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Microsoft's Savvy Open Source Move

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the good-business-sense dept.

Microsoft 137

willdavid writes to mention Joe Panettieri is reporting that Microsoft is continuing their push for open source software interoperability. In the most recent push Microsoft is partnering with a small Silicon Valley company called SpikeSource to certify open source software on Windows 2008. "Despite growing Linux deployments, Windows Server remains quite popular for running open source applications. SugarCRM, the fast-growing open source application provider, is quick to note that many of its business developments occur on Windows Server. And Microsoft itself has sponsored SugarCRM's conferences, in order to stay in front of open source crowds."

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137 comments

Not Open Sores Enough (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22966830)

Microsoft will never truly adopt Open Sores because such a move would force them to change their business model. Micro$oft is in the business of selling software, not giving it away, as a Open Sores requires.

Micro$oft will never be able to overcome its capitalist tendancies and truly embrace the Open Sores movement.

Mocking freedom. (0, Troll)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966928)

People who mock freedom genreally don't have what it takes to keep their own.

Microsoft is welcome to liberate their code but they would rather try to "stay in front of open source crowds" with chances to sell your freedom. Interoperability is as simple as releasing specs and source code without obligation. Anything less is mockery.

eat a dick, twitter sockpuppet (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967010)

liberate their code?

Sound like more politically correct communist propaganda from slashdot's most prolific d-bag.

twitter is a nonsensical cunt and so are his sockpuppets.

mod this cocksucker up to +5 inciteful. let the whole world see the nonsensical bullshit that is open sores propaganda.

hi twitter (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967096)

You better get crackin' and bring in all your sockpuppets [slashdot.org] so they can rah-rah and butt slap your tired "Microsoft must do X and Y if they are to be in my graces" arguments.

twitter, Erris, Mactrope, inTheLoo, gnutoo. A veritable army of one.

Re:Mocking freedom. (3, Insightful)

youngdev (1238812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967108)

I consider myself a technical purist. When I see poor code it causes me pain (and usually hours to fix it) and I don't think I need that kind of punishment from microsoft. It is bad enough that I have to use their SloS at work. I prefer not to be subjected to their hideous source code.

Leave it to someone else. (0, Troll)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967242)

There are many people who share your taste but you should not deny others their fun. The amazing thing about free software is that there's always someone who wants to do specific tasks no matter how obscure. There are lots of people who would be very happy if Microsoft gave them software freedom for Windows. The code has leaked several times but it's worthless if it can't be used for any purpose, modified for specific purposes and shared in both modified and unmodified forms. No one wants to do Microsoft's dirty work for free, they want to have the freedom to make their computers work for them. This is why GNU/Linux is everywhere and why it's so much more fun.

Re:Mocking freedom. (3, Informative)

BoChen456 (1099463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967442)

Interoperability is as simple as releasing specs and source code without obligation.
Stop trying to change the meaning of Interoperability. Interoperability != Open and free source code.

Re:Mocking freedom. (4, Insightful)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967842)

No, but it does mean open and free specs. It wasn't until the EU forced their hand that the Samba guys had the specs for the SMB/CIFS protocol.

Free specs bring free software. (3, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968784)

Everything that has free specifications has a free implementation. One follows the other like day follows dawn. The only thing that prevents people from interacting is when people keep secrets or threaten others with software patents.

People have made free software for obnoxious things too, like Microsoft's networking protocol or DeCSS. The EU's directives were helpful to Samba but the Samba people did an adequate job of reverse engineering the specs themselves. I think that the EU has gone a step further and made Microsoft release changes to the specs that Microsoft made to break Samba. Microsoft's networking protocols are inferior, so I don't keep up with it. DeCSS has, of course, had nothing but trouble from the DVD conspiracy/consortium.

Somebody's been busy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968232)

Over two days and five confessed sock puppet [slashdot.org] accounts, Twitter has racked up 36 posts.

Looks like somebody has some time to kill at work. God help you if your boss ever bothers to check the server logs.

Re:Mocking freedom. (2, Insightful)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968430)

The release of source code is not a moral imperative, it's a personal or institutional choice that can be described more as an altruistic gesture (except when the release is attached to expectations of community contributions).

It has nothing to do with interoperability.

While I agree that Microsoft (and all companies) should strive for publishing accessible and clear documentation for their file formats and protocols, if your definition of "freedom" includes them releasing their code under the GPL (as you've "demanded" they do in other occasions), you better not hold your breath.

By the way, if you have time I'd appreciate a response to my post [slashdot.org] .

Does this mean... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22966854)

... that Microsoft will be writing an ODF module for MS Office?

Didn't think so. Microsoft's idea of interoperability only goes one way.

Mod parent up! (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967022)

Microsoft is happy to have anything running on Windows.

Microsoft refuses to have Microsoft apps support Open Source apps.

It's all one way. It's all Microsoft's way.

It's not even that nice. (1, Insightful)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967560)

Microsoft is not really happy to have anything running on Windows if they can sell the same service. Look at Word Perfect, X11, Netscape, Samba and so on. Anyone who ports to Windoze has had to face the same treadmill of changing specs and sabotage. Now it's AV, Open Office, Safari and iTunes. Just look at the stink people made over something as trivial as *gasp* Apple offering another browser on Windows. Anything that threatens M$ revenue and control will always be under attack.

The OOXML and OLPC sagas are more than enough evidence that Microsoft is the same old M$ we have always known.

Opps (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968920)

twitter, I think you mistakenly thought you were posting as yourself, but you're actually using one of your sockpuppets that are not supposed to do the "M$ Windoze" thing, lest they be actually identified as your sockpuppets even more easily.

Just look at the stink people made over something as trivial as *gasp* Apple offering another browser on Windows.

Yes, that went very well for you [slashdot.org] , even going so far as to shill [slashdot.org] your own posts, as you are doing all over this article.

You mean like this (4, Informative)

badriram (699489) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967130)

ODF Convertor, is an addin for Office. Microsoft is Funding, and providing documentation and help.
http://odf-converter.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:You mean like this (5, Interesting)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967290)

That's nice of them. When will Office have native ODF support? Or OOXML support for that matter?

Re:You mean like this (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967294)

You just answered what they said with proof supporting it, not the reverse.

Note they said "Microsoft will get anything running on windows" not the reverse.

The question is when does MS give info to ODF so they can run an OOXML to ODF converter and ODF back into OOXML. Now do you see the issue?

Re:You mean like this (1)

fluffman86 (1006119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967724)

Re:You mean like this (nope) (1, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967784)

No, I mean like this comment on it: Only supported in Novell's version of OpenOffice.

Sound like a similar lock-in? HMMMM I WONDER.

Re:You mean like this (nope) (1)

fluffman86 (1006119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967900)

That comment is out of date. I downloaded that extension and it works just fine for me (AFAICT) in the version of OOo that came with Ubuntu Gutsy Beta.

Re:You mean like this (nope) (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968000)

then I take back all I said about lack of interop...I've not had a reason to have to test it, nobody I know uses office newer than 2003 if they happen to unfortunately be in that crowd.

I also haven't checked to verify your comment, guess I'll have to check that later/take your word fo rit.

I nmanaged to get Novell's ODF Converter working (2, Informative)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968216)

I have managed to get Novell's ODF Converter working on Mandriva Linux. It took some packaging, but it works.

Although Binary only, there is no reason odf-converter won't work on any given Linux distribution.

Re:You mean like this (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968182)

OOXML to ODF converters are a bit premature to think about, since no program exists to create OOXML in the first place.

Good point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968560)

But you worded that rather confusingly :(

The point is that Microsoft will make it easy for people to import ODF documents into Word, but hard for you to get them back out.

As always, their interoperability is a one-way street.

Re:You mean like this (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967358)

It ought to be Office opening and saving ODF by default (And correctly, for god's sake), anything else, is mockery.

Re:You mean like this (2, Insightful)

SpydeZ (1196075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967436)

Is the Microsoft sponsored one better or worse than the one from Sun [sun.com] ?

Re:You mean like this (0, Redundant)

lolocaust (871165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967916)

I'd like to know the details too, so I can make an informed decision on which to force (gently) down the throats of my MS Word using friends. Although, I'd probably trust the Sun version a lot more, due to their friendliness to FOSS and the fact that they are pretty much the main contributers to Open Office.

Re:You mean like this (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968006)

From the specs I would use the sun converter.

I believe that the sun converter is the only one that has a chance of saving setting word to save text documents as odt by default, (much like you can do for almost any document format properly supported by word.)

Re:Does this mean... (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22969038)

That might not be a bad idea for them, actually.

If Microsoft Office Business Ultimate Professional Subscriber's Kittens Edition 2009 had an ODF importer/exporter built in (or available in convenient download form, like the PDF exporter for 2007), they could claim perfect support for their (only) competitor's product.

On the other hand, Open Office still manages to choke on the minutae in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. documents. If Microsoft supported ODF - but Open Office barely supports two standard deviations of Word features - they could tack on yet another bullet point on their display boxes.

On the other other hand, they would probably only write an importer. I see this becoming a reality when Microsoft has to convince customers to switch back to Office as opposed to stay put. (See? It opens all your existing ODFs just fine!)

Windows Server rocks (2, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966856)

Not a surprise, really. I run 3 Windows Servers 2003 at my work and they , in combination with IIS6 are a great piece of software. Amazingly lightweight to be a GUIed server and actually, rock solid.

I run a some OS software on it, and commercial as well, of course, being ideologically agnostic as I am.

I really don't see the news value in this article, so...

Re:Windows Server rocks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22966884)

the news value is that slashdot needs their two minutes of hate against big brother or they can't keep people productive in the factories and doing the goosestep in the streets.

from where i sit slashdot does much more propaganda against microsoft than microsoft does against open source. so much so that i can smell the fear.

Re:Windows Server rocks (-1, Flamebait)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966988)

From where you sit its probably just you that you're smelling.

Re:Windows Server rocks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967200)

wow. that was witty.

Re:Windows Server rocks (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22969052)

the news value is that slashdot needs their two minutes of hate against big brother
Don't be silly, we have our two minutes of hate against Emanuel Goldstein, not Big Brother.

Re:Windows Server rocks (1, Offtopic)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967014)

"ideologically agnostic"

Looking at the definition of agnostic [reference.com] the only definition I can see that may fit is #4. Which would mean you are completely ignorant to OS and closed source software ideology.

I think the word you are looking for is neutral.

Re:Windows Server rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967976)

"ideologically agnostic" the only definitionI can see that may fit is #4. Which would mean you are completely ignorant to OS and closed source software ideology. I think the word you are looking for is neutral.

You, my friend, ought to examine your own source for the definition of agnostic. Lower on the page is a definition for agnostic from the American Heritage dictionary. It can also be defined as noncommittal. As in I am noncommittal about the underlying OS as long as it does what I need it to.

Not the OP of the agnostic comment, just not a fan of snarkiness or overrated self-important comments.

Rock soild. (-1, Troll)

inTheLoo (1255256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967144)

You have to turn it on for it to crash and be infested with malware.

Hey! (-1, Troll)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967446)

I thought that was pretty funny. That El Lobo character has got to be joking too to praise IIS like he did.

Re:Hey! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967640)

Why do you do it Twitter?

InTheLoo and Mactrope are both your accounts, and here they are carrying on a conversation with themselves.

Add to that your 'gnutoo' account that is posting further up the thread.

There is something seriously wrong with you. I couldn't care less about any Karma you whore by setting up your own rebuttals, but the fact that you are intentionally misleading people with your multiple accounts posting together on the same thread bothers me.

I guess all I can do is help newer mods be informed by listing your sock puppets for all to see:
Twitter
Erris
gnutoo
Mactrope (not Macthorpe who is legit)
InTheLoo

All the same person trying to game threads.

Re:Hey! (1)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968842)

I'm curious, why exactly do you find it to be a problem that someone would praise IIS? From the Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] on the product:

Earlier versions of IIS were hit with a spate of vulnerabilities, chief among them CA-2001-19 which led to the infamous Code Red worm; however, version 7.0 currently has no reported issues that affect it. In perspective, as of 11 September 2007, the free software Apache web server has one unpatched reported issue, affecting only MS Windows systems, and rated "less critical". In IIS 6.0, Microsoft has opted to change the behavior of pre-installed ISAPI handlers, many of which were culprits in the vulnerabilities on 4.0 and 5.0, thus reducing the attack surface of IIS. In addition, IIS 6.0 added a feature called "Web Service Extensions" that prevents IIS from launching any program without explicit permission by an administrator. With the current release, IIS 7.0, the components were modularized, so that only the required components have to be installed, thus further reducing the attack surface. In addition, security features such as URLFiltering were added that rejects suspicious URLs based on a user defined rule set.

In IIS 5.1 and lower, by default all websites were run in-process and under the System account, a default Windows account with elevated rights. Under 6.0 all request handling processes have been brought under a Network Services account which has significantly fewer privileges. In particular this means that if there is an exploit in a feature or custom code, it wouldn't necessarily compromise the entire system given the sandboxed environment the worker processes run in. IIS 6.0 also contained a new kernel HTTP stack (http.sys) with a stricter HTTP request parser and response cache for both static and dynamic content.

Would you elaborate?

BTW, since you seem to be posting on this article with many of your accounts (inTheLoo, gnutoo, Mactrope), I reiterate my request [slashdot.org] that you reply to my earlier post [slashdot.org] , if you have time.

Re:Windows Server rocks (5, Informative)

ThatDamnMurphyGuy (109869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967256)

And let's be honest here. I like to bash MS as much as possible. I use MS at $work and FAMP at home. Windows 2008 and IIS7 took some truely great strides away from the old MS way of doing things. 2008 can be installed without a gui. You can powershell/remote admin EVERYTHING from the command line. In fact, the GUI admin tools use the things written for the powershell/command line administration. Group policies now have preferences, allowing things like making policy on what fields SQL developers need to add when they create tables...what users can consume n% of the CPU, etc.

IIS7 does NOTHING out of the box, and everything is a module. Almost everything that used to be a tab when configuring an IIS app is now a seperate module..even just redurecting an entire site to another url. And the new 3.5 ASP.NET stuff has a real MVC layer in the works for people like me who completely hate ASP.NET PostBack hackery. IIS7 now has full support for FastCGI and PHP is a first class language in terms of performance. I imagine this will hold true for other FastCGI friendly things like Ruby/Perl/Python/RoR/Catalyst/Django.

Re:Windows Server rocks (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967542)

Out of curiosity - do they offer something like the 2003's 180-day trial? Sounds quite nice, would be even nicer to try it.

Re:Windows Server rocks (1)

ThatDamnMurphyGuy (109869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967632)

I would imagine so, but I'm not sure. I got a free copy of Server 2008 at one of their Heros Happen Here gigs last month. Got it installed on Parallels on the MacBook. It runs rather lean, about 350MB on boot. I imagine that would be lower if you run it GUI-less.

I also forgot to mention, it now also fully support HyperVisor as a VM OS as well.

Re:Windows Server rocks (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968664)

Windows Server 2008 offers a 60 day grace period, but you can rearm it three times:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948472 [microsoft.com]

As a student, there are ways to obtain permanently activated copies for less than the $999 or so retail. Most universities have MSDNAA access where you can log on and download a CD key for free. If that doesn't work, there is a deal if you log onto your MSDNAA account to obtain a one year Technet subscription for $99. This is for evaluation only licenses, but removes any time limitation not just on Server 2008, but any commercial MS product. Of course, as a student, you can buy a fully licensed copy for $500 each, and some universities even offer fully licensed copies for $10 or so.

Re:Windows Server rocks (2, Informative)

bastafidli (820263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967936)

I have a mod points but couldn't resist to comment :-) >2008 can be installed without a gui. You can > powershell/remote admin EVERYTHING from the > command line. In fact, the GUI admin tools use the > things written for the powershell/command line > administration. So MS finally reinvented the wheel and W2k8 finally behaves as Unix :-)

Re:Windows Server rocks (1)

ThatDamnMurphyGuy (109869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968412)

Of course they're not doing to much of anything original. But the fact that they acknowledge that things sucked the way they were are were doing what OS has already done is still a big deal.

The one thing I did see in 2008 that I haven't been exposed to anywhere else is the direct tying of Group Policy and Network Access. Now you can set up group policies that define what a computer has to have before it's aloud to use the remote network. For example, a VPN user would dial in...then the policy server would check that it has: update x, progam y, setting z, and an up to date virus program. If it passes, the VPN user can use the private network. If it fails, the user is stuck on an alternate network until they have fixed the failing issues.

I'm sure of that already exists in RADIUS and other tech, but it was damn easy to config in 2008.

Re:Windows Server rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968614)

Sure you can run it without a GUI. But then again, the number of roles the server can perform is then greatly limited. It can't even be used as a web server for deity's sake...

Also it's still running a GUI of a sorts. Its just not running the explorer.exe process. And a lot of functionality is removed. To mee it seems like running a server install of Linux and then starting X11 without a window manager. Go figure...

Re:Windows Server rocks (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967360)

It's quite lightweight indeed - I'm using it as a VMware guest OS for cross-compilations, testing and such when I'm doing something that needs to be cross-platform. But I don't think I would be able to change my habits when it comes to administering servers - I need a good CLI for that, I just find the idea of clicking to do something on a server the most awkward thing since the company-name-sorted Programs menu, which is an abomination of its own category. Besides, isn't remote desktop or how they call it a little bit unsuitable for the extreme kind of emergency situations, such as logging in from your cellphone in the middle of your holidays to fix something that broke and no one on site is able to cope with? (Been there, done that, it worked.)

Re:Windows Server rocks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967502)

This comment and the high moderation it got is what's wrong with slashdot, shills like the parent keep exploiting it to do misguiding advertisements and other shills take the chance to mod them up.

Something must be done to stop this abuse of slashdot's posting system

News value (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967790)

the issue is that, as usual, Shashdot's zealotry and irrational MS-hatred has to enter into everything.

So while they see no problem with teaming up with the Original Borg, IBM, and allowing them to buy out Linux (oh wait, they use the IBM branded college, IBM branded research facilities, and IBM branded programmers... but it's "independent", so it's not really "purchased", since it's "open source"...), but heaven forbid anyone interpret "it's all about choice" to somehow mean people are free to choose Microsoft.

Most of the serious tech people are pretty tired of Slashdot's repetitive and boring MS-hatred schtick. That's why sites like Digg and Engadget are eating their lunch. It's news for nerds, without the constant bitter and irrational MS hatred.

"Ideologocally agnostic" my ass... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968062)

El Lobo, you crack me up every time.

Your last two sigs involved "linuzzz" and "abble".
And you're telling me that windows and IIS are "great pieces of software"?
Shocking!!!

Ulterior Motives.. (3, Insightful)

pionzypher (886253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966868)

This is the same company that just extended XP to prevent linux from gaining a foothold in the low end laptop market. They can try to paint themselves any way they want... They're not fooling very many.

Jaded? Yep. Suspicious? Yep.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (5, Insightful)

Westley (99238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966924)

I don't think there's anything "ulterior" about it. It's pretty obvious: if people are going to run open source software, MS would like them to be running it on Windows. It's therefore in their interests to help open source developers to get their stuff running on Windows - especially where it doesn't compete with any of their own products.

Sure, they may well not really want to help the Firefox or Open Office teams much, but if it's a choice between "PHP on Windows" or "PHP on Linux" I think it's obvious where Microsoft's interests lie.

There's nothing suspicious in that behaviour - it's perfectly plain in my view. Now, unless you count increasing Linux market share as an aim in and of itself, I find it hard to see how MS doing this is something to be dismal about.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (3, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967116)

I don't think there's anything "ulterior" about it. It's pretty obvious: if people are going to run open source software, MS would like them to be running it on Windows. It's therefore in their interests to help open source developers to get their stuff running on Windows - especially where it doesn't compete with any of their own products.

Wait for the "embrace, extend, extinguish" routine. Didn't they just come out with something that would only work on Novell and no other flavor of Linux? Just sayin', they've done this before.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967124)

Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

Which step are they on now?

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (1)

YaroMan86 (1180585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967590)

This is yet another "embrace" step for Microsoft. They haven't been able to extend too much, if at all, since true FOSS is demonstratively immune to EEE and its losing FUD coverage. Microsoft knows it can't cast FUD down on open source software much more lest they actually become an obvious opponent to open source. That is not a can of worms Microsoft wants to open. The departured from their own products to open source alternatives would be staggering to them.

So now they are hardheadedly "embracing" open source. If they manage to get some people to stop developing Linux for "open source support" from Microsoft, they can move on to "extend" where they begin tagging on features to these projects or requiring these features to be implemented for Windows development. It will fall short there. Microsoft, frankly, will never reach "extinguish" even on the projects it manages to hook the first two stages on thanks to forking. Any sign of trouble heads for the project, the code takes off where it wants and all Microsoft does is lock down a deprecated project.

The problem though, is since the first two steps are accomplished, Microsoft has "stolen" software on their hands and are ready to flesh it out and turn out a proprietary MS version of the project. The flip side of this is Microsoft will likely ruin any ex-open source projects it hijacks because it is stuck developing like a merchant: Must add all the bells and whistles without thinking of the bloat and instability it adds to it. They've done it with their own software, no reason not to do it on software they acquire.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968246)

So now they are hardheadedly "embracing" open source. If they manage to get some people to stop developing Linux for "open source support" from Microsoft, they can move on to "extend" where they begin tagging on features to these projects or requiring these features to be implemented for Windows development. It will fall short there.
Not sure about that one.

There's lots of web applications which will only run with MySQL as the database backend because they depend on MySQL-specific behaviour - even though it really isn't difficult to remain reasonably database-agnostic provided you consider it from early on in the development process.

It isn't too much of a stretch to imagine PHP applications which expect the underlying system to be Windows (even with simple things like expecting all paths to start with a letter, followed by a colon, followed by a bunch of backslash-separated directory names) to the point whereby getting the damn thing to work on Linux is an uphill struggle.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (2, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967142)

Sure, they may well not really want to help the Firefox or Open Office teams much, but if it's a choice between "PHP on Windows" or "PHP on Linux" I think it's obvious where Microsoft's interests lie.
Of course, their interests lie in .Net on IIS on Windows, duh.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (2, Insightful)

pionzypher (886253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967302)

That's part of it though. If you act like you're playing nice with open source then you have an argument when US and EU regulators are grilling you about monopolistic behavior. In reality it is exactly what you and the article describe... it's for their own reasons (which is fine, they are a company after all) and they'll try to keep it on their own terms.

I'll push my luck here and wonder aloud how far out php on windows is from the Extend phase. A PHP.Net perhaps?


You're right, I am being pretty dismal. Bleh.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967456)

I was running PHP on an IIS 4 box about ten years ago.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966936)

Yeah, God forbid that a company keep a product that the public wants. Ford! Bring back the Edsel!

Granted, they seem to have fumbled the ball with Vista but let's not get out of hand about their decision to keep XP. I don't think it was meant to fool anyone. You can loosen up your tin foil cap for the moment.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968836)

Well, I would agree with you if they had decided to keep XP for anyone who asked for it... rather than force most computer buyers to buy Edsels.

Re:Ulterior Motives.. (1)

s1d (1185389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966954)

Sadly, they are (fooling very many). As always. But Vista is slowly changing things.

Twofo Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967190)

Goatse. [twofo.co.uk] [goatse.ch]

You nerds love it.

They're going back... (3, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966922)

... to Extend?!?

others are being more savvy about it (5, Informative)

dartmongrel (855947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966926)

Seems to me that Sun are being a bit more savvy in the way they are doing things. First OpenOffice and mysql, now they seem to be partnering up with Canonical (Ubuntu). call me what you will, I'll never trust M$ again.

Re:others are being more savvy about it (2, Informative)

GregPK (991973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967056)

Actually, I'm considering a move to ubuntu myself. It works perfectly on my machines...

Re:others are being more savvy about it (3, Informative)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967156)

I run Ubuntu and Fedora at home, play with a couple of other distros, but for the family members, it's Ubuntu. Fedora on the two servers. I was donated a copy (legal and stuff) of XP Pro so it sits on a box in the corner of the office if needed. Spend more time keeping it up to date and scanned than anything else really.

The move with Sun/OOorg/MySQL is something I'm watching closely and hope that it ends up being the winner I suspect it will be.

Re:others are being more savvy about it (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967964)

Not to mention that their software runs on many different OS's (java, directory server, etc), their OS runs on different hardware (opensolaris), and their hardware will run anything (Intel, sparc, and AMD processors) Its always been a Dell shop at the office here. Sun is starting to look much, much better. (and cheaper in many cases!)

Kim Polese is CEO of SpikeSource (3, Informative)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966960)

She has a great track record - founded Marimba, product manager for Java at Sun. I'm not surprised that Microsoft would want to be involved with her when it comes to their open source interests.

Re:Kim Polese is CEO of SpikeSource (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967126)

I agree. The interesting part of the article is where it mentions Intel is putting another $10 million in fresh capital into SpikeSource. That clearly shows both that Intel has some faith in the company and in open source. And Kim's a pretty smart babe.

I personally can't stand Microsoft and its software (although I make a living supporting it). but I don't mind if SpikeSource gets to spread OSS on Windows with Microsoft's help. In the end, Microsoft won't benefit from it as much as OSS will.

Re:Kim Polese is CEO of SpikeSource (1)

dzelenka (630044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967278)

When I read "SpikeSource" I thought "Oh good, we're no longer communists! Microsoft thinks we are vampires now!"

"continuing their push for interoperability"?!? (4, Insightful)

legirons (809082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22966966)

so Microsoft having just destroyed the international standards organisation to prevent interoperability between word processors, someone manages to write this slashdot summary with a straight face?

Re:"continuing their push for interoperability"?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968832)

Oh please. Stop shrieking and climb down off that chair.

Joe used to work for Windows Mag, too (5, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967040)

Kind of left that out of his background there on his bio page.

Microsoft is interested in anything that sells Windows Server. However, with all of their sword rattling, known monopolistic behaviors, partnering with them still can get you the Black Widow Effect. Just ask 3Com, or Ashton Tate, etc.

In the words of Admiral Ackbar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967046)

IT'S A TRAP!

Partnerships... (2, Insightful)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967050)

I'm tired of reading about what corporation or project Microsoft has hooked up with this week. Open-source software is about the community (and thus partnerships), but first and foremost it's about the code. The community comes because of the open-sourced code, not the other way around.

When Microsoft actually starts releasing code under a real open-source license, then we can start talking. Maybe.

Re:Partnerships... (1)

Klync (152475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967946)

I was going to use a mod point to rate this up, but I wanted to reply instead... You make a great point, but I actually don't think it's 100% true. If you go back to what RMS was writing In The Beginning (c.f. Gnu Manifesto), the principles did precede the code. The notion of having the power of computing - for whatever purpose - freely available to anyone and everyone is a political notion, and the writing of tools like GCC and bison were labours of love. And, praise the Noodly One that this hard work was done, because it's created the foundation for every other open source project to exist. Think I'm going too far? See:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/01/countering_trus.html [schneier.com]

Microsoft and Moodle (FOSS LMS) (1)

MichaelPenne (605299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967054)

Microsoft did a nice deal with Moodle for adding MSSQL server support - rather than specifying just MSSQL server support be added they funded the development of an XML tool for adding database support - so it was easy to also add support for Oracle and other RDBMSs to Moodle (which already supported PostGreSQL and MySQL).

Just another way MS is trying to control OSS. (2, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967060)

This is a "certification" process. How much do you want to bet Microsoft just wants to use this as a tool to control OSS? I'm sure Microsoft thinks they can create the artificial need for "certification" to run on Windows. Then just don't certify certain products, or make the certification process wind up making the software hugely advantageous for Windows. They could try to design the certification process so the software becomes less cross-platform, say uses a lot of closed-source windows specific APIs.

I'm not sure exactly how MS will turn the certification process to try to control OSS, but based on past behavior I'm pretty skeptical to accept it at face value.

More wasted effort. (1, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967382)

Certification is yet another way to waste free software effort. If reverse engineering a sabotaged and constantly changing OS was not difficult enough, they now offer the chance to lick boots and pay for a certificate of Microsoft appreciation. Real interoperability is easy, liberate the code and follow reasonable standards. The more Microsoft does, the more transparent their motives are.

They can also use it for fear mongering at companies that continue to run Windows. What do you want to bet Microsoft creates a mechanism to not run "uncertified" code and link it into UAC with a default of deny? This can then be used as a threat to all free software projects.

Just say no. Don't take their money, don't do as they say, just ignore the whole thing and we will all be better off.

from the last-gasper-corepirate-nazi-suckup dept. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967094)

as the list of stock markup FraUD softwar gangster 'sponsors' dwindles, robbIE incorepirates their agenda into yOURs. including censorship, & vandalism of non-preferred posters' habitats. more gooed 'news' on the way? better days ahead? see you there? let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Good Business Sense (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967140)

I gotta agree with the article. This makes complete sense from a business perspective. As much as slashdot may beat on Windows, many of are using it while we type our abuse. Windows is not going away. If you want a PC to just run out of the box, you install Windows. Linux is getting better, but just isn't to that level, yet. My XP system is littered with open source apps, at work and home. I use Firefox hourly. I use OpenOffice to type up my messages. I use thunderbird to read my ISP mail. I have sunbird loaded, but have not quite got into using the computer to track my appointments, yet (I like my post-it notes, thank you). Open Workbench does a fair job at project management. It is the best of both worlds, imho.

How long before Microsoft create a competitor? (2, Insightful)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967152)

Microsoft cannot stand to see a product they do not control gain popularity. How long before Microsoft releases a half-backed 'competitor' to SugarCRM and using their monopoly to squash it?

Re:How long before Microsoft create a competitor? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968310)

My memory may be failing me here, but aren't SugarCRM and VTiger somehow related?

Assuming my memory is correct, unless SugarCRM has some drastic differences, they don't need a half-baked competitor. They're quite half-baked enough as it is.

small company (1)

korgull (267700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967176)

Sounds like they are very serious about open source.

!savvy (2, Interesting)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967198)

A -savvy- open source move would be announcing a port of MS Office to SuSE. This "we want you to make your Linux software also run on Windows" move just increases the vulnerability of their cash cow.

This isn't interoperability at all (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967244)

This is just making sure various popular OSS projects can run on top of Windows. That's not interoperability. It'll be interoperability when MS helps OSS projects written specifically for Windows port to *nix without the need for WINE or other emulators.

Re:This isn't interoperability at all (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968330)

This is just making sure various popular OSS projects can run on top of Windows. That's not interoperability. It'll be interoperability when MS helps OSS projects written specifically for Windows port to *nix without the need for WINE or other emulators.
No. It'll be interoperability when an OSS project can communicate with a totally unrelated MS product without having to reverse-engineer everything from scratch.

There is a damn good reason Samba 3.x can only implement Windows NT-4 style domains. It's only in the last couple of months the Samba project has been able to obtain proper specifications.

There is also a damn good reason that there is more or less nothing Free (speech and beer) which integrates fully with Exchange or Outlook without requiring a separate plugin layer.

Quote of the Day (3, Insightful)

Bayesela (1151523) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967286)

"Because some of you *did* think Microsoft was changing and getting more open and was wanting to build bridges to FOSS, etc. I know you did. I hoped for a while myself. Well, take a look at the evidence splayed out before us on the ISO table. It speaks. And what it says is, "There is no new Microsoft." And so we need to get smarter. Make the division more clear. People will choose well, given a clear choice. Firefox and Ubuntu and Red Hat and others have demonstrated that. There is no need to compromise. And if you are tempted by the money, think about the rest of us, will you? Look at ISO. Do you want to be like that? Anyone, then, from this day forward who is naive enough to believe a single word from Microsoft needs to see a doctor right away. That is the single most important positive result from this OOXML process, as far as I'm concerned. Now we know. They shouldn't be invited to Open Source conferences to give keynotes, I don't think, or get to be on boards of directors of organizations, or let inside in any way that gives them the chance to pretend to be members of the community or even fair-dealers with FOSS. They will harm you any time they feel like it, and clearly from the OOXML story, we see they do indeed feel like destroying FOSS. They don't mind if a redefined, brand X version of "open" source limps along in its wake, paying tolls along the way to Microsoft, but they intend to kill off the real thing. That's why the OSP doesn't cover the GPL and the February "interoperability" statement opening up certain documentation is only for FOSS if it is noncommercial. Otherwise, all signs point to patent litigation, with all those presidents of countries that just got phone calls from Bill Gates lending a hand, one presumes. That is the plan, Stan, as best I can make it out, and anyone who enables that strategy by signing patent pledges, inviting them to speak as if they are now members of the community, etc. is helping to kill off FOSS. There is no middle ground now." --Pamela Jones via http://www.cafeaulait.org/quotes2008.html [cafeaulait.org]

AF (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967406)

Microsoft is continuing their push for open source software interoperability.
LOL! Err, wait a sec! April fools has ended 2 days ago...

