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Re: Analogies (Was Re: Benchmarks and Notches)

  (I sent this direct before I noticed that the author had meant the original
  to go to the list, so I'm forwarding my response too.  I also added a short
  paragraph that I thought of later. <grin>)
  On Sat, Dec 20, 1997 at 04:32:42PM +0100, mj@creative.net wrote:
     To your knowledge, has anyone in the Linux community investigated emulating
     the Windows driver interface, so they could use the Windows drivers?  It
     would be hard to get the performance as good, but all the devices would
     automatically have support. I realize this is non-trivial technically, but
     it would be a big help.
  I haven't heard of anything outside of the Wine project.  Since it's a
  closed proprietary format, it's be hard to reverse engineer.  And I think
  Microsoft has some legal protection on it.  Plus, it's renowned for its
  inefficiency.  Also, I believe it relies pretty heavily on the rest of the
  Windows architecture being in place, which is why Wine is a potential target
  for it but not Linux in general.
  I think some people would see it as helping the Microsoft hegemony, even if
  there were technical advantages to it, which there aren't.  I agree that it
  would be nice to buy any arbitrary new piece of hardware and be able to use
  it immediately under Linux, but that may come about sooner than we think
  through other means.  However, things aren't always as rosy as they seem
  from afar--if you use Windows, or if you listen in on the Windows chat
  channels, you'll find that they have trouble with new drivers too.  And
  things are much worse for NT, OS/2, and Win 3.x--even if there are drivers
  for those OS's (there often aren't, for *months* after a product's release)
  they are frequently buggy or crippled or both.
  The last several times that I've gotten the idea that the grass was greener
  on the Microsoft side of the fence, a bit of investigation has revealed that
  it's not only not greener, it often isn't even grass, but astroturf or even
  gravel painted green.  The sacrifices one makes running Linux grow fewer and
  smaller every day, while the advantages grow even faster.
     Perhaps we need to start gathering documentation on all of this, as it can
     all support the DOJ suit (perhaps) or other anti-monopoly suits (surely).
  The problem is, courts want the original parties to testify, and that isn't
  going to happen as long as MS wields the power they do now.