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Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the conference-trolls dept.

Microsoft 154

tlockney writes "Next week at Microsoft's MIX, whurley will be leading a discussion on 'Open Source, the Web, Interoperability, and Microsoft'. To kick off a bit of pre-session discussion and enlist the help of others in putting Microsoft on the spot, whurley, king of all things open source at BMC has written an article entitled 'Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source'."

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Reason zero (5, Insightful)

cyberianpan (975767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875979)

They can read it & re-engineer it as paid for product !

Re:Reason zero (3, Funny)

Chouonsoku (1009817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876009)

They're saving that for the press conference that covers "Why Microsoft Dislikes Open Source".

Re:Reason zero (1, Interesting)

illeism (953119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876239)

I seem to remember a story about Microsoft inviting some Linux guys to Redmond for an open source get together and then being jerks and hosting it with a foldout table and lemonade in a parking garage.
Anyone care to confirm this story and/or post a link - If I'm wrong or remembering incorrectly, somebody set me straight(I can't find the actual story)
The moral of this story is that a few years ago Microsoft didn't think open source was worth worrying about and now they are on the wagon...

Re:Reason zero (4, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876485)

In 2003 Microsoft listed Open Source in their SEC filings as a threat to their business model [msversus.org] . Before then they mostly ignored it. Then it was "a cancer." And now they pretend to like open source. I hardly consider them "on the wagon" as much as realizing they must augment some of their practices in order to compete affectively.

Support Your Freedoms: +1, Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876417)


by defending Democracy [a28.org] .

Patriotically as always,
Kilgore Trout, Patriot

7 reasons Microsoft loves Open Source - RTFA (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877789)

It's a cookbook!!

Worded differently (4, Insightful)

Daath (225404) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878125)

"Embrace and Extend"

I hate when they do that.

microsoft loves open source (1)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875989)

they like to embrace it, so that they can extend it farther than you thought possible! but alas, everything must be extinguished.

NOTE: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875999)

Not, seven reason why Microsoft loves Free software. They love the BSD license for example... since it lets them take the code, say "fuck you buddy", and carry on as before.

I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1, Insightful)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876005)

Everybody keps saying that linux would put Microsoft out of business. No it won't . I honestly think microsoft would do what apple did. Linux would be the main part of windows and microsoft would make the user interface the standard windows one. Sorry I didnt describe it right. I can see microsoft doing that.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (5, Insightful)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876111)

It doesn't work like that - if MS is forced to use a UNIX based OS derivative in order to survive they may not go out of business but it is endgame as far as dominance is concerned. That is a lose situation for MS, not a win.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (3, Interesting)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876243)

if MS is forced to use a UNIX based OS derivative in order to survive they may not go out of business but it is endgame as far as dominance is concerned.

To say nothing of the fact that UNIX and NT are architecturally very different animals.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876285)

Indeed, one has got to presume that in such an eventuality the lack of experience in the UNIX space would place MS at a disadvantage. (Although I have got to presume also that MS are not stupid enough not to have plenty of engineers who do not know UNIX so that they can 1) understand the enemy 2) help to get customers to migrate from UNIX).

Also people seem to underestimate the problems of corporate inertia, as if MS could just one day decide to change everything and it would happen: just like that. It doesn't work like that.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (2, Interesting)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876393)

Microsoft knows unix. In the 90's they partnered weith a small company called proginet based on Long Island . They partnered to help windows machines talk to mainframes. I dont know if they still ahve this partner ship or not. Trust me though Microsoft knows unix even though they dont publically state it. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3649/is_19 9507/ai_n8710090 [findarticles.com]

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876411)

Although I have got to presume also that MS are not stupid enough not to have plenty of engineers who do not know UNIX so that they can 1) understand the enemy 2) help to get customers to migrate from UNIX

Wow... is that a TRIPLE negative? I think you mean:
Although I have got to presume also that MS are smart enough to have plenty of engineers who know UNIX so that they can 1) understand the enemy 2) help to get customers to migrate from UNIX

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876427)

Yes that was fairly borked.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877171)

Of course not having plenty of engineers who do not know UNIX is not the same as having plenty of engineers who do know UNIX.

To take an extreme case, if they had no engineers at all, the original statement would be true, while the repacement one wouldn't. OTOH, if there are plenty engineers of both types, the original statement isn't true, but the replacement statement is.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877989)

Uhh, yeah, it does. Years ago, when they thought the internet was a fad that would have no long-term importance, they chose to ignore it - then, all-of-a-sudden there was a sea-change within the company and they issued statements to detail their new direction and understanding of the internet - swiftly followed by the arrival of dot net.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (2, Insightful)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878023)

Your retrospective goggles seem to be compressing time. I suggest you try fixing them.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (-1)

uhlume (597871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876707)

And OS 9 and BSD weren't?

At least NT is already fully POSIX compliant [wikipedia.org] (something even Linux technically can't lay claim to). Prior to OS X, POSIX wasn't even a concept in Apple's official OS space.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876973)

Fully POSIX compliant? I know a half dozen things in their networking code thas broken by the POSIX spec alone. They have lip service to POSIX compliance, but are nowhere near fully compliant.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (4, Informative)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877151)

You are uninformed.

Apple not only maintained is own Unix distro of A/UX, sold AIX servers, and created its own Linux distro prior to OS/X, but also ported the Mac environment to other Unix variants, using MAE and laster MAS.

- Steve Jobs and 20 Years of Apple Servers [roughlydrafted.com]

And everybody knows that NT's "POSIX compliance" was a bullshit dance designed to make NT legal to sell to the government. NT never offered anything more than pretend support for POSIX, and it was of no more importance to Microsoft as a subsystem within NT than was OS/2.

Further, since POSIX compatilbility is techniclly a paid seal of approval on a specific implementation of Unix APIs, of course Linux as general idea can't ever techically pay to attach the POSIX trademark to itself in the way Microsoft pretended to.

The reality is that the only value of POSIX is as a general synonym for "Unix-like compatibility." In the real world, Linux currently helps define what that is; NT does not offer this at all.

Are you really trying to argue that NT provides some useful sort of compatibility for Unix apps? Citing the Wikipedia as a source does not do much to create credibility for your conjecture.

NT POSIX memories. (5, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878901)

As the parent says the NT POSIX was severely sucky.

