back to article Free Software Foundation suggests Microsoft 'upcycles' Windows 7... as open source

More than 10 years on from its campaign to persuade users to dump Windows 7 for a non-proprietary alternative, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has kicked off a petition to urge Microsoft to open-source the recently snuffed software. On the face of it, the logic seems pretty simple. On 14 January Windows 7 reached its end of …

  1. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

    And I understand that's the dream of Linux users, a really working GUI OS supporting all device around and all those great applications available, to replace their poor Linux desktops stuck into feature-lacking apps, still without paying a dime for it....

    Anyway, FSF eventually took of their mask - they are not about freedom, they are about getting other people software for free - without the discomfort and nastiness of wharez.

    Why not setup a kickstarter campaign to buy Windows code, instead? For some billions MS might sell it, Nadella after all is no longer much interested in its development.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

      wharez? Makes it sound like you're looking for the latest "crack" but can't find it (btw, the older crack probably still works).

      The FSF has a place... I guess. I say that because I'm honestly not sure if things would be better or worse if they didn't exist. However, the only few times I've read about them in the last 15 years they've seemed very corporate oriented. Like this MS article, who benefits the most from open sourced Win7?

      1. Sanguma

        Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

        The FSF has a place... I guess. I say that because I'm honestly not sure if things would be better or worse if they didn't exist.

        Well, they certainly changed the way things worked with their Gnu Compiler Collection. The Unix world was fragmented when they came out with it, then Cygnus took note and ran with it as a supported product, and Unix was still fragmented, and vendors were at each others' throats (or thoats - read Bill The Galactic Hero if you must :) but having a vendor-neutral C compiler than just ran on any Unix meant that the Unix market retained some coherence. Then Linux happened along ...

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

      First, there are licensing issues with parts of Bloat that are licensed by Slurp which would probably kill open sourcing Bloat from the start. Second, it would seriously hurt Slurp as there would be less reason to use Bloat10 with the possibility of many ditching Bloat10 for a FOSS version of Bloat. Give me a FOSS version of Bloat7 and I might keep a Bloat box around and on the Net (my current Bloat box is permanently off line).

      Now how much it would hurt Linux, on the server side probably not that much as Linux is very well entrenched there. On the desktop side, this is where we are navel gazing. I tend to think it will slow the adoption of desktop Linux but not stop it. Part of the reason to move to desktop Linux is the antics of Slurp and the general PITA Bloat is (with 10 being the worst). This would not change if there was a FOSS version of Bloat.

      1. ArrZarr
        Coat

        Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

        This would be the same Bloat whose hardware requirements haven't changed in a decade and three operating systems?

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

          >This would be the same Bloat whose hardware requirements haven't changed in a decade and three operating systems?"

          Perhaps you need to click on the "compatible processor" link and perhaps also double check with Intel

          So whilst the headline requirement hasn't changed, the specification of which processors actually satisfy the requirements have...

      2. LDS Silver badge

        " as Linux is very well entrenched there"

        Once again, just because you don't have to pay licenses for it. Think about all those Active Directories goodies for free - something Linux still sorely lacking for whatever is not a public web server....

        A FOSS version of "bloat" could evidently remove all the "bloat" - but most of that "bloat" is exactly what makes Windows a far better desktop OS than Linux - all Linux GUIs actually sucks - some like Mint one are somewhat better, but they still have a long way to achieve the one of Windows 7 (Windows 10 is easier, it sucks too).

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: " as Linux is very well entrenched there"

          "all Linux GUIs actually sucks - some like Mint one are somewhat better"

          Which particular Mint GUI were you thinking of? There are three as standard and, when I ran Mint I installed a fourth, KDE.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: " as Linux is very well entrenched there"

          Active Directory - LDAP, Kerberos, and DNS integrated in a unique Windows manner - would no longer be a moving target on the client.

        3. Maventi
          Pint

          Re: " as Linux is very well entrenched there"

          > Once again, just because you don't have to pay licenses for it.

          Wrong. I know of nobody who uses Linux because it is free, except in business where using it at scale on servers saves a fortune over proprietary offerings.

          Remember that desktop Windows for home use is free also.

          All Linux desktop users I know of prefer it over Windows, myself included. And the few of us who need the odd commercial app not supported in Linux paid for a Mac and are happy with that too. And I speak as a previously devout Windows fan from 3.1 through to Vista.

          Different strokes for different folks; deriding others over their own choice of OS is silly, especially when combined with arguments that don't hold water.

          > Think about all those Active Directories goodies for free - something Linux still sorely lacking for whatever is not a public web server....

          IPA for Linux just works and is a very fine solution. There's no direct equivalent of GPO though, but plenty of exceptionally capable CM tools out there as alternatives.

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: " as Linux is very well entrenched there"

            "Remember that desktop Windows for home use is free also."

            I paid for Windows 7, I migrated to Windows 10 however to me it feels it has always felt like a service pack (Only with new features and tabletified shell).

            So I still consider myself as someone who paid for a license.

          2. hmv

            Re: " as Linux is very well entrenched there"

            "And the few of us who need the odd commercial app not supported in Linux"

            It should be noted that some of us have paid for commercial applications that run under Linux.

      3. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

        "I tend to think it will slow the adoption of desktop Linux"

        If it were any slower it would be going in reverse, or maybe it already is.

    3. JohnFen

      Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

      It certainly wouldn't mean the death of Linux. Most Linux users I know use Linux because they find it superior to the alternatives. They aren't itching to change to a different OS. Win 7 becoming open source wouldn't get many Linux users to change.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

        Most Linux users use it for two reason 1) It's free 2) They hate MS.

        If it was superior, it would have been already taken the Windows place....

        1. JohnFen

          Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

          I can't speak towards most Linux users generally, as I haven't seen any actual studies on that. But I personally know a lot of Linux users, and neither of the reasons you cite are significant factors in why they use Linux.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

            There are a number of reasons that Linux is not established on the desktop. The Linux world is in denial about most of them and until they face reality, change will continue to.be at the pace of continental drift.

            1. NATTtrash

              Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

              There are a number of reasons that Linux is not established on the desktop.

              I assume this also includes the average level of intelligence of the "common" user and their proactive drive to increase it? (Who here hasn't done "Help Desk" work, either paid or "because you're my friend"? Who hasn't read "On Call" here?)

              After all, making something "idiot proof" "convenient" has been proven a very successful commercial model...

            2. Defiant

              Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

              Lots of people are also tired of hearing its users go on and on about it on articles not even related to it

              1. Kiwi
                Windows

                Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

                Lots of people are also tired of hearing its users go on and on about it on articles not even related to it

                He says.

                In an anti-linux thread started by a Windows fan on an article about Windows... ;)

            3. hmv

              Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

              But it is established on the desktop; my desktops. Don't much care what everybody else is running - that's their problem.

            4. JohnFen

              Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

              More than a few of us Linuxheads don't actually care about Linux to becoming a serious player in the desktop for the ordinary user (and some of us actively don't want that to happen).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

          If it was superior, it would have been already taken the Windows place

          Well that's odd, I could have sworn my keyboard was qwerty and not dvorak.

          1. Kiwi
            Coat

            Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

            If it was superior, it would have been already taken the Windows place

            Well that's odd, I could have sworn my keyboard was qwerty and not dvorak.

            Almost any other OS vs Windows (esp OS/2 warp 4 vs 95), VHS vs BETA, Chrome vs Firefox (and forks), bikes vs cars, rail freight vs road freight, many other places where the clearly obviously better choice has been beaten by the clearly obviously rubbish choice.

            (Given Android runs a Linux kernel, and there seems to be more Android devices than Windows ones these days, it may be fair to say 'Droid has beaten Windows anyway - just not on the desktop)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

              AmigaOS vs any other OS :)

              Computers with commodore logos vs computers without ;)

              a Honda VFR750 (or 800) vs any other bike :P

              Oh OS/2, my heart still throbs when I hear thy name. I didn't use it much but I remember it strongly and fondly. I was instantly impressed. It was a really lovely environment. I remember being pretty sad that I couldn't afford a copy and the boss at the company where I used it specifically refused to say "Yarrr!" for me.

              Yeah, in terms of numbers windows isn't the dominant OS anymore. It's why you see MS sidling up to open source. if you include Android, Linux is the ruler in most places. The desktop is an anomaly. An anomaly that seems to be shrinking both numerically and percentage-wise every year.

    4. Snake Silver badge

      Re: open source wouldn't solve the problem

      Turning Win7 into open source wouldn't solve its long term problems, that being continued support of both products and services. Stating frankly, open source did not solve Linux's problem of poor driver support for new devices, and I don't see why turning Win7 into open source will mean any different - companies make investments based upon perceived returns, and an open source Win7 will probably end up with a small enough market to not justify the continuing creation of Win7-compatible drivers, versus just supporting the latest "real" (Microsoft-sourced) OS (that, currently being, Win10).

      Also, making the code open source creates the ability of others to locate, find and use (for benefit or detriment) the 'hidden' API's that internal Microsoft products have used between (only) themselves for decades now. This not only give the competition, but also hackers, open season to create new coding that either competes with some Microsoft products but also create even more system compromises (as if we/they need more). Repeating "The more eyes, the better the code!" over the past decades sure didn't help Linux with absolute perfection, and Windows is just itching for yet more hacking.

      This is strictly personal, but not only do I not see this happening, I'm not sure this is even the best idea to begin with, I don't see many benefits beyond for those who can't move on and accept change (better, or worse, it's still change).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: open source wouldn't solve the problem

        open source did not solve Linux's problem of poor driver support for new devices

        WHAT?!? OK, now you're just a troll. Perhaps you don't realise that Linux supports MORE hardware than windows does, on account of drivers being largely backwards compatible and easy to port where they're not precisely because they're open source.

        Go and find yourself a Packard Bell Fastmedia remote control and see how well that works on the latest version of windows. Or even on XP. I still use mine every. single. day. And that's just one example of literally thousands.

        "But", you say, "I was talking about new devices". And I'll respond that I literally have not tried to use a piece of hardware in 10+ years that hasn't just worked. And I say "10+ years" to be conservative, for the sake of accuracy, so that I am 100% confident that what I say is 100% factual (something we've demonstrated elsewhere that you don't bother with). It might be 15 or even 20 years since I had trouble with a driver. I bought a brand new high-end gaming laptop less than a year ago. I didn't look into what the Linux support for the hardware was like. I didn't buy a machine which advertised itself as having good Linux compatibility. I bought the laptop that I wanted and I installed Linux on it. exactly 100% of the hardware just worked, with exactly 0 seconds of mucking about, Including the high-end nvidia card.

        ...but why am I replying to another comment from Snake? I'm just feeding the troll. Oh, great spaghetti monster, give me the strength to withstand the barrage of blatant mistruth, ignorance, and hyperbole! I will stop feeding the troll. I will stop feeding the troll!

        1. Kiwi
          Pint

          Re: open source wouldn't solve the problem

          I will stop feeding the troll!

          Feeding trolls is fine.. So long as you're using rat poison or equivalent!

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

      Betteridge's law of headlines applies.

      And I doubt a FOSS Windows would replace all those Linux servers running on Azure.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They cannot oper source windows

      or any other retired product since they have always reused their code.

      If any legacy part was OS then so is their latest version and if is was OS then the first thing that is going to be fix is the spyware.

      MS cant afford to let go since everything they do is tied to windows and without control of that they have nothing left at all, so nice idea but the nearest you are going to get is being able to maintain it yourself

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They cannot oper source windows

        > If any legacy part was OS then so is their latest version ...

        That's not how OSS licensing works.

        > if is was OS then the first thing that is going to be fix is the spyware.

        That's probably true. :)

    7. rcxb

      Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

      Windows 10 is already free, as in zero cost. You can download the ISO from Microsoft.com and use it without ever inputting a valid license key. It stops you from changing the theme, background, etc, through the normal interface, but is otherwise entirely functional.

      That's entirely different than Open Source, however. There you could actually fix all the things that are wrong with Windows, have a WINE that works with every bit of software out there, etc.

      The WINE improvements might be good, but otherwise I wouldn't be interested. All that massive bloat, crippled UI, etc. No way would I go back to that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @rcxbb - Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

        Windows 10 is free but so is diarrhea too.

        1. GrapeBunch
          Joke

          Re: @rcxbb - Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

          "Windows 10 is free but so is diarrhea too."

          IP freely. Hey, it works on all free levels.

    8. This post has been deleted by its author

    9. Jedipadawan

      Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

      >"And I understand that's the dream of Linux users, a really working GUI OS supporting all device around and all those great applications available, to replace their poor Linux desktops stuck into feature-lacking apps, still without paying a dime for it"

      Ok, I probably shouldn't do this but for those here who insist "Linux can't do anything" here's my personal experience for record:

      I use Linux with the KDE 'Plasma' UI which I demo to Mac and Windows 7/10 users and how it totally blows their UI's away. Many get interested - I have had converts! For a start, with KDE you can alter the UI to virtually anything you like so there is minimal retraining. "Can I..."

      "Yes."

      I use Libreoffice for handling office docs and I have to share data with a fair amount of students [I run a private tuition business] and have to read and write Office standard documents. All read and write well. I find Libreoffice 'Write' a delight to use and I use it a LOT!

      Graphics editing/manipulation done by GIMP. Now I know GIMP is not Photoshop and not everyone likes it's UI but it does what I need including producing advertising material. For artists there is 'Krita.'

      I do lots of video editing for work and hobby. Kdenlive is glorious! [Though I will accept the recent refactoring has introduced amass of bigs that are being ironed out. I am sticking with reliable 18.04 via appimage. Kdenlive 19.04+ is getting the bugs flattened but it's not 100% there yet.]

      VLC, audacious and audacity handle my media needs nicely.

      For browsing I use slimjet and Brave.

      I also use Virtualbox for test stuff.

      I am not really a gamer but I run up Fallout 3 on a 2011 Macbook pro I was given which is running Kubuntu. I run Fallout from Steam.

      I think all the above are open source and cross platform (Kdenlive is available for Windows though marked as Beta.) So if you can use those in Windows and they do the job you no longer need Windows.

      And those use cases likely cover 90% of users' needs. Furthermore, the low cost of Linux means I can spread it over masses of laptops for students and staff - who all use Linux quite happily, and because I do not need massive hardware to run Linux unlike Windows bloat, I can keep my single core atom machine as a small anime video playing machine.

      And all updates free.

      Works for me. Saved me a fortune.

      1. MCG

        Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

        Ubuntu tends to require more resources than Windows 10.

        1. Adair Silver badge

          Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

          Come on, don't be a wuss, give them both barrels - they'll be completely blown away by your argument.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

            Do you realise who you're talking to here? This is the guy who directed terminator salvation! That cinematic masterpiece. Show some damn respect! I'm sure he knows what he's talking about WRT operating systems. I for one am happy to just take his word for it and don't think it's just 100% trolling.

      2. Snake Silver badge

        @Jedipadwan

        Annnnd...you completely miss the point of why Linux fails, continues to fail, as in its current form will always fail on that desktop to the majority of users.

        Carefully re-read your comments. Re-read them, plus other supporters of Linux desktop. What you said, in a drawn-out but very clear way, is quite precisely the following:

        "Linux is a great OS with a great UI. The apps, the workflow, you want or need to get your projects done is not here as you both want and know it, but we have substitutes that 'work' as long as you're willing to compromise on how much functionality you're willing to give up."

        Read you comments again, as well as everyone else's. 'Oh, this (Linux) app is good enough for me", 'It's not close but it'll get the job done', 'It functions pretty well' - oh, the siren song of Linux!! Come here and DON'T get want you want, because the underlying OS is just Sooooo good! Let's all switch TODAY!!

        Linux desktop-heads JUST DON'T GET IT. After 15 years of "Linux on that desktop!", it appears they never will.

        Why bother to switch to another OS if you end up COMPROMISING your app functionality??!! Linux has great office app support, thanks to LibreOffice, but so does every *other* mainstream OS...thanks to LibreOffice.

        Linux can do pro-level video now, thanks to DaVinci, but that's assuming that you WANT to use DaVinci.

        Linux DOESN'T have good imaging editing support, as "Just use GIMP!!" is the call to use a product with NO layer abilities (no non-destructive editing) *AND* no CMYK support (no professional-level design/print support). It's comparing SuperPaint (GIMP) to (layering) Photoshop, and telling people "You'll make due with SuperPaint just fine!"

        Etc etc etc

        So Linux *can* get desktop work done... as long as you're OK with a limited choice of apps, and *their* workflow...or OK with simply compromising to the level of "acceptable" to get your projects completed.

        Oh, what a call for change!!

        Reality check: the market, after 15 years of promise, has made the *same* decision. It is utterly IRREFUTABLE, Linux on Desktop is a decades-old failure.

        Again, why??

        Because...

        It's. The. Apps, Stupid.

        And it will always BE the apps. Most people don't care if the UI boxes are better if they can't run the apps that **they** want or need time get their work done.

        The Absolute Truth. So Linux will KEEP losing on the desktop *until* some of the great Linux programmers out there *get a freaking clue* and give up developing the OS (which gets you fellow programmer boffin kudos) and develop high-level desktop apps! Apps that you DON'T have to make apologies for. Apps with the same power as features of things you will have to leave behind after you switch to Linux.

        THEN you'll get waves and waves of converts. Because millions of users don't CHOOSE to use Windows, we use Windows because we HAVE TO in order to get work done.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. slartybartfast

          Re: @Jedipadwan

          Yes. The absolute truth is, no matter how great people claim an OS is, if the industry standard or equivalent software isn’t available, then it’s never going to be a popular choice. Also the moment you have to share your projects with anyone else, the incompatibility with industry standard software will become a problem. Try having a career as a scriptwriter and collaborating with other scriptwriters all using Final Draft, for example. There is no Final Draft for Linux. “Well I can get Final Draft Mobile on my iPad, which means Linux is still best” says the Linux compromiser ;-) .

        3. Kiwi

          Re: @Jedipadwan

          Linux DOESN'T have good imaging editing support, as "Just use GIMP!!" is the call to use a product with NO layer abilities (no non-destructive editing) *AND* no CMYK support (no professional-level design/print support).

          Funny, I do layer stuff in GIMP quite often. I also export send stuff to professionals who

          The print shop I use from time to time uses GIMP, as do several others in the area. They don't seem to have trouble with it.

          Not sure you can do CMYK in W10 anyway. I do know one designer who has been having a lot of trouble with it and is still on 7 simply because 10 does not support her printers. Maybe it's a driver thing or something, after all her printers are very ancient where printers are concerned. I think one is 5 years old so not surprised MS doesn't support HW than ancient.

          But.. As a % of the general population, how many people need to do CMYK printing each day? How many people actually need to do photo editing that is any more than cropping? Hell, how many even bother to properly frame or crop their images in the first place? 1%? No, I doubt even 1 in 100 people do that on a regular basis.

          Whatever reasons that've slowed the adoption of Linux on the desktop, MS have made sure it is succeeding elsewhere. There's far more Android devices than Windows devices now, and W10 is certainly boosting its use considerably. I cannot recall the last time I saw anything older than 7 outside of a retail shop, none of my clients use it, it's not visible on any shop tills (though 7 and even XP still often are)..

          It seems that some Windows users are desperately pointing out that they have more deck chairs than anyone else in their little area, while every one else is headed for the lifeboats. I prefer "real computers" to phones/tablets/consoles any day myself but so many people just don't need them any more.

          There was a time we didn't need a home computer, very few people had one and they were only used in the office. Given most people don't create much material at home, we're heading back to those days where the home PC is something that just does not exist and the tablets/phones/consoles are widespread (mostly phones). My mother had 8 siblings and my father had 4. Most of them had 3 or 4 kids each as well. Some of those kids are parents and some even grandparents. Across all that lot, there are less than 20 functioning PCs/laptops (counting all those turned on in the last 18 months). No one under 25 in this lot has ever owned a computer or laptop, and none under 18 have used one.

          For home use the desktop and even laptop are dying breeds, phones and tablets are what are used. Surface has some small market share there but they're negligble compared with the stats I've looked at today (eg https://www.statista.com/statistics/276635/market-share-held-by-tablet-vendors/ 1 which shows MS as a 1.8% share in 2013, otherwise they don't rate their own mention in any other quarter from Q2 2011 to Q3 2019).

          For now the Windows desktop still has a big chunk of the market, but it is declining year on year losing ground to Android and IOS. Not many years ago Windows had absolute market dominance while the idea of people using phones and tablets for general computing devices was laughable. Now, more and more people just don't need them.

          I have family members who run businesses using a tablet as the main office machine and the rest done on phones, mostly out in the field. Email, orders, invoices - all done through phones or on the tablet and 'cloud' stuff (and yes, I'd rather they didn't rely so much on it but it makes their business work with very little physical hardware (though with the cost of a single phone I could build a pretty decent server/network for small business use!). While it is just one family I've been noticing more and more the lack of beige boxes in many offices especially newer businesses. And homes? On my little cul-de-sac only 2 homes have laptops and only one of them has any desktops. There's probably 3 "computers" per person if you count mobile stuff, but there's bugger all that's not Android or IOS.

          TL:DR The market has changed and PCs/laptops are disappearing from home use. IOS and Android rule there, MS is a tiny blip in the "others" category.

          1 I'd make it clickable but that trips recraptcha which I cannot use due to barring google from my machines. About time a tech rag like El Reg came up with a better way to handle that!

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

      Seriously?

      Come on, don't you realise that the FSF is just taking the piss out of Microsoft? There isn't a snowball's chance that MS will do anything about this. Any response other than "thanks but no thanks" would achieve the FSF objective which is to get a rise out of the Redmond mammoth.

      Top Trolling by the FSF.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They do realise that Windows 7 still contains commercial code, right? Microsoft recycled it already. As Windows 10.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd argue it doesn't because everything is shittier in Win10... shittier than ever. Explorer has been ripped down to no options, muti-monitor support is horrible now, windows now forces it's own opinion on your settings in various programs, certain options are hidden to force usage, have you updated today? I've left out complaints about the "UI" because Win10 doesn't have the "U" part.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Doesn't mean it wasn't regurgitated from Win7. Just everything got smooshed up and was not as good coming out as it was going in, as happens with regurgitation.

      2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Win10 doesn't have the "U" part

        Oh yes it does. As in, "Fuck U, we're gonna slurp all your data and there's nothing you can do about it."

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Yes, it's just an attempt by the FSF – sorry who? – to try and stay relevant. MS has actually already released a huge part of stuff as .NET Core. But the whole OS is probably asking too much. IBM did apparently seriously consider doing this with OS/2 and then they thought about all the licensed code in there and stopped.

      As Windows becomes less of an OS and more and more a client for Azure, I'm sure we'll see more open source stuff dripping out of Microsoft's open source orifice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        MS has actually already released a huge part of stuff as .NET Core.

        It amazes me that people actually fell for this transparent bit of spin. You do realise that by the time .net core was was open sourced we already had a better and more full-featured FOSS implementation of .net, right? They have released exactly zero lines of code that anybody gives a shit about.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Personally, I don't care about .NET Core because I don't use it. But from what I have seen of it, I can imagine it being useful for some people. And it did require a considerable shift at Microsoft for them to get that far.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            from what I have seen of it, I can imagine it being useful for some people

            Not as useful as mono, which we already had and which is FOSS.

            it did require a considerable shift at Microsoft for them to get that far

            Not really - that's my whole point - they haven't open sourced anything useful that we didn't already have. The "considerable shift" you talk about is going from open hostility to underhanded hostility.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Mono? Is anyone still using that? Anyway, as it's apparently run by a Microsoft subsidiary I suspect the point is moot.

              VS Code, which I don't use myself, has become very popular with developers on non-MS systems even though it isn't open source.

              And anyone who insists on using the FOSS abbreviation is usually as much fun at parties as a vegan. Yes, we get the virtue signalling, we just don't care.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Mono? Is anyone still using that? Anyway, as it's apparently run by a Microsoft subsidiary I suspect the point is moot.

                Well, I mean, there's every single developer who uses the unity engine and targets Linux (and I expect mac os too). But that's just one example which covers thousands of people who use it every day.

                And actually Microsoft bought Ximian in 2016, after mono was well-established and around the same time .net core was open sourced. So no, not moot, in fact now you're making my arguments for me.

                very popular with developers on non-MS systems

                (citation needed)

                And anyone who insists on using the FOSS abbreviation is usually as much fun at parties as a vegan. Yes, we get the virtue signalling, we just don't care.

                Aaah, good, ad hominem! Now I know I've won the debate :)

                it didn't occur to you that it could just be that typing 4 characters is easier than writing "open source project"?

                1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                  it didn't occur to you that it could just be that typing 4 characters is easier than writing "open source project"?

                  It could be that I'm too stupid too type "OSS" (why would I need an F if I'm not virtue signalling), or it could be that I consider the abbreviation too obscure to be useful.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    What does the Open Sound System have to do with this discussion?

                    So... you don't have any rebuttals or comments of any kind on any of the actual points I was making? You're just going to bog the discussion down in semantics about which abbreviations people happen to think of?

                    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                      What points were you making? Something about Unity? Isn't that that awful UI that Canonical dumped on the world? Don't use it or anything that uses it as far as I know.

                      BTW. you're still virtue signalling.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        if your memory is so bad that you need me to re-explain my points and you can't scroll up to re-read them then I'm afraid I'm not going to be able (technically, willing) to help you understand.

                        And I said "unity engine". Is it virtue signalling if I call you a fucking retard for not knowing the difference?

                  2. JohnFen

                    > It could be that I'm too stupid too type "OSS" (why would I need an F if I'm not virtue signalling)

                    The F is there to include free software as well as OSS software in the grouping. It's about accuracy, not virtue signaling.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Not even. It was just a shorthand way of saying "an open source project not under the control of a corporation with a long and storied track record of doing evil stuff that continues right up to the current version of their flagship product". It was just easier to type and the thing that happened to come to mind.

                  3. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    you should be careful about labelling people stupid when you don't seem to know the difference between "to" and "too".

                    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
                      Facepalm

                      Wot? I should be careful of making spelling mistakes when labelling myself as stoopid?

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. sequester

    That has to be the dumbest idea coming out of FLOSS (not counting anything web-related) in years. But at least someone realised that even after 20+ Years Of Linux On The Desktop, there's still no good Free™ desktop OS offering.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      There are very good alternatives to Bloat for the desktop. The issue is not the OS itself but what the user needs to do and can that be done easily on an OS other than Bloat, different issue. The OS name is a synonym for the ecosystem built up around it. When most are talking about issues with using a different OS they are actually talking about differences in the ecosystem not the OS. So whether one really has a choice depends on whether the ecosystem has the software one needs.

      1. baud

        > There are very good alternatives to Bloat for the desktop…

        Which are? If you want more people to drop Bloat (tm) by Slurp, you gotta offer some solutions

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Linux, ChromeOS, and MacOs for the dense. </snark>. Which one(s) are suitable depends on the situation. That is primarily dependent on what is available in the OS ecosystem and whether it meets the user's needs.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            And BSDs other than MacOS.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Unhappy

      The problem now is there is no good paid for desktop either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But the difference is OSX and Windows run industry standard software. That’s what counts.

    3. Adair Silver badge

      Yeah, sequester, ...

      some folk just don't/can't do change.

      "Arrgh, it's different!", they howl. "But I can't use [favourite time waster]!", they scream.

      Meanwhile, people who need to get work done, need to do things the way they need to do them, are willing to learn and/or 'do change' get on with making sensible decisions for their use cases. And, guess what, quite often a Linux distro fits the bill very nicely.

      Meanwhile, the 'religious' fanatics on both sides shriek at each other from their opposing hilltops. Which are, in fact, small pimples on the summit of the big hill they all occupy - 'The Hill of Idiots'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah, sequester, ...

        Seriously, what’s with the superiority complex? “Anyone not using Linux is just a fanboy, blah, blah, Linux is the best, blah, blah...” Linux doesn’t run most commercially available software that companies all over the world use. The Linux alternatives don’t come close, end of. It’s not fanboys sticking with other OS’s but the complete lack of acceptable alternatives on Linux and too many compromises.

        1. Adair Silver badge

          Re: Yeah, sequester, ...

          Are you replying to some other comment? To me Linux/Windows/OSX... are all just OSes - horses for courses. Choose the one that most usefully fits your needs at any given time.

          None of them are panaceas. All of them are crap in their own way. They are all just tools in the box, to be used as and when they are most appropriate.

          But, as the old saying goes, a bad worker always blames their tools.

          1. Kiwi

            Re: Yeah, sequester, ...

            But, as the old saying goes, a bad worker always blames their tools.

            Some of these arguments remind me of certain garages/tool sheds (the home kind not the "garage" as a "place you take your car to get fixed").

            Me.. I have a few hundred dollars worth of tools for mechanical and carpentry purposes. Jigsaw, multitools (one battery one mains, just on $100 worth between them), a couple of hand drills (again 1 batt 1 mains), maybe 30 bucks in a couple of sets of sockets (one large set that's mine that lives at home, a smaller set that goes in the toolbox), some screwdrivers, various spanners, pliers, cutters, soldering tools etc. Some I've been using for more than 30 years now, some I only purchased a few months back. I do all manner of work with them from gardening (including installing irrigation) to automotive mechanics/electrical (my most expensive tool I think is my automotive multimeter, still shy of $100) etc. I've stripped and rebuilt engines with these tools, and used them in computer work and all sorts of other stuff. IE with a few tools I do a lot.

            I know people who're fairly well off and have pristine clean garages with big wheeled tool cabinets. A single cabinet costs more than the entire replacement value of my stuff. Said cabinets will be rolled out from time to time when a headlight bulb gets replaced (which usually doesn't require any tools!) or they'll fire up the big compressor to check their tyre pressure. Most of the tools have never been used, the drill press hasn't had power since the day it was purchased, same for the grinder and lathe. Yet these people take their cars in to a shop to get stuff done because their tools somehow cannot be used for it, and they smugly rubbish those of us who have to do our engine work outside because we cannot always get access to a garage for a few days.

            Yet somehow.. We do our work with the tools we have, not complaining about how poor they are or how they cannot actually be used for a certain job. There are some specialist tools I lack, eg cylinder honing tools (and I won't try it without the proper kit), and a couple of years back had to hunt far and wide to find some proper valve lapping tools, but for the most part a set of spanners and a good set of sockets will see you right.

            I see people talk about home GIMP cannot do what Photoshop can, but I've done paid-for work with GIMP and even more basic tools than that - if the source is good enough then most picture work consists solely of cropping and putting the pictures on a page. I've done site design work, tons and tons and tons of computer repair, set up file servers and the like all with free tools (and contributed to some developers). Like most people I don't need the fancy expensive tools to get stuff done, I can do it just as well without.

            There may be stuff I cannot do on Linux but that all f A few mechanics might change their overalls every time they change jobs just to keep an image upalls into the realm of stuff I don't need to do (and most is in the realm of "don't actually want to"). I'm happy just to be able to come home, turn my machine on, and expect it to be working without waiting for updates or needing an AV update or to be slowed down for hours while it gets scanned or... I made this choice to make my life easier, and that is what I have.

  4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    "We were told that Microsoft doesn't comment on rumours and speculation. The Win 7 request from FSF is neither rumour nor speculation."

    Well... FSF presumably is speculating that Microsoft might do what they're asking for. Although I think they're being silly.

    1. Vector

      Yeah, snowball's chance in Hell comes to mind, but I think that might be optimistic.

    2. JohnFen

      I think that the FSF knows perfectly well that this won't happen. They're just having a bit of fun poking the bear.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They're just having a bit of fun poking the bear.

        I thought this was perfectly obvious. Like really really hugely massively perfectly obvious. What I don't get is that people are treating it like it's a serious suggestion.

        MS would have earned respect from me if they'd released an official statement saying "when hell freezes over". Or, better, something super snarky, like "we'll release the source if you'll stop playing favourites with GNU", or throwing together a web page with 2 gauges saying "current temperature in hell" and "chance of windows source release", inversely linked.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think there was a similar request when WinXP was killed. History (and some people) repeats itself.

  5. MrKrotos

    Alternative

    Why not just run React OS?

    ReactOS is a free and open source operating system written from scratch. It's design is based on Windows in the same way Linux is based on Unix, however ReactOS is _not_ linux. ReactOS looks and feels like Windows, is able to your run Windows software and your Windows drivers, and is familiar for Windows users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternative

      how does it do with Steam and games?

    2. Elledan

      Re: Alternative

      Unfortunately, ReactOS seems to have set its sights on being a Windows 2003 replacement, with no interest in 64-bit. This has practically eliminated the use cases where it'd be useful on the desktop.

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Alternative

      Why not just run React OS?

      Um, because it's an alpha-stage OS, and no one in their right mind runs alpha code on a system that they need to rely on?

      Not to say that React OS won't become something great in the future; but it's still missing a lot of pieces.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Alternative

        "no one in their right mind runs alpha code on a system that they need to rely on"

        ROTFLMAO! You mean they feel happier testing the current version of Windows that Microsoft BSD updates with new patches every month?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's definitely not just spin

    I've been saying this for years now, though I've only been calling for the release of the XP and directx source under a BSD license. Because Microsoft "Loves Open Source" these days, right? They're all touchy-feely these days, and totally not at all just releasing the code for worthless crap to try to spin the appearance of being non-hostile, right? They are totally in love with Open Source now. I know this because hipsters tell me all the time. The bad old days of evil Microsoft are totally gone, they're all happy and kind and friendly now, right? I can reveal here that they're actually planning on changing their name to CuddleSoft soon because they're just so kind and good now. Those "forced upgrades" and "spyware built right into the OS" stories are probably fake news spread by the russians as part of their crusade against cuddles and rainbows.

    So since they love Open Source so much they should have no problems figuring out any issues preventing them from doing this. They are a billion dollar company, after all. I'm sure they can manage to release the XP code if they want to. And they love Open Source, so I just assume they want to. It's probably some law of physics stopping them, or maybe a dog ate the source code. I'm sure it's not a coordinated campaign of spin intended to make morons think they have anything but contempt for open source in a desperate attempt to remain relevant in a world where their OS is no longer the dominant platform. They're totally the good guys now, right? Maybe they just forgot to open source their operating systems. Yeah, that's probably it. I'm sure we'll see bold decisive action as a result of this. I for one can't wait to compile directx for Linux, it should make porting games much easier.

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: It's definitely not just spin

      Microsoft may be perfectly able to resolve any problems preventing them from giving the source of any version of Windows for free (probably not, as it likely contains code licenced from other companies, who may not be willing to allow it to be sold on). However, this does not mean they will. Microsoft are a company who wish to make profits. Any project like that they take on will need to have it demonstrated that it will profit Microsoft in some way. The profit doesn't necessarily need to be financial, but they need to know they will gain from it.

      I am neither supporting nor criticising Microsoft for doing this, just stating a basic principle of capitalist economics.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's definitely not just spin

        So what you're saying is that being a company driven entirely by the profit motive rather than an emotional being, the claim that "Microsoft Loves Open Source" is false? Why would make such a claim? Could it be that it's spin intended to make morons think they have anything but contempt for open source in a desperate attempt to remain relevant in a world where their OS is no longer the dominant platform?

        Nah, probably not, that just sounds paranoid. I'm gonna go with "a dog ate the source".

  7. Elledan

    I'd like a pony with that one, please

    While seeing Windows 7 open sourced would make me happy in many ways, I recognise that it's unlikely that this will happen except in 20 years from now. Same with ReactOS swooping in to save the day, when it doesn't even have 64-bit support yet.

    Similarly, counting on Linux or BSD OSes to save one's bacon in the desktop space is equally foolish. When half the games and apps one uses on a daily base do not run on the OS, or only after extensive fudgery (like unf*ing 32-bit SO files on Ubuntu to even make native 32-bit apps run), it does make one rather sad. In that regard, I consider my experiences using SuSE 6.3 in 1998 ('Year of the Linux Desktop', remember?) to be still rather indicative of what to expect of Linux-based OSes today. Tragically.

    Things seemed so much simpler back in the days of WIndows 2000.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

      Similarly, counting on Linux or BSD OSes to save one's bacon in the desktop space is equally foolish

      Whoa, thanks for telling me this. Here I was thinking that I'd been exclusively using Desktop Linux perfectly happily for 20 years.

      When half the games and apps one uses on a daily base do not run on the OS

      Huh, that's funny. 100% of the things I use on a daily basis run just fine on the OS I'm using. Not sure where you got this statistic from.

      like unf*ing 32-bit SO files on Ubuntu to even make native 32-bit apps run

      sudo apt-get install whateverlibrary:i386

      To be fair, it does take about 3 seconds to type that. And then there's password entry and waiting while it downloads and installs. It is pretty inconvenient.

      I consider my experiences using SuSE 6.3 in 1998 to be still rather indicative of what to expect of Linux-based OSes today

      Aaaaaaaaand now you're absolutely definitely trolling.

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

        I think the experience with Linux depends upon the usage model. For web surfing, standard office use & applications, plus code development and several other usage plans, Linux is fully capable of doing what you need it to.

        However I (also) do media content creation. Linux is such a failure in this regard that it's a joke to even bring up the name during a discussion of "What are my options?". Photography, video, desktop publishing plus a few others that I am [also] responsible for / partake in, beyond systems management and office work, Linux just isn't an option in any way, shape, or form; "just use GIMP!" is a joke to any RAW-processing photographer using any form of recent gear.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

          However I (also) do media content creation.

          Heh, that's a coincidence, so do I. :)

          Linux is such a failure in this regard that it's a joke to even bring up the name during a discussion of "What are my options?"

          Then you clearly haven't really looked at the options. I have zero problems doing media creation on Linux.

          "just use GIMP!" is a joke to any RAW-processing photographer using any form of recent gear

          I always shoot in RAW. And I bought a brand new camera less than 2 months ago. I have never used windows to process a photo. I have had zero issues.

          No, "Just use GIMP" won't get you raw processing... unless you install the ufraw plugin. It took me a whole minute to get that set up. I had to install a new version of ufraw when I got my new camera to get support for its white balance profiles. That took perhaps 5 minutes. Of course I didn't actually have to do that because I could have just used dcraw or rawtherapee or darktable to do my raw processing, but gimp and ufraw are my preferred workflow most of the time. But not always - I have a penchant for stitching together gigapixel astronomy photos taken through my telescope, and when you're dealing with images that big and processing and stitching hundreds of exposures, scripting comes in real handy.

          So, yes, technically, you're right, "Just use GIMP" is a bit of a joke. Instead I use a whole bunch of tools depending on the job I'm trying to do, gimp being the most commonly used and by far the most versatile. But that's not the only way to do things - I have a photographer friend who prefers darktable, he likes the way it's all integrated into the one program and the fact that it's non-destructive. I can see the appeal but it just doesn't do it for me.

          As for video, I can pretty much guarantee that cinelerra kicks the shit out of whatever you're using. Though it does have a bit of a learning curve. But you won't mind that, right? We are talking about the best tool for the job and not just the workflow you're used to and comfortable with and can't be bothered really investigating alternatives to, right?

          The real joke is people making claims like this when they've clearly not really investigated the options.

          1. Snake Silver badge

            Re: reply to AntiSol

            DaVinci Resolve is available on Linux and, once you get through the setup problems, runs pretty well, according to the videos and reports I've been hearing. So thanks for the heads-up on that, but Cinelerra is playing second fiddle there (I'm using DaVinci on Windows).

            But my media creation is different than yours, apparently. I'm not only using DaVinci and doing RAW editing with Photoshop (I don't like Lightroom), I'm also using InDesign (hopefully one day to pick up Illustrator, but I simply haven't needed it for the past 20+ years of my content creation).

            I'm sorry, but substituting the Adobe suite for Linux, with equivalent functionality?

            Simply not happening. Putting a patched-together suite of functionality at this level *may* allow you to get some work done but you'll be pulling your hair out for the you've time spent, versus just using the Adobe suite and finishing your project (and, since I've been doing this as far back as Aldus Pagemaker and Photoshop 5, I've experienced how much better life is now!).

            Gimp doesn't have anywhere near the power of the latest Photoshop CC and (as just noted) no integration with any other design products such as page layout / desktop publishing / catalog management. RawTherapee is well respected, though - does it continue full lens profile support for mirrorless cameras in Linux?

            Thanks for your feedback!

            1. Adair Silver badge

              Re: reply to AntiSol

              But this is nothing to do with 'Linux', is it? Someone else could make exactly the same argument against Windows, because the issue is 'tools for the job'. In which case it is the responsibility of the user to choose the system that enables them to do what they want to do most effectively. There's no point whining that X doesn't let me do what I want to do in the way that Y does, that's just being pathetic.

              In practice there is stuff we can do through Linux that Windows doesn't even begin to enable, and the other way around, and a whole lot in between where either will do just fine (it really only depends on personal preference). It's the user's responsibility to choose wisely.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: reply to AntiSol

                Indeed, I was going to say something similar, though perhaps not as eloquently. The bit about tearing your hair out is exactly how I feel when I can't see what my system is doing, or when I can't bring up a python shell to just make my image editor do what I want, or when some "user-friendly" feature "intuitively" does something that I didn't want it to do, or when I can't copy-paste text from an error dialog. There are a thousand other examples I could list.

                The claim that "beyond systems management and office work, Linux just isn't an option in any way, shape, or form" is hyperbolic at best, and the claim that ""just use GIMP!" is a joke to any RAW-processing photographer using any form of recent gear" is demonstrably false - I'm a counter example. Saying that "a patched-together suite of functionality at this level *may* allow you to get some work done" largely disregards a workflow that I've already outlined and which I use every day and am perfectly happy with - more happy than if I had an integrated suite that does 80% of everything for me but doesn't give me the other 20% and strips away my control - see my comments about darktable. There's no "may" - it *does* allow me to get work done. Every day. No hair-pulling involved.

                I might have to retract my claims about cinelerra, though, davinci resolve looks pretty damn good. I don't know how I missed that one, I went through about a million video editors before settling on cinelerra. If the free version pans out I might even hand over the cash for the full version. Thanks for the info, Snake!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: reply to AntiSol

              DaVinci Resolve is available on Linux and, once you get through the setup problems

              You had setup problems? That's odd, it just installed perfectly fine and easily for me. I was a bit hesitant to just run an foreign binary rather than installing a package, but once I checked out what it was trying to do with the superuser access I felt comfortable enough to proceed. And it worked just fine. And I didn't even read the installation instructions. And I'm not even using a supported distro.

              It's interesting that people who don't seem to like Linux tend to have these unpleasant experiences that reinforce their preexisting notions, whereas I try to do the exact same things they've described as having problems and I have no problems at all. It's like when I hear people claiming in 2020 that they're having issues with USB drivers on Linux, and I haven't plugged in a USB device and not had it just work since perhaps 2003 or so (but more likely 1999 or so). It's almost like they want to have problems, or consider having to mark a binary as executable to be able to run it to be "a problem" (lol). Maybe they're just unlucky.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

            Part of the problem with the whole "linux on the desktop" movement is typified in this very thread:

            "Snake" comes across perfectly reasonable in his/her postings about his/her requirements, but you, AntiSol, you are hostile. You are angry. You are acting like everything Snake says is an attack on your first-born.

            You'll never win people over by being rude and condescending.

            And I say this as an also passionate unix desktop user.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

              "Snake" comes across perfectly reasonable in his/her postings about his/her requirements

              Only if you don't know anything about the subject matter. To a RAW photographer who uses GIMP as his primary workflow it comes across as very ignorant and rude. Or, possibly, as propaganda, if you tend to believe in that sort of thing (I don't, there's that old saying "never attribute to malice...").

              You'll never win people over by being rude and condescending.

              How is it not rude and condescending to call a workflow that I use every day perfectly happily "a joke"?

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

                1. Martin J Hooper

                  Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                  Just going to leave this here for all those people who are saying GIMP doesn't use layers...

                  https://www.guidingtech.com/use-layers-gimp/

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                    There are people who claim that gimp doesn't do layers?!?

                    See this is what I'm talking about, and it's what really peeves me: uninformed people making bold assertions about things that they simply do not know about.

                    1. Kiwi
                      Pint

                      Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                      https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2020/01/24/windows_7_open_source/#c_3960464

                      Funny isn't it.. Those who claim they know what they're on about make claims like that (see Snake's earlier post at https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2020/01/24/windows_7_open_source/#c_3960464 : "..."Just use GIMP!!" is the call to use a product with NO layer abilities...").

                      Those of us who actually use GIMP know it handles layers quite well actually. Those of us who use GIMP and share files with full-fat Adobe users find the Adobe users get quite amazed at how we're able to do stuff with GIMP that "only Photoshop can do!"

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                        Just Wow. I hadn't seen that comment. The one that also implies that the OS is crap because the software he insists on using isn't available for it, and that this is somehow Linux's fault and not Adobe's. Despite the fact that the Adobe software can be run on linux. The OS is not and never will be viable as an OS and cannot be used by anybody for doing stuff. This is not based on whether it's a good OS or not, and not based on whether there is software available for it to do the things that I need to do, but because the software I want to use doesn't currently support it. Interesting logic. Oh how I'd laugh if Adobe announced Linux support tomorrow.

                        Snake is well and truly out of credibility at this point.

                        "only Photoshop can do!"

                        I know right. it's almost like they're making statements about the usability of software they've never actually tried.

                        I also note that nobody has come here to tell me about how great photoshop is at bulk-processing hundreds of exposures and stitching gigapixel images together. I mean I assume it handles multi-gigabyte images better than anything else, right? It is the most bestest thing evar, so I just assume it has all the features of every open source image processing tool I've ever used. But it's strange that nobody has come in here to tell me about that. After all, I'm sure photoshop is probably what NASA used to stitch this together.

                        1. Kiwi
                          Pint

                          Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                          Just Wow. I hadn't seen that comment. The one that also implies that the OS is crap because the software he insists on using isn't available for it, and that this is somehow Linux's fault and not Adobe's.

                          Yeah.. Some of my toys are "linux only" or 'dos only", so Windows must be crap. My ancient V3 RAZR had a game I liked that I've not seen elsewhere and it's calendar was not compatible with other standard ones, so all other OS's must be crap and all other calendar systems must be crap.

                          Really would be cool if Adobe released their CC stuff under Linux.. Cooler still would be if it had a few extra features only available in the Linux version :)

                          Snake is well and truly out of credibility at this point.

                          Yup.

                          "only Photoshop can do!"

                          I know right. it's almost like they're making statements about the usability of software they've never actually tried.

                          I wouldn't go that far. In fact, I'd only go so far as "software they've never seen. As yo so rightly point out, the layers window is quite visible when you first open it, as is the "Layer" item on the menu bar of the main window. Any screen shot of GIMP in operation would show at least one of those. So either Snake hasn't seen GIMP, or Snake is knowingly making false statements.

                          I also note that nobody has come here to tell me about how great photoshop is at bulk-processing hundreds of exposures and stitching gigapixel images together.

                          Oh but no real photographer would ever do that! If you cannot do it in Photoshop you aren't a photographer! Snake tells me that anyone who is a professional photographer uses Photoshop and anyone who doesn't use Photoshop is not a professional photographer. And he knows what he is saying! After all he is the single person the entire industry has designated as official spokesman! (Well, given his posts you can't blame me for thinking that's how he views himself can you? :) )

                          After all, I'm sure photoshop is probably what NASA used to stitch this together.

                          <jaws mode>I think we're gonna need a bigger screen!</jaws mode>

                          Actually I don't think that's a real image. Looks photoshopped to me.... :)

                          Thanks for the pic BTW. Tonight I shall turn out lights, turn down brightness, sit real close to the screen and enjoy. Mum might be screaming from the grave about how I'll hurt my eyes, but I won't care - some things are worth a bit of risk :)

                          I did have a look at sharing one of my better ones but I'm not sure about copyright (it's one I've licensed someone to use). I will have to plan a nice cold clear winter's day to re-shoot - and maybe I can do it better. 360° mountain/plain panorama, 300 individual images (so each one covering just over a degree of view), taken IIRC in groups of 30 pictures from 10 positions around a tall water tower. Took me some effort to work out the geography for the shooting angles as well as the lens/focus to get the best mix for what I wanted. I may actually try doing two cylinders next time, one for foreground and one for distance, but just thinking about thinking about it makes my head hurt. At least I can probably use 2 lenses, 50mm for the near stuff and 300mm for the far stuff. Set the lenses, re-position the camera, shoot, swap lens, shoot, move, shoot, swap lens, shoot... Maybe use 2 cards (1 per lens) as well so I can keep better track of stuff.. Ug.. Result should be great but the effort....

                          One thing I've noticed with "must use photoshop no real photographer uses anything else" types is they never actually go to any real effort to take the shot. Most of my work is done before the first photon hits the censor, most of their work is done falsifying what the sensor captured. I don't sell many images, but what I sell is something I can be proud of, not hang my head in shame knowing it's a lie.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                            Some of my toys are "linux only" or 'dos only", so Windows must be crap.

                            Indeed. gphoto2 doesn't support windows. This is the software I use for tethering my camera*. It's the industry standard - the industry** has decided on gphoto2 and no other tethering software. Tethering on windows? No. 100x no. It's just a joke. Simply not happening. This is why windows simply isn't viable on the desktop and never will be in it's current form. This is irrefutable. These windows fanatics simply don't get it.

                            So either Snake hasn't seen GIMP, or Snake is knowingly making false statements.

                            Pretty much. I note he hasn't slithered back here today. That's kind of sad, I was kind of hoping he might dig a deeper hole.

                            Oh but no real photographer would ever do that! If you cannot do it in Photoshop you aren't a photographer!

                            Oh, right, excellent point...

                            ...but wait. That must mean that I'm... A SCIENTIST! YAY!!! I've always liked science and I'd love to be a scientist! And here I was thinking that I needed a degree in science for that! From now on, I'm going to have to insist that I be referred to exclusively as "Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist". Thanks.

                            After all he is the single person the entire industry has designated as official spokesman! (Well, given his posts you can't blame me for thinking that's how he views himself can you? :) )

                            No, no, you're definitely right about that. I have just been assuming that I must have missed the press release where "the industry" designated him official spokesperson. But there definitely must have been a press release. Surely nobody would make such bold claims without official sanction.

                            I don't think that's a real image. Looks photoshopped to me

                            This gave me the best laugh I've had all day. We're talking a good minute of out-loud belly-laughing. Thanks!

                            Thanks for the pic BTW. Tonight I shall turn out lights, turn down brightness, sit real close to the screen and enjoy.

                            Why you're most welcome! there are a few of them, the hubble deep fields and the groth strip are two that spring to mind that are worth checking out.

                            we're gonna need a bigger screen!

                            <shameless self-promotion>

                            If you're interested in these large spacey images you might be interested in my Astronomical Wallpaper Generator. It takes a big image like these and spits out a random section the size of your desktop at 1:1, so you can have your wallpaper change to a random 1920x1080 (or whatever) section of this image (or whatever image). It's intended to run as a cron job. It even knows about a bunch of deep field images and can download them automatically for you. See the readme, you should be able to make it work. Happy to give usage support/advice/fix problems if you need it, just file a bug on the issue tracker. It should be pretty solid though, I've been running it every hour for about 10 years ;)

                            But: for a big image like this andromeda one it can use a lot of memory when it runs, into the gigabytes, you may find it spamming your swap. The imagemagick library isn't amazing at dealing with gigapixel images.

                            Also: only *nix is supported, and it's only ever been tried on Linux as far as I know. This speaks to what a complete joke windows is as an operating system, and has nothing to do with my laziness or apathy as a coder.

                            </ad>

                            but just thinking about thinking about it makes my head hurt

                            Ouch. Yeah, just reading about you thinking about thinking about it made my head hurt. Sounds awesome though! Generally I'm only interested in a few degrees of arc through my telescope, even when it's hundreds of images, I haven't played with doing 360 stuff yet.

                            Maybe a second camera body would help. Trigger them both with one remote so the 50 and 300 are capturing the same instant.

                            One thing I've noticed with "must use photoshop no real photographer uses anything else" types is they never actually go to any real effort to take the shot. Most of my work is done before the first photon hits the censor, most of their work is done falsifying what the sensor captured. I don't sell many images, but what I sell is something I can be proud of, not hang my head in shame knowing it's a lie.

                            Yeah, I totally agree. I wonder if there's any crossover with the people who buy expensive cameras with all kinds of fun knobs and buttons and then shoot in auto mode most of the time. I try to do as much in-camera as possible. I consider every minute I spend editing to be a failure of sorts, because it means I didn't get the shot I wanted. I do editing, but often all I want to do is a bit of colour correction/contrast tweaking/white balance. If I can just scale the jpeg from the command line with imagemagick (i shoot in raw+jpeg) that's the ideal outcome because it means I got the shot right. Obviously there are exceptions: sometimes I'll want to remove some artifact or whatever, but most of the time I'm more interested in getting the shot right in the first place. Sometimes I feel the urge to muck around and do fake stuff, but in those instances I tend to think it should be cool but obviously fake. Stuff like this. Which was obviously definitely not done with gimp, because gimp doesn't support layers. Or raw. Or Jpeg. Or the colour green. ;)

                            ---

                            * Interestingly, gphoto2 was the only sofware I could find on any platform which would allow tethered live view with my first camera, a Nikon D3200. It's listed as not supporting live view in all the documentation I've read. I have only found it to be possible using gphoto2. So, obviously, windows on the desktop is a joke.

                            ** That's the gphoto2 tethering industry, just to be clear: people who professionally tether cameras using gphoto2.

              2. Snake Silver badge

                Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                "Only if you don't know anything about the subject matter. To a RAW photographer who uses GIMP as his primary workflow it comes across as very ignorant and rude."

                With respect AntiSol, you really should know better. There is congratulations due to you if GIMP satisfies your personal photo processing needs, but the *industry* in no way, shape or form considers GIMP an equal to Photoshop in pretty much any way. Strangely, you seem to take this personally; it is always an individual's choice to make. But GIMP doesn't really compare.

                As I said in another reply, GIMP has the abilities of "SuperPaint" versus Photoshop - GIMP does not support layers, therefore missing the true and non-destructive editing power of *both* Photoshop and Lightroom, but it also doesn't support CYMK which means it is fundamentally unable to support professional workflow output for print publishing.

                Photoshop is at a completely different level. The industry standard, *and what professionals use across dozens of industries*. And Linux can't run it natively. Oh sure, you (may) be able to run it in a compatibility layer...maybe. But then you're just adding yet another layer of complexity, having to admin, debug and maintain both a non-native-to-Photoshop OS plus the compatibility layer. Plus any dependencies.

                And we haven't even added in InDesign. Nor Illustrator. Nor Premier Pro!

                These are the industry standards. Not being able to run the Adobe Suite products means that you've compromised on what you are capable of and not using what others in your market expect you to use; you'll be employment limited.

                So Linux, for semi to professional-level creative output (ignoring, now, DaVinci)? No. 100x no. I'm sorry if that seems to hurt you personally, but...I've got both facts *and* user numbers behind me as proof. Less than 2% penetration rate on the desktop only proves that design production pros are NOT using Linux, it's simply too much hassle to switch for the reason of saying that you did and dealing with the consequences of it upon your workflow.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                  the *industry* in no way, shape or form considers GIMP an equal to Photoshop

                  Wow, talk about shifting the goalposts. When were we talking about "the industry"? I couldn't care less what "the industry" thinks, or what the majority of people are doing. In my experience the majority of people are unwilling to put in the effort to think for themselves. Learn something new? With more buttons? No thanks, I'll just give adobe money every month. And when you put them in a mob such as "the industry" that only ever lowers the intelligence level.

                  But market share and what "the industry" does is not what we were talking about - we were talking about what is possible and what is not, and about workflows that are perfectly usable to get real work done on a daily basis, as opposed to being "a joke" or "simply not happening".

                  Strangely, you seem to take this personally

                  I don't take anything "the industry" thinks personally. Like I said, I'm not interested in what "the industry" thinks. But "the Industry" never ignorantly labelled the way I work every day as "a joke". I find your choice of words regarding my preferred workflow to be not just incorrect but offensive.

                  GIMP does not support layers

                  Wow. Just wow. I mean, really, wow. It amazes me that you would say something so hugely massively ignorant and uninformed in the same post as you tell me "you really should know better". That's just seriously amazing and impressive levels of ignorance right there. Gimp has had layers for longer than I've been using it, i.e well over 15 years. Literally when you first open gimp on the right hand side at the top there's a window labelled "Layers" right there. The program has an entire "Layer" menu dedicated to layer operations. It's so obvious that I struggle to believe anyone with the gift of sight who has ever started gimp up would make such a claim.

                  I think at this point we can stop the discussion. You have just clearly and succinctly demonstrated that you don't even know what the capabilities of the tools you're deriding are. You have obviously never used gimp, or have used it at such a surface level that you're unaware of 90% of its functionality. You are very very clearly not qualified to make any assertions about its suitability (or lack thereof) for anything.

                  I could address the rest of the "points" you make and link you to instructions on how to get CMYK in gimp or point out again that I'm not interested in user numbers or "what the industry" does and reiterate that you're trying to shift the goalposts, or mention that you have just admitted that the real issue here is familiarity and the effort of learning new tools as opposed to continuing with what you know, but really as far as I'm concerned the claim that gimp doesn't support layers just covers it all for me. You obviously don't know enough about the tools you're discussing to make an informed decision, much less to deride the way I get work done every day.

                2. Kiwi
                  FAIL

                  Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                  .I've got both facts *and* user numbers behind me as proof.

                  Given your repeated claims that GIMP cannot do layers, when others of us use that feature quite often... That says a lot about the quality of your "facts".

                  I know a number of professionals who use GIMP, some moving after Adobe's screwups with licensing servers (making their tools unavailable when the server was down some years back), others moving because of the uncertainty, a few because they find GIMP and other tools easier to use, some because it's cheaper.

                  I'm talking people who design and/or publish books, pamphlets, large-scale mailers (by NZ standards) that go out to a few million homes, posters, shop signage. Around those I know it's rarer to find Adobe products these days then it is to find GIMP - and that's largely because Adobe seem to have worked hard to create an image of unreliability and instability. When your entire workforce cannot do their jobs because some distant server is playing up...

                  I myself am not a professional graphics designer or editor although I have been well enough paid for some of that work, but I have friends and work-aquaintances who are and these days most of those I know use GIMP and/or other FOSS products, and use it quite well. If these people found Adobe products better that's what they'd use, as they use the tool the find best for the job. They don't use Adobe products because they don't find them to be the best tool for the job. It is, after all, their livelihood.

                  But while you're claiming your "Facts" and "numbers" as "proof" that people cannot use GIMP, you have people here telling you that yes we do use GIMP. Your claims about what it can/cannot do are simply wrong, and I'd be interested to know why you're here making so many false statements.

                  Oh, and as to your"'But then you're just adding yet another layer of complexity, having to admin, debug and maintain both a non-native-to-Photoshop OS plus the compatibility layer. Plus any dependencies." - Ive spent more time in admin on my Win7 machine in the last 2 weekends then I have in Linux for several years combined. You actually act as if it is hard to do. And I cannot actually recall right now if I've ever had to "debug" anything at the OS level on Linux (pretty certain it's a "NO" but there may be something long forgotten). I did once have Photoshop Elements installed in an old laptop but I could never get my head around it, whereas I found GIMP intuitive I could not work some stuff out with Elements. I did not have to do any "debug" work on that Linux, I had no "compatibility layer" issues with it - I just slapped the CD in, installed it as I would any other Windows program, and used it without OS issue. Learning issue yes, it really wasn't something I could grasp in the limited time I played with it, but nothing at all with the OS.

                  I tried PSE several times before reverting to GIMP to do stuff - PSE for an hour, give up, do the job in 5 minutes with GIMP. Someone familiar with PSE perhaps could've done what I wanted in 5 minutes, but I couldn't work out a shorter way so wasted a lot of time with the supposedly better product.

                  Speak of what you know, don't make up false claims about what you do not.

              3. Kiwi
                Pint

                Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                To a RAW photographer who uses GIMP as his primary workflow it comes across as very ignorant and rude.

                Have to agree. I've barely touched RAW stuff, but I have a few times used GIMP in collaboration with someone firmly and fully in the Adobe camp. I had no problem processing her files in GIMP, and when she got over the shock at what I was able to do in GIMP she had no problems processing my work either. The sole reason she sticks with Adobe is she knows it well and has invested heavily in their ecosystem. Yet I learned a lot about GIMP by watching her use Photoshop or whichever program she was using.

                I guess I too must be "angry" and "hostile" by pointing out that my work flow works well for me and has earned me money. And it's not like we're common users - today I briefly visited a truly basic user to get his requirements for moving from W7 to Zorin - he uses a huge array of software - Chrome for browsing, Thunderbird for email and Picasa for photo management. Oh and free Comodo AV.

                These anti-linux threads go on about how somehow most people could not use it for a desktop, yet fail to see that most people don't even use desktop anyway. While us nerds were fighting the "desktop wars" the rest of the world passed us by with nary a glance in our direction :) (the guy I visited today is too far down the tech skills tree to manage to use a phone for more than calls/txt, hence Zorin to help keep his OS familiar)

        2. hmv

          Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

          As someone who /does/ develop raw photographic images under Linux (and occasionally sells them too), I'd point out that I very rarely use GIMP, but when I have a need to it works perfectly fine.

          1. hmv

            Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

            And to expand on that :-

            a) Most serious photographers try and stay out of Photoshop (or GIMP); they're more likely to spend most of their time in Lightroom, Capture One, or another raw converter. Photoshop (or GIMP) deal with images one by one; serious photographers are dealing with image catalogues of tens of thousands of images (I'm a low volume photographer but I've got well over 50,000 raw images to deal with).

            b) I use RawTherapee (open-source) under Linux because it supports newer cameras because the commercial AfterShot Pro hasn't had updates recently (thanks Corel!). At least one high-end photographer (large format technical camera, large format digital lenses, medium format digital backs - both Phase One and Fuji) uses both Capture One (bulk work) and RawTherapee (for the 'golden' images where he gets extra control over the raw conversion).

            c) GIMP was forked back in the 1.x days into something now called CinePaint which is widely used within the film industry - just check the Wikipedia page for a list of the credits. Yes I'm sure the equivalent credit list for Photoshop is longer, but the fact that any films credit CinePaint rather defeats the claim that no creative professionals use Linux.

            d) Part of why Adobe creative suite is so popular isn't so much the suite itself, but the third-party additions. For example the 'raw conversion profiles' for Lightroom to give a particular look; nothing wrong with that - these save time and time is money. But at a certain level, you'll be creating your own 'raw conversion profiles'.

            e) Because of the cloud-pricing, a lot of creative professionals have a high level of interest in alternatives, and some are switching, One particularly ungeeky landscape photographer switched from Lightroom to Capture One because he gets better results.

            1. Kiwi
              Pint

              Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

              And to expand on that :-

              Thanks very much for the post.

              I try not to be in a position of doing any image editing (not that I do a lot of work, only 30K images in my collection) but is nice to have stuff there I should be looking at later.

              I've often seen people like Snake make those claims, but the pros I know disagree. They're mostly doing batch processing as you mentioned, and seldom need to do any work to alter their pictures afterwards (aside from basics like colour correction and cropping/stitching panoramas)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

                Indeed, very informative, thanks!

                (48K in my library. But I've been accused of excessive duplication/redundancy of shots on more than one occasion. my shooting sounds like "snap-snap-snap-snap-snap", never just "snap").

                And I hadn't heard of CinePaint. That's interesting. But if we're going to start talking about video, isn't one of the open source tools the tool used by hollywood? I'm thinking maybe blender but perhaps not. I've definitely heard that someone like pixar or weta uses Linux render farms, and that it's very common in hollywood. I guess they must not count as creative professionals ;)

      2. ArrZarr

        Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

        Your use case may work just fine on Linux, but please don't try and pretend that in gaming that Linux developer support doesn't comfortably fit into a rounding error.

        It's probable that with enough effort, all games will run on a Linux box, but there is no advantage over Windows where the games were designed to run in the first place.

        ----

        It's also worth pointing out that Windows will just run a 32 bit app in a 64 bit OS - no additional actions are required by the user (or knowledge to find the correct name of the library).

        ----

        I am not telling you to use Windows because it's better than Linux. What I would like you to do is show some fucking sanity and accept that Linux is not necessarily better than Windows for other people's workloads.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

          Every single game I've played in the last 10+ years has run just fine on Linux. And I own literally hundreds of games that I haven't gotten around to playing yet.

          there is no advantage over Windows where the games were designed to run in the first place

          There are tons of advantages. But let's focus on just the gaming-related ones:

          * I don't have to reboot into a different (and godawful) OS every time I want to play a game.

          * I don't waste disk space having a windows partition just for gaming.

          * I don't have to pay for a windows license just to be able to play games.

          * Nobody is spying on me while I'm playing my games.

          It's worth pointing out that for most software you'll run on Linux, you don't need to worry about being able to run a 32 bit version, because it's very likely open source and there's almost certainly a 64 bit binary available. This is one of the beauties of open source. The only times you'll ever need to even try to run a 32 bit version is if the program is doing tricky 32-bit-specific stuff for some reason (super rare), or if it's proprietary and the source isn't available to compile for 64 bit. And even if it does happen to be a 32 bit binary, if you install it via the packaging system the process will literally be "click install, type password, press OK" and it will install the 32 bit libraries you need without any knowledge or effort on your part. The only time you'll ever need to figure out what 32 bit library to install is when your software is proprietary and badly packaged.

          But windows won't actually "just run a 32 bit app" like you claim: I've seen a bunch of 32 bit win95 programs that won't run on anything NT-based. You've got perhaps ten years of backwards compatibility on windows before things start getting complicated and/or impossible. I run 30+ year old code every day. And in many cases I can run more windows programs with better backwards compatibility than you can, should such a masochistic urge inflict itself on me. The equivalent of my "oh I'll have to figure out which 32 bit library i need to install" is an error dialog saying "this program isn't compatible with this version of windows. eat a dick."

          I don't accept gaming as a valid reason why you "have to" use windows. Gaming isn't work. There's no game you need to play.

          I'm not telling you to use Linux because it's better than windows. I mean it is, but you can use whatever dreck you like, I don't actually care. What I would like is for people who don't know what they're talking about to stop spreading bullshit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

            It's rather quaint that linux has any extra hurdles for 32bit binaries - however easy you say they are.

            > I don't accept gaming as a valid reason why you "have to" use windows.

            > Gaming isn't work. There's no game you need to play.

            As a non-gamer, I say "really?" Is that your argument?

            1. Kiwi
              FAIL

              Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

              It's rather quaint that linux has any extra hurdles for 32bit binaries - however easy you say they are.

              Oh? Pray tell what are these "extra hurdles" of which you speak? Or will these crickets die of old age while I am waiting?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

                Just read the post I was replying too. I only got my information from that. You're shooting the mesenger.

                1. Kiwi
                  FAIL

                  Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

                  Just read the post I was replying too. I only got my information from that. You're shooting the mesenger.

                  You're the one who made the claim of "Extra hurdles".

                  AntiSol did not say there were any hurdles in his post.

                  So again, pray tell what are these hurdles of which you speak? These crickets aren't going to live forever you know!

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

                    Antisol described the extra hurdles. He didn't use the phrase "extra hurdles".

                    I used the phrase "Extra Hurdles" to describe said extra hurdles.

                    Is that really too complex to grasp?

                    1. Kiwi
                      FAIL

                      Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

                      Antisol described the extra hurdles. He didn't use the phrase "extra hurdles".

                      I used the phrase "Extra Hurdles" to describe said extra hurdles.

                      Nothing difficult for me to grasp, but I think you're imagining things that just aren't there.

                      Most of the crickets are dead, but there's still time for you to explain what you believe are these "extra hurdles".

                      Or are you really unable to do so?

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

                        Again, read his post, or does your fanboism make you too blind to see what's Infront of your own eyes? I suppose you read it as a feature...

                        Never mind, I'm unable to help you anymore, so I'm leaving this thread. I suggest you go look after those crickets you seem to care so much for!

                        1. Kiwi
                          Linux

                          Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

                          Again, read his post, or does your fanboism make you too blind to see what's Infront of your own eyes?

                          Ah.. In other words, you're unable to explain how there's "extra hurdles" that you were imagining, and just hoped we'd buy into you own "fanboism". Thanks for proving my point!

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

                            To be fair, he's talking about the cases I mentioned where the people packaging their proprietary application didn't package it properly, so it's not hooked into the dependency system, so it doesn't know what 32 bit libraries it needs, so the user needs to do a web search, type a 30 character command, and wait 15 seconds in order to compensate for the developer's poor understanding of the OS.

                            The equivalent, of course, being the much more commonly encountered "DLL hell", where you download some random exe from the internet that isn't bundled in an installer, and after you've scanned it for viruses, and then scanned it for spyware, and then you scan it for malware which is triggered because the person who wrote it used a .net obfuscator because for some reason they think the source to their tiny little utility is somehow precious and needs to be secret, so you have to investigate that and decide whether you think it's safe or not, but the guy didn't even publish an MD5, let alone a SHA, let alone an SHA256, so you can't even checksum it, even if you do happen to have an MD5 tool that wasn't included as part of the default OS install for some reason. And then if you decide that's OK you run it through another different virus scanner just to be safe, because two is better than one amirite? But the second scanner actually already scanned it because it's a resident scanner that scans every file on access, slowing down all file access on your machine, even for non-executable files like jpegs, but you don't know that and even if you do, scanning everything you download is just habit now. So then you try to run it (without the need to mark it as executable, because, hey, if it's named ".exe", it's just executable! But you don't actually know whether it's executable or not because windows hides file extensions by default. So just double-click it, what's the worst that could happen? This isn't a security problem at all!). After you've done all that, you get a message saying, in its entirely, in a dialog you can't copy the text from: "GEADYSC.DLL not found". And so you go to the internet and download GEADYSC.DLL from some totally-not-dodgy russian site. And you run that through all your scanners, and you copy it into the windows system directory, which requires elevating your privileges. And then you run your exe again and get, in its entirely, in a dialog you can't copy the text from: "wrong GEADYSC.DLL version". With no information on what version it actually wants. And that's if you get a descriptive error message and it's not something more cryptic like "GEADYSC.DLL: invalid entry point for call 'AlertUserAboutWannaCryRansom()'". So you just start downloading random versions from random totally-not-dodgy-russian websites, and running them through all the scans, and elevating your privileges so you can copy them all into the windows system directory, and just repeat the process over and over until one version works, hoping that the malware warning triggered earlier was just a .net obfuscator and not actual malware. All because you wanted to run a keygen for software you couldn't be bothered investigating free alternatives to.

                            And that's assuming you're lucky, and some program you use all the time doesn't need a different, incompatible version of GEADYSC.DLL and you just broke the other program. And that windows didn't complain loudly when you copied the version you wanted into the system directory and then silently restore the file the next time you reboot (i.e next time you need to change your desktop wallpaper, or sneeze too loudly, or when the wind starts blowing north-north-west. Either way it's going to be less than 24h later).

                            And that's also assuming that the 32 bit program you're trying to run wasn't built for Windows 95, in which case the dialog will say "We couldn't be bothered making our OS compatible with itself. Eat a dick". But to be fair that IS a much simpler situation with much less faffing about than DLL hell.

                            So, yes, there are occasionally hurdles to getting a 32 bit program working on Linux. If the people distributing that software haven't packaged it properly.

                            But I'm still yet to see anyone address how well current windows versions run games built for Win95. I guess things must have changed since the last time I used windows and there's no tinkering or tweaking or hurdles required to get, say, a great old game called Stratosphere running on windows 10.

            2. hmv

              Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

              "It's rather quaint that linux has any extra hurdles for 32bit binaries - however easy you say they are."

              You can construct extra hurdles if you want to - I've done it when manually installing a 32-bit application, but in practice if you install something like Steam it'll automatically pull in all the 32-bit library dependencies you'll need. No extra hurdles necessary.

      3. Elledan

        Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

        Not a troll, I promise.

        I have been trying to like Linux since 1998, but I constantly run into experiences that ruin it for me. Trying to get Lattice Diamond working under Linux Mint (after converting the RPM to DEB...), issues with Qt5 UI elements (Cinnamon-related?), installing i386 SOs by hand and breaking the 64-bit versions for some reason, the IME input (switching between English & Japanese input) stopped working on Linux Mint 19.x as well for reasons. As did the window manager. The list is pretty long.

        I like to think that I'm pretty capable with hacking software & hardware together, since that's also my profession, but at this point anything beyond command line Linux gets a big pass from me. I use Linux as a development target (commercial and hobby projects) and am probably more familiar with Linux internals than the average Linux user. Maybe I'm just cursed.

        My experience with desktop Linux is 'it just works' usually means 'it'll break at some undetermined point in the future' or 'it only works in these use cases'. Yet trying to get help with fixing such issues is usually futile, as you get told that 'you're using it wrong'. Like what's happening now.

        If it helps any, I have come to somewhat like Arch/Manjaro and FreeBSD (TrueOS) lately. They feel like far more solid platforms. I'm especially rather fond of the BSD side of things, even if I wouldn't want to give up my Windows desktop systems for any of them. They're pretty cool on embedded and servers, though.

        1. Adair Silver badge

          Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

          And then, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, there's Windows to prove the old saying that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the buying public.

        2. Kiwi
          Linux

          Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

          I like to think that I'm pretty capable with hacking software & hardware together, since that's also my profession, but at this point anything beyond command line Linux gets a big pass from me. I use Linux as a development target (commercial and hobby projects) and am probably more familiar with Linux internals than the average Linux user. Maybe I'm just cursed.

          You kinda remind me of a "computer expert" friend of mine (someone who'd give StargateSG7 a run for his money!). He has all sorts of really really weird problems with his systems.

          He also believes he really knows his stuff and is constantly messing with his system. The OS builders didn't really know what they were doing so he has to go in and change things. A new machine for him takes him easily 3 or 4 weeks to set up, he messes around that much.

          Yes, he claims he knows his stuff but his system is always such a mess. Not long back I gave him a better mobo + PSU etc but asked him to look after it because although it was spare to me it was a loan that I valued. I assumed his problem was a hardware fault. It didn't last long. He did have to try and make it work with his very ancient 5 1/4" FDD which suffered a "significant electrical failure" and also took out the PSU and MOBO somehow (or so I am told - the FDD clearly did have some components experience 'extreme rapid disassembly" but I struggle to figure out how it could fail like that and take out a fairly decent 550W PSU and a good once top-of-the-line Mobo).

          His system fans are nearly always screaming when the machine isn't doing much - I guess because he has every monitor and whatever else he can find installed and running. I suspect he actually tries to install every package his manager can see, and he also installs stuff from "other parties" as well. Like I say, he knows his stuff well and knows how to avoid any malicious behaviour by said "other parties".

          He knows his stuff well, and all the faults on his systems (I've chopped lots out that I had started to mention) are the fault of others, not him, even though no one else has a system messed around with as much as his.

          Me? I have systems run for years without anything other than the initial build and then updates every few weeks. I use them, sometimes abuse them; this laptop is quite old yet runs Devuan happily and gets carried around a lot with me, and my faster machines don't get turned on so often. I do some graphics and video work with it but not much (mainly just cropping or combining stuff).

          Pretty sure if he only installed what he actually uses, left the default configs in place etc, his machines would see months or even years on end of trouble-free functioning, not sometimes struggling to stay up for 10 minutes before thermal cutouts get in the way of his enjoyment.

          I'm not saying you are like him of course, just that you remind me of him with how you worded things.

          I and every other Linux user I know personally manage just fine without issues. But we do the bare minimum with our systems and nothing really special (I mean I do have an M200 and a D630 running server duties but again, nothing special. Default config changed as little as necessary for my needs - oh and the M200 server was built in 2012 or 2013, has not had any significant downtime since 2014 and that was due to PowerCo failings)

          If Linux didn't "just work" for me, I wouldn't use it. I am quite lazy when it comes to computers and these days I really do dislike stuffing around with them. I used to love digging in to them a lot but these days it just doesn't interest me, there's a whole different world of fun outdoors and my bike is just the start of that.

    2. Smartypantz

      Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

      You are all staring at the decoy!!

      Microsoft do not give a shit, any longer, what you run on your device! They are focused on dependency and lock-in to the cloud! This works just fine with software under a CopyLeft license.

      Run anything you want on your device of choice, but any services will come from Azure!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

        Microsoft might be planning to release Windows7 for free but require that you have an Azure account to run it ...

      2. JohnFen

        Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

        Yes, Microsoft wants everyone to use Azure, but...

        > Microsoft do not give a shit, any longer, what you run on your device

        They do give a shit about this (or they should) because the only people who would use Azure are those that need to use the cloud anyway and those who are using Microsoft operating systems. And that latter group is the larger set.

    3. Jamesit

      Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

      "I consider my experiences using SuSE 6.3 in 1998 to be still rather indicative of what to expect of Linux-based OSes today"

      That's like using Win 95 to be indicative of Win today, there is no real comparison.

      1. Kiwi

        Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

        "I consider my experiences using SuSE 6.3 in 1998 to be still rather indicative of what to expect of Linux-based OSes today"

        That's like using Win 95 to be indicative of Win today, there is no real comparison.

        Now be fair.. More like Win 98 to today...

        (Then again, W98 was more popular and much more intuitive than W10 (used!=popular)

  8. spold Silver badge

    Windows Undead edition. Now with an enhanced blue screen of death. Mwahahaha.

    1. Nightkiller

      Can't visualize Stallman's face in blue tantrum.

  9. dave 81

    A better Idea would be to

    Get IBM and MS to opensource OS/2. Then build a truly good operating system from that.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: A better Idea would be to

      Sure, and it will die just the same way OS/2 died - no applications for it...

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: A better Idea would be to

        >Sure, and it will die just the same way OS/2 died - no applications for it...

        Well predicate that on mass market applications...

        Arca Noae seem to have found a profitable niche for OS/2.

        I think one of the lessons from XP/2K3 EoL and specifically the various versions of embedded OS's derived from XP, is that MS have little regard for markets outside of the mass market desktop.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and as of today, windows update

    has come up on my W7 pro machine and offered the usual shitload of non-descriptive updates for... Windows7, that went out of support 10 days ago. Wonder if those updates are 50 various ways to alert me that I'm running a dangerously unsupported OS? Not that I bother to waste time to find out. But amusing nevertheless.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: and as of today, windows update

      I haven't looked today but as and when it went out of support there were 4 updates that wouldn't install. And then a few days ago a couple of virus sig or whatever files arrived. However I mostly only run it to remind myself what an ugly UI I'm missing.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: and as of today, windows update

      I suspect (would hope) that this last batch of updates are the fixes that were deep in the release system and so it was decided to let them complete rather than try and extract them from the system.

      However, just because W7 has gone EoL doesn't mean that some of the things installed on top of it have also gone EoL. I was still periodically receiving fixes to an XP system for 1~2 years after it went EoL all because it was running MS software that hadn't gone EoL. So my expectation is that officially there will be no fixes/updates to W7, but if a fix to a supported MS application requires an OS fix...

  11. JohnFen

    Never gonna happen

    Microsoft needs people to use Win 10. They're never going to do anything that might let up the pressure on people to do that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @JohnFen - Re: Never gonna happen

      Microsoft doesn't need anything now. Everything goes on by itself.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A thought

    If Win 7 was released as Open Source, isn't there a possibility that it would make life easier for those with evil in their hearts to

    1) dig through the code and find interesting bugs to exploit

    2) create interesting bugs to insert into it (through usual means of snaring the unwary)

    And possibly quicker than those seeking to find the bugs and squish them?

  13. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Since none of Microsoft’s other versions of Windows - even going back to the days of 16bit DOS based Windows - have ever been released as open source, there is no way they will release the source code for something that has only just gone out of support. They are still able to charge customers for extended Windows 7 support and no doubt a pretty big chunk of the code under the surface is the same on Windows 7, 8 and 10 so its still very relevant to Microsoft for a long time to come.

  14. Blackjack Silver badge

    You know...

    I would prefer they open sourced Dos, and Windows 3.11 and older.

    And yes I know Freedos and Dosbox but neither of the two offer 100% compatibility or all functions MS Dos had.

    You can run a lot of Windows 7 programs in Windows 10. And of those you can't rhere are virtual machines.

  15. J. Cook Silver badge

    Another problem with trying to open source windows 7...

    as at one of you have pointed out, some of the windows 7 code still lives on in windows 10.

    "some" being quite likely a large chunk of the kernel, portions of the network stack, and a few other things that are actually artifacts from NT4, win2000, 2k3, and 2k8. Server 2003 and windows XP shared a portion of their codebase, windows 7 and server 2008R2 *are* the same codebase, and that's continued on for every major version since.

    Since I'm pretty sure that microsoft doesn't have a good handle on what code is still in use, I don't think they won't release it to open source for a long time.

    Now, they could probably get away with releasing the windows 98SE codebase, but I don't think anyone would really *want* to use it...

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Another problem with trying to open source windows 7...

      And Microsoft is making extra money for three years thanks to paid updates suscriptions for Windows 7.

      Also the Free Software fundation must be mad. Haven't they heard of Wine, PlayOnLinux and Virtualisation?

    2. Sanguma

      Re: Another problem with trying to open source windows 7...

      Win2K, WinXP, and Win Server2K3 were MS Windows 5.x. Win2K was Win 5.0, WinXP was Win 5.1, and I don't know the status of WinServer2K3 - I never got around to installing my copy of it; I didn't need to.

      And you're wrong about the MS Win9x codebase. I would love to have a copy of that, under the rules of "salvage" - I spent enough hours salvaging Microsoft's reputation as a volunteer techie for a non-profit, that I feel I should be paid in kind, with the source trees. And I'm not the only one who's done that either.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please Do This

    Microsoft, for the love of all that is beautiful (and even Aero) and not exceedingly duplicated

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that this will ever happen

    But Windows XP would work just as well for this sort of thing, since it can run basically anything Windows 7/10 can (other than stuff like games that need a newer DirectX etc.)

  18. billdehaan
    Stop

    OS/2 all over again

    When IBM tossed OS/2 onto the scrap heap of history, there was considerable hue and cry from the OS/2 user base, asking (or in the case of Team OS/2, demanding), that IBM release OS/2 as an open source project.

    That was 20 years ago, and it still hasn't happened. It didn't happen then, and it won't happen now.

    All other considerations notwithstanding, there are one major reason IBM didn't open source OS/2, and why Microsoft won't open source Windows 7.

    Never mind the proprietary intellectual property that's embedded in all that code, which would have to be audited before release. Ignore the fact that they'd be giving away a code base that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, over the past forty years. That doesn't even matter.

    What does matter is that Microsoft doesn't own Windows, any more than IBM owned OS/2. Oh, it owns a huge percentage of it, to be sure. It's developed it over the past four decades, and the overwhelming majority is no doubt Microsoft spawned, for good or ill. But there are components in there, lots of components, that were purchased with conditions from other vendors, and/or licensed. Microsoft would have to either get free and clear title to the dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of licensed pieces of code that they've acquired and incorporated into Windows over the years before they could release it to the public.

    That would be a major cost, and that's not even counting the potential legal exposure if they got sued for releasing something that they didn't have full legal claim to release. Parts may wind up on github, but lots of things are tied up in cross licensing agreements that will never be released to the light of day.

    1. Sanguma

      Re: OS/2 all over again

      But there are components in there, lots of components, that were purchased with conditions from other vendors, and/or licensed.

      That was as true of Netscape as it is of MS Win7 - or any other commercial OS. It was also true of AT&T's System V (incarnated in the form of Solaris, FWVLIW.). The BSD's CSRG and community rewrote many of those files; the FSF likewise rewrote many of those files; the WiNE and ReactOS communities have already rewritten many of those MS Windows API files as well.

      It would make an interesting experience, compiling MS Win7 with WiNE replacements for much of the API ... :)

  19. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change
    Thumb Up

    Whoosh

    If MS were to open W7 - or as much of it as they can bearing in mind third-party rights, what would the FSF and others look for in it?

    There's a chance a community might coalesce around the goal of supporting W7 and keeping it going. But that would be existing Windows users: noone from the Linux community is going to be motivated to take on a task that size when they don't even have a use for it!

    Much more likely is that it may be raided for ideas: things other projects could usefully adopt. Some libraries (or parts) may be re-usable with minimum adaptation; other code might be far more trouble than it's worth to try and re-use, but still provoke valuable thoughts.

    There are plenty of precedents. For example, in code Sun and IBM have opened. I was involved in snarfing ideas from Sun's webserver to enhance Apache capabiities: generally it was nothing mindblowing, just getting a new perspective begged the question "why aren't we doing this?" Similarly look at filesystems: jfs, xfs, zfs all originate with once-corporate Unixes. Or dtrace.

    I expect there are valuable spare parts in Win7, too. As well as a lot of dross unlikely to interest anyone.

    MS may indeed be discussing it internally. They'll want to think it through in rather more depth than the peanut gallery. FSF is just giving those at MS who like the idea a thumbs-up.

    1. Sanguma

      Re: Whoosh

      There's a chance a community might coalesce around the goal of supporting W7 and keeping it going.

      Oh, I can assure you of that. Take a look at all the other projects open-sourced. Netscape, Solaris, IngresII, etc. A community coalesced around Netscape as it was turned into Mozilla, and then someone forked it into Firefox, and the browser world was never the same again. Solaris was open-sourced into OpenSolaris, and then people turned it into Illunos, which spun off several projects like OpenIndiana, OmniOS, NexenStor, etc. IngresII was open-sourced - badly, imho: they should've gone straight for the final license, the GPL, instead of dithering around with something not-quite-FOSS and losing traction with the developers - but the source code is still out there and I'm intending to take it and do something with it.

      More likely MS Windows 7.x would sit for a while being studied, and then people would start submitting patches for parts that don't work as they expect, then perhaps it might spin apart into projects as different as FreeBSD and DragonflyBSD, or Seamonkey and Firefox ...

      One thing it would do is make the Microsoft Windows API as potentially long-lived and durable as the X Window Systems one.

      (I'd also like them to retrospectively open-source the WinNT 4.0 source tree and the (fragmentary) Win2K source tree that got leaked so that people could study them without fear of legal consequences for the horrible crime of merely being curious, and likewise the Win2K3 Server study tree. One can dream, can't one? :)

      1. gigabitethernet

        Re: Whoosh

        Its fun to speculate on these things. There are certainly some interesting consequences associated with an open source Windows.

        E.g. A Mac OS running on a Windows kernel, non-Microsoft gaming consoles running PS5 and Nintendo Switch running a Windows Kernel, the end of Windows embedded. A new Windows phone?

        Command prompt only installs.

        No need for open source graphics drivers.

        All kinds of whacky stuff.

        Although why do this? I'm not sure.

        Why would you want a Windows kernel over a Unix or a Linux kernel anyways?

        And also wouldn't Microsoft essentially be giving up their Windows Embedded and CE products?

        BC works pretty well for most things on Wine and Dosbox and alternatives like Steam Proton. Even better than Windows 10 for old software.

        Microsoft would be better placed to just create a version of Windows by porting Windows APIs to run on top of a Unix kernel like Wine. Which was a planned transition in the 90s.

    2. Sanguma

      Re: Whoosh

      But that would be existing Windows users: noone from the Linux community is going to be motivated to take on a task that size when they don't even have a use for it!

      Microsoft fwiw have been actively encouraging the formation of such a community, like it or not, from the moment they released their first Visual C++, Basic, C#, Web Developer Express ISOs back in 2005. Now with the Visual Studio 2019 Community Edition I think you could number the people who would and could take it on - MS Windows users and hobbyists the lot of them - in the thousands now.

      FSF is just giving those at MS who like the idea a thumbs-up.

      No harm in encouraging them!

  20. Defiant

    I'd rather have a FREE updated Windows 2000 which is basically XP without the candyfloss

  21. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Unhappy

    It wont happen

    Sorry to burst your dreams and smash you back down to reality

    It wont happen for 2 reasons

    1. How much of "other company's" licenced code is inside windows

    and more importantly

    2. How much open source code has been shoveled in while ignoring the various GPL documents that come with it...

    And while us linux types may dream, you'll never get rid of m$/windows because of vendor lock in, and "no one ever gets fired for buying IBM.. sorry m$"

  22. Adair Silver badge

    Open sourcing W7?

    For God's sake, no!

  23. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    This might come across as anti Linux. If it does, I apologise. I am not anti Linux (on the contrary, while I primarily use macOS and Windows, I often use Linux both on my PC and Pi 4). I love Linux..

    However, I don't think a lot of companies with more specialist needs will convert to Linux anytime soon. While most companies that just require their stuff to pick up email, browse the web and perhaps use MS Office, will find it easier to retrain their users. That said, they may not have the expertise required to port their Active Directory setup over to a Linux based LDAP server.

    Then there is the more specialist software. One of the suites I support is Adobe CC. While I use it as little as possible, and often swear at it when I do, I know many people who work with this and other more specialist software (such as Final Cut) and have, in some cases, tens of terabytes of projects that are stored in the specific format of that project. Even where the various open source equivalents offer project conversions, or compatibility, that is not always a good solution.

    The point of this post is that while Linux is free, and can be configured to be similar enough to Windows that any user training is reduced a lot, that is only a very small part of the costs of transferring your operation to a new OS. There are also converting existing data, and also the existing infrastructure. That can range from a few PCs and a single domain controller hooked up to a business router to thousands of PCs, and dozens of domain controllers, MDM/config server (such as System Center) hooked up to a complete tree of switches and routers, hooked up to a massive fibre internet connection.

  24. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    W7 EOL. My latest experiences... Bandwidth for .NET downloads seems to have been strangled

    One of my customers has had the week from hell after (I think) the W7 update that tinkers with his wallpaper rendered his pc unusable.

    Reformatted the pc and reinstalled his programs. Two different versions of .NET were needed to be reinstalled within the roll-out of three of these programs. Everything was fine up until they were called and then... nothing for over an hour... then magically the download occurred. No indication of what the problem is or what. Left the other one running overnight and this morning that one was installed too. Adobe Reader couldn't be installed as MS seem to have pulled a component needed for even the off-line install to function. Installed a third-party reader and that is fine.

  25. fredesmite
    Mushroom

    Why anyone would use Windows product is beyond me

    When Linux desktops are openly available.

  26. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The traumatic death of open source

    I picture hundreds of OSS enthusiasts breaking into tears and abandoning their high tech lifestyle after seeing what nearly 40 years in a big corporation does to a codebase.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022