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Microsoft Businesses Open Source Technology Linux

Microsoft Claims 'We Love Open Source' 464

jbrodkin writes "Everyone in the Linux world remembers Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's famous comment in 2001 that Linux is a 'cancer' that threatened Microsoft's intellectual property. While Microsoft hasn't formally rescinded its declaration that Linux violates its patents, at least one Microsoft executive admits that the company's earlier battle stance was a mistake. Microsoft wants the world to understand, whatever its issues with Linux, it no longer has any gripe toward open source."
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Microsoft Claims 'We Love Open Source'

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  • Not too surprising? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @05:19PM (#33347306)

    This shouldn't surprise anyone too much. Ten years ago some people really thought that Linux was going to replace Windows on everyone's desktop, open source projects were going to kill Office, etc.

    Which never happened.

    The reality is that there's room for both open and closed source software in the world.

  • Re:My question (Score:4, Informative)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @05:24PM (#33347412) Journal

    Microsoft has been doing this once or twice a year since somewhere around 2003. Just wait, the latest turncoat from the open source community to get hired up for whatever craptastic OSS lab Microsoft is setting up this week as part of its never-ending propaganda campaign will come on here and want us all to submit questions, to which he will give misleading non-answers, just so the vile pigs at Redmond can go "We're trying to engage the community!"

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @05:28PM (#33347448)
    The just have a different definition of what "open source" means than you and I. "Open Source" to Microsoft means that they are free to incorporate other people's work into their software with any reciprocation or release of the modified code. Unfortunately many companies feel this way open source code.
  • Re:Meet the 4 stages (Score:5, Informative)

    by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @05:38PM (#33347610)

    Embrace, extend, extinguish.

    Never forget. Microsoft has never helped open source. They have only contributed to their own version of it, which is very much unlike open source as it was defined 10+ years ago.

  • by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @05:41PM (#33347662)

    There's a group of companies that contribute some of their patent portfolio to protect Linux. Attempts at squishing Linux with Microsoft's patent portfolio will only result in a nuclear meltdown in a patent war. Just don't live with the false impression that Linux can't defend itself. And remember, Microsoft is on the loosing end of most patent lawsuits.

  • by OutSourcingIsTreason ( 734571 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @05:53PM (#33347822)
    That isn't my experience. Several years ago I worked at a software house that was acquired by Microsoft. The first thing they did was audit our source code to identify all the modules derived from open source. Before the sale could go through we had to rewrite those modules from scratch.
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @06:26PM (#33348230)

    No DOS stole from CP/M.

  • Re:Meet the 4 stages (Score:5, Informative)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @06:44PM (#33348430) Homepage Journal

    Your argument is as useful as "War helps camaraderie".

    Please get a lil dose of actual impact [] of Microsoft on computing experience instead.

  • Re:Meet the 4 stages (Score:5, Informative)

    by massysett ( 910130 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @07:05PM (#33348642) Homepage

    Microsoft Research pays [] people [] to work on Haskell and the leading Haskell compiler, GHC. GHC is licensed [] under the BSD license, which is "free" and "open source" by any definition.

    To say this company has "never" helped open source is a bit extreme. Like any profit-making entity, it helps open source when doing so is in Microsoft's interest.

  • Re:Meet the 4 stages (Score:3, Informative)

    by William Stein ( 259724 ) <> on Monday August 23, 2010 @09:54PM (#33349920) Homepage

    Microsoft has given significant funding to support the development of Sage [] and R. In the case of Sage the funding has always been "no strings attached". (I am director of the Sage project, and Sage is licenced under the GPL.)

  • Re:Meet the 4 stages (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:10PM (#33350036)

    We'd all be running Apple Macs today if it were not for Microsoft.

  • by Eskarel ( 565631 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:11PM (#33350050)

    SQL Server is gaining ground on Oracle at a rather dramatic rate, it's cheaper, works just as well in most cases, and Microsoft is a hell of a lot less evil than Oracle. MySQL sucks and always has, it's not remotely viable for anything even remotely resembling a large data set and pretty much no vendor anywhere supports it. Postgres is quite good, but has almost no market penetration.

    IIS isn't as good as Apache, but IIS plus .NET is far better and easier to work with than any JEE container I've ever used. As static web pages become less and less of the volume of the web, Apache's superiority is greatly diminshed.

    As for the rest of it, if you're going to be working in a VM environment, then letting anything touch the bare metal that doesn't have to is pretty much crazy. Microsoft supports all their products on VMs so why wouldn't you virtualize them?

  • by Tim99 ( 984437 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @03:42AM (#33351994)
    I think that the dominance of MySQL in its large niche is fairly simple to explain. In its early days MySQL had a native Windows Version (January 1998 for Windows 95 and NT), PostgreSQL did not.

    MySQL had only been working on their product for only a few years before that. PostgreSQL's origins go back much further (to Ingres) from the 1970s, when it ran on minicomputers (including Unix on DEC). The only way of running PostgreSQL on Windows was with tools like Cygwin, it did not run as a native Windows Server until version 8 in 2005.
    To get PostgreSQL running on Windows may have been quite challenging to the Windows based crowd who were starting to dominate the low end of the market when the Y2K and web boom accelerated in the late 1990s. Many of these projects were written and developed on a couple of Windows based PCs by people with little formal IT education. These projects had a couple of tables at most, and many of the people who wrote them had little understanding of the possible advantages of referential integrity - Sometimes all of the "logic" layer was written in the front end.
    At this time (with the exception of the low end free Micrsoft SQL Server 7 product that could run under Windows 9x), most relational databases were expensive and required considerable expertise to set up. All of this meant that the "just good enough" MySQL free product dominated. Later many of the people who had this background moved to the easily deployed LAMP environment, so MySQL became even more entrenched.
  • by yyxx ( 1812612 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @04:10AM (#33352146)

    Microsoft wasn't the original evil that drove open source; Symbolics, IBM, AT&T, and a whole bunch of other companies were. Microsoft essentially just took over from IBM.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27