back to article 2001: Linux is cancer, says Microsoft. 2019: Hey friends, ah, can we join the official linux-distros mailing list, plz?

Microsoft's transformation into a fully paid-up member of the Linux love-train continued this week as the Windows giant sought to join the exclusive club that is the official linux-distros mailing list. The purpose of the linux-distros list is used by Linux distributions to privately report, coordinate, and discuss security …

  1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Joke

    I am getting worried

    ... about the state of climate in hell.

    1. rcxb Bronze badge

      Re: I am getting worried

      You're assuming Microsoft has good intentions. Instead, they've decided it's easier to suck the marrow from the bones if they can sneak inside the host under a flag of truce, like many other common parasites.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: I am getting worried

        Exactly. In 2001 Ballmer guessed that FOSS threatened to lose Microsoft money. Today the cheeses believe it will make Microsoft money.

        That's all there is to it.

        1. holmegm Bronze badge

          Re: I am getting worried

          "In 2001 Ballmer guessed that FOSS threatened to lose Microsoft money. Today the cheeses believe it will make Microsoft money. That's all there is to it."

          And ... that's fine. Isn't it?

          Plenty of other vendors in the linux world are there to make money, and far more users in the linux world are there to save money (which is the same thing but even better from a tax standpoint).

      2. sum_of_squares
        Devil

        Re: I am getting worried

        EMBRACE - [check]

        ENHANCE - [in progress...]

        1. el kabong Silver badge

          At microsoft they would love to be able to do that

          but no, they lack the power, microsoft can no longer do things like that. Microsoft's current strategy is to ride along and grab as much as they can, which means they will be able to grab a lot. And, when feasible, steer the process towards microsoft's goals, of course.

          Linux offers opportunities to make money and at microsoft they want to take as much of that money to themselves as they can, each penny of it should go to microsoft that is their goal. Microsoft people are taking positions making sure an increasing share of Linux money is channeled to microsoft's coffers.

        2. el_oscuro

          Re: I am getting worried

          They're a bit late for that strategy, given that Linux pretty much runs everything that isn't a desktop/laptop/active directory or outlook.

          Perhaps it would have been a lot more effective if they had pursued it in, I don't know, about 2001?

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: I am getting worried

            We should certainly not take anything Microsoft says as truthful with regard to this recent interest in Linux (or anything else), and they've earned the position they're in, where observers assume, for every action Microsoft takes, that there is nefarious intent (even if we can't quite figure out what it is yet), until proven otherwise.

            Still, I don't see this stuff as MS trying the old EEE strategy this time. Linux is not competition for Microsoft, as they clearly do not care about Windows anymore.

            There were lines that Gates and Ballmer would never cross when it came to Windows, even though crossing those lines would have meant more profits in the short term, and it was not because "Micro$oft" didn't like money as much as they do now. It was because Windows was the MS crown jewel, and they knew the story about killing the golden goose. They'd spent too much time and effort making sure that Windows WAS the golden goose to take the risk that they'd harm the Windows platform.

            Under Gates and Ballmer, MS never forced users to accept substandard Windows versions like Vista or ME, choosing instead to fix what people hated about them and offering something better (what an idea!), and they never conscripted consumers to beta-test their own paid software. Nadella's Microsoft is taking every opportunity to cash in on Windows in the short-term while gradually destroying it over time. This is not an accident.

            While many people still think of MS as the Windows company, they're all about the cloud now, and their competitors are AWS and Google, not Apple and Linux. They're making piles of money with Azure, and Linux is more popular with Azure users than Windows. If Linux is where Azure customers want to be (and it is), it's where Microsoft wants to be.

            If MS ever was going to try to EEE Linux, it would have been when Linux was cancer, not now that it is a massive money-maker for them. Why would they try to destroy what is making them so much cash? For Windows, that legacy thing that doesn't even get its own department anymore and that MS can't even be bothered to beta test in house? Windows was the past... the cloud is the future, and the cloud runs largely on Linux.

            If MS thought they could destroy open-source, GPL software, they would have done it when that software represented a threat to their own profit rather than a big source of it. The GPL's "cancerous" properties that gave Ballmer the cold chills was designed specifically to prevent the likes of Microsoft from doing what people think they're trying to do now.

            If Microsoft extends the Linux kernel, they're obligated to make the source of those extensions available under the GPL if they make the product based on those extensions available. If the extensions are an improvement, the kernel team can incorporate them; if not, it can leave them alone.

            That part is relatively easy for MS. The problem would be when they try to extinguish-- but how can they extinguish what they do not own or control? Once they've written the code and it goes out there into the world under the GPL, it's no more "theirs" than any other GPL code. They can't shut off the tap and have it just go away as they could with their own proprietary software. Once something is out there on the internet, it's out there forever, and no longer under the control of its creator.

            More likely, I think, is that MS wants to get some leverage within the Linux development community. MS feared the GPL, but something has happened since Ballmer's statement that may have changed their minds: they've watched as Google developed a browser that's mostly open-source, putting their money into developing not just a product whose compiled binaries are given away, but also whose source code is given away, rather than being kept tightly under wraps as MS would, and yet they can see that Google has no less control over Chrome than Microsoft had over IE back in the day.

            If any of these governments ever see fit to really question Google over Chrome's market share, Google has that open-source thing to throw back at them. One can predict the arguments they'd make right now: How can Chrome be anti-competitive when they give anyone who wants the ability to use, modify, and compile the browser source in any way they see fit?

            There are lots of Chromium-based browsers, which Google would say shows that competition is alive and well, and the overwhelming dominance of Chrome itself in market share (as opposed to its Chromium cousins) does not, in this case, indicate anti-competitive behavior, but that people prefer the Google product-- a claim that could not be made for a closed-source product like IE. Chromium-based browsers and actual Chrome render web pages just the same, so you're not obligated to get the actual Google branded Chrome to get all of the benefit of using the standard browser for which web pages are designed, which was not the case with the proprietary Internet Explorer.

            Microsoft may well have learned what Google already knows: Open source isn't a cancer for a company that wishes to dominate and control a market as both Microsoft and Google have done... it's a blessing.

            Now that we've seen Microsoft abandon their own proprietary browser code in favor of Chromium, one could easily conclude that MS may be thinking of doing the same with Windows itself, and for the same reasons. If they were to do this, it would be quite possible that a conflict between Microsoft distributing its closed binary blobs with GPL'd code would crop up (due to the "cancerous" nature of the GPL), and being a Platinum member of the Linux Foundation and a benefactor of the Linux community would go a long way in protecting them from any claims resulting from that conflict. It already has for other members.

            1. sum_of_squares
              Pint

              Re: I am getting worried

              Nice answer.. MR. NADELLA.

              All jokes aside, we have to take a closer look what EEE really means:

              1) Embrace: Microsoft creates products who are compatible to open standards or non-MS products.

              2) Extend: Add new features so people use MS stuff.

              3) Extinguish: MS Stuff gets de facto standard, so the entry barriers are getting higher and those who do not want to support the MS "additions" don't have a change anymore.

              This is not a new idea, it' basically how "the godfather" does it in the movies:

              Help people and make people depend on you.

              Now we do see a large scale adoption of Linux, i.e. SQL Server 2017 was the first version which runs on linux. But it becomes more apparent when we look at the WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) Linux. At first it was sold as "experiment in virtualization", but recently Linux became an "App" within the MS store.

              Yeah, I'll repeat this:

              The MS view is that Linux should be an App within Windows.

              Now as Windows and Linux will get closer and closer, MS will inevitably start to kindly add features (stage 2). Of course they can't eventually "destroy" Linux, but if they enslave it and control it, they will "extinguish" it anyway.

              I think their endgame is that you can't talk about Linux without Windows anymore. Since they pivot more and more stuff into the cloud (office) and kill off stuff you can't pivot (edge) they NEED Linux in their big plan of world domination... oh sorry, got a little bit carried away here.

              Or did I?

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: I am getting worried

              The problem would be when they try to extinguish-- but how can they extinguish what they do not own or control? Once they've written the code and it goes out there into the world under the GPL, it's no more "theirs" than any other GPL code. They can't shut off the tap and have it just go away as they could with their own proprietary software. Once something is out there on the internet, it's out there forever, and no longer under the control of its creator.

              MS has been playing some interesting games for a long time. Some they started a long time ago may only now be coming into fruition.

              How much "GPL" code does MS actually own the rights to; code which never should've been released as GPL as MS owned it outright?

              You're not worried right now, but here's the chill. When MS aquired Hotmail, they had T&Cs that stated that MS completely owned the copyright to anything that went through Hotmail's servers - you gave up the right to your email contents if you had one of their accounts. I don't know if they still have that code or not.

              Many people have used HM to share code of various forms, knowingly or unknowingly - ie there may've been ways to redirect mail to/from another domain for a long time. How many people innocently shared code with someone who was at say john@johnsnewlinuxdistro.com where that address went to HM? When John replied quoting the code, MS then legally had the rights to the code.

              And then there's the next issue. MS could simply choose to ignore the GPL, or even fight it (damn I'm sounding like C9 here! :( )

              Will it stand up in court? Well, MS has deep pockets.

              How much of this is 'happy coincidence', and how long has MS been playing games where they can get stuff through other acquisitions?

              (MS aren't alone in those sorts of terms - did you put your company logo on LinkedIn or a G+ page? Well those companies now own the rights to your logo, you don't.)

              Satanists and witches these days promote themselves as being the sorts who care for the community - but no matter how they dress, those who follow evil are only going to support the goals of evil - even when what they do appears to be good (eg many who claim the 'christian' banner yet live the devil's lifestyle).

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I am getting worried

                You probably mean "religious nutters" there. They're all just different flavours of the same damage, regardless of which magical fairy they're hearing voices from.

      3. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: I am getting worried

        You're assuming Microsoft has good intentions.

        They do. I, an avid MS hater, can fully and honestly say MS are doing this with the best intentions at heart.

        Best intentions for MS of course.

