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    Microsoft ♥ Linux – we say that a lot, and we mean it!

    I’m calling bullshit on this. Microsoft ‘loves Linux’ so much that they’ve ignored requests to support Linux with Outlook/Word/Powerpoint/Teams/etc. Microsoft ‘loves Linux’ so much that they effectively killed Linux support on Skype. Microsoft ‘loves Linux’ so much that they prevent Skype from even working over the web interface on (arguably) the most popular browser used by folks on Linux (if you visit web.skype.com with Firefox you get redirected to this page: https://www.skype.com/en/unsupported-browser). Or do they only ‘love Linux’ when it suites their financial and PR interests?

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      I’d like to add the lack of official linux drivers for their Microsoft-branded laptops to this list.

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        do they only ‘love Linux’ when it suites their financial and PR interests?

        Well, obviously. Expecting any large corporation to “love” anything that’s not purely out of self-interest strikes me as rather naïve.

        Either way, I much prefer the current Microsoft over the “Linux is cancer” and “get the facts” Microsoft of 15 years ago.

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          You can’t “love” something then actively ignore critical parts of it. A better slogan for what they are doing is “microsoft tolerates Linux.” I take issue with the fact that they are heavily implying that they are doing more than tolerating it now (when clearly they are not).

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            Microsoft is making money off of Linux. They “love” it the only way a big profit-driven company can; they found a way to monetize people who actually like it.

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              You can run Microsoft SQL Server on Linux, which seems like a lot more than “tolerating” it. Office has been ported to iOS and Android — I don’t see why they wouldn’t be porting it to Linux too, if there were sufficient demand. (The 2019 numbers I could find showed <5% market share for Linux, measured by web browser.)

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                That still seems like toleration. I’m not convinced that if Linux hadn’t stuck around and/or expanded beyond microsoft’s wildest dreams, that they would still consider it a cancer. They may support Linux on a small subset of all software they pump out, but they ignore it on the vast majority. Can we at least agree that the ’microsoft loves Linux” slogan is pure marketing bullshit and not reflective of their actual behavior?

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            if you visit web.skype.com with Firefox you get redirected to this page: https://www.skype.com/en/unsupported-browser)

            Wow, you actually do. What the fuck Microsoft?

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              Or do they only ‘love Linux’ when it suites their financial and PR interests?

              Like any company, yes. They love Linux on Azure.

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                I recently had to battle and debug some EWS/Azure/Exchange crap just to get evolution-ews working with Microsoft 2FA. Microsoft has supported Exchange+Evolution exactly 0%. It’s all gnome devs and other random volunteers figuring out how their broken OAuth2/Azure/Office365 rubbish works.

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                  Microsoft ‘loves Linux’ so much that they effectively killed Linux support on Skype.

                  The Skype client for Linux works fine. Sure, it’s Electron and ugly, but so is the Mac version. But it does the job.

                  (Sure, there are better and open solutions, but the outside world uses Skype.)

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                    Microsoft ‘loves Linux’ so much that they’ve ignored requests to support Linux with Outlook/Word/Powerpoint/Teams/etc.

                    You can’t use the O365 versions on browsers on Linux?

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                    exFAT implementations exist but because of Microsoft’s patents they’re not able to be included by default in a lot of things.

                    I’m not 100% opposed to software patents, but man, some of them should be expunged for being just too obvious. For example, this is a patent covering exFAT: Quick Filename Lookup Using Hash

                    It literally describes a linear lookup using a hash to avoid string comparisons. As in, hash a filename, get directory entry hash, compare hashes, if match, compare full string, return if true. This is basic computer science. It’s like patenting addition. It’s bizarre.

                    (Of course, the University of Texas has a trademark on the color orange and Ohio State has a trademark on the word “the” so who the(R) hell knows what’s going on anymore.)

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                      Trademark, copyright and patents are all totally distinct things. Trademark is probably honestly the least ridiculous one, because it’s restricted to, y’know, use in trade and must be actively used and protected. UT’s trademark orange, for instance, means Texas A&M can’t market themselves with the same color orange, but would have no applicability should the European wireless provider Orange decide to open operations in the US. Similarly, The™ Ohio State University just means you won’t be seeing ads for The Penn State University any time soon (though that’s certainly not the only, or best, reason).

                      All of this should be fairly obvious since Ohio State has filed exactly no lawsuits against anyone audacious enough to use a definite article.

                      Copyright, on the other hand, applies automatically and universally, but only to a specific creative work. Nobody can copyright the color orange, but I have copyright on this comment simply by virtue of exercising a modicum of creativity in writing it. If you copy it without my permission, you’re violating my copyright (though I’d have a hard time proving any damages, and I may be implicitly giving fairly broad permissions by posting it on lobste.rs). The biggest problems with copyright are that corporations can hold it and it lasts far too long (thanks and go fuck yourself, Disney).

                      Patents are the big bad guys of IP law. Like trademark they don’t apply automatically and like trademark they’re relatively broad (they apply to “use of the invention”, to be construed however a court choses to construe that), but unlike trademark and like copyright, they apply universally, and do not need to be used (thus enabling the existence of “patent trolls” who hold patents with neither ability nor intent to execute the inventions described therein). If UT had a patent on the color orange, they could successfully sue Orange S.A., Crayola, Tropicana, the tiny outfit in Seattle that lined my backpack with orange corduroy when they made it. (IMO, most software patents make about this much sense.) Patents are supposed to cover “novel inventions”, but—as you note—software patents in particular underrun that benchmark constantly and egregiously.

                      In my opinion, patents in general have not been performing their desired function of stimulating inventiveness for decades now and should be repealed altogether, but software patents are without question by far the worst offenders.

                      (Not a lawyer, this comment is extremely US-centric, related disclaimers, etc.)

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                        There is a huge world outside software bubble where patent system (even with their well publicized drawbacks) is crucial. For example, most of material/physical world engineering, where the system works largely as intended.

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                          Do you have any examples or reputable documentation? I don’t doubt you, and that’s well outside my experience, but I haven’t observed it—just stuff like Volvo subverting the intent of the patent system by freely licensing three-point seatbelts.

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                            What kind of documentation you mean? There’s gazillion of actual, meaningful patents that were granted, let their inventors recoup their R&D costs, earn a profit, and expired. You don’t hear about those because “everything is normal and works as intended” never makes a headline.

                            As an example, this one you certainly know about.

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                              My domain is largely software, but the I.S. lawyers I talk to who do patents in biotech are of the opinion that it’s a pretty negative system in that domain as well, benefitting the rich incumbents at the expense of everyone else.

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                          Does their commitment to including exFAT in Open Invention Network help with that situation?

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                            I mean…it shouldn’t have to. But yeah, probably.

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                            Sometimes I hope that IP law reaches such an apex of absurdity that all of it becomes unenforceable.

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                            Microsoft hearts Linux? laughs in OOXML

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                              Afaik, until 2018, Microsoft used extortionist tactics to force Android device manufacturers to pay $5 - $15 per device because Android includes drivers for FAT. That is a lot considering Android is really popular in developing nations where you can get phones for around $100, and they can make a profit off that, so manufacturing must cost something like $50, and then those “fees” are immensely disproportionate. SD cards are, as per the standard, required to be formatted as FAT. Glad they kinda stopped trying to profit off the FAT system of filesystems?

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                                They probably can keep making their fees off newer or other patents.

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                                Are patent licenses drying up on android or something? Not enough phones with sd cards anymore?

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                                    Seems that it’s already getting submitted to staging at this point, the day when the patent issues got resolved.

                                    ( https://lkml.org/lkml/2019/8/28/827 )

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                                      Microsoft: does literally anything good
                                      Everyone: You haven’t fixed everything so you’re evil!!!!1 EEE!! [sidenote: how the fuck do you EEE your own patent?]

                                      At this stage, what could they actually do that would garner a positive response?

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                                        You’re right in that this isn’t really EEE territory. The mistrust is still historically well earned, and Microsoft needs to keep up the good work for quite a bit longer for positive responses.

                                        There is nothing but upsides here: a vigilant community doing its best to affect Microsoft’s outcomes. Now if only Office documents were next. It’s 2019, damnit, and somehow that open standard is still a problem.

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                                          The mistrust is still historically well earned, and Microsoft needs to keep up the good work for quite a bit longer for positive responses.

                                          I don’t disagree in the slightest (and thanks for the response!). What I take issue with is the same, tired, forced, unoriginal, Micro$oft!!-reminiscent comments, given the lack of observable EEE behaviour in the last however-many years.

                                          I get the mistrust, but people trotting the line out as soon as they see the string “Microsoft” is not critical thinking, and devalues the level of comments. (seriously, it’s just boring.)