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Microsoft Operating Systems BSD

WSJ Reports On MS Using Open Source 327

Graeme Turnbull writes: "As I was logging out of hotmail (shutup..) this evening, and as the Passport service automatically forwards me to ca.msn.com (knowing I originate from Ca), I noticed the headline 'Microsoft Uses Open-Source Code Despite Denying Use of Such Software.' The story is care of The Wall Street Journal. Due to the somewhat anti-MS tone of the article, I found it strange that this was linked from a MSN site!" Update: 06/18 by J : Several of our readers have pointed out an interesting allegation this morning at The Register: MSNBC doctors anti-MS WSJ story. Update: 06/18 by N : And several people @wsj.com have written to me to say that MSNBC picked up an early version of the story for syndication; this early version also appeared in the majority of the print runs for the WSJ. More details about half way down.
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WSJ reports on MS using open source

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2001 @06:32AM (#144091)
    You want '1337 code? Check out /bin/true on Solaris:
    # Copyright (c) 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 AT&T
    # All Rights Reserved

    # The copyright notice above does not evidence any
    # actual or intended publication of such source code.

    #ident "@(#)true.sh 1.6 93/01/11 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.4 */
    Notice that there isn't actually any executable code in this shell script. Yes, AT&T have copyrighted the null program.

    Unfortunately, this means that every program ever written includes, er, "code" from /bin/true and hence is in violation of AT&T copyright...

    (Posted as AC so that AT&T's lawyers don't sue my sorry ass for publishing their unpublished proprietary source code)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2001 @06:03AM (#144092)
    If you use MS Excell 2k, and put a "saved querry object" in your spreadsheet, such as MS's Stock Data getter thingie, run it, and then follow the link the the legal agreement of using it, you will find that there is a segment within the legal agreement describing the applet's use of gnuplot . Hrmmm....
  • by phil reed ( 626 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:24AM (#144093) Homepage
    According to this article [theregister.co.uk] on The Register, MSN did indeed alter the article to make it a little less Microsoft-antonistic, but apparently got caught on it and altered it back.

  • They certainly do not have that integrety. Read the Register article linked to in the blurb. They edited the content of the original WSJ article before putting it up on MSN, so as to soften it up.
  • Of course, what they fail to mention is that spawning of new processes is much MORE costly in NT than in UNIX, and that's probably the reason they had to change it. They had to alter the application to accomodate the limitations of the OS they were moving it to.

    In Unix, you use threading only if you really absolutely need it, but multi-process does the trick 9 times out of 10. In NT, you use threading because you *need* to to get any reasonable performance at all, because NT sucks at multi-processing.

  • Possibly because the original post was being sarcastic. Microsoft got caught altering the words in a Wall Street Journal story published on MSNBC. They changed the words and the meaning of the story to put Microsoft in a more favourable light. Details are on TheRegister.co.uk. That's how I read it and so I thought it was funny.

    If the original post was trying to be insightful then the author is a dweeb. It wasn't insightful. If the author was being serious then at best I'd label it flamebait. I expect a little information before I moderate informative. I expect a little insight before moderating insightful. Saying "/. sucks and they censor" is neither.
  • They were planning to replace the BSD boxes with Windows ones, but they decided to wait unril they had to reboot them, and then they completely forgot about them because they're used to rebooting machines every week.

    They would replace them now, but... uh... they got lost during some recent renovations...
  • Why can't we talk about ACLs?

  • Or rather the standard copyright header text...
  • This is what we call Urban legend.

    The time between the announced purchase of Hotmail.com and the rumors of an NT 4.0 migration was only 4 months.

    Corporate mergers do not move that fast, for one thing. For another that 4 months would never have allowed enough time for any analysis of the problem, much less code conversion.

    Also shortly after this, I went and did a search on deja.com, various other search engines, etc. I could find no references to any hotmail.com outages. No enduser complaints, etc. Although there was ample evidence of such complaints during other time periods.

    This is an urban legend, much akin to "Microsoft can't ever enter the Unix market" legend promoted by RE Ballard on c.o.l.a.

  • Hotmail.com used to use PERL. One of the first things Microsoft did after purchasing them was move this to CGI written in C++.

    From the Microsoft article:

    "All of the Hotmail web servers are dual Pentium processor servers. Originally, these servers were built with FreeBSD running Apache as the web server. Most of the Web pages were generated by Perl-based CGIs. The version of Apache that was being used was not multi-threaded so each request was handled by another Apache process that was spawned off by the parent process. Spawning a new process is costly and Perl is an interpreted language so the performance of these machines was not optimal.

    One of the first tasks undertaken by the dev team when Microsoft purchased Hotmail was to convert all the CGIs from Perl to C++. This was done for several reasons--the most important of which was performance. After this was completed, a couple of developers were tasked with getting the code to build and run on Windows NT® operating system. This was done because of the need for better debugging tools. "
  • Sorry, I didn't read the article with my tinfoil beanie on. I must have succumbed to the mind altering rays.
  • What the hell are you babbling about?

    If you have issues with trying to understand what I wrote, feel free to email me about it.
  • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @06:34AM (#144111)
    Why is it that people can't understand the difference between the GPL and the BSD licenses? You can attack one without attacking the other, and Microsoft has focused their complaints against the GPL, implying that the BSD license is better.

    Furthermore as far as hotmail.com goes. Again, if you read the article that Microsoft has on their site regarding the migration to Windows 2000 they acknowledge the support/mindshare issue.

    The support people were used to monitoring the FreeBSD servers. As a result, they installed syslog tools on the Windows 2000 servers(by way of Services for Unix). Microsoft fully admits they still have some FreeBSD machines in house, it's just the main web servers they migrated. They also say in the article that the development machines had been using Windows NT/2k for quite a while beforehand. Initial development had been done on NT, then recompiled on FreeBSD and retested.

    According to the article Microsoft migrated the entirety of several thousand web servers running FreeBSD to Windows 2000.

    According to the hotmail migration article, not only did switch over to Win2k servers seamlessly, they also increased the number of users they could support on hotmail without buying additional hardware.

    Sounds to me like a terrific success for Microsoft, and something just last year open source zealots were claiming they could not do.

  • Doesn't it bother people a little bit that there were two differing versions of this news item? Shouldn't WSJ be posting the final articles instead of the "early" versions for syndication?
  • by AlastairBurt ( 3604 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @06:43AM (#144113)

    I can think of several other projects funded by Microsoft that produce GPL'ed code. Some work [mu.oz.au] on the Mercury [mu.oz.au] language, for example, was funded by them. One of the conditions for the cooperation was that "all the support for the .NET platform in the Mercury system will be available on the same terms as the rest of the Mercury system, i.e. open-source under the GPL or LGPL".

    This seems all the more ironic since I understand Craig Mundie to be telling the government not to support GPL'ed development. Is Microsoft itself now going to stop research funding for software under such cancerous licenses?

  • c:\WINDOWS\system32>find /i "Regent" *.* ---------- FINGER.EXE @(#) Copyright (c) 1980 The Regents of the University of California. ---------- FTP.EXE @(#) Copyright (c) 1983 The Regents of the University of California. ---------- NSLOOKUP.EXE @(#) Copyright (c) 1985,1989 Regents of the University of California. ---------- RCP.EXE @(#) Copyright (c) 1983 The Regents of the University of California. ---------- RSH.EXE @(#) Copyright (c) 1983 The Regents of the University of California. FWIW, VMware use ISC's dhcp code in VMnetbridge: ---------- VMNETDHCP.EXE $Id: inet_addr.c,v 1999/11/22 00:57:05 edward Exp $ Copyright (c) 1983, 1990, 1993 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

    (rant)But they're okay, aren't they? They're not Microsoft.(rant off) History lesson The original DOS tcp stack has an interesting history. It's not related to the BSD 4.x stack in any way, and it shows. It was originally developed by the LanMan group in combination with IBM during the original OS/2 collaboration. It was included in LanMan, OS/2 1.x, probably later versions of OS/2, and definitely Windows for Workgroups. It was forced upon the NT 3.1 development team (they weren't happy, apparently), forked at NT 3.1 and Win95. High quality descendants ended up NT 3.51 and its derivatives until NT 5.0 ~ beta 1. WinME still has the derivative of the LanMan/WfwG stack.

    NT 5.0 (Win2K) adopted the FreeBSD stack prior to beta 2, and in fact, roughly around build 1477 Win2K smelled like FreeBSD to nmap. This adopted stack has been seriously tuned to provide even higher throughput of an already well acknowledged industry leader stack for throughput and solidity. Things like full SMP robustness, CPU affinity, etc were added (FreeBSD are adding them now in the -current branch; speak to Greg Lehey and co for more detail).

  • Guess I was wrong... they don't have the integrity, their just a little slower than I thought.
  • http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/19804.html

    Kinda puts some egg on many faces.
  • by neo ( 4625 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @07:20AM (#144118)
    I've seen a weird trend from /. moderators. Anytime someone makes a good point about or appears to support Microsoft, it gets labels as "Funny".

    It's as if such comments were incapable of being "interesting", "informative" or "insightful". TikkaMassala makes a good point, but instead of taking it seriously we label it as "Funny" to avoid the uncomfortable implication that Microsoft has integrity. In a corporation as large as Microsoft, I find it plausable that there are parts within it's walls that retain integrity, but we tend to mock rather than support those who point this out.

    Shame on us moderators for this. We should hold outselves to a higher standard.

  • Actually, the ActivePerl stuff I believe is dually licensed under the artistic license and the GPL. I'll check to make sure, though.
  • Hehe. Have you seen the GNU one though? The Solaris true may be a null program, but it must have been written by the same guys who wrote the GNU one:

    $ true --version
    true (GNU sh-utils) 2.0
    Written by no one.

  • by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:01AM (#144121) Journal
    On a SunOS box:

    % more /usr/bin/clear
    # Copyright (c) 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 AT&T
    #ident "@(#)clear.sh 1.8 96/10/14 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.3 */
    # Copyright (c) 1987, 1988 Microsoft Corporation
    # All Rights Reserved

    # This Module contains Proprietary Information of Microsoft
    # Corporation and should be treated as Confidential.

    Gosh. And what is this proprietary information, I hear you ask?

    # clear the screen with terminfo.
    # if an argument is given, print the clear string for that tty type

    /usr/bin/tput ${1:+-T$1} clear 2> /dev/null

    Ooh, these 'leet Microsoft programmers....


  • by doomicon ( 5310 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @03:57AM (#144122) Homepage Journal
    Good article. One thing to point out thou, MS is
    such a large company, it seems to me a case of
    the right hand not knowing what the left hand is

    What I find surprising, after some of their past
    mistakes (i.e. DoJ Trial), you'd think they would
    be more careful.
  • The article is dumbed down too much to avoid explaining the different licenses. Microsoft also does this in their announcements. Most of Microsoft's arguments against Open Source are against GPLed software. The WSJ doesn't even mention GPL. That's either because they don't know how to explain it in a few paragraphs, or even more likely they don't understand the issues with the different licenses.

    The reporter sounds like he's well aware of the differences between the GPL and BSD licenses, even though he does not specifically mention the GPL. I think that was probably a good move, given that his target audience would be businesses that use software rather than businesses that sell software.

    On the other hand, Microsoft's announcements avoid mentioning the licenses in order to paint all Open Source products with the same broad brush. There is no way that Jim Allchin could be unaware that Windows contains BSD networking code. I also doubt that Mr. Mundie is ignorant of the key differences between the GPL and BSD licenses. While there is an element of audience targeting in their comments, the statements of the MS spokeperson about BSD and Hotmail make it clear that MS would like to paint a negative picture of all Open Source products.
  • Do you really believe that MS hasn't already taken a GOOD look at the competing code bases out there? It wouldn't just be a good idea for them to do it, it is a great idea. That's why I am sure that they have done it for years now.
  • That's different - probably Microsoft updated /usr/bin/clear in XENIX, under a proprietary license, before that was transferred to SCO, also under license. So nothing shady there.
  • by trb ( 8509 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:45AM (#144136)
    Yeah, there's probably a reason that they're called "berkeley sockets."
    They're called Berkeley sockets to distinguish them from BBN's socket code, because Bill Joy, then of Berkeley, rewrote TCP/IP [computer.org] about 20 years ago, based on BBN's earlier implementation
  • I don't think the Journal's recent attitude towards Microsoft is one of hostility. The reporters at WSJ try very hard to get the facts straight because it actually matters at the bottom line. (In contradistiction to, say, the op-ed page, where the connection between opinion and fact is much more tenuous.) What it does mean is that "The Establishment" has gotten at least a partial clue about the economic potential of free software, and they are calling Microsoft's bluff in this one instance. It doesn't mean that they're going to dump their MS stock or urge the states' Attorneys General to sue them again.

  • You might have hit a nail on the head there too. The IBM'ers have customers which MUST have 5 digit uptime. The stuff has to work. The Microsoft side can deal with reinstallations, memory leaks in MFCxx.DLL, etc because reboots don't turn customers eyes like seeing a NYSE trading terminal goind down would.

    note: I have no idea if NYSE use IBM or MS, it's just an example.

    I've seen IBM's way of releasing software and when you get it, it works. The Microsoft way is to dump it on the customer and fix bugs later as the complaint's come in. IMHO


    That may have been true in 1999, but those companies who relied on clue-insulated management are on the rolls of the dead in 2001.

    They may not be geeks, but the ones who survive know when to heed geek counsel.

  • Did any significant number of users jump ship when Office was ported to Mac OS?

    Yes, at least at one office I know of. And especially among the heavy laptop users. When Office 2000 was released for the Mac, IS started offering the choice of IBM laptops or Powerbooks to the staff that travelled heavily. Most people chose the Powerbook.

    And the exodus is continuing, partially the general dissatisfaction with Win2000 and the recent arrival of the eminently sexy TiBook.

  • People educated in the IBM culture tend to be bureaucrats. Have you ever seen RPG code? It looks like some kind of primitive assembly language, but it's still in use in many shops.

    This has not created a high-productivity programming culture. But there is an upside: the work that finally gets produced tends to be of high quality, and IBM AS/400 types are highly intolerant of bugs that would generate shrugs of the shoulder in the Windows world.

    I actually tried an AS/400 but got discouraged by the vertical learning curve - you literally have to understand how the whole incredibly complex system fits together before you can write 'Hello World'.

    I have a sneaking admiration for people with that kind of patience. But it certainly goes a long way towards explaining why the IBM group was a lot less productive; it's probably cultural, just as higher productivity in Linux versus Windows is.


  • BTW, it looks to me like MS' campaign is kind of working. A lot of my not-into Linux friends ask me questions lately about the issues of using Linux at their work - the FUD is spreading! I hope it really is countered with articles like this one in the main stream press.

    Before this, your friends wouldn't have known or talked about Linux at all. This is progress for us. As they say, "call me anything you want, but call me". What a gift from Microsoft, we could never afford to buy this kind of free publicity.

  • I guess that makes sense from MS's POV. After all, the only thing worse for MS than not being allowed to make your code part of their proprietary system would be to allow Sun to keep their code proprietary.
  • Linux was under the BSD license and they could just use Linux code at will with no repercussions. There is probably lots of Linux code that they would love to have in M$ Windows if they could just use it. I think they are more bothered by the GPL and LGPL then just linux itself. They are certainly not bothered by BSD...

    I don't want a lot, I just want it all!
    Flame away, I have a hose!

  • As long as posts such as yours are visible, I hardly think /. is a PR mouthpiece. Heck, the easiest way to get moderated up around here is to point out problems with Linux, why Microsoft isn't so bad, why the GPL is wrong, etc., etc. And as I discovered the other day [slashdot.org] just stating your personal reasons to use Linux as opposed to Microsoft software is a good way to get moderated down as a troll. Maybe the front-page news items betray a smidgin of bias from time to time (although I think the editors have made it clear that they do prefer Linux and aren't ashamed to talk it up), but come on - who reads just the front page. As has always been the case on this forum, whenever there's BS on the front page, the highest-rated comment is someone being called on it. I don't see that changing any time soon.

    In light of the Register article about Microsoft doctoring the WSJ article and then restoring it, maybe you should reexamine your perceptions of who has more integrity?

    Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

  • by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:48AM (#144153) Homepage
    It is horrible PR.
    No it is not! Do you really thinkg MS's PR is aimed at the slashdot crowd? Or do you think it's aimed at the PHB's who allocate funds for software purchases? Repeat after me:


    MS is a business; their goal is to make money; their advertising is targeted at people who spend money on software. 'Nuff said.
  • Brief moment of thought - what would have happened if Standard Oil had content control of the major news sources of the day...

    I fear that, as Jeff Cooper has said, "We live in the age of the wimp".

    Expect more of this in the future. Our children will think this is normal.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:45AM (#144157)
    > What I don't understand, is why Microsoft's PR department insists on causing so much controversy.

    Because they view it as a life-or-death struggle. (OK, they seem to view everything that way, but they may well be correct this time.)

    As many others have pointed out, MS is unlike most other OS vendors in that the OS is their premier product, not something they make so they can sell their expensive hardware. If OSOSes ever replace MSOSes on commodity hardware, MS is toast.

    In addition... insert here the oft-repeated explanation that even if OSOSes don't replace MSOSes, MS still has the problem that it requires growth to keep its stock prices up, and OSS is sucking up a big portion of what little uncommitted market still remained to MS for growth.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:52AM (#144158)
    See this story over at The Reg. [theregister.co.uk]

  • Very little, very little indeed.
    Not much of unix is in there. It's quite a bit different from a kernel point of view.. and as for the GUI.. it's 100% not-X.

    IT's not just a bunch of scripted commands.
  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @03:52AM (#144160)
    It's been long-standing knowledge that Hotmail runs on FreeBSD. That's what it was built on, and moving it to NT would be (is) a nightmare.

    And try to find a TCP/IP stack that *doesn't* have code derived from the BSD stack. Yes, I know it's out there... but BSD stacks are by far the most common. This is not news.

  • . . .They moved Hotmail to a NT 4.0 system.

    And it crashed, badly. And kept crashing, badly. And thus, they quietly moved it back to FreeBSD.

    Alas, no references, this is purely memory. Although I first heard that story here on Slashdot [slashdot.org]

  • He clearly DID read Gibson's article. Did you? It was MS's implementation (ie, not to spec) that prevented spoofing. Whether it was faulty by design or by accident, it's still to 'blame', and evidence that it was not in fact BSD code. THAT is the point blirp made.

    "He said that it's impossible for an application...to "spoof" its source IP...not because the TCP/IP implementation was limited in its ability to DDOS."

    That's _exactly_ what Gibson said. Being able to DDoS requires the ability to spoof it's source IP.

    That is what blirp was driving at, even though he worded it poorly. It's less important than his primary point regarding the non-use of BSD code in the stack.

    You needn't be so zealotist that you see zealotry where it doesn't exist.


  • It's true that it doesn't contradict their intent or the point, but it DOES contradict their literal statements. In the end, that's all they can be held accountable for. That's what the reporter was hitting on.

  • The advertising clause is just that..materials used for advertising. Compiled programs are STILL going to have identifiable strings.

  • They didn't post the story, only the headline. It was probably just RSSed right into the ca.msn.com page. The controversy over the original article's content involved MSNBC, not MSN.

  • It's called the Internet. Maybe you've heard of it? You can thank BSD for a good portion of it, including TCP/IP and Sendmail. Let's not forget Apache. Linux is probably somewhere in there too. ;)

  • The BSD license isn't about stealing, it's about _giving_. It's not even about 'stealing'.

  • Maybe not surprising to us, but certainly to the readers of WSJ.

  • Another collection of Win32 binaries of typical Unix tools can be found at SourceForge: the
    GnuWin32 [sf.net] project.
  • by The Wookie ( 31006 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:44AM (#144173)
    The Register is reporting that MSNBC originally doctored the WSJ and then restored it after they got caught.

    The story is here:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/19771.html [theregister.co.uk]
  • I've seen a weird trend from /. moderators. Anytime someone makes a good point about or appears to support Microsoft, it gets labels as "Funny".

    Well, you know what they say -

    First they laugh at you...
    Then they fight...

  • I don't think most people who run Office for Windows are all of a sudden going to run Linux

    Right. My point was only that having Office on Windows would eliminate a reason for needing to run Windows, not that this in and of itself would cause anyone to switch their OS. However, the lack of Office for Linux is one of the canonical reasons why Linux isn't ready to replace Windows as a "default" consumer OS.

    I can imagine it would lead to PC companies trying to shave a few bucks and preinstalling Linux with this (hypothetical) Office for Linux and selling it as an entry-level, or at least low-cost PC. If the company saved $100 for the Windows license, they could charge $75 less and put the difference towards support costs.

    However, my guess is that now would be an unlikely time for this to succeed, as the first-time PC buyer market seems to be stagnant, if not on the decline.

  • by Mignon ( 34109 ) <satan@programmer.net> on Monday June 18, 2001 @07:21AM (#144179)
    They need to ... Port Office to linux and they could help control it.

    A move like this would probably hurt Microsoft. It would eliminate a reason for needing to run Windows (which is a big cash cow for them, as they get paid for a Windows license for nearly every PC sold.)

    Moreover, I don't think they could control Linux. Perhaps you're thinking they could supply patches to the kernel that would make Office run better than, say KWord or Star Office. However, this would require Linus' agreement. I doubt he'd include such dubious features. They're free, of course, to fork the kernel and make their own distribution, but they would have to distribute their source code and couldn't stop their customers from doing the same.

    However, I think you're right that what would help Microsoft (or at least hurt the open source community) would be if they managed to divide and conquer the community. Their recent rantings about open source as "cancer", however, seems to have caused the OS community to close ranks and ignore their differences, as MS paints them all with the same brush.

    Perhaps they would consider trying to divide the OS community along OS licenses, but complaining in public about OS licenses is a weak tactic for MS, because it relies on the arcana of the definition of open source. It would be pointless for MS to try to divide the OS community by picking sides in the "which license is better" debate because their PR machine works at the consumer/upper management level. The decision about which license is better takes place at the developer level, and is hardly a topic of interest to the general public. (I.e. typical Windows users.)

    Then there's OS-X. While Apple freely embraces OS in the form of BSD and makes no bones about it, as many people have pointed out Windows (NT) is based in part on some BSD code. So MS rantings about OS "cancer" only also alienate them from Mac afficianados as well. This tactic seems to have backfired by (a) causing their otherwise fractioned enemies to find common ground, and (b) exposing their own hypocracy in their use of BSD code.

  • by mpe ( 36238 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @08:07AM (#144183)
    The version of Apache that was being used was not multi-threaded so each request was handled by another Apache process that was spawned off by the parent process. Spawning a new process is costly and Perl is an interpreted language so the performance of these machines was not optimal.

    Windows people tend to make a big fuss about threading. The reason is that process creation (and context switching) is an expensive operation under Windows. Thus Windows stuff tends to be written multi-thread than multi-process.
  • I can restrict all sorts of access in an NT/2000 workstation and bring about the same result. Heck, I can control it in the hardware so that they only save to a network drive and there entire harddrive remains the same; no fuss, no muss.
    Until the network goes down; big fuss and big muss...
    1. The more users = more developers you have working on a platform thus the weaker your average developer will be.
    Wrong. Assuming that programming skills follow a standard distribution curve, then you would have a lot more average programmers than really good or really bad programmers. While it it true that you will have more BAD programmers, you will also have many more GOOD programmers but the huge majority will be AVERAGE programmers.

    Hint: take a Statistics 101 course...
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • Maybe they have more integrity than censoring news stories that put their community in a bad light

    It will be interesting to see just how much "integrity" MSN has now that this story has been "spotted".
  • by csbruce ( 39509 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @08:11AM (#144186)
    As many others have pointed out, MS is unlike most other OS vendors in that the OS is their premier product, not something they make so they can sell their expensive hardware. If OSOSes ever replace MSOSes on commodity hardware, MS is toast.

    Also, OS dominance has tremendous strategic benefit to Microsoft since it uses it as the base to launch into other markets. While being illegal, of course, this has been MS's main MO for the past decade and it has been extraordinarily successful. If MS loses its OS dominance, it will have a much more difficult time expanding into new markets and dominating old ones. They would be just another player on the field, rather than the owner of the playing field.
  • A casual reading of the parent post might lead one to think that Free Software is a cause of "the considerably lower standard of living" in some countries. Nothing could be further from the truth. The low standards of living were pre-existing. Free software is a minor benison to such countries. If the per capita income is $500 a year (or less) then no one is going to be spending much money on commercial software licenses. Free (or Open Source..whatever) software makes helps make it legally possible for second and third companies to engage in computing.

    I also have to point out the Microsoft's treatment of it's workers and charitible donations do not excuse it's unethical behaivor in other areas. It most certainly does not excuse the out and out lies coming out the mouths of Ballmer and Mundie. "Cancer", anyone? "Open source software will force you to give up your IP.", ad nauseating. Microsoft is well deserving of "accusing fingers" in the PR as well as other respects.

    I also fail to see how frequent software releases take advantage of users. Does the release in use fulfill your needs? If yes, then don't upgrade. Does the new release provide a desired feature? Yes? Then by all means upgrade and report back the ways it could be better. If that is being taken advantage of then PLEASE! take advantage of me some more!

    There are other points that could be made like the many positive reasons for developers to contribute APART FROM EGO. Then there are also the economic points in OSS' favor but I need to get back to work ;-). In short, I don't feel taken advantage of in way by using my software of choice.
  • by Kenneth ( 43287 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:40AM (#144189) Homepage
    Did you read the actual article? Have you been listening to what Microsoft has been saying lately? In case you haven't it goes something like this. GPL=open source, GPL=anti-intllectual property, Open Source= anti-intellectual property, All Open source threatens intellectual property, because if you use any open source, you have to give away all of your IP.

    Everybody in the tech community knew that the Win95/NT tcp/ip stack was the BSD stack, everybody in the tech community knew that hotmail was run (until recently) on BSD.

    I don't find anything in this to be breaking news, I just find it to be funny.

    "Don't use open soruce it's bad." "Shh, don't tell anyone, but all of our most mission critical stuff runs on open source software."

    That's the funny part.
  • It's spelled "centers," mate.

    No, it's only spelled "centers" in the US (and probably Toronto). Everyone else in the world spells it "centres".

  • God you're a fucking idiot. Did you even read Gibsons's article? He said that it's impossible for an application running under any version of Windows 3.x/95/98/ME or NT to "spoof" its source IP or generate malicious TCP packets such as SYN or ACK floods, not because the TCP/IP implementation was limited in its ability to DDOS.

    He also said that this is because Windows didn't have the raw sockets interface that the Unices have, which is generally what you need to spoof IP addresses. Get a clue before posting,


  • What in tarnation does THAT mean? The guy was right on the money.
  • Yeah, there's probably a reason that they're called "berkeley sockets."

    The news isn't that Hotmail uses FreeBSD, but that it still uses FreeBSD, after Microsoft announced that it has completely replaced FreeBSD with Windows, and that it got caught in this discrepancy while in the middle of its anti-free-software campaign.

    Liar liar stock on fire.

    - - - - -
  • by redelm ( 54142 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:02AM (#144199) Homepage
    C:\WIN95B>strings ftp.exe | grep alif
    @(#) Copyright (c) 1983 The Regents of the University of California.

    I suspect there's alot more BSD code in MS-Windows[*|NT], but either compressed to hide the UC copyright or licenced more recently without the "obnoxious advertising" BSD clause.

  • by dehuit ( 57744 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:14AM (#144200)
    In this case the reporter missed that point entirely.

    No he did not. Read this paragraph:

    [...] The Microsoft spokesman, in acknowledging that fact, said it didn't contradict the company's many recent anti-open-source statements. He said that's because Microsoft's main objection has been to Linux, which has a more restrictive licensing arrangement than FreeBSD. Microsoft, though, hasn't previously suggested that there were benign forms of open-source software, and while singling out Linux for special criticism, has tended to criticize all open-source with the same broad brush.

    Right. In the recent anti-GPL FUD, it tried to broaden the attack to all Open Source. Looks like it's backfiring now, especially to the general public who cannot see the nuances between GPL and other open source licenses. Now they read MS is using it themselves...

    BTW, it looks to me like MS' campaign is kind of working. A lot of my not-into Linux friends ask me questions lately about the issues of using Linux at their work - the FUD is spreading! I hope it really is countered with articles like this one in the main stream press.

  • by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @08:59AM (#144201)
    According to the hotmail migration article, not only did switch over to Win2k servers seamlessly, they also increased the number of users they could support on hotmail without buying additional hardware.

    I wouldn't expect them to say anything else. Considering that they have no reservations about lying to their customers, the press, and federal judges, the fact that Microsoft says X gives very little support for the hypothesis that X is true.

  • by bungalow ( 61001 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @06:23AM (#144203)
    You know that all of those guys in the applications division run linux and bsd at home.

    Or at work. There was Linux on plenty of desktops at their support center at Las Colinas. I did support for them for about 6 months, and there was plenty of discussion about Linux, the trial ( I started just after the Jackson's FoF), and what the outcomes would be like.

    With all of the FUDmongering that comes out of Redmond, you'd think that Linux would be a four - letter word at Microsoft, but they use the same number of letters there as anywhere else in the English - speaking world.

    They were generously unconcerned about what software, what os, and what games we had on our machine. OTOH, there was a huge THOU SHALT NOT USE OPEN -SOURCE TOOLS TO DEVELOP mentality, that probably forced developers to conform to a standard - approved tools list.

  • What I find surprising, after some of their past mistakes (i.e. DoJ Trial), you'd think they would be more careful.

    And lose an endless source of great entertainment?!? I hope they never learn. :)
  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:35AM (#144210)
    Geeks definetly don't have the purse strings. However, management is more informed than /. gives credit. It is hard to associate open source with some kind of granola crap when IBM is dumping a billion into linux development, HP is jumping on the bandwagon, and some of the guys in your IT department are telling you that windows sucks. And, when you have to tell the CFO that the IT budget is up because of MS's new licensing scam, people look twice.

    /.'ers most common folly is to assume that Linux is for hobbiests and geeks. Look who is contributing to the 2.5 kernel. Oracle, IBM and HP aren't some hobbiest commies. They are big buck drive the dollar home capitalists. Their goal is to make money.

  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:44AM (#144211)
    I agree with your statement, but I stand on my firm belief that MS execs are idiots.

    If I ran the zoo...

    The "Enterprize" market could fricking care less about some BS slander campaign. F500 companies are *not* run by idiots. There is a reason that the average F500 CIO makes 10 million a year. Those guys go on results. The only market that can be suckered in this fashion frankly is the grassroots crowd. Look at all of the FUD on this site for instance. But, the grassroots crowd doesn't take well to perceived bullying.

    Microsoft is responding to the "Dune-Mwadeeb" effect of GNU/Linux/BSD. When facing the jahad, don't fuel the flames by executing the faithful. What Microsoft needs to accomplish, is a truce. They need to court the energy of the open source movement in their favor. How? Port Office to linux. Through a few billion into Gnome or KDE or Wine, or their own fricking desktop, but have it run on Linux. Port Office to Linux and they could help control it. Open Source Internet Explorer for Linux. MS needs to get their hooks into the Linux development like IBM, Oracle and HP are.

  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:16AM (#144212)
    I feel for the engineers at Microsoft. This ludicrious anti open source campaign is completely ficticious and doesn't represent anyones real opinion within Microsoft. You know that all of those guys in the applications division run linux and bsd at home. They are all ex-Mac developers for god sakes.

    What I don't understand, is why Microsoft's PR department insists on causing so much controversy. This anti open source movement only reinforces their draconian reputation. Sun is no better than Microsoft (if they only had Microsoft's monopoly we would be living in the 3rd Reich). But at least Sun's PR actually attempts to soften their image.

    Coming out against Open Source is like attacking charitable causes. It is horrible PR.

    Microsoft has increased its licencing fees by estimates of 100%. It has dropped negotiations with AOL over issues of content controlling (its browser wars II, Return of the Media). To cover up these clear demonstrations of monopoly abuse, the company has assulted open source???

  • Both Mundie and the reporter are writing to the same audience. Mundie's not explaining the issues is probably a combination of it being less confusing for his audience, as well as all Open Source being a competitor to some extent.

    What bothers me about the WSJ article is that there really isn't much to the article. Other than reporting that someone at Microsoft saying there was no Open Source used at Hotmail, which he should have known to be untrue, and easily proven untrue. A fact which was corrected a few days later by someone at Hotmail with a clue. Spokesmen for Hotmail get no benefit from lying about this, someone was just clueless about this issue. The rest of the article is really just sensational. There aren't enough facts in the article to make it useful for anyone who is trying to learn something. The article isn't really trying to inform people. It's just a sensational article about a controversial subject. That makes WSJ a business tabloid, which is dissapointing. I guess I should be used to being disappointed by the mainstream press. I'm really disappointed by Slashdot's increasing tendency to link these articles without technical comments added. It seems to me like Slashdot's becomming a technical tabloid where you get to comment on the sensational articles. It's not there yet, but it seems to be leaning in that direction more and more.
  • I'm sure they've looked at other code bases, but I doubt they are actively following every change. Software, especially Open Source software, is constantly evolving. If you think one OS is better than another OS at a particular function, just because they were better a year or so ago, then you may be missing something. If OpenBSD is doing something better than Windows, that Windows NEEDS to do well, then it's time for MS developers to take another look.
  • by flatrock ( 79357 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:18AM (#144215)
    The article is dumbed down too much to avoid explaining the different licenses. Microsoft also does this in their announcements. Most of Microsoft's arguments against Open Source are against GPLed software. The WSJ doesn't even mention GPL. That's either because they don't know how to explain it in a few paragraphs, or even more likely they don't understand the issues with the different licenses.

    Microsoft telling reporters that Hotmail doesn't use any Open Source software is a different issue. Either the Microsoft employee that stated that was horribly informed and should have known to keep his mouth shut, or the quote was taken out of context. Through Hotmail, Microsoft has learned that there are some things that FreeBSD is better at. I'm willing to bet that these issuses are getting a lot of attention by the Win2000/XP development teams. I'm sure that it's a goal of Microsoft's to be able to switch those systems over to Windows in the future. At least they're smart enough to run FreeBSD untill they have a "Microsoft" solution. If they're smart, part of the solution will be to look at the FreeBSD code and learn what they can from it, and since the BSD license allows it even use BSD code to solve the problem if that works for them.
  • by flatrock ( 79357 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @06:24AM (#144216)
    A lot of companies make really stupid decisions for marketing reasons, or because of managment's pride. I've seen really stupid business decisions that were technically unsound made just because a manager was unwilling to change course after an important, high profile decision was made. Someone made the decision to remove FreeBSD from those systems, and that person had to admit that Windows wasn't up to the task.

    What else could they have done? They could have gone down the path of Microsoft doing a rush job of patching Windows to fix this problem. You would have ended up with an unstable system for a while, and Hotmail would have lost some customers. Instead, Microsoft swollowed their pride and made a good business decision.
  • As usual, they got it mostly wrong, probably intentionally.

    The version of Apache that was being used was not multi-threaded so each request was handled by another Apache process that was spawned off by the parent process. Spawning a new process is costly

    True, but misleading. Apache spawns multiple servers at startup, each process is then available to be handed hundreds or thousands (or millions) of requests, depending on configuration. It is NOT "spawn a new server process per request" as they attempt to imply.

    and Perl is an interpreted language so the performance of these machines was not optimal.

    Perl need not be interpreted when run by Apache. The mod_perl apache module allows scripts to be precompiled by the apache server processes.

  • So much for MSNBC being somehow "independent" of Microsoft.
  • by johnos ( 109351 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:41AM (#144231)
    The most significant thing about this article is that it is from the Wall Street Journal. Its the second anti MS article in a week. They called smart tags "dangerous".

    The Journal is conservative, it is voice of the establishment. It is also one of the best newspapers in the world.

    As the voice of the establishment, the fact that it has gone sour on MS is tremendously significant. It means that Corporate America is turning against them.

    Why does this matter? Because, if the "business community" is against MS, then the Bush administration will see them as a political liability.

    And what happens to companies that become political liabilities? Well, what happened to ADM? or the tobacco companies? They got hung out to dry.

    Wishful thinking? Possibly, but two negative stories in the Journal in a week is one of those red flags only monomania can blind someone to.
  • by oob ( 131174 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:28AM (#144243)
    The Register has an article on how MNSBC has been doctoring out the details of this story in order to cast M$ is a better light. See it here. [theregister.co.uk]
  • by Sir Runcible Spoon ( 143210 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:24AM (#144250)
    WSJ: In its campaign against open-source, Microsoft has been unable to come up with examples of companies being harmed by it.

    Really? Well. I can think of one ... and its name begins with M.

  • by blirp ( 147278 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:17AM (#144255)
    Do you understand the difference between porting a utility than porting that *stack*?

    Yes, and I said so, or at least I tried.
    I was simply verifying that MS uses OSS code in Windows, even Windows NT.

    And since one of the reasons GRC [grc.com] was able to block the initial DDoS attacks was because of the limited TCP/IP implementation of Windows, it seems obvious that the stack is their own.


  • by blirp ( 147278 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:58AM (#144256)
    I'm not familiar with the way the 9x TCP/IP stack is built, but the NT one most certainly isn't based on the BSD one.

    • Find a computer with NT on it
    • Look at FTP.exe (for instance)
    • Observe the line "Copyright (c) 1983 Regents of the University of California"

    A simple
    find "Regents" C:\WinNT\System32\FTP.exe
    should do it.

    You could, of course, argue that this is only programs using the existing TCP/IP stack, but it still means MS is using BSD code.


  • by Icebox ( 153775 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @03:59AM (#144261)

    Microsoft tends to receive quite a bit of bad press in the Free Software community. There is no doubt that Microsoft has released its share of bug ridden software, as has just about every other software company in the history of computing. All of this publicity does little to help the image of Microsoft in any community, much less one as technically demanding as Free Software. Given that image it is no wonder that many of us regard the company as evil and uncaring. We shudder at the costs of their software because we know full well that there are lternatives available that are arguably just as good, but are Free for the taking (and changing if we so choose).
    Compared to Free Software Microsoft would probably appear to be evil even to the layman. Our community is composed of volunteers. Our software can be had for the cost of a little bandwidth. In our world you have vast freedom of choice and the source code of our software can even be changed to fit your particular whims, you aren't forced to use whatever some focus group research shows that everyone wants.

    Microsoft is hires and retains its programmers with a variety of economic incentives. Obviously everyone receives a regular salary, there are also stock options, 401k payments, insurance subsidies, bonuses, education reimbursements, etc. Further, by choosing to work for Microsoft every employee implicitly (some explicitly in the form of contracts) agrees to the terms set forth by the company for the particular position they hold. Other aspects of the employment 'contract' are equally well defined. Coffee breaks, lunch times, and numerous other details of the work day are set forth in policies that are made public within the company.
    Microsoft also takes particular pains to maintain good employee relations, so one can assume that the general happiness of the work force is good. Employees can leave the company any time they choose to pursue other opportunities. An excellent comparison to a system such as this would be a capitalist economy. The incentives to produce are obviously economic in nature, some kind of in cash transfer takes place. Employees agree to provide a service for which the company agrees to provide payment. Overall the system is not skewed in favor of one party or another, some areas favor the employer and some favor the employee. It is as close to the ideal of the perfect freedom as one might be able to find.

    It is in this respect that the case could be made that Microsoft, while selling products that are not necessarily better than the alternatives, should be commended. Microsoft provides a non-exploitive means of employment for thousands of people all across the world and in doing so fulfills a social contract that is very valuable indeed. As a country's wealth, and that of its citizens, increases, so does the standard of living. Life expectencies increase due to better health care and sanitation.

    The Free Software movement takes an entirely different approach to recruiting programmers. One of the largest repositories of Free Software projects, Sourceforge, shows a vast array of programs. Many of the workers on those projects are volunteers.
    It cannot be disputed that the Free Software movement has produced quality products but its sterling reputation for being a good social citizen may not be as well deserved as one would think, considering the fact that in spite of their social contributions Microsoft continues to be viewed as evil. Free Software compensates its programmers not with economic transfers, but with social rewards. A review of the community forums will reveal instances of peer pressure to get programmers to contribute. Quotes like "If you want that feature go code it yourself" can be read quite often. The rewards of working in the Free Software world come not in the form of transfers of any monetary value, but from the admiration of one's peers. This is particularly evident with another visit to the popular Sourceforge, 'Highest Rated Users' and 'Top Project Downloads' graphics are porminently displayed on the front page.

    Many would argue that programmers contribute to projects of their own free will, thus there is much more freedom in the community as opposed to our contrasting example. That assertion true, but it ignores the power of social pressures. A worker cannot simply walk away from a project without paying a price. The incentive to being it in the first place was fulfillment of the ego and such a person would not risk drawing any admonishments from the community for failing to fulfill his end of the social contract.
    Further inspection of the Free Software movement reveals that the social incentives to contribute extend beyond those who can program as well, the movement has developed a way to take advantage of even the unskilled users. 'Release early release often' means a beta version of your favorite software is not far away. Whether one visits Sourceforge, Slashdot, or virtually any other Free Software website on the day a new Linux kernel is released there will no doubt be hype for it. The idea conveyed by the hype surrounding these releases is you need to have the latest version if you want to keep up! In order to keep the movement running smoothly there has to be continuous recruitment of beta testers.

    Considering the social rewards and punishments of the Free Software movement one must wonder what its contribution to the greater welfare of society is. I would hold that we all benefit as a whole from the increase in competition between the two disparaging groups. Despite this there is also a considerable negative component of Free Software: It tends to exploit its workers by shackling them with vast social pressure yet it does nothing to improve their quality of life. Indeed, in courtries where there is widespread use of Free Software (relative to the use of Microsoft alternatives) the standard of living is considerably lower. The fact that shame is used to glean contributions also bears mentioning. A hint of disingenuity can also be found in the assertion that the use of the GPL prevents a person's work from being exploited in the name of corporate profit, companies like Red Hat make millions of dollars every year by providing support for code that originally released free of charge by programmers who were paid nothing.

    As I stated in my opening paragraph, I am a loyal supporter of Free Software. I will continue to use it every day of my life. My primary desire in writing this short essay is to ask each of you to critically assess the Free Softwar movement, and give some thought to our predicament before you point an accusing finger in the direction of Microsoft.

  • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @06:50AM (#144263) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth the poster:
    MS has been pretty good at keeping the distinction between GPL and the rest of the OS licenses in their arguments.
    ... Except, of course, that they fail to make any distinction between GPL and the rest of the OS licenses in their arguments. Sure, they describe the GPL, but they always name it "Open Source".

    And if you think they're just "confused" on the topic, there's a bridge in my hometown that I'd love to sell you...

  • by jayfoo2 ( 170671 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @03:59AM (#144269)
    This isn't any kind of surprise and is a pretty densely written article at that. Amazingly this time the general lack of understanding of things technical is actually hurting MS.

    The Microsoft spokesman, inacknowledging that act, said it didn't contradict the company's many recent anti-open-source statements. He said that's because Microsoft's main objection has been to Linux, which has a more restrictive licensing arrangement than FreeBSD.
    It's true. Mundie was mostly bashing the GPL, not open source as a whole (not that I think he's running FreeBSD at home...).

    In this case the reporter missed that point entirely.

    Now if this were the other way around, would it be FUD?
  • by gallir ( 171727 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:05AM (#144270) Homepage
    As I reported [lug.net] (in Spanish) few day ago, they also use the tar and gnuzip formats/compression...

    I found the following files in a W98SE with IE automatic update verification enabled:

    • wuloader[1].tgz
    • wulproto[1].tgz
    • actsetup[1].tgz
    • selfupd[1].tgz
    • cun[1].tgz
    • cunprot2[1].tgz
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:17AM (#144298) Journal
    Microsoft provides a non-exploitive means of employment for thousands of people all across the world and in doing so fulfills a social contract that is very valuable indeed.

    I know of a software shop where the NON-MS side of the house is maybe 5 people, and the MS side of the house is maybe 25 to 50. The usual thing databases, etc. Guess which side, which department ins more productive? hint, it is not the MS Side. The smaller department outright outproduces the MS department. And is the department that is keeping the company afloat. Of course, this is upsetting to the the MS crew who wants to phase out the NON-MS department.

    What this says to me is that MS has been promoting widespread programmer incompetancy and inflated cost of ownership. How else to explain the above scenario? How else to explain the need for dozens of people in one scenario in one body of technology where the same thing is accomplished by a mere handful? If the personnel are legitamate experts, then that means that the technology itself is inherently flawed.

    The only thing saving those MS geeks in that company is that the managers have bought the MS marketing line, despite the reality of accounting figures. When they get rid of the older system, they will likely kill the company.

    the last paragraph of the WSJ Article says it best:

    In its campaign against open-source, Microsoft has been unable to come up with examples of companies being harmed by it. One reason [...] is that virtually all the available evidence suggests that open source is "a huge advantage" to companies. "They are able to build on a common standard that is not owned by anyone," he said. "With Windows, Microsoft owns them."

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • I came across this page [vcnet.com] which shows some of Microsoft's Investments over the years. Apart from the fact that Microsoft has never had an original idea for itself, one thing stood out... The have funded Transvirtual's Java Virtual Machine, Kaffe. [transvirtual.com] This software is developed under a GPL license... I wonder if Microsoft had a tough time stooping down to our level just to get a bit of leverage on one of their other compeditors... Sun.
  • by GearheadShemTov ( 208950 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:30AM (#144319)
    In the gift economy of OS infrastructure the bright light of day is the best assurance of continued future prosperity. Sooner or later MS will figure this out, but no bets from me on whether it will be in time for them to profit from the knowledge.

    Like Marijuana, FreeBSD just leads to the Hard Stuff; can leaks about MS dependence on GNU/Linux be far behind? Go GPL!

  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @03:56AM (#144322)
    They are the richest software company. They can afford to use the best software that can be found at any price. What's your excuse for not using the best software?

    Please smile. It's funny, not flaimbait.

  • by update() ( 217397 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @08:13AM (#144326) Homepage
    This whole story comes across as pretty bogus (Slashdot readers obsess about free software licenses but I very much doubt if MS hires developers according to their license zealotry) but -- that Ballmer line is from an interview [suntimes.com] less than three weeks ago. Why would they have been asking you about it at an interview months ago?

    #include "apology for jumping to conclusions if I've completely missed something here"

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • by hillct ( 230132 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @07:28AM (#144339) Homepage Journal
    The WSJ article cites a Microsoft employee who says:
    Many of the company's Web sites went down much of a day in January, and this person said FreeBSD was judged to be better than Windows at helping to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
    Stating that Microsoft still uses FreeBSD for DNS service.

    I'm not sure that the two are related. True BSD is more reliable than windows, but wasn't the Microsoft DNS outage [slashdot.org] related to a routing problem?

    As I recall, some stupid network architect put all their DNS servers on the same subnet. I'm not a big microsoft fan, but to be fair, we all know FreeBSD is better than windows at TCP/IP operations but that wasn't the cause of their DNS outage and shouldn't have been cited as evidence of WIndows' inferiority in the WSJ article. In fact, the DNS outage is evidence only of the fact that Nicrosoft should have hired a smarter network architect.


  • by frleong ( 241095 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @04:20AM (#144348)

    Hey, MS has been using BSD code since the day 1 of Windows NT - a very well known fact. And they never deny it. Besides when MS was "criticizing opensource", the arguments were against the licensing terms of GNU and not open source in general.

    I wonder why slashdot editors keep posting this kind of stuff. Just to please some Linux zealots? News for nerds?...hmmm....

  • by andrewscraig ( 319163 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:46AM (#144391)
    From the looks of an old version of perl I have here - They used to support GPL :
    C:\users\default>perl -v

    This is perl, version 5.001

    Unofficial patchlevel 1m.

    Copyright 1987-1994, Larry Wall
    Win32 port Copyright (c) 1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    Developed by hip communications inc.,

    Perl for Win32 Build 108
    Built Jul 14 1996@19:14:37
    Perl may be copied only under the terms of either the Artistic License or the GNU General Public License, which may be found in the Perl 5.0 source kit.

    Of course, 1995 was a long time ago in internet time!
  • by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @05:02AM (#144393) Journal
    Due to the somewhat anti-MS tone of the article

    Somewhat? They call MS barefaced liars, says they don't trust their own software, and furthermore states that their "Open Source is bad for bussiness" bashing, is nonsense (although to be fair they had singled out the GPL).

    And that in the Wall Street Journal. Hmmm. What next?


  • by TikkaMassala ( 411282 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @03:54AM (#144398)
    Due to the somewhat anti-MS tone of the article, I found it strange that this was linked from a MSN site!

    Maybe they have more integrity than censoring news stories that put their community in a bad light (unlike /. or most US news centres of course).

  • by Tachys ( 445363 ) on Monday June 18, 2001 @03:56AM (#144401)
    But Microsoft had claimed that they had moved Hotmail completely to Windows. But it seems to have been proven false.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham