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Microsoft

More Mayhem From MSFT's Mundie 672

Cally writes "Further embarrasingly lame FUD from Craig Mundie of Microsoft. This time, he claims the GPL is at odds with 'commercialization' of software, without which the government gets a smaller tax take. Looks like he's really talking to legislators there ... He also knocks the Sun-led Liberty Alliance Passport SSO service as 'this notion that the world should be offered an alternative.' An alternative?"
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More Mayhem From MSFT's Mundie

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  • GPL (Score:2, Funny)

    by zephc ( 225327 )
    you use the GPL, you support free software, and thats another commercial product you didn't buy from a compny who's taxes would go to the government and that means less money to fight the axis of evil. dont you see? you're letting the terrorists win!
    • Re:GPL (Score:5, Insightful)

      by swm ( 171547 ) <swmcd@world.std.com> on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:45PM (#3106224) Homepage
      The gov't still gets its cut.

      It gets it from all the companies that have higher profits because they aren't paying the Microsoft tax.
      • >It gets it from all the companies that have higher profits
        >because they aren't paying the Microsoft tax.

        Actually, you're making a lot of sense. If my company has $100, it could either keep it as profits, in which case the government gets (say) $30, or it could spend it on Microsoft stuff. Not all of the money that goes to microsoft is taxable, say only 30% (I recently estimated MS has a 29% margin). So the government gets only 30% x $30 = $9.

        In other words, if you are in The Land Of Microsoft, where the government gets revenue ONLY from Microsoft corporation, and no other corporation exists, he's right. In the real world, it's the exact opposite of the truth.

        So who's getting fooled by this hogwash?

        • by Bobzibub ( 20561 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:33PM (#3106638)
          You forgot that Microsoft does not pay any federal income taxes:
          http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/138 52.html

          So the federal government has a choice of $30 or $0 for corporate income tax.
          Of course there are other multipliers like personal income tax paid by employees, etc...

      • Wrong... (Score:3, Funny)

        by sterno ( 16320 )
        No, the government dosen't get that money because the companies hide the money they save in shady offshore partnerships. On the other hand we all know that Microsoft is a trustworthy and upstanding corporate citizen who pays all the taxes they are supposed to. Kudos to Mundie for his valid point.
  • Alternatives (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pizen ( 178182 )
    I think it's a good thing that some guys back in the 1700s decided the world needed an alternative.
  • I can't believe that this guy keeps creating these preposterous statements. In the academic community he'd be shot down and discredited so fast that his head would spin. Why can't the rest of the population see him the same way?
    • by Telastyn ( 206146 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:46PM (#3106242)
      Because the general public expect such things from what is essentially a marketting droid. Granted he has a technical title, and can speak the speak, so he *must* know what he's talking about? Dah?

      And the general public also expects someone just as zealously over the top to say similarly ludicrous things about Microsoft. They will offset one another, and in the end, people don't care. They just want to have fun, and get what they want when they want it.

      They'd like the internet to be nice and easy, and they do not want to enter passwords to things. They do not understand, and do not care about security. They only care about not getting things stolen from them, or being cheated.

      In the real world, who takes care of thievery and fraud? Yes, the police and the government. So why can't the police and the government *do their jobs* and keep the normal people safe and secure online too?

      Well, sure you and I know why, because we generally know how things work. Normal people do not. And they don't care.
      • They do not understand, and do not care about security. They only care about not getting things stolen from them, or being cheated.

        Other than keeping them securely, how do you go about preventing getting things stolen from you?

        In the real world, who takes care of thievery and fraud? Yes, the police and the government.

        But the world would be so much more peaceful if things weren't able to be stolen in the 1st place. It is not the government's place to close the front door of my house when I forget, It is not the government's place to turn off file and print sharing through my modem when I forget, and my ISP shouldn't have to block incoming port 80 - if I wanted nobody to connect to my web server, I'd turn it off. It is, however, corporations' place to provide "Joe Sixpack" with software and services that don't share all his personal details and files with the entire world.
  • Um, yeah, k. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Leven Valera ( 127099 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:38PM (#3106159) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure if I'm right on this or not, but Mundie reminds me of the classic "misdirection" ploy.
    • Re:Um, yeah, k. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flacco ( 324089 )
      I'm not sure if I'm right on this or not, but Mundie reminds me of the classic "misdirection" ploy.

      No, it is not. Mundie spends A LOT of time in Washington stroking rule-makers' dicks. Ibelieve the "Unamerican", "Communist", "Intellectual property destroyer", "Tax drain" rhetoric is the visible tip of a very real iceberg-of-an-effort to destroy or gut the GPL through legislation or regulation.

      Just who the fuck else could language like "but people will pay less taxes!" POSSIBLY be directed toward other than governments? Is paying more taxes "what's good for the consumer", whose interest Microsoft lives to serve (or so they incessantly blather)? (OK, governments and public universities - which introduces another obvious angle - universities being the home of much GPL work).

      I will have lost my last shred of faith in our system if our rule-makers and Microsoft jointly crap all over the GPL.

  • by wbav ( 223901 ) <Guardian.Bob+Slashdot@gmail.com> on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:38PM (#3106160) Homepage Journal
    If GPL is as bad as Microsoft says it is, why do they keep drawing attention to it?

    I mean, come on, when you continue to talk about something, the idea survives, where as if you ignore it, most of the time, it will just go away.
    • Why did America keep bringing up communism in the 50's?

      Fear mostly. And because dissention generally does not lead to productivity.

