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For the hating Microsoft crowd, here are the projects where they are also using Rust,


And the talks done about the internal adoption,



And the author from C++/WinRT is now working on Rust/WinRT.


So lets wait a bit before going to the castle with the pitchforks and torches.

As a big proponent of F# it annoys me how much one still needs to fight "but M$" arguments if I point out a thing that F# does well. The same thing seems to happen when discussing Haskell with people who know just enough to recognise the influence MSR employees have on it.

It almost makes me wonder how they/we can work around that sentiment now. Either hope for generational shift to eventually kill it, or perhaps have them make a point of landing projects outside of MS and hoping nobody notices(GitHub R++ or whatever).

Tips on how others approach these discussions with Microsoft haters greatly appreciated!

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”

I try to be objective as much as possible, but having witnessed almost all of Microsoft’s behavior through history, we have been fooled 100s if not 1000s of times. How many times do you let the fox back into the hen house?

The only thing I think when I read recent “Microsoft is so great” comments is that the person is either too young to have any real knowledge, or they have simply not been paying attention for the past few decades.

For anyone who has seen what they have done through all of history, it will take decades to believe they have truly changed.

All those people who worked at Microsoft in the 90's and 2000's now work for at hundreds of other companies throughout the industry. And a whole bunch of people who weren't even born in those times now work for Microsoft.

I don't think your opinion is objective at all. It's based on treating a collective as a single mind.

Collectives and companies can keep the same culture and habits even if all people who worked there left. Because people come and leave not in the one go - they do it gradually, so every new employee is "indoctrinated" into the company culture, then indoctrinating new people themselves, even if their mentors left.

Obviously ms doesn’t have a candidate must be ruthless two faced bad person interview assessment. I think you are missing a very important ingredient to a company and that is its culture. Company cultures get diluted to the better or to the worse. As in either the company changes the newer employees or the new employees change the company

Or you are just so bogged down in history that you have a difficulty changing your opinion. Few decades is a long time in our line of work.

Microsoft didn't change out of charity or ethics. They were forced by the direction industry was heading as a whole. Cloud, opensource software, Google, AWS started making Microsoft irrelevant unless they changed.

Bogged down in history. One has to admire at least a little bit this attempt at gaslighting someone into not trusting their own experiences and Microsoft's long negative track-record which they're still adding to.

The telemetry scandal which has been reported on everywhere proves that Microsoft just changed into another Google. They're still collecting telemetry today, in spite of all the protests. A few hours isn't a long time in our line of work...

“A few hours(...)”

Are you referring to this?


The telemetry in windows is ongoing so I’m just wondering if I missed something new

Name me any other big company with great ethics and all nice and fluffy. For example look at how Google had started and what it has become.

Not really trying to protect Microsoft here but them companies are all the same, just different degree of "success".

I think that is exactly the point.

The argument is that if a language is developed/mainly contributed by a single company there is an inherent risk of that language being suddenly discountinued or lacking features that are needed by other people/companies.

At least that's how I understand the critics against microsoft in this case.

> lacking features that are needed by other people/companies.

Funny how nobody seems to give pile on Google for how it handles Go here...

I don't know where you got that impression -- every new Go proposal document posted to HN garners a significant amount of Google criticism. The most recent example I can think of is the fairly widely-argued criticism of the "go mod" proxy. Not to mention all of the criticism over Google's consistent mishandling of community concerns.

I am an older fart and my preference for my own products is C/C++/Delphi/FreePascal for servers/desktop and JavaScript for web front. I program in many other languages as well but mostly because clients require them. In the latter case it is a consulting job and the last thing I care about is how their favorite languages are managed. It is their choice and I am here to take their money, not to judge their preferences. Advising client to use particular language instead of their favorites is straight road to disappointment.

This is from MSR, which mostly functions independently of MS the company.

Big companies are not autonomous and do not make their own decisions, individual people working at those companies do. I think it’s safe to say that anyone working there today has nothing to do with the time periods you’re referencing, so I don’t know why you would consider decades old issues to be relevant today.

As part of the BSA, they still lobby for software patents today.

The OOXML Office format they used to continue pushing Office lock-in is very recent: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/LibreOffice_OOXML

They tried their best to keep the list of their Android patents secret, so that they could not be worked around, and they abused their patent on the FAT filesystem as recently as 2012: https://www.howtogeek.com/183766/why-microsoft-makes-5-to-15...

They also still lobby against open standards: https://www.computerweekly.com/blog/Public-Sector-IT/Microso... https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/22/microsoft...

And lets not forget all the spying in Windows 10.

MS is as hostile as ever - it's a fantastic success of propaganda to make people think it's limited to "decades old issues".

Less propaganda that the whole "do no evil" stuff.

Windows 10 telemetry is a child's game compared how much Google and FB spy on people's lives, yet most MS haters just jump of joy to use any tech that comes out from them.

Legions of US parents just put their kids under Google surveillance getting them Chromebooks.

OS spying is so much more invasive than application or service spying because you can’t opt out as easily. You can go without Facebook but a lot of people just need windows (for their jobs if nothing else, though I sure wish unity3d ran better on Linux and that more games ran smoothly on Linux)

The OS is also theoretically able to watch what you do in other services by monitoring keystrokes etc, where Facebook merely dreams of such things

I am not one of those MS haters - I dislike Google just as much.

Serious question: are there any major closed-source software companies (so like, not Red Hat or Canonical, etc) who don't lobby for or use software patents?

I consider using patents to extract payment a far lesser evil than lobbying for them. And an even lesser evil if the patent has some merit to it, and is licensed openly (i.e. no confidentiality terms to prevent revealing which parts of Android they claim to have patented).

As for your question - Cloudfront springs to mind - they're pretty loud about going after patent trolls, which implies they might not use patents aggressively. I'm sure there are many others, but a company not using patents to extract payment isn't something you hear about, so it's hard to tell. That said, despite filing for many patents, I haven't heard of Facebook actually using them against others. Which isn't to say they haven't done so (and possibly, like MS, kept the agreement confidential), and of course Facebook is hardly ethical itself.

Another poster says Microsoft joined the Open Invention Network, so perhaps in that area, they've reformed. Though they could still be lobbying for patents, which does much more damage to user freedom.

There was a medium post about Microsoft's culture and their inability to move on past Gates and Balmer about 6 weeks ago [1]. According to that article you are objectively wrong in saying "it’s safe to say that anyone working there today has nothing to do with the time periods you’re referencing". The article claims that the majority of the power within Microsoft still lays precisely in the hands of people who worked for the company during the times referenced.

1. https://onezero.medium.com/speaking-truth-to-power-reflectio...

I know you referenced that article to prove you point but it ultimately does just as good of job as saying the opposite.

One example: "Microsoft is killing it. Revenue is up. Stock is up. Industry stature is up. The places where Microsoft finds itself thriving all have one thing in common: key made-men were pushed aside for better people."

I was contradicting the clearly false claim made by OP, not trying to give the nuanced portrayal from the article. The thesis of the article I posted is that Microsoft continues to be haunted by the vestiges of Gates' and Balmer's influence. I think your cherry picking of a single quote praising some positives the author provides to balance his polemic is purposefully misleading.

The original argument was: "Microsoft still has the elements of its previous bad behaviour in its DNA." The counter claim was: "No one from Microsoft during that time is still in the company". The article clearly supports the first claim and shows the second claim is at its face false. I encourage everyone to read the article and not to take speculations and misleading quotes as support for false ideas.

Does the fact that some Microsoft employees, even those in positions of influence, remain from that time matter? Does the fact that there are new successful employees, with entirely new ideas about products and management, matter?

The article demonstrates that Microsoft is a complex organization with both good and bad and is changing for the better even if it has a way to go.

Supporting the good and praising Microsoft for what they're doing well is going to make Microsoft better. Crapping on what they're doing well because of actions from 20 years is not rational or helpful.

If you are asking: "Should Microsoft get some credit for the positive things it has done" then the answer is clearly yes. Even during the time periods where Microsoft was universally (and legally) perceived to be engaged in unfair business practices my own feeling is that their overall contribution to IT was a net positive.

