Feeds

MS legal threat derails Foxpro on Linux demo

You run our stuff where we say

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft has enraged the developer community after a Redmond executive last week threatened a software developer to prevent him from demonstrating a Microsoft application running on Linux.

Whil Hentzen, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was to have presented a seminar showing how to run Microsoft's Visual FoxPro on Linux at the Bay Area Association of Database Developers last Wednesday.

But prior to the demonstration Hentzen received a call from a Microsoft marketing manager telling him that he would be in violation of the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) for VFP if he demonstrated (or ran) the development tool on Linux.

After the brief conversation with Ken Levy, Microsoft's Visual FoxPro marketing manager, Hentzen decided to abandon the practical demonstration from his talk. Levy had contacted Hentzen after reading a paper on the subject, which Hentzen had edited.

The situation is confusing because Hentzen had done the demonstration before, with no problems. Also other developers had been led to believe from Microsoft that "as long as licenses were in order" running VFP on Linux as a developer environment was permissible.

Hentzen has written to Microsoft asking for clarification to this conflicting advice. He told us this afternoon he was yet to receive a reply.

Hentzen wants to know firstly if developers can run VFP on a Linux as a developer environment, providing the appropriate license has been paid. He also wants to know the terms on which applications developed using VFP can be distributed.

The suggestion every Linux machine running VFP-created aps would need a VFP license. For Windows, only the development machine needs to have a VFP license.

"It appears that Microsoft is trying the tie its applications (developer tools) to their operating system," Hentzen told us.

"Given the legal difficulties that Microsoft has encountered over the years, we don't believe that this is legal, and thus we don't believe that this is the intent of the EULA," he added.

Microsoft is trying to get people to use Visual Basic, instead of FoxPro, because the former is a bigger money spinner for the company, Hentzen believes.

FoxPro is a database and development language purchased by Microsoft in 1992, and now known as Microsoft Visual FoxPro (VFP).

The technology allows developer to create an executable which can then be distributed (along with a support library dll) to an unlimited number of end users.

Reg reader Nick Causton tells us: "Within the FoxPro community there has been a lot of discussion recently about running VFP applications on Linux instead of Windows, no one seriously believed that Microsoft could prevent them from doing this."

Hentzen's demonstration follows on from work by other developers who have been able to get VFP to run on Linux using WINE.

"This now works quite well with the last few problems currently being addressed and there are now a number of people demonstrating this at seminars/conferences," he adds.

Developer Chet Gardiner, who attended the meeting, writes: "MS won't market it [VFP] for Windows applications, even those for which it's the best tool. Now M$ won't let us run it on any other OS, especially the one that's going to kick their butts."

"They are so interested in owning everyone's desktop that don't they see that in this way they could sell a whole lot of VFP stuff to other programmers and make some money out of it," he adds. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.