Microsoft Loves GPLv3...Not!

Despite its detente with Novell, Xandros and Linspire, the open source community is giving Microsoft no quarter. The latest open source license, GPLv3, specifies that future deals between Microsoft and open source software makers will be in violation of the new license.

Is it any wonder, then, that Microsoft wants nothing to do with GPLv3?

The trick is that Novell fully supports GPLv3, and Microsoft had pledged to support Novell. Now Novell and Microsoft must work out how to support mutual customers with a license that Microsoft so soundly rejects.

3 Critical Fixes Due Tomorrow
Six patches will be released tomorrow, including three dubbed critical that involve the remote execution of code. It's an equal-opportunity Patch Tuesday, as Office, Windows and the .NET Framework will all get repairs.

The Red Ring of Death
Windows cognoscenti all know the Blue Screen of Death. Xbox 360 users are learning about the Red Ring of Death: This is when three red lights turn on, indicating that your Xbox is as frozen as Ted Williams' head (thanks to my daughter Lauren for this sweet metaphor!).

Microsoft is tackling these hardware problems, extending warranties by up to three years and setting aside $1 billion to pay for repairs. If you're looking at a used Xbox on craigslist or eBay, check the lights!

Microsoft Reorg To Breathe Life in Live
Microsoft is continuing to reshape itself in Ray Ozzie's image. One of the bigger initiatives is Live, a series of Web services meant to bring in either advertising or subscription revenue.

Before the reorg, there was one group focused on the actual services and another to build the infrastructure pieces, such as directory and identity. Now these two groups are unified with the new entity tightly under the thumb of Mr. Ozzie.

To my mind, Microsoft hasn't really explained what Live is all about. It's clear that Microsoft is building an entirely new platform, but how will it actually work, when will it appear and how does it all affect existing products?

Can you explain Live? If so, shoot me some mail at dbarney@redmondmag.com. And yes, Ray, you're welcome to write in, as well.

Google Jr.?
As you can see from the above item, Microsoft continues to do much of its product planning by asking the question: "What would Google do?"

If Google didn't already own the world of online advertising, it might (if Microsoft wasn't doing it already) shell out $6 billion to buy aQuantive -- twice what Google is paying for DoubleClick.

The Microsoft-aQuantive deal could be nailed down next month.

Mailbag: Want To Work for Microsoft?, When 'Cheap' Isn't Cheap, More
Last week, Doug asked readers if they want to work at Microsoft, despite the Microsoft Security Reponse Center's appearance in Popular Science's list of the worst science jobs. Looks like these readers haven't been put off:

Would I like to work for Microsoft? In a word: Yes! If it is anything like I have imagined, just doing a few years there (if that is all I might be able to hack) would probably lay the groundwork for the rest of my career.

I see being a part of Redmond as a big challenge, but also a rewarding one. It will have its ups and downs just like all jobs, but for the most part, the Microsoft family is pretty close and the reward for being a member is pretty nice, indeed.

So that is where I am striving to be, to meet the challenges and obtain enough personal satisfaction that I can say it was worth it to have made being a technologist my career choice. I'll have to let you know how it all works out.
-Calais

Quick answer: Absolutely!

Long answer: Absolutely! Why? Microsoft is among the largest organizations in the world. Microsoft didn't get where it is today by having a bunch of slackers staffing its positions. Microsoft got where it is by carefully recruiting high-performing and creative employees who stretch their minds more than a runner stretches his/her legs. High-performance individuals with a thirst for knowledge and a knack for problem solving should definitely consider Microsoft as a potential employer.
-Adrian

I hear the politics at Microsoft are awful, that it is nearly impossible to put new features in. The flip side is that you have the potential to work with some of the brightest minds ever over there. Every time I go to conferences, I am just amazed at some of the people that I meet from Microsoft. I think that Hugh MacLeod is helping Microsoft understand what its mission needs to be: Microsoft, change the world or go home. I would work for Microsoft in a heartbeat if I could.
-Deanna

Why is Microsoft bragging about a $500 PC for India, when some Vista laptops can be had for cheaper here in the States? Here's what some of you had to say:

I forwarded your article about the $500 PC to Cathy, a missionary I know in the northeastern part of India. This is her response:

"You have to realize there is a luxury tax on everything here, including toilet paper! So it is reasonable if you get a legal Windows in it. Such is life here!"

There is so much counterfeiting done there.
-Len

The only thing that keeps us from having a good cheap computer is the quest for speed and power. Twenty-eight years ago, I owned my first disk operating system computer. It had 64K of RAM. (Yep, that's a K). It had NO hard drive and I ran a word processor, a spreadsheet and a whole lot of truly neat games. Where is it written that a computer today needs a gig of RAM and 80 gigs on a hard drive? I think the answer to that is at Microsoft. There are days when I wish for my H-DOS machine, or even the CP/M machine I bought after that. Yes, I built those machines myself, but I bet you could make one with the same capabilities for less than $100. OK, so today's calculator has more power, but it doesn't have the flexibility.

The world will not have a cheap computer as long as Microsoft is building the operating system.

-John

So, is it "U.K." or "Great Britain"? Doug asked, and readers from across the pond answered:

Yes, you can say "Great Britain." The offical name is "the United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland." That's a bit of a mouthful for most people so either "U.K.," "United Kingdom" or "Great Britian" is still correct.
-Mitch

You can say "Great Britain" if you wish for everyone to know what you mean, but it's not accurate. Great Britain is the name of the island; the nation is called "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" and is made up of the big island of Great Britain, a bit of the island of Ireland and a handful of smaller islands dotted around the area.
-Alec

Got something to add? Let us have it! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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