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How Open Source Has Influenced Windows Server 2008 145

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the everyone-learning-from-everyone-else dept.
willdavid writes to tell us that Sam Ramji over at Port25 has a nice succinct list of the major open source principles that have been used while developing Windows Server 2008. "Overall, we've learned and continue to learn from open source development principles. These are making their way into the mindset, development practices, and ultimately into the products we bring to market. I've focused here on 'what Microsoft has learned from Open Source' - and ironically, I've agreed to do a panel at OSBC on 3/25 with Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation on 'what Open Source can learn from Microsoft'. As all of the different organizations in IT continue to evolve, we'll learn from each others' best practices and make increasingly better software. As in science, this incremental improvement will move all of us forward."
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How Open Source Has Influenced Windows Server 2008

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  • by snl2587 (1177409) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:05PM (#22602550)

    'what Open Source can learn from Microsoft'

    Wait, wait...how to release commercial software on par with an untested, alpha Linux flavor and have all their customers switch back to an old version?

    Or maybe how to give consumers what they "want"?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Or maybe how to give consumers what they "want"?
      Indeed. I, for one, am happy that the programs I was running on a Linux 1.0 kernel will run flawlessly on the Linux 2.6 kernel without modification. I'm continually surprised that the rich legacy of Linux apps will continue working unmodified because the developers put so much time and effort to ensure backwards compatibility.
       
      • by rmdir -r * (716956) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:47PM (#22603054)

        Indeed. I, for one, am happy that the programs I was running on a Linux 1.0 kernel will run flawlessly on the Linux 2.6 kernel without modification

        You want to run buggy versions of GCC and Apache?

        All joking aside, as long as you didn't use glib/statically compiled your application, I believe Linux 1.0 apps WILL run flawlessly on Linux 2.6 kernels. The kernel's userspace ABI has been very stable.

        (Of course internal ABI/API stability has historically been on the order of six months :P).

        • by Scott Wood (1415)
          The problem with that is that most things aren't statically compiled. And no, it's not old versions of GCC or Apache that I want to run, but older games, including those by a certain porting house that went out of business and can't release patches. :-)
          • by ratboy666 (104074)
            Put the libraries into a directory, and set LD_PATH to point to that directory. Ensure that your kernel actually supports a.out format. Normally, you would create /linux10/bin /linux10/lib. Create a linux10run script in /usr/local/bin that executes its $0 argument as /linux10/bin/$0 with the reset LD_PATH. Of course, configuration (/etc) may give you a bit of trouble, but usually not for a game (/etc/hosts, /etc/passwd are the same).

            The X server is compatible, so it's not a problem. If the application used
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by maxwell demon (590494)
      How to improve on their chair-throwing skills.
      • by Nullav (1053766)
        Nah. Let MS keep the chairs, I really don't want to have to pick a distro before sitting or throwing a childish tantrum.
    • We already have that, it's called Gentoo.
  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:08PM (#22602576) Homepage Journal
    Isn't their philosophy to try to take ownership of anything that threatens their business?
  • by jhines (82154) <john@jhines.org> on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:08PM (#22602584) Homepage
    So it is a listing of things NOT to do in an OS.
    • by Rary (566291) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:25PM (#22603614)

      So it is a listing of things NOT to do in an OS.

      If you don't want your OS to become the dominant OS in the PC market, yes.

      • by strabes (1075839) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:54PM (#22604134)
        Windows' market share obviously has nothing to do with its quality.
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by smoothdogg00 (1202763)
          You must be joking... there will never be a day when the quality of any Linux distribution is higher than the latest Windows distribution. Say what you want about Vista, its a great OS. Linux is for the "non-conformists" who want to seem smart, or for those who don't want to pay for an OS.
      • by rbanffy (584143) on Friday February 29, 2008 @07:35PM (#22606962) Homepage Journal
        "If you don't want your OS to become the dominant OS in the PC market, yes."

