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Author Topic: Why Windows must go open source  (Read 6198 times)

Edvard

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Why Windows must go open source
« on: February 26, 2009, 03:28:57 PM »
InformationWeek's Charlie Babcock says what many others have wanted and tried and some never dared to say over the years, but then again, they're not IW editors...

Quote
To maintain its developer ecosystem and protect its apps business, Microsoft has no choice but to loosen its grip on the Windows source code and drive down costs...
...
But people are wrong when they assume that Microsoft will never move Windows down the open source path. To neutralize the advantages of Linux and other open source competitors, Microsoft will have to make Windows more like them. If it doesn't, it risks losing the 6-million-plus developer base that's made the Windows platform great. Microsoft may not want to open up Windows to the world, but it will. Indeed, it must.


Me, I'm not convinced. Sure, there would be nice things about such developments (and there have been...) but for the bulk of Microsoft to become just another SourceForge project?
Never. Ever.

from another place I kinda forgot...

Ehtyar

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 04:03:49 PM »
A lengthy bit of media trawling IMO. This plain and simply is not going to happen, at least on the scale the article promotes.

Ehtyar.

Deozaan

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2009, 04:26:07 PM »
Yeah I don't get it either. Is Windows really starting to lose a huge market share to Linux? I didn't even know they were really competing.

I used to work for Directv and one of the things I learned there was that Dish Network was not our competitor. We weren't worried at all with Dish Network because they were so far behind in regards to market share. Our real competitor was Cable.

Considering how vastly small the Linux user base is (relatively speaking, and not counting Servers), I just can't see in what universe anyone would truly think Windows is competing with Linux.


40hz

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 04:55:01 PM »
All Microsoft and the closed source world would have to do is start buying various FOSS projects (i.e. MySQL. etc.) and that would end it. Many of these projects benefit from free contributions from all the supporting developers out there. Once all the people who are working for free start noticing how some people are becoming millionaires and the whole FOSS social contract will come crashing down.

This has happened before. Look how open the early days of personal computing were. Even Apple used to give out copies of their code to anyone who asked for it. Then along came Bill Gates who announced he wanted $50 for 'his' basic interpreter - and anyone who was using it without paying was a thief. (Sound familiar?)

Despite the fact that much of the personal computing world cried "foul", they all soon  followed in his footsteps and the age of 'proprietary' personal computing was born.

Lately it looks like this scenario is starting to happen again.

Microsoft will always be a bigger threat to FOSS than the other way around.

I think Charlie Babcock is either going to have to start doing a less potent (or a more potent ) dope than the one he's currently using. Because whatever he's been smoking, it just ain't working for him.

 ;)


f0dder

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 05:03:48 PM »
40hz: I'd say it's working just fine if he can live in his own little fantasy world? ;)
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2009, 05:32:56 PM »
40hz: I'd say it's working just fine if he can live in his own little fantasy world? ;)

Not if we have anything to say about it.  ;D And we do!  :Thmbsup:


icekin

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 06:12:14 PM »
I'd be happy even to an older version such as Win 98 go Open Source. Not going to happen unless some legal requirement comes into place encouraging or enforcing that all software be open. Meanwhile, there's ReactOS.

electronixtar

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 05:57:04 AM »
Windows is partly open source.

Open source will not save Windows, POSIX compatibility will.

f0dder

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 06:02:32 AM »
Windows isn't partly open source, and if you want POSIX you have Windows Services for Unix...
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2009, 05:52:54 PM »
Open source will not save Windows, POSIX compatibility will.

I don't think it's that much an issue considering something like under 20 OSs are fully POSIX compliant. 

Windows, Linux, and most of the popular BSD variants (which account for the bulk of all deployments) aren't fully compliant, although they can all be made so (or mostly so) with a bit of fiddling.

POSIX always struck me as something akin to Cobb's relational database model. Both are great ideas - in theory. But since 99% of the benefits can often be gained by only being partially compliant with either, most software vendors don't bother.

And outside of academic circles, hardly anyone seems to notice - or much care. :)




« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 05:56:32 PM by 40hz »

zridling

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2009, 09:23:28 PM »
LONG RANTING RESPONSE.
Besides Babcock's assertion, the problem with Windows has always been that it doesn't scale; that is, it won't run on netbooks and servers, i.e., you have to write different and -- usually somewhat incompatible -- versions to accommodate a variety of architectures and devices. Linux runs your mobile phone, your kindle reader, your desktop OS, your server OS, the Large Hadron Collider, on a USB stick, and as someone posted this week, even on a device the size of a simple outlet plug.

I saw this very plainly a couple of years ago when I wrote that word processor review. It wasn't the program that mattered, it was the format. Governments, business, and users want to control of their data (can you say "recent Facebook and Apple controversies?") and to be able to access it through any device and browser using a wide variety of software. The RIAA/MPA foreshadow Microsoft's next decade in that we're seeing the hold of proprietary, patent-protected, abstract IP lose its grip.

If "I" -- in whatever role I assume, gov., end user, corporation, content provider, mobile data -- am forced to purchase Microsoft products just to access my data, or use Microsoft's IE to access content on your company's website, I'm not doing business with you, period. I want to choose what I use. Therefore in the case of word processing, it's not about OpenOffice, but about ODF (OpenDocument Format) and the 25 programs that use it, not to mention every cloud suite. Microsoft continues to frustrate my need and desire for open standards and open source solutions.

I could care less whether Microsoft releases Windows as open source. It doesn't matter because I've moved on. Microsoft could buy every open source software company in existence and all they'd be doing at most is forking the code. The existent code of any project would still always be available. At some point, just like the RIAA has done, Microsoft will realize that their market share will continue to recede against open source.

This is why the netbook phenomenon has thrown Microsoft a wicked curve. Designed and built as a simple device to access information and data through a browser, Microsoft reworked XP to retrofit onto netbooks, but then virtually doubled the cost of the device because you had to buy an even more costly XP netbook version license! Vista will not run on one. But then they came out this week after floating a "Starter" edition of Win7 that would run on a netbook that ran on 3 apps at a time (which included an AV software), and said that after your bought your Win7 Starter Edition for your netbook, you'll be "allowed" to upgrade to a more powerful version at increased cost. Already Microsoft shot itself in the foot because they just eliminated the #1 reason for buying a netbook: low cost! Meanwhile Linux remains free, although lately I've noticed most companies charge the same and then pocket the difference, making a huge profit selling the Linux versions. Jerks.

No one wants to run an 8-year old OS that runs IE6+. And no one wants to double the price of their purchase by paying a "Microsoft tax." When the software to run the machine costs more than the machine itself, something has to give. In this case you have to ask: How much longer will users pay this price as the free alternative [linux] gets consistently better every six months. You can't sue everyone for the rest of the century and claim you've patented every idea under the sun.

rgdot

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2009, 02:33:07 AM »
The world needs bigger and more Canonicals that promote the likes of Ubuntu. Many distros are caught in the need to be 'Enterprise ready' so they are competing with MS with an angle that in many ways is already won, in the server space. Windows being open source or not will continue to dominate the consumer market unless there is a bigger consumer push.

f0dder

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2009, 10:04:59 PM »
Besides Babcock's assertion, the problem with Windows has always been that it doesn't scale; that is, it won't run on netbooks and servers, i.e., you have to write different and -- usually somewhat incompatible -- versions to accommodate a variety of architectures and devices.
The NT kernel scales pretty well - it's used for WinCE on cellphones through desktops and, yes, even on supercomputers. With Win7, scaling bottlenecks are removed. Iirc for older versions, there was a lot of work to ensure the kernel can run out of ROM.

No, you can't just take Vista or XP and slap it on any old hardware, but saying that Windows doesn't scale is wrong. And getting a properly written app running on WinCE shouldn't be that much different than porting a linux app to a smaller device... you have to worry about limited resources and screen resolution on both. (OK, WinCE has a limited subset of the win32 API, and limited devices usually support .NET Compact Framework rather than the full deal... but are you going to try and run, say, a database server on your cellphone?)

Ah yes, NT is indeed ported to fewer platforms than linux, but that's a design decision... why spend money porting to something that doesn't have much marketshare (or perhaps, rather, just "possibility of income"). It has already been shown that porting NT to architectures such as Alpha and Itanium could be done pretty quickly, so it's not like it's impossible to do... the Windows platform as a whole has a lot of problems, but the NT kernel is a solid & impressive piece of work.
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2009, 08:35:13 AM »
Yea, but with regard to netbooks, Windows doesn't, and I think Microsoft is hoping netbook hardware will be more powerful once Win7 hits the scene. And this as news that Mac is readying its own *nix-based netbook for market.

On the other hand, the best netbooks right now are retailing at about $400. But both Dell and HP are offering 4Gb RAM/320Gb HD 13.3" notebooks for $550 this week. Think I'd just go for the notebook if I needed a portable.

f0dder

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2009, 09:23:01 AM »
Zaine, there's no reason whatsoever Microsoft couldn't scale NT to run on the netbooks - there just aren't any of the readily available windows versions that are slim enough (mostly because of install size, imho, rather than CPU/RAM consumption).
- carpe noctem

Lashiec

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Re: Why Windows must go open source
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2009, 07:12:34 PM »
Windows 7 will fit comfortably into any netbook, even taking into account disk space. Now if only they could get a decent chipset for Atom into netbooks, they could offer Aero as well without problems...