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Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source 154

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

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  • Reason zero (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyberianpan (975767) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:03PM (#18875979)
    They can read it & re-engineer it as paid for product !
  • Everybody keps saying that linux would put Microsoft out of business. No it won't . I honestly think microsoft would do what apple did. Linux would be the main part of windows and microsoft would make the user interface the standard windows one. Sorry I didnt describe it right. I can see microsoft doing that.
    • by cyborg_zx (893396) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:11PM (#18876111)
      It doesn't work like that - if MS is forced to use a UNIX based OS derivative in order to survive they may not go out of business but it is endgame as far as dominance is concerned. That is a lose situation for MS, not a win.
      • by ettlz (639203) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:21PM (#18876243) Journal

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

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

      • by mysticgoat (582871) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @07:16PM (#18878043) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

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

        • Definitely a lose situation for MS. What does MS have to offer other than application lock-in for their platform? The answer is they simply do not. The value of a *nix core with MS-designed UI on top is simply non-existant in this day and age. MS hasn't done anything fundamentally interesting in the last decade with respect to drastic UI enhancements. The Unix desktops for the most part reproduce every benefit MS historically offered and in some cases one-upped them. Linux Distros have some of the bes
        • by theolein (316044)
          The only losers will be Gates (who has already thrown in the towel), Balmer (who has already thrown in the chair), and the rest of the original dreamers with their juvenile fantasies about attaining world dominance.

          Fixed(TM)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FudRucker (866063)
      Linux wont put Microsoft out of business. Microsoft will put themselves out of business that is if they don't learn to adjust the the market. proprietary products are painting themselves in to a corner & a niche. as OSs & software becomes more of a commodity. maybe sooner than most people think...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There would be absolutely no reason for Microsoft to port Win32 on top of Linux. The NT kernel is more than capable as the OS. It is a microkernel design with isolated loadable plugin subsystems. Win32 just happens to be the subsystem with which most people are familiar. Microsoft has released other subsystems, including their own limited POSIX subsystem and an OS/2 subsystem (which was the original subsystem as Windows NT was designed to be OS/3 with IBM, until Windows 3.0 took off). Later Microsoft b
      • There would be absolutely no reason for Microsoft to port Win32 on top of Linux. The NT kernel is more than capable as the OS.

        The (current) NT kernel is quite reasonable, but that does not imply your conclusion, that Microsoft have no reason to replace it with the Linux kernel. Let's say that they are equally capable for sake of argument, still, Linux can be used by Microsoft at no cost. Maintaining the NT kernel all by themselves is expensive.

        (Of course there are other factors here, I just mentioned o

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lorkki (863577)

        It is a microkernel design with isolated loadable plugin subsystems.

        No, it's not. Microsoft themselves refer to it as a "hybrid kernel"; practically, it means it's a monolithic kernel that sort of looks somewhat like a microkernel if you squint and turn your head a little, but it still misses out on most of the relevant advantages of a real microkernel architecture. Most modern operating systems have kernels that support pluggable binary format and other kernel service modules, but the amount of marketin

      • by Alioth (221270)
        NT's security model is more granular than SElinux? How so?
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @06:12PM (#18877031)

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


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

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

      If we're lucky, Microsoft will become the software / OS equivalent of IBM. Sure - they're still powerhouses in the Industry... but they no longer control it. They have influence but have to compete with every other market player for that influence to pay off and drive the market in their desired direction.
      • by Shotgun (30919)
        You can turn-on-a-dime when you're a bull in a china shop. When you have Federal indictments for monopoly maintenance, you're in a bullpen all of a sudden. You can't just steal software using the underhanded tactics that Microsoft used against Spyglass.

        They haven't proven agile at anything. Nothing they've ever shipped was worth looking at until the third version. They've simply been big enough to use monopoly power to buy out or block competition long enough to get their own mediocre solutions entrench
    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @06:19PM (#18877125)

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

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

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

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

  • by neuro.slug (628600) <neuro__@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:15PM (#18876151)
    Microsoft : open source :: Prisonmate Bubba : his bitches

    Where I'm from, they have another word besides "love" for that.
  • It makes it easier for them to get software patents.
  • Admitted (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Awksjaw (1073874)
    FTA: "Open source is not the threat; Linux is."
    • Re:Admitted (Score:5, Insightful)

      by parvenu74 (310712) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @06:00PM (#18876815)
      That makes no sense. Microsoft primarily makes their money from Windows and Office; with Linux making progress toward a usable desktop and OpenOffice.org already at the state where it can replace MS Office for most tasks, what can Microsoft use to lock people onto their platform? IIS? There's Apache. MSSQL? There are MySQL and PostgeSQL. .NET? There is Mono and Java. There are two reasons why MS still exists: the huge amount of legacy code and applications that cannot run on any other systems, and the lack of corporate hand-holding for customers considering the jump to Linux (though this is rapidly changing). For companies that don't rely on legacy business applications, the ability to roll out Linux desktops to the bulk of their users can be done today. As the state of Linux apps business progress, there will be ever less reason for customers to play Microsoft's game.
    • by dhasenan (758719)
      It goes on to say that Linux is a threat because it's good (and presumably because it's a competing product). So open source is a threat when MS offers a similar product and the open source product is reasonably good.

      How is open source not a threat to them again?
  • What's a whurly? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionaryNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:17PM (#18876191) Journal
    Is it like a swirly? Oh, it's William Hurley. Of course. That non-famous guy I've never heard of before.

    This synopsis annoys me because it is written as if we're all just supposed to know what the hell a whurly and a BMC are.
  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by derEikopf (624124) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:19PM (#18876215)
    Free R&D.
  • by dedazo (737510) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:20PM (#18876229) Journal
    Microsoft needs open source because established companies cannot compete with them in the "normal" market outside of the web (Google and Yahoo) where Microsoft has historically played catch-up. Open source levels the field, and so you have things like Firefox. Firefox forced Microsoft to come out of their "it's good enough and no one has a choice anyway" stagnation. The inevitable comparisons between Apache and IIS5 ended up resulting in IIS6. When Microsoft feels the pressure, they are a better company with better products.

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

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

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

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

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cyborg_zx (893396)
      Actually if there's anything to fear it's that mature product genres inevitably have lower value over time.

      That is to say that now that OS technology is mature it just doesn't increase in value as much any more. So MS has a problem shifting its new OSes because the old OSes have enough value as they are. Same with Office products. Unfortunately for MS its business model requires that the value of its products does not lower over time - hence they are inevitably required to find ways of artificially increa
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:53PM (#18876687) Journal

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

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

      Right now, they're giving the EU a tough time over specs,
      I can't imagine how "They realize open source is their future".
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

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

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

        The industry became closed because there was money to be made at it. But it is "trying" to reopen (in the same way that information "wants" to be free) because that is logical. Everything (except the fleecing of th

      • by dedazo (737510)
        I think Microsoft has realized that they probably won't be able to continue operating as before. An aphorism for that might be "they get open source", although it might not be the ultimate expression of the changes they need to undertake to continue being the dominant entity in the software market. At some point that will have to involve a hell of a lot more open behavior than we see today.

        As far as the EU is concerned, they can go fuck themselves. However, the ridiculous protectionist dickfest they've or

        • by chthon (580889)

          The competition policy in Europe has nothing to do with protectionism. It is trying to make the European market open and transparent.

          I do not know about other European countries, but when Karel Van Miert was commissioner (he is from Belgium), there where several cases of Belgium companies being punished.

          Besides, most software companies profiting from breaking MS monopoly would be American ones. Europe does not really have a computer hardware industry, and I can on the top of my head only name SAP and Soft

      • by perky (106880)
        You've seen Enterprise Library, right? And the Community content sections on MSDN? And Channel 9?

        I think that the poster is treating "Open Source" as meaning Open business practices as well as literally open source code. These things are happening at MS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dkleinsc (563838)
      Wasn't that ESR's analysis of the Halloween documents, not RMS? Give credit where credit is due.
      http://www.catb.org/~esr/halloween/ [catb.org]
    • by massysett (910130)
      Arguably this is not true for all their markets, such as development tools and Office, which historically have not been too contested (not lately at least) and yet have not resulted in the same stagnation.

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

      Office has not seen innovation in years, since it beat WordPerfect and 123. The innovation now is with other players, who are designing truly innovative interfaces (e.g. Google Calendar's quick appo
      • by dedazo (737510)

        Office has not seen innovation in years

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

    • by Sique (173459)

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

      The same as you seem to constantly manage to miss the real issue RMS has. It's called "software obstructionism" and has nothing directly to do with Microsoft, even though he considers Microsoft als one of today's key proponents of said obstructionism.

      RMS' issue came from 1984, when Unix Source Labs tried to renegotiate all UNIX software licenses. MIT and UCB put lots of work into UNIX and added many components to its software stock. But according to the license USL reserved the right to call those componen

  • WHAT? (Score:5, Funny)

    by theolein (316044) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:35PM (#18876421) Journal
    That's like:
    7 reasons a mouse likes a cat
    7 reasons why oil likes water
    7 reasons why intelligent design likes pasta
    or
    7 reasons why office users like clippy
  • Hopelessly naive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Keith Russell (4440) <keith.russell@noSpam.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:38PM (#18876465) Journal

    Open source is not the threat; Linux is.

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

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

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

  • by Otter (3800)
    I like this new form of journalism being pioneered here: "X is going to be speaking at some event and I will now hold forth on some completely random topic that might come up!" One of the more vigorous submitters then follows it up with "X spoke at some meeting and I will now hold forth on some completely random topic that didn't come up!"
  • Loves? (Score:2, Interesting)

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

    OpenOffice poses more of a long-term threat to Microsoft than Linux, because Microsoft's revenue stream for Office is l

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:50PM (#18876637)
    Were the kernel Linux licensed under the BSD license, MS wouldn't consider Linux a threat. It's because of the *license* that the kernel Linux has that Microsoft is scared silly of it. That goes for anything else that's released under the GPL--Samba, OpenOffice.org, Mozilla/Firefox, KDE, *anything*. Why? Because they can't just lift GPL code without providing source. That's why their Services for UNIX is based on BSD, not GNU/Linux. It's also why Apple used a lot of FreeBSD code for the core of Mac OS X (the non-GUI parts).

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

    The GPL is their enemy because the GPL proactively defends our freedom. Is the BSD license a Free Software license? You bet! But it doesn't proactively defend our freedom like the GPL does, and it is that characteristic of the GPL that frightens Microsoft to its core. That's also why they're fighting so desperately against the OpenDocument file formats; to Microsoft, actual, true Freedom for users is a very, very scary thing. [mailto]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pnaro (78663)
      Ummm, both Microsoft and Apple have a long history with BSD-derived works, even before Linux and GPL was around.

      As far as Apple's use of "a lot of FreeBSD code", no shit, sherlock! The MacOS X roots date back (through NeXT) to the mid-late 80s. Their whole underlying structure has always been BSD.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by trifish (826353)
      The GPL is their enemy because the GPL proactively defends our freedom.

      You mean the freedom to choose a different license for other portions of the program that uses portions of the original code?
  • Loss of Control! It's rather simple, it's about the loss of control because without the ability to control the APIs which are getting used most often on Windows, they lose control of the platform. Why did Microsoft go totally 180 out on how they used the Java under license from Sun Micro? What about why they were willing to purchase expensive Netscape contracts and also pay ISPs to push MS IE over Netscape Navigator? Remember, Netscape Navigator included CORBA components, Java, and JavaScript among other te
  • Like in the bend-it-over kind of way?
  • Reason Eight (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kinglink (195330) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @06:26PM (#18877247)
    Because people spend their time working on open source instead of the product to beat Microsoft. So Steve Jobs the second comes along today. He's going to make an OS that's going to destroy Windows. He looks for his best coder. However coders don't need a Steve Jobs to make software anymore. They can just work on Linux to get their coding fix. They don't need a guy with a vision because they have Linux Torvalds to follow and continue to lead them.

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

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

    So Microsoft loves the fact open source is here because if anything it's destroyed more genius ideas than they could probably fight on their own in a number of ways.
    • by wellingj (1030460)

      it will all create work for the end user

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

      Even the term open source scares bu

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

      Uh.... ?

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

      • by kinglink (195330)
        My point is more that they only have one guy with a vision, and he's not type to try to take on Microsoft. (Well two if you count RMS, who is just over aggressive).

        The other side of it is I was showing Linux is not the answer to overtaking Windows, at least not the Linux of 2007. It's diversity and other attributes bred out of Open sourcing is hurting it as much as helping (we like these things where we choose which Linux distro we want, however the home users will not.)
    • by msimm (580077)
      Hardly. I don't even sweat the in-fighting anymore. No-one cares really (aside from us). Right now as far as I'm concerned Linux isn't really even on the radar. Not really. People have heard of it, maybe.

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

      I don't agree that open source is taking away from anything. Linux (my favorite example) has g
    • by Kjella (173770)
      The very fact that if Linux takes over, it won't be one version but every version and it will all create work for the end user means it's going to be problematic for it to even gain market share.

