[Linux-aus] [Osia-discuss] If you could ask Microsoft a question...

Glen Turner gdt at gdt.id.au
Sun Jan 13 13:11:05 UTC 2008

> Having a conversation.

Hi Jeff,

Good if you can have one.  I hope it doesn't turn into an
exchange of position statements, each with its own
warping of reality.

Anyway I'm not sure if you have edit access to the SLUG
Wiki but it has this:

> It’s well-known that Microsoft benefits from a lot of
> public domain and BSD licensed code (like the TCP/IP
> stack in Win2k, the command-line FTP client and the
> use of Ogg Vorbis on the Xbox series). Why aren’t they
> giving back?

The Win2000 TCP/IP stack was Microsoft's own work. The
one in Windows NT was a BSD port. [IMHO that seems reasonable
since DARPA's purpose in funding UC Berkeley was to produce
a reference TCP/IP implementation which could be used by
all computer manufacturers.]

> Microsoft like to trumpet that Linux infringes upon
> something like 235 of their patents...

It might help shape the answer to this if the questioner
also points out that Microsoft have been willing to
disclose patent claims which may effect Samba as part
of the EU competition process.


My own big question would be "when are Microsoft going
to get their mojo back? What needs to be done to make
that happen?"  My personal view is that they've become
what they once most hated -- IBM c.1980 -- and they've lost
faith in themselves (thus feeling the need to tilt the
table, etc).  Take ODF as an example.  If they supported
it tomorrow who wouldn't still buy Word when faced with
the user interface disaster of OpenOffice.org?  What
happened with the Wii -- MS Research have been talking
about the need for wider mechanisms for user interaction
for years -- didn't they ever think to apply this to
the XBox?  And why the Zune, why shaft every PlaysForSure
partner to release an inferior iPod?

Microsoft once seemed to be on the user's side.  Now
IBM^h^hMS are overly concerned about what Hollywood
studios think.  It's as unhealthy as IBM's once
near-obsession with Gartner's thoughts.  All this
Hollywood-driven "secure path" and still no way not
to leak my credit card details to a keylogger.  WTF?

Best wishes, Glen

More information about the linux-aus mailing list