LXer Feature: What if Microsoft Became Our Friends

Posted by tuxchick on Nov 17, 2005 12:02 PM
LXer Feature; By Carla Schroder

What would happen to Linux, Free Software, and Open Source Software if Microsoft reformed itself? What if Microsoft abandoned their evil, customer-hostile, restraint-of-trade ways, and did a complete turnaround? Would FOSS even have a reason to exist?


What if they overhauled their ridiculous EULAs, which read like parodies of real contracts, or did away with them altogether?

What if they re-wrote Windows from the ground up, and made it lean, fast, reliable, and secure? What if they revamped Microsoft Office to support the Open Document Format? What if they released all of their data file specs, and all of their file formats became portable?

What if they stopped locking hardware vendors into exclusive deals that shut out other operating systems?

What if they took a stand against software patents, and actively lobbied for patent reform?

What if they took a stand against the RIAA, the DMCA, and DRM, and copyright abuse, and instead lobbied for laws that protect individuals, support fair use, and free speech?

What if they took a stand against the rampant and indiscriminate collection of personal data, and developed software that helped individuals protect their rights and their privacy?

What if their "Get the Facts" campaign suddenly contained actual facts?

What if their spokepeople started speaking in plain, unambiguous, buzzword-free English?

What if they made the MCSE certification meaningful?

What if they came clean on how much thieved FOSS code is inside their products, and tried to make good?

What if they released their own Linux distribution, without tricks, traps, or hidden agendas, and even releasing source code?

What if they released other FOSS applications, without tricks, traps, or hidden agendas?

What if they overhauled their networking protocols so that they interoperate like they're supposed to?

What if they designed their products to interoperate painlessly with other platforms?

What if they took actual responsibility for their products, instead of denying all warranties?

What if they gave actual good customer service?

If any of these events actually occurred, what would it do to FOSS? Do we need a common enemy to have a reason to exist? Would FOSS be able to compete?

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
Business Software Alliance Suckering All rjriley5000 0 1,564 Nov 25, 2005 6:30 PM
Why do so many assume FOSS needs an enemy? tbuskey 3 1,697 Nov 18, 2005 10:35 AM
Well, for one thing... mdl 11 2,033 Nov 18, 2005 2:42 AM

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