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Microsoft Plays Up Open Source

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the coopetition dept.

Databases 224

An anonymous reader writes "Recently Microsoft's open source software lab posted PostgreSQL on Windows: A Primer. Postgres is one of the longest running open source databases — it has been around for nearly 11 years. The powerful object-relational database is a direct competitor to other OSS databases, as well as Microsoft's SQL Server 2005. So why is Microsoft promoting it? I get Redmond's interest in boosting anything that runs on Windows as a platform. Is this simply a case of left-hand, right-hand, or is something deeper going on?"

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What's going on here? (5, Insightful)

croddy (659025) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149208)

Easy. This is targeted at folks who have already decided they want to use Postgres, so they can't be sold on the $xx,000 MSSQL license... but maybe they can still be sold on the $300 OS license! It may be too late to lock them into our database, but it's not too late to lock them into the OS.

Re:What's going on here? (-1, Offtopic)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149220)

mmm pie!

Re:What's going on here? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149242)

Ever since Eric Raymond had raped him at his house [blogspot.com] in Holland and later again at Slashdot New Year's Eve party [blogspot.com] , Rob Malda's life had reached an all time low. Sleeping until four or five in the evening, he would wake and surf the 'net for pictures of young, boyish men and call and talk tearfully to Hemos on the phone. He ignored Slashdot, thinking himself above editing tech-news, while his Open Source stocks slipped. Depression and anxiety had Rob so entirely that it seemed he would never again enjoy life. He had truly hit bottom.

In the midst of his malaise, Rob had forgotten his birthday but Hemos managed to coax him out for a night on the town across the state in Detroit. After their little road trip, the pair went on a shopping spree, took in a movie, and ate dinner at a very chic and expensive restaurant. After stopping for ice cream, the two friends headed to Rob's favorite Detroit night spot, the Malebox Bar [google.com] . There they wasted no time dancing to the latest hard house remixes and downing shot after shot of watermelon Jolly Rancher drinks.

As time wore on and mix after mix pounded the dance floor, Rob and Hemos began feeling tipsy and decided to take a break in the club's arcade. The two fought through Mortal Kombat like an old married couple, went back and forth in Altered Beast, and played a couple rounds of Spy Hunter. The conversation had slowly turned to MAME, an Open Source program that emulated dozens of arcade games by means of illegally pirated ROM files, as they began playing Rampage. Rob and Hemos had gigs and gigs of illegally pirated ROM files.

It's ludicrous playing video games here when we have MAME on our systems at home, Hemos said as he punched Rob in the back of the head and jumped halfway up a building.

Yeah, Rob said as he smashed a tank. But you can't get any action sitting at home playing video games like you can here.

Too bad there's no way to pick up guys and play MAME at the same time, Hemos said as he ate a bathing woman and burped. That would be the best.

Yeah, that would be pretty great, Rob said.

Rob stopped climbing the building he was on, leaving Hemos to smash the building and jump away before it collapsed. Rob fell on his butt and lost some life.

Rob, are you okay? Hemos asked while button-mashing Rob's character into oblivion. Rob?

Hemos continued speaking, but Rob wasn't there. His eyes were wide and glazed, focused elsewhere. He was smiling weird and crooked as the game showed in reverse in his eyes. Hemos finally turned to look at Rob.

Robert Hubert Malda! Hemos yelled, hands on hips in frustration. Not waiting for a response, he reached out and pinched his friend's elbow. He didn't like that look in his eyes it always meant something bad was about to happen. Rob came to, shaking his head and stepping back from the game, which was now blinking GAME OVER at him. He turned and looked at Hemos, who was fuming.

Jeff, uh, I'm sorry. I I guess I zoned out there for a minute, he said as he looked around the bar. I, um. I'll be right back.

And before Jeff could say a word, Rob was off like a flash into the crowd.

Jesus Christ, Rob! Jeff said between breaths. This thing is heavy and there's barely room for it in my back seat!

Ha, yeah right, Rob said, grunting. There's always room in your back seat!

Jeff rolled his eyes at Rob's little jab. You be nice, you're lucky I'm letting you do this.

With one final shove and groan, Rob was finished, and the old, worn arcade game shell was wedged tightly the back seat of Jeff's VW Jetta. They bound the back doors to the machine with bungie cord and then tied their red hankies to it, sat down against the side of the car, and lit cigarettes.

So what exactly are you going to do with this thing? Hemos asked between puffs. You're building a MAME system?

My plan is much more ambitious than just some MAME system, Rob said, smirking. But it's based on the same concept. It also combines my love of hairless man-boys.

There was a depraved look of malignant inspiration in Rob's tired, bloodshot eyes.

It was when you were talking about playing MAME and getting ass, Rob continued. That very instant, on that very spot, I decided to build a twink molesting machine.

Hemos choked on his cigarette. A what? he asked in disbelief.

Rob flicked his cigarette away and stood up. I'm going to build a cage in which I can entrap young boys a cage from which they can't escape and are totally vulnerable in.

Hemos sighed. Vulnerable to what, Rob?

