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13 February 2008



The question is whether it is just FOSS ISVs, or will there also be Microsoft shops coming to learn how to co-exist with FOSS? If the latter, it could be a good opportunity to spread truth.

Otherwise, it is simply another attempt to spread FUD. And since most FOSS shops already know how to co-exist, because they don't have a choice, it probably would not provide enough value for most to devote resources to it.

Later . . . Jim

Bob Robertson

Microsoft seems to now be admitting that F/OSS exists, but they want it running on Windows. The question is, does providing more and better information about Windows help F/OSS? I think it does help, but I am concerned. Microsoft's long-term goal is vendor lock-in. That's it. The only reason they ever "play nice" is that they believe doing so advances their long-term goal at the moment. That is why I would never counsel working for or with Microsoft. However, it's not me. Microsoft could publish their real APIs, could put in support for standard formats, could stop deliberately messing with known systems so that F/OSS projects (like SAMBA) could do something other than chase Microsoft's moving target all the time. But they don't. This tells me that Microsoft doesn't give a darn about F/OSS _really_, and all their rhetoric is nothing more than momentarily convenient half-truths.

Kevin Dean

I've never cared about "Open Source" but Free Software has been my passion for the last half-decade or so. When Microsoft joins the movement and recognizes that restricting users is unethical, I would GLADLY support them and even market their Free Software products.

But I don't care one bit what they do when they're only marketing a change to their development model.

Taran Rampersad

Would I? It depends more on whether I thought, realistically, that there was something useful that I was doing. The misgivings would most certainly be there - and let us face facts: Microsoft is a compartmentalized conglomerate.

On one hand, if they are going to do it then someone should help them do it right. On the other hand, they have to be committed to doing it right - and so far that commitment has lagged considerably. Factor in one's reputation - it really does seem very dicey for me.


Personally I would have to think long and hard at what kind of IT future we want. One where MS controls everything, or one where developers and IT are free to innovate.

Make no mistake, MS has no love for Open Source, any more than it does for Linux. MS will offer empty platitudes to the Open Source administrators and developers who support MS with their efforts, while behind the scenes, they will only use Open Source as a means to prop up their fledging server business.

The two faces of MS will invariably show, as they always have. On the left side of the face, MS will claim victories of working well with Open Source. On the other side of the face, MS will be doing everything they can to destroy the OS movement. How? They will look at the Open Source solutions and attempt to find fault with the OS projects. They will start hiring the top Open Source talent to create MS proprietary equivalents or to create extensions that only run in a MS environment.

Those developers who take the MS deal, will be forced into a campaign through coercion and wild MS laced koolaid parties, to vociferiously refrain, "Open Source OK, but MS much better."

MS knows that they are in serious trouble, Vista is a show piece of why MS is so bloated and over managed, that they cannot even put out a competent OS that has been cooking for five years. MS is rapidly seeing Open Soruce taking over the Web. MS knows it cannot compete with Linux Servers in price, features, security, nor scalability. This is rapidly becoming so apparent, that even financial magazines are starting to see and report on this phenomenon. It will not be long until even the most ardent Microsoft devotee will have to acknowledge that E-Commerce does not run on Microsoft.

IIS is not king, Apache is. NET is not king, Java and PHP are. MS has been and still are losing the Internet/Intranet/Extranet battle. Yes there are some areas where MS is entrenched, but as more and more IT shops start trusting their Web based infrastructure to Open Source, it is only a matter of time till they start replacing the Exchange and Sharepoint servers for Open Source solutions. If Open Source is reliable and trustworthy enough to run their B2B, why would it not be trustworthy enough to run their email and File sharing needs?

Of course there are true developers and engineers at MS who really want to work with and on Open Source projects, They see really neat stuff being done in Open Source and are truist to their professions. These developers and engineers want to be in on the action. I am sure their employer actually feeds them the line that, "MS wants to do some real Open Source as well", and encourages them to take a look, but not leap.

In reality, MS is the same predatory company it has always been. The "Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish" philosophy of MS has not changed. It only has a new target.

Sum Yung Gai

Nope, I wouldn't do that kind of marketing for them. MS already has a marketing team quite capable of spewing out whatever BillG and SteveB want spewed out. This "open source" farce of theirs is exactly that. The firm's past history is far too telling for me. These people want to kill Free Software and especially the GPL, and I would never help that.

On the other hand, I would *gladly* do marketing for Red Hat, Inc. The same applies to Canonical Ltd, ZaReason, or any other firm who truly supports Free Software and freedom in computing.

Others have reminded you of the "Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish" practices of Microsoft. The firm itself has told you of its hostility to us (the infamous "Halloween" documents, verified to be true, stand as a canonical example). I hope that you take heed to these warnings.


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