[Gllug] Microsoft was distributing Ubuntu

Bernard Peek bap at shrdlu.com
Mon Jun 25 22:27:06 UTC 2007

In message <20070625114512.GA22040 at furbychan.cocan.org>, Richard Jones 
<rich at annexia.org> writes

>They wouldn't muscle _in_ on Linux because the license prevents them
>from embracing and extended the code,

It doesn't. Microsoft could embrace and extend the Linux kernel, 
effectively forcing all of the other distros to re-engineer their own 
kernels to maintain compatibility with the new de facto standard. They 
could throw in some binary components that everyone else would have to 
license and make some money.

The recent patent agreements haven't been made to protect Linux distros 
from patent issues. They have been created so that Microsoft can produce 
its own Linux without fear of lawsuits.

> 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.

Bill Gates executed a similar turnaround when Silicon Valley told him 
about the Internet. A friend of mine was in the audience and watched it 
all happen. It took Microsoft six weeks to become an Internet based 
company. Don't underestimate them.

>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.

They don't have to collaborate with upstream developers, there aren't 
going to be any.

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

Their current business isn't supportable in the long term because Linux 
is holding down their margin on new sales, and Vista isn't the success 
they badly needed. But their exit plan has been up and running for 
nearly ten years now, I expect to see the results - at a guess Microsoft 
Linux in October 2008 (except that it won't use the Linux kernel.)

Bernard Peek
bap at shrdlu.com

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