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Linux Foundation - We'd Love to Work with Microsoft

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the bet-they'd-love-it-too dept.

Microsoft 147

johnno writes "In an interview with the Australian site pc world Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation's executive director, talks about the desire to interoperate with Microsoft and discusses the desktop outlook for Linux. He answers questions on the kind of legal protection Linux requires, whether anything ever come of the Microsoft protest that there's Linux code that they have patented, as well as Linux penetration on desktops and breaking Microsoft's stranglehold on the market. He also discusses Microsoft's recent move to open up their documentation, and why they'd like to work with the Redmond giant — 'We'd like to have a place where developers can come and work on making Linux more effectively interoperate with Microsoft products. And we'd like to do that in the open-source way that's not tied to any specific marketing agreement, that's not tied to any specific contract, that is an open process that can be participated in by anyone in the community,' Zemlin says."

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147 comments

Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738218)

And why not? :)

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738264)

Goatseeeeee! [twofo.co.uk]

You nerds love it.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (3, Insightful)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738332)

Yes, it is good to keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (-1, Offtopic)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738488)

Moderated over-rated? Clearly the mods have never experienced the divine ambrosia that is a first post, or they would understand the necessarily low-content, high fiber nature of my post.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (1, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741696)

Maybe Slashdot needs to implement a random first post algorithm to nullify the advantage of having your post at the top of the page. One refresh and it's all up to the random number generator on what order you're in.

Or, you could just post relevant information to the context of the story (which I guess the OP was) and just let the meta-moderators deal with it.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (2, Informative)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738878)

Why not? How's that Microsoft deal going for Novell? [slashdot.org] In fact, how has almost any deal with Microsoft gone? Before you know it, you've got puppet strings on you.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739218)

Caving in to patent threats is a little different to interoperating with MS protocols, enabling people to move away from proprietary Office apps, even if they are stuck with the same file format for a while.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (5, Interesting)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739664)

Microsoft's lock on their own file formats and protocols is what keeps everyone captive to Microsoft applications, not the other way around. They've demonstrated time and time again that inviting interoperation with their proprietary formats leads to the destruction of competing software products. Everything Microsoft ever destroyed began with "partnering". That lead to modifying their partners' file formats/languages/tools to be MS specific until the original technology became irrelevant. I have few doubts that this their Linux roadmap.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741454)

Microsoft's lock on their own file formats and protocols is what keeps everyone captive to Microsoft applications, not the other way around.
That and the average computer user's desire NOT to actually change. I think you're delusional if you think the average computer user feels locked into MS products. The real problem is that they are comfortable with them because they "came with the machine".

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (5, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741698)

I think you're delusional if you think the average computer user feels locked into MS products.
My experience is the average computer user believes MS products are the only ones available.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (1)

bergh (1092995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739194)

yeas, why not?
Wasent that the dream, to make things more compatible across platforms

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (-1, Troll)

TehLunix (1255826) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740372)

Yeah, it's funny to pretend that an OS with less than a 1% marketshare is somehow a big player... but realistically speaking, what does Teh Lunix even bring to the table? Interop with MS is more important to Teh Lunix (WINE, anyone? Then some SAMBA?) than interop with Teh Lunix is for Windows. MS seems to have done kind of ok for themselves in the past decade without worrying too much about connecting with Teh Lunix. But how's Teh Lunix's marketshare doing, since they can't connect to Windows networks that well?

While Teh Lunix is good for certain things, I've always felt it's missing it's calling to operate in spaces nobody else is. Why FOSSies think it's a good idea to go head to head with Microsoft is beyond me. Windows has the desktop market for many reasons, and it's not because they "force" people to use Windows- if anyone says that, they deserve to be ignored.

I've never understood why more people didn't put work into making Teh Lunix friendlier for small and mobile devices. Perhaps the rationalle is that it would somehow be a step back, but the reality is that such a space is exactly where the future is. People aren't going to be carrying around AS-400s, so Teh Lunix needs to stop acting like that's the future.

Small device manufacturers are right now using a cludged together, ad hoc operating platform. There's no good standards- it works, and people are happy with that. But look at the iPhone: Apple slaps duct tapes a phone to an iPod, gets it working in a few months, and puts something close to a "real" operating system on it... and everyone is soiling their pants over it.

You guys want to take on Microsoft? Fine! Take on Windows Mobile: it's a piece of junk! Take on the iPhone, too. Take on Palm. Lunix should be lording over mobile devices. Instead, they waste time being an also-ran on the desktop, trying to out-Windows Microsoft in the market they dominate because they created it. The answer isn't to beat MS by making over a decade's worth of bad Windows 95 clones, the answer is to find a different market to dominate.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740514)

Damn. I wish I had kept a mod point so I could mod you the troll that you are.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740724)

Why? He's telling the truth. Interoperability is more important to the Linux community than it is to Microsoft. Microsoft has no need to give any more than a vague impression of interoperability with Linux or for that matter the Mac, safe in the knowledge that if there is any then it occurs on their terms (Samba, Wine etc).

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (3, Insightful)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741080)

Is that what you got out of his rambling? Anyway, if that was his point, I still disagree. As a Linux user, I have had plenty of interoperability for years now, thank you very much. I am curious, if Linux is so inconsequential, why does Microsoft continue to call Linux its biggest threat?