In the NT3 timeframe (approx 12 years ago now), there was a big effort to sell NT to companies, such as the one I worked for then, supplying back office /server room style products. Many/most products of the time were running on Unix boxes or similar. We were using Unix x86 boxes (SCO etc) for compter tephony applications. NT had to check a few boxes to encourage people to switch: POSIX and streams driver support. This gave people a reasonable porting avenue to a cheaper OS (NT was about half or a third of SCO's cost at the time).

The POSIX and streams drivers were very inefficient, and were dropped within a short while (once the bait and switch had worked).

This ploy was very clever on MS's part. Using ourselves as a benchmark for people in this space, our customers were putting on some pressure to provide NT based products because they were eating the MS blurb and wanted to reduce costs. Our techies looked at NT and figured out what would be needed to port: POSIX-check, streams driver model - check. So we say that on paper it can be done with trivial architectural change. Marketing start hyping the NT-based offering. The business people say make it so, so we do. Unfortunately we find the POSIX and streams driver model are very slow on NT, so end up having to start doing native drivers and non-POSIX code. We start slipping, marketing starts screaming and the portability gets dumped in favour of getting shipping. The bait and switch has worked.

We never got any benefit from NT POSIX or the MS streams driver. Our systems went from requiring low-end (16-25MHz) 386s to 100+MHz 486. Basically a very bad case of bait and switch.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (3, Insightful)

daybot (911557) | more than 7 years ago | (#18879277)

Are you really trying to argue that NT provides some useful sort of compatibility for Unix apps? Citing the Wikipedia as a source does not do much to create credibility for your conjecture.

And citing roughlydrafted is better? Sorry, couldn't resist.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (2, Informative)

Laur (673497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877213)

At least NT is already fully POSIX compliant
Did you even read that link? NT is only POSIX compliant when using Microsoft Services for Unix, which is hardly the out of the box configuration. Anyone who has used SFU knows its limits, regular Windows apps and SFU apps don't interact very well together, if at all.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (3, Interesting)

mysticgoat (582871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878043)

if MS is forced to use a UNIX based OS derivative... it is endgame as far as dominance is concerned. That is a lose situation for MS, not a win.

That is certainly a loss for Bill Gates and perhaps the rest of the original cadre of MS corporate officers. Throughout the 80s and 90s, MS was steered consistently toward a "vision" of dominance that really wasn't profit oriented. MS has consistently passed up the opportunity to make profits in its efforts to become the dominant player in different digital markets. It has thrown more money down the toilet to prevent someone else from succeeding in an area where it wasn't good enough to win on merit than many companies had earned during those 20 years.

When MS gives up this foolishness and starts acting like a profit-oriented business, it will almost certainly lose its tarnish and become a respectable member of the business community.

That will be a long-term winning situation for MS. The only losers will be Gates (who has already thrown in the towel), Balmer, and the rest of the original dreamers with their juvenile fantasies about attaining world dominance.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876467)

I've wished for Linux's kernel/stability with Microsoft's quality of development tools for a very long time now. Having VS.NET on top of Linux would be one of my dreams. I mean the fully Microsoft VS.NET or at least Mono having complete feature parity. The Mono guys are making good progress but the target is still moving a little fast for them to nail it down.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876625)

If MS just provided a desktop environment as a rival to Gnome or KDE then they would sell zero units. Why? If they don't own (and own the padlocks on) the backend then they have no control over what is going on - all they would provide is a frontend. Frontends can do very little that is unique without becoming quasi backends. So if all they did was provide a pure frontend then why would anyone pay for it when Gnome/KDE/others are there to provide the same functionality for free?

MS has a pretty weak case on "owning" the GUI layout - there are enough examples of prior art to ensure they couldn't enforce any wide ranging clampdown on something like KDE - thus people would just download KDE for free.

In summary - it isn't going to happen.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876761)

have you ever heard of OS X? a BSD backend on top of a proprietary front end. a new file system layout and your done.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876941)

I think there's a bit of a difference there. The "BSD backed" is really a custom microkernel (Darwin), with BSD userspace tools. But this really isn't important, because the thing that Apple provides that's really different and proprietary is the system libraries: Cocoa, Carbon, etc. These are the APIs that application writers code to for the Mac platform. Because of this, you can't just compile Darwin for your Intel machine and run Mac apps; the APIs are closed-source. Trying to clone that would be an effort on the order of the WINE project; as we've seen with WINE, it doesn't really matter what kernel you're using, within reason, it's the system APIs that matter for running applications.

If Windows ever used a Linux kernel (hah!), there'd really be very little difference from the current status quo. They'd probably have to fix up the NTFS driver a lot (or use a different filesystem--most users wouldn't notice or care), they'd certainly benefit from all the built-in drivers, but the graphics subsystem would probably be a big showstopper since they'd either have to use X and change a lot of things, or make their own subsystem built into the kernel which they seem to like to do. Other than that, they'd certainly keep their whole system libraries proprietary and secret, which would make it non-trivial for people to run Windows applications on free software. Yes, they could use WINE, but that's still trying to hit a moving target and is developed slowly because of the need for reverse-engineering. Personally, I don't see why MS would ever bother using a Linux kernel; it doesn't provide them much technical benefit.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877913)

Personally, I don't see why MS would ever bother using a Linux kernel; it doesn't provide them much technical benefit.

Then again, the NT microkernel seems a bit overstressed for what it's being pushed to do in Vista, and it's starting to show... badly. Two versions from now, they're going to have to replace it with something... 'cause what they got now simply isn't going to cut the mustard (well, unless they up the minimum HW requirements to an 8-core box + 16GB of RAM + four SLI-chained vidcards...)

That said, I do agree that it prolly won't be Linux - MSFT will most likely snag the latest *BSD kernel (one that has no GPL encumbrance) and lock it down good and hard. Then they'll build the world's ugliest set of wrappers and APIs for it, then call the results "innovation".

/P

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (2, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878347)

I'm sorry, I don't see it that way. I don't think changing kernels is going to help anything. The problem is that Vista tries to do too much, namely DRM. All the DRM crap they added in is probably tied into everything, right into the kernel, and of course that's going to slow everything down. It'd be the same way if they took a clean BSD kernel and loaded it down with a lot of DRM crap.

As for two versions from now, that's over a decade away, probably more, at the rate that MS releases major new OS versions now. I have a feeling things are going to be extremely different in computing-land by then. I'll go ahead and put out my predictions right now. Things are going to be extreme, one way or another, but I can't say in which direction it'll go.