That does not change the fact that Microsoft is a risk. Google is a risk since they have a habit of shutting down projects. Oracle is a risk due to their insane licensing and consulting fees. Open Source is a risk since the contributors can just decided to drop support. Everything has elements of risk. I guess I just won't back down from someone claiming there is no risk in Microsoft because all the bad people are gone. That is an absurd claim that also happens to be false.

That's arguing against a straw man. Nobody is claiming all the bad people are gone. But the claim that Microsoft is all bad was the source of this whole thread.

I am not claiming you are making that argument. I'm responding to the original poster, relevant part quoted here: "I think it’s safe to say that anyone working there today has nothing to do with the time periods you’re referencing, so I don’t know why you would consider decades old issues to be relevant today."

As demonstrated, people working during the time periods he referenced are still working for Microsoft, contrary to this claim. This also addresses why someone should consider the risk of "decades old issues" when making decisions today.

My only beef right now with Microsoft is their insistence on having creepy telemetry in everything. As someone _very_ interested in F#, I encountered this recently with both Visual Studio Code and .NET Core.


The linked thread discusses the telemetry and if you follow it through telemetry is now off by default, opt-in only.


I followed the linked threads and I don't see where it says telemetry is off by default. I just see people saying that it _should_ be off by default. Am I missing something?

Sorry, I misread the threads, I think you're right. There's notification when you install it, but the notification is that it's on by default. The notification also explains how to switch it off (with an environment variable).

You can always switch to the original - the OCaml language.

I spent a while looking at OCaml, but I'd like to use more than one cpu and not have to deal with four standard libraries...

> It almost makes me wonder how they/we can work around that sentiment now.

From my perspective, the issue ultimately is - why? What do I gain from using Microsoft software?

I worked at a Microsoft shop for a short period. All of the 'new MS' stuff I've personally worked with has certainly been Windows first.

Take C#. It might work on Linux, sure, but you have stuff like the .NET runtime taking forever to start, the reliance on Visual Studio, .NET Framework isn't open source because.... why?

Or perhaps you have Microsoft Teams - for which, despite it effectively being a web app - there is no Linux client and in Firefox half the features are disabled. Even on Windows it's literally a shit version of Slack which presumably exists solely because it's bundled with other Microsoft stuff or because the name has appeal to some PHBs.

For the most part from what I can tell it's all still either Windows first, or a crap version of something else, or both. There might be some minor researchy fun bits, but anything that seems to actually see wide use is all Windows stack.

What's the point? I read the article, and it pretty much feels like they want to Windowsify Rust. Why should I care about that?

Literally everything I read about Microsoft seems to be from people who want an excuse to use Windows, or something. I want Windows to burn and die in a fire; so what is there for me?

Why F# was needed in the first place? OCaml[1] is vastly superior, and doesn't require .NET since can be compiled into the native code. Just in the need of the better Windows platform support. And they add more features with time than F# devs.

I can add F# projects to existing solutions and use F# in some places, C# in others, and C++ in still others, heck even VB.NET can come by for a drink if I'm feeling shameless and not needing to keep up appearances.

OCaml cannot do that. I say this as someone who currently is finishing a year of F# study with plans to study Rust in 2020 and OCaml in 2021.

They could have ported ocaml to the clr instead of doing their own ms thing. They could have promoted ocaml instead of splitting the community interested in a practical ml derived language - with the consequence that today neither has a relevant user base.

And they did initially, but OCaml.NET had its own set of issues regarding interoperability with .NET code.

OCaml has FFI, so C++ is not a problem. .NET is trickier, but can be integrated through RPC or another kinds of remote communication

The access to .net framework libraries is a huge asset. If I recall correctly, Ocaml standard library never nearly that complete, and the language was a bit moribond few years ago.

Microsoft is actively collecting billions of dollars by patent suing (or threatening to) Android providers despite contributing nothing to Android. That's what kind of company they are. They also make some great stuff, esp MS Research. I'm hesitant to use anything made by a company that patent trolls other companies, though. I don't feel safe in long term.

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