Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:02 UTC, submitted by Ed
Linux The idea here would be to cut the driver layer out of Windows and attach it to Linux directly. This would become MS-Linux. If Microsoft actually produced an MS-Linux that was the standard Linux attached to the driver layer of Windows, giving users full Plug and Play (PnP) support of all their peripherals, nobody would buy any other Linux on the market.
Order by: Score:
by AdamW on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:07 UTC

I would. I like my open source drivers just fine, thanks.

"nobody would buy any other Linux on the market. "
by Guthrie on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:08 UTC

This might be true, however Linux is free or as cheap as $1.00 a CD. MS Linux would have to compete with that.

by Chris on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:09 UTC

It wouldn't kill Linux. It would bring more people to Linux which is a good thing.

RE: nobody?
by Eugenia on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:10 UTC

My new TV/radio card is not supported though.
I bought it from Frys on Saturday because it was on sale. I did not check if it was supported by Linux, because I did not have a computer with me to check it online, I had to either buy it on the spot, or lose the offer. I decided to buy it (there's always Windows anyway). Too bad, Linux doesn't support it: K-World/V-Stream Studio TV Terminator.

So, don't tell me that you love your OSS drivers, we are not all with the same luck. And my two web cams are semi-supported, each time I upgrade my kernel, I have to recompile their third party OSS beta drivers. Yuk.

pie in the sky
by Grumpy on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:12 UTC

Firstly its not really possible to evade the GPL in the kernel. A blind eye is usually turned at propriety drivers but in MS case this would obviously be different.

Secondly Anti-trust legislation would probably prevent MS taking over Linux (after all you cant buy out your only competitor).

Thirdly MS wants windows not Linux cause it cant control Linux and in any case it would end up with loadsa free clones.

Lastly we already have PnP capability in linux via HAL and drivers are now almost on par with windows so the article is kinda irrelevant.

v stupid idea
by Sebastuán on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:13 UTC
v lol
by yanik on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:16 UTC
Yeah right...
by LoneElf on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:18 UTC

More people using linux or linux technology = more people interested in using linux... The idea that microsoft using a linux backend would kill linux is absolutely stupid.

Linux drivers
by Joe User on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:20 UTC

Linux drivers are a real pain in the ass, I have much hardware that isn't supported by Linux here (Winmodems, trackballs, a RAID controller, a scanner, a web cam, and 2 multimedia keyboards.) that's quite a lot to leave in the closet.

dvorak papers
by Alain on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:20 UTC

i rarely saw interesting papers from this author, each time i read one of them, i find them ininteresting and uninformed. This time too...

I hope he doesn't write this stuff for a living...

by AdamW on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:20 UTC

"So, don't tell me that you love your OSS drivers, we are not all with the same luck."

Why not? I love mine. That's my perspective, and I'm entirely entitled to have it and express it here. You don't like your drivers - that's fine, it's your perspective, go ahead and express it, and I'm sure you'd buy MS Linux if it were around. However, putting "nobody would buy any other Linux on the market" in the abstract is an absurd over-generalisation. Forget me - do you see RMS going out and picking up a copy?

RE: nobody?
by Darius on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:25 UTC

I bought it from Frys on Saturday because it was on sale. I did not check if it was supported by Linux, because I did not have a computer with me to check it online, I had to either buy it on the spot, or lose the offer.

Sorry, but buying hardware on the spot without researching it first is really not a good idea, even if you're on Windows. There's a lot of hardware out there with absolutely horrible drivers. Even if I know that a piece of hardware I want to buy is support in Windows (which is like 99.9% of the time), I always check reviews for it first. I have a friend who usually does what you did and just gets the cheapest crap on the shelf, and then wonders why his stuff never works right.

Re: Linux drivers
by Guthrie on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:26 UTC

It's just too bad hardware companies are still dragging their feet on porting drivers to Linux.

by Anonymous on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:28 UTC

Thats one way for MS to tackle Linux. If you cant beat them, join them. I dont see this as a way to kill Linux. The beauty of Linux is that you can get the source code for free and then make the changes you see fit to your particular computing situation. Thats something that Microsoft will never beable to compete with unless they too offer the entire source code to develpoers.

by Edward on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:28 UTC

Thank you OSnews for posting this thought provoking article.

Dvorak is a doom sayer but he does raises some interesting questions:

What would happen to Linux if MS did decide to create it's own version?

What would happen to all Linux newbies who struggle with special drivers?

What (evil) plans MS has for Linux? And can they manipulate the GPL license?

Why pay 20 million dollars to Linspire when they could have crushed them?

And much more

Linux geeks
by Joe User on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:29 UTC

If Linux geeks are able to use Linux as it is nowadays, then this MS Linux won't kill Linux, because they would still be using it. Now, Much more people would use MS Linux, people that nowadays are just unable to install or use regular Linux (normal people).

@ Eugenia
by Nemo on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:30 UTC

Let's see how many cliches I can fit in here...

"Time is money." Which leads right into, "You get what you pay for." If you had spent some time researching, you prob'ly could have found a good card at a reasonable price. Instead, you just jumped at it "because it was on sale".

"Waste not, want not." If you hadn't wasted time and money on a useless card, you would not still be in want of one that actually worked.

"Your options are good quality, low cost, and fast delivery... Pick two." Well, we know which two you picked.

"The squeaky wheel always gets the grease." Companies don't have any incentive to produce hardware that is compatible with Linux or open drivers, because enough people are satisfied with mediocrity "because it was on sale". Maybe you should write to the manufacturer and tell them you bought their product, but returned it because it was useless. Or, did that great deal include no returns?

Gee, what a freak
by Christian Gross on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:30 UTC

It is interesting to see how some people in the PC era never switched to the Open Source era. Recently talking to some MS folks I saw the same thing that Dvoark thinks he sees.

1) As much as people would like to say it is about the drivers it is not entirely about the drivers. It is red herring argument

2) If the drivers were an issue and lets say it were solved then the issue would move to something completely different such as graphics, or applications or something else.

3) Linux is about people having fun and being in control of their own destiny.

The third point sounds silly, but in fact is very important and something that many people in the PC space just cannot get their head around.

For example imagine Apache came out with a new version of their server. And they said to use Apache 2.x you would need Linux kernel version y. People would be outraged. Instead Linux and Open Source has the ability to mix and match applications with operating systems. In other words you control your own destiny. You can upgrade what is important to you, and not what the software manufacturer thinks is important. This is called writing applications that are component based and modular!

Re: @eugenia
by Alistair on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:32 UTC

If you'd actually read the article you'd see those are Dvorak's words and not Eugenia's. The fact they're included in the abstract is most likely to entice someone to actually read the article due to it seeming such an absurd notion. The point of making a comment on the article is that you've read it, the point of making a comment on an article you've not read is generally demonstrated on that wonderfully 'clued-up' site Slashdot.

The Point...
by NeoWolf on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:34 UTC

Linux wouldn't die from use or interest. I think the idea he's trying to get across is that if Microsoft was getting all the cash from Linux (and successful distro/support companies have clearly shown there's money to be made in linux), then suddenly a lot of the other distro companies that help keep development going to varying degrees would slowly wither away. Then it'd be a matter of who wants to keep working on linux to keep making MS money. Granted I doubt this would seriously work as there are several really nice and non-commercial distros for starters, I can't see an MS-Linux dominating the market that entirely, and I can't see MS doing that.

No Thanks
by Cheapskate on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:35 UTC

i would not want a Linux distro tainted with MSFT drivers or any other software...

Re: nobody
by Joe User on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:35 UTC

Sorry, but buying hardware on the spot without researching it first is really not a good idea, even if you're on Windows.

No regular people ever do it. They buy it and it's supposed to work. If it doesn't work, ask for a refund. Only geeks (0.5% of buyers) look for linux compatibility before buying.

It's just too bad hardware companies are still dragging their feet on porting drivers to Linux.

You're stating something you don't know. The Agfa scanner was one of the most expensive of the store ; the trackball were $110 each, the webcams are Intel, and the RAID controller is from an ASUS board bought last year. I always buy the best hardware.

Linux Drivers in Windows?
by Ryan James on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:36 UTC

That article is -completely- stupid. Use the linux drivers in windows? How the hell does this endanger linux. The power of linux isn't it's drivers (though the driver interfaces are really good now), it's the security, design, and overall stability of the linux kernel.

Putting linux drivers into the windows kernel... What's that leave you with ? ? ? You still get stuck out in the fucking mud with the insecure Windows kernel...

I think the guy that wrote that article has his head up his ass.

'halt' or 'shutdown -t now' now always worked for me
by Eric on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:37 UTC

to kill linux.

I forgot
by Joe User on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:38 UTC

I also have a laser printer that doesn't work under Linux: an Epson EPL-5700. The technician said I would have to use Windows to print properly.

v M$
by bob on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:40 UTC
by Joe User on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:41 UTC

> though the driver interfaces are really good now

You're talking from a developper's standpoint. Obviously regular users have a different point of view. If you put a linux CD in your CD-ROM drive to install it, and it doesn't detect your RAID-0 array, obviously you won't go very far...

Re: Nobody
by RISC on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:46 UTC

You're stating something you don't know. The Agfa scanner was one of the most expensive of the store ; the trackball were $110 each, the webcams are Intel, and the RAID controller is from an ASUS board bought last year. I always buy the best hardware.

Most expensive doesn't necessarily mean best.

Aside from that people seem to forget there was a time when windows didn't support EVERY piece of hardware out there. Things weren't always so cut and dry with adding new hardware to a windows box. Hell they still aren't.

by Eric on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:46 UTC

>and it doesn't detect your RAID-0 array

Debian sarge has been doing a good job of this lately.

by AdamW on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:50 UTC

However, the way abstracts are used on OSNews makes them seem far more like the opinion of the site than is strictly necessary, and warrants a little caution in how they are phrased. We've been over this before.

RE:  Linux Drivers in Windows?
by NeoWolf on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:56 UTC

You got it backwards. He's saying Windows Drivers in Linux. Instant 100% compatibility.

Why so serious?
by Bob on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:57 UTC

Come on people!!!! Why so serious? Dvorak has been doing this stuff for years....he's TRYING to provoke. Why? Because it's FUN! Just like Linux is fun and that won't EVER be taken away from us. We ALL know that. I laughed so hard when I read that article that my side hurts. Dvorak had his tongue FIRMLY in cheek writing that thing.

Anyway, I just dumped Windows on my laptop and went 100% Linux (used to dual boot), but since ALL OF MY HARDWARE WORKS WONDERFULLY right out of the box (I had to install special drivers for Windows), I don't see an issue here! The driver situation is improving RAPIDLY and will continue to do so, rendering the article obsolete and useless, even if it wasn't tongue in cheek (which it was)....

I hope....

I think.....


Not to forget the GPL...
by Archangel on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 22:59 UTC

I highly, highly doubt this would ever come to pass. It'd be a total reversal of tactic for Microsoft and pretty much admitting defeat. There'd still be no Windows compatibility so it wouldn't really change anything; if people were going to switch to Linux they'd have little reason to choose that.

And a huge legal debate would be provoked about derived works; whether the GPL applied to the code Microsoft added to it. Which would probably result in them having to GPL a huge chunk of code, at which point any other distro could use their new driver layer (or any part of it) with complete freedom.

It's a hypothetical situation. Won't happen.

micrsoft incentive
by roger merriman on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:00 UTC

i fail to see why Microsoft would be intrested in this to be honest, taking a wild hunch they are rather more worred by firefox which seems to be geting more popular, i find that non tecky friends have it while linux still gets blank looks, i suspect spyware has lot to do with this.


@joe user
by Guthrie on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:00 UTC

"You're stating something you don't know."

What do you mean, I don't know? Of course I do. After all this time, it's still a hassle just getting support for a winmodem (even thought they're crap) much less something like a webcam or whatever. Who's fault is that if not hardware companies? They're either too frightened of being shut out of Windows or too damn lazy to just port the drivers over. Yes, they are dragging their feet.

by Thomas Slackerman on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:01 UTC

This guy always has some stupid idea of the kind posted in this paper. Who cares what a PC mag columnist has to say about something he doesn't know about? The idea stated in this paper is just plain stupidity,expresed in the manner of the PCmag articles he writes. It's a waste of time to read this guy's column, as usual. The title is just to get the attention of we the LINUX community.

Dvorak is a scumbag
by Gregg on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:05 UTC

I saw an interview with him on some business show a month or two ago on CNBC or CNN. He was moaning about how stupid it is to have Intel and AMD both manufacturing CPU's, and how its a wasted duplication of efforts and resources. In his view it was about time Intel bought AMD and be done with it. He thought it would be much better for the computer industry if that took place. This guy obviously doesn't give a damn about computer users and consumers anymore.

That's impossible! Running any software smoothly under Windows is a dream!

Not only
by Chris on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:11 UTC

would I not buy it, but I'd make sure to spread as much bad PR about illegal monopoly tactics as possible.

@Joe User
by A nun, he moos on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:12 UTC

Are you talking about the Epson EPL-5700L or the EPL-5700? The first is a European model and it is known as a "winprinter" (think "winmodem") and has trouble running under the current version of CUPS. The second is a North American model and it works very well with hpijs/CUPS.

Agfa Scanners have had a rough history under Linux. Some work, some don't.

As far as the trackballs not working, let me express some doubts...

The original point stands, though. If you want to use hardware on a Linux system (or a Mac, or even a Windows system) do a little research first.

v Will never happen
by Johny on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:13 UTC
by Anonymous on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:15 UTC

John C. Dvorak *is* irrelevant. Always. Remember this.

@Joe User
by Johnny on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:15 UTC

From google on:
Epson EPL-5700 linux
First hit:

BW laser printer, max. 600x600 dpi, works Mostly
Recommended driver: hpijs (Home page, view PPD, download PPD)
Generic instructions for: CUPS, LPD, LPRng, PPR, PDQ, no spooler

Edited Notes
Works OK but only in 300 dpi mode. 600 dpi is mostly OK but some glitches appear in text.
This printer is not to be confused with the European-market EPL-5700L, which is a winprinter for which there is only partial support for now.

User Notes
Works perfectly at 600dpi with hpijs/CUPS.
Time to find it: 15 sec.
Agfa scanner (you didn't mention which model number)
From google on terms: agfa linux scanner

First 2 hits:

First hit, quote:
24.2. Alpha, Beta drivers
Agfa Focus, Focus II (SANE agfafocus)
Agfa Focus Color, Focus Color Plus (SANE agfafocus)
Agfa Focus Lineart (SANE agfafocus)
Agfa Arcus II (SANE microtek)
Agfa StudioScan II, IIsi (SANE microtek)
Agfa SnapScan 300, 310, 600 (SANE snapscan)

Second hit, quote:
Snapscan 1212U, 1236U, e20, e25, e26, e40, e42, e50, e52

This scanner apparently uses the same command set as the Agfa SCSI scanners. However a firmware download is necessary before the scanner can be used. Further information, copies of the firmware and firmware download scripts can be found at the SnapScan SANE web page at
Time to find the hits: 15 sec.

You don't mention the models on the webcam, or the trackball, or the raid controller, so I can't answer driver support for them.
It bothers me when people complain that Linux doesn't
have driver support for peripheral foo. Let me give you
a little lesson on logic. Manufacturer Bob makes some
peripheral called foo. Bob chooses to
a) Not provide a Linux driver for foo
b) Doesn't provide hardware specs so the Linux community
community could make for him (for free) his Linux driver.

Now here are some questions to think about:
1) Who is at fault here? Bob, or the Linux community?
If you answer Bob, give yourself a pat on the shoulder
for showing good sense. If you blame the Linux community,
give yourself a boot to the head and see if that helps
to restart the thinking processes.

2) As a capitalist, trying to maximize profit by increasing the available demand for product foo,
does it make sense for Bob not to provide drivers
or provide specifications to the Linux community?
If you say "no, it doesn't make sense" give yourself
another pat on the shoulder, maybe get yourself a nice
cup of java, or a good, ice cold beer for a job well done.

If you say "yeah, it makes sense", I suggest the
shampoo treatment: boot to the head, and see if your
head is working right. If it isn't, try it again.
The most common and stupid excuse given here is that
if the manufacturer were to provide hardware specs,
his "competitors" could then steal his technology
and make a better product. This is asine, because his competitor doesn't really care, he shops at the same
supplier as Bob does for his components, he makes
his own (cheap) design that does the same thing. In
fact, it would be harder for his competitor to waste
time reverse-engineer foo, than roll his own instead.

3) If Bob has to pay a royalty fee to a hypothetical
company (call it Macroshaft) for his driver to work
on a Macroshaft OS, but doesn't have to pay a royalty fee
for a Linux driver, does it make sense for Bob to ignore
a free market for him?

If you answer "no", it's bonus time. Go out and party,
you've demonstrated you're a good capitalist and should
give some thought to starting your own business. If you
answered "yes", I'm sorry I can't help you if you don't
want to be helped.

Open source is a different paradigm
by Metic on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:16 UTC

I think Dvorak thinks too much in terms of typical proprietary IT paradigm. He should, for example, read Bruce perens' article "The Emerging Economic Paradigm of Open Source":

I suppose MS would only be welcome to contribute to the Linux world, be it MS-Linux or not, but there's no way MS could ever control the Linux market the same way they have dominated the (naturally MS dominated) Windows world. For example, we would still have hundreds of alternative Linux distributions just like before besides of the new hypotethical MS-Linux with its supposedly better driver layer. Linux kernel development would still be done in a collective and cooperative open fashion where no single person or company can dictate the future.

MS Windows world is an example of very proprietary mono-culture, while Linux and the GPL is all about freedom and cooperation. Freedom to sell or give away free, to make modifications and customized versions etc. You also have to be willing to co-operate with the rest of the open source community because that's where the whole power and action of open source is. Lone greedy players just don't seem to succeed in the open source world in the long run.

Besides, why would the driver layer Dvorak is talking about be so all-important? Thousands and thousands of people are succesfully using Linux even now, without any such extra driver layers. (Granted, for example, many hardware manufacturers should have better Linux drivers.)

v The author is stoned
by Dr.BooBooGone on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:19 UTC
Dvorak is a twit
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:20 UTC

He's always saying stupid stuff like this. Putting Windows drivers on Linux would help it, not hurt it. It would be utter disaster for Microsoft in the meantime.

1) It would widen Linux's hardware base. Microsoft can't keep the driver loader closed source, for the simple reason that anything that expansive and in the kernel is bound to require enough access to the kernel internals as to be considered a derived work by the GPL. Even if they theoretically could, they'd be at the whim of the kernel developers with regards to compatibility. I suppose they could fork the kernel, but at that point, there is zero benefit to MS, because they just have another codebase to maintain.

2) It would widen Linux's software base. Microsoft blessing Linux would cause a surge of software ports. Now, MS could try to fork the API too, but that'd be impossible. First, any such fork would require that the changes be made available under the GPL, so they couldn't keep it diverged. Second, forking the API is impractical. If you fork in the first release, then the OS will have no software to run. If you fork in a later release, ported Windows software will break along with Linux software.

Actually, I hope MS follows Dvorak's advice. Then, they'd just be relegated to pushing a Linux distro!

v @Dr.BooBooGone
by Chris on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:29 UTC
v C'mon
by Thjayo Romanov on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:30 UTC
by Chris on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:31 UTC

It'd help at first. But MS would simply keep it a couple steps behind to make sure that its hardware compatibility is bad. And at the same time companies would say "yay, now we only have to release windows drivers!"

I think the bigger question is:
How much code would have to be rewritten to even make it technically pheasible?!

Easy to kill Linux... Use Patents
by slash on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:33 UTC

Patents are Linux achilles heels. Companies can own patents, but Linux can't really own any (unless someone incorporates some kind of official Linux corporation that can own all the patents used by Linux and rented to companies to use.) That means that Linux can never build a portfolio of patents. Also, companies can pay to use patents. Microsoft can license fonts, technology ,etc. Linux can't really do that. So basically, if a few companies want to kill Linux (like Sun and Microsoft), they just have to file for a whole bunch of really good patents and send a cease and desist letter to anyone who is using Linux "illegally" or submitting code into Linux "illegally".

by Octavian Belafonte on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:40 UTC

The important concept to bear in mind when discussing software issues with Linux apologists is the "Linux Fault Threshold". Clever use of this concept helps you to avoid losing your temper with someone who might actually be able to render practical help. The Linux Fault Threshold is the point in any conversation about Linux at which your interlocutor stops talking about how your problem might be solved under Linux and starts talking about how it isn't Linux's fault that your problem cannot be solved under Linux. Half the time, the LFT is reached because there is genuinely no solution (or no solution has been developed yet), while half the time, the LFT is reached because your apologist has floundered way out of his depth in offering to help you and is bullshitting far beyond his actual knowledge base. In either case, a conversation which has reached the LFT has precisely zero chance of ever generating useful advice for you.

Here's an example taken from IRC logs to help you understand the concept.

user: Why won't my fucking Linux computer print?

linuxbabe: what printer r u using?

user: I don't know. It's a Hewlett Packard desktop inkjet number

linuxbabe: hewlett r lamers. they dont open source drivers

<------LFT closely approached!

linuxbabe: but we reverse engineered them lol. check the web. or ask hewlett for linux suuport??<------ but avoided, he's still talking about the problem

user: Thanks. I already did that. But I can't install the drivers on my fucking computer. I've got a floppy disk from HP, but my floppy drive is a USB drive and Linux doesn't have fucking USB support.

linuxbabe: linux DOES have USB support!!!!!!

user: yeh for fucking infrared mice, and for about a thousand makes of webcam it does. Get real here. For my fucking floppy disk drive, I am telling you through bitter experience it does not. Even if someone has written the drivers in the last week which I sincerely doubt, how the hell am I going to install them given that my floppy drive doesnt work????? this ought to be in the kernel. what good is a fucking operating system that doesnt operate?

linuxbabe: Imacs dont have floppy drives at all

<----- useless point, but not LFT. All apologists make pointless jabs at other OSs

linuxbabe: so you ought to be greateful that Linux does. drivers like that shouldn't be bundled in the kernel makes it into fucking M$ bloatware. bleh download drivers from the web!!!! apt-get is your friend

user: So everyone keeps telling me. Unfortunately the fucking modem doesn't work under Linux either, and since the Linux installation destroyed Windows, that leaves me kind of fucked.

linuxbabe: Linux doesnt destroy windows

user:mandrake installer does. It "resized" my Windows partition and now the fucker won't work

linuxbabe: you shuold have defragmented. windows scatters data all over your hard drive so the installer cant just find a clean chunk to install into. it isn't linux fault

<---- distinct signs of LFT being approached

linuxbabe: that windoze disk management blows

user: so why doesn't my fucking modem work?

linuxbabe: what computer hav u got

user: A Sony Vaio PCG

linuxbabe: that doesn't have a modem

user: I assure you it fucking does. I used to use it to check my email back in the days when Windows worked.

linuxbabe: its got a winmodem. thats not a modem

<----- nitpicking over technical terms is a sign of impending LFT

user: what do you mean?

linuxbabe: a winmodem isnt a proper modem. it just uses proprietary windoze apis. doesnt do the work of a modem at all.

user: Very interesting. Now how do I get the fucker to work with Linux?

linuxbabe: well the trouble is that micro$oft won't open up the drivers they just keep it proprietary and becos theyr a monopoly all the lameass manufacturers fall into line


user: So in other words, my fucking modem is never going to work with Linux at all?

linuxbabe: no no no. in the first place you never had a modem you had a winmodem. in the second place its M$ fault that the drivers are closed and you can go to jail for trying to reverse engineer them like this guy dimitri skylab and the DMCA. its nothing to do with linux that M$ fills the world with its proprietary crap

user: But in terms of actually getting my computer to work with Linux, I get the impression that it won't?

linuxbabe: M$ should have to open up the drivers have you read CatB? and vaio sucks because they won't open up their standards either.

user: Congratulations on wasting half an hour of my life, you fucking loser. And stop pretending to be a fucking woman. Your advice is useless. You, and the other hundred members of the so called fucking Linux community for which you stand, have broken my computer, wasted my time, patronised me senseless, revealed your lack of real knowledge, patronised me again and you *still* can't get something as simple as a fucking laptop computer to fucking work. Your so called free fucking software, like your so called fucking free advice, is still too fucking expensive. I cannot believe that you have so little fucking self-respect that in order to find the attention you clearly crave, you have to spend your life lying about the usability of a fucking computer operating system, purely for the joy of creating problems which you can then pretend to solve. You are worse than a fucking fireman who sets buildings on fire. I have had enough of your fucking Munchausen-by-proxy version of tech support. Now get off this fucking channel, hunt down someone who knows what they're fucking doing and bring them here or I will never, repeat never, use your fucking system ag ....

by Anonymous on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:50 UTC

Not so fast buddy..

First of all software patents are not valid everywhere, secondly any kind of advanced and in many cases not so advanced software development you are likely to infringe on someones patents. IE if you go after someone you are opening up yourself as a possible target for counter-action. And considering IBM has the largest patent collection of them all I doubt very much that they'd sit down and take it if you were about to try to duke it out on patents. In fact they have already IIRC used a couple of them in their counter-suit against SCO..

Software patents serve two purposes. The first is as the business-variant of the MAD-doctrine (Mutually Assured Destruction - nukes.. ) if you like. The second is as a convenient way of cementing the market by providing an easy way of killing competitors who have too few patents or not enough dough to take it to a court. Now, that doesn't work with linux since pretty much every major player except MS has their fingers in the linux cookie-jar... In other words, if they tried anything like this they'd probably be in a world of hurt.

Dorak is cool
by Julian on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:50 UTC

This guy is great. Technology experts i say... He's even more fun that Rob Enderle...

Seriously though... MS Linux is, as a true Microsoft product, even more overdue than Longhorn: "MS Linux: Shipping in November 2003"

ah yeah... almost forgot this: </sarcasm>

by nomen luni on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:50 UTC

This guy totally misunderstands what is good about Linux drivers.
I'll take one instance, sound card drivers.

Under Linux, there is a unified driver layer, ALSA, and the legacy OSS. Any ALSA mixer can control any ALSA card.

Under Windows, you can communicate to the sound card via ASIO, WDM, MME, GSIF (Gigasampler), PureSound (Echo), EASI (Emagic), Vxd (good ol' win98). All have totally incompatible mixers and propriatory interfaces.

Some cards support some of this collection of APIs, some support others. It works, but it's messy, and without porting the card's mixers as well, and large bits of Windows's kernel it would be a nightmare on Linux.

by Anonymous on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:57 UTC
v let's undercut and solve our driver problem
by tmr on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:57 UTC
v @slash
by Sam Kinison on Tue 22nd Feb 2005 23:58 UTC
More garbage from tech pundits
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:07 UTC

This article is essentially garbage engineered specifically to drive linux enthusiasts to the site and discuss it on forums like this. It's not even that interesting or thought-provoking. If Microsoft has any strategy in the works to "kill" Linux (and it almost certainly does), I'm going to guess that will almost certainly be of the baseless patent litigation variety and that it will most likely not involve any real software engineering on Microsoft's part.

i dream...
by hobgoblin on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:07 UTC

of a world where i dont need drivers as every soundscard, network card or whatever else have a set of standard commands that its supposed to understand and a set of ids indentifying the hardware to the kernel. that is true plug and play, similar to usb hid and storage standards. plug it in and forget about it.

but then we have mess like this cdrom that used a cd-writer signal to initiate a firmware upgrade sequence. still, if linux or similar could query the item to see what it is then one would not have to send a writer signal and see if the drive sendt back a ok or a error.

this is why proper standards are good!

v ... lol
by Sérgio Machado on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:14 UTC
@ Johnny
by Piers on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:18 UTC

What pre 2000 distro of Linux are you using?
Compiling a kernel to use new hardware, what crap. Have you ever heard of driver modules? Been around for quite a while, research (a simple search on the net will help) the module you need and then as su/sudo in a terminal type "modprobe (module name)" and hit return. If it works then you have the right module and you can then add it to your modules.conf in /etc or like the rest of us Arch Linux users to your modules line in rc.conf

How fn hard is that? Oh, and no reboots needed.


If you use Linux and don't bother checking prospective hardware compatability with Linux then you are a MORON.

by Scott Cabana on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:26 UTC

Usually I like Johns articles, because they make you think, but not only is this not possiable its also not business wise for Microsoft. By making a Microsoft Linux it would directly compete with it's own Windows products and waste tons of money and research with a good chance of MS Linux working better. Who wants to look like a fool spending millions on an OS that has been defeated by another OS that was intended to be a hobbie? If I were Microsoft I would concentrate all my efforts into making Windows better.

If Dvorak is right...
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:34 UTC

...then MS-Linux will cause Linux market-share to increase, Windows will die out and then all new drivers might aswell be written as native linux drivers, Microsofts driver-layer will only be needed for legacy hardware, after that, why would anyone buy MS-Linux?

But Dvorak is way off base here anyway, the major stumbling block is Windows application compatablity, you can work around the driver issue by choosing the right hardware. If Microsoft made a Windows API emulation layer (like WINE, but actually works well), then they might have something viable to base MS-Linux on.

All this is completely hypothetical because Microsoft won't embrace linux until they are dying and have no other choice.

The answer isn't drivers....
by Devilotx on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:36 UTC

Its Office

Seriously, if Microsoft created a lower cost Version of microsoft Office for Linux, it would create a rift (follow me here) because then you could have the Office compatability on Linux, this, would drive up adoption, primarily in the corporate market, where such compatability is important. Then Microsoft would just have to let the product flounder a bit, have it almost = to Office on windows for a time (think Office X on mac) then, offer meager updates before silently abandoning the Software in a few years, The Microsoft Office on Linux people will more then likely migrate of Microsoft Office 2009 on Windows when the compatability shift kicks in ala Office 97/2000.

Plus Microsoft looks good for releasing its flaship product on Linux for a time before it became "not financially soluble"

It works the same way, if Microsoft wanted to kill Mac, they would just stop creating office for it. While Joe-Public would not stop purchasing Mac's No one in a coporate invironment would go near them.

The 100% compatability Factor with Office keeps people in need.

Now I know Open Office and Star Office and Koffice all come close... but for buisnesses, it needs to be 100%, you don't need to whip up a presentation in open office and have it looking like ass when your potential customer opens it in Microsoft Office.

And thats my stance on the whole thing.

vague memory of the driver problem almost going away...
by Dougan on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:36 UTC

Didn't somebody once make a version of Linux that translated windows drivers to linux drivers on the fly? Some company in Montreal? Or was I dreaming?

