They won't release products like Office for Linux (though a web interface is possible), and they won't move away from Windows-only APIs. Neither of those actions would have any tangible benefit for the primary users of those produts (Windows users and Windows developers, respectively).
Active Directory is so deeply integrated into the Windows stack that it will never come out. You can authenticate Linux clients against AD, but I doubt they'll be writing a Linux AD server any time soon. I'd imagine most corporate mail servers also support SMTP/IMAP, and Office365 has a web client. As far as ActiveSync goes, that hasn't been a thing since 2007.
Because the market for desktop Linux applications is too small to be worth considering.
The whole reason they "love Linux" now is because Linux on the server gained too much market share for them to realistically oppose. They had to find a way to make money in that market that didn't involve somehow boiling an ocean of Linux machines. So they did.
Windows is still overwhelmingly strong in the desktop market, though, so they have no such incentive to accommodate it there. Nobody retreats from a battlefield they've already won.
I seem to recall that there was an Office version for Sun Microsystem's Solaris, which is 99.99...% of the way to a Linux variant. That was killed.
(This may have been MSIE or an Exchange-compatible email client, I'm researching this still.)
OSX is better supported, though for a long time Microsoft's email client was not Outlook but Entourage, a now-discontinued project. It had a typical-for-Microsoft opaque binary data storage format, though it's proved possible to extract useful information from this using Linux utilities.
Microsoft discontinued MSIE support on Mac in 2005, an issue given that many enterprise Web / intranet tools relied exclusively on nonstandard MSIE web extensions.
Office was never offered for BeOS, which I believe was a deliberate strategy decision, though I'm not finding evidence of this (JLG should be able to comment, if anyone has current contact). The lack was seen as a kiss-of-death for the OS and hardware.
Alternatively, what made RIM's Blackberry as popular among business executives as it was was its integration with MS Exchange email servers.
Strategic control over what ports were and were not supported by Microsoft, regardless of technical difficulty or merits, was a major element of that company's monopoly abuses.
Are you sure you're not thinking of StarOffice, which became OpenOffice.org which begat LibreOffice. That was Sun's answer to MS Office, supposedly started by realising it was cheaper to buy a company that made an office suite and develop it in-house than it was to pay MS for their suite.
It might not have been MS office, but MSIE or a specific application. I'm finding researching this online disappointingly fruitless, though I've got inquiries in a few spots.
Indeed it was: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_for_UNIX
I think I may also have been recalling Wabi, a Windows Application Binary Interface for Solaris, effectively rather like Wine, I believe.
Nothing is stopping them from making Linux server distros either since they do produce SQL Server for Linux as it is. They ported a lot of VS code to Mac (not it isnt just MonoDevelop) and were surprised by how much just worked due to the OO design.
Microsoft is embedding the Linux kernel already. Whats next? A linux friendly file system? Things are going to get interesting overtime.
I have no knowledge of what they are up to truly just a bit of speculation. But given what has happened in the last decade that is "not Microsofts MO" none of this would surprise me.
There is no reason to switch to Linux, considering that they would need to reinvent the whole UI stack of Linux like MacOS did. Keeping a 50 people hired for Kernel development sounds cheaper.
The only reason Linux is so successful is actually the fact that it's open source. For individuals (like me) because that gives you much more flexibility in customizing the system, tinkering with it, and more importantly, debugging problems and understanding inner workings.
But even for big corps (which are mostly running the show when it comes to Kernel dev these days) it's much easier to whack the Linux kernel into shape for whatever you want to achieve, than trying to work with Microsoft to get what you want from NT.
I agree a significant part (necessary part?) of Linux success among hackers and developers is it being FOSS... I don't know much about NT kernel but it would be quite interesting to see the alternate reality in which it was also FOSS and independent of the rest of windows, I wonder if it would have a similar success in the arenas Linux does.
There are some other really interesting FOSS kernels out there today like Minix3 (quite different from the Minix that inspired Linux), they are sure to have deficiencies when directly compared to something like Linux due to the difference in the shear size of community driving them, but they have noteworthy designs, superior in various aspects, and they make me wonder, is there only enough space in the world for so many popular FOSS kernels? i.e how much of Linux is now inertia much like windows desktop? (and I say this as a full time Linux user)
You would need extensive partnership agreements like what Google has with Microsoft regards Chrome or Samsung has with Microsoft regards .NET Core. Challenging for smaller vendors.
Linux has a more pure (not owned) FOSS style making it successful.
MacOS X is not based on Linux or GNU and it's UI evolved out of a combination of Next technology and features combined with re-implemented classic Mac OS features. So it wasn't exactly a clean slate.
More relevantly though, they put some effort into maintaining compatibility with programs written for their previous OS by both porting their APIs and providing CPU emulation! And that is on top of bringing the rest of nextstep up to standard for what consumers were expecting out of a desktop OS at the time.
> Keeping a 50 people hired for Kernel development sounds cheaper.
I doubt it, Microsoft can and has rewritten their UI multiple times... if they wanted to, they could write it for Linux atop their own ported windows API with little effort. I think they just lack the incentive to do so, Linux users wont care because they wont use it, Windows users wont care because they don't care about Linux... who will benefit? not Microsoft that's for sure.
From a business perspective MS behavior makes sense, they are embracing Linux because that's the way one half of the market is headed whether they like it or not... meanwhile their desktop business still has a hold on the market mostly out of inertia and legacy, so why would they do something as radical as change the core OS to mess that up?
However as the parent said "one day", maybe, in the future, when windows makes zero sense to run on metal, then perhaps microsoft will create an official and FOSS windows API... if only to relieve themselves from security support hell.
The rest of their business is where the money is. Office runs one way or the other out of the web, on Android, iOS or macOS.
I'm no sure the powers that be at Microsoft have any great love for Win32.
Back when Windows 8 was released they introduced UPM (Universal Windows Platform) and that looked a lot like an attempt to actually kill off Win32.
They only backed away from this strategy after the backlash they got from Win32 Windows developers.
Move on to today and I think they are now using platforms like .NET Core 3.0 to gently move developers away from Win32.
They did, that's how SQL Server runs on Linux
Yes, and the market for NeXT software was likewise until Apple decided to put it under a Mac shell. In fact, NT was the same until MS put it under a Windows shell. They could do it again, put Windows on a Linux kernel with a multiyear transition strategy and have the consumer and producer clients with the closest integration with Linux servers.
I would also add in there are other open source options that are compatible and work well with MS Office now. Libre Office and Open Office are two such examples. I can now write my resume in either or and save it in a docx format, send it to a recruiter and then they can open it with MS Word without any issues.
I haven't used Google Docs in a long time and had forgotten about them.
As a Linux user I still maintain a Windows VM precisely for MS Office. On Linux, WPS Office is much better at handling these scripts though.
This was the very reason that prevented Google to release Google Chrome for Linux.
At least on Debian, it plays perfectly well with the Distro's package management. They use it to auto update google-chrome in preference to their roll their own on effort Windows. The same update system works perfect well on all Debian derived distro's. I'm not familiar with an rpm based distro to say for sure, but I imagine the situation is the same. So "fragmented" means supporting 2 very well tested distribution systems rather than rolling their own - and having the "take out all Macbooks" problems they did on OSX.
2% of the human population are 154 million people. Sure, not everyone has a computer, so let's say 66 million people, this is the population of France.
> There are many, which one would they port to?
You don't actually need to support a specific desktop environment. Any UI program that you write will work just fine on KDE, GNOME, DWM, etc
But which versions of which libraries do you target? Every distribution has its own menagerie. There is no well-defined "Linux platform" like there is with Windows (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/api/).
If your software is proprietary (or not popular enough to be found in most repos), there's always container technologies like Snap/AppImage/FlatPak/etc.
As a Windows dev I find both of these to be vastly superior to the standard Windows practice of shipping every DLL that's not in system32 alongside your executable, on top of whatever VC++ redistributables and/or .NET framework might not be present on the system.
> There is no well-defined "Linux platform"
There actually is! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Standard_Base
Edit: Query re downvote, too subjective?
And that is because office and other major applications aren't available on linux.
If MS Office were available for Linux the market for Linux applications would grow, massively IMO (assuming it worked properly). Which is of course a reason MS wouldn't do that, because why move MS Office users to Linux when you're currently selling $Billions of OS to people who only want to use MS Office.
The market for Beethoven is also too small to be worth considering. What does the market know?
Samba 4.11 is scalable to 100,000+ users.
In case you want to give us a try :-).
What troubles me THE most on linux is interoperability of applications, there is literally nothing replacing microsoft "office" (not a product Office) stack, it is not a problem for my expertise, but for ordinary John Doe (or lets call him "the manager"), Exchange, Outlook, Sharepoint, Lync (Skype for business) integrated into Office mesh... They have great product. This is the target that linux must pursue. But it is not there. Still struggling to reinvent hot water (systemd, dbus,...), as it is more fun. But not more usable. Anyway, i am satisfied with my shell...
I think I read this claim from you here before. What's up with that?
These days, kernel32 (split off into kernelbase and others in the Vista and Win7 days) mostly has small wrappers to ntdll.
A COM interface is really just a C++ VTable. So the "overhead" of that is basically minimum 3 function pointers and some indirect calls. What is the problem with having a COM object passed to a kernel32 function? Would you have the same objection if it were a (barely any different) function pointer plus an extra pointer for context?
The complaint about manifests maybe made me think this was about WinSXS or something. Which I would agree is engineered kind of poorly, but I doubt it's the worst thing in Windows.
[Disclaimer. I worked as an IC SDE at MS from 2008-2011.]
> Office 365 increased its lead and continues to dominate the total pool of apps by number of customers, and it’s growing its active unique users by 55% year over year.
I wrote a bit about the report. Another interesting finding is that people actually prefer using Microsoft Office products:
> Our survey found that 67% of knowledge workers prefer Microsoft Word over Google Docs, while only 15% report the opposite. When it comes to email, 49% prefer Microsoft Outlook over Gmail, while 35% report the opposite.
To wit, you can't even define custom styles!
Except when your target market is captured by network effects and demands a particular file format regardless of how appropriate it is for the material.
Idk what it’s like on Windows but all Linux has is the web UI anyway so it’s probably the same.
It feels almost intentionally bad, I’m not sure what’s going on there but I’m pretty sure you couldn’t pay me to use it. IMO at least with SMB you don’t have to use that godawful file manager.
I wish Google provided better integration of GDrive w/Linux...
I hate saying this considering how much LibreOffice, etc have invested -- but OTOH I imagine they understand their competition better than the average programmer who uses Office suites to track their month-to-month finances and thinks they've got it figured out.
There is the fact that actually challenging Excel as a product and implementing any competitor would technically require a substantial amount of labor and effort, on a very large scale. But that's just one part; the fact is that you can't actually win a battle unless you're willing to analyze where you've already lost. I think most FOSS users don't actually realize how badly they are losing to products like Office or even (the inferior, IMO) G-Suite. This isn't surprising in the grand scheme considering how much software freedom we've lost in the past few decades; it's just one more lost battle, but it still stings.
This isn't a situation that pleases me, but at the end of the day between an O365 family sub and the alternatives, it was very easy to make the choice given the returns I got.
We've had to ask you this kind of thing more than once. Would you mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and taking the spirit of this site more to heart? We'd be grateful.
Google docs is absolutely inferior in its power, formatting options, display performance, ability to write mathematical equations and diagrams directly into the document, etc.
Every time I had to produce a non-trivial report in google docs I grind my teeth and end up rendering these things elsewhere and insert them as png.
Additionally, google docs gives you no ownership over the software or the files I find it's commercial model unsettling.
After a multi-year hiatus of using Windows (because my customers were running mostly on Linux, Mac OS or did BYOD), on my current industrial/research project I'm back to using Office (Skype for Biz, Outlook for team comm and partially Sharepoint, Excel and even PowerPoint (!) for spec docs) on Windows VMs and I have to say I can't fathom how these people can get anything done at all. Lync/Skype4b is bordering on ususable for me (normal Skype works just fine), and it not being available for Linux is a show-stopper. The only tolerable tool that doesn't get in the way all the time is Excel, and even that has laughably primitive versioning in SP compared to tools of the git era. With this office software lineup I think web-based tools will totally dominate the next decade.
Classic office suites on Linux is a sufficiently well solved problem with Open Office/Libre Office IMO, and I don't expect it to get any better, ever. The reason is simply that classic office software where people print out, sign, scan, paper-mail, and fax letters has run its course.
In establishing standards, diversity is a weakness, unfortunately.
Edit: I actually bothered to check and the EOL is 2021. New customers are directed to Teams. I used Teams at work, and it’s crap quality UX, but it does the job. For chat at least. (PowerPoint crashed on me multiple times this week from within Teams.)
Here's an example in the other direction: install a piece of software to a different disk than the OS resides on. This is trivial in most Windows software, but requires recompilation from source for most Linux software.
Installing any program, compiling a c file, opening non-zip archives, writing an iso to a usb, counting the lines that contain a certain word in a file, removing the preinstalled spyware, etc.
> install a piece of software to a different disk than the OS resides on
Windows is certainly much better than this than most distros (although it is not perfect, many programs such as the sims 2 expansion packs for example had issues with being installed in another disk). That being said, I am pretty sure that Nix does not have this issue.
The dysfunction on the main GUI level is even more obvious: using command line is still not necessary for a Windows user. Linux would be utterly unusable without the command line and the command line programs. I believe that even those who write GUI and GUI apps themselves aren't using them.
Sharepoint is an abomination, always was and always will be. It's not something that you'd use voluntarely.
That it forms part of their business model is not enough, if Microsoft would prefer dominance of its proprietary technologies.
Conceivably, the future of Microsoft's business model may be where development and maintenance of Windows / the NT kernel is deemed burdensome and not critical to their business, and Windows becomes a premium Linux distribution with legacy subsystems.
Using Linux at work, I'm indirectly a Microsoft customer, using Office 365 and Azure (an expanding portion of their business), yet the investment in Windows desktop is lost on me, and unnecessary to retain my business.
On the client-side, MS is not worried much about Linux desktop and hence will not invest in office for Linux.
On the server-side, Linux is a platform of choice for new projects (I would say Kubernetes and containers but those are based on Linux) and hence windows server moved to a more legacy state.
In this case, if Microsoft wants to be relevant for future projects, it must embrace Linux.
However, since there is no money in Linux as an OS, Microsoft is in the process of becoming a hardware company due to azure. And as such, it would like to commoditize its supplement which is the OS.
Microsoft has a history that makes skepticism warranted. Look up "Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish"
Off the top of my head:
Plus, I don't see how this contradicts the OP. Maybe EEE was the best way to make money then, but supporting Linux developers is the best way to make money now
Office already runs on MacOS and iOS
As for AD, Azure's hosted services for this may well see more inroads into Linux, and I know a LOT of people/companies that would be beyond happy to use MS account management with a cleaner Linux integration.
I won't be using these things at home any time soon, but in a corporate space, MS would be a welcome and cost saving change compared to what is out there on Linux currently.
Not sure about your memory claim either - I don't recall high memory usage in Office ever being an issue.
Microsoft released Windows Virtual Desktop earlier this year that is basically a cloud version of Windows 10 (or 7) or Office, that’s designed to be used like Stadia.
Disclosure: I work at Microsoft but not on any of these projects
EDIT: Yup, the link referenced by the article (https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/su...) says:
"We’re pleased to confirm the Teams client for Linux will be available in preview by the end of this calendar year, enabling people who use Linux client at work or in educational institutions to collaborate with others on Teams. Users will be able to install native Linux packages in .deb and .rpm formats."
It should really be "<X corporation> loves <Y> because it makes them money" because let's be honest, the only reason these companies make any decisions, moral or not, is to make money
They supported <any movement> and showcased these supports with events, banners, and advertisement only because that's what they _need_ to do to make _profit_.
They could easily discard all of these values the moment a government or a market said they can't do it.
Just look at all the companies bowing down to China.
This one I don't really understand why not. Presumably Office for Linux would still bring in revenue. Just not the additional indirect revenue of a Windows license.
> (though a web interface is possible),
I am not totally familiar with the "Office365" brand and what it includes, but I get the impression some browser based stuff already works on Linux. In work accounts at former employers I have used a web-based Outlook on Linux and FreeBSD that had some "Office365" branding.
> and they won't move away from Windows-only APIs
This one I don't know why they would ever do. Win32 apps are still driving revenue and customer satisfaction for them. More, I think, than they admit to themselves. Witness they tried to kill Win32 apps in the Windows 8 cycle, and failed. Then kept trying to resurrect the idea of killing Win32, and had to walk it back every time. Surface RT wouldn't do third party Win32 apps. Neither would Windows Store initially. Then they floated a Windows 10 amd64 SKU that couldn't run third party Win32 apps. Nobody wanted this stuff. That legacy is pretty much the only thing that keeps people on Windows.
This is the real elephant in the room. Despite all their other flaws Microsoft has an excellent record of maintaining their software well after release. Particularly when it comes to their core products like Office or Windows. WIN32 programs or XLS files from 30 years ago still work on the latest versions.
If Microsoft didn't have this commitment, then porting Office to Linux as an experiment might be worth it. Even if there's a 10% chance it takes root, that's good revenue. But even if only a small base of users bought Office Linux it, Microsoft's reputation would require them keep maintaining it for decades.
A while ago I needed to experiment with an old file format, and I found a Linux binary of a proprietary tool from the 90s. It linked to libc version 5 (from before the Linux world adopted glibc). It would have been complicated to get it running.
I found a Windows binary of the same tool. Put it on a Win10 VM I had for other purposes. No issues.
Stable binary ABI of userland is something the Linux world doesn't do well. Win32 and COM are really good at this.
* There are, right now, online browser-based versions of most of their office applications available, which work fine on Linux.
Maybe the OS market was profitable for decades, but isn't anymore?
Maybe their goal is to move everything to Linux in the next decade so they don't have to develop their own stuff, getting all that free OSS dev power and can control them by supplying cloud based user-land software, because "Linux never breaks user space"... who knows.
Kerberos can’t survive in untrusted networks, and products like Azure AD and Okta are far more profitable, especially since the license that pays for AD (ie windows, even for Linux clients), is required anyway!
Wasn't Kerberos designed to work in untrusted networks?
Azure AD DS (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/active-directory-...) is a specific offering from Azure which gives you a hosted AD instance, but otherwise AAD is completely different.
Additionally, with cloud email/office becoming the standard, there’s powerful levers to incentive cloud adoption and shifting of compliance standards.
I don't think this trend is as large as SV web devs think it is, nor do I think the trend will continue indefinitely in that direction. My current corporate masters hate the cloud because they want to be in control of their own data and services. They don't want to twiddle their thumbs when somethings wrong while waiting for BigCorp to get around to fixing it. They really, really don't like paying rent on business essential tooling.
And they've pretty much been proven right in all their concerns so far.
You typically need a more robust, web-compliant solution using e.g. tokens + MFA and web-compliant centralization of authority and certs on e.g. Consul or Red Hat Identity Management.
That being said, IMHO, it's a much saner and safer approach to bite that bullet and setup a rock-solid ID/Auth system on-prems (or at least vendor-agnostic and load-balanced over at least 2 major providers). It's really the kind of low-level infra that you can setup properly once and use for a decade, + cost of extra features you may want to add later.
Don't know what you're talking about, they work just fine. All of our branch offices and salesmen are remote workers.
Most places want to control capex and limit capacity wastage. Nobody wants to invest in datacenter facilities. Even the government, which has access to super cheap capital, is embracing cloud.
The shift is real. In my area, a major infrastructure OEM like HPE has like 2 CEs that cover the region. There was probably 14-16 20 years ago.
The answer is usually that legacy apps, SMB, Voip, and printing require trust derived from the network.
They did it for SQL Server, and they built a full API compatibility shim to do it:
They don't need to. Samba exists; nothing stopping Microsoft from sending in patches.
I rather thought the point of the article was that Microsoft didn't actually love linux but pretended that it did to stave off irrelevance in markets where linux is kicking their ass (i.e. server).
As he said, if they really loved linux and this isn't just another "embrace, extend, extinguish" ploy sugarcoated in PR niceties they'd be porting office and directx and outlook to linux.
Which they're not.
The dev tools and .NET team actually like Linux, the Windows team hate those guys, the Office team hate everyone, the Skype team hate their lives, the Nokia team, well...
Expecting a single determined vision from Microsoft isn't rational. It's multiple business units who don't really coordinate and just happen to share a logo.
Again I've only formed this view from hints and allusions but it seems to explain a lot.
Turn Word into a webapp? This has been happening for years, but no web editor can offer even 50% of the functionality offered by Word. Office365 is competitive with GSuite.
Drop Win32? That's basically asking Microsoft to commit suicide and destroy all companies who rely on windows to run their software. They were trying to get people to move to UWP, and look how hard that has been.
Port DirectX? Maybe, don't know. Given that Unity and Unreal both support OpenGL, Metal, Vulkan, and they are available on Windows, would this make any difference?
Microsoft doesn't love Linux if it interferes with its monopolies. It never did and it never will. That's the whole point.
It didn't turn over any new leaf like it claimed. It just adapted its existing strategy as a means to stave off impending irrelevance in the server market.
Not turning over a new leaf WAS the "sensible" thing to do.
Microsoft continues to make billions of dollars a year in royalties by accusing device makers of patent infringement.
AD and ADAM are shockingly low performance compared to Sun/Netscape LDAP. They depend on extensive client side caching to work at all.
If you want to tie Unix clients to AD, the first step is to mirror your AD content in a more competent LDAP cluster
No, no, no. That's not the reason. Have you actually read the article?
The reason is that Microsoft is doing a sophisticated stratagem against Linux. It wants to infiltrate the Linux ecosystem, and then when they can keep taps on every piece of essential software, they will pull the plug.
The same with patent pledge, they want to bait as much companies to use Linux thinking that Microsoft will not patent troll them, and then they will reveal their true intentions, and sue them all.
That trick even got a name now. People in the industry called Microsoft's infiltration strategy "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish"
Linux crowd will soon realise what trick they are trying to do, and I hope they will do that before it is too late.
First it was "MS breaks compatibility on purpose, screw those guys!". Now it's "sure, they're playing nice but they don't have a product in every market segment we want so they must have some nefarious master plan we haven't figure out yet!"
Everytime I hear someone say "just look, they don't support office on Linux!" I ask: and what exactly do you think the market share is of guys who love Linux so much they use it on the desktop, but also would PAY Microsoft for Office vs. just using LibreOffice or Google's office suite? If you think MS hasn't done the math and figured out that solution would never break even much less turn a profit, I guess I'd ask anyone making that claim to show their work.
I can tell you unequivocally the thing holding back the average enterprise from moving their entire business to Linux on the Desktop is NOT Microsoft Office, if it were they'd just tell everyone to use Office Online and move on with life.
PS: I assume all these Linux on the Desktop guys complaining about not having Office on Linux already are subscribed to o365 and use Office Online exclusively, proving to MS there's demand. Right?
True, and Windows is very entrenched partly due to Office and legacy software depending on it. Chromebooks and Mac OS seem to be adopted without to much hindrance from a UI perspective. i.e How much more populate would Chromebooks be if they ran the full desktop Office suite?
> not all non-devs work only in office.
Certainly not all but a lot of jobs, particularly in management consist mostly of emails, meetings, spreadsheets, word documents + a few web apps.
Also, lets not forget about all the jobs where the computer isn't really part of the job at all; it's just a tool to communicate (email) and for document production/consumption. These machines are basically kiosks that Microsoft has milking licenses out of for Windows + Office + 365 Storage.
Some businesses can switch to Google but many rely on existing Excel spreadsheets elsewhere in their organization so there is a lot of momentum to switch away from non-desktop spreadsheet and document applications.
Look at the Autodesk Suite, Adobe Suite, Enterprise Architect, blender3D, Unity game engine, a traditional IDE like Jetbrains or VisualStudio.
They have waay more power than the their web-based or, worse yet, electron competitors.
Blender, Jetbrains IDE's, and even VSCode (pretty sure Unity is multiplatform too) are all working just fine with multiplatform and aren't dependent on any particular OS. If you've ever had to deal with Autodesk like software, it's a mess of old code and poor practices. It's a nightmare getting that kind of software working for Enterprise/Educational environments. Just looking at the Enterprise Architect site brings me back to the days when software used to come on actual disks in large, book-like boxes.
Yes, the software is useful and has yet to be replaced by something more modern, whether web based or at least multi-platform. But that's why it's entrenched in many businesses and Microsoft is riding on the back of that by making sure it's tied to their platform.
However I cannot ignore the reality that multi-platform software is fraught with peril, either for the developer (QT and the like) or for the user (electron).
Each platform moves, introduces updates, removes support and features (looking at you, OsX!).
For some people the choice is: single platform, or no software at all.
Conditional formatting for example can not use formulas in the online version.
The browser version is good but it's not at the same level as the desktop or even Google sheets yet.
When you see a footnote next to a 'Yes' in the online version, read it as a 'No for 90% of use cases'.
You're framing this as a change in narrative from Microsoft critics, but I don't think that's a fair way to frame it. 20+ or so years ago people were accusing Microsoft of Extinguishing and now people are accusing Microsoft of Embracing, but if you actually listen to what people were saying they've been talking about Embrace, Extend, Extinguish the whole time. I think the narrative from Microsoft critics has remained consistent.
Microsoft crunched the numbers for the platform rather than the software and decided to steamroll over the ODF format. The largest revenue for MS Office comes from enterprises who do care about paying less for the OS if all they are going to use is a wordprocessor or spreadsheet. Are you claiming that desktop linux would not have been adopted by enterprises if they could get the same document render and be editable exactly the same manner irrespective of the vendor software being used ?
MS has had a long dirty history. I am not opposed to giving them the benefit of doubt but it is way too little, and way too early to do this right now.
I am ABSOLUTELY claiming that. No legitimate enterprise is going to roll-their-own Linux desktop. They're still going to want a centralized directory server tied into their mail server as well. So now they need to replace AD with? Exchange with? And they're paying Redhat or Canonical an enterprise support fee on every desktop. So now they get to retrain their entire workforce (as well as additional training for all new hires) in order to save? 5%? 10%? What's the magic number you think makes them want to go through the business disruption of that kind of a change?
Oh well, I disagree with you on that then. However, irrespective of how we feel it could have turned out, the fact remains that Microsoft deliberately pushed for standardization of a document format which at the time of standardization did not have a complete reference implementation even by Microsoft itself !!
They could have simply adopted the ODF format (still can if then want to) but chose not to.
The funny thing about this discussion is, seeing things a different way, it is me who is saying MS had the foresight/business acumen to see how a standard they control can lead to lock in/dependence of their platform and you're dismissing that with claiming their reasoning was a simplistic 'ah, nobody will pay us for that, why bother'.
In any case, my initial (and I suspect the OPs) assertion is valid --
> I can tell you unequivocally the thing holding back the average enterprise from moving their entire business to Linux on the Desktop is NOT Microsoft Office
It may not be office specifically, but vendor lock-in with various MS products is definitely a huge factor.
Also, every single "quoted" piece of your comment is cheap strawman.
The fact that Google has been able to take the Linux kernel twice and produce a better and more popular desktop experience (with Android and then Chromebook) should be a good indication of that.
Linux Desktop is exclusively designed for Linux developers, it is user hostile, highly inconsistent, difficult to centrally manage, not accessible (and thus could leave employers liable to lawsuits in some countries), and buggy.
Incidentally Microsoft does have a version of Office that runs on Linux: Office Online. Yet somehow nobody is quitting Windows, MacOS, and Chromebook to go Linux Desktop even for completely free. If you want Linux Desktop to be a success, maybe spend less time finding the latest scapegoat and more time helping make it a good user experience.
Personally I don't think it can be fixed not because the software is beyond saving, but the community surrounding it doesn't actually want it to be an experience for regular non-technical people. Try going to a mailing list and suggesting that editing text files in /etc isn't a practical end-user experience and see what response you get.
There is a reason why it is not offered as an option to be preinstalled on laptops except in a few instances.
That reason is not "because it is bad".
The windows license is a tax on laptops. End of story. I have a dell xps 13 and even I paid it (dell's developer edition laptop is often hard to acquire for some reason).
I think it quite literally is, or at least that's a part of it (I won't say Microsoft strong-arming has zero effect). Linux would be an exceedingly poor experience for most customers—worse even than Windows with all the preinstalled crapware some manufacturers add.
The first netbooks ran Linux. The choice seemed to make sense. Cost was paramount, and manufacturers needed something exceedingly lightweight.
But I remember reviews from the time explicitly recommending that people ignore any netbooks that don't come with Windows. It didn't take very long before they almost all switched over to XP.
Thank you. This is the truth, and your attitude on the issue will tell you which dog you have in the fight;
The non-technical among us, the 80-90% if you will, are not going to use a desktop Linux distribution the way they are currently setup. A home user is not going to use Google to fix a problem. They're not going to call their technically-inclined family member. They're not going to edit text files nor understand the minutiae of their hardware (and it WILL happen, eventually, 100% guaranteed). They are either going to throw "that piece of shit away" or they're going to call their buddy Steve who can put Windows on it.
Unfortunately, the community is still "the community," and much like those kids who wouldn't get out of their parents' basements, they're now in their 50s, crusty and pedantic as hell, sitting in their own ivory tower, incidentally not much different than the one they rebelled against in the 90s. Anyway... blah, blah, blah.
So what are they going to do when they encounter a problem on windows? Pretty sure MS hasn't yet figured out how to directly install a Window manual into their userss brains, and the thousands of unanswered windows troubleshooting questions online can attest to that.
> Unfortunately, the community is still "the community," and much like those kids who wouldn't get out of their parents' basements, they're now in their 50s, crusty and pedantic as hell, sitting in their own ivory tower, incidentally not much different than the one they rebelled against in the 90s. Anyway... blah, blah, blah.
Is this basement-dweller fantasy something you have personal experience with or is it just a story you like to tell to make yourself feel better about your own technical ignorance and laziness?
They call an 800 number to get help or send it back.
> your own technical ignorance and laziness?
That, right there, was exactly what the person was responding to. This attitude of "piss off and learn" is incredibly prevalent in the Linux community, which is exactly why it is (and will remain, for the foreseeable future) irrelevant on the desktop.
So they either attempt to get a solution from the same kind of service you get by buying a commercial linux desktop (or just the support), or they 'send it back' - which was exactly your complaint about Linux. You're contradicting yourself.
> That, right there, was exactly what the person was responding to.
It was actually a question regarding the need to tell tales about 'crusty basement-dwelling kids now in their 50s'. What was the point of that other than to make yourself feel better?
I told the story. And it is a relevant one. There is an element in the community, not as pervasive as it once was, but it is not insignificant, that is and behaves exactly as I set forth. And I know it to be true, just as you do, and every other person here on HN knows it to be true. I lived through it.
That "attitude" is one of the major things holding back Linux on the desktop. Sad, but true. And it doesn't have anything to do with my technical prowess (or that of any HN reader for that matter). It's for Joe down the street. Jen who can barely turn a computer on, etc.
Maybe you should stop assuming your anecdotal experience is representative of the entire community.
Sounds like a great name for a new distro...
As an embedded developer with over 20 years in industry and nearly that many with GNU/Linux (and a whole host of other UNIX systems), I say piss off with that. Who exactly do you think you are that you can be so incredibly presumptuous?
Says the guy grouping the entire Linux community under 'crusty 50 year old basement dwellers'. And your '20 years in the industry' means nothing to me, if you're trying to impress me you failed.
It's a bit challenging to have a discussion with someone who responds to what he thinks you said, rather than what you did say.
> Unfortunately, the community is still "the community," and much like those kids who wouldn't get out of their parents' basements, they're now in their 50s, crusty and pedantic as hell, sitting in their own ivory tower, incidentally not much different than the one they rebelled against in the 90s
Yeah, it's challenging to keep face after you put your foot in your mouth. Tell me more about 'muh 20 years experience'.
> Personally I don't think it can be fixed not because the software is beyond saving, but the community surrounding it doesn't actually want it to be an experience for regular non-technical people
The community behind Linux Desktop is, by far, the biggest reason it is as unpopular as it is.
People do you Linux Desktop because it is great. I do.
> The fact that Google has been able to take the Linux kernel twice and produce a better and more popular desktop experience (with Android and then Chromebook) should be a good indication of that.
In what way is Android or Chromebook better than, say, Debian or Ubuntu on desktop?
> Linux Desktop is exclusively designed for Linux developers.. blah blah blah
Just false bullshit.
> If you want Linux Desktop to be a success, maybe spend less time finding the latest scapegoat and more time helping make it a good user experience.
If you want to debate the quality of Linux as a deskop OS maybe try using it, learn a little about it, and make statements that have even a little bit of substance and basis in reality.
> Try going to a mailing list and suggesting that editing text files in /etc isn't a practical end-user experience and see what response you get.
First of all, it is perfectly practical, especially given the fact that you can find step-by-step instruction to do just about anything in a matter of seconds. Second, you rarely have to do these things and graphical overlays are often available and/or come pre-installed on distros such as Ubuntu. Third, you sometimes have to do similar things on Windows, whether it be editing the hosts file or changing obscure registry settings - the difference is that the Linux versions of these things have much better documentation, and much more info and community support online.
You only make a serious argument in the last bullet:
> First of all, it is perfectly practical, especially given the fact that you can find step-by-step instruction to do just about anything in a matter of seconds. Second, you rarely have to do these things and graphical overlays are often available and/or come pre-installed on distros such as Ubuntu. Third, you sometimes have to do similar things on Windows, whether it be editing the hosts file or changing obscure registry settings - the difference is that the Linux versions of these things have much better documentation, and much more info and community support online.
The vast majority of Windows and macOS users are not technical people, and that is fine. The vast majority of Windows users do not need to edit registry settings, just as the vast majority of macOS users don't need to edit `defaults write com.apple.[star]`. More importantly, they don't want to.
My grandma is deathly afraid that any wrong action she takes will brick her PC. You're telling me that she'll be fine running sudo in a terminal, even if there's step by step directions?
What are you imagining goes wrong in so many linux deployments that requires everyone to edit /etc files or run command line programs all the time? Just because enthusiasts do it (enthusiasts do a lot of crazy stuff to Windows too) doesn't mean it's common.
>> Try going to a mailing list and suggesting that editing text files in /etc isn't a practical end-user experience and see what response you get.
> First of all, it is perfectly practical, especially given the fact that you can find step-by-step instruction to do just about anything in a matter of seconds.
I'm a firm believer in the idea that there isn't a "best" operating system, there is only an "ideal" operating system for any given person's use-case and value hierarchy. If your mom likes Ubuntu, good on her. I suspect she's an outlier within the general populace.
Have you used linux is a desktop for a non-trivial amount of time? The fact that you call Ubuntu 'the flagship Linux OS' makes me think that you haven't. What is lacking in linux UI experience?
> The vast majority of Windows users do not need to edit registry settings, just as the vast majority of macOS users don't need to edit `defaults write com.apple.[star]`. More importantly, they don't want to.
I don't think you have any data to make such a claim about the vast majority of users. Many Linux users also do no need to edit /etc configuration files.
> My grandma is deathly afraid that any wrong action she takes will brick her PC. You're telling me that she'll be fine running sudo in a terminal, even if there's step by step directions?
You're telling me your grandma is okay with editing firewall settings, installing new software, editing registry settings, etc on Windows?
People don't use Linux just because it only has downsides for the average person. Not being able to play games, use MS office, other domain specific software, get used to a new UI...plus the only cultural associations with it is that it's highly technical. So there's no incentives for people to switch.
The problem of general adoption however is not related to that. It's really not the best software that wins the wallets of consumers, but the best marketing — same for music, movies, vacation destinations, virtually any product: marketing 'bypasses' quality (it just needs to be 'good enough') by 'brute-forcing' awareness and familiarity (sheer repetition, seduction, etc). It's true there's a lasting power to great UX (ask Apple), but Linux desktop never even entered that phase for the mainstream (first you have to exist before we even ask if you're going to last).
Making the best Linux experience is thus a vain enterprise. It just won't sell more or less (if we agree that even free has a cost), it just won't bootstrap massive adoption. It's at best preparing the product for its encounter with the public, but it's not making said encounter more likely.
A strategy like Microsoft's with Windows shows where the battle of OS's is fought and won: with OEMs.
Microsoft correctly identified (just like Intel) in the 1990's that people would buy computers (thus OS, thus CPU) through middlemen, OEMs, the Dell's and HP's and ASUS's of the world. So that's who you need to sell on your product.
Apple is its own OEM, as they integrate vertically, and indeed the 'integration' between hard- and soft-wares is what sold most of us who ever bought into OS X or iOS et. al. The interesting take is that Apple for the longest time oscillates between 5 and 15% market share on average on all their products worldwide (much closer to 50% on star products in the US, nigh-zero in the poorest markets), and this is the nonetheless massive (9 figures) user base that guarantees adoption of their OS, which are designed entirely to sell the hardware by making it shine (what MS is now trying to do with Surface lead by Panos Panay, or Google with Pixels and other things).
This whole 'integration' space is where Linux never even tried itself, it seems, because there's never been a "Linux Marketing Department" nor a "Linux Sales Person" — when Dell does Linux, it's because a bunch of fans inside the company made it their project; when Red Hat sells Linux it's closer to the goal with OEMs but certainly not mainstream/consumer in that case. As for Ubuntu, I don't know who they sell to; they're certainly big on the servers, but absent of consumer laptops despite being totally usable these days (and most consumers certainly don't need the advanced features of paid O365, so that debate is moot in this case). There are Linux brands (notably System76 with their awesome PopOS), but they also don't target the mainstream it seems, or not in a 'big' way likely to turn market figures around.
The truth is that I don't think anyone with big-tech decision power really cares now that we've moved to IaaS and serving apps on containers (alternatively 'minified' through some CD pipeline from a common base) is going to increasingly become the 'easy' way to have apps 'just work'; and by that point who cares if it's Windows, Linux or even iOS in the kernel underneath. By 2030, I anticipate that OS/kernel won't make much more difference than the CPU you're using (tech people and nerds may care, most people just want apps X Y Z to run fine and they'll get just that). Whether server or client side, we'll all live on top of some common or at least expected abstraction and most of us will be none the wiser. I'm not sure BSD will be much around in this scenario, except legacy and of course as darwin for Apple.
Not saying I predict the future or this is what must or should happen, but it definitely can as I see it, it's a 'valid scenario' with a high degree of probability IMHO.
If you believe in Open Source, you should focus on building and promoting (and fundraising for) open source. Until we get the same $5T-equivalent investment in Open Source that FAANGMwhatever have, Open Source will will trail the rest in many quality and network-effect dimensions that will hinder the virtuous sycle of growth.
That's not true. Apple and Google have not done even 1% of the damage to Linux and Open Source that MS has.
> Until we get the same $5T-equivalent investment in Open Source that FAANGMwhatever have, Open Source will will trail the rest in many quality and network-effect dimensions that will hinder the virtuous sycle of growth.
Except for the fact that most successful modern tech company stacks are mostly FOSS and Linux. Microsoft was essentially forced to offer Linux on Azure because the overwhelming consensus is MS Server cannot hold a candle to Linux.
I am only slightly disappointed it took so long to get MS Teams working properly in Linux. The changes in the past few months have the unofficial clients working much better... A/V calling/meetings actually works now (though I haven't tried sharing my desktop) and an official client, if not already out, should be eminent.
Office 365's online versions are definitely usable and leaps and bounds better than Google Docs. I have mixed feelings on Azure AD and a few other pieces.
Right now, Windows feels like the odd man out, it's what I'm using on my work Desktop, I've phased out my Mac usage, and mostly use Linux outside work and at work, my flows are mostly Docker. I use msys bash (via git) on windows and there are a couple gotchas.
I remember the crap they pulled in the late 90's very well... The MS I see today is not the same... the management, culture and interactions have dramatically changed... the people have changed. Companies aren't people, but made up of them.
For example, Linux DNS resolution is an arcane mess of upstream components bodged together over decades, about the place where sysvinit was before systemd came along. I could totally see Microsoft releasing some FOSS Linux über-network-client-daemon that combines DNS, NMBD, and Bonjour resolution together (sort of like Apple’s mDNSResolver) in an attempt to “clean up” that mess—where, just by coincidence, parts of the SMB stack begin to seep directly into the operation of the system. Then a subsumption for Kerberos+libpam+GSSAPI that also supports NTLM; etc. until eventually Linux ends up needing to talk to a real Active Directory Domain Controller to boot. Might be Microsoft’s one, might be a Linux FOSS one—either way, it gives Microsoft an advantage.
...but, so far as I can tell, they’re not doing this. I wonder why not?
Systemd has fixed this as well. Using systemd's networking stack DNS becomes completely seamless with the rest of the system. It's not quite 100% baked for average desktop users, but all the components are there and work great. You'll see distros switching to it soon... particularly workstation oriented ones as the wifi stack is soooo much nicer.
Part of the reason why I've begun to dislike Linux is that things like networking used to be completely defined in config files, operated on by known commands.
Now it just seems like a hodgepodge of a dozen different daemons and applications writing over files, I honestly can't keep track of which is the authoritative config or app for interfaces, DNS, wifi, etc.
I have never used NetworkManager so can't comment intelligently on it. But I have it setup without it and it requires just a few config files. How many/how much config depends on how much you want to tweak things and how you want to organize things.
The main thing missing in the current stack is a nice interface for wifi. Using iwd for wifi has made things much better and if you don't mind CLI management it is quite nice.
For a bit more concrete of an example here is a gist I through up a while back describing replacing the old setup with a systemd based one.
But it is true, that some enterprises abuse .local for their internal network, even for new installations. The answer I got was "it is best practices", but never got an answer where these "best practices" are from. But hey, it is their problem now.
Right, but A) the RFC post-dates a lot early implementation of "Bonjour" (and the name "Bonjour"), and B) 2013 is unfortunately still "recent" in Windows terms given that Windows 7 was released in 2009. (And Microsoft was trying to get standardized their own variation on mDNS, PNRP in just the previous Windows release. It was kind of a neat attempt as it was built as a DHT rather than purely multicast, though I digress.)
mDNS currently is still limited to UWP APIs, but now more than ever Win32 applications and not just "Modern Apps" can make use of them. Unfortunately, I don't think it will ever be built into SMB share support at the network filesystem level, because again I think Microsoft is trying too hard to distance themselves from many decades of mistakes in SMB1. We'll see what happens.
> where these "best practices" are from
Ironically, .local was used as an example for several years in Active Directory setup documentation, though even then it was highlighted only as a possible stop-gap until a proper DNS name and proper TLS Certificates could be purchased. But, of course, people read the first half and ignore the caveats (especially because they cost money and time to correct) and think they are following "best practices". More evidence for the pile that so much of "best practices" in IT are a cult mentality that only ever read the first half of some recommendation and then blindly followed it forever after.
It was called "Rendezvous" originally in OSX 10.2. When the RFC came out, the protocol was already ~11 years old. Apple can drag its feet too :) But then, I'm not sure if that makes the whole situation for better, or worse.
> B) 2013 is unfortunately still "recent" in Windows terms given that Windows 7 was released in 2009.
Windows 7 could at least use the Apple Bonjour implementation, so the support, or lack of it, would be understandable. For Windows 10, soon to be the only supported version, I would expect differently.
> And Microsoft was trying to get standardized their own variation on mDNS, PNRP in just the previous Windows release.
Microsoft also got us LLMNR with Vista/2008... So they were aware about Bonjour, but they made their own.
> I think Microsoft is trying too hard to distance themselves from many decades of mistakes in SMB1.
Bonjour discovery doesn't need SMB1. SMB2 and 3 (which have the discovery part of SMB1 removed) work great with Bonjour, so that would allow Microsoft to distance themselves from SMB1. In the SOHO market, Synology devices support this mode with a nice GUI config; not sure about QNAP/Asustor/others. What Microsoft is currently doing, is that they support WSD discovery for SMB, when SMB1 is off.
Here, we are also getting slightly off-course. While both name resolution and discovery are hidden under the name Bonjour, only the name resolution and .local domain are part of the mDNS. The service discovery is DNS-SD, separate protocol, which can run on top of mDNS, but also on top of classic, infrastructure DNS.
> Ironically, .local was used as an example for several years in Active Directory setup documentation, though even then it was highlighted only as a possible stop-gap until a proper DNS name and proper TLS Certificates could be purchased.
Ah, so there it comes from. Obviously, I didn't read the AD setup documentation either :).
The funny thing is, that they didn't need to purchase TLS certificates, only to have a single real domain and make a subdomain for AD. For certificates, they could use ADCS! (but I guess that would be additional reading).
> Microsoft also got us LLMNR with Vista/2008... So they were aware about Bonjour, but they made their own.
Vista was the hangover after the ivory tower perfection attempts of Longhorn. In retrospect we should probably be excited they didn't reinvent more wheels than what they did. ;)
Because maybe, just maybe, they're a tad bit less evil?
If morale is harmed, good people are more likely to leave. If an employer has a poor reputation, it becomes harder to hire employees with in-demand skills.
Poor retention and difficulty in recruiting employees can end up harming the business.
Being separated from that, Microsoft is doing what they are supposed to do - be Microsoft-centered, and focus on profit. But they can be more objective, with the founder's emotions no longer driving the company's direction.
# grep hosts /etc/nsswitch.conf
hosts: files mymachines mdns [NOTFOUND=return] resolve [!UNAVAIL=return] dns myhostname
I'm confused, do you mean the (remote) computers that resolve the DNS or do you mean your local machine?
They want as many organizations as possible to use their cloud platform, for that to work, they need first class Linux server support.
On the desktop, they'd prefer people to be using Windows, but they want to ensure that developers who deploy to Linux have a great experience, thus WSL, VS Code et al.
With that said, I think there are some groups inside MS who would like to see more desktop Linux support, thus announcements like the Linux Teams client. It's probably a mistake to view MS (or any other v.large corp) as a unified entity. There will be groups inside that corp. with differing goals.
You only have to look at MS presence at Kubecon where you'll often see MS staff with Macs or Ubuntu laptops on their stand.
>You only have to look at MS presence at Kubecon where you'll often see MS staff with Macs or Ubuntu laptops on their stand.
marketing in a market.
I think we (or you and the author, I'm just re-iterating his points) are talking past each other and you probably agree, but his whole point again is that the "Love" is just public facing market strategy.
As one of those MS employees at kubecon, I'm typing this on an x1 running ubuntu. I'm not on booth duty or any official marketing duty. I regularly use both linux and windows where necessary to get the job done, preferring linux for personal and development work where possible.
The colleagues I have who run macOS/Linux but are on official duty, are absolutely not here to show off their laptops running macOS or linux. Those are simply the devices they work on.
re: windows server, I really don't think so. Internally, most teams I work with on .NET framework running server applications are in the process of migrating to .NET core, linux containers, and Kubernetes. I know many teams going through this process. They don't want to be on windows server, and no one inside the company is trying to force them to as far as I can tell.
Desktop is still a different story, there's a comment elsewhere in the thread (something about suggesting alternatives to editing text files in /etc) which I thought was pretty apt about the failings of linux there.
They're there to make money, simple as that (whether they should be or not, is a whole other discussion).
What tends to get in the way is internal politics and hubris, where a company gets ossified and scared of change.
There's plenty of examples of this (Nokia, Blackberry, Novell etc etc). A bold company will be willing to change even at the apparent cost of one of their own products.
MS have done a pretty effective job, under Satya Nadella, of realising that clinging to the past isn't effective and that they need to be willing to move with the times.
The argument, that I felt the article made, that this is some EEE strategy is (IMO) misplaced. I think MS has no intention of trying to extinguish Linux (if such a thing was even possible), they're adapting to the new reality.
Some groups fight the good fight, some groups do bad things to get ahead, some groups don't know what they're doing or are pressured by bad management, other groups operate extremely well but are assigned to the wrong tasks.
Strong top-down direction can work (e.g. Steve Jobs at Apple) but it can also cause ossification (e.g. Blackberry) where a company won't sacrifice an existing product to move forward.
Windows server has obviously lost the app server market, for a majority of companies. MS has adapted to that new reality by supporting Linux servers.
I'd say that is to their credit. Look at other companies who have been slower to adapt to the new cloud world (e.g. Oracle) and you can see the costs to their long term viability.
Because that’s where the entire market has gone, and Microsoft is trying to be responsive to their potential customers?
MS has open sourced huge amounts of resource and platform building code in .Net Core the past several years, and ASP.Net earlier than that. They did buy, and have expanded on the tools from Xamarin not shutter it. I'm not saying they're altruistic in nature, no company is. I will say that their behavior in the community, especially since Nadella took over has been better than any other company of it's size or larger that I can think of.
I'm not saying forget or forgive the past, but accept the present. Corporations, despite legalities, are not people. They are made up of people, and a significant portion of management has rolled over in the past decade and the outward facing culture shows that.
Maybe they're trying to embrace, extend and exterminate open source. /s
As far as I can tell, EEE ended during Balmer. Not because he's necessarily a "good guy," but because he genuinely hated everything 'not Microsoft' too much in order to following through with the first step of EEE: embrace. There can't be a consistent "EEE strategy" because that strategy ended (for completely different reasons). If Microsoft has decided to attempt EEE again then, sure, there's something to be worried about.
There is certainly one thing that has always been more reliable than Microsoft and EEE: lose if you do, lose if you don't. Microsoft could shut their doors for good tomorrow and there would likely still be people spouting nonsense about how that's actually EEE.
> Defend and aggressively expand APIs and technologies where Microsoft leads (e.g., keep DirectX the only first-class API for games)
It's curious that Microsoft partners so closely with Unity, then, who provide a way to develop games outside of DirectX.
Since Nadella is at the helm, Microsoft have started to aggressively gather customer data from their desktop OS and many other products, including office.
They used to be very decent at this before Windows 10, but they went completely nuts with telemetry. At the beginning they were completely opaque, to the point that a German gov agency had to reverse engineer the communications to see just wtf was being transmitted.
More recently the Dutch gov told them to fuck off if they don't cut off the crap and MS was forced to negotiate new privacy terms with them.
Anything they have already and will open source pales in comparison to the harms to our privacy, just like for Google. Although Google at least open sources some useful things now and then... .NET is Microsoft's dev platform that no one cares about except Windows devs. It started as a JVM/Java clone and grew into its own product, but for anyone not already all-in on MS tools it makes zero sense to use it when there's so much choice.
Also, been a few hours since I read TFA, but isn't even a focus of TFA.
They aren't locking their services and much new software into windows, and aren't using windows to leverage other things in ways that don't make any sense.
All I care about is having a usable Linux shell and Linux tool on my Windows machine. What else can you expect from Microsoft? Yeah, they are doing it so that people don't switch over to Linux completely. What more can you expect?
Is it even Microsoft's job to establish a standard for 3d Graphics and what not? Or is the ball in the park of graphics card vendors and game developers?
Why do I have Windows on my machine? I don't fully trust Linux to achieve the same level of power management. I can play games. I have a dual graphics card, which would be a hassle to use on Linux.
It would be notebook vendor's job to release Linux notebooks with good power management. Chip vendors to release specs that enable Linux developers to create such drivers. And so on.
Given the abysmal security history of Windows, my guess would be that it was possible to get close to the metal as a driver developer, at least in the old days.
Also MS couldn't be expected to take care of an interface that works on iOS and Linux. They are responsible for Windows.