[Linux-aus] [Osia-discuss] If you could ask Microsoft a question, what would it be?

Sridhar Dhanapalan sridhar at dhanapalan.com
Sun Jan 13 02:58:24 UTC 2008

On Sun, 13 Jan 2008, Nathan Bailey <Nathan.Bailey at its.monash.edu> wrote:
> Microsoft Research do some really interesting, innovative and even
> completely open stuff. If we're looking for opportunities to
> collaborate (= help Microsoft to engage with, contribute to and build
> our community) then I would think it would be good to:
> i) Understand what are some key MS research activities of interest to
> the SLUG/LUV communities
> ii) Understand some key problems in the SLUG/LUV communities that MS
> research or MS in general may be able to help solve
> iii) Understand what grants, cooperative research and cooperative
> development priorities MS may have right now.

Good questions. I have added them to the list.

Everyone, if you won't be present at the meeting but want your questions to be 
asked, please post them on our wiki page: 

Obviously there's nothing wrong with discussion on the lists, but it makes 
things much easier for us if there's also a central repository for them.

> PS: Some people may be surprised to think that MS would want to work
> with, contribute to or build our community. But MS already do a lot of
> this for a lot of different communities. Helping communities is good
> business. Let's find ways to help Microsoft contribute to our
> communities.

MS 'help' communities only if it costs them little and doesn't aid a 
competitor. Donating '$1m worth of software' to some school in Africa costs 
them nothing (software costs nothing to reproduce) and gets the school hooked 
on their wares (so they'll be paying through the nose in the future). In 
return, MS are treated as saints. Not a bad return on investment, wouldn't 
you say? :p

The FLOSS community is different. We compete directly with them, and we won't 
accept their Monopoly Money donations.

"Using a GUI amounts to hiding the true system modifications from the system 
administrators and operators. UNIX operators like the sense of control that 
comes from their ability to modify system tables and configuration files more 
directly." - Microsoft, 'Converting a UNIX .COM Site to Windows', 2000-22-08
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