To homosexual assault, of course! Rob leered as he entered the passenger side door.

Oh god, Rob, Hemos said, opening the driver's side door. You have been watching way too much hentai!

And with that, the car, weighed down by the old arcade machine, rolled off toward Holland.

Re:What's going on here? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149226)

Agreed. Quite often you'll find that a business makes the decision on what application they want to use before they decide upon the operating system. Databases are no different. And if Microsoft can make it any easier for customers to set up OSS databases on their platform, then that will make the secondary decision of which OS to use easier for the customer.

Re:What's going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149326)

Easy. This is targeted at folks who have already decided they want to use Postgres, so they can't be sold on the $xx,000 MSSQL license... but maybe they can still be sold on the $300 OS license! It may be too late to lock them into our database, but it's not too late to lock them into the OS.

You may run PostgreSQL on whichever operating system you would like.

Re:What's going on here? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149410)

But if you run it on windows, you still have to pay them for Windows. The suggestion is that instead of losing $N-thousand to Postgres, they lose $(N-1)-thousand, seven hundred.

Re:What's going on here? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149432)

It runs like a mutt on Windows anyways compared to running it on Linux. I don't see anyone switching to PostgreSQL on Windows as a platform anytime soon.

Re:What's going on here? (4, Insightful)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149654)

And therein lies the genius of the plan.

Step 1: Convince company to run postgres on windows.

Step 2: Postgress run like crap.

Step 3: Convince customer that it is postgres and *not* windows that is the problem.

Step 4: Get customer to use MSSQL

Step 5: Profit ...er

Step 6: ?

Re:What's going on here? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149790)

Step 3: Convince customer that it is postgres and *not* windows that is the problem.

If PostgreSQL does not run well on Windows, then (logically enough) the problem lies in that particular build of PostgreSQL. What else would the problem be?

Re:What's going on here? (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150090)

What else would the problem be?
Hidden APIs?

Re:What's going on here? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150512)

I can already hear the entire MySQL fanbase chanting in unison, "What do you expect? Postgres IS slow!" But on the other hand, Postgres is a proper relational database server, not merely a variable-persistence layer with an SQL-like syntax.

Many applications that were originally developed on Linux tend to run slower on other OSs -- or even on Linux, with file systems other than ext2. This is mainly due to Linux' ext2 file system, with its write-caching policy; which was basically "never, ever commit anything at all to disk until we need the RAM for something else or are about to reboot -- we can serve read requests from the write cache if needs be".

As a result of this caching policy, it's entirely possible to create a file in one application (which, if you've enough free RAM, will merely place it in the write-cache), read it (straight from the write-cache) into another application, and then delete it without it ever being written to disk!

Re:What's going on here? (1)

Markspark (969445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150730)

Windows? Have a laptop with a nice sticker saying designed for WinXP, but Diablo 2 ran so poor, i decided to try it under cedega.. now it runs perfectly, so in my humble opinion, the problem is windows..

Re:What's going on here? (2, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149884)

Step 1: Convince company to run postgres on windows.

Step 2: Postgress run like crap.

Step 3: Convince customer that it is postgres and *not* windows that is the problem.


The problem for Microsoft is that Postgres runs very well indeed on all other operating systems. Developers are by definition slightly more knowledgable than end-users; and will abandon Windows Server if this happened. Microsoft's moves to improve PHP performance on Windows servers might also be in the same direction.

Anyone wise enough to know about Postgres would also know how to get it running on Linux... and these days, even Solaris; along with apache and PHP.

Postgres on Windows is more useful to keep developers hooked onto .Net; the expensive MS-SQL database could be a hindrance to widespread .Net adoption; now they can replace it with Postgres; which in many ways is superior to MySQL.

However PHP continues to improve by the day; and with accelerators and compilers providing the ability to deliver 'exes' or 'jars'-like code to customers; it is becoming more and more attractive to ISVs. This move by MS might extend the active lifespan of the Windows Server and .Net development platform by about 2 years; after which LAMP or LAPP or SAPP can be expected to be the market leader.

Re:What's going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18150318)

Developers are by definition slightly more knowledgable than end-users; and will abandon Windows Server if this happened.
The only problem with your statement is that, often it is the management that decides what platform a company's systems should run on. Most companies like to keep the computing environment homogenous, for economic reasons, so why would they throw that economic benefit out the window because a couple of technical people think so? Yes, there are many companies that have two or more environments, but those companies are probably few compared to the first alternative. So, for all those companies that only run a windows environment, this is for them, an attempt at convincing them that windows is the only alternative.

MS is fighting many small battles, and any one won, is a gain for MS and a loss for free software.

Re:What's going on here? (2, Funny)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150630)

I have heard of at least one company where the IT department were ordered to set up IIS, ASP and MS SQL server for a management-initiated project (one of the bosses had taken some mickey-mouse correspondence course and fancied himself as a designer of database-driven web sites). What they actually did was set up a small test server for Gates's toady; pocket the rest of the money meant for Microsoft; set up Linux, Apache, PHP and MySQL on the outward-facing server; make some flimsy security-related excuses why the boss shouldn't have direct access to the outward-facing server; and translate all the well-meaning-but-terminally-incompetent boss's badly-written ASP code into PHP.