        Lemme see.. They'd get early access to bug reports - how many will be mysteriously 'accidentally leaked' or 'independently found by black-hat types' where a fix may be slow in coming (Linux slow like a few days, not MS fast like a few months or even years :) )

        They'd be able to improve some of their own stuff - I'm sure MS has lifted 'one or two' bits of Linux code for their own internal stuff.

        And I'm sure MS would never try to figure out ways to use early knowledge of issues with Linux to improve their own position.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I am getting worried

      yeah, do you have ANY idea how long it takes to get the pilot light lit???

      (from an 'Animaniacs' episode where they literally caused hell to freeze over)

  2. TXITMAN

    The Borg

    Microsoft is the Borg. They are killing open source just as sure as the sun will rise in the East.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: The Borg

      "They are killing open source"

      Yes.

      Dr. Evil himself couldn't have conjured this evil scheme of ...joining a mailing list?!

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: The Borg

        Yeah. Use your imagination.

        Black hats go to the trouble and expense of breaking into their rivals' corporate decision systems.

        Microsoft just asks to be added to a distribution list.

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: The Borg

      Microsoft is the Borg.

      Indeed ...

      And once it is in you will not be able to get rid of it.

      I will repeat it as many times as is necessary:

      Embrace, extend and extinguish may sound like a SciFi joke but it is not.

      I'll say it again: this type of stuff does not bode well for the Linux ecosystem.

      It will end up rotting it from the inside.

      And by then the virus will be deeply ingrained inside Linux and far too late.

      O.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      They are now the Voyager Borg

      They are not the fearsome Borg that debuted on TNG, they're the pathetic Borg of Voyager who are outmatched by a single ship alone tens of thousands of light years from its nearest spacedock repair facility.

      They are more likely to get assimilated by Linux than the other way around at this point.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

        I hope that what you say is true, but I doubt it. Microsoft outclasses the Linux community in terms of sheer ruthlessness, not to mention money and power.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

          "I hope that what you say is true, but I doubt it. Microsoft outclasses the Linux community in terms of sheer ruthlessness, not to mention money and power"

          True, but the fact that Microsoft is grossly incompetent works in our favour.

          1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

            Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

            MS doesn't destroy their competition by making better stuff than the competition, they do it by destroying the products of the competition.

            The only thing MS needs to do to win is bring down Linux to their level of mediocrity.

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

              Re: Kabukiwookie

              They're currently turning Windows 10 into some kind of hybrid Frankenstein monster, where no one needs to bother dualbooting to run Linux and Windows. This is an attack on Linux, since they're trying to limit people running full Linux as a competitor.

              Can't have people using a full install of Linux and realising it's got a lot of advantages over Windows, can we now...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

              The only thing MS needs to do to win is bring down Linux to their level of mediocrity.

              I thought the systemD, Gnome3 and Wayland teams were already doing that?

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

                The only thing MS needs to do to win is bring down Linux to their level of mediocrity.

                I thought the systemD, Gnome3 and Wayland teams were already doing that?

                Who do you think Pottything really works for?

            3. herman Silver badge
              Flame

              Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

              "bring down Linux to their level of mediocrity." - Lennard already did that. He rolled out the welcoming mat with systemd.

          2. Jakester

            Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

            While Microsoft may be grossly incompetent, I think much of what they touch seems to devolve into a big pile of smelly brown stuff.

          3. Mahhn

            Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

            I don't think they are as incompetent as they are greedy.

            Their marketing of W10 is proof. It's a horrid system, but its so much of a cash cow between it's data harvesting and micro-payment for apps they could afford to just give (push) it away this time. They figured out that there is more money in Service (and data) than Sales. Now they just need to be sure to have their fingers in everything else to bolster marketing a little more. "Here at MS we work with and support other software (Linux) to ensure your W10 experience is fluid no matter how or where you compute. Welcome to MS, we are the world." Just greed, that's all.

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

          " Microsoft outclasses the Linux community in terms of sheer ruthlessness, not to mention money and power."

          When the linux community includes IBM, Google and Amazon... Then I'm not quite sure that M$ outclass them in terms of money.

          And probably not in power either.

          It's just that 'no one got fired for buying IBM' needs an update

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

            "When the linux community includes IBM, Google and Amazon"

            I don't actually consider them as being part of the Linux community, but I suppose that every defines the "Linux community" differently.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

          I hope that what you say is true, but I doubt it. Microsoft outclasses the Linux community in terms of sheer ruthlessness, not to mention money and power.

          Maybe we can send Hans Reiser to Redmond on a work-release programme. I've heard he's an expert Linux coder...

          1. cmaurand

            Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

            He doesn't need to go there. He can code from his jail cell. He just needs connectivity.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: They are now the Voyager Borg

        "They are more likely to get assimilated by Linux than the other way around at this point."

        Never underestimate the power of the SWARTZ! er, Borg. er, Microshaft...

    4. wallaby

      Re: The Borg

      Come to Linux, Love Linux...… but not you !!!!!

      Open pfft !!!!

    5. cmaurand

      Re: The Borg

      That's what "forks," are for.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey friends, ah, can we join the official linux-distros mailing list, plz?

    No, now fuckety bye.

  4. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    Awww

    Isn't that cute - Microsoft holding hands and singing Kumbyah with the unshaven Penguinistas. Such a heartwarming moment that we've waited decades for. It's almost like watching warm and fuzzy videos of cute puppies playing in a bright green field. Puppies that unknowingly have cancer and rabies, but they're so cute to watch. So sweet and innocent. Awww. We should EMBRACE those puppies and show them all the love they deserve. They'll grow up so fast...

    1. mproulx

      Re: Awww

      drugs are bad mkayy

  5. fnusnu

    I wonder if Microsoft will release the results of their kernel testing tools which allegedly have discovered a number of bugs in the Linux kernel.

    1. gerdesj Silver badge
      Linux

      Plenty to go around already

      The Linux devs already have plenty of testing tools. See this article in LWN for example: CVE-less vulnerabilities

      MS is probably better off looking closer to home for bugs and participating in the wider conversation. I find myself strangely in favour of this move. Feels a bit odd given I was using a Mandrake distro on my desktop and being described as a cancer or something by the knobends at MS back in the day.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Holmes

      I wonder if Microsoft will release the results of their kernel testing tools

      If MS code quality these days is anything to go by, I would guess the results are 90% false positives and 10% bugs in the testing tool or vice-versa (yeah, I grant them that).

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        To be fair, since they purchased github, MS' code quality has gone up drastically.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > To be fair, since they purchased github, MS' code quality has gone up drastically.

          Not really.

          GitHub themselves seem to be doing more weird stuff lately too.

          An example from last week: now when you create a new repo, you're no longer automatically added to the Watch list for it. So issues, PRs, etc on it don't come to your attention.

          It's easy enough to add yourself to the repo after creation... if you know to do it.

          However, this change has been done silently without telling anyone, so most people won't notice. It's a significant behaviour change, with no communication about it happening.

          What's more... it wouldn't be surprising if the change was unintentional, and nobody working for GitHub has noticed.

  6. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Devil

    New Wisdom Cometh

    As part of their first contribution to the "linux distos" list, Microsoft will point out that the the Linux Core is missing an Azure dependent activation code.

    1. Ged T

      Re: New Wisdom Cometh

      Contact your MS Account manager for licensing and monthly subscription pricing of your, once free but now with added ‘Experience’, product...

    2. Adair

      Re: New Wisdom Cometh

      Well MS can just fork off!

  7. JohnFen Silver badge

    The public good

    The Linux Foundation has already let the fox in the henhouse. That was the actual terrible thing that happened. Since that's a done deal, though, I think that letting them onto the linux-distros list is not only reasonable, but desirable in terms of the greater good.

    The list is primarily focused on security issues, and whether we like it or not (I obviously don't) Microsoft is doing Linuxy things that are impacted by, and will impact, Linux security. They need to be an active participant on that front.

    1. georgezilla Bronze badge

      Re: The public good

      " ... are impacted by, and will impact, Linux security. ... "

      You mean by adding buggy crap code and vulnerabilities into Linux, like they have been doing to their own code? For decades.

      What was it, 1809? That every time you got near it, it broke shit? And now 19H0 (?) is ..............

      Actually where is it?

      Even Microsoft isn't actually sure where/when it is.

      Yea that sounds like a real effing good idea to me. Let's let them in and see.

      No effing thank you. It's a very, VERY EFFING BAD EFFING IDEA.

      ( If you would like to know how I REALLY feel, just ask. :) )

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: The public good

        "You mean by adding buggy crap code and vulnerabilities into Linux, like they have been doing to their own code?"

        No, that's not what I mean. Microsoft can't unilaterally add code into any Linux distro (or into the official kernel) that they aren't making themselves. And they can (and do) add code into distros they make themselves whether or not they're part of this list.

        1. G Olson

          Re: The public good

          What Microsoft wants to do is change the discussion about security issues with Linux. And they will beat everyone to fatigued submission with an army of know-nothings just like the people who create "security" in Windows products.

          "That's not a security problem in the kernel, it's an opportunity to sell a different product which enhances Linux". No, just no.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: The public good

            I think that perhaps people aren't understanding how the list works. It's not a rule-making body or anything, it's just where distro manufacturers get together to share notes. Even if Microsoft "beat everyone on the list into submission", it wouldn't affect what the distros do. It would just make the list no longer useful.

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: The public good

        "You mean by adding buggy crap code and vulnerabilities into Linux"

        Sasha Levin (the person who's made this request on behalf of Microsoft) is currently an active contributor to the Linux kernel, so the chances are you're alre4ady using his work in part. He used to work for Oracle if that makes you feel better?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The public good

          > He used to work for Oracle if that makes you feel better?

          How would having someone who worked for Oracle, and now works for Microsoft, wanting to be involved with Linux security... make any Linux user "feel better".

          Keep that person FAR, FAR away.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: The public good

      "in terms of the greater good."

      While those who think of themselves as 'Nobles' may *FEEL* (not think) in these kinds of terms, those of us who recognize the GREAT NUMBER OF EVILS that have been done with this particular phrase [or an equivalent] justifying it, *IMMEDIATELY* pucker up our anuses in anticipation of the SCREWING that will soon follow...

      "greater good" huh? That's sorta like "the ends justify the means" without it being as obvious...

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: The public good

        "That's sorta like "the ends justify the means" without it being as obvious."

        Umm, no. It's sorta like saying "the damage has already occurred, and this will make it a little bit less bad."

  8. Kev99

    I'd be incredibly worried about Microsoft getting inside info on Linux. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it didn't use any bugs or security faults as a hammer against using Linux. And I wouldn't be surprised if it were to take the open source whiz-bags and recode them for Windows and lock them down.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Let's be realistic here. The "inside info" that goes through the linux-distros list are not exactly state secrets. Generally speaking, it tends to be discussions of vulnerabilities that are already reasonably well-known (often discovered) by the larger technical Linux and security communities. The purpose of the list is to develop and coordinate mitigations to discovered vulnerabilities.

      Microsoft will not be learning many things there that they wouldn't already have learned elsewhere. Not to mention that if Microsoft uses their knowledge in a way that is harmful to security (as you suggest), they'd be kicked off the list.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        And they already have people working on the Linux kernel. See there's that.

        Yes, it is strange, and had somebody told me this a decade ago I would have called the guys with the comfy strap-around vests. It absolutely makes sense now, and considering that some of our "favourite" companies are already on board (Oracle and Google...) I really cannot see any new problems.

        1. TVU

          "Yes, it is strange, and had somebody told me this a decade ago I would have called the guys with the comfy strap-around vests. It absolutely makes sense now, and considering that some of our "favourite" companies are already on board (Oracle and Google...) I really cannot see any new problems"

          Indeed, and of all the companies mentioned in this entire discussion thread, it is Oracle today that is the most hostile corporate entity towards all things open source and not Microsoft under Satya.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            > it is Oracle today that is the most hostile corporate entity towards all things open source and not Microsoft under Satya.

            A possible factor might be that MS's 'infringed' patents have all expired along with the grace period in which they could commence legal proceedings...

            1. el_oscuro

              Oracle is actually totally dependent on Linux. They kind of half-ass support their databases on Windows, but otherwise Linux is it. Oracle used to run on liek 30 different platforms, but no more. *Everything* they sell runs Linux. Looking for an Exadata, ZDLRA, Exalogic, Firewall, Identity Manager, or anything else? You will run Linux and like it. The even have their own distro which is a blatant copy of RHEL. I'm now sure why Red Hat hasn't thrown a sueball at them yet

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            "it is Oracle today that is the most hostile corporate entity towards all things open source and not Microsoft under Satya."

            Oracle is a big baddie, but that in no way means that Microsoft isn't one as well. I have yet to see any reason to consider Microsoft as benign.

      2. G Olson

        The problem is not what Microsoft will learn; but how they will react to that knowledge. Instead of solving the security problem, Microsoft will argue the problem is negligible, will encourage a 3rd party to develop to develop the fix, then later buy the 3rd party for pennies on the dollar and much later (after the damage is done) present their fix to a problem which should have been fixed long ago.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          "Microsoft will argue the problem is negligible, will encourage a 3rd party to develop to develop the fix, then later buy the 3rd party for pennies on the dollar and much later (after the damage is done) present their fix to a problem which should have been fixed long ago."

          And so what? Microsoft can argue anything it likes, but nobody on the list has any authority over anything except their own products. If they're unreasonable, they can, and will, be ignored.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Microsoft will not be learning many things there that they wouldn't already have learned elsewhere.

        Good. In that case they can continue to be "elsewhere" and f**k right off.

    2. Gaius

      Inside info like... source code? Cool theory!

    3. wallaby

      Tinfoil hats aisle 2

    4. TheMeerkat

      Inside secrets? Have you missed the “open” bit in “open source”?

    5. katrinab Silver badge
      WTF?

      "And I wouldn't be surprised if it were to take the open source whiz-bags and recode them for Windows and lock them down."

      They would go to one of the BSD source trees if they wanted to do that, and they already have on many occasions.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From within....

    Ok...if I want to destroy something, I'll do it from within. Get as many cronies as I can get and they will join and they will help me become the head honcho! <grin>

    Ok, so we know MS is the destroyer of things. So what are they're up to? Oh the drama...life gets interesting as we move along. But seriously...destroy from within is the best I got. : )

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: From within....

      MS is probably getting on board the same kind of train they always have, only this time they're 20 years late.

      So now they want on board with a 1st class seating arrangement, when all of the 1st class tickets have been sold and there's nothing available seating, but they want in anyway.

      But given time and the influx of unlimited money, MS *could* buy themselves an entirely NEW TRAIN, and have probably already planned on this...

      Fortunately there's *STILL* FreeBSD

  10. JimPoak

    Be ware of greeks baring gifts

    Like a leopard and it's spots I don't Microsoft loves Linux. The phrase Kernel + Microsoft stinks not to mention the tools used to find vulnerabilities in the kernel, why don't they use it on their own damned software (Office). OK join the club but look but don't touch. I've been around Microsoft to know that they have been busted for introducing back doors and hiding undocumented entry points not to trust them. If there is another agenda here other than being lovi dovi it's yet to be discovered. I hope it will not see the demise of open and free software in the future

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Be ware of greeks baring gifts

      Or is that geeks bearing grifts?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux diehards showing once again they can't adapt to (not believe in) change...