      Likewise Passwort cannot be a catchall login if dissenters choose an alternative.
      • Bad analogy (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clump ( 60191 )
        Why did America keep bringing up communism in the 50's?

        Sorry, comparing political philosophy to software licenses isn't really fair or quantifiable. Microsoft can't do much other than get businesses more concerned with IP than community. Unfortunately they are really the only company making money from operating systems, but they want to convince that their model works for everyone. If the latter were to catch, companies would do less open development.
    • That really doesn't make an awful lot of sense. Does terrorism go away if you pretend it doesn't exist? (no, I'm not comparing the GPL with terrorism. It just happens to be a convenient example in today's news environment). Microsoft is paying attention to the GPL because there are countless other people advocating it, or employees subtly subterfuging it into company products : People _DO_ need to be aware of it. Whether Microsoft's take on it is correct is not what I am judging, but the fact that they make comments on it seems reasonable to me.

      Having said that: Any company that touches GPLd code with a 20 foot pole needs to ferret out the zealots in their midst : How many Slashdot stories have their been now crusading against some GPL violation or another? For all of the talk about the GPL and commercial software being compatible, it is ironic seeing the countless "down with evil commercial software!" tirades on here (almost always unjust, but such details as facts elude the GPL crusaders).

      • Any company that touches GPLd code with a 20 foot pole needs to ferret out the zealots in their midst

        Yeah, radical companies like IBM...

        Ferret out the zealots! Begin the inquisition! Are you now or have you ever been a user of free software?

        Jeez, guy. Relax.

      • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @02:41PM (#3107156)


        Having said that: Any company that touches GPLd code with a 20 foot pole needs to ferret out the zealots in their midst : How many Slashdot stories have their been now crusading against some GPL violation or another?


        Yep. You would hate to have whistle-blowers calling your company to task for license violations. Of course, that kind of thing isn't just limited to the GPL. Proprietary commercial licenses can be a real pain too.


        For all of the talk about the GPL and commercial software being compatible, it is ironic seeing the countless "down with evil commercial software!" tirades on here (almost always unjust, but such details as facts elude the GPL crusaders).


        There are probably a few cases where that kind of sentiment has been expressed - I say this because of the "MusicCity stole Gnucleus code!" threads recently (where it is perfectly legal to fork GPL'd projects if the license requirements are adheared to). And then there's RMS. But oddball examples aside... I believe you're generally wrong. Take a look again. Most of the accusations of "evil" have to do with business practices, and not commercial software itself.

      • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @06:44PM (#3109268) Homepage Journal
        For all of the talk about the GPL and commercial software being compatible, it is ironic seeing the countless "down with evil commercial software!" tirades on here (almost always unjust, but such details as facts elude the GPL crusaders).

        OK, down with evil comercial software. It is evil and stupid to make people rework everyting every two years so you can sell them a new word processor. It is evil and stupid to intentionally obsolete older equipment for the same reasons. Money spent on waste is a drain to the economy as it should be spent on more important things like education, roads and all those other things that bring people joy and make the world better. The new Intelectual Property Service Economy is supposed to eliminate waste, not create it.

        Microsoft's notions stand most of the above thought on their head, and it looks like they are going for regulated monopoly status. Why else would this blithering idiot be shouting stuff about the death of this view of comercial software in terms that he hopes legislators will pick up on? He's hoping that dumb laws like SSSCA will save his outmoded and failing company from extinction. I'll quote him for fun:

        If there is not commercialization there, a company can only exist based on ancillary manufacturing or services. If commercialization was cut down, investors would not support research and development in the IT sector, less projects would be developed, less taxes paid and the government would have less money to run universities, and all the other things that governments do.

        I'm sorry, that's got to be the dumbest thing I've read all year. Like the US government will die, Universities will shut down and all IT will shutter to a halt if MicroShaft can't make money.

        Now back to you:

        Having said that: Any company that touches GPLd code with a 20 foot pole needs to ferret out the zealots in their midst.

        Thanks for inviting a witch hunt, but I think it's going the other way. As M$ grasps more control, as the BSA breaks more people, as it all costs more and does less, M$ IT is taking a well deserved beating. The simple fact is that Microsoft is no longer competitive, has never been innovative, and is now too risky (both viruses and BSA hastles) to be tollerated. People who advocate Microsoft "solutions" to problems are going to be seen as stuck in the past, clueless or bribed. You would do well to start learning software that works rather than contincuing to work software that sucks. You will not be able to blame others for your failure as the choices on M$ platforms goes to zero. As the next wave of viruses, expoits and auto updates wracks your company, you will be held accountable.

        Don't confuse my advice about software choices you should make with the forced extortion Microsoft plans. If you are dumb enough to continue your relationship with Microsoft, so be it. Choice is good. Latter I can say, "I'm so happy you failed," as you are so obviously malicious. Microsoft however would like to eliminate all choice by law.

        How many Slashdot stories have their been now crusading against some GPL violation or another?

        Name one company or person that has been ruined. There are many software comapnies that have been ruined unfairly by MicroShaft. Since judgement was rendered, it's a matter of public record. Many more smaller companies have been ruined by the BSA, individuals have been ruined, even public school systems have had hundreds of thousands of dollars extorted from them by a company that has obviously not been harmed. Ask yourself why a company with $9 billion would have to steal $250,000 from imporvereshed schools systems like Los Angles and Philidelphia. I don't have to hide my copy of NVI and that's one of the reasons I use it.

