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Microsoft to Give Away Software 197

dptalia writes "In an attempt to suck up to the European Union, Microsoft has announced that it will give away software allowing multiple operating systems to run simultaneously. Microsoft says this is part of their strategy to make more software available through OSS." From the article: "Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, said he had not seen the details of Microsoft's giveaway but cautioned against assuming it was motivated only by pragmatism or a new spirit of cooperation. 'If Microsoft were doing this for altruistic reasons, it would be a first,' Greve said. 'I think they are probably trying to get more machines on the Windows platform, and they may also be trying to improve relations in Brussels.'"
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Microsoft to Give Away Software

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  • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <info@nOsPam.devinmoore.com> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:11PM (#16489289) Homepage Journal
    Maybe it will be rigged to make the other OS run more crappy than windows, so that Windows looks like the better os... then again, how would you possibly do that! /ducks
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hcob$ ( 766699 )
      Maybe it will be rigged to make the other OS run more crappy than windows, so that Windows looks like the better os... then again, how would you possibly do that!
      Easy, make the "alternative OS" crash ever 5 minutes... instead of 10 :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PsychicX ( 866028 )
      Hmm. Let's look at the post:
      In an attempt to suck up to the European Union
      While the *ahem* leaning of Slashdot are no secret, is it really necessary to loudly scream, "We are the Fox News of the Internet!" ? You'd think the editors would still at least have the decency to pretend that they're not blatantly anti-Microsoft.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        ODERINT DVM METVANT
        Let them hate so long as they fear.
        Lucius Accius, Fragment
        (170 BC - 86 BC)
      • by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @02:44PM (#16490911)
        Fox is anti democrat. They are against half of the population of america.

        Slashdot LEANS anti MS (It's debatable and I'll get back to that) so they are against one corporation.

        What's wrong with being against a corporation which everybody, even their defenders acknowledge acts unethically? Not one person who defends MS stands up and says "MS is a beacon of light and hope to the world" it's always "Sure they have done some crappy things in the past, but they are doing this one thing OK" or "sure they acted unethically but all businesses do" or "sure they acted unethically but they should not have been prosecuted because the anti-trust laws are bogus". Nobody, not even the most ardent defender of MS disputes the fact that the company is unethical.

        Why do you get so worked up MS anyway? It's just another corporation, there are thousands of corporations. If I said Nissan, maytag, or rockport was a crappy corporation or made crappy products would you have a knipshiin about that?

        Now does /. lean anti MS? I don't think so. There are a dozens if not hundreds of MS trolls, astro turfers and shills here on /. Take a survey of the highest ranked posts and you will see that most of them are pro MS. Pro MS comments always get upmodded especially if the take the edge of by saying "sure they are unethical but.....".

        Finally.

        So what? I am sick of hearing this complaint. If you don't like people critizing MS then go to gotdotnet or any one of hundreds of web sites where people dance around singing holy holy holy about MS and Bill Gates. It's a big internet, there is room for everybody.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I am a former Microsoft employee, used to love Microsoft products, thought Windows 2000 was great and Windows XP moderately better, aside from the lack of an activation transfer feature. I thought it was great (well, once mks tools was installed for a proper shell), that is, until changes to the EULA came along with the service packs, and when Microsoft began suing their own customers. That is inexcusable.

          Now, I was never against Linux, and in fact ran it from the beginning when you had to install it from f
        • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

          Why do you get so worked up MS anyway? It's just another corporation, there are thousands of corporations. If I said Nissan, maytag, or rockport was a crappy corporation or made crappy products would you have a knipshiin about that?

          Because the Slashdot community, in general, is critical of anything Microsoft does not because it's objectively bad, but because Microsoft did it.

          Now does /. lean anti MS? I don't think so. There are a dozens if not hundreds of MS trolls, astro turfers and shills here on /.

          S

          • by killjoe ( 766577 )
            "Because the Slashdot community, in general, is critical of anything Microsoft does not because it's objectively bad, but because Microsoft did it."

            So what? It's just another corporation. People say bad things about all kinds of corporations. I have a friend who hates anything made by GM. He is constantly pointing out various GM cars and telling me what piles of shit they are. You know what I don't feel the need to jump up and down and defend GM. I just don't give a shit about GM the corporation and GM pro
            • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

              So what? It's just another corporation. People say bad things about all kinds of corporations.

