back to article Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days

In the beginning, Microsoft was The Evil Empire. In 2001 then CEO Steve Ballmer declared: "Linux is a cancer." Later, Microsoft sponsored SCO's copyright attack on Linux; claimed that Linux violated unnamed Microsoft patents; and forced Linux-based Android vendors to pay for dubious patent claims. Bill Gates and Ballmer's …

  1. Wade Burchette

    'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    (Takes deep breath.)

    Oh wait, you are serious? Let me laugh some more!

    1. m4r35n357

      Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

      and desperate for clicks

      1. msobkow Silver badge

        Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

        Yep. That is a clickbait headline if I ever saw one.

        Microsoft has done everything they can to try to "embrace and extend" Linux, but despite their best efforts, the community as a whole overrides them. Microsoft would like nothing better than to find a way to ensure that all Linux are a Microsoft Linux for a fee...

    2. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

      I'm not that worried about MS these days. I even got asked a few weeks ago if I wanted a Mac instead of my Dell Win11 PC running WSL2. After the faff of setting it all up, I can't be bothered to switch back now, as it does the job well enough (and Teams + other tools crash less on the PC, compared to the previous Mac)

      I'm far more worried about Facebook, Google and Amazon, but it's hard to know which one of them is the more evil these days.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

      Microsoft will always be evil. The 'lipstick on a pig' has never ever been truer.

      It won't be long before they come out with Microsoft Linux Mk 2 and tell the world that this is the ONLY TRUE Linux OS and that all the rest are impostors and should be deleted forthwith.

      I'm sure that their version will contain huge amounts of telemetry and other nasties just to keep track of us plebs

      At least RedHat didn't fall into the hands of MS. They'll be out there making sure that their software only runs properly on MS Linux. Nothing like a bit of vendor locking to keep the money coming in.

      I will never ever use any MS branded or owned product again.

      MS can go suck on this [see icon]. I hope they get a real bloody nose.

      1. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

        The benefit of OSS is that if you put "all kinds of telemetry" into your software, everyone would know about it, plenty of Geeks would notice and pretty soon no one would use it.

        You need to move on.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

          You're forgetting the additional binary blobs. There'll be something buried in the systemd morass that requires it. Being OSS you will be able -in theory - to disentangle it an recompile. Good luck.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

        "They'll be out there making sure that their software only runs properly on MS Linux. Nothing like a bit of vendor locking to keep the money coming in."

        How easy it is to demonize something when you make up all the facts. Your statement about what they'll do requires them to make an OS they haven't got at all and break the multiplatform stuff they do. Despite the fact that they could have done this already and once did: their OS is Windows and they had various things that only ran on it. Had they wanted to enact your lockin proposal, they just had to keep all their applications Windows-only. Yet they ported many of them.

        There are lots of things Microsoft actually does that are legitimate points of complaint. Making something up, deciding that they'll definitely do it, and using that to argue against them is a really bad argument.

        1. badflorist

          Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

          "...when you make up all the facts... they ported many of them... is a really bad argument."

          Nice! Subliminal smoothies!

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

            Yeah, they did port many of them. Not that you'd necessarily want to use them, but if you want to run Teams on Linux, it's there. If you want to run Office365 on Linux, it works. If you want to use their development tools which were formerly Windows-only or at least only supported on Windows with flaky Linux implementations with frequent development lags, they've ported many of those. I choose not to use a lot of the software Microsoft has that runs on Linux, but it is there.

            In addition, when they don't port something, that's their decision. There isn't a native Office for Linux. If there was, I wouldn't buy it, and I'm guessing nor would many of you. If the Linux users will predominantly decide that LibreOffice is good enough and that we don't want to run Microsoft Office, maybe it makes sense why Microsoft didn't bother to go to the expense of porting it.

            1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

              Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

              If your job is to manage a predominantly Windows environment (and lets face it, if you're in a corporation that is not an IT firm, you're going to be predominantly Windows) Then the tools they have for Linux work just fine. Teams on Linux works perfectly well, yes you don't have all the features of the Windows version but those are just fluff, they are not required for day-to-day functionality. The Outlook PWA is just fine for email, does 95% of what Windows Outlook does. Office works in the browser but Libre does 85% if what you need! PowerShell can do a lot on Linux and what you cannot you can do through PowerShell Remoting. They have even just released a new version of the Exchange Online Module that works on Linux. It's "officially" only supported on Ubuntu but works just fine on Fedora 35. Lastly, VS Code on Linux if functionally the same as the Windows version.

              Obviously MS is not targeting Linux as a desktop replacement for Windows but they are keenly aware that there are a lot of IT administrators out there that would prefer to run a Linux PC as their daily computer and are providing the tools so they can do that. On the server side you can now run SQL Server on Linux and it is functionally the same. This is a huge cost savings on infrastructure! Sure SSMS doesn't run on Linux (yet) but Azure Data Studio does. It doesn't have all the GUI admin functionality but you can accomplish those tasks in T-Sql.

              Its time to realize the "Evil Sith Lords" no longer hold control of MS. Does that forgive them of their past sins? No! Today it is not so much the Evilness of MS but the incompetence encountered every day. Changes without notice, the unexplained performance problems in Azure Instances, etc.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

                >Obviously MS is not targeting Linux as a desktop replacement for Windows

                Yet.

                Looking at the roadmap and applying what I know of Microsoft, I suggest once they have established the Windows 11/Microsoft 365 subscription base it is a small and relatively risk-free step to make Windows 12 some form of Linux distribution.

                Remember effectively this has been RedHaty's business model: take Linux make it fit for a specific marketplace by adding some RedHat spice and charge for support. However, MS with its 365 subscriptions has effectively separated the service subscription from the software.

                The only question is how will MS embed all the data collection telemetry without infringing open source licences.

            2. jilocasin
              Linux

              Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

              Sure they have.

              They are still up to their tricks. Their goal is to have you running all Microsoft all the time, from the desktop, to the applications, to the cloud.

              Some examples:

              - Azure has a PostgreSQL service. It is perpetually behind actual postgres and doesn't support all of the features. Want real PostgreSQL, just run an entire VM complete with OS, or switch over to SQL Server.

              - Visual Studio (any version) still doesn't run under Linux, Microsoft would prefer developers develop using a Windows box.

              - Microsoft was caught withholding a feature from 'ostensibly' open source .Net 6. They wanted to reserve it for their Visual Studio product, which as mentioned previously, doesn't run under Linux.

              - Microsoft's new MAUI .Net subsystem which claims to be a unified front end for application development on Windows, Mac, Android, IOs has conspicuously left Linux out of the list. Microsoft may reluctantly support .Net _server_ development, but they'll be dammed if they are going to make open source development with their open source framework work for desktop development. Oh, and they stole the name MAUI from an existing open source project of the same name. When approached by the project they were basically told to pound sand.

              - Linux for Windows subsystem, another attempt to provide a way for developers and dev ops to stay on Windows if they need access to some Linux commands or features.

              - PowerShell for Linux, another attempt to keep folks on Windows. It's fairly useless in a pure non-Windows environment. What it is good for is giving Windows dev ops and administrators a familiar _Windows_ environment to use when working on and with Linux servers.

              - Microsoft was recently caught strong arming hardware vendors (again) to make it more difficult to get Linux to run on new hardware.

              I could go on, but those are just a few examples of Microsoft being Microsoft. Microsoft isn't a *friend* to open source. Even their open source projects, like the .Net Framework, come with Microsoft strings attached. The only lesson they seemed to have learned over the years is that they can't act like the proverbial bull in a china shop. They may make some useful overtures to the open source community, but we trust them at our peril.

              As someone famous once said:

              "Trust but verify."

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

                Some of that is true, but I don't think they have to port all their products to Linux in order to support open source. You also draw different conclusions than I do about some of these.

                - Visual Studio (any version) still doesn't run under Linux, Microsoft would prefer developers develop using a Windows box.

                Visual Studio Code does run on Linux. I don't use it there, possibly just because I got used to a Linux workflow before that existed and I haven't bothered with new habits, but they wrote an IDE that runs on Linux just as well as on other things. It's not the same as their older one, but it is there, does work, and was written by them.

                - Linux for Windows subsystem, another attempt to provide a way for developers and dev ops to stay on Windows if they need access to some Linux commands or features.

                Yes. Isn't that kind of useful if you are using Windows? That doesn't stop you going to Linux, and if you're not familiar with it, it makes learning about it, the first step of switching to it, easier. I don't think they have to act to kill Windows to support open source.

                - PowerShell for Linux, another attempt to keep folks on Windows. It's fairly useless in a pure non-Windows environment. What it is good for is giving Windows dev ops and administrators a familiar _Windows_ environment to use when working on and with Linux servers.

                Which helps Linux, because now it's easier to use for people who ordinarily would have just bought another Windows Server license. Also, I don't quite understand why making a scripting system that Windows users are familiar with also work on Linux is harming Linux or even helping Windows; incompatibility wouldn't usually help people switch.

                1. jilocasin
                  Terminator

                  Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

                  Visual Studio Code is as much Visual Studio as JavaScript is Java. Similar name, completely different products. VS Code is a massively stripped down IDE. It doesn't have the same feature set and is completely reliant on the open source command line SDK to work with .Net. You remember, that same open source implementation that Microsoft was caught trying to keep features out of to benefit Visual Studio.

                  Linux for Windows is their 'embrace'. Instead of porting their software to Linux, or making it work better with Linux, they took advantage of the license to give you a lobotomized Linux experience. Just enough to hopefully keep you from jumping ship, poor enough so that you get a bad impression of Linux as a desktop to discourage you from wanting to.

                  PowerShell doesn't do anything for Linux. Microsoft could have written it in a way that would make it useful on whatever platform it was running. The equivalent of bash, but for Windows, Linux, and MacOS. They didn't because they aren't really about playing nice in the open source community. If they did, you might be tempted to switch away from Windows to Linux. Using PowerShell as your default shell would make that easier. Instead Linux PowerShell is a subset of Windows PowerShell. Just enough features exist to get some server tasks done (so you don't feel the need to learn bash), but not enough that you would consider using it full time on a Linux desktop.

                  You seem to want to find ways to claim that Microsoft is really a big 'ol cuddly bear when it comes to their open source overtures.

                  They're not.

                  Once you are fully in their embrace, they'll break your back with their 'hug', and tear out your throat with those pointy teeth that moments before were so innocently smiling at you.

                  1. boatsman

                    Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

                    lol

                    visual means you have to look hard to see any benefit of using it.

                    linux for windows is a me too thing. useless. cygwin does a better job.

                    powershell is a useless obfuscation mess, does not even work well with windows. slow, error prone.

                    on the bright side, windows is now contained to what it hardly does.... being a very slow desktop environment, full of security wormholes...

                    disclaimer: i earned good money making microsoft windows apps. but it is imo still a hopeless bloated mess.

            3. gerryg

              Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

              If I recall correctly back in the day the whole OS/Office Suite/Productivity tools was a bundle protecting each other's market share.

              Over time one of the effects of Linux was to reduce the market value of Windows. Porting MS Office would have accelerated that.

              The world has changed and renting web based applications are now seen as the cash cow. People selling software no longer want to sell it but rent it out.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

          they don't have 1 Microsoft internal Linux distribution they have 2 so far CBL-Mariner and Azure Cloud Switch... feel the warm embrace and relax...

          1. georgezilla

            Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

            " ... feel the warm embrace and relax... ... "

            You mean "embrace" as in .............

            Embrace.

            Extend.

            Extinguish?

            Something Microsoft has done many times?

            No thanks.

            Relax if you want to.

            But you have been warned.

            And when/if they do bend you over, you can't complain.

            1. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

              Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

              I believe that was the reference, yes

              1. Jmg

                Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

                it's okay if he's confused, the semantic smothering speech can overwhelm anyone.

                EEE has been replaced with a emoticon for hugs in Microsoft PR communications. I think that's what the article was trying to say anyhow.

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

            They also have a number of "approved" third-party desktop distributions in the Store, include WLinux which ahs been optimised for WSL. Whilst not at the same level as CBL-Mariner and ACS, I suggest a MS desktop Linux is currently "work in progress".

      3. The Northerner Up North

        Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

        Lipstick on the pig - interesting comment and always evil? ALL business want to make a profit - be it £/$ 1.00 or £/$ 100 million a year. There is absolutely no difference between any company that sets out to make a profit year on year - So all by definition ALL are evil.

        As for telemetry data - we need to grow up - it's the world we live in, all and every company are harvesting data - wherever they can - the use and usefulness of said data is debateable but there are several ways on windows to limit the data that leaves your machine but the easiest way?

        Create a fake Windows/Google/Apple/Any other company who want's your info - login with said account and click away and feed the data monster - cos that data isn't you is it?

        1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Personal Data and Fake Accounts

          Problems -- for consumers -- with the suck-all-data mode companies are operating in are:

          1. Companies are making possibly-detrimental decisions about consumers (insurance, loans, jobs, etc.) using this data, without our being able to know what that data is, change it if it's wrong, see the "logic" employed, and challenge that "logic" if it's wrong.

          As an example, my phone could be used to determine I spend a lot of time in Victoria's Secret at the local mall. Some company, or goverment agency who bought that data from the company, could decide, to my detriment, that it means I'm a pervert. Truth is, I'm not spending time inside V.S., I'm spending time near V.S., but the wireless/Bluetooth triangulation software isn't good enough to correctly distinguish the difference. And I'm spending time near V.S. because there's a bench with good lighting out front where I can rest my tired feet and read a book while the missus shops. And since V.S. is right next to a marijuana dispensary, wireless/Bluetooth (mis)triangulation may wrongly report me as being inside that marijuana shop, and the collectors/purchasers of that false data might easily, wrongly extrapolate that I'm using marijuana and am therefore "unreliable", and unacceptable for job X.

          2. The data-grabbers "fingerprint" your device (CPUID, MAC address, OS, installed fonts, etc.) and use that device fingerprint to link what you do with your fake accounts with the "real" you, unless you NEVER type your real name, real email address, etc. into a web page on that device.

        2. Ex-Code Monkey

          Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

          "As for telemetry data - we need to grow up - it's the world we live in..."

          It doesn't have to be the world we live in, and I'd rather it wasn't, so I won't cooperate by running Microsoft products.

      4. Code For Broke

        Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

        Red Hat isn't evil. Owned by IBM these days, who built computers gladly for the Nazis, but not evil.

        1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

          What RedHat and IBM did to the CentOS community was nothing short of Evil!

    4. unimaginative Bronze badge
      Flame

      Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

      I am quite happy to judge MS by what it does today, as described in this Register article from last week.

      1. badflorist

        Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

        How about yesterday?

        https://www.theregister.com/2022/07/11/lenovo_secured_core/

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strong "leave Britney alone" vibes from this one.

  3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    A leopard that changes it's spots ? That goes against all experience.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Does it? I'm given the impression that organisations often learn more from their failures than they do from their successes. The 'leopard' in your example is an organisation of people, projects, history, procedures - things that change or are replaced over time For the spots on this ever-changing leopard to remain the same would require a conscious decision to keep them the same or else another prevailing pressure.

      1. Peter-Waterman1

        I still see signs that Msft haven't changed their spots...

        Look at how they are using their market dominance in the Windows OS and Office market to force customers to move to Azure. Which, from my limited understanding is illegal.

        1. The Northerner Up North

          Its a business - that's what they do? If another company was more dominant that MS do you think they would be any different? Hell no, making profit year on year is all that companies what at any cost is the name of the game - unfortunately.

          It's interesting that Google, Amazon or Apple haven't brought out their own desktop O/S or servers to the PC world - why would they? MS do a good job (by market share) and everybody else make good money for web/telemetry services. All happy.

          1. Ganso

            Satya, is that you?

        2. veti Silver badge

          If you had hundreds of millions of users worldwide, and developed a new platform that makes it far easier (from your point of view) to maintain and secure your applications and your customers' data - wouldn't you be doing everything you can think of to persuade them to move over?

          No matter what MS does, there will be some people saying it hasn't changed. It's easy to interpret someone's actions in the worst possible way, if that's what you've been training yourself to do for 30 years.

          1. nijam Silver badge

            > No matter what MS does, there will be some people saying it hasn't changed.

            Sure that should be:

            No matter what MS does, there will be some people noticing it hasn't changed.

            1. R Soul Bronze badge

              Shouldn't that be "no matter what MS says, most people will notice it hasn't changed"?

        3. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Nothing with Windows OS or Office is forcing anyone to move to Azure! We are a 95% Windows infrastructure and 99% of our cloud compute is in AWS! There is nothing MS is doing that is "forcing" us to move into Azure. The only thing we have in Azure is SCCM because the SCCM Gateway is an Azure service and it just made more sense to have the other parts of SCCM in Azure.

          Re: Office 365, until someone comes up with a viable alternative, and let's face it, there really is not viable alternative, then corporations are going to move to Office 365. But Office 365 in no way forces any company to move their cloud infrastructure to Azure! NOTHING!

          Your statement has no basis in fact and is just fear mongering nonsense!

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            > There is nothing MS is doing that is "forcing" us to move into Azure.

            Given many use Azure to also mean Microsoft 365, what is your Exchange Server strategy beyond 2025?

      2. Charcaroth

        I would argue that Microsoft is the ship of Theseus. Yes, they're being replaced bit by bit, but overall, it's the same ship of fools -- and finding it very difficult to change course.

  4. dajames Silver badge

    Parasites

    You mention the concerns over Microsoft's ownership of Github, and still manage to say they're not evil with an apparently straight face?

    Microsoft have stopped trying to quash Open Source, and are instead feeding off it like a giant tick nestling in the fleshy parts of a growing animal. They're still evil, just slightly less terminally so.

    1. steelpillow Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Parasites

      Well put dajames. Icon for your choice of epithet.

      The idea that "Satya Nadella ... knew that to make money, Microsoft had to really embrace, and not extinguish, open source." is the wrong end of the stick. He simply recognised that the extinguish part was impracticable, so drew in his focus to embrace and extend. Nevertheless, firing off the odd extinguisher when opportunity arises is definitely still there in the small print.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Parasites

      I suppose that it is at least arguable that MS might not be "open source attitude" evil any more, as demonstrated by the article, although you might not be convinced.

      However, there are more sorts of evil available that are distinct from their open source attitude. Their telemetry, for example. Tricksy popups trying to make you agree to things you do not want. Outlook, which seems designed to suck your email inside a proprietary blob from which it cannot be usefully extracted.

      Or, and very much worst of all, those system-generated "assistant" messages trying to sound cheerful and friendly. Or ones that let you say "not now", but never what you really want, namely "FOAD, INWTSTSAAMA". Those are definitely the most evil.

      1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

        Re: Parasites

        They are not alone in this. But this is a different form of evil thn the Gates/Balmer "dark side" evil!

      2. 43300

        Re: Parasites

        "Or, and very much worst of all, those system-generated "assistant" messages trying to sound cheerful and friendly. Or ones that let you say "not now", but never what you really want, namely "FOAD, INWTSTSAAMA". Those are definitely the most evil."

        Yes, indeed. My particular un-favourite of those is the one which pops up periodically on logging in to W10 machines which only have a local account, inviting you to 'complete' the setup of your machine by signing in with a Microsoft account. If you don't agree then the other option is 'Remind me in 3 days'. There is, predictably, no 'piss off and never ask again' option!

  5. JimmyPage

    Sometimes, it's the little things.

    But running WSL on my Win10 machine means I can drop into a shell at will and either do something on my machine (so no need to learn Powershell) or ssh into any number of my Ubuntu servers seamlessly.

    Yes, there is puTTY. But that is so clunky it could only be a Windows app.

    My last job needed an asset management tool. With fuck all budget I spun up a Debian VM on their hypervisor (no licence) installed a LAMP stack, got SnipeIT working and everyone happy until the boss learned we'd gone "non Windows" and insisted it was shifted to a cloud subscription service.

    One quote later, and all of a sudden it was staying.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

      You can SSH into those servers without WSL. The client is supported at any command prompt.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      "But that is so clunky it could only be a Windows app."

      PuTTY is how a Unix developer develops a Windows app.... it doesn't follow any Windows best practices.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "But that is so clunky it could only be a Windows app."

        Which include pulling in shitloads of rancid bloatware, vendor lock-in and fucking up the developer's hope of delivering something useable on a stable platform with reliable APIs.

      2. Kane Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: "But that is so clunky it could only be a Windows app."

        "it doesn't follow any Windows best practices."

        They have those, do they?

      3. jabuzz

        Re: "But that is so clunky it could only be a Windows app."

        You no longer need PuTTY on Windows (recentish version 10 or any 11) to SSH into something. OpenSSH is included in the OS, any cmd.exe or PowerShell prompt and you can just SSH as you would from a Linux/Unix prompt.

    3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

      WSL is a dumpster fire and extremely slow.

      1. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

        WSL2?

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

          Both. Try to work on small files with either of them.

    4. Agamemnon

      Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

      Heh. I know Snipe.

      I'll have to share this with her.

    5. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

      everyone happy until the boss learned we'd gone "non Windows" and insisted it was shifted to a cloud subscription service.

      One quote later, and all of a sudden it was staying.

      Let me guess, he was whistled back by a bean counter.

    6. rnturn

      Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

      If a VM like VirtualBox were not an option I would just soon install Cygwin/X than use the ridiculousness that is Putty.

      1. RolandM

        Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

        When the goal is to have outgoing ssh connections from the Windows PC Cygwin/X is an overkill and Putty just the tool of choice. It supports all essential feature of an ssh client.

        In case you need some local Linux I would use VBox.

        Cygwin with or with X I would avoid unless somebody points a gun to my head - I used to use Cygwin & struggle with it about 10 years ago.

    7. jilocasin
      Coat

      Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.

      Um, what's wrong with running Linux directly as opposed to Windows 10 + WSL?

      When does a Debian install, even with a LAMP stack, require a license?

      Just asking for a friend.

  6. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    judge it by what it's doing today

    Microsoft hires people to write software so they own the copyright and have the right to select whatever licenses they want to distribute that software.

    I get to read those licenses and to decide for myself whether to rent their software. My dislike of their choice of license has not changed in over thirty years so I do not rent their software. The difference between back then and now is that it is easier to not pay Microsoft for software I do not want. Hate is definitely the wrong word for my feelings toward Microsoft. To me they are mostly irrelevant but they do provide some entertaining news.

    Perhaps this article is asking me to trust Microsoft: sure, just as much as Google, Amazon and Oracle.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: judge it by what it's doing today

      That's the point.

      You get to choose between four evils now.

      Aren't you lucky ?

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: judge it by what it's doing today

      "Perhaps this article is asking me to trust Microsoft:"

      I doubt it. Don't trust Microsoft any more than you would trust another massive company that does thousands of different things. I think the article is merely speaking against a decades-old stereotype that is no longer very relevant. You can even still hate Microsoft if you want, but for reasons based in what they're currently doing, not things they did in 2002 and haven't been forgotten.

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: judge it by what it's doing today

      Perhaps this article is asking me to trust Microsoft: sure, just as much as Google, Amazon and Oracle. And a whole lot more than Facebook.

      FTFY ;)

  7. Plest Silver badge
    Pint

    Yes and no...

    Yes MS support lots of FOSS initiatives and such like but I'm sorry they've just been naughty once too often after promising to be good and I'm afraid I live by "once bitten, twice shy". I have no issues with MS or MS FOSS aspiriations, I'm just very wary of them.

    1. JohnTill123

      Re: Yes and no...

      I couldn't agree more. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME.

  8. original_rwg
    Happy

    Get over nothing....

    Micros~1? Move away from the Dark Side? In your dreams.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Get over nothing....

      When you look at everything they have done to WINDOWS since Win "Ape" (8) you cannot say they have STOPPED BEING EVIL, or even PAUSED BEING EVIL.

      They are *STILL* engaging in:

      * Strong-arm "Microsoft Logon" instead of LOCAL Logon

      * FORCE you to update

      * FORCE you to accept THEIR "new shiny" way, even if you were good at the OLD way of doing things

      * FORCE you (as much as they can, without users jumping through hoops) to get NEW HARDWARE to run "The Latest"

      * FORCE you to accept 2D FLATTY FLATSO FLATASS McFLATFACE UI with NO user customizations

      * FORCE you to hit the cloud if you use their search, even for local files

      * TRACK you and ADVERTISE to you, even when using YOUR COMPUTER (not their services)

      The FORCING, the TRACKING, the STRONG-ARMING. *THIS* **IS** *EVIL* !!!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was this article written before the one about Lenovo?

    https://www.theregister.com/2022/07/11/lenovo_secured_core/

    is about the Lenovo laptop that won't run Linux without fiddling in the BIOS. It quotes a Microsoft employee about how running Linux on hardware with a Pluton chip is an "unsupported scenario".

    Those of us old enough to remember the fuss about UEFI see parallels.

    1. 3arn0wl

      Re: Was this article written before the one about Lenovo?

      :) I was about to write much the same thing, so thank you for saving me the composition time.

      Micro$oft haven't changed.

  10. DJV Silver badge

    "it's well past time to stop being so harsh on Redmond"

    Nope, it's not. Give 'em an inch and they'll patent the ruler.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: "it's well past time to stop being so harsh on Redmond"

      Stop! Don't give them ideas!

      Before you know it there will be a US Patent covering a straight-edged strip of plastic, wood, metal or similar materials that has 12 of these "inches" marked along one edge...

      Obviously, these would be US inches and not imperial inches, however, only patent attorneys will be able to determine the difference.

  11. PghMike

    Mostly agree

    I'm actually a MSFT employee, so dismiss what I say on that basis if you like. But all my work is on Ubuntu running in Azure, which I get to via a MSFT provided MacBook Pro. I haven't used anything running Windows (except as a hypervisor host) since I got to MSFT 4 years ago.

    MSFT really is a pretty decent open source contributor. Yes, they still have proprietary stuff, but the "embrace, extend, extinguish" policy is long gone. When we use an OSS product, AFAICT MSFT contributes any changes back to the community in any case where that makes sense for the community.

    Back in the '90s, I worked in a networking company that was continually screwed over by MSFT arrogance ("we're changing the network mini port driver interface yet again for no good reason, so FU"), so I get where you're coming from. And I don't deal much with the Windows folks, but the parts of MSFT I see try to make customers happy, not jerk them around.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Mostly agree

      That's the thing about big companies. They have some pieces that are evil, and some pieces that are great, so you can't paint the whole thing with one broad brush.

      I'm pretty critical of Google for a whole host of reasons, but that doesn't mean there aren't many people there whose work has nothing to do with violating privacy or trying to extend monopolies and are doing things that will make the world a better place.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Mostly agree

        ...so you can't paint the whole thing with one broad brush.

        Well, yes, yes we can.

        WE owe NO company the benefit of the doubt, loyalty or patronage. NONE. Not ever.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Mostly agree

          Well yes, of course you can, in the same way as you can warm your home with a burning oil drum in the living room.

          Bloody stupid thing to do, though.

      2. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

        Should Google/Microsoft be judged for their evil?

        Of course. That they don't do 100% evil all the time doesn't make the evil they do not matter.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mostly agree

        They have some pieces that are evil, and some pieces that are great

        True, but when your part of the company does good honest work while another develops and supports a system that drives post office owners to suicide then it's still time to move on. Anon, because that's what I did.

    2. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Mostly agree

      I wonder where the AppGet developer is these days. Wonder if he'd agree.

    3. that one in the corner Bronze badge

      Re: Mostly agree

      Not being a regular reader of the NASDAQ I was wondering what MSFT referred to - some specific subdivision of Microsoft?

      Googling it wasn't much help - but nice to know that the Manchester Farm Swim Team is right at the top of the list.

      Perhaps I should have Binged it instead?

      1. Dave Null

        Re: Mostly agree

        Jeese, if you can't work this out then I really worry about you.

        It's the stock marker for Microsoft. It means "Microsoft".

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    ... not as far as I can throw them

    I've seen nothing that indicates any real change in their behaviour.

  13. demon driver

    There is no 'good', no 'evil'

    For corporations, there is only profit. They're in favour of something if they decide it helps their profits, and they're against something if they think being in favour of it would work against their profits. And even there weren't all those signs strongly hinting that much of Microsoft's Linux love is indeed mere lip service, it could be against Linux and OSS within the blink of an eye again, despite the obvious fact that they need it to run their own business.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: There is no 'good', no 'evil'

      >There is no 'good', no 'evil'. For corporations, there is only profit.

      Yes, that is true. But also more nuanced than first appears.

      There is short term profit, maybe made by risk taking or economy drives. There is long term profit, made perhaps by investing in staff and technology, and earning the trust of customers over time. Gross generalisations, to be sure. Investors may have their own values beyond money, as do staff and customers.

    2. JimC

      Re: There is no 'good', no 'evil'

      > For corporations, there is only profit.

      Submit the evidence is against you. Plenty of corporations, esp silicon valley startups that appear to have minimal interest in profit.

      Executive 'compensation', on the other hand...

    3. chololennon

      Re: There is no 'good', no 'evil'

      "There is no 'good', no 'evil' For corporations, there is only profit."

      C'mon, there are "ways" and "ways" to a make profit (some legal, some illegal). Microsoft has plenty of examples of dirty ways of making them. And for a recent "evil" way you have the "Uber files" (https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/jul/10/uber-files-leak-reveals-global-lobbying-campaign).

    4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: There is no 'good', no 'evil'

      Cupboard love, in other words.

    5. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: There is no 'good', no 'evil'

      Pretty sure greed is listed as an evil. Hang on let me google that.

      Yep. Evil.

  14. Adair Silver badge

    Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days ...

    yeah, just like a deep sea angler fish is a lighting consultant.

  15. LDS Silver badge

    MIcrosoft understood you can't compete with free software regardless of how bad it is.

