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Mozilla Developers Invited to Redmond 294

Posted by Zonk
from the dinosaurs-in-wa dept.
savio13 writes "Sam Ramji, Microsoft's director of its Open Source Software Lab has invited 4 Mozilla developers to spend 4 days with Microsoft's Vista Readiness ISV team. The invite can be found on mozilla.dev.planning and was posted on Saturday (Aug. 19). Schroepfer replied by indicating that Microsoft and the Moz guys are already in contact via email and will follow up on the offer there. This is interesting because Sam posted the offer in a public forum (and indicated that he'd sent a PM, but was posting in case they had an @microsoft.com email filter). Sam also made a point of stating that the Vista ISV Readiness offer is typically only for commercial ISVs."
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Mozilla Developers Invited to Redmond

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  • by Emrikol (21551) * <[gro.detanobraced] [ta] [lokirme]> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:51AM (#15955428) Homepage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It's_a_trap [wikipedia.org] Seriously, watch out! Pretty soon, we'll have no more coders!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Hello Firefox guys, my name is Balmer, Steve Balmer. Those folks you see closed in s cage is our "IE team". You will decide what is their destiny. Look at our latest sources, and tell me, but honestly, is there any use of it?
      • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:20PM (#15956679) Homepage Journal
        No, no no:


        The Firefox team is herded into a giant enclosure lined with sand. At the other end they see another gaggle of pasty-faced geeks, who, judging by their ID badges, appear to be the Microsoft IE team.

        From up on high, a whiny, nasal voice, belonging to Microsoft Chairman Ballmer, rings out:

        "Remember where you are - this is Thunderdome, and death is listening, and will take the first man that screams."

        One of the IE guys flinches at this, while the others exhibit lifeless eyes, dulled from too much Caffeine and long coding jags.

        Ballmer cuts through again, this time louder:

        "Two teams enter, one team leaves!"

        The cry is picked by the watching multitudes:

        "TWO TEAMS ENTER! ONE TEAM LEAVES! TWO TEAMS ENTER! ONE TEAM LEAVES! TWO TEAMS ENTER! ONE TEAM LEAVES!"

    • by A Commentor (459578) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:36AM (#15955798) Homepage
      Don't all fly on the same plane, ride in the same car, or use the same elevator... It's better to lose 1 than all 4 ;-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      Maybe the Mozilla team could spring a counter trap:

      http://www.imdb.com/gallery/ss/0116996/Ss/0116996/ 1-1.jpg?path=gallery&path_key=0116996 [imdb.com]
    • by doti (966971)
      hehe, the "isatrap" /. tag was never so apropiately fun.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Richy_T (111409)
      Coming soon: Soylent Green, brought to you by the people at Microsoft.
  • by Vengeance (46019) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:51AM (#15955432)
    Four Mozilla developers missing, story at eleven.
    • The murders were captured on video and displayed worldwide using the Nurve system [imdb.com]. These programmers are being beaten to death!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by saskboy (600063)
      I don't think this is a bad thing. Well missing developers would be, but I think the more meetings Microsoft has to Mozilla, the more likely it is that Windows Vista will suck less. An exchange of ideas doesn't have to make the "good" ones more evil.
  • by krell (896769) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:52AM (#15955440) Journal
    "If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die."
  • by albert28 (977914) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:53AM (#15955451)
    Watch out for chairs!
  • by Recovering Hater (833107) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:55AM (#15955467)
    But seriously, I think that Microsoft is trying to get third party OSS browser support for Vista so that they can announce it as a feature. "Look, we have great support for the BEST free browsers out there! We are cool and friendly!" It has become obvious to Microsoft that OSS is not going away and that they need to embrace some of the popular choices in an effort to stem the flow away from Linux, etc. Seems pretty obvious to me.
    • by vhogemann (797994)
      What if they're thinking anbout replacing the IE render engine with Geko + ActiveX extensions?

      It's not an insane idea, a browser it's not a key factor for desktop dominance anymore... and MS could use the resources allocated for IE on another projects.

      And also, they eliminate the "Firefox" treat... Firefox is avaliable for MacOSX, Linux, BSD, and others. If someone uses it under Windows, they can feel more confortable to swich to another OS since their applications are there too.
      • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:25AM (#15955690) Homepage
        Never. Too much NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome for that. I think one of the other posters is right. FireFox is getting popular and if it doesn't work with Vista (either intentionally or not) they will get tons of complaints ("Vista broke my InternetFox thing", "They are trying to crush FireFox", etc.). FireFox is so popular that they have to make sure it works. The only difference between it and some other program they'll do that for (Sims/Sim 2) is that FireFox is FOSS so we hear about it (where they have done this with Sims/Sims 2 and we don't hear a peep).
      • by nuzak (959558) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:32AM (#15955754) Journal
        > What if they're thinking anbout replacing the IE render engine with Geko + ActiveX extensions?

        Absolutely never ever ever going to happen. Even discounting the IE features that MS wants to keep, even discounting NIH syndrome, Microsoft owns the IE codebase (modulo a few patent trolls). Microsoft doesn't want to put anything in Windows that it can't alter at will. Yes Gecko's open source, but they don't exactly want to fork it and deal with the developer relations donnybrook that would ensue.

        As for ActiveX, MS had already removed almost every AX control from its site, leaving only various update managers. And the Eolas debacle has pretty much tilted them all the way toward going 100% DHTML/AJAX for rich content. Underneath, it's still COM controls, sure -- Flash and even the Java "plugin" are actually ActiveX controls -- but anyone still beating on the ActiveX drum is showing they have no imagination with which to update their repertoire of trolling.

        Firefox is big and important enough now that some folks at Microsoft want more familiarity, including making sure it doesn't break on Vista, because depending on how it breaks, it can make Vista appear broken itself (or yes, reveal where it actually is broken). The speculation you're reading about "traps" is just the usual grist for the Two-Minute Hate around here.

        • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @11:43AM (#15956375)
          "... anyone still beating on the ActiveX drum is showing they have no imagination with which to update their repertoire of trolling."

          Sorry, but you are quite wrong, either intentionally or by just not thinking this through. You are using one narrow example (microsoft.com's current site practices) and somehow drawing the conclusion that ActiveX is no longer a concern internet-wide. This is totally incorrect.

          Here's a quick example. We have a small, (unfortunately) somewhat autonomous group of people here that insist on using Microsoft's products Movie Maker and Producer to push out video of a colloquium that occurs every few weeks during the school year. The web page they end up with makes massive use of ActiveX - which of course means not only that it's IE+Windows only (yes, it claims not to be but it only works on IE+Windows), but also that anyone who uses IE with Active X turned off (e.g. all XP SP2 users) are badgered with popup after popup asking "Do you want to enable scripting?" Eventually many of these folks get tired of the popups and just turn scripting on across the board so they can watch the d*mn video.

          If you've read the IT trade press at all, you'll be familiar with interview after interview where CIOs have said "We'd love to move to Firefox, but we've got too much invested in intranet/extranet systems based on ActiveX technology".

          ActiveX will continue to be an issue until Microsoft stops selling tools that generate ActiveX-based code and end-products.

    • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:22AM (#15955660) Journal
      I wouldn't be so conspirative; I just think it's to cover their asses in case Firefox would have Vista trouble. After all, ~10% browser share according to common analyst firms marks a pretty common Windows software they likely want to work for user not to go "screw Vista, even Firefox don't work!".
    • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte.drunksnipers@com> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:32AM (#15955762) Homepage
      It would be nice if Microsoft simply included a branded version of Firefox with Windows Vista. (e.g. one with MSN search as default search engine instead of Google).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jimicus (737525)
      It is said that they who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it:

