The Applications Barrier To Entry Has Been Breeched

For decades, M$ has leveraged its OS monopoly to control the world’s IT. One of the tools they used was to assist business to accept that M$’s office suite was the standard office suite of business and then kept businesses on M$’s OS by not porting the office suit to other operating systems. The only exception was MacOS where M$ gave it second-class citizenship because Apple had a loyal following. It was often said that GNU/Linux would never “succeed” on the desktop merely because M$ would never release an office suite for GNU/Linux. That’s over now.
“Microsoft yesterday released one of its cash cows, Microsoft Office, for Android.”

see Has Linus Torvalds won the long battle with Microsoft?.

Since Android/Linux will run on a GNU/Linux system, the application will easily run on a GNU/Linux system. Unfortunately, the application is just the front end to M$’s web application so it’s a hollow victory, but it’s still a victory because M$ is publicly acknowledging that */Linux is happening, everywhere. Businesses will use Android/Linux and GNU/Linux more and M$’s OS less because of this move. Thanks, M$.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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26 Responses to The Applications Barrier To Entry Has Been Breeched

  1. oiaohm says:
    Is a very good read for those who think C and C++ are in fact outside .net. Yes a lot of different parts of .net use unsafe code to call out to C functions. This is from everything todo file operations to gui operations. So there are 1000 of examples of where non conforming operations to other OS standards are used. In fact the worst turn up as not having any low level support in Windows.
    Inheritable in fact has meaning inside glibc.
    performed by fcntl and its the reversed O_NOINHERIT.

    This is one of the differences that can cause major issues to application security when you port from Linux, OS X, BSD… to Windows.

    Interesting enough is that even that the .net spec goes and claims win32 does not support Inheritable limiting on filehandles if you use the Microsoft libc you can in fact enforced it since the did manage to implement it for porting applications. Yes the issue is it is reversed.

    So reality here is the .net specs and what the Windows OS really can do don’t line up. The true reason why this feature does not work using Windows OS internal features even in win32 is a sad one of incompetence. Problem is fixing this now will break applications.

    Welcome to the sad world. There is a loser who likes commenting about this blog who need to keep his mouth shut about technical facts. I only have an another 4000 points in the .net specs where .net does not in fact use features Windows OS even in Win32 bit mode truly supports. Yes mostly because the features are mirrored in the win32 api. Disabling instead of enabling.

    This does lead to major issues using unsafe abi in .net with file handles and other items that are secured .net to .net code turning out to be not secured when it enters native code. You don’t need to read the .net specs far to find major cases of developer incompetence.

  2. ram says:

    Another big advantage of the Linux software development tools is the compilers (for dozens of different programming languages) all compile down to C as an (often invisible) intermediate step. This means for multiplatform development one can compile down to C and then compile the C versions for whatever platform.

    It also facilitates mixed language programming, a BIG advantage. Graphical parts can be written in a graphical programming language, intense numerical computations can be written in Fortran, and hardware device drivers can be written in C. The whole “ball of wax” will fit together, compile, and run. Run efficiently too!

    Mixed language programming, in open published standard programming languages, is a huge productivity boost.
    It is the GNU advantage of GNU/Linux.

  3. oiaohm says:

    There is a problem bw and you like proven yourself as a moron.
    “C is pretty passé these days. In the commercial world the old stuff is C++ and the new stuff is java or .NET. ” This is a moron comment.

    C++ is a extend on top of C. Even Object C is an extend on top of C. Portability depends on stable core libraries to build on.

    So if the C libraries under you C++ or Object C program are no good you are still going to have random issues. Even some of the Java differences in behaviour between platforms traces to the quality of libc of that platform.

    glibc and its relations are very dominantly used.

    .net interestingly has the reverse. Since it was not built with glibc at core lot of nasty issues appear when .net applications are moved to non Windows platforms. Why .net applications are expecting behaviours that don’t exist anywhere else. This is what the glibc library deals with.

    bw the effects of quality of the libc support is far reaching. Why you are a moron C is the foundations of what most applications are built on. Its like putting up a 100 story building and doing the foundations poorly because no one will see them.

    Using Eclipse(yes I use it) does not get you away from the foundations your application is depending on. Foundations are not pretty things.

    Java, .Net, C++ and Object C are all dog if you wish to share code with other complier systems.

    bw the reasons why courses still contain C sections to there classes is if you want to build a shared library to be used by all languages and compliers you are forced to return to the C standard. Sad reality the only one with a defined way to do function calls language neutral is C.

    bw C is foundations. You are a person bw who would build a house on a bog and have it sink into it and disappear because you forgot to take care of the foundations. For some reason you think foundations are not important bw.

  4. bw says:

    Haven’t you folks heard of Eclipse?

  5. bw says:

    You want to write a C applications once use everywhere you are fairly much condemned to used glibc

    C is pretty passé these days. In the commercial world the old stuff is C++ and the new stuff is java or .NET. Where have you been hiding? I think they still show C to high school kids before they teach them how more modern things are built.

  6. oiaohm says:

    bw historically there has been no options.

    For a long time bsd did not have an operational complier of it own so was dependant 100 percent on GCC.

    Recent changes have seen llvm rise. In fact some distributions are double building with gcc and llvm.

    libhybris on android, cygwin on Windows. What am I listing. Different solutions that get glibc/eglibc on to the other platforms.

    One of the most ported library on earth is glibc. So yes there are GNU/Windows, GNU/OS X, GNU/Solaris applications.

    Now comes the question why is glibc so ported. If you take the C standard. Yes the intentional standard it defines how particular c functions should work. You test this on some platforms and required functions don’t work correctly(yes this includes Windows). Repeat that for all other standards around C and the same thing keeps on turning up.

    You want to write a C applications once use everywhere you are fairly much condemned to used glibc.

    In fact glibc was born out of Unix libc fragmentation.

    Next to the bootstrapping problem. llvm is not to the point where it can built linux kernel fully yet. One day maybe. bw the problem is far harder than most dream. llvm is one of the few compliers that do stand a chance of being able to built the Linux kernel. Gcc complier has many unique features. Some of those features are key to preventing coder errors and conflicts in kernel space. llvm is becoming able to built the Linux kernel by supporting gcc extensions.

    The fact GNU has lacked a valid competitor lead to to a lot of bit rot. The day llvm and gcc both can build the core of Linux will be a great day.

    In fact a decent alternative to glibc would be good as well. Yes a decent alternative does not include bonic in android. Really glibc is the most standard conforming libc in existence. glibc supports bsd, posix… (basically every major body) extensions to the libc library. Due to this its not a simple library to offer up a replacement that works with as much code base unless it happens to be a relation like eglibc.

    bw all the claims about the FOSS world being fragmented when you look at some key core parts its not fragmented at all.

    Yes the lack of fragmentation in some of those areas remove motivation to work on them.

    OpenOffice vs Libreoffice is good for Office suite development FOSS side both have a reason to one up the other.

    llvm vs gcc creates the same thing. bsd kernel vs Linux kernel has also created some of this one up man ship.

    Areas with the least competition develop the slowest.

  7. bw wrote, “Why not?”

    The applications were built with the GNU toolchain and libraries.

  8. bw says:

    You can’t run many applications

    Why not?

    Why can’t it bootstrap? That is pretty simple stuff and I am sure that Linus would be up to making it work.

  9. bw wrote, “Do you really need any of the GNU stuff to just run Ubuntu and programs you get from someone else?”

    Let’s see. You can’t boot. You can’t run many applications and yes, Bash or other interpreter is how Sysvinit manages the processes to start the OS. Some distros are switching to systemd to do that by other means. gcc is used to turn the source code into executable binaries. Most distros would not exist without it. One could presumably use another compiler, linker etc. but why bother? One can have a BSD/Linux arrangement too, but I don’t know many who use that. Linux is too good with hardware and GNU is very simple and reliable.

  10. dougman says:

    Windows 8 is the ‘After Earth’ of operating systems, it is like Windows Mojave, destined to fail for being crap.I repaired so many Vista machines it was atrocious!

    Next from M$ will be ‘Windows NEIN’ and that will flop to, as M$ may just do away with the desktop entirely, which leaves droves of people to migrate to Linux.

    Here are 10 advantages of Surface tablets:

    1. Allows Multiple users – Since Windows sees fit to corrupt profiles, why bother fixing it, just create another.

    2. Multiple monitors – After the video drivers crash, this feature will allow you to view the screen by hooking up an external monitor.

    3. Connection of peripherals – Yep hook up that external 3TB drive so you can backup that bloated system.

    4. Snap view – My neck hurts even thinking about this one.

    5. Full-blown file manager – Yes, when your NTFS goes tits-up, rest assured it will be full-blown.

    6. File encryption – So hardened and secure, even the NSA has the keys.

    7. Pen support – When the ‘clickity’ keyboard finally fails, you can grab the nearest pen and handwritten notes, emails, etc… You may also test the screen strength, as you become frustrated by wasting your money on this junk.