        Windows' dominance has pretty little to do with Windows per se. Microsoft got lucky (and that "luck" is remarkably disputable as it seems possible they set IBM up) when they launched Windows 3 and abandoned OS/2 development to rename OS/2 3.0 as NT. Windows 3, 3.1, WfW were very popular partly because software makers embraced them. Shortly after that, Microsoft inked highly desirable exclusive deals with OEMs and _that_, not Windows, like the clever deal with IBM about exclusivity and PC-DOS that allowed the clone industry to exist, was key to their position in the market now.

        Very little changed.

        If Linux is ever to get the dominance Microsoft enjoys today, the key is not R&D but the relationship with OEMs and software makers.
  • by hax0r_this (1073148) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:12PM (#22602634)
    .. about learning anything from Microsoft. They're probably just going to sue you for it.
  • Star Trek analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:17PM (#22602712)
    -Microsoft Cube is hailing us, Captain!
    -Bring it up on the main screen. ...
    We are Microsoft. Resistance is futile. Prepare to be Embraced.
    • by zotz (3951)
      "I see a red door and I want it painted black."

      Take on of your mother's little helpers. Fix ya right up.

      all the best,

      drew
  • by Spinlock_1977 (777598) <Spinlock_1977 AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:21PM (#22602770) Journal
    ...open source development principles?

    What are those, exactly? I'll bet he couldn't name them. I'll bet no one can. It's a bazaar, not a cathedral!
  • Maybe they will release more specs to their API so we can make our own damn Windows OS, with hookers and blackjack, forget the hookers and and backjack, forget the whole damned thing!
  • by thomas.galvin (551471) <slashdot@th[ ]s- ... m ['oma' in gap]> on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:27PM (#22602826) Homepage
    Open standards, choice of platform, no vendor lock-in, release-early-release-often, user-modifiable programs, ability to fork... yeah, they've learned all kinds of stuff from Open Source.
    • by DrYak (748999) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:14PM (#22603472) Homepage

      yeah, they've learned all kinds of stuff from Open Source.


      As Henry Spencer has said (and also as quoted by some commentators on the original page) :

      Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.


      Microsoft just fails to understand what actually makes the success of Linux and F/LOSS, and thus they are only ble to pull out pale copy of what they think they've seen in order to fill such PR announcements.

      ----

      As an example, their entry about "Modular architectures" is almost funny if not tragic, citing OpenOffice.org and Mozilla Firefox as examples (which are actually criticized by the Linux community sometimes for being too bloated). What makes *nices systems cool isn't the ability to stuff plugins into big apps, what makes them cool is the "Unix way" : programs that just do 1 thing but do it well. Modularity is about all these small single-function programs and all those libraries (for ex.: pattern finding, on-the-fly compression, conversion filters, multimedia processing, etc) that can be freely played with by the user and assembled into more complex never-intended-for-this-usage construction, which forms the basis for huge application like those cited above. Application like VLC aren't an example of modularity, but an example of what modularity enables by putting together a bunch of functions already provided by libraries.

      Also the ultimate advantage of F/LOSS is about freedom and the feeling that the software you have belongs to you. Something that is completely un-achievable with Microsoft style softwares.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kmike (31752)
        Their goal isn't to copy F/LOSS or the principles of open source movement,but to influence the general public (or at least those pointy-haired guys in charge) so it will associate MS products with Open Source and openness in general. This rhetoric does just that, nothing more, nothing less.

        The recent "opening" of some of MS protocols and specifications blends well into this PR strategy.
      • One of my .sigs, seen on Slashdot: "Choice, flexibility and cost are really the driving factors [for Linux adoption]. And Microsoft would have to stop being Microsoft to ever compete with that combination." - emkey [slashdot.org]
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *

        Also the ultimate advantage of F/LOSS is about freedom and the feeling that the software you have belongs to you. Something that is completely un-achievable with Microsoft style softwares.
        If that were the ultimate advantage, OSS would have a grim future indeed. The ultimate advantage (or disadvantage, depending on the program) is the quality of the software, not some ideology. Period. Unless you prefer to not actually use your software, I guess.
  • always allow community modding, never lock up the source code, make applications on all platforms.
    • by jo42 (227475)
      You forgot "be able to download the source|binaries|ISOs and run it for free".
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:33PM (#22602886) Homepage Journal
    Oh, look! It's Sam Ramji, showing he knows nothing about open source principles.