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Proper evidence of real change please

      Joining OIN looked like some genuine change I should adapt to. Microsoft continues to patent troll Linux, so no real change. Perhaps Linux diehards have a good reason not to adapt yet. I will believe in unicorns when young girls ride them to school.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Linux diehards showing once again they can't adapt to (not believe in) change...

      Actions speak louder than words. Show us evidence of this alleged change. It will take more than a few "Microsoft loves Linux" statements to refute, rescind, or nullify all they have said and done since the very beginning. They've spent decades destroying anyone that gets in their way, and we're supposed to forget all of that and welcome them now because they claim to now love what they once called "cancer?"

      No, sorry, it doesn't work that way. If the change is real, it's going to take some time for a new track record of consistent Linux friendliness and good faith to begin to replace the old track record, the one that saw MS embrace and pretend to love new things while plotting their destruction.

      While we're at it, it's not "adapting to change" to throw out good ideas and things that work because someone has declared that some other thing is the hot new trend now. To slavishly follow every ridiculous but fashionable idea that comes down the pike isn't "adapting to change"... it's being gullible and foolish.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > If the change is real, it's going to take some time for a new track record ...

        Until telemetry can be completely disabled - simply - by end users, MS are still on their old path of abuse.

        This mystical "change" some people are trying to sell is just marketing bull.

    3. NATTtrash

      Linux diehards showing once again they can't adapt to (not believe in) change...

      Sure they do. I'd love to see MS become truly open source. What would you think about a change like that?

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        MS not open sourcing their software is clear proof that MS diehards are unable to adapt to change and new ways of working.

    4. avidal

      wot

      sadly the only thing that will "change" is Linux

  12. sinsi

    I thought the great thing about open source was that many, many eyes could spot problems better than a closed system.

    Time for the open source community to put up or shut up?

    1. Gaius

      Yep all those eyes did a great job with Heartbleed!

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Open Source is not a guarantee of no code defects

        Heartbleed is one case where a buffer-overrun caused problems and was not picked up. Nothing is perfect, and these things will always slip through to some degree other, regardless of the amount of scrutiny.

        But how many other problems were identified by automated code analysis on the source trees? Look back to the early days of the CVE database, and you will see literally hundreds of vulnerabilities that were picked up as potential (i.e. no proof of concept) vulnerabilities by inspection and analysis of the code.

        At the time, closed source advocates lambasted Linux and the Open Source movement for having so many code defects, not realizing that the reason why they were being found (and fixed) was because of the openness of the code.

        How many other "Heartbleeds" were avoided, while closed source software vulnerabilities lurked waiting to be found and exploited by actual example!

        My personal feeling is that I would prefer to have the code available for inspection, even if nobody is currently doing it, rather than trusting a commercial company to vet their own code (at some considerable expense), when they have a financial reason to hide the problems and not do it!

      2. el_oscuro
        Coat

        I'll just leave these here:

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/08/patch_tuesday_january/

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/13/patch_tuesday_february/

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/06/12/patch_tuesday_microsoft_june_2018/

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/10/09/october_patch_tuesday/

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/13/patch_tuesday_march_2018/

        Mine is the one with the Pineapple WiFi in it.

  13. omid_1985

    I was sitting where I felt safe as a home for so many years and had an empty chair on my left, $H!T, now Microsft sitting on it!

  14. Boohoo4u

    Follow the money

    Microsoft has been always about the money... not about the high “moral” ground.

    Microsoft used their dominance to maintain their dominance. These days Apps are money, Linux/Android are where the Apps are at. If Microsoft didn’t find a way to recover from their crappy store and mobile efforts it could threaten their entire business. The ability to run Linux on Windows is huge. It was something that needed to happen anyways to support Linux instances in the cloud (Azure).

    Satya Nadella is a smart guy. Why bitch and complain about something that can bring in $$$$.

    He’s doing the same thing with IE/Edge. Why spend the money to fix crap when you can bring in a open source browser that are cheaper (to support) and better.

    Windows 10 needs a lot (ok a shit-ton) of work, but Microsoft doing amazingly well elsewhere.

    My biggest complaint with Microsoft’s lately is the data slurp...

    1. NATTtrash

      Re: Follow the money

      Microsoft has been always about the money... not about the high “moral” ground.

      It's sobering, but I'm afraid you're right there...

      Thing however is that there is a clash of ideology that should be resolved now or else it's indeed going to rot from the inside. And that doesn't mean bad code so much.

      So...

      [] When is MS going to open up their code?

      [] When is MS going to conform to ISO standards?

      [] When is MS going to facilitate full compatibility?

      [] When is MS going to subscribe to, let's be honest, the core of the matter, the open source ideology and philosophy?

