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Microsoft Sells Linux To Wal-Mart

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the devil-you-know dept.

Microsoft 245

Several readers wrote in to let us know that Wal-Mart is planning to buy SUSE Linux vouchers from Microsoft in the course of building out its infrastructure. These are the support vouchers that Microsoft must distribute to hold up its end of the bargain with Novell. Wal-Mart has been a customer of Red Hat Linux. CBR Online notes that the deal is not entirely unexpected because Microsoft's COO, Kevin Turner, is the former CIO of Wal-Mart.

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Interesting (0, Redundant)

redneckblues (1045788) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730036)

I wonder how this will effect the industry adoption of Linux. Will more people follow Wal-Mart and go for SUSE?

MOD GP DOWN Re:Interesting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730150)


Wow, way to karma whore with that first useless comment.
Why do all the high UIDs feel the need to do this?

Re:MOD GP DOWN Re:Interesting (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730210)

Wow, way to karma whore with that first useless comment. Why do all the high UIDs feel the need to do this?


Because they hope to earn some karma by finishing their sentences with a question mark?

Re:MOD GP FYI KGB CIA OP ROFLMAO DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730264)

Mod gp down? Did you mean original poster or grand pa?

Re:MOD GP DOWN Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730788)

just because you suck at karma whoring doesn't mean you need to throw a hissy fit.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730268)

Maybe this is a way for Microsoft to keep Red Hat away from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is strong and is likely very willing to play hard ball to get good Windows discounts.

I'm sure Microsoft execs were able to get Wal-Mart to use Suse by continuing to offer them great Windows discounts. This way they aren't really compromising the integrity (sic) of their volume licensing.

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

Sillygates (967271) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731132)

The new Lindows: SuSE + WGA

Maybe is this the reason (4, Interesting)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730042)

Maybe is this the reason Novell and MS wanted that deal of theirs so much?

Re:Maybe is this the reason (1)

Hazclan13 (745791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730094)

I wouldn't be a tall surprised you know what 'Big Business' is like.

Re:Maybe is this the reason (1)

ari wins (1016630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731356)

I work for the devil, and must say I look forward to logging onto a new system to request time off, or look up truck sizes, etc. Currently, they use a unix based program that's 15+ years old. Notice what I said there, btw. Without getting into details, most of the back-end systems don't have windows installed now, anyways, so I'm not sure what's the big deal. They're just migrating from unix to linux.

Ooooh (5, Funny)

MattyCobb (695086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730048)

So they are saying Linux is the Walmart Windows are they? FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Re:Ooooh (1)

Hazclan13 (745791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730346)

What a statement........ If only they would say that........

Let's Call It... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730896)

Let's call it Wal-Lix

Re:Let's Call It... (2, Funny)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731320)

I would rather call it Bollocks

MS Support (5, Funny)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730066)

The first thing that popped into my mind upon hearing this was "when they call MS Support, they'll get the Blue Automated Message of Death". Then I realized that the fastest way to get users to dump Linux would be to have them sent to MS' real tech support.

We're gonna win ;) (1)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730096)

I can see it now.....Winix 2010. Nothing like storming the castle at the top of the hill....

Obliged... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730412)

"Good luck stormin' the castle!"

"Think they'll do it?"

"It'd take a miracle..."



...or not...

Re:MS Support (4, Funny)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730578)

"when they call MS Support, they'll get the Blue Automated Message of Death"

That is still an improvement over Clippy!

Re:MS Support (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730828)

Just wait, the penguin will have Clippys job in due time.

Re:MS Support (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731376)

Ooooh, but if we unleash Vigor on the unsuspecting Wal-Mart customers... evilgasm time...

and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730084)

And then, so Lucy says to Charlie Brown, "Come on Charlie Brown, I promise not to pull the ball back this time when you kick it!"

Does anyone imagine in any way or any context this Microsoft -- Wal-Mart relationship for Linux could be a good thing? I can thing of many reasons and many ways Microsoft can undermine and even try to bury Linux with this Novell Suse bargain (with the Devil?), but I only need think of one.

Suppose as Wal-Mart moves forward doing "stuff" with Linux things go terrible wrong, or get terribly hard. "No problem", says Microsoft... you need only switch to our SQL Server which of course needs to run on a Vista Server, etc. It's win-win for Microsoft.

Microsoft gets additional customer share from Linux, and has a diamond-crusted public whipping boy to prove once and for all Linux can't cut it in the big boys' world (business). We all know Linux can, but with big publicity coups I fear Microsoft gains more purchase in the PR war.

Maybe none of this will come to pass, but do you think for one minute a company that sold out its business partners with "Plays for Sure" (sorry, I know I keep using this as an example...), won't think twice about short-shrifting any value Linux brings to the table? Microsoft has shown itself a predator many times before, there's no reason to think this isn't just one more opportunity for them (and a big one at that).

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (0, Redundant)

TwinGears (615184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730340)

I think your correct, it's a great way for M$ to yet again try to kill Linux off. I hope I am wrong but SUSE does look to be in the cross hairs, and it's likely that M$ would like to kill many birds with one stone. Good thing I can emerge -e world around that stone...

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (4, Informative)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730454)

Fantasy land material. Wal-mart's data centers would eat MS products alive. Recall that every transaction is being logged there. About seven years ago, my university recieved a donation of one of their district processing mainframes: something like an 82 way pentium 2 setup. Fantastic sounding stuff, but it was a) too slow for their (regional) needs, and b) too damned hard to make fast (NUMA).

If Walmart was dissatisfied with Linux, somehow I think Windows would be their last pick. Which makes me wonder, what are they using now? Linux? Solaris?

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730768)

My wild guess is Red Hat on Altix and Microsoft don't even reside in the same galaxy, unfortunately MS are rich and SGI are bankrupt.

Microsoft must see the writing on the wall, how are they going to compete against Google's linux powered data centers using Windows clusters? NT should prove a capable kernel, Windows itself is a desktop productivity toy for the computer illiterate. It's completely unsuited for mid to large scale computing and data processing.

Technically defeated, Microsoft are now trying to weasel success with lawyers and back room deals.

Yuk!

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17731210)

"Microsoft must see the writing on the wall, how are they going to compete against Google's linux powered data centers using Windows clusters?"

I wasn't aware that Google was selling data centers. Or are you talking about Google's baby-beta applications? I mean, Windows comes with WordPad, what do you need Google for?

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (1)

coldsleep (1037374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731078)

Depends on what you're looking for.

Having worked for a competitor, I've heard that they use AIX, Solaris, and Linux for most of the day-to-day number crunching, with some mainframe on the side.

Windows (I know) & Macs (I suspect) are also in use, and there's probably a couple other wacky systems thrown in for fun.

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (2, Informative)

KutuluWare (791333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731244)

My company has done some minor contract work with Walmart. Most of it involved receiving data from their systems for post-processing, particularly print jobs. Based on how their lpr behaves I would guess they are running some form of SVR4-based UNIX, probably HP-UX... of course, I don't work *for* them so I've never logged in to check :)

--K

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (1)

pchoppin (864344) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730588)

I don't think Novel is ready for a relationship with M$. I mean how corrupt can they be [Novel]? Personally, I think Novel better get ready to be chewed up and spit out, like so many other M$ victims.

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (1)

patches (141288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730808)

That very well could be the philosophy behind this, however the rest of the linux community need only point out that linux is very broad terms and that if this proves that Suse linux can't cut it, then there is a distro out there that could....

Patrick

Re:and so, then Lucy says to Charlie Brown (3, Insightful)

coldsleep (1037374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731006)

Having worked IT for a large retailer for a number of years, I can tell you that Linux is already in the door at Wal-Mart, and it's not going to be nearly that easy to remove. Note that the quoted portion of the article mentions that Wal-Mart was using RedHat previously. Virtually all of the large retailers did proof-of-concepts with Linux (up to 5) years ago. IT managers are thrilled at the lower TCO claimed by Linux (not that I don't believe it, but Linux isn't free if you're paying RH or Novell or whoever for support), and they've been trying to adopt it for a while now. What this more likely means is that Wal-Mart is planning on moving more critical apps to Linux, and they're trying to reduce their support costs by switching to one vendor. Or perhaps you hadn't heard that Wal-Mart likes to cut costs? (IME, switching to one vendor doesn't necessarily cut costs, but managers like the idea a lot.)

Dear God (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730098)

What is the world coming too?

The forces join... (5, Funny)

adambha (1048538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730106)

Wal-mart + Microsoft = Linux?

I've seen fuzzy math before, but this takes the cake.

Good news! (5, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730118)

I've been waiting for a way to run Linux that managed to simultaneously involve Microsoft, Novell and Wal-Mart! Do you think they can get Lotus Notes into the mix as well?

Re:Good news! (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730348)

:-)

The more I think of it in that light, the more I chuckle. Hello, reality check!

Maybe they think that 2 wrongs will make a right?

Re:Good news! (2, Insightful)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730488)

It's like they can't decide whether to sue you for buying it or to sell it to you.

Flying Pigs? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730120)

Please don't tell me there is such a thing as a flying pig - there goes my reality check.

Wait for SCO to chime in (3, Interesting)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730144)

We'll they'll have to deal with Daryl McBride and his SCO cohorts for selling their UNIX license without permission. Of course, he'll have to ask them to finance his lawsuit against themselves.

Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Linux (4, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730148)

If there were a time for Linux to be made into a tool of destruction to wipe out all mankind, to kick puppies, make children cry, steal candy from babies and import illegal aliens into our country to pay them pennies to work overtime, this would be it's opportunity.

Re:Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Li (1)

TrashGUY (966340) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730200)

I guess netware is more easily used (and configured) to destroy mankind then active directories.

Re:Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Li (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730696)

active directories can crash if a script kiddie farts just right. This was found out when the infamous Captain Crunch demonstrated how to crash a Microsoft server using a whoopee cushion.

Re:Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Li (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730972)

Dude how'd you get in ?!
I dunno, I shit my pants when trying to squeeze out a fart & when I came back this was on the screen !

Re:Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Li (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730258)

I'd totally install "Super Ultra Evil Linux"

Re:Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Li (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730998)

I'd totally install "Super Ultra Evil Linux"

I guess that gets abbreviated as "SUE Linux"?

Re:Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Li (3, Funny)

cyberwiz01 (745827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731374)

So what would that make Super Ultra Super Evil Linux?

Re:Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Li (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730812)

But they should have a penguin logo to come with it. I can't wait to see it...

Re:Evil Empire + Evil empire = Super Ultra Evil Li (1)

sxtxixtxcxh (757736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731038)

Super Ultra, Super Evil Linux

But ... (4, Funny)

njchick (611256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730156)

... can we call it genuine Linux?

Re:But ... (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730418)

... can we call it genuine Linux?
Linux Genuine Advantage?

The obvious question (2, Interesting)

acidrain (35064) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730208)

Ok I'll ask it. Is seeing Microsoft selling Linux to an insanely large customer a major victory or is this a SCO tax? Do we congratulate or mail-bomb Novell? And wow, eight years ago, running Slackware this was a slightly absurd scenario you would joke about while trying to fix your rc.d scripts after an update.

I know there's a joke here... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730224)

But I'm having a brain fart!!!

WalMart Farming out Server Stuff (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730252)

I don't understand the internals, but it sounds like IBM like outsourcing.

WalMart is seeking guarantees of 100% uptime, no doubt, and leaving it to the support contractor to deliver, by my guess.

Bo

Classic FUD at work (5, Insightful)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730254)

The company now uses Linux in the data center of its current Web presence but had some trepidation with the idea of expanding it a much larger operation. "To think about using it pervasively, we were very concerned about it," she said. The larger Web operation would have "significantly higher legal exposure."

Fear? Check.
Uncertainty? Check.
Doubt? Check.
...
Profit for MS? Check.

And add some FSF FUD for good measure (3, Funny)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730466)

OMG Microsoft is only one company away from getting it's filthy hands on the Linux codebase! It's only months before pre-packaged Shaftnix (supported by Novell) hits the market followed by a storm of Novell-specific Linux trojans! This will make Linux people out of (shudder) LUSERS! Why should we taint our beautiful GNU/Linux with the wretched eye-candy that consumers demand?! Attacks on the GPL will continue unabated, and only prostrating yourself at the feet of the mighty RMS and installing Debian will save you from the apocalypse that will come to destroy this unholy union.

Re:And add some FSF FUD for good measure (1)

OnlineAlias (828288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731186)


I think everyone should have the Linux codebase...oh, wait...

Re:And add some FSF FUD for good measure (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731332)

It's only months before pre-packaged Shaftnix (supported by Novell)...

...not to be confused with the similarly-named Shatnix (which, is advertised, by a certain, fat and, old actor).

KHAAAAAAAAAN!!

Re:Classic FUD at work (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731398)

The interesting part is Linux owns the Linux TM. If MS does try to do something not kosher then can Linus stop MS from marketing the word Linux? Possibly he would have a say in the marketing aspect so they could not market the entire box as "Linux" but they must outline it is merely an implementation of Linux? I think this could be an interesting card to play if it gets held back until the name gets allot of buzz first then slip in other (cheaper?) implementations of the kernel. I don't think this puts backs to the wall at all, maybe MS sees it like that.

so the deal means... (1)

Grinin (1050028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730300)

So the point of the deal was that Microsoft is going to start supporting SuSe as it does Windows??

Well if they do as good a job in Linux as they do for their Windows support, than my business should remain unaffected.

Doesn't this also mean that Microsoft has to actually understand the internal workings of a functional operating system before they can "support" it?

Re:so the deal means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730554)

"Doesn't this also mean that Microsoft has to actually understand the internal workings of a functional operating system before they can "support" it?"

Understand the internal workings of an OS that's essentially a clone of a 1970s OS? I don't think they'll work up much of a sweat doing that.

Re:so the deal means... (1)

Grinin (1050028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730840)

touché!

Re:so the deal means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730614)

No, Microsoft needed to offload SUSE licenses as part of its bullshit deal with Novell. So they cut a deal -- WalMart buys X licenses, and get Y amount off its Windows licenses.

Re:so the deal means... (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730630)

Doesn't this also mean that Microsoft has to actually understand the internal workings of a functional operating system before they can "support" it?
And the fuckers can start with their own.

Now they just need to throw in Sony... (1)

TrashGUY (966340) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730310)

to add some DRM support.

Novell thinks... (1)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730322)

Novell thinks they made a great deal in cooperating with MS, i think they made a very big mistake. I'm very curious when we can start to pick up the pieces that will be left from Novell.

Good deal for MS (4, Interesting)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730362)

Well I don't see an upside for Linux. The article says

MS gets rid of vouchers without creating another Linux customer. MS wins
MS deprives Redhat of Revenue. MS wins
MS will get some Windows boxes installed at the same time. MS wins

tags? (1)

Optikschmoptik (971793) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730420)

Did the 'itsatrap' tag get banned or just go out of style?

Re:tags? (1)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730852)

Did the 'itsatrap' tag get banned or just go out of style?


itstooobvious?

Re:tags? (1)

Optikschmoptik (971793) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730946)

Did the 'itsatrap' tag get banned or just go out of style?

itstooobvious?

That never seemed to be a problem before.

