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back to article Microsoft talks open-source love amid TomTom Linux 'war'

Microsoft has imagined a future where Windows relies on open source, just as community leaders tried to contain the fall out from what some believe could be the start of Microsoft's "war against Linux". The company's server and tools president Bob Muglia has apparently told a technology conference he believes most of the company …

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MS The Giant Slug...

...will attempt to absorb anything it can perceive as existing.

It does this because it thinks it owns the world (or should own it).

Microsoft is dangerous to freedom and to life.

It should die.

So DIE fucker.

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as a ratha popular person once said,

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." - Mahatma Ghandi.

'Nuff said.

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Give with one hand...

MIcrosoft wants open source when it suits them. It wants open source to be it's open source - and remove all others. It's not willing to input its IP to open source. I'm not convinced that Microsoft and open source are mutually compatible.

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Linux

Time for GPL V4

Where the copyright owner can specifically specify where/who their software can be used.

I'll wager that many GPL fans would add the words.

The copyright holder specifically declines to allow ANY use of this software by Microsoft LLC in any product that uses the Microsoft or any related/subsidiary company branding. This also includes organisations where Microsoft has a majority shareholding.

As a part time GPL software developer I don't want them to use anything of mine.

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Time fo Worry

It's time to worry before you invest any time, effort, or money into something which might have to be abandoned in the future because of a patent infringement issue, not when someone actually comes knocking on your door.

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Linux

No chance for MS to win the case in Europe

The US, with its incredible patent laws, is the only place where Microsoft could win such arguments. Europe has laws that allow reverse enginnering for interoperability purposes, laws that don't allow patents on ideas or processes. The only place in the world where such ridiculous lawsuits can happen is the USA. Come on, yankees, join the rest of the civilized world once and for all.

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enough...

Fuck Microsoft. Fuck then right between the eyes with a rusty chainsaw. They've never done anything except make things worse. They don't create anything, they just steal it. From selling QDOS before they owned it, to copying or stealing or otherwise taking over just about every "invention" they are credited for, they are nothing more than parasite on the body of I.T. and I just want them to finally DIE.

@Iamfanboy: nice quote. Needs more blood though. And pain. Definitely more pain.

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Calm?

MS can bugger off. This is an attempt to kill by a thousand cuts, the OpenSource community should freeze MS out where possible.

OSS does not need an IP thief as a partner.

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Linux

Kreig!!!!!!

The penguins are circling.!

They can smell blood in the water!!!!

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Like any big company

Right hand.........................knowledge gap................................left hand

*sigh*

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Linux

You can bet that Linux infringes many, many MS patents and plenty of them that are valid. MS is holding off taking any action because it would be a PR disaster and the Linux community doesn't have that much money anyway. I expect that if/when Linux becomes more prevalent and MS loses a lot of market share then litigation will probably rear it's ugly head. Makes sound business sense to me, no matter what you think of the moral side of things.

Of course, Linux won't increase its market share much until it's made about 100 times easier to use...

/ducks

/puts on flame retardant suit

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Unhappy

Microsoft Filings

I really don't feel up to fighting my way through all that American legal bollocks right now. Can anybody tell me in plain English what Microsoft is claiming?

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Gates Halo

Seems perfectly reasonable to me

"At some point almost all our product will have open source in it,"

Well if they can find idiots out there willing to write free extras for Visual Studio, why shouldn't they use them? Of course, once sucked into the MS product, it will be "open" in the sense of "you can read the source", not "free" as in "you can modify the source".

On the bright side, a small amount of the resulting profits will eventually find their way to charitable works, through Bill and Melinda's fund. It's not exactly the most efficient way to give to charity, but there's no law against it.

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Future where MS relies on Open Source?

Isn't that the present and the past?

Am I smoking crack or didn't MS use the BSD IP stack way back when?

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Stop

If...

their software contains open source, how can they sell their software for profit without breaking open source licence agreements?

Class action anyone?

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Gates Horns

Anti-competitive Behaviour

"The question is whether TomTom misused Microsoft's patented version of FAT32 and VFAT ..."

Of course, device makers more-or-less *have* to use FAT, because, unlike other vendors which usually support several, Microsoft deliberately does not support any filesystem it hasn't patented.

