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Linus Calls Microsoft Hatred "a Disease" 634

Hugh Pickens writes "In the aftermath of Microsoft's recent decision to contribute 20,000 lines of device driver code to the Linux community, Christopher Smart of Linux Magazine talked to Linus Torvalds and asked if the code was something he would be happy to include, even though it's from Microsoft. 'Oh, I'm a big believer in "technology over politics." I don't care who it comes from, as long as there are solid reasons for the code, and as long as we don't have to worry about licensing etc. issues,' says Torvalds. 'I may make jokes about Microsoft at times, but at the same time, I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease. I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out.' Smart asked Torvalds if Microsoft was contributing the code to benefit the Linux community or Microsoft. 'I agree that it's driven by selfish reasons, but that's how all open source code gets written! We all "scratch our own itches." It's why I started Linux, it's why I started git, and it's why I am still involved. It's the reason for everybody to end up in open source, to some degree,' says Torvalds. 'So complaining about the fact that Microsoft picked a selfish area to work on is just silly. Of course they picked an area that helps them. That's the point of open source — the ability to make the code better for your particular needs, whoever the "your" in question happens to be.'"
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Linus Calls Microsoft Hatred "a Disease"

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  • by Xocet_00 ( 635069 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @05:01PM (#28821499)
    Unless I'm mistaken (and I very well may be) the code released is under the GPL, which seems to me to eliminate any worry about "licensing etc. issues", regardless of Microsoft's history.
  • Re:re comments (Score:5, Informative)

    by someone1234 ( 830754 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @05:08PM (#28821567)

    Microsoft is sharing its stuff because they were caught red handed.
    This 'sharing' is a good thing, but it isn't the merit of Microsoft, it is a merit of the GPL.
    Some people still don't want to realise this.
    If Linus will ever use this Microsoft code, he can thank this to the license he chose years ago, he couldn't do the same now if he started Linux using the BSD license.

  • by paxcoder ( 1222556 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @05:29PM (#28821729)
    Free software supporters are skeptic when it comes to code that's designed for the non-free environment (eg. run on Windows, must be compiled with non-free software etc.) - that's the case with me anyway. This driver, if I understood it correctly, has no other purpose but to enable a proprietary VM to work with the kernel (correct me if I'm wrong). If I'm right, I see no reason why it should ever be included in it.
  • by Excelsior ( 164338 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @05:39PM (#28821803)

    That's the sexiest thing to come from the Linux community in forever.

    In fairness, the [] previous [] competition [] wasn't [] exactly [] intense [].

  • by rtaylor ( 70602 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @05:42PM (#28821831) Homepage

    The best example went to court where Fox argued that there was "nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization"; the Florida Appeals court agreed with that statement.

    As a result, Fox and all other US news organizations are fully within their right (in Florida at least) to make up anything they want. []

  • Um, no to Re:Um, no (Score:5, Informative)

    by baboo_jackal ( 1021741 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @05:52PM (#28821909)
    GP is talking about the fact that Dave Cutler, the dude who architected VMS at DEC later went to work for Microsoft and ended up architecting Windows NT. Either GP is ignorant of this fact, or they were being intentionally misleading and trying to imply that someone at Microsoft stole something from VMS. Which isn't true. (unless you count Cutler's freely choosing to change jobs "stealing" somehow.)
  • Um, yes. (Score:1, Informative)

    by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:02PM (#28821993)
    Dave Cutler didn't architect VMS. Dave was one of the developers. Dave took what he learned at D.E.C. and "brought it over to Microsoft." Microsoft wooed him over, paid him extra, and got W/NT (note the letters are one higher than VMS).

    Had this been something Dave did on his own, he'd have been fired. Instead Microsoft accepted responsibility for stealing D.E.C's code, paid a large amount of money, did a deal with chip mfg, and everyone went away happy.

    I've said it twice now, but apparently you Microsoft shills don't get it. You can't rewrite history. Sooner or later someone will use google and find your shame.

    FACT: Microsoft's W/NT used concepts and code from DEC VMS

    FACT: Microsoft elected to pay DEC instead of defend in court and maybe lose the right to use the stolen code

    FACT: The truth IS out there as anyone who reads the interwebs will see.


  • Re:Um, no (Score:5, Informative)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:33PM (#28822267)

    Yeah, they did.

    So why the mod up to +5 with no working link to support the assertion?

    Why the Fastest Chip Didn't Win" (Business Week, April 28, 1997) states that when Digital engineers noticed the similarities between VMS and NT, they brought their observations to senior management. Rather than suing, Digital cut a deal with Microsoft. In the summer of 1995, Digital announced Affinity for OpenVMS, a program that required Microsoft to help train Digital NT technicians, help promote NT and Open-VMS as two pieces of a three-tiered client/server networking solution, and promise to maintain NT support for the Alpha processor. Microsoft also paid Digital between 65 million and 100 million dollars.

