Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:04 UTC, submitted by davidiwharper
Linspire Linspire has announced an agreement to license voice-enabled instant messaging, Windows Media 10 codecs, and TrueType font technologies from Microsoft for its Linux distribution. Additionally, Microsoft will offer protection to Linspire customers against possible violations of Microsoft patents by Linux.
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An opinion I'd like to know..
by wannabe geek on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:16 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

So, Mr. ESR, what do you think of this?
I'm genuinely curious.
:)

Reply Score: 5

RE: An opinion I'd like to know..
by happycamper on Fri 15th Jun 2007 08:35 UTC in reply to "An opinion I'd like to know.."
happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

"So, Mr. ESR, what do you think of this? "

that linux needs crappy Microsoft software in order to survive.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

More correct. He would say: "Linux needs Microsoft codecs in order to play WMV10 files."

I don't believe anybody thinks the WMV10 container is a crappy format.

Reply Score: 3

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21
hmm...
by vinzer on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:21 UTC
vinzer
Member since:
2006-08-16

Nothing to see here. Just another low-to-middle-of-the-pack Linux company trying to woo hesitant/uninformed/FUDded clients to try their brand of Linux. Linspire, through Carmony, in particular, have always had their eye on the MS pie once Novell struck their deal with MS.

I can't blame the prospective clients. The US patent system really needs to be overhauled.

I'm much more interested to see how the community over at Linspire/Freespire react to this.

Personally, I'd feel grossly insulted if I was a Linux kernel developer, seeing how companies easily undermine my work. First, by making money off of it and not even helping out with the coding for the most part (these small time companies could've at least hired some devs to help out with the coding). And second, which is much worse, by assuming that my code the code of my peers are tainted and infringes on phantom patents - but they still wanna make money off my hard work, at that.

And no, I doubt any of these people talking and making a pact with MS has seen the patents MS is blowing smoke about.

Edited 2007-06-14 16:30

Reply Score: 5

RE: hmm...
by melkor on Fri 15th Jun 2007 03:59 UTC in reply to "hmm..."
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

You pretty much summed it up, pity I can't mod you up even more ;)

Surely, the Linux kernel developers can take a class lawsuit against Microsoft for false comments that are seeking to infringe upon the DOJ settlement agreement? We all know that Microsoft owns the US politicians though...

Dave

Reply Score: 2

sigh ....
by antwarrior on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:27 UTC
antwarrior
Member since:
2006-02-11

I have to admit that Microsoft, this time, has been able to read the times quite well,It was ridiculous at the beginning to have envisioned this, some would have laughed out loud at it's suggestions.... but it's happening. Reading the article it makes sense for Linspire to jump at this, it makes their life easier, for them and their customers using current technology. Even thought,this is done at the expense of the rest of the open source community. I suspect that Linspire would soon regret this deciions ,as would Xandros, not only the backlash from the community , but also when Microsofts true colours show. The decision is so short sighted ... it affects the technology producers more than it does the consumers, it affects the developers more than the users..and in the long run the users would once again have their rights eroded.... blah!!!!

Reply Score: 5

Last nail in the coffin
by 2fargone on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:30 UTC
2fargone
Member since:
2006-02-20

Count me out on ever using Lin/Freespire. After Novell sold out, I really thought about using Linspire again, but now, forget it.

Not that it's a big deal, it was a pretty mediocre distro anyways. Garish with dated software. Woohoo.

However, having made MS bow and pay them off for Lindows, I gave them some respect. Not because I like seeing them make MS pay, but because they stood up and defended their position agains a mega corp, and won (or rather settled). But reflecting on that after knowing this, it's just seems like greed all around and instead of respect, I have distaste.

I don't have a problem licensing the fonts or the codecs, but the patent peace is another thing. Here's hoping the GPL v3 comes sooner than later.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Last nail in the coffin
by airwedge1 on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:17 UTC in reply to "Last nail in the coffin"
airwedge1 Member since:
2006-02-22

This is exactly what they want. They want to piss off, and split up the community. Divide and conquer. In my opinion, if we want to beat whatever MS is trying to do, then everyone needs to continue as normal, and completely ignore the stupid Sh*t MS is doing

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Last nail in the coffin
by cmost on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Last nail in the coffin"
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

"This is exactly what they want. They want to piss off, and split up the community. Divide and conquer."

I couldn't agree more. Microsoft is nothing if not an expert manipulator of FUD. They're going after the Linux community's uneasy cohesiveness by targeting the contentious "free & open only" purists versus those who are willing to use closed, proprietary binary blobs. Purists will abhor any and all affiliation with Microsoft while those who want to use their computers for proprietary content (i.e., MS codecs, drivers, etc) will embrace these patent protection / licensing schemes. Personally, I don't want anything to do with Microsoft. They're a bunch of shady crooks! If Microsoft believes they have valid claims, then they need to show the evidence or shut up! Linux companies who are inking these deals are simply trying to play both sides of the fence and the OSS community should avoid their offerings like the plague! Too bad Corporate buyers won't.

Edited 2007-06-14 17:49

Reply Score: 2

RE: Last nail in the coffin
by IvoLimmen on Fri 15th Jun 2007 07:34 UTC in reply to "Last nail in the coffin"
IvoLimmen Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think I will ever use a Linux distribution that has an agreement signed with Microsoft. I hope that Canonical does not sign an agreement with Microsoft or I will switch (probably to Debian).

Reply Score: 2

Rear Interoperability
by jcpinto on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:34 UTC
jcpinto
Member since:
2006-08-30

Linspire blew it this time...

Not only they gave their rear to Microsoft, but also pay royalties for DRM and Audio MSN (but not video).

They betrayed the few that still believed them, while standing in four and giving their back to Microsoft who laughs in pleasure and profits with each copy sold by another 'Linux Company'.

If we wanted that kind of 'interoperability' we would use Microsoft or Apple and not Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Rear Interoperability
by wannabe geek on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:44 UTC in reply to "Rear Interoperability"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

What's the fuss with MSN? I recall using a webcam with aMsn in PCLinuxOS, and seeing people who used MSN. Did the protocols change?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Rear Interoperability
by holywood on Fri 15th Jun 2007 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Rear Interoperability"
holywood Member since:
2006-09-25

yeah webcam is working with amsn (or kopete), but audio is another story, i don't know why.

Maybe that's why they paid for audio MSN ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Rear Interoperability
by wannabe geek on Fri 15th Jun 2007 01:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Rear Interoperability"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Well, I'll have to check. Audio problems are not uncommon in Linux ;)
But MS keeps changing its protocols and introducing new "features". Text is enough for me.

I think we should go the Beryl way: Make an AWESOME messenger with an open protocol, and make people say "WOW, I'll drop boring MSN right now!!" ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Rear Interoperability
by DigitalAxis on Fri 15th Jun 2007 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Rear Interoperability"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

That will only work if all of their friends drop too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Rear Interoperability
by raver31 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Rear Interoperability"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Not if they all adopt an excellent messenger like this one..

http://imvu.com/catalog/web_invitation.php?userId=13459923&from=pow...

Reply Score: 2

It all makes sense
by archiesteel on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:40 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

That's why Kevin Carmony was somewhat critical of GPLv3 in his previous newsletter...

http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=18024&comment_id=245661

Well, I'm still wary of Microsoft, but perhaps this won't turn out to be Yet Another Evil Plan to destroy Linux. Although, at this point, they might as well release Office for Linux - that would be the real sign that their attitude has changed.

Either they're scheming, or they are at such a loss to find a way to fend off Linux that they finally decided that they might as well learn to live with the competition.

Time will tell...I don't trust them, but I hope I'm wrong.

Reply Score: 5

RE: It all makes sense
by jayson.knight on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:06 UTC in reply to "It all makes sense"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"Although, at this point, they might as well release Office for Linux"

In order to release Office for Linux, MS has to A) see that they will get a decent ROI (porting Office to Linux would cost millions in R&D/implementation/production/support costs) which will be tough to do since Linux is built around the idea of free software. Would the majority of Linux users actually pay for MS Office? And more importantly, are there even enough Linux users to offset the cost of porting Office? Would Office be profitable on the Linux platform?

If Linux wants Office, they need to prove to MS that they're worth it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It all makes sense
by A.H. on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: It all makes sense"
A.H. Member since:
2005-11-11

If Linux wants Office, they need to prove to MS that they're worth it.


It does want Office, just not MS Office.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: It all makes sense
by wannabe geek on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It all makes sense"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

it HAS the Office, just not MS Office ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: It all makes sense
by gonzo on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It all makes sense"
gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

it HAS the Office, just not MS Office ;)

No, no, what it has is not THE Office ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: It all makes sense
by wannabe geek on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It all makes sense"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Well, no, it has THE OFFICES: OpenOffice, KOffice, GOffice...

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: It all makes sense
by korpenkraxar on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It all makes sense"
korpenkraxar Member since:
2005-09-10

GOffice? Huh? Did I miss something?

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: It all makes sense
by stestagg on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It all makes sense"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

"David Brent" - Hired by Canonical.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: It all makes sense
by elsewhere on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE: It all makes sense"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Would the majority of Linux users actually pay for MS Office? And more importantly, are there even enough Linux users to offset the cost of porting Office? Would Office be profitable on the Linux platform?

If Linux wants Office, they need to prove to MS that they're worth it.


Do the majority of Windows users actually pay for MS Office? I suspect a considerable portion don't, otherwise we wouldn't see the extreme measures used for validation.

The only truly viable market for linux right now is commercial/enterprise, and that's the segment that would be most likely to pay for their software, and also the only segment in which MS is truly vulnerable to any extent since those customers use different criteria for purchasing considerations than consumers do. But since Office has been used as a tool to keep Windows dominant in the enterprise space by providing a major obstacle to alternative OS adoption, that's not a road they're even going to explore as anything other than a desperation attempt.

Frankly, if OSX had serious enterprise traction or potential, you would never have seen MS Office for Mac, either.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: It all makes sense
by MollyC on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It all makes sense"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Do the majority of Windows users actually pay for MS Office? I suspect a considerable portion don't, otherwise we wouldn't see the extreme measures used for validation. "

I'm not sure what you're saying here. It could be that the "extreme measures for validation" actually increase the number of users that do pay for Office.

Incidentally, Office 2007 Student & Home Edition has been #1 at Amazon.com until today (it's #2 right now, behind Leopard pre-orders), so *somebody's* buying it. (And the Student/Home Edition's "validation" measures aren't that extreme as it allows for installation on 3 computers. That's not that harsh for $120.)

Edited 2007-06-14 18:59

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: It all makes sense
by raver31 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 03:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It all makes sense"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Students need cash to EAT, never mind wasting by giving to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It all makes sense
by archiesteel on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE: It all makes sense"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

porting Office to Linux would cost millions in R&D/implementation/production/support costs


Nonsense. Microsoft could simply reuse the OS X code base to port the software. Sure, it's not as simple as a recompile, but I don't think it would be nearly as difficult as you suggest.

As far as support costs go...what support? You don't get any kind of support when you buy the Windows/OS X version of Office, why would it be any different for the Linux version?

Would the majority of Linux users actually pay for MS Office?


Would the majority of Windows user pay for Office? This has to be the single most pirated productivity app out there (with the possible exception of Photoshop).

I know I probably buy a copy, depending on the quality and price of the port.

And more importantly, are there even enough Linux users to offset the cost of porting Office?


Since Linux has roughly the same market share as OS X, and MS did put out an OS X version, I believe the answer is yes.

Would Office be profitable on the Linux platform?


I don't see it wouldn't.

If Linux wants Office, they need to prove to MS that they're worth it.


I hope you realize how condescending that sounds.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: It all makes sense
by jayson.knight on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It all makes sense"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"As far as support costs go...what support? You don't get any kind of support when you buy the Windows/OS X version of Office, why would it be any different for the Linux version?"

Depending on the version you buy, you get a set amount of free calls to MS for issues. Not to mention that MS has to also train their entire Office support staff not only on Office, but on Linux basics as well...no small feat.

"Since Linux has roughly the same market share as OS X, and MS did put out an OS X version, I believe the answer is yes."

Perhaps, but are those same number of users willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for Office? Mac users are, but they come from a different mindset than Linux users.

"I hope you realize how condescending that sounds."

I meant Linux as a platform needs to prove to MS that a port would be profitable.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: It all makes sense
by archiesteel on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It all makes sense"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Depending on the version you buy, you get a set amount of free calls to MS for issues.


Really? For MS Office? How many calls do you get, for which version? What about the OS X version?

It seems to me that many pro-MS posters here are so negative in their views of Linux that they are unwilling to compromise - and yet a Linux port of MS Office would do wonder to repair some of the burnt bridges between Microsoft and the Linux community!

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: It all makes sense
by jayson.knight on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It all makes sense"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"Really? For MS Office? How many calls do you get, for which version? What about the OS X version?"

For Office 2007, you get unlimited calls for 90 days (90 days after your first support call, not 90 days after you purchase the product). For previous versions it was 2-4 free calls depending on the edition. Mac support follows the same guidelines.

I haven't posted anything negative about Linux at all, and nor would I. The point I'm trying to drive home is that MS deciding to port Office to Linux isn't a decision that's made by someone waking up one morning feeling that it's the right thing to do. It would take years of planning/coding/testing, and would cost 10's if not 100's of millions of dollars. I'd love to see it, but if anything the Linux community themselves are preventing this from ever happening due to their attitude towards closed, proprietary software in general, and specifically towards Microsoft. Again no one is right or wrong, it's just completely different mindsets, and MS would need a completely new business model for their LBU (Linux Business Unit) should they ever decide to form one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: It all makes sense
by BluenoseJake on Fri 15th Jun 2007 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It all makes sense"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

No, MS has to be convinced that their is money to be made in porting Office to Linux. Linux as a platform has, and cannot have anything to prove. Seeing that MS is a public company that has to show it's shareholders a profit, all there needs to be is a business case, and MS doesn't see that.

Porting Office to Linux is not an impossible task. Choosing which distros to support is the tough problem. That's what I think MS is doing right now, separating the ones that will play ball to the ones that won't.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: It all makes sense
by MollyC on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It all makes sense"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Nonsense. Microsoft could simply reuse the OS X code base to port the software. Sure, it's not as simple as a recompile, but I don't think it would be nearly as difficult as you suggest. "

Um, no.
Mac Office is a Mac app, not a unix app. Meaning, it is built against of the two Mac apis (i.e. Carbon & Cocoa; Office uses Carbon), not POSIX or the like. And it's likely that Microsoft doesn't have enough programmers with Linux experience, so they'd have to hire new staff. Then they have to decide if they use Gnome, KDE, or whatever... We're talking about a huge undertaking here, with very low prospects of ROI.


"Would the majority of Windows user pay for Office? This has to be the single most pirated productivity app out there (with the possible exception of Photoshop)."

It doesn't matter whether the "majority" of Windows users pay for Office, all that matters is that enough do that there is ROI.

Linux users:
a. Hate to pay for software.
b. Hate to run closed-source software.
c. Hate Microsoft.

You're telling me that enough Linux users would pay for closed-source software from a company that they hate, to deliver a profit against the huge expense it would take to port MS Office to Linux?

Note that Mac users only fit (c) of the above "hates" (and the silent majority of them don't even even fit (c)). So Mac Office delivers ROI. Linux users, on the other hand, fit a, b, and c, so it's a lot harder there.

Edited 2007-06-14 18:59

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: It all makes sense
by archiesteel on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It all makes sense"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Linux users:
a. Hate to pay for software.
b. Hate to run closed-source software.
c. Hate Microsoft.


I disagree with a), inasmuch as it singles out Linux users. *All* computer users hate paying for software (which is why piracy is so rampant in the Windows and OSX worlds). There's *no* reason to believe that Linux users are *more* averse to pay for software than other types of users. In any case, has someone has already pointed out, the prime target of a Linux version of MS Office would be businesses, who *do* pay for software.

I consider myself a pretty average Linux user, and I would pay for MS Office. In fact, I already use my bought copy with Crossover, which I also paid for.

The fact that Crossover is a successful product invalidates a) all by itself.

As for b), I also don't think that is true. Some closed-source programs for Linux are quite successful (Google Earth and the Nvidia/ATI drivers come to mind). The vast majority of Linux users are pragmatic. They are not *against* closed-source software, even if they will prefer open-source alternatives if they are good enough. This isn't limited to Linux, by the way: it's also true for Windows and OS X (see rebuttal to point a, above).

As for point c), one of the reason Linux users distrust Microsoft is that they figure that the software giant wants to destroy their OS of choice. Publishing a Linux version of MS Office would go a *long* way into restoring some sort of trust for Linux users - and in the long run, that might be worth a lot more than the profit made from Office sales. ROI isn't everything.

In any case, as you pointed out, most Mac users are as vocal in their criticism of MS as Linux users, and yet they still buy Office. Heck, even Windows users bitch about MS all the time...

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: It all makes sense
by mkone on Thu 14th Jun 2007 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It all makes sense"
mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

It doesn't matter whether the "majority" of Windows users pay for Office, all that matters is that enough do that there is ROI.

Linux users:
a. Hate to pay for software.
b. Hate to run closed-source software.
c. Hate Microsoft.


Home users don't have to be the ones buying Office for Linux. But lots of business users can for a good price if it means compatibility with documents produced on Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It all makes sense
by trenchsol on Thu 14th Jun 2007 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE: It all makes sense"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I remember a discussion about MS Office on Linux. MS developers said that there is a problem, because they don't know with whom can they discuss kernel modifications.

Everybody else was confused, wondering what Office has to do with kernel.

It seems that MS Office has to be tied to OS kernel closely. I remember Win98, there was a directory 'MS Office' on disk, even if suite was not installed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: It all makes sense
by jayson.knight on Fri 15th Jun 2007 04:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It all makes sense"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"It seems that MS Office has to be tied to OS kernel closely."

Office was never built to be portable, so why wouldn't they make direct kernel calls if it speeds things up?

Reply Score: 1

RE: It all makes sense
by twenex on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:47 UTC in reply to "It all makes sense"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Either they're scheming, or they are at such a loss to find a way to fend off Linux that they finally decided that they might as well learn to live with the competition.

You're funny today!

Time will tell...I don't trust them, but I hope I'm wrong.

Let's just hope that by the time any fools^H^H^H^H^H customers who are enticed to {Novell,Xandros,Linspire} by these deals find out, that trusting Microsoft is about as smart as trying to run Mac software on a PC, or trusting a politician, there'll still be a Linux distro around for them to flee to.