If you're a camera-maker or a GPS maker or whatever, you want your customers to be able to back-up and copy data with the minimum of fuss. So you don't want to create an interface and make copying difficult. Since many of your users will be on Windows, you're stuck with FAT.

So, effectively, MS can sucker device makers in and then spring their patent trap.

It's anti-competitive behaviour pure and simple.

The EU should force Microsoft to have support for an open unencumbered filesystem built into any copy of Windows distributed in the EU. That way device makers couldn't be held to ransom, and users wouldn't be in the position of paying a hidden "tax" to Microsoft.

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Flame

"Don't worry about the sharks, they've been fed."

"Kuhn told The Reg people should press on with open-source projects, rather than obsess about what patents might or might not exist in Linux or stop their work on open-source projects through some concern over potential violations or that Microsoft might come knocking.

"Until...they are accused of infringing, there is no reason they should be worried," he said."

Haha! Dear oh dear. Foot, meet mouth. I know it looks sharp. Don't worry, it will be painless.

"Tastes just like chicken!"

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Anonymous Coward

MS are right to do this

Most Linux 'developers' just rob stuff off other comapnies. Even after doing this they still produce crap SW. Anyhow, go MS! Rip those IP stealing folk at Tom Tom limb from limb. Think of all the money they will make if Tom Tom have to pay retrospective royalties for all the devices they have sold. I may buy yet more MS stock!!

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Boffin

Is it *that* hard not to use FAT?

It's only a driver needed to use one of the OSS file systems, isn't it? If the device manufacturers all agreed on the same one they could install the driver as part of their windows install - job done??

Are they just being a little lazy and taking advantage of that Windows "it's an external device with a file system just load it up" thing? Does the iPod use FAT?? I know it doesn't expose its file system to anything other than iTunes...

Have I missed something?

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Vista is a winner!

It is to laugh http://www.fiascoawards.com/index.php

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@alddude

Linux is worth billions.

Whatever your thoughts on Gnome/KDE desktops, you can't argue that the Linux operating system is small-fry. It's huge in the server room (even on mainframes) and in the embedded arena.

Anyway, yeah, keep hiding in your retarded suit.

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@aldude

"Of course, Linux won't increase its market share much until it's made about 100 times easier to use..."

If modern, newbie targeted Linux distros (e.g. Ubuntu) were any easier to install, they would be offering you sexual favours at the end. Slackware, Gentoo et al; yes, they are hard. But they are not intended for the home suer. They are serious OSs for serious geeky-types.

As to the Linux patent infringements...I doubt it does. Everything Windows can do has been seen first in open source. Everything. Linux/Unix is the prior art and, even thought they may not have claimed IP, that makes any claims by MS void.

At least, anywhere on the planet other than the USA.

MS sees Linux as a serious threat in the future (it's no threat just now) and so it is beginning this campaign to target OSS. The OSS out-reach is just a ruse to muddy the prior-art waters and steal IP from the community.

I like the GPLv4 idea (nearly posted a GPLn.f.MS version myself). MS must be frozen out and blocked wherever possible. They are a cancer on the face of IT.

@/etc

Perhaps the non-support of other, standard file sytems should form part of the European anti-trust case?

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Linux

Re: aldude

I also bet that if we were allowed to peruse windows source code, bet we'd find some bits that were pilfered from the open sauce people

Ps I maybe a Linux user who prefers it over a windows OS, but I'll still use both when I need to and still curse both when they f*** up

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Thanks for the love, MS

And while you're at it, f_ck off.

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@AnonCow - 10:57

If you are going to troll, you'll have to do better than that!

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Anonymous Coward

said it before , will say it again

Don't blame MS, plame the USPTO for ignoring certain sections of the world patent agreement, specifcally the sections that say that you CAN NOT patent software.

If the USPTO didn't allow software patents none of this would be happening.

Oh and relating to the post about what el reg is, i think this arcticle perfectly puts it into the troll category as it gives linux people a good chance to foam at the mouth and go "FU M$"

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Gates Halo

@The BigYin

I am not trolling. It is what I truly believe. You have to understand that not everyone is jealous of Microsoft’s success (as you obviously are, along with your geekly little linux loving mates who post on the reg).

The anti MS comments you make are pathetic. MS is a hugely successful company, that is getting stronger and stronger by the day (look at financial results before you start ranting, it is all about the $$ and MS makes more and more every year....). The irony is that you are probably on the dole, sitting in your smelly little bedsit surrounded by dirt and soiled gentleman’s literature. You do not have the right to criticise MS. If they offered you a job, you would jump at it. But they never will, because you are a technical nobody.

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Responding to many

"As a part time GPL software developer I don't want them to use anything of mine" - That's another way of saying you don't want software to be open source any more. That's what "open" means, y'know

"Linux is worth billions" - yes, but there's nothing with money that's easy to sue

"If modern, newbie targeted Linux distros (e.g. Ubuntu) were any easier to install, they would be offering you sexual favours at the end. " - very true. But Windows still deals with post-install hardware changes better, at the user level

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Re: @The BigYin

"You do not have the right to criticise MS."

Really? I know that users of Microsoft's Web publishing products supposedly sign away their rights to use those products to criticise Microsoft, but I didn't know Microsoft had stripped everyone else of such basic rights, too.

Keep any military uniforms in your closet, by any chance?

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Linux

Failz

Sweet, more and more free press for the Linux/open source community.

Way to go Microsoft, you did exactly what you didn't want to do.

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Happy

...the Microsoft appreciation society, come on down!!!

If you judge the progress and quality of Linux and Open Source by the actions of the competition (in this case Microsoft), then both are doing very nicely thank you.

And if this was not enough to prove the point, you now have poor embattled 'anonymous cowards' (or Microsoft's hardcore user-base) rising to defend their beleaguered masters, bless them.

If none of the above was true, a) Why is Microsoft this taking action now, and b) Why do the aforementioned 'anonymous cowards' descend on The Register in their droves and spew this drivel:

"The anti MS comments you make are pathetic. MS is a hugely successful company, that is getting stronger and stronger by the day (look at financial results before you start ranting, it is all about the $$ and MS makes more and more every year....). The irony is that you are probably on the dole, sitting in your smelly little bedsit surrounded by dirt and soiled gentleman’s literature. You do not have the right to criticise MS. If they offered you a job, you would jump at it. But they never will, because you are a technical nobody."

LOL!

By my calculations 1+1=2. Simple really.

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@AC - 13:25 GMT

I mentioned diddly about MS, I just said you need to do better trolling. As for the various ad hominems, do try harder to think up a cognent argument next time. Sheesh. It's usually the Linux fanbois who are touchy and reactionary....

MSFT shares....well this time last year they were about $27 (down from $34 in Jan), now they are $18. Check your facts in the future.

http://www.google.co.uk/finance?client=ob&q=NASDAQ:MSFT

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Re: Responding to many

""As a part time GPL software developer I don't want them to use anything of mine" - That's another way of saying you don't want software to be open source any more. That's what "open" means, y'know"

Well, as a GPL-licensed software developer, the commenter is dissuading Microsoft from using his/her stuff, since Microsoft, should they incorporate that person's code in their products and be honest about doing so, would need to open up, too. Right now, Microsoft don't seem to be too interested in doing that, apart from a few side-projects accompanied by the usual whispering about "intellectual property".

Of course, Microsoft and other patent aggressors would like to have their cake and eat it, reserving the right to brush aside copyright when it suits them by playing the patent card. This allows such organisations to make spurious claims of "infringement" when actually committing genuine copyright infringements at the expense of other parties. In other words, it's all about the "right" to throw the toys out of the corporate pram when caught being naughty and to claim that the rules that apply to everyone else need not apply to you because you have "special rules" that you've paid for (at the patent office and in "contributions" to legislators).

""Linux is worth billions" - yes, but there's nothing with money that's easy to sue"

Easy to sue, indeed.

""If modern, newbie targeted Linux distros (e.g. Ubuntu) were any easier to install, they would be offering you sexual favours at the end. " - very true. But Windows still deals with post-install hardware changes better, at the user level"

Quite some hand-waving going on here. There are quite a few devices which Ubuntu manages to deal with after installation "at the user level" - no driver disks or aimless surfing around for long-forgotten vendor binaries on random dodgy sites.

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Anonymous Coward

@aldude

Pretty much nothing in the kernel of either Linux or Windows is novel. The changes over the last 10 years have still only been implementing what was already understood in the '60s it's just that it wasn't practical to implement due to relative inefficient use of resources compared to what they were handling. As the resources the OS manages and the relative resource requirements for tasks increase as well, then it becomes more beneficial to implement the more complex algorithms. But don't be fooled by Microsoft calling them novel, there's a lot that they have patented that is obvious to experts in the field once translated from legalese.

Linus Torvald's comments:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=199600443

Also note that Microsoft has been very careful not to suggest that Linux is infringing on it's patents in any legal jurisdiction which would require automatic indication of what patents they were referring to (Germany). That should tell you a lot about how willing they are to back up their claims.

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Probably opensource code in much their stuff already

Remember there's a fair bit of opensource code that MS can use legitimately, without even having to acknowledge that it is there.

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Gates Horns

I wasn't going to but here goes

To quote MS dolt from the fine article, "At some point almost all our product will have open source in it". Orly? I suspect that they will indeed have open source in them however it wont be open source as we know it. It will the some bastardized version of open source that M$ has dreamed up. One which ensures that it is indeed not at all open to anyone but a chosen few within the hallowed halls of redmond and if anyone outside has an clue as to what it is they will have paid a metric ton of money for it.

No one in their right mind has for a moment bought this bullshit coming from microsoft when it comes to them cozying up to the open source community. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book: extend, embrace, destroy. Going past all the crap, all the marketing speak, all the hubris the fact is MS is still scared shitless of the open source movement and you can be assured they will quash it at every turn then steal what ever ideas it deems worthy and bury that idea in a mountain of encrypted proprietary source code.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Lager And Crisps

You wrote:

a) Why is Microsoft this taking action now?

The answer, you muppet, is to get the money that MS are rightly owed as a result of Tom Tom stealing their IP.........

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The O.S. Police

Excuse me Sir, does that product contain Linux?

Even in the very worst case situation, what are M$ hoping to achieve? even if the very worst case situation arises are they going to start searching every home for s distro disc?

Are they going to come after me for using FAT in a home built data-logger?

And who keeps feeding all these M$ termites? bloody things are everywhere!

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Happy

....and here we gather for the Swedish Chief.

@ Lager And Crisps

By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 27th February 2009 20:51 GMT

You wrote:

a) Why is Microsoft this taking action now?

The answer, you muppet, is to get the money that MS are rightly owed as a result of Tom Tom stealing their IP.........

And I'm a muppet?

You can say one of many things regarding Microsoft and this entire episode. They are scared of Linux and Open Source. The people that rely on Microsoft, even more so.

My last comment irritated a 'Microsoftie' so much as to respond in person,

Make of that what you will.

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Alert

Re: Probably opensource code in much their stuff already

"Remember there's a fair bit of opensource code that MS can use legitimately, without even having to acknowledge that it is there."

If you're referring to permissively licensed code, be aware that even the most permissive licences require copyrights and other notices to be distributed, thus acknowledging the presence of such code.

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Re: @ Lager And Crisps

"The answer, you muppet, is to get the money that MS are rightly owed as a result of Tom Tom stealing their IP........."

Their "IP", eh? Brushing up against some dodgy patents, you mean. You'll have to astroturf harder than this if you're aiming to make a half-decent case for Microsoft's extortion plans.

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Anonymous Coward

It is really simple....

Because Linux people cannot innovate, they copy and steal ideas. And eventually they get caught. And they then need to pay. I hope that MS gets $10 for every Tom Tom that has ever been sold.

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Gates Horns

Re: Probably opensource code in much their stuff already

Yes. Anything licensed under 3-clause BSD or similar…

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I am staggered...

...that there are so many people who think there is a defence for:

1. A law which is clearly ludicrous, the ability to "patent" "a method", a "way of doing something", usually obvious

2. Even assuming you beleive that this crazy law should be respected, that the "patents" in question themselves, have any merit whatsoever!

To my mind, it's nearly as ridiculous as someone "patenting" "a method where a human being uses two legs and feet, in an repeating alternating fashion, to transport themselves", or somesuch similarly ludicrously obvious thing.

It's not really even a Microsoft vs Linux debate, it's just the latest demonstration of the broken system that is the US Patent system.

