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Linux Foundation - We'd Love to Work with Microsoft 147

Posted by Zonk
from the bet-they'd-love-it-too dept.
johnno writes "In an interview with the Australian site pc world Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation's executive director, talks about the desire to interoperate with Microsoft and discusses the desktop outlook for Linux. He answers questions on the kind of legal protection Linux requires, whether anything ever come of the Microsoft protest that there's Linux code that they have patented, as well as Linux penetration on desktops and breaking Microsoft's stranglehold on the market. He also discusses Microsoft's recent move to open up their documentation, and why they'd like to work with the Redmond giant — 'We'd like to have a place where developers can come and work on making Linux more effectively interoperate with Microsoft products. And we'd like to do that in the open-source way that's not tied to any specific marketing agreement, that's not tied to any specific contract, that is an open process that can be participated in by anyone in the community,' Zemlin says."
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Linux Foundation - We'd Love to Work with Microsoft

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  • by somersault (912633) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:26AM (#22738218) Homepage Journal
    And why not? :)
    • by 2.7182 (819680) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:38AM (#22738332)
      Yes, it is good to keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Divebus (860563)
      Why not? How's that Microsoft deal going for Novell? [slashdot.org] In fact, how has almost any deal with Microsoft gone? Before you know it, you've got puppet strings on you.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by somersault (912633)
        Caving in to patent threats is a little different to interoperating with MS protocols, enabling people to move away from proprietary Office apps, even if they are stuck with the same file format for a while.
        • by Divebus (860563) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:36AM (#22739664)
          Microsoft's lock on their own file formats and protocols is what keeps everyone captive to Microsoft applications, not the other way around. They've demonstrated time and time again that inviting interoperation with their proprietary formats leads to the destruction of competing software products. Everything Microsoft ever destroyed began with "partnering". That lead to modifying their partners' file formats/languages/tools to be MS specific until the original technology became irrelevant. I have few doubts that this their Linux roadmap.
          • by kellyb9 (954229)

            Microsoft's lock on their own file formats and protocols is what keeps everyone captive to Microsoft applications, not the other way around.
            That and the average computer user's desire NOT to actually change. I think you're delusional if you think the average computer user feels locked into MS products. The real problem is that they are comfortable with them because they "came with the machine".
            • by Divebus (860563) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @01:14PM (#22741698)

              I think you're delusional if you think the average computer user feels locked into MS products.
              My experience is the average computer user believes MS products are the only ones available.
              • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @03:38PM (#22743476) Homepage Journal

                I think you're delusional if you think the average computer user feels locked into MS products.

                My experience is the average computer user believes MS products are the only ones available.

                This is too sadly true... anyone who has worked in tech support or repair in a consumer based, Windows based environment can attest to that. The number of times an average Windows user has told me

                "I clicked on the Internet and..." (umm, IE is NOT the Internet)

                "I need to buy a new Windows for my ______" (umm, do you mean a computer with Windows on it?)

                "So that MAC is Windows?" (no, hardware is not an OS...)

                "My Windows isn't turning on - it keeps telling me 'Drive Failure'" (no, your hardware/mobo/BIOS is telling you that - your computer hasnt even started loading Windows)

                "So, OpenOffice is Word?" (Ugh... no - but it is compatible for what you would need it for - and FREE.) - customer proceeds to buy a copy of Office because "that can't be true... it's not (Microsoft/Office/etc)"

                "Well, someone installed Firefox for me, but I needed to get on the Internet, so I clicked the Internet button (IE again)." (IE is NOT the Internet)

                Heck, many users even seem to think that Office is part of Windows (and thus many would wonder why that part of Windows stopped working in 60 days - when the trial expired - we actually had customers come into CompUSA who threatened to sue us and HP/Compaq/etc because that "part of" Windows broke, and we wouldn't fix it and told them they had to pay to get it "fixed" - no matter how many times we explained it to them or showed them the "60 Day Trial" icon). Heck, the number of people who think you cannot create a Word (compatible) document - much less any document - without Office - is astounding.

