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On 2006-05-15, Roy Schestowitz spake thusly:
> __/ [ John A. Bailo ] on Monday 15 May 2006 17:36 \__
>> Well, maybe Steve is thinking about releasing Microsoft Linux.
>> I mean, why not.
>> Microsoft has always been a better fix up and market it organization
>> than a developer. Linux would be perfect for them. They could put it
>> in a pretty box, set up OEM arrangements and so on.
>> And, they wouldn't have to pay squat for developers.
>> Seems to me Linux would fit them beautifully.
> Strikes a nerve. Disruptive! *chokes on coffee*
> This bugs (pun) me a great deal. They have their Open Source Laboratory
> with that traitor we have come to know as Hilf. He takes the role of that
> gentle figure, which makes Microsoft seem like Open Source's best friend.
> They also set up an Open Source facet to the world, known as port 25. The
> amount of abuse that this Web site has received since it had gone public
> helped it make the news. Whether Microsoft will learn to take advantage
> and exploit Open Source, we are yet to find out. They could go
> head-to-head with Red Hat and Novell a few years down the line. As you
> say, they have good marketeers and they can propare some nice packages.
> Mediums? Morals? Last time I checked, the only "M" word is their
> dictionary is Microsoft. They don't give a f*ck as long as money comes in,
> from within the States or from the outside (offshoring is part of the
As the Caveman put it, "hate to make predictions, but...."
It will never happen. Microsoft *could* commercially market their own
distribution of Linux, but there are a few reasons why they won't.
What I think is most maddening to them is the GPL copyright (known as copyleft)
that Linux and most other open source software is distrubuted under. A primary
tactic that Microsoft has built it's monopoly on, is extending and/or expanding
on others works, closing the source, copyrighting them as intellectual
property, and claiming them to be proprietary works. This isn't possible with
GPL'ed software because of the stipulations of the License that require, amoung
other things, the source be available to everybody.
"Copyleft is a general method for making a program or other work free, and
requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well."
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2)
in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above
provided that you also do one of the following:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code,
which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a
medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give
any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing
source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding
source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on
a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute
corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial
distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable
form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)
I haven't included all the subsections, and you may read them for yourself, but
this is the meat of what I am referring to. Microsoft would be unable to keep the
work proprietary, and this is unacceptable to them. Again because of the above and many
other reasons having to do with the GPL.
Another reason it isn't going to happen: to release a MS distro of Linux or any other OSS
operating system would be
A) Undercutting their own profits
B) A P.R. nightmare. It would amount to admitting that it's own proprietary products
are inferior to OSS products.
Lots of other reasons. But I have to go eat now.
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