Ubuntu Linux boss recommends Microsoft's cloud

Ubuntu Linux boss recommends Microsoft's cloud

Summary: Microsoft announced support for Linux in its Azure cloud service on Wednesday, and received some praise for its effort. Ubuntu's multimillionaire funder, Mark Shuttleworth, has described the service as "impressive", adding: "I highly recommend you try it.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Microsoft announced support for Linux in its Azure cloud service on Wednesday, and received some praise for its effort. Ubuntu's multimillionaire funder, Mark Shuttleworth, has described the service as "impressive", adding: "I highly recommend you try it."

In a blog post, Ubuntu on Microsoft’s Windows Azure IAAS, Shuttleworth writes:

"The team leading Azure has a sophisticated understanding of Ubuntu and Linux in general. They are taking a pragmatic approach that will raise eye- brows around the Redmond campus, but is exactly what customers want to see. We have taken a similar view. I know there will be members of the free software community that will leap at the chance to berate Microsoft for its very existence, but it’s not very Ubuntu to do so: let’s argue our perspective, work towards our goals, be open to those who are open to us, and build great stuff. There is nothing proprietary in Ubuntu-for-Azure, and no about-turn from us on long-held values."

The statement that "it's not very Ubuntu" to berate Microsoft refers to the Ubuntu Code of Conduct, which asks users to be considerate, respectful and display "humanity towards others". It's a code that the troll-ridden free software and open source movements ignore when it comes to Microsoft.

In fact, Microsoft hosting Linux on its Azure cloud isn't really any different from IBM hosting Linux on its proprietary mainframe operating systems and proprietary mainframe hardware. However, one difference is that IBM prefers to sell its own version of Unix, AIX, whereas Microsoft spun off its popular Unix, called Xenix, decades ago.

When announcing A New Milestone For Openness On Windows Azure at its Port 25 website, Microsoft noted that "Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. has been working closely with the Windows Azure team … exploring openness and taking interoperability to a new level."

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc, headed by Jean Paoli, was launched in April "to advance the company’s investment in openness – including interoperability, open standards and open source."

Microsoft also announced Windows Azure Web Sites, which it described as "a hosting framework for Web apps that will work across both Windows Azure and private-cloud datacenters," plus "new releases of the Windows Azure open source SDKs," which now include .NET, Java, Python, PHP and Node.js.

Microsoft claims it is now easy to deploy sites based on "WordPress or Drupal, Joomla or Umbraco, DotNetNuke or PHPBB" on Windows Azure.

As well as Ubuntu 12.04 as a virtual machine, Microsoft is also supporting OpenSUSE 12.1, CentOS 6.2, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.


Topic: Tech Industry

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I always had a feeling that Shuttleworth was a M$ plant and this PROVES IT!
    Just look at what's happened:
    Ubuntu comes from nowhere to become the most popular Linux distro.
    Millions of Linux users come to rely on it.
    Then, Unity comes along and divides a whole community. Shuttleworth responds with a 'adapt or get lost' attitude (which perfectly parallels M$ attitude to VB devs over .net).
    And now this.
    Divide and conquer? It looks like it.
    Ubuntu was the BEST thing to happen to M$ because THEY ARE BEHIND IT!
  • @amgt10

    I was going to write a intelligent reply, but then I noticed you used "M$".

    Everybody's internet previous experience is that there is no point in trying to deal rationally with bigoted conspiracy theorists and irrational trolls.
    Jack Schofield
  • Canonical's been disappearing up its own arse for the last two years.

    Unity isn't actually that bad; at least not now. But Canonical's "my way or the highway" ramming it down users' throats rubbed the community the wrong way. Still, that's nothing compared to the shitstorm that Windows 8's UI is going to cause!
  • @amgt10
    Exactly why i switched to Mint Debian.. aside from how broken Ubuntu has become.. I really hate unity, period. It doesn't work for me and my little mouse and non-interactive non-touch screen display.

    Call me old fashioned :)
  • @ Jack Schofield.

    "I was going to write a intelligent reply, but ........................."

    I would like to see the reply you would have written.
    The Former Moley
  • @Moley

    An intelligent person would notice that Microsoft isn't singling out Ubuntu for support -- that's just one Linux among many -- and that Shuttleworth is telling the truth. The fact that a tiny minority of clueless Linux bigots/Microsoft haterz are going to vomit their ignorant prejudices over the idea doesn't change the commercial reality: it's what customers want.

    Seriously, