Microsoft admits it was wrong about open source

midian182

Posts: 5,674   +43
Staff member

Speaking at an event hosted by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), Microsoft President Brad Smith said: “Microsoft was on the wrong side of history when open source exploded at the beginning of the century, and I can say that about me personally.”

“The good news is that, if life is long enough, you can learn… that you need to change,” he added.

It’s a stark contrast in views since Ballmer, who’s never been known for understatement, called Linux “a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Today, Microsoft is ahead of Facebook, Docker, Google, and many others as the largest contributor to open-source projects. Back in 2018, the company acquired GitHub, the code repository for developers, for $7.5 billion. “When we look at GitHub, we see it as the home for open-source development, and we see our responsibility as its steward to make it a secure, productive home,” said Smith.

Microsoft’s embracing of open source includes the shipping of a full Linux kernel in the next Windows update, and a partnership with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to its OS. There was also the Edge browser’s move to the Chromium engine last year, and the rebooting of PowerToys as an open-source project for Windows 10.

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BSim500

Posts: 663   +1,335
Great. Since many got W10 for free, let's open-source W10 itself and remove all that telemetry / Cortana cr*p. Microsoft can still charge for cloud services, more people will be looking for bugs, W10 gets debloated and the UI gets improved 10,000x fold. Win-win-win-win all round.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 212   +199
Before .NET Core was released, I would’ve relied on node.js or Python to build a website on a Linux machine. Today, I’m developing an ASP.NET Core web application, and when I moved it to a Raspberry Pi and compiled it, it ran with no changes needed (besides setting up the new database). Microsoft embracing open-source was a smart business move and saved themselves a developer.
 

GeforcerFX

Posts: 940   +429
Great. Since many got W10 for free, let's open-source W10 itself and remove all that telemetry / Cortana cr*p. Microsoft can still charge for cloud services, more people will be looking for bugs, W10 gets debloated and the UI gets improved 10,000x fold. Win-win-win-win all round.
I think that's more the plan over the next 5-10 years as they prepare to move themselves off the windows system, they will open most of it up to community maintenance and updates and just charge for corporate/business support. Windows stays alive and Microsoft moves onto a new system for the first time in 30 years.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,089   +3,148
I think that's more the plan over the next 5-10 years as they prepare to move themselves off the windows system, they will open most of it up to community maintenance and updates and just charge for corporate/business support. Windows stays alive and Microsoft moves onto a new system for the first time in 30 years.
Not a chance they'll make Windows free when its still the cheapest option for a fully supported desktop OS. Sorry, but Linux is still not stable or friendly enough for the average user and the macOS requires paying for a Mac, which no sane person would do. I also have no idea why anyone would think Microsoft is going to move away from Windows..their just drawing developers away from Linux by putting its kernel inside their own OS. That also provides Microsoft with some new "telemetry" they would otherwise never have gained access to. The real irony is that if they wanted to Microsoft could produce the best Linux distro yet, but they won't because they wouldn't own it.
 

treetops

Posts: 2,948   +736
Not a chance they'll make Windows free when its still the cheapest option for a fully supported desktop OS. Sorry, but Linux is still not stable or friendly enough for the average user and the macOS requires paying for a Mac, which no sane person would do. I also have no idea why anyone would think Microsoft is going to move away from Windows..their just drawing developers away from Linux by putting its kernel inside their own OS. That also provides Microsoft with some new "telemetry" they would otherwise never have gained access to. The real irony is that if they wanted to Microsoft could produce the best Linux distro yet, but they won't because they wouldn't own it.
MM idk about that, look at bing and explorer. Maybe Google will make a gaming OS. Amazon laugh idk? Or shudder, Facebook.
 
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TheBigFatClown

Posts: 770   +292
Not a chance they'll make Windows free when its still the cheapest option for a fully supported desktop OS. Sorry, but Linux is still not stable or friendly enough for the average user and the macOS requires paying for a Mac, which no sane person would do. I also have no idea why anyone would think Microsoft is going to move away from Windows..their just drawing developers away from Linux by putting its kernel inside their own OS. That also provides Microsoft with some new "telemetry" they would otherwise never have gained access to. The real irony is that if they wanted to Microsoft could produce the best Linux distro yet, but they won't because they wouldn't own it.
You say Linux isn't stable or friendly enough for the average user. I'm not sure what the definition of Linux is when your making a statement like that. Distributions are based upon Linux kernels and so the meaning is a bit lost on me. There are Linux distributions which are very stable and user friendly. The top 3 right now I think are Manjaro, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint. I just happened to install Linux Mint 19.3 on an extra hard disk drive very recently. The install was flawless. I also got Steam installed along with a very nice FPS game and it worked flawlessly from my initial impressions. Steam on Linux installs some type of layer software called Proton which makes Windows Steam games work effortlessly. Now, I've only done the one game so far personally but there is a website called ProtonDB that has ratings for how successful the games will work using the Proton software layer (or whatever it is). It's pretty amazing. Linux is nowhere near where it used to be. And when I say that, I guess I mean, the most popular distributions based upon Linux. Because they tend to be stable and user friendly at the same time. Hence, the popularity.

I think Microsoft are control freaks. Embrace, extend, extinguish, all over again. Microsoft's fear of becoming completely irrelevant is what drives the decisions they make.
 
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jpuroila

Posts: 176   +94
Not a chance they'll make Windows free when its still the cheapest option for a fully supported desktop OS. Sorry, but Linux is still not stable or friendly enough for the average user and the macOS requires paying for a Mac, which no sane person would do. I also have no idea why anyone would think Microsoft is going to move away from Windows..their just drawing developers away from Linux by putting its kernel inside their own OS. That also provides Microsoft with some new "telemetry" they would otherwise never have gained access to. The real irony is that if they wanted to Microsoft could produce the best Linux distro yet, but they won't because they wouldn't own it.
Linux (in general, if you're looking at distros like Ubuntu or Red Hat) is more stable than Windows, and arguably more user friendly - the problem is that the average user has spent most of his life using Windows, so anything that differs from it causes a large part of their brain to shut down. Oh, and Windows is already effectively free(as in gratis) for consumers.
 

loki1944

Posts: 344   +202
You say Linux isn't stable or friendly enough for the average user. I'm not sure what the definition of Linux is when your making a statement like that. Distributions are based upon Linux kernels and so the meaning is a bit lost on me. There are Linux distributions which are very stable and user friendly. The top 3 right now I think are Manjaro, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint. I just happened to install Linux Mint 19.3 on an extra hard disk drive very recently. The install was flawless. I also got Steam installed along with a very nice FPS game and it worked flawlessly from my initial impressions. Steam on Linux installs some type of layer software called Proton which makes Windows Steam games work effortlessly. Now, I've only done the one game so far personally but there is a website called ProtonDB that has ratings for how successful the games will work using the Proton software layer (or whatever it is). It's pretty amazing. Linux is nowhere near where it used to be. And when I say that, I guess I mean, the most popular distributions based upon Linux. Because they tend to be stable and user friendly at the same time. Hence, the popularity.

I think Microsoft are control freaks. Embrace, extend, extinguish, all over again. Microsoft's fear of becoming completely irrelevant is what drives the decisions they make.
It's a long way from as simple or suppoted as Windows.
 
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Linux (in general, if you're looking at distros like Ubuntu or Red Hat) is more stable than Windows, and arguably more user friendly - the problem is that the average user has spent most of his life using Windows, so anything that differs from it causes a large part of their brain to shut down. Oh, and Windows is already effectively free(as in gratis) for consumers.
Windows 10 is equally as stable as the Linux Desktop in many ways. However, the idea that Linux is more user friendly is not in any way true. Now, it might be equally so but, in many ways, to get games going, it is not anywhere near as simple as it is under Windows, although it is better than it was in the past.

Edit: Example: What is the likelihood that many will understand how to download and install the latest version of Glorious Eggroll Proton edition. Or how about knowing that gamemoderun is a thing or needs to be used at times? I am an IT professional and in my personal time, I enjoy figuring those things out but, not everyone does.

In that last part, you are basically saying it is not user friendly, even when you say it is user friendly.
 

jpuroila

Posts: 176   +94
Windows 10 is equally as stable as the Linux Desktop in many ways. However, the idea that Linux is more user friendly is not in any way true. Now, it might be equally so but, in many ways, to get games going, it is not anywhere near as simple as it is under Windows, although it is better than it was in the past.

Edit: Example: What is the likelihood that many will understand how to download and install the latest version of Glorious Eggroll Proton edition. Or how about knowing that gamemoderun is a thing or needs to be used at times? I am an IT professional and in my personal time, I enjoy figuring those things out but, not everyone does.

In that last part, you are basically saying it is not user friendly, even when you say it is user friendly.
It is at least as user friendly as Windows (and in many cases more so) when you're using native applications. The fact that many games and other software are developed exclusively for Windows is an entirely separate issue.

And no, that's not at all what I'm saying in the last part. If you learn one way of doing things, it'll seem like the easiest way of doing it For a beginner another way might be easier, but you won't see it that way because the way you learned first is easier for you.
 
It is at least as user friendly as Windows (and in many cases more so) when you're using native applications. The fact that many games and other software are developed exclusively for Windows is an entirely separate issue.

And no, that's not at all what I'm saying in the last part. If you learn one way of doing things, it'll seem like the easiest way of doing it For a beginner another way might be easier, but you won't see it that way because the way you learned first is easier for you.
If by you, you mean the general you and not specifically me, perhaps. However, for me, I have never been locked down to one way of doing things in any OS, hence, Windows 3.1, DOS, Amiga OS 1.3 and 2.04, Windows 95, Windows 98, OS/2 Warp 3 and BeOS and that is just in the 90's. (That is not counting the Linux distribution I used back then, slackware.)