      But there hasn't really been many forks where distros create their own thing. Sure distros like Red Hat and Ubuntu invent end-user tools, but either it'll get accepted upstream or they will keep patching the latest Gnome/KDE/whatever release.

      The differences between distros are in the long term relatively small. Ther
      • by petrus4 (213815)
        I think we need more leaders like Linux, that isn't after blood. He wants to make Linux the best damn kernel he can. If a hundred leaders of a hundred applications rose to the occasion and realized their vision, the "war" would attend to itself.

        I really wish more people thought like you. :)
    • by danpsmith (922127)

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

  • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @07:06PM (#18877897) Homepage Journal
    1. We can steal code!
    2. We can steal ideas!
    3. We can steal design!
    4. We can release a version that doesn't turn off noobies!
    5. We can make a proprietary competitor and wipe the original FOSS off the map with our hegemony!
    6. We can put out a press release about how we invented something again!
    7. We can steal code!
  • 1) free code
    2) free development
    3) innovation with low overhead
    4) goals of stability to achieve
    5) something to get baldy charged up before keynotes
    6) hackers to blame
    7) Novel^H^H^H Back-stabbing CEOs that will sign patent agreements

  • by silicon not in the v (669585) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @08:06PM (#18878661) Journal
    I posted a comment there on his page, refuting his arguments. It wasn't too hard to rationally shoot most of them down. I was able to refute 6 of 7, but one of them I just wasn't familiar enough with. Here's the comment if you're interested:
    ----------------

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

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

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

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

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

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

    "They aren't threatened by open source."
    Well this looks like a good place to continue the talk about the office document formats. They are threatened at least as much, if not more, by other forms of openness than just by Linux. Have you kept up with Microsoft's conduct in Massachusetts over the document format decision? They have been putting out some of their most blatant lies to convince them to use the Microsoft document formats, rather than go to a neutral document format that can be used by anyone, including Microsoft if they wanted to stop their tantrums long enough to do it. Read some of Andy Updegrove's blog to find out some of the story about that, including how they fed a false character assasination story on Peter Quinn to Boston Globe reporter Steve Kurkjian. The story was published before they even
    • by petrus4 (213815)
      That's not a good idea on your part because it's exactly the example people use to point out why Microsoft likes to let other people come up with good stuff under the BSD license and then selfishly take it with no thank-yous or giving in return.

      The predatory stuff they've done is bad, yes...but unlike the GPL, the BSD license doesn't enforce reciprocity, so they haven't done anything in violation of the license by not getting involved in the development of that.

      I am deeply tired of the attitude found primar
      • 'The predatory stuff they've done is bad, yes...but unlike the GPL, the BSD license doesn't enforce reciprocity, so they haven't done anything in violation of the license by not getting involved in the development of that'

        The GPL doesn't enforce anything, if you sell on an app with GPL code then you must include your own source code, else use the lesser GPL. You are not compelled to sell it on. The GPL prevents some company taking code and locking it up in some commercial product, like Windows for instan
  • To use the term 'Love' here is incredibly naive. MS would obviously 'love' to destroy Open Source by any means possible. They only become involved with it when forced, when they can make a buck off it, or when it saves them time and effort. There isn't the remotest attitude of benevolence. This guy may well be laughed off the stage.

    But enough from me. Be sure to read the comments below the article on the source page. They are very insightful and diverse.
  • by Sloppy (14984)
    Ok please, naming your convention after Knuth's fictitious assembly language? How dorky can you get? Whaddya bet there's just a bunch of C# programmers there, who don't even know how their computer works?
  • by f1055man (951955)
    MS is large enough to love open source and try to crush it. Any one MS employee might be believed to hold this position, but as an amoral corporation MS should be trusted just as far as it can be thrown (and no, that makes no sense at all).
  • threats (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hachete (473378) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:46AM (#18883133) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft see OSS as a threat: that's their problem, not ours. OSS has never been - and never should be - in the business to compete with anyone. OSS is here to produce better software. Period. If distributions like RedHat or IBM want to go toe-to-toe against MS, that's their problem.

    Really, any press release or fluff from OSS collaborators should be ignored. Any OS release should be examined for goodness - copied - then ignored. Any attempts to say that OSS is here to "wipe-out" MS should be ignored. OSS can never do that. Those people who whinge about OSS *not* competing with word, access, oh, get a life.

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