                MS has been very good at equating function=some MS product - and too many users aren't tech saavy enough to understand that is not the case.

                Why the parent has not yet been modded up, I dont know (well, the day is still early). This (perception) issue is definitely key to the "interoperability" issue with Linux and Windows - because even if Linux fully interoperated with Windows, the perception that a MS product is a certain task/function must still be overcome.

                • by Machtyn (759119)
                  I agree completely to your post. Though, the tide is turning slowly. I no longer can count how many people are asking me what their next computer should be: "Microsoft" or "Apple". heh.
                • by dhavleak (912889)

                  MS has been very good at equating function=some MS product - and too many users aren't tech saavy enough to understand that is not the case.

                  I wouldn't give the credit for this to MS (at least not directly). It's just a by-product of being ubiqutious on the desktop. It's the same as calling a photocopier a Xerox machine, or saying a Zune is like an iPod manufactured by MS (heard someone say that on the radio today). Don't confuse computer illiterate users expressing things the only way they know how to, with subliminal marketing messages by MS.

                  Why the parent has not yet been modded up, I dont know (well, the day is still early). This (perception) issue is definitely key to the "interoperability" issue with Linux and Windows - because even if Linux fully interoperated with Windows, the perception that a MS product is a certain task/function must still be overcome.

                  Well -- parent wasn't that insightful ;). The perception problem exists -- this is true. But it's not

                  • MS has been very good at equating function=some MS product - and too many users aren't tech saavy enough to understand that is not the case.

                    I wouldn't give the credit for this to MS (at least not directly). It's just a by-product of being ubiqutious on the desktop. It's the same as calling a photocopier a Xerox machine, or saying a Zune is like an iPod manufactured by MS (heard someone say that on the radio today). Don't confuse computer illiterate users expressing things the only way they know how to, with subliminal marketing messages by MS.

                    I would... how about the "Internet" button? It's not like non-tech-savvy consumers came up with that idea on their own. Right on the Start Menu -> Internet. Or continually tying the (excellent choice of) name and phrase together of one of their Office components -> Word Document (which is what it is - a word document - which helps equate that to create a word document you need Word).

                    The list goes on and on... some may have been intentional... some may just have happened and MS capitalized on them.

                • Heck, many users even seem to think that Office is part of Windows (and thus many would wonder why that part of Windows stopped working in 60 days - when the trial expired

                  A 60 day trialware version of Office? Apple ships Macs with a 30 day version. Though I have not and will not use it, I use the native Mac port of OO.org NeoOffice, I've heard that if a user initially saves a doc in the default format they lose access to all of the documents created with Office when the trial ends if they don't buy it.

                • by mgblst (80109)
                  I think you are confusing peoples inability to communicte effectively rather than peoples ignorance of available OS.
                  • I think you are confusing peoples inability to communicte effectively rather than peoples ignorance of available OS.

                    Trust me, I am not. Most people have no clue what Linux, OS/2, BeOS, ReactOS, eComStation... etc are. Until recently (thanks to a plethora of commercials), most people didnt know what MacOSX was and thought it was a version of Windows - many still do. First hand experience dealing with thousands of customers in the last 3 years tells me that. I've even had customers who dont understand what Vista is... "So, Vista is Windows XP?" (seriously).

                    I think you are confusing yours and my and virtually any slashdo

    • by bergh (1092995)
      yeas, why not?
      Wasent that the dream, to make things more compatible across platforms
    • by Marillion (33728) <ericbardes@gm a i l .com> on Thursday March 13, 2008 @11:36AM (#22740386)

      For me, the whole point of Free (as in freedom) Software is that Free Software is liberated from artificial constraints that prevent interoperability and restrict users from doing what they want their computers to do. The "True Goal" needs to be one where a users and developers and administrators are free to chose platforms that meet their requirements instead of being locked in to one platform because of vendor lock-in due to formats or protocols or software limitations.

