Microsoft To Distribute Their Own Version of BSD/Linux


Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Apr 01, 2010 GMT
Jon maddog Hall

NEW YORK — April 1, 2010 — Today, CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Microsoft would be releasing their own version of the Linux operating system in twelve months.

After years of calling the Free Software movement “communists”, threatening them with patent suits, deprecating Free Software and coercing foreign governments to ship useless, broken Microsoft software packages with hardware programs aimed at helping poor people get access to the Internet, Ballmer actually used a copy of GNU/Linux and said, “Hey, Free Software is really pretty darn good, I think Microsoft could really make a lot of money with it.”

Ballmer was particularly impressed by the ease of use of emacs, and said that its power and flexibility reminded him of Excel. "These are the only two software products I have found where you can make a complete simulator of a CPU or solve the Towers of Hanoi without leaving the program," said Ballmer.

Based on the Linux kernel, the Microsoft operating system will have user-level code taken from the BSD distributions so Microsoft will not have to ship any sources other than for the kernel. “This will allow our hardware partners to do all the work of writing device drivers and porting the Linux kernel, yet still allow Microsoft to put in the useless extensions, changes and bloat-ware to the system that will force people to pay Microsoft obscenely large amounts of money for breaking standards,” said Ballmer.

Ballmer acknowledged that this had been a successful Microsoft strategy in the past, and pointed to Microsoft's successes to corrupting Kerberos, JAVA and Internet Explorer. “Well, two out of three successes is not bad,” said Ballmer, reflecting on Internet Explorer's shrinking share of the browser market.

When asked if his competitors would be able to take advantage of Microsoft being forced to make the sources for the kernel available, Ballmer shrugged and said “Who cares about the kernel? If people wanted a fast, stable, scalable operating system they would not have been buying Microsoft products for years.”

Microsoft has not made any statements about final pricing and availability, but they said that they were thinking of a multi-tiered pricing model that charged per user, per CPU core, per Gigabyte of memory, per disk drive and somehow also considered a customer's religion and sexual orientation. Microsoft product management complained that they needed an eight-dimensional model to fully describe their pricing structure, and their staff was having problems with the origami needed to represent this model.

When asked why it would take almost a year to put together this new product, Ballmer pointed out that Microsoft's one software engineer had been really busy patching Internet Explorer lately, and they had to allow him a week of rest before starting this new, major project.

Recognizing that Free Software people like cute, fuzzy or feathered animals (and blowfish), Ballmer announced the adoption of the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) as the distribution's official mascot, and the donation of a billion dollars of Microsoft VISA licenses to the penguin habitat to protect them from viruses.

“I felt that the African Penguin represents the essence of Microsoft, and I feel a personal relationship with this bird,” he said.

Reporters noted that the unofficial name for the penguin is “Jackass”, because of their call which sounds like a donkey braying.


  • Nice!

    I enjoyed the article, very entertaining. I thought you did a nice job of easing into the 'punchline'.
  • Boring jokes

    Boring jokes... Zzzz.
  • Yes, it is an April Fool's joke

    I had the idea early this morning and I wrote it up. Here are some April Fool's Jokes of last year:

  • April 1st's Joke

    Hi Mr. Maddog!
    It's just a April 1st's Joke isn't it?
    Imagine, Microsoft lauching a Linux distro, porting their M$ Office other top-softwares...just in our sweetest dreams!!!
    It would be nice...but unfortunatelly, it was just the best joke today! big-smile

    Here in Brazil we would say "Maddog é um Fanfarrão" (something like Maddog is a Big Joker). Very very very funny, indeed! I said, it was funny...good to begin a tough day here in Brazil.

    My best regards, Mr. Maddog!

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