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SubjectRe: The latest Microsoft FUD. This time from BillG, himself.
Larry McVoy writes:
> On Wed, Jun 20, 2001 at 11:09:10PM +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
> > > http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,5092935,00.html >
> >
> > Of course the URL that goes with that is :
> > http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/interix/features.asp
> >
> > Yes., Microsoft ship GNU C (quite legally) as part of their offerings...
>
> Which brings up an interesting question for us all. Let's postulate, for
> the sake of discussion, that we agree on the following:
>
> a) Linux (or just about any Unix) is a better low level OS than NT
> b) Microsoft's application infrastructure is better (the COM layer,
> the stuff that lets apps talk to each, the desktop, etc).
>
> I know we can argue that KDE/GNOME/whatever is going to get there or is
> there or is better, etc., but for the time being lets just pretend that
> the Microsoft stuff is better.
>
> What would be wrong with Microsoft/Linux? It would be:
>
> a) the Linux kernel
> b) the Microsoft API ported to X
> c) Microsoft apps
> d) Linux apps
>
> Since Microsoft is all about making money, it doesn't matter if they
> charge for the dll's or the OS, either one is fine, you can't run Word
> without them. If you don't need the Microsoft apps, you could strip
> them off and strip off the dlls and ship all the rest of it without
> giving Microsoft a dime. If you do need the apps or you want the app
> infrastructure, you have to give Microsoft exactly what you have to give
> them today - money - but you can run Word side by side with Ghostview
> or whatever. Microsoft could charge exactly the same amount for the
> dll's as they charge for the OS, none of the end users can tell the
> difference anyway.
>
> I'm unimpressed with what Microsoft calls an operating system and
> I'm equally unimpressed with what Unix calls an application layer.
> For the last 10 years, Unix has gotten the OS right and the apps wrong
> and Microsoft has gotten the apps right and the OS wrong. Seems like
> there is potential for a win-win.
>
> You can scream all you want that "it isn't free software" but the
> fact of the matter is that you all scream that and then go do your
> slides for your Linux talks in PowerPoint.

Actually, it wouldn't bother me at all if they did that. If they
didn't violate the GPL (i.e. didn't make proprietary changes to the
kernel and libc and various utilities). I guess they could make
proprietary hacks to X, which I wouldn't want, otherwise I expect that
normal X apps would become 2nd class citizens. If people want to pay
for M$ office I'd much rather see them using Linux underneath. That
way they have a decent OS and the chances of them being slowly weaned
away from M$ products as free alternatives become available (or they
get comfortable with the idea of free alternatives). Trying to get
people to change wholesale is a lot harder.

I suspect M$ doesn't want to do this, because while they could keep
flogging Office for a long time (I hear it's better than the
alternatives), they would find it harder to flog all the smaller
ancillary programmes, as there would be more viable alternatives. I
expect M$ will hang on to the bitter end. There's also a lot of
emotional attachment to their OS which is driving their policy, I bet.

Regards,

Richard....
Permanent: rgooch@atnf.csiro.au
Current: rgooch@ras.ucalgary.ca
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