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Hilf Speaks About Linux Through Microsoft Eyes 150

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the rose-colored-window dept.
inkslinger77 writes "Microsoft's Linux-pro, Bill Hilf pulled out of the Linux World conference in Australia, but speaks with Computerworld anyway about what exactly his team gets up to. He talks about how Microsoft plans to make money from Linux and how they use Linux in their overall market strategy."
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Hilf Speaks About Linux Through Microsoft Eyes

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  • by suso (153703) * on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @09:32AM (#14970973) Homepage Journal
    I'd say the software wars image [atai.org] is LONG overdue for an update.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @09:33AM (#14970979) Journal
    Alright, this is the worst relaying of an interview I have ever seen posted on Slashdot. And here's why ...
    Microsoft's Linux-pro, Bill Hilf pulled out of the Linux World conference in Australia, but speaks with Computerworld anyway about what exactly his team gets up to.
    Read the article, it was due to scheduling conflicts. Don't make it sound like he's blowing it off:
    There has been plenty of speculation as to why you have pulled out of the conference - but what is the real reason?

    I had a scheduling conflict for an internal meeting that could not be moved. Believe me, I would much rather be at LinuxWorld in Sydney.
    Yes, LinuxWorld is a big thing that he should be making but he doesn't work for Linux. Linux doesn't cut his paychecks, Microsoft does. And if he's got something to do internally, leave it at that.

    Furthermore, inkslinger77 goes on to say:
    He talks about how Microsoft plans to make money from Linux...
    No he doesn't.

    As you can see from TFI:
    How does Microsoft plan to make money from open source and Linux?

    Microsoft recognizes the benefits as well as the drawbacks of the OSS development model. We are incorporating its most positive elements into our development practices. Our top priority is to produce great software that meets the needs of our customers, partners, and other constituent communities. We recently embarked on interoperability projects with SugarCRM and Jboss, open source vendors you normally wouldn't associate with Microsoft. The reason we pursued these relationships is because in both cases nearly half of their customer base is running Windows Server. By working with these companies, we can help our joint customers ease interoperability issues. The deals are also a prime example of the success partners are finding on the Windows platform regardless of the development model they employ.
    Did he say anything about Linux in there? I don't even see him using the word. He talks about how Microsoft can better themselves by learning from the open source software out there.

    According to Hilf, hey're not "making money from Linux." Instead they're learning from the OSS development model and I think it's about time Microsoft starts to realize that they can learning a thing or two about how bug identification [bugzilla.org] (among other things) is supposed to be done.

    Jesus, the title of this article--"Linux: Hilf Speaks About Linux Through Microsoft Eyes"--belies its true nature, most of the interview is spent discussing OSS, understanding it, the sociological aspects of it and its development process.

    When it comes to Microsoft, I'm one of the first people to throw stones (and hard!). But this review of this interview is ridiculous! I don't know if inkslinger77 didn't even read the article or if this is a classic case of 'spin.'

    I'm going to send inkslinger77 and ScuttleMonkey a big " Read the Fucking Interview " on this one.
    • You must be new here ;-)
    • Did he say anything about Linux in there? I don't even see him using the word. He talks about how Microsoft can better themselves by learning from the open source software out there.

      The fine article has:

      we're a centre of competency for Open Source Software (OSS) inside Microsoft. By running Linux and a variety of other OSS in a highly Microsoft-centric IT environment, we're learning how those technologies can better interoperate with Microsoft's proprietary technologies.

      Even your own quote stresses in

      • Make Love Not War (Score:4, Insightful)

        by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @10:22AM (#14971239) Journal
        He's hosed. A M$ man talking about how good Linux is and how much M$ can learn from the FOSS community instead of calling it a "cancer" or "communist" is obviously off message. In a company that fires employees for mentioning Apples computers in a personal blog, breaking groupthink is a bad idea. Not so bad an idea as working for said company or using it's products, but a bad idea. The "internal meeting" is probably going to consist of chair throwing and statements like, "we hired you to understand how we can break this communist shit, not to issue PR statements or set company policy."
        Man, where did you come from? People change. Companies change ... believe it or not, sometimes for the better.

        This guy isn't an idiot or a grunt. Hilf knows a thing or two about Linux and OSS. The fact that Microsoft hired him and he has an (albeit small) team working on this stuff should be at least a sign of goodwill. How can you call him "off message?" I think this guy is right on the fucking money and Microsoft is finally pulling their heads out of their asses. Sure this is optimistic hope for the future of companies working hand in hand with OSS development projects but we have to believe it's going to happen or it won't!

        But then people like yourself hop all over it and stomp down anything that might be construed as an olive branch.

        Congratulations, they call you a communist and you call them fascists. Let's all call names then, shall we? You'll probably find some names for me also. Where does that get us?

        The cold hard truth is that you're just as closed minded as they are about working together and you're only screwing over the user when you do that. I don't know what they did to you or what happened to you in a previous life but please get over it.
        • Let's all call names then, shall we?

          Ohh, can I start? How about this:

          [singing]Eldavojohn is reasonable!
          Eldavojohn is reasonable!

          But on a more serious note, let me offer to amplify on this quote:

          People change. Companies change ... believe it or not, sometimes for the better.

          In the early 1980's, IBM was seen as the place where creative hackers went to die. They were often cursed and reviled for paying more attention to worker's wardrobes than to their actual ability.

          Things changed, though. Now they're

        • Re:Make Love Not War (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mgblst (80109)
          Sure this is optimistic hope for the future of companies working hand in hand with OSS development projects but we have to believe it's going to happen or it won't!

          Sure, we can all believe that it will happen, but not with Microsoft. This has never been a part of Microsofts attitude, as much as you want it to be. If you see some signs of Microsoft changing there behavious, then please point it out to the rest of us. And I would not count them hiring some Linux guy and a small team as evidence that they ar
          • The problem with microsoft changing is they have to. In the past business as usualy would dictate they either bought the competitor out, stole thier ideas and made the competing product perform poorly, Badmouthed the competitor or made claims of vaporware that halted expected sales by thier competitors or even forced incompatabilities into updates making the produces usless after a simple update and claim the probelm was poor progaming code on the competitors part.

            FUD is regularly and acuratly countered in
        • Re:Make Love Not War (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cyno (85911)
          People change.

          People also lie. All the time. I see it every day here in the US.

          Do you trust Microsoft?

          I'm just interested in what you think and don't think. I'm interested in who you trust and don't trust. Your reasoning is probably obvious, from my perspective, but I am curious. Every bit of info helps. Every word. Every detail about what you think, how and why, is important to me.

          I'm not interested in name calling, I'm interested in your mind, your psyche, how it operates, how it can be manipulated
        • But then people like yourself hop all over it and stomp down anything that might be construed as an olive branch.

          And why not... only an idiot would accept an olive branch after having been handed one time and time again only to find a buzzer prank hidden under one of the leaves, or a wad of vaseline, or even the exploding bag of s**t. Microsoft has lost credibility. Period. If they're ever genuinely interested in restoring that trust they will have to prove themselves on their own without expecting accolad
          • Microsoft has lost credibility. Period.

            Only a fool would trust a [any] company. Ever. You work towards making your life better, they work towards making theirs better. The two rarely converge.

        • Man, where did you come from? People change. Companies change ... believe it or not, sometimes for the better

          You must be new in computing. Such faith still amaze me. Look, I won't argue with you, just use one word or expression for every nonsense you talk about.

          The fact that Microsoft hired him and he has an (albeit small) team working on this stuff should be at least a sign of goodwill

          ODF battle ...

          How can you call him "off message?"

          ODF battle

          I think this guy is right on the fucking money and Microsoft is
        • Man, where did you come from? People change. Companies change ... believe it or not, sometimes for the better.

          Microsoft cannot and will not change until both Gates and Ballmer no longer manage the company.

          • Wrong. Microsoft will not change until the ISVs who make Windows successful flee elsewhere because Microsoft has come to dominate every software industry imaginable and put them out of business.

            And then it will be too late.

        • The fact that Microsoft hired him and he has an (albeit small) team working on this stuff should be at least a sign of goodwill.

          Goodwill? This is a GhandiCon Three "know thy enemy" tactic.
        • "Congratulations, they call you a communist and you call them fascists. Let's all call names then, shall we? You'll probably find some names for me also. Where does that get us?"

          Make no mistake. Calling names is one of the most effective ways to push your agenda forward while crippling your enemy. All corporations know this, microsoft more then most. Do you really think those communist, cancer and open sores comments were off the cuff? There was much consultation with PR firms, speech writers, and internal
          • Make no mistake. Calling names is one of the most effective ways to push your agenda forward while crippling your enemy.

            That's true, but you have to pick your names carefully. Calling open source "communist" is good, as it not only has a grain of truth in it (in that it is indeed a communal effort), it still sets up the right kind of negative imagery in the heads of those you want to affect.

            Calling Microsoft "M$" is not good. So it associates Microsoft with money. So what? Name one company that isn't out to
            • "That's true, but you have to pick your names carefully. Calling open source "communist" is good, as it not only has a grain of truth in it (in that it is indeed a communal effort), it still sets up the right kind of negative imagery in the heads of those you want to affect."

              Like I said, we can not afford to do the kind of market research that MS can. What we can safely do is to call MS sleazy, unethical, mean, destructive, cult-like, fascist (the whole grain of truth thing) etc. We can also play around wit
      • Interoperability is a two-way street; you can not only help others interoperate with you, you can improve your interoperability with them. Either way, everyone's job gets that little bit easier, more stuff just works first time and keeps on working - everyone's a winner.

        Look at it this way - the better two things interoperate with one another, the easier it is to replace one with the other.

        Oh, and do you have any idea how immature using "M$" makes you look? Resorting to petty name calling does nothing to im
        • Oh, and do you have any idea how immature using "M$" makes you look? Resorting to petty name calling does nothing to improve your argument.

          Quit being so pompous, it's .... immature. M$ is a good name for a company that sues public schools for copying a text editor. Now, kiss my ass.

          Interoperability is a two-way street; you can not only help others interoperate with you, you can improve your interoperability with them.

          True and free and open software people understand that. It's kind of hard to miss wh

          • M$ is a good name for a company that sues public schools for copying a text editor.

            Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. I imagine that you'd be joining in the general condemnation of a GPL violation, but it's copyright law that gives the GPL its teeth. No copyright law, no way to force people to keep the source open.

            Now, kiss my ass.

            Ooh, I'm offended. What are you, 12? Do your parents know you use that sort of language?

            It's also why Open Office can suck down any M$ DOC.

            Well that's not been my e
      • Nah they wouldn't fire him. maybe chain him to his chair in the deepest, darkest, and dankest dungeon er I mean OSS lab that the evil wizards of Redmond have, but never fire him. Plenty of PR can be had by being able to say MS clients work better with Linux servers than Linux clients do, MS server work better with Linux clients than Linux servers do and MS clients realy rock with MS servers
      • He's hosed. A M$ man talking about how good Linux is and how much M$ can learn from the FOSS community instead of calling it a "cancer" or "communist" is obviously off message.

        And that was probably the reason for the "internal meeting" that he could not miss. He had a chair-throwing meeting with Ballmer because of his very non-Redmondian views.

    • Yes, LinuxWorld is a big thing that he should be making but he doesn't work for Linux. Linux doesn't cut his paychecks, Microsoft does. And if he's got something to do internally, leave it at that.


      What was it like? Being born this morning?
    • Our top priority is to produce great software that meets the needs of our customers, partners, and other constituent communities.

      No, your company's top priority is generating increasing value for shareholders. If that is accomplished thru "great software" you are correct - but if that prime directive is best accomplished thru other strategies like monopoly market manipulation or producing mediocre software to lock-in clients and getting them on the upgrade treadmill, that's something else.
    • Yes, LinuxWorld is a big thing that he should be making but he doesn't work for Linux. Linux doesn't cut his paychecks, Microsoft does. And if he's got something to do internally, leave it at that.

      That's an awefully convenient excuse, to have this internal meeting suddenly pop up. That's the same excuse I would use to stay home and get high. I bet all those Microsoft OSS advocates partake.

      But Microsoft thinks they know Linux because they learned about OSS. They may know OSS, but they don't know Free Soft
      • BSD's a slut? The only one to be more fanatical than Theo De Raadt about Free (as in speech) Software is RMS himself. OpenBSD rolls their own apache because the offical one is too restrictive, for fuck's sake!

        This is in stark contrast to Linus who has time and time again downplayed the necessity for Free software, and who at one point even put in a proprietary solution (bitkeeper) into the development of the linux kernel!

        If BSD is a slut, then I'd hate to imagine what in the fuck you'd call Linus (the last
  • Bottom line: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @09:35AM (#14970994)
    We try to find out what makes people use Linux instead of Windows and add that functionality to Windows, so people stop moving away.
    • I wish to see how they add freedom then :)...So far it looks like they have instead been mostly taking it further away, with Digital Restrictions Management as just one example.

      • Freedom is considered a "beneficial side effect" by most, if they consider it at all. What they want is to run certain pieces of software.

        Freedom or even having the choice what kind of software or content to run on your machine is seen as optional by most. Unfortunately.

        At least until DRM finally kicks in and keeps them from playing the latest (ripped) DVDs. But then it's probably already too late.
        • I think freedom is a really big part for most home Linux users. Though more like freedom to customize than freedom of speech. The freedom to customize my desktop environment is probably the thing I like most about Linux and miss the most when I have to use windows or mac.
    • by Half a dent (952274) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @09:59AM (#14971115)
      MS is a reactive company (I'm sorry but extra graphical bells and whistles in Vista doesn't count) it adds features of it's competitors in order to compete and usually wins due to it's existing market share.

      IE is the perfect example - nothing changed on it since it "won" the browser wars, "no need for improvement because it is perfect" was the MS line. But then Firefox came along (yes I know there is also Opera and others BUT Firefox got the market share), suddenly a new version of IE is on the horizon (but only for limited operating systems to encourage us to upgrade to Vista).

      If MS controls a market sector it has no reason to innovate "we're #1 so why try harder?" syndrome. This is not an anti-MS rant because this is a wider trait with most monopolising companies.

      I hope that some day MS learns from the open source community, not by giving their software away but by not being afraid to open up a little bit. But whilst they control the market they do not have to be proactive do they?

      Only if Linux and other open source products make major inroads into MS sales (20%+?) will we see any change of direction from MS and then it may be more of a PR stunt than actual change (plus of course adding a few features that OSS already has that most users never get a chance to use).
      • The trouble with that approach is that, when it comes to software, more isn't better; the quality of a piece of software goes up dramatically the more it manages to achieve its desired function with fewer and fewer features.
    • We've decided that along with writing stable code, innovation is pretty damn hard too.. so were just going to drag our lazy asses on the coat-tails of oss... what are they going to do, sue?
    • "what makes people use Linux instead of Windows and add that functionality to Windows,"

      It's all about removing features. For starters remove the activation, and the $400 price tag on XP Pro.
    • and...
      We spend a long time looking at how Linux and Windows interoperate.... And make sure it cant.
    • That is about the smartest thing I have seen Microsoft do in a long time- compete.

      They tried suing the opposition (SCO v. IBM) and that didn't work. They tried the FUD campaign ("Get The Facts") and that didn't work. They tried locking in file formats- that only didn't work all that well but got them sued (Samba) and a lot of backlash (State of Massachusetts.)

      Now if Microsoft can or will do anything constructive with what they learn from Hilf and his crew is yet to be seen, but it's a step in the right dire
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @09:43AM (#14971026)
    What you get from this interview is less that Hilf is Microsoft's guy for Linux, but instead that Hilf provides a strong counterbalance to the mainline Microsoft anti-Linux stance. His background shows exactly how pro-Linux he is. Yet, he still is able to call a spade a spade and give Windows credit when it is due.

    Mix06 probably made for the scheduling conflict, and for someone who definitely seems more at home with Unix operating systems, LinuxCon would be a much more interesting event than another rehashing of Microsoft's products and vision.

    It is too bad the interviewer seemed more interested in coaxing anti-Windows sentiment out of Hilf than in getting to the heart of what the OSS team within Microsoft does. Hilf vaguely responds with some comment about using the lab as a testbed for OSS within a mixed network ecosystem, but surely there's got to be more than that!
    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @09:55AM (#14971095) Journal
      Hilf vaguely responds with some comment about using the lab as a testbed for OSS within a mixed network ecosystem, but surely there's got to be more than that!
      Well, considering Hilf said:
      We recently embarked on interoperability projects with SugarCRM and Jboss, open source vendors you normally wouldn't associate with Microsoft. The reason we pursued these relationships is because in both cases nearly half of their customer base is running Windows Server.
      I would say that their primary interest is support for OSS (with little to do with Linux).

      Considering that the interveiw mentions that an estimated half of these two open source software programs are running on the Windows platform, I think they have a lot of research to do regarding that. I mean, if you are one of the largest operating systems in the world, wouldn't you be interested in the software that a massive amount of users are running on it?

      Personally, I think you're digging for some conspiracy that isn't there but you're free to speculate (as that's what makes things interesting!).
  • Linux and Windows (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lave (958216)
    By running Linux and a variety of other OSS in a highly Microsoft-centric IT environment, we're learning how those technologies can better interoperate with Microsoft's proprietary technologies. Really? And then finding ways to stop that happening? It's great if Microsoft were working on ways to help Linux/Windows communication, but I find it doubtful....
    • The more and more I deal with Microsoft, the less and less I think that they are purposefully making things incompatible. I think that they just take a good idea and write/buy their own implementation. They try to make things work to spec, but if there's an easier way to do it, or a Microsoft Approved (TM) way of doing it, that's the way they're going to do it. One small, seemingly insignifigant method of communicating between processes, and there's no hope of getting outside programs to talk to it.
  • Why should we trust you?
  • The ever wonderful Lugradio interviewed Bill a while back. see http://www.lugradio.org/episodes/39 [lugradio.org] WARNING: Contains bad language and M$ insults
  • I thought only Deanna Troi [wikipedia.org] could do that?
  • MS and OSS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RunningGeek84 (955604) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @09:54AM (#14971088) Homepage
    It seems to me in many respects MS is playing catchup to OSS. The tabbed browsing in IE 7 (that's been in every other browser in the last year or two), the all grahpical installation of WinVista (the two Linux distros I've installed, Mandriva and SuSe, had all grahpical installations), the interface in WinVista (looks kinda like KDE or Mac OS X), and so on. Maybe WinVista will actually have a decent partioning tool during it's installation like Mandriva and SuSe do. So yeah, MS does have things to learn from OSS (and the Mac). This post will probably incite a flamefest from the MS Windows apologists that hang around message boards but that's not my intent, just my observations from using Linux and MS Windows.
    • the interface in WinVista (looks kinda like KDE or Mac OS X)

      I kinda noticed that too. I've been trying to make KDE look more like Windows (using smaller and nicer fonts, minimalistic interface, etc.) and they seem to move the opposite direction... Vista (or what I've seen so far) indeed looks more like KDE and less like Windows.

      One more reason to stick with Linux/KDE, because I doubt they will offer the same level of customization of GUI in Vista - maybe I can actually make KDE look like more like Wi
  • (...) how they use Linux (...)

    "We are Microsoft. Lower your firewalls and surrender your servers. We will badly reimplement your technological distinctiveness in our own products. Your culture will be embraced and extended to service us. Resistance is futile."

  • I suspect MS just want to keep Linux from starting to death rattle but no more. If they can keep Linux alive to the point is "next year Linux will become mainstream!" they can pretend it's a real rival in the anti trust lawsuits. Any more than that and Linux is a danger and they'll want to cripple it.

    Linux is like a little kid right now. If has a lot of freedom but hasn't exploited it yet, the second it starts to get out of hand MS will try and bitch slap it back into what it sees as "it's place". But until
    • I would agree with you in the desktop and home arena, but I strongly disagree with Linux being the "little kid" in the server space. Last time I checked, roughly 2/3 of all Web servers ran Apache, with most of them running it on Linux (the rest BSD and a few OS X and some UNIX boxes.) MS IIS has about 1/6 of that market, so if MS was going to slap Linux down, they should have started there before it dwarfed MS's market share.

      I think that Apple more fits in line as the MS non-competitor to keep the DOJ happy
  • by lbmouse (473316) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @09:57AM (#14971102) Homepage
    "Microsoft's Linux-pro, Bill Hilf pulled out"

    Doesn't he know that this procedure rarely works? Just ask my son.
  • Microsoft and OSS (Score:1, Insightful)

    by liliafan (454080)
    The real M$ strategy to destroy OSS:

    http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/02/14/ 1736230&from=rss [slashdot.org][slashdot]

    Lure away some of the best people in OSS with big paychecks and then put them in a corner until they are so frustrated they quit.
    • Lure away some of the best people in OSS with big paychecks and then put them in a corner until they are so frustrated they quit. ... until they quit and go back to working on OSS software?
      • by internewt (640704)
        Lure away some of the best people in OSS with big paychecks and then put them in a corner until they are so frustrated they quit. ... until they quit and go back to working on OSS software?

        But they can't go back to OSS.... They will have signed NDA's or similar with MS, and now if they release any code they risk a legal battle with MS over IP. MS would claim that the code has been influenced by what the person saw at MS, or some other far fetched farce.

        Essentially MS removed those people from the OSS p

  • by EllynGeek (824747) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @10:10AM (#14971166)
    Nothing new here, except a slightly different form of doubletalk. Microsoft's only interest in OSS is co-opting and controlling as much of it as possible, and destroying the rest. Just like they've always done with all of their competitors. And please spare the silly "we just want to build great software" baloney. The richest software company on the planet can't build diddly-squat, sheesh.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    MILF?
  • by paiute (550198) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @10:24AM (#14971251)
    Linus: Hilf, do you actually expect me to believe that you want to contibute to the Linux community?

    Hilf: No, Mr. Torvalds. I expect you to die.

  • Lets not forget that Linux, Linux users, and the Linux community have held themselves as accountable to being free as in freedom because of the underpinnings of the GPL. However, Microsoft is accountable to "intellectual property" being their "crown jules" as I think Bill Gates once put it, but that kind of proprietary controll simply won't work in the information age. It's like mixing oil and water - if you shake it up real hard it might work for awhile, but over the long term one will float to the top
  • by zifferent (656342) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @10:26AM (#14971263)
    Hilf on why he jumped ship from IBM to work at M$,

    "Microsoft offers me the opportunity to work with extremely smart people,..."

    Ouch! Was that on purpose?
  • Well, there's this chinese saying (literally) "know yourself, know your enemy, win all the battles you fight". So, what MS is really doing is nothing new.

    I think Linux has no problems penetrating further in the server space. However, Windows is slowly becoming like Unix, what with better command shells, scripts, use of XML as config for IIS. Maybe one day, the whole registry is one big XML file.

    On the other hand, as a end-user workstation, Linux really needs something, to the extent of an Aqua-equivalent,
    • I hear this a lot, but I have yet to understand why EVERYONE needs to use the same interface or things are bad. If the default interface is the same, fine. That would be a good thing, but don't take away the flexibility of Unix in the name of market penetration.

      Linux still works on older machines if you don't run one of the bloated interfaces. While KDE or Gnome will run as poorly on an old laptop as WinXP, put fvwm on instead and you have a snappy usable computer. If you force everything to be consistent,
      • I hear this a lot, but I have yet to understand why EVERYONE needs to use the same interface or things are bad.

        That's why UIs have customization functions. My (fill in an OS/UI) does not look like yours on my computer , but should "out of the box", and have general consistent control features. That's been one of the gripes about Linux for a long time, that X distro's UI is different from Y's distro. It's even a gripe against Microsoft, when they've changed their UI. It's one of the complaints I h

      • Well said. There are two popular current commercial GUIs right now, Mac and Windows. Why don't we hear anyone saying how Apple should change the OSX interface to match Windows? On top of that, there are at least two versions of Microsoft Windows in common use with different interfaces. KDE is enough similar to either of these to allow a reasonably competent user to get around, and many low end users couldn't find Windows Explorer on a Microsoft machine if it bit them in the ass.

        The whole 'standard in
        • As someone who shoots a lot of photos and is trying to switch over to a 1/2-digital, 1/2-chemical dark room, I completely agree that we need Photoshop or a good print-compatible linux app. GIMP is nice for images that stay on the PC, but I've had really terrible luck trying to get GIMP friendly with any sort of high-res work.

          Having said all that though, I really disagree with your statement about digi-cams. I don't use my digi-cam much, but it's about as plug-n-play on Linux through digiKam as it is on wi
          • GIMP is nice for images that stay on the PC, but I've had really terrible luck trying to get GIMP friendly with any sort of high-res work.

            Personally I love the GIMP, use it all the time, although I find all of the separate windows annoying. There are is a cmyk plugin [blackfiveservices.co.uk] out there that supposedly will output good print files.

            What troubles have you had using a digi cam on Linux, and when was the last time you tried it?

            Those are both good questions. I'm a slackware guy myself, and it's not always the e
    • "However, Windows is slowly becoming like Unix, what with better command shells, scripts, use of XML as config for IIS. Maybe one day, the whole registry is one big XML file."