      Right now, MS contributes to *nix in a one-way, self-serving manner. It fosters *nix like a sweat shop owner in Bangladesh looks after the well-being of its child labourers. And yes, that's is to be expected. They are a commercial institute. And yes again, I know, there are "other companies" in there right now. But MS? FFS! The *nix community will confirm the internal train-of-thought and strategy of MS: "Ah, don't worry, they are all stupid ideological hippies, we will give them the run around and cash in any way. Just tell them the year of the Linux Desktop is this year."

      The image of the unwashed, sandal wearing tree hugger, who takes the slick geezers word at face value, believes their arguments "because they are really nice if you come to know them actually. They say they recycle!", and doesn't ask for anything back. And the latter doesn't mean lines of code. Because that is only to their own advantage. It should mean, to just mention a minor detail, drop the proprietary crap, open up, and share more than a bloody calculator on the, turned-brothel, dev platform they annexed recently. Oh, and what about asking them to pay their yearly "Linux 365" extortion subscription fee or we make your boxen useless? (Yeeees, I know, they probably already contribute pocket money, but again, think about the ideology...)

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Follow the money

      Yes, all Ms getting involved with 'Linux 'governance' is to facilitate their ability to smoothly run 'Linux atop Azure and a MS Licence, nothing more.

  15. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Linux

    Sasha Levin, who describes himself as a "Linux kernel hacker" at the beast of Redmond, made the application for his employer to join the list,

    If Levin is a bona-fide Linux kernel dev whose track record looks relevant (and that would be for the existing Linux kernel dev community to judge), then it makes sense to offer access to private lists.

    But that's talking about a person, not a corporation. How is there any question of a corporate entity joining a mailing list? It's people who need to receive security reports and work through fixes, sometimes in private! Maybe if there's a second private list, not to fix issues but to pre-announce fixes once they've been made, corporate membership might be appropriate there?

    Microsoft, like any other bigco, can access karma on an open source project by hiring devs who have that karma. Levin's karma should be based on his contributions and track record of constructive engagement, regardless of who employs him! If that's not how it works at Linux then I guess we have an issue of process.

    1. Citizen of Nowhere

      From the article:

      "Levin has indeed been an active member of the community. A glance at the changelog for the 5.0.15 Linux kernel is peppered with his sign-offs, often along with Greg Kroah-Hartman, a fellow at the Linux Foundation. It was therefore not surprising to see Kroah-Hartman vouch for Levin. Kroah-Hartman pointed out that Levin has full write permissions to the stable kernel trees..."

    2. rmstock

      What about her legal status as a Microsoft employee ? Anything she does on a keyboard is inherently and automatic copyright of Microsoft , is it not ?

  16. Ged T
    Facepalm

    Where have I seen this before?

    I can’t quite recall - I think I need Sun, some Java and I’ll have to consult the Oracle about hostile takeovers of an Open platform...

  17. Spacedinvader
    Happy

    Could be interesting

    Mr Torvald's next rant that is...

    1. sum_of_squares
      Terminator

      Re: Could be interesting

      Mr Torvald is a NPC by now.

      Don't you remember the "I want to take some time off because's I've been a naughty boy" mail?

      With some special white space characters he never used before?

      Don't know if this was some kind of blackmail or something (google "Honeytrap" and "Raymond")..

      But don't expect any kind of resistance of Linus anytime soon. Man down, let's pay our repect..

      (;__;)7

      1. sum_of_squares
        Linux

        Re: Could be interesting

        OK, I take it you folks don't like doing your own reaserach..

        Link 1:

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/06/linus_torvalds_targeted_by_honeytraps_says_eric_raymond/

        Link 2:

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/17/linus_torvalds_linux_apology_break/

        HTH

  18. NeilPost Bronze badge

    Xenia?

    Is Xenix 2020 about to make a comeback ??

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trojan horse

    Hasn't occurred to anyone in the Linux core community that Microsoft is using the Trojan horse tactic to infiltrate inside the Linux community so that it can destroy it from within?

    What is the main product that Microsoft sells? Windows OS licenses! That is thair core business, that is how they make money. And who is the main competitor to Microsoft right now? It is Linux! It is not Macintosh anymore, they are in a price range that puts them on a niche market. Linux is the real alternative to Microsoft and they know it. They want to kill the competitor and become a monopoly again like they were in the late 90s and early 2000s.

  20. Blade918rr

    Maybe MS can introduce some discipline.

    Patching Microsoft products is simple, patching anything else is a nightmare (especially open source)

    MS just want to provide assurance to clients. What's wrong with that?

    1. Martijn Otto

      I think you're missing the joke icon there, buddy!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Patching Microsoft products is simple

      Er... have you used both MS and any mainstream Linux distro?

      The Linux distro's are easy to patch. MS on the other hand falls over often, commonly doesn't get things right, and have to roll back their patches. Seriously.

  21. naive

    The 90's dream of an Unified Unix is slowly materializing

    Linux as a whole became too important for the electronics industry to allow it to be hijacked by one party.

    It is great news another powerful party joined the club, since Open Source is a collaboration project, it can only gain from it.

    Revenues from windows licenses is a declining business on the longer term.

    Since MS is giving away W10 for free, it only serves as enabler for sales of other MS products, they could as well replace w10 with Linux and save considerable money otherwise spent on development and maintenance.

