Letter to Microsoft to open-source MSX Bios and MSX Basic

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بواسطة Tanni

Hero (556)

صورة Tanni

09-02-2011, 15:47

Probably no-one at Microsoft in junior positions will know about what a Z80 is. Therefore, maybe would be better to just say "8-bit homecomputer" instead. Please keep in mind that several legacy systems are still highly profitable for big companies, so it would be a good a idea to separate the MSX from these other high-profit market niches.

Pitpan, you contradict yourself. People usually know about the things they draw money form. And they surely know about the Z80, because it's a famous processor still in use in some devices, in an updated version, of course.

I don't contradict myself, Tanni. I say that MSX is not of these profitable business computers. I was thinking that old legacy mainframes are still in operation (of course not Z80-based) and keep a significant share of the total profits for some companies. I think that any administrative clerk at Microsoft - the people that will receive and read our letter - under 30 probably won't know/won't care about what a Z80 is. Therefore I just suggested this just to make sure that they understand that this is a totally different segment and that there isn't any chance of profitability in such a market.

Pitpan, the Z80 will probably still be in use when nobody knows what a the term ''Pentium'' once stood for. The real problem could be the term ''homecomputer'', since today, almost every computer could be refered to as a ''homecomputer''.

If some employee of a company like Microsoft gets a letter like ours, do you think he will throw it away just because he probably don't understand one of the words used? He'll probably get sacked on the spot for doing so, especially if he's an employee of the legal department. A company like Microsoft can't afford noobs there. (In the worst case, we could send that letter again or ask about the processing state of that letter via e-mail. Most likely, we will need to do so anyway.) Even in case the employee should not know, Z80-based is more specific and sounds more technical and hence more important/impressive than 8 bit homecomputer. So I think the way I put it is best for our purposes.

The ''chance of profitability'', that's what the letter is about in the subsequent paragraphs.

Of course, some legacy mainfraims can be still in use, for some reasons. Either for prevention of the system (very unlikely) or because the software used is unique and important and nobody knows how the code works, so updating would be risky.

بواسطة Manuel

Ascended (18788)

صورة Manuel

09-02-2011, 20:50

Note that if the license consists of paying any kind of fee, it is useless for openMSX or anyone else to spread it with their emulators.
But if along with it being licensed for a fee, the source+documentation will also be released, could that still help C-Bios development?

It depends on the conditions (license) of that release. I can't think of a license that requires a fee to distribute and no fee to use the code in other projects.

بواسطة RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

صورة RetroTechie

11-02-2011, 18:03

But if along with it being licensed for a fee, the source+documentation will also be released, could that still help C-Bios development?
Perhaps, but only if developers are not 'tainted' by having seen such non-free source code (as they might knowingly or unknowingly include code snippets from that).

Better would be a 'cleanroom' method: 1 team that analyzes original code & then produces an exact description of what it does (without working on replacement code), and a 2nd team that uses that description to produce a free re-implementation a la C-Bios (and this 2nd team should only use description produced by 1st team & never check original code themselves). Not sure how this is done in C-Bios development btw. Question

Personally I think the most likely answer from Microsoft would be something like "No. We're not interested in pursuing these things anymore" - period (as there's no money to be made from it, and why would they give away stuff if there's no monetary gain from it?). But it never hurts to ask - politely. Smile2 (and maybe ask again after some years)

بواسطة muffie

Paladin (933)

صورة muffie

16-02-2011, 19:53

Are we done yet? Diego is already back in Brazil, but, I'll ask him anyway.

بواسطة tcruise

Master (133)

صورة tcruise

17-02-2011, 13:45

I think the letter is pretty much done. I've been waiting on a response from my contacts in Australia - nothing as yet. I have done some reading on various sections of the Microsoft site and the email address listed above is looking like the best contender. @Tanni has the most up to date text.

بواسطة Tanni

Hero (556)

صورة Tanni

17-02-2011, 14:56

As it is a collaborative project, I surely don't have the most up to date text, but version 4 is the most up to date version, and it's all here on MRC. I expected that there were/is a little more response to that idea, and not that long gaps until someone posts again, as we were supposed to be done February 5th, so I already thought that you'all have lost interest. I'd like to see some comments from Latok, snout or Dvik, at least, or other people involved in emulator programming, before we post it. And we still need to know to whom it may concern.

بواسطة RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

صورة RetroTechie

17-02-2011, 15:46

AFAIK Microsoft has some people / managers working on open source projects (yes MS has some!) and/or documentation targeted at the open source crowd. These people might be more responsive than MS legal team... QuestionWink (and perhaps put in a good word from MS people themselves before request winds up in legal department).

بواسطة Tanni

Hero (556)

صورة Tanni

05-04-2011, 17:40

So, can we post it?

بواسطة OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1407)

صورة OeiOeiVogeltje

05-04-2011, 20:09

if the people who get this letter do a google search and find this thread they wil die laughing....

بواسطة ray2day

Paladin (686)

صورة ray2day

05-04-2011, 22:59

post it anyway!

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