    Modular architectures
    You can find these wherever you see participation at scale - and often a rearchitecture to a more modular system precedes expanded participation. Great examples of this are Firefox, OpenOffice, and X11 - from both the historical rearchitecture and the increased participation that resulted. The Apache HTTP server and APR are good examples that have been modular for as long as I can recall.
    OpenOffice? Modular? Maybe OOo is developed in a modular way, but the end result is hardly anything but modular. In fact, it's quite monolithic -- when you start OpenOffice Writer, you also start OpenOffice Calc, Base, Draw, Impress, etc.

    Programming language agnostic
    A given project uses a consistent language, but there are no rules on what languages are in scope or out of scope. Being open to more languages means opportunity to attract more developers - the diversity of PHP/Perl/Python/Java has been a core driver in the success of a number of projects including Linux.
    Open source projects are 'programming language agnostic' because they used public, published and open interfaces. They follow standards. The reason a the Linux kernel build process can be a mixture of bash, Python, Perl, awk, etc. is that all of these things can connect together using pipes and whatnot. The reason you can write GNOME applications in almost any programming language is that the APIs are completely open. The reason why AbiWord and KWord can read Open Document Text files is that that spec is completely open and free of royalties, patents, etc.

    Feedback-driven development
    The "power user" as product manager is a powerful shift in how to build and tune software - and this class of users includes developers who are not committing code back, but instead submitting CRs and defects - resulting in a product that better fits its end users.
    Huh? How are CRs the same as accepting code patches? Open Source development differs in that these "power users" as he calls them can make their own changes and, if necessary, fork off their project to offer a competing or even a completely different project.

    Built-for-purpose systems
    frequently seen in applications of Linux, the ability to build a system that has just what is needed to fulfill its role and nothing else (think of highly customizable distributions like Gentoo or BusyBox, as well as fully custom deployments).
    Uhhhh....BusyBox is not a "distribution" and cannot really be compared to Gentoo except that, yes, the program (as in single program, hence, not a distribution) is cutomizable through the use of custom build options.

    Sysadmins who write code
    ability of a skilled system administrator to write the "last mile" code means that they can make a technology work in their particular environment efficiently and often provide good feedback to developers. This is so fundamental to Unix and Linux environments that most sysadmins are competent programmers.
    Unix sysadmins are generally NOT competent programmers. We're lazy schmucks who whip up quick-and-dirty scripts to accomplish tedious and boring tasks out of sheer laziness. And then we call it 'enhancing productivity' in an attempt to get a raise. :)

    Standards-based communication
    Whether the standard is something from the IETF or W3C, or simply the implementation code itself, where these are used projects are more successful (think of Asterisk and IAX2) and attract a larger ecosystem of software around them.
    Real open standards are developed by the community at large through agreement, not by a monopoly who can change the "standard" at anytime without notice.
    • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:31PM (#22603694)
      He/they have learned something from Open Source software and principles.

      It may not have been what you wanted them to learn, though. Frankly, a Microsoft may (metaphorically) buy things at your church bake sale or play basketball with your kids, but they're never going to convert to your religion.
      • Free and Open Source Software is NOT a religion for me. Notice I didn't use the 'Free Software' moniker or the name 'GNU/Linux' spread by the Disciples of Stallman. Not that I entirely disagree with RMS or the FSF on many principles, but I see the Free and Open Source movements as complimentary -- together they are pushing for what it is important engineering-wise (the "knowledge of the masses" or ESR's Bazaar concept from CatB), as well what is important technology policy wise -- the use of truly open st
        • I'd consider myself practical as well, really.

          Where we diverge is that I see the Cathedral and the Bazaar as complementary rather than antithetical, encouraging the growth of technology taken as a whole, not stifling it.

          There are kinds of software that each, in a vacuum, is good at producing, and kinds of software that they aren't good at producing. If Open Office is "good enough" for many purposes, it's because it stands on the shoulders of Cathedral giants like Office. If Windows Server 2008 is a good s
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's worse: they send their kid to soccer practice with your kids, and use it to write playbooks on how to cheat for their kid's team. Look at what they did with SPF, stapling "SenderID" on top of it, breaking SPF, and taking credit for the installed SPF userbase to lend credence to their claims of anyone using SenderID.

        And take a look at Active Directory. It's builot on the open standards of Kerberos, dynamic DNS, DHCP, LDAP, and the like, all woven together and proprietized in ways that not break compatib
    • "Oh, look! It's Sam Ramji, showing he knows nothing about open source principles."

      He seems to be conflating open source principles and the Unix philosophy. Perhaps a principle of open source would be, um, opening the source.

    • Your comments are very educational. I would ask that you please not feed the Vole. We don't want to educate them. Let them falter and fall on their own. Why put more money into the hands of an abusive convicted monopolist? Don't put any more money in their hands by telling them where they are wrong. Sometimes it is just best to not say anything and let them falter and fall. They certainly won't point out what you don't understand, based on those same principles. They won't educate you, at least not
    • by kimvette (919543)

      The reason why AbiWord and KWord can read Open Document Text files is that that spec is completely open and free of royalties, patents, etc.


      Oh sure they are, until some douchebag patents the prior art and it gets rubber-stamped by the USPTO.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:35PM (#22602918)
    Hmm interesting...

    If you just say it's great you can get more of the market.

    If you say you innovate people believe you.

    If you name your product close to the more popular true standard you can confuse the PHBs into paying you money instead.

    If the competition is winning tell everyone your competitor is unfair to competition.

    If people like a bad practice, and it's yours, then keep doing it.

    There more money in prolonging the problem then just putting out a solution.

    If you can convince a big bux company to buy your product it is a good vehicle for the advertising/PR department.

    No mater how much you neglect your customers' previous purchases, privacy and security, you can still keep them buying your products.
  • what open source can learn from Microsoft

    You mean like how to rush stuff to market? Or perhaps how to copy features (poorly) from successful competing products and patent as your own? Or maybe you mean how to publish an API in which you promise not to sue people for utilizing it, only to stab your users in the back as soon as they make something better than you (that's soon to come down the pipe I'm sure)? I've said it once and I'll say it a million times. Fuck off Microsoft. The world doesn't need you. Sooner or later the rest of the world

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:48PM (#22603058) Journal
    What the article lists as "lessons to be learned from Open Source" is what is usually taught in Software Engineering 101. Come on, Modular Architecture, language agnostic coding, follow standards... This is the lesson from Open Source? These are basic things that every software manager should know.

    The problem with MSFT is not that they don't know these things. They do. But the internal power structure in MSFT is so driven by "if the playing field is level, we will lose" cowards. So they still do things that was ok when they held a 20% share against Word Perfect and 10% (by revenue) share against unix and mainframe giants, back in the late 80 and early 90s. They got lots of money and grew too fat and have too many layers of management. So they go and hire this dogbert to tell them what they already know.

  • I hope the first thing that Microsoft learns is that we in the FOSS community are not stupid, and we remember being called "cancer" and "communists". I personally will welcome Microsoft when they GPL Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. Until then, I am inclined to believe that it is just preparation for more "extend, embrace, and extinguish."

    Sam offered to come speak at our local LUG, and we turned him down, because we didn't think that he had anything of relevance to say to us. So be advised, M
    • Sam offered to come speak at our local LUG, and we turned him down, because we didn't think that he had anything of relevance to say to us.

      Yeah, god help you listen to anyone outside the groupthink.

