My view on Microsoft

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My view on Microsoft

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I believe that they have a monopolistic way of doing things. I don't think it makes a difference if they have open source code in their software or not. The big thing is that they sell an operating system. Not just that, but the fact that they do so while also selling software that only works on their operating system. I know that they have some that works on Mac OS's, but they could just as easily make software that works on Linux and they don't. It doesn't have to be open source to work on Linux. It could be all binary files and it'd still work on Linux. They could, correct me if I'm wrong, probably even make their own libraries(Like they do with their dlls) that nobody could read(Since it is closed source). From my point of view, they have no reason not to be able to make software for Linux.

Now, as for patents on software. BS. Copyrights are fine, closed source is fine. But when you start patenting software you prevent software innovation. If the source is closed people can't copy your code anyway so you shouldn't even need patents. There might just be someone who comes up with an idea similar to yours, or that codes similar to you. There is no way to tell unless they have your exact code in their program. And that puts open source at a disadvantage because they can't see the closed source code. I'm not saying that we should open source everything. That would be stupid because then everything would be pretty much free since anyone could program their own internet explorer or cd burning software and wouldn't have to pay a dime, just their time. What I'm saying is that there shouldn't be patents on software. Actually, a good idea would be to make a system where you could send in your code and you'd receive a paper, and one would be documented, that you were the first person to make that 'code' or 'program'. Then if someone else made a program that was exactly the same as yours and tried to sell it you could sue and maybe get some compensation or license it to them to sell as a representative for you. But if someone made a program for themselves and didn't try to sell it or redistribute it they couldn't be sued because they probably didn't know your code anyway and weren't trying to sell it.

You see, the problem with non-physical stuff(Especially stuff that can be changed so easily to avoid prosecution, without altering its function) is that it is hard to define. You could say that everything has to be made in it's very own code, but then nothing would be compatible with anything else. You could also say that everything has to use the same structure(Or make a standard structure, such as HTML), but then everything that has been made so far would have to be recoded to fit the structure and it would cost a lot of money(Or with open source software, a lot of time). I'd go with the second choice, even if it costs a lot of money. Because it would give courts a clear cut case against people who did copy code(Remember, copyrights are our friends. ;)). or those who didn't. That means less legal problems, but you'd also have to specify certain things that couldn't be copyrighted, otherwise you wouldn't be able to make anything even similar to another program(Due to the standard coding structure) without being sued.

Over all. I think it is just stupid to put any protection on software, as it prevents innovation. Copyrights on programs that are closed source so that people can't put them on a burnable CD are okay, but when you get down to the code it gets just plain stupid.

I think I'm about done... Any comments are welcome, just don't start flaming or anything, especially don't post messages that you can't back up. ;)

Thanks for reading. ^.^
  • Let me preface by saying I do use Linix, and I do support opensource...

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    From my point of view, they have no reason not to be able to make software for Linux.

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    From "their" point of view, do they have any reason TO make software for Linux?  Perhaps not, perhaps so.  Microsoft is not some benevolant organization trying to make the world a better place with open ideas and code.  They are a business, businesses only purpose at the end of the day is to make a profit.  I know a few of the guys at Microsoft and I know that they have the resources and capabilities to create software for Linux.  But is it worth the money/time involved for them?  If you look at what Microsoft offers for free, you'll find that it is basically limited to plugins/applications for Microsoft Products.  Windows costs $$$, Office costs $$$$$.  Realistically, I don't see people in the Linux community rushing out to buy (yes, buy, MS "IS" a business) a closed source (yes, closed, see previous point), application from Microsoft.  Microsoft's business is designing and selling software.  Whatever you think of their skillset or business practices aside, you have to acknowledge that they are fairly successful at what they do.  I would venture to say that they have researched releasing software (closed source) for Linux, but have decided that the profit margin is not there.  They stick to what they do.  It's worked for them so far, and I suspect it will continue to work for them in the future.

  • Okay, I wasn't going to say that you don't use Linux, I don't really care if you do or not. That is irrelevant, at least in my view.

    I also understand that they are a business. I understand that most, if not all, businesses are in it for a profit. I also know that there are people who like Microsoft's software(They do make good software, I don't deny that) for but would like to use a Linux operating system rather than Windows(Although I don't know how many). If they wanted, like a lot of other software companies, they could make a version of their program for Linux that isn't as feature full as the one for Windows(eg: Real!'s Real Player for linux) and sell it for less. If they get a good response from the community they can update it and make it better. If they don't they could say that they tried and there weren't enough people interested(Which wouldn't surprise me if they did make a less feature full version). I think it would be a great idea to make a version for Linux, since they have competitors(OpenOffice.org, and others that I can't think of at the moment) that already work on Linux and Windows. The only reason I think it would be a bad idea is it would give people who only like the Microsoft Office suite a reason to not buy Windows(Which is a very good reason, I admit).

    And, as I've stated previously, I know they're trying to make money. Just because it works on Linux doesn't mean it has to be free. They can set the cost to anything(reasonable) and sell it for Linux as well. And, as for the free stuff Microsoft offers, I haven't seen that many plugins and stuff like that. I have seen Internet Explorer(Which is free, but only if you buy Windows... Which makes sense, since you are paying for it when you pay for the license, or at least that's what I think[I haven't actually read the EULA so I don't know if you're paying for IE or if they're just only letting people who bought Windows have it.]).

    IE, and a few other programs, are the only ones that appear to be free. And since, as far as I know, you need to have Microsoft Windows in order to download any programs that are included with Microsoft Windows they aren't really free. Just free to use after you've purchased their OS.

    Anyway, Thanks for the reply. I understand your view and don't deny that it has it's foundation. This is just my reply, which I hope gives a little more support on my view of the situation.

    I may not know everything about what MS is doing or how monopolies work, but I know that they could be doing something more competitive in the software market and they're not(While the OS is software, every piece of software that is run on the machine interacts with the OS and therefore I believe it shouldn't be put in the same category).