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Re: [OT] EE, Re: Tangentially: on Canonical being a great company?




On Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 11:19:35AM -0400, deb wrote:
> 
> I guess I do not see Microsoft doing this less in 2019.
> 
> It just has changed from one product [WordPro, Lotus 1-2-3; Spinrite; dBase
> Netscape] to entire infrastructures.
> 
> e.g.
> 
> Microsoft is "open sourcing" Windows Calculator and inviting open source
> developers (for free)  to:
> 
>  * improve the tool
> 
>  * "Learn the Microsoft development Way".
> 
That is not "embrace, extend, extinguish."  However, it is an effort to
gain "mindshare."  They are two very different things.

Besides, there are plenty of examples of open source products which are
primarily or solely developed by a company with minimal or no
contributions from outside developers.

People are individually free to take up Microsoft's invitation or not,
as they so desire.

> BUT THEY WILL STILL MAKE Money on Windows 10 that uses calculator.
> 
You keep bringing this up, but without explaining why it matters.
Seriously, so what?  I've made contributions to open source projects
that have gone on to be incorporated into products which a company then
sold for profit (while also complying with the terms of the open source
license in question).  I knew that was a possibility up front and was
perfectly fine with it.  So again, what does it matter if MS makes money
from the work that someone does and contributes to an open source
project?

Besides, calculator is not the first or only example.  In fact, all the
way back to the FTP client and TCP stack that were originally included
in Windows, Microsoft has leveraged open source, as have many others in
the industry.  There may even be examples that predate those of which I
am not aware.

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Microsoft, but "makes use of open
source software under the terms of the license" is hardly one of those
reasons.

> 
> Microsoft buys their way into Linux Foundation as "advisors". Into
> Canonical, etc.  When they pay their million dollar fees; they exercise much
> more influence on Linux than a company calling "Linux a Cancer" should.
> 
That is a matter of opinion, though I agree with yours in this case.

Though, I don't know why so much is made about the Linux Foundation.  It
is not a charitable organization (like SPI, for instance).  It is a US
501(c)(6) organization, that is to say a trade group.  It exists to
promote the interests of its members.  Oracle, AT&T, and Cisco are also
members, and I would put Microsft in the same category with them.

In that sense, Linux Foundation is no different than CompTIA, CTIA, BSA
(Business Software Alliance), MPAA, or RIAA.

You mention Microsoft's influence on Linux, but it is not clear if you
mean Linux in the precise sense of the Linux kernel, Linux in the sense
of the family of software distributions based upon Linux, or the broader
free and open source software community.  That said, regardless of how
much money Microsoft pays for membership in various organizations, its
size and place in the technology industry means that it exerts
tremendous influence on Linux the kernel, Linux the collection of
distributions, and the broader free and open source community.

For example, if Microsoft implements a security feature, then it may
well influence the implementation of a comparable feature in the Linux
kernel or in the distributions.  Projects like Samba and Wine feel some
form of pressure whenever Microsoft changes something in Windows.
Developments in MS Office affect LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org
development.

Perhaps your concern with Microsoft being a Linux Foundation member has
to do with their ability to influence the direction or specific aspects
of development of the Linux kernel.  I doubt that Linus Torvalds is the
sort of person who could be easily swayed by that type of influence.

> 
> An while Microsoft has opened all of their patents to Linux; they are STILL
> suing companies using Linux (and Android) through proxy companies; claiming 
> payments are still due on these patents.
> 
> I think that Microsoft is just playing the open source community; until
> Microsoft can control that too.
> 
If you think that Microsoft has a chance of "controlling*" the open
source community, then you fundamentally misunderstand the enthusiast
aspect of open source development.  I mean, we have X.org, MariaDB,
LibreOffice, gcc, and many others as a direct result of some form of
resistance against some party or another attempting to exert "control."

Regards,

-Roberto

* As I mentioned previously, Microsoft, by its nature, influences the
  open source community with its development and marketing decisions;
  however, control of the open source community in the sense of
  directing the outcomes of projects is simply not achievable on a
  meaningful scale

-- 
Roberto C. Sánchez