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Dvorak On Microsoft/Novell Deal 218

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-all-wear-party-hats dept.
zaxios writes, "John C. Dvorak has weighed in on the recent Novell-Microsoft pact. Among his insights: 'Microsoft has been leery of doing too much with Linux because of all the weirdness with the licenses and the possibility that one false move would make a Microsoft product public domain at worst, or subject to the GPL at best.' But now, 'the idea is to create some sort of code that is jammed into Linux and whose sole purpose is to let some proprietary code run under Linux without actually "touching" Linux in any way that would subject the proprietary code to the GPL.' According to Dvorak, it's only a matter of time before Linux is 'cracked' by Microsoft, meaning Microsoft figures out a way to run proprietary code on it."
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Dvorak On Microsoft/Novell Deal

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  • Meta-flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 2.7182 (819680) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:57PM (#16769979)
    I have come to think of any Dvorak story posted by Slashdot as meta-flamebait. They know it is just going to cause the comments to degenerate into a total circus of hatred.
    • Its not much of a flamebait.

      Linux is a free platform that anybody can develop on with NO cost in software. It is a neutral ground in that any company and any interest can do "stuff".

      The only existing rule is if you want to have access to the majority of free code, you must, in turn be free too. But there's NO requirement in using this massive body of prior code.

      I ENCOURAGE anybody developing for Linux because it is a free system.
      • The interesting thing in this though is the potential death knoll for Single User Windows Only Desktops. If everything proprietary in Windows can be run in Suse Linux, and everything in Suse Linux can be run on the Microsoft Virtual Machine, then there is no longer any need to keep a separate Windows machine around.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Better yet, if Xen would work properly with Win98, I could run fresh virtualized images for each app.

          Win98 on current machinery is friggin FAST. Now, run each app in its own environment, with limited network access (network ONLY to host running virtualization). Instant win98 network with 1 "computer" for each program.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Xen will run Win98 now if your processor supports virtualization. Otherwise, run VMWare player. Win98 works very well under it.
      • by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:57PM (#16772303)
        meaning Microsoft figures out a way to run proprietary code on it

        There is nothing to figure out. You can run proprietary software on Linux today. Look at Oracle.

    • Re:Meta-flamebait (Score:4, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:17PM (#16770403) Homepage Journal

      I couldn't agree more. Dvorak has been proven to be an asshat so many times I can't begin to count them. I mean read this paragraph:

      With a shim, Microsoft could possibly do the following: Take a Linux distro, say SUSE; then create a shim that talks to the SUSE kernel. Publish the source code of the shim and what it does. Then take a proprietary Microsoft optimizer that lets various apps run on Linux perfectly with modifications to the Linux core--but that actually runs on the shim, not Linux.

      We already have something like that. It's called Java. Java hasn't put Linux to the torch. What makes Dvorak think that Microsoft will be able to do it?

      • Its sounds a lot like WINE. Why the hell would Microsoft want to reimplement WINE? Or maybe he's suggesting MS want to appropriate the Linux Kernel for future versions of windows. Either way i think none of this has anything to do with the recent "pact".
      • Wouldn't the perfect "shim" be wine, at least for windows applications?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Maybe he's thinking that they'll write a kernel module to enforce DRM and product activation. Possibly also using it to try and make Microsoft apps only work under SUSE.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BRSloth (578824)
        We already have something like that. It's called Java.


        Oh man, you almost had it. It is, actually, called Mono, and it could run almost every code written for .NET. And guess who are the main developers of Mono?
    • by mordors9 (665662) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:31PM (#16770601)
      I am just glad I can go back to breathing. Ever since the big announcement came out, I have been holding my breath until Dvorak told us what to think about it.
    • Re:Meta-flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

      by number6x (626555) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:44PM (#16770879)
      I think its more that Dvorak is almost completely clueless, but is very well spoken and is a good writer. He sounds competent to the PHB's, but to anylone who is familiar with the GPL and open source, he sounds like a complete ignoramous. All GPL'd code must be copyrighted. The GPL cannot be applied to public domain software, and it cannot make proprietary code into public domain code. Just read the GPL. The GPL and Copyright go hand in hand. So no matter how well he writes, he just comes off as an idiot. Since so many paople take him seriously, this leads to the flame wars over the well written non-sense he prints.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Havokmon (89874)

        I think its more that Dvorak is almost completely clueless, but is very well spoken and is a good writer. He sounds competent to the PHB's, but to anylone who is familiar with the GPL and open source, he sounds like a complete ignoramous.

        If you read the whole thing, and reword it in your head, it makes sense :) MS has kernel optimizations for their software. MS Software, without these kernel optimizations would run like crap on any other OS. MS needs shims in the kernel to get these optimizations to

    • Re:Meta-flamebait (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jsebrech (525647) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:59PM (#16771145)
      I have come to think of any Dvorak story posted by Slashdot as meta-flamebait. They know it is just going to cause the comments to degenerate into a total circus of hatred.

      They're not just flamebait, they're flamebait on purpose. The purpose of the dvorak flamebait articles is generating clicks on the articles in question, and generating the ad revenue linked with those clicks. This has even been admitted by dvorak (or one of the dvoraks, since it's likely to just be a name they assign to writers), and this admission of guilt [slashdot.org] has appeared on slashdot.

      The key thing to learn about this is to never, ever, browse to a dvorak article, because that is exactly what they want you to do.
    • by buswolley (591500)
      meta-flaimbait? A post with knowledge about its flame processes?
  • by Salvance (1014001) * on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:58PM (#16770003) Homepage Journal
    As scary as a 'Microsoft Linux' sounds, there'd actually be some significant advantages to Microsoft apps being able to run on Linux (as pointed out to me by another /. reader yesterday). To a system administrator, the prospect of having servers that cooperate better, and possibly a single secure desktop, is enticing. Hardcore Linux users probably scoff at the idea of running Office on a Linux box, but as a IT manager myself it sounds like a great idea. All of a sudden, I could rollout a single secure Linux O/S to all desktops and servers, then have the ability to run Windows apps when needed.

    Is this Microsoft's intent? Unfortunately, probably not. I don't see them providing users with the ability to get rid of their Windows PCs ... they will probably either maintain a cooperative capability (a la Virtualization) that the Novell deal provides, or use their Linux foothold as a means to eventually entice Linux users back to Windows.

    Who knows, the end result will be interesting for sure.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Salvance (1014001) *
      Another thought ... what if Microsoft just released their .NET framework (basically taking over the Mono project) on Linux? Since .NET (C# in particular) is an interpretted language, it would then be possible to run closed-source C# programs on Linux. This would give MS the Linux "in" that they apparently desire. Then all they'd need to do is rewrite Office (or any other apps) under .NET, and they'd have cross platform apps. I realize that this isn't trivial, but it seems a lot easier than supporting mu
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        This probably is their goal with .NET. I guess large portions of the Vista OS are actually .NET managed code now? Or so I've been hearing. I suspect they plan to make the kernel of their OS irrelevant to the applications (and the various services!) so that if NT becomes too arduous to support they can ditch it and go with something else. It wouldn't greatly surprise me to one day see NT run on top of a Linux kernel, as kind of a MacOSX-esque system. I think it would allow Microsoft to continue selling offic
      • Never gonna happen. Part of the deal is for Microsoft to make no patent violation claims over Mono as it stands now. Microsoft would rather people virtualize Windows since it means more control plus more licenses. And that's the point of the deal: to control virtualization.

        Making .NET more cross-platform would be nice for customers, but it's not in Microsoft's interest.
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:14PM (#16770341) Homepage Journal
      As scary as a 'Microsoft Linux' sounds, there'd actually be some significant advantages to Microsoft apps being able to run on Linux (as pointed out to me by another /. reader yesterday).


      There is absolutely no reason why Microsoft can't write code that runs on Linux and still have it be proprietary.

      Absolutely no reason at all.

      The kernel is GPL, yes, but Linus' license modification clearly states that closed source code can run on the Linux kernel and shall not be considered a 'derivative work'.

      Tons of proprietary code runs on Linux with absolutely no GPL issues: Oracle, Veritas Netbackup, WordPerfect, StarOffice (pieces are proprietary), etc.

      As for toolkits, GTK+ is LGPL. Meaning Microsoft could target closed source GUI applications for GTK+ with no issues. QT is GPL unless you make arrangement$$$ with TrollTech.

      As for desktops, some parts of GNOME are GPL, others are LGPL. Gotta be careful there, but if you just link against GTK+ and not GNOME libraries, Microsoft should be okay.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by k12linux (627320)
        Except then they couldn't charge a per-PC fee as well as fees for each app. I think MS will only be satisfied if you have to pay them for a "Windows service layer" (WSL) that you run on top of Linux which then runs their apps. Then you could get the Windows XP Home WSL for $178 and the XP Pro WSL for $299.

        Then they can turn around and tell the courts that they make their software available for Linux but that consumers don't want it and aren't buying it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Creepy (93888)
        Microsoft and others have stated that a parts of Paragraph 3 and 4 of the LGPL are ambiguous and depending on interpretation, could force them to be construed a derivative work. After reading that section, I decided that I can't link LGPL into my mac apps as well.
        My best guess as to the meaning of sections of those paragraphs:
        The LGPL essentially forbids you from statically linking a library into your work
        The LGPL allows dynamically linking (though this may be interpretable, as there are wording conflicts
    • by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:21PM (#16770457) Homepage Journal
      Those who actually bothered to read some details of the deal know it's all about virtualization. Microsoft realizes there's soon going to be a huge virtualization market. If they don't play into it they will simply lose control of big customers. So to control the virtualization market they can now tell customers they offer a more complete solution with the help of Novell. They can also use Novell to control the user experience. They need to make sure that customers that go multi-OS with relative ease still license Windows. If they alienate too many customers then those that try Linux may just switch completely.

      So this is a play at the corporate market to retain control while use of virtualization grows.
      • by Ryan Amos (16972)
        If they want to do that, they need to offer a "virtualization license" that allows you to have as many virtual windows hosts on a single physical machine as you want. The big sticking point with Windows in virtualization is that you need a license for every vhost. With anywhere between 5 and 30 virtual machines on each physical machine, it makes sense to use Linux whenever possible.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ebyrob (165903)
          Haven't you read their latest moves in virutal licensing [internetnews.com]?
        • Most corporations buy Windows licenses in bulk. They don't care if they have to buy a few more licenses. Big businesses know the largest expenses are not the licenses, but rather support and development. Virtualization helps cut those costs while keeping their current platforms.
    • by mordors9 (665662)
      Thanks Rodney King- Why can't we all just get along....
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      Is this Microsoft's intent? Unfortunately, probably not.

      No, Microsoft's intent is to OWN that secure desktop, and charge you for it. As well as charge you micropayments for every single use, on every single processor, of its software. Oh they also plan to change the API every now and again, and not make documentation available - unless you pay membership fees for the SDK and supporting docs, of course. Or you could sign up for courses that will teach you how to code on their new "Secur
    • by 21chrisp (757902)
      "or use their Linux foothold as a means to eventually entice Linux users back to Windows"

      It seems like Apple is doing a much better job of enticing Linux users. Almost all Linux users I know have already switched to OSX, at least on the desktop.
    • by timjdot (638909)
      Softie isn't worried about licensing but just trying to ride this one out. Clearly the Open Source world has moved to compatibility while the softie world is like you say: nightmares of integration. So many venders and even so many non-integrated products from Microsoft. Not sure if you've visited the php-mysql world lately but is it simple, clear, and works. Something people used to claim about 'soft. But the real problem is bundling. Soft is getting wiped away with their own trick. Why buy apps 1,2,3,5,..
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by davidsyes (765062)
      Hmmm... Maybe it would make it unnecessary for me to have Win4Lin? What would this do to Win4Lin? Run them out of business?

      1. Divide and Conquer?
      2. Win4Lin dying out? / Xen/virtualization alternatives..

      1. I think that msoft is trying to "divide and conquer" Linux by giving Novell cold hard cash and partnership, which equate to having an existence. Once ms defines what is and is not supported (seems they've been saying such things), then ANY companies "daring" to use Linux will start to (like sheep) feel th
  • I call bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:58PM (#16770007)

    He has no idea of what he is talking about. Of course one can already run proprietary code in Linux. Many libraries are available under the LGPL instead of GPL. This deal does not change much to that fact.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gleng (537516)
      That was my first thought. There are many proprietory, closed source apps that run on Linux, with no legal or technical problems at all.

      I am beginning to suspect that this Dvorak chap can't tell his arse from his elbow.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rob T Firefly (844560)
        Not only could Dvorak completely fail to distinguish his arse from his elbow, he could then get paid by a magazine to write a rant about why elbows are evil things that should never be allowed near arses in the first place and clearly anyone not thinking with their elbows agrees. He could then get it posted to Slashdot, rake in another round of ad hits for his bosses, and increase his own notoriety.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:59PM (#16770013)
    Here's an article where the tag is appropriate. Amazingly, even Dvorak thinks it's a trap.
  • by dAzED1 (33635) <brianlamere@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:59PM (#16770021) Homepage Journal
    yeah, because Oracle cracked Linux. So did Veritas (which I was personally running products from on Linux servers as much as 5 years ago).

    Bullsh*t. By putting this on the front page of /. taco, you're merely assisting MS's propaganda machine further demonize the GPL and Linux in general. I don't suppose you made charitable donations to SCO too, did you?
    • what the heck Dvorak is saying? Don't we already have an open source "shim" in the form of the LGPL?

      Dvorak's column does not seem to be coherent to me.

      • In fact the "shim" is Linux itself. You can run proprietary applications on Linux just fine. You might say it's because of the LGPL libc, but it is legal to write a closed-source executable that uses no libraries and just uses system calls.

        Dvorak is being an itiot or a shill. He has once again perpetuated the myth that the GPL is some sort of "virus" that "infects" code and makes it all GPL. That is nonsense. Nothing has happened to your code. If you remove the GPL portions, you can do anything you want wit
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Funkcikle (630170)
          Dvorak is being an itiot or a shill.
          You are being rather narrowminded - he could easily be both.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by digidave (259925)
      Are you trying to tell me that not every program that runs on Linux somehow gets stripped of its copyright and becomes public domain? That clearly flies in the face of all the sound logic I've been hearing for years from closed-source Linux competitors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      By putting this on the front page of /. taco, you're merely assisting MS's propaganda machine further demonize the GPL and Linux in general.

      I'm glad this stuff gets posted from time to time. I don't read Dvorak's writings. But plenty of other people do. Its not a bad thing to have some idea of what memes this guy (and others of his ilk) are putting out there. Otherwise the first I hear of this silliness is during some IT strategy meeting or whatnot. Having read the article, I'll know what Dvorak clai

  • by petabyte (238821) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:59PM (#16770027)
    Umm, so I know I've run proprietary code on Linux. Nvidia Drivers at the moment as well as Flash and Java. Codeweavers, Oracle, and that small company called IBM ...

    I'm sure many people can run MS Office in Wine. Now why you'd want to is another matter ...

    Can I mod his comment -1 (not so insightful)?
  • Love Microsoft and others develop software for Linux. It would give Linux much needed credibility to the people who only agree with Microsoft. And best yet, I would like to have things like Microsoft Office, Crystal Reports, and other MS based apps.

    And most of all, I'd have the stability of Linux and could run MS programs (there's not much in terms of business productivity apps in Linux).
  • by GauteL (29207) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:01PM (#16770069)
    1. Use of a bit of GPL code mixed with proprietary code does not mean that All Your Code Are Belong To Us, it means that Microsoft would have to remove the GPL infringing code, and possibly pay damages to the copyright owner.

    2. Nothing at all is stopping you from running proprietary code on a GNU/Linux system, as long as the GPL license on the GNU/Linux parts of the system is honoured. You can easily use the Linux kernel, the GNU Tools and put a proprietary graphical system on it or just running proprietary software packages. Apple uses quite a few GNU tools, yet keeps Aqua closed, and lots of vendors have released proprietary software packages for Linux.
    • by WasterDave (20047)
      Nothing at all is stopping you from running proprietary code on a GNU/Linux system
      Exactly. I looked at this and thought "yeah, it's called userland". I'm quite happy to believe Dvorak is this stupid but not Ballmer et al.

      As an aside I've been off on holiday and have come back to see this deal ... and I'm not sure I fully get it. Like, if MS want to let SLES be more interoperable surely all they need to do is open their protocol specs up more - which, IIRC, they actually have to do under the antitrust settle
      • by isdnip (49656)
        Userland? What a concept...

        [setting the wayback machine to the 1990s] ...lessee, Microsoft here. What are we going to do next? I see, let's do a web browser. Let's put it into the kernel! Yeah, that'll impress the Department of Justice! And hey, let's move some multimedia stuff into the kernel. And of course the whole graphical subsystem should be in the kernel....

        They don't seem to think very highly of userland in their own products, so maybe they see it as useful in Linux?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drsmithy (35869)

          [setting the wayback machine to the 1990s] ...lessee, Microsoft here. What are we going to do next? I see, let's do a web browser. Let's put it into the kernel! Yeah, that'll impress the Department of Justice!

          No version of Windows has ever had any version of IE in its kernel.

          And hey, let's move some multimedia stuff into the kernel.

          I don't know what you're referring to by "multimedia stuff", but I'd be fairly willing to bet you're wrong about that as well.

          And of course the whole graphical subsystem s

  • by zotz (3951) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:02PM (#16770093) Homepage Journal
    "According to Dvorak, it's only a matter of time before Linux is 'cracked' by Microsoft, meaning Microsoft figures out a way to run proprietary code on it."

    Gee, everyone else knows how to run proprietary code on linux. MS can't be too swift if they can't figure that.

    Perhaps more is meant by "run on it"???

    all the best,

    drew
    http://www.ourmedia.org/node/262954 [ourmedia.org]
    Sayings - Deterred Bahamian Novel
    CC BY-SA
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by lightyear4 (852813)
      Perhaps more is meant by "run on it"???

      Ah that was a mere prepositional mix-up by marketing. I do believe that 'run over it' was the intended meaning.

  • by Himring (646324) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:02PM (#16770097) Homepage Journal
    As I offered earlier:

    "Under the patent cooperation agreement, Novell's customers receive directly from Microsoft a covenant not to sue. Novell does not receive a patent license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft, and we have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL. Our agreement does not affect the freedom that Novell or anyone else in the open source community, including developers, has under the GPL and does not impose any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL. Therefore, the agreement is fully compliant with the GPL,"

    http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS4685037869.html [linux-watch.com]

    That reminds me of another, historical, agreement:

    "Under the treaty, England receives directly from Germany a promise not to attack Poland. England does not receive a promise not to attack Germany, and we have not agreed with Germany to any condition that would contradict the conditions of previous treaties. Our agreement does not affect the freedom that Poland or any other country in Europe, including France, has under previous treaties and does not impose any condition that would contradict the conditions of such treaties. Therefore, the treaty is fully compliant with all previous treaties."

    Sincerely,

    Neville Chamberlain

    • Nice reference to World War 1.

      Too bad that most Americans wont get it. (now, gets anecdotal posts of Americans who do get it)
      • by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:16PM (#16770381) Journal
        > Nice reference to World War 1.
        > Too bad that most Americans wont get it.

        You certainly don't, considering that you didn't even reference the right war.

        Or was I just treated to a demonstration of Dvorak's journalism technique?
        • by Dunbal (464142)
          you certainly don't, considering that you didn't even reference the right war.

                Yeah, everyone knows WW1 was all about sinking that Bismark guy, and Napoleon was king of Scotland and they fought Augustus in Moscow with the help of Richard III...
        • by xutopia (469129)
          I'm not American and I don't get it. Care to explain it for us please?
          • by Himring (646324)
            Sure.

            Chamberlain and the British population, like the rest of those who suffered through the horrors of WWI, would do anything not to go to war again. Germany was intimidating all of Europe with war and with its great military might. Chamberlain's sole purpose was appeasement: avoid war at all costs. He worked on agreement after agreement, meeting after meeting, with Germany attempting to appease the devouring hunger of Germany's military and at the same time assuage England she was safe, no worries a
      • by Wudbaer (48473)
        Especially as this refers to WW II... damn World Wars, always mixing up with each other.
      • Wow, I feel soo stupid.

        I got wilhelm and chamberlin mixed up. ;-(

        Hence why Im NOT in history. Im going for chemistry.

        arrrrgh.
    • "Peace in our time" or something like that.
  • Read COPYING (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ettlz (639203) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:02PM (#16770101) Journal
    the idea is to create some sort of code that is jammed into Linux and whose sole purpose is to let some proprietary code run under Linux without actually "touching" Linux in any way that would subject the proprietary code to the GPL. This would include mechanisms that alter the internals of Linux without having to publish the code and changes as open-source or allow them to be used by others, as is required by the GPL.

    i.e., what nVidia and ATi have been doing for years now?

    Nevertheless: Not In My Kernel.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:02PM (#16770103) Journal
    It is no big deal. Tons and tons of proprietary code runs on Linux. Almost all the CAD companies, EDA companies and CFD companies and so many others support Linux for their proprietary products. It is very difficult for MS to port its product to Linux because it is a huge spaghetti tangle of activeX and COM and .NET and other MS-only technologies. But Dvorak, in his infinite ignorance finds some completely untenable theory.
  • Ok, so complex Windows 32-bit software on Linux sounds farfetched. I haven't gotten a DOS emulator to work. I have to use 2 of them, one for FCB legacy programs and another to run programs the first won't run. Let's get the simple, single-tasking DOS emulation working, THEN worry about Win32...
    • DOSBox [sf.net] or VMWare Player [vmware.com] + FreeDOS [freedos.org].

      Really, though, who still uses dos apps?

      Win32 compatibility is decent with Wine, though it has to be the most user hostile piece of software I deal with. Crossover Office is worth the money if you need to run Windows apps.
      • by scottsk (781208)
        >>> Really, though, who still uses dos apps? Probably no one but history buffs, but it was a joke - if DOS won't run on Linux, how can C++/MFC/COM/Win32 apps? I did get Paint Shop Pro running in Wine once, but it crashed when I tried to do certain things. PSP is fairly trivial compared to, say, Office. MS can barely get their own OS to work...
    • Ok, so complex Windows 32-bit software on Linux sounds farfetched.

      Not really. People have been running MS Office & Photoshop in Wine for years. Where have you been?

      I haven't gotten a DOS emulator to work. I have to use 2 of them, one for FCB legacy programs and another to run programs the first won't run.

      I assume you've heard of both DOSBox and DOSEmu. I haven't played with DOSEmu very much, but DOSBox is compatible enough to run Win3.1. What are these emulators missing that you need?

      Let's get

      • by scottsk (781208)
        Tongue in cheek - but DOSBox does not support FCB so older apps have trouble in it.
  • by robpoe (578975)
    I, for one, welcome our new Microvell overlords. Or is that Novesoft?

    I gotta duck 'cos Ballmer is throwing a chair my way..

    In all seriousness, though...