      While it's easy to paint Microsoft as some big giant ogre, that's not very helpful to the achieving the "True Goal." So long as the Linux Foundation doesn't allow Linux and the GNU Stack (or any other Free Software) to incur artificial limitations, any relationship with Microsoft is healthy for both.

      • That's fine for intranetworking, but when it comes to sharing information with other companies, MS stuff is unfortunately the standard (unless you count PDFs, but there's no decent, inexpensive, well known software out there for editing PDFs). That's why there needs to be some level of interoperability, to ease the change. Kinda like having hybrid cars before moving to fully electric. Man I love car analogies :)
  • When I am weak, how can I compromise? When I am strong, why should I compromise?

    What about when you're neither?
    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:58AM (#22738546)

      When I am weak, how can I compromise? When I am strong, why should I compromise?

      What about when you're neither?
      Obviously:
      When you're neither, where should you compromise?
      When you're both, when should you compromise?

      And finally, when you're both and neither, you shouldn't ever not uncompromise.
  • I realize that Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but it just sounds like giving in. Microsoft really hasn't shown any signs of innovation in a long time and my fear is that this would just turn into another chance for Microsoft to take a concept from the collaboration, implement it in their own way and claim it as their own. Remember what they did with TCP/IP early on? Made their own stack that didn't quiet work with anything else but said it wasn't their fault.
    • by c0p0n (770852) <<copong> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:45AM (#22739102)
      I don't see your point. I do see that perhaps some business aren't adopting Linux as a desktop system because making those interact with a pre-existing AD environment is far from flawless and straightforward. Or the other way around, when implementing new services on Linux servers that need to interact with Windows machines.

      Better interoperatibility will benefit Linux hugely. Where there used to be just one choice, Windows, there could be more.
    • by HalAtWork (926717)
      They're definitely fans of just sitting in on committees... know your enemy I guess (when the enemy is everything that's not your own 'standard').
    • You fail to see Microsoft Inovation, or you disagree with their inovation. But they do inovate. Lets take .NET system calls in SQL Server. I personally think it is a horible Idea (Breaking the Data and System Level layer), but it does have some advantages such as a trigger to email someone when a table gets updated, no matter what apps updates the table...

      Yes it is the 800 lbs gorilla. Now if it on your side or see you as a threat can make you life so much easier or a living hell. Hating Microsoft isn't a
      • I hardly see .NET system calls as a massive innovation - extended stored procedures have been in SQL Server since Microsoft bought it off Sybase - all anyone needed to do was write a DLL, expose the calls they wanted to, and any variety of system functionality was available.

        I hate Windows because it's a massive bloated kludge, not for any ideological reasons - I have had to develop for Windows too much over the past decade to see it any other way.

        I like Linux because it's lean, elegant and relatively standa

      • by piojo (995934)
        I absolutely agree with you--anybody who doesn't see microsoft innovation isn't looking in the right places. .NET and the idea of multiple languages being able to use the same libraries is very cool. Also see f#, a new functional language that microsoft research is creating. See also Haskell (a new favorite of mine), whose (possibly) most influential developer has been employed my microsoft research for ten years.

        Even if windows vista is a flop, it does include innovative technologies. When is the last time
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bralkein (685733)
      The idea that Jim Zemlin's trying to put across is that the software world needs to move and is moving towards a collaborative, idea-sharing environment, rather than the current situation with major players closely guarding their IP. This makes sense, because this is exactly the kind of environment in which Free Software will flourish. This point of view cannot be reconciled with the idea that Microsoft won't be invited to the party and that they have to be destroyed, not reasoned with. Furthermore, Microso
      • For fucking sakes, honestly, in which planet are you living?

        Ballmer threatens patent litigation, attempts to divide (successfully) big swaths of the FOSS development community by granting *bogus* patent protection (in which the suckers pay protection money to the industry's Don Corleone, or sell themselves to the only bidder), not happy with that they keep violating competition rules in the EU to the point when they are fined record amounts of money and *forced* to play nice with some FOSS developers, whil
        • by Bralkein (685733)
          Read my post again. I said that we should only cooperate with Microsoft if there are clear guarantees protecting the Free Software community as a whole from legal threats, be they from patents or anything else. This echoes the sentiment of Jim Zemlin in TFA. There is political pressure on Microsoft to open up their technology. This pressure will not continue if nobody will work with MS tech, even if it is completely safe to do so. In the long run, this will strengthen Microsoft to the detriment of all compe
    • Interoperability is clearly within the freedom goals of the Linux Foundation and open source in general.

      However don't expect MS to return the love. MS use the inability to interoperate as their major business tool. So may desires to switch organisations from MS to Linux end due to "Well we'd like to change to Linux but we have to use application X with only works on XP". This is a huge barrier to competition.

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Microsoft really hasn't shown any signs of innovation in a long time [...]

      This statement is meaningless unless you define what you mean by "innovation".

      Remember what they did with TCP/IP early on? Made their own stack that didn't quiet work with anything else but said it wasn't their fault.

      No. Can you elaborate ?

    • And the mix of Kerberos, DNS, and LDAP that is Microsoft Active Directory. The minor changes to actually follow the specifications and support interoperability were quite ignored. (For example, the ability to gracefully create DNS zones that are not /8, /16, or /24.) What they did to SMTP in creating MS Exchange is just awful.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:39AM (#22738342) Journal
    reading this is like seeing a video clip of a one legged Iraqi kid with a stereo boom box playing 'Give peace a chance' ... or something like that.
  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:44AM (#22738368) Journal
    When foundations, companies, etc. 'agree' to work with one of their main competitors, it almost seems as if it is just for publicity.

    Although they may want to work with their competitor, they might not want to do it on anything EXCEPT their terms, and I get the feeling that this is the same situation - They say "we'd love to work with you", but when the other party doesn't agree to their terms, it is the other party that looks like they're refusing to co-operate.
    • by hey! (33014) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:23AM (#22738822) Homepage Journal
      It's only dishonest if the party making the offer is disingenuous about its terms.

      I'm sure the FSF would be delighted to work with Microsoft -- if Microsoft released all of its source under the GPL. Of course, everyone knows that its unreasonable to believe Microsoft would accept these terms in our lifetime, so it would do no good to announce this.

      This shows to have PR value, an offer has to have something that might interest MS. It must be something in which MS could recognize its own enlightened self-interest. It's possible to imagine this happening fairly soon, if there are significant developments that MS cannot profitably fight or coopt. If we imagine sub-$400 linux laptops taking off big time, it might turn defending that part of MS's monopoly from a cash cow into a cash sink. That kind of thing might signal a smart time for MS to reposition itself.

      It'd be momentous, to be sure. But not impossible to imagine.
      • by Fred_A (10934)

        This shows to have PR value, an offer has to have something that might interest MS. It must be something in which MS could recognize its own enlightened self-interest.
        Maybe we could give them access to the Linux source code ! They could certainly learn stuff from it.

        Um, no, wait...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rifter (147452)

        I'm sure the FSF would be delighted to work with Microsoft -- if Microsoft released all of its source under the GPL. Of course, everyone knows that its unreasonable to believe Microsoft would accept these terms in our lifetime, so it would do no good to announce this.

        Except this is the Linux Foundation, which is where Linus Torvalds works now. And they are not quite as religious as the FSF about having every little thing free software. Which is part of why GPLv3 was not adopted for the kernel.

        According t

  • by dyfet (154716) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:45AM (#22738384) Homepage
    The kind of interoperability they speak of is precisely the kind that Microsoft chooses, by both word and deed, to explicitly sabotage. Whether one looks at the Novell agreements, the "licensing" of api documentation, or the OSP in the OOXML, these are not acts of encouraging such interoperability but rather of blocking it by any means possible, or of trying to meet the "appearance" of interoperability from the perspective of outside regulators when forced to, but while deliberately and explicitly destroying the spirit and any actual realization of it.
    • by debest (471937) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:00AM (#22739256)

      The kind of interoperability they speak of is precisely the kind that Microsoft chooses, by both word and deed, to explicitly sabotage.
      Nicely stated. It seems to me that FOSS already has "interoperability" completely figured out: publish and use open standards! It also seems that there is absolutely nothing (except, of course, monopolistic greed) that prevents Microsoft from utilizing the exact same standards.
  • Make the stand. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:47AM (#22738424)
    I disagree. I don't think that the Linux community can count on any given company treating us as anything other than hostile.

    Let me give you an example. Warcraft II vs. Stratagus.

    There was a group of people that wanted to play Warcraft II on Linux, so they made tools to extract the data of the Warcraft II DOS CDs and use it on the hard disk to play Warcraft II. At first, this was called 'Freecraft', later called Stratagus that made significant advacements in Warcraft II including:

    Support for 16 Players rather than just 8
    Support for Human/Orc joint AI.
    Support for TCP/IP
    correcting several gameplay bugs and sound bugs
    No CD Copy protection
    Actual uses for the Runestone and the Dark Portal (Dark Portal worked like a one way Starcraft Nydus Canal
    Superior AI.

    Linux technology must be flat out BETTER than anything a Windowsd technology can produce. Compare Samba 3.0 to Windows NT 4.0

    - Support for LDAP
    No stupid limits on Trust Hirearchies
    Support for Kerberos
    Support for SMB without NMB.

    We can't team up with MS, we must Flatten it, or they will flatten us. Thats just the way it is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by onefriedrice (1171917)
      You keep saying "Linux community" and "Linux technology," but then you bring up examples that have nothing to do with Linux. I think you mean "open source community" and "free software methods."

      Furthermore, your conclusion ("Linux technology must be flat out BETTER than anything a Windowsd technology can produce.") based on Stratagus is really bad, since WC2 from which it is based is old software. That's like saying that old software is not as good as newer software. What a shock! I'm sure if Blizzard
      • Straw man argument. Warcraft III is not Warcraft II version 2. Its a different game entirely. Most people never played Warcraft II. I contend to you in fact that Warcraft II was inferior to Warcraft I. Which the Stratagus project was going to Reverse engineer and utilize its Engine for. The Developers lost Interetst.
        • Re:Make the stand. (Score:5, Informative)

          by onefriedrice (1171917) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:40AM (#22739038)
          The point is, Stratagus was made after Warcraft II. Of course it's going to be better. If it wasn't better, than that would have been a big problem. Again, the point is that if Blizzard was to redo Warcraft II, they themselves could also improve the product, and it has nothing to do with Linux. The fact that you're trying to show Linux superiority through Stratagus is the real straw man, since it has nothing to do with Linux. But... nice try.
    • Re:Make the stand. (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:09AM (#22738666) Homepage Journal
      Are you seriously comparing Samba 3.0 to NT4? When was the first Samba 3 release? Toward the end of 2003? And when did NT4 debut? Mid 1996 (these are setup as questions because I am going off partly memory and half a google search)? Hell, the last service pack for NT4 appears to be two years before Samba 3 was ever seen.

      Your argument sort of held water in the first half, but the last bit was an obvious spin to help the data conform to your views.
      • Linux and Samba are sort of a latecomer to the game, but you have a point. Linux needs to start churning out new technology BEFORE MS can.
      • by styrotech (136124)

        Are you seriously comparing Samba 3.0 to NT4?


        Well it makes sense in a way. Samba 3.x is effectively NT4 with a whole lot of extra stuff. Samba 3.x isn't Active Directory, although it does fit into an existing Active Directory network better than NT4 because of all those extras.

        So Samba 3.x is a better more modern NT4 than NT4 (which was I think his point). But until Samba 4.0 that is as far as it goes.
        • by drsmithy (35869)

          So Samba 3.x is a better more modern NT4 than NT4 (which was I think his point).

          So are Windows 2000 and 2003, so the point would be...?

          • by styrotech (136124)

            So are Windows 2000 and 2003,

            Only if you missed the actual point. The point was based on Windows 2000 and 2003 DCs not being able to (by themselves) set up an NT4 domain - they have moved on to something fundamentally different.

            So although you'd be correct to say that they are a better Windows Server OS than NT4, they aren't really a better NT4 implementation in the same way Samba 3.x is. You can't call Samba 3.x an Windows 200x DC implementation at all - hence the reason why the earlier poster compared (ap

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by slawo (1210850)
      I partialy agree with your point of view. Everyone should stick to standards established by consortiums and implement the standards, and eventually extend them (like OpenGL, OpenDocument...) Then we can speak of interoperability.

      Supporting the existing non standard formats is good for everyone on the short term, on the long term everyone loose. Only the owner of the format might win as he owns the existing installed base and decides when a version is obsolete and when you have to install the new one, for
    • by bendodge (998616)

      I disagree. I don't think that the Linux community can count on any given company treating us as anything other than hostile.
      Ah, but that's the beauty of the GPL. We don't have to count on anyone. We can invite everyone to the party, and as long as it's GPL, they can do pretty much anything. The only tricks they can pull with GPL code are patents and trademarks (IANAL, so correct me if I'm wrong).
      • There's also Tivo-ization, and other DRM. DRM is absolutely critical to Vista and the nexter Microsoft OS releases, to lock in access to DVD and streaming and other content to only authorized computers running authorized software.

        This is a major reason for the changes in the GPL for GPLv3, and it's a problem that the Apache, MIT, and BSD licenses have not addressed. We need to keep an eye on this.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      So your point is... what, exactly?

      That the free software world can copy a successful closed source project, copy almost all of the significant or hard work, and then make some improvements upon it?

      I'm not sure I'd point to that with much in the way of pride. It's about on the level of copying War and Peace, fixing a few spelling or grammar errors, and calling it an accomplishment.
  • Dearest Jim Zemlin: (Score:5, Informative)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:47AM (#22738428)
    speak for yourself, i do not want to interoperate with microsoft on their grounds, it would be better for microsoft to quit being the tyrant/deceiver that plays dirty pool to maintain their monopolist power over the desktop & office, make/wait (for) microsoft to change (not the other way around)...

    and Jim please ignore the IP infringement FUD, unless microsoft coughs up some tangible proof they have nothing but FUD...
  • ...as well as Linux penetration on desktops and breaking Microsoft's stranglehold on the market.
    Hahahahahahahahahaha

    Sorry, yes, this is finally the year of the linux desktop!

    • by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:09AM (#22738668) Journal
      In my house at least. I'd say that whatever year KDE came out was the true "year of the Linux desktop". Why should I care what OS everyone else is using?
      • by MightyYar (622222)
        Hi... me again!

        Why should I care what OS everyone else is using?
        Because if too many people use it you will have to install anti-virus! :)
        • by sm62704 (957197)
          Why should I care what OS everyone else is using?
          Because if too many people use it you will have to install anti-virus! :)


          Hmm... [apple.com]

          Apple shipped 2,164,000 Macintosh® computers, representing 34 percent growth over the year-ago quarter and exceeding the previous quarterly record for Mac® shipments by 400,000.

          Two MILLION in three months? That's one hella botnet! So, how many more macs do they have to sell before the Mac virus that Norton has been warning about for the last ten years actually gets relea

    • by mh1997 (1065630)
      Sorry for replying to my own post. Apparently I hurt somebodies feelings for pointing out the obvious (as evidenced by my troll rating). I have heard, and a google search confirms, that every year since 2000, it was proclaimed that "This is the year of the Linux Desktop."

      Sorry, I can't take that claim seriously. Who knows, maybe 2009 will finally be the year of the Linux desktop, but I am not holding my breath.

      • I think you got moderated Troll not only because you used a played-out joke that no one finds funny anymore, but also because you used it in a trollish manor. That is, you were (perhaps unintentionally) insinuating that "Linux sucks and that's why this joke is funny."

        Personally, I would have modded it flamebait rather than troll, but I've got better things to spend my mod points on.
  • by siddesu (698447) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:55AM (#22738520)
    Now on to the other half -- to get Microsoft to agree as well.
  • Here [idg.com.au].

    Now I'm back to RingTFA before posting. (Yes, I'm new here).
  • by cordsie (565171) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:58AM (#22738548)
    In the same sense that Hillary would 'love to work with' Obama.
  • by geminidomino (614729) * on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:59AM (#22738554) Journal
    Zookeepers declare "We'd love to smother ourselves in steak sauce and try to masturbate the bears..."
  • Also... (Score:2, Funny)

    by snarfies (115214)
    We'd also like a solid gold toilet. And a pony.
  • Ballmer is screaming "Itsatrap!" as window repairman comes by yet again to fix the damage as another chair sails through the window.
  • Of course. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by seeker_1us (1203072) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:00AM (#22738568)
    Linux wants to interoperate with everything: Atari disk labels, x86 Unix binaries, java, VMS DECNET, the list goes on and on and on!

    So of course they want to interoperate with Microsoft.

    And MS seems to be the only ones being a problem here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FudRucker (866063)
      yup, thats what the open in open file formats and open protocols and open source is for, too bad microsoft does not want to do it that way, microsoft rather have absolute power & control and you know what they say about absolute power :)
  • 'We'd like to have a place where developers can come and work on making Linux more effectively interoperate with Microsoft products

    Yeah, and people in hell would like a glass of ice water and some air conditioning too.
  • by utnapistim (931738) <dan...barbus@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:12AM (#22738704) Homepage

    Linux Foundation: We'd Love to Work with Microsoft

    Microsoft: Yeah ... that's what we've been trying to prevent!

  • Good Luck With That (Score:3, Interesting)

    by amplt1337 (707922) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:15AM (#22738744) Journal
    Yawn. Very little about MS-Linux collaboration here (except that Linux is willing but MS is weak); bad article summaries are no surprise.

    But since that's what the summary says, that's what everybody will be talking about, so:

    I'd love to see MS bury the hatchet as much as anybody. But where's the Windows Genuine Advantage in that?

    MS is obviously not going to give away filesystem specs or the other interoperability roadblocks that collectively create the best argument to businesses for continuing to pay the Windows tax. So the most collaboration we might see is in getting MS Office to run on Linux. In other words, if Redmond bit at all, it'd be at the chance to stomp on OpenOffice to prevent future competition in its core business desktop market.

    ***

    Anyway, besides that, the article was surprisingly content-free. Yes, there are interesting synergies between extending battery life on mobile devices vs. saving energy in the data center. We get that, no need to repeat.

    The interviewee promotes this thesis: these synergies are possible primarily through the collaborative Linux environment, which is Linux's great strength. However, I would argue that those synergies are equally possible in closed-source shops, but it's just that management has to learn to listen to them differently -- and that that is only a matter of time. For instance, I used to work in a company that made document-management databases for law firms. I think there's a huge market for (appropriately crippled and cheapened) versions of this product in the private desktop market, for promoting "paperless offices" in non-law businesses, and for aiding academic research: three huge markets that would be very happy to get rid of their physical files and add markup and search if you have enterprise-reliability document management database software. Nobody listened, though; in an Open Source environment, I could've just forked and /done it/, and then proved my suggestions with their success. Closed shops can't take those kinds of risks, so they're missing out on opportunities; however, once the management does learn to do more lateral thinking like this, the lessons of F/OSS and Linux' collaborative model will probably become integrated into more mainstream business thinking.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      Yes, there are interesting synergies between extending battery life on mobile devices vs. saving energy in the data center

      Can anyone explain to me what is a synergy?
      • by amplt1337 (707922)
        From dictionary.com [reference.com]:

        1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
        2. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.

        As I'm using it here, "serendipity" would probably be a better word, or "happy coincidence" -- instead of two forces working together to produce more than the sum of their parts, it's one force that t
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Itsatrap!

