Coffeehouse Thread

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How to easily make Windows free: Idea?

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  • Akaina

    "You completely missed the point; with Open Source (not Free Software) anyone can copy code, label it as theirs, close it, then start selling it."

    There's a case being tried right now for a company selling a Linux router and not disclosing the source after a formal request. The GPL is inforcable despite the dillusions of nay-sayers. Remember what piracy is now. It's "unauthorized" copying. Companies that don't disclose source are not authorized. It's just like installing windows without having a license.

    There's nothing magical about paying for software that makes it more enforcible in court.


    And regarding the posts above about Linux not being free - remember that just because you see it in a box with a paper manual being sold, doesn't infer you can't go on their website's FTP mirror list and get it too. Buying a box is paying mostly for the convenience of delivery. Their small margin never hurt anyone. If they do make any money it's nothing in comparisson to the 80% margin earned by some Microsoft products (uhh... before the courts stepped in that is).

    And regarding Linux being beta - tell that to google and everyone else who uses it on a worldscale production basis. Their GUI's aren't as pretty (yet), I'll give you that much.

    If I'm not mistaken, MS used BSD to run their hotmail servers. Isn't that also where they got their TCP/IP stack for the NT 5 kernel? Microsoft was a bigger fan of OSS than we thought Smiley

    And for the record - Win98 SE was $90 and the only functionality it added was USB and ICS. With OSS you don't have to pay for stuff like that. Also, the $20 Win95 patch you could get for win95 machines... the "free" one that came (OEM only) for win95 version B didn't work at all - and I never had the will to pay for a 95 patch.

    Microsoft has some catch-up to do. But they're doing a much better job these days. The commoditization of software isn't an easy transition.

  • lars

    Akaina wrote:
    Their small margin never hurt anyone. If they do make any money it's nothing in comparisson to the 80% margin earned by some Microsoft products


    Microsoft has payed for the development of Windows. Why shouldn't they be allowed to profit from selling it?

    I think thats more fair than companies like Lindows/Linspire that profit from packing and selling stuff other people have developed for free. I don't mind Redhat or SuSe that much. To me it looks like they're trying to contribute and give something back: it's resonably easy to get hold of the compiled ISO versions. 

    /Lars.

  • Shining Arcanine

    Akaina wrote:
    "You completely missed the point; with Open Source (not Free Software) anyone can copy code, label it as theirs, close it, then start selling it."

    There's a case being tried right now for a company selling a Linux router and not disclosing the source after a formal request. The GPL is inforcable despite the dillusions of nay-sayers. Remember what piracy is now. It's "unauthorized" copying. Companies that don't disclose source are not authorized. It's just like installing windows without having a license.


    The source code is accessible for free and can be used as people please without giving changes back to project.

    I know that Microsoft took the FreeBSD TCP/IP stack. That is a prime example of how people can copy the code and not have to distribute the modified source code.

  • Charles

    Manip wrote:

    Charles, if you tell me that to the best of your knowledge they DON'T store ANY information taken during the update process I will take you on your word. That DOES include versions of Microsoft products etc.


    The data we receive from a client during the update process is not stored anywhere except on the same local system from which it originated.


    Keep on posting,

    Charles

  • lars

    I think Microsoft should disclose exactly what information they retrieve from my computer in order to use the update process.

    I have heard rumours that the computers hardware configuration and all installed applications (including non-microsoft) is enumerated and that information is sent over the network. Secrecy about this leads to distrust. And that people avoid updating. Unpached systems damage everyone since they can be taken advantage of as drones for all kinds of cyber mischief. So any secrecy about this not only hurts the consumer, it hurts Micrsoft aswell - on several levels.

    But it has even further implications. What Microsoft does affects the whole industry. Since Microsoft went ahead with Product Activation both Adobe and Symantec have products that require activation. And it looks like just about everyone think it's okey if their application "phones home" to look for updates behind the users back (or whatever they want to transmit - they never get further than the firewall). And maybe those companies don't value privacy as much as Microsoft.

    /Lars

  • Shining Arcanine

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    There's no proof of the SCO claims, but there is proof of MS funding SCO? Wow. Dude, you better tell the press because they'd love to know this.

    As far as anyone's aware one exec at MS talked to one exec at Baystar saying SCO would be a good investment. That's not ... What'd you say? Oh, diverting funds from Microsoft to SCO.

    As far as 'shot down', nothing's 'shot down' until the courts say it is.


    There is proof, in court. To my knowledge whatever code is in both operating systems is not public information.

  • Akaina

    Silly rabbit:

     

    --- From the mailbox of chris sontag

    From: Mike Anderer
    Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003
    To: csontag@sco.com
    CC: Bob Bench
    Subject: Conversation Friday


    http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween10.html


  • Akaina

    BTW, why wouldn't the board let me post until I removed the URL containing a mailto reference at domain SCO .COM?

    If you guys used perl I might be inclined to smell a regular expression, but since you don't, I'll just assume it was something much much much more laborious and pre-meditated Smiley

  • Jeremy W

    Shining: There's proof of MS paying off SCO in court? Which case is this?

    Akaina: Any idea how many people laughed at the interpretation you just linked to. As a hint, try doing some of the math he uses.

    Considering BayStar is now withdrawing their funding of SCO, I'm concerned about how this is still in the realm of "fact" for so many people. It wasn't fact to begin with, it was denied, and now the money's being pulled out.

  • jamie

    Im not sure how this turned into the SCO nutbar case.. /.


    Would Microsoft's business model be harmed if they made obtaining betas alot more easier - with current builds - all with expirey at even 3 months - in an ongoing manner.

    Would the sky fall?

    Would programmers and tinkerers that got to see aero put ms out of business?

    if not..  please - make beta stuff free and easy - like in the old - new IE every other week days.

    thanks in advance!
    Wink

    Then you can say "Well Windows is free, in beta, much like Linux companies that charge for a finished,supported,packaged product, as do we"

    That's what MS would get out of the deal

  • ZippyV

    Charles:
    No source = no proof

    I know already what your reaction on my post will be, but as long as nothing changes, some people will never believe what you or Microsoft claims.

  • Akaina

    Hmmm. That makes sense. The question is, would companies trust Beta-quality software and use it instead? How can you tell if beta is worth the move from a bought version? Most software is just a succession of minor revisions, so how would you classify already 'mature' projects like Windows and Office?

    If you switched a machine from a commercial license to a beta, how would you update your account with Microsoft? It seems like there might be a lot of auditing overhead added.

    Lots of good questions for C9.

  • Cronan

    jamie wrote:
    i also change my machine hardware alot -
    * quickbooks just went through a whole big customer backlash over activation..  food for thought

    Jamie

    Product Activation is a pain. I agree. Some security is always more onerous than no security; it's all about striking a balance. For me, product activation is just a modern form of dongle; if software companies want to protect their product from theft, I have no problem with that. Does product activation cause me some pain? Yes, sure, just like logging on does ...

    You spoke about your privacy concerns. Now, the last time I looked, Microsoft probably has more attention on it than any other company in the world. How many people do you think regularly packet-sniff the data interchanges that happen during Microsoft product updates? Then interpret the data? Hundreds? More?

    How likely do you think it is that not one of them has picked up the transfer of identifying data during these updates? I think it can't be very likely at all. I like product updates. When I sell my own software I like the idea of protecting it from theft and unauthorised usage. There's only one time I ever felt nervous about getting online updates and that's when I didn't own the license to the software in question.

    Ivan

  • lars

    Cronan wrote:
    There's only one time I ever felt nervous about getting online updates and that's when I didn't own the license to the software in question.


    Classic rhetoric: Those who have nothing to fear have nothing to hide.

    So why is the windows update data exchange an (official) secret?

    /Lars.

  • jamie

    "Executives for the Redmond, Wash., company, such as Eric Rudder, senior vice president of servers and tools, are pushing for a new policy in which software under development is made available early and often, much the way the first bits of "Longhorn," the next Windows release, were handed out at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in October."

    Article


    GO ERIC GO!

    * is eric on channel 9?  too high up?
    and...drum roll: how high is too high up? Wink

  • Akaina

    He just replied to one of my posts last week. His acct name is EricR

    http://channel9.msdn.com/User/Profile.aspx?UserID=199

    These are some good steps we're witnessing.

  • androidi

    Source=="Proof". If you have expertize to look for the supposedly malicious line from a million lines of source, you most likely have no problem using a tool like idapro/softice either to see what's happening behind the scenes.

    If you are worried about what's going on your network, you could grab pretty easy to use Packetyzer for free. Just google around.

  • gmiley

    www.insecure.org has many tools and utilities available for download or linked to purchase from the producing company that allow you to sniff the packets in and out of your machine. There is also one called nemesis I think, free to download, that allows you to stop the traffic flow and read and manipulate the data being sent out of your machine.

    I must warn you though, I do believe interfering with a licensed software packages wrapped data destined for a parent server is against the EULA/TOS. Do so at your own risk, and make sure you understand what is set forth in the EULA you agreed to by installing said application.

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