    MS Office is where it is. It's standard corporate feed. OOo is ok, but only ok. It's a clone of Word. But it's a LOT slower and doesn't support everything that Word does (Try to open a complex doc in OOo that Word saved). Oh, and it's not compatible with ALL documents. Try a seriously complex spreadsheet that uses ODBC to talk to a Faircomm database s
  • Microsoft is loosing to Linux the the set-top box, DVR, and many other interesting little markets in a big way.
    Maybe this is a way for Microsoft to get the WMP, Windows Codecs, and IE7 in to the Linux world.
    Or it could be because of mono. Trying to kill of Java once and for all.
    Or it could be China. China is moving to Linux and that could be a HUGE market.
  • I'm pretty sure anyone can sell proprietary code for linux with no problems. Many companies do it already, including Oracle. The problem is if you want your code to be part of the kernel.

    I know that. Just about everyone here knows that. The top guys at Microsoft know that. Why doesn't Dvorak?

    P.S. Don't click the link to his article. You'll just encourage him to write more drivel.
  • by creimer (824291) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:09PM (#16770255) Homepage
    Microsoft has been leery of doing too much with Linux because of all the weirdness with the licenses and the possibility that one false move would make a Microsoft product public domain at worst, or subject to the GPL at best.

    Comparing the GPL and Vista EULA, Microsoft is winning the weirdness license war hands down.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <relyo.nhoj>> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:09PM (#16770259) Journal
    ... meaning Microsoft figures out a way to run proprietary code on it.

    What, like writing a program and distributing it as a binary-only for-pay title?

    It's only GPL if you use someone else's code. Why in the fucking hell are we still hearing stupid shit like this in 2006?
  • by DittoBox (978894) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:10PM (#16770265) Homepage
    John C. Dvorak has weighed in on the recent Novell-Microsoft pact. Among his insights [...]

    That's not a group of words we see very often when coupled with that man's name.

  • "If you can't beat them...buy them out"

    I have no idea what MS is attempting to do by partnering themselves with Novell/SuSE, with the possible exception of buying out (and shutting down) all competitors to its desktop (and server) OS.

    Monopoly abuse to be sure, but it has worked for them in the past....
    • by petrus4 (213815) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:28PM (#16770557) Homepage Journal
      Monopoly abuse to be sure, but it has worked for them in the past....

      The only way they can do that in this case would be to destroy access to the toolchain...because without the toolchain, nobody can create new distributions.

      This is where, as much as it pains me to admit it, with the GNU/Linux stuff, in a way RMS is right. The GNU project is very much the centre of gravity where Linux is concerned, because it is how Linux propogates itself.

      Microsoft *could* sink Linux if it took out the FSF...but the good news there is that the FSF is very well protected by public opinion. If there is one thing Stallman genuinely *is* extremely good at, it's at least developing the appearance of holding the moral high ground. ESR was right when he wrote that Stallman has a thirst for martyrdom...Stallman recognises the power that martyrdom contains. He uses Gandhi's scorpionic [allaboutfrogs.org] tactics extremely well.
  • you have got to be kidding me ...
    • yes, "dvorak ... insights" sounds like an oxymoron to me too, something like "military intelligence" sort of thing ...
  • I refuse to use MicroSuse. And everyone that I know and support that uses Linux WILL be changing to another distro.

    The poisoning of the well has begun.

    Traitors..

  • Dvorak yet again has no idea what he's talking about. None at all. Thinks that by running an application on Linux (the kernel) you must GPL it. For some reasons thinks that "a false move" when creating an application for Linux might make your app public domain (wtf?). Also seems to think that MS must do anything special to make Windows and Linux interoperable (when in reality they just have to stop going out of their way to prevent interoperability).
    Geez.
  • Every time Dvorak farts, /. sniffs
  • Who is this guy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SQLz (564901) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:40PM (#16770767) Homepage Journal
    Dvorak is fricken idiot. Linux will be 'cracked' by Microsoft? What about all the other hundreds of companies with closed source commerial products that run on Linux? Did they hack Linux as well? I'm not sure why what this guy says is important enough to be on Slashdot, he obviously can't even grasp the basics of what Linux is, and the GPL for that matter.
  • Seriously.

    I agree Dvorak stories are flamebait on /. I believe Dvorak and his like-thinking journalists can be used to promote Linux use.