Wait... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730522)

Your allowed to sell other companies you don't own to other companies now? M$oft: Hey Walmart, wanna buy Linux? WalMart: You own Linux? Linux: ...no he doesn't... M$oft: Don't listen to him and his crazy open source communist lies. WalMart: So how much? Linux: I'm not for sale! M$oft: How 'bout $20 and a pack of smokes? Linux: Seriously...I'm not for sale. WalMart: Wait a minute...why would we have to pay...they are open source, right? As in free "everything"... Linux: You can't just take our company... M$oft: Stop listening to his silly lies. Anyways, we claimed Linux first and we are going to put a price on it. $20 and a pack of smokes. Walmart: Fine fine... Linux: ...

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730596)

M$oft [...] M$oft [...] M$oft [...] M$oft [...] M$oft [...] M$oft [...]

When you extend your finger towards the 4 key and hit Shift, do you think "hah! Take that Microsoft"? Because if you do, you need a new hobby.

Another myth comes to reality (1)

necromcr (836137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730568)

Well, looks like we're there after all.. Can I just ask you one favour please? Can someone post a picture of the flying pigs? Thanks...

My GAD is not connected to my CPU. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730572)

My 'Give A Darn' isn't connected to my CPU for this story.

Wasn't Mao-Mart already selling $200 desktop systems with Lindows?

How much mark up can you charge for a GPL software?

Ubuntu, and about a dozen more version of Linux, are all free from contamination by
corporate interests, why doesn't Walled-Mart use those freebees instead?

You F&aIL it? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730598)

Guests. Some 4Eople

Get You Vouchers Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730610)

People, are you aware that in addition to an MS voucher, you also need an AC voucher to run Linux? Please send a stamped self addressed enveloped and a cheque for USD$10 to:

PO BOX 419
Boomtown
NIGERIA

For $15 we will also send you a bonus M$ Linux voucher.

This is official... (0, Redundant)

corpsmoderne (1007311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730682)

... Hell has frozen over.

One in 5 linux is... (1)

u19925 (613350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730684)

Now, we will see one in 5 Linux non-genuine [slashdot.org] .

It could only be worse if Sony was somehow involve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730710)

Man, oh man, my head is almost asploding! Evil Microsoft, Evil Novell, and Evil Wal-Mart all in the same story!
If only they had them pre-installed on Sony Vaio laptops...that would make this story truly evil in entirety.

Tax, influence, support (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730714)

In Capitalist West Microsoft profits from communism.
In Soviet Union kgb buy Microsoft to track you.


Mb they are trying some form of tax, shape, support.
If you use linux support MS gets a cut.
If you want standards, MS will always have a seat at the table. They can grind away or re direct any momentum.
If you want more support, MS will 'help' you all the way back to MS products.

One in five? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730742)

I wonder if Microsoft will find that one in five Linux installs on Walmart computers are not genuine?

Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17730764)

Well, it is somewhat expected that they would go to the consumer route. If you were MS: Would you be dishing out SUSE to fortune 100/1000 companies CIO's, or would you rather give out SUSE so that Bob down the street gets his license. Also; doesn't Walmart already sell Microtel machines with Linux already on them? Its not like they are hitting any new sales channels.

Just my .02 cents worth.

This is wonderful! (5, Funny)

rossz (67331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730820)

I already run Linux virtually on a Windows box. I get the ease of use of Linux with the incredible stability of Windows. Now I can add the unsurpassed support only Microsoft can offer.

Walmart is stupid (4, Insightful)

mnmn (145599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730824)

Linux is free.

Re:Walmart is stupid (5, Insightful)

coldsleep (1037374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731114)

No IT manager wants to take the blame for having a critical server crash.

Especially when the only guy they can reach internally just switched from supporting Windows and the guru is on vacation.

And the data center is operating on generator because a tornado knocked out the power.

You get the drift. Non-free Linux == CYA for managers.

Re:Walmart is stupid (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731368)

Wal-Mart's IT infrastructure is so huge, though, that it ought to be handling it all in-house anyway. Wal-Mart's logistical prowess (of which the computer network is a large part) comprises the bulk of its competitive advantage, in exactly the same way that Google's computer network is the bulk of its competitive advantage.

Sound business decision imo. (2, Interesting)

Chaymus (697182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730866)

With Vista being incomplete and a high profile customer Microsoft is better off with this decision. Let's say they don't do it, they lose money. Wal-Mart already uses Linux, smoother transition that is easier to negotiate. MS can "upgrade" the support beyond red-hat ...pauses for laughs... With Vista being THE OS microsoft wants to get everyone on board for I feel they just weren't ready and it was either this or lose the deal to someone else. It's not like they're going to gain a whole lot of support from the informed community, but this does set precedence for international sales on those who don't want Windows and want Linux for government applications. Now you're not voilating policy but paying for something you already have, plus a little garuntee of the moon (ie support + uptime). Everyone would love a Vista deal before it's ready, but MS Corp. isn't as stupid as some of their applications. Flexibility is required to stay on top.

Talk about embrace and extend! (4, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730890)

This takes the cake. Microsoft Linux is next. I predict within 5 years, Vista will become a legacy product, and all new computers will be shipped with Microsoft's Windows API hosted on a Linux kernel.

For those that don't know, Billy G. made his first big sale of DOS to IBM before he even owned it - or so the rumors go. He bought the rights to what would become MS-DOS from a third party, and then sold it to IBM.

And it shouldn't surprise anyone that Microsoft is selling what doesn't belong to them. I wonder how the Windows developers feel. Imagine if your job could be eliminated by Linux. Microsoft doesn't care, they're going to sell whatever makes them money.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to sell their desktop, rather than the OS:

  • Kernel development is an overhead cost - it isn't seen by the users, and it doesn't sell the OS.
  • Why bother with HW issues when Linux already does that for you - for free?
  • Microsoft has actually been pretty good at making office software - considerably better than OS.
  • Linux has the security Microsoft wishes Windows had.
  • Linux doesn't have the spyware problem Windows does.

So if Microsoft can hide the complexities of Linux under a familiar interface, they could produce a very compelling product.

Re:Talk about embrace and extend! (4, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731122)

I know you think MS is evil and all, but being evil doesn't erase technical issues. Porting full Vista functionality to Linux would probably take a decade at least and if it worked at all, it would probably be much worse than the real thing.

You buy into the myth that MS isn't capable of writing a an OS as secure and stable as Linux. The truth is they can't write an OS as secure and stable as Linux and still be backward compatible with Windows. Neither can anyone else (not that they want to).

If the day comes when the financial benefits of compatibilty are outweighed by the costs, we'll find out what kind of OS MS is capable of writing when released from the compatiblity chains that currently bind them.

Until then, it will continue to be an Apples to Oranges comparison of OS design skills between MS and Linux.

Re:Talk about embrace and extend! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17731170)

Apple seemed to do it quite well, with an OS that was in some respects worse than windows.

Re:Talk about embrace and extend! (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731272)

Do what? Produce a new OS that isn't compatible with old applications? I'm not an Apple user, but don't they have a reputation for not being very concerned with backward compatibility?

Pulling an Apple (2, Insightful)

bazald (886779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731216)

It is almost like putting a shiny interface on FreeBSD. Good thing they would have an excellent example to follow on how to sell a free product hidden behind a proprietary GUI.

Re:Talk about embrace and extend! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17731222)

"And it shouldn't surprise anyone that Microsoft is selling what doesn't belong to them. I wonder how the Windows developers feel. Imagine if your job could be eliminated by Linux. Microsoft doesn't care, they're going to sell whatever makes them money."

And it shouldn't surprise anyone that Sony is selling what doesn't belong to them. I wonder how the tube television builders feel. Imagine if your job could be eliminated by HDTV. Sony doesn't care, they're going to sell whatever makes them money.

And it shouldn't surprise anyone that Ford is selling what doesn't belong to them. I wonder how the horse farmers feel. Imagine if your job could be eliminated by the Model T. Ford doesn't care, they're going to sell whatever makes them money.

And it shouldn't surprise anyone that Joe Manton is selling what doesn't belong to him. I wonder how those swordsmiths feel. Imagine if your job could be eliminated by firearms. Manton doesn't care, he's going to sell whatever makes him money.

And it shouldn't surprise anyone that Ogg is selling what doesn't belong to him. I wonder how those clubmakers feel. Imagine if your job could be eliminated by crude bows and arrows. Ogg doesn't care, he's going to sell whatever makes him money.

Re:Talk about embrace and extend! (1)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731428)

Okay, that's a good prediction, but here's another in support of yours.

In two years, Microsoft will buy CodeWeavers. Each MS application will ship with the then-current version of CrossOver, for Linux and MacOS. Some time after that, Microsoft will do a premium distro that includes five years worth of service packs and CrossOver updates and their own desktop, so there's still scope for MS to do OEM and retail deals and continue to own the OEM space. Those who want to run MS apps under their favourite distro or even a roll-your-own installation can do so with a compatibility layer sanctioned and produced by Microsoft, said layer being paid for by the increased market share Microsoft gain and MS's reduced costs from being able to leverage outside community development. Okay, I kind of gagged on that last bit too, but I can see MS putting effort into fixing various kernel and system software issues and doing performance tweaking so their software works better, and under the GPL they'd need to give that stuff back. Their desktop they could licence commercially, of course, but it'd be in their interests to make sure anything that made their software work better on Linux got distributed as widely as possible. If MS got behind allowing their apps to run on Linux, that could only be a good thing for Linux in general.

So, where's my crack-pipe?

time to get out (1)

netsfr (839855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730976)

MS to know how to support Linux for Wal-Mart???

Now I know its time to get out of this industry and do something else...

One headline I never expected to see... (1)

redF1sh (1055032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731062)

* Hides behind the word "open" in front of "SuSE". *

Long time coming (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17731064)

I used to work for wal-mart 5 years ago when Kevin was the CIO. There are many linux fans at wal-mart but they have been reluctant to start large implementation because of the ongoing IBM vs SCO lawsuit. Walmart didnt want to get involved. And they have never done business with Red Hat. Walmart will not implement a product without support, period. Since they currently have so much leverage with Microsoft as it is, and no leverage with Novell, this pretty much comes at no surprise.

Is MS doing to Linux what they did to Netscape? (1)

icecow (764255) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731184)

Is MS doing to Linux what they did to Netscape?

MS-Novell I.P. can be difficult for Linux (4, Interesting)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731236)

the big concern here is Microsofts relationship with Novell. Now that MSs strategy to support SCO has failed, MS has set their eyes on Novell. Novell, probably rightly, claim ownership of Unix.

MS might not have a clear plan, but a close ralationship with Novell can be a way to keep close control over Linux as well.

Imagine a patent/copyright/licencing/enforcement mutual agreement. Now MS sits on the right to enforce any Unix IP rights violation that might occur. MS might also have rights to Linux code released by Novell. Noticing that MS has a lot of money and Novell almost nothing, this or more like a merger, may be inevitable.

If not a direct threat to Linux, this may make it more difficult for Linux developers in may ways.

Should Novell donate the Unix I.P. rights to the FSF or the Linux community before it is too late?

Hmmm...Linux at Walmart... (1)

swalters1 (1008477) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731266)

Okay have to make the joke. Did you hear? Walmart now uses Suse for an OS! It'a saving them tons of money, so you can now get 13 pairs of socks for $9.99 instead of 12! It's an interesting change for Walmart, but not suprising. I bet you'll see more companies change to SuSE that are already *nix based.

Don't you remember Microsoft Xeonix? (1)

mkaylor (1020395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17731432)

Microsoft has already dabbled in the Linux/Unix world before with Xeonix. Maybe their planning on bringing it back and this is just the stepping stone. (Taking another Toke) HAHAHAHA
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