OT: Two ways Microsoft sabotages Linux desktop adoption

Craig White craigwhite at azapple.com
Wed Feb 15 04:40:27 UTC 2006

On Tue, 2006-02-14 at 22:19 -0600, Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-02-14 at 16:32, Craig White wrote:
> > > > No, that should be a different topic: How the GPL sabotages open
> > > > source adoption.  The GPL restrictions have done more to
> > > > maintain the Microsoft monopoly than any Microsoft employee.
> > > > Even when a vendor tries their best to supply drivers it
> > > > doesn't work out very well and they aren't accepted in the
> > > > distributions.
> > > 
> > > Well said, Les.
> > there are many forms of open source licenses that aren't GPL and a
> > vendor can supply drivers using a form more suitable to their liking if
> > they wish...I guess I missed Les' point.
> The point of the GPL is to make it impossible to combine
> GPL'd code and code under any different restrictions.  There
> are many necessary pieces of code that exist, and can only
> exist only under different restrictions.  Examples would be
> patented code or code needed in device drivers that a
> hardware vendor has obtained from third parties under
> non-GPL licensing.  That means that to use those things
> you can never use a GPL kernel that by definition excludes
> them.  Linux has held out the promise of a loophole which
> I think has had a lot to do with the acceptance it has
> managed to achieve in the form of binary kernel modules.
> But, Linus's refusal to freeze an interface and RedHat's
> refusal to distribute them makes it impractical even for
> the vendors that would like to provide Linux support to
> actually do anything useful.
I was under the impression that things like dkms packaging which
apparently is to be supported in newer kernels would make it possible
for vendors to distribute their 'drivers' which would dynamically
repackage for kernel upgrades but of course, this doesn't mean open
source licensing and distribution.

Obviously commitment to the open source model is what Linus and Red Hat
are about. Commitment isn't about only when it is good for me|us.
> Consider that it's purely by accident and probably illegal
> in most places that you can even play current DVD's under
> Linux at all - and it isn't likely to happen again with
> the next generation - and you see why Microsoft has had
> it easy keeping their monopoly.
There are a lot of notions expressed here...but even arguing against the
above this isn't going to change anything so I'll pass.


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