              The problem is not saying bad things about corporations, the problem is dismissing everything one particular corporation does for no other reason than a long-held bias against them.

              I have a friend who hates anything made by GM. He is constantly pointing out various GM cars and telling me what piles of shit they are. You know what I don't feel the need to jump up and down and defend GM.

              So if you _knew_ he was m

        • by pyrotic ( 169450 )
          Microsoft is an eithical company, at least in the eyes of ethical fund managers. They don't pour shampoo into the eyes of little bunnies, export arms to dodgy dictatorships, fill landfill sites with toxic waste, target the poor and the vulnerable in their ad campaigns, etc. Sure this is relative, they could behave better. But you'd have to be a real geek to rank the destruction of Netscape with destruction of the ozone layer.
          • by killjoe ( 766577 )
            Well I am better then jeffrey dahmer and osama bin laden so that makes me ethical right?

            The problem with comparing yourself to the worst of the world and patting yourself on the back for not being as bad as the most vile and evil person is that you end up being pretty vile and evil. You set low goals for yourself and you are likely to achieve them.

            BTW I think the worst thing MS did ever was to fight SPF. We could have put a decent in the spam problem if MS had just accepted that standard instead of sabotagi
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
        Editors are customers too. You don't have to be anti any supplier. As a customer if a product sucks, or the marketing blows, or the warranty is not worth the digital bits that delivered it, then, just like any other disatisfied customer you should express you true opinions of a product and the company that produces that product.

        I can never understand why some people think it is wrong for customers to stick up for and to support other customers. I mean, we as customers will benefit by it and every cent of

    • Hey, cool! (Score:5, Funny)

      by benplaut ( 993145 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @02:15PM (#16490455)
      Now I can run XP and Vista at the same time, thanks Microsoft!
    • by mnmn ( 145599 )
      So they will release MS LILO Vista for free downloading. Cool.

      I cant wait till they release cfdisk.
    • I imagine it's part of their DRM/TC/lock-in strategy. Right now, you can run VMware on Linux, and use tools like usbsnoop to reverse engineer drivers, create virtual devices, and generally prevent the guest OS from doing things it shouldn't be. With Xen being free software, it will be even easier. Microsoft has always wanted to control the platform, and this is yet another attempt to garner that control.

    • pre defined hard limits on hardware usage per OS for 'safety' perhaps.

      Something that the experienced user could set with ease, but with a default setting that would downgrade processor performance or suchlike 'to prevent damage' which newbie users wouldn't even know about, and would see as poor performance.

      That's probably fanciful, but if they can justify trying to make people re-buy an OS costing hundreds of pounds just because they've replace some hardware a few times, then I would not put it past them tr
    • Maybe it will have a built in virus that will infect other operating systems. Damn.... Apple already did this.
  • Are M$ going to distribute LILO through their distribution channels? I like that!

    Oh..wait...that's not it? Ah well..I never read the FA anyway.

  • "BRUSSELS Microsoft accelerated its efforts to persuade European lawmakers that it was changing how it does business by announcing Tuesday that it would give away software to enable computers to run multiple operating systems at the same time. and insure other operating systems run more slowly than windows, as well as report back to MS who's not running windows and why.

    Doh!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lowe0 ( 136140 )
      You know, at this point, it's pretty obvious that there are people who simply will never want Windows. You don't want to pay for it, you prefer Unix, you have an irrational hatred of Microsoft, you have a rational hatred of Microsoft, whatever the reason.

      Given this fact, why would Microsoft care to find out why those people don't run Windows, or to ruin their non-Windows experience? It'd be a waste of money chasing people who will never buy your product. Why would they go to all that effort to spite and/
      • by MECC ( 8478 ) *
        "MS cares about their customers and their potential customers"

        That they care about potential customers is why they might want to know about people with a windows box running something other than windows. MS has always had a deep paranoid streak with respect to urban legends of a kid in a garage coming up with the 'next big thing' and displacing them. It is as irrational as it sounds, but they've always seemed to act as though that were a potential threat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:16PM (#16489407)
    UHHH

    Its giving away (if you believe that) the data layout for its virtual hard disk (VHD) format used by VirtualPC and Virtual Server products.

    I don't see anything about giving SOFTWARE away
    • Besides, MS has given away a lot of software in the past (for example, their compiler is free, and also the Express editions of their IDE's, the powertoys, WTL was even made open source, and so on), so even beyond the matter you bring up, it's a pretty poor title.
    • by adolf ( 21054 )
      Microsoft has been giving away Virtual PC [microsoft.com] for some time now.

      Wake up, Slashdot.

      (-1, Retarded)

  • Awww. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Funkcikle ( 630170 )
    Poor old Microsoft. Like information, they just want to be free!

    And they would have been able to be so if it weren't for those meddling European kids...

    "Old Man Gates! It was you all along!"
    • Forget AOL CDs, we'll end up getting free copies of Windows XP in every paper and publication ever. Which wouldn't be a bad thing, as the one thing putting me off trading my Mac Mini G4 in for an Intel Core one is that I'd need to buy a new £199 copy of Windows XP if I wanted to Dual Boot it.
  • by Iphtashu Fitz ( 263795 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:18PM (#16489443)
    announcing Tuesday that it would give away software to enable computers to run multiple operating systems at the same time.

    So now they're going to do to VMWare exactly what they did to Netscape and others?
    • a few differences (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Phantom of the Opera ( 1867 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:25PM (#16489581) Homepage
      For one, VM Ware is really tight. The people who use VMWare are more technically oriented than the general browsing public. Netscape was big when it was attacked, but it was far from bug free.

      Yes, they will try the triple E tactic. It is what they know. If they knew how to write good quality software and did that, this would be a different sort of competition.
      • by eMbry00s ( 952989 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @02:27PM (#16490627)
        This isn't EEE. Here, they try to make people ignore other's products (by offering their own for free) long enough for the competitors to die off, whereafter they can ignore the issue content that they are the prime leader in that software field aswell - making them capable of leveraging their office and server software, which is where their money is at.

        The EEE technique is about conforming to standards, and then extending their products to use those standards along with proprietary parts. Quench competition since they aren't allowed to use this patented technology, and then rule supreme again.

        Different tactics, same anti-competitive bullshit.
    • VMWare Server is already free

      http://www.vmware.com/products/server/ [vmware.com]
      • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:44PM (#16489963) Homepage
        Not only does VMware already give away VMware Server, but Microsoft Virtual Server is also already free. [microsoft.com] That's not the news.

        This is a news story from an uninformed reporter who seems to be confusing software and standards. The announcement appears to be that Microsoft is "relinquishing all license claims on its Virtual Hard Disk Image Format." This, to me, sounds like less of an altruistic move than a competitive one -- because, of course, VMware's image format is already free. [vmware.com]
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:19PM (#16489463) Homepage
    FTFA:
    Microsoft said it was relinquishing all license claims on its Virtual Hard Disk Image Format - new software that will allow computers running on rival products like Apple's OS X or Linux, its chief competitors in operating systems, to simultaneously run Windows.

    They aren't giving anything away. In fact, they are going the other way allowing you to run other OS's. It will come as no surprise that it will be very easy to migrate to the MS crack pipe. But won't be able to go any other way.

    Matusow said the decision was part of a Microsoft initiative begun in June to make more software available through so-called open source licenses, which enables independent designers to incorporate Microsoft products in their own software that they can then distribute for free.

    This is a very good effor to subvert the term "Open Source" into something more business friendly for Microsoft. It appears as the submitter was correctly confused. Score one for Microsoft.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:20PM (#16489471) Homepage
    With TCPA, Microsoft needs to be in control of the whole boot process. Any form of "untrusted" boot manager like LILO or GRUB to allow users to dual boot with Windows would probably break that chain:

    BIOS -> LILO/GRUB -> Windows = No TCPA

    With their bootloader you can either go:
    BIOS -> Windows Boot Manager -> Windows = TCPA
    BIOS -> Windows Boot Manager -> Other = No TCPA

    The rest is just marketing fluff so this solution is adopted.
    • by joe 155 ( 937621 )
      I was wondering what TCPA is, it turns out it's "trusted" computing Platform alliance ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Computing_Pl a tform_Alliance [wikipedia.org] ). It certainly is an interesting idea you mention though, and possibly one of their reasons. I looked through the list of the companies which are doing trusted computing on the link above and it scares the hell out of me... if Intel and AMD are doing it it seems almost inevitable that sooner or later we'll be TC'ed...
    • This isn't bootloader software. It is virtual machine software. Your argument makes no sense in that context.
    • The new CPU features allow trust to be established after boot. Like this:

      Tell the hardware where the security code is. The hardware locks out all writes to that area, including via DMA. The hardware verifies a digital signature on that area. The CPU then runs code in that area. The code checks the OS. Then the OS can run with trust, possibly in a virtual machine.

  • by jginspace ( 678908 ) <jginspace.yahoo@com> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:20PM (#16489477) Homepage Journal
    ...according to TFA is: "its Virtual Hard Disk Image Format - new software that will allow computers running on rival products like Apple's OS X or Linux, its chief competitors in operating systems, to simultaneously run Windows" (that's a PITA to copy with IHT's javascript).

    Don't get carried away. I think I read here last week that MS aren't going to allow Vista to run inside a virtual machine - am I correct? And there's Vista messing up the boot sector too. It looks like this is not a two-way street.

    • Don't get carried away. I think I read here last week that MS aren't going to allow Vista to
      run inside a virtual machine - am I correct? And there's Vista messing up the boot sector too. It
      looks like this is not a two-way street.


      I think you are recalling the licensing story that was posted on slashdot. Vista should run just
      fine in a VM. We are already running the RC beta in a VM and it works great.
    • by ocbwilg ( 259828 )
      Don't get carried away. I think I read here last week that MS aren't going to allow Vista to run inside a virtual machine - am I correct? And there's Vista messing up the boot sector too. It looks like this is not a two-way street.

      This is incorrect. The low-end versions of Vista (according to the current version of the EULA) aren't allowed to be run in a VM, but the higher-end versions not only can be run in a VM, but they will include a new version of Virtual PC and licensing to allow you to run up to
  • It may be a suprise to some but corporations are modeled around capitalism. That is to deliver value to their shareholders, if OSS creates more value then they will do that. There is nothing wrong with self-interest. They are running a charity. I use free software because of the price/performance metric. When commercial software is more valuable I use that.
  • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lxy ( 80823 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:23PM (#16489553) Journal
    I read the FA 3 times, and the most I could come up with is out of this paragraph:

    Microsoft said it was relinquishing all license claims on its Virtual Hard Disk Image Format - new software that will allow computers running on rival products like Apple's OS X or Linux, its chief competitors in operating systems, to simultaneously run Windows.

    So it's giving away or opening up its disk format for some kind of Virtual PC-like product. There's no mention in the article of exactly what this means. Sounds like they're competing with Xen or VMware ACE possibly. Nowhere does it mention a free OS, so I'm assuming that part or all of the virtualization will be free (speech or beer, not sure which) but you still get to pay for the OS on top.
  • Viewpoints (Score:2, Insightful)

    Point 1: Microsoft makes an incredibly restricitve license, then appeases organizations by "loosening" the artificial terms to get some deals done. It's like when a car salesman has a sale where all cars are 70% off, one day after they have marked UP all of the cars 80%.

    Point 2: Microsoft would never do anything without knowing they will make more money off of the deal in the future. Nothing is free if you have to pay more for other products needed to make it work (See also: Microsoft AntiVirus)

    Poi

  • According to the article, IDC claims that most of the dual-OS machines in the world are servers rather than desktops. I find that rather surprising. Most servers are intended for constant use, so I can't see them switching back and forth a lot. Whereas, I can imagine many people wanting to switch between Unix or Linux, and Windows on their desktop as they do different tasks.
    • If they are talking about servers concurrently running more than one OS, then yes, fully expect that since servers frequently leverage virtualization to separate services or leverage services appropriate to disparate OSs without incurring hardware cost....

      Dual booting servers is rare, but not unheard of. Servers in this case are farms that are repurposed frequently. However, at least the outfits I've seen, this is typically done using rapid image deployment, but having both images on drives and fitzing w
    • The article is not about dual-booting, it's about virtual servers (which no doubt are mostly used on servers).
  • I don't need Microsoft to be altruistic. In the abstract, it's fine for Microsoft to be self-interested; I only have a problem with Microsoft when they're stupid and vicious. For example, Microsoft could see the looming threat that there are a lot of IT people who hate them and find their software frustrating, and Microsoft could make their software better and easier to use, and make the best software in the universe, all in order to keep their customers happy. This would be a good self-interested move,

  • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
    "'If Microsoft were doing this for altruistic reasons, it would be a first,' Greve said. 'I think they are probably trying to get more machines on the Windows platform, and they may also be trying to improve relations in Brussels.'" So what? Do you think IBM is backing Linux out of the goodness of their hearts? No, they're trying to sell hardware. Likewise, Microsoft is trying to sell software and if they think this will lead to increased software sales, it's in their best interests to do it.
  • In an attempt to suck up to the Slashdot editors, dptalia has submitted a biased, flamebait-filled summary of the article, apparently attempting to play off the old animosity between the MS fanboys and Linux zealots. Both of these sizable groups are known for their lack of logic, short tempers and propensity towards verbal violence. We'll bring you film of the ensuing flamewar right after these commercials...
  • weren't we reading here recently that Vista will restrict doing this in a home environment?
    Maybe i'm confused.
  • "Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, said he had not seen the details of Microsoft's giveaway but cautioned against assuming it was motivated only by pragmatism or a new spirit of cooperation. 'If Microsoft were doing this for altruistic reasons, it would be a first,' Greve said. 'I think they are probably trying to get more machines on the Windows platform, and they may also be trying to improve relations in Brussels.'"

    News flash: companies tend to do things only when they have s
  • by Original Replica ( 908688 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @02:17PM (#16490479) Journal
    ... to give away software, just don't let them make cheap shoes.
  • They want to sell more software and improve relations with foreign governments that despise them. I thought that we all hated Microsoft this week because they have problems with obeying the EU and other governments. Now we hate them because they're trying to make concessions to them, even if they're not concessions that may have been asked for? Oh well, can't please everyone.

    You know, I find it very ironic that they force them to unbundle Windows Media Player, but the EU doesn't promote its own home-grown a
  • "Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, said he had not seen the details of Microsoft's giveaway but cautioned against assuming it was motivated only by pragmatism or a new spirit of cooperation. 'If Microsoft were doing this for altruistic reasons, it would be a first"

    Of course as president of the Free Software Foundation Europe since 2001, Mr. Greve has never received a penny of salary due to his well-known dedication to altruisism, so we can trust him.
  • by TheFlyingGoat ( 161967 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @02:27PM (#16490631) Homepage Journal
    What would MS have to do to please all of you? In the past year they've adopted more open standards, turning on a software firewall by default, submitted their own open standards, released more software for free, and improved their security and standards compliance by focusing on those with Vista and IE7. Granted, each of these things wasn't done just to help the world... some of it was done to help Microsoft's market share and public perception. However, the end result is the same: MS seems to be getting more friendly toward OSS software.

    Each thing they do is met with people saying they're JUST doing it to increase market share, or to trap customers into certain situations, or to extinguish competition. Hell, even the article about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donating TONS of money to good causes was met with people complaining about how Bill Gates made that money in the first place.

    It's quite easy these days to purchase a computer without an operating system on it. It's just as easy to install non-MS software on a Windows system, setup a dual boot system, or set a non-MS program as the default handler for certain file types. It's been a while since I've seen a company go out of business because of Microsoft. In fact, many more companies are in business because Microsoft makes it relatively easy to program for their platform (look at all the crap software that's out there and tell me that it takes more than an idiot to make a Windows program). Lots of linux zealots say that they won't give MS the benefit of the doubt because of their past practices, but Microsoft's past practices now involve a couple of years of doing the right thing.

    Sure, there's a few blemishes (genuine advantage, DRM) mixed in with that good stuff, but overall MS has been doing a decent job lately. Perhaps it's time you all try looking at it with a balanced outlook rather than immediately thinking the worst.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JustNiz ( 692889 )
      >> What would MS have to do to please all of you?

      Err.. how about:
      1) Allowing people to upgrade their PC hardware more than once before they have to re-buy Vista.
      2) Take all the crappy DRM out of vista so we can play our own damn media
      3) Get rid of the stupid Eula clause that says vista can only be used on a single screen.
      4) Get rid of the stupid Eula clause that says vista can't be used in virtual machines
      5) Not purposely outdate XP by making DirectX 10 vista-only

      There's no such thing as altruism for
      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
        Uh, if you actually read the EULA you would see that 1,3, and 4 are total BS. The /. story about it from a few days ago was almost completely wrong (Vista has a EULA was pretty much the only true part).

        As for 2, nothing on Vista will stop you from using your own media player to play any format you like. If you don't like DRM, talk to the content publishers who use it.
      • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) *
        Get rid of the stupid Eula clause that says vista can only be used on a single screen.
        Pardon?
    • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @03:28PM (#16491667) Homepage
      Because:
      (a) they're only doing it because of two very expensive legal actions against them by the governments of the US and the EU; and
      (b) time and again they have shown that they can't be trusted; and
      (c) habitual criminals don't tend to inspire trust.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tom ( 822 )
      What would MS have to do to please all of you?

      Undo the damage they've done.

      Well, that might be a bit much, even they can't pay that (that's the nature of monopoly rent - it's a net loss for the economy because the monopolists gain is smaller than everyone elses loss).

      So, how about just going away and stopping to do more damage? That'd do for me.
    • by syousef ( 465911 )
      Genuine advantage, and DRM are "a few blemishes" mixed in with a lot of good stuff???? And this is modded up on slashdot? Genuine advantage and DRM are a few blemishes the way Nazi war crimes are a blemish on humanity.It's not all good with a few bits of bad. Microsoft and many other companies have pretty much turned hostile against their own customer base. A few blemishes my left nut!
    • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @04:17PM (#16492393) Homepage
      > What would MS have to do to please all of you?

      ALL of us? There's probably nothing they can do. IBM still has fervent detractors after two decades of trying to improve their image. However, I see little sign that MS is even trying. This, as others have noticed, is a fairly trivial thing they've done here, misreported, and quite possibly designed as an attack on VMWare, not a generous giveaway.

      > Each thing they do is met with people saying they're JUST doing it to increase market share, or to trap customers into certain situation, or to extinguish competition.

      Yes, and IBM still gets a lot of that too. And available evidence suggests that it's still sometimes true for IBM, and still usually true for MS. MS has proven, repeatedly, that they're willing to lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. And they've proven that they're willing to give stuff away solely for the purpose of undermining their competitors. The fact is that they've been utter rat-bastards for nearly three decades, and it only looks like they're changing if you squint funny and try to ignore a whole lot of stuff.

      > It's been a while since I've seen a company go out of business because of Microsoft.

      Then you haven't been looking very hard. Of course, they're going after some tougher nuts these days. Symantec and Google aren't going to simply fold up and blow away at the first adverse wind. And Nintendo and Sony have a lot of experience with tough compettion. But a lot of smaller A/V companies (just as a for-example) are dropping off the map.

      > Microsoft's past practices now involve a couple of years of doing the right thing.

      While I agree that there are signs they're trying to do better (amazing what a major investigation by the EU will do), their current practices still involve lots of questionable stuff. They've got a long way to go before you can even begin to pretend that the balance of their behavior is "the right thing". And even then, it's going to be a long time before they make up for the harm they've done, and even longer before some people are going to be willing to forgive and forget. Again, just ask IBM about that last.

      You seem to think that any little not-wrong thing they do should be an enough to make us forget all the harm they've done in the past, and all the harm they appear to be continuing to do. Well, sorry, bub, we're not that stupid or gullible. Maybe it's time you took a more balanced outlook instead of immediately assuming the best!
    • by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @05:11PM (#16493105)
      The day the contracts between MS and the big PC manufacturers are such that PCs are priced without an OS and Windows is an extra option with it's own cost is the day MS will have done enough.

      Until then they're just taking advantage of their monopoly position to screw us all up ... continuously - so don't expect most of us around here to give any big kudos for whatever small moves they take here and there to make the whole "get screwed my MS" process slightly less painfull ("Pull your pants down and prepare to take it again. Don't worry, this time you get a cookie").
    • by Monchanger ( 637670 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @05:56PM (#16493727) Journal
      The other replies bring up lots of reasons we technical people don't like Microsoft. I don't like having to fix other people's computers all the time due to the whole spyware/virus weakness of Windows. Nor do I like it when my rather well taken care of machine at work needs to be restarted for no good reason. No, Linux and its applications aren't bug free. Yes, there's plenty of crappy software in the OSS world. Thankfully, distros like Debian and Ubuntu get rid of a lot of them, so its less often that one finds software that doesn't work right. On these points and more, the Linux crowd is right to complain, and no "free software giveaway"s or donations to various causes is going to change that.

      Me, I'd start off by asking for less lying and bullying, which seem to be almost uniquely Microsoft's in the software world:
      * No more saying "we can't remove the browser from the OS", when they have more than adequate resources to rewrite vast parts of the operating system.
      * No bullshiting the EU saying they'll create thousands and thousands of jobs by releasing a piece of software which isn't that monumentally different from the one already out there.
      * No more using the "user error" excuse whenever a user complains.
      * No more purchasing of false research saying Windows is "cheaper" than Linux. It's not always cheaper. Sometimes it will and part of the time it won't. I know it's "just marketing" to say that you're the "#1 product", but these false studies are well beyond reasonable marketing.
      * No more pushing businesses out of the market by buying their competitors and dumping their product, by attaching it to Windows for free. Healthy competition, actual innovation, and acquiring other companies is fine. Abuing a monopoly isn't.
      * No illegaly funding rediculous lawsuits against IBM for Linux.
      * Since the big builders like Dell are not allowed to sell lower priced computers (and don't tell me they don't want to- Wallmart sure did when Linux became ready for its customers) by not having to pay for a Windows license. Hardware manufacturers have no trouble ignoring Linux because there's no financial incentive to spend the extra few bucks. It's all very convenient for Microsoft, but not for me.

      On that last note, when my computer's power supply fails, I get "you need to have the original operating system installed" from my very large warranty provider. On the day I get a different answer, that will be the day when I'll start hating Microsoft.
  • Seems Easy to Me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Geccie ( 730389 )
    The answer is simple - Control

    Its easier for others to use M$ format than for M$ to implement anyone's format - for anything

    If others try to implement M$ format, there will be some bugs - they will be behind the curve. Better for M$ to be "Innovating" out in front

    M$ can verify the images to make sure you've licensed all virtual OS images because they control the machine and the data format. As they've given away the VM, why use a competitor's product? Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player - Any o
  • I don't see why for certain kinds of software, that it would be unreasonable to permit the free use of older software. Microsoft's investment in any DOS version has been paid for many times over. I wouldn't be surprised that IBM would release OS/2 to open source if it could. The new operating systems, such as Vista, are driving the sales of bigger faster better hardware, but a lot of utility can be realized from used hardware and the copyright laws should encourage that by releasing legacy software, in at
    • "I wouldn't be surprised that IBM would release OS/2 to open source if it could."

      I would be surprised because IBM has passed on the opportunity to open source other software that they discontinued.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kabz ( 770151 )
        I'd imagine there's so much Windows code in there that this is just a non-starter.

        IBM have a pretty good history of contributing to FOSS.

  • The summary was nearly content-free, so I read the article - and it added nothing not already in the summary.

    Are they talking about a boot manager, or VMware-like software running under Windows? By "give away", do they mean bundled with Windows, or free($) download?
  • Microsoft have made Virtual PC available for free for a while now... The reason is that its basically not worth anything because its so crappy.

    I can't believe they're trying to use free Virtual PC as some major bargaining chip to the EEC.

  • They bought out Connectix which created Virtual PC (let's not forget that boys & girls). They ook out the PowerPC support. They took out all Mac support. They took out all good functionality and copy-pasted their logo on it. They see it doesn't sell anymore and everyone's using different products. Now they are going to bring out the disk format to appease some people and next thing you know (next version probably) they are going to turn out and make some changes (maybe encryption) to the disk format and
  • "Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, said he had not seen the details of Microsoft's giveaway but cautioned against assuming it was motivated only by pragmatism or a new spirit of cooperation."

    I don't think there is much danger of that happening here ;)
  • It took them a while to catch on - they were livid when Microsoft Basic got pirated - but giving software away or winking at piracy for a while whenever they're faced with a market they're not yet dominant in... that's been a terribly effective tool for most of the company's existence.

    And pretending that it's a sacrifice and convincing people that free copies of Microsoft software is a reasonable settlement for lawsuits has worked very well for them.

    Internet Explorer, for god's sake.

    Why are people showing anything but disdain for this appallingly transparent bargaining chip?
  • giving a school Windows Movie Maker for their editing lab for free, which it is, because it should be.

    Little do they know they are getting Windows 3.1

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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