Refreshing Comments...

"On the Git front, their transitioning from Subversion to Git they hope to have a beta repository by the end of October."

Their migration from Subversion to Git also provided the motive for the murder mystery book "git commit murder" by Michael W. Lucas.

At first I thought the title was too clickbaity. Then I saw the amazon reviews and now I'm curious and will add this to my read list. I'd like to know your thoughts if you've read it as well.
It's great that we don't need FreeBSD to build FreeBSD anymore.

In other news, my butcher has finally become a vegetarian.

But, joking aside, it's great that FreeBSD has improved Linux KPI layer, improved Linux application compatibility, and has synced their ZFS code with upstream ZFS-on-Linux.

Does anyone know which CI tools they wanted to use, that doesn't support FreeBSD? I mean there are many that doesn't, at least is so good that DARPA wanted to fund the project.
FreeBSD is a place of strange decisions. Recently, it was decided that any package containing a file in /usr/local/share/bash-completion/ should have a hard dependency on bash for installation. This has lead to almost every possible user-facing program depending on bash, to the degree that it's nearly impossible to use FreeBSD without also installing bash. I wonder if they're planning on switching the default /bin/sh in core.
Worth noting that ESR has spent a huge amount of time on the perfect svn-to-git transition tool.
Can you recommend which tool they used? Last time I looked (c.2018), the tools I found were not always reliable, or available for platforms like Windows.

I'd love to be able to use a dedicated transition tool of the quality FreeBSD would like and need.

> Can you recommend which tool they used?

From [0]:

> The software used for the conversion is a slightly modified fork of svn2git, as used by the KDE project.

> It requires a rules file to map svn trees and/or revisions to git branches or tags. The current rules don't make use of tags but simply store them as branches.

> See the project branch at http://svn.freebsd.org/base/user/uqs/git_conv/ for extra patches, rules and the scripts used to do these conversions.

--

[0]: https://wiki.freebsd.org/GitWorkflow

Years ago I used git-svn for this purpose. Didn't have any issues.
> ... some help pages on the web are still recommending git-svn as a conversion tool for migrating Subversion repositories to git. DO NOT DO THIS. You may damage your history badly if you do. -- http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=6778 (2015-05-28)
ESR is a little grandiose. Note he doesn't give much detail, just say that it will bite you and you should listen to his assertions because he has done it more than anyone in the world.
You're not exactly wrong, but the test suite for Reposurgeon has a number of test cases derived from malformations caused by other tools, or made worse by other tools. The real problem here is that they were gathered over a decade, and nobody (myself included) really documented them very well. They all made sense when we committed them…

Also, most conversion tools will handle the most common cases OK, and only generate garbage in oddball situations. They don't print out a warning when the oddball situations happen, so unless you go back and look at every commit you'll never notice the damage. Most of those situations only happen because of accidents, like creating a Subversion branch the wrong way, then deleting it and making it the correct way. Or adding files to a CVS repository by copying ,v files from a different CVS repository.

I actually find it bizarre that it can be hard to build code for a particular platform on a different platform machine. Why does compiler logic have to depend on the machine it runs on?
I imagine it's mostly build system scripting.

FreeBSD builds using makefiles, and the BSD make is not the same as GNU make, especially for the sometimes-complicated scripting they have to do inside of them.

Adding cross-compilation to a complicated set of makefiles isn't impossible but can be some work.

Beyond that there are other issues... eg. The ELF binaries generated need to declare themselves as FreeBSD binaries. A C compiler set up to produce Linux binaries won't do that. Maybe also they depend on a specific compiler (FreeBSD is using clang lately). When you build FreeBSD you also build a compiler so maybe this part isn't such a big deal.

One factor used to be that constant folding can be problematic. The target platform may have different-precision doubles, or have a different way to represent them (fairly unlikely, nowadays, but back in the time, if you wanted to cross-compile to x87, you needed the ability to compute with its 80-bit doubles.

Another that the compiler may use platform tools (assembler, linker) to build binaries, and those tools they may need a library (say one for writing ELF binaries) that isn’t available. All of them can be ported, but that can be a lot of work for a limited number of users.

Moreover, those users typically have (access to) the target hardware, as they have to be able to test the end result. So, a ‘normal’ compiler may not be optimal, but still be good enough for them.

Because of that, you tend to see more cross-compilers the slower the target hardware.

Because it’s not just building a program, it’s about bootstrapping the whole operating system. The process begins with building some FreeBSD tools used by the build process; the you need the FreeBSD compiler, since host compiler obviously can’t create FreeBSD executables, and so on.
Much like WSL may be “eating” away at real Linux user-share, it will be interesting to see if enabling FreeBSD development outside FreeBSD itself will somehow affect the FreeBSD marketshare (for better or worse).
Those poor workers who has to use Windows for Linux-related works because of stupid employer's policy previously use VM, so it doesn't change much. Nothing to be eaten.
Nah, lots of shops begrudgingly support Linux laptops because a VM is a lot less practical, and the productivity hit would be substantial, probably, and forcing devs to make do with Windows only is bad for hiring.

If WSL really works out, though, it might be the other way around – Linux on Windows might work really well, be able to do things Linux itself can't, like interfacing with Windows-only hardware, using DirectX, and be the superior experience in total for lots of people. It will be much, much harder to justify the expense of buying a whole different set of hardware and support it if the net result is a worse experience across the board. Businesses tend to not care much about freedom of software and the like.

I think the year of Linux on the desktop will be heralded by Microsoft introducing WSL3 that provides absolute compatibility with all Linux applications. ;-)

Not that most people would want to run most of those, but Microsofts corporate customers are fed up with supporting those Linux laptops and all the problems related to that.

Really afaik the only thing missing from working well with mainline WSL2 now is some UI apps using GL,etc for X11 and iirc that is being worked so no need for any WSL3. Considering i've mostly used win envs to begin with this is already good enough that i see very few reasons to ever bother with installing Linux for myself again and even those are dwindling quickly.
> Linux on Windows might work really well … and be the superior experience in total for lots of people.

No, it will not and — without massive changes at Microsoft and in Windows — will never be. Source: have a Windows box, am repeatedly amazed at how bad it is. Seriously, it is embarrassing to use Windows. I think the only reason people enjoy it is the fact that they have not gotten a chance to really spend time in a good tiling window manager on X11/GNU/Linux. The GUI is ugly and laggy. The ads are an insult. The shells are either childish or stupidly (emphasis on the stupid) verbose, and gratuitously incompatible.

There seriously is no comparison: in 2020, Linux is head and shoulders above Windows on the desktop.

> Linux is head and shoulders above Windows on the desktop

When plug-and-play, drivers, and power management work correctly. When business software is compatible. When you don't have to search through obscure forums or jump on FreeNode to figure out why your wireless card doesn't work. When your filesystem corrupts and won't boot because you didn't shut it down correctly. When your font anti-aliasing and resolution scaling doesn't look like shit. When you have several hours a day to set things up, rather than getting work done.

> When plug-and-play, drivers, and power management work correctly. When business software is compatible. When you don't have to search through obscure forums or jump on FreeNode to figure out why your wireless card doesn't work. When your filesystem corrupts and won't boot because you didn't shut it down correctly.

GP did say "in 2020"; I haven't had any of those issues for years

This is the same canned response we also had twenty years ago.

"Works for me, so it's not an issue."

I agree that my experience is only one datapoint. But your comment was in response to someone who's experience was having more issues on Windows than Linux by saying that you don't have issues on Windows, which is the same thing.

Personally, I run into way more issues when I try to use Windows than Linux; for example, whenever I boot into Windows on my desktop, it doesn't recognize that my ethernet cable is plugged in unless I unplug it and then replug it back in. It also sometimes just doesn't give any audio output when it boots up, and I have to reboot to get it to work. These and other issues I have may not be issues you run into, but they are just as valid experiences as the issues you might have with Linux. My point is that the argument that Windows "just works" out of the box is not as objective as you might think.