    AWS, which is not relying on license fees as a business model, is pouring millions in further developing Open-Source products like MariaDB, to undermine MS and Oracle. Every dollar not spent on licenses for MSSQL or Oracle, is a potential revenue for AWS. It is along these lines the battles will be fought, the good old license model is on the long run not sustainable due to the enterprise grade quality of Open-Source products.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: The 90's dream of an Unified Unix is slowly materializing

      Yes, if you do need a simple RDBMS database with no add on features it's pretty hard to make a case against postgres. Increasingly new applications will move away from SQL Server etc, and it will be left with stuff that's built around its SSIS, or BI addons, or systems like Dynamics. SQL Server HA functionality is now excellent but it still needs a strong business case to justify. Same for Oracle, it will be sustained by its Applications or business systems like JDEdwards, but 95% of Oracle database only deployments could have been on Postgre.

      If you are a DBA or DB developer on Oracle or SQL then make sure you get Maria and PostgreSQL under your hat and keep an eye on nosqls like Mongo too.

      On Azure a lot of DBA work is automated. By a lot I mean most.

  22. Dunstan Vavasour
    Thumb Up

    It's all about Azure tenants

    Azure is where they see their future income stream.

    The competition between cloud providers is healthy enough that Azure needs to move towards the customers and developers, they can't strongarm customers towards running their cloud apps on Windows (however much MS Classic would have liked to do so).

    So the better they can make the GNU/Linux on Azure experience, the more customers will choose to run their clouds on Azure.

    1. kevinyeandel

      Re: It's all about Azure tenants

      I largely agree. And they are setting themselves up nicely to rob the tax payer by making it cheap for governments to upload their exabytes but costly as hell if they want to leave, But the truth is, Linux runs on bare metal so one would expect it to run on properly managed hypervisor - there is no need to get involved in the future development of Linux - unless there is an ulteria motive, e.g. sliding in patented code/algorithms or "something". Essentially MS is a manipulator and they want to manipulate the Linux kernel for nothing more than to self serve. The only time MS does anything good is to boost their image the same way a psychopath demonstrates morality and lifestyle on Facebook; but it's what goes on behind closed doors is where the reality is.

      And history has taught us that reality: we have all we need to know about Microsoft (Comes vs Microsoft case and all the other anti-trust) plus this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVHcdgrqbHE

      Microsoft is an inherently evil, manipulative, destructive organisation - there is no other way to put it. They have obviously helped many businesses prosper but they are like the drug dealer that gives away an addictive sample because causing the big, costly dependency.

      But arguably AWS is letting us down by not being competitive in the Office space. I work on government projects and have involvement in the selection process. I cannot legitimately say AWS is more suitable than Azure when it clearly isn't at the time of delivering an assessment.

      AWS sales folk are not as aggressive as the MS ones - seemingly not wanting the business as badly - and that's why MS will trend on the Gartner Magic Quadrant ahead of all others (I think they may be there already).

  23. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Microsoft Wine?

    Perhaps this is the first move toward replacing the MSWin legacy kernel with a Linux-based kernel? Build a Wine-like shell on top of it to run legacy code. Maybe that's the ultimate goal of WSL2; have WSL run Wine, run legacy applications under that and then rip out the legacy APIs from the main MSWin10 kernel.

  24. nijam

    "...it’s their responsibility to fix known security bugs as..."

    "It's their marketing department's responsibility to scaremonger by using security bugs"

    FTFY

  25. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Headmaster

    They Will Never Touch 'Us'

    Think of Microsoft as that strain of Ebola that keeps erupting in Central Africa.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mentions abound for "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish"....but.....

    .....less frequently mentioned, but much more worth reading (sorry...long read) is the "Evangelism is War" memo.

    http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/3000/PX03096.pdf

    The first few sentences say it all:

    "Our mission is to establish Microsoft's platforms as the de facto standards throughout the computer industry.....Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard is a small defeat. Total victory...is the universal adoption of our standards by developers, and this is an important step towards total victory for Microsoft itself."

    ....throughout the computer industry...

    ....victory....total victory....

    ....universal adoption of our standards....

    This is the Microsoft of the year 2000....and it is the same Microsoft today in 2019. Times vary, technologies vary....but the goals are STILL THE SAME.

  27. kevinyeandel

    Non-MS fork?

    I wonder how much support a non-Microsoft build would get?

    I for one would dig deep into my pockets and invest in a cut of Linux that was free of MS.

    Very much worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVHcdgrqbHE

    Based on empirical evidence, we could never trust Microsoft. As someone who has to work with Azure I see the way they are offering cheap entry but costly exit - yet governments etc. just commit exabytes of data they could never afford to move to a different provider. I also blame Amazon and Google for literally giving them the business.

    Microsoft owns LinkedIn, Skype and people upload, spell & grammar-check their docs in MS's cloud. MS gave away Visual Studio Code, they own Github and are on the some sort of patent/innovation committee. I can't believe the incentive is NOT to harvest everyones thoughts and IP - its less of a case of conspiracy theory and more a case of factual evidence and the writing being on the wall.

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