How does this affect Microsoft’s status in the open source community? The OSI Board (of which I am a member) welcomed Microsoft’s news as as “continued progress toward full embrace of open source” and there’s no doubt this, like the news about Linux support in Azure, signals great progress. We welcome each new initiative, but the rehabilitation process is not completed by any individual act or even by a sequence of them.
To move beyond stage five of the journey to open source, Microsoft needs to take a holistic view and ensure every business unit of its famously divided company treats open source with respect. While Microsoft continues to tolerate sociopathy in the business units not yet embracing open source – such as the patent attacks on Linux community members by its patent portfolio group or the covert politics to undermine Open Document Format – it’s hard to treat the company with the full respect it believes it deserves.
As the inevitability of open source gradually pervades Microsoft like Aslan’s breath, hope increases that the company will choose to act as a full member of the Linux community – for example, by joining OIN as a way to forswear patent attacks on open source community members. I sincerely hope Microsoft completes this journey.
Let’s not forget — let’s never forget — Microsoft has reveled in their role as digital brownshirts since one of their many ill-conceived, all-conquering goals was to strangle FOSS and Linux in its proverbial cradle. It continues to this day, and for the foreseeable future, in patent shakedowns and insistence on locked-in interfaces no one else can use, among other digital inconsistencies aimed at providing only one option: theirs.
So we’re just supposed to forget the fact that we were once considered a “cancer” by this company — letting bygones be bygones — solely because they say they “love Linux” and because they open-sourced some of their software under some obscure license?
Windows Phone users are used to waiting for Microsoft to deliver on its promises, but the company has been testing their patience recently. Microsoft has abandoned its "first and best on Windows" strategy in favor of cross-platform apps that are nearly always better on Android and iOS than their Windows tablet and phone counterparts. Office is the latest proof of a continuous trend that’s leaving Microsoft’s most-loyal Windows customers out in the cold.
After shipping Office for iPad earlier this year, way ahead of a touch-optimized Windows release, Microsoft followed up with an even better version for the iPhone last week. While the initial Office for iPhone app, released last year, offered basic editing like its Windows Phone counterpart, the new app goes way above and beyond the functionality Microsoft ships on Windows Phone. Comparing the two almost feels unfair at this stage. Microsoft is working on new touch-optimized versions of Office for Windows tablets and phones, but the company won’t deliver them until Windows 10 is ready next year. It’s another period of waiting for Windows fans.
It’s quite obvious that it’s more about Microsoft needs Linux vs. Microsoft loves Linux. If they do love Linux, we will see them doing more ground work than just sending flowers.
Coggin says, “We are hopeful that Microsoft’s recent embrace of Linux represents more than symbolic contributions, instead representing an expanded commitment to bringing more choice to the marketplace.”
The Linux community would assume that the new lover would end all legal threats of patent infringement. We would not be seeing Brad Smith bragging about yet another patent deal with some Linux player, instead we would see him blogging about Linux Defenders.
The power of love would make Microsoft join organizations like OIN and ensure their love interest that there is nothing to fear because ‘I love you’. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them working towards dismantling the patent troll Rock Star Consortium which was created from the ashes of Nortel to mainly combat Linux and Open Source.
We would also see a ‘Microsoft in love’ joining the Linux Foundation to ‘foster’ the growth of their love object.
If we see any of this happening before we meet aliens, we will know that Microsoft does love Linux, otherwise that heart is just a sugar coating around the word ‘need’.
Microsoft is just so desperate to lock in developers, who are rapidly moving away to FOSS and saying goodbye to Windows because Android/Linux is on the rise. The Linux Foundation’s CEO, Jim Zemlin, has already commented on Microsoft’s openwashing attempt, correctly pointing out that Microsoft is just trying to lure in developers because Windows is no longer dominant.
So yeah, we occasionally run into people who have reinstalled Windows. We refuse to do it for them even if they supply a legitimate copy of Windows. Many of them have called after the switch to ask for help with virus or malware infections. We simply tell them that if they had left Linux on their child’s computer, we would not be having this discussion.
Some months ago, I visited a Microsoft site to see if it could identify my OS correctly. I am a Linux user and the site identified my computer as a device running Windows 8.
Anyway, after all this time, I visited the MS site again and, to my surprise, it can now see me as a "non-windows user" Wow! I call that improvement!
Microsoft consistently opposed the policy, which the software giant saw as its last chance to overturn the UK government’s broader plans for open standards. As emails seen by Computer Weekly reveal, the decision became an issue in the supplier’s Seattle boardroom, and brought the lobbying powers of the software giant into full force in Whitehall.
There has been speculation about the role played by senior government minister David Willetts, then minister of state for universities and science in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), but who later left the post in David Cameron’s 2014 summer reshuffle.
An investigation by Computer Weekly has revealed that – according to well-placed sources – Microsoft turned to Willetts to help win its case, with the supplier’s global chief operating officer (COO) Kevin Turner getting involved. But neither BIS nor David Willetts himself is willing to discuss the role the minister played in Microsoft's attempts to influence this obscure but vitally important part of government IT policy.
Willetts was the government’s liaison point for Microsoft, as a major employer and investor in the UK economy. He also served as co-chair of the Information Economy Council, a body set up to enable dialogue between Whitehall and the IT industry over future policy.