Microsoft and interoperability with Linux

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at
Mon Mar 3 16:06:36 UTC 2014

On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 12:51 PM, Georges Rodier
<georges.rodier at>wrote:
> The speaker showed us that he (and M$) do understand a lot about OSS. He
> also showed us that his project is to make it possible for major
> elements of OSS to compile and run well on M$ Windows servers. "Open
> Source is all about the applications," said he. (I disagree, but that's
> another story.)

  I've been watching this conversation, and because of the emotion I've not
been sure if I wanted to jump in.

  For me FLOSS is all about protecting the rights and interests of computer
owners by providing software choice, accountability and transparency.  I
treat software code and legal code similarly (See Lessig's Code: and other
laws of cyberspace), with there being different "levels of government" that
can impact us.  This puts operating system and network infrastructure as
requiring the greatest level of accountability and transparency, and
applications as being less important as a good operating system can
hopefully protect us from malware (and I use this term broadly, not just
referring to viruses but any software whose authors have intentions opposed
to those of the computer owners).

  In other words, I do and have nearly always disagreed with Microsoft,
Apple and other like-minded companies on the politics of software.  There
is no amount of software code submitted under any FLOSS license that will
change this politics.  In my mind one speech in front of a politician with
Microsoft supporting non-owner locks on hardware and operating systems
(Some call it "DRM", but it is really anti-owner computer control) wipes
out any theoretical benefit of software code contributions to FLOSS

  I am a big fan of WINE and SAMBA as tools to migrate people off of
unaccountable and non-transparent operating systems, and that is the type
of interoperability I'm interested in.  I wouldn't mind MacOS, iOS,
Windows, or similar applications at all -- even with closed-source licenses
-- if they ran on accountable, transparent and secure-able operating system

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <>

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