Sorry man, it's not that Linux is so superior. It's just that Windows is such a raging dumpster fire that I question the sanity of those using it voluntarily.
Most people who are happy with WoL are webdevs who do not really use anything beyond npm and git. So most people do not notice how bad things really are on Windows
> I think the only reason people enjoy it is the fact that they have not gotten a chance to really spend time in a good tiling window manager on X11/GNU/Linux.

I did and switched back to floating. AMA

Why is this getting downvoted? He's right. Refute his points instead of downvoting him.
> Why is this getting downvoted? He's right. Refute his points instead of downvoting him.

>> I think the only reason people enjoy it is the fact that they have not gotten a chance to really spend time in a good tiling window manager on X11/GNU/Linux

I don't like Windows, but its UI is not that bad, come on.

Moreover, I use GNU/Linux full time but I don't use a tiling manager. My windows are fullscreen most of the time, and the rest of the time the features that allow putting windows on the corners or the sides (with the keyboard or the mouse) are more than enough. Tiling window managers are not for everyone.

I didn't downvote but to me the message shows a lack of observation on how people use computers.

The update manager that popups a notification or a dialog box or reboots in the middle of a presentation or a movie or something and, to add insult to injury, the system taking its time to apply the updates during the next startup? that could be embarrassing.

Convenient UX features from the Linux world lacking on Windows are a thing (selection / middle click paste?), but Windows UI seems excellent. It's just less excellent than Plasma obviously, but it's nothing short of bad or embarrasing.

> I don't like Windows, but its UI is not that bad, come on.

I don't know. I am very OK with Win7 but I tried installing Win10 the other week on a VM in the intent to let it superseed my Linux on the desktop.

The 125% scaling of UI made fonts blurry on my monitor and text inconsistently sized. The "dark" theme lets core apps like Explorer flicker in white then turn dark, like slow Android apps. There are mini ad programs in the start menu. I don't even know where you're supposed to configure settings anymore without search; the control panel vs fancy settings apps vs msc snapins (which are the only parts that still work reliably)?

Their UI is worse than KDE or GNOME now. I had 3rd party applications working perfectly fine which I guess is the point but Windows10 UI is no marvel.

This is a problem because Win7 used to just work, discretely.

What's left is for me to experiment with group policy settings and suchlike (at least my edition permits it) in the hopes of getting my issues fixed. Probably have to throw in a ton of third-party "Windows 10 fix" powershell libraries to clean things up.

I got the Win10 Enterprise license through my company. I would never pay money for this OS, privately.

So to catalogue, your two issues are...

- DPI scaling turned on by default on high dpi displays even though compatibility isn't perfect. Well, GTK DPI scaling certainly isn't perfect either to say the least.

- Not sure where the settings are: Click "start" and click "settings". Forget about the legacy control panel as that is only there for compatibility with old software and for changing the settings of deprecated features used by old software. Forget about MMC unless you have been directed to use it by the documentation, like for example if you are administering Windows Server machines. And I'm sure it goes without saying that Linux systems are certainly no better when it comes to the diversity of methods for adjusting settings.

And these issues are so offensive that while you thought Win 7 was an "OK" OS, you "would never pay money for" Win 10?

Because it would be like me saying that Linux desktop is completely useless because it doesn't have a decent remote desktop solution.

It's true, but just because that makes the Linux desktop dead to me might not make the Linux desktop useless to you.

I did note that the WSL2 push might finally mean Linux gets proper RDP support, thanks to Microsoft. The irony is not lost on me.

Poster is taking their own experience in regards to their own use cases as The One True Way. The reality is that there are a whole lot of things Windows does better and a lot of people prioritize those things over whatever advantages Linux offers.
you are being downvoted because kvm is just not capable of being hyper v and it never will be. hyper v is the best software in existance and windows will be fine forever.
My Hyper-V endeavor is basically a failed one, because on the latest version of Windows, running VMs still causes random bluescreens on my Ryzen-based workstation. I wish I could say it was good software, but it's very much lacking for me.
There is a non-zero chance WSL will make desktop Linux completely irrelevant even for developers.
You underestimate most companies' (with significant internal engineering organizations) commitment to open source.

It's been 8 years since I've even had to touch Windows professionally and without any overt effort on my part.