Reply Score: 5

RE: It all makes sense
by butters on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:16 UTC in reply to "It all makes sense"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

In the most basic sense, Microsoft is trying to defend itself against patent suits. Now that Linux has been "shown" to infringe Microsoft patents in the court of public opinion, they have a shield protecting them from small patent holders that distribute or use Linux.

It's not a legal shield, since Microsoft hasn't substantiated its patent claims, and since end-users cannot be held liable for patent infringement in software. It merely rests on the premise that no Linux distributor or user would have the audacity to prosecute patent claims against Microsoft given their very public assertion that all Linux vendors and users are infringing Microsoft patents.

More generally, though, this is Microsoft's special way of introducing the free software community to the unfortunate reality of the software patent landscape. In the software industry, patents are not used as an incentive to innovate. Rather, they are used as bargaining chips in the negotiations that govern the balance of power in the industry.

The free software community assumes that Linux vendors can compete in the industry by offering quality software and services at a reasonable price. But that's not how the game is played. The software industry is like a fraternity, where members with seniority, money, and influence use patents to justify their belief that newcomers must pay homage for the roles they played in the formative era of the industry.

This is hazing for those Linux vendors that have decided to pledge the MS house. The unrestrained partying of rush is over, and it's time to pay dues, go on beer runs, and participate in vaguely homo-erotic rites of passage--until the FSF kicks them off campus for furnishing encumbered software to minors.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: It all makes sense
by PlatformAgnostic on Thu 14th Jun 2007 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE: It all makes sense"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Funny, but I rather see the FSF being reassigned to a different, smaller role than before, like a tenured professor that has become senile and batty over the years.

Really, the majority of today's linux users (and perhaps the majority of the OSS devs too) really don't give a damn about the FSF freedoms. People are often "just users" or "just engineers" ahead of activists. I respect this position much more than the power-grabbing Stallmaniacs. If FSF-inspired people spent as much time increasing the quality of their products as they did arguing the legal merits of it, these moves by Microsoft would not matter one whit because Debian or another community distro would be high-quality, easy to use, supportable, and thus the default distro for everyone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: It all makes sense
by DigitalAxis on Fri 15th Jun 2007 02:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It all makes sense"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

I tend to think the reason we have so many distros has more to do with the fact that many people are escaping Windows because they want to try to do things THEIR way, and Linux lets them do that... thus, you're not going to end up with one default distro until it's all things to all people, and gives all comers all control over what goes into it.

Really, distributions are separated by (at least):
Package Manager
What format (liveCD, live+install, desktop, server, virtualization, embedded, rescue, pendrive, PPC, ARM, Alpha, ...)
How many packages it supports
What packages it contains
What versions it contains
How packages are configured (SELinux?)
Who makes it/philosophy
Community/support/quality of documentation
Cost

You're not going to make all of them go away very easily.

Now, default distro... well, I tend to point people toward Ubuntu. I might be persuaded to point them toward OpenSuSE or PCLinuxOS, but I'm sticking with Ubuntu because that's what I know.

Yes, it'd be nice if the coders could code and the politicians would leave well enough alone... but to a large extent they probably are. I mean, when we hear politics, we hear Eben Moglen, Richard Stallman, Theo de Raalt, Quinn Storm, Andrew Cox, and Linus Torvalds... with the occasional opinions from Mark Shuttleworth, Kevin Carmony, etc. But that's not all that many people. High profile, yes; but that's why they're asked for their opinion. That, and Shuttleworth, Carmony and Moglen are business-types who probably don't do much actual coding.

Well, ok, there's the Gentoo and Debian communities, and that IS a problem... but that's all I can think of.

Edited 2007-06-15 02:52

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: It all makes sense
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 15th Jun 2007 04:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It all makes sense"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I wrote that comment after being pissed off wading through this thread: http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0706.1/2214.html .


Those are actual kernel coders. I know that Alan Cox, Linus, Greg K-H (whom I don't really like for his whole political stance), and Ingo Molnar are pretty serious contributors to the Kernel. They are wasting their time arguing about legalisms, which reduces the time and synergy they can expend on making concrete improvements to the kernel. This is in favor of rather abstract "freedoms," which do not advance the utility of either the users or the kernel devs themselves.

I wish what you say were true, that the coders are not involved too much in politics, but that does not seem to be the case. The three people I respect the most in the OSS movement (Linus, Ingo, and Miguel de Icaza) end up wasting so much of their time dealing with the political concerns of random people who have contributed little if anything. Or of people who have contributed a lot, but are simply not pragmatic in an economic or moral sense. It's just really frustrating, because the moral situation is quite clear with proprietary software and much less time is wasted on infighting.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: It all makes sense
by sbergman27 on Fri 15th Jun 2007 05:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It all makes sense"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
The three people I respect the most in the OSS movement (Linus, Ingo, and Miguel de Icaza) end up wasting so much of their time dealing with the political concerns of random people who have contributed little if anything.
"""

Well, I'll give you the "political concerns of random people who have contributed little if anything" bit.

But any time that people with their level of expertise spend dealing with politics they *choose* to spend, for their own reasons.

Best not begrudge them. "Man does not live by bread alone" and all that sort of rot! ;-)

I and others have disparaged Miguel aplenty. And that young fellow seems quite indefatigable. ;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: It all makes sense
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 05:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It all makes sense"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

@PlatformAgnostic(sic)

"Funny, but I rather see the FSF being reassigned to a different, smaller role than before, like a tenured professor that has become senile and batty over the years."

You constantly promote Vista and have shown time and time again that you have no interest in Licenses and Open source.

"Really, the majority of today's linux users (and perhaps the majority of the OSS devs too) really don't give a damn about the FSF freedoms. People are often "just users" or "just engineers" ahead of activists. I respect this position much more than the power-grabbing Stallmaniacs. If FSF-inspired people spent as much time increasing the quality of their products as they did arguing the legal merits of it, these moves by Microsoft would not matter one whit because Debian or another community distro would be high-quality, easy to use, supportable, and thus the default distro for everyone."

While it is true that nobody cares about abstract concepts as freedom. They are very upset when its taken away. I would argue that Microsoft would be better concentrating on the quality of there products, rather yhan removing user freedom with fun things like DRM(sic); EULA; WGA(sic); SPP. etc etc.

"I know that Alan Cox, Linus, Greg K-H (whom I don't really like for his whole political stance), and Ingo Molnar" etc etc

and use non of there products. These people regularly make political statements. Alan Cox has even made strong statements supporting GPL3 becuase of the very question in hand your simply lying.

but seriously why not come out of the closet. Say loud and proud "I'm a Vista user"

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: It all makes sense
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 15th Jun 2007 05:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It all makes sense"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Congrats on your amazing discovery that I'm a Vista user (after all, you had such scant evidence to go on... only an OSNews article and about 100 comments). If you look carefully enough, you'll see that I in fact use a TabletPC. But you'll also notice that I use Linux as a programming platform (mostly through an ssh console) and I've tried out this compiz stuff.

I'm not really that much of a "Linux" user, though, you're right... because few people use a kernel directly. The only way you can really use a kernel is to write a low-level program, a driver, or a system library. Other than that, aside from performance, the kernel you use really doesn't affect your experience. I've spent some time reading about Linux design choices and some small parts of the kernel source, but I'm always looking for more facts and rationales for how things are in linux and why. I'm far more interested in this aspect of linux than stupid political concerns and licenses. I'm not a lawyer and neither is any of the commentators who spend so much time shouting on the web about patents and copyrights.

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: It all makes sense
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 06:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: It all makes sense"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I'm far more interested in this aspect of linux than stupid political concerns and licenses"

I won't waste time on the waffle, or all of the lies, or the fact that subterfuge is wrong, but forecast on this one fun point.

You spend all you time talking about these political concerns an licenses. If you really were not interested, why do you post political statements, and speak against licenses if you think they are uninteresting.

Personally I think your comments are about promoting Microsoft, and precious little else.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: It all makes sense
by butters on Fri 15th Jun 2007 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It all makes sense"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

All around the world today, in a variety of different contexts, those that perceive injustice and disenfranchisement are marginalized and demonized for their opposition to the establishment. Freedom is a personal ideal, but it is undoubtedly rooted in the ability to stand up for what you believe in, whatever that might be.

Confucius said that to know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice, but we've managed to take cowardice to a whole new level. We celebrate ignorance and praise conformity. We take for granted the work of the truly brave and conjure the most pathetic rationalizations when confronted with the reality of our squandered opportunities.

You say that the majority of Linux users don't give a damn about the Four Freedoms, and on this I won't disagree with you. But while you claim that this represents the failure of activism (in its fashionable negative connotation), I see it as the majority of Linux users experiencing first-hand what is right and choosing not to give a damn.

If we take for granted the free software movement and its legal underpinnings, free software will fall victim to precisely the same inequities that pervade the proprietary software industry. We'll defeat Microsoft by becoming Microsoft, yet we'll insist that we've maintained the moral high ground.

I think it's great that we have a choice between free and proprietary software. Not everybody agrees that free software has inherent advantages over proprietary software, and that's fine with me. I can't blame Microsoft for trying to proprietize free software, but I can blame free software vendors for letting it happen.

We created free software, and now anyone can aid in its proprietization by signing on with Microsoft. In a sense, the GPLv3 is too late. The damage is already done. The source code is still available, but the right to distribute it has been disputed, and these allegations have been validated by representatives of our own community.

We have choice. We can either stand up for what we know is right, or we can convince ourselves that a few high-profile glorified figureheads in the free software community need to put their heads down and code instead of being the leaders they need to be. Our community is flush with developers. What we need is more leadership, not less.

Reply Score: 5

Confused
by kejar31 on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:48 UTC
kejar31
Member since:
2006-01-08

I am confused with this deal. What is it Microsoft getting in return. To me it sounds like Linspire is just offering a Microsoft software pack that includes MS fonts, MP10 codec’s and MS indemnification on their Click n Run service.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Confused
by UglyKidBill on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:48 UTC in reply to "Confused"
UglyKidBill Member since:
2005-07-27

I am confused with this deal. What is it Microsoft getting in return.


It gets yet another mean to build the myth that using Linux for free is potentialy risky... and that if you ae going to pay, then you might just as well pay for windows an have it easier with your apps and hardware.

I think this tactic is particulary targeted to the SMB arena, were migrating to linux is becoming more tempting than ever, feature and budget wise, and were a close end.user-IT.staff relationship easily generates familiarity and good PR for Linux.

Edit:
Of course, MS is probably "convincing" this distributions into signing by showing some "infringed patents", seeing how awfuly those patents are being handed itīs quite likely. As for if those patents would stand... I doubt many people is anxious to have a legal battle against MS to find out. And THAT is the ace MS is using now.

Edited 2007-06-14 17:58

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Confused
by marafaka on Fri 15th Jun 2007 08:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Confused"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

Although it has very little to do with Linux, i'm actually happy that it gets all the attention. So if Linux crashes someday, free software will stand tall and clean on other great free operating systems.

... kernels actually ;)

Edited 2007-06-15 09:00

Reply Score: 4

Never used Linspire
by atari05 on Thu 14th Jun 2007 16:58 UTC
atari05
Member since:
2006-06-05

..and now I never will. For novell who has an enterprise presence I could almost under stand this move, but everyone else, not at all and as more vocal MS reps open their mouths you get a sense that indeed these deals is for something that will stink later on.

Reply Score: 1

Consequences for Ubuntu?
by Natorp on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:09 UTC
Natorp
Member since:
2007-06-14

With the integration of Click'N'Run into Ubuntu, will users now have to agree to an EULA indicating that they accept Microsoft's patent licenses?

Reply Score: 5

"Never use Linspire"?
by h3rman on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:11 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

I've got this feeling that most, if not all, claiming here never to use Linspire (again) have never used Linspire, do not use Linspire, and will never use Linspire anyway. ;)

I mean, it's not as if Linspire has ever been very "cool" or something among That Special Race Someone Has Decided to Someday Call "Geeks".

But please correct me if I'm wrong. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: "Never use Linspire"?
by jaylaa on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:36 UTC in reply to ""Never use Linspire"?"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

I've got this feeling that most, if not all, claiming here never to use Linspire (again) have never used Linspire, do not use Linspire, and will never use Linspire anyway. ;)

If it were not for this deal I may have once considered thinking about possibly using Linspire sometime in the future... Well no more! ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: "Never use Linspire"?
by hyper on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:45 UTC in reply to "RE: "Never use Linspire"?"
hyper Member since:
2005-06-29

If it were not for this deal I may have once considered thinking about possibly using Linspire sometime in the future... Well no more! ;)

Who cares?

Reply Score: 1

RE: "Never use Linspire"?
by 2fargone on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:14 UTC in reply to ""Never use Linspire"?"
2fargone Member since:
2006-02-20

I did. I used 4.5 for a few months after Linspire was doing a promo here on OSNews a few years ago and I tried 5.0 that came on a Wally World POS a friend had purchased for his kid. I also tried Freespire 1.0 when it came out on a test machine just out of interest. However, I currently don't have any Linspire/Freespire products installed.

Reply Score: 2

Missing the Foreseeable Future
by WarpKat on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:39 UTC
WarpKat
Member since:
2006-02-06

This is typical behavior of a fish with poison spines flapping about the deck of a boat it just got landed on.

I think I see RedHat and developers as possible ultimate targets in this 'deal spree' MS is going on.

If you think about it, it plays out like this:

You have multiple vendors distributing similar, yet different product that manifested from a single idea: free, open source software.

Now that this (free) software has become mature enough to be a bottom-line threat to MS in the more visible markets, MS thinks it has to strike these deals in order to maintain its control over how PC's are made, what software is put on them, and so-forth.

And if you think about it, here's what I think it will ultimately mean:

The original deal it struck with Novell made this statement: "Customers who use Novell's Linux will be fine, but developers who don't develop for it exclusively will be in the sights for termination by litigation."

The distribution vendors that have struck this deal - whose customers are also seemingly protected by this potentially damaging legal quagmire - will end up in some turmoil as individual developers get sued for not developing mainly for the distribution being protected by the 'indemnity' offered by MS and the sell-outs. This in turn causes key projects to die off who haven't joined in the cross-burning, for lack of a better phrase, and the biggest sufferer will be those distributions who haven't signed the Devil's contract.

RedHat. Slackware. Ubuntu. Gentoo. Even Debian and its various forks.

If there was any detailed definition of 'divide and conquer' tactics in the software business...well...there it is - plain as day.

That's my prediction of this scene. I'm going to be watching this one closely to see how far off the mark I am and I'm willing to bet the symbolic $1 that this is how it's going to end up.

Reply Score: 2

MS Strike
by historyb on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:43 UTC
historyb
Member since:
2005-07-06

MS is getting ready to strike. All this crap they are doing seems very fishy

Reply Score: 4

Too Suspicious
by Lengsel on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:47 UTC
Lengsel
Member since:
2006-04-19

When Novell signed with them, that was one thing, I was curious on the details of deal. But this is just getting suspicious! I think Linspire is the 4th Linux company to sign a deal. As Microsoft clearly wants Linux destroyed, there is obviously something not being told on Microsoft's end. I am curious to ask, why do people not just dump Linux from their computers and go exclusively BSD? I mean the BSD license is so open, anything released under it is basically public domain. So why not switch to FreeBSD or OpenBSD for a technically superior system, with software that seems to be legally untouchable because of it's license.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Too Suspicious
by twenex on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:53 UTC in reply to "Too Suspicious "
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I am curious to ask, why do people not just dump Linux from their computers and go exclusively BSD?

For one thing, it's not time to jump ship quite yet. For another, no BSD can rival Linux in the amount of hardware support. Thirdly,

I mean the BSD license is so open, anything released under it is basically public domain.

The BSD licence is so open that any company that wants to can take BSD code without giving back, and put it in their proprietary product never to be seen again. Not exactly a good business proposition if you want to keep control of your code and stop proprietary splintering a la UNIX - although, I admit, wonderful if you want to steal someone else's.

So why not switch to FreeBSD or OpenBSD for a technically superior system, with software that seems to be legally untouchable because of it's license.

As I understand it, the BSD licence is no less vulnerable to patents than GPL2. Only GPL3 has that virtue.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Too Suspicious
by elsewhere on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Too Suspicious "
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

As I understand it, the BSD licence is no less vulnerable to patents than GPL2. Only GPL3 has that virtue.


No license will protect you from third-party patent suits; all the GPL3 does is prohibit suits from distributors of GPL software claiming infringment by any user of that software. GPL2 actually had the same protection, though it was implied rather than explicit.

But BSD/GPLx/proprietary etc. are all in the same boat when it comes to patent threats. The problem isn't the licensing, it's the basic patent system itself.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Too Suspicious
by twenex on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too Suspicious "
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I stand corrected!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Too Suspicious
by hyper on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Too Suspicious "
hyper Member since:
2005-06-29

The BSD licence is so open that any company that wants to can take BSD code without giving back, and put it in their proprietary product never to be seen again. Not exactly a good business proposition if you want to keep control of your code and stop proprietary splintering a la UNIX - although, I admit, wonderful if you want to steal someone else's.

But you still have your original code and may do whatever you wish with it and have full control on it.

I guess we are lucky that no one of BSD software developers are so greedy about their code like you are. Or maybe you do not code and just like to spread false claims every time anyone mentions BSD?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Too Suspicious
by twenex on Thu 14th Jun 2007 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too Suspicious "
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

But you still have your original code and may do whatever you wish with it and have full control on it.

AT&T (or whoever *really* owns UNIX) still has its original UNIX code. NetBSD still has its original BSD code. Did that prevent the splintering of UNIX into AIX, AUX, Solaris, DG-UX, or of BSD into Net-, Free-, Open-, DragonFly-, PC-, Desktop-, Tomorrow-, DayAfter-, and OhNoNotAnotherBSD?

No?

QED.

I guess we are lucky that no one of BSD software developers are so greedy about their code like you are.

Actually, you're unlucky on that point. If it hadn't been for the fundamental splintering of the BSD's, they might have given Linux a run for its money even without being a possible refuge for people scared that Linux will disappear.

Or maybe you do not code and just like to spread false claims every time anyone mentions BSD?

Actually, no. I like to point out that the BSD people, not Linux people, are the *real* idealists. This isn't FUD. It's a fact of life.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Too Suspicious
by BluenoseJake on Fri 15th Jun 2007 02:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Too Suspicious "
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"AT&T (or whoever *really* owns UNIX) still has its original UNIX code. NetBSD still has its original BSD code. Did that prevent the splintering of UNIX into AIX, AUX, Solaris, DG-UX, or of BSD into Net-, Free-, Open-, DragonFly-, PC-, Desktop-, Tomorrow-, DayAfter-, and OhNoNotAnotherBSD? "

There are far less BSD derivatives than Linux derivatives, and they all tend to be much more compatible then the differences in say Red Hat and Debian, They all support the ports system and cvsup, and they are all derived from BSD386. Most of the new BSD distros are based on FreeBSD, and most are close enough to FreeBSD to use the FreeBSD ports and package systems directly. Therefore, I see alot less splintering in the BSD world than the Linux world.

"Actually, no. I like to point out that the BSD people, not Linux people, are the *real* idealists. This isn't FUD. It's a fact of life."

I wouldn't call it FUD, but I wouldn't call it a false idealism either. That BSD idealism that you speak of lead to TCP/IP becoming the standard of the internet, because everyone had access to a set of free, high quality networking utilities and stack. The reason that the number of BSD distros are increasing is because that idealism is paying off, as the BSD license allows for a clean, robust OS, as free (I think more free, but that's MHO) as Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Too Suspicious
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 05:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Too Suspicious "
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I wouldn't call it FUD, but I wouldn't call it a false idealism either. That BSD idealism that you speak of lead to TCP/IP becoming the standard of the internet, because everyone had access to a set of free, high quality networking utilities and stack. The reason that the number of BSD distros are increasing is because that idealism is paying off, as the BSD license allows for a clean, robust OS, as free (I think more free, but that's MHO) as Linux."

Just talking about licenses. Nobody is denying that BSD is an excellent license for getting a *standard* across proprietary software. Although you have to remember that even with BSD without copyleft the concept of sharing is behind the license. You also have to remember that an awful lot of what makes up these *BSD Distributions is made up by GLP or other copyleft licenses and would not operate without them. Your posts are off-topic.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Too Suspicious
by BluenoseJake on Fri 15th Jun 2007 11:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Too Suspicious "
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

The article is about licensing, and BSD is an alternative to linux if these licensing deals gets out of hand and MS starts litigating, therefore, it is not off topic.

I use both BSD and Linux, but right now my main desktop is Debian. If Debian was to make a deal with MS (which they won't) I would switch back to BSD in a second.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Too Suspicious
by Silent_Seer on Fri 15th Jun 2007 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Too Suspicious "
Silent_Seer Member since:
2007-04-06

There are far less BSD derivatives than Linux derivatives, and they all tend to be much more compatible then the differences in say Red Hat and Debian, They all support the ports system and cvsup, and they are all derived from BSD386. Most of the new BSD distros are based on FreeBSD, and most are close enough to FreeBSD to use the FreeBSD ports and package systems directly. Therefore, I see alot less splintering in the BSD world than the Linux world.


Sorry but that statement is completely wrong. The various Linux distros are not forks. They are just like the distributions of FreeBSD. They are all binary compatible, they just differ in the libraries and set of drivers (and package management systems). You can easily create a linux program with it's own installer and include all the libraries it needs. This kind of a program will run on all the linux distros. There are many commercial programs that are released this way. You can create a driver for linux and it will work in all the distributions because they all use the same kernel. Not so in the BSD world. Free, Net, Open, DragonFly BSD are forks, i.e their kernel are different. They are still similar (you can port drivers easily) but are not the same.

The BSDs are responsible for a lot of innovation in the OS and the software world in general and I do not mean to degrade them in any way but unfortunately they are a lot more fragmented than you realize. They would have been a lot more successful if there had just one of them with the distros based on that one OS.

And let's not argue about licenses. The BSD and GPL serve their own purposes and there are lot of other licenses out there. It's upto the developers what they license their code under and what base of code they contribute to.


P.S. There are a lot of embedded linux distros out there that are forks but you would not run those in your PC. You would not even know they even exist unless you actually use them in your product.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Too Suspicious
by sbergman27 on Fri 15th Jun 2007 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Too Suspicious "
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Actually, no. I like to point out that the BSD people, not Linux people, are the *real* idealists. This isn't FUD. It's a fact of life.
"""

I think that we all tend to focus too much upon licensing.

Has GPLv2 been responsible for Linux's success? Well, Apache has done better with a very different one. So has perl. And Python, et al.

I like copyleft. But I'm not sure that it actually deserves as much credit as it is given.

And copyleft licenses *are* greedy licenses. By that, I mean that "compatibility" often means that we can take code from you. You can't take code from us? Well, it's still "compatible".

And sharing code is hard. Licensing aside, it's hard. And if the licensing does throw up extra hurdles... well, maybe that can sometimes do more harm than good.

We're a diverse group of fellows who can never seem to agree upon *anything* except that we all somehow seem to agree on *something* except that no one seems to be sure of just what that something is.

Perhaps we should simply accept that we're just a sort of strange amalgum who have somehow accomplished some amazing things, against all odds, and don't really know exactly how, and just give everyone credit for... whatever it is that they have done. ;-)

-Steve

Edited 2007-06-15 03:35

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Too Suspicious
by Windows Sucks on Thu 14th Jun 2007 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too Suspicious "
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Yes you will have your own code. But the company (Like Microsoft) who took it will have your code and then add their code and money to make it better and in the end you are just stuck with YOUR code. LOL!

At least with GPL I still have my code and if you use it we will then share code as you are sharing mine and I will be sharing yours. The big companies like MS can't get rich off my code while I have to BUY back the products they make with MY code. LOL!

Notice that BSD has been around a LOT longer then Linux but no one outside the computer world knows what the heck it is. Yet at one time or another there was and is all kinds of BSD code in Windows and other products.

Shoot my mother and grandmother know what Linux is.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Too Suspicious
by wannabe geek on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "Too Suspicious "
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

GPL3 is stronger than GPL2 is stronger than BSD license (against patent agreements and other threats from proprietary vendors).
So, your question could be reversed: Why do people not just dump *BSD from their computers and go exclusively GNU/Linux?

And I've tried DesktopBSD. IMO, Linux is technically better (more up-to-date drivers, at least).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Too Suspicious
by Ford Prefect on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:23 UTC in reply to "Too Suspicious "
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

"I am curious to ask, why do people not just dump Linux from their computers and go exclusively BSD?"

Running away never solves the problem. Sure BSD's license is free, but this is about patents and not licenses. If Linux diminishes and BSD grows, MS will go after BSD instead.

They will do the same suspicious claims and get in the same patent "royalities" from distributors.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too Suspicious
by chemical_scum on Sat 16th Jun 2007 19:58 UTC in reply to "Too Suspicious "
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

I am curious to ask, why do people not just dump Linux from their computers and go exclusively BSD? I mean the BSD license is so open, anything released under it is basically public domain. So why not switch to FreeBSD or OpenBSD for a technically superior system, with software that seems to be legally untouchable because of it's license.

Just another BSD fanboy who does not understand the difference between patents and copyright. BSD is under just as much threat from patent infringement from MS and other potential patent litigators. Having a "you can steal all my work" copyright does not protect you from patent infringement in the US.

The careful wording of the GPL v2 and GPL v3 gives use a tool to fight back against people wishing to use software patents against free software. With BSD you are up sh*t creek without a paddle. They can both steal your code and sue you for patent infringement.

Reply Score: 2

All MS is doing.
by Windows Sucks on Thu 14th Jun 2007 17:50 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

I don't see MS every suing anyone. But I am sure they are lining up potential money streams.

What they are doing is making sure that if Linux is gonna get popular it's the versions of Linux that are friends with MS that are getting attention and will make money for MS.

Very clever business move. I see Ubuntu getting on this bandwagon very soon. Only companies that don't have to worry about this or wont go for this are Red Hat, IBM and Oracle. (And smaller distros like PC LinuxOS)

This sucks. I don't want to pay MS to use Linux. Crazy!

Reply Score: 2

RE: All MS is doing.
by BluenoseJake on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:36 UTC in reply to "All MS is doing. "
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Nobody said you ahd to pay MS to use Linux. Debian will always be free, and Red Hat will never sign.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: All MS is doing.
by Windows Sucks on Thu 14th Jun 2007 20:54 UTC in reply to "RE: All MS is doing. "
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

I meant the versions of Linux that will sign with MS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: All MS is doing.
by BluenoseJake on Fri 15th Jun 2007 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: All MS is doing. "
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

But you will still have a choice of the Linux distros that don't sign, so what I said is true, you will never HAVE to pay for Linux, and there is always FreeBSD

Reply Score: 2

v RE[4]: All MS is doing.
by Windows Sucks on Fri 15th Jun 2007 00:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: All MS is doing. "
RE[4]: All MS is doing.
by dylansmrjones on Fri 15th Jun 2007 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: All MS is doing. "
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You do realize that *BSD is no less vulnerable to these scare tactics of Microsoft?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: All MS is doing.
by BluenoseJake on Fri 15th Jun 2007 11:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: All MS is doing. "
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I think it may be, as MS has used BSD code in the past, and they don't seem to have as big a problem psychologically with it as Linux

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: All MS is doing.
by dylansmrjones on Fri 15th Jun 2007 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: All MS is doing. "
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That might be true, and it might not. Add to that the fact that for each BSD-user there is 10 Linux-users. If the numbers were reversed, BSD would have been killed by Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

Give'n'take
by Thulemanden on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:01 UTC
Thulemanden
Member since:
2006-07-07

Great effect of the diversity of the Linux movement. So many opportunities to build niche-communities. It's a courageous move by Linspire and I actually think it will rock the Linux cradle.

Only...

What's in it for MS?

Reply Score: 1

True Linux
by SlackerJack on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:05 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

You see the true Linux disto's not giving into these tactics by Microsoft, just shows that the ones that have gave in dont give a sh*t about what Linux stands for.

The distro's that give into this I dont have the time of day for, Novell put me right off SUSE after the deal.

Reply Score: 5

Just thinking.
by systyrant on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:12 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

What it looks like to me is that many of the smaller Linux distro's are looking for a faster way up the ladder. To my understanding getting Linux to play nice with Windows (because you know Microsoft isn't going to place nice with Linux) probably is going to violate this patent or that copyright.

Novell probably made the deal because it was a "business" deal. They didn't start life as an open source company so it's quite possible they don't understand the spirit of open source. However, these smaller Linux distro's (I believe) started life as open source companies and should have understood the spirit of the open source community.

Of course the GPL3 may also be forcing some of them to make snap decisions based on patent fears.

I don't really know. Just some food for thought (might be spoiled though).

My last thought is this. What if Red Hat signs a deal? How much ammunition will that give Microsoft?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Just thinking.
by burtis on Thu 14th Jun 2007 19:29 UTC in reply to "Just thinking."
burtis Member since:
2005-11-15

Redhat won't sign ever. Neither will Linus. They will do what needs to be done. MS is fighting a delaying tactic.

Reply Score: 2

Heh.
by Almafeta on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:15 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

At least this article is finally mentioning the sorts of technologies that are being licensed out, instead of claiming it's only a 'protection' deal.

Reply Score: 1

What do we care for Linspire?
by moleskine on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:32 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Keep your nerves, guys. Xandros and Linspire are distros with almost no market share and pretty absurd commercial pretensions. Novell/SuSE is a much bigger fish, but Novell itself is a financial basket case and SuSE is being heavily bested by Red Hat (Microsoft's real target in any conflict with Linux) as well as pouring scarce resources into very decrepit ducks like Mono.

When the Debian Project Leader, Mark Shuttleworth and the CEO of Red Hat announce that they've reached a very wonderful and lucrative patent protection agreement with Microsoft and we see a picture of them all engaged in a prayerful moment with Steven A. Ballmer, then, yes, it will be time to move swiftly towards the rear exit and don't forget to pull the toggle marked "Rip Chord" on the way down.

Until then, it's just another day amongst the smog and shyster lawyers of Silicon Valley. Nothing important has changed. Enjoy!

Reply Score: 5

well ..
by gnemmi on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:34 UTC
gnemmi
Member since:
2006-08-17

all in all the fact is that this agreements mean a free buck to this "is_either_this_or_we_go_down_in_flames" small corporations ..

basically ... it's microsoft giving money away in order to create a sub set of linux vendors it'll use to support the "linux uses Ms patents" in the near future, and we've got all this linux vendor to prove it ... the good all quantity over quality.

really ... I still don't get how does this get's away from antitrust laws and monopolistic behaviour.

I liked the way in which the article (PR?) states that "Aditionally .. will offer protection to Linspire Linux .." .. it was like saying "Oh Yeah, and by the way, we just sold out too! but that ain't much of a news .. just go back and read the media player something/voice over ip and stuff crap that the sell out part is not important!".

all in all .. this isn't surprising .. they are just cashing out the money that Ms is giving away ...

Reply Score: 3

Surviving as parasites.
by justin.68 on Thu 14th Jun 2007 18:59 UTC
justin.68
Member since:
2006-09-16

The biggest pain in the neck for MS is free software itself. Just as by Gresham's law bad money drives out good money, IT history shows bad software kills good software. That's why Windows is everywhere and most people used to buy and run a 16 bit OS with a graphic front-end on 32 bit processors. Windows was bad, but it was cheap and well-marketed in its very peculiar way.

Similarly, it doesn't matter how limited and buggy the free software can be: as long as it's available and makes computers work it will be used. Today the problem is that free software is no longer that buggy and can be better than anything MS has ever released.

MS has found a new survival strategy in the patents and the licensing of IP. The problem is that MS can't stick the idea that software should be free. The scandal is that, someway or other, MS wants us all to pay for its cruft, regardless of whether we do use Windows or not.

Reply Score: 5

Come on baby, run Linspire
by rezzonico on Thu 14th Jun 2007 20:03 UTC
rezzonico
Member since:
2007-06-13

This news reminded my about the only think that interested me about linspire, some years ago.
It was a flash animation were a face was singing "Run Linspire" on the notes of "Light My Fire".
It was funny!

Come on baby, run Linspire
Come on baby, run Linspire
Time to set MS on fire


http://www.linspire.com/run_linspire.php
Oops! It has been removed!?

Edited 2007-06-14 20:03

Reply Score: 5

Good for Linspire
by DrillSgt on Thu 14th Jun 2007 20:05 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

This is a good move, at least for those of us in the US. The biggest problem we have here is being able to legally play some media files and such that are out there. Yes, there are ways to do it, though I prefer to be legal, such as purchasing the codecs from Fluendo.

As for the "Patent Protection", I believe it is time for these patents to be tested in court. A quick search at the US Patent Office shows MS has many patents that may infringe, such as selecting an application by clicking on it's icon, the way to access memory, selecting fonts, etc. I do realize these do not affect the rest of the world for the most part, unless such patents were granted in other places. My opinion is in order to "Patent" these "ideas", the prototype design MUST be entered as with a physical device, meaning the exact code the "Inventor" is using not be copyright, but patented. Since copyright covers written word, then patents should not be allowed for software, period, since all code is written word. The ideas of patent and copyright cancel each other out in this instance.

Reply Score: 4

Where does it come from?
by chocobanana on Thu 14th Jun 2007 20:55 UTC
chocobanana
Member since:
2006-01-04

This is just modern feudalism. All this Linux "companies" are the vassals, serving the false prophet king of intelectual justice, which, in turn, is making a fool of everyone else by using deceit tactics.

Reply Score: 1

DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

Two thoughts...

One, Truetype font antialiasing is one of the things that probably DOES infringe on a (stupid) Microsoft patent. I think it supposedly covers any and all antialiasing, and as such there's LOTS of prior art (RiscOS comes to mind); while Truetype hinting was... Apple, I think?

Two, Linspire has already made deals with the people who own patents on DVD decryption methods and MP3 playback; now they've added WMA playback and fonts and things. This seems in keeping with their plans. I suspect Microsoft is throwing "Linux patent indemnity" into ALL their agreements these days, so that when it comes time for Something, they can make it look like there really IS a serious problem. Even if there isn't.

Edited 2007-06-14 21:03

Reply Score: 4

heh
by viator on Thu 14th Jun 2007 21:20 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

Look out pclos redhat/fedora and debian/ubuntu i see a WAVE of new users
and developers coming your way. Id like to thank microsoft
for pushing them to the distros that REALLY care about the community ;)

Reply Score: 2

Bad news
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 14th Jun 2007 21:24 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Linspire is committing suicide and they know it. Even if the GPLv3 goes nowhere, at the very least the mimimal GNU components required to run Linux will all be re-licensed under GPLv3 and LGPLv3. So it will be impossible for them to ship a working Linux OS based on the modern GNU user land without violating the license.

Reply Score: 3

Aha I was right!
by OSGuy on Thu 14th Jun 2007 21:57 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

I predicted this:

http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=18024&offset=60&rows=75&t...

Quote from my previous post when the Xandros patent agreement was announced:

lol don't you worry all, soon Microsoft might even sign a deal with Linus himself haha ;) Now that would be funny.

Jokes aside, releasing the patents Microsoft claims to own will be unwise as it might escalate things.

I think their next target is Lindows/Linspire.


Now let me speak again, I think they have already signed a deal with Turbo Linux...I believe their next target is Ubuntu.

Edited 2007-06-14 22:02

Reply Score: 2

v traitors, infidels
by trenchsol on Thu 14th Jun 2007 22:04 UTC
RE: traitors, infidels
by wannabe geek on Thu 14th Jun 2007 22:23 UTC in reply to "traitors, infidels"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

"Do you ever get tired of that ? I do.... "

I don't ;)

Reply Score: 1

Mixed news
by Angel Blue01 on Thu 14th Jun 2007 22:56 UTC
Angel Blue01
Member since:
2006-11-01

I like Linspire for all the proprietary stuff it includes: a distro that's ready for use.

I don't like this patent part.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Mixed news
by wannabe geek on Thu 14th Jun 2007 23:21 UTC in reply to "Mixed news"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Some community distros, like PCLinuxOS and Linux Mint, are also ready to use (flash, dvd, mp3..) without making deals with Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Mixed news
by iamkmaniam on Thu 14th Jun 2007 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Mixed news"
iamkmaniam Member since:
2007-06-04

In some parts of the world this is illegal. Playing DVD's , MP3 on a linux machine is against the law, when you use flash and java you agree to their terms during the install. Big companies Redhat etc. will not allow propriatary software unless they they have a legal contract to do so.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mixed news
by tryfan on Sat 16th Jun 2007 08:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mixed news"
tryfan Member since:
2006-12-16

Playing MP3's is not illegal - Fraunhofer has explicitly stated stated that the will not stop regular user from using the decoder.
The encoder is different, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mixed news
by wannabe geek on Fri 15th Jun 2007 00:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Mixed news"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

But I don't live in those parts of the world, and I see no reason why I should suffer their problems. So I don't accept the excuse. PCLinuxOS is US-based, and it's had no legal problems with codecs, AFAIK.

Now FINALLY Ubuntu installs codecs automatically when needed, so there must be no big problem. But that's still dumb. At the very least the installer should decide what to do, based on localization. I DON'T HAVE TO ABIDE BY THE DMCA.

Some interesting Q/A here:
http://wiki.videolan.org/Frequently_Asked_Questions

Reply Score: 3

Another one bites the dust
by ChrisA on Thu 14th Jun 2007 23:03 UTC
ChrisA
Member since:
2006-05-06

When the GPL 3 is released, this deal along with the Xandros deal is invalidated. I dont think the Linux companies that are signing have given any clear thought as to what they are doing to their business. Thats at least three invalidated deals when GPL 3 is released. I cant wait for Moglen to tear em apart in court.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Another one bites the dust
by elsewhere on Fri 15th Jun 2007 04:17 UTC in reply to "Another one bites the dust"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

When the GPL 3 is released, this deal along with the Xandros deal is invalidated. I dont think the Linux companies that are signing have given any clear thought as to what they are doing to their business. Thats at least three invalidated deals when GPL 3 is released. I cant wait for Moglen to tear em apart in court.


Since everyone like to armchair counsel, I'll give it a kick. I find it strange that so many people assume that the FSF is the only legal authority, and the other companies will be clearly found to be in the wrong, when it comes to v3 and the MS deals. From the draft:

(...)For purposes of the following three paragraphs, a “patent license” means a patent license, a covenant not to bring suit for patent infringement, or any other express agreement or commitment, however denominated, not to enforce a patent.

If you convey a covered work, knowingly relying on a patent license, and the Corresponding Source of the work is not available for anyone to copy, free of charge and under the terms of this License, through a publicly available network server or other readily accessible means, then you must either (1) cause the Corresponding Source to be so available, or (2) disclaim the patent license for this particular work, or (3) arrange, in a manner consistent with the requirements of this License, to extend the patent license to downstream recipients. “Knowingly relying” means you have actual knowledge that, but for the patent license, your conveying the covered work in a country, or your recipient’s use of the covered work in a country, would infringe one or more identifiable patents in that country that you have reason to believe are valid.


So patent provisions to GPLv3 software only applies when "you have actual knowledge that, but for the patent license... would infringe one or more identifiable patents in that country that you have reason to believe are valid." Novell has stated from the beginning that they did not believe linux violated Microsoft patents, and Microsoft has not specified any patents they believe are violated. Therefore the aforementioned "patent license" provision, including the covenant, doesn't apply when there are no specific patents being referenced.

It's similar to the problem the FSF had with the deal originally when it came to v2. Because MS and Novell didn't actually specify a specific patent(s) as part of the agreement, the patent provisioning could not have kicked in. This was deflected by calling it a loophole since the covenant was being applied to Novell's customers and not Novell, but if it was that simple then Moglen wouldn't have required the contracts under NDA to evaluate for himself.

Of course, IANAL and so am no more qualified to make assumptions about how this will all shake out than you or anybody else is. When the draft is released in final we'll just have to see how everyone takes it, but I think it's wrong to assume that the FSF would clearly win legal challenges just because they wrote it. Many written contracts are created by lawyers but still invalidated by the courts. That aside, I'd really be surprised to see the FSF follow through with lawsuits to enforce the provision; it would become an expensive battle among highly paid corporate lawyers with no guarantee of a win, and the risk of losing the case would be much greater than the gain from possibly winning.

The FSF, and Moglen, are relying as much on Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt in the true sense for advancing their agenda as MS is for advancing their own. Who knows which lawyer is right? One has to lose for the other to win.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Another one bites the dust
by pepa on Fri 15th Jun 2007 11:14 UTC in reply to "Another one bites the dust"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

I am sure MS is telling these companies that the GPL3 won't hold up in court, and they will be able to continue to propagate GPL3ed software. I find it a bit foreboding that all these companies are going this way despite the bad rep they will get in the community.

Reply Score: 3

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Because if you look at all the companies that have signed up they are all proprietary friendly companies.

Novell is just getting into Open Source (Only because the felt it was a way to save the company)

Xandros has never been a community player and nether has Lindows/Linspire.

All of these companies feel that they give money to the community in return for using their code. And that is enough.

They don't care what the community thinks, long as they can get access to the code they need and they can sell their products then the community doesn't mean anything to them.

Sad but true. :-(

Reply Score: 2

codehead78 Member since:
2006-08-04

All of these companies feel that they give money to the community in return for using their code. And that is enough.

They don't care what the community thinks, long as they can get access to the code they need and they can sell their products then the community doesn't mean anything to them.

Sad but true. :-(

On the other side of the coin, the community can be cold too. If Xandros went under the community wouldn't blink. The only contract is the code. If you expect more from anyone or any company prepare to be disappointed. The companies have to make money, parts of the community have their agenda and values, the only shared interest is improving the code.

It'll be interesting to see what these companies gain (aside from cash) from these deals. Will the difference be enough to win favor over a more open distro?

Reply Score: 1

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Remember that Linspire now gets all it's code from Ubuntu, so as long as Ubuntu is open source they have a code base and don't have to get anything from the community.

Xandros gets it's code from Debian. If Debian does something to cut them back (Which I am not sure they could do) then Xandros could move also to the Kubuntu base.

And even though people are mad at Novell, lots of developers love Open Suse. I don't see that changing unless something directly negative happens because of their MS deal.

I think only Novell made money from their deal and that is because Novell is a big fish with patents of it's own. I am sure Xandros and Linspire will not get any money out of MS.

But I am thinking that MS will come out with some marketing campaign that will allow these companies to say they are Windows or MS interoperability approved or something. I feel that Linspire and Xandros are hoping that MS will market them and get them business like MS did for Novell.

Will be interesting to see what happens.

Reply Score: 2

Ubuntu - I doubt it
by Nycran on Thu 14th Jun 2007 23:42 UTC
Nycran
Member since:
2006-02-06

I don't think Ubuntu will sign. Shuttleworth has positioned Ubuntu as "community linux", and nothing has pissed off and divided the community like this patent deal. In reality, this patent issue might be a godsend for Ubuntu as it creates more and more believers in the Ubuntu faith :-)

Reply Score: 2

Important Links
by sbergman27 on Fri 15th Jun 2007 01:39 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Bummer. I was hoping that Linspire would hold out.

I *really* hate to have to say this. But as much as I recognize that part of Microsoft's strategy is to divide us... I really don't think that we can reward companies for making these deals.

I don't want to be one of those reactionaries who screams "Boycott" because a company fails to feature my favorite DE, or some other silliness along those lines.

However, I've decided that I must change the supplier that I recommend to my clients.*

Let those whom Xandros and Linspire cater to supply their revenue. Knowing what is going on, I simply cannot send more customers their way.

My new lineup is thus:

--
System76: http://www.system76.com

Dell Ubuntu: http://tinyurl.com/3xmoop
--

Those are the ones, in that order, which I see as being the most beneficial to refer to. Not as dirt cheap as Walmart/Microtel. But still good values.

The System 76 guys are doing some great work.

Feel free to chime in with other good options.

Yes, my faith in Canonical turning MS down is implicit in these recommendations. I think I'm probably right. And I fervently hope that I am.


* I should hasten to add that although the workstations that I recommend have come with Xandros and Linspire, the first thing we do is load a custom CentOS image configured to act as a thin client!

Edited 2007-06-15 01:40

Reply Score: 3

Does no one remember history ?
by Nikato on Fri 15th Jun 2007 02:21 UTC
Nikato
Member since:
2005-12-17

Linspire (back when they were still Lindows) was the very first company to sign an agreement with Microsoft. Remember the high-profile lawsuit where Michael Robertson and Microsoft went to court over the possible invalidation of Microsoft's illegally obtained "Windows" trademark. From what I understand Lindows came extremely close to winning the case but would have run out of money in the process. The Codecs about which this story was written were given to linspire as part of the $200 million settlement for them to drop the case against Microsoft. Lindows won, Microsoft folded. They Licensed Windowsmedia and other technology to lindows provided they change their name and drop the case. This agreement simply builds on that. those who were going to use linspire "before" and not "after" this non-event are simply showing their ignorance. Most of the wonderful things Linspire did after the settlement helped to build an open freespire and other fine foss apps (lsongs, lphoto, Gizmo, etc.)

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I'm often accused of being one of those pragmatic types who doesn't really care about freedom.

Well... caring about freedom *is* pragmatic and pragmatism can be used as a tool by those who do care about freedom. (The two concepts are orthogonal, after all.)

And my pragmatic view of this deal, as things stand today and not back around 2000, is:

FRECK LINSPIRE!*

Pardon my outburst. But it seems the pragmatic view to me right now.

* Edit: It would seem that the OSNews profanity filter decided to get creative with my "outburst", so I changed the spelling. ;-)

Edited 2007-06-15 02:49

Reply Score: 3

I'm curious
by fsckit on Fri 15th Jun 2007 03:25 UTC
fsckit
Member since:
2006-09-24

In just about every negative posting involving Linspire on this site, you usually see KC bounce into the conversation to defend Linspire (and do a lot of trolling while he's at it). Where the heck is he on this one? Don't tell me he's ashamed to back his own stupid move now.

Reply Score: 2

Although...
by kaiwai on Fri 15th Jun 2007 03:53 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Although I want to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt, one has to ask - lets assume this agreement results in a distribution with lots of support for Microsoft technology and protocols, the customer is happy.

Now, lets fast forward a few years when contract renewal comes around - what is going to stop Microsoft from screwing Linspire over? jack up the price for the royalties - Linspire being so reliant on Microsoft technology within its distribution will be forced to pay what ever it is told.

Now, don't get me wrong; peoples/companies IP which have been developed needs to be protected, but at the same time, the process in which IP is licenced needs to be open and transparent to the public - not only to ensure that companies do not get screwed over in the short term but to also ensure there is a level playing field on which all can purchase/licence IP from a dominant player.

This isn't just a Microsoft vs. the world argument; the number of patents Microsoft has pales in comparison to what IBM has, for example. The industry as a whole needs to wake up and realise that patenting protocols simply to 'protect' themselves from real competition stifles innnovation at the most fundamental of levels.

Companies shouldn't compete on whether or how secret their secret sauce is but the quality of the application that sits upon that protocol or file format. Microsoft Office should compete not based on how obfuscated their file format is but instead on how it integrates other components of the Office system together, along with the server, to provide a superior experience.

It confuses me when I see Microsoft flap their hands about over IP when in reality, they don't need to go down that road; their Office suite is probably one of their better products - which confuses me as to why they need to use a proprietary format for starters - and secondly why they felt the need to rectum pluck and overly complicated 'open file format' for their new version of Office.

Microsoft used the excuse "oh, it was limiting" - the fact remains, they were on the panel, and they voted for each draft version - why didn't they stand up then and say, "hey, this format is limiting, we need to do something about it in these areas {list}" and go ahead and address the issue. The fact is, they had no sincere vision of actually working together with the different vendors, they were there simply to harpoon what ever came through by claiming afterwards that "it was deficient' and yet as a member doing absolutely NOTHING to address those deficiencies.

Reply Score: 5

Seriously though.
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 06:47 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

I don't post in patent thread simply becuase I don't understand patents. I can't seen why or how they are used, except by a large Monopolistic Mega-Corporation to kill competition. I cannot believe they are good for anyone, other than a large Monopolistic Mega-corporation that cannot innovate.

I'm repeating seeing in these threads strong Microsoft supporters making off-topic posts regarding FSF; GPL. Any all of them pretend to be *BSD users of Apple users. Its madness. I don't know why they are ashamed. Is Microsoft that bad. I've used some of their products, and they are quite good.

I cannot believe that any of them, are interested in what licenses is chosen for open source, or what holes are being plugged in GPL. Yet they constantly rant against FSF; GPL3. It doesn't affect them directly or indirectly. They can continue using whatever proprietary software they always used. The only rational reason I could think of was they perceive it as a real threat!? although how I just don't know; I simply don't believe that Linux is yet or even will be a true competitor, and that should benefit them; look at IE; why would they not want real competition their platform might improve then. Is it some kind of twisted jealously?

I don't get it.

Edited 2007-06-15 07:00

Reply Score: 5

Thank you for your points but seriously.
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 07:22 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

I'm personally being threatened by Microsoft. This affects me. There is complex maneuvering by both the Kernel group, Linux companies; FSF and others. Its a major topic I cannot get my head around, and yet precious little of these threads even talk about it...its full of Microsoft advocates posting off-topic hate speech against GPL; FSF; Linux users.

but...

Why lie about not using Microsoft products?

Why would I *care* if I choose Microsoft products about GPL; FSF; patents?

I seriously want to know. I want a real answer.

Edited 2007-06-15 07:26

Reply Score: 5

you guys
by REMF on Fri 15th Jun 2007 07:49 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

are making too big a fuss about this.

i am not a fan of linspire anyway, but this deal really doesn't change that in any way.

Reply Score: 1

What these companies forget...
by Darkelve on Fri 15th Jun 2007 08:09 UTC
Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

Companies striking these kind of deals may have won the money, but they will never win the user's heart this way.

Loyal users are very important to keep a Linux distro viable. With this announcement, they just made sure there are less loyal users, and users are less loyal.

Meanwhile, they get a scrap of food thrown from Microsoft, but Microsoft stays in full control; these agreements will expire, and when Linspire is not allowed to use these technologies anymore then what? Move to Windows? hahaha...

Reply Score: 3

"Sco-kerching" linux
by orfanum on Fri 15th Jun 2007 09:47 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

Sorry for the awful pun but hasn't this:

http://www.out-law.com/page-3570

got a lot to do with this? Notice the licensing of patents from SCO, a different beast from the copyrights central to the intra-Unix spats between SCO, Novell and RedHat.

Perhaps the patent case is actually much, much stronger...

Just a thought

Reply Score: 1

RE: "Sco-kerching" linux
by netpython on Fri 15th Jun 2007 10:01 UTC in reply to ""Sco-kerching" linux"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Perhaps the patent case is actually much, much stronger...

It doesn't realy matter that much wether patents are being violated or not. The prime is most firms lack the cash flow to go to court and last an legal battle with MS. They are forced to join and thus a precedent is shaped for later use during the final. The general public doesn't give a rats ass about freedom and or open source.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: "Sco-kerching" linux
by orfanum on Sat 16th Jun 2007 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE: "Sco-kerching" linux"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

i do not operate in the world of business so perhaps i am being hopelessly naive but i fail to see the logic of what you say: either the patents communicated are sufficiently clear, so that no amount of available money would make any difference in terms of contesting them, or they are not clear, in which case it would be up to MS to take it to court, and after the debacle that SCO's case became, who is to say it wouldn't be thrown out. I don't see MS coffers being sufficient to browbeat European lawmakers, for example - is there known and systematic corruption therefore in the US system, I wonder?

And what has the general public to do with this? What a red herring!

Reply Score: 1

In other news...
by Brendan on Fri 15th Jun 2007 10:36 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

...Bill Gates bought some milk from a corner shop yesterday.

In exchange for the milk he gave the shop some cash (and offered protection for the shops customers against possible violations of Microsoft patents by Linux)....

Reply Score: 5

My question?
by Windows Sucks on Fri 15th Jun 2007 12:19 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

The interesting thing I am trying to figure out is how you can provide patent protection to a company like Linspire who does not own any of the code they are using? They are not owners of Linux or any code in Linux or in the GNU parts that make up a distro.

As a matter of fact, Linspire is now based on Ubuntu so it's not even a distro. Its a distro that is Based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian. ???

How will that hold up in court when none of the companies have ownership rights to any of the code they sell or ship? How will those patent agreements not also apply to the actual owners of the code?

Reply Score: 2

RE: My question?
by netpython on Fri 15th Jun 2007 12:52 UTC in reply to "My question?"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

How will that hold up in court when none of the companies have ownership rights to any of the code they sell or ship? How will those patent agreements not also apply to the actual owners of the code?

He who has the largest pile of cash manipulates the public opinion.

Not every country has a healthy justice system.Ideally you can go to court for any case as you see fit.But you will be punished by law for occupying everybodys value time for no apparant reason or whatsoever.

I think MS strategic plan is stamina based on their vast amount of cash reserves.

Like any other buisiness the prime is profit.Don't you think they would go to court en masse if they realy had a case? First MS creates a precedent and than they will nail the big ones in court while referring to the precedent.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My question?
by Windows Sucks on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:08 UTC in reply to "RE: My question?"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

It will be interesting to see what happens. It's even more interesting to see how Oracle and IBM will get out of MS way or what they will do.

For Oracle Linux is their future. MS is pushing MS SQL on Windows and taking more and more business from Oracle. (On Windows.)

The best thing for Oracle to do is bundle Linux and Oracle together as a product and make it run better and scale better then MS SQL on Windows.

But having to pay MS a royalty fee will not make that happen. :-(

Reply Score: 2

RE: My question?
by Soulbender on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:04 UTC in reply to "My question?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"They are not owners of Linux or any code in Linux or in the GNU parts that make up a distro."

Isn't it lovely that time-tested tactics like fear and intimidation still works? Hey, it worked for Capone.
Or perhaps we should just call it what it really is: FUD, in the truest sense of the acronym.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My question?
by Windows Sucks on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE: My question?"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

You are right about that. What a mess.

Reply Score: 1

Debian
by turrini on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:06 UTC
turrini
Member since:
2006-10-31

That's why I thank god by using Debian.

Reply Score: 2

honestly
by deanlinkous on Sat 16th Jun 2007 16:10 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

If microsoft was truly offering us something then wouldnt they simply describe the patents and allow us to pay for those that we want and to remove the ones that were accidents or that we do not feel the need to pay for? That would be a fair patent deal IMO and show they were serious about competing on a fair level.

Honestly, does anyone think it is about something as simple as money. Sure they want linux to become expensive so that it puts them on more of a level playing field but overall that is a small thing. You cannot destroy linux with money. They want to stop it at 2% and the best way to do that is to break what makes it powerful and effective. What makes linux powerful and effective? one word - sharing. Sharing of ALL changes, sharing of ALL code, sharing of the OS with others. How do you break sharing? You simply make it unable to be shared. Now they have it....

I just find the most reprehensible is taking someones work for gain without giving back when the main difference between the BSD license and the GPL is that ONE thing - giving back. The one reason to choose the GPL is the 'giving back' aspect and now those people that write code and put it under the GPL are being denied the very thing that the GPL is suppose to protect. Yet some feel like we do not need a new version to protect against this.

Oh well, I am rambling.... ;)

Reply Score: 4

Maybe
by meetra on Sun 17th Jun 2007 12:06 UTC
meetra
Member since:
2007-05-04

Maybe Microsoft is protecting himself for patents that OSS could own but they're missing RedHat.

Reply Score: 1