Red Hat cautiously optimistic about Microsoft's Open Technologies Inc

Red Hat cautiously optimistic about Microsoft's Open Technologies Inc

Summary: Red Hat today releases an official statement on the recent announcement of Microsoft's Open Technologies Inc. The company was cautiously optimistic but alluded to the fact that Microsoft was once opposed to openness

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Linux leader Red Hat today applauded Microsoft's recent launch of an open technologies subsidiary but is clearly taking a wait and see attitude.

Naturally. In the past, Microsoft described Linux and open source as a "cancer" on the software industry. Red Hat pointed out that the path to openness was not without opposition. With that it mind, Red Hat today penned a cautiously optimistic response to the news.

Here it is, verbatim:

"Naturally Red Hat took interest in the announcement last week of a “wholly owned subsidiary known as Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., to advance the company’s investment in openness – including interoperability, open standards and open source.”  Our reaction?

1. Customers and developers are potentially the winners in what could (should!) be a more open world. Open source and open standards give customers and developers freedom. Interoperability makes more possible. Our hope is that this formal announcement signals the commitment of Microsoft to engage with open source communities in a way that will ultimately provide choice in the marketplace. An open world is a better world.

2. A rising tide lifts all ships. The power of open source is undeniable. As we look toward the 10th anniversary of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in the market, we are able to reflect on how we got here. It was not without opposition. But we now see the world's leading technology providers investing in open source as a strategic way to innovate. Some of the new entrants are surprising, but open source collaboration works when many are participating in earnest.

3. We are here to help. Making a dramatic commitment to open source and open standards is not trivial. It’s not an occasional announcement or participation in a consortium. Making a true commitment to being open becomes part of a culture and is a radical shift. For years Red Hat has helped partners and customers navigate what it means to be open and how to make a full commitment. We truly believe that open source and open standards are foundational elements in how technologies, such as cloud computing, will be developed and deployed. We believe in open source and extend a hand as an old hand in this movement to support those with similar dedication.

Topics: CXO, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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14 comments
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  • Confirming

    I just checked my Drivers License:

    I wasn't born yesterday. :/
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • Believe it When I See It.

      Maybe MS is waking up now that Apple has stolen their crown as the King of Closed Source, but I won't believe it until I see real contributions.
      windfix
      • Apple is worse than Microsoft?

        [i]now that Apple has stolen their crown as the King of Closed Source[/i]

        Apple open-sourced [u]WebKit[/u]. Anyone using the Safari, Chrome, Chromium or Iron web browser is benefiting from WebKit. In addition, Apple acquired the [u]CUPS[/u] project and, the last I noticed, it was still available on Linux.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • "I won't believe it until I see real contributions" ...

        ??? what ??? like MS' contributions to the Linux Kernel resulting in MS being the 17th most prolific corporate contributor to the Linux kernel in 2011?

        Or how about MS contributing IronRuby and IronPython back to the community. And F# too.

        Or how about Microsoft creating and then contributing NuGet package manager & gallery site?

        Or how about Microsoft open-sourcing ALL of ASP.NET, MVC & Razor ??? and committing to building future releases in the open and even accepting contributions?

        How about Microsoft contributing Orchard CMS to the community and handing-over the reins to the community to drive it forward in the future?

        How about Microsoft's work with Joyent to create libuv, making node.js work beautifully on Windows? Or how about Microsoft's work with Apache and PHP helping them port their codebases to the VC9 compiler and more modern versions of Windows?

        And how about Microsoft's support of Mono?

        More here: http://bitcrazed.com/post/2012/03/28/Microsoft-wakes-up-to-Open-Source-???-in-a-big-way!.aspx

        Alternatively, you, like DTS and others around here, could continue to keep your eyes and ears closed and continue to believe that Microsoft hasn't changed in the last 10 years. While that may make you feel better, it would, sadly, not reflect reality.
        bitcrazed
      • RE: Apple is worse than Microsoft!

        @Rabid Howler Monkey: Do you really believe that? Webkit is based on KHTML that is developed by the KDE project. Apple just grabbed the source to build its own browser similar like they used BSD sources to build its Mac OS X. According to the KHTML license Apple had to publish its modifications anyway. Apple behaved like a petulant child when it had to release it and was criticized for the way it made their changes public by the KHTML project.
        beau parisi
      • RE: Apple is worse than Microsoft!

        @SirJonson

        Microsoft's Steve Ballmer called Linux a cancer in 2001. In 2007, Microsoft attempted to shake down Red Hat and Canonical. They succeeded with Novell involving SUSE (and more than a few SUSE engineers walked out). Microsoft helped to engineer Attachmate's acquisition of Novell, keeping SUSE out of the hands of potential suitors, including VMWare and Red Hat. As a part of the Attachmate deal, Microsoft led a group of companies, including Apple, in an attempt to acquire Novell patents. Fortunately, the U.S. DOJ intervened, open sourcing the patents, and nipped this in the bud. They have been successfully shaking down various Android OEMs, Motorola Mobility and Barnes & Noble excepted (they're still fighting).

        And two links for your reading pleasure:

        http://www.osnews.com/story/21882/Microsoft_s_Linux_Kernel_Code_Drop_Result_of_GPL_Violation

        http://techie-buzz.com/microsoft/microsoft-violating-gpl.html

        One can actually use CUPS and WebKit-based browsers on Linux. I know, I know. One can also run Mono-based apps on Linux.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Red Hat cautiously optimistic about Microsoft's Open Technologies Inc

    Of course Red Hat is optimistic, its more free technology they can steal.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • I can understand how someone like you would think that.

      Have more DayQuil. Drink up. Cheers.
      Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
  • Everyone assumes that "Open Source" applies only to Linux

    and linux based software applications, because you don't see as many open source Windows applications as you do with Linux based ones, probally because with Windows or Apple based software, the programmer has a [b]choice[/b] as to how he wishes to package their creation.

    If MS wants to be a bit more open and make money from that choice, nothing wrong with that.
    William Farrel
    • Amazingly enough...

      ...people can and do write proprietary software for Linux.
      John L. Ries
  • I'm Hopeful

    What I'd like to see is more open source windows-based libraries like we have for Linux. Most of the stuff out there is only compilable via Cygwin or on a Linux box. Very few really useful windows apps based of a Linux-based open source library are buildable under Visual Studio or the like. This makes developing on a windows platform problematic. For me at least.

    Actually, I haven't tried this lately, but in the past, I've found these Linux based libraries that I want to use but I don't want to develop in Linux. I want to use Visual Studio and can't. One was FFDShow and there are others.

    Maybe we'll see some really useful open source libraries that I can develop in a windows environment using Visual Studio rather than trying cob a Linux-based library into my IDE.

    That would be nice.
    dvanderwerken
  • What if...

    The way the first part reads it looks like a lot more consumption, but later they appear to be pushing the heterogeneous environment stuff, they could just mean the obvious software, but what if it is about hardware as well. MS knows they are losing out in the server, and mobile spaces, they are not hurting yet, but they have stagnated a bit.

    So here is the "what if". So what if MS ports the windows interface/shell and the associated APIs to run on an open kernel. They could still sell the environment, but they may be able reduce their own internal development costs and potentially open many doors that consumers could leverage. Make their environment run on top of ARM, PowerPC, SPARC, x86, ...etc. In other words have "MS Windows" use a BSD/Linux kernel. They do less work, but still charge the same. :)

    Just a thought.
    sys_engineer
    • So what if MS ports Windows to run on an open kernel?

      Ain't gonna happen. For a number of reasons:

      One of the biggest reasons that businesses love Windows and continue to BUY it even when free alternatives abound is that MS is pretty fanatical about maintaining as much backwards compatibility as possible.

      Windows includes a ton of carefully engineered features that work to expose API's and behaviors to legacy apps long after those API's have been deprecated and long after the behaviors have been fixed.

      The Windows and *N*X kernels are significantly different from one another at almost every level. The Win32 subsystem in which all your Windows apps run requires the kernel to behave in a particular way and to offer specific features that the *N*X kernel doesn't and won't. Similarly, POSIX and other *N*X OS features depend on kernel abstractions and features that the Windows Kernel doesn't and won't provide.

      This is why, for example, Microsoft's Interix POSIX subsystem (which ran atop the NT kernel) was never quite POSIX - it differed just enough to reduce runtime stability and perf to a point where it couldn't be trusted to run mission-critical apps. This wasn't because Interix was somehow "flawed" (it was, in fact, a pretty awesome system) - it was merely the fact that the NT kernel is significantly different from the *N*X kernel and many *N*X apps depending on specific kernel behaviors.

      Porting Windows to run atop a *N*X kernel would be a colossal undertaking that would offer little benefit to customers and cost Microsoft a HUGE amount without any return.
      bitcrazed
  • Microsoft/Opensource

    I hope that no one here misses the point of this announcenent. Having admired techrepublic posters for years now I'm sure no one is really missing it. It really marks a milestone in computing culture. For the first time, publicly. Microsoft has come out, flat-footed, finally, admitting that OPENSOURCE is a force to be reckoned with. Given that, we know that any corporation which has braved the outrage of a people who saw them for the corporate wolves that they were can surely see daylight when it comes. I've written here already about how, savvy MS, knows how to read the writing on the wall regardless of their commercial machinations. I use microsoft products extensively, having soured on Apples tranformation. I can't hold them up. Microsoft is still a wolf. Yet, even the lucan can smell winter coming. It could have been the winter of MS discontent. And then there came their OPENSOURCE initiative corp. Make no mistake; If Microsoft gets this write they can surely continue near their present level of relivence at least. At best, they maybe stumbling into the vanguard of a movement that has yet to reach critical mass of acceptance. OPENSOURCE yes, I'm talking about, but beyond that, the Resource Based Economy which could sweep away all hindrences of commercial greed and insensitivity. Peace to All.
    toodevastate