        For all of the talk about the GPL and commercial software being compatible/I>

        They are not compatible. Comercial software restricts your rights. Free software seeks to replace comercial software. No one is going to force you to do anything, but you might feel stupid running expensive, insecure, privacy violating software, when technically superior free alternatives are available. In that way, the makers of restrictive software are doomed.

        ...you try this trick, but your head collapses because there is nothing inside.

    • Because Microsoft know that it poses a serious threat to them and their business model. If it was so insignificant, they would ignore it and leave it to fizzle out.

      Ironically, their continual 'poking' and 'name calling' seems to be making it more and more popular - I dont know a single person who reads a fresh cut of Microsoft FUD and says "My god - they are so right - time to ditch this Linux crap, and buy 200 copies of Windows!".
    • by Soko ( 17987 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:55PM (#3106350) Homepage
      I mean, come on, when you continue to talk about something, the idea survives, where as if you ignore it, most of the time, it will just go away.

      They tried that. It didn't work.

      Lots of cool stuff for Linux grew while they were trying to ignore it. Now, they're really, really scared that they will face competition that they can't buy or steal - they will only be able to compete on value and technology.

      As well, Microsoft has always had the paranoid delusions of it's creators and officers. If anything or anyone even gives a sideways glance at thier little girl named Windows, they apply a vicious beating so she can't be lead astray.

      Don't ever forget that "killing Windows is killing Microsoft"*, so it will fight for it's life whenever threatened. The GPLed OS (Linux, to be pendantic) is the only thing that is able to fight back with thet same weapons - so far, anyway.

      Soko

      * This is in quotes since it's not given to be true - the only thing that would go away is the huge, controlling behemoth and it's current business model. there's lots of smart people there tat could generate cash in other ways.
      • If GPL is as bad as Microsoft says it is, why do they keep drawing attention to it?

      Partly to keep their own employees' minds on it, I suspect. I work for a commercial software developer, and I can point at at least four GPL violations in our current R&D project. I have in fact raised this with my team, and with local management, and explained that this is theft. They seem unconcerned. It's open source. It's free. We just have to ackowledge it, right? Right? Er, OK, once the thing hits the market, I'll be sure to ask the copyright owners of the source about that, OK? Idiots. I hope they do let it hit market like this, they've had enough warnings.

      • Microsoft's chief technical officer Craig Mundie reaffirmed the importance of the protection of intellectual property and copyright within the software industry.

      Curious slant. Because the single most important thing about GPL code is the copyright. All else flows from there. Without strong copyright, you have no leverage for the licensing terms. Go and read any GPL source, and you'll find a copyright, and you'd better believe that they mean it. What Microsoft actually disagree with is this:

      • The source is available. Even if you're just a user with no intention of modifying or copying it, you can look at and see how it works. Open source developers can't bullshit their way out of their screw ups, and it makes Microsoft look arrogant when they mumble their "security through obscurity" mantra even in response to known exploits.
      • The source is open. Under strict terms, but that means that it's like a hydra; they can lop off heads by absorbing developers or distributors, but new developers can keep springing up to compete, starting on an even technical footing. It's pointless of them even trying. Buying up GPL developers will just send a message that there's money in open source, creating even more competitors. They have to actually compete with GPL. In fact, I believe that GPL is the only real long term competitor to Microsoft in commodity servers and desktops, and competition gives us (as users and developers) greater choice and faster improvements.
      • The GPL terms. They call it viral, meaning it in a pejorative way. I agree that it is viral, but I believe that's a good thing. I'm not a huge fan of RMS, and I'm happy that there are alternatives to GPL, but at the moment, it's actually a huge giggle to see Microsoft eyeing it up like the apple in Eden, all that tempting juicy goodness right there in front of them. Only it's copyrighted, and there's a cost to using it, and the cost is to GPL their code. It's too much too pay, but for a harrassed developer on a deadline, it's soooooo tempting.

      Sooner or later, Microsoft will get caught releasing a product with GPL code in it, simply because many developers don't understand the terms of the GPL, or how serious the copyright part is. I'm not sure what the results of that will be, but I bet it'll be great fun finding out. ;-)

  • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:38PM (#3106161) Homepage
    >" [it seems silly that the world] [sic] ... should be offered an alternative"

    What kind of twisted capitalism is Mundie cheerleading here?!
    • What kind of twisted capitalism is Mundie cheerleading here?!

      The kind where Microsoft is the only game in town. Perhaps we need a new word or phrase to describe it. Much like we say Marxist Communism as opposed to Soviet Communism, we have Microsoft Capitalism as opposed to Competitive Capitalism.

    • "What kind of twisted capitalism is Mundie cheerleading here?!"

      He sounds like a cafeteria capitalist...exploiting on those features of the system that work for him. A lot of religious types are like this, too.

      There are very few "real" capitalists in the business world. What you really see is mostly a bunch of rich guys making a bunch of money and touting how capitalism is good for business and economic growth...until capitalism comes and bites them in the ass. Then they become opponents of true competition, one of the most important aspects of a healthy capitalist system.

      Long story short, Craig Mundie will support any system that benefits MS. Free market capitalism isn't one of those systems (for those of you following Be, Inc.'s lawsuit, this should be crystal clear). But that shouldn't be too surprising of a revelation.

  • by TrollMan 5000 ( 454685 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:39PM (#3106165)
    Rather than form a federation with Microsoft and work with what we had already created, there was this notion that the world should be offered an alternative," Mundie said.

    Why should Microsoft be the one to be allied with? If a "federation" of sorts should be created, why not something independent of corporate interests.