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740964)

We think it's a good idea because there would be no free alternative otherwise. That's important to a lot of people.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741152)

Actually I'm fairly happy with my Windows Mobile phone compared to using Windows on the destkop. That's probably more to do with the funky HTC hardware though rather than because it's Windows (though I like the fact that I can VPN and RDP into the work network, even though I never do that on my phone, so meh).

Microsoft are a convicted monopolist, you can't exactly say they play fair. The reason that they're doing so well is that most computer users are computer illiterate morons, that's all. It's basically the same reason that people buy unreliable french and italian vehicles rather than choosing some nice german or japanese equivalent - they don't care whether it works as long as it's flashy :P Linux isn't really a 'big player' in the desktop market sure, but it's growing and may get there one day. Things like WINE and SAMBA are very necessary parts of getting there. I'm using Mac OS basically all the time outside of work now. The only reason I've used Windows outside of work is to play games, but since PC gaming is so dull these days, and I'm fed up of constantly having to buy more hardware just to play games at a decent framerate/quality ratio, I'm going to get a PS3. Which coincidentally can also run Linux :)

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (3, Insightful)

Marillion (33728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740386)

For me, the whole point of Free (as in freedom) Software is that Free Software is liberated from artificial constraints that prevent interoperability and restrict users from doing what they want their computers to do. The "True Goal" needs to be one where a users and developers and administrators are free to chose platforms that meet their requirements instead of being locked in to one platform because of vendor lock-in due to formats or protocols or software limitations.

While it's easy to paint Microsoft as some big giant ogre, that's not very helpful to the achieving the "True Goal." So long as the Linux Foundation doesn't allow Linux and the GNU Stack (or any other Free Software) to incur artificial limitations, any relationship with Microsoft is healthy for both.

Re:Embrace, extend, extinguish.. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741198)

That's fine for intranetworking, but when it comes to sharing information with other companies, MS stuff is unfortunately the standard (unless you count PDFs, but there's no decent, inexpensive, well known software out there for editing PDFs). That's why there needs to be some level of interoperability, to ease the change. Kinda like having hybrid cars before moving to fully electric. Man I love car analogies :)

When I am weak (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738248)

When I am weak, how can I compromise? When I am strong, why should I compromise?

What about when you're neither?

Re:When I am weak (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738546)

When I am weak, how can I compromise? When I am strong, why should I compromise?

What about when you're neither?
Obviously:
When you're neither, where should you compromise?
When you're both, when should you compromise?

And finally, when you're both and neither, you shouldn't ever not uncompromise.

I'm sorry, but it just sounds like giving in. (5, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738300)

I realize that Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but it just sounds like giving in. Microsoft really hasn't shown any signs of innovation in a long time and my fear is that this would just turn into another chance for Microsoft to take a concept from the collaboration, implement it in their own way and claim it as their own. Remember what they did with TCP/IP early on? Made their own stack that didn't quiet work with anything else but said it wasn't their fault.

Re:I'm sorry, but it just sounds like giving in. (4, Insightful)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739102)

I don't see your point. I do see that perhaps some business aren't adopting Linux as a desktop system because making those interact with a pre-existing AD environment is far from flawless and straightforward. Or the other way around, when implementing new services on Linux servers that need to interact with Windows machines.

Better interoperatibility will benefit Linux hugely. Where there used to be just one choice, Windows, there could be more.

Re:I'm sorry, but it just sounds like giving in. (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739614)

They're definitely fans of just sitting in on committees... know your enemy I guess (when the enemy is everything that's not your own 'standard').

Re:I'm sorry, but it just sounds like giving in. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740016)

You fail to see Microsoft Inovation, or you disagree with their inovation. But they do inovate. Lets take .NET system calls in SQL Server. I personally think it is a horible Idea (Breaking the Data and System Level layer), but it does have some advantages such as a trigger to email someone when a table gets updated, no matter what apps updates the table...

Yes it is the 800 lbs gorilla. Now if it on your side or see you as a threat can make you life so much easier or a living hell. Hating Microsoft isn't a Linux Idea, it is the people who choose to use Linux choice. Yes Linux and Windows are competing products. But that doesn't mean they need to blood enemies. Why do you think Microsoft and Apple work together on some projects but yet Apple OS X is right now one of the largest threat to Vista. You can be professional and work together for a common goal... Or you can act like snot-nose teanagers and hold a grudge for every point of conflect.

Lets say they make exchange for Linux. Microsoft and Linux can gain. Because Microsoft can sell copies of Exchange to Linux Server shops, making sure their technology is use. Making Linux shops more Windows Desktop firendly. (And sorry even Ubentu Linux isn't Full Desktop user ready) as well they are able to choose the features they want for future versions...
Linux can gain as well. Replace more Legicy Unix Servers with Linux, as well some old Windows Servers with Linux. Yea it will step on Microsoft Windows Server Supply a bit But they will get the Exchange Licence where they may not have done before. As many may have gone to Linux without Exchange and use SAMBA and orther tools.

Competition is a good thing. But it is not a rivalry.

Re:I'm sorry, but it just sounds like giving in. (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740744)

I hardly see .NET system calls as a massive innovation - extended stored procedures have been in SQL Server since Microsoft bought it off Sybase - all anyone needed to do was write a DLL, expose the calls they wanted to, and any variety of system functionality was available.

I hate Windows because it's a massive bloated kludge, not for any ideological reasons - I have had to develop for Windows too much over the past decade to see it any other way.

I like Linux because it's lean, elegant and relatively standards compliant, and while I agree that greater interoperability with the market leader is desirable, there's nothing wrong with trying to get Windows and Windows applications to follow standards to ease the goal of interoperability.

Re:I'm sorry, but it just sounds like giving in. (1)

piojo (995934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741548)

I absolutely agree with you--anybody who doesn't see microsoft innovation isn't looking in the right places. .NET and the idea of multiple languages being able to use the same libraries is very cool. Also see f#, a new functional language that microsoft research is creating. See also Haskell (a new favorite of mine), whose (possibly) most influential developer has been employed my microsoft research for ten years.

Even if windows vista is a flop, it does include innovative technologies. When is the last time that you shrunk a partition on the fly, while it was mounted? (Take that, partition magic.) I haven't used vista enough to name its other interesting features, but I'm sure it has them.

Here's a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22740212)

Ob parable:

The brain (Linux), heart (MacOS), and guts (OpenBSD) were discussing about who was the most important part of the body and thus be declared the leader. Each presented a good argument and a good flame war was started.

In the middle of that argument, the bum (Microsoft) causally announced, I'm in charge. The other three laughed and told the bum to shut up.

The bum did precisely that. A few weeks later, the other parts of the body were forced to crown the bum king of the body.

This proves that in order to be an industry leader, you don't need brains, you don't need a heart, and you don't need guts. You just need to be a big asshole and produce shit early and often.

Re:I'm sorry, but it just sounds like giving in. (2, Informative)

Bralkein (685733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741834)

The idea that Jim Zemlin's trying to put across is that the software world needs to move and is moving towards a collaborative, idea-sharing environment, rather than the current situation with major players closely guarding their IP. This makes sense, because this is exactly the kind of environment in which Free Software will flourish. This point of view cannot be reconciled with the idea that Microsoft won't be invited to the party and that they have to be destroyed, not reasoned with. Furthermore, Microsoft is increasingly trying to cultivate a more open-friendly image, and in the face of this the Free Software community can't afford to just stonewall them, because if that happens then Microsoft will just be able to point their finger and say "Well we want to cooperate, but those guys just have something against us".

The line that Jim Zemlin is taking is a good one, in this case. He's making a positive statement about cooperation, which is necessary to show that those in the Free Software community aren't bitter, jealous people, but he is also stipulating that any cooperation that takes place must be in the true spirit of friendship, and nothing less. Microsoft are trying to make a big show of turning over a new leaf and becoming cooperative, but these patent threats haven't magically been retracted and as long as Microsoft continue to take an aggressive stance towards Linux then that is going to have a negative effect on cooperation. The line "we'd like to do that in the open-source way that's not tied to any specific marketing agreement, that's not tied to any specific contract, that is an open process that can be participated in by anyone in the community" sums it up for me: no patent nonsense, no legal BS; we just want to work together to improve software technology. That's real cooperation!

Nice to see (-1, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738336)

Nice to see that there are Linuzz people out there that are not the archetypical rabious MS hater, but normal civic developers that want to solve the problems with cooperation and work, and not with screams of "foul!!" or "M$ is teh suck" or "Death to Closed source! (but not mine closed source, BTW)", etc.

Re:Nice to see (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738374)

Learn to spell and I might actually consider your point

Re:Nice to see (1)

Infamous Tim (513490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738664)

Maybe he or she is blind. Screen readers don't exactly enunciate very well.

Re:Nice to see (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22742058)

Where do I find a "screen reader" that converts Microsoft to "M$"? ;) (and wouldn't it be speech recognition, not a screen reader?)

No car analogy, but.... (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738342)

reading this is like seeing a video clip of a one legged Iraqi kid with a stereo boom box playing 'Give peace a chance' ... or something like that.

Panic Time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738350)

Slashdot: Dont fear the penguins

"We'd Love to Work with Microsoft"

Can i be afraid now?

I'm always suspicious ... (5, Interesting)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738368)

When foundations, companies, etc. 'agree' to work with one of their main competitors, it almost seems as if it is just for publicity.

Although they may want to work with their competitor, they might not want to do it on anything EXCEPT their terms, and I get the feeling that this is the same situation - They say "we'd love to work with you", but when the other party doesn't agree to their terms, it is the other party that looks like they're refusing to co-operate.

Re:I'm always suspicious ... (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738822)

It's only dishonest if the party making the offer is disingenuous about its terms.

I'm sure the FSF would be delighted to work with Microsoft -- if Microsoft released all of its source under the GPL. Of course, everyone knows that its unreasonable to believe Microsoft would accept these terms in our lifetime, so it would do no good to announce this.

This shows to have PR value, an offer has to have something that might interest MS. It must be something in which MS could recognize its own enlightened self-interest. It's possible to imagine this happening fairly soon, if there are significant developments that MS cannot profitably fight or coopt. If we imagine sub-$400 linux laptops taking off big time, it might turn defending that part of MS's monopoly from a cash cow into a cash sink. That kind of thing might signal a smart time for MS to reposition itself.

It'd be momentous, to be sure. But not impossible to imagine.

Re:I'm always suspicious ... (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739546)

This shows to have PR value, an offer has to have something that might interest MS. It must be something in which MS could recognize its own enlightened self-interest.
Maybe we could give them access to the Linux source code ! They could certainly learn stuff from it.

Um, no, wait...

Re:I'm always suspicious ... (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741972)

I think they'd be more interested in apple's source code ;)

The letter of the law vs the intent (5, Insightful)

dyfet (154716) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738384)

The kind of interoperability they speak of is precisely the kind that Microsoft chooses, by both word and deed, to explicitly sabotage. Whether one looks at the Novell agreements, the "licensing" of api documentation, or the OSP in the OOXML, these are not acts of encouraging such interoperability but rather of blocking it by any means possible, or of trying to meet the "appearance" of interoperability from the perspective of outside regulators when forced to, but while deliberately and explicitly destroying the spirit and any actual realization of it.

Re:The letter of the law vs the intent (3, Insightful)

debest (471937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739256)

The kind of interoperability they speak of is precisely the kind that Microsoft chooses, by both word and deed, to explicitly sabotage.
Nicely stated. It seems to me that FOSS already has "interoperability" completely figured out: publish and use open standards! It also seems that there is absolutely nothing (except, of course, monopolistic greed) that prevents Microsoft from utilizing the exact same standards.

Make the stand. (4, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738424)

I disagree. I don't think that the Linux community can count on any given company treating us as anything other than hostile.

Let me give you an example. Warcraft II vs. Stratagus.

There was a group of people that wanted to play Warcraft II on Linux, so they made tools to extract the data of the Warcraft II DOS CDs and use it on the hard disk to play Warcraft II. At first, this was called 'Freecraft', later called Stratagus that made significant advacements in Warcraft II including:

Support for 16 Players rather than just 8
Support for Human/Orc joint AI.
Support for TCP/IP
correcting several gameplay bugs and sound bugs
No CD Copy protection
Actual uses for the Runestone and the Dark Portal (Dark Portal worked like a one way Starcraft Nydus Canal
Superior AI.

Linux technology must be flat out BETTER than anything a Windowsd technology can produce. Compare Samba 3.0 to Windows NT 4.0

- Support for LDAP
No stupid limits on Trust Hirearchies
Support for Kerberos
Support for SMB without NMB.

We can't team up with MS, we must Flatten it, or they will flatten us. Thats just the way it is.

Re:Make the stand. (2, Informative)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738616)

You keep saying "Linux community" and "Linux technology," but then you bring up examples that have nothing to do with Linux. I think you mean "open source community" and "free software methods."

Furthermore, your conclusion ("Linux technology must be flat out BETTER than anything a Windowsd technology can produce.") based on Stratagus is really bad, since WC2 from which it is based is old software. That's like saying that old software is not as good as newer software. What a shock! I'm sure if Blizzard redid WC2 nowadays, they could do a better job. Oh wait, they did. It's called Warcraft 3... which doesn't run (natively) on Linux?

Re:Make the stand. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738682)

Straw man argument. Warcraft III is not Warcraft II version 2. Its a different game entirely. Most people never played Warcraft II. I contend to you in fact that Warcraft II was inferior to Warcraft I. Which the Stratagus project was going to Reverse engineer and utilize its Engine for. The Developers lost Interetst.

Re:Make the stand. (4, Informative)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739038)

The point is, Stratagus was made after Warcraft II. Of course it's going to be better. If it wasn't better, than that would have been a big problem. Again, the point is that if Blizzard was to redo Warcraft II, they themselves could also improve the product, and it has nothing to do with Linux. The fact that you're trying to show Linux superiority through Stratagus is the real straw man, since it has nothing to do with Linux. But... nice try.

Re:Make the stand. (4, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738666)

Are you seriously comparing Samba 3.0 to NT4? When was the first Samba 3 release? Toward the end of 2003? And when did NT4 debut? Mid 1996 (these are setup as questions because I am going off partly memory and half a google search)? Hell, the last service pack for NT4 appears to be two years before Samba 3 was ever seen.

Your argument sort of held water in the first half, but the last bit was an obvious spin to help the data conform to your views.

Re:Make the stand. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738724)

Linux and Samba are sort of a latecomer to the game, but you have a point. Linux needs to start churning out new technology BEFORE MS can.

Re:Make the stand. (3, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738988)

What you mean like
  Desktop Search
  Composite Window Managers
  User Access Control
  Kerberos

All were available in OSX and Linux before Vista ....

Re:Make the stand. (4, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739422)

What you mean like

Multiple Virtual Desktops ... All were available in Linux, Unix and even Amiga before Wind... excuse me a sec... oh shit, Windows still does not come with virtual desktops? what year is it 1984?

Re:Make the stand. (2, Insightful)

slawo (1210850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738720)

I partialy agree with your point of view. Everyone should stick to standards established by consortiums and implement the standards, and eventually extend them (like OpenGL, OpenDocument...) Then we can speak of interoperability.

Supporting the existing non standard formats is good for everyone on the short term, on the long term everyone loose. Only the owner of the format might win as he owns the existing installed base and decides when a version is obsolete and when you have to install the new one, for how much it depends on his control over the market, not on how good the new product is.

Re:Make the stand. (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738942)

I disagree. I don't think that the Linux community can count on any given company treating us as anything other than hostile.
Ah, but that's the beauty of the GPL. We don't have to count on anyone. We can invite everyone to the party, and as long as it's GPL, they can do pretty much anything. The only tricks they can pull with GPL code are patents and trademarks (IANAL, so correct me if I'm wrong).

Re:Make the stand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22739198)

Windows has many games that are more advanced than Warcraft II in terms of gameplay, graphics, sound and physics, so what was your point again? Using your logic, Bioshock runs perfectly under Windows but doesn't work at all under Linux. Gee, Windows technology must be flat out better than Linux...

You seriously need a reality check if you think Linux will ever topple Windows. The best thing at this point is interoperability. Think about it, what is the main reason that people continue to use Windows instead of Linux? Because everything they need or want to run only works under Windows. If that changes, then more people would be willing to move away.

Re:Make the stand. (0, Flamebait)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739462)

So your point is... what, exactly?

That the free software world can copy a successful closed source project, copy almost all of the significant or hard work, and then make some improvements upon it?

I'm not sure I'd point to that with much in the way of pride. It's about on the level of copying War and Peace, fixing a few spelling or grammar errors, and calling it an accomplishment.

Dearest Jim Zemlin: (4, Informative)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738428)

speak for yourself, i do not want to interoperate with microsoft on their grounds, it would be better for microsoft to quit being the tyrant/deceiver that plays dirty pool to maintain their monopolist power over the desktop & office, make/wait (for) microsoft to change (not the other way around)...

and Jim please ignore the IP infringement FUD, unless microsoft coughs up some tangible proof they have nothing but FUD...

Re:Dearest Jim Zemlin: (1)

pchoppin (864344) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739604)

Agreed

First of all, the Linux community is not that naive. Does anyone really believe that we are ready to bend over and cave to M$'s rhetoric of empty promises, lies, and business deals based on coercement. Remember this deal? http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS9843352777.html [linux-watch.com]

30+ years of observation is sufficient evidence for me to not trust Microsoft. I have no doubt the Linux community will, as a whole, remain uncompromising with their principles (Principles - Microsoft: oxymoron).

Re:Dearest Jim Zemlin: (1)

Bazer (760541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741134)

Please read (at least) the summary again. Mr. Zemlin stated clearly, that the Linux Foundation would like to work with Microsoft but in a way which is "[...]not tied to any specific marketing agreement, that's not tied to any specific contract, that is an open process that can be participated in by anyone in the community." i.e. completely on the Foundation's terms. The IP infringement FUD is what drives potential business users to Novell and Microsoft. Nobody in the Linux camp believes that FUD but it costs everyone in the Linux business.

Year of the Linux Desktop! (0, Troll)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738500)

...as well as Linux penetration on desktops and breaking Microsoft's stranglehold on the market.
Hahahahahahahahahaha

Sorry, yes, this is finally the year of the linux desktop!

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (3, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738668)

In my house at least. I'd say that whatever year KDE came out was the true "year of the Linux desktop". Why should I care what OS everyone else is using?

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738896)

Why should I care what OS everyone else is using?

Daft question - there are several good reasons such as:

1/ The more people use an OS, the more thoroughly it will be debugged and the more likely it is that someone else will hit a given problem and it will be fixed or at circumventable if you hit the same problem.
2/ The more people use an OS, the more variety of software will be produced for it.
3/ The more people use an OS, the more drivers will be produced for various hardware which will give you more choice when buying new hardware.
4/ As total non Windows OS share increases, the likelyhood of websites being made windows specific (e.g. ActiveX) decreases.

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22742478)

Hi... me again!

Why should I care what OS everyone else is using?
Because if too many people use it you will have to install anti-virus! :)

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22742884)

Why should I care what OS everyone else is using?
Because if too many people use it you will have to install anti-virus! :)


Hmm... [apple.com]

Apple shipped 2,164,000 Macintosh® computers, representing 34 percent growth over the year-ago quarter and exceeding the previous quarterly record for Mac® shipments by 400,000.
Two MILLION in three months? That's one hella botnet! So, how many more macs do they have to sell before the Mac virus that Norton has been warning about for the last ten years actually gets released in the wild?

Good thing I like the unpopular nerd OS Mandriva! It's so unpopular even the 3v1L H4x4rZ haven't heard of it ;)

Re:Year of the Linux Desktop! (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739974)

Sorry for replying to my own post. Apparently I hurt somebodies feelings for pointing out the obvious (as evidenced by my troll rating). I have heard, and a google search confirms, that every year since 2000, it was proclaimed that "This is the year of the Linux Desktop."

Sorry, I can't take that claim seriously. Who knows, maybe 2009 will finally be the year of the Linux desktop, but I am not holding my breath.

Well, that's half the job done. (2, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738520)

Now on to the other half -- to get Microsoft to agree as well.

One-Page Article Link (1)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738540)

Here [idg.com.au] .

Now I'm back to RingTFA before posting. (Yes, I'm new here).

Microsoft Agrees (5, Funny)

cordsie (565171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738548)

In the same sense that Hillary would 'love to work with' Obama.

In related news: (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738554)

Zookeepers declare "We'd love to smother ourselves in steak sauce and try to masturbate the bears..."

Also... (2, Funny)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738560)

We'd also like a solid gold toilet. And a pony.

And collectively, around Microsoft, (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738564)

Ballmer is screaming "Itsatrap!" as window repairman comes by yet again to fix the damage as another chair sails through the window.

Of course. (3, Insightful)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738568)

Linux wants to interoperate with everything: Atari disk labels, x86 Unix binaries, java, VMS DECNET, the list goes on and on and on!

So of course they want to interoperate with Microsoft.

And MS seems to be the only ones being a problem here.

Re:Of course. (2, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739094)

yup, thats what the open in open file formats and open protocols and open source is for, too bad microsoft does not want to do it that way, microsoft rather have absolute power & control and you know what they say about absolute power :)

Please explain me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738594)

How is it that this is not suicide?

'We'd like to have a place where developers can c (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738610)

'We'd like to have a place where developers can come and work on making Linux more effectively interoperate with Microsoft products

Yeah, and people in hell would like a glass of ice water and some air conditioning too.

Difference in attitude (3, Insightful)

utnapistim (931738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738704)

Linux Foundation: We'd Love to Work with Microsoft

Microsoft: Yeah ... that's what we've been trying to prevent!

Good Luck With That (2, Interesting)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738744)

Yawn. Very little about MS-Linux collaboration here (except that Linux is willing but MS is weak); bad article summaries are no surprise.

But since that's what the summary says, that's what everybody will be talking about, so:

I'd love to see MS bury the hatchet as much as anybody. But where's the Windows Genuine Advantage in that?

MS is obviously not going to give away filesystem specs or the other interoperability roadblocks that collectively create the best argument to businesses for continuing to pay the Windows tax. So the most collaboration we might see is in getting MS Office to run on Linux. In other words, if Redmond bit at all, it'd be at the chance to stomp on OpenOffice to prevent future competition in its core business desktop market.

***

Anyway, besides that, the article was surprisingly content-free. Yes, there are interesting synergies between extending battery life on mobile devices vs. saving energy in the data center. We get that, no need to repeat.

The interviewee promotes this thesis: these synergies are possible primarily through the collaborative Linux environment, which is Linux's great strength. However, I would argue that those synergies are equally possible in closed-source shops, but it's just that management has to learn to listen to them differently -- and that that is only a matter of time. For instance, I used to work in a company that made document-management databases for law firms. I think there's a huge market for (appropriately crippled and cheapened) versions of this product in the private desktop market, for promoting "paperless offices" in non-law businesses, and for aiding academic research: three huge markets that would be very happy to get rid of their physical files and add markup and search if you have enterprise-reliability document management database software. Nobody listened, though; in an Open Source environment, I could've just forked and /done it/, and then proved my suggestions with their success. Closed shops can't take those kinds of risks, so they're missing out on opportunities; however, once the management does learn to do more lateral thinking like this, the lessons of F/OSS and Linux' collaborative model will probably become integrated into more mainstream business thinking.

Re:Good Luck With That (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739458)

Yes, there are interesting synergies between extending battery life on mobile devices vs. saving energy in the data center

Can anyone explain to me what is a synergy?

Re:Good Luck With That (1)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739864)

From dictionary.com [reference.com] :

1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
2. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.

As I'm using it here, "serendipity" would probably be a better word, or "happy coincidence" -- instead of two forces working together to produce more than the sum of their parts, it's one force that turns out to be effective in two surprisingly separate areas.

Re:Good Luck With That (1)

quux4 (932150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22742950)

MS is obviously not going to give away filesystem specs or the other interoperability roadblocks ...

Really? You might want to ask Andrew Tridgell over at the Samba project about that. It seems he has gotten exactly that [samba.org] from MS. In such a way that he can show it to anyone who joins the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation [protocolfreedom.org] .

To quote Princess Leia... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738746)

Itsatrap!

There's a reason articles like this invariably get tagged with the above. Microsoft has a proven history of sticking a knife in just about any back it can reach. At the moment, MS can't touch Linux, since Linux operates in a way that MS just doesn't understand (ie it isn't a business) and doesn't value the same things as Microsoft ($$$$$). However the second Linux gets close enough to MS, to work with it, take lessons from it, to play by its rules- that's when MS will have the power to bring Linux down.

Linux doesn't need Windows. Linux is doing just fine as it is, slowly but steadily improving its code, widening its application base, and growing its userbase. Who cares if this isn't the year of the linux desktop? Who cares if that isn't for another ten years? We've waited this long, we'll wait longer.

Ignore MS, let the do what they want, they are no threat as long as Linux doesn't make the mistake of trying to defeat on their own terms. In short... itsatrap!

Can somebody splain me (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739152)

why parent got modded down?

Re:Can somebody splain me (0)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740474)

Because "It's a trap" was said by Admiral Ackbar, not Leia.

Re:Can somebody splain me (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740674)

Actually, you're wrong. :)

Leia said "It's a trap" long before Admiral Ackbar did. When she was being dragged away in Cloud City and trying to warn Luke.

It's all online now (interoperability) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738882)

If they want to interoperate with Microsoft, they just need to grab the source off Microsoft's site and go to work writing code. Of course, that doesn't raise awareness of their donation run foundation as much as stoopid headlines like this.

What is the market share threshold? (4, Insightful)

websitebroke (996163) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738894)

I have no real idea if this has any bearing on reality, but...

I'm wondering at what point MS will honestly start to interoperate. For Internet Explorer, they didn't start to make meaningful changes until they started losing market share to Firefox and Safari. Now, we're hearing about IE8 being honest to goodness standards compliant. (and they actually sound like they mean it - not holding my breath, but I remain hopeful)

Is the interoperability threshold 80% market share?

Whatever the number is, I don't expect to see any significant changes until MS starts losing customers. Given their resources, they should have been able to make a better browser in 2002, rather than now in 2008.

Let's get real already (2, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738910)

I think more corporation between the two entities would be a good thing. OSS and MS are like ying and yang; they keep each other in check and balance each other out. In the real world, there's little benefit in either being omnipresent over the other; the two ideals have to work together for the perfect technological suolutions if you ask me.

Without Windows, Linux desktop would have no market penetration target, and without Linux Windows would stagnate.

I think any IT professional that thinks either one paradigm should be 100% prevalent over the other needs to take a good look at themselves and ask how "professional" they really think they are.

Interoperability is good, and personally I thank god neither MS or OSS will ever be 100% dominant in IT (each for their own reasons).

Just my 2 cents.

Too funny !!!! (1)

yvesdandoy (44789) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738946)

That Zemlin guy ... what a joker ... he made me laugh my ass off !!!

No, seriously, can you imagine "one day" microzob working that way without being it's back against the wall and forced to ?

I don't.

Sorry.

So let's call it Utopia.

Observations and critique (2, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739076)

A couple of critical observations:

So you're starting to see OEMs pre-ship Linux for the first time [...] why are they doing that? [...] Is it because Linux is more functional than it's ever been? [...] yes, it is more functional. But that functionality combined with the economics [...]. [lots of ...] And so when companies like Dell or Asus or Lenovo or all these companies look at those profit margins, they say, "Why wouldn't I just create my own operating system and ship it with the device?
Interesting. He argues for linux based primarily on price, and from the seller's viewpoint. Sure, some of the savings is (presumably) passed on to the consumer, but I miss a good argument for why the consumer should use it. He could have said "it does the same job for a lower price", which is a very convincing argument in my book (and to some extent also valid). It's not a very sexy argument, though, but I won't be demanding everything.

InfoWorld: But Windows is still on 98, 99 per cent of PC desktops anyway, so do you think that number or that percentage will decrease?
Zemlin: Yes. Yes, I think it will actually.
As an extention of my previous comment, I wished InfoWorld would have asked him why he thinks that. I can say "I think I will get -1 Flamebait"; so what? It only becomes interesting when I have something to substantiate it with.

If you're a Motorola or an LG, would you rather, per device basis when you're selling tens of millions of devices, license Windows Mobile or the Symbian platform from Nokia, or would you rather have Linux, which is collaboratively designed, which supports every major architecture?
He's saying "Would you rather have a, or b, or c? Note that c has properties p and q." For a meaningful comparison, he could list some properties of a and b as well. Sure, we may know some of them, but he could have emphasised what he thinks is relevant. Also, when you've picked an architecture, support for any other architecture is not of much interest.

InfoWorld: So are Microsoft's days as the dominant provider of desktop and server and maybe even handheld operating systems numbered?
Zemlin: Monopolies don't last forever, so I mean, I think they've got a long way to go. It's just natural over time that people aren't going to allow a single company to dominate the market.
People, as in individual consumers, always allow concentration of power; they don't care, they just want easy. Look at Microsoft; look at Google. People use their services because it's easy for them to do so. I'm conjecturing that it takes the power of the state to break up or prevent the formation of monopolies. Someone enlighten me: what happened with AT&T, Standard Oil and the Railroads? What's happening with Microsoft?

InfoWorld: Wouldn't the emergence of Linux kind of say that maybe Microsoft never really was a monopoly, that there was always room for somebody else to compete in there and that's what Linux is now doing?
Zemlin: It obviously was a desktop monopoly for a period of time.
Again, there's a claim but no argument. I don't want to argue against him, I just want a better argument.

Yes, the days of high-margin, vendor lock-in monopoly practices in the software business, yes, those are gone, and they're permanently gone.
This is five minutes after he stated that Microsoft makes 30% profit; that doesn't like either dead or dying to me (sadly).

InfoWorld: Can Solaris compete with Linux?
Zemlin: [If Solaris was FLOSS eight years ago maybe, blah blah ...]
Sure, that sounds plausible. What interests me is why Solaris (probably) won't be able to compete with Linux today. I'm guessing it's the network effects: with many users, it makes sense to develop for, and with much development, it makes sense to use.

