For over 20 years, the FOSS community has almost always been willing to play nice with Proprietary software whenever it can. But the likes of Microsoft virtually never play nice back, unless some specific economic lever forces them to do so.
Microsoft, your moves of goodwill seem to me to be so very calculated (from an economic point of view), that how can I see your gestures of goodwill as being nothing other than just more protecting of profits?
Notice how WSL is not about bringing Linux Desktop technologies to Windows. Its focus is on the server-related portions of the Linux ecosystem, where the economic threat to Microsoft actually lies: Linux is dominant, market-share-wise, on the server, and in the cloud.
Sure, MS makes token gestures. You open-sourced your calculator app? Gee, I’m so very impressed (rolling eyes). The FOSS world has like 30 such apps already.
Does Windows 10 support EXT4? No. BTRFS? No. ZFS? No. Gee, thanks for the ExFAT design docs, but we already had working packages for ExFAT (sudo apt install exfat-fuse). Support in Windows/WSL for the filesystems that I use daily (EXT4 + LUKS, BTRFS), on my USB sticks and external drives would actually impress me, Microsoft. And don’t trash my existing POSIX permissions and ownerships, please.
There have been some outstanding cruel examples of Microsoft not “playing nice” with the Linux ecosystem, which have heaped countless thousands of hours of geek-power labour from FOSS developers to try to deal with. Here are some of the bigger ones I can remember:
- Remember when WUBI (the Windows Ubuntu Installer) came out? 2007. Yay, finally it was easy to install Ubuntu, right from within Windows 7. Then Microsoft smashed that ability with the quick-to-follow introduction of UEFI. It took until very recently for WUBI to recover, and become UEFI-compatible:
Dear Microsoft, how long will it be until I hear news that you have again smashed down WUBI’s compatibility, by changing UEFI in some very-hard-to-adjust-to, new way? 3 months? 6?
UEFI took the Linux community about a decade to support in the installers for all major distros. It is as though UEFI was intentionally designed to be a maximal pain in the rear end for the Linux ecosystem. Why is it so very, very, very hard to install Coreboot (or Libreboot, etc.), instead of UEFI? Why are there 100+ modules in UEFI, and if too many are removed (like a toppling Jenga stack of wooden blocks), the computer becomes unbootable, with no useful error messages to speak of? UEFI is a dog’s breakfast. Thanks, Microsoft.
ACPI. Again, it took more than a decade for the Linux community to catch up to that bad design. Had Microsoft just allowed APM (Advanced Power Management) to continue, then the power management thing would have probably been solved on all major distros much, much faster, as it was much more simple and straightforward than ACPI.
All major computer vendor outlets, it seems, cannot sell computers with some other competing Operating System (such as a Linux distro) to Windows, alongside Windows computers (without losing the right to sell Windows licenses at all). Microsoft, that economic retaliation against computer vendors is the very first thing you must lift to earn my trust. I want to see Linux-pre-installed computers for sale, when I walk in to stores like Best Buy.
Cortana cannot be removed. I find Cortana very creepy. Cortana is trust-repellant, Microsoft. It’s only disabled with an obscure, completely unintuitive registry hack: https://www.howtogeek.com/265027/how-to-disable-cortana-in-windows-10/
…and it’s further very creepy that you’ve been silently and secretly sneaking voice-to-text technologies into Windows, long before Windows 10.
Microsoft, I’d like to request that you do not install Cortana at all by default with a new install of Windows. Cortana should then be installable from your store, if users really want it. No Linux Distro I’m aware of comes with something like Cortana by default, let alone making it un-removable.
So Microsoft, you have been exceptionally excellent at keeping the Linux community low for the last couple of decades. Keynote speaker Thomas Cameron at Texas LinuxFest 2019 said “to me, very honestly, I still sort of feel like Linux is this new, upstart cool technology, you know, but the reality is that it’s been around for a very, very long time”. Think about that. https://extras.show/1, Fast Forward in 1:27.
The Linux Desktop has been pegged at a Desktop market share of 2% or so, which it just cannot rise above, despite it providing a user experience that respects the end user’s time, feelings, and privacy much better than Microsoft’s Windows.
Dear @christopher_scott, have you read Bruce Schneier’s “Data and Goliath”? If not, I feel that would be a great place to start, to understand Linux geeks, and their lack of trust in such giant, powerful corporations, such as Microsoft. Why don’t you search for the word “Microsoft” within that ebook?