    This is a case of Microsoft asserting its power.
  • But the news link on ZDnet's main page is broken.

    sigh...

  • "If commercialization was cut down, investors would not support research and development in the IT sector, less projects would be developed, less taxes paid and the government would have less money to run universities, and all the other things that governments do," said Mundie.

    IOW: without Microsoft, college students wouldn't get free copies of Visual .NET

  • by essdodson ( 466448 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:41PM (#3106180) Homepage
    When will posts stop having so much opinionated FUD as the articles they link to? I don't really care that you hate MS and you think they're lame.

    Link the article and be done with, let me form my own opinion.

  • Surprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:41PM (#3106182) Homepage Journal
    Naw. What does surprise me is how easily the (OpenSrc | Free Software) community gets taken in by all this. After awhile, FUD is FUD. However, continually pontificating about each piece of media that spews from the mouth of Microsoft seems pointless.

    Perhaps any publicity really is good publicity and we should let lies lie where they are and not give too much attention to it.

    • Re:Surprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shabazz ( 29233 )
      It's amazing how the Free Software community hangs on every word uttered by the likes of Mundie and Ballmer.

      My dad uses windows and never mentions Mundie quotes that he read on the register.

      Why do you (all) think that is?
    • Especially when it's just countered by more FUD :( The FUD spirals out of control and nothing is accomplished.

  • Quote: "Rather than form a federation with Microsoft and work with what we had already created, there was this notion that the world should be offered an alternative,"

    Isn't this what the Romulans tried with the Klingons? Or am I thinking of what the Emperor of the Dark Side offered Luke?

    Dammit! Don't we ever learn!!?
  • by bob@dB.org ( 89920 ) <bob@db.org> on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:42PM (#3106198) Homepage
    ...so he's saying use of free software leads to less tax. i hate taxes to the extent that i will gladly spend 1.10 to save 1.00 in taxes. this just gives me another good reason to like the GPL :-)
    • by DrCode ( 95839 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:47PM (#3106739)
      Yes; I guess when I mow my own lawn, rather than pay someone else to do it, I'm also denying the government some tax revenue. Perhaps they should levy a special tax on lawnmowers.
      • ... people get confused whenever there some economic variable involved. Using GPL doesn't lower goverment taxes.

        Simple example 1:
        - John earns $20.000 out of his work per year.
        - John spends $20.000 a year (else it saves it in a bank, and somebody else spends it, be it consumption or investment).

        Microsoft way of collecting taxes:
        - Pay $500 for software that costs us $50 (MS revenues are great -> high income tax)
        - Spend the rest however you want.

        GNU way of collecting taxes:
        - Pay $0 on basic software
        - Pay $Xxx if you need extra support (companies)
        - Spend the rest however you want.

        So basically, everyone spends their $20.000, and the same exact taxes flow to the goverment in both alternatives.

        But Microsoft likes better the alternative 1, where their share of those spendings is huge: this is because they control the entire market. In the GNU world, nobody has total control over the market per se, but only by innovating.

        GNU makes US firms more competitive, because they can spend less money in software and still have quality software tools. The saved money goes into more innovation in their market, or higher revenues for that companies.

        Microsoft better likes the alternative: every company should have less revenues, so that we can have more. I think it's an OK strategy, but not for everyone. Just for them.

        If i am wrong, please correct me.
  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:43PM (#3106201)
    In 2001, MS payed *no* income tax because they were able to deduct the value of employee stock options and 401k plans.
    • They're probably flogging sales tax.
    • In 2001, MS payed *no* income tax because they were able to deduct the value of employee stock options and 401k plans.

      Not that the assertion he's making isn't idiotic, but -- Microsoft employees paid huge amounts of income tax, the sale of their products generated huge amounts of sales tax and their business operations are huge tax base (property, licenses, etc.) The revenue generated for the government from MS far exceeds that coming from VA Linux/Software, corporate tax or no.

      My point is that "didn't pay corporate tax" is frequently presented as "contributes nothing to society", which is completely untrue.

      • by electroniceric ( 468976 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:43PM (#3106710)
        My point is that "didn't pay corporate tax" is frequently presented as "contributes nothing to society", which is completely untrue.

        Fair enough, but the argument about secondary contributions is so frequently overstated it's nauseating, and usually in the service of public dollars being spent on private moneymaking, like stadiums, corporate relocations, etc.
        A partly rhetorical question:

        • If I commit a crime that requires me to be taken to jail, I'm supporting the (often very lucrative) incarceration industry, and a jails are usually located where jobs are scarce, my murder 1 is particularly beneficial to the community. Should that money be attributed to me?

        And another one:
        • As a community leader, I encourage my community to invest in a vocational training program which produces high quality laborers. These laborers pay taxes and consume goods and services? Should that economic benefit be attributed to me?

        To my mind, the obligations on companies, like people go above and beyond the balance sheet of what they consume (raw resources, human resources, physical, social, legal, educational infrastructure) - they are part of society, and have a duty to help others in society, as do the rest of us. So the current climate of heaping accolades on companies because one of the things they happen to need is people to work jobs drives me nuts, as it suggests that having made jobs, companies are off the hook for any more helping out.
      • "My point is that "didn't pay corporate tax" is frequently presented as "contributes nothing to society", which is completely untrue."

