Comments about Microsoft and the GPL [OFF TOPIC]

Yaakov Nemoy loupgaroublond at
Wed Jul 22 09:44:06 UTC 2009

2009/7/21 Kamin Horvath <mohaas05 at>:
> I don't see that happening. Switching from the NT kernel to a *nix kernel
> would break compatibility with all existing windows applications. That's why
> the goal here is in virtualization.

We're getting off topic, but here we go.

The NT kernel is one of those fabled microkernels that everyone who
isn't Tannenbaum loves to hate. There's a single service that runs on
top of the NT bits that provide all the functionality in windows.
FWIW, the NT kernel is a very well designed stable, and fast kernel,
which is the pay off of microsoft using some of its billions to hire
some of the best engineering out there. Considering that drivers tend
to run in the space above the NT kernel, the stability issues that
Windows is known for suffering are technically user space issues,
which is where windows comes no where near the quality of many other

That said, Microsoft could switch kernels all they want, provided they
havea run time system that provides certain user space and 'kernel'
functionality to windows programs. They could also virtualize an older
stripped down version of windows using one of the many fine VT
technologies out there on top of a *nix kenel (or any other kernel for
that matter). There has even been research into providing modules in
the Linux Kernel to provide the same process management features that
Windows provides in order to run windows programs natively on top of
Linux. Finally, last i checked, MS still hires a number of very bright
developers, and if they wanted to, they could switch their kernels any
time they wanted. They were originally planning on doing just about
the same work in Midori.

But yes, you're right, the goal here is virtualization. It has nothing
to do with MS and the GPL, just that their GPL contribution is a set
of drivers for Virtualization.


> On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 11:22 AM, Affix <affix at> wrote:
>> With microsoft contributing to the kernel does this mean we may see a
>> unix based windows version. Personally I think windows should be unix
>> based as with mac OSX it will greatly increase stability and security.
>> On Tuesday, July 21, 2009, Nicolas Chauvet <kwizart at> wrote:
>> > 2009/7/21 Nicu Buculei <nicu_fedora at>:
>> >> On 07/21/2009 12:04 PM, Keiran Smith wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> Well looks like us linux users can look forward to some of the
>> >>> instabilities of windows in our Own Operating Systems. What are
>> >>> microsoft thinking
>> >>
>> >> I don't think you will be affected by this code unless you run a
>> >> virtualized
>> >> Linux guest on a Windows host and if you do that... well, probably you
>> >> already have bigger problems :p
>> > And that could be a problem for us, since the opposite (Windows on top
>> > of linux) isn't that equivalent.
>> > That's  because of the hardware coverrage isn't the same. (3D graphics
>> > / raid drivers / others).
>> >
>> > One could say, it will be easier for Linux to live on top of windows.
>> > That way drivers could remains closed sources and linux not a real OS
>> > anymore, just providing few services on top of the real OS.
>> >
>> > While the European Union is presuring to remove out IE from the next
>> > windows bundle, /me think it would have been more valuable to only
>> > keep the very basic hardware support layers from the OS, so everything
>> > else could have been optional.
>> >
>> > At least I can see one way to have the announcement turn into our
>> > favour. It would be to have it compared with other opensourcing
>> > announcement such the AMD/ATI one. Even if the reasons behind have
>> > nothing to be compared, it could present theses as a success story for
>> > the free software development scheme.
>> > That should have be directed to end-users asking them to keep
>> > presuring on hardware vendosr for free software solutions over
>> > proprietary ones.
>> >
>> > Nicolas (kwizart)
>> >
>> > --
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>> >
>> >
>> --
>> Keiran Smith
>> - Fedora Ambassador / BugZapper - <affix at>
>> - Free Software Foundation Associate - <keiran.smith at>
>> -
>> - Call me on +44 (0) 131 208 4347
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> --
> Kamin Horvath
> Fedora Ambassadors USA
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