Window drivers on Linux
by david on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 00:40 UTC

Simple question, how many people are now using their window wireless drivers? I know I am with gentoo

no, he's right
by GAlain on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:09 UTC

HEY! what are you all talking about??? yes this guy is right, absolutely right! can't you see this? W$ drivers on Linux would kill it...

... in the BSOD sense ;-)

Hardware drivers?
by Elsa Gloria... on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:11 UTC

I know that the Elsa Gloria L workstation video card I used a while back was the reason I used Linux on that computer.

There were only WinNT drivers for this card (until it was totally out of date and they released a shaky win95 driver), so if you wanted to use win9X you were out of luck.

Then I tried Mandrake, and it worked without going "driver hunting" or any special configuration...

I was happy to have an easier time getting the system up and running under linux. Better for me...

dont be so eargerly dismissive.....
by you never know.... on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:17 UTC

People in the past have made similar agruments concerning
Microsoft in the past, such as "why would anyone in their right mind chose NT over netware? A product that is still far superior to any thing they have to offer?" or " Sure, go ahead and keep the rights to the operating system, everybody knows that the money is in the hardware..."

Dont be so ready to count them out. They have a knack for taking risks that proves just about everyone wrong. A lot of times what seems the obvious results of what may happen are not even remotely close to what actually occures

It's all about the choice you make
by mntnpngn on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:25 UTC

I see lot of people moaning and grumbling about how Linux doesn't support some hardware. I don't think you really get the idea of open source. The truth is you should write to the manufacturer of the hardware. They are the ones not supporting Linux and it isn't some lazy open source developer not supporting the hardware. I choose to use Linux because I choose not to do business with a monopolistic company with history of repeated unethical business practices. It's a conscious choice I made and also I only buy hardware that will work with Linux. You can chooose to buy Windows and use all the hardware you want but it's gets really old when people complain about spyware and viruses afterwards. Even if I was to put my personal ethics aside, I think doing the extra work to research which hardware is supported is well worth the effort of protecting my private data. Frankly they can also choose to buy a Mac Mini and be done with those problems just as well. There are enough choices out there that playing the "victim" card no longer works. I simply don't have any sympathy for the people who think they have no choice but to use Windows and suffers from poor quality of the product. I'm not shedding any tears for some guy out there that's a victim of identity theft because he clicked on some attachment and now the Russian mob cleaned out his bank account. Everyone makes choices and they have to live with consequences of those choices. Blame game is over folks. There are viable alternatives even if it's a road less traveled.

Driver problems
by JK on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:29 UTC

Lack of a consistent Linux GUI is the main reason I use Windows on my main work system, drivers aren't such a problem. But drivers did stop me from using Linux on a media centre PC I built. Buying an extra copy of Windows was a lot cheaper that replacing my expensive sound card and video capture card.

Even when there are drivers available for Linux they're often limited and a lot more hassle to use. In Windows all my graphics card options are available in a nice GUI that's accessed through an extra tab on the display control panel. The last time I tried linux (Mandrake a few months ago) all the advanced options (including dual headed display settings) were only accessible by editing a config file. Many options required X to be restarted, while in Windows I can change just about any option instantly.

I couldn't find any way at all to access the surround sound features or optical TOS-Link connector on my sound card, it only worked in basic stereo with the Linux driver. While in Windows I can access all my sound card settings instantly through an icon in the system tray. That's very useful as I want different setting depending on whether I'm listening through headphones or speakers.

Maybe all that will be fixed in the future, I plan to have another look at Linux in a year or two. But at the moment it's problems stop me from running it on any of my PCs.

If Microsoft produced a version of Linux then I'd definitely try it, especially if they created an elegant Windows style GUI for it. But why would Microsoft do that? I can't imagine it ever happening.

What a stupid How Tos
by zeus on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:32 UTC

I have been read many How To's in Linux Doc site...

Why don't you guys put this How To's to Linux Doce site, it will be a great humor after we all read the (real) Linux how to's.

by andre on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:38 UTC

what's so special about that so-called top secret middleware thing? colinux has been out for ages ;)

@Sérgio Machado
by Michelle of the Resistance on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:45 UTC

"Well some on have said that hal and other stuffs in these new Linux generation, have less problems with drivers"

Hal is nothing but a stupid high level wrapper, it abstracts apps from drivers or low level apis like alsa. It's not like like windows hal which actually abstracts hardware details like interrupts, dma channels, power management etc from the drivers. There is no coherent linux driver model other than having a /dev entry and using posix syscalls.

by JK on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 01:53 UTC

Been around for quite a while, research (a simple search on the net will help) the module you need and then as su/sudo in a terminal type "modprobe (module name)" and hit return. If it works then you have the right module and you can then add it to your modules.conf in /etc or like the rest of us Arch Linux users to your modules line in rc.conf

How fn hard is that? Oh, and no reboots needed.

Like config file editing and compiling apps from source, that kind of thing is fine for Linux geeks. But do you really expect normal users to be willing to deal with that?

It may be easy enough once you've spent time researching kernel modules and reading FAQs and HowTo guides. But you're delusional if you think that most people are willing to do that just to install a driver. Most people are used to an OS where drivers are installed with a couple of mouse clicks, not with CLI commands and file editing.

this is a strange question...
by JAFU on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:00 UTC

I don't believe it's even possible to somehow unbolt the 'driver layer' from windows and graft it onto Linux like some software chimera. At that level they're fundamentally different designs. The whole point of drivers is to glue the hardware to an abstracted layer in the OS. This sounds more like quackery from powerpoint guys who've been staring at 'abstraction layer' boxes for too long. Look at how long it took them to create a unified driver system for WinNT and Win9X. How many people here have had the same Win32 API call behave differently in Win9X, WinNT/XP, and WinCE? This sounds closer to computer philosophy or metaphysics than actual computer science.

Yeah, they had linux running under Windows as a task, it's called machine virtualization. You might have seen it in VirtualPC, VMWare, etc.

by BlackVegas on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:21 UTC

I've seen idiots waste there time making linux run on a casio watch

I've seen idiots make linux run on an xbox

I've seen idiots make linux run on a beaowulf cluster of ipods.

I've seen idiots make linux run on a texas ins. calculator

I've yet to see an idiot make a layer/program/kernel that accepts windows drivers as native drivers.

it can't be that much harder. if a popular devices comes out someone hacks a driver and makes it work (Hello iPod, webcams, even WINModems... funny)

why? No clue. i guess it's more fun to make linux run on everything except an x86 computer.

(Yeah! i'm drunk and the spelling sucks!)

by d2r on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:22 UTC

"Lastly we already have PnP capability in linux via HAL and drivers are now almost on par with windows so the article is kinda irrelevant."

Hate to say it, but I've been hearing (and, alright, saying as well) the same/similar things for years now..."we just got XXXYYY support, and our drivers are almost as good as windows anyhow"....this despite having about half a dozen unsupported pieces of hardware floating around my apartment and the same number of poorly/partially supported ones

I have been trying to make a conscious effort not to say "our driver support is almost as good as windows", partially because it plants the idea both in the speaker and listener that one day (soon) driver support for linux will be as good as that for windows - but obviously that won't be so unless linux has as much mindshare (essentially, marketshare) as windows, and while I would quite like to see that happen, I don't see it happening 'soon' ;)

The other reason I don't say it any more is because I'm just sick of it. Whenever I buy hardware, I spend the requisite time (not that long, by my standards) firing up a few web searches looking for firsthand accounts of linux users with the hardware I'm thinking of buying. If driver support was "almost" as good as windows' I wouldn't bother, or would spend a lot less time doing this as I'd have the assumption that by default XXXYYY piece of hardware would have (good) linux drivers.

Of course, I'm not meaning to belittle the awesome work of people satifying their geekish (by my standards, anything lower-level than C is well into hardcore geek territory) urges by reverse-engineering open source drivers for pieces of hardware as diverse as HDTV tuner cards and wireless lan cards, but what I am saying is that their (laudable) efforts are never going result is drivers as complete, as quickly produced, as those written by the hardware companies themselves - for windows ;)

re: BlackVegas
by Devilotx on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:23 UTC

Yeah? Well I've seen idiots try to run Windows on an x86 Computer!

now thats stupid... and dangerous

by d2r on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:24 UTC

Something I forgot to mention in my previous post - IIRC ndiswrapper lets you use windows drivers for a few diff things - wireless lan cards and modems being two I've heard of - so hasn't what john dvorak was talking about (bringing the vast range of windows drivers to linux) already been an bunch of open-source guys, not MS?

v I like it as it is..
by jsg on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:35 UTC
Being able to run windows software killed OS2
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:41 UTC

Dumb to do for Microsoft. If you write software and you can choose between writing it for OS A or OS B who can also run OS A perfectly than you are an idiot if you don't choose OS A (everything else being equal). This is also why the number of software titles that can run on windows XP and not windows 98 is so minimal (outside those that are system tools for XP like defraggers, virusscanners etc.)

ps. Writing a API compatible kernel too linux isn't that difficult. All the BSD have it (they may have used part of the linux code). The big problem for an OS seem to be the drivers as the rest can be done by a few smart men.

v Only God Could Pull That Off
by Tom on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:47 UTC
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 02:48 UTC

Does ndiswrapper not windows drivers for linux and isn't the same true writing to ntfs

While many are attacking the author.....
by Lorenzo on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 03:02 UTC

While many attack the author, take a few moments to consider that he may be onto something regarding the 'possibility,' of Microsoft doing something close/similar to what he has proposed.

Imaging Microsoft coming into the world of Linux under the guise of friendship while having a secret agenda to kill Linux and end the competition.

If Microsoft decided to develop it's own Linux Platform, it would probably come with an enormous driver-base that would make most of us drool.

However, my past dealings with Microsoft have me feeling that they're out for them, and they are quite shrewd in their long-term plans & objectives.

I know that I'd be quite skeptical of Microsoft coming to Linux, even with the best driver support,

No thanks.... Any offer from them would cost too much later on.

Kworld card suggestion
by George on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 03:04 UTC


I have a Kworld card (a UK DVB-T one) and vanilla 2.6.10 with the patches from bytesex ( )

Works a treat. Didn't on stock vanilla or any vendor kernels. Have made a deb or you can have the .config if that helps

dmesg | grep card

cx88[0]: subsystem: 17de:08a6, board: KWorld/VStream XPert DVB-T [card=14,autodetected]
cx88[0]/2: cx2388x based dvb card



v The whole problem
by Sandra Williams on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 03:05 UTC
RE: dvorak papers
by Shawn on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 03:13 UTC

I don't know if anybody else has read this month's Wired. It has an article that is essentially a letter from Linus to Bill set in the near future where Linus actually works for Microsoft. The letter addresses the developement of Winx (the Win API on top of the Linux kernel). This sounds strangely familiar to Dvorak's article. The only difference is that Dvorak seems to miss the point.

This wouldn't be anything new. Yes, Dvorak unfortunately does this for a living and this isn't the first article of his that I read that just seems to be missing the larger picture

A little knowledge is dangerous
by Dekkard on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 03:25 UTC

Rather irrelevant at the moment considering so many comments,but Dvoraks slant( and i really dont mind dvorak)just doesnt pan like someone who has actually used linux very much. Ive run mandrake,redhat,slackware, damn small,knoppix, and ubuntu on my machine( a piece of crap at that ,asus A7s-vm(puke) with an athlon 900 and 512 meg..80 gig.. and on board everything) and have never ever needed to do any fiddling at all with drivers. Not once. I can even access my digital camera, without the cameras software kit. Things are seldom that easy with ms...

re: LFT
by David Pastern on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 03:28 UTC

Man, you've got some serious problems. The ex-windows user has had attitude from the word go, if he'd been in my irc channel he'd have been kicked and warned first for language, and then kick-banned.

The ex windows user has not done any research at all, if he had he'd have realised that resize for me can destroy data (and it's recommended to backup prior to resizing). Partition Magic has the same warning.

Winmodem - I would have put it in a different manner, but the irc person is pretty much correct.

You simply cannot blame Linux for lack of drivers. Hardware manufacturers enshroud their hardware in secrecy, they do not contribute to the Linux community (well most of them). They use things like DRM/DMCA to hide their hardware drivers. You tell me how Linux can write drivers under those circumstances? You're being a very unreasonable person in your demonstrative examples.

You're assuming that all "online" support for Linux is like this IRC snippet, it isn't. And remember - these guys are providing support for nothing, out of their own free time and love for open source/Linux. Be appreciative.


What if we don't need Microsoft? Or Linux?
by BSD User on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 03:42 UTC

I don't care what Microsoft does, or even Linux for that matter. I use FreeBSD, which is developed by the people who use it. It cannot be killed and it will never die. All this Windows vs Linux stuff is like watching children argue. I'll use the same editor and email program 20 years from now that I used 10 years ago, and that's the reason I choose to use it!

Linux Drivers.
by Han Solo on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 03:53 UTC

Linux has more drivers and supports more hardware than any version of Windows.

It's a fact. Get over it.

MS Linux - Why it won't happen soon
by Scott Lorah on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:01 UTC

This isn't new - Dvorak has advanced this theory previously. However, he's losing sight of one critical piece of information - Microsoft won't abandon proprietary Windows unless its profit making potential has clearly passed and its proprietary nature makes it a liability. Translation - it would have to cost more to develop, support, and market a proprietary OS than to port the Windows APIs (.Net and possibly COM) and driver model to an open source OS. If MS were to make the shift, the easiest way around the GPL limitations of Linux is simple - use the approach Apple used and coopt a BSD distro instead.
Is it possible? Yes. Will Microsoft do it? No, not now. Windows is still a HUGE money maker for Microsoft. Will it happen eventually? Possibly. The OS marketplace no longer allows for the care and feeding of multiple proprietary OSes - during the shakeout during the 90's and early 2000's, the market winnowed down to Microsoft Windows and Unix-like OSes. All the other proprietary OSes were abandoned by their sponsors (OS/2, Netware, Banyan Vines, BeOS, etc). Why? Simple economics - for the same reason MS might eventually abandon their own proprietary OS - it wasn't cost effective.

by Octavian Belafonte on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:05 UTC
Re: Microsoft v. Linux
by New Mexico Linux User on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:29 UTC

I am not trying to be rude but this is a very old argument.

Times change. Companies change. Technology changes.

I am old enough to remember when AT&T was a huge company. Then it was broken up. It was in turned aquired by its parts. The last chunk of the company may be purchased by SBC. MCI used to be power player. Now its almost gone and being purchased by Quest.

Redmond may be the top of the pile today but it is facing a competition from open-source software.

When companies refuse to encourage competition in their local monopolies - they eventually shoot themselves in the hind end (to put it politely).

Dvorak has been doing this tounge-and-cheek stuff for years. I stopped reading his articles years ago since I get bored to tears with the same formula.

The reason FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, all flavors of Linux are appealing to countries, corporations, local governments, and large group of individuals is because it gives them control again.

v ...
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:33 UTC
by BSD User on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:51 UTC

"So you came here to say that you don't care about the article and have nothing to say."

No, I came to say there is another alternative.

"That was a nice bit of wankage."

I'm glad you liked it, even if you didn't learn from it.

"Now crawl back back under your FreeBSD rock."

No, I'll continue to be happy with my OS while people like you cry in your beer.

You internet tough-guys are quite common, lol.

what an idiot
by Robocoastie on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:53 UTC

The premise is stupid. One of the beauties of Linux is actually its driver support because they are built into the kernel and that's why once they are set up they just plain work. This may not be such a big deal now that Windows finally got PnPlay working but we all remember W95 when it was plug and pray and it was those very problems that made people begin to sound the Linux trumpet.

v Jesus
by Father Baker on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:56 UTC
v Would be pretty funny...
by Lumbergh on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:57 UTC
RE: John C. Dvorak: How to Kill Linux
by George Nielsen on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 04:59 UTC

I enjoyed John's article. He thoroughly enjoys stirring the pot and proposing interesting scenarios. M$ could develop their own version of Linux. However, I don't see that changing the computing landscape.
Most people are not interested in Linux and would not adopt a M$ version of Linux in any case. I'm an avid Linux user; I don't use M$ products at home. At work I need to use M$ proprietary software to do my job. I've found that some people express mild interest in Linux, but, not many people want to try it out.
The average user wants a computing experience that is convenient, easy. Linux will gain acceptance over time, but, it'll be an evolutionary change.
M$ won't crush Linux. Linux users would never run a M$ version of Linux. Why would windows users want to use Linux?
John's article is interesting and a little silly.

by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 05:01 UTC

I enjoy Dvorak's articles, even if they can't all be taken seriously. I remember sometime last year he was touting MorphOS as the OS of the Future. GPL, well supported, friendly GUI etc etc. Unfortunately it seems to have died ;)

v RE: @Octavian
by Octavian Belafonte on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 05:11 UTC
making people buy in
by herb on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 05:29 UTC

Dvorak is off his rocker (and yes, he always writes crazy articles like this). Let's assume it is possible to make this Frankenstein MS-Linux. Will all free software developers stop creating free software because they don't want to support Windows? Highly unlikely. Free software like, GIMP, Apache are partly so popular because they run on Windows as well as Linux.

It is hard to see Microsoft helping yet more free software get a larger audience and increasingly become another standard. What would be their money maker if they helped undercut MS Office?

by Chris on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 05:47 UTC

Tainted simply means there is gpl incompatible code running in the kernel. And of course it would, you really think Microsoft would release under the gpl?!
But you'd have to know what you're talking about to realize that.

Linux Can't Die
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 05:49 UTC

It's easy. If you want to kill Linux, kill its community.

by Hemmo Kemmonen on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 05:52 UTC

I enjoy Dvorak's articles, even if they can't all be taken seriously.

Right, they are mostly enjoyable reads, funny and thought provoking. Although he seems to use the same plot a lot. He takes some factoids and mixes them with fiction to take them so far in one direction he is able. Starting again from the same set he could have reached the death of Microsoft just as well. He probably tossed a coin first to choose.

grafting wings on a car
by Omega on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 05:59 UTC

Dvorak could have written another article in the same fashion: "Hey let's graft wings to my car so it can fly".

Bad article from an author with no technical understanding.

v When are those Two-Faced APPLE people
by The MESMERIC on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 06:11 UTC
Eugenias TV-card
by Lennart Fridén on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 06:15 UTC

Sorry, but buying hardware on the spot without researching it first is really not a good idea, even if you're on Windows.

No regular people ever do it. They buy it and it's supposed to work. If it doesn't work, ask for a refund. Only geeks (0.5% of buyers) look for linux compatibility before buying.

That scientifically accurate figure is comparable to the number of computer users using Linux then.

Now, maybe people don't look for drivers, but many look for info before bying into something. In Eugenia's case , she took a calculated (very high) risk by bying something as exotic as a TV-card without looking up info on drivers for Linux, reviews about the quality of the hardware etc etc etc. While it'd be nice to have Linux et al support every piece of hardware under the sun it clearly isn't the case.

The author really wants to kill Microsoft :-)
by Timothy on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 06:46 UTC

Just let Microsoft read and follow his ideas :-)

wtf? was he just bored and decided to rehash a cringely article? i mean, really.

read these two articles from 2 years ago: and

dvorak hasn't had an interesting article in years. i'd say he ought to just stop but i guess he'd then be left scratching his head looking for another job he isn't qualified for...

by BSD User on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 07:01 UTC


Wrong. I care. See how easy it is to prove you wrong?

I'm going to guess you are 15 going on 16, and that's probably giving you too much credit.

Keep posting, you make a great clown! LOL

Not so, Scott Lorah
by Coral Snake on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 07:16 UTC

I think that if Microsoft were to go tho Open Source route because Proprietary OS's became unprofitable for some reason (think Linux) it would not be with BSD or Linux. I believe they would simply open source WINDOWS because that is the platform that their other bread and butter software (Office, Microsoft games, Mocrosoft hardware drivers etc.) runs on.

missing the point
by mojo on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 08:28 UTC

Some of the above comments are missing the point. Linux geeks and open-source fans will at first shrug at the idea of such a frankenstein's monster and continue using whatever distribution it is that they use, while most companies and enterprises who don't care much about open-source idealogy will switch very quickly indeed.

As time passes by, MS will gain market share in the Linux sphere and then the Linux developers (I'm talking about the guys who develope the kernel, not apps for linux) and their sponsors and well-wishers (IBM, Novell, Redhat) will realise that all their hard work (and money, in the case of sponsors) is making MS even richer, and no one in the open-source world wants that. As a result of this, says John C. Dvorak, most developers will opt out of the Linux camp and the OS will die.