    Than understood that it too could cut development expenses as people get more and more used to bad software. The web and Linux shown you don't need to write great software - as long as it works somehow and costs "nothing" for most users it's perfect.

    Thereby Nadella could save of Windows development cutting features and dumbsizing the UI - after all, what's the competition? Linux and Web applications - both of them far from being high-end UI and applications. Then go cloud-first and start to make money renting software you don't have to invest much to develop. Win-Win for Microsoft.

    FOSS is bringing IT backwards, not forward. Everything is becoming brittle, overly complex, fragmented, and uncomfortable to use. Paradigms of the 1970s with all their inherent limitations are worshiped as an "act of god" and deemed "un-modifiable" mostly for religious reasons, while they just make systems more cumbersome to use. It is true - internet evangelizations by activists is brainwashing people, especially youmg ones, that worse is better just because it's "free" and it's "open" so a few selected corporations can exploit you better without paying you - as the dire situation in which a lot of FOSS projects are show perfectly.

    And IT just become a sub-product of the personal data extraction and behaviour modification industry - an industry that without FOSS maybe would not exist just for the costs to build it.

    Enjoy Microsoft is FOSS-friendly now - to better exploit you, together the others- just the whole IT is much less friendly to users than it was thirty years ago.

    1. BobChip
      Linux

      Re: MIcrosoft understood you can't compete with free software regardless of how bad it is.

      Odd. I use Win 10 AND Linux on a daily basis - each for what it does best - each sitting on separate, identical 2Gb SSDs, sitting in the same box and using identical resources. i7 chipset, 32 Gb ram etc, and selected by SATA power switch prior to boot.

      Increasingly, I find myself forced to conclude that it is the Win environment which is "bad", Linux being very much faster, and more stable. I know which environment I prefer to WORK in.

    2. technoscience

      Re: MIcrosoft understood you can't compete with free software regardless of how bad it is.

      Actually you have it extremely wrong. Users make things complex or those that do not know how to build a system. I grant I like to write complex software, because I have high expectations, and I have worked with others to try to dumb it down. But Windows is too severely dumped down for my use.

      Windows has always been fragile. Anyone knowing how to setup a Linux box or asking a 18 year old enthusiast to do it for them would be better off than running Windows. My machines would run securely for 5 years (without ANY downtime) - for a firewall box and secured NFS server (behind said firewall), then I did a software upgrade (that required a reboot). (I am not a fan of the Graphical updates that want to reboot for when not needed and a process just needs a restart).

      But I was maintaining machines with over 28,000 nodes or small clusters of 120 nodes, desktops, firewalls, etc. Often on the side for free on the small ones. Also converted schools and a few overseas hospitals to linux. (Mostly due to security and instability issues in Windows, also due to the costs).

  16. VerySadGeek

    Strange way of showing they love linux.

    https://www.theregister.com/2022/07/11/lenovo_secured_core/

  17. chivo243 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Free! like beta testers

    I see where M$ is going... do you?* Win10 was a headache when I had to deploy it, so many changes to do a simple task, it became difficult, frustrating and time consuming. I read about Win11 being meant for Alpha testers... Glad M$ is not in my support scope any longer.

    *Save more money while you license us to death to make more.

  18. El Bard

    Optimist or pessimist... what am I supposed to be

    I don't know. Reading your 2014 article of which this seems to be a replica:

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-open-sourcing-of-microsoft/

    I am not entirely sure where you come from. Sure, a lot has happened, in absolute and relative terms, .NET being one of the notable things. However, that does not say much about the motives.

    Some things, like WSL for example, seem to me an incarnation of the same old BORG-style embrace.

    Other recent news, as others have pointed out, suggest that the old mentality is still alive and very well, To those one might also add this one:

    https://www.windowscentral.com/software-apps/windows-11/microsoft-store-killing-open-source-app-sales-angering-developers

    So, if one wanted to be really nice, one could talk about giving the company the benefit of doubt, surely nothing more.

    I'll believe it when I see it (which I have not), then wait 5-10 years just to be sure.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Optimist or pessimist... what am I supposed to be

      Open sourcing .Net just feels to me like they're using it as a loss leader to sell more copies of Visual Studio. And on Mac and Linux as well, not just Windows.

      1. Nafesy

        Re: Optimist or pessimist... what am I supposed to be

        VS Code is free...?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Optimist or pessimist... what am I supposed to be

          Didn't M$ just drop vs code?

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Optimist or pessimist... what am I supposed to be

            No, not as far as I am aware.

      2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

        Re: Optimist or pessimist... what am I supposed to be

        Visual Studio is not available on Linux, it would be rather useless as it is very Windows centrist. You can run VS Code on Linux and build just about anything that will run on Linux,

  19. VoiceOfTruth

    I'm not sure this follows

    -> Microsoft has become more valuable than ever because it finally figured out that it was better to join Linux and open source than to fight it.

    You seem to be saying that MS has become more valuable ONLY because it 'joined Linux and open source'. Is that true? Does nothing else they do or sell, or external factors, impact their share price?

    I don't really trust MS when it comes to Linux or open source generally. The fact that they use it is neither here nor there. While it may be possible that MS has changed, I don't really believe it. I would like to see a lot more evidence first. Until then it's not proven.

  20. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Linux is the top guest operating system in Azure"

    Azure wouldn't exist if it weren't for Linux.

    Borkzilla actually tried to make its Azure platform run on Windows Server, and it failed abysmally.

    So yeah, Borkzilla is now a Linux advocate - except on the desktop.

    The leopard isn't changing its spots, it's just trying to survive in a world which needs it less and less.

  21. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Business

    Gates stopped doing day-to-day work at Microsoft in 2008. In 2021, the billionaire was pushed off Microsoft's board for having an affair with an employee.

    His business with Epstein totally had nothing to do with it. Totally.

  22. JoeCool

    "Get over it"

    Has zero rhetorical value. Which is about the amount of faith anyone should hold, that any large captialistic company will ever change it's profits generating spots.

    If the past doesn't characterize the present, then neither can predict the future.

  23. Peter2 Silver badge

    Stop judging Microsoft on what it did a decade ago and judge it by what it's doing today.

    They have managed the "Embrace" phrase, are working on "extend" and would move to "extinguish" in a heartbeat if they could pull it off successfully?

  24. Duke of Source
    Mushroom

    Meanwhile in the UEFI backyard

    https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/60248.html

    > "Starting in 2022 for Secured-core PCs it is a Microsoft requirement for the 3rd Party Certificate to be disabled by default."

    I will NOT get over it! Microsoft can never be trusted, even if some of their moves look a bit benevolent at the beginning.

  25. John.Banister

    Sure

    I'll believe MS actually likes Linux when I see MSWine. It can even be closed source and cost $50. Until then, the open source Linux efforts look to me to be a way to move Linux users inside the wrapping of a Microsoft resource extraction environment.

  26. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days

    Well if it is, can you provide a link for the source code for Windows 12 on GitHub?

    I couldn't find it.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    error in scheduler or... PEBKAC

    when you immediately submit an article you intended to schedule for April 1st...

    1. Short Fat Bald Hairy Man
      Pint

      Re: error in scheduler or... PEBKAC

      Exactly what I thought!

      This company is an inverted Monty Python what have the Romans ever done for us,

  28. karlkarl Silver badge

    >> "Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days"

    >> "'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now"

    I will hold you to this. Remind me in 10 years to call you naïve whilst flicking your ear.

  29. bofh1961

    FOSS is a cash cow

    Microsoft, like all the others, is trying to milk FOSS for all it's worth while investing as little as possible into it. Google's use of it to underpin the proprietary Android being possibly the most bare-faced cheek I've ever come across. No corporation is in the slightest bit trustworthy, although some are more pervasively evil than MS these days.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: FOSS is a cash cow

      And what is wrong with the above? Perfectly legal according to the FOSS licences. Both MS and Google both contribute lots back to OSS. So why is this "bare faced cheek"?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FOSS is a cash cow

      "Microsoft, like all the others, is trying to milk FOSS for all it's worth while investing as little as possible into it."

      And yet Microsoft contributes more to Linux than Canonical.

  30. Martin Howe
    FAIL

    Stop judging Microsoft on what it did a decade ago and judge it by what it's doing today.

    Sure: 2D flatso GUI, telemetry, "Are you sure you want to switch, please try Edge?", "Hey I'll just change your file associations 'cos I feel like it", "That's rather old, even though it works fine and has no need to change, sorry no drivers for it now!", "If you want a local account you have to lie to us that there's no internet, we're funny that way", "Yes we know you dismissed the W11 panel in Update, but we'll still keep nagging you to run the checker without giving you a way to tell us there's no way in Hell this thing will run W11, so stop asking", "Sure, we can stop annoying pop-ups - like the one when you're playing a game - but you have to tell us", "The verbose switch in CHKDSK at boot? What does 'verbose' mean, IDK?", "BSOD? Don't worry we won't tell you why without your having to dig through log files and settings!"

    An OS should sit quietly in the background waiting for its Holy Sacred God (me) to give it commandments, and otherwise keep the Hell out of my face. When I tell it I want hard info, I expect text not fancy graphics, and text that tells me in detail what the heck is going on."

    Should have kept Windows 7 and Aero, made the under the hood improvements, added a 2D GUI for tablets, and left it at that. And people wonder why I don't use Windows any more!

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Stop judging Microsoft on what it did a decade ago and judge it by what it's doing today.

      ...and that's the SHORT list!

  31. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    Microsoft ***es Linux

    Just because there's no itching and burning RIGHT NOW, doesn't mean your herpes is cured up and gone away forever.

    Sure. MS may have found a way to ride the FOSS rocket for a bit, but as others have pointed out, that's entirely down to profit and them milking it like a cow, and they would gleefully crush their half of the BFF-4EVAR locket for a buck-fifty. Let's not forget Caldera was one of the original major Linux distros, but we all know the corporate-greed induced nightmare that became.

    I trust M$ even less with Linux than I do with their own Windows/Office/Exchange products, and they've plainly shown multiple times how they're willing to fuck-over the vast majority of their Windows user base for no good reason other than "New Shiny". So "trusting" them in regards to Linux seems like a fool's dream, if not a complete oxymoron.

    1. itsborken

      Re: Microsoft ***es Linux

      W11 thanks for nothing MS. Paint job on stilts.

  32. deaglecat

    Stop the mandatory installs of feature upgrades and Microsoft products that I neither want or need... then we can talk.

    Nope, Microsoft has become far more user hostile than it once was.

    In the good old days, you owned your install (for better or worse)... now Microsoft think they know best, but under that banner there is all manner of shady re-installs of junk that I neither want or need.

    I don't want onedrive, the microsoft store, office 365 upsells, Cortana, the pressure to have an online account (rather than local) or the battle to keep Microsoft from collecting telemetry.

    Just give me Windows 7 again but with security patches.

  33. martinusher Silver badge

    Embrace, extend, extinguish?

    Microsoft only likes Linux because its a competitive system that they have failed so far to kill off by direct bad mouthing. They have no alternative than to embrace it so expect them to heavily integrate it with their own toolsets and OS components...well, we know the drill, provided we keep an eye on them then they're mostly harmless.

  34. SolarDesalination

    The Register purchased by Microsoft?

    2 opinion articles in the last 3 days defending Microsoft on The Register. What's going on here?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      'The Register purchased by Microsoft?'

      LMAO. No.

      We've done two opinion articles - thought provoking columns - out of, well, take a look at just these three stories in the past few days.

      * Microsoft intros clothing line that is absolutely not leftover conference swag

      * Microsoft resorts to Registry hack to keep Outlook from using Windows 11 search

      * Lenovo told by Microsoft to prevent non-Windows OSes booting by default

      And so on. I think if you suggested to anyone at Microsoft that we were a pro-Redmond title, they would think you're trolling them.

      C.

      1. Brett Weaver

        Re: 'The Register purchased by Microsoft?'

        So you are saying that its the opinion of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols that MS is no longer evil. He bases this on "feelings" rather than metrics as he quotes no real metrics that can be measured.

        Statements such as "So when Satya Nadella took charge of Microsoft as its new CEO and said: "Microsoft loves Linux," that wasn't just lip service." are interesting, as are opinions from other writers. They are not a strong support for the premise of the opinion article though.

        His embarrassment in the future, IMHO, is assured.

        In the mean-time, The Register knows that one of the ways to get readers engaged is to publish a sycophantic article about MS or IBM and all the commenters will sharpen their metaphorical pencils..

        To be fair, a lot of times the comments are more entertaining than the article.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'The Register purchased by Microsoft?'

          the comments are the pictures in this bare all hardware publication... I read it for the articles... really... I swear...

      2. BitGin

        Re: 'The Register purchased by Microsoft?'

        Attempting to find journalistic balance through opinion pieces isn't really journalism, it's just clickbait.

        A well thought out balance article about Microsoft and open source would be a nice read though. It could look at where MS have genuinely contributed to open source and Linux and where it appears to have just made some PR noise. Where it's being helpful and where it's being a hindrance.

        Which of its products are truly cross platform and which appear to be but in reality are seriously hamstrung by missing features or Windows only dependencies. EG how useful is Teams without desktop office or onedrive, how useful is powershell if most of the modules you might want to use are Windows only?

        Do MS really love Linux or are they just doing everything they can to keep Windows relevant in a world where everything is moving to the Cloud and the Cloud runs on open source and Linux.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Balance

          "journalistic balance through opinion pieces isn't really journalism"

          Well, it is. It's an opinion piece. It's like if I have the opinion that Chrome is a nicer experience than Firefox, I'm not going to put in it how Firefox is better than Chrome when that's not my actual honest view.

          For some people, MS's efforts in O/S are a positive (it's not going to open source Windows, is it). For others, it's not enough or just lip service (where's Office for Linux?).

          C.

  35. beekir

    Garbage Take

    I will stop reading and participating at El Reg if they continue to publish ignorant takes like this.

    1. itsborken

      Re: Garbage Take

      Almost as bad as the folks at Windows Central--gamer fan bois they are.

  36. Lars Silver badge

    Not all that important

    This is all much beside the point, "MS good or bad or better".

    Going forward, it will all be about standards, about who owns the hardware and who controls the channels.

    Open source, very much including Linux, have been, and are, superb at using the hardware available, every piece of bricks available.

    But when it comes to defining and ruling where we are going, open source is not strong at all, understandably.

    And that strength we can only have by being bigger than a company and more of an important part of, well, society.

    And yes I know there are folks out there who can express this in a much more readable manner, and I hope they will.

    And they have since many years.

  37. Blackjack Silver badge
    Linux

    Hey, hey listen!

    https://www.theregister.com/2022/07/11/lenovo_secured_core/

    "it is a Microsoft requirement for the 3rd Party Certificate to be disabled by default,"

  38. OldCrow 1975

    What. MICRONUX

    Egads, I guess if men can get pregnant. Microsoft can be Linux

  39. technoscience

    And it is not April fools - I checked - but this is a 'marketing move'

    How sad and desperate.

    Yes Linux has dominated, even with Microsoft terrible history both in bugs and legal actions to manipulate the market (Monopoly practices) since the 1990s.

    Microsoft repeatedly practiced deceptive practice, adopt, extend (make non-compatible) and extinguish.

    They have abused uses both with basic level security flaws, high charges, and bloatware.

    I agree Microsoft had to abandon Microsoft Windows for any serious computing on the edge or server to HPC.

    But to claim they are 'good at computing' or linux is again standard deceptive practice.

    Get over taking over Linux, Microsoft is decades late to the game. I stopped using Microsoft in 1995, and purely linux desktop and IoT to HPC.

    But it is nice you finally realized it, and mostly use Linux for your Azure and want to get in the game. But NO ONE should trust Microsoft, they SHOULD have learned this by now.

  40. Sanguma

    Speaking facetiously

    one thing I noticed about Microsoft in the noughties, was how much like IBM as reported by various magazines in the late eighties, Microsoft had become. Arrogant, up themselves - and believe you me, I found an IBM droid I talked to in 1992 about OS/2 2.0 rather hard to take. Then various techies ported Linux to IBM mainframes, both externally and internally, and IBM found itself a Linux and FOSS company by default.

    I think the same thing occurred with Microsoft. Enough techies during Ballmer's tenure as CEO were fooling around with Linux and FOSS behind the scenes, and sometimes even talking about it, and Ballmer found himself outflanked. So they jettisoned Ballmer (in no small part due to people losing interest in Microsoft because the 'Net was taking centre stage, and Microsoft had missed that boat with its MSN offering in the mid 90s, likewise the smartphone. Remember WinCE?)

    So they've had to adapt, or perish, same as everybody else. And they're taking their time about it, unfortunately. Microsoft's older software's of historical interest - not quite antiquarian - and having legal access to a lot more of that source code than they've so far released, would be helpful. And appreciated.

    1. itsborken

      Re: Speaking facetiously

      Have to love WinCE for the self-goal.

      1. Sanguma

        Re: Speaking facetiously

        As if WinCE wasn't bad enough, there was this moment in time when Microsoft's three-platform offering was Windows Consumer Electronics, Windows Millenium Edition and Windows New Technology. CEMENT. Add aggregate, water, and stir, and you have concrete.

  41. itsborken

    Just curious

    Did they ever embrace NFS for what it is or is it still bastardization on top of AD or kludges?

  42. cjcox

    We can only assume

    We can only assume that the author of this piece was on some kind of wild acid trip. Why? Because, because it's complete fantasy. Most would call it garbage, but I'm going to be nice. I may not be a Microsoft insider, but the author of this piece isn't even in our galaxy.

    Hey, I may need some of whatever you're on to "get over" your poorly researched article.

    1. julian.smith
      FAIL

      We can only assume

      What was the "author" on?

      Where did they get it?

      How much did it cost?

      The "Opinion Piece" is the the type of crap that gets "Influencing" a bad name!

  43. Esme

    Have Microsoft changed? No!

    I'm a user. If I go to buy a computer, i want to install whetever damned operating system I want on it - and I do NOT expect to be charged for the cost of having an OS I neither need nor like pre-installed on the thing!

    Get back to me when MS has told retailers to stop adding the MS Windows tax to the computers they sell. As well as anything tat makes it awkward/difficult/impossible to install your OS of choice on PCs.

    I'll also never forgive MS for (IMNSHO) holding back and crippling the development of personal computing for so long.

  44. Champ

    Just looked in...

    ...to check out how many dinosaur "of course Micro$oft is evil" posts, and wasn't disappointed

    I worked them for a few years in the SatNad era, and they're just another big corporate. No evil to be seen

    I'm way way more suspicious, and in some cases genuinely scared, of Amazon and Facebook nowadays.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Just looked in...

      I'd put them at roughly equal levels..

      FB has a handle on advertising (to such an extent I should practise what I preach and ditch it), Amazon has the handle on retail and increasingly, TV.

      MS is behind the curve in most regards and wants bits of all the pies. Though the only monopoly it really has is of course the desktop.

  45. sabroni Silver badge

    Great stuff guys! - Bogbrush

    ;-P

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    George Santaya wrote.....

    "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Good advice, not least in thinking about M$!

    Then there's William Burroughs: "The paranoid is a person who knows a little of what is going on." Also good advice when thinking about M$....and about technology in general.

    ...and I would class myself as an optimist!!!!

  47. Ganso
    Thumb Down

    Yeah, sure...

    Telemetry in windows 10, forcing updates from 7 to 10, when they artificially stopped "supporting" new Windows 7 installs in certain Intel CPUs, again, to force Windows 10 adoption, the Lenovo Secured-core thing...

    Not evil, right? Just a bit mischievous. Gee, I should keep a list of MS misdeeds in a txt file.

    Also: is Windows open source? At least past versions? What about Office? Yes, I thought so.

    I think they are just being eclipsed by more evil entities, like Meta, Google, etc.

    Not evil my arse...

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drugs really aren't that cool you should write articles while on them.

  49. dspencer

    "Microsoft was The Evil Empire.... hiring leading Linux [saboteurs] such as systemd architect Lennart Poettering".

    Well, yes, indeed.

  50. sla-n

    "Get over it" - this remark seems to apply to The Register's authors in the first place, as 90% of Microsoft-related articles are either sarcastic or biased. I have been 15 years now in active software development, mostly on dotnet/C# and I can tell you one thing - that Microsoft is gone (went away with Ballmer). Java is paid now, dotnet is open source and free. Same as Visual Studio Code - number 1 editor in the world. Everyone complained about GutHub and finally noone left. And what did they do? Unlocked free private accounts. And so on and so on. Everyone is so complaining and in the same time cannot live without Office or Teams. Not everything can be created in the garage guys...

    1. R Soul Bronze badge

      "Everyone is so complaining and in the same time cannot live without Office or Teams. "

      You're speaking for yourself. I've been doing IT for over 40 years and got along just fine without using anything from Microsoft*. Ever. Or IBM.

      * This has had the added benefit of never getting asked to fix Microsoft Shit for colleagues, family, friends, neighbours, etc.

  51. dspencer

    We are asked to believe that the employer of the literal demon behind systemd is not sabotaging Linux.

    Hah, hah, hah, hah

  52. naive

    Opinions and the situation on the ground

    Our customer base consists of a few dozen small to mid sized companies with 50-500 employees.

    They are all moving to Azure as if there is no end to it.

    Even when Azure fees increase monthly expenditures on ICT by a factor of three, it doesn't matter.

    Maybe there is a problem in the way companies are valued within the financial reporting guidelines, when a company starts using Azure instead of on-prem, it is financially equivalent to taking on a big debt. Defaulting on Azure payments is the end of the company, but bookkeeping rules do not count this type of obligations as debts. It is weird that accounting rules value investments on assets like on-prem IT infrastructure lower than payments on implicit debts incurred by moving to the cloud.

    The transition towards subscription based IT spending reduces the incentive to use Linux and save costs on licenses.

    Strange accounting rules do not reward savings on licenses, which are still substantial for MS servers, the Azure business of MS massively profits from this situation.

    OSS support of MS is mainly marketing, they do not promote Linux based products like SQL-Server on Linux to existing windows only shops. They do not contribute much to OSS either, they make MS-Word for BSD-Unix based iOS, but do not sell it for Linux.

  53. Dr Fidget

    Words & actions

    When words and actions disagree, believe the actions - 'nuff said.

  54. Surrey Veteran

    Zenix the return

    Coming soon to your screen ....be very scared

  55. stuartko

    Microsoft may now be part of the Linux community, but I don't see that, at their core, they've changed that much. I know a few people who work there and they say that the work environment is less toxic than it was when Gates or Ballmer ran things, so at least something has improved.

    Microsoft has always been a company with distasteful business practices and it's simply part of their DNA. I don't know if it will ever change.

  56. OTU
    FAIL

    - just a filing error

    You forgot to place this under // SPONSORED FEATURES

    Does Microsoft pay well for this?

    Also, El Reg's trend to pay lip service to Microsoft, started at least with trashing Windows 7, for little reason other than Windows 8+ increased telemetry, is something to ponder

  57. Shawn Eary

    Wine for Everyone!!!

    Okay, I don't drink recreational alcohol, but if Microsoft really is a GNU\Linux OpenSource community, they need to port Visual Studio and Power BI to GNU\Linux, fix the GNU\Linux version of MS Teams and then endorse GNU\Linux Wine instead of trying to sue the developers like I think they might have done 15 years or so ago.

    As it stands right now, I feel like I'm doing something wrong whenever I try to run a Windows program in GNU\Linux Wine even though I have valid Windows 10 licenses. The funny thing is I know of at least on DirectX9 game that runs better in Steam OS using Proton/Vulkan than it runs in Windows 10. The only thing is the Sidewinder flightstick is mapped incorrectly and I haven't fixed the mapping yet. I would suspect there are many other older programs that will run better in Wine than in Windows 10/11...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wine for Everyone!!!

      If Microsoft really was playing nice with everbody, they'd use the / character as $deity intended instead of vile backslashes.

  58. Alan Bourke

    The butthurt and whining

    of Microsoft haters never fails to amuse. There is even still butthurt and whining about sharpish business practices in the early days of MS-DOS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The butthurt and whining

      Because the company's evil behaviour hasn't changed at all. It's just got a bit more discreet.

  59. Doug 3

    They had no choice

    They tried to extinguish Linux and spent hundreds of millions of dollars attempting it with marketing ads( Get the Facts ), by funding SCO to threaten anyone who uses Linux, their deal with OpenSuse and Netware along with sweet licensing deals when their threats failed and they used financial incentives to move the targeted company back to Microsoft software. But it didn't work as companies were getting strangled by Microsoft based IT department budgets and they had no money to move forward so their developers were bringing in Linux and developing solutions at a fraction of the cost it would have taken on Microsoft's platform.

    They put a version of Linux inside of Windows so they could keep track of who was doing what because they lost all accounting when Linux was on the iron AND when it was running in a VM. Azure was showing them it was the Linux stack which customers were running instead of Windows stacks so again, Microsoft had no choice but to bend. They are bending further by purchasing things like github, pushed out Atom for VC Code etc. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish still exists only they can't Extinguish like they used to so the Extend part is getting massive push because when it's not longer looking like the original open source stack, it's a Microsoft stack they can once again control and direct developers towards running only on Windows Desktop or Server and ties into Microsoft's other software APIs.

    So yes, Microsoft is an open source company these days but they have not changed and it is all about Windows, "does anyone remember Windows?" is still ringing in the halls at MS HQ even without Bill Gates to say it.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem I have with Microsoft is their orientation towards all of us. We are sheep to be forced into pens. Their sales and marketing approach is "demand force", rather than demand pull or some other way of meeting the market halfway with what the market might want. Some amount of this is necessary to maintain a healthy company, but the level its at is abusive and damaging. This is similar with the other big IT vendors (and pretty much all big pharma), where they abuse market dominance, deploy manipulative sales tactics to lock-in and extend their reach into buyers' businesses and lives. And their software is not great, I'm developing an embedded (linux-based) product for a large animal health products company and they cannot escape Microsoft no matter how hard anyone tries, to the point they've forced Azure IoT (and the rest of their cloudy offerings) onto the product line, and having used other IoT products, its certainly nice they've managed to duplicate most of AWS IoT (but fail in weird new ways). Teams on Linux works really well but the browser-based sharepoint/office tools are meh, buggy and a decade behind google docs (unfortunate that google docs seems to have stopped improving nearly a decade ago) and outlook is just a fricking nightmare from time to time. The fact Azure is now doing so well in cloud speaks to how fantastic Microsoft's sales efforts are and how strong their distribution channels remain. Microsoft is holding the world back because forcing poor software (poor because they don't listen and the resulting initial software is ill-suited to the need and then after forcing it out they continually hack on features and bugfixes/corner cases to keep customers from fleeing - I wouldn't be surprised if their internal code is an unmaintainable nightmare, bleeding all their development investment into "chasing features/fixes") onto either us, our partners or our customers, means they're forcing a lot of unnecessary pain on the world. Until they own up to that fact and change their ways, I'll continue holding a grudge for what they do to all of us. From what I've seen with Azure and its ascent, they're better than ever at forcing themselves onto us customers while looking squeaky-clean.

  61. techcitizen

    Microsoft was user Linux

    I remember when Microsoft claimed that Linux violated patents, they backed down because they asked to show what code source was copied.

    The Linux community responded that it was actually Microsoft who was using Linux patches for MS Office.

    I also remember that in 1995 leaked internal documents said that Microsoft was hiring experienced Linux programmers.

  62. Concrete Gannet

    FAANG^H^H^H^H^H FAGMA

    Whoever came up with the FAANG acronynm must have been a publicist for Netflix: they simply do not belong in the same league as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet/Google and Meta/Facebook. Stop talking about them as peers to the behemoths. FAANG is not a useful concept - maybe FAGMA?

    https://medium.com/quantum-economics/famga-what-we-learned-in-2016-from-the-5-big-mega-cap-tech-companies-39ca2edfe8a1

    Current market caps (https://www.tradingview.com/markets/stocks-usa/market-movers-large-cap/):

    Apple 2.4T

    Microsoft 1.9T

    Alphabet/Google 1.4T

    Amazon 1.1T

    Meta/Facebook 430B

    Netflix 78B

  63. ske1fr
    Mushroom

    Wow!

    You found some of that Microsoft Brainwash blue soda! I thought it had all gone! Got any left?

    Trust.

    Microsoft.

    No.

  64. boatsman
    Big Brother

    microsoft ? worry about google, facebook, whatsapp, instagram, linkedin, tiktok etc etc

    these a-social media are a problem waiting to be regulated..

    sooner or later. inevitable.

  65. Qwerty44

    Rubik's cube color's really?

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/10/rubiks-cube-puzzled-losing-eu-trademark-battle?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=199198&subid=6783785&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

  66. aliasfox

    WTF Guys?

    WTF is this crap, they only became open source and buy GitHub to steal everyone's projects and use it for training data, without permission or credit for their new "AI" (which is really not AI, and is clearly in violation of "every" licensing term) that will code for you by re-using other peoples code and snippets (classified, transformed and reduced to human labels per a Machine Learning model) called Microsoft/GitHub Copilot. That's what they do, steal, lie out their a** and say it's their own IP. I have never thought Bill Gates or Microsoft (or Big Tech) was a role model for anyone and I've tried to leave the ecosystem, but like gluttons for punishment we always come back for one reason or another.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another reminder that, we should all be thankful for copy-left

    All RMS controversy and criticism considered, we are all eternally in his debt for the invention of the GPL.

    This is the only thing keeping the modern vultures of linux (M$, goggle, et al) from taking the goodies and getting away.

    Not sure how serious the author was, but M$ has poisoned a generation of computer users, and programmers, into thinking that windoze is what a computer looks like.

    Watching so called linux devs struggling with WSL in tiny laptop windows makes me worry for the future of humanity...

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