Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Mon 20th Jul 2009 18:05 UTC
Microsoft It all started with some free lunch four years ago, and then it morphed into a free patch. Along came Moonlight and some other developments, and now Microsoft has donated 20,000 lines of driver code to be included in the Linux tree. Yes-- Microsoft contributed drivers to the Linux community.
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REM said it best...
by Almafeta on Mon 20th Jul 2009 18:20 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

"This is the end of the world as we know it..."

I wonder if this means the Year of the Linux Desktop is coming up...?

Edited 2009-07-20 18:27 UTC

Reply Score: 3

REM said it best...
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 20th Jul 2009 23:37 in reply to "REM said it best..."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

"This is the end of the world as we know it..."

I wonder if this means the Year of the Linux Desktop is coming up...?

Nah, this is just "the Year of Microsoft Realizing that People Will Continue To Want to Run Linux(tm)", and therefore are attempting to make it run better... on *their* operating system. Their desired result? For people to neatly avoid "switching" any computer completely to Linux, and instead run it as a virtualized program under none other than Windows. In other words, they're just trying to get people to use their OS as a virtualization host--nothing new here.

It looks like embrace-extend-extinguish all over again, only this time with a twist. The only surprise is that Microsoft itself is contributing to the Linux kernel under (the big shocker) the GPL. But then, there's no way in hell the Linux kernel team would accept it under any other license. It's a "win" for Microsoft, and a lose for Linux; nothing will stop Microsoft from purposely changing their OS in such a way that it renders these couple thousand lines of code useless once they've got their way.

Personally, I hope no major (or minor for that matter) Linux distros ship with these Windows virtualization, er, I mean kernel drivers enabled by default; I only see it helping Microsoft, and likely hurting Linux in the future. Novell will surely jump right on it, but then, they've been in Microsoft's pocket for a few years now.

Edited 2009-07-20 23:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

REM said it best...
by Kalessin on Tue 21st Jul 2009 17:43 in reply to "REM said it best..."
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

Whether this is a win or a loss for linux depends on how you look at it. It adds additionally functionality to linux. That's a good thing. Linux can do more, better.

The reason that you could argue that it's bad for linux is because what's being improved is its ability to run virtualized in a competing operating system, therefore making it easier for people to switch to linux without fully switching. So, if your looking at linux's goal as getting everyone to switch to it fully and eliminate everyone else, then yes, this could be considered a bad thing.

However,
1. It's not the goal of everyone in the linux community to crush Windows into oblivion.
2. Even if it were, allowing people to better run linux inside Windows could still get them to switch. It's just better enabling a slow transition rather than encouraging people to jump in the deep end right away.

Personally, I think that this is a great thing. Linux can do more, better. And having these drivers in the kernel rather than under Microsoft's complete control will help lead to them being better integrated and doing their job better. Linux has been improved.

Now, there's no doubt that Microsoft is looking to improve their position and better sell their products with any move that they make, and they would not make this move if they didn't believe that it benefited them in some way. So, if you're looking this as entirely a Windows vs Linux thing and think that someone has to lose out, then yes, this could be considered bad for linux. However, not everyone looks at it this way.

This move by Microsoft will help various businesses do what they do, and if Microsoft continues this sort of thing, we may continue to get improvements to the linux that will make it easier for people to switch to linux. Yes, this is Microsoft that we're talking about here, but making Windows and Linux more interoperable makes life easier for lots of people and can lead to making it easier to get people to switch to linux.

Well, this is getting a bit long. But my point is that this move by Microsoft improves linux and is great for a certain set of linux users. Microsoft isn't going to kill linux. Linux isn't going to kill Windows either - certainly not anytime soon. Getting them to work together better is great for users. And if Microsoft makes linux better, that's great. It's not like they're going to control it. Anything they do can be rejected by the linux community. I'm an avid linux user and I think that this announcement is great news.

Reply Parent Score: 2

REM said it best...
by Isolationist on Tue 21st Jul 2009 07:31 in reply to "REM said it best..."
Isolationist Member since:
2006-05-28

"This is the end of the world as we know it..."

I wonder if this means the Year of the Linux Desktop is coming up...?


That joke isn't funny anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 2

REM said it best...
by Eddyspeeder on Tue 21st Jul 2009 11:54 in reply to "REM said it best..."
Eddyspeeder Member since:
2006-05-10

Yes it is!

Apparently Microsoft has moved away from bashing (except Mac OS) and choking (BeOS) competition and to hand out free lollipops. Why?

Reply Parent Score: 1