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Is Microsoft stalling on its GPL Linux drivers?

After releasing with much fanfare 20,000 lines of driver code under the GNU General Public License (GPL) for inclusion in the Linux kernel, Microsoft hasn't followed through with the necessary updates and fixes required by the community, according to one Linux leader.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

After releasing with much fanfare 20,000 lines of driver code under the GNU General Public License (GPL) for inclusion in the Linux kernel, Microsoft hasn't followed through with the necessary updates and fixes required by the community, according to one Linux leader.

Greg Kroah-Hartman, a Novell fellow with SuSE Labs and Linux Driver Project lead, posted on September 9 a status update on the drivers being assembled for inclusion in the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, Kroah-Hartman had some harsh words about Microsoft's participation since its original announcement of its GPL plans in late July.

Kroah-Hartman chided a number of driver-code contributors for not doing the necessary work to get their code in shape. But he singled Microsoft out with the following words:

"hv (Microsoft Hyper-V) drivers. Over 200 patches make up the massive cleanup effort needed to just get this code into a semi-sane kernel coding style (someone owes me a bit bottle of rum for that work!) Unfortunately the Microsoft developers seem to have disappeared, and no one is answering my emails. If they do not show back up to claim this driver soon, it will be removed in the 2.6.33 release. So sad..."

(Kroah-Hartman also is the guy who belatedly called into question Microsoft's motives for releasing the driver code under the GPL by seemingly backing one open-source community member's claim that Microsoft was in violation of the GPL by mixing and matching open- and closed-source code. Some in the open-source community consider that kind of behavior as a violation and others don't.)

I asked a Microsoft spokesperson whether Microsoft had had second thoughts about making its Hyper-V code available under the GPL. The spokesperson denied that was the case and said the primary person responsible for the Hyper-V drivers had been traveling in Europe for the past two weeks "meeting with various OSS (open-source software) constituencies and customers."

I wonder if and when Kroah-Hartman will update his driver-status log....

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