    Interestingly, throughout the 1990s, Digital introduced many NT features to VMS, and Microsoft has added VMS developments to NT. For example, VMS featured native clustering support in 1984, and 64-bit memory and system APIs in 1996. Windows NT and VMS: The Rest of the Story [] [1998]

    Digital began spinning off bits and pieces of the corporation in 1992 - the last remnants going to Compaq in 1998. Digital Equipment Corporation [] You could argue that when the VMS team abandoned ship, Microsoft was there with a lifeboat.

    It happens in this business.

  • Re:a disease (Score:3, Informative)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:48PM (#28822375) Journal

    Microsoft-hating is a disease that you catch from doing business with Microsoft.

    Modded funny, but insightful is more like it. If someone were to force Torvalds to do all his coding on a Windows box using Visual Studio and Visual Sourcesafe, he'd pick up at least a minor case of Microsoft-hate.

  • Re:Um, no (Score:3, Informative)

    by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy @ g m a> on Saturday July 25, 2009 @07:19PM (#28822621)

    NT was about as much like VMS as Linux is like OS/2 Warp.

    The architectures of VMS and NT are very, very similar [].

    Which is neither surprising nor damning, given the same person was one of the main designers of both.

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @09:45PM (#28823455) Journal

    To be fair, Microsoft has been practicing *extortion* when dealing with large corporations; threatened to sue and excommunicate companies, slandering, and fired their own employees for using LOTS of non-Microsoft products.

    FOSS isn't special. Microsoft does the same with anything it perceives as a threat. There have been stories of employees who use Macs getting fired; iPods and iPhones getting fired; extortion against OEMs who bundle WordPerfect, Lotus or any non-Microsoft competitor.

    They haven't changed at all. They want to be on top and are willing to fight everyone and anyone who threatens them.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sentientbrendan ( 316150 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @12:59AM (#28824451)

    >Sorry if that sounds kind if "hippy", but saying that the entire FOSS world is based around nothing but hatred for a particular
    >corporation really cheapens the accomplishments of the people involved.

    What Linus was saying is that this is true of *some* people, and that they typically think of themselves as being part of some political movement i.e. "Free Software" as opposed to "Open Source."

    Obviously, if everyone was more interested in politics than software like the FS guys are, we wouldn't get anywhere. For this reason, Torvalds and other have advocated Open Source as a pragmatic and non-political alternative to Free Software.

    Open Source is essentially an open and cooperative development model with an open license. It is a model focussed on the development of quality software for which source is available for tinkering.

    "Free Software" on the other hand has little to do with software at all, but is a political dogma centered around Richard Stallman as supreme leader, focussed on fighting copyright and corporate interests.

    Indeed projects organized by the Free Software foundation aren't that open at all, and follow the cathedral model of development. This has historically led to a number of forks such as the GCC and emacs/xemacs forks, and also failed projects like HURD. FSF projects tend to be beset with political infighting... because they are about politics as much as they are about software. Some people are more interested in being "top revolutionary" than writing good code.

    I think it's clear the open source people tend to have less patience for that kind of nonsense and that's why projects run on the open model are more successful. That's why Linux succeeded where HURD failed. That's why FSF projects are consistently forking into projects run in the bazaar model. See GCC/LLVM for a more recent example of this.

    However, the FSF guys, because they are into politics, love to generate lots of noise. That's why sometimes it seems like they run the show, when in terms of projects and useful code, they are a tiny fraction.

  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Sunday July 26, 2009 @01:00AM (#28824455) Homepage
    This means that as soon as you hit 18 you can choose to smoke dope, frequent hookers, drink alcohol (that's from 16, really), eat shrooms, vote, have sex (that's from 16, really), have same sex sex, marry someone of any gender, have an abortion, commit euthanasia in a pinch and convert to any or no religion.

    Just can't choose your words [], or choose to own a firearm []. Honestly, realize you can be imprisoned for what you say.

    Yet we are a social-democracy. According to many Americans this seems to equal a Socialist or even Communist State. In spite of all the choices we have, we're reputed not to be "free". When I then urge these individuals to consider the range of choices they have and from what age, they tend to shrug their shoulders and tell me they're right anyhow.

    "Many" would still mean a minority, though. I'm curious where you're meeting these Americans, by the way, most of those who would call the Netherlands "communist" tend to be found in more rural areas that most Europeans never really go to. If you're meaning the internet, then that's not really a good way to just anything in terms of public opinion, because the most ignorant people tend to be the loudest.
  • by ChameleonDave ( 1041178 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @03:14AM (#28825017) Homepage
    Although I basically agree with every part of that, your argument is a perfect example of argumentum ad hominem.
  • by MasaMuneCyrus ( 779918 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @03:45AM (#28825111)

    I don't claim to know what happened in your previous discussions, but I would venture to guess that people stated that Holland was Socialist not because of their social freedoms, but because of your 6%/19% VAT, your income tax that goes as high as 52%, and your "wealth tax". []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:47AM (#28825567)

    So there are lists out there of what Microsoft has done? Link pls?

    The History of Microsoft's Anti-Competitive Behavior []

  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @09:18AM (#28826355)

    I really hope you meant assisted suicide rather than euthanasia (mercy killing).

    He didn't. Euthanasia is allowed there, if your doctor doesn't think your "quality of life" will be high enough.

Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute.