[Gllug] Microsoft was distributing Ubuntu

Richard Jones rich at annexia.org
Mon Jun 25 11:45:14 UTC 2007

On Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 10:26:03AM +0100, John G Walker wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 09:23:59 +0000 Andy Smith <andy at lug.org.uk> wrote:
> > It's fairly obvious that they just don't want to promote Linux for
> > business reasons, no big drama.
> This is the bit that always puzzles me. Why haven't Microsoft attempted
> to muscle in on Linux? On the face of it, it would seem to be an
> obvious thing for them to do.

They've tried to muscle Linux out of the way, by proxy (see SCO) and
now directly (see current patent FUD).  The Halloween documents[1] 10
years ago were the blueprint for this and they've been fairly
faithfully following the plan ever since.

They wouldn't muscle _in_ on Linux because the license prevents them
from embracing and extended the code, and because there is no way that
Microsoft could turn around the company and become a pure support
organisation which could compete with the likes of IBM, Red Hat, etc.
Their culture is proprietary, in-house, Windows, uncooperative.  It's
almost directly the opposite of what is needed to collaborate with
upstream developers to build supportable solutions in a Unix culture.

Anyhow, the signs are that Microsoft are efficiently putting
themselves out of business at the moment, so I'm not too worried.


[1] Leaked MS memos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_documents

Richard Jones
Red Hat
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