[linux-elitists] Shadow WinHEC?

Greg KH greg@kroah.com
Wed Mar 22 11:19:39 PST 2006

On Wed, Mar 22, 2006 at 10:39:04AM -0800, Seth David Schoen wrote:
> In my experience some of the smaller companies there were a bit downcast
> because WinHEC was effectively a matter of Microsoft bossing them
> around: Microsoft was there to announce to them what they were all going
> to do in the next year (if they wanted Windows compatibility and the
> right to participate in the extremely commercially important and
> somewhat corrupt "logoing" programs -- "Designed for Microsoft Windows
> Foo"; "PlaysForSure"; "I did Microsoft's bidding for three years and
> paid them tens of thousands of dollars in licensing fees and all I got
> was this lousy sticker").

I've heard this before from companies that deal with Microsoft, about
how much they really hate that whole process and how little it really
does in the end for driver quality (and how much it costs them to go
through it...)

Although these are the same companies that love the Linux development
process because they can affect it, and easily maintain their code, and
have their stuff automatically included in all distros for free.  They
are the ones who already know it costs less to develop and maintain a
Linux driver (just today I heard the numbers one big company has for
Windows vs. Linux developers for their drivers, 150 to 1 was the
ratio...).  The difficulty seems to be to get that same information out
to the companies that don't realize this, and educate them that our
process is radically different, and for a good reason.

> Although Seattle has an impressive shadow conference tradition, I'm not
> sure whether WinHEC is the kind of thing that you can shadow and get a
> lot of people to turn out for.  There are certainly cool technologies
> in the free software world that we could use better hardware support
> for.  Is the prototypical shadow conference attendee a person who might
> have gone to WinHEC or a person who wouldn't be caught dead there?

I've heard rumors that some groups are going to start to have a more
"hardware developer" focused conference for companies to send their
driver developers to interact with the Linux kernel developers, to help
bridge this huge marketing gap we currently have.  Hopefully it will
happen soon.

But in the meantime, CELF is putting on something that looks a lot of
but it's primarily focused on the embedded market, not something the
sound card makers of the world really care about...


greg k-h

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