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Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 15, 2011 0:01 UTC (Fri) by david.a.wheeler (subscriber, #72896)
Parent article: Who wrote 3.0 - from two points of view

These stats are so amazing that I just posted "Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel", to comment on this. You might find that article amusing.


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Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 15, 2011 2:47 UTC (Fri) by pr1268 (subscriber, #24648) [Link]

Somewhat amusing, but very enlightening. Thanks for the blog entry. I also found Steve Friedl's technical discussion you linked fun—it's reassuring that the Linux kernel source isn't polluted with DWORDs or HANDLEs or all other types in ALL_CAPS. Phew!

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 15, 2011 6:21 UTC (Fri) by patrick_g (subscriber, #44470) [Link]

If I understand correctly Steve Friedl's technical discussion, it was only about the 200+ initial patchs to clean the MS driver before entering -staging.
What about the 300+ patchs during this 3.0 cycle? It can't be coding style work because that was done previously. Perhaps he need to write another article and change his previous conclusion.

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 15, 2011 21:02 UTC (Fri) by leoc (subscriber, #39773) [Link]

Isn't it a bit weird that Microsoft is simultaneously contributing code to the Linux kernel **and** claiming that it violates their patents?

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 15, 2011 23:20 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

Isn't it a bit weird that Microsoft is simultaneously contributing code to the Linux kernel **and** claiming that it violates their patents?

Why? Because contributing code means you want to help Linux and claiming patent violation means you don't? I don't think it's that simple.

For one thing, Microsoft so far hasn't even prosecuted any of its patent claims. The main purpose for those claims seems to be to defend against insults against Microsoft of the form that a rag-tag bunch of people working for free put out something better than what the great Microsoft machine (or any other conventional software publisher) could make. The point of the claim is simply to say that Linux developers didn't do it alone.

Even if Microsoft were to sue over use of its patents in Linux, that wouldn't mean Microsoft doesn't like helping out Linux; only that it wants its fair share of the result.

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 17, 2011 9:59 UTC (Sun) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

Look up TomTom vs. Microsoft. I may be instructive for you.

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 18, 2011 14:40 UTC (Mon) by dag- (subscriber, #30207) [Link]

Do you think Microsoft is getting a fair share ? I think they get more than they deserve, if they deserve anything at all. And no, we don't know how much they settle for patent-infringements with those large hardware vendors, but I don't think they deserve the tiniest bit.

Personally, if patents are there to protect corporate investments in research for the benefit of the general public, I do think the same general public should get full insight into patent settlements. I do think one (patent law) contradicts the other (closed patent-infringement settlements).

How can we make laws to protect the general public, if we don't know what backroom deals are made as a result of it? I also think if those deals were forced to be made public, support for patent law, especially in software development, will soon be impossible.

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 18, 2011 15:25 UTC (Mon) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

Do you think Microsoft is getting a fair share ?

That's a little off-topic, since we're talking about whether there is some inconsistency or irony in Microsoft contributing code to Linux while claiming that Linux infringes some Microsoft patents. The only thing that would be relevant is whether Microsoft thinks it's getting its fair share (because if it does, then I must be wrong about Microsoft's motivation in making claims of Linux patent infringement).

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 18, 2011 18:38 UTC (Mon) by leoc (subscriber, #39773) [Link]

it wants its fair share of the result.

If they are playing "fair", then why do they refuse to provide a list of the patents Linux allegedly violates? Seems to me that the only share they would ever consider fair is 100%.

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 19, 2011 9:12 UTC (Tue) by etienne (guest, #25256) [Link]

IANAL, but by contributing, don't they also give patent rights to "the Program"?
(For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program. )

Microsoft, co-author of the Linux kernel

Posted Jul 19, 2011 10:15 UTC (Tue) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

IANAL either, but Microsoft is not distributing "the program" (the Linux Kernel) here. I don't know if the set of patches can be considered "the program" by themselves.

Can I download the kernel from somewhere in microsoft.com? Is there a git tree somewhere? All those could count as "distributing".


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