(None of this is to say that I disagree with Zemlin's assertions, just that I think he could have made a better argument).

Sightings of Flying Pigs in N/W USA? (1)

eeyore (78059) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739434)

Have there been any sightings (by reliable witnesses) of flying pigs in the USA?

Or should I just order whatever LF are having?
--
E

Re:Sightings of Flying Pigs in N/W USA? (2, Interesting)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739758)

Sightings? Pshhhhh. Try photos! [lapdonline.org]

Re:Sightings of Flying Pigs in N/W USA? (1)

eeyore (78059) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740620)

I was thinking of somebody more, er, porcine. LA's Finest look very human to me.
--
E.

Money (1)

Johnny Stans (1248700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739878)

Ofcourse they would, they want some of that Microsoft $$$!!

The Scorpion and the frog (2, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739908)

For anyone to 'work with MS' is just too much like the frog and the scorpion [allaboutfrogs.org] except MS typically has little to lose in any given arrangement.

Revenge of the GH? (1)

ibookdb (1199357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739934)

I say GH should have patches for all versions that replace the Gibsons with some other guitars and use that manufacturer to help them fight the patent too. I'm sure the free publicity will be good for the other manufacturer.

NDA land mines (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740130)

If any devs from MSFT start contributing code, the LF better have some damn good lawyers to make sure they don't get screwed.

I'd be in favor of the following indemnification.

1. Any MS developer expressly warrants, under penalty of perjury if possible, that no code they contribute will fall under a patent, copyright, or other legal stumbling block that is not GPL compliant.

2. If any developer DOES slip something non-GPL'able under the table, perhaps if MS actually has ulterior motives and would try to slyly sabotage linux by sneaking proprietary code into it, and later suing, the developer who screwed up is responsible for all of the LF's costs in resolving the problem.

I'm honestly worried that MS might use this as a chance to slip an infringing landmine into the linux source code.

Re:NDA land mines (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741602)

I'm honestly worried that MS might use this as a chance to slip an infringing landmine into the linux source code.
Don't be. The rules for inclusion of source into Linux state: (from Documentation/SubmittingPatches)

The sign-off is a simple line at the end of the explanation for the
patch, which certifies that you wrote it or otherwise have the right to
pass it on as a open-source patch. The rules are pretty simple: if you
can certify the below:

                Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1

                By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:

                (a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I
                        have the right to submit it under the open source license
                        indicated in the file; or

                (b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best
                        of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source
                        license and I have the right under that license to submit that
                        work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part
                        by me, under the same open source license (unless I am
                        permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated
                        in the file; or

                (c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other
                        person who certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified
                        it.

                (d) I understand and agree that this project and the contribution
                        are public and that a record of the contribution (including all
                        personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is
                        maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with
                        this project or the open source license(s) involved.

then you just add a line saying

                Signed-off-by: Random J Developer

using your real name (sorry, no pseudonyms or anonymous contributions.)
Given Linus' current email address and the language of the above, I would presume that the Linux Foundation wrote it.

Re:NDA land mines (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22742744)

Ah, yes.

I'm actually well aware of the signoff procedure.

However, are there penalties for falsely signing off on something?

Quoted text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22740302)

I RTFA and there were only two lines relevant to the story. Here they are

InfoWorld: Apparently, Microsoft is going to get together with the Eclipse Foundation next week. Are there any accommodations between or collaborations between Microsoft and the Linux Foundation?

Zemlin: Not at this time, but we'd love to do it.

Ya Know ... (1)

BigBlueOx (1201587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740572)

It's now to the point that the only reason I ever boot up Windows at home is to run Civ III ... so I guess I really don't care about Linux "interoperating" with Microsoft there ...

I do have to fool with Windows stuff at work, and ya know, every time I do I end up popping a vein over some stupid decision they made that makes my life harder ... but the corporaTards aren't switching off of their Windows 2k3 servers or AS400s or XP desktops so I guess I really don't care about linux "interoperating" there ...

I guess I just don't care if Linux "interoperates" with Windows at all.

Ever.

Linux foundation: Please shut up. (2)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740916)

Sorry but this is about the second time the Linux foundation issues a terrible statement like that, I still got a grudge after the "Linux users must respect Microsoft even though Microsoft certainly doesn't respect Linux users" one.

What's worse is that this is a smoke screen, since such Linux foundation statement will probably be echoed much more than SFLC's recent statement about the MS' (bogus) patent promise [softwarefreedom.org] .

Sure. We'd love to cut our own throats, too. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741158)

Yeah. Sure. (Sarcasm, don't you know.) Now that we are finally winning, let's "cooperate" and make our product look and work more like the LOSER. Right. That's the ticket.

And cooperation with a company that is famous for reneging on its own "cooperative" deals, in order to kill the competition, is actually a GOOD idea. Yeah.

And let's all line up to walk off this here cliff, too.

I wonder how much he was paid under the table to make this suggestion.

Linux Foundation is a Scam (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741214)

The Linux Foundation is nothing more that a trademark scam designed to steal "Linux" without producing anything.

Of course it would love to work with Microsoft. I'm sure the Pepzi Organization would love to work with the Coca-Cola Corporation, too.
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