Tag Archive for 'microsoft'

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This guy says it much better than I can..

Charlie Brooker from the Guardian says it much better than I can..

I know Windows is awful. Everyone knows Windows is awful. Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it’s there, and there’s nothing you can do about it. OK, OK: I know other operating systems are available. But their advocates seem even creepier, snootier and more insistent than Mac owners. The harder they try to convince me, the more I’m repelled. To them, I’m a sheep. And they’re right. I’m a helpless, stupid, lazy sheep. I’m also a masochist. And that’s why I continue to use Windows – horrible Windows – even though I hate every second of it. It’s grim, it’s slow, everything’s badly designed and nothing really works properly: using Windows is like living in a communist bloc nation circa 1981. And I wouldn’t change it for the world, because I’m an abject bloody idiot and I hate myself, and this is what I deserve: to be sentenced to Windows for life.

That’s why Windows works for me. But I’d never recommend it to anybody else, ever. This puts me in line with roughly everybody else in the world. No one has ever earnestly turned to a fellow human being and said, “Hey, have you considered Windows?” Not in the real world at any rate.

Until now. Microsoft, hellbent on tackling the conspicuous lack of word-of-mouth recommendation, is encouraging people – real people – to host “Windows 7 launch parties” to celebrate the 22 October release of, er, Windows 7. The idea is that you invite a group of friends – your real friends – to your home – your real home – and entertain them with a series of Windows 7 tutorials. So you show them how to burn a CD, how to make a little video, how to change the wallpaper, and how to, oh no, hang on it’s not supposed to do that, oh, I think it’s frozen, um, er, let me just, um, no that’s not it, um, er, um, er, so how’s it going with you and Kathy anyway, um, er, OK well see you around I guess.

To assist the party-hosting massive, they’ve also uploaded a series of spectacularly cringeworthy videos to YouTube, in which the four most desperate actors in the world stand around in a kitchen sharing tips on how best to indoctrinate guests in the wonder of Windows. If they were staring straight down the lens reading hints off a card it might be acceptable; instead they have been instructed to pretend to be friends. The result is the most nauseating display of artificial camaraderie since the horrific Doritos “Friendchips” TV campaign (which caused 50,000 people to kill themselves in 2003, or should have done).

It’s so terrible, it induces an entirely new emotion: a blend of vertigo, disgust, anger and embarrassment which I like to call “shitasmia”. It not only creates this emotion: it defines it. It’s the most shitasmic cultural artefact in history. Watch it for yourself.

Even Microsoft can’t get OOXML right..

That’s right, even Microsoft can’t get their own data format right.

Readers commented on an article about 2008 Service Pack 2 that it broke their existing OOXML files:

I am having EXACTLY the same problem. It seems that any .pptx file created on my mac will not open. All .ppt files open fine. All .pptx files created on a PC open fine.

But, everything I was working on this morning no longer opens….what am I going to DO? I am totally screwed, can’t work at all……

Microsoft’s recommended fix? Un-install and re-install Office, but don’t do the updates. Re-create your files in their older non-OOXML formats.

Sure, they’ve now released a fix, but you have to wonder how something like this could get all the way through to the service pack. Oh wait…

Microsoft’s HV driver to enter 2.6.32, out in 2.6.33?

Greg Kroah-Hartman has posted a status update for drivers in the 2.6.32 kernel. This in particular, was rather funny:

hv (Microsoft Hyper-V) drivers. Over 200 patches make up the
massive cleanup effort needed to just get this code into a
semi-sane kernel coding style (someone owes me a bit bottle of
rum for that work!) Unfortunately the Microsoft developers
seem to have disappeared, and no one is answering my emails.
If they do not show back up to claim this driver soon, it will
be removed in the 2.6.33 release. So sad…

After all his work to get the patches in, Microsoft no longer gives a crap? Perhaps they did just do it because they were forced to after violating the GPL.

Linus on the recent Microsoft code contribution

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the recent code contribution from Microsoft for the Linux kernel. I’ve written an article about it for Linux Magazine and was fortunate to have Linus answer a few of my questions to give his perspective on it all. Enjoy!

Context

Being in the spotlight means people often take things you say our of context. I’m speaking of Richard Stallman, who recently got hammered over his “church of emacs” speech and perspective on Mono.

So if you see a discussion of the topic of Mono/ .NET/C#, etc, in which people do not understand the issue properly, please post a correction and cite this article as a link.

If you read that anyone says that RMS “attacked Mono”, please post that he did not attack Mono at all, and ask them to read what he actually said.

There’s enough FUD flying around as it is.

Microsoft submits code for Linux kernel

Yes, the unthinkable has just happened. Microsoft has submitted code for the Linux kernel, licensed under the GPLv2.

The code in question includes three drivers for their Hyper-V virtualisation technology which makes Linux guests work better.

Why is this a big deal? Well it signals that Linux and free software is powerful and gaining influence, else Microsoft wouldn’t bother at all.

Also, Microsoft previously called the GPL a virus and even anti-American and even Communist.

As Greg Kroah-Hartman mentions in his blog

But, on the other hand, this is Microsoft, so it is a big deal. There are two major aspects of what they did here:

* They released the code under the GPLv2 and publicly stated that this is a valid license for companies to release code under. They will be continuing to contribute under this license, as they work to clean up the code, and add new features and fix bugs as time goes on. This is a huge step forward for Microsoft from what they have previously stated in the past.
* They publicly stated that the proper license to release a Linux kernel driver is under the GPLv2

Of course Microsoft is doing this for their own gain. It is not to benefit the community, but themselves by ensuring Linux runs properly under their own virtualisation technology so that they can compete with other products out there such as Xen, KVM, and VMware.

Still, it’s interesting to see Microsoft do a complete 180 degree flip about Linux and the GPL, as it shows just how influential free software has become.

Update: Groklaw has a good article on this too.

Microsoft wants Linux to run on Windows, in short. So remember what comes after the ‘Embrace’ part… So this is about not losing customers to Linux. And ultimately to replace it, if they can. That’s the ‘Extinguish’ part.

FSF response to Microsoft’s “Promise”

The Free Software Foundation has published a reply to Microsoft’s Community Promise surrounding C# and CLI. Here’s a snippet:

Incomplete Standards

The ECMA 334 and 335 specifications describe the core C# language, including information about standard libraries that must be available in any compliant implementation. However, there are several libraries that are included with Mono, and commonly used by applications like Tomboy, that are not required by the standard. And just to be clear, we’re not talking about Windows-specific libraries like ASP.NET and Windows Forms. Instead, we’re talking about libraries under the System namespace that provide common functionality programmers expect in modern programming languages: binary object serialization, regular expressions, XPath and XSLT, and more.

Microsoft needs to do more to assure the free software community that they will not sue over the use of .NET. Release an irrevocable license for all patents in .NET (or at least Mono’s implementation) that remains in effect even after a sale of said patents. Or make a deal with Novell and get them to release Mono under GPLv3..

Novell to split Mono

Miguel de lcaza has written on his blog about Microsoft’s announcement to include C# and CLI under their community promise.

The promise itself aside, Miguel has announced something very interesting, Novell will be separating the Mono C# and CLI parts which are covered under the promise from the rest of their .NET implementation which is not.

He writes:

Astute readers will point out that Mono contains much more than the ECMA standards, and they will be correct.

In the next few months we will be working towards splitting the jumbo Mono source code that includes ECMA + A lot more into two separate source code distributions. One will be ECMA, the other will contain our implementation of ASP.NET, ADO.NET, Winforms and others.

So there you have it. Mono itself does indeed implement more technology than just C# and CLI (we all knew that) and those extras are not covered under this “promise” from Microsoft (obviously). They still pose a significant risk to free software (and so still might C# and CLI, but that for another day).

The good thing about this is that distros (if they aren’t already) can more easily leave out all the extra .NET stuff from their Mono implementations, which is good news.

If you are going to write .NET applications, I think it would be smart to stick to C# and GTK.

This promise from Microsoft vindicates the anti-Mono crowd’s point of view as it shows that there is/was an issue around patents, even for CLI and C#. For this promise, pro-Mono people should be thanking the other side.

Of course, when it comes to the promise itself, I’d like to see the word “irrevocable” put in there somewhere. No doubt over the next few weeks we’ll see people far more intelligent than I doing some analysis on the promise and what it really means for free software.

-c

Microsoft C# and CLI patent promise coming?

Peter Galli has written on his blog that he was informed by Scott Guthrie (the Corporate Vice President for the .Net Developer Platform) that Microsoft will include C# and CLI under their “Community Promise“.

Peter writes:

It is important to note that, under the Community Promise, anyone can freely implement these specifications with their technology, code, and solutions.

You do not need to sign a license agreement, or otherwise communicate to Microsoft how you will implement the specifications.

Just when (or if) this will happen is not yet clear, nor is whether it will hold any water. Still, it could be the one step to help ease the current patent issues in Mono in relation to C# and CLI (the rest of the Mono implementation of .NET remains under threat however).

Gotta laugh at this from Microsoft’s promise, though:

This promise by Microsoft is not an assurance that either (i) any of Microsoft’s issued patent claims covers a Covered Implementation or are enforceable.

Anyway, interesting to see where this goes.

-c

Mono: An infectious disease

I’ve been reading around the Internet for a while now about folks asking why some people don’t like Mono.

I have written an article which expresses my opinion on the situation as it relates to free software.

By all means, let Linux run Windows .NET applications through Mono, but let’s not make our own software dependent on this proprietary programming framework.

The article itself is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia license.