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back to article Microsoft's new search - Built on open-source

When Microsoft purchased Hotmail in December of 1997 for an estimated $400m, it ran on FreeBSD. But Redmond ripped out the open source OS and replaced it with Windows 2000. Or at least, it tried to. More than a decade on, Microsoft still harbors some sort of deep-seated urge to destroy the free software movement it once compared …

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Anonymous Coward

First project built on open source???

Ummm, didn't they use BSD-based networking stuff in earlier versions of Windows?

Didn't XENIX use some open source code?

They definitely use some open source code in other projects too,

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Jobs Horns

With a pinch of salt

Just wait until people start to use their software and services, then listen out for the predictable punchline to the bad joke... "Microsoft will now be phasing out the previous Free service and now feature a Premium service for only $299.99. Compatible with Windows 7 only"

There is always a catch.

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Bronze badge

here we go again

Embrace, extend, extinguish. Anyone who forgets the Microsoft way pays the price. Seems they're at the "embrace" stage right now, although some of the so-called "open source" licenses proposed by Microsoft are very much part of the "extend" bit.

This is one hyena that doesn't change its laugh. Yet for some reason the sheep keep lying down with it, just waiting to be eviscerated.

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Not the first.

Windows Services for Unix has been a product of Microsoft's for years. It is under the GPL and my understanding is that Microsoft has complied with the terms of that license. It always made a mockery of Microsoft's contention that the GPL would contaminate other products.

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Gates Halo

EEE?

Nah, I don't think this is a case of embrace, extend, extinguish. This more closely matches Microsoft's "if you can't innovate yourself, buy out someone who can" pattern.

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It starts...

Open Source is a cancer to MS. Look how it's infiltrating, growing and becoming part of their popular products.... Mwuhahaha.

About 7 years ago I jokingly suggested to friends that MS may just end up ditching Windows as we know it and making a Linux distro. If they keep this up, I might end up being right! Wouldn't even take much to make it backwards compatible either now that WINE is doing so well.

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Open source cancer

Since we're talking about Steve "fucking kill Google" Ballmer, the alleged chair-throwing CEO (though now that he's CEO, he may hire someone to throw the chairs for him), I would not doubt for a second that he would give himself cancer in order to fucking kill Google. Even the biological kind. My personal opinion is that he's a very disturbed individual who will do literally anything in order to obtain his goals. If that means killing himself or his company in order to kill his enemy, so be it. Coincidentally enough, speaking of UNIX in the above comments, we can today read about another company that did exactly that -- SCO.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow. They really can't win, can they?

If they stay closed source, they're evil. If they make use of open source, it's part of an evil conspiracy to destroy free software.

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Like a red rag to a bull

Will there ever be an informed, nuetral article on The Reg which includes the word Microsoft? I've read more informative articles in The Sun.

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Silver badge

cancer?

I see problems for open source.

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Thumb Up

Pragmatisim wins out over ideology

MS have realised that reinventing the wheel isn't necessarily a good thing, particularly given some of their attempts, so they, in common with every other business are using open Source software to lessen the strain "in these difficult times".

Hopefully they come to realise that lots of people are now using it and perhaps a bit of interoperability might be a good plan, though Rob and Loony have valid points which shouldn't be forgotten.

Trying hard not to gloat here, but any time someone suggests that Open Source is not a feasable way to go, I'll be able to point @ MS themselves. Common sense is prevailing, oh crap the world must be coming to an end, so is it pig sniffles or an asteroid?

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Boffin

Maybe Cygwin... certainly not SFU.

""""

Windows Services for Unix has been a product of Microsoft's for years. It is under the GPL and my understanding is that Microsoft has complied with the terms of that license.

""""

Umm.... Noo.....

Not that I am aware of. Unless something has changed in the past couple years since I last looked at it.

For the record: SFU allows you to run POSIX environment on the NT kernel. Unlike other systems, NT is designed from the beginning to support multiple different sort of personalities. The Win32 environment is one of them... and POSIX is another one.