        Sooo...let's see: a corporation should be valued because of the tax revenue its products generate? How craven. Taxes are (supposedly) pay back (or forward) for the services and priveliges government provides. Corporations pay the government back for an infrastructure that supports the free market and various other legal entitlements peculiar to corporations (limited liability, yadda yadda IANAL). To turn the tables and now suck up to get tax revenue for the very priveliges the state has bestowed on the corporation is just servile and sickening. Unfortunately trading political favors/legislation for money is all too tempting. How about the energy fiasco where the government "sold" away energy at cost, just to buy it back at a much higher expense, with the difference being pure profit for the energy companies.
  • well (Score:2, Insightful)

    At the moment he may actually have a point. I can't think of any open source companies making billions of dollars, and I can't really foresee it in the near future.

    However, this is likely to change as open source alternatives become real, viable alternatives, and develop solid reputations. At that point, the tables may turn, and company representatives will say "software companies that don't allow user modification of their software and who require far more R&D can't possibly survive."

    While Microsoft is currently the dominant paradigm, there is no reason to suspect that they will remain that way forever. As in all cases in the capitalist model, their success has been determined by equal parts skill and luck, and they will eventually sink into the background again.

    Remember, though most Slashdotters use GPL software for "freedom" reasons, there are legitimate business reasons to use free software that will only continue to grow as the software base matures.
  • Rather than form a federation with Microsoft and work with what we had already created, there was this notion that the world should be offered an alternative," Mundie said.

    Someone should get this into evidence in the antitrust hearings, showing that MS doesn't believe in allowing any competition.
  • FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crumbz ( 41803 ) <<remove_spam>jus ... o spam>gmail@com> on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:44PM (#3106217) Homepage
    I am an IT manager at a technical services company. I just had a call this morning from Microsoft-Great Plains (the 4th one in a week) wanting to come in and demo their product. I told them no, we don't use Microsoft software. The salesman laughed as if he didn't believe me and made a remark to the effect that our company would soon be out of business due to the software we run (or do not).

    Alternative software save our company money, time (money) and offers us tremendous flexibility with our workflow. Why do I want to pay Microsoft $2,000 a seat for licensing when I can get the equivalent performance for approx $400 a seat?

    Rhetorical question, I know.....
    • Re:FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:07PM (#3106445) Homepage Journal
      Next time they call, ask them about Complete Software. If it doesn't come with the source code, it's incomplete, and your company has no intention of paying full price for only part of the software.

      We really should take MS to task over not providing the source code to their products - after all, when IBM first started shipping software for their mainframes, the source code came with it so that the user could customize it to their needs. Where does MS get off thinking it should be any different?

    • Re:FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PD ( 9577 ) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:12PM (#3106483) Homepage Journal
      Did you tell him that Microsoft will soon be out of business because they hire salesmen that insult their customers? Did you ask him if his boss knew that he insulted customers by telling them they will be out of business.

      Good salesmen are helpful people that can help you solve a problem. Salesmen that just try to sell you something are idiots.

  • Weel, It looks like my previous comments on paranoia [slashdot.org] are kinda on taget in several ways.

    Question is, why is it he makes these stupid remarks to an Australian audience? Wait, the Australian government is a little crazy on the subject of technology to begin with.

    I guess, he tries it there, to see how it goes, then if he isn't shot down too badly, he can try it in the USA.

    Must be part of the "a little fascism is good for the soul" crowd

  • Comments (Score:4, Insightful)

    by erasmus_ ( 119185 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:45PM (#3106233)
    The article is pretty short, and I can't help but wondering if any of his statements were taken at all out of context. For example, the "should be offered an alternative" statement seems pretty silly for MS to take - after all the monopoly allegation problems, why complain that there is a movement to have a Passport alternative? One would think that the presence of other central authentication database standards would allow them to continue to tout the "we are not dominating" stance.

    It's especially disengenuous for MS to complain as Passport is/will be included with every MS OS, whereas the Liberty Alliance one will have a hard time making it in the Windows world.

    GPL knock is classic MS though - "free software cannot make money" is their normal approach and is almost hardly newsworthy.
    • Re:Comments (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Thagg ( 9904 ) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:20PM (#3106545) Journal
      I went to the World Congress web site, looking for more context to the comments, as I agree with erasmus_on above that it seemed likely that there was more to Mundie's statements than reported. Unfortunately, there is next to zero content at the site -- it appears to be more of a junket than a conference (I'll admit that this may be common.)

      What I did find interesting is the last paragraph of Mundie's bio [worldcongress2002.org], pointing out that he was on the team at Data General that were working on the Fountainhead Project, the bad guys in Kidder's The Soul of a New Machine [amazon.com]. This is confirmed by a Red Herring [redherring.com] article.

      One can just wonder at the FUD that was sent between the two parts of DG, as Mundie was first stretching his wings...

      thad
  • Choice!? (Score:5, Funny)

    by mdemeny ( 35326 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:46PM (#3106237) Homepage
    Microsoft's chief technology officer also took the time to criticize Web services advocates and the Liberty Alliance.

    "Rather than form a federation with Microsoft and work with what we had already created, there was this notion that the world should be offered an alternative," Mundie said.

    Ohmygod! Choice! We can't have that now, can we? If users have a choice, we couldn't engage in anti-compet- ^H^H^H^H^H...

    I mean standards! That's the ticket... standards... yeah...

  • Taxes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:46PM (#3106239)

    ...less taxes paid and the government would have less money to run universities, and all the other things that governments do,"

    This guy seems to think the world revolves around Microsoft. Suffice it to say, the government suffers more when a dropout president cuts its revenue stream than when an American corporation pays a little less in taxes because it can't compete (fairly) in an open market.

  • Money makes the world go 'round. That is all that he is saying. Is he wrong? Prove it.
  • by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:47PM (#3106257)
    "less taxes paid and the government would have less money to run universities"

    Less money to fund university/corporate research into vaccines and drugs we can sell to the third world to save the lives of children. GPL is against SAVING CHILDREN! GPL is FOR murdering babies!
  • Considering that /. is a specific deployment of Slashcode [slashcode.com] and it uses the GPL [slashcode.com] I suppose that counts doesn't it? Not to mention chromatic and David Krieger as authors of the O'Reilly Slash book have probably made a little money off of their stuff but that is a little more murky.
  • Coming full-circle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mulletroll ( 544539 )
    Increasingly we will be writing on our computers like we write on paper

    But we already have paper.


  • is not so much that Mundie is saying such self-serving things, FUD that everyone reading /. recognizes for what it is.

    The Real News is that somehow he is able to say these things to legislators, while other opinions are not given the same kind of venue.

  • "What we have done with PCs so far is not natural"
    Couldn't agree with you more, Craig.
  • by SlashChick ( 544252 ) <ericaNO@SPAMerica.biz> on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:49PM (#3106278) Homepage Journal
    "If there is not commercialization there, a company can only exist based on ancillary manufacturing or services."

    Please raise your hand if you develop software for a living; that is, you support yourself and/or your family by developing software.

    Now, keep your hand raised if you believe that your company could offer the same software that you helped to create as a free, open-source download and still keep you employed.

    Folks, there is room for both free software and commercial software in this world, made obvious by the point that a lot of us (including myself) work on commercial software during the day and work on our own interesting free products on our off-hours.

    Those who create free software often do so to fulfill a personal need. Those who create commercial software do so to fulfill not only that person's needs, but other people's. Not all software needs to be commercialized (Eric S. Raymond's point of view), and not all software needs to be free (Craig Mundie's point of view.)

    They are both right to some degree. What you have to figure out is where you lie in this continuum. Do you want all software to be free (thereby putting yourself in the awkward position of having to find some other way to support yourself), or do you want more software to be commercial? Most of us are probably somewhere in the middle, and I don't think we need to hear anything more from Mundie or Raymond on this -- we just need to make up our own minds. We gain nothing from flaming the extremists.

    Thank you, drive through. :P
    • Some of us do get paid a real salary for developing software (for our own purposes and uses) that we happen to release as free software as well.

    • Please raise your hand if you develop software for a living; that is, you support yourself and/or your family by developing software.

      (hand raised)

      Now, keep your hand raised if you believe that your company could offer the same software that you helped to create as a free, open-source download and still keep you employed.

      (hmmm. hand STILL raised)

      See, the vast majority of code written is not resold. It's written INTERNALLY to support an business or other organization that usually has nothing to do with software sales.

      The point is - if your company's existence depends on selling software that a bunch of volunteers can cobble together themselves, just what the FUCK is your justification for existence? You're a leech on the ass of society.

      So, if you work for a commercial software house, ask yourself that question. If the answer troubles you, you're company's in the wrong line of business.

      Sorry to be so blunt, but them's the facts. If your company is writing commodity software, you're in trouble. Too bad. Next product idea. Move on. If you can't adapt, you die. Sorry.

    • Why are we discussing this announcement so seriously?

      Microsoft is a commercial software company that is being threatened by open-source projects. Of course they are going to say bad things about open-source. The comments were almost certainly put together by Microsoft's PR department and Craig Mundle's name slapped on.

      Raise your hand in you develop software for a living. Now, keep your hand raised if your company never suggests that competing software products are not as good as yours.

      I think there are roles and uses for both commercial and open-source software products and that dialogue about this is valuable, but I wouldn't view marketing-oriented press releases from either side (Redhat has done its share of these as well) as a serious part of the dialogue.
      • Raise your hand in you develop software for a living. Now, keep your hand raised if your company never suggests that competing software products are not as good as yours.

        Now, keep your hand raised if your company has enough money to buy every congressman on capitol hill, make them put on a sun-dress, lipstick and high heels, and pass out cocktails on a silver tray at your pool parties.

        At this point there is only one evil, corpulent hand raised, and we all know whose that is.

    • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:23PM (#3106567)
      I think you are right. I also think that a lot of people will agree with you - except Mundie and his cronies. They don't want open source to exist. Some people (RMS) think that all software should be free, but some other people don't care what Microsoft does (Linus). Microsoft is trying to defend against something that is not attacking it. Open Source software is doing it's thing, and if people want to adopt it, it will get adopted. Open Source is not a tangible thing that can be controlled. THAT is what scares the sheep in Redmond, that with all their money and power, they can't control Open Source Software. Yet.
    • To use Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar [tuxedo.org] point of view as well as Neal Stephenson's In the Beginning... [cryptonomicon.com], as well), Windows has less and less sale value, while operating systems (including Linux and Windows) have tremendous, and ever-growing use value.

      Microsoft depends on the sale value of its operating system to generate the revenue necessary to fund its continued research and development. Linux depends on its use value for futher adoption and enhancement from the community that uses and supports it.

      If all goes according to ESR's and SN's predictions, operating systems will be free, unless some provide compelling value, above and beyond the capability of other free operating systems. My point is, there will probably be no room for commercial operating systems in the near future.

      I think you're right. There will be room for both free and commercial software. Microsoft will just need to focus on software that can still be productized and sold for profit. Windows will likely soon not meet that burden as Linux continues to make progress.
    • Now, keep your hand raised if you believe that your company could offer the same software that you helped to create as a free, open-source download and still keep you employed.

      My company already does offer our product as open source. That doesn't mean it has to be a free download, though. The GPL under no obligates folks to release their derivative works; rather, it forces them to provide source to whomever they do release such derivative works. Hence, we can sell a GPLed product to our (corporate) customers -- we just can't prevent them from redistributing it, and have to give them the source when they ask. The resale thing isn't a problem at all -- the value to our software isn't the software itself, but us -- and neither is the source; heck, it helps them support themselves (in those cases where they find it more conveniant to do 5 minutes of debugging for themselves rather than spend 50 minutes on the phone with us).

      The GPL is not nearly so "extreme" as most take it to be. The FSF doesn't necessarily want all software to be free; rather, they want all software to be Free. The two are worlds apart.
  • Less Taxes? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IsThisNickTaken ( 555227 ) <Fred____Smith@@@hotmail...com> on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:49PM (#3106281) Homepage
    From the article:
    "If there is not commercialization there, a company can only exist based on ancillary manufacturing or services. If commercialization was cut down, investors would not support research and development in the IT sector, less projects would be developed, less taxes paid and the government would have less money to run universities, and all the other things that governments do," said Mundie.

    The less taxes part is laughable. What about the billions in licensing fees that would be saved if open source (especially something truly competitive with Microsoft Office) truly flourished? This would result in greater profits and thus more tax revenue. Mundie obviously didn't point that out.

    I am not a GPL advocate. I like the GPL and also believe that open source and closed source commercial software can co-exist. Let the better solution for a given problem win. Mundie is however spreading some serious FUD.
  • Mundie's new title at MS should be CET (Chief Executive Troll). This is classic old school trolling at its best. Geez, didn't you people read Usenet before 1993?
  • Taxes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:51PM (#3106312)
    If the government is doesn't get enough tax revenue because of the GPL, all it has to do is raise the tax rates. Duh.

    It won't come to that, though, because I'll spend the money that I saved avoiding expensive software on something else. The government will get just as much money. I'll have the software I need and whatever other nice things I bought with my saved money.

    The only party that doesn't win in this scenario is the world's richest man.

  • '"Increasingly we will be writing on our computers like we write on paper," he said.'

    No way! Welcome to the 3500 BC!
  • It's funny how a company that fiddles its income statements so it pays no taxes (read: "stock options") complains about other software standards reducing tax-based government income.
  • by brlewis ( 214632 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @12:53PM (#3106333) Homepage
    ...Microsoft having to write software themselves because the code they would otherwise steal is GPLed.
  • For foreign governments,

    By Not paying MS for software, foreign companies do not get a tax deductible expense for license fees, so they pay more tax, or spend the money on other in country expenses that will result in tax revenue.

    For US Government,

    By Not paying MS for software, US companies do not get a tax deductible expense for license fees, so they pay more tax.

    When they do pay MS for software, the Government gets less tax because MS never pays income tax (or hasnt in a long time).

  • by subgeek ( 263292 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:00PM (#3106380) Homepage Journal
    "If commercialization was cut down, investors would not support research and development in the IT sector, less projects would be developed, less taxes paid and the government would have less money to run universities, and all the other things that governments do,"

    The idea that open-source software would stop innovation and development is ridiculous.

    Right now there is both commercial and open-source software. There are all sorts of liscenses. There is innovation on all fronts.

    Different teams for both closed and open source projects are hard at work. I don't get how if more people start developing for open-source software that development would stop. Open source developers do not need investor support on the same level as commercial/closed source teams. People code open source because they want to.

    And respect is a big commodity [megatokyo.com] on the internet (as discussed here [slashdot.org] on slashdot), especially in open-source circles. If Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE, or any other distro pay employees to code for Linux, they win a lot of respect from users of open-source. Even Sun has figured this out and pays people to work on open-source projects. In press announcements, these companies seem proud of open-source support; they don't seem like they are trying to hide it.

    I think Mundie's comments might apply to the scope of Microsoft losing out, but not software development in general.

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:03PM (#3106417) Homepage
    Now I'm no MS Basher. I'll take them to task when it needs to be done, but I'll also praise them when they deserve it. Still, with quotes like the following, it's getting harder and harder to find something to praise about them:

    "Rather than form a federation with Microsoft and work with what we had already created, there was this notion that the world should be offered an alternative," Mundie said.

    Oh no!!!! An alternative! How horrible that consumers be offered a choice!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    According to Mundie:

    • "Increasingly we will be writing on our computers like we write on paper"

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I rather like using a keyboard. Why? Because it's much faster than I could ever possibly write by hand. If you've noticed the trend, most small devices are tending towards finding better ways to integrate keyboards, rather than using handwriting based entry.

    I do work with some tablet PC's, and the lack of a usable keyboard makes them, in my mind, completely worthless. It's got a virtual keyboard you can pull up but it's incredibly slow to type by clicking on the screen with a stylus. This device is ideal if all you do is click links, but if you do any sort of real interaction it's a pain.

    Even if they absolutely perfected handwriting recognition such that even the average doctor could write on them flawlessly it still wouldn't be as good as a keyboard.
  • by Rupert ( 28001 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:04PM (#3106422) Homepage Journal
    What we have done with PCs so far is not natural

    Microsoft exec admits to unnatural act with computer. Police hold goatse guy for questioning.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:22PM (#3106557)
    In a recent speech at the World Technology Foods conference (WTF) Mr. Crave Munchie (a senior vice president at Megolithic Supermarkets) had this to say:

    "By providing food free to anyone who asks, the so called 'Good Samaritans' are destroying the food market. The biggest danger is that posed by the Give People Lunch program. The GPL is just the worst. Under the terms of the GPL, people are asked to help other's in need. Where does it end? Imagine if the spirit of cooperation spread everywhere? How would you like to live in a society where all your basic needs where given away for free? How could anybody make money?

    First restaurants would go out of business, then fast food chains and finally supermarkets. Most of these businesses are owned by politically correct minorities. Pushing them out of business is UN-American. What's wrong with these people, do they think food grows on trees? If the food service industry went out of business, healthy nutritious food like Twinkies Ho-Ho's and Ding Dongs would be gone."

  • by RailGunner ( 554645 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:24PM (#3106572) Journal
    "The problem with general public license advocates is that they don't understand that people need the opportunity to commercialize software,"

    As a developer, I want to get paid for code I write, especially in the case of a proprietary application. For example, say you write an application that.. oh I dunno.. figures out car payments based on a number of different variables. You should be able to close that source code and sell your application to people, since you put in the effort to write it. I don't think any developers in slashdot will disagree, we all have families to feed.

    However, there has to be a difference between the Operating System and Applications for that OS. Making the OS GPL'd makes sense - it evens the playing field for all developers, and forces there to be competition among applications. Let the best apps win. Competition, of course, leads to better products for consumers. Unfortunately, Mundie's NOT talking about applications, he's talking about Windows, an Operating System. And the scary thing to remember is that Microsoft takes applications, and ties them to the OS and claims that the application is part of the OS. (Internet Explorer being a famous example). If Windows "loses" to Linux, as I think it inevitably will, then Microsoft's applications such as Office, etc, have to compete with products such as KOffice and StarOffice and MS's market share will go down.

    "If there is not commercialization there, a company can only exist based on ancillary manufacturing or services. If commercialization was cut down, investors would not support research and development in the IT sector, less projects would be developed, less taxes paid and the government would have less money to run universities, and all the other things that governments do,"

    Not really. Instead of writing Windows Apps a lot of companies would just write Linux Apps. If no one ran Windows, would it stop Blizzard from writing, say, Starcraft 2 for Linux? No, of course not. The only thing this effects is companies that develop Operating Systems, and more specifically, Microsoft. Keep in mind Microsoft tries to blur the distinction between OS and Application. If you can't sell an OS, you have to sell support. Application Development is a whole different world. You're not selling a system, you are selling a tool for a system, whether it's a browser, text editor, IDE, or a game.

    "Rather than form a federation with Microsoft and work with what we had already created, there was this notion that the world should be offered an alternative"

    Yeah that's capitalism, Mundie. Competition always breeds the best products for consumers. Or would you like it if everyone still drove a Ford Model T because there was no competition? Of course, we already know you want everyone to only run Windows and Microsoft Applications on windows. Or perhaps, Mundie isn't so sure about the superiority of his product?

  • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:30PM (#3106618)
    Wow, either Craig Mundie is a total fscking moron, or a baldfaced liar. Less software sold means fewer deductible expenses, and therefore more taxable income and more taxes paid.

    For those of you who don't have the dubious privilege of paying taxes on your business, let me provide a slightly oversimplified explanation. Unlike personal income taxes, businesses pay taxes on their profits, not on the income that ended up going into operating expenses and equipment purchases. (The big exception is payroll, but that's not germane here.) If I use "free" software instead of M$ software, there's nothing for me to deduct. Instead, I have to either invest the money in something else (thereby stimulating the economy, and passing the tax burden to my vendors) or pay taxes on it.

    So do your patriotic duty and use free software!

  • Good spin... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by symbolic ( 11752 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @01:31PM (#3106628)
    If there is not commercialization there, a company can only exist based on ancillary manufacturing or services

    In other words, it removes a very substantial reason for Microsoft's existence.

    If commercialization was cut down, investors would not support research and development in the IT sector, less projects would be developed,

    And let's see here... investors now support most open source projects how exactly? He seems to be suggesting that the only real development is that which occurs when investors are involved. This guy needs a clue. Seriously.
  • Tax write-offs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fliplap ( 113705 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @02:11PM (#3106915) Homepage Journal
    Wait, less tax income? That doesn't even make sense.

    Look at it this way, a company decides to go the free software way and not pay for anything Microsoft. Lets say they save $2000 doing this, well lets go further and say they use that $2000 to pay thier employees more. That income is of course taxed.

    Now lets look at it from the other side. The company spend $2000 on Microsoft products and support. Well, *scratch* that $2000 is going to be written off on thier taxes as a business expense and the government gets NO money from that except the relatively small amount from sales tax. This assuming the company didn't say, order it off the internet, thereby paying NO sales tax at all.

    Oh well, just more MS FUD to clean out of my ears
  • by gordoatwork ( 564031 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @03:02PM (#3107381)
    "Increasingly we will be writing on our computers like we write on paper," he said.
    Who wants to write on their computer? How old is this guy? The keyboard is a powerful tool, much more efficient than handwriting. Maybe Mundie can get me a slide rule to replace the calculator on my computer. Most five year olds could practically fly a fighter jet with the Playstation joystick and we're supposed to use a mono-functional plastic stylus. Current and future generations don't need a digital replacement for the past. Hey Mundie have a kid, borrow a grandchild or clone a niece because the future has passed you by my friend and it ain't the stylus.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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