Microsoft unleashes 20,000 lines of Linux code

Discussion in 'Windows News' started by reghakr, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

    Jan 26, 2009
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    Microsoft is releasing three Microsoft-developed Linux drivers to the Linux community for possible inclusion in the Linux source tree.

    This is the first time Microsoft has made Microsoft-developed code available directly to the Linux community. The Redmondians have released various pieces of code under different open-source licenses over the past few years,

    My ZDNet blogging colleague Jason Perlow says Microsoft previously released part of the Linux Integration Components under the GPL, so this isn’t technically the first-ever GPL’d code from the Softies.

    Microsoft made the Linux driver announcement on July 20, the opening day of the O’Reilly OSCON open-source conference.

    (The driver news also comes a week after Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner told Microsoft reseller partners that Microsoft has competed really well against the fraudulent perception of free that is at the core of many Linux vendors’ sales pitches. Not all of Microsoft management is onboard with this newfangled licensing world.)

    Microsoft is touting today’s release of 20,000 lines of code which it is putting under the GNU General Public License v2 (not GPL v3) licensing agreement as part of Redmond’s commitment to improving the integration of Windows and Linux.

    With today’s announcement, Microsoft becomes one of many companies contributing code to the central Linux kernel committee. Back in 2008, the Linux Foundation said there were nearly 1,000 developers representing well over 100 corporations contributing pieces of code that were part of the kernel. Currently, the top five named contributors to the Linux core are Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM and Oracle.

    Unlike the case with Windows, Linux drivers are considered part of the operating-system kernel. As the Linux Foundation explains on its Web site: The Linux model is that IHVs (independent hardware vendors) get the source code for their driver accepted into the mainline kernel.Having hardware reliably supported by Linux requires this. It’s unclear whether Microsoft’s drivers, though submitted by a software vendor, and not an IHV, will be subject to the same process for approval.

    (An aside: The Linux Driver Project lead is Greg Kroah-Hartman a programmer with Novell. Remember, Microsoft has a three-year-old and rather controversial patent/interoperability relationship with Novell.)

    Microsoft’s Linux drivers were developed largely by members of Microsoft’s Open Source Technology Center (OSTC) team, which has developed expertise in Linux, Unix and open-source technologies.


    #1 reghakr, Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2009
  2. piit

    piit Senior Member

    Apr 11, 2009
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    Might be useful to mention what drivers M$ actually released - they are Linux drivers for M$ virtualization solution Hyper-V which will allow Linux to run faster on Hyper-V (therefore rendering Hyper-V more useful).

    Not quite sure what the author meant by this but it IMHO doesn't really make sense. The drivers in question are not drivers for hardware, they are drivers for a virtual machine, ie. software. Anyway I don't see any reason why would they be treated any differently than any other drivers.

    As a side note, M$ actually is an IHV as well - see their keyboards, mice, webcams etc.

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