platform compatable

It supports both XP and Vista!

Catch up (3, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 7 years ago | (#18780309)

Until open standards are the norm, Linux and the Open Source world will always be playing a game of catch-up as far as proprietary technologies are concerned. In many cases, we'll probably never see a functioning OSS alternative.

Unfortunately, I expect patents are a major barrier to the community developing its own standards independently of those with an interest in restricting technologies. Perhaps the best hope is the public sector, e.g. the BBC's Dirac codec.

Re:Catch up (1)

zappepcs (820751) | about 7 years ago | (#18780483)

Unfortunately, I expect patents are a major barrier to the community developing its own standards independently of those with an interest in restricting technologies. Perhaps the best hope is the public sector, e.g. the BBC's Dirac codec.
(emphasis mine)

Now that was an insight. Doesn't seem that many caught that. Why would anyone really want the latest DRM scheme in Linux?? I don't think that MS can force this down the collective throats of the entire Internet population. What becomes popular will be what can be used successfully. If pr0n content providers find that they don't have many users that use this latest from MS, it won't become very popular and will die out. If it only works in Vista it's already off to a bad start.

In other news.. (4, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | about 7 years ago | (#18780373)

McDonald's causes great hassle for Burger King as they refuse to release the recipe for the Big Mac's secret sauce. Sadly, this will only be available at McDonald's for the time being. There are no plans for cross-restaurant release.

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18780421)

I don't quite follow. Could you rephrase this as a car analogy?

Re:In other news.. (2, Insightful)

muftak (636261) | about 7 years ago | (#18780501)

Yugo have refused to release an engine that is compatible with Ferrari cars. Sadly everyone wanting the power of a Yugo engine will have to drive a Yugo car.

Re:In other news.. (1)

danpsmith (922127) | about 7 years ago | (#18780721)

McDonald's causes great hassle for Burger King as they refuse to release the recipe for the Big Mac's secret sauce. Sadly, this will only be available at McDonald's for the time being. There are no plans for cross-restaurant release.

I call BS on this analogy, everyone knows that McDonald's "secret sauce" is just probably one part Russian dressing one part mayo or something. Burger King came out with a big mac imitator that tasted just like the Big Mac, but I don't even know if it's available anymore because nobody wanted it or liked it anyway even though it did taste like a big mac (only "flame broiled"). Kind of like Coke 2, nobody wanted a Pepsi tasting Coke so they didn't buy it.

There isn't even a burger king analogy to be made here. Microsoft just constantly puts people in a position where if they don't play with Windows, MS will take the ball and run home. They use their monopoly to tie into everything else, making it impossible to break free from the proprietary chains. Make software patents illegal and we'll see a lot less outrage from the OSS side.

Isn't it obvious? (3, Insightful)

GFree (853379) | about 7 years ago | (#18780411)

If it becomes too prevalent to avoid, just reverse-engineer the damn thing. Or wrap it in some WINE-doohickey or something, I dunno.

We've dealt with getting propriety stuff working in Linux, we can do it again.

Excuse me (3, Interesting)

also-rr (980579) | about 7 years ago | (#18780423)

I posted this exact same conspiracy theory [slashdot.org] yesterday! I should have posted it to an add laden blog so Slashdot would whore it for me ;).

Anyway, It's not just 64 bit platform users who are benefitting, the open source flash efforts are now working on PPC [slashdot.org] which makes a nice change. My old powerbook is now much more useful for web browsing than before.

Silverlight is a subset of XAML (1)

The Mysterious X (903554) | about 7 years ago | (#18780427)

XAML is part of the .NET framework...

So what is to stop mono adding support for it?

The opensource have reimplemented SMB, Flash (mostly), Java (almost). Hell they reimplemented unix in about a hundred different ways, so tell me again why this is a step back for linux?

The only way it could be a step back is if linux had a hard time keeping up with new technologies, is this really the case?

"DOS ain't done 'til Lotus won't run!" (4, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | about 7 years ago | (#18780487)

... what did you expect? Complaince with the spirit of court orders? MSFT won't even comply with the letter! And they're not shy of using their monopoly position to leverage other monopolies (highly illegal).

For inexplicable reasons, people persistantly think of MSFT as a benevolent technically-oriented company which is profitable because it serves the market and gives people what they want.

