Can We Trust Microsoft?

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 20, 2011

Tuxradar has asked another intriguing question this week: Is it time to start trusting Microsoft? This was spurred by the news that Microsoft has contributed a lot of code to Linux 3.0. They've been trying to get their hypervisor drivers into the kernel for quite a while, but faced various challenges of their own making.

Hardly anyone trusts Microsoft. After years of dirty back room deals and threats to keep Linux off store-bought computers, accusing the Linux community of being communists, calling Linux a cancer, and even undercutting its own bottom-line to knock Linux off netbooks, no one is ready to jump on the Microsoft bandwagon. Even after they tried to kiss and make up to Open Source, it was an obviously transparent move to better their position on interoperability.

Nope, hardly anyone in Linux or Open Source can honestly say they trust Microsoft any further than they could throw their lavish corporate headquarters. Some of the answers to Tuxradar's question reflect that opinion.

The very first reply says, "No Way! Remember, pigs still don't fly." Although another replied, "I am always slightly irritated by how nice the MS people are... They are always eloquent, friendly and happy to use company money to sponsor the beers etc."

Not as sexy but succinct, MFraser said, "Under no circumstances should we start trusting them, they are still trying to use their patent portfolio to extract money from companies making Android phones." And nEJC added, "A few good deeds doesn't show that company mentality has changed."

But they weren't all negative. Vredfreak answered, "They can be trusted.... Sort of." This was before Thameslink reminded readers of the fable of The Scorpion and the Frog.

Then you had those deep thinkers adding to the mix. spangwich said, "Microsoft's ideology is diametrically opposed to that embodied in the Free Software movement. One is about owning, controlling and profiteering from doing so, and the other is about sharing, collaborating and (using the word carefully) 'democratising'." Another along these lines said, "The Enemy of my Enemy..." in reference to competition with Apple.

One of the more humorous replies said, "trust microsoft? wharfff wharfff wharfff! I needed a good laugh today!" Another wondered if it was April 1 already or if Tuxradar had been hacked. One other said, "**** 'em." But I think Huw summed it up nicely for me when he said, "Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!"

Or perhaps it was Anonymous Duncan who said it best with, "NO No No No No NOOOO!"