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More Exclusionary Tactics By Microsoft, Et Al
I found this on the Linux Homepage. More evidence of Microsoft's
attempt to strangle anyone who is a threat? Linux is supported by
thousands of hackers who take no money for writing drivers and
improvements to the Linux system. Linux has a very fast growing user
base. Linux might just be conceived to be something of a threat to the
Greed-Machine From Redmond. It it unlikely that many of them
could afford to pay $5000 a year for a "license" to belong to
I-2-O. Is there anyone who would not bet that Microsoft is again
trying to kill competition by using their overpowering financial
advantage? Like, "If you want to sell your hardware to Windows users,
you may not make its drivers available to Linux users, or we will
expel you from access to the source code for those drivers." More
typically Microsoft antitrust, anti-fairtrade behavior.
The I-2-O standard: a threat to free software?
I2O is a developing standard for high-performance computer
peripherals. The standard is said to be "non-proprietary" -- however,
it is a closed standard that requires a non-disclosure agreement, and
requires developers to get a $5000/year license to develop software or
hardware for it.
Members can't disclose source code for their drivers, and they must
stop making hardware or software for I2O if they lose membership.
(Members have the power to vote out other members.)
To say the least, developers for free operating systems will have
difficulty complying with this standard. If these I2O peripherals
become commonplace, Linux developers will find their software blocked
from running on PC hardware.
The backers of this standard include Microsoft, Novell,
Hewlett-Packard, and NETFrame.
As an alternative, Software in the Public Interest, the parent
organization for the Debian project, already have the second draft of
a proposal for an Open Hardware Certification program that is starting
to gain support.
More details about the Linux community's response to I2O will be
available at this site. For more information about I2O, see their web
site at http://www.i2osig.org/.