    8. Bing News – We bing bring you news so you don’t have to, with an annoying live tab on the screen just to especially distract you from achieve any sort of work.

    9. Run any Browser – Yes you can access the web with the most secure Internet Exploder, ummm, Explorer, and yes due to EU mandates we need to be more friendly to other browser people, but hey!!!, did I mention that you can use Internet Explorer. Its free and stuff, no hassles, popups and viruses like the other guys. Explorer is the industry standard ya know? Stick with us, we are weiners!

    10. Powerful software – Yes, we even gave you this useless feature, so you can run bloated CAD and SHOP on a tiny screen.

  11. bw says:

    Oh, Bash 4.2, Gimp 2.8.4, gcc 4.8.1, gtk+ 3.8.2, glibc 2.1.7, grub 2.00 etc

    You will have to be a bit more expansive here. I am not totally ignorant of Linux stuff, but I am not totally familiar with it either. Isn’t gcc and those library things programming tools for creating apps? How does that fit in with an OS? The equivalent with Windows is the stuff from MSDN that lets you write Windows programs, but you don’t need it to run programs you buy somewhere else. Also, isn’t gimp a graphics app like Paint Shop Pro or MS Paint? Bash, I think, is a command line interpreter, but I don’t think you need it to use Ubuntu.

    I installed Ubuntu a year or so ago on an old Compaq that had XP originally. It worked just fine although there wasn’t anything that I thought was so useful that I needed to keep it around. I did get the impression, though, that all the functionality needed to run and manage programs used the GUI just like Windows did. The GUI was pretty similar to Windows, too.

    Do you really need any of the GNU stuff to just run Ubuntu and programs you get from someone else?

  12. bw wrote, “Is Ubuntu actually “GNU/Linux” anyway? Where does “GNU” fit into that today?”

    Oh, Bash 4.2, Gimp 2.8.4, gcc 4.8.1, gtk+ 3.8.2, glibc 2.1.7, grub 2.00 etc.

    Thin clients last at least twice as long as thick clients so that 1.25% is going to accumulate to 2.5%. 10% of legacy PCs are thin clients now and that’s with “8” having tons of outlets and salesmen…

  13. bw says:

    GNU/Linux is mainstream now and it has been for ages

    Think what you want, but there is no direct evidence of that. Is Ubuntu actually “GNU/Linux” anyway? Where does “GNU” fit into that today?

    Thin clients are predicted to sell 5 million units this year, similar to the share of “8″. The longer lives of thin clients mean the share in the installed base is growing to about 10%.

    Your cite says that 25% of the thin clients are Linux based, which adds up to 1.25 million units. Windows 8 computers are selling at a couple of orders of magnitude greater than that. Your analysis doesn’t add up.

  14. bw wrote, “The “success” of Linus seems to always involve some place far away or, lately, even outer space (or is that inner space?). A success story seems to go on and on for years, too. The current record is Munich, having been a standard bearer for over ten years now. The French police story is distant second, with only 5 or so years on the job.”

    GNU/Linux is mainstream now and it has been for ages. Migrations are rare but new installations routinely go with GNU/Linux. e.g. consider the share of thin clients that run GNU/Linux: “Thin Clients without operating systems (zero clients) hold 24% share among the thin client segment. Linux-based thin clients are slightly larger at 25%.” Thin clients are predicted to sell 5 million units this year, similar to the share of “8”. The longer lives of thin clients mean the share in the installed base is growing to about 10%.

    bw wrote, “I looked up the notion in Google with some results that show Linux adoption throughout IBM to be a myth as well.”, of course with no links…

    2011, John Walicki reported IBM’s internal client ecosystem was” 500,000 primary workstations, IBM/Lenovo high-end laptops; (85%) and desktops (15%). 1.3M million laptops/desktops in total
    Windows XP desktop with Linux Open Client option”
    . There’s more at LinuxFoundation (2013) showing the distribution of units. Most units are in USA and Europe but they don’t say how many.

  15. matchrocket says:

    bw suffers from selective amnesia. He chooses to forget Linux’ many successes and achievements. That’s okay bw. He who underestimates his adversary gets his ass kicked handily by them.

