The fox in the open source henhouse

The fox in the open source henhouse

Summary: eWeek reports that Microsoft approached OSDL (Open Source Development Labs, where Linus Torvalds plies his trade) to do joint "fact-based," "independent" analysis and research on Linux and Windows. OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen (left) and Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy Martin Taylor (right) met at LinuxWorld earlier this month to discuss the proposal, in which Microsoft would pay half the cost.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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stuartmartin.jpgeWeek reports that Microsoft approached OSDL (Open Source Development Labs, where Linus Torvalds plies his trade) to do joint "fact-based," "independent" analysis and research on Linux and Windows. OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen (left) and Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy Martin Taylor (right) met at LinuxWorld earlier this month to discuss the proposal, in which Microsoft would pay half the cost. So far, OSDL isn't taking the bait, and open source companies like Red Hat don't believe the research would be objective, and neither do I. Just trying to define 'objective' tests and configurations would kill the project, given neither party wants to be shown in an unfavorable light.  Instead, how about spending the time and money on making sure the two platforms interoperate much better...

Topic: Open Source

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  • Why should they?

    In cold hard dollars, where is the benefit to MS to build interoperability with Linux? Solaris I can see, but Linux? Why?
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Remember Steve Ballmer's hurt eyes.

      Microsoft has been working on interoperability with Linux because they want to sell with organizations which are not yet ready to respond appropriately to the inadequacies of Linux.

      I can understand Steve Ballmer's aesthetic pain when he showed Microsoft products playing nicely with Linux. Like putting the Mona Lisa in a $2,50 frame from WalMart.
      Anton Philidor
    • Blindness

      There are none so blind as those who will not see!
      georgep_z
      • Cute but meaningless responce.

        Care to try again and give me reasons that are dollar oriented?
        No_Ax_to_Grind
        • Heh.

          "Cute but meaningless responce."

          Indeed it was quite similar to the vast majority of yours. The question you posed is legitimate however.

          The answer... because Microsoft doesn't own everything. And even by sheer bigotry and hatred alone, they'll own less around the world as time goes on. I don't use Linux. But the appeal is there by those nations growing in economic power to have a platform to call 'their own'. In terms of self-sustaining power, a share now and a share later is better than all now and none later. Unfortunately US business doesn't seem to get that.
          Zinoron
          • So you think helping Linux is a good way to compete?

            Somehow I question that.
            No_Ax_to_Grind
          • Walling yourself off works both ways.

            When you wall other people out you wall yourself in. Not seeking to interoperate can hurt you quite a bit should there be a reversal of fortunes. As I said, the practical view is that, for good or bad, Linux or something similar will be/already is a major player in the world computing environment. If you don't want to play nice with it, that is your problem.
            Zinoron
          • When you own 90% of the market, you aren't walled off.

            As I said, I can see it with Solaris, but not Linux. Time will tell.
            No_Ax_to_Grind
    • To a developer, do you know the difference between Linux and Solaris?

      Or to put it another way, if Windows were "interoperable" with Solaris, how far away do you think Windows would be from being "interoperable" with Linux?
      Taz_z
      • All depends how it's implemented.

        Solaris is not governed by the GPl so MS can load it wtih proprietary code.
        No_Ax_to_Grind
        • Freud

          [i]Solaris is not governed by the GPl so MS can load it wtih proprietary code.[/i]

          Great slip, there, Don.

          Several of us have been saying that MS basically owns Sun now, but this is the first time you've admitted it.
          Yagotta B. Kidding
          • YBK, I thought you were serious, my bad.

            Should have known you just wanted an excuse to rant about MS.
            No_Ax_to_Grind
    • One good reason why MS should build interoperability with Linux:

      Because its important to their customers.

      Do YOU care about YOUR customers Don? Or are you so short sighted that you only care about your pocket? Actually, I really can't believe you made the above statement. If you could get over your knee jerk hatred of Linux and the GPL, you would be able to see things differently. Even MS themselves are getting that message (about needing to serve their customer even when its inconvenient).
      George Mitchell
      • So few and far between it's not an issue for me.

        Honestly, I have very few clients doing anything with Linux and the ones that do have it relegated to a minor role.

        By the way, I have nothing against Linux, the GPL yes, but not Linux.
        No_Ax_to_Grind
      • MS Management

        MS will be happy to play nice as long as their servers are managing Linux servers and workstations. That seems to be their plan. Their idea is to increase the cost of ownership of Linux in any way possible. Course, they have to be subtle about it.

        Scott
        Scottman_z
    • Market Share

      Simple: They're losing market share to Linux. At first they just tried ignoring it. That didn't work. Then they tried attacking it. That didn't work. Now they're starting to realize they'd better get along with it. As Microsoft's products become less and less relevent, they'll need to interoperate with whatever is out there or risk losing their share completely, much in the same way Novell embraced Linux in order to keep from disappearing.
      pj_mouse
  • The Sky is Falling! ... NOT

    The title to this blog is certainly good for a laugh, but in many ways couldn't be further from the truth. When MS first exhibited at Linux World we heard a similar collective gasp. And now its OSDL.

    Personally, I think MS participation in Linux World has been very positive. Part of the overall problem has been that MS has been prone to demonizing Linux rather than confronting it and free software people have long been prone to demonizing MS. Part of the overall solution is in providing opportunities for both sides to rub shoulders in a techie venue and learn to work together for the common good. Linux has long been touted as the "Level Playing Field". Is there no room for Microsoft on the Level Playing Field? I most certainly think there is and I applaud them for being their usual bold, brash, in your face selves and showing up for Linux World and at OSDL's doorstep.

    Don't worry, the people running OSDL aren't just reclusive geeks (defenseless hens). They are astute businessmen who can easily handle MS. The whole purpose of OSDL is to be a place where businesses can come together and work for the common good. Personally, I'm glad that MS is there. I think there is a lot of value that they can contribute AND a lot of value that they can take home. And I wouldn't just kneejerk off there idea for testing. If they are willing to work together with other vendors (many of whom are capable of being just as 'foxy' as MS), who knows what good things might be in store? And who knows what good things might come out of their participation? People bash MS for being antisocial, now they are trying to socialize. Give them credit for trying.
    George Mitchell