This seems to be a one-way street... (2, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967460)

...where 'we' are offended that Microsoft makes calculating and obviously self-serving moves to court open-source applications to run on Windows.

But, we applaud the efforts of the FOSS community to make every effort to run Windows apps on *nix operating systems.

And I think both approaches are equally sel-serving. We understand and support it in FOSS, since we assume FOSS is the underdog, righting wrongs, giving us choice, and generally being a hero.

But Microsoft is trying not to be the underdog in open-source serving, giving us a choice, and generally being as self-preservationist as any *nix vendor. And there are, indeed, *nix vendors. Not just Sun, Red Hat, Novell, but others much smaller that carve out their niches and do very well, thank you. And they, mySQL for example, are not displeased that they also serve a Microsoft customer or two.

Trust Microsoft to not try and hijack FOSS? Of course not. Assume they want to play nice with FOSS? No, probably not. Condemn them for doing what their competitors are doing? just to pile on, IMHO.

If only Microsoft had done this when Novell was advancing the art of PC servers. But that's another tale for another day. Back then, the market was up for grabs. MS won, Novell lost. Today, I don't see Microsoft destroying the *nix marketplace any time soon. Too much momentum, too much good stuff out there. Microsoft thrives when they can identify a limited range of competitors. It's not like that any more.

Savvy? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967872)

If Microsoft had savvy they wouldn't be in the fix they are now. They have no savvy, they're just huge and cold-blooded. And they have the courts (and, apparently, the ISO) in their pocket.

Microsoft isn't fighting for its life, but the brand is dying, and nothing they can do will be able to stop it.

Sharing (3, Insightful)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968092)

Microsoft is like that brother/sister/neighbour who agrees to share things but doesn't actually understand the social rules of doing so. So you lend them something you cherish and then ask to loan something of theirs and they give you a blank look then say "oh, you mean I have to share to, I didn't know that was part of the deal".

Simple enough... (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968208)

From now on, just avoid SugarCRM like the plague.

Novell's ODF Plugin can work with any distro. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968248)

I have managed to get Novell's ODF Converter working on Mandriva Linux. It took some packaging, but it works. Although Binary only, there is no reason odf-converter won't work on any given Linux distribution.

Windows is Popular for Open Source Applications (1)

qazwart (261667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968290)

Yes, but mainly because of how ubiquitous Windows is. We develop Java applications using Eclipse, but all of our desktop machines are Windows XP machines. This means we run Eclipse, Java, and all the various JARs we need (not to mention both Ant and Maven) in Windows. We also use CVS, but will be moving to Subversion. All open source, and all running on Windows.

Why Windows? Because that's what corporate environments use. Our corporate officers want Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visio, and Microsoft Project. We get resumes in Microsoft Word. Whether we like it or not, we need to be able to use Windows.

I am sure that you look at many Open Source companies, most of their desktop machines will be Windows and that's what many developers will be using. This is even true of Google where all development is pretty much Linux and Web based. Heck, I bet even 37 Singles has more than a few Windows systems around.

Think of Microsoft Windows like the Flu. If you're very careful, you might be able to avoid it -- at least for a while. However sooner or later, you'll get caught. And when you do, you'll fell miserable.

Here are some real suggestions (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968690)

Here are some concrete little suggestions that would prove Microsoft really is trying. Not nonsense that they won't do (like open-source stuff, or port Word to Linux). Very simple stuff that they have refused to do for years and years:

1. Do not "certify" software that will not accept a filename that is typed in or is dragged & dropped or cut & pasted that has forward slashes in it.

2. Do not "certify" software that cannot read a text file with bare linefeeds in it and preserve the line breaks.

3. Add a way to name a file on any disk that starts with a slash and works in any piece of software using any Windows calls that manipulate files, and that shows up in an attempt to list the directory it is in. My recommendation is "/A:/blah".

4. Add symbolic links and fix the finder to not screw up if you copy or delete them.

5. Include bash or some other Unix shell by default with Windows.

6. Add C99 standards to header files, such as NAN, sinf(), etc. Remove the underscores added to about 1/2 of the c99 library functions like snprintf. In general do all the obvious and easy things to fix POSIX compatability.

7. Add working "export" keyword to vc++ compiler so that you don't have to write macros with "__declspec(dllimport/export)" in order to make a shared library.

Microsoft Logic (2, Funny)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22969030)

It is awesome BTW, Microsoft should probably make "Microsoft (r) Logic" a new ISO standard.

1. Open source is popular.

2. Most open source is written in a portable way hence they run in many platforms including windows.

3. There are a lot of windows users out there.

4. (miss the point)

----

.: Windows is a popular open source platform!

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