The only reason companies care about open source is because

a) it's cheaper b) avoids lock-in and other dependencies

I don't see either of these being much of an advantage for linux on the desktop, although they will continue to be on server and embedded.

Well "not touching it at all" would've been great but I've had my main machine on Windows for about 2-3 years out of the last 14, so I don't think that's so rare.

Since 2013 I didn't even have a job anyone with a Windows machine /could have done/, because the stuff simply doesn't run or compile. (Yeah, WSL and all, the box was too slow to compile stuff natively already).

it's called "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish"
This. It's been MICROS~1's primary tactic against competitors for at least 1/3 of a century now and nothing has changed: now the company just _says_ it likes FOSS.

Does Windows set up dual-boot if Linux is installed first? Naw.

Does Windows read or write Linux filesystems? Naw.

Has MS open-sourced any significant or important parts of Windows where it won't benefit directly? Naw.

It is in MS' direct interests if PowerShell or .NET are supported on other platforms; it makes them more credible tools.

Did we get source for Explorer or anything? Naw. Calculator. Big fat hairy deal.

Has MS open-sourced any obsolete products that might actually be of use or interest, such as the final versions of MS-DOS (25 years old) or Windows 9x? Naw. They contain things like Explorer and so on that are still used. Can't go actually _helping_ people.

It's all marketing flim-flam. Don't believe the hype.

Linux is doing great on phones and servers and so on. On the desktop, only ChromeOS is not a rounding error. So, if MS can embrace-and-extend the Linux desktop, and make Win10 a better desktop Linux than Linux, then it helps MS and it helps Win10.

And with what it learns from that, it can apply to WSL in the datacentre and on Azure, where it can make Windows Server a better Kubernetes than Kubernetes.

Which, let's face it, would not be all that hard.

> Linux is doing great on phones

... you're fine with Google taking Linux, hiding it inside a proprietary system, not releasing source code for things people want to use like Google services?

> and servers and so on.

A use case where the most desirable setup is to have the Linux servers on someone else's computing platform, preferably in another state or country, with minimal services running on it, preferably locked behind an SSH interface that only an automation tool accesses guarded by an automated deployment tool, trading the "Linux can run for years without reboots" former gloating for being able to kill/redeploy dozens of times per day.

This is what counts as "popular" in 2020, Linux as a small piece of necessary plumbing that everyone wants to push away from human contact. A far cry from the dreams of Linspire, Ubuntu, Ubuntu-phone.

Microsoft make WSL pleasant to install and use, and now it's one of the most talked about ways to deal with Linux.

And you're pretending that what you really wanted was source code for Windows Explorer? Oh please. As if.

Well done for signally failing to get a single point I made. Well up to HN commenter standards -- perhaps you'll make it on to https://twitter.com/hn_commenter

I am typing on Linux right now. I work for a Linux vendor. I like Linux and use it every day. I do not run Windows at all, anywhere, unless someone is paying me to.

As for Android, there is this thing called AOSP. Check it out. You might also wish to contribute to Replicant, since you are so passionate: https://replicant.us/

If you look hard enough on Google, you can probably find my (rather positive) reviews of Linspire from back when it was new. (It wasn't as good as Corel LinuxOS.) You'll also find me praising Ubuntu's efforts and bemoaning their cancellation.

Linux is anything but small; it is huge. It is what allows me to keep the lights on and put food and drink on my family's table.

MS executing its hallmark embrace-and-extend on it is _disastrous_ news and is one of the biggest dangers Linux has ever faced.

Don't shoot the messenger.

How do you explain your contradictory beliefs that "Linux is huge and doing great" and that Microsoft is desperately trying to make its tools look credible with marketing and hype, and at the same time Microsoft is bordering on world domination with _disastrous_ news that might extinguish Linux forever? Or where Linux is the dominant computing platform everyone serious uses, and at the same time in danger of being squished by Microsoft?

> "As for Android, there is this thing called AOSP. Check it out."

It's what you get if you remove all the things people want, like Chrome and YouTube and drivers and Google store, and are left with just a kernel which nobody cares about. It's what manufacturers take, and put something nice but proprietary on top before it becomes desirable. (btw, if Android counts as a huge successful use of Linux, how is Microsoft adding a Linux VM option to Windows going to extinguish Android?)

