Readers Respond: Microsoft Forges Smart Partnerships

Readers respond to the eWEEK editorial, "Microsoft Forges Smart Partnerships."

In the July 24 issue, Jason Brooks wrote an article applauding the purchase by Microsoft of Winternals Software ["Microsoft Forges Smart Partnerships"]. I am not nearly as confident as Brooks is that this is a good thing for the software industry.

Microsoft does not have a good record in distributing tools [such as Winternals Sysinternals].

Consider the resource kits. Paid or free? Downloadable? Redistributable? Hidden? Consider the power toys. If you can find them, many are wrapped in layers of installers, "Genuine Advantage" checkers, unnecessary UI and the ubiquitous "unsupported" warnings.

As a driver developer, the systems I test on are rarely fully registered and activated. Will I still be able to run Sysinternals DebugView on an unregistered system after it passes through official Microsoft channels? Will the NTFS from DOS tools be allowed to continue to exist, given Microsofts patent enforcement?

If Microsoft and Sony had had a digital rights management agreement in place, do you think the whole rootkit scenario would ever have seen the light of day? Do you think the Sony rootkit eliminator would ever have been released as a Microsoft tool?

Its a great deal for Microsoft, but I am not at all convinced that it is a great deal for me.

Tim Roberts
Providenza & Boekelheide