      http://news.com.com/2100-1023-279561.html?legacy=c net [com.com]
  • ObPython (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:58AM (#15955483) Homepage Journal
    The Mozilla developers will be carried along a corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort and past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. [orangecow.org]
  • Hopefully this invitation is simply a consequence of that Microsoft has (finally) realized that there is no way they will be able to keep up with OSS in the long run. Maybe they have finally realized that sooner or later, given enough time, every commercial application will have a free counterpart.
  • by The_DOD_player (640135) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:59AM (#15955490)
    It's a trick - get an axe!
  • by deadhammer (576762) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:59AM (#15955493)
    Be amazed at the open source research lab, the award winning cafeteria, the empty lot out back where Microsoft employee Vinnie "The Bonecrusher" Vetallini will explain in intricate detail Microsoft's browser strategy.
  • The first several posters all think it's a trap.

    Now I'm scared for the Mozilla developers. Thanks for making me lose sleep, guys.

  • Sun Tzu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quakeroatz (242632) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:02AM (#15955512) Journal
    "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" (c. 6th century BC)
    • (c. 6th century BC)

      Sun Tzu was 4th century BC, but his advice is still apposite. I think Machiavelli might have said it better though, if less succinctly.

      And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well u

  • Leveredge (Score:4, Insightful)

    by N8F8 (4562) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:03AM (#15955519)
    Seriously folks, what if a popular product like FF decided to drag feet on supporting a new MS product. Pretend we're talking a year from now and MS is trying to roll out Vista and the 40% of the population that will be using FF by then balks because FF won't run properly. Extremely unlikely but an interresting though nontheless expecially when you recall the days when MS would break competitors apps running on Windows.
    • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@@@keirstead...org> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:10AM (#15955573) Homepage

      Pretend we're talking a year from now and MS is trying to roll out Vista and the 40% of the population that will be using FF by then balks because FF won't run properly.

      Wow - food must taste better where you live too!

    • Re:Leveredge (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jkabbe (631234) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:32AM (#15955760)
      Pretend we're talking a year from now and MS is trying to roll out Vista and the 40% of the population that will be using FF by then balks because FF won't run properly.

      It may not be a representative sample, but all of the big corporations I have worked at or visited seem wedded to IE. Since corporations are going to be the slow movers on the Vista transition I think it's unlikely to be the explanation. Keep in mind, consumers are going to get Vista shoved down their throats because that's what will come installed on new machines.

      The more likely reason is anti-trust. Microsoft is finally getting some serious competition again in the browser arena. Microsoft will have a tough time explaining things if Vista comes out and Firefox, the arch-rival to IE, doesn't work. Microsoft long ago lost the benefit of the doubt with respect to anti-trust regulators.

      The benefits far outweigh the costs of helping the Firefox team out for a few days. In other words: CYA.
  • Vista modularity? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stites (993570) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:03AM (#15955520)
    If Vista is written modularly and has a clean, well documented API then why would an application development team need any help from the Vista development team to get their application working on Vista?

    --------------------
    Steve Stites
    • There's a simple explanation: it's probably NOT working well, and they want to have a heads-up on what kinda complaint level they'll have. OR, they want to make sure to "break" certain firefox features so that IE looks better.
      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:58AM (#15956001)

        There's a simple explanation: it's probably NOT working well, and they want to have a heads-up on what kinda complaint level they'll have. OR, they want to make sure to "break" certain firefox features so that IE looks better.

        This is possible, but I don't think it is likely. I suspect the issue is slightly different. Vista's biggest competitor is going to be earlier versions of Windows. Many corporate customers are still using Win2K and many are also using Firefox. Why would they upgrade?

        The Firefox crew is pretty sharp but they are techno-junkies. So MS invites the Firefox guys to see some of the whizbang new features of Vista that they can integrate with Firefox to make it better. Maybe they can even get these guys excited about the potential of something. The hope is that the Firefox people will add some feature that will motivate people to want to upgrade to Vista. Even if they just get a feature built into the core tree, maybe the older versions will become unsupported more quickly and for security reasons people will need to move to Vista to have a secure browser.

        Remember, MS does not sell IE. They sell a bundle of IE and Windows. Every Firefox user on Windows has already paid them for IE, so using Firefox does not really cost them anything other than a minor strategic bump right now. People not upgrading to Vista costs them hard cash, plus a number of strategic bumps when they don't adopt all the new lock-in anti-features in Vista.

    • by MBCook (132727)

      Well, there are a couple of things. First, they probably want to make sure it works well and can integrate correctly (being a default browser and such, they may have changed that API). But they also want to make sure it doesn't trigger any bugs. This may include avoiding known bugs, or finding new ones. What if FireFox was written correctly but happened to trigger some obscure bug that would cause your network connection to get dropped or stalled whenever you looked at a page over 100k or something like tha

    • by Cheapy (809643)
      What you're implying is that if something is written modularly and is well documented, no skilled programmer would ever need to ask questions about it?

      That arguement breaks down the first time someone asks about Linux or Mac.
    • Re:Vista modularity? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:34AM (#15955773)
      For a complex enough project (which I'd argue Firefox is), even with a clean, well documented API, there will always be plenty of questions that can be answered better and/or faster by just asking the developers of the API. You can try to anticipate all possible questions in writing API documentation, but you'll never quite get there.
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      I think you answered your own question.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525)
      If Vista is written modularly and has a clean, well documented API

      Sorry, I've lost you there.
  • by w33t (978574) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:04AM (#15955525) Homepage
    It's Bill Gates is gaurded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great WGA is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland riddled with fire, ash, and Starbucks coffee, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand could you do this. It is folley.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I say to you what I said to Gandalf - just give to the Eagles and let them drop it in the damned volcano! But does anyone listen? Nooooooo.
  • They are gonna strap these guys down as soon as they get through the doors and feed them "the koolaid", and they will never be the same again. Pity, they were part of an interesting project. Bye bye.
  • Opera too (Score:5, Informative)

    by elcid73 (599126) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:06AM (#15955542) Homepage
    Opera was invited to MS recently as well.... http://my.opera.com/dstorey/blog/show.dml/419834 [opera.com]
  • if it is a trap (Score:2, Interesting)

    by atarione (601740)
    it is the kinda trap were they offer to give you butt loads of money to come work for them instead.

  • I love the part about the @microsoft.com email filter. Is someone paranoid or what?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by plague3106 (71849)
      What, you don't think they read the comments here? Given the attitude, I'd probably think the same thing too if i were in their place.
  • by TheOldSchooler (850678) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:13AM (#15955594)
    Guess what will be on the private plane that flies them to Redmond.
  • by B2382F29 (742174) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:14AM (#15955602)
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
  • Resistance is futile, your browser will be assimilated
  • Ok ok... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yankovic (97540) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:15AM (#15955613)
    Not to get too serious here, but this is a perfect example of a situation where MS can't win. Invite the folks up? "It's a trap! They'll steal your code, kill you, etc." Don't invite them up? "When is MS going to treat OSS developers like any one else, Firefox has many users, they should get the same respect as any other org."

    Ah slashdot... can't live with it, pass the beer nuts.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      *sigh*

      You have to be rather stupid if you think those posters, with some obvious exceptions, really think MS will have a bonecrushing mafia guy waiting in the parking lot...

      This story act like a collectively recognized cue for making MS vs. Mozilla jokes, same with other topics that appeare at regular intervals. If you look at the (albeit few) serious post they are rather less focused on the part of it being a supposed trap.
    • Re:Ok ok... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:33PM (#15956806)

      Not to get too serious here, but this is a perfect example of a situation where MS can't win. Invite the folks up? "It's a trap! They'll steal your code, kill you, etc." Don't invite them up? "When is MS going to treat OSS developers like any one else, Firefox has many users, they should get the same respect as any other org."

      Not to make a bad analogy here, but let me present a perfect example of a situation where J. Dahmer can't win. Find the body of a missing person in his apartment? "He's raping the dead." Don't find a missing body in his apartment? "He probably ate it and dissolved the bones in those acid vats."

      The solution to this dilemma is don't spend more than a decade gaining notoriety by constantly screwing people over, breaking the law, and behaving unethically. People suspect the worst of MS, because MS delivers on a regular basis. That's not prejudice, it's experience.

  • I wonder if this is a sign of things to come after the management shake up of sorts at Microsoft?

    Mozilla has a enough hype around it that it would be a benefit to Microsoft to say vista supports it. Helping OSS also takes a little of the anti-trust preasure off of them around the world.

     
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:19AM (#15955639) Homepage Journal
    The coders that went there have very likely seen some code that is currently "open" but will eventually be closed. And it's very likely it will influence the way they code on Firefox and Seamonkey. So I expect that a few years from now MS legal will come-a-callin' and do what SCO did only they will succeed because they have more money. Smart move there Einteins. This is why it is absolutely imperatif that no one in the FOSS camp ever agrees to look at code that is proprietary. As soon as you do, you're damaged goods.
  • It seems to me that MS is finally acknowledging Firefox's popularity.

    What I never understood is the whole browser wars thing, how does MS make money off IE? It's free to download. I guess this signals the end of the browser wars, with both sides sitting down to work together(interesting indeed).

    Maybe they realize that Firefox is a good product and IE isn't actually making them any money so why not support Firefox.

    Or maybe it's just a PR stunt in light of all the recent Vista scare stuff. They wante

    • What I never understood is the whole browser wars thing, how does MS make money off IE? It's free to download. I guess this signals the end of the browser wars, with both sides sitting down to work together(interesting indeed).

      It's kinda like a loss-leader, not that people buy Windows for IE, but it's just another Microsoft product so that people keep Microsoft in their minds when they think of software. I don't think this is really a sign of the end of the browser wars, I think this is Microsoft trying

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Andrewkov (140579)
        Not just a loss-leader, it's also about control. If MS can control the application that most users browse the Internet with, that gives them a lot of leverage to embrace and extend. They can enforce their own proprietary standards (with IIS and so on), and lock out everyone else.
  • Mozilla is a large project maintained by a number of smart guys, job offers and trying to understand what they're thinking and where they're going is useful to MS.

    Also if there are problem with Mozilla applications running properly on Vista, it is a problem for MS. Not that MS should care about Mozilla specifically, but if it doesn't work, a lot of other software won't either.

  • Watch what you SIGN and SAY because there's little proof anything good will come of this. And I doubt Microsoft is wanting to help the stepchild of the company(Netscape) whom Steve Balmer said, "kill the baby" to.

    Nothing good can come of this so send the lawyers instead.

    LoB
  • Sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sethadam1 (530629) <.adam. .at. .firsttube.com.> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:32AM (#15955755) Homepage
    This is sad. This comment is not a troll, not a flamebait, just an observation.

    Microsoft has taken some serious steps to clean itself up over the last year or so. As a Linux/Apache/PHP/Python/Perl/MySQL/Postgres evangelist, I always root for open source, but I respect Microsoft's omnipresence in the tech world.

    That said, it's really sad to see that 98% of the comments here are based on distrust, hatred, and bad jokes. This is a huge move: Microsoft, for once, finally understanding that open source has a place and that NOT working with them spells trouble for them.

    So, please people, retire the lame wisecracks. This is one of many times you'll see Microsoft bent by the immense power and will of open source!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mormop (415983)
      To a certain extent Microsoft only have themselves to blame. After 15 odd years of bad behaviour and general skullduggery it takes a lot of effort and time to convince people you are actions are genuine.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by someone1234 (830754)
      Maybe you should learn the tale about the scorpion and the turtle [snopes.com]. Sad indeed.
    • I agree with you, 100%.

      But it should be said, Microsoft has earned much of the distrust it receives.

    • by jejones (115979)
      Microsoft has earned that distrust and hatred over the decades through diligent work. What reason is there to suppose that they've changed their nature now?
    • Re:Sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @11:09AM (#15956094)

      Microsoft has taken some serious steps to clean itself up over the last year or so.

      Really? You mean they are no longer illegally bundling IE? Oh yeah they still are. You mean they are no longer paying companies to spread FUD about security and performance? Oh, they're still doing that too. So they are not misleading people by overstating the security of Vista and the compliance of IE? Oh, they did that too. Well surely they aren't still illegally bundling their media player? Huh, they're doing that too. Have they stopped illegally tying their server and desktop to take over more of the server space with an inferior product? No, they are still doing that as well. How exactly have they "cleaned up?"

      That said, it's really sad to see that 98% of the comments here are based on distrust, hatred, and bad jokes.

      Trust is earned. After the fiftieth or sixtieth time someone punches me the kidneys when I'm looking the other way, it is not sad that I talk about how I suspect they might be trying again. If MS wants my trust they have to earn it and it will take years of ethical, trustworthy behavior before I'm willing to admit that this time they might not be maneuvering for another cheap, sucker punch. Not punching me when I'm looking right at them and a cop is paying attention does not earn them any trust.

      This is one of many times you'll see Microsoft bent by the immense power and will of open source!

      This is MS looking out for their bottom dollar, probably by trying to get new "Vista only" feature into Firefox to help motivate corporate upgrades either by selling that feature or by hoping it will hasten the demise of mainstream support for Firefox on old versions of Windows. Does this make me trust MS to any greater degree? Hell no, and nor should it.

  • From TFL (emphasis mine)

    As part of my mission as an advocate for open source applications on Windows, I've gotten spaces set aside at the Windows Vista Readiness ISV Lab. In the past the company has only invited commercial software developers to these labs. I'm committed to evolving our thinking beyond commercial companies to include open source projects, so I went to the non-trivial effort of getting slots for non-commercial open source projects.

    That's an interesting view of what 'commercial' means. I

  • If you can't beat them, join them?
  • by mormop (415983) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:46AM (#15955893)
    Open source developers were warned to not even look at leaked win2k code as it'd lead to accusations of contamination of FOSS with Microsoft source.

    I wonder.......

    Now gentlemen if you'll just look at the wall sized plasma screen over there you'll see "IE7 SOURCE CODE!!!!! That's right, IE7 source code! You have been contaminated and must now cease development of your precious Firefox product! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!
  • by bluestar (17362) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:46AM (#15955895) Homepage
    Bah. Microsoft just wants a chance to look at the Mozilla source code so they can steal all the good parts.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:49AM (#15955933) Journal
    Well, May be it is real may be it is a trap. We will know which by the kind of "non disclosure" agreements they have to sign to get accepted. Further, will these developers be allowed to post the bugs/ porting issues they find openly in Bugzilla?
  • by sam0ht (46606) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @11:10AM (#15956102)
    Windows + Mozilla is generally much more secure and usable than Windows + IE, especially for older versions of Windows. So Windows' cause is actually being helped by having a trustworthy browser available for it (as in, more people would switch to Linux otherwise).

    So perhaps MS is simply recognising this, and acting to support it ?

  • by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @11:17AM (#15956159) Journal
    For the longest time one of the big complaints against Microsoft has been their closed nature and their lack of interaction with developers outside of their own organization. Now they are opening up, or at least they are presenting the appearence of opening up. Only the Mozilla guys will be able to report on how open they really are. But whether or not they truly open up, by appearing to open up, they win points with corporate America. They are handing a poison pill to everyone they invite to their campus. If anyone refuses the invitation, Microsoft can later point at them and say, "We offered you the opportunity and you declined. You're the one who doesn't want to make the effort to have your product work on our OS." On another level, they can appear to be friendly and looking out for the consumer, and they can paint the OSS world as a hostile place.

    In my opinion, I think that Microsoft seriously does see the hand-writing on the wall and they do want to do more to ensure that their OS supports the programs that people want to use. Microsoft is going to trumpet their low support costs and ease of managability (think SMS, Group Policy, etc). They are going to trumpet the fact that they are the standard, and they are going to portray any group who doesn't want to work with the standard as being back-asswards and wasting time unnecessarily reinventing the wheel.

    On another level, Microsoft is trying to avoid what happened to Novell in the 1990s. Netware was a great operating system but it got to the point where they barely had any third party support. The same thing could happen to Microsoft if enough developers decide that using Microsoft dev tools is a PITA and if enough developers decide that coding to the Microsoft OS is a PITA. The one incentive that Microsoft has left is their market penetration. They can still play the economic card, and that card is, "If you develop for the MS platform, you will have a market share of XX. And by the way, that market is already used to paying out the nose for software, so you stand to make money. Now do you want that, or do you want to go to the OSS world where everyone is doing it on the cheap with razor thin margins?" And if you think about it, that's a very strong position to come from. If you're trying to make money, do you want to go with the company that has already made itself (and numerous third parties) griploads of cash, or do you want to go with the other guys who are trying to redo what Microsoft has already done, but do it "less expensively and better"? I'm of the opinion that unless the OSS world comes out with some killer functionality that operates EXCLUSIVELY outside of Windows, they're never going to win. Given how much Microsoft has been investing in intellectual property, and given how much they have already developed (OS, Office, Exchange, accounting packages, CRM packages... basically all the tools that a business needs to function), it's going to be hard to end-run around the monopoly.

    The one ray of hope is "standards" but as we've all seen, Microsoft will just ignore a standard until enough people want to use it. Then they'll offer support for it. You're seeing it now with IE7. For the longest time, MS didn't give two shits. Now enough web devs have complained loudly enough and they're finally getting what they want. IE7 might not nail it, but I'm willing to be IE7 SP3, or IE8 will. The problem with using a standard to fight Microsoft is that standards are very rarely proprietary. And as we've seen with the W3C, even "standards" are often times still works in progress.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      For the longest time one of the big complaints against Microsoft has been their closed nature and their lack of interaction with developers outside of their own organization. Now they are opening up, or at least they are presenting the appearence of opening up.

      Not really. They aren't moving to open standards, protocols, and formats. They aren't publishing their formats or protocols completely. They aren't opening up, they are just trying to make the most money while giving up the least amount of lock-in.

  • by melted (227442) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:22PM (#15956704) Homepage
    They did that to Netscape devs back in the day, too, albeit in a slightly less obvious way. They'd camp out in the nearest cafes and restaurants around lunch hour and "talk" to Netscape developers, sometimes making them offers they couldn't refuse. Many of those devs were at that point more interested in Ferraris and mansions than in writing code, but MSFT hired them anyway (only to fire when Netscape kicks the bucket).

    Expect some folks getting offers in Redmond. Higher ups in IE team are downright stupid if they don't try to hire people away from Mozilla. You kill two birds with one stone - strangle Mozilla and get a good, security minded dev (who will be forced to think a lot less about security at MSFT by an arbitrary, managemen imposed deadline).
  • by I'm Don Giovanni (598558) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @01:51PM (#15957397)
    Microsoft also invited Opera devs for the same reason that they've invited FF devs (to make sure the browser runs well in Vista, and possibly makes use of some new Vista apis (e.g. Vista's Common RSS api)). Opera accepted the invitation and Opera devs paid their visit to MS last week.
    http://annevankesteren.nl/2006/08/opera-vista [annevankesteren.nl]
    http://my.opera.com/olli/blog/show.dml/417961 [opera.com]

    The Opera devs returned unharmed. ;-)

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