Is Microsoft secretly still hostile to Linux?
Microsoft has been getting a lot of positive press lately for supposedly embracing Linux (albeit years later than it should have). But can the company really be trusted? Or is it simply hiding its real feelings about Linux?
This issue came up on the Linux subreddit yesterday, and the thread quickly got more than 1,500 up votes and more than 900 responses. Redditors pulled no punches in expressing their continued distrust of Microsoft and its intentions toward Linux.
Here's the first message in the thread from Hardcorelinuxgamer, who makes it quite clear that he isn't buying into Microsoft's new love for Linux:
Will the all the "nice" PR and news of Microsoft (seemingly) getting close to Linux, it's easy to forget how Microsoft IS hostile to Linux and everything open source. Remember: All they did was get a new CEO, the company culture is still there.
All that's changed is instead of publicly hating on Linux, they now publicly love Linux, but are really still very hostile to Linux. This will never change.
Just remember the Iowa consumer case files ( http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/ ) which has a lot of internal emails from Microsoft, many of them basically state their love for all things Windows and MS and hatrid for everything else. All are in PDF format and have been unsealed (thankfully). Some even go into detail about their plotting with things like the Vista Ready program in order to trick consumers (they basically don't give a shit) etc.
Then there's Halloween docs: http://www.catb.org/esr/halloween/
Again, take your pick -- Get The FUD, whatever you choose. It's all there. Then there's Ballmer's "Linux is cancer" etc.
Yeah, yeah sure, I'm off my rocker, this was all years ago etc. But it's not - Microsoft HATES Linux, this will NEVER change! Again, the only thing that has change is the CEO and as a result, the PR. You'll probably find that Nadella has internally said to everyone "publicly, we LOVE Linux and FLOSS, internally it's still business as usual"; and changed the PR machine as a result.
Now I don't know what Shuttleworth and Canonical are playing at or what benefit they may get from the deal they made, perhaps more Ubuntu market share (and money). But don't let your guard down - Microsoft will ALWAYS hate Linux, even if you can't directly see it.
Do you really think Bill Gates, while no longer chairman or CEO (he still works there tho), would really let his company, his ways, his wants and direction etc all go down the toilet and have someone else come in and take it all in a new direction? No… Gates is very smart and ruthless. MUCH smarter than that. His / the "old Microsoft" dirty business ways are fully entrenched in the company. No single change of CEO will fix the ways of the "old Microsoft".
The "old Microsoft" is still the "new Microsoft", only the face of the company has changed - CEO and PR. That's it. Microsoft, if they could, would press a button and kill Linux and FLOSS over night.
Remember the "patents" they have that they will use to threaten our ways, even if not directly. Microsoft will always be hostile to Linux and free software. Remember that!
And here's a sample of responses to the original poster's blistering comments about Microsoft and Linux:
Whybehere: "I don't think Ubuntu in Windows 10 should be perceived as Microsoft doing something positive for Linux. Really, the main benefit of that is ability to use Windows 10 where in the past it was necessary to boot into Linux or use a Linux VM. It makes Windows 10 better, and it doesn't make Linux better."
Egeeirl: "This is what people don't seem to understand. Lots of development applications & tools like Ruby, MySql, MongoDB, etc run exceptionally well on Linux but somewhat crappy on Windows. The Ubuntu/Windows thing bridges the gap for Windows. The Linux community gains nothing from this.
If anything, less people will use Linux because they prefer to develop on Windows and these new tools allow them to."
Coryknapp: "I will say this; it might have a positive effect for linux by making it easier for users migrate over.
I grew up as an Apple guy, and when Mac OS X came out I over the next decade found myself using the apple features less and less, and the unix stuff more and more, and now 99% of my work flow is in a unix-like environment, and I'll be off apple next hardware purchase.
Microsoft certainly isn't trying to help unix, but this might have a side effect of bring more users into it."
Techtuna: "platform for everything BUT you're seeing the glass half-empty. You could view this as an opportunity for folks who might never try Linux to have yet another access point to it.
I understand what you're saying but I actually think it will have the opposite effect. My first 3 companies were pure Windows shops… when I first started using Linux (Solaris, BSD, etc), I was more or less immediately convinced that the Unix way of doing things is almost always better than the Windows way.
Also, despite my preferences, I've worked in heavily cross-platform environments off and on for years now. For me, Windows is unfortunately unavoidable. Anything that makes my Windows time more Unix-like is a huge usability win for me. E.g. pretty much the first thing I do on any Windows box I control is install cygwin."
Onewiseowl: "I love Linux, and I'm also happy for the folks that will benefit from Microsoft's move.
People should be able to work well in whatever platform they want. Platform independence with open source software should be the goal, not a sort of reactionary impulse to demand exclusivity and vendor lock-in."
VimFleed: "For developers, yes, no question. But my point is, MS wants the benefits of others' applications and OSes for themselves, while they don't share their advantages and USPs with others.
If it goes both ways, then I'm a happy person, if DirectX & office goes to Linux as a "pay back" then I'm all in, but it won't happen, MS is not naive to give their USPs to others, it's a business after all.
As for the argument, MS realized that money spent to destroy their competitors (Linux) won't help, so they shifted gears toward playing cool with them, Linux has earned its place in the servers market, so for MS, it'll take Linux advantages to its platform, SSH will be supported in W10, and now the command line, I fear people will lose interest in using Linux when Linux's USPs are ported in MS Windows. And if that's happen, then they spent their money on the right decision."
Withabeard: "It's good for developers.
It's good for developers who don't mind being locked in to windows.
But it's not "good" for Linux - kinda the point of the post. At this stage I don't see it as harmful."
Kyraimion: "This isn't like choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Linux and Windows aren't just different flavors of OS. People walking away from Linux to a proprietary OS hurts the FOSS community. Most people here in /r/linux care about free software, so enticing people to switch to Windows is a bad thing."
UtterlyDisposable: "Ubuntu on Windows 10 is only benefits Microsoft. The syscall translator isn't a small project, but it's a whole lot less work than building a bunch of Windows native equivalents and it helps them keep people on their platform. "Why switch to Linux when you can get all the functionality of both on Windows!"
It's not a bad thing, and I'm sure that there are a lot of people in a lot of parts of Microsoft actually do like and even prefer Linux and it would be foolish to assume that everyone at a massive company feels any particular way about anything."
Patendedenemy: "Microsoft hates competition to the end of time. Linux just happens to be a part of it. Paranoia or not, I don't trust Microsoft. Never have, never will."