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Microsoft Releases Linux Drivers Under GNU GPL V2

     
4:19 pm on Jul 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft Releases Linux Drivers Under GNU GPL V2 [blogs.zdnet.com]
Microsoft is releasing three Microsoft-developed Linux drivers to the Linux community for possible inclusion in the Linux source tree.Microsoft is touting today’s release of 20,000 lines of code — which it is putting under the GNU General Public License v2 (not GPL v3) licensing agreement — as part of Redmond’s commitment to improving the integration of Windows and Linux.
6:14 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well I think it is a good move but lets be honest. What's in it for them? MS is not known for their warm and fuzzy attitude towards open source.
6:57 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What's in it for them?

MS would far rather that you ran linux from inside a virtual machine in windows than ran windows from inside a virtual machine in linux ..

and then there is wine ..which MS hates ..

and dual booting ( anything other than their products )..which they dont like either ..

so this is a not very subtle try at scuppering the above options ..( makes linux seem more like an app and less like an Os if it's running in windows ) especially in the minds of Joe and Jane ..

and it may well be they are hoping that it will dissuade "average pc buyer" from trying any OS from G ..

7:08 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What's in it for them? MS is not known for their warm and fuzzy attitude towards open source.

From the article:

Our initial goal in developing the (Linux driver) code was to enable Linux to run as a virtual machine on top of Hyper-V, Microsoft’s hypervisor and implementation of virtualization.

Looks like the whole point of this is to strengthen their play in the virtualization market.

Virtualization as a key part of enterprise infrastructure is growing by leaps and bounds. Microsoft is realizing just how important this segment of the market is, and will be in the future. If you can control the virtualization product, you can control which operating system acts as the "base" on top of which all the virtual systems run.

Right now, the efficiencies are heavily in favor of Linux when it comes to the base OS. VMWare and IBM both rely heavily on a Linux architecture for their enterprise virtual products, and Sun is gaining ground here as well (at least it was, until Oracle bought them out - we have yet to see how that merger is going to affect Sun virtualization).

So, as it stands, if you want a strong virtualized infrastructure, you're setting up the core servers on Linux. Microsoft needs to put some heavy work in to shift this model. They want their server products at the base of the virtual architecture, not as the froth on top. And they want Hyper-V as the core virtualization product in enterprise IT, whereas right now VMWare's ESX line pretty much owns the market.

This has nothing to do with the warm fuzzies of open-ness, and everything to do with firing a shot across the bow of VMWare, and to a lesser extent, IBM and Sun/Oracle.

7:16 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I had'nt thought of the business market angle grelmar ..but yes indeed ..as you say ..vitualization use is growing in the business sector ..

I agree completely with your analysis

7:48 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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That was the point I was making. MS does not do anything out of the kindness of their hearts.
9:39 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Neither do the majority of companies releasing GPL code. Directly or indirectly they do it for their own benefit.
10:13 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The most interesting part to me is the fact that nobody talks about what those drivers are for and if they are useful for something...
3:33 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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@Gene, in simplest terms the drivers are intended to make Linux run smoother in a virtual environment.
5:07 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Worth noting here that Linux distributions do not need to include these drivers. I hope they refuse to do so. Personally, I don't think it to be fitting for an open source Linux distribution to be run within a proprietary Windows system and would strongly support a change to the GPL to expressly forbid running GPL apps within anything non-open source.
2:14 pm on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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hate MS love Google? hrm strange.
2:17 pm on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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dont trust either ..
5:00 am on July 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google have a much better track record than MS - they have never done the sort of stuff that MS have been held to do in court.

vince, I disagree very strongly. Stop Windows and Mac users from using any GPL apps?

6:29 am on July 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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graeme_p; you object to that but do not bat an eyelid when Microsoft refuses to release Office for linux, at any price? Why should Microsoft benefit from open source on their platform whilst not making any serious effort to bring their software benefits to open source platforms?
10:49 am on July 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How would anyone benefit by doing it though? Do you think Windows users are all going to switch to Linux to use open source apps - or will any apps that use such licensing simply lose their Windows users.

MS do not necessarily benefit form people using open source apps on Windows. If Firefox ran only on open source platforms, IE would still be the only browser that mattered. Also the more people use open source apps, the more credibility it gains, and the easier it is to switch to using only open source.

7:13 pm on July 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ok, it's all starting to come out now.

They released the code to avoid being sued, because large chunks of it were cribbed from GPL licensed code.

[theregister.co.uk...]

 

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