  16. bw says:

    The “success” of Linus seems to always involve some place far away or, lately, even outer space (or is that inner space?). A success story seems to go on and on for years, too. The current record is Munich, having been a standard bearer for over ten years now. The French police story is distant second, with only 5 or so years on the job. The Czech post office story was new to me, but research reveals it is a server/terminal thing along the lines of Pogson’s “thin client” initiative. I don’t know if that qualifies as a Windows vs Linux story or not.

    The balance of the “evidence” is always a hand-waving exercise as done here, vaguely referring to “a growing number” of adoptees. IBM is pointed to a lot in this regard and I looked up the notion in Google with some results that show Linux adoption throughout IBM to be a myth as well.

    One insider reported:

    “IBM’s global desktop operating environment is called the Client for eBusiness (C4EB).

    The Windows XP C4EB is currently the most dominant and I would estimate it to be used by over 90% of the employee population (350,000+ people).
    The Windows 7 C4EB was made available as of December 13, 2010.
    There are official Linux C4EB distributions based on Fedora, Red Hat, Debian or Ubuntu and it would seem, based on my observations, that there is momentum for people to move to these environments (most all internal IBM apps are available for Linux too).
    IBM’s strategic office suite is called Lotus Symphony, and employees are required to use that unless a valid business justification exists for the install of MS Office.”

    This was in 2010, a couple of years after the Linux change “edict” and maybe someone can find later information.

  17. ram says:

    I think the key issue is that Linux developers are abundant, and Microsoft application developers are rare and expensive. Since Linux is clearly the better platform for applications development the entire IT community is moving over to it.

  18. dougman says:

    So who cares?? Obviously you do and it must bother you, that people are using Linux more then Windows these days.

    “WHAT do the International Space Station, the Czech Post Office, the French Parliament and the Turkish government have in common? All have switched from using a proprietary Operating System (OS) on their computers to an “open source” or free OS; or putting it simply: They have switched from Windows to a free OS called Linux. And they are not alone. A growing number of businesses, educational and scientific institutions, schools and governments are doing likewise.”

  19. bw says:

    …people wondering, what’s this Linux…

    I never met anyone like that. Have you? Maybe you can get doughman to make up a story.

  20. matchrocket says:

    The way Microsoft’s trolls carry on about nobody caring that Android works on top of Linux must have people wondering, what’s this Linux they keep talking about?

  21. bw says:

    Android is built on the open Linux Kernel

    So who really cares? The value in the Android ecosystem is built on Google’s willingness to supply the basic code for OEMs to modify and the app store for distribution of popular programs that work with it. A few bits and bytes in a priority task scheduler module and some dispatcher logic and state monitoring is insignificant compared to the commercial attributes of Android. Why re-invent the wheel?

  22. dougman says:

    Samsung devices THAT use Linux, do not forget to mention that ok?

    “Android is built on the open Linux Kernel. Furthermore, it utilizes a custom virtual machine that was designed to optimize memory and hardware resources in a mobile environment. Android is open source; it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge.”

    So for M$ to offer up its cash-cow Office to this market IS important, in time I can see them doing the same for ChromeOS in a packaged app and all tablets later, especially if they are going cloud and offering a annual license.

  23. bw says:

    Microsoft yesterday released one of its cash cows, Microsoft Office, for Android

    That might be the way that the Iraqi information minister might have put it, but the reality is that they simply added Samsung phones to the list of devices that already included various Winidows phones, iPhones, and iPads that could be used to access Office365, recognizing the reality that these phones are used by a lot of their customers.

    BTW, isn’t the “FL” missing from “FLOSS” when it comes to describing Android and specific implementations of Android phones?

  24. MacBroderick says:

    Never mind what Goldman Sachs told about market share of Android Linux last year. Here are the new results of Q2 2103

    -229.6 million new smartphones
    – 51.7 million new tablets
    -75,6 million new pc
    total 356.9 million new devices


    -183.7 million smartphones
    – 34.6 million tablets
    total 218.3 million Android-mobiles

    total market share of new devices for Android

    218.3/356.9 x 100% = 61,1%

  25. dougman wrote, “the software cannot be installed on Android tablets”

    Because Android/Linux is FLOSS, where there is a will there will be a way, not that I think it would be worth the effort. This is a big signal to the world that */Linux has arrived in every way possible, including desktops.

  26. dougman says:

    Said this sometime ago, arrived quicker than I expected. However, it’s not free to use, and is limited to Android phones; the software cannot be installed on Android tablets, which makes its pointless.

    Decent write-up:

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