> "MS executing its hallmark embrace-and-extend on it is _disastrous_ news"

It isn't news, WSL has been around for years, and before that the Unix subsystem for more years. And why are you afraid that Microsoft doing literally anything with Linux might lead to you running Windows? How is that going to happen?

> "Linux is anything but small; it is huge."

Then how is Microsoft adding a Linux VM option to Windows a "disaster"? Is it huge and doing great, or tenuous and barely holding on?

> "It is what allows me to keep the lights on and put food and drink on my family's table."

You just said you would use Windows if someone paid you. Linux being extinguished wouldn't stop you from earning. Not to mention the doublethink involved in how Linux can both "be extinguished" and still exist in Windows, or how Linux being used in Android, extended in proprietary ways, is great, but being used in Windows is not great.

Because it's just anti-Microsoft fearmongering, not anything which makes rational or reasonable sense.

EEE was about standard protocols; if Microsoft extend SMTP or HTML and everyone becomes dependent on their version, they could leverage that to kill Netscape. If Microsoft put a Linux VM in Windows, that doesn't change what happens on your server, on your phone, on your laptop. If people start developing for "Microsoft Linux" because it's /better/ because Microsoft builds things people want, that's called "competition".

Do you genuinely believe that you are refuting my arguments here? My points are not complicated or difficult, and your responses are facile.

Linux is strong on servers and phones.

This is, in part, because you can deploy tens of thousands of servers (and tear them down again) at very little cost, and Google gives Android away.

No software licensing.

Being cheap to do means not much money goes into Linux development as a result. Google is doing it to weaken Apple.

Always follow the money.

Windows still dominates desktops. This makes MS money. Not from Windows, but what goes on top: Office and Exchange and Server licences. Evidence: MS gave Win10 away for free in order to get it established.

If Linux development slows and stabilises, then it will be easier to run Linux binaries on other OSes that merely emulate Linux. (Examples: WSL, FreeBSD Linuxulator, Joyent SmartOS.)

If MS manages to make WSL a better Linux than Linux, then it strengthens the market for Windows running Linux workloads, which weakens Linux.

There are multiple markets here. You have to consider all of them and their interactions.

No, E&E is _not_ about standards and protocols. It is about money.

Netscape was free for non-commercial use. In business, you had to pay. Also, Netscape sold one of the leading web servers. That is how Netscape made money.

MS made IE free, but free is no good if the product isn't as good. So it built IE into Windows, and IIS into Windows Server, and gave them away for free, including upgrades. To make them desirable, it added some snazzy interactive stuff in the form of ActiveX (client-side) and ASP (server-side).

Result: Netscape couldn't sell its pro products any more and went broke.

Ubuntu is big on servers because Ubuntu is a good desktop, and when it came out, the other decent desktops -- e.g. SUSE -- cost money. Ubuntu took their market share but didn't make any money. Within a decade, most young techies knew Ubuntu first so they chose it for server stuff too, and servers make Ubuntu money.

Ditto Red Hat and SUSE (now). Give the desktop away for free, make money on servers.

Follow the money.

If Windows can do that better, nobody will bother with Linux. The money goes to MS instead, then RH & SUSE & Ubuntu will die, and I will be out of a job.

It is not about standards. It is about money.

MS doesn't care about Stallmans GNU goals. What they do care about are developers not being annoyed with working on a Windows machine (or nowadays using their Azure clouds).

Speaking for myself, I'm coming from the gamedev world (lately webdev) and as such was mostly tied to windows due to various tools(Photoshop,Modo,3dsmax in the past,etc) but that didn't mean that I was going to suffer by using IIS or spend a fortune on Windows server licences or higher hardware reqs for appplication servers for no good reason.

So yes, MS will ignore OSS for their core Windows stuff, HOWEVER they will probably also play nice in the wider OSS (If not FOSS) community since they probably see Azure as the third leg of the future (apart from Windows and Office) and as such will ensure that everyone who uses it (be it for Windows or Linux deployments) are happy with it (And trashing things in the OSS community will thus be counterproductive).

