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osOpinion: The Obligatory Microsoft Article

Apr 28, 2000, 06:20 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simon Cozens)

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"And yes, if Microsoft was purely interested in profitmaking, a spun-off applications group would have an incentive to port Office to Linux and other alternative systems. But if Microsoft was purely interested in profitmaking, it would have done this already. And it isn't just that Microsoft is working on Windows alone as a matter of policy - everyone arguing this seems to forget the port of Office to the Macintosh. Microsoft - even a factionalised Microsoft, and even a divided Microsoft - feeds the cash cow."

"Another option available to Jackson is to force Microsoft to open up the source code or APIs to Windows. I can't see this as being anything more than a token gesture - it's not immediately clear to me how dumping several million lines of extremely buggy and kludgy C code into the world would fix predatory behaviour."

"Sure, it would be nice to have a copy of the Windows code to have a laugh at, but I don't see anyone doing anything useful with it; we already have a glut of Open Source window managers - after all, what is Windows but an overweight window manager in search of a kernel? - and it's way too big and heavy for most developers to deal with. I guess we could tighten up the security, maybe, and fix up incompatibilities with the APIs, but then people who even slightly care about security and compatibility don't run Windows anyway...."

"Instead, I believe I have a solution so brilliant, so simple and so effective it's a surprise nobody else has thought of it yet: put RMS in charge."

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