It makes me think of this song [lr2.com] .....

Re:What's going on here? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150396)

All very true, but Postgres' defaults are extremely conservative, and as a result tend to produce a system which works beautifully, but somewhat slowly.

In the Windows world, it's relatively unusual to have to do that much tweaking to a piece of software to get the most out of it.

Re:What's going on here? (2, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149692)

Wouldn't know myself. I run it on FreeBSD. I care too much about my servers to put Windows on them. ;)

Re:What's going on here? (1)

jazir1979 (637570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149370)


You are mostly right - but it's just getting them to decide on Windows as the OS, it is NOT lock-in in this case. If they chose MSSQL they would be locked in .. but with the wise choice of Postgres they can change OS later on.

Re:What's going on here? (5, Informative)

Nadsat (652200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149386)

Right--This is not news. Nothing is going on here. They are not promoting PostgreSQL at all. There is no real promotion period. I'm not sure how one would come to that conclusion (other than conspiracy fears). The website is simply a set of installation guidelines. A guide to help keep people happy with Windows OS and not leave.

Re:What's going on here? (3, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150460)

PostgreSQL is easy peasy to install on Windows, so I don't see why anyone would even think of leaving Windows just to use it. It has a nice installer which includes pgAdmin, compiled help manual and drivers for Java, ODBC and .NET. I've even hooked it up to Open Office Base before now.

My only wish is that they'd produce a PostgreSQL Engine version - basically PostgreSQL without the help or extraneous fluff which automatically installs without icons or anything. The DB is far, far smaller that MSDE (cut down MS SQL Server 2000) or MS SQL Server Express 2005, has most of the same features and no restrictions on use or database capacity. I work on a project that uses MSDE and the thing is a bitch to configure and make work. If I didn't have 1000+ SQL statements and 1 million lines of C++ to port, I would switch to PostgreSQL in an instant.

Still doesn't make much sense that MS should promote it though.

Re:What's going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149422)

Non-MS operating system is a risk. Making it easy to run PostgredSQL on MS o/s can increase the survivality of o/s and also give MS chance to learn about the HOWs and WHYs of people using PostgredSQL.

Re:What's going on here? - But MSSQL is free too! (2, Insightful)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149486)

True to an extent, but MSSQL is free to many users. What's more likely is that they're promoting it as a way to break the L out of the LAMP/LAPP stack, like the recent Sun Microsystem moves.

Re:What's going on here? - But MSSQL is free too! (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149554)

Considering how much of the document focuses on such trivial nonsense as how to run the installer, it seems much more likely that they're promoting this at users of ready made OSS web applications than at developers.

Re:What's going on here? - But MSSQL is free too! (4, Informative)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149796)

MSSQL is only free if your database is smaller then four gigs. On the other hand DB/2 is free no matter how much data you have.

Re:What's going on here? (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150178)

I decided to go for the $0,000 MSSQL Express licence.

Re:What's going on here? (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150194)

I went for the $0,000 MSSQL Express license. Pretty happy about it, too. Not implying this is better or worse than PostgreSQL, just that your $xx,000 license cost might not be completely correct.

Re:What's going on here? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150408)

However this version still keeps you tied in to the platform, and also imposes artificial restrictions (on database size etc)... Postgres does neither of these things.

Re:What's going on here? (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150492)

I guess it differs from person to person, but personally, I don't mind. Database contents are easily moved to another DB if needed and translating the stored procedures is trivial. And as for the artificial restrictions, once I start needing more than 4GB of DB, I guess I'll be in a position where I'm happy to pay for it.

If it's a reason for you to use PostgreSQL, then by any means.. The more the merrier :)

If they don't buy MS, they might buy Oracle or IBM (4, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149216)

MS is boosting Postgre because they don't want people buying Oracle or IBM's database offerings.

Re:If they don't buy MS, they might buy Oracle or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149232)

MS is boosting Postgre


The name of the software is "PostgreSQL", "Postgres", "PG", or "PGSQL", but not "Postgre".

Re:If they don't buy MS, they might buy Oracle or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149280)

Woah, there's a person with no life.... sorry chump, it's Postgre if they want it to be! SQL means Structured Query Language, so whoever took the name and changed it from the original Postgres to PostgreSQL was just looking for this kind of mistake. Especially from the SQL purists who are intimately familiar with SQL already. No one will mistake someone asking for help with Postgre with some other similarly named database engine...

GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149434)

ftw!

Re:If they don't buy MS, they might buy Oracle or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149388)

MS is boosting Postgre because they don't want people buying Oracle or IBM's database offerings.

Microsoft benefits from interest in PostgreSQL no more then interest in Oracle or IBM's databases.

Re:If they don't buy MS, they might buy Oracle or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149640)

Microsoft benefits from interest in PostgreSQL no more then interest in Oracle or IBM's databases.

Absolutely they do. Customers who spend money on Oracle or IBM offerings no longer have that money to spend and have enriched a Microsoft competitor. That's a definite loss. Customers who use PostgreSQL may still have money to spend and could be enticed into spending it on other Microsoft products. Not a definite win, but still a potential for one.

Re:If they don't buy MS, they might buy Oracle or (3, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149832)

MS is boosting Postgre [PG] because they don't want people buying Oracle or IBM's database offerings.

I tend to agree. Oracle is a huge company, and if lots of people used PG instead of Oracle, then it may mean more Windows sales over Unix/Linux sales. Even if they lose a bit of SQL-Server sales, the migration over to Windows may offset that. Perhaps the MS bean-counters calculated that gained Windows sales would offset lost SQL-Server sales. They maybe figure that OSS DB's will eat into *all* commercial DB's anyhow. MS may rather be in the OS biz than the DB biz because of this. I hear PG's SQL syntax is closer to Oracle's than SQL-Server anyhow.
     

Re:If they don't buy MS, they might buy Oracle or (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149994)

They are promoting postgres on windows because they don't want to be forced to sue people who run postgres on linux. See how nice they are?

missing the point (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149248)

They need to allow Ballmer, Gates and the other senior execs to be able to say "Lookw e're doing stuff with open source, interoperating with competitors" when it's convenient to make that point in their conversations with customers, the press, various governments, and the courts.

But once some business customer tries to use it, MS marketing will make it clear that some member of the SQL Server family would fit their needs so much better.

maybe databases aren't profitable? (2, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149256)

It is widely reported that Microsoft makes its money on Windows and Office. The other products earn little or even lose money. If this is true, it may make sense for Microsoft to attract people to Windows or keep them using Windows, by supporting PostgresSQL, even if it reduces their sales of their own database.

Re:maybe databases aren't profitable? (5, Informative)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149420)

It is widely reported that Microsoft makes its money on Windows and Office. The other products earn little or even lose money

No, it isn't reported, and no, other products do make (lots of) money. It's very easy to look it up too: the breakdown of earnings per division can be found here [microsoft.com] . You can see that out of 5 divisions, 3 are operating at a gain, and two at a loss. The Entertainment and Devices Division (XBox) and Online Services Business (MSN) are in the red. Windows, Office and SQL Server are in the black

The business division of interest for this particular article is Server And Tools, makers of SQL Server. Here's what Business Week says about this division here [businessweek.com] : Microsoft's server and tools business, long Microsoft's lone growth engine, had another blowout period, posting its 18th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. Its SQL server database software posted particularly sharp gains, up 30% for the period. That helped the division's sales jump 17% to $2.9 billion

Re:maybe databases aren't profitable? (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149490)

You appear to be correct that SQL server is profitable. I note, however, that the figures you cite are consistent with what I said is reported (the big moneymakers are the ones I cited and two of the five divisions are losing money), and they don't in any way refute my statement as to what is widely reported. Here [theregister.co.uk] , for example, is a report of the type that I mentioned, which is the first hit returned by Google on "Microsoft profit breakdown Office Windows". You will of course note that I indicated that I didn't know whether the reports were true. Don't be so quick to criticize.

Re:maybe databases aren't profitable? (2, Informative)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149612)

the figures you cite ... don't in any way refute my statement as to what is widely reported.

Uhh... Yes, they do. Sorry.

Here, for example, is a report of the type that I mentioned, which is the first hit returned by Google on "Microsoft profit breakdown Office Windows".

If you had bothered to look at the article you're citing you may have observed it was published in 2002. Long past its shelf life, in an industry as dynamic as software.

You will of course note that I indicated that I didn't know whether the reports were true. Don't be so quick to criticize.

You posted false information (even if you got moderated informative) and I corrected you. That's not criticism. It's more like a public service.

Re:maybe databases aren't profitable? (0, Flamebait)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149950)

No, you're wrong and you got corrected yet you still act like you're right. How about the fact that people want to use PostgreSQL on Windows? Did you ever think about that? So, if tomrrow Microsoft published an article showing people how to run OpenOffice on Windows. Are you going to post the same comment that Office is not a profitable business.

You Sir is a stupid zealot.

Postgres is much more than 10 years old (3, Interesting)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149266)

Version 1 of Postgres was released in 1989. It later evolved into Postgres95 and then PostgreSQL. And it keeps getting better every year!

Is this the KGA, I am one of you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149448)

Hi,

Parent poster here again. Wanted to say, sorry about the previous post. It has no bearing on the article, but is just a steaming turd of fanboyishness. You know why that is the case? Because I am a kokgobbler. You see, when I first met the developers, those fat, sweaty, acne-ridden but heavenly programmers, I couldn't resist going on my knees, unzipping some pants and then *GOBBLE* *GOBBLE* *GOBBLE*

Oh sorry, I seem to be doing it again... *GOBBLE* *GOBBLE* *GOBBLE* Stares dreamily at the hoard of /.ers who haven't gotten laid... ever.

And you may be asking yourself, why am I replying to my post anonymously, well I am a member of KokGobbler Anonymous (KGA). I want to stop, but can't.

So get in a circle around me and I'll let you do your thing if you let me do your thing. That is all.

Bullshit summary as usual... (5, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149268)

Postgres is one of the longest running open source databases it has been around for nearly 11 years. The powerful object-relational database is a direct competitor to other OSS databases, as well as Microsoft's SQL Server 2005. So why is Microsoft promoting it?

Firstly, an article on Port 25 is not promotion. It does not count as mainstream media by any stretch.

Remember the ads on TV.. where there's a forklift, lifting up what looks like battery cells... and placing them on top of a huge building... and then you see, SQL Server 2005. If Microsoft replaces those ads with Postgres instead; we can call it promotion... not until then.

Many firms (like mine) would like to use the manpower conversant with and trained on .Net... but use a free (as in beer) database. MySQL is pretty slow with joins, so Postgres with PL/SQL and stored procedures support, may be the answer.

Hmmm. (0, Offtopic)

woolio (927141) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149328)

Remember the ads on TV.. where there's a forklift, ...

Well no... But I bet that forklift is worn out from moving $12 billion in cash.

Re:Bullshit summary as usual... (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149822)

WOW that's pretty amazing. I have never seen any MS development shop not use SQL server. What's your company?

Re:Bullshit summary as usual... (2, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149920)

WOW that's pretty amazing. I have never seen any MS development shop not use SQL server. What's your company?

We aren't an MS development company. We happen to develop and deliver IT solutions to customers mainly in the BFSI segment. Ironically, the biggest cost in s/w development happens to be trained manpower; and using .Net allows us to hire cheap workforce that can do 'Brains-Free Programming!'.

One of our important offerings for the stock brokers is built around .Net and Oracle ; we're trying to now change the database to MySQL / Postgres instead. Small broking firms find the database licensing (SQL and Oracle) as expensive as our product. Postgres seems much faster and more suited at first glance.

Re:Bullshit summary as usual... (2, Funny)

ady1 (873490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150018)

Firstly, an article on Port 25 is not promotion.

It's not. It's SMTP

Because Postgres MS SQL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149282)

I think it's because Postgres and MS SQL Server target two completely different markets. It would make much more sense to compare SQL Server to Oracle and Postgres to MySQL. Neither SQL Server nor Oracle is exactly the first choice for throwing up a small-to-mid-sized web app.

MS is not really so monolithic (5, Insightful)

Felonius Thunk (168604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149286)

They're really several companies with distinct businesses under common ownership. Occasionally the strategy tax must be paid (e.g. no IE for linux, no java/lamp for Visual Studio, no Exchange for *nix, MSN using wmv instead of flash), but I would guess most of the inner businesses want to do what their competitors do. It shouldn't be a surprise when they do, just laughable/sad when they don't.

Re:MS is not really so monolithic (2, Funny)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150010)

What's remarkable about this community is their lack of objection to their companies behavior. Clearly people who either agree with how their company behaves or maybe people who don't have a strong moral compass.

Re:MS is not really so monolithic (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150288)

MSN uses Flash for video if you visit with Firefox.

That's a really odd question for slashdot.... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149296)

Despite the fact that there is little love for MS on /., we know that MS is a business and they will do whatever they can to continue to make money. The question should not be "is there something going on here?" but "What is MS up to, and how do they intend to increase profits with this move?"

This might have two functions: stop people from using competitors DB products and allow those that want to use PostgreSQL to do so on MS platforms. It is more probably a monkey see, monkey do reaction to Oracle and others.

I think its a 'me too' thing with an attempt to stop bleeding profits and market share through their DB product group. Other 'me too' attempts have not worked out very well for MS. Can you say Zune? Play for sure? etc.

Re:That's a really odd question for slashdot.... (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150516)

Other 'me too' attempts have not worked out very well for MS. Can you say Zune? Play for sure? etc.

Sometimes they do OK. Can you say X Box? I do agree, that it is just OK and not the leader. Many of their other products can be listed as also ran.

Has anyone seen the sales figures for the Zune online store?

Re:That's a really odd question for slashdot.... (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150688)

Has anyone seen the sales figures for the Zune online store?
The what??

Microsoft is only Anti-GPL (4, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149298)

So why is Microsoft promoting it?

Because PostgreSQL isn't licenced under the GNU GPL.

Re:Microsoft is only Anti-GPL (2, Insightful)

vladkrupin (44145) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149606)

That is exactly what's going on. Non-GPL code can be easily embraced, extended, etc... you know the trick. GPL code is a much harder nut to crack. Many have tried to "get cute with the GPL" as PJ of Groklaw [groklaw.net] puts it, but none have succeeded. If you can marginalize the GPL, eliminating the non-GPL competition by embracing, extending, extinguishing is a much easier task. GPL is their only threat, really.

Re:Microsoft is only Anti-GPL (2, Insightful)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150032)

"Many have tried to "get cute with the GPL" as PJ of Groklaw puts it, but none have succeeded."

Well, the jury is still out on the Microsoft-Novell deal.

Re:Microsoft is only Anti-GPL (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150128)

Non-GPL code can be easily embraced, extended, etc... you know the trick.

Yet it hasn't happened yet. Your warning has been shouted from the mountain tops in some form or another for over twenty years. Yet it hasn't happened yet. Python, Apache, FreeBSD, Postres, Xorg, etc, have not been taken over by Microsoft. They have not been embraced, extended and extinguished. Nor is it likely they ever will be.

Stop obsessing on a horrible future that will never arrive, and live in the present instead. The nature of Free Software means that it can never have the fate you predict. Microsoft tired it with Kerberos, and utterly failed. Why? Because Kerberos was free. Free Software is not a material product. It is not something that Microsoft can take hold of and deny you. Even if they come out with a proprietary MSPostgres, you DON'T have to use it! You can continue using the 100% Free Software Postgres instead.

Ballmer isn't going to throw a chair at you, so stop worrying and learn to love freedom.

Re:Microsoft is only Anti-GPL (-1, Troll)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149726)

So why is Microsoft promoting it?

Because PostgreSQL isn't licenced under the GNU GPL.

Maybe so they can include it with Microsoft Linux, stolen from open source to make them rich. M$ knows Windows is near EOL. Plus they want the PR as I run Postgress on my Linux, and MySQL on my XP PC, only because they tell me I have to run XP. Be dammed it I will stoop to M$ SQL. They want to take the shine off of MySQL. Sure rtuns nice on a 3GB AMD X2.

Microsoft is behaving like a beached whale. Are they in more trouble than anyone knows? All this recent FUD including Ballmer. BALL My Eyes Red? Cray baby cry...

Re:Microsoft is only Anti-GPL (3, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149862)

Microsoft is behaving like a beached whale. Are they in more trouble than anyone knows? All this recent FUD including Ballmer. BALL My Eyes Red? Cray baby cry...
I never would have thought it possible, but my monitor actually frothed just from displaying that comment.
 

Inappropriate and unnecessary use of an analogy (0)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149346)

"Is this simply a case of left-hand, right-hand, or is something deeper going on?"

What a stupid analogy. Inappropriate and unnecessary.

Re:Inappropriate and unnecessary use of an analogy (1)

Mic_neale (1068592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149756)

How is that inappropriate? He means the "left hand" doesn't know what the "right hand" is doing - did you think it meant something dirty?

The best friend of MS are those that develop ... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149352)

software that runs on their platforms. Keep in mind, that Linux is causing MS LOADS of headaches in the server world. More importantly, if the Windows/Office monopoly can be broken, then Apple and Linux can grow QUICKLY. The best thing going for MS is that Gnome, and shortly KDE, run on MS. OTH, much of Windows based software does not run on Linux. Makes it hard for companies to move over.

Re:The best friend of MS are those that develop .. (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149676)

The best thing going for MS is that Gnome, and shortly KDE, run on MS.

Well embracing 'free' software is a double edged sword for MS. In the short term people stay with Windows but ultimately provides a migration path:

  • It helps the portability of GTK+ (gnome) and Qt4 (KDE) by exposing dependencies on X11, glibc and various Linuxisms that have crept into the codebase. (Porting to other Unix variants and architectures helps no doubt, too).
  • It increases adoption of free software. If KOffice runs seamlessly on Windows then the underlying operation system becomes largely irrelevant
A majority of participants on this forum may be in the minority of general users in having chosen to install an OS other than Windows on one of their machines. But for the rest of the population they generally run Windows for some of the following reasons:
  • An OEM version came with the computer
  • It runs all the software they can get their hands on from the net or friends. [next door neighbours were complaining about viruses this week! ]
  • Corporate policy

If they end up running non-MS/non commercial free software alternatives such as Mozilla/OpenOffice/KOffice under Windows because they're free($), their next PC mightn't use Windows. Certainly this could be a migration strategy for corporate departments wanting to switch to free platforms.

Furthering their extortion (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149354)

Maybe they beleive they have a solid case that postgressql infringes on their patents. They want more companies using it (and to know who) so they know who they can take to court and extort some protection money.

Re:Furthering their extortion (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149760)

Maybe they beleive they have a solid case that postgressql infringes on their patents. They want more companies using it (and to know who) so they know who they can take to court and extort some protection money.

Maybe Microsoft planted the code in postgressql and now they want to spring a trap?

Given Micro$oft history, certainly not impossible. Plenty of people would do a cvs commit for $10G under the table. Corporate style espionage. Microsoft is a beached whale threatening to sue it's customers. Lets face it, the opening of Vista was Hasta La Vista, so last century.

Re:Furthering their extortion (1)

hilton_a (915469) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150230)

'Maybe Microsoft planted the code in postgressql and now they want to spring a trap?' What absolute tosh.

My enemies' enemies are my friends (4, Informative)

pablodiazgutierrez (756813) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149376)

Obviously, MS is interested in weakening the position of any competitor. In this case, Oracle is a bigger player in the databases market than MS ever dreamed to be. Therefore, helping PostgreSQL damages the competition more than it does damage MS itself, which is a win for them, in terms of market share and potential risks due to loss of control over that market. Kind of the same reason why IBM supports PostgreSQL and other OSS in detriment of its own products.

Never Trust Microsoft (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149428)

How foolish can you be? Have you ever known Microsoft to do anything that helped anyone but Microsft? They are bastards. They have been bastards for their entire existence? How incredibly foolish can anyone to believe anything good will come out of a Microsoft assocation. And even if they don't now do something nasty, then they will "sunset" the free portion. Won't get fooled again.

Why even ask? They are promoting Windows! (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149442)

It's pretty obvious that they're targeting the people who won't buy the MSSQL license.

I'd hardly call it "Playing up OpenSource". Now if they were writing articles about Postgre on Ubuntu or what-have-you, I'd be very much surprised.

Am I the only one.. (5, Insightful)

Shiny One (983480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149452)

.. that didn't miss the most obvious comment.

Embrace. <-- You are here
Extend.
Extinguish.

Re:Am I the only one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149566)

Embrace.
Extend.
Extinguish.
In what reasonable manner could Microsoft possibly propose to "extinguish" PostgreSQL?

Re:Am I the only one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149628)

Just because it's an unimaginable task doesn't mean it can't happen.

Even if it will never happen, that doesn't stop them from trying.

Re:Am I the only one.. (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150800)

PostgreSQL is licenced under a BSD-style licence. This means that closed-source forks might be permitted (when the BSD licence was first drawn up, binary-only distribution was inconceivable; binary compatibility even between machines of the same make and base model but configured differently was poor). I say "might be" because the BSD licence seems to allow you to distribute the source code even if you have only received the binary code; which might give you the option to recover the source code using reasonable force. This remains untested TTBOMK.

Microsoft could make some "improvements" to Postgres to make it "run better" under Windows, but keep those improvements Windows-only and binary-only ..... and end up with a Postgres version that is subtly incompatible with everyone else's, making it harder to migrate to an alternative OS. Even integrating Postgres support tightly into one of their own mickey-mouse programming languages would end up tying users to that language.

Re:Am I the only one.. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150820)

Since PostgreSQL is under the BSD license, the "extend" step can use proprietary code (probably distributed cost-free). If MS manages to get a majority of PostgreSQL users to depend on proprietary MS extensions to PostgreSQL, they have them in their grip.

Re:Am I the only one.. (2, Insightful)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149634)

I thought that "its a trap" would be more obvious.

In any case, this isn't a case of the 3e approach. All they did was install Postgres on windows and write up a step by step installation doc with a few tips discovered in the process. There is nothing on their interpretation of whether it is good or bad.

Re:Am I the only one.. (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149824)

I thought Microsoft was at Extort, you are missing a few steps...

Envy
Embrace
Extend
Exacerbate
Extinguish
Extort - M$ is here
Emplode

That's what the lab is for. (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149466)

The site logo clearly says "Communications from the Open Source Software Lab at Microsoft" They are getting paid, they've got to do something. Not the whole beast is controlled directly from the head, you know.

Non-native (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18149560)

Not sure; this might be the reason on why MS is promoting Postgres. It isn't native on Windows; CYGWIN is required.

Could MS be pitching it because the performance isn't up to par with the native versions on *nix?

Just a thought...

Re:Non-native (2, Informative)

tgl (462237) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149786)

"Cygwin is required"? Apparently you haven't actually looked at Postgres in a few years. There's been a native port since PG 8.0.

Re:Non-native (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149972)

The article specifies version 8.2. This is a native application with a nice click and drool installer. However, you may be right about one part:

PostgreSQL uses a process-oriented architecture similar to that of Apache 1.3, where each request is handled by an independent process. The native Windows port has not used the Windows preferred thread-oriented architecture. For this reason, one should expect performance on Windows to be lower, especially where large numbers of small queries are executed.
I always thought it was one process per connection. Otherwise, it's a simple how-to on installing PostgreSQL on Windows.

Let me be the first to say (1, Funny)

bytesex (112972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149570)

It's a trap !

You get people to get off this (2, Interesting)

peterbiltman (1059884) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149652)

Anti-Microsoft bandwagon. I'm seriously beginning to wonder if reading Slashdot makes any sense. It seems to be nothing more than a constant bash of Microsoft along with questionable articles about anything non-Microsoft. You claim to be a news source, but when you slant the news all the times you become a propoganda machine and not a news source. There is nothing wrong with sharing information about how to do something. Microsoft is merely showing people how to do something on their operating system. It isn't a consipracy theory, there are no hidden agendas, it is just people sharing information with other people.

You don't read very much do you (2, Interesting)

DroversDog (450920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149828)

I get a little tired of the "you in the anti MS crowd". ".... but you are right "there are no hidden agendas " at MS; they ARE a convicted (time and again ) criminal who will stop at nothing to have everything their own way and they certainly can't hide THAT agenda. It is not propaganda to continually expose this MFSOB company for all their illegal and underhand ways.

Of course you'd know that if you stopped reading and believing MS press releases about how good they are.

If you don't like reading Slashdot, don't read it. Nobody here is going to be swayed by your crying foul for your beloved MS. As a company they have evils ways and all the thinking populace know it.

I just corrected this myth here yesterday! (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150054)

Again (and again, and again ..) the antitrust case against MS was a civil one. MS hasn't been convicted of anything and isn't a criminal. I'm sure anyone who claims that Slashdot is not even-handed with respect to MS will be happy that you provided evidence supporting it.

Like OJ wasn't convicted of murder (1)

DroversDog (450920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150146)

in a criminal case but found guilty in the civil case.

Doesn't mean MS and OJ aren't "criminals"

just put "microsoft criminal" into Google and see for yourself. (thats actually a joke but can't help laughing at the association)

You may be technically correct (which I didn't realize BTW) but the outcome is the same. This company is proven to be Mafia like to say the least and any whinning in their defence needs shooting down instantly.

Just to be even handed however, I am ambivalent about their software.

It may be a shock to you (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150266)

but comparing MS to OJ or the Mafia doesn't increase your credibility.

Re:I just corrected this myth here yesterday! (2, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150486)

"Again (and again, and again ..) the antitrust case against MS was a civil one. MS hasn't been convicted of anything and isn't a criminal."

Riiiiight.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/us c_sec_15_00000002----000-.html [cornell.edu]

Seeya.

--
BMO

Re:You get people to get off this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18150346)

astroturfers are not welcome here.

Microsoft has always supported BSD license (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149738)

Nobody has mentioned it yet, so I'll throw in my two cents. Microsoft is not against open source at all, they actively encourage and even use it on occasion (the TCP stack in windows is famously known to be from BSD Unix). They are happy when people write code that they can use.

Where they have the biggest problem is with GPL'd stuff, which they can't use at all. Of course in this particular situation there are other factors involved, but since they have been addressed by others, I will not repeat them here.

Re:Microsoft strongly prefers BSD license to GPL (4, Informative)

Swordfish (86310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149990)

You're right. You beat me to the comment. Postgres is not a threat in the sense that MySQL is. Also MySQL takes money away from MS and puts it in their own bank account, whereas Postgres does not build up a cash-hoard that can be used against MS later. Postgres is really free, as opposed to GPL, which signifies ownership by "the community". A Few years ago, MS said very publically what their list of okay licences was. That list included BSD, but did not include GPL or the Artistic licence.

Nothing to see. (1, Flamebait)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149938)

I hate to break this to you all, but Postgres is a competitor to Microsoft SQL Server like DOS is a competitor to Linux. Seriously, people who can get by with Postgres wouldn't buy SQL server anyway - it's not even in the same league. This is like how VMWare gives away VMWare server, the capabilities of their real products that they charge for are so far above and beyond that it's no problem for them.

Re:Nothing to see. (2, Informative)

StrawberryFrog (67065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150558)

Seriously, people who can get by with Postgres wouldn't buy SQL server anyway - it's not even in the same league.

Most people who use databases don't make much use of the advanced features. This is why MySQL is even in the market. I like MS SQL server a lot - it's good DB server, but most of the stuff done on it could just as easily be done on PostgreSQL. Good old select, insert, update, delete covers a lot of ground. The pressure with commercial software is to add new features in new versions, regardless of if they are needed or not.

Re:Nothing to see. (2, Informative)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150640)

I disagree specifically with "people who can get by with Postgres wouldn't buy SQL server anyway" - I think the problem is that people _do_ use SQL server when they can get by with Postgres.

On a different note, I've never liked the idea of having a heavy database - i.e. one with code procedures etc. It seems to make more sense to keep the database as just a database and implement your model logic in the model classes of what ever access it. That way you can change the database fairly easily and aren't tied completely to one particular database system.

Cancel or allow (4, Funny)

floki (48060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150180)

Best part: "The install on Vista is similar to other Windows installs but to install on Vista, you must turn off User Account Control first." :-)

Maybe they're canning SQL Server? (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150420)

Maybe they're planning to stop supplying MS SQL Server but don't want to give revenue away to MySQL?

No idea of the profit for SQL Server, but it would make sense to chop it if it didn't make the 20000% margin Office and Windows make.

(/sarcasm)

In bed with Novel. (1)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150532)

And all good /. readers out there KNOW this is because Novell is now their bitch, leaving them in good stead to incourage use, and then bring out some kind of legal mumbo jumbo and expect everybody to own them money.

"Microsoft's open source software lab" (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150622)

Really, the clue is in the question. Of _course_ they are doing something with an open source product, it's their open source lab.

They want to sell you stuff, whether that be the OS license, the database product or the training lab so your developers can use it. Even if they can't get you on one, they would like to make money on the others. My XBox 360 plays back music from my iPod without insisting I go purchase a Zune, too.
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