This is _precisely_ the sort of thought the company wishes to cultivate:

* That they don't care about Free Software (they do, it is a hated enemy).

* That they are ignoring the FOSS world (they're watching it closely and working out how to stealthily attack it).

* That they'll play nice and so should be welcomed (they are a merciless enemy to be constantly wary of).

In other words, their marketing team's message of "we've changed, we're nice and friendly now, trust us" is working perfectly.

What motive does MS have to "watch and stealthily attack" the FOSS world? Which parts of that world threaten their existence?

Looking at the last few quarterly reports, I'm inclined to agree with the parent commenter here, and your comment doesn't do much to substantiate your point as it stands.

This is the motive, as someone cited before me:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend,_and_extinguis...

I was merely agreeing.

Look at MS' history. It used this tactic to kill or maim a long list of companies: Netscape, Lotus, WordPerfect, Aldus, Novell, Sybase, STAC, Central Point Software, Quarterdeck, and dozens more.

It tried it with Sun and Java -- it failed, but only just.

It tried it with the WWW itself with ActiveX and IIS ASP. Again, this only just failed.

It has a long long history of being the nastiest, most deceitful, dishonest, back-stabbing company in the computer industry -- and that is saying a lot.

It is not a coincidence that Gates became the richest man in the world.

Cory Doctorow's Twitter summary is pretty good (short thread): https://twitter.com/doctorow/status/1304811968398729218

The LA Times did a great investigative piece on the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation _thirteen years ago_: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2007-jan-07-na-gates...

TL;DR -- it spends just enough money that Gates & Buffett don't pay tax on the interest of their wealth; it does not do ethical investment of any kind; its objective is whitewashing the reputation of a retired criminal, in which it is very successful.

I have yet to see any evidence that the company culture that Gates created and Ballmer continued has changed in any substantive way.

> "Look at MS' history. It used this tactic to kill or maim a long list of companies: Netscape, Lotus, WordPerfect, Aldus, Novell, Sybase, STAC, Central Point Software, Quarterdeck, and dozens more."

Netscape defunct 2003, FireFox still exists. Lotus 1-2-3 last release 2002. Sybase still existed until it was sold to SAP in 2010 and SAP killed it in 2014. WordPerfect still exists. Quarterdeck defunct 1998.

Sun, Java, ActiveX, ASP. 1990s.

Anything from this last decade? And, how is "this tactic" going to stop you from using Linux?

> "It has a long long history of being the nastiest, most deceitful, dishonest, back-stabbing company in the computer industry -- and that is saying a lot."

Cruelty, ruthlessness, and exploitation goes with success in capitalism.

> "TL;DR -- it spends just enough money that Gates & Buffett don't pay tax on the interest of their wealth; it does not do ethical investment of any kind; its objective is whitewashing the reputation of a retired criminal, in which it is very successful."

Character attack on a retired man, based on bad things which happened a generation ago, while giving free pass to Google who are strongarming the web with AMP and unilateral changes to Chrome, and unilateral standards which were proprietary Google internals released to the world, because they use Linux in their advertising-spyware mobile platform, and to Amazon, a much maligned company run by one of the current world's richest people, known for its mistreatment of employees and abusive attitude to the publishing industry, and for using its cloud platform to steal and reimplement popular services and put them out of business, free pass for current bad behaviour because they let people run Linux cheaply?

The reason MS didn't have to do this stuff in the last decade or 2 is because it has already killed all its opponents.

Name another big desktop app vendor will hundreds of millions of seats. Name another industry-leading groupware system.

The last big dominant rival MS took down was Nokia's phones operation, but it mainly succeeded there because Google and Apple accidentally helped: Evidence: MS doesn't make phones any more. It derailed the #1 smartphone vendor's own OS efforts and planted an MS exec in charge so that vendor used exclusively MS phone OSes, but it wasn't good enough. The OS failed and the vendor left the market.

Apple is in a different market. Apple sells hardware. Its OSes are free. It also makes a cut on content for those devices.

Character attacks? Have you bothered to read any of the links I have supplied to support my argument?

I remember the 90s just fine, but i think MS also knows that they lucked out on the antitrust rulings with getting their fingers slapped. Also on top of it Gates isn't there in charge to be ruthless any more (and the competitors today knows the things to watch out for).

But more importantly than all that... MS knows they aren't competing with other companies per-se but rather ecosystems, open source and developer mindshare. If we don't like it we can fork off things and go on our way (like developers did during the Ballmer era despite him jumping around chanting developers....).

Windows isn't even the most used personal OS today, Android is.

Funnily enough thanks to MS in part, not because they sabotaged Nokia (Many N insiders have spoken about how dysfunctional and unfocused their management was even before MS came into the picture), But rather because they fucked over their enthusiastic WinPhone7 users, retailers and devs with WP8 not supporting the prev generation of devices and API's changing.

WP7 had a far snapper and easier to understand UI than contemporary Android devices, but once they dropped the WP8 news the old devices just lay on shelves and sellers who had bet on WP7 selling were left with un-sellable devices and didn't feel like buying a new batch to see it happen again.

Yes, that's all fair.

I know why the WinPhone fiasco happened: they, very reasonably, wanted to get everything on an NT base. WinPhone 7 was WinCE, WinPhone 8 was NT.

I don't think they realised how many people used WinPhone 7 and were happy with it. Over here in Czechia, Windows phones were the main smartphones I saw when I moved here in 2014 -- Android and iOS were very rare, because they were very expensive. Windows phones were the affordable way to get a smartphone -- there were a lot of candybar dumbphones still around here in 5-6 years ago.

I don't think dodging antitrust was luck, though. I think the US was afraid to kill or even maim one of its very few big success stories, one of the only ones that _wasn't_ being outcompeted by Asian or European companies.

Since then, MS has lost some big battles -- notably, phones and tablets -- and it's learned to be conciliatory and how to appear friendly to people too young to remember the viciously rapacious 1990s MS.

My point is, I still think it is just play-acting friendly. This is the null hypothesis: same company, same people, same structure, and therefore, same business practices. It just got burned a few times so now it wants to come over as a reformed character.

Oh my, didn't remember or take notice of the the CE/NT thing. So understandable and yet so stupid in hindsight (gotta have been a bunch of internal voices agains't this but well).

When i mean lucked out i mean that they were lucky enough to have good enough lobbyists to pay their way out of their trouble.

Any company can become aggressive/shitty/evil depending on who runs things. I mean if we look at Suns legacy, Sun today is the biggest threat to open source we have (would would have thought about that in the 90s?).. sure it's really called Oracle now with Larry.E pulling the strings.

MS in the 80s and 90s had lucked in on their DOS deal and i think Gates in the back of his mind might was just watching all the time for threats coming and doing to MS what he did to IBM. But being facing a split-up i think Gates didn't see much point in "winning" any more since doing that would just lead to being big enough to actually be forced to divest things. (So he got bored and started doing other stuff, i know i would)

I think a comparison to the oil industry is apt, early oil was really ruthless in terms of competition (until the breakup of Standard Oil that really MS was the closest to becomming) but todays big-oil industry is quite evil but that is more the making of a collective greed of many middle to high managers and we're seeing the big IT firms approach that state quickly.

There is nothing to extinghuish, except for the notion of Linux on the desktop, that was never a thing anyway, except for a few technerds.

Microsoft has indeed embraced Linux, in the context of Azure, they are making a ton of money thanks to Linux.

And if people develop for Linux-based platforms, why not give them the tools?

There is something to extinguish: Apple. Microsoft had a significant problem that all the best (non-game) developers used macOS (and a few even linux), which severely damaged their ecosystem. They fixed that. Apple might be in for a rude awakening in turn when they realize the toys they enjoy selling for exorbitant profits had an ecosystem dependency on the professional products they more or less abandoned.
Embrace is when they grudgingly agree to support something lame. Extend is when they improve it. Extinguish is when so many people prefer it that their improved version dominates the market.

That is "Extinguish" is not Microsoft forcing you to stop using Linux it's Microsoft making Windows so good that you no longer want to use Linux.

Linux users think improving things so people like them is bad, because Linux has a culture where you have to suffer the difficulties as a hazing ritual to prove your geek cred, and if you like popular, convenient, easy, pleasant, non-technical, user-or-business focused features that's inherently a "luser" attitude and a person to be scorned.

That is, people who run around the internet fearmongering "Embrace,Extend,Extinguish" are simultaneously criticising Microsoft for making software so bad that nobody wants to use it and losing market share and desperately clutching at popularist straws, while at the same time terrified that Microsoft will make software so good not only will it dominate the market, but they peronsally will find it irresistable and be unable to muster the religious willpower to stick with Linux when faced with the temptation of something better.

I gave up on FreeBSD on my hobby server after having have to maintain tiny differences all over for my ansible script and zshrc and whatnot.

It just takes unnecessary effort to keep up with what just works for Linux and I didn't see much benefit sticking to FreeBSD.

For me this is the opposite, I use Linux on my laptop and FreeBSD on a hobby server. I find it easier to configure although I have much more experience with Linux. Things I don't link on Linux are systemd, pulseaudio, hundreds of packets managers that make it not always straight forward how to patch a package.

What I like with FreeBSD is the slower pace of evolution, so there is less breaking change per unit of time, that makes me spend less time fixing things while being up to date, and when it break there is always a good documentation available. Things I like in FreebSD: pf, zfs, bhyve, rc.d, good separation between user configuration changes and system configuration.

FreeBSD feels more solid to me; upgrades are easier, and stuff changes less often. I don't have time to keep up with maintaining a Linux server any more.
What are you talking about? Put CentOS or Ubuntu LTS on your box and forget about it for the next ten years. The only updates you'll get are security and bug fixes, nothing fundamental will change. The next LTS release you'll install in 2030 will have substantial differences, but FreeBSD changes quite a bit too in such a large time span.
The user facing surface of FreeeBSD from twenty years ago is still pretty similar to the surface today.

ifconfig still configures network interfaces (including wireless)

the init system is still the same

you still have the same three firewalls to choose from

the audio system is still the same

The internals are quite a bit different (and more capable), and I don't think zfs was in FreeBSD back then, but UFS2 still works.

If you want to experience twenty year old FreeBSD, to compare with modern FreeBSD, Apple has lovingly preserved it as the userland unix interface in MacOs, they've even got a circa 2000 tcp stack.

A few things..

1. Ubuntu LTS releases are supported for five years -- Centos is for ten years.

2. FreeBSD updates are typically easy to perform, and the new system is not that different from the previous one. Things are where they used to be and you configure it the same way as you have for years. With Centos, there was a migration from yum -> dnf. With both Ubuntu and Centos the init system has changed from sysv -> upstart -> systemd. The default network configuration on Ubuntu has been replaced with netplan.

I guess what I'm getting at is that there is significantly more churn in Linux distributions and vastly less churn in FreeBSD. This could also be seen as a lack of progress, but I don't think that OP sees it that way.

I'd be surprised if it does. If anything, it seems like this would make it more tempting to move from Linux to FreeBSD (maybe?).

But this isn't FreeBSD development -at least not in the sense that you're creating FreeBSD apps in Linux. This is simply giving an alternative to downloading the isos. If you you need to verify that the source does what it says, now you can build it yourself on Linux.

As someone who dearly wishes they could make NetBSD apps on Linux (edit: I mean build pkgsrc packages for NetBSD on Linux) I don't see it being that much of a game changer -though it is a nice feature on a couple of different levels (being able to build a system on bare metal instead of in a vm, and the code being so portable it can be built in a foreign environment)

Bootstrapping is as important as dogfooding. If you make it easy for people to try things, maybe they'll use it - maybe they'll change it. But if it crumbles in their hands, then it was never going to survive.
I attempted to switch to a FreeBSD desktop, the first thing I noticed was that Redshift didn't work at all for changing colour temperature. It appears that they switched everything from X to Wayland, and that means Redshift stopped working, but no one appears to have noticed... That was a bad sign, so I uninstalled.