Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
Hi everyone, I'm studying Digital Media as a mature student, and I'm writing a piece about open source software. For one of my sections I;d like to write about Microsoft's ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    5

    Microsoft vs Linux (writing for college) Anyone fancy giving me some tips?


    Hi everyone,

    I'm studying Digital Media as a mature student, and I'm writing a piece about open source software. For one of my sections I;d like to write about Microsoft's aggressive stance to OS, particularly Linux. I've found these examples of ways Microsoft / its people have attacked OS:

    1. Bill Gates writing, pre-Microsoft, wrote a letter to Homebrew Computer Club newsletter in 1976
    "As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?
    Is this fair? One thing you do … is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing?”

    February 3, 1976
    AN OPEN LETTER TO HOBBYISTS – Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter. Volume 2, Issue 1. By William Henry Gates III
    Incidentally a reply to the letter the following month made me smile - Wow! If ever a piece of advice was listened to!

    "You should not blame the hobbyists for your own inadequate marketing … It’s too bad you didn’t get the profit from your efforts … If you want monetary reward for your software creations, you had better stop writing code for a minute and think a little harder about your market and how you are going to sell to it.”

    Dr Michael N Hayes, MHH-Allied Electronics, writing in Homebrew magazine in Feb 1976
    2. Craig Mundie, Microsoft's senior vice president of advanced strategies, said in a speech at New York University's Stern School of Business, 2001
    "The GPL poses a threat to the intellectual property of any organization making use of it…It also fundamentally undermines the independent commercial software sector because it effectively makes it impossible to distribute software on a basis where recipients pay for the product rather than just the cost of distribution."
    3. Microsoft’s claims that Linux infinges its patents

    4. Microsoft’s apparent strategy to pick off companies using Linux one by one
    Companies who have made deals with Microsoft regarding their use of Linux:

    HTC
    Amazon
    Novell
    Linspire
    TurboLinux
    Xandros
    Tomtom

    5. That where Microsoft has embraced Open Source methods, it’s not always exactly exactly what you would call within the spirit of Open Source. The OSI say, in an article called "To Microsoft, Open Source means "Windows Encumbered":

    "Microsoft's version of Open Source Software (MSOSS) means software licensed under an Open Source License which is encumbered with a dependency on SharePoint, Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Windows (Azure or classic). This underscores something critical that we have all learned over the past few years while on our journey towards freer technology. That is that Open Source licenses are NOT enough to ensure (corporate or consumer) end-user empowerment. We also need Open Standards and Open Data."
    I'd just like to know if you think I've missed any obvious examples? Note I'm not asking anyone to write my essay for me - this is all above board! I'd just like a few pointers, if anyone has a minute or two.

    Also, I know that at the same time that Microsoft has been firing shots at Linux, they have also been cooperating with Open Source community in some ways. Are there any good examples of this that you reckon I should include?

    Any help would be gratefully appreciated. And I have a think skin - if you think I'm barking up the wrong tree or have got the wrong end of the stick, don't worry about being polite - just come out and say it!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    5
    Or, if I've opened a can of worms please let me know too?! I'm new to this forum and I'm not sure what the "out of bounds" topics are, if you know what I mean. Perhaps this has been done to death and people are sick of talking about Microsoft.

    I am a little apprehensive about posting this topic. I guess only time will tell if that's justified!

  3. #3
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Desert
    Posts
    3,969
    It's the Coffee Lounge.

    Windows 7 Sins — The case against Microsoft and proprietary software

    Pretty much says everything from me.

    Howdy and Welcome to LFO
    Linux Registered User # 475019
    Lead,Follow, or get the heck out of the way. I Have a Masters in Raising Hell
    Tech Books
    Free Linux Books
    Newbie Guide
    Courses at Home

  4. #4
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    5
    Brilliant, thanks for the link I'll have a look

  5. #5
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,380
    Dig deeper. Microsoft has a history of licensing key technologies from small companies (zip compression, and others), then they reverse-engineer it and bake it into their next release as part of the OS, freezing out the companies they ripped off. Yes, they have lost at court for some of these things, and had to pay what to mere mortals seems to be a LOT of $$, but to them, it was a drip in the bucket - worth the price they ultimately paid. An interesting note is that the first known occasion of this (other than ripping off Amherst University for source code to BASIC), was for MS-DOS itself. If you want the whole story (I am intimately familiar with it), send me a private message. I'll be happy to respond in excruciating detail. It has to do with SCP (Seattle Computer Products) 8086 operating system QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System), a visit to MS from IBM to license MS-BASIC for the original IBM PC, and Gary Kildall's (Digital Research CPM and CPM/86) penchant for flying.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  6. #6
    Linux User TaZMAniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    269
    Or how about when Microsoft was threatening Asian countries that were developing and using Linux with possible lawsuits for claims on intellectual property rights?

    BBC NEWS | Business | Microsoft 'warns of Linux claims'

    Pretty gutsy move when you threaten multiple countries.
    Shows that Microsoft is very scared of Linux.

    And will be interesting to see if the recent proposed sale of Novell patents to Microsoft will turn into another SCO saga. Yea! I know. Novell is saying they are retaining all their Linux based patents but until it's set in stone I will be paying attention to this story.

  7. #7
    Linux Engineer rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    the hills
    Posts
    1,134
    People who promote the concept of "intellectual property"
    are ignorant of history. In the Middle Ages, life was categorized as
    secular or sacred. ordinary property and activities
    were in the secular realm, the realm of the present world and ordinary
    pursuits like business. Education and knowledge belonged in the sacred
    realm, and could not be owned the way you own a farm or a machine.

    People who worked in education and knowledge based activities
    were a special class that were considered trustees of the knowledge
    that was the heritage of all mankind. a teacher or a priest did not
    own or have a patent on such things. Knowledge is too big
    a concept to be owned and used for personal gain.

    Free software is squarely in the Western tradition of freedom.
    It is the expression of a noble instinct. If many programmers had
    not given their efforts freely to mankind, there would
    be no internet, there would be no computers.

  8. #8
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,380
    Quote Originally Posted by rcgreen View Post
    People who promote the concept of "intellectual property"
    are ignorant of history. In the Middle Ages, life was categorized as
    secular or sacred. ordinary property and activities
    were in the secular realm, the realm of the present world and ordinary
    pursuits like business. Education and knowledge belonged in the sacred
    realm, and could not be owned the way you own a farm or a machine.

    People who worked in education and knowledge based activities
    were a special class that were considered trustees of the knowledge
    that was the heritage of all mankind. a teacher or a priest did not
    own or have a patent on such things. Knowledge is too big
    a concept to be owned and used for personal gain.

    Free software is squarely in the Western tradition of freedom.
    It is the expression of a noble instinct. If many programmers had
    not given their efforts freely to mankind, there would
    be no internet, there would be no computers.
    Well said RC. I think you hit the issue on the button. Knowledge cannot be owned. Teaching is a sacred trust. Education is a birthright. The entire concept of "privatizing" knowledge is abhorrent to me, and it seems we agree most wholeheartedly about that.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  9. #9
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for your answers guys, some interesting stuff.

    I tried to make the point in my essay that the sucess of Linux is a threat to Microsoft not only because it's simply a competitor product in the same way as MacOSX is, but because it has the potential to fundamentally undermine the Microsoft business model and the structure in which Microsoft exists.

    I cited a Swedish study (it was called something like "Open Source - where are we now") which found that increasingly, SMEs working with open source changed their business models because of using OS, and that companies were not only "consuming" OS products, but becoming part of the culture by contributing to the OS community.

    I tried to tie the Microsoft / Linux differences to traditonal left/right arguments about cooperation vs competition.

    I also tried to argue that the current and future success of Linux doesn't depend on winning an ideological argument. Instead as OS goes mainstream, that argument will be won de facto: Linux and open source will ultimately be sucessfully only if they are genuinely better products, and represent a better way of working (which it would seem they are and will) - barring Microsoft legal challenges scuppering the whole thing. (How real a threat is that I wonder?)

    I expect there were enormous holes in my arguments! But it was a great learning curve, I've learnt a lot about a very interesting subject.

  10. #10
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    5
    rcgreen, this is what makes this so interesting. It really goes to the heart of some fundamental questions about how we run our societies in the "information age" e.g. should information be a commodity? (I would say absolutely not, but I'm aware many think otherwise).

    I hadn't considered copyright and intellectualy property much at all until doing the research for this. I didn't realise, for example, that the whole point of creating patenting laws was meant to be about encouraging innovation. They were rights that were to be given sparingly. The laws have been extended many times, and it could be argued that their original purpose is being lost along the way somewhat - becoming more about protecting ownership rather than innovation for the good of society.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •