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Microsoft’s Terrible Open-Source Strategy: A response February 3, 2008

Posted by rjdohnert in 1.
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This article is the reason why people shouldn’t eat lead based paints when they are kids. The author of this piece besides clueless, uninformed and obviously very zealous over Linux basically doesn’t get it. Did I say he was clueless? Anyhow, as I do with ignorant uninformed articles lets review this one.

” let open-source people port their applications to Windows and hand them a piece of rope so they can tie themselves to all of Microsoft’s proprietary products and cannot leave. (And if you need Linux, use Microsoft’s virtualization technology to run it on Windows.) As you can see, this is not going to work”

Nope, the strategy is this. They know people will chose Windows, people will choose open source, lets work together to make sure the stuff can work together. Its fairly simple strategy, if you think developers tie themselves to Windows, here is some food for thought. Many open source developers use Visual Studios when porting their apps. Even the KDE team who has ported KDE apps to Windows uses Visual Studios. Are they tying themselves into Windows? Nope, are they tying themselves into Microsoft’s proprietary products? No. Oh and by the way, many Windows admins run Linux in Microsoft’s virtualization technology to test projects and to actively develop for Linux. Nothing new here except for an over caffeinated Linux enthusiasts who wants to sell a tin foil hat theory.

” Perhaps this strategy would work if Microsoft had an absolute monopoly on the OS market, but if that is what they are thinking, I have bad news for them, once they catch up to the 21st century”

This strategy will work because Microsoft DOES realize they don’t have an absolute monopoly on the OS market and they want to appease their customers who want to be able to use Windows with their open source stack. Sorry, its business.

The sooner people like this author realize that this is not an open source world, and that you have to work with proprietary software and hardware developers the better off it will be.  Its a good thing that there are some commercial entities that support Linux and understand both worlds, otherwise Open Source and Linux wouldn’t have left the basement.  The world wont change overnight.

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Comments»

1. TripleII - February 3, 2008

No, it won’t work. the reason AMP is so robust, fast, reliable is the ability to look deep into the nuts and bolts of “L”, right down to the kernel memory space and register level. Anyone can review the kernel, suggest changes, even compile it exactly as desired. This is simply not possible on Windows. No matter how good APIs are, they can’t replace access to the source code and the ability to see everything.

On the desktop, this is less of a concern, but in the server room, there will always be an unknown running AMP on Windows. MS would like for people to run AMP on Windows, but I don’t think it will happen. Eventually, is will be LASN or something like that (Linux-Apache-SqlServer-.Net). I think the first will be LASP.

Final note: If Windows was the OS everyone wanted to use, they still would be, and Linux would be nowhere. There are inherent reasons why Linux is (at times) better, namely cost and configurability. Everything else, security, reliability, as neither better or worse, compiling an optimized kernel that does ONLY exactly what you want is a freedom MS can’t match.

2. Roberto J. Dohnert - February 4, 2008

” No, it won’t work. the reason AMP is so robust, fast, reliable is the ability to look deep into the nuts and bolts of “L”, right down to the kernel memory space and register level. Anyone can review the kernel, suggest changes, even compile it exactly as desired. This is simply not possible on Windows. No matter how good APIs are, they can’t replace access to the source code and the ability to see everything.”

Yet if you go by statistics, when people choose a Linux distribution 99.9% of the time unless used in education and computational sciences they NEVER change the kernel, for typical web server, Fileserving and desktop workloads the kernel is not changed.

” On the desktop, this is less of a concern, but in the server room, there will always be an unknown running AMP on Windows. MS would like for people to run AMP on Windows, but I don’t think it will happen. Eventually, is will be LASN or something like that (Linux-Apache-SqlServer-.Net). I think the first will be LASP.”

People already run WAMP (Windows Apache MySql PHP) on MANY Windows servers. I go a step further and run LDAP for Windows in my infrastructure at work and the configuratio runs extremely well. If you Google it I sure you will find other tutorial, how-tos and reviews for a deployed WAMP setup

” Final note: If Windows was the OS everyone wanted to use, they still would be, and Linux would be nowhere. There are inherent reasons why Linux is (at times) better, namely cost and configurability. Everything else, security, reliability, as neither better or worse, compiling an optimized kernel that does ONLY exactly what you want is a freedom MS can’t match.”

And if UNIX would have been the save all be all that people wanted to use Linux and Windows wouldnt exist. Like I said the only places I have seen an “optimized” Linux kernel deployed is in two distinct markets. In fact as an example, in a contract I just signed last week I will be replacing a bank chains in bank systems its a Linux system and its an untouched RHEL 5 system, no kernel modifications and I am setting up a custom YUM repository system so that the bank admins will be able to do security and application updates, that too is a standard RHEL 5 system with no kernel modifications.


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