Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Nov 2007 19:46 UTC, submitted by WillM
Microsoft "InformationWeek recently interviewed Bill Hilf, Microsoft's leading light on open source issues. Since coming to Microsoft from IBM in 2003, Hilf has been inextricably involved with Microsoft's strategy for dealing with Linux. He's recently been appointed general manager of Windows Server marketing and platform strategy, which means he's taking on an expanded role, but open source is still one of his core issues."
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FUD and Lies
by sultanqasim on Fri 16th Nov 2007 20:56 UTC
sultanqasim
Member since:
2006-10-28

Hilf made a few good points but it was full of FUD and lies.

"When people buy commercial software, really what they're buying is a guarantee. You're buying a guarantee that what you have will perform, and has been tested and there's someone you can call up, and if things go really bad someone's liable if something doesn't work." Bill Hilf

"LIMITATION ON AND EXCLUSION OF DAMAGES. You can recover from Microsoft and its suppliers only direct damages up to the amount you paid for the software. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages." Windows Server EULA

Essentially, it means that you're on your own if something goes terribly wrong and you suffer from losses. Even in the best case scenario, you can only be paid the value of the software while you've lost tonnes of money. Thats a great, accountable guarantee Hilf.

Reply Score: 26

RE: FUD and Lies
by SamAskani on Fri 16th Nov 2007 21:30 UTC in reply to "FUD and Lies"
SamAskani Member since:
2006-01-03

I agree, and I started to hate MS since their first EULA style Pontious Pilates: I wash my hands, you choose the briber, now assume the consequences.

But I guess that he was more thinking about just tech support, not responsibility.

In the last year, I have only called the tech support of MS for some problems with several keys that were invalidated after reinstalling too often (it was a very bad week of multiple hardware failures). The MS tech guys were quite comprehensible and let us reactivate our software just after a simple explanation. Many years ago, when I worked as developer, I remember that they were quite efficient for the support for our servers and deployment of our products.

He lets understand that MS is dealing, as competitor, with RedHat. And he is right, RedHat has been selling all these last years service support for a highly stable, extensively tested Linux distribution. I guess he just copy/pasted the mission statement of RedHat and he wants make believe everyone that MS is in the same channel.

In other words, this sounds more like someone that is following a trend instead of driving it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: FUD and Lies
by jayson.knight on Fri 16th Nov 2007 22:03 UTC in reply to "FUD and Lies"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"You can recover from Microsoft and its suppliers only direct damages up to the amount you paid for the software. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages."

Name a single company on the planet who will offer that guarantee. I'd wait for you to find one, but I'm afraid I'd be old and grey by then. The 2 clauses you quoted are completely unrelated, and you quoting them together is a feeble attempt at grasping at straws which don't exist.

If you follow MS best practices, along with other industry best practices, you shouldn't ever suffer from catastrophic loss. How could anyone hold a single company responsible for mistakes made by how folks who bought the product (mis)used it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: FUD and Lies
by walterbyrd on Fri 16th Nov 2007 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE: FUD and Lies"
walterbyrd Member since:
2005-12-31

>>Name a single company on the planet who will offer that guarantee<<

You missed the point. It is hypocritical of msft to criticize F/OSS for not making such a guarantee, when msft doesn't make that guarantee either.

Your question should be directed at bill hilf.

Reply Score: 16

In other fields, that warranty is given
by gustl on Mon 19th Nov 2007 08:40 UTC in reply to "RE: FUD and Lies"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Any real world steer-by-wire system MUST give this warranty.
That is why that software can do 1/100th and cost 1000 times more than usual desktop software.

Reply Score: 2

RE: FUD and Lies
by butters on Fri 16th Nov 2007 22:09 UTC in reply to "FUD and Lies"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Some of IBM's big customers have compensatory damage agreements, and it's a really big deal. If their systems fail, IBM has a certain amount of time (maybe 24 hours) to not only get them back up and running, but also to diagnose the problem and issue a custom fix. After that, the customer receives monetary compensation as the clock keeps running.

That's real accountability, and it comes at a steep price. What Microsoft offers is a warm fuzzy feeling of well-being, like buying an American car. No, it's not as reliable as other options, but it feels like the right decision, in the gut.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: FUD and Lies
by jayson.knight on Sat 17th Nov 2007 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE: FUD and Lies"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft offers a similar service in the form of their Premier contracts. Expensive, but worth it.

Reply Score: 2

Positives for Stallman
by KenJackson on Fri 16th Nov 2007 20:59 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

...these customers don't even know who Richard Stallman is, they don't even care. They've chosen Linux or Apache or open source in general because of a few simple reasons: either price, or functionality, they want a more modular system or they want something that has a smaller footprint, there are certain needs that they have that are satisfied by that type of software.


That's actually a rather positive statement about the life work of Richard Stallman. It's sounds like the referenced customers are thinking, "Free software is good stuff and we want it".

Reply Score: 9

RE: Positives for Stallman
by lemur2 on Fri 16th Nov 2007 23:51 UTC in reply to "Positives for Stallman"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

...these customers don't even know who Richard Stallman is, they don't even care. They've chosen Linux or Apache or open source in general because of a few simple reasons: either price, or functionality, they want a more modular system or they want something that has a smaller footprint, there are certain needs that they have that are satisfied by that type of software.

That's actually a rather positive statement about the life work of Richard Stallman. It's sounds like the referenced customers are thinking, "Free software is good stuff and we want it".


Actually, he makes it sound like Stallman wrote the code, and is the one responsible for it.

In actual fact, Bill, the FOSS codebase has been written in collaboration by the equivalent of approximately 1.5 million full-time developers, who can all see and understand all of the code in question, and who end up using it themselves.

Right there is you guarantee of quality for open source software, Bill.

1.5 million developers wouldn't be using it if they could see there was anything at all in it that wasn't in their best interests.

If there was found to be something wrong with it, 1.5 million developers wanting to fix it so they could avoid that problem in their own usage going forward would surely see it fixed pronto.

You just don't get that guarantee with a Microsoft EULA.

Reply Score: 10

Issues
by Buck on Fri 16th Nov 2007 20:59 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes, open source is definitely "an issue" for Hilf. There's all the same bullshit talk all over and over again in the interview. The three pages we could reduce to him saying "BUY NOW!".

Reply Score: 7

v RE: Issues
by tomcat on Fri 16th Nov 2007 22:43 UTC in reply to "Issues"
RE[2]: Issues
by RIchard James13 on Sun 18th Nov 2007 04:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Issues"
RIchard James13 Member since:
2007-10-26

WTF else would you expect him to say? "DOWNLOAD Linux"? Sheez.

How about we are considering an open source model based on selling services.

Everyone else seems to be doing it why not Microsoft?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Issues
by gustl on Mon 19th Nov 2007 08:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Issues"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Everyone else seems to be doing it why not Microsoft?

Because Microsoft has it's own codebase to maintain.

While Redhat, Novell, SGI and others only have to maintain a fractioin of the codebase they "sell", Microsoft has to maintain EVERY single line of code themselves (exception: Drivers).

Microsoft also does not sell serious hardware like IBM does, which can bring in the cost for maintaining AIX.

So effectively, Microsoft has only their copyrights as assets which justify a high stock price. If they free up their codebase, or fuse it with Linux, the only valuable thing they have is devalued, the stock price will plummet, and the CEO who makes such a decision will get fired by the shareholders.

That is why Microsoft will not likely free Windows, and it will definitely not make MSOffice available on Linux, because that is the major reason why many companies stay with the Windows system.

Reply Score: 2

Does the title make sense, or is it just me?
by Beta on Fri 16th Nov 2007 21:02 UTC
Beta
Member since:
2005-07-06

Not that it’s your fault Thom, but I couldn’t understand how Bill is an it…

Microsoft’s Bill Hilf Reveals His Open Source Strategy
Microsoft’s Bill Hilf Reveals Their Open Source Strategy
Bill Hilf Reveals Microsoft’s Open Source Strategy

As for the interview, it’s the typical: We compete with Red Hat, Linux can not be guaranteed, people only choose Linux for price or modularity, licencing technology will avoid litigation, and finally, we could litigate vs. Linux.

Not really an Open Source interview, just more Linux sabre-rattling. I had hoped for more news on their MPL and MRL licences, and what they’ll use them for in the future.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

Not that it's your fault Thom, but I couldn't understand how Bill is an it.

"""

I can. :-0

Edited 2007-11-16 22:05 UTC

Reply Score: 7

marketing
by alucinor on Fri 16th Nov 2007 21:20 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

Just because he's the "open source expert" at Microsoft doesn't take away from the fact that his role is centered on marketing. Whatever he says is ultimately geared towards marketing Windows, using salesmen tactics, but in this case flavored for the more technical minded.

Reply Score: 6

I.O.U
by IceCubed on Fri 16th Nov 2007 21:21 UTC
IceCubed
Member since:
2005-07-01

Classically, our preferred plan is to license our technology in a very proactive and productive way versus litigate. So what we try to do is say in a very, very nice way, there's a model here that allows us to be essentially paid some degree for our inventions in a way that says at least for all the money we invest, the $7 billion every year in research, there's a way to see some return on that if someone's using our technology.


In other words. $EVIL_CORPORATION is telling us:
We did not write the code!
We did not help write it!
It `looks` _like_ our software.
It `works` _like_ our software.
It _is_ our software.
Pay up or we will sue you.

Reply Score: 11

RE: I.O.U
by borker on Fri 16th Nov 2007 21:53 UTC in reply to "I.O.U"
borker Member since:
2006-04-04

which if we factor it down to a consumer level comes out to: software patents == bad

Reply Score: 5

v RE: I.O.U
by tomcat on Fri 16th Nov 2007 22:46 UTC in reply to "I.O.U"
RE[2]: I.O.U
by rajj on Fri 16th Nov 2007 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE: I.O.U"
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

Most people use the word evil as a pejorative if you haven't realized that by now.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[3]: I.O.U
by tomcat on Sat 24th Nov 2007 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I.O.U"
RE[2]: I.O.U
by mlopes on Sat 17th Nov 2007 01:55 UTC in reply to "RE: I.O.U"
mlopes Member since:
2005-07-18

Well, according to the company's history I'd say Microsoft helped redefining evil. That's a soft word in Microsoft terms.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[3]: I.O.U
by tomcat on Sat 24th Nov 2007 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I.O.U"
RE: I.O.U
by lemur2 on Fri 16th Nov 2007 23:56 UTC in reply to "I.O.U"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Classically, our preferred plan is to license our technology in a very proactive and productive way versus litigate. So what we try to do is say in a very, very nice way, there's a model here that allows us to be essentially paid some degree for our inventions in a way that says at least for all the money we invest, the $7 billion every year in research, there's a way to see some return on that if someone's using our technology.


I have an alternative plan for you Bill.

Join the OIN, and enjoy the use of their technology.

Or alternatively ... just use some open source software yourself in your own products, and keep with the easy-to-meet requirement of keeping the source open to downstream recipients.

Either way ... you get paid via the efforts of open source, without the need to litigate anything ... which is what you say you want.

Reply Score: 3

Microsoft's leading light?
by rajj on Fri 16th Nov 2007 22:27 UTC
rajj
Member since:
2005-07-06

Only if Bill Hilf is an anglerfish.

Reply Score: 2

Hmm.
by google_ninja on Fri 16th Nov 2007 22:36 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

More or less a fluff piece, but there were a few good points in here

Hilf: We just had a bunch of our global account managers in with us, people who handle our super big customers, and they said, these customers don't even know who Richard Stallman is, they don't even care. They've chosen Linux or Apache or open source in general because of a few simple reasons: either price, or functionality, they want a more modular system or they want something that has a smaller footprint, there are certain needs that they have that are satisfied by that type of software.


This is really what it comes down to. Open source is where its at, the whole free software thing will only be a factor amoung young engineers in universities. It is not about right or wrong, it is about the power of the liscence, and the only cost of using it is the requirement to play fair. That is what makes open source awesome, and that is why people love to use it.

As a company, we're hyperactively involved with patent reform and trying to find models that work best for the industry. But it is key, as you have these conversations, particularly with the open source community, keep in the back of your mind, what is the current model for doing business, right, wrong or indifferent, and then what is the opinion about software patents as an issue.


Many people tend to forget that MS calls for patent reform more then any other big company. They are the biggest target, and get hit more then anyone else with lawsuits based on a law which makes no sense.

Reply Score: 4

In other words . . .
by walterbyrd on Fri 16th Nov 2007 23:12 UTC
walterbyrd
Member since:
2005-12-31

Msft plans to continue their abusive monopolistic tactics of:

1) FUD: they say linux infringes their patents, and that they are protecting their inventions, but they won't say which patents, or which inventions. I call FUD.

2) Abusing the USA legal system by hiring pure scam comapnies like scox, and acacia, to file bogus lawsuits against linux companies - purely for the sake of harassment.

Msft has been doing this for years. I don't see anything new.

Reply Score: 6

Mouth wide open
by moleskine on Sat 17th Nov 2007 00:18 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

The interview suggests that Microsoft doesn't have a strategy for open source, apart from pinching what ideas they can and an intention to beat it up with any means at their disposal. This is all about taking, not about giving, and in that sense talk about the "community" on such a one-way basis is just laughable, as it is from all the other big outfits who'd quite like a free ride. Oracle comes to mind. And so much for Microsoft's alleged bosom buddies at Novell; they and others who've signed on the line barely rate a mention here. The summary of the article says that Hilf is also now general manager of Microsoft's Windows Server side. Fox in charge of hen house, then.

Reply Score: 3

open source...
by Nossie on Sat 17th Nov 2007 00:58 UTC
Nossie
Member since:
2007-07-31

"which means he's taking on an expanded role, but open source is still one of his core issues."

yeah, because they haven't snuffed it out yet.

Reply Score: 1

Big Corp = Big Corp
by Arkansas_Rebel on Sat 17th Nov 2007 02:30 UTC
Arkansas_Rebel
Member since:
2007-11-03

Like a deck of cards people shuffle from one deck to another in the end the lawyers get rich and the businesses pay license fees for software support or seats.

I left the Big Corporation for a smaller company with better benefits, more money and getting more paid training.

Microsoft will continue on with the status quo but I am no longer required to use their products in the office or at home.

Reply Score: 2

i have an ideal
by muffenme on Sat 17th Nov 2007 07:03 UTC
muffenme
Member since:
2006-01-05

Microsoft should open source code that they no longer use in there software. For ex. Windows 1.x, Windows 2.x, Windows 3.x, Windows NT 3.x, Windows 4.x ( aka Windows 9x, and Windows ME ), Windows NT 4.x, The older Office per 2004 (this could be any expt current version), MS-DOS any version, etc., etc. Wow that be alot of lines of code.

Reply Score: 1

RE: i have an ideal
by raver31 on Sat 17th Nov 2007 09:17 UTC in reply to "i have an ideal"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

can I have a big jumbo jar of lube and an overcoat?

I need to prepare for these monkeys that are about to fly outta my butt, on this cold day in hell where it is snowing.

Reply Score: 4

RE: i have an ideal
by chrono13 on Sat 17th Nov 2007 15:04 UTC in reply to "i have an ideal"
chrono13 Member since:
2006-10-25

To what purpose? Any license such code would be released under would most certainly explicitly prohibit the use of the code in any way.

Then there is the unfortunate issue that much of that code is still in the current versions. Some of it still used, most of it unused, but I would wager that more than you would care to believe is still there. I know many of the same unchanged files still are.

And in releasing code that can not be used for anything, by anyone, the only potential impact it may have would be as a weapon in later months or years against successful reverse-engineered projects like WINE and ReactOS.

I say let them keep their old dead code to themselves.

Reply Score: 6

RE: i have an ideal
by islander on Sat 17th Nov 2007 17:56 UTC in reply to "i have an ideal"
islander Member since:
2007-04-11

Wont happen.We might end up seeing a better Windows not made by Microsoft themselves.LOL.

Reply Score: 5

I guess this MS Bill
by orfanum on Sat 17th Nov 2007 21:44 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

may not be much of a Help after all...

Reply Score: 1

i agree
by muffenme on Sun 18th Nov 2007 04:42 UTC
muffenme
Member since:
2006-01-05

This would never happen, but it just be good to help some open source project like linux, other os and other project. Microsoft has taken from open source why not give back to open source with nobody getting sued for use of the code.

But I do dream in color and Microsoft would never release code to open source unless it sue someone ass off. I just wish they would so someone would know how to write a better os then linux. No matter how good linux is it seem to miss something that Windows does easy like compleate driver, hardware manager, and other thing.
Open source has some projects like OpenOffice, lame MP3, XVID, Firefox and POVray to some great open source project. These and other project could be help with the no string attatch opening of the older code to be use in any way fit without being sued for using it even if someone trying to reverse enginer the code, so they could get project done faster and right with less amount of bug.

Over all it shock me if they release code with no string attacted.

Reply Score: 1

got enough?
by Rugxulo on Mon 19th Nov 2007 23:41 UTC
Rugxulo
Member since:
2007-10-09

I understand that 72,000 MS employees have bills to pay, but it seems silly to say "We spend 7 billion" and therefore expect enforcing silly patents to help pay that back. Why not just not waste all your money on endless research? When is enough enough?

Reply Score: 1