It is not and has never been. MSFT is a commercial marketing enterprise with considerable talents both as marketers and in contractual/legal arrangements. Their technical talents are very meagre. Most software they have bought from others or essentially contracted (even if inhouse).

They are also an adjudged monopolist (only the remedies were thrown out on appeal, _not_ the findings!) who have been entirely predatory "red-in-tooth-and-claw" and unfairly successful.

Why will people select this over flash? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 7 years ago | (#18780519)

Flash has wider support (I think some phone makers even put Flash or a cut-down "Mobile Flash" on their phones) and its installed on many computers already. And, as we have seen with YouTube and other sites, Flash is already in wide use for streaming video and for so-called "interactive applications" (think of all the Flash games and such you see out there)

What makes this Microsoft thing (which has NO installed base at all) good enough that websites other than those who are joined at the hip to MS will switch and start using it in favor of Flash? If anything, the right replacement for Flash is SVG (now if we could convince more browsers to support SVG out of the box and if someone could write a nice auto-download-and-install SVG plugin for all those IE users out there :)

It's their new(ish) strategy (1)

unapersson (38207) | about 7 years ago | (#18780537)

1) Entrench the proprietry platforms and make sure Linux is always seen as an outsider. The Mac is fine as its part of the club.

2) Promote Windows as the place to be for open source software. So they can say Windows runs proprietry software and open source software. Hence the Windows & Mac plugins for Firefox create gaps between the capabilities of a piece of open source software on a proprietry platform and the same piece of software on an open platform.

Of course 2) could backfire by undermining some of their proprietry partners, or even themselves, but they want to make sure popular Open Source applications are available on Windows.

Firefox support----?Huh? (1)

1mck (861167) | about 7 years ago | (#18780641)

Why all of a sudden are they supporting Firefox? Aren't they trying to kill it off?

In the end it's a business decision (2, Insightful)

rmcd (53236) | about 7 years ago | (#18780643)

The critical issue will be the response of businesses who maintain web sites, not Microsoft. It will come down to dollars and cents for the business. If a web site is inaccessible to you because it's using a non-standard technology, complain about it. If there are enough complaints from the right customers, the businesses running the sites will change or microsoft will help the businesses reach linux users.

Perhaps the Novell deal will give Microsoft an incentive to support Linux.

Mplayer? (1)

draxil (198788) | about 7 years ago | (#18780663)

Given that it's based on WMV won't it be possible to hack something up which uses the mplayer firefox plugin?

Do you think OS X users are saved? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 7 years ago | (#18780681)

People think when OS X plugin ships, it will always stay up to date and won't be abandoned when it really takes off. Here is what would happen

1)They release OS X plugin just to trick websites asking about the multiplatform and considerably larger userbase of Mac and get rid of OS lockdown

2) Apple doesn't stay at current OS version (of course) and at some point, plugin has problems even effecting the OS default installed browser.

3) They offload the plugin to some third party, third party knows how to code (better than them) but it lacks a very important feature such as streaming or paid content.

That is what exactly happened on Windows Media. Just watch if it gets popular because of exclusive agreements (read:bribes) or plain idiot companies locking themselves to a vendor.

Why Linux? (1)

E-Sabbath (42104) | about 7 years ago | (#18780733)

People who are dismissing Linux support for this seem to be missing a critical point. This is not about running the application on an Apache server. This is about viewing the streaming media in a web browser. That's what Microsoft is trying to sell, and that's what they're not delivering. If Microsoft wants people to buy their new product, compared to a standard like Flash, then they should make it as attractive as possible. As things stand, IT departments are going to have to verify and roll out a new plugin that may demand resources and blow things up, in order to view this video. Compared to the old standard, unattractive. This is something people will have to consider before serving content with Silverlight. The fact that the people who recommend things may use no linux client side support as a counterpoint is a definate weakness for Microsoft.

Overreacting. (2, Interesting)

Jartan (219704) | about 7 years ago | (#18780751)

I'll be the first in line to call down MS for yet again trying to create a stupid proprietary format as a means of extending market share but surprisingly I don't think it matters this time. Ultimately google alone will decide which streaming format is the dominant one.

Sure there will be some sites that use whatever MS has and it'll be annoying but most users will have whatever google video and youtube use and thus most sites will use whatever google uses. I can't see google picking MS's streaming format so it will probably work out fine in the end. In fact such a move will only show that MS no longer has the ability to force things on the market in such a way.
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