1) MS is going to collapse because of too much pressure from OSS competition, stagnation, lack of customer interest, ultimate failure of their lock-in strategies, etc. At best, pieces of the company will spin off and live on: Xbox and Office are the two main candidates for survival, though the latter will be a shadow of its former self. Windows will be dead, and MacOS and Linux will be the two dominant systems.

2) MS will squash OSS in the USA (and possibly other 1st-world countries like Canada and EU) due to patents, DRM, and other devious tactics mostly involving the legal system. OSS will survive to some extent, but will be largely underground, as US-based OSS users will have to download everything from servers in places like Russia and India, and all development will have to take place there as well (or at least stored there, as US-based developers will have to do their work in secrecy). Other countries which don't honor our stupid software patents will dump Windows and move to Linux: India, Russia, and China will be leaders in this. This will result in a rift between the two parts of the world, and greater innovation in the Linux-using countries. Eventually, the US economy will collapse due to lack of technical leadership and innovation and China will become the world superpower. EU's future depends greatly on how much they follow the US or if they decide to grow a brain and do their own thing.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (2, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876837)

Linux wont put Microsoft out of business. Microsoft will put themselves out of business that is if they don't learn to adjust the the market. proprietary products are painting themselves in to a corner & a niche. as OSs & software becomes more of a commodity. maybe sooner than most people think...

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876853)

There would be absolutely no reason for Microsoft to port Win32 on top of Linux. The NT kernel is more than capable as the OS. It is a microkernel design with isolated loadable plugin subsystems. Win32 just happens to be the subsystem with which most people are familiar. Microsoft has released other subsystems, including their own limited POSIX subsystem and an OS/2 subsystem (which was the original subsystem as Windows NT was designed to be OS/3 with IBM, until Windows 3.0 took off). Later Microsoft bought Softway and further developed the Interix POSIX subsystem releasing that as a part of Services for UNIX which is now a free download for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 and ships on the DVD for a number of the Windows Vista versions.

What MS could possibly do is instead further extend Interix to include more compatibility with one or more flavors of Linux, including support for ELF binaries. They could include an implementation of X11 on top of the desktop composition engine with little trouble. There have been implementations of X11 for Windows for some time already. Microsoft doesn't really have a lot of reason to do this.

Ultimately the two things that would benefit Windows the most would be for Microsoft to finally allow security to trump third-party legacy and enforce the security model which has been in Windows NT since it's inception. It's already more granular than the security model available in Linux. Third party software could be addressed potentially by either including a VM environment which emulates Windows XP or Windows 98, sort of like Mac OS Classic, or through fine tuning this virtualized jail concept that User Account Control enforces.

The other thing that Microsoft could do, and they are slowly moving in this direction, would be to finally make Windows into a microkernel. The source of the majority of the instability in the system is due to faults in drivers and since drivers are loaded into kernel mode the only option the OS has is to fail, according to the security standards set by the US government in C2. If the drivers were instead loaded into a separate privelege level, such as ring1 or even ring3, the OS can protect itself from those drivers and degrade gracefully in the case of failure. If ATI's piece of garbage Catalyst driver fails the video would go away and the OS could attempt to restart it a couple of times before deciding to fail.

Note that Linux is not a microkernel. Neither is Mac OSX despite it's Mach underpinnings. In both cases a fault in the driver causes the OS to fail, e.g. kernel panic. The best reference OS for a microkernel is QNX.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (3, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877031)

Everybody keps saying that linux would put Microsoft out of business.


I'm not sure who "everybody" is... but such claims ignore history. It ignores the very impressive turn-on-a-dime business strategy Microsoft pulled off after they initially failed to realize the importance of the Internet. And it ignores a historical precedence in the changing of IBM's desktop hardware market when it shifted from a proprietary to commodity platform.

Micorosoft is not going to simply curl up and die. They've proven to be agile enough to react to threats / lost opportunities. And they have the momentum and resources to deal with a suddenly difficult market.

If we're lucky, Microsoft will become the software / OS equivalent of IBM. Sure - they're still powerhouses in the Industry... but they no longer control it. They have influence but have to compete with every other market player for that influence to pay off and drive the market in their desired direction.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877125)

Everybody keps saying that linux would put Microsoft out of business. No it won't . I honestly think microsoft would do what apple did. Linux would be the main part of windows and microsoft would make the user interface the standard windows one. Sorry I didnt describe it right. I can see microsoft doing that.

That sounds plausible except for a few minor details. The first of which is the GPL. One of the major cornerstones of the GPL is that there are protections to prevent people from exploiting GPL code in the way MS would certainly exploit it. Microsoft has built an empire of locking every other competitor out (sometimes through illegal means). The famous extend part of the embrace, extend, extinguish ploy would not be allowed by the GPL.

Also, Apple was able to develop OS X not using Linux. Apple acquired NeXT which had developed some advanced technologies used in OS X. Also they based their kernel on BSD which does not have the same restrictions as Linux.

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18878313)

You clearly know nothing about OS kernels. The NT kernel is a marvel of technology that runs circles around the Linux kernel. If you go research where Microsoft is going with kernel technology you will see it's even more forward thinking that NT. Get onto the Microsoft Research website and look for "Singularity".

Re:I can see microsoft doing what apple did (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18879317)

OSX is based on BSD so they don't really have to give any code back. GPL is a different beast

Funny hearing BMC talk about open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876063)

We use their Service Desk Express software which REQUIRES Internet Explorer to work!

ARTICLE TEXT (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876095)

Next week I'm leading the "Open Source, the Web, Interoperability, and Microsoft" panel at Mix07 in Vegas, my first Microsoft conference. Naturally, I've been pondering the topic so I don't end up on stage with my pants around my ankles. The more I think about it, the more I think Microsoft loves open source--and not just because they're fools if they don't.

I know popular opinion has Microsoft cursing open source at every turn, but what do the facts indicate? Do they really despise something they clearly benefit from? I don't think so--the folks in Redmond aren't that short-sighted. In fact, I'll give you seven reasons I think Bill and Co. love open source:

They include open source code in their products.

Have you forgotten the first TCP/IP implementation in Windows? It was based on open source code that Windows XP still contains remnants of. Need proof? Point your favorite hex editor at ftp.exe. You'll find the 1983 copyright statement from the Regents of the University of California.

They support open source vendors.

MySQL, SugarCRM, Jboss, and many other open source development efforts benefit from Microsoft's support through programs created to test and verify open source applications on Microsoft platforms.

They benefit from open source everyday.

Two words: free press. Microsoft gets tons of press from their "battle" with open source. This month alone there are over 2000 articles related to "Microsoft and open source." Add countless blogs like mine, and the value of this free chatter goes through the roof.

They open source code.

No, not shared source. I'm referring to Microsoft's Unix tools for Windows; they provide the source code to most of these tools. Sure, we all wish they would do more, but we should acknowledge what they've done to date.

They are adopting open source culture.

The Mix conference is billed as a "72 hour conversation." Remind anyone of BarCamp? There are other examples: the Microsoft Community Blogs, Channel 9, CodePlex, etc. They're embracing openness.

They aren't threatened by open source.

Open source is not the threat; Linux is. Don't confuse the two. Open source is growing rapidly, but Linux has several distinguishing features that make it the real challenger. It's more mature than other projects, it has a larger, more organized developer base, and it's well financed. IBM has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing, distributing, and advertising Linux, not open source. Microsoft doesn't fear open source; it fears what the competition can do with it.

They realize open source is their future.

Sure, Microsoft sometimes makes it easy for us to hate them, but aren't as disconnected from the pulse of the open source community as you may think. Linux is causing issues for them in the market, and they're working hard to keep up. They didn't build their empire by not planning ahead--even the most closed-minded executive in Redmond realizes open source is in their future.

You all know I'm no Microsoft lover. I'm looking to maximize my opportunity at Mix07. I've given you seven things they have done. Now, you give me seven you wish they'd do, and I'll address the panel with your feedback during our session. This way the conversation will be truly open to the community.

Is this the right talk for him to give? (2, Insightful)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876125)

I think he'd be better qualified to speak on why BMC loves MSIE.

"loves" used very loosely (5, Funny)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876151)

Microsoft : open source :: Prisonmate Bubba : his bitches

Where I'm from, they have another word besides "love" for that.

Why microsoft really loves open source (2, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876169)

It makes it easier for them to get software patents.

Admitted (2, Insightful)

Awksjaw (1073874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876185)

FTA: "Open source is not the threat; Linux is."

Re:Admitted (4, Insightful)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876815)

That makes no sense. Microsoft primarily makes their money from Windows and Office; with Linux making progress toward a usable desktop and OpenOffice.org already at the state where it can replace MS Office for most tasks, what can Microsoft use to lock people onto their platform? IIS? There's Apache. MSSQL? There are MySQL and PostgeSQL. .NET? There is Mono and Java. There are two reasons why MS still exists: the huge amount of legacy code and applications that cannot run on any other systems, and the lack of corporate hand-holding for customers considering the jump to Linux (though this is rapidly changing). For companies that don't rely on legacy business applications, the ability to roll out Linux desktops to the bulk of their users can be done today. As the state of Linux apps business progress, there will be ever less reason for customers to play Microsoft's game.

Re:Admitted (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878311)

It goes on to say that Linux is a threat because it's good (and presumably because it's a competing product). So open source is a threat when MS offers a similar product and the open source product is reasonably good.

How is open source not a threat to them again?

What's a whurly? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876191)

Is it like a swirly? Oh, it's William Hurley. Of course. That non-famous guy I've never heard of before.

This synopsis annoys me because it is written as if we're all just supposed to know what the hell a whurly and a BMC are.

Re:What's a whurly? (0, Troll)

casings (257363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876301)

You should have assumed that, given that the submitter's name is 'tlockney' which stands for Thomas Lockney.

Afterall isn't first initial followed by last name a standard?

But who's whurley you ask?

Well here's a quick bio about why he is important:

William Hurley is the Chief Architect of Open Source Strategy at BMC Software, Inc. Also known as "whurley", he is responsible for creating BMC's open source agenda and overseeing the company's participation in various free and open source software communities to advance the adoption and integration of BSM solutions. A technology visionary and holder of 11 important patents, whurley brings 16 years of experience in developing groundbreaking technology. He is the Chairman of the Open Management Consortium, a non-profit organization advancing the adoption, development, and integration of open source systems management. Named an IBM Master Inventor, whurley has received numerous awards including an IBM Pervasive Computing Award and Apple Computer Design Award.

Anyway given this impressive resume and of course the fact that he works for a software company definitely gives him the ability to pull figures from his ass and present them as fact.

Troll on, whurley.

Re:What's a whurly? (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876537)

Tags are useless, so I use them, like most SlashBorg, to amuse myself and the hive - so I tagged this article 'itsacrap' - a slight Italian accent, so to speak.

Re:What's a whurly? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876593)

Oh God. He actually refers to himself as "whurly" in his bio? I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Re:What's a whurly? (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877195)

Don't make me sow everyone your diary, steve pun.

Re:What's a whurly? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877593)

Like you could get anyone to read my diary. [slashdot.org] My life is boring. ;-)

Anyways, you are all just going to have to wait for the movie if you want to know the really juicy bits. Like the time I took all my IWW union organizer friends to the pagan pan-sexual house. Oops! Darn my loose lips.

Duh (4, Insightful)

derEikopf (624124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876215)

Free R&D.

No competition = stagnation (5, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876229)

Microsoft needs open source because established companies cannot compete with them in the "normal" market outside of the web (Google and Yahoo) where Microsoft has historically played catch-up. Open source levels the field, and so you have things like Firefox. Firefox forced Microsoft to come out of their "it's good enough and no one has a choice anyway" stagnation. The inevitable comparisons between Apache and IIS5 ended up resulting in IIS6. When Microsoft feels the pressure, they are a better company with better products.

Arguably this is not true for all their markets, such as development tools and Office, which historically have not been too contested (not lately at least) and yet have not resulted in the same stagnation.

Many people want open source to succeed, because one of the end results of that is a better Microsoft. I've always included myself in that group.

As for the article, I think it's a good read for all the "LOLOL M$ is TEH AFRAID OF THE GNU/PENGUIN ETC" crowd:

Microsoft doesn't fear open source; it fears what the competition can do with it.

Microsoft fears IBM and Novell and CA. It doesn't "fear" Ubuntu or Gentoo or Torvalds. That's the key issue that RMS managed to miss (or probably chose to ignore for the oomph effect) in his incisive analysis of the "Halloween documents".

Re:No competition = stagnation (2, Insightful)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876345)

Actually if there's anything to fear it's that mature product genres inevitably have lower value over time.

That is to say that now that OS technology is mature it just doesn't increase in value as much any more. So MS has a problem shifting its new OSes because the old OSes have enough value as they are. Same with Office products. Unfortunately for MS its business model requires that the value of its products does not lower over time - hence they are inevitably required to find ways of artificially increasing the value of their products by forcing upgrades, removing support and so forth.

Well... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876391)

It sure as hell DOES fear ODF, but I'll admit that some of that may be fear of IBM and Google, too.

Kill their lock-in on the office document software market, and customers can buy whatever they please... which probably won't be Word, especially for the more price conscious.

Anyhow, what's the worry? Ultimately, they fear losing business, and by extension, they fear anything that could free people from their lock-in strategies. I mean, if new games and new applications didn't need Vista, why would their customers need it, either?

Re:No competition = stagnation (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876687)

They realize open source is their future.
Sure, Microsoft sometimes makes it easy for us to hate them, but aren't as disconnected from the pulse of the open source community as you may think. Linux is causing issues for them in the market, and they're working hard to keep up. They didn't build their empire by not planning ahead--even the most closed-minded executive in Redmond realizes open source is in their future.
Notice how author of TFA doesn't bother to back up his assertion?

I would have though that reality backs up the opposite: MS doesn't want to open their code or specs.

Right now, they're giving the EU a tough time over specs,
I can't imagine how "They realize open source is their future".

Re:No competition = stagnation (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876971)

Right now, they're giving the EU a tough time over specs, I can't imagine how "They realize open source is their future".

Then you are short on imagination. The simple answer is that barring legislation that cripples it, Open Source is the future, whether that is a future of Free Software or not.

The industry became closed because there was money to be made at it. But it is "trying" to reopen (in the same way that information "wants" to be free) because that is logical. Everything (except the fleecing of the consumer) works more smoothly when everything is Open and transparent.

Technology has made it possible for us to collaborate, and thus made the Free Software movement possible. And once begun this is nearly impossible to prevent. If they're not complete idiots over there at Microsoft, they will have realized this.

On the other hand, it is possible to maintain their stranglehold for a bit longer - even while slipping it will still be valuable.

The intelligent approach for them at this point is to prepare for the Open Source eventuality, while at the same time fighting to keep it delayed as long as possible.

Re:No competition = stagnation (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878507)

I think Microsoft has realized that they probably won't be able to continue operating as before. An aphorism for that might be "they get open source", although it might not be the ultimate expression of the changes they need to undertake to continue being the dominant entity in the software market. At some point that will have to involve a hell of a lot more open behavior than we see today.

As far as the EU is concerned, they can go fuck themselves. However, the ridiculous protectionist dickfest they've organized (at the behest of RealNetworks among others) might in the end be the catalyst for those inevitable changes at Microsoft. Maybe in that sense it's not so bad.

Time will tell.

Re:No competition = stagnation (1)

perky (106880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878551)

You've seen Enterprise Library, right? And the Community content sections on MSDN? And Channel 9?

I think that the poster is treating "Open Source" as meaning Open business practices as well as literally open source code. These things are happening at MS.

Re:No competition = stagnation (2, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876963)

Wasn't that ESR's analysis of the Halloween documents, not RMS? Give credit where credit is due.
http://www.catb.org/~esr/halloween/ [catb.org]

Re:No competition = stagnation (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876993)

You're right, I meant "ESR", not RMS. Sorry about that.

Re:No competition = stagnation (1)

massysett (910130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878321)

Arguably this is not true for all their markets, such as development tools and Office, which historically have not been too contested (not lately at least) and yet have not resulted in the same stagnation.

Actually your first paragraph was right: MS doesn't innovate in ANY market where it doesn't face competition.

Office has not seen innovation in years, since it beat WordPerfect and 123. The innovation now is with other players, who are designing truly innovative interfaces (e.g. Google Calendar's quick appointment add feature, which whips Outlook's clunky forms) and enabling easy collaborative use. Adding some ribbons to Office is not innovation; it's the usual new paint job that comes with MS releases.

Development tools, too, are just responses to competition--.NET vs. Java.

Re:No competition = stagnation (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878429)

Office has not seen innovation in years

Yes, yes. And Windows has not changed since 1990, etc.

loves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876331)

loves: reads, copies, uses, patents

mod uP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876361)

WHAT? (5, Funny)

theolein (316044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876421)

That's like:
7 reasons a mouse likes a cat
7 reasons why oil likes water
7 reasons why intelligent design likes pasta
or
7 reasons why office users like clippy

Re:WHAT? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876715)

7 reasons why intelligent design likes pasta

I do not think that many ID people are familiar with the Flying Spaghetti Monster... Ignorant as they are.

ALL HAIL THE FLYNG SPAGHETTI MONSTER!

Hopelessly naive (4, Interesting)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876465)

Open source is not the threat; Linux is.

Um, no. Both are threats to Microsoft. Linux, as a product, is obvious.

Open source, as a larger concept, is a threat to Microsoft because it is the antithesis of their power base. Microsoft has gained and held its control over the industry by clutching tightly its file formats and protocols. The only reason we ever got Office compatibility and the SMB protocol in the Open Source realm is because of careful reverse engineering and the hope that Microsoft's patent lawyers would keep their guns holstered.

I think Microsoft is realizing that the problem isn't the source, which is eroding as a base of power, but the software patents. On the one hand, they hold enough to crush pretty much anybody they choose. At the same time, they've already been victimized once by Eolas. The Novell deal shows how reluctant Microsoft is to really enforce their software patents. It's as much a defensive action for Microsoft as it is for Novell. Obviously, Novell can step out from under that Sword of Damocles. Microsoft, however, by not filing a straight-up patent suit, avoids throwing the first punch in a barroom full of patent trolls, all of whom are itching for a brawl.

Heh... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876495)

I like this new form of journalism being pioneered here: "X is going to be speaking at some event and I will now hold forth on some completely random topic that might come up!" One of the more vigorous submitters then follows it up with "X spoke at some meeting and I will now hold forth on some completely random topic that didn't come up!"

Loves? (2, Interesting)

UninvitedCompany (709936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876617)

The blog article is weak on a number of important points. Open source is part of the landscape and Microsoft is adapting to it. That does not mean that Microsoft "loves" open source. Microsoft could probably be said to "love" any vertical-market application that adds value to the platforms that it offers. It matters not a jot whether said applications are open-source or closed-source.

OpenOffice poses more of a long-term threat to Microsoft than Linux, because Microsoft's revenue stream for Office is less subject to margin erosion than its operating system revenues. Firefox also poses a threat insofar as a common browser platform that is OS independent undermines control of the desktop. Windows and IE provide control of the market, while Exchange and Office provide the revenue. Competition on any of the four fronts is taken seriously.

Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876637)

Were the kernel Linux licensed under the BSD license, MS wouldn't consider Linux a threat. It's because of the *license* that the kernel Linux has that Microsoft is scared silly of it. That goes for anything else that's released under the GPL--Samba, OpenOffice.org, Mozilla/Firefox, KDE, *anything*. Why? Because they can't just lift GPL code without providing source. That's why their Services for UNIX is based on BSD, not GNU/Linux. It's also why Apple used a lot of FreeBSD code for the core of Mac OS X (the non-GUI parts).

Microsoft has made it clear, many times, that they consider the GPL a "cancer" and "Communist". They've also said that "we're not against 'open source'. We like BSD, that's fine. What we don't like is the GPL."

The GPL is their enemy because the GPL proactively defends our freedom. Is the BSD license a Free Software license? You bet! But it doesn't proactively defend our freedom like the GPL does, and it is that characteristic of the GPL that frightens Microsoft to its core. That's also why they're fighting so desperately against the OpenDocument file formats; to Microsoft, actual, true Freedom for users is a very, very scary thing. [mailto]

Re:Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (0, Troll)

jabskeeterbug (1032608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876967)

The GPL is their enemy because the GPL proactively defends our freedom. Is the BSD license a Free Software license? You bet! But it doesn't proactively defend our freedom like the GPL does, and it is that characteristic of the GPL that frightens Microsoft to its core. That's also why they're fighting so desperately against the OpenDocument file formats; to Microsoft, actual, true Freedom for users is a very, very scary thing.
Microsoft is a technology provider. Why would they want to give out their source code as GPL and *force* their end users to open their program as well? The GPL is great for some things, but if you are giving your code to paying customers, let them do what they want with it. This "defend our freedom" sounds like a bunch of bullshit. Viewing sourcode isn't a freedom.

Re:Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877099)

Viewing and reusing source code is the fundamental freedom that (GPL)open source is based on. The issue is Microsoft does not even give the code under any reasonable license to anyone. Heck, if they BSD licensed XP I would shut up right now. They fear the GPL because it is code they cannot use without opening their own code up. They fear what the GPL stands for, enforcement of open source, insured freedom.

Re:Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (2, Insightful)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877119)

The GPL is great for some things, but if you are giving your code to paying customers, let them do what they want with it.
Hmm... do you take the same stance with the binaries?

I don't know what magic the source code has that means that if you are selling source rather than a binary that you would have to let your customers do whatever they like with it. Would you please explain?

This "defend our freedom" sounds like a bunch of bullshit. Viewing sourcode isn't a freedom.
Ugh. It's not about viewing the source code, it's about controlling what you can do with it. The GPL defends the freedom of the source code by requiring that derivatives are also free in the same manner. It's that simple.

Re:Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (2, Insightful)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877261)

They certainly don't have to. But if Microsoft insists on keeping their code secret at all costs, there will come a point when there is GPL code available to compete with absolutely everything that Microsoft produces. Heck, we're almost there already: OS, Office suite, Web browser, Mail client, development environment, games (for those that don't need the latest FPS from Megacorp, anyway).

That is the future that Microsoft wants to avoid at all costs; it will make the price of software as a commodity become $0. At some point, Microsoft will need to sell their software at $0 just to compete, which means that the IT industry becomes a service industry rather than manufacturing. That's a good thing for everyone (well, OK, maybe just me). Losses due to piracy become non-existant, since piracy is no longer a useful concept. Talented people will be paid to implement solutions, Microsoft or otherwise.

The best thing Microsoft can do is what Sun Microsystems already did: experiment with Community Source Licensing. No, we won't be able to do whatever we want with Windows source code, but we'll be able to mess around with it in our labs/basements/whatever and understand Windows better. They don't even have to accept changes from the community if they don't want, and they can keep the distribution rights to themselves.

Ultimately, it's a show of faith on Microsoft's part. They may believe they don't need to start playing nice with FSF supporters anytime soon, but I certainly don't think they have quite that luxury. FSF always had and will always have the potential of producing a whole bunch of software that's truly Free and in doing so take those "innovations" away from Microsoft. Microsoft needs to interoperate. The fastest way to do so is to show us their source code.

Re:Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (1)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878677)

Heck, we're almost there already: OS, Office suite, Web browser, Mail client, development environment, games (for those that don't need the latest FPS from Megacorp, anyway).

Logic like this reminds me of people who promote Christian music over "secular" music. "You like Led Zeppelin? Well you shouldn't listen to them, there's satanic references in their music. Creed is almost as good, and they're Christian!".

Some of us prefer quality over ideology; I love FireFox, but I'll play Civ4/Starcraft over FreeCiv/Freecraft (whatever the WC2 clone is) any day. When people do something for its own sake, that's usually when it turns out best.

Re:Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878733)

Errrr. I play Civ4 on Linux. What seems to be the problem?

Re:Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (2, Insightful)

pnaro (78663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877037)

Ummm, both Microsoft and Apple have a long history with BSD-derived works, even before Linux and GPL was around.

As far as Apple's use of "a lot of FreeBSD code", no shit, sherlock! The MacOS X roots date back (through NeXT) to the mid-late 80s. Their whole underlying structure has always been BSD.

Re:Linux not the threat; the GNU GPL is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18877185)

Your emphasis on fear is amusing. While I agree that MS dislikes GPL, I disagree that they fear it. It's like how I dislike mushrooms, but I don't fear them. I simply don't eat anything with mushrooms in them, and go on living my life as usual.

One reason why it's all a lie (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876653)

Loss of Control! It's rather simple, it's about the loss of control because without the ability to control the APIs which are getting used most often on Windows, they lose control of the platform. Why did Microsoft go totally 180 out on how they used the Java under license from Sun Micro? What about why they were willing to purchase expensive Netscape contracts and also pay ISPs to push MS IE over Netscape Navigator? Remember, Netscape Navigator included CORBA components, Java, and JavaScript among other technologies out of Microsofts control. It's all about keeping control of the APIs, the developers, and therefore protecting the Microsoft Windows economy.

So there are no reasons why Microsoft Loves open source other than to find ways to "Love it to death". IMO.

LoB

Love? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876731)

Like in the bend-it-over kind of way?

I disagree (0)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876753)

They include open source code in their products.

All that safely implies is that they like free/already implemented stuff, and we already knew that

They support open source vendors.

This is the first I'm hearing of this

They benefit from open source everyday.

This sounds more like hip-hop that the tech. industry

They open source code

This is a consequence, not the intention

They are adopting open source culture.

I think this is stretching things really

They aren't threatened by open source.

This seems more like a pun than anything else, but ok, I'll give them that

They realize open source is their future.

I do not see any evidence for this

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18878505)

Microsoft needs someone to steal from, this is why they want open source. They cannot innovate worth a squat. It's obvious. Would c# and .net exist without java? Explorer was pretty stagnant even though there was a huge mess of viruses exploiting their crappy security until FireFox came around. I think Microsoft was pretty content to just keep releasing VS c/c++ updates to the next c/c++ releases (with a decent GUI) till java came around. and when they realized java was doing a decent (not great) job showing that it's possible to run an app on both unix and windows, they work up, tried to hijack java, and when Sun stopped them, decided to steal the best ideas of java and create c#. They do realize open source is the future, but only to steal the best ideas from it, port it to their environment, and release it as the next big thing (and forcing M$ developers to buy yet the next VisualStudio version (and also make supporting old apps even harder, again forcing them to upgrade). VB, asp, COM obsoleted and replaced with vb.net/aspx/.net and with poor upgrade capability. Interoperability with other non-M$ tools? I hate that, when opening a solution, that it wants to keep checking out the sln and web.config files just to open them, even if I have no intention of modifying them. I can kinda understand web.config, but why sln files? And this is probably to get developers away from real version control tools and move into their crappy VisualSourceSafe (and it's successor)...

Open Source, the Web, Interoperability, and Micros (1)

Asztal_ (914605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876969)

Guess the odd one out?

I know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18877095)

Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers!

[I would have left it at that if the compression filer didn't kick in, so I added this line.]

Reason Eight (3, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877247)

Because people spend their time working on open source instead of the product to beat Microsoft. So Steve Jobs the second comes along today. He's going to make an OS that's going to destroy Windows. He looks for his best coder. However coders don't need a Steve Jobs to make software anymore. They can just work on Linux to get their coding fix. They don't need a guy with a vision because they have Linux Torvalds to follow and continue to lead them.

Let's face it, Linux is not going to destroy Windows, there's too many issues with it. People have already seen Linux and made their opinions then. We can change them but it's an uphill battle. The in fighting, the "hard core linux guys" vs. the Red hats vs. the Slackware vs. everyone else has ruined what little chance Linux has. The very fact that if Linux takes over, it won't be one version but every version and it will all create work for the end user means it's going to be problematic for it to even gain market share.

Open source diverts and directs a lot of time for the people who could take on Microsoft's products and that makes Microsoft happy. In theory it COULD make for a better product because everyone can be working towards one goal. But in reality every programmer has an opinion on how best to go about the assault on the big MS and with out true leadership (Torvalds isn't looking to lead the revolution, Stallman is but he's as polarizing as can be, hell Stallman will scare most corporations back to Microsoft's loving arms with his free software talk.) Even the term open source scares businesses and executives. It's a good thing after you understand it but there's a lot of parts of it that Microsoft can whisper in people's ears to scare them into using the Microsoft alternative.

So Microsoft loves the fact open source is here because if anything it's destroyed more genius ideas than they could probably fight on their own in a number of ways.

Re:Reason Eight (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878491)

it will all create work for the end user
And spyware and malware don't already create more work? For the average person who doesn't
know jack about computers (my mom) Linux is the best thing they can use. And have you installed
a distro lately? It's pretty easy and quick. This just isn't an argument any more...
The real reason Linux is slow to adopt is because the people like Dell and HP haven't advertised it yet.
They only dip their toe and then get scared of the water.

Even the term open source scares businesses and executives.It's a good thing
after you understand it but there's a lot of parts of it that Microsoft can whisper in
people's ears to scare them into using the Microsoft alternative.
Stupid is as stupid does. Why would you trust a company that wants nothing but your money?

if anything it's destroyed more genius ideas
Yes but the ideas are now out there. And Microsoft can't use them to make money.
They hate that because they are the biggest patent troll of them all.

Re:Reason Eight (1)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878563)

"They don't need a guy with a vision because they have Linux Torvalds to follow and continue to lead them."

Uh.... ?

I think Linux is where it is, because it has a vision (a free software philosphy) only because Linus has chosen to lead Linux towards that path. I guess I'm confused by the above observation.

Ruined? (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878593)

Hardly. I don't even sweat the in-fighting anymore. No-one cares really (aside from us). Right now as far as I'm concerned Linux isn't really even on the radar. Not really. People have heard of it, maybe.

That's the cool thing. We've needed the push and I'm sure in some ways that's what's making it OK for distro's like Ubuntu to include non-free software and changes without being widely panned but the community.

I don't agree that open source is taking away from anything. Linux (my favorite example) has grown quite dramatically and does quite well in my particular field (servers). Support is coming along with most major vendors providing acceptable support (Intel/Sun/Dell/HP).

I realize servers aren't as sexy as the desktop solution you're talking about, but its a clear example of Linux continuing to grow and mature. Even it its a little slower then you and a lot of people might like. Do we need a Steve Jobs? Probably not. But I think the process is still going to be slow as distros become increasingly clear in their ability to differentiate themselves and diverge from the safety and homogeny of "accepted" Unix/Linux practices. An expense and risk I don't think anyone anyone is ready or willing to take on just yet.

Re:Reason Eight (1)

bonefry (979930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878757)

So basically you're saying that because of open source there is a shortage of developers ?
hahahahahahaha

Nice one.

He's right about one thing... (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877297)

MS isn't afraid of Open Source, rather than linux. Open source linux will never have the support needed to support a mass quantity such as windows. The reason being, Support costs money.. marketing costs money.. and Open Source linux really can't handle that. In order to support issues and have a central system for drivers, updates and such... you've got to have some type of unity, income and government.

The open source community has a hard time deciding on factors, due to no central foundation for on time decisions. It's tons of different people acting for their own reasons to get their box to work correctly. Drivers aren't made because they need to be made, just yet. Not everyone is required to make drivers for their products or make their product compatible with linux, because it seldomly affects business.

I'm not saying that linux isn't going to jump ahead at any point, I'm saying that Open Source linux will never have the power to, when it hasn't got the funds to do so.

The one thing he didn't mention is, Microsoft has borrowed (I know, people have other words for it.) technologies and ideas from OS's and apps across the globe. They already have a unix subsystem that's been in place for years as an addition. What makes anyone think that one of the richest technological businesses on the planet, WOULDN'T create their own Linux-Based operating system if they came close to being overturned?

Think about it.

They have the funds in place. They have the support. Linux has always been harsh competition and has proven it's worthy.

WHY would they not do it?

You can't tell me that somewhere in a basement in Redmond, men aren't typing away with unix code, creating a small OS that is the beginning of a back-up plan for MS when fit hits the shan.

THAT is why they're not concerned. It's not just because it's a huge threat.. it's because at any time, they can write up their own flavor of linux like anyone else does.. and they've got the money to support it.

Re:He's right about one thing... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878419)

You're conflating technology with support. I don't need Linus Torvalds to own a Linux support company; I can purchase my support from Canonical or Red Hat or Novell or dozens of others.

If Linux will succeed on the popular desktop, then it will come preinstalled. It will come with manufacturer support -- or the manufacturer will have a support contract with another agency. And that won't be much cheaper than OEM Windows. (So incidentally, Linux only has a price advantage for people who can forgo support.)

Re:He's right about one thing... (1)

quahaug (409357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878847)

If they had the ability to release an OS equal or near equal quality of a UNIX like system compared to Linux they would have already done so. They would not have released that peice of turd called Vista. It all goes back to the days of QDOS.

Then they won't mind this... (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877687)

If they love open source so much then I'm sure they didn't mind THIS [softpedia.com] at all! *sarcasm*

Catagorized List: (3, Funny)

crhylove (205956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877897)

1. We can steal code!
2. We can steal ideas!
3. We can steal design!
4. We can release a version that doesn't turn off noobies!
5. We can make a proprietary competitor and wipe the original FOSS off the map with our hegemony!
6. We can put out a press release about how we invented something again!
7. We can steal code!

Yes, but on the other hand... (1)

Nybble's Byte (321886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877975)

Does the open source community like Microsoft?

Silly question. Next.

the real 7 reasons (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878219)

1) free code
2) free development
3) innovation with low overhead
4) goals of stability to achieve
5) something to get baldy charged up before keynotes
6) hackers to blame
7) Novel^H^H^H Back-stabbing CEOs that will sign patent agreements

My comment refuting his points (5, Interesting)

silicon not in the v (669585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878661)

I posted a comment there on his page, refuting his arguments. It wasn't too hard to rationally shoot most of them down. I was able to refute 6 of 7, but one of them I just wasn't familiar enough with. Here's the comment if you're interested:
----------------

I can't take you very seriously because there is a lot of misdirection and hand-waving in your article. I will give you credit that I didn't see any outright lies, which Microsoft directly uses, though. Here I'll point out some problems with your points.

"They include open source code in their products."
You bring up the TCP/IP implementation as an example. That's not a good idea on your part because it's exactly the example people use to point out why Microsoft likes to let other people come up with good stuff under the BSD license and then selfishly take it with no thank-yous or giving in return. When it comes to a mutual sharing license that they can't take selfish advantage of, like the GPL, they spit venom, lies, quasi-legal lobbying interference with government action, violation of their court-ordered code of conduct from their anti-trust conviction, etc., etc. So basically, your first point illustrates that they just like code that other people open without restrictions so they can just snatch it.

"They support open source vendors."
I won't say a lot here because I'm not familiar with these Microsoft "programs created to test and verify open source applications on Microsoft platforms". If they do that, fair enough.

"They benefit from open source everyday."
It's called FUD. Have you read the content of the "free press" they pay for? That's kind of a twisted way to look at things to say that your competitors benefit you by giving you the opportunity to smear them with falsehoods. You're not understanding what the alternative situation was to this "battle with open source" they've been waging in the press. Before open source was maturing, Microsoft didn't have a big war in the press and had close to 100% market share. Everyone just kept buying it because they had never heard of anything else. Now Microsoft is having to viciously attack to slow the slide of their market share. Open source isn't doing them any favors there.

"They open source code."
Ah, UNIX tools for Windows. This is beating the ground where the dead horse rotted away several years ago. They did a small token action on a minor product most people don't use once, and we're supposed to be reminded of that over and over? That hardly seems like strong evidence to make it one of the "Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source". That's weak, man.

"They are adopting open source culture."
You're not recognizing what this is. Culture means actually doing something, which they're not. This is co-opting the language of open source to try to pretend to be something good, while remaining the wolf in sheep's clothing. It's the same with their proprietary data-dump of their new MS Office format, which they have ironically called "Microsoft Office Open XML". They want to have that word Open associated with them, even though the format is very closed and does not contain specs enough for anyone else to use it.

"They aren't threatened by open source."
Well this looks like a good place to continue the talk about the office document formats. They are threatened at least as much, if not more, by other forms of openness than just by Linux. Have you kept up with Microsoft's conduct in Massachusetts over the document format decision? They have been putting out some of their most blatant lies to convince them to use the Microsoft document formats, rather than go to a neutral document format that can be used by anyone, including Microsoft if they wanted to stop their tantrums long enough to do it. Read some of Andy Updegrove's blog to find out some of the story about that, including how they fed a false character assasination story on Peter Quinn to Boston Globe reporter Steve Kurkjian. The story was published before they even attempted to contact Quinn's supervisor, who cleared him of any wrongdoing as soon as he was contacted. The resulting firestorm and stress over the false accusations caused Quinn to resign anyway.

"They realize open source is their future."
Your main supporting statement in this paragraph seems to disprove your own hypothesis of this being a reason Microsoft loves open source: "Linux is causing issues for them in the market, and they're working hard to keep up." Um, yeah, and we know how much Microsoft LOVES competition--so much so that they have bought or killed anyone who has ever tried to compete with them. This time, however, they are fighting against an ideology, which can't be bought or killed.

So in summation, you're 1 for 7. That's about 0.143, which isn't even a good batting average.
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