      If you want to store a huge ass amount of randomly accessed data in a single XML file, please be my guest.
      I'll be over at thedailtwtf.com, busy laughing my ass off.
    • But better consistency is needed for mass adoption

      I disagree. There was a common desktop environment years ago called CDE which most people have never even heard of. The "not invented here" issue and other things showed that people really don't want better consistency and it didn't catch on despite it being better than XP now and it surfaced in the win3.11 days. Even people on MS Windows can move things about so much that you can often only rely on keyboard shortcuts on a MS Windows machine you've never

  • by djupedal (584558) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @10:37AM (#14971331)
    "...largest software development environment in the world."

    Number of employees:
    - MS: +/-52,000
    - IBM: +/- 365,000

    Software/Services Revenue per Employee:
    - MS comes in at #3, with $560,340.57 of revenue per head

    World's Largest Development Site:
    - SourceForge.net (VA Software) w/over 1 million registered developers.
    • You caught that too I see. He's one of those "I wanna be a manager" types. The puree'd bullshit is seething out of his teeth. Microsoft just paid this whore more. Well, linux's future is secure.
    • Err IBM is primarily involved in hardware and services. Not software.

      They can have all the staff they want. Id wager there are quite a few companies with more staff than MS. That doesnt change the fact MS makes well over $30 billion from its software revenue.

      IBM makes about a tenth of that from software alone.

      Yeah clearly hes talking bullshit...
  • Couldn't resist...
  • by simong (32944) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @10:59AM (#14971507) Homepage
    If Microsoft are working on interoperability, then isn't a large part of that about sharing files and printing? And isn't the main component of that SMB/CIFS? And isn't that down to Samba, a reverse engineered implementation of Windows SMB/CIFS, reverse engineered because Microsoft won't release the API? What is that sound I hear? Parry sirrah, it is the CluePhone.
  • Not really worth reading. In summary, he says: bla blob bla blob bla.
  • "Contrary to a common assumption that Microsoft is anti open source, the reality is not so black and white. Certainly, most customers don't live in that either/or world. They choose a technology - an operating system or an application - based on its ability to solve a particular problem and to serve a certain business need, not based on its development model."

    <insert obligtory M$ bash>

    OK. I'm glad we could get that out. Now, obviously Hilf is going to biased towards Microsft, mostly because th

    • by Tony (765) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @01:39PM (#14972996) Journal
      I haven't let development model politics cloud my judgement in order to get the job done. Isn't that how it should be?

      For you, perhaps.

      For others [com.com], the politics are very important.

      For me, it's all about the ethics. Microsoft has behaved unethically; that is enough for me to avoid their products. I don't give my lunch money to the school bully.

      Has it made my life more difficult? Perhaps. But the important issues usually are difficult.
  • Hilf states: "They choose a technology - an operating system or an application - based on its ability to solve a particular problem and to serve a certain business need, not based on its development model."

    I'd suggest that the development model is or should be a factor in the choice for the obvious reasons. Those include, but are not limited to: time-to-change, time-to-repair, internals documentation, and maintenance costs.
  • re: we're learning how those technologies can better interoperate with Microsoft's proprietary technologies.

    I'll believe it when Microsoft contributes to (either) samba's protocol stack (or|and) GUIs for samba, including either webmin or an X app - oh, and helps to document smb.conf :)

    Meanwhile, aren't they still running their "Get the FUD" campaign?
  • by Decaff (42676) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @02:50PM (#14973873)
    From the article:

    Contrary to a common assumption that Microsoft is anti open source, the reality is not so black and white. Certainly, most customers don't live in that either/or world. They choose a technology - an operating system or an application - based on its ability to solve a particular problem and to serve a certain business need, not based on its development model.

    I think he is wrong. My opinion and experience is that many people choose a technology neither for a particular problem or business, or because of its development model. There are quite different reasons, like having a political preference for multi-vendor support for products, or .... in the case of Microsoft, having considerable experience of being let down by a vendor over many years in terms of security issues and long-term API support. I believe that customers frequently choose technologies for much broader and longer-term reasons than individual problems or needs.
    • they choose a technology - an operating system or an application - based on its ability to solve a particular problem

      I also agree he's wrong with this, and he probably knows it all too well. Most people "choose" what they are used to and what they have been PR-fed into. This is MS's biggest luck. Many computers users probably don't even have a clue that they could do everything that they do on a free OS.

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