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

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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  • Dearest Jim Zemlin: (Score:5, Informative)

    by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:47AM (#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...
  • Re:Make the stand. (Score:3, Informative)

    by onefriedrice ( 1171917 ) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:04AM (#22738616)
    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 redid WC2 nowadays, they could do a better job. Oh wait, they did. It's called Warcraft 3... which doesn't run (natively) on Linux?
  • Re:Make the stand. (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:09AM (#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.
  • by Divebus ( 860563 ) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:27AM (#22738878)
    Why not? How's that Microsoft deal going for Novell? [] In fact, how has almost any deal with Microsoft gone? Before you know it, you've got puppet strings on you.
  • by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:29AM (#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.
  • Re:Make the stand. (Score:5, Informative)

    by onefriedrice ( 1171917 ) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:40AM (#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.
  • by Bralkein ( 685733 ) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @02:23PM (#22741834)
    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, Microsoft is increasingly trying to cultivate a more open-friendly image, and in the face of this the Free Software community can't afford to just stonewall them, because if that happens then Microsoft will just be able to point their finger and say "Well we want to cooperate, but those guys just have something against us".

    The line that Jim Zemlin is taking is a good one, in this case. He's making a positive statement about cooperation, which is necessary to show that those in the Free Software community aren't bitter, jealous people, but he is also stipulating that any cooperation that takes place must be in the true spirit of friendship, and nothing less. Microsoft are trying to make a big show of turning over a new leaf and becoming cooperative, but these patent threats haven't magically been retracted and as long as Microsoft continue to take an aggressive stance towards Linux then that is going to have a negative effect on cooperation. The line "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" sums it up for me: no patent nonsense, no legal BS; we just want to work together to improve software technology. That's real cooperation!
  • by rifter ( 147452 ) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @06:12PM (#22744590) Homepage

    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 to TFA, what the Linux Foundation is asking for is some help from Microsoft in communicating over Microsoft protocols and dealing with the API, etc. They did suggest they wanted to do this in an Open Source way, but Open Source != Free Software. Open Source allows for additional restrictions from the vendor or a part closed source model. So maybe Microsoft gives some decent object definitions and such to the Linux Foundation and allows these little bits of code to be used in the GPL Linux Kernel, but does not have to provide or distribute the whole source code of their product or even of the relevant library necessarily. Nevertheless, given Microsoft's previous behaviour in this area (even Windows developers complain of incomplete and untrustable documentation from Microsoft), I would not hold my breath even for such a crumb as this.

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