      Civil, open discourse on both sides can do nothing but benefit everyone. Grow up.
      • by HermMunster (972336) on Friday February 29, 2008 @03:11PM (#22604372)
        Microsoft used to contact companies during the 80s that were developing products. The ideas that were coming out were quite incredible. Pen computing was one of them. It was reported over and over again that Microsoft would ask for a presentation of the ideas of a given company's product and then a few months later announce that they were adding this or that feature into Windows. Why would anyone who was going after venture capital to bring a product to market survive with the dominant criminal monopolist announcing competing technologies to be incorporated into the OS? In the 80s this scenario played out endlessly.

        This is what Microsoft did to pen computing. Do we have pen computing today? No. Because Microsoft announced pen windows. Pen computing died. Then so went pen windows.

        Were some of these companies responsible for their actions? Absolutely. They helped their own demise. The lesson learned from Microsoft is not to demonstrate your product to them for they will steal the ideas, just as they are stealing the ideas of the open source community under the guise of learning from them and teaching back. Microsoft will not do anything for free.

        Apple showed Microsoft their version of the Mac prior to the official release. They wanted Microsoft to develop their word processor and spreadsheet for it. Microsoft did that, but they also took all the ideas and made Windows. When confronted Gates simply slapped Jobs in the face telling him to grow up. What was Jobs to do? His product demanded applications and Microsoft was a leading developer, even though they'd purchased their Macintosh word and excel programs from other companies.

        With open source it is still subject to the stealing of technological ideas from a closed source vendor but that's part of the benefit. Open Source benefits by the exposure of companies such as Microsoft stealing other's ideas instead of developing them themselves, which they seem nearly incapable of doing.

        Essentially, Microsoft has created over the past 2 decades the air of distrust due to outright theft and manipulative practices that ultimately were deemed illegal by the court system.

        What is best is that the open source community continue it's uninfluenced progress toward the time when all software is developed in the same manner.
        • If we're being honest, there's a lot of "stealing" going on all over the place.

          You'd be very hard pressed to find much if anything Open Source in the extremely broad category of "things that developers don't want, on average, more than non-developers" that doesn't owe a serious debt of inspiration, if not more, to the Closed Source world. E.g. Open Office, Firefox, GIMP.

          You'd equally be very hard pressed to find much if anything in the Closed Source world produced in the last 10+ years in the broad categor
          • You are absolutely correct, except for your last sentence. My post described what was happening and how the abuse was causing the demise of companies with great ideas that were being brought to market. Their demise didn't help us and give us cooler things. Often the ideas were dead-ended on purpose by Microsoft. Microsoft wanted to kill Pen Computing because they were an OS other than Microsoft that was directly competing. They killed Pen to kill a competing OS. They never came out with pen windows.
        • What is best is that the open source community continue it's uninfluenced progress toward the time when all software is developed in the same manner.

          You almost sounded reasonable until this line. Open-source software is not a fucking obligation. Who the hell are you to dictate what I can and can't do with something I create?
        • by Allador (537449)
          I'm confused.

          Why is this behavior 'stealing' and 'theft' when done by Microsoft, but nothing when done by an open source developer/project.

          I've got some reality-check news for you. Information wants to be free. This is a much more fundamental tenet than any FOSS stuff. So if you dont want people to duplicate your work, dont show it to them before you start selling it.

          But once its out there, and you show anybody, then unless NDAs were signed and enforceable, then anyone and everyone can take your ideas an
    • by dedazo (737510)

      until they GPL Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office

      Besides the arrogance of using the GPL as the measuring stick (as if all the other licenses were irrelevant), if this is your threshold for acceptable action by the part of Microsoft I'd recommend just keeping up the "lalalala i can't hear you" routine. It will be much more rewarding in the long term.

      • Why is "Microsoft releasing software under the GPL (or $FREE_LICENSE, if you insist)" an unreasonable standard? Red Hat, MySQL, IBM, and Sun (just to name four; there are many others) all did/do that, and it's what put them in good standing with the FOSS community. Why should we hold Microsoft - the most egregious anti-FOSS offender - to a lesser standard than that?
        • by dedazo (737510)
          What is this "standard" and who established it?
        • Because it doesn't require open-sourcing their software to be a friend to open-source. Analogy: I'm not a Christian at all, but I have some very good friends who are Christians. They don't treat my friendship with suspicion because I haven't converted.
  • ...does not make you a chicken.

