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Microsoft Open Source Stats Linux

Microsoft Counted As Key Linux Contributor 305

Posted by samzenpus
from the strange-bedfellows dept.
alphadogg writes "For the first time ever, Microsoft can be counted as a key contributor to Linux. The company, which once portrayed the open-source OS kernel as a form of cancer, has been ranked 17th on a tally of the largest code contributors to Linux. The Linux Foundation's Linux Development Report, released Tuesday, summarizes who has contributed to the Linux kernel, from versions 2.6.36 to 3.2. The 10 largest contributors listed in the report are familiar names: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google. But the appearance of Microsoft is a new one for the list, compiled annually."
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Microsoft Counted As Key Linux Contributor

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  • Re:whoa (Score:5, Informative)

    by Soilworker (795251) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:23PM (#39564613)

    No. Microsoft just found a way to make money on open source OS.

  • by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:23PM (#39564617) Homepage Journal
    I didn't see any hate there, just surprise that a company was contributing to what is essentially a rival product. That's pretty reasonable, and doesn't portray Microsoft in a bad light at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:44PM (#39564905)

    Microsoft has always been one of the best at purchasing small competitors with new innovations and new technologies. Very little comes directly from Redmond - is this a bad thing? Not mine to comment on.

  • Re:I call B.S. (Score:4, Informative)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:56PM (#39565049) Homepage

    Every single contribution to the linux kernel (or any open source project) is inherently self serving. Every one of the companies listed benefits from the contributions they provide. That's the entire point of open source, you modify it to suit your needs. So what if you don't like Microsoft, too fucking bad.

    Yes, but unlike Microsoft, most of the companies who contribute hardware drivers to the Linux kernel (such as Broadcom, for example), don't have a history of trying to destroy Linux. In this case, the fact that Slashdot is claiming Microsoft is suddenly "a key Linux contributor" is even more valuable to Microsoft than the actual kernel contributions it has made. Framing the story in this way helps Microsoft craft messaging that subverts Linux.

  • by pavon (30274) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:59PM (#39565095)

    About 24% of changes are the result of people who have not declared an association with any company, and there is a very long tail of companies that have small changes, so while the top 5 corporate contributers are fairly consistent, the top 20 varies significantly from release to release.

    In this case, these drivers have been 2.5 years in the making. They had been held out of the kernel for that time because their quality wasn't up-to-par before finally being approved. The metric used in this report basically comes down to git commits, and includes all the commits that were made in private git branches before being folded into the mainline kernel. So Microsoft has 2.5 years worth of work on Hyper-V credited to them during the 6 months in question, which amounts to 1% of the changes in that time period. It is a one-time blip, and not indicative of a trend.

  • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @04:01PM (#39565129)
    > Microsoft has always been one of the best innovators about new technology. Not really. Microsoft are early adopters, but they are not really innovators who discover new stuff (with a few exceptions). Ask yourself who invented: TCP/IP? virtualization? 3D graphics? MP3s? the web browser? DOS? vector display graphics and printing? the spreadsheet? the word-processor? the smart phone? Javascript? VM based applications (nb: .NET is a Windows-oriented re-implementation of the JVM that has been extended in useful ways)? blah blah. Unfortunately it seems you don't you your computing history at all (easy for those who pre-date it to remember what went on). The rest of your post is true though - but don't believe the mythos that Microsoft created the computing environment we have today - they are genius' at moneytizing it, but they didn't invent it.
  • Re:Hyper-V (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @04:03PM (#39565155)

    They haven't contributed to the betterment of Linux on the whole.

    I was with you on this for the past decade. Then on November of 2011, they went and did this [microsoft.com]. Real Linux drivers for SQL Server? Yeah!

    And if you don't think that counts towards the betterment of Linux, then we're just going to have to disagree!

  • I'm surprised to see this as news; it was discussed about nine months ago in Jon Corbet's article in LWN.net [lwn.net].

    K. Y. Srinivasan topped the list of changeset contributors with a massive set of cleanups to the Microsoft HV driver in the staging tree; it's impressive to see how much cleanup less than 15,000 lines of code can require.

    It appears that Microsoft's contribution needed a lot of cleaning up to bring it up to scratch.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @04:41PM (#39565731)

    Microsoft has always been one of the best innovators about new technology. Against the popular belief on Slashdot, they have contributed a lot to computer technology, innovations, and of course, Linux too.

    First, I really hope you do some investigation on the history of Microsoft and the products that they claim to have innovated. You will find that many of us have very legitimate bias against Microsoft and their so called "innovation".

    Example: Microsoft during Windows 95 release was adamant about not producing a TCP/IP stack for Windows claiming that the Internet was a waste of time and there is nobody in their right mind that would use it. Microsoft released and poured cash into their own proprietary network protocol (NetBUI).

    When the hopes of crushing the Internet were dashed, Microsoft started releasing a TCP stack which broke communication with non Windows hosts. The original TCP/IP specification was to respond to an ACK once. Microsoft released a stack which sent and expected 2, and invented the term "Crippled Network" for anything that did not respond that way. Throttling bandwidth to any non-Microsoft host to make it appear that anything was slower than Microsoft. (An interesting piece of trivia is that most *NIX was still faster than Windows at networking even with the throttled bandwidth.).

    Sun found the (to be kind) quirk that Microsoft had build in to their TCP/IP stack. This was reported everywhere, and most vendors started releasing similar code because Microsoft refused to follow the specification. As vendors migrated their stacks, Microsoft increased the ACK count again. At least they stopped reporting any non windows host as "crippled" which stopped many of the complaints to other vendors about "Why does windows show your OS as crippled?"

    This is a company that has done the same with any open specification that they adopt. Kerberos, NFS, LDAP, and the list can go on and on and on.

    When it comes to "innovation", Microsoft does do a good job of watching the market and buying up things that appear to be good. Often times, this puts many other good companies out of business. Example here is that in WIndows 98 time, there were several web rating companies. NetNanny, Cybersitter, and more. Windows liked their ideas so much, they put a very limited and broken version of that service in to Windows and put all of those companies out of business. Not so much innovation here, but rather a predatory method of dealing with competition which people dislike.

    Stop the hate and accept that Microsoft also has many technically knowledgeable persons who also contribute to Linux. When reading this hate about MS I can't but think that YOU are who is having problems with dealing with it.

    Honestly, I think Microsoft has done a good job at giving people a consistent look and feel on a computer. For some odd reason, they do away with in Windows 7, and Office 2010 and the "Ribbons" which is why there is such a low adoption rate and Microsoft started losing more market share than they should.

    Outside of the look and feel, Microsoft has not innovated anything in the market. I wish that was a troll statement, but nothing they have done has been "new" or innovative. That's not to say that they have no patents, but every patent I have seen could be invalidated in court. Look at the 7 they are suing B&N for as an example. All 7 of those are either obvious or have prior art. Groklaw has lots of information [groklaw.net]

    When you see all the hate for Microsoft, do you ever wonder if it's warranted?

  • Re:whoa (Score:5, Informative)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @05:05PM (#39566021)

    IIRC from reading the forums and bugreports, samba has accumulated plenty of printing regressions since 3.2 or so, and nothing was ever done about them. It's been quite long since one could use, say, driver for HP LaserJet 8000/8100 directly via samba, without using a local printer port :(

    It's also been a long time since I've seen a network-connected printer that didn't have an IPP server built in.

    Come to it, it's actually been a long while since I've seen anybody try to use SAMBA to host a print server. Just use CUPS or some other IPP server if you don't have a printer with built-in print capability.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @07:16PM (#39567269)

    The iMac hard drive thing has been blown out of proportion. They used a custom firmware to repurpose the LED activity light pin (they they don't use) to carry temperature information to cut down on parts and part variability. However, their own documentation has instructions for what to do if installing a non-special firmware drive in that bay (eg, one of Apple's own SSDs if you specify that as a BTO option, or a third party replacement drive); you install a jumper to short two pins together and it carries on as normal, and knows not to attempt to monitor the internal temperature of a non-special drive.

    If you get an iMac from the factory with an SSD in that bay, the pins come pre-shorted with a little jumper installed at the factory. They just didn't tell anyone about it, since they don't consider the internals on an iMac to be user serviceable.

  • by ogdenk (712300) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @10:23PM (#39568321)

    You missed my underlying point. I'm not arguing who had the best product. I agree, it wasn't Microsoft. We got to this point in consumer technological advancement primarily because of Microsofts marketing.

    Wrong. You missed my point. We advanced a LOT QUICKER before they arrived and dominated the industry through force.

    We already had great inexpensive machines that were advancing quite fast. The difference is your great grandmother didn't and we didn't give a shit. To be fair to the elderly though, my WW2-vet granddad had an ST and then a Mac. Long before Win95.

    The best products and services won't amount to a hill of beans without marketing. That alone changed the world. Forever.

    That's is why people hate MS. It's the truth that never should have been. To the parent, it pains them too much to admit it. It's where idealism and reality clash head on.

    Most of the groundwork for the "technological advancement" you see today existed in the early 80's. Marketing only made the Walmart crowd care and drove x86 PC prices and quality down. We were better off without them. It changed the world for the worse, not the better and has held TRUE advancement back a decade or two.

    3D accelerated graphics existed before Windows. Web browsers existed on machines more capable than the PC in 1992. Gopher before that. Hi-rez displays and 24-bit color existed before Windows. Broadcast quality hardware-accelerated video playback existed before Win95. Advanced sound chips existed before Windows. Touch screens existed before Windows. Pen-based input has existed since 1952 on mainframes. Preemptive multitasking existed before Windows. GUI's have existed in various forms since the 70's.

    MS also wasn't the first to combine this functionality but when everyone else did it, their machines were written off as scientific workstations, gaming toys or "just for creative types". You don't seem to realize the Amiga didn't die in 1990. Neither did the Atari ST/TT/Falcon. They were just forced out of the general US market because people were content buying a more expensive and less capable Packard Bell.

    The only advancement that happened was the PC sucking up everyone else's hard work and research as they languished with MS claiming they invented something. You're right that MS won, you're wrong thinking we gained from it. We lost. Big time.

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane

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