Linux pushing Win to be more open?
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Thread: Linux pushing Win to be more open?

  1. #1

    Linux pushing Win to be more open?

    This may be old news, but I thought this would yield a good dicussion. I am a fan of both operating systems, and both offer what I want, but both have downsides as well. Am article I read on Google news just now made me think, is Linux and open source in general going to force more propritary models to be more open? A while ago, MS did have a "Shared Source" initiative that was more like a "you can see but cannot touch" policy to some of its source code and opnly to selected individuals, adcademia and developers.

    More on shared source

    As we all know, the GNU allows anybody to tweak and redistribute code to make it better, an model closed source advocates say that will never make it or pose more problems. My question at this point is, will open source force closed source models to be more "open" to have a competative edge, or is a more centralized model of software control a better way to satisfiy customers?

    I am studying different licensing and schemes and find this to be very interesting after all this time of Microsoft bashing Linux and open source and after it becoming successful looking at the very code many people around the world contributed to make it what it is today. Personally, I think it is hypocrytical, but that's business and if you open your source to anybody to tweak, look and use it, that means your competition is going to look at it. One upside? GNU does not allow open source software to become closed source... which raises another question. If you you use open source in a closed source program or programs, does that mean if you tweak it and change it enough you can make it closed source? Such a thing that comes to mind is the PPC Darwin, the foundation for OSX.

    I may be wrong on some of these points, and that's why I need feedback on this subject. Thanks for reading.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2003
    Merry Christmas alittlebitnumb,

    Note that they (Redmond Gang) specifically object to the GPL, and not necessarily Open Source carte blanche.
    Microsoft, like Apple, Sun, IBM, HP, and XEROX absolutely adore the BSD and MIT licenses.

    Put simply, the BSD and MIT licenses support the goals of a government research project (a.k.a. DARPA)
    and as such they allow the use of software licensed under them to be used in private commercial enterprises.
    The GPL (embraced by nearly all _but_ Microsoft) on the other hand says in a nutshell "Have this code
    and do anything you like with it, except it _must_ remain free and open for public distribution".

    I think Microsoft dislikes the GPL for one basic reason. They have historically relied heavily on borrowing
    ideas and code from products that have promise but are not well protected or well enough established to
    defend themselves. The GPL nips any such possibilities in the bud, and hence is unfriendly to their business

    -- spurious
    Get OpenSolaris

  3. #3
    Thanks for the good points there.

    The things I see in your reply lead me to more questions regarding the use of looking at GPL'd source and the not so much the license itself, but the operating system in general, which MS is looking into as a model for features and improvements in its operating system which indeed did rely on others' code in its inception (NT was with the help of IBM in the days MS was in bed with them, and 9x which was bought from a little guy who made QDOS), and to be fair, they indeed did make a lot of thier own code, but it seems to me they are doing the tried and true thing they did yesteryear... borrow.

    With open source software and the Linux kernel (I do not think personally it is just the kernel but other stuff as well such as X and other utilities such as GNU tools), they are in a serious effort to ask what parts of Linux makes it attractive to customers and why the need to not give any more money to Microsoft. Personally in this area, I do not think it is limited to Microsoft, but the philosophy behind closed source in general... keep software free, no patents, yadda yadda, yadda. Does this mean MS and other closed source vendors will embrace open source software and use it inthier own programs, or will they just borrow ideas and code to impliment in future operating systems? The thing is, Linux is so different form Windows it is obvious even to a newbie programmer to use parts of the kernel in Win might be a tad difficult but is not out of reach, espcially with the money they have, however, it seems more realisitc they will see what is driving people to dump Windows operating systems for Linux. Is this against fair competition, or is the GPL even in the catagory to even make the argument when anybody can tweak it?

    I know I rambled on and on, but damn it, this is interesting!

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