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Is Microsoft Going to Start a Linux War?

Sharkull's picture

Quote:
You bet! Here are the reasons why.

In a surprise announcement, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer seems to be doing a deal with Novell and the SUSE Linux folks. Apparently, the goal is to make Linux interoperable with Windows and perhaps move some apps onto the Linux platform. What could be brewing? Does it make any sense that Microsoft is going to embrace Linux in a big way? After all, Ballmer used to demean it.

...

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2052320,00.asp

sol77's picture

That was a fascinating read, but I am not sure how I feel about it.
Though it will be interesting to see where this leads.

But I wonder if it wouldn't be as good or better to help wine develop instead so it can handle more windows applications, and change it's license if needs be. To me it looks like it would be the same thing.

Sharkull's picture

Something like Wine would rob M$ of control, unless they were actively involved in it's development. New / updated M$ products would need to run on Wine (if they officially supported it), which would decrease the flexibility of what M$ could do... (and they wouldn't like that).

Besides, I think the idea is to put out Linux versions of M$ products (which would run on the "shim" middleware), not just make Windows versions of M$ software run on SUSE... This would give M$ the freedom to put out lesser Linux versions of their products (for more revenue potential and market share), with full versions only available for M$ platforms (Windows).

Note: This post is 100% speculation.

M$ has in the past done Office and IE for the Mac, so the same for Linux would not be too surprising. Office especially is in serious competition with Open Office (which isn't really very Open) for government use all round the world, with some mandating the Linux platform. M$ has already produced an XML document format to allow them to claim open standards, when they aren't, so embracing open platforms in the same way is just what I'd expect them to do next.

Abstraction site
Dungeon Raider

Templarian Arch Sorcerer's picture


*sigh*, In the end, it is the customer who really suffers from these petty corperate wars.... Stare

Sharkull's picture

I don't consider this petty corp. warfare... M$ is acting in it's own best interest, and there's nothing wrong with that in this instance. The truth is that consmers benefit from corporate competition (more choices, better prices, improved feature sets...). The absence of competition (i.e. a monopoly) is absolutely a real problem for consumers, but I don't think M$ will kill Linux or the Open Source movement. M$ selling software that runs on Linux can actually be a good thing (more quality options for consumers).

My understanding of the linked article:
M$ wants to be able to sell software that runs on Linux (which is becoming a major competing platform in the PC OS market), while keeping their trade secrets and complete control over their own software (something the GPL doesn't permit... if I'm understanding the article correctly). I don't blame M$ for wanting to profit from and control their software... that seems reasonable to me. What M$ can't do is tell other people how their IP is handled (i.e. M$ can't undo the GPL). If M$ has found a technical / legal loophole in the GPL... well... it certainly is an interesting development.

Looks like a good thing to me. Windows emulation on linux sounds nice. We will have to wait and see. I don't use linux due to the lack of applications. That is the only reason why linux is worthless unless you're running a server. I'm not sure why microsoft made this move. They have been doing some nice things lately. Maybe they want to get rid of their evil image or more control /shrug. I do not see how this could be bad for linux. The emulation alone should be great with m$ and suse OS engineers working on it.

Site Owner of Siegecore a new Dungeon Siege 1 & 2 fansite.

what microsoft stands for is exactly what gnu/linux is against. microsoft has taken away your freedom in the software world if you use windows, they seek to control your computer usage through technologies like Trecherous(trusted) Computing and DRM. if microsoft has its way it will succeed in convincing the government that YOU should not be in control of your computer, and it should be. stand up against software patents, trecherous computing, drm, and the closed source model because not only does it take your freedom away, but it prevents progress in the computing world.

i think the dungeon siege community can feel what i am talking about here. i can't count the number of times i have heard complaints (and complained myself) about a part of the dungeon siege engine being hardcoded, or not making sense. if dungeon siege were free (as in freedom of speech) software we could study the source code, fix what is wrong, and no longer need to complain about things being hardcoded. now you see the advantage of free (as in speech) software, and the disadvantages of proprietary.

if you would like to learn more about free software, you should head over to http://www.fsf.org or http://www.gnu.org and you too can liberate yourself from the corporate shackles of the software world. say no to proprietary software.

In fact I had a large reply typed in when I thought better of it. Open source is a wonderful idea, but so was Communism. It just doesn't work if mere mortals do it.

Abstraction site
Dungeon Raider

Sharkull's picture

Both Open Source and the current M$ model can co-exist, letting the consumer decide. The "freedom" for Open Source promoters to distrubute their work as they see fit is great, and the "freedom" of companies to choose the proprietary software model has it's merits too. Remember, freedom is all about choice, and programmers get to choose what they work on, and what is done with their work product.

There's also the fact that some software is better off left in a black box... security stuff. If hackers / virus writers were to have access to the source code of popular AV programs, SW firewalls... then they could more effectively launch attacks (something we should all agree is not a good thing).

If your goal is to have the best software available to the world, then Open Source is probably the better model. If the goal is the best economic prosperity for the software industry, then the proprietary software model is likely more effective. Since different people have different priorities, it's more than likely that one model will never satisfy everyone. Smile

LoneKnight's picture

Exxers dropped a bomb...and I like it! Yes, M$ does seem a little tad controlling.

Communism IS a good idea, IN THEORY, but not in practice. I wouldn't compaare it to open source, however. I have to say that if open source was allowed, changes could not only be made to mechanics of the game, but if people wanted to take up the endeavor (did I spell that right?), the graphics could be improved as well, for those who don't like games just because the graphics aren't top notch.

An example of modders getting the source code to a game and making both graphic and mechanic improvements would be the Freespace engine. It's a highly moddable space-sim that came out in the 90's, I believe, considered to be the best space-sim ever made. The game has since been completely polished, looking like a modern game than a 90's game. Quite something to take a look at. There is still a massive fanbase to it.

Here's a link to an article regarding it at Wikipedia. I'm sure there's many similiar game engines whereas the same thing happened.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freespace#The_FreeSpace_2_Source_Code_Project

The next link is where the community is mainly based at, if you wish to read further, or don't believe anything you see on Wiki.

http://www.hard-light.net/

Unkown wrote:
It remains to be seen if DS can rise back from its ashes and dissociates from DS2 and GPG.

I was wrong. Christ!!! Ballmer: Linux users owe Microsoft I will not be getting vista and plan to work in the linux community in the near future. I'm sick of M$!
Site Owner of Siegecore a new Dungeon Siege 1 & 2 fansite.

sol77's picture

Wow, that borders on angering..

I can get Vista for free but I doubt I will get it. M$ are too profit driven and not enough concerned about what service they provide or their image as a company. I saw no point in getting Vista before and reading that text certainly didn't change my mind. I doubt they will release the DS2TK for Linux so I will have to keep XP for those.

Sharkull's picture

Ack! Wyv's link is dead now! Sad Luckily I found an alternate... or two... or three.

More interesting reading here: http://groklaw.net/

I'll be getting Vista only when I buy a new machine... but I won't be buying an OS upgrade for my current XP box.

sol77's picture

The link works for me, but it seems at times that their server can't handle the visits.

Thanks for the extra read.

Templarian Arch Sorcerer's picture

xmen90s wrote:
what microsoft stands for is exactly what gnu/linux is against. microsoft has taken away your freedom in the software world if you use windows, they seek to control your computer usage through technologies like Trecherous(trusted) Computing and DRM. if microsoft has its way it will succeed in convincing the government that YOU should not be in control of your computer, and it should be. stand up against software patents, trecherous computing, drm, and the closed source model because not only does it take your freedom away, but it prevents progress in the computing world.

*clap clap clap clap clap* Well said! Personally, i think M$ wants the user to do what *they* want, not what you want to do. Its horrid. Stare