It might just happen, even though I don't want it to happen. As many complaints as I have against Linux and it's fanatical league of followers (I'm a BSD fan myself), I would not want it to die, at least not at the hands of a company like MS.

Re: Innplications
by lars on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 08:52 UTC

"Why pay 20 million dollars to Linspire when they could have crushed them? "

How could thay have crushed Lindows???
In fact MS was the one taking the risk of having windows
considered a generic word "official" which it is.
So it was MS paying, right.

by solios on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 09:06 UTC

* looks at his collection of Debian installs. (5)

* looks at his collection of Debian installs on PPC hardware. (5)

What's this "BUY" ?

In my annual "I'll try to use linux as a desktop again and see how far things have progressed" of 2005, I came to the same conclusion I've come to since the first time I tried to install linux in '99- the hardware isn't the problem. The interface is the problem.

Forget hardware. Gimme transparent application compatability (I'd settle for something that functioned even half as well as Classic does in OS X) - something that'll run the entire Adobe suite.

Oh, and <a href=">Quicksilver.

Linux philosophy
by OSNews daily reader on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 09:08 UTC

How can this idea kill the Linux philosophy ?

Linux philosophy is : when you buy a PC, you want it to run without buying an additional software (the OS).
It also means : when you buy a video card, you want it to be supported and exploited.

And the author says "(...)Or the user could pay for the Windows drivers and attach those to MS-Linux, resulting in an OS that had the PnP benefits of Windows(...)"

I simply don't understand this paper.
I'll never PAY for drivers, i already bought the hardware !
That could be under Windows or GNU/Linux, i don't care !

Oh yeah...
by solios on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 09:09 UTC

I should've mentioned - though I'm sure at least fifty or so of the hundred comments before mine already have - that Dvorak is right about as often as it rains lava in New York.

Somebody who's been predicting the death of the Macintosh since TCP/IP stacks were still third-party user-installed add-ons thinks he knows where computing is going? The only thing separating him from a blathering retard in a homeless shelter is that whoever's paying him is even less cluefull than he is.


by gfx on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 09:48 UTC

Windows drivers aren't that good either, ejected a dvd out of windvd and WinXP froze, it kept running when I could finally kill the application.. but accessing optical drives seems always a bit trouble some or unnecessary slow ...

I would
by nakee on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 10:05 UTC

There are 2 options, one the layer won't be free so again we'll be at the mercy of microsoft (no thanks) the second is that it would be free
and therefore other distributions could copy it.

It's a question of how much you value your freedom

wtf ????
by raver31 on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 10:08 UTC

When are these retarded journalists going to get it into their heads..... there is no place in the Linux world for Microsoft.

Also what sort of journalist uses words like "Gotten" ? there is no such word in the English language. Granted, it was on the Windows XP install program, but since then people have been using it ever since.

by raver31 on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 10:29 UTC

Nope, it is only in the US that patent laws apply. There has been no judgement yet in the EU.
In fact this week Poland threw the application for software patents out.

So... in the future, if Sun, Microsoft,whoever decided to use patents to kill Linux, it might succeed, but only in the US.

Believe it or not, the US is not the "whole world". Linux is successful the world over, so there will be no change there.

by khud on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 10:30 UTC

IIRC "Gotten" is an American English word, so it does exist. The only problem is that I don't know how to really use it, it sounds very akward -> I've gotten a new PC; You've gotten it wrong... doesn't it sound particulary wrong to your ears? It does to mine, but I know that word exists, only I don't know how they use it (heard it once or twice being used though...)

re: MS-Linux
by gumout on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 11:38 UTC

Microsoft knows the GPL is unenforcable and that they like
all the proprietary companies can rely on promissory estoppel
to do exactly what Dvorak says. When the GPL falls, Linux
will have more proprietary forks than a formal Whitehouse dinner table. IBM-Novell will run Linux on Power hardware and Microsoft will still own the remainder of the X86 world. All
the other forks will wither and die.

by raver31 on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 11:47 UTC

nah - stop trying to spread fud. that one about the GPL being unenforcible is sad and boring.

if you are gonna try and start a flamewar, please do it with something fresh

John C. Dvorak: Already dead
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 12:02 UTC

I used to be a big fan of Mr. Dvorak back before the Internet blew up into something big and popular. Sure, he was still wrong on a regular basis, but he was a fun read and I thought I did gain some insight. Since then, it seems as if he's just filling up space waiting for retirement.

There's nothing to see with him anymore. He's controversial for controversy's sake. It's a game.

Re: John C. Dvorak: Already dead
by alpha99 on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 12:57 UTC

I don't think so. I see here written my one-year old idea about killing Linux. Even if I like Linux and use it on daily basis, I have to say it would be the best way to fragment the Linux world.

Just think over the following thoughts (assuming that Microsoft is able to procuce a stable MS-Linux with driver support and Windows UI):
1. The actual tendency would be stopped in spreading of the linux desktops. Those who wanted to change to Linux may stay on this platform. On the other hand a lot of linux fan may switch to this platform too.
2. Porting the Microsoft Office to this OS would be a big attraction for a lot of people.
3. The hard core Linux community would be very confused. Do they really develop for the Microsoft? The fragmentation would be increased further.

Microsoft would lose nothing but would gain new users (=money) and may stop the further (uncontrolled) spreading of Linux.

Just my 2 cents...

Good idea
by joeljkp on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 13:36 UTC

I've bene tossing this idea around in my head for a while.

What if there existed a free, open standard for an operating system driver API? If successful, every major operating system would support it, and device developers would only need to write a single driver, and everything from Windows to SkyOS would be able to use it.

re: alpha99 (IP:
by tobaccofarm on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 13:37 UTC

I doubt wether they have the time for it.Even now they can't keep their promised release dates and included features of Longhorn.

Doesn't Kill Linux
by Xipher0 on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 13:40 UTC

Even if Dvorak is right, this doesn't really kill Linux. It kills companies like Red Hat. If Dvorak's plan works even exactly as he says it will, there will be a time after the dust settles that Open Source will again begin to leverage against MicroSoft's dominance. Microsoft becomes a driver vendor not an OS vendor and inklings of this type of cross-platform-driver wrappers already exist.
So, Microsoft playing a big move like this might buy them time... but in the end the same forces that gave rise to OSS to begin with will still be at work in this new Software Economy. Eventually you would get reverse engineered driver-wrappers and all host of OSS products simply because they can be created.

market share
by herb on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 13:50 UTC

People just aren't thinking things through here. Why would all those companies with Linux workstations and servers suddenly decide to switch over to MS-Linux when their computers work just fine as they are? They have no incentive, especially considering MS would likely charge the same or more of what they are already paying to Red Hat, Novell, or Sun. (Microsoft would only consider creating MS-Linux if it didn't undercut their main OS, so they couldn't charge less than Windows XP or Longhorn).

People here are getting confused between desktop Linux for the average home user, and business users.

by emacs on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 14:00 UTC

How can Dvorak's remarks carry drop #1 of water with no mention of Cygwin?

are you insane?
by ralphy on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 14:05 UTC

this is quite possibly the worst opinion piece i have ever seen on osnews. it shows a complete misunderstanding of:

o the community ethics of linux users
o the gpl
o the structure of the kernel.

Re: market share
by alpha99 on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 14:11 UTC

Why would all those companies with Linux workstations and servers suddenly decide to switch over to MS-Linux when their computers work just fine as they are?

Many companies are in trouble with Microsoft support and licensing. In each 3-4 year they have to change the OS because Microsoft stop supporting an OS product. For example Windows NT 4.0 would be enough for many companies but it is not supported. That's the way how Microsoft produces the money.

Open letter to John C. Dvorak
by Cheapskate on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 14:21 UTC

Dear John C. Dvorak:


the majority of Linux users want to keep Linux as Linux...

sincerely; Cheapskate

MS Driver layer as third product will beat Linux
by Pingu on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 14:36 UTC

I think that make a product for Linux that enable it to use Windows drivers will be the solution to control the entire Linux world. Once everyone use this product, anyone could left it away.

Da tu opinión en español en

Patents can kill Linux
by slash on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 14:49 UTC

"First of all software patents are not valid everywhere, secondly any kind of advanced and in many cases not so advanced software development you are likely to infringe on someones patents. IE if you go after someone you are opening up yourself as a possible target for counter-action. And considering IBM has the largest patent collection of them all I doubt very much that they'd sit down and take it if you were about to try to duke it out on patents. In fact they have already IIRC used a couple of them in their counter-suit against SCO.. "

Yeah, isn't it nice being dependant on IBM to protect Linux from lawsuits and patent infringement. But tell me, when Sun goes bankrupts, and Microsoft loses the OS war to Linux, and the only player around is Linux, what is going to keep IBM from trying to protect it's patent's and protect their patents by charging for Linux and making all other versions free?
As I said earlier, patents are Linux's achilles heel. Microsoft, IBM, and Sun have a large portfolio of patents so they can force each other onto the bargaining table. Linux is free to take for whom ever wants it and has no way to own patents to keep it free.

Hope It Happens
by GoodMove on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 15:13 UTC

1) Microsoft moving to linux would be an acknolgement that Linux is better then Windows OS.
2) Microsoft would have to port OFFice
3) Linux, only needs MS drivers on x86, so a Microsoft Office Port would be available on ALL Hardware that Linux runs on.
So, Microsoft would be benefitting AMD on linux, PPC on Linux, and possibly the BSD's.

Microsoft would shrink to half it's size, and be responsible for the only area it's got any competency in: Office.

No one can kill Linux or open source
by Jigga on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 15:30 UTC

Apparently few understand this concept so let me break it down:

Linux distros have been around for years. How long ago did the first linux company go public? How long were you playing with linux before that? It's freely available to ANY company including MS to add and change and distribute. Linux is a survivor b/c it'as licensed that way and cannot be killed even by a distributor of linux itself. For example, a linux distributor (Red Hat, Novell) cannot eliminate another distribution (Slack, Debian, Gentoo) through typical capitalistic tactics. As long as there are users of a product, then the product can exist. Open source users can continue use the existing product or choose to develop the product themselves to a further extent. Open source will find a way to make a product envious to even the biggest software companies in the world. Even if every software company was distributing Linux, do you think all of the open source developers in the world would just stop developing? No, they would find a way to make things better, something that we can say is our own.

The cycle cannot and will not stop. We are in the midst of a renaissance period for the silicon age. Many of us don't realize the gravity of this era and how much of an effect it will have in later years and centuries.

Many years ago, artists would paint and write and build things just b/c they wanted to and they had the desire to express themselves in that way. That era produced some of the greatest works of art and some of the most brilliant minds in history. Open source is more than "working for free". It is a way many of us express ourselves and push technology further. At the age of 25, I am proud to have a part in this and witnessed the birth of something so wonderful as worlwide collaboration.

Please don't look at the open source movement in a close-minded way as this author would like you to think. He doesn't really understand the era in which we live. Do you?

My distaste of Dvorak
by mark on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 15:32 UTC

I take everything Dvorak says with a 300lb grain of salt.

Putting out a version of Linux would contradict every reason MS exists.

v @Eugenia
by A. Nony Mouse on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 15:40 UTC
Could they (MS) do it?
by The Dude on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 15:59 UTC

Heck yes they could. Will they? Heck no! Why? Because it's all about the money. See, MS could make money by writing a proprietary module that will load Windows drivers for Linux, that's not a big deal, but with reverse-engineering then Cedega/Transgaming/WINE would then do it too. MS would, in so doing, hand the keys to the kingdom over to a bunch of serfs. That's not going to sit well with the stockholders, thus it will never come to pass.

It's all about money, people.

You want to kill Linux? You can't do it that way, you need to be more along the "patent" line, throw in the lack of Linux Orange Book C2 security certification, and some other bits... But that's a moot point, as Linux is a fanboy creation now. Until it's taken back by the knowldgable real growth isn't possible and Linux will still be second-fiddle.

I like that idea
by slx on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 16:21 UTC

I don't think MS could kill Linux by doing so. But I like the idea of his concept.

john is an ID10T
by Me on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 16:27 UTC

I think most people do not 'buy' linux, they d/l it for free, I know I do. Also, adding MS drivers to Linux will not 'kill' it, it will crash it. Windows crashes, that's why people use Linux. No Linux user would want 'MS-Linux' because most see MS as the enemy, or at least a bad neighbor. Lame...

by Michael Christenson II on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 16:30 UTC

So basically, if a few companies want to kill Linux (like Sun and Microsoft), they just have to file for a whole bunch of really good patents and send a cease and desist letter to anyone who is using Linux "illegally" or submitting code into Linux "illegally".

You don't get Linux do you? Even if it were deemed illegal, you couldn't stop it. Your argument is the same argument that the music industry is trying to use to stop music sharing.

Patents can never stop individuals who want to do something bad enough. When it comes to the linux community, forget about trying to stop them. Linux will just help them succeed in breaking the malicious patent holders wishes.

This coming from a non-linux geek who has used Linux occasionally, as work has required, and compiled source code, preferring that over binaries. I use OS X for my everyday work.

kill linux?
by Nick Borrego on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 16:33 UTC

Wouldn't that just kill windows?

....just as miserably as they do right now in XP, right?

And I wouldn't be able to replace the (closed-source) driver with one that works properly, right?

And if I called Microsoft to complain, they'd tell me the same thing they told me about XP---they don't have a "business reason" to support a "legacy printer" properly, right?

by egedra on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 16:51 UTC

That may just be the most retarded article I have ever read on osnews.

by tobaccofarm on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 17:01 UTC

Open source is more than "working for free". It is a way many of us express ourselves and push technology further.

Great to notice idealism isn't dead.

write your own drivers!
by tim @ on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 17:04 UTC

I'm tired of the thing that people are complain about.. drivers.. no matter the OS.

write your own! It's open source!

like DRI, like Linux?
by Morin on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 17:08 UTC

Has it come to your mind that MS might bring out a version of their own MS-Linux, not to make profit with it but to split and destroy the community?

Also, I think all damn-too-sure-that-linux-cannot-be-destroyed people here should recall how MS dealt with DR-DOS. This link might be a good starting point:

Let me just say it now.
by Nicolas James on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 17:40 UTC

So, don't tell me that you love your OSS drivers, we are not all with the same luck. And my two web cams are semi-supported, each time I upgrade my kernel, I have to recompile their third party OSS beta drivers. Yuk.

100% right, it is like most of th Open source team out there don't care about the linux os becoming user-friendly. I want a os besides windows that I can donload a file click & install. So all you oos devs, and users get of your high horse. I don't use windows well I do to game, but windows is so buggy & crashes to much.

NT Kernel
by Tim on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 17:40 UTC

That's right, the actual NT kernel developers are all VB coders who use a VB Collection as their only data-structure. At night they develop ASP applications using VBScript to challenge themselves. The NT kernel pales in comparison to the Linux kernel, and Dave Cutler and his crew just shudder at Linus' intellect. F**king please!!

The NT kernel is the best part of the OS. It isn’t perfect, but it no way should it be replaced by a Linux Kernel. Why? It’s the Windows userland that needs fixing, not the kernel.

What does the Linux kernel have the NT kernel doesn’t? Why would they toss the best part of Windows?

I only wish MS would open up the kernel API and support a completely POSIX compliant subsystem. Also, NTFS junctions should support files as well as directories.

RE: pie in the sky
by Perez-Gilaberte on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 17:55 UTC

Can you tell me where can I download the source code for the super-proprietary nvidia drivers then? There's an exception in the Linux license that allows for proprietary kernel modules to be linked. Because they make changes to the API/ABI nvidia has some open source wrapper. Those drivers will taint your kernel though.

by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 18:08 UTC

I said:
Why would all those companies with Linux workstations and servers suddenly decide to switch over to MS-Linux when their computers work just fine as they are?

Alpha99 replied:
Many companies are in trouble with Microsoft support and licensing. In each 3-4 year they have to change the OS because Microsoft stop supporting an OS product. For example Windows NT 4.0 would be enough for many companies but it is not supported. That's the way how Microsoft produces the money.

My reply:
Alpha99, my question refered to Linux users, not those licensing Windows products. If Linux corporate users are doing just fine with their workstations and servers running GNU/Linux then why would they jump ship to Microsoft, be it Windows or MS-Linux?

The whole premise of the article is vague and unrealistic.

RE: MS Linux - Why it won't happen soon
by emagius on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 18:26 UTC

Indeed -- it would be stupid for Microsoft to choose GNU/Linux (or GNU/NT, really, since they'd want to keep the drivers) when they already use *BSD for their Services For Unix product and on some of their servers. Why go with the GPL when you can get at least as good software under the BSDL?

Besides, SFU is OpenBSD running on the NT kernel. They've already done this.

by maethor on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 18:30 UTC

Why would MS ever let itself get involved when GPL'd code when they can so easily do the following:

1) Buy the Xenix name and either OpenServer or UnixWare (or possibly both) from the charred remains of SCO.

2) Relaunch Xenix using using one of the 2 SCO Unixes - whichever is the one that has the Linux compatability ABI layer (I forget which, but I do remember mention of it soon after the SCO vs the World thing started)

3) Port the .Net framework to new Xenix, and make it so that an app written for .Net will run without modification on either the Win32 or Xenix

4) Either use the technology they got when they bought Connectix to run Win32 apps, or develop a Wine like layer for Xenix

5) Release a native MS Office for Xenix

Assuming somewhere along the line they graft the Windows Driver Model into Xenix so that it can use the same drivers as Win32 than at least some people who are looking for Unix based stability but still want to run Windows based apps may very well be tempted - especially if MS keeps the price low.

Is Dvorak still around?
by Sangi on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 19:23 UTC

If he is, he lost relevancy years ago.

Great driver support???
by ccchips on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 19:54 UTC

After I posted above, I read the article...

....just enough to get that blather about how bad Linux driver support is, vs. Linux driver support.

I give up. Humanity has lost it. We are in a screwed-up world, where rich men decide what printers we can and can't use, while strange writers sing their praises.

BTW, Knoppix live CD found *all* the devices on that machine when I tested it, and they all worked as they were supposed to. When I installed XP (as I said,) Windows support for my printer was pitiful, and it also didn't find my network card out of the box so it couldn't connect to the Internet through the gateway. Knoppix Live CD was on the Internet right away thru dhcp.

The only drawback was that 2.4 (and OSS) didn't support my sound card, but 2.6 (ALSA) did. Of course, if I specified Alsa on the bootup, they both supported it. That's "bad driver support?"

Oh...and keep in mind that if the Linux printer support *had* been problematical, I could have fixed it myself.

If Balmy did in fact shove the winxx drivers into Linux, would I get the source code to fix broken ones that Microsoft (or their "third-party" companies) lost interest in?

by hobgoblin on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 19:58 UTC

drivers in windows is often more plug and pray then plug and play. atleast those low cost ones often are. i would much rather use one developed by people that actualy use the hardware in their home computers. those people have a reason to make the driver work as spotless as they can as they have to use a system that rely on the hardware most likely.

i still have nightmares about helping a friend with a windows that fail to find the correct drivers even tho they are sitting on the cd. no fun at all.

by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 20:01 UTC

Obviously you failed to read or to understand what I wrote. It's not all about IBM. Go back, read and comprehend. Thank you for playing.

a joke?
by Ivan on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 20:21 UTC

Nothing can kill Slackware GNU/Linux, NOTHING!.

Dvorak is dumb
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 21:04 UTC

"Linux" is not a name of complete operation system, it is a name of operation system KERNEL, or what an arrogant computer amateur like Dvorak would call "driver layer".

Dvorak is dumb - no kidding
by thepustule on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 21:14 UTC

How out-of-touch can Dvorak be? I used to actually like reading his columns, but he must be nearing senility now.

He claims that MS could sell "linux" on their own "driver layer" - doesn't he realize that "linux" IS the driver layer? If you remove the "driver layer" (we call it a kernel John) you remove Linux! What you have left is Xfree, KDE, Gnome, Apache, MySQL/Postgress, and a pile of GNU utilities. You can't even call it Linux any more because you've removed Linus' entire work!

As an aside, debian lets you run the above list of GNU stuff and other software on BSD, and (sorta) on the HURD. That doesn't seem to have killed Linux now, does it?

Wow - this article is really bad. I hope someone at ZD has enough neurons to realize that John Dvorak has outlived his relevance in a BIG WAY.

Dvorak isn't stupid.
by Anonymous on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 21:28 UTC

If you read Slashdot long enough, or in this case OSNews, you will notice something about commenter behavior with respect to Dvorak: people comment in large numbers, and with considerable emotional immaturity. "OMFG Dvorak is DUM LOL"

Yeah, just like the administrators of OSNews and Slashdot are dumb enough to link to these articles.

Wait, no, they're not dumb. They're relying on your immaturity, arrogance, and your primal need to make comments to correct what you perceive as "completely wrong."

Dvorak is basically a corporate troll. He gets paid to make you comment on how stupid he is. Websites like this link to the drivel, because it gets hits. Apple news gets posted: 100+ comments. Microsoft to adopt linux: 100+ comments. Dvorak says the sky is lime green: 100+ comments. Something resembling a purely-technical subject: 5 comments.

You get to feel good, because you feel smarter than Dvorak and have a forum of people in which to demonstrate your superiority. Dvorak feels good, because lots of people read his stupid articles making him worth paying for. The people that link to them get to feel good, because all of the raving commenters stay interested in the site and come back in the future.

Apple is TWO-Faced [softer version]
by The MESMERIC on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 21:41 UTC

Sure, by law they are aloud to lash at any young lad.
After all he signed a contract and Apple are hardly known to be "merciful"
I wonder if Apple helps MPAA track down the "downloaders".
I wouldn't be surprised because they are two-faced.

For example there seems to be a deal with Microsoft.
One which goes - "Give us Office and Internet Explorer & we will give you iPod and Quicktime"

Then short aftewards, they pretend to be an advocate for OSS community and friends with the GNU/Linux folks.

* Why are some of the quicktime drivers still unavailable for Linux?
* Why don't they port a QuickTime Player - even if its commercial?

Adobe Acrobat Reader ported their viewer, Macromedia Flash ported their plugin alright.
Because they are two-faced.

* How come you can play iPod under Windows but not Linux?
Why the pact?
Because they care shit about the OSS community, just taking what it needs.

They are a bunch of smug, pretentious, and utterly nasty folks.
Ultimately more vicious and greedy than Microsoft. Sadistic even.
MS threatens. Apple acts. Evil.

delete the parent
by The MESMERIC on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 21:44 UTC

sorry posted in the wrong place ..!

by rockwell on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 22:10 UTC

// Just like Linux is fun and that won't EVER be taken away from us. We ALL know that.//

Yah, Linux is loads of fun. Like, last night, when doing an install of SuSE 9.1. It detected my nVidia GeForce 5700 Ultra. I then checked for updates for the nVidia driver in YaST.

Found the update. Downloaded it, installed. Rebooted.

Black screen. X was fried. No gui. XF86Config backups didn't work, either.

Woo hoo! What fun. I'm done wasting my time with the half-assed world of Linux.

drivers, kernels, microsoft
by Christopher Nelson on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 22:29 UTC

Actually, the kernel isn't the drivers, and the drivers aren't the kernel. The core of the kernel is a set of interfaces to the memory and the processors, along with an abstraction called the file system. In general, all of the drivers could be removed from the kernel, and you'd still have a complete, functional kernel.

The kernel is a lot more about abstraction than it is about hardware. Thats why it can run on so many platforms. So it's completely possible to remove all of the compiled in drivers from the kernel and use a set of kernel loadable objects to implement all of your driver functionality.

In fact, it would be just as easy for them to write an NT microkernel abstraction that runs as a process or as a kernel object and keep it all closed source. The binary drivers would talk to the interface, and the interface would deal with the kernel or hardware wherever necessary. None of it would necessarily need to be compiled straight into the kernel. Much like WINE.

v RE: winmodem
by scythe on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 22:32 UTC
little consideration
by M^2 on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 22:52 UTC

sorry if i haven't read carefully all 150 comments

but i wanted to point out a doubt of mine, and a point up to now apparently overlooked:

what the author of the 'article' foresees is a version of linux able to use binary drivers HW makers provide for Windows (that is, DLL's with a standardised interface to the kernel or other components - the way drivers are designed allow manufacturers implement them as close source modules)

but binaries compiled for Windows are expected to be in the PE386 format and expect the availability of the Win32 API's equivalent of "system calls" to which communicate via the Win32/NT ABI
this way, the PE binary loader, the memory allcator, and the original NT symbolic and binary interfaces, need to be emulated, with the respective inner workings and semantics... so it would be very different from a normal Linux (which is ELF/Posix/SysV/C geared), much more REACTOS than Linux ...

apparently, it would be easier to put a unix emulation layer on top of the NT kernel (originally intended to support posix alongside win32, in the form of subsystems), than to rewrite a kernel that way (IMHO) ..AND this has been already done: MS Interix, now Windows Services for Unix, anyone?

@Chris Nelson: sorry
by M^2 on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 22:59 UTC

ops, i started writing after seeing many comments about John Dvorak's sanity but yours wasn't there yet: think you're right ;-)

RE: @Octavian
by Octavian Belafonte on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 23:14 UTC

Wrong. I care. See how easy it is to prove you wrong?

That has to be the most juvenile response ever!

I'm going to guess you are 15 going on 16, and that's probably giving you too much credit.

Based on your reading comprehension, I'm going to guess that you are around 8-9 years old.

RE: winmodem
by Guthrie on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 23:26 UTC

" look up linmodem, and linuxant. you can connect for 14.4 for free"

Yeah, let me put on my seatbelt.

"and if your feeling generous can support them and connect full speed at 56.6."

If Windows don't have to pay for winmodem drivers, why in the hell should Linux users have to? But that's beside the point. Conexant and Asus should be releasing drivers. There's shouldn't need to be a third party like Linuxant.

But it goes both ways
by Guthrie on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 23:29 UTC

I have a Best Data external modem of which Windows refuses to install the drivers off the CD because it's not on the Windows approved list or some such nonsense. On the other hand, Linux and FreeBSD both "just work" with this modem.

MSLINUX is already a reality
by The MESMERIC on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 23:49 UTC

I've ordered my copy today.


Re: crap
by Ryan on Thu 24th Feb 2005 01:51 UTC

What if there existed a free, open standard for an operating system driver API? If successful, every major operating system would support it, and device developers would only need to write a single driver, and everything from Windows to SkyOS would be able to use it.

It's been tried. Google for Universal Driver Interface. It's not used because there is too much competitive advantage in terms of performance to not use it.

Can you tell me where can I download the source code for the super-proprietary nvidia drivers then? There's an exception in the Linux license that allows for proprietary kernel modules to be linked.

No such exception exists. Currently, the only reasons proprietary developers aren't being sued is because 1) most kernel developers don't care about license politics, and 2) proprietary modules are helping, not hampering, the adoption of Linux compared to the non-existence of such drivers. Eventually the tide will turn, and dealing with proprietary crap on users' systems will become more of a drawback. At that time, the license can be enforced when the vendors' hand is forced by marketshare.

how to kill keyboards
by Major Tom on Thu 24th Feb 2005 01:59 UTC

how about a keyboard where all the keys were in fucked up places that no one knew, that would kill qwerty keyboards!

many things are possible, theoretically
by Drazen Gemic on Thu 24th Feb 2005 02:15 UTC

"Cutting" and "pasting" driver layer, is not as easy as cutting
and pasting in word processor. And what is a driver layer, anyway.

Linux is not just about drives. There are other things. If the driver problem is that important everyone would be using windows because drivers are easier to find and install.

Anyway. I belive that microsoft is putting very much effort in their next OS, and do not have enogh resources even to think
about this.

RE: Dvorak isn't stupid.
by a farm boy on Thu 24th Feb 2005 02:28 UTC

"you will notice something about commenter behavior with respect to Dvorak: people comment in large numbers, and with considerable emotional immaturity."

I'm not trying to make any offense. But I wonder the same aspect on OSNews. They likely couldn't be that stupid.

So, nobody would buy any other Linux on the market, eh?
by aherm on Thu 24th Feb 2005 03:44 UTC

No way. Simply because it is the freedom that we, most of us linux user, buy.

Microsoft wont give you that freedom.

by BSD User on Thu 24th Feb 2005 04:03 UTC

"Based on your reading comprehension, I'm going to guess that you are around 8-9 years old"

Yes, you've been trounced by an 8 year old. What happened to your clown act? Oh wait, that wasn't an act! LOL!

RE: @Octavian
by Octavian Belafonte on Thu 24th Feb 2005 04:29 UTC

What happened to your clown act? Oh wait, that wasn't an act! LOL!

Yours seems to be in full swing. And you're doing a very good job at it.

v @Eugenia
by A. Nony Mouse on Thu 24th Feb 2005 04:32 UTC
RE: @Eugenia
by Octavian Belafonte on Thu 24th Feb 2005 04:36 UTC

Count yourself lucky pal. At lest she didn't totally erase your post.

Linux drivers on a new 64-Bit AMIGA OS
by EyeAm on Thu 24th Feb 2005 05:14 UTC

I had to laugh when I saw the article, because I had the idea awhile back of having Amiga OS utilize Linux drivers to access cards and such--and just posted the other day on an Amiga-related website ( ) about the exokernel idea which would help make such a thing even easier.

It's just a matter of time before Microsoft does it. ;) But, hey, maybe everyone can benefit from this. While there are those who enjoy Linux quite a bit--something that isn't likely to change anytime soon--there are also those who probably won't use Linux, but who use other OSes that could reap great benefits from such drivers.

Drivers seem to be a problematic issue for some in regard to OS creation or evolution. Why don't the larger companies go ahead and give a nod to Linux as the 'dumping ground for drivers'? And I don't see why some hardware manufacturers should care whether a driver for one of their cards is open source or not, since people still have to buy their card. (there's still GPL, you know).

I think it's a great idea ;)


what a stupid article...
by Anonymous on Thu 24th Feb 2005 11:41 UTC


by duende on Thu 24th Feb 2005 15:03 UTC

Shouldn't that be MS-GNU/Linux ;)

MS Loves Money Too Much
by Steve on Thu 24th Feb 2005 19:06 UTC

Has everyone forgot? Linux is free and GPL. There is no way that M$ would want to have any part of that. It goes against everything that they are about.

by Anonymous on Thu 24th Feb 2005 19:30 UTC

People don't only use Windows for its GUIness and that their apps just happen to be Windows-only.

What's the use?
by jeroen on Sat 26th Feb 2005 12:39 UTC

I haven't have a driver problem with Linux for the last 2 years !! Everything just works!

What's the use of this idea?

Consumers should be educated about what linux and the importance of open standards and open source.