    Tyler Durden (1999)

  • by HermMunster (972336) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:04PM (#22603302)
    Open Source has learned how a company can abuse their position, how a company can be a monopoly and make billions and then influence those who are elected into office to protect us. Those billions go a long way to influencing the lawmakers to push aside any attempt to make a better cheaper product.

    It is ludicrous to think that a product that can be made cheaper and better should be put asunder because some powerful monopoly can influence the powers that be. There's no socialistic tendencies there. No communistic tendencies. It is pure capitalism that is being thwarted by Microsoft's practices. Microsoft is a bully, an entity that has one goal and that is to rake in all the money while destroying the competition and they are doing that with their monopoly.

    Your privacy is being violated hundreds of millions of times a day by Microsoft with WGA/WGN and Vista's equivalent. They are able to get away with it because they don't take competition seriously because they don't have to. Would you go out and pay $2000 for a TV from Best Buy and then allow Best Buy to enter your home to verify that you didn't actually receive stolen property? What if they want to do that every week or every month (inspect your home for stolen goods)? What if they say that they'll do this with a hidden camera? Would you permit it? Say you buy frequently form Walmart. Would you permit Walmart to enter your home to inspect your property to prove you didn't steal it from the store? I think not. You wouldn't let your neighbor enter your home upon accusations that you stole something from him. You wouldn't let the police enter your home even if the neighbor filed a complaint.

    What the open source community practices has learned is that Microsoft is the type of entity that uses "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" tactic to kill solid technology and those companies trying to bring them to market. The open source community has learned that Microsoft has threatened every Linux user with 235 alleged patents claiming everyone will have a price to pay to Microsoft, without Microsoft stating specifically what is being violated. This is like an oil company stating that they are going to sue car owners for using gasoline from one of their competitors because their competitor may have allegedly use some of the IP in the gas refining process. Then they threaten the car manufacturers or large companies that use that same gasoline with lawsuits if they don't stop using the competitors gasoline. Then they refuse to say which competitors and they refuse to say which IP has been violated. BTW, that IP was probably stolen by them to begin with.

    We've learned from Microsoft that they will steal IP from small entities and when caught will ignore those companies request to have Microsoft pay up. Z4 Technologies is one of those companies. In this case Microsoft was contacted about their use of the IP developed by this firm for the purpose of over the internet product activation. According to the final ruling which went in favor of Z4 Microsoft knew they were in violation of the IP of Z4 and they continued to use it. During the trial they flooded the court and Z4 with paperwork in hopes of covering it up. The day before the trial began Z4 found the evidence. Z4 won the trial and were granted approximately $100 million. In the ruling the Judge noted numerous acts of misconduct on Microsoft's part and though he could have awarded 3 times the amount he only awarded an additional $25 million in special damages (which is no small amount by any measure). The Judge also noted that Microsoft had participated in these acts because they believe that Z4 was to small and to weak to defend their own IP. Upon appeal Microsoft lost with the Judge also noting the numerous acts of misconduct. With the latest appeal of this Microsoft lost that as well with all awards in tact.

    But what you must understand from this is that Microsoft stole the IP of Z4 which Microsoft used to keep you from stealing their IP. So, they stole the technology
  • More games.

    Build it and they will come...
    • by Vexorian (959249)
      You know, this is what annoys me the most, the assumption (made by some gamers) that PC games are really an important reason not to switch from windows, I like games too, but get some facts straight, around PC users gamers are the minority, among PC gamers, casual gamers are the majority, which means that other OSes already got tons of options for the majority of PC gamers. More: Most gamers do not use the PC as a gaming platform, and while we are on it, the current most popular commercial game got a Mac ve
      • I scoff at your comment, nay I spit at it.
        What do you define a casual gamer? If by casual you mean the cubicle worker playing solitaire then yes I dare say you are right and I dare say they are in the majority. However if by casual gamer you mean one that plays computer implementations of licensed board games, Civ class stategy or classic arcade ports... The gamer willing to spend the odd 10, 20 maybe even 40 dollars. Which is what I consider casual gaming... Well then you are just up shit creek with out a
  • How Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jeevesbond (1066726) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:33PM (#22603714) Homepage

    As in science, this incremental improvement will move all of us forward.

    Well this is interesting, whenever Open Source tries to learn from Microsoft Steve 'rabid-monkey-man' Ballmer starts throwing around software/idea patent threats [slashdot.org].

    If this is an incremental process that can move us all forward, how about Microsoft offer up their patents to the OSDL Patent Commons [coverpages.org]? Or just allow Free/Open Source software developers to work without threat of being sued? Oh yeah, they'd rather reserve the right to sue anyone [groklaw.net] who dares to even look at their markets.

  • by comm2k (961394) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:42PM (#22603908)
    There is no point in criticizing or making fun of this article. Just glance over what they have been doing on port25 and you'll realize that it is filled with crap like this. The SpikeSource article is a real gem:

    One of the key findings was that customers want better open source and Microsoft interoperability, and moreover, they felt this was the issue that the industry has collectively done the least to address. While there has been a lot of unfortunate history that has gotten in the way of this, ultimately customers don't care as much about grudges as they care about everything simply working. Together, SpikeSource and Microsoft's open source lab are doing something about it.
    Excuse me?! Apply Kirk's comment about Klingons.. thats all I can say.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721)
      It's a pretty absurd claim, considering guys like Samba and the OO.org teams have basically had to reverse engineer everything to get their software to function with Microsoft's protocols and file formats. In fact, even with Microsoft's "co-operation" there's a real tangible fear with many FOSS developers that there's poison pills all over the place.
  • until MS applies for a patent on it.. the USPO approves the patent then no one can make advancements on the ideas and growth... just like Science!!!
  • If OSS is "influencing" such as the serfs who are working on Server 2008, might that not be a door or window for some lawyer to assert that Microsoft are inserting GPL code into their products? Ah, but wouldn't that law suit be "fun."
  • by RelliK (4466) on Friday February 29, 2008 @04:18PM (#22605278)
    So when is microsoft going to stop bastardizing open standards? For instance, are there any plans to finally release specifications to microsoft's proprietary extensions to Kerberos? [and I don't mean the NDA bullshit microsoft tried to pull]. Or how about the ODF vs. MS OOXML debacle?

    This is what microsoft will never "learn" because their business model depends on not learning it.
  • - Dumbification of Linux: this is being done by Ubuntu & Kubuntu. And I'm not saying this as a negative thing, entry level Linux should be easy enough for just about anyone.

    - Run a study on user-usability: OSS can hire or contract an established and well-known 'GUI usability' expert/company and let every top OSS products that directly used by the end user to consult to them.

    - Embrace .NET, and create a version that add more functionality, features and 'cool stuff' and make sure anything that written on
  • It might well be that they learn (slowly, like the slowest of your "friends" in 1st grade), the lessons of open source.

    But then, they will not pay. They _claim_ to care about "intellectual property". But only when a _laywer_ that can _sue_ them, they will _respect_ the lessons to be something of value.

    So I will be glad when they are destroyed, once for all, and everybody else trying to _exploit_ others' work will have something to fear for.

    I mean, Microsoft _invented_ the notion that you should be paid fo
    • I mean, Microsoft _invented_ the notion that you should be paid for the _same_ work over and over and over and over again. Only they profited from that. And if you are not a Microsoft shill, you will _have_ to agree that this was unethical._

      Well, firstly copyright law is much older than Microsoft, so no - they did not invent that notion, and I don't even think they were the first software company to take advantage of it either.

      Secondly, I am not a Microsoft 'shill' (but you will find me defending them from time to time), and I don't see why such a thing just absolutely HAS to be classed as unethical.

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