Apparently, from investigating strings embedded in SFU's binaries the bulk of the code actually originated from OpenBSD. Probably choosen due to the security and cleanliness of the code. This means that most of SFU originated from the BSD license.

This, of course, is nothing new. Microsoft has always stated that it liked the BSD code. It's very nice license that doesn't require Microsoft to contribute anything back to it's contributers.. so obviously they like it. The GPL requires people to contribute their changes back to the 'community' so Microsoft doesn't like that. Pretty simple stuff here to understand.

The BSD usage of Microsoft can be traced back to the original TCP/IP stacks it introduced into it's early Windows versions when the Internet came and gave them a nice reality check that was about as pleasant as getting hit them in the back of the head with a gigantic wet eel. Of course the port was shit and so was the stability of the OSes that used it... but whatever.

Are you confusing SFU with Cygwin?

Cygwin is, indeed, a GPL'd POSIX-like environment. It's provided by Redhat under the GPL that provides a Linux environment on top of the Win32 environment. So that has a quite a bit different approach to the same end.

Either one is quite nice, although I prefer the GNU environment for it's superior tools and usability over a hacked up BSD one.

Then there is other tools like Xming that provides X Windows compatibility for Windows and all that happy horseshit.

All in all with a small amount of effort Windows XP can be turned into a actually nice little Unix OS.

Of course it's still a shit Unix environment compared to Linux or OS X... but people tend to make the best with what they have and either tool provides a nice way to get the Unix tools and Unix source code compatibility without the Linux hardware headaches.

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Pirate

history is hilarity.

Oh. And the Xenix reference above is hilarious.

Ya sure. Most people don't know this but Microsoft got it's start as a Unix company, not a DOS company.

Microsoft purchased some Unix licenses and used that to produce Xenix for the x86 platform. They sold licenses to different folks and most of them ended up powering the POS (Point Of Sale) terminals that were popular among the Pizza Hut and BlockBuster sorts.

Microsoft hired the SCO folks to hack on Xenix for them.

Of course that is SCO as in 'Santa Cruz Operations', which sold most their software to Caldera Linux folks and created a split-off company developing Java web app environments that got purchased by Sun Microsystems which then got purchased by Oracle. It was the "Caldera Linux"-turned-"SCO Group" that ended up being the huge assholes after they were stomped into the ground by IBM.

So ya.. the success of Unix as a powerhouse OS can be pretty much traced to the BSD originated TCP/IP protocol stack and other Unix improvements that people took from BSD. As thanks the Unix folks then turned around (At that time it was Novell that owned that shit) and sued the BSD folks for making them all rich.

I guess Microsoft benefits from that heritage also.

Go Open Source! And remember folks.. the BSD license is _always_ better then the GPL because IT IS MORE FREE!!!!!!

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this sounds familiar.

Microsoft : Making every OEM OS on the market!*

Only, somehow, thats not good enough. You have a near-monopoly. You release Vista, which nobody wants. You bribe/Coerce/Force OEM retailers to massage their 'runs vista' specs. You get sued. The x32 emulation for Vista is an absolutel turd, so no PC gamers upgrade, and why would they; they want their ram for crysis, not for bloatware.**

So, now what?

The Zune? Fail.

Windows LIVE! Search? Fail.

Hotmail as a revenue stream? Fail.

the Microsoft App store for mobiles? Fail.

and now Google is telling people it can make a web browser, to go along with GoogleDocs. Windows 7 lurks over the horizon, and you know what? XPsp3 is still my platform of choice.

frankly Im waiting for Google to annouce its going to have a go at making an OS, and then watching the shit truly hit the fan.

is it me, or was DirectX the last good idea Microsoft had? Seriously. Last innovative product. give it a think.

also @ ravingangryloony : exactly the way windows has always done it, find something you like, exclusively license it, create a clone of it with your own IP stamp, and then flush the licensee. Its sad, but I can see why it happens to companies, If MS comes along and says "we want your stuff" you'll give it to them for whatever the offer you, because by the time they approach you, they've probably already decided to make their own. take the money or lose your market in a couple of years anyway.

*OEM sales with linux on in a domestic market are so small its not worth mentioning.

** crysis, bloatware. ahaha. see what I did there?

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Coat

Kumo or Sumo

Pictures some fat bastard. Software Bloat?

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Gold badge

@First project built on open source???

They used some BSD code initially, but when people stole the Windows 2000 code from Microsoft's FTP server it was analysed by some experts who concluded there was very little BSD code in there, limited to definition files like C headers.

The code was actually pretty good quality too. Of course the code can be good and the designs poor. But that's another argument.

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Gates Halo

Developer tools & frameworks are O/S

Microsoft have got several shipping products which are themselves open-source, including ASP.NET MVC, the WPF and Silverlight toolkits, several application blocks, and a heap of other stuff all available on Codeplex. And of course Visual Studio and ASP.NET include first-class support for jQuery.

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Anonymous Coward

Peace in our time

We, the Microsoft Corporation and the Open Source Community, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of closed and open software relations is of the first importance for the two communities and for Europe.

We regard the agreement signed last night and the Microsoft and Tom-Tom Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.

We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two communities, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe."

My good friends this is the second time in our history that the open source community has come back from Microsoft, peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And now I recommend you to go home and sleep quietly in your beds

Now we know how Neville Chamberlain felt in 1938

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Joke

@Wow. They really can't win, can they?

"These paedophiles can't win, can they? If they're abusing our kids, they're evil, if they offer to babysit its part of an evil conspiracy to destroy our children "

An extreme rewording (I love the smell of Reductio ad absurdum in the morning XD) but it gets the point across. Let the leopard show it's changed it's spots before you trust it.

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Silver badge

Re: Will there ever be an informed, nuetral article

I damn sure hope not. I don't come here for neutered, sorry, neutral stuff. I want opinionated ! I want partial ! I want unfair !

And I'm happy to get it here. Go Reg Team, Go !

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@ They really cant win

Not when all they are selling is buckets of dumb, no.

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Silver badge

@drag

It was AT&T that started the action against BSD. Novell subsequently bought USL and stopped the action.

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Silver badge
Coat

Re: drag

"Of course it's still a shit Unix environment compared to Linux or OS X... but people tend to make the best with what they have and either tool provides a nice way to get the Unix tools and Unix source code compatibility without the Linux hardware headaches."

NT with SFU is actually a much better Unix system then Linux, easily acheving that because at has, at least at one point, acheved SUS (Single UNIX Specification) complience. That is a feat that no linux distro has ever acheved.

Mine's the one with The Open Group logo on it.

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Gates Horns

Wow. They really can't win, can they?

That's right. Neither can Charles Manson win.

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Thumb Up

Re: Oninoshiko

""""

NT with SFU is actually a much better Unix system then Linux, easily acheving that because at has, at least at one point, acheved SUS (Single UNIX Specification) complience. That is a feat that no linux distro has ever acheved.

""""

That's all nice and such. But certifications like that tend to lose their meaning when you actually have to end up using and support it. I was talking about 'better' in a real sense, as in something people tended to prefer to use and not in 'Oh, look I made the guys that own the Unix trademark happy and slightly richer' sense. :)

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Jobs Horns

Yes Microsoft blows smoke rings out their anus.

While MS bleats about software piracy, one has to wonder, about the examples they set for others.

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Linux

First product to ship with open source?

So why doesn't the GPL'd code in Services for Unix count ?

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SFU and the GPL

"Windows Services for Unix has been a product of Microsoft's for years. It is under the GPL and my understanding is that Microsoft has complied with the terms of that license.

""""

Umm.... Noo.....

Not that I am aware of."

Actually, Services for Unix does indeed include GPL software (in addition to BSD). See http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/30073 for details. This is far from the first product to include FOSS code.

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