Topic: is this why the linux foundation exists?
im not saying i buy into the theory, i just took it and ran with it. im not saying its accurate at all-- and finding a way for it to "fit" the other things going on doesnt mean "oh, that proves it then!" it just means i stuck two concepts together.
but i had some fun with this tidbit i found on the puppy forum today:
There's a conspiracy theory that Microsoft is actually sabotaging Windows because they want to kill it off...
so heres where i took that:
i thought they were going to buy red hat after they bought github, maybe ibm thought they were too and said "hmm, what if instead we could charge them for it?"
not that ibm ever seems to go according to plan (unless thats the real plan, etc. etc. etc.) ive compared ibm to jacques clouseau a lot recently. they always come out alright, but its hard to tell how:
"you idiot! that was a 34 billion dollar acquisition!"
"not anymurrrrrrr..." microsoft will buy things just to kill them off, ibm i think wants to keep things they have only a little use for as pets and charge people money for admission. i imagine in the large business sector theyre doing more than that-- plus, you know, research.
is this really a strategy of theirs, or is it just an old habit? can old companies learn new tricks?
maybe the moves from microsoft are better explained by older motivations than newer ones. sure, you have to look fresh. youll need a really big marketing department, and to make moves that are at least, different on the surface. as for microsoft breaking into hardware-- i used a microsoft "inport" mouse in the 80s. not just a dongle-- it came with its own card for the xt bus!
sure, they have their own hardware platforms now. i mean, copying things apple does to make money... microsoft certainly never tried that one before. "lets try the phone first, and if that doesnt work we can make a laptop for 'creative' types." if youre making money on something, being surprisingly lousy at doing the same thing rarely stops microsoft from trying. we can laugh at ballmer for the zune, but maybe the surface is the zune of laptops. at least we know the windows phone was the zune of that market. how was that a real change?
the surface is a windows ipad that comes with its own keyboard. man, thats original! (to be fair, i knew a guy with one of microsofts clunky digital tablets circa 2002. which was only a much-improved ripoff of the newton, complete with stylus.)
just dont try the strategy of shamelessly copying "other companies ideas" yourself-- they have an extensive collection of bogus patents, which they are still getting people to agree to so it matters less if theyre completely illegitimate.
step 1: write bogus patent
step 2: brandish patent at competition unless they sign agreement
step 3: use signature to prop up the patent (we arent there yet, but why bother with step 2 otherwise?)
its like the matrix: we know the legal environment microsoft works in is fictional, we have david ruschke standing in for morpheus-- but the stupidity of organisations makes it real.
"i dont understand. how do you invalidate a patent that one of the largest, most litigious corporations on earth backs up with a practically unlimited legal team?"
"you cant bend the system itself, it will fight back harder than you can try. you just have to realise: there is no patent."
"there is no patent."
if microsoft kills off windows (that is a pretty wild theory, it would be funny if its true) they will say they own gnu/linux again. and theyll have the testimony of lots of companies that its true.
maybe this is why the linux foundation is so important-- linus props up suse-- and suse props up microsofts portfolio. years later, when it comes around full circle, you have the linux foundation: open source has finally made itself the julia roberts to microsofts richard gere that it always dreamed of.
even if thats all as bogus as the patents themselves, it gives them a lot more time to charge money for this complete non-service to anybody.
heres what i would say if i were a real conspiracy theorist:
the linux foundation is open sources legal bunker for the day when the patent portfolio "s-h-t-f."
then lets get sillier: microsoft adds a similar patent agreement to github, and joining the open invention network?
"false security and the element of surprise."
in all honesty, its just too much like a movie. however, i feel confident enough that at least one tenth of this is plausible. which is bad enough, really.
other than something barely (a little) akin to all this, the linux foundation seems pretty worthless except as a monument to torvalds ego. when your code is in a device practically everywhere you go, thats kind of redundant. or, maybe torvalds is the closest thing to steve jobs we still have.
i usually write things vaguely like this because i think theyre important. this one is sillier, deliberately, and more for fun. in the past, i thought we would use chips to replace floppies because it would be fun-- i thought we would store our entire music library on our computers, because it would be fun. and i thought we would have cpu chips that can be reprogrammed with other architectures, because it would be fun. actually, i never thought they would commercially justify doing what today we call the fpga, but they did anyway.
i am often wrong about some of the details. yes, i thought digital music collections on hard drives were inevitable, point for me when i sampled that cassette single to my < 1gb double-height hard drive. but i scoffed when lossy compression was used. i predicted flac, not mp3 players-- while people were telling me "file compression only works on plaintext where theres lots of redundancy." yeah, if it works like a .pcx file. the first time i saw mpeg video on a non-lcd display in a store, i thought: "wow! they can DO that? now? this is amazing!"