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Craig Mundie's speech. Is anyone really suprised that Microsoft execs attack open source
software? It has happened before and it will happen again (and
again and again). They don't 'get it' and people that invested in
the cathedral model will not easily understand the bazaar (to borrow
a metaphor). The more Microsoft attacks open source the more
obvious it becomes just how threatened they are by it. The latest
incident happened on Thursday May 3, when Microsoft Senior Vice
President Craig Mundie gave a speech entitled "The
Commercial Software Model" at the New York University Stern School of
Business. The speech talks about Microsoft's "shared source" model,
which, of course, avoids all of the problems of free software. Of the
open source model he says:
The OSS development model leads to a strong possibility of
unhealthy 'forking' of a code base, resulting in the development
of multiple incompatible versions of programs, weakened
interoperability, product instability, and hindering businesses'
ability to strategically plan for the future. Furthermore, it has
inherent security risks and can force intellectual property into the
Given the timing of the speech, on LWN publication day, we've had a
week to gather the many replies. Others have already said
everything that needs to be said, and then some, so without further
ado here are some of the replies.
There are more, but that's more than enough already.
- Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen issued this press release, "The GNU
General Public License Protects Software Freedoms".
Moglen noted that Microsoft's confusion about the GPL's origins is
not surprising. He said that 'taking advice on what the GPL means
from Microsoft is like taking Stalin's word on the meaning of the US
Constitution. They don't understand and they're not trying to
understand: they're simply trying to scare people out of dealing
with a competitor they can't buy, can't intimidate, and can't stop.
- Alan Cox wrote "This is How Free
The power of the network was not unlocked by IPR [Intellectual
Property Rights]. It was unlocked by free and open innovation shared
amongst all. The Internet is not the product of a corporation. The
World Wide Web is not the product of a corporation. These great
enabling technologies were created by co-operative innovation.
interviewed Linus Torvalds to get his reactions.
When Mundie wants you to think about all the work that companies
have done in order to get patents, he also wants you to forget about
all the work done by people like Einstein, Rutherford, Bohr,
Leonardo da Vinci and a lot of other people who have done a lot more
for humanity than most companies have ever done.
- Tim O'Reilly:
But Mundie's contention that open source encourages code forking is
a red herring. Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, and Me provide a more
compelling example of 'unhealthy forking of a code base' than any
open source project.
Should anyone believe his observations about the future of Open
Source? As Mundie himself once said 'We persist. We're driven by
some innate belief about how these things are going to unfold.'
Even, it seems, when they unfold in completely the opposite
- Salon's Andrew Leonard has taken a
worthwhile look at what Microsoft is really after.
The GPL is a big problem for .NET, because an Internet
infrastructure constructed out of GPL-protected software is one
that can be freely extended and made more valuable without
having to pay any particular company for the privilege.
Microsoft doesn't want to live in that world.
In explaining the philosophy, Mundie tried to show that Redmond
understands the benefits of building a community around access
to source code, while putting such strict limits on the code
that the access is of extremely limited value.
The Embedded Linux Consortium:
Dr. Inder Singh, ELC Chairman and CEO of LynuxWorks, said,
'Microsoft's broadside against open source shows they feel
threatened by the rapid momentum of Linux in markets that Microsoft
desperately needs to dominate as PC sales slow down. These include
the server market and emerging, volume-rich embedded markets like
set-top boxes, Internet appliances, Personal Digital Assistants,
home gateways, factory automation and the automobile.'
Microsoft's scattered and uninformed comments against Open Source
and GPL shows how threatened the company feels by the growing
momentum of Linux in markets that they desperately want to
dominate after the desktop PC.
Playstation Linux update. On May 9 we received an update from
Japan on Linux for the Playstation 2. It seems that Sony
doubled the number of units it planned to sell (to 2000), and sold
the entire stock in all of eight minutes.
An additional announcement of additional shipments came out the next
day, though there was no mention in regard to quantity and date.
One would hope that they would conclude that there is
interest in Linux on their hardware...
Linux NetworX / EBIZ merger canceled. Another merger goes down: Linux NetworX has announced that it will not be merging with EBIZ after all. The
two appear to be parting on relatively good terms, and will retain
some joint manufacturing and reseller agreements.
MontaVista's Hard Hat Linux in China. MontaVista Software has
announced that it will be distributing and supporting Hard Hat
Linux in China, in partnership with PocketIX Software.
This week's News from the Linux Professional
In this week's LPI-News, the LPI has
announced a new Linux jobs board, a report from Comdex Chicago, and
large sales of bulk exams to IBM and NEC. A progress report on the
Level 2 exams is also given. "There are now 430 LPIC-1
graduates worldwide, as of March 31st 2001. Congratulations on this
achievement - to you all".
IBM's community S/390 system. Have you been wishing you could play with Linux on an S/390 mainframe,
but couldn't find room in your basement for the hardware? IBM's willing
to help out. The Linux
Community Development System makes virtual machines running Linux on
a ten-processor S/390 available to people who want to port and test Linux
applications. You even get a choice of SuSE or Turbolinux on your
Linux Stock Index for May 03 to May 09, 2001.
LSI at closing on May 03, 2001 ... 32.30
LSI at closing on May 09, 2001 ... 33.02
The high for the week was 33.82
The low for the week was 32.30
Open source products
Distributions and bundled products
Proprietary Products for Linux
Products and Services Using Linux
Products With Linux Versions
- Addonics Technologies (FREMONT, Calif.):
Addonics Announces ''Combo Hard Drive'' For Desktop or Mobile Storage.
- Aladdin Knowledge Systems, Inc. (CHICAGO):
Aladdin Announces First True Cross Platform USB Security Solution with Full Support for Mac OS X.
- Cable & Wireless (LAS VEGAS):
Cable & Wireless Unveils New Managed Hosting Solutions -- Managed Hosting Solutions Set the Foundations for Businesses' e-business Strategy.
- Fonix Corporation (SALT LAKE CITY):
Fonix(R) Releases FAAST(R) TTS 5.1 for Linux and Solaris.
Fonix Accelerated Application Solutions Technology (FAAST(R)) Text-To-Speech (TTS) version 5.1 is available on Linux on x86 and Solaris on SPARC.
- Foresight Systems Inc. (Anaheim, CA and Austin, TX):
Foresight Systems v5.1 Released for Linux & Windows 2000.
- Macrovision Corporation (SUNNYVALE, Calif.):
GLOBEtrotter Releases New Version of GTlicensing for Electronic Software Distribution.
- Minds@Work (IRVINE, Calif.):
Minds@Work Unveils a New Family of Portable Smart Storage Devices; The Digital Wallet Now Comes In Three New Storage Capacities.
- MUSICMATCH, Inc. (SAN DIEGO):
MUSICMATCH Introduces New Jukebox With Integrated Music Subscription Service; Debuts Radio MX, ''Near Music-On-Demand'' at CD Quality.
- ParaSoft (MONROVIA, Calif.):
ParaSoft Expands Live Online Customer Service for Entire Product Line by Extending License of Expertcity Inc. DesktopStreaming Technology.
- SecureLogix Corporation (LAS VEGAS & SAN ANTONIO):
SecureLogix Adds New Features And Enhancements to TeleSweep Secure Scanner 3.0; Linux Version Also Available.
- Tech Soft America (OAKLAND, Calif.):
HOOPS Stream Toolkit 6.0 Raises the Bar for Intelligent Streaming; Advanced Version of Tool for Creating Custom, Informative and Highly Compressed Stream Files Released Today.
- Tech Soft America (Oakland, CA.):
HOOPS 3D Application Framework 6.0 announced.
- Tisento Technologies Ltd. (SAN JOSE, Calif.):
Mindmaker Expands Tisento Telephony Speech Recognition System to Include U.S. English.
- Trellix Corp. (CONCORD, Mass.):
Trellix Releases New Web Site Publishing Platform With Full Range of E-Commerce Solutions for Small Businesses.
Books & Training
- 1mage Software, Inc. (ENGLEWOOD, Colo.):
1mage Software and UK Distributor Form Alliance; Rugby, UK-Based UniDirect to Offer 1mage Suite of Products.
- Egenera, Inc. (MARLBORO, Mass.):
Egenera, Inc., Joins Linux International; Membership Demonstrates Egenera's Active Role in the Open Source Community and Dedication to Promoting Linux Initiatives.
- InterNetShare, Inc. (SUNNYVALE, CA):
Lineo offers InterNetShare IPv4/IPv6 Software with SecureEdge VPN
- JAWZ Inc. & Emagebox.com Inc. (FAIRFIELD, N.J. & TORONTO):
JAWZ and Emagebox.com Develop Secure Applications for Advertising and Entertainment Industry.
The "Digital Media Distribution System" will be a Linux component-based system.
- Linux NetworX (SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH):
Linux NetworX Expands Market Reach into Europe.
Software Technologies International (BURNABY, British Columbia):
Merlin Engages International Management Consultants -- Angle Technology Group.
- Opera Software (Oslo, Norway):
Opera Integrates Googles Award-Winning Search Technology.
- Opera Software and Pricegrabber.com (Oslo, Norway and Los Angeles, CA):
Opera Web Browser and Pricegrabber Join Forces as Strategic Affiliates.
- Penguin Computing (SAN FRANCISCO):
Penguin Computing and InMon Corporation Develop Partnership to Deliver Internet Traffic Management Solutions; Delivering a Total Hardware/Software Solution for Traffic Management.
- Zuma Networks (WEST HILLS & CALABASAS, Calif.):
Zuma Networks Completes Successful Stress Tests for the LightReef Z16 with Spirent.
Investments and Acquisitions
Personnel & New Offices
Linux At Work
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
May 10, 2001