Future of Reactos (A Warning)

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anyedge
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Future of Reactos (A Warning)

Post by anyedge »

I have a question that I think is pretty important for the future of ReactOS. What will be the plan of action once ReactOS is complete and (hopefully) becomes mainstream? My main concern is this: MS has a history of putting down competition by any means necessary. Once ReactOS becomes more mainstream and stable, I have no doubt MS will take legal action--especially since the whole "Intellectual Property" FUD against Linux. History has shown that MS will do one of three things: 1)Try to sue on the basis of stolen IP, 2)Try to run the competition into the ground financially with legal suits, or 3)Buy the competition out failing the first two attempts. Does ReactOS have anything set up to prepare for this eventuality? Is ReactOS backed by a Foundation, Company or Organization? If this is something that hasn't been looked at in depth, I would suggest everyone really think about it before anymore time/money is put into the project. Again, I love this project for what it is trying to do, but I have NO DOUBT that MS will try to destroy it once it picks up.
Z98
Release Engineer
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Post by Z98 »

Just a note. Avoid using the dollar sign for MS. You're gonna find some annoyed people if you persist. Onto the other issues.

1) They'd have to prove something was stolen first. This likely won't work since everything was written from scratch or taken from third parties that wrote it from scratch or got it through legit channels.

2) Trying to kill an open source project in such a manner is very difficult, since it's so spread out and someone else can pick up the code.

3) They'll find that some of the developers aren't interested in being bought out, considering none of the developers work on ROS as a job.
Cristan
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Location: The Netherlands

Post by Cristan »

Did you really think that you are the first to post a topic like this? And use the enter button next time.
anyedge
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:17 am

Post by anyedge »

To Z98:
Thank you. I'm definitely NOT trying to offend anyone. I always saw Microsoft abbreviated in forums as MS. I will not use it again(with the exception of the previous explanation of course;) ).

To Cristan:
Why the animosity? I was simply trying to help. I'm not a programmer and the only I can really help is to donate money. I tried installing 0.33 on my computer, but it doesn't get past the boot sequence yet, so money is the only help I can really offer right now. I just wanted to make sure that my donations(and possibly the donations of others) won't be in vain. As far as using the "enter" button...do you mean when I listed the 3 methods of MS or in general? If there's anything you want to tell me, it doesn't require sarcasm or ignorant attitudes--only an answer. I'm more than willing to apologize for my mistakes/offenses if someone is willing to explain it to me first BEFORE giving me attitude(see Z98's post). Thanks for your help.
McStarfighter
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:31 am

Post by McStarfighter »

Perhaps the ReactOS Foundation will be a member of the Open Invention Network to protect themself. Or they get a big "supporter" like IBM (who has the biggets pool of intellectual property in the world) and has a kind of "wall".

The future will show it ...
jimtabor
Developer
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:00 pm

Post by jimtabor »

Hi,
Nothing is going to happen,,,, in five years or so MS will move on to something else. Leaving the "OLD" windows junk to the scrapheap of 3.11, DOS, etc... Now days it is cars and multimedia devices that you buy and use. Soon will be houses that talk back when ask questions. In 2008! Talking cars are here with MS install software for voice recognition. What will they do next? You see, they moved on. In the US, some families have more than two cars and multitude of multimedia devices. We are going to be like FreeDOS fighting to get attention from Linux users. Old games will be there I guess too.

So, nothing is going to happen,
James
anyedge
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:17 am

Post by anyedge »

We are going to be like FreeDOS fighting to get attention from Linux users. Old games will be there I guess too.
LOL. That's an interesting analogy...

If you look at it from THAT perspective, it almost begs to question: "Why fight the good fight?" Why put in years of work to finally complete a system just as everyone is ready to throw it away. I know that's neither your intent/perspective/goal. I see ReactOS as what Windows should be in this new open source era. Hopefully, the ReactOS team can take this OS in new, better directions than MS. Good luck--you have at least one supporter here. Thanks for all of your hard work.
Cristan
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Location: The Netherlands

Post by Cristan »

anyedge wrote:To Cristan:
Why the animosity? I was simply trying to help. I'm not a programmer and the only I can really help is to donate money. I tried installing 0.33 on my computer, but it doesn't get past the boot sequence yet, so money is the only help I can really offer right now. I just wanted to make sure that my donations(and possibly the donations of others) won't be in vain.
Sorry about that. I've just been on this forum some time now, and I've seen this question quite a few times. Thank goodness for the more patient people like Z98 :D
anyedge wrote:As far as using the "enter" button...do you mean when I listed the 3 methods of MS or in general? If there's anything you want to tell me, it doesn't require sarcasm or ignorant attitudes--only an answer. I'm more than willing to apologize for my mistakes/offenses if someone is willing to explain it to me first BEFORE giving me attitude(see Z98's post). Thanks for your help.
I was hinting at that your text looked a bit like a blob of text. A few enters here and there might just improve its readability. I guess I should have been nicer to new users :)

Ontopic: wine isn't sued by Microsoft as well, but still it enables non-windows users to run Windows software very nicely. The reason? Projects like these are so much work, so that anyone who starts such a project makes damn sure it is legally viable. For example: you need reverse engineering, but when you do clean room reverse engineering (1 person documents Windows behaviour, another writes the code based on person 1's code), it's legal.
oiaohm
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:40 am

Post by oiaohm »

anyedge in answer to your points:
1: Most companies got there tail kicked when they tried to apply a patent or IP against a open source projects.

Reason open source project will for sure search for prior art to destroy the patent before considering settling. Note Redhat also does the same thing. They will never settle on a patent until they have proven they cannot destroy it.

It is for sure MS applying patents against Open Source will loss some of there patents.

Open source as a really effect tested method. Number one if Open Source does not want media coverage they just full the court room with lawyers. Scary thing to remember value of lawyers at the first day of the SCO trial was equal to the total value of Microsoft. Yep paying costs for the first day of the trial alone would have nuke SCO off face of earth. Yes you never want to have to pay Open Source legal Costs. Microsoft has to be 100 percent sure they will not loss. Note when costs against open source is going to split across over a million companies a court case is only a few dollars hear or there. If Microsoft lose once they are dead.

So I don't think MS will be dumb enough to Sue.

2: running open source into the ground financially not a option. Note 1 day SCO case Value of Microsoft in lawyers from Open Source. More like Open Source can run them into the ground by sharing the costs around. As want IBM and Novell did to SCO. Lets play tag team. Note this is one of Open Sources cards too anyedge if Open Source cannot win they will out last.

3: buy open source out no one has ever made that work all that happens is fork or worse a bid war for employee between groups like the Linux Foundation and the company trying to destroy the project. Ie here Linux Foundation will pay you the same as X company as long as you keep on working on the open source project no other strings attached yep even quiting. Note same thing staffs cost is shared between many company's so total cost of a 100 million dollar yearly wage is less than 10 dollars each. Billion dollar wages for a good developer are a option for the foundations. Even a wage the total value of Microsoft is on the table as a option. So once a project is advanced enough buying the developers off is outside Microsoft findable cash reserves.

Basic Run Down of what they are facing
Once the commercial side of open source is behind a section its untouchable with anything bar a fully solid case. Note commercial side of open source is now running setting up to run a fully funded operation against software patents. So Ros need to get to Beta and at beta it might be untouchable. Microsoft needs to sue now or forget about it.

Some of the Consortium's around OpenSource could buy Microsoft out a few thousand times over and still be fully operational. It would be funny when Ros reaches beta if one of the Consortiums acquired Microsoft. Also Microsoft is not even a large company in the Computer world. They hare the largest Commercial Software Company. IBM HP Cisco are all larger note they are members of the Consortium. Yearly donations in hardware from large companies to opensource is larger than Microsoft total gross profits for a year.

Please don't mix up a heavy weight for a feather weight. Microsoft is only a feather weight. One wrong blow and its dead.
cppm
Posts: 289
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Post by cppm »

The whole distributed legal action thing appears to have been the way in which GAIM lasted for so long against AOL (the name y'see, it upsetted the AOL Instant Messenger team, plus any chance to take out competition)

Since there wasn't a single coroporation or authority who was responsible, AOL was forced into playing a game of catch-up with the developers. AOL would send cease and desist to one developer, and then he would hold them off for as long as possible before passing the buck on. GAIM kept on running for ages while this was going on, eventually the GAIM team just changed the name and rebranded. Afterall it was just a name, (and a stupid name even if i say so myself).

Well, i'm probably oversimplifying and misrepresenting horribly, but that was the impression that i got after reading an account of the dispute...
anyedge
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:17 am

Post by anyedge »

Thanks Cristen. No hard feelings! :)
I'll try to keep from asking rehashed questions in the future(if I do, I'll make sure I use "enter" plenty of times so it readible :wink: ).

It's good to hear that this project is pretty much safe from legal action.

Thanks again for everyone's responses.
oiaohm
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:40 am

Post by oiaohm »

cppm AOL vs Gaim was a different case. That is trademark infringement. AOL had a rock solid case and could have attempted to sue Gaim of the face of earth. AOL just talking to get a suitable outcome for all. Nuking Gaim project still would not have stopped it from being re birthed from a fork.

So basically some cases even a rock solid case against Open Source is completely useless.
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