Feeds

back to article Microsoft set for open source outpouring?

Microsoft's massive code drop to the once-hated GPL looks like the first in a series of open source moves from the Redmond software giant. Today, the company will announce a set of plug-ins for Microsoft Office for scientific discovery, chemical equations, and formulas built by Microsoft, and the plug-ins look like they will …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

GPL? Good Lord!

Where the heck is Steve Balmer, is he sleeping ?

0
0
Silver badge
Grenade

Far too little, far too late?

Others would interpret the development as Microsoft realising that their business model is not sustainable and is most probable also self-destructive as their Source Code Base, predicated upon it being always Secret and therefore Free from Oversight Scrutiny, collapses to expose some Decidedly Deliberately Dodgy Directives. And the Ongoing Mirror Parallel of the Scene? ..... the Capitalist Currency Money Market Meltdown which is gathering Pace and Latent Storm Energy.

And now they're talking real money and losses ...... http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25164.html

If you step back and take a look at the Big Picture, you will notice that Nothing has Changed Fundamentally to Address the Meltdown, for the same Tired Old Useless Hacks are still making their same Tired Old Useless Calls....... and that aint Progress, it's Depressing.

0
0
Silver badge
Linux

Windows Drivers vs Linux Drivers

I took a look at the List of drivers needed for Linux and the following things come to mind

1) How many of the devices listed are supported OOTB on a virgin Windows Installation? I would guess very few.

2) The list is just that, a list. There is no ranking by imprtance. I would guess that there are many devices on that list that are of pretty low importance. For example ISDN devices. Didn't ADSL replace that in most countries by now?

The article does not mention the hoops you have to go through to find decent support for Printers on Windows. For example, I produced a panoramic picture that was 5ft long. Would Windows let me print it out? Yes, the latest Epson driver was installed but No, I could not setup the paper size correctly. The solution? Boot Knoppix from CD-ROM, configure the printer and bingo, the image was output correctly.

Sorry, I am not convinced by this argument and don't get me going on the Embrace.... records of Microsoft. Now where are the 40 pieces of silver?

Tux wins naturally.

0
0
Flame

Linux

Comparing the number of drivers available for Linux an Open Source operating system and Microsoft a large corporation who have had most of their drivers written by hardware manufacturers for years is a ridiculous comment.

0
0

Hmm...

The open sourced code relates to SCSI, IDE and Ethernet. Wouldn't it be funny if linux started using MS' drivers for networking, considering how much stick they've got for using BSD's drivers for IP networking in NT 3.5.

0
0
Silver badge

Typical MS FUD

"However, if you take a look at the number of drivers the Linux kernel still needs on hardware here, you'll see just how far Linux lags Windows on some basic plug-and-play functionality."

Whatever.

A little basic research will show that you can run any important type of hardware under Linux/BSD/GNU, fanboi posturing to the contrary not withstanding.

I'll stick with Slackware, thanks. It just works, on everything I put it on.

0
0
Paris Hilton

What? No meerkats???

I'm appalled. By now, there would be at least 20 comments incorporating the following words or phrases : "M$", "Windoze", "Winbloze", "evil empire", "Linux rocks" or "Never trust Microsoft".

You guys are falling down in your duty to protect the world from Microsoft's evil propaganda. Dear God, man! if you don't act now dumb people like me might actually believe that you've been talking utter crap all these years!!

(Paris - Because there's something wrong with her mouth)

0
0
NRT

One simple change.

It would be nice if MS changed the behaiviour of their installer, at the moment a Windows install will nuke a dual boot MBR & boot straight into Windows.

It would be polite of them to do what the other OS installers do. I.E. check to see what else is there &, if necessary, ask!

Nick.

0
0
Pint

Finally the tables are starting to turn

Finally the tables are starting to turn

- name that song

0
0
Jobs Horns

Poisoned chalice

So they release "open source" plug-ins that then tie you to their proprietary code and proprietary formats (docx is a standard - my fat arse, what a fiasco of bribery and dirty dealing that was). And as you are happily suckered with their "open source" plug-ins and get a few proprietary plug-ins to ease things along, you become trapped on the MS platform. They now have their claws in you and can start to bleed you dry.

Never minding the fact that there's probably some festering clause that will allow them to sue anyone using their "open source" plug-ins, or anything base don their "open source" code, in the future.

MS is not the friend of open source, it never has been and never will be. Anything they do in the open source world should be deeply analysed, looking for whatever devious angle MS are no trying to play; and if you can't find the angle, you haven't look hard enough.

0
0
Linux

Microsoft OSS

They probably realise that it's better to stick with Linux hypervisors for your guest OSes.

Another marketing move. EMBRACE, EXTEND, EXTINGUISH.

0
0
Bronze badge
Joke

How else

would one expect Microsoft to debug its code base, other than using customers to beta test its products?

0
0
Bronze badge

@NRT: One Simple Change

An even simpler change would be if Windows admitted to the existence of Linux partitions. Run Linux and not only do you have your Windows partitions mounted and ready, but Ubuntu 9.04 at least even recognises the user names and profiles and imports the "documents and settings" when you install it. Run Windows and it thinks the Linux partitions are unformatted - despite third-party drivers being available for Linux file systems.

0
0
Silver badge

Microsoft Tacit Admission of Defeat to Open Source?

"How else would one expect Microsoft to debug its code base, other than using customers to beta test its products?" ... By adnim Posted Tuesday 21st July 2009 09:32 GMT

That was very perceptive, adnim, suggesting that there is an MS Mental Block. :-)

However, creating what is in effect a Trojan Horse is not a sound option for it will produce exactly the same horror nightmare situation as is unfolding for Uncle Sam with their crazy decision to subcontract military duties to civilian personnel, which creates personal private armies beyond military disciplined controls. What then happens is that they start fighting against each other with all of the power that they have been granted in a foreign field of engagement with dodgy immunity, at home ....... because they can and/or the money is real good.

0
0

Actually ...

> However, if you take a look at the number of drivers the Linux kernel still needs on hardware here, you'll see just how far Linux lags Windows on some basic plug-and-play functionality

Nope, we'll see nothing of the sort, without a similar list for Windows (i.e. a list of hardware devices for which no driver is supplied with the OS).

0
0

@ Steve Davies 3, AC and Jake

On Vista and Windows 7 it's few and far between when I've installed the OS and it doesn't recognise the device and install relevant drivers out of the box. In the rare case when it doesn't it tells me and I press the button "Search Online Now" where it see's if the driver is on Windows Update.

This has let me down about twice in the last 3 years or so. I can't say the same about Linux.

Oh, and regarding the list - note that it's not comprehensive, and your remark Jake that "A little basic research will show that you can run any important type of hardware under Linux/BSD/GNU, fanboi posturing to the contrary not withstanding" is false. Read the list again.

Items such as "Adaptec SCSI Controllers with HostRAID", half the worlds TV input cards and webcams, Broadcom Wifi, selection of sound chipsets, and this wonderful single bulletpoint about the worlds most popular GPU chipsets:

"•Yes, we know all about ATI and nVidia graphic cards, please don't feel like you need to list the specific cards that are not supported, there are teams of developers working right now to address this in an open-source manner: see http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/Status "

Fantastic.

So whilst the driver issues in Linux are worlds better than 5 years ago thanks to the community and a select few vendors who issue open source or linux specific drivers there's a huge amount of work to be done in comparision to Windows; where 90% of the time the drivers are in the box / Windows Update or can be found from the vendors website and installed with two clicks.

Don't fool yourselves - there's a long way to go.

0
0
Bronze badge
Linux

Linux supported hardware is better quality

"However, if you take a look at the number of drivers the Linux kernel still needs on hardware here, you'll see just how far Linux lags Windows on some basic plug-and-play functionality."