    There's a reason articles like this invariably get tagged with the above. Microsoft has a proven history of sticking a knife in just about any back it can reach. At the moment, MS can't touch Linux, since Linux operates in a way that MS just doesn't understand (ie it isn't a business) and doesn't value the same things as Microsoft ($$$$$). However the second Linux gets close enough to MS, to work with it, take lessons from it, to play by its rules- that's when MS will have the power to bring Linux
  • by websitebroke (996163) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:27AM (#22738894)
    I have no real idea if this has any bearing on reality, but...

    I'm wondering at what point MS will honestly start to interoperate. For Internet Explorer, they didn't start to make meaningful changes until they started losing market share to Firefox and Safari. Now, we're hearing about IE8 being honest to goodness standards compliant. (and they actually sound like they mean it - not holding my breath, but I remain hopeful)

    Is the interoperability threshold 80% market share?

    Whatever the number is, I don't expect to see any significant changes until MS starts losing customers. Given their resources, they should have been able to make a better browser in 2002, rather than now in 2008.
  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:29AM (#22738910) Journal
    I think more corporation between the two entities would be a good thing. OSS and MS are like ying and yang; they keep each other in check and balance each other out. In the real world, there's little benefit in either being omnipresent over the other; the two ideals have to work together for the perfect technological suolutions if you ask me.

    Without Windows, Linux desktop would have no market penetration target, and without Linux Windows would stagnate.

    I think any IT professional that thinks either one paradigm should be 100% prevalent over the other needs to take a good look at themselves and ask how "professional" they really think they are.

    Interoperability is good, and personally I thank god neither MS or OSS will ever be 100% dominant in IT (each for their own reasons).

    Just my 2 cents.
  • A couple of critical observations:

    So you're starting to see OEMs pre-ship Linux for the first time [...] why are they doing that? [...] Is it because Linux is more functional than it's ever been? [...] yes, it is more functional. But that functionality combined with the economics [...]. [lots of ...] And so when companies like Dell or Asus or Lenovo or all these companies look at those profit margins, they say, "Why wouldn't I just create my own operating system and ship it with the device?

    Interesting. He argues for linux based primarily on price, and from the seller's viewpoint. Sure, some of the savings is (presumably) passed on to the consumer, but I miss a good argument for why the consumer should use it. He could have said "it does the same job for a lower price", which is a very convincing argument in my book (and to some extent also valid). It's not a very sexy argument, though, but I won't be demanding everything.

    InfoWorld: But Windows is still on 98, 99 per cent of PC desktops anyway, so do you think that number or that percentage will decrease?
    Zemlin: Yes. Yes, I think it will actually.

    As an extention of my previous c

  • Have there been any sightings (by reliable witnesses) of flying pigs in the USA?

    Or should I just order whatever LF are having?
    --
    E
  • by MECC (8478) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:57AM (#22739908)
    For anyone to 'work with MS' is just too much like the frog and the scorpion [allaboutfrogs.org] except MS typically has little to lose in any given arrangement.

  • by Vexorian (959249) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @12:18PM (#22740916)

    Sorry but this is about the second time the Linux foundation issues a terrible statement like that, I still got a grudge after the "Linux users must respect Microsoft even though Microsoft certainly doesn't respect Linux users" one.

    What's worse is that this is a smoke screen, since such Linux foundation statement will probably be echoed much more than SFLC's recent statement about the MS' (bogus) patent promise [softwarefreedom.org] .

  • Yeah. Sure. (Sarcasm, don't you know.) Now that we are finally winning, let's "cooperate" and make our product look and work more like the LOSER. Right. That's the ticket.

    And cooperation with a company that is famous for reneging on its own "cooperative" deals, in order to kill the competition, is actually a GOOD idea. Yeah.

    And let's all line up to walk off this here cliff, too.

    I wonder how much he was paid under the table to make this suggestion.
  • The Linux Foundation is nothing more that a trademark scam designed to steal "Linux" without producing anything.

    Of course it would love to work with Microsoft. I'm sure the Pepzi Organization would love to work with the Coca-Cola Corporation, too.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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