    The more PHB's that can't think for themselves and think (somehow) Dvorak is making sense, the more they will hang themselves with a Microsoft noose. The more they misunderstand the GPL and discredit Linux the better.

    Meanwhile the critical thinking PHB looks at who provides the better tool for the job, factors in cost and chooses from there.
    Linux will be chosen in many i
  • Cause I cannot find their source code for Linux anywhere. Most likely they have created a nice (mythical) shim layer themselves to prevent the GPL from taking away their trade secrets. I call "dvorkism" ...
  • So, Dvorak is *basically* saying that Benevolent and All-Power Microsoft would've ported their software to Linux *ages* ago, but IE and MS-Office and Outlook all require "OS Integration," which would make it so they have to release those applications under the GPL, or the Pink Unicorn Squad would hunt them down and gore them with their horns, and if they took to the sea, The Vengeful Narwhal would gore them in the same fashion as the pink unicorns.

    Yep. That's about Dvorak's insightful grasp of reality.
  • by budgenator (254554) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:16PM (#16771479) Journal
    Linux eventually will be cracked
    Pssst! Hey Guys, seems you missed the memo, all of that stuff is available in CVS or SVN anonymously! You don't need to crack anything, it's all there, you don't even need a Password. We actually want you to use it, we'll even let you help us make it better for everyone if you want.
  • A lot of the comments here claim that Dvorak doesn't "get it".

    Consider for a moment something demonstrably true: Microsoft doesn't "get it".

    Given infinite time, a thousand Dvoraks with typewriters will eventualy concoct a valid reason why anything happens. That says nothing about the faulty and overly verbose logic constructed to support it.

    Microsoft still doesn't "get" open source. They're trying every angle they can conceive of within their narrow, myopic view.

    That's all Dvorak had to say.

  • So what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by houghi (78078) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:31PM (#16771733)
    The fact that SUSE (and other distributions) have ran non-GPL stuff before seems to elude him.

    Novell is even in the process of making the code more vanilla and has ripped out non-OSS stuff from the kernel, even though this might mean some hardware won't run anymore.

    Also read the following:
    http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/faq_opensour ce.html [novell.com]

    It is fun/sad to see that the FUD is coming only from people who are 'pro OSS'. I start to think they are not pro anything. They are just anti M$.

    For all those who think that Novell is suddenly the anti-christ, understand that they support more then just one OSS project:
    http://en.opensuse.org/Novell_Supported_Projects [opensuse.org]
  • "Among his insights: 'Microsoft has been leery of doing too much with Linux because of all the weirdness with the licenses and the possibility that one false move would make a Microsoft product public domain at worst, or subject to the GPL at best.'"

    Actually, it's the M$ EULA that's weird, not the GPL, which is very clear and easy to understand.

    "But now, 'the idea is to create some sort of code that is jammed into Linux and whose sole purpose is to let some proprietary code run under Linux without act

  • MS doesn't need to develop a shim. There already IS a very good open source
    shim out there they can extend for their own use.
    It's called WINE. (And they already got to see it from their Corel deal).
  • The only cases where "shims" are used in Linux that I am aware of is in getting proprietary drivers to run under Linux. Examples are the nvidia driver and some wifi drivers. The shims are necessary because normally a driver is compiled into the kernel and thus subject to the GPL. But Microsoft has little interest in selling drivers (they write them, as do other companies, as a necessary evil, not as a source of income). Microsoft can port proprietary apps to Linux in the same way that numerous other com
  • by kimvette (919543) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:46PM (#16779533) Homepage Journal
    In >20 years how many times has Dvorak actually been right?

    Also, last I checked, there is [sun.com] already proprietary [nero.com] software [adobe.com] for [zend.com] Linux [adobe.com] already [mainconcept.com] and GPL hasn't stopped them due to any viral "tainting."

    (Yeah I know one of those is going GPL soon but isn't yet)

    Then there are those which skirt the GPL and where the legality is questionable, such as NVidia's and ATI's video drivers.

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