To the poster who said the post change support on Linux is harder than on Windows, I've never successfully changed a motherboard on a Windows machine (due to the old one blowing up, and being too old (more than 6 months ;) ) to replace like-for-like), for a different type (chipset, specifically), and Windows has been able to cope with it, unlike Linux where it is (usually), a breeze. Same goes for changing network cards, post install, easiest thing I've ever done in Linux (zero config changes or driver install, on boot up), sometimes, this can't be said for Windows, even when you *have* the new drivers.

Windows and Linux are both good at some things, not so good at others, but against all odds, Linux is catching up on the desktop, fast, and is already there in the datacentre! What I don't get is why people can't see the advantage in not being locked into endless cycles of patch updates (all desktops have this problem, but so do Windows servers, Unix and Linux servers do not), being told how to use their computers, and what they are allowed to do with them...

Matt.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC - 00:32

"Because Linux people cannot innovate"

Ah, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! *deep intake of breath* Ah, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh my sides. Stop it, you're killing me.

I have been a MS developer (qualified out the wazoo). I use windows every single day, my PC at home is Windows. I run Ubuntu (and a few others) under virtualisation after I decided to learn about it and breathe new life into an old laptop I had acquired.

Now...Linux (you do know that that is just a kernel, don't you?) is different and, yes, some of the trickier things did drive me nuts (mostly because I was trying to deal with it like it was Windows, and it wasn't stuff that would affect Joe Bloggs). You try treating a Ferrari like a Lada and see how far you get....

Anyway, long story short, to say that there is no innovation in the Linux world is plain crazy. If anything there is too much! The choices are mind-numbing and you could lose days (weeks?) just playing with the various GUI tweaks, eye-candy options, services etc. It is a melting pot of idea that range from the sensible to the utterly crackers and many things re-appear in other OSs. The whole Areo interface - can you say "Compiz"?

I really so suggest you go back and do some research.

As for those saying Linux is hard to install - just make sure the hardware is supported (like you have to for Windows). You try installing XP on an OS/390 and see how far you get.

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...'anonymous'?

It would appear as if there are more 'anonymous cowards' than copies of Agent Smith from Matrix Reloaded, and they all say the same damn things.

LEAVE MICROSOFT ALONE.....!!!!

and

LINUX IS BAD, LINUX ATE MY PUPPY AND LINUX IS BAD.....!!!!

You gotta laugh.

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Anonymous Coward

@Fanboy

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Then they shoot you and 60 years later the your dream remains just that - India is a dreadful place for those Ghandi most championned - aside for the fact that much of his India isn't even India and far, far worse. Pithy quote, but ultimately, little more than depressing irony.

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Re: It is really simple....

"Because Linux people cannot innovate, they copy and steal ideas. And eventually they get caught."

Like what happened with SCO, eh? Everyone starts an audit, admittedly long overdue, and not only was there no proprietary code, SCO's employees were actively contributing to Linux and releasing stuff under the GPL.

Blah, blah, "innovate", "steal ideas" - I can hear the needle skipping. Wave those hands and pretend no-one will notice your lack of understanding of the basics. What a Microtard!

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Boffin

Windows CE ve Linux

"MS sees Linux as a serious threat in the future (it's no threat just now) and so it is beginning this campaign to target OSS. The OSS out-reach is just a ruse to muddy the prior-art waters and steal IP from the community."

If you look at the embedded market there are a number of embedded operating systems. Many of these started as librarys of assembler and 'C' functions. Most companies making a small device with a CPU would have started from scratch and ended up with a set of tools they could re-use. The better ones of these went on to become embedded operating systems.

Along comes two things, more powerful CPUs and Linux. This is replacing most of the bespoke embedded OS and Windows CE.

The Windows in everything motto of Microsoft is losing. So what do Microsoft do about it? The little bit of Windows that is still in these devices is being attacked by Microsoft themselves. Once FAT32 is replaced then Windows will have to adapt to make it self compatible with the devices rather than the other way round.

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Gates Horns

Re: Time for GPL V4

So, you want a restrictive license where you can turn round and go "Aha, the small print says that *you're* not allowed to use this, so I'm going to sue you for misusing my IP!"?

Own up Anon Cow! You're actually Bill Gates in disguise, aren't you?

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