Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Software Linux

Dvorak on How Microsoft Can Kill Linux 842

gewg_ writes "John C. Dvorak thinks he knows the way Redmond can kill Linux. Basing his premise on the relative dearth of device drivers available for Linux (compared to what is available for Windows), he sees an opportunity for the Borg to embrace and extinguish." From the article: "The immediate usefulness of Linux running under Windows is obvious. You can use all the Windows drivers for all the peripherals that don't run under Linux. Drivers have always been an issue with Linux as PC users have gotten spoiled with Windows driver support. Today's user wants to grab just about anything and not worry about installing it and making it work."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dvorak on How Microsoft Can Kill Linux

Comments Filter:
  • by blirp ( 147278 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:01PM (#11778558)
    What he's missing is projects like NDisWrapper [] that simply allows us to run standard proprietary Windows drivers on Linux.


  • by YellowElf ( 445681 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:02PM (#11778584)
    Dvorak seems to have these amazing insights from time to time, but I can't seem to remember one that really came to fruition. In the aritcle, he makes all these assumptions about technology but he doesn't know what he's talking about. Then he uses his unfounded assumptions to conclude that all MS needs to do is embrace and extend Linux. For a more thorough discussion on this very article, see this discussion on Groklaw []. Search for the second "Dvorak". --dv
  • by BacOs ( 33082 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:05PM (#11778641) Homepage
    John Dvorak didn't invent Ethernet - Bob Metcalfe [] did
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:08PM (#11778684)
    Windows can dominate .. if it had no bugs.

    Note that is exactly what Microsoft claims. All those problems with security holes and viruses - that's the user's problem

    FOCUS Magazine Interview with Bill Gates: Microsoft Code Has No Bugs []

    No! There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed.

    Oh, my God. I always get mad at my computer if MS Word swallows the page numbers of a document which I printed a couple of times with page numbers. If I complain to anybody they say "Well, upgrade from version 5.11 to 6.0".

    No! If you really think there's a bug you should report a bug. Maybe you're not using it properly. Have you ever considered that?
  • effect of the GPL (Score:5, Informative)

    by DM9290 ( 797337 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:09PM (#11778687) Journal
    the article said:
    "Well, except for the fact that Microsoft would be unable to produce such a product without allowing the other vendors access to the driver code as part of the open-source Linux license arrangement (GPL)."

    If the device drivers are not derived from any GPL code (and as they is currently proprietary, presumably they are not GPL derived), then Microsoft can make a version of Linux which uses the drivers. The modified linux is based on GPL code (i.e. the base linux kernal) and the modified linux is based on propietary code (device drivers).

    GPL does not require that copyright holder of the original software to agree to anything (in respect of the original software). Only the author of the derived software (in respect of the derived work) agrees to license the software under the GPL.

    This artical is simply FUD.

    Proprietary device drivers which work under linux today.

    Moreover: The majority of device drivers in MS Windows are not even owned by microsoft at all, but belong to the companies which manufacture the respective devices, and licensed to Microsoft.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon ( 94133 ) <> on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:11PM (#11778729)
    Also, one point I may add....there's no use for Microsoft to do such a thing because it's ALREADY been done. DSL(Damn Small Linux) is a very useful Linux distro that runs under QEMU off of a USB Thumb drive. It also fits everything, Linux Kernel, Bash, X windows a browser....most of what you'd like in 50 MB. Linux not being useful running on top of Windows? I use this all of the time at work. Have it and my SSH keys for the server on the key and if I am in someone's office and need to log into the server, I pop it in, boot it up and SSH in and take care of the problem right then and there. When I am done, I just yank the key need to shut QEMU down because after it boots, everything is on a ram disk. Close out QEMU and the person's PC I borrowed is untouched. John Dvorak was good at this stuff back when we were all limping along with 286's. He know's diddly squat now and I wish PC Magazine would hire someone else.
  • Re:Don't click (Score:5, Informative)

    by KhaZ ( 160984 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:13PM (#11778774) Homepage
    If you really want to read it, but don't want to generate hits, here's a link to Google's cache (via tinyurl, to make it nicer looking. :) ) []

    Basically, I'm just looking for an easy way to get a +Something Informative. :)
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:18PM (#11778840) Homepage Journal
    So what Redmond has to do is invest billions of stockholder dollars to develop a product they know they will kill once it kills everyone else and most of their own customer base is stranded in a no man's land of neither Windows mor Linux.

    I haven't heard logic like that since Metallica sued their own fans.

    MS is a closed company making closed products. The only way they can 'kill' Linux is to:

    1) Be safer, faster more stable
    2) Cheaper
    3) Easier to manage

    They already lost on 1 & 2 but they are winning on 3.

    To be fair though there are whole categories of drivers that Linux does not do a great job with. Like Wacom tablets. The official Linux driver is source code you get from sourceforge and build it yourself. Lots of sound cards don't work, etc..
  • cygwin (Score:4, Informative)

    by scovetta ( 632629 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:20PM (#11778856) Homepage
    Actually, it sounds more like cygwin. Run your linux apps on Windows. That didn't kill Linux either.
  • Re:whatever (Score:2, Informative)

    by spisska ( 796395 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:20PM (#11778858)

    There is. Its called ndiswrapper []. From what I understand, it will 'translate' the MS API into Linux, allowing you to use MS drivers in Linux.

    I don't know all the details, but I know that it worked for me in getting a Netgear 802.11g card to work under Mandrake. I ended up finding a native Linux driver a week later, but in the meantime the card worked, and wasn't very difficult to get running.

    It seems to me that if you take Dvorak's comments to their logical conclusion that:

    * MS can kill Linux because Linux doesn't have full driver support;

    * Therefore, Linux can kill MS by implementing driver support.

    Somehow, I believe that it is far more likely that the community, and the hardware vendors, will make Linux drivers available long before Redmond can figure out how to release Linux without a GPL.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:44PM (#11779173)
    A lot of people called dvorak stupid because they didn't understand his last article, on Google co-opting Wikipedia []. That's because the /. story linked to page 2 and with only the tiniest clue that it wasn't the start of the article people just didn't get it. Please re-read it from the start before diss'ing him (and contribute to wikipedia's fund-raising drive []).

  • by famazza ( 398147 ) <fabio.mazzarino @ g m a> on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:57PM (#11779321) Homepage Journal
    • Once the developers saw that happen they'd stop working on Linux and it would die.

    Have this man ever voluteered for anything is his whole small life? Does he knows the pleasure of doing something that can make our world a better place?

    Volunteering as a free software developer is a pleasure, so developers WILL NEVER stop working on Linux. And suppose that they will, it's a very good chance for the popularity of Hurd (still incipient), and others free software OSes.

    As told before: FUD. But I'll add one more commentary. This man has shown, again, that he can't see beyond his own nose, he's simply unable to understand the point of view of others and think about how they would act, how they feel about things that they praise so much.

    He simply didn't have the effort to look for solutions similar to the "secret-projet-that-will-kill-linux" that actually runs on windows and is free. It's a mistery how this man can be a columnist so respected.

    Of course there are many good things to be said about this man. But I'll let it to other opportunity.

  • by PickyH3D ( 680158 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @02:00PM (#11779350)
    He's not talking about Linux running under Windows. He is talking about a stand-alone version of Linux released by Microsoft that can be packaged with a proprietary driver management program that allows Window's drivers to run easily under Linux (to get all of the Plug n Play capabilities). The idea of Linux under Windows was probably what popped this idea into his head and he used that to show the reader his approach. Looking at a lot of the other replies, most people did not seem to get the point of his article, or maybe you guys only read the first two or three paragraphs.

    It's actually quite a good idea and it would definitely make them the standardly picked Linux distribution by any name brand PC maker. Also, the beauty of this scenario for Microsoft is that they benefit from everyone elses work on Linux (just like Novell benefits from Red Hat currently) and the only thing they really have to work on is the driver package.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @02:12PM (#11779534) Homepage Journal
    Yeah. Maybe. You can do this already, today too.

    The NTFS.sys vcan be loaded as a userspace filesystem, and Aetheros/Broadcom cards have Windows NDIS drvers that have linux wrappers/stubs.

    Dvorak is still talking through his hat.

  • Free Drivers (Score:2, Informative)

    by Blitzenn ( 554788 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @02:24PM (#11779677) Homepage Journal
    The article did not state that the drivers are free. The point of the article is to show how the plug and play portion of Windows, the driver layer, can be seperated and attached to a linux build, supplying the linux package with a part that is sorely missing right now. It's the layer that attaches drivers to the OS, not the drivers themselves.
  • Re:Confused... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Thunderstruck ( 210399 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @02:28PM (#11779719)
    Disclaimer: A wise post once said, the plural of anecdote is not data.

    I've run Xandros 2.0 Deluxe at home for about a year now, it has crashed 4-5 times, and only when my cat gets behind the CPU. I don't know exactly what the connection is, but I suspect it is not software related.

  • Re:Confused... (Score:2, Informative)

    by michrech ( 468134 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @02:39PM (#11779854)
    Would appear you are underqualified for it.

    Everything I have read states that linux is, in fact, the kernel.

    The rest are tools that sit atop and provide you the interface.

    Have a nice day.
  • Re:Confused... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25, 2005 @03:02PM (#11780128)
    actually SuSE does have a free .iso download.

    I've used all of the above except slackware and I prefer SuSE set up with APT-RPM.

    it's stable (except for the buggy 3D drivers from ATI (proprietary!)) and fast.

    and has the _best_ hardware detection. Plug in a camera it mounts it automagically. Plug in a printer, it finds the correct driver. Mandrake and fedora were seriously lacking in this capability.
  • by runderwo ( 609077 ) * <{runderwo} {at} {}> on Friday February 25, 2005 @03:09PM (#11780207)
    This would truly be one of the holy grails of computing: the device manufacturer would only need to write and maintain a single driver, and everything from Windows to BeOS would be able to use it.
    UDI has already been proposed, hyped up, and subsequently ignored. It turns out that getting the best performance on a given platform is more important to anyone involved than having driver source compatibility across platforms.
  • Re:Confused... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ckaminski ( 82854 ) <slashdot-nospam@ ... om minus physici> on Friday February 25, 2005 @03:14PM (#11780265) Homepage
    I've been running SuSE 7.2 & 8.2 fault free for nearly 3 years now. Well, the only fault I seem to have is an XFree86 issue with my KVM, and my RAID controller set to halt on failure when a drive dies (oops).

    SuSE has given out free .iso's of their Personal edition for some time, at least since 8.2. Since the personal edition is missing some software I use, I tend to stick to the boxed version.
  • by jbordall ( 620303 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @06:30PM (#11782628) Journal
    Has Dvorak heard of coLinux (Cooperative Linux)? It runs as a Windows service and tries to offer the user the best of both worlds: It looks very promising.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard