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Ask Slashdot: Should We Worry Microsoft Will 'Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish' Linux? ( 431

BrianFagioli writes: While there is no proof that anything nefarious is afoot, it does feel like maybe the Windows-maker is hijacking the Linux movement a bit by serving distros in its store. I hope there is no "embrace, extend, and extinguish" shenanigans going on.

Just yesterday, we reported that Kali Linux was in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10. That was big news, but it was not particularly significant in the grand scheme, as Kali is not very well known. Today, there is some undeniably huge news -- Debian is joining SUSE, Ubuntu, and Kali in the Microsoft Store. Should the Linux community be worried?

My concern lately is that Microsoft could eventually try to make the concept of running a Linux distro natively a thing of the past. Whether or not that is the company's intention is unknown. The Windows maker gives no reason to suspect evil plans, other than past negative comments about Linux and open source. For instance, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once called Linux "cancer" -- seriously.

Ask Slashdot: Should We Worry Microsoft Will 'Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish' Linux?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:29AM (#56221695)

    Linux is way too fucking big and popular to be squashed. It isn't just used by the unwashed IT professional, but too many corporations depend on it for Microsoft to be able to hurt the project.

    • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:35AM (#56221735) Journal

      More than that, Microsoft's previous extinguishing of competitive products were all closed-source for-profit corporations. How do you extinguish something that is free, open, and worked on by thousands of volunteers?

      It's one thing to deprive a competitor of revenue until they collapse under the weight of their own expenses. It's quite another to try to erase an idea from the Internet. Open software is here for good, and Linux with it.

      • by duckintheface ( 710137 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:44AM (#56221799)

        Microsoft once (and from their perspective quite accurately) described Linux as a cancer, eating their business. Now as a last resort, they may try to embrace the cancer. Don't think that works as a long term strategy.

        • by halivar ( 535827 ) <{bfelger} {at} {}> on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:48AM (#56221837)

          Steve Ballmer said that in 2001. He's no longer with the company, and MS has no obligation to adhere to his philosophy with respect to FOSS.

          • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

            Indeed, they have turned completely away from that philosophy and have open sourced several of their current products.

            I doubt they will ever open their entire stack. They want to keep at least some major components of money makers closed (e.g. they open-sourced Roslyn but have not fully opened Visual Studio). They rely less and less on the consumer versions of Windows for income, so I predict MS will start to open some of those components. We may never see much of Office open-sourced.

            • by fisted ( 2295862 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @02:05PM (#56222667)

              It doesn't even matter whether or not MS will EEE Linux, given that systemd is already turning it into a sort of Windows. I wonder how long until the developers add a registry.

            • by hjf ( 703092 )

              microsoft has the community by the balls now. Visual Studio Code is king everywhere. Microsoft has silently crept into both Mac and Linux from the most unexpected place: developers.
              And yes, I know VS Code IS Atom. But it's a GOOD version of Atom with several very sane defaults. The "community" doesn't understand that, sometimes, the flexiblility of your product plays against you in the form of "learning curve". VS Code just works *AND* you can extend it as much as you can extend Atom. It's a win-win for ev

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          Indeed. Also the reasons to use Linux in a lot of places is because it is a well-designed, versatile, flexible, reliable and secure and open OS. That it is free is a bonus. Windows just cannot compete in most of these regards. It does not even run (well) on other CPU architectures other than AMD64 and forget about putting it on mainframes or very small IoT devices.

          However the problem that MS has is not that Linux is so strong. Linux is just state-of-the-art in many respects and even a little behind in some.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes. How do you do that?
        1) Embrace (the fundamental ideas behind the competitor's product). BTW, this means you get to redefine what those "fundamental ideas" are and since you (MS) are the biggest gorilla in the banana field your definitions count more. Open Document Format anyone?
        2) Extend (how the fundamental ideas are used and implemented) Of course you (MS) WILL say anyone can use the fundamental ideas anyway they want (you wouldn't want anyone to complain that you are squashing competition) and you WO

        • how about. It is just too much trouble to keep a current version of SUSE on the app store ( you know testing and validation and all) so we will make sure that the 25% of SUSE users who use windows are always at least 2 years behind. Clausing them frustration so they curse SUSE and cause it reputation harm AND causing the SUSE community to become bloated with people being hammered with questions about legacy software and compatibility.

      • by rastos1 ( 601318 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @03:03PM (#56222941) Homepage

        How do you extinguish something that is free, open, and worked on by thousands of volunteers?

        Systemd. I.e. you develop something that looks attractive to 800lb gorilla and the decision makers who can override the will of the volunteers.

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:45AM (#56221807)

      Also being that Linux Subsystem on Windows, isn't turned on by default and takes effort to get it going, with it acting more like a Linux distribution in a virtual box. I don't see this as Part of the EEE strategy. It is more of a plug a hole so people just don't uninstall windows to use Linux primarily strategy.
      Linux has been doing fine without Microsoft, it isn't like Lotus 123, or Word Perfect which business required Microsoft to play nice with them. Linux being its own OS, can run just fine without Microsoft. Microsoft needs LSW more then Linux needs it.

      • It is more of a plug a hole so people just don't uninstall windows to use Linux primarily strategy.

        This. My workplace requires that I use Windows. When I had the choice I ran Linux. But with the Subsystem for Linux I'm not sure I would use Linux as my primary. I get the best of both worlds this way.

        • There are ways to get the best of both worlds with Linux and Virtualization windows, or Wine. It really depends on which system you do your pirmary work, and which system, you are good with running in a slower mode.

          • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

            This is exactly what I did but only backwards. We where required to have Windows on the hardware but most of my work was with linux. So i just ran linux in a VM for work and used windows for outlook.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Indeed. Personally I use either cygwin or a full VM if I want to run something Linux on Windows.

    • by Kludge ( 13653 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @12:03PM (#56221937)

      Any moment now Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon might switch all their servers to "Windows Enterprise" edition.

      I can't even read my own stuff without giggling.

    • Linux is way too fucking big and popular to be squashed. It isn't just used by the unwashed IT professional, but too many corporations depend on it for Microsoft to be able to hurt the project.

      You obviously have forgotten Microsoft's funding of SCO's lawsuits.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      I second that. For example, many banks use Linux as replacement for Solaris and other Unix servers. They will not be moving these servers to Windows anytime soon because that would not even work.

      • Java runs on Windows just fine ... and I'm pretty sure Oracle or Sybase (has now a different name) or PstgreSQL run just fine on Windows, too. And plenty others ...

        However using Windows for servers is frowned upon by professionals.

  • No one is still there from those days. At some point, you need to move on.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Sure, keep telling yourself that, Mr 535827.
  • by e432776 ( 4495975 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:31AM (#56221713)
    This is a good question. I wonder if the outcome could be as stated (natively running Linux a thing of the past) but not for the reason given. There may be no grand evil plan from Microsoft, but separate issues could lead to less ability for users to run Linux natively.

    I'm thinking about hardware compatibility. This is sometimes spotty for Linux on mobile hardware (power usage, graphics switching, sleep, etc, etc). If running WSL is good enough for most, will there be as much impetus to resolve these issues? If not, will the state of running Linux natively suffer? Seems possible.
    • If running WSL is good enough for most, will there be as much impetus to resolve these issues?

      I don't see how "running WSL is good enough for most," as WSL bundles neither an X server nor a Wayland server. The free version of Xming hasn't been updated in over a decade. Another concept that I've read about is allowing a Qt or GTK+ application running in WSL to use the DLLs from Qt or GTK+ for Win32 to display its GUI, but I don't see what sort of proxying would allow that.

  • by paulpach ( 798828 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:31AM (#56221715)

    If Microsoft makes applications and file formats that only work on windows, everyone screams "monopoly" and "antitrust"
    If Microsoft does the complete opposite, makes applications for linux and even makes linux applications work on windows, people scream "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish".

    Seriously, is there something that Microsoft can do that won't be perceived as evil?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Provide a native Linux version of Visual Studio 2017. It doesn't have to be free.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by paulpach ( 798828 )

        Provide a native Linux version of Visual Studio 2017. It doesn't have to be free.

        They ported visual studio to mac.
        They added linux, android, mac and iOS targets for visual studio.
        They created .net core for linux and made it work really well.
        They made core which works on linux and apache.
        They created visual studio core which runs on linux and is one of the best text editors out there.

        Clearly even if they ported visual studio to linux, people will still say it is evil.

        It seems people are incapable of being objective when it comes to Microsoft.

        • by TheBAFH ( 68624 )

          It seems people are incapable of being objective when it comes to Microsoft.

          I wonder why...

    • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:40AM (#56221763)

      Well, I mean, they have a track record of doing both of those things. So no, they can't really escape distrust and cynicism no matter what they do. Their only out is to slowly regain trust - which I think they are doing. But they dug their hole - don't feel bad that they need to work hard to scratch back out.

    • No.

    • I think it is because they weren't around when Microsoft actually done an Embrace, Extend and Extinguish.
      Tools like Lotus 123 (Spreadsheet), Word Perfect (Word Processor), Fox Pro (Database Language), Which were big names that kept MS-DOS and the PC Compatible going. These tools were needed for Microsoft success. So they had embraced them, Working closely with them to make sure they could take new features the OS provided (and for Fox Pro, Microsoft even purchased it, and kept it up to date for about a dec

    • Seriously, is there something that Microsoft can do that won't be perceived as evil?

      Personally Microsoft has faded to near total irrelevancy for me. I get an occasional question, but I just tell people to Google it.
      Linux Mint, and LibreOffice get everything done that I need to do. It would be nice if Outlook were available, but Thunderbird with the Lightening calendar add on is damn close.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      MS is evil. So no. However, not everything they do is evil, so a discussion is merited.

  • No, absolutely not (Score:3, Informative)

    by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot@jawthesh a r> on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:35AM (#56221739) Homepage Journal
    Linux will do just fine destroying itself without any help from Microsoft. I know Ubuntu is not Linux, but I just made the mistake of trying the 18.04LTS developers release (we're like one month of release, so it should give a reasonable idea of what to expect). That interface is complete and utter garbage. I have no idea why anyone would even want to use that. Holy, eff... I mean, I can't even graphically ask for the current IP address. It's a phone interface, at best. I never used Gnome-Shell before, but damned, is that a pile of pure shite. Pretty shit, but shit nevertheless.

    On the server side, we have systemd happily destroying the usability of server management with binary logs, opaque configuration and horrible documentation.

    No, no worries: Microsoft can happily do whatever it wants. With the state of Linux, it will get no where.

    ... and, yes, I am a full time Linux user and have been so for about 10 years. (Before that I dual booted and occasionally had stretches of full Linux usage.) I hoped going FreeBSD, but with politics is polluting FreeBSD that sounds like a no-go.

    If this continues, I just give up and go back to Windows, as horrible as I think Windows 10 is.

    • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:38AM (#56221749) Homepage Journal
      Wow! You can't graphically ask for a current IP address? That sounds terrible.
    • I have debian stable running a mate DE. (and with compiz-fusion cuz eye candy). I can hover the mouse pointer over the network applet in my top panel and get my ip. Or i can click the network icon in the notification area in the same panel and get all sorts of info, all graphical. Or jeeze I can fire up an xterm and use the effin keyboard. Linux distros are not a one-size-fits-all answer where the default presentation is what you're stuck with.

      • Fair enough. What I am illustrating is that there was a nice feature, and it got taken away. That is the "Gnome" way of doing things. Another example? Gnome-terminal: before you could specify in the interface how double-click on the text would behave (usually select a word based on delimiter characters). That was changed. "Too advanced". It now is a gsettings command.

        I am well aware that I will most likely have to switch to MATE or Cinnamon in order to change my experience. Defaults matter! How man

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Ah, yes, FU-bubtu and systemd. The cancers Linux actually has. But the good news is that both can actually be avoided.

    • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @01:05PM (#56222347)

      But unlike when Windows makes a poor GUI decision [cough, Windows 8, cough], you aren't stuck with it. Every "feature" you mention is addressed by someone who shares your distaste. Don't like Debian's decision to go with systemd? People forked it and made Devuan. Don't like Ubuntu's choice in GUI? Use Mint or Kubuntu.

      By the way, I use FreeBSD because it has no-worries support for ZFS, but I don't think it makes a great desktop unix. And to be honest, I find myself making Linux VMs inside of FreeBSD's bhyve for certain software where Linux has better support. I'd probably switch back over to Linux if btrfs matures or if ZFS support gets a little more integrated (which I think is not going to happen).

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      n the server side, we have systemd happily destroying the usability of server management with binary logs, opaque configuration and horrible documentation.

      Funny, this is not the experience I've been having. I just migrated from a init based system to one running systemd. Other than a new way of doing things I've not had any problem at all managing my new system. I have to look a few things up but that is par for the course.

      The log files are right where I expect them, and are in ASCII. The system is just as stable as my old system on the same hardware. It's not asked me to sacrifice my first born too it, nor has it asked me for any outrageous hardware

  • What Microsoft store? Are they really trying to push that thing again?

    Come to think of it, except for Office these days, "who is Microsoft"? There really isn't any reason to run M$ OS's anymore. Even the last good reason to have Microsoft servers (for AD) is slipping away as identity providers have up'ed their game.
  • I don't suspect that presently, but it has definitely occurred to me as possible. In order for that to become reality, I predict a preliminary step would be for Microsoft to release their own Linux distribution, then to do what they can to increase its adoption (give it preferential treatment in the Store over other WSL-based distro packages, perhaps begin installing it by default with a convenient "WSL" installation screen that downplays options, etc.). Once people become familiar or accustomed to this "

    • Think they'd do better with their own distribution for Azure. After all, they did do a lot of kernel code 5-10 years ago to make Linux run better in their virtualization environments...

  • Should We Worry Microsoft Will 'Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish' Linux?

    For all the posturing, I'm pretty sure they just don't grok the whole Linux thing.

    And anyway, Red Hat already have a huge head start.

    • > And anyway, Red Hat already have a huge head start.

      Redhat and MS are partners now, so they are working together to ruin Linux as we know it - or used to know it.

  • ...the concept of running a Linux distro natively a thing of the past.

    I hate to break it to you, but I've got hundreds of linux boxes running––– As VMs. In my case they happen to be running on Fedora and RHEL hypervisors. And I'm the dinosaur at that. Containers are the future.

    I almost never choose to run new boxes "natively" whatever that means. I guess it means on bare metal.

    • by halivar ( 535827 )

      Technically, isn't using a hypervisor also running bare-metal? It's not an emulator. And it's no different for MS desktop Hyper-V. Hell, if your BIOS supports it, you can boot straight into those Hyper-V images.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Not quite. A hypervisor may give you better filesystem access to the host than having an NFS/SMB/whatever export.

        On the other hand, the difference is small enough that it gives you the experience needed to run it bare-metal.

  • What, me worry? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfinn999 ( 206117 ) <> on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:46AM (#56221809)

    In order for the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish to happen, Microsoft would have to release a version of Linux that then gets used by most existing Linux users, enough that other distributions then give up, then Microsoft does as well.

    In contrast, adding Linux to windows as an "app" is not going to do anything to the existing Linux user base.

    So to answer the question...No, we do not need to worry about Microsoft damaging the future of Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Had "Linux" being one product, developed by one "ent" (be it person or company), then the embrace/extend/extinguish approach could have been a valid concern. The thing is, they are mostly community driven. Linus (and others) would happily tell Microsoft to f*ck off and keep developing. And so will people from GTK/Gt ecosystems.

    Microsoft could well end up with its own distribution (Intel has one), but I very much doubt something like Debian, or Arch could be "embraced" and extinguished by a 3rd party. And if

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by walterbyrd ( 182728 )

      Dream on. RH/MS controls Linux.

      Why do you think Debian is using that systemd crap? It is not because Debian loves it, it's because Debian felt they no choice. Read the email lists. Systemd was forced on Linux, by the powers that really control Linux.

      The only Linux distros that do not use systemd are bit players, stuff for hobbyists. Industry and government is all systemd, or soon will be. Systemd was forced on the community by Redhat, nobody wanted it.

  • extend? how? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:47AM (#56221823)

    Today, there is some undeniably huge news -- Debian is joining SUSE, Ubuntu, and Kali in the Microsoft Store. Should the Linux community be worried?

    How is Microsoft "extending" Linux when a bunch of Linux vendors provide their own distributions in the Linux store? Furthermore, the Microsoft subsystem for Linux does little more than what Docker on Windows already provides.

    Linux is the industry standard for software development, containers, server and compute applications; it has won. The Linux subsystem on Windows is Microsoft's acknowledgement of that fact. Microsoft Windows isn't going to infect Linux through the Linux subsystem, Linux is "embracing and extending" Windows, and this is just going to help make Windows-proprietary features more and more irrelevant.

    • My thought exactly. Linux has been embrace/extending for decades, and nobody has managed to extinguish it -- even when presented with unique challenges like Tivoization.

      Microsoft's new strategy is that they just want you using their cloud -- they don't care if you use Windows while you're there. And the way they do this is by making it as easy to integrate with Azure as possible, regardless of the platform you're coding for or administering from. Integrating Ubuntu into Windows is all part of making adminis

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by walterbyrd ( 182728 )

      > How is Microsoft "extending" Linux when a bunch of Linux vendors provide their own distributions in the Linux store?

      By partnering with Redhat, and forcing systemd on enterprise Linux.

    • Most of the truly great Linux software packages either have Windows versions (GIMP, Inkscape, Blender), or are OSS-variants of proprietary stuff. That leaves the last truly-powerful part of Linux as it's big selling point in Windows - the command line. I'd love to see it convert more people to *nix variant OS's, but in reality I think most will see it as a different PowerShell.

      The other big argument is server applications. MS has done a great job of tying up LDAP, Kerberos, SMTP and a few other too

  • by Merk42 ( 1906718 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @11:54AM (#56221871)
    Two Buttons Meme:

    Betteridge's Law of Headlines
    Everything Microsoft does is EEE
    • Betteridge's Law of Headlines
      Everything Microsoft does is EEE

      In 2003, we legitimately had to worry about Microsoft's "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" predilections.

      But, in 2018, Microsoft is too busy with just trying not to be an afterthought in pretty much everything except desktop computers.

  • Linux itself, given its deep penetration into device and Internet infrastructure with it's lack of licensing fees is "safe" from Microsoft. But Microsoft could "tame" Linux that runs on top of the "Windows kernel" and slow or limit it in ways over time to keep it caged and within their control.

    They also may just make Linux on Windows 10 spy and watch users and then turn that info to their own strategy based on what is popular on any installed Linux on top of Windows.

    This combined with the difficulty of buyi

    • Linux that runs on top of the "Windows kernel"

      And I could put a Lamborghini body kit on a Fiero. But why would I do that if they are giving Aventadors away for free?

  • Not hard to figure out.

    MS/Redhat now own Linux. Everybody else is just hobbyist bit player.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @12:04PM (#56221943)

    Microsoft doesn't care what you run long as you run it on their hardware and pay them every month for the rest of your life. Their strategy is to get everyone possible onto a monthly subscription, and Office 365 is the first step for most organizations. Once you have that, then you take over the company's identity management with Azure AD, first with cloud-only IDs, then synchronization and then with full-blown ADFS. This gives them a very solid foothold to move the company's computing resources into Azure, giving Microsoft the lock-in they want.

    It's actually a good strategy...since they can't sell boxed products anymore, they're trying to control the entire market by controlling where you run stuff, not what you run on it. I'm guessing there might even be a day where they decide to drop Windows once the revenues from Azure and Office 365 get high enough.

  • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @12:06PM (#56221957)
    I can't imagine a lot of Linux users migrating to Windows just because of the Windows Subsystem for Linux. The main reason Microsoft is interested in supporting Linux is because of Azure and they quickly realized that Docker was going to leave them in the dust if they didn't provide something caparable. Since it would've taken way too long for them to create their own solution, they developed compatibility with Docker to facilitate running Linux processes on Windows. I would be more concerned about Microsoft making changes to Docker containers or the image format that only worked on Windows than any tricks they might use to co-opt Linux itself.

    Overall, I just don't see Linux users migrating to Windows anytime soon, especially developers, because they already have a superior experience using Linux. I constantly have coworkers convincing me that I should migrate to Windows because then I could have the "best of both worlds" but I think they have that backwards. Linux is a superior host environment for me because of the following reasons:

    - It doesn't install updates without my permission
    - Updates don't change my configuration values out from under me
    - Updates almost never break my system
    - It doesn't install or remove apps without my permission
    - It has superior window management
    - It doesn't constantly need to be rebooted anytime the OS or even an app is updated
    - Many development tools and runtime environments run much faster in Linux
    - Many distributions don't require spying on me

    There are many more reasons that I don't have time to elaborate but I just don't see this providing a good opportunity for Microsoft to ensnare Linux users, developers, or APIs. If anything, I see this as an opportunity for people to learn the value of Linux and eventually migrate away from Windows.
  • Linux (or better: open source, Linux is merely the public face of the open source movement) started as something small.
    Then it started to grow, become bigger and bigger.
    They tried radiotherapy (SCO) to get rid of it, but the treatment failed miserably. It was too little, too late.
    The Open Source cancer had already started to spread, leaving the server world and entering the desktop world.
    (by now the time line is well past the "cancer" remark but the cancerous spread continues).
    It took over a larger part of

  • by portwojc ( 201398 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @12:10PM (#56221979) Homepage

    Microsoft has "embraced" Linux more lately but in reality it's more that they understand Linux has a place and they want to control it. What better way than have Linux running on top of a Microsoft product. Microsoft still makes some cash and allows those who want Linux to bring it in while still claiming to be a Microsoft shop. Microsoft then just sits back and determines what Linux does for those environments and then develop a replacement application for that need. Or they could in some instances simply do the old way of how Microsoft did things, acquire the product and rebrand it as Microsoft. Keep it on Linux, since they can "manage" it, and they don't have to do any major work, just let that application continue to exist rebranded...

  • by ctilsie242 ( 4841247 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @12:13PM (#56221997)

    Microsoft is making money hand over fist from Android/Linux patents. Why would they want to kill Linux, because they get two billion dollars a year from the operating system at the minimum? Two billion may not be much compared to the 90 billion/year a year total revenue, but it is still something.

    Of course, they would love to control the OS, but as it stands right now, they are better off making it interoperable than continuing to fight it, Halloween Memo style. Especially if they can start getting their management tools to work well on the platform, which brings another revenue stream.

  • Last time I looked WSL (and therefore Linux OS's) have very limited interaction with Windows. No graphics, no IPC. It's fine if you want to debug something for Linux server use, but until it integrates with Windows desktop and peripherals, there's nothing to worry about for typical desktop users.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      No X11 support in Windows. So while I might be able to connect to a Windows file or web server (if one actually exists), there is no desktop support in Windows.

  • All Microsoft is doing is making it easier for folks to have a limited Linux experience directly in Windows and I think it's great. I don't need Linux running on hardware nor do I want to due to its limited gaming support. Plus, I also don't want to dual boot because that's just annoying and a pain in the ass. I also don't want to run Linux in a VM (or Windows in a VM) because I want a more integrated experience. What MS is doing is perfect for folks like me who basically want to run Windows but want a
  • So they'll take over all of AWS and Google cloud services? All of Android? Every Linux based router, and just about every Internet of Things thing? Yeah, good luck with that.
  • by murph ( 16036 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @01:00PM (#56222325) Homepage

    I don't think that Microsoft wants to extinguish Linux. In my opinion, the new "Microsoft Loves Linux" future looks like this:

    Linux VMs running under Azure (Microsoft gets paid)
    Linux running under Windows (Microsoft gets paid)
    Android (Microsoft gets paid under those questionable patent threats)

    Linux won't be extinguished, it will live on under Microsoft's guidance, as they get paid handsomely for it.

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @01:57PM (#56222627) Homepage

    Look, I've been using nothing but Linux at home for almost 20 years now, still volunteer a bit for the Calgary Unix Users Group, always talked it up at work.

    But I *retired* two years back, so I can't advocate any more. It wasn't so much that Windows is "preferred" at work, but that nobody is aware of another option. All my Linux advocacy might as well have been advocating that business be conducted in Esperanto. It wasn't worthy of a laugh, or an eye-roll; it was forgotten two minutes after I'd spoken. (I was the I.T. Coordinator for the Waterworks, by the way; I managed million-dollar software projects. It wasn't that I had no respect, just that I was talking crazy talk.)

    Mac's embrace of the entertainment/home market has relegated them to "just the graphic design guys" ghetto in business. Even the quite practicable notion that web applications would make OS irrelevant, still didn't. Why have a second OS? They barely support Windows. If you have *any* problem with it, they re-install from the "golden disk image", so most people don't complain.

    Linux poses NO danger, whatsoever, to Microsoft on the desktop at work. I would say the same for "home" as well, since all my Linux advocacy for decades hasn't convinced a single non-techie friend to try it. Why would they? Windows is essentially free, they got it at purchase time. And it runs everything. And Blue Screens Of Death have become very rare.

    Linux won the server market, mostly, and provided the basis for Android phones and tablets; it did its job. It's not an all-Windows world. But it is a nearly all-Windows-desktop world except for home and designer Mac users.

    Microsoft can afford to be magnanimous.

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Wednesday March 07, 2018 @02:53PM (#56222899)

    When .Not came out roughly 15 years ago I said it here on slashdot: Unless they FOSS it, they don't stand a chance. Countless Rails, FOSS toolkits and FOSS Java projects later they finally caught on and FOSSed it. It's a niche product and will remain that way because they are slow, but they finally did FOSS it because anything else would be stoopid and way to expensive for the future. By FOSSing it they can abandon it a few years down and nobody can cry foul.

    As for the OS: They should've released Windows 10 with a custom Linux kernel, paid Torwalds some obscene amount of money to come on board as "Chief Kernel Master" or something and taken the helm on the FOSS bandwagon, maybe buying and integrating Redhat along the way, wielding the FOSS flamesword against evil lock-in companies such as Apple and Google.

    They didn't and will probably need another 8 years or so to finally do it. Once again too late. But I figure by then they will have moved a solid amount of business to cloud and hardware and the OS will just be a toping. ... "Windows Neo - With Linux Technology." We will read something like that, but not soon enough for MS to become a key force in FOSS.

    My 2 cents.

All seems condemned in the long run to approximate a state akin to Gaussian noise. -- James Martin