This statement is meaningless because it presumes that having support for a particular hardware device on one version of Windows is equivalent to having the same support for the same device on all versions of Windows, past present and future. Many Vista users are all too well aware that not all of their older XP supported hardware peripherals are supported on Vista.

There is a great difference between availability of a binary-only non-free Linux driver for hardware which has been known to work with a single Linux kernel and having a GPL2 compatible source code driver which can be maintained and compiled for future versions of Linux. But very few device drivers for hardware on Windows come with source code, making nearly all Windows-driven hardware second class when it comes to future proofing and bug fixing, because this depends upon continuing interest by a manufacturer which may have stopped selling the hardware or which might have gone bankrupt or been taken over by a company with different interests.

So if you are using an unmaintained binary Windows or Linux driver, there is an equally good chance this will force you to choose between managing without the hardware or being unable to upgrade your system whatever the security risks of not doing so.

Windows users wanting good quality hardware are therefore best advised to check if a GPL Linux driver exists for a prospective hardware purchase before buying. If one does, there is a better chance that the hardware is of higher quality by supporting relevant interfacing standards, and isn't a rubbish device made cheaper by offloading all its processing onto the computer driving it. Even if the hardware will never be used with Linux, Linux-supported hardware should still be able to work reliably after the next Windows upgrade.

0
0
Gates Horns

When supping with The Devil............

Use a long spoon

0
0

windows and linux partitions

"Run Windows and it thinks the Linux partitions are unformatted - despite third-party drivers being available for Linux file systems."

actually, for me, it says it's an unrecognised partition and warns me if I go to format it that it's probably being used by a non-MS OS.

does it read non-MS partitions? no... I'm not sure what the legal status of any of the IFS drivers that support EXT-2 is, but I'd imagine none are BSD-style licenced... and the difference in permission/ownership systems makes any such system vaguely annoying

0
0
Grenade

Catching up

It was a lack of "a set of plug-ins for Microsoft Office for scientific discovery, chemical equations, and formulas built by Microsoft" that meant I had to use WordPerfect for DOS to write my college thesis. That was 16 years ago...

Maybe what they are saying is "Look, we've spent nearly two decades and our software is shit. Let's get someone else to write the hard parts and then we can concentrate on cocking up the easy parts in new and unusual ways".

As for all this driver chit-chat. I've been sold PCs with operating systems on them (Windows natch) that wouldn't talk to the peripherals that came with the machine. I've even had one that crashed when the drivers were loaded (and refused to boot into windows until I removed the device). So basically MS can suck my wrinkled todger. Giving some of their code into the community is not the same as writing decent software. They only need to do one of those things (guess which!)

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

@The Original Steve

"...half the worlds TV input cards..."

I think if YOU check you will find that "half the world's TV input cards" are not supported by Windows out-of-the-box either.

There are so many subtle variations even between cards based on the same chipset that they can't possibly support them all without manufacturer supplied drivers on accompanying disks. That's not M$'s fault and I'm not trying to bash Windows but let's compare like with like.

The comment by "Geoff Mackenzie" @Actually... is spot-on.

This is all speculation unless we see some solid evidence on the MS side in terms of what is not supported by the OS natively.

0
0
Silver badge

@The Original Steve

Note that I said "important hardware". The word beginning with "i" is, well, important.

From time immemorial, when planning to purchase a new general purpose computer, the intelligent buyer first asks himself "what applications do I plan to run?". Secondly, she asks herself "what OS does that application run on?". Thirdly (and finally) one asks "what hardware resources do I need to maximize the functionality of the application and OS?". In bygone days, the second step was often omitted because the applications ran directly on the hardware (to all intents and purposes).

In other words, caveat emptor. (That means "let the buyer beware" if you're too young to have been forced to take Latin in highschool).

Or, if you prefer more modern vernacular, if you are too fucking stupid to do a little basic research before plopping coin down for a new computer, don't come running to me when the silly thing doesn't work the way you expected it to work. Not unless you are willing to pay me US$125/hr+ to sort it, and probably even then be forced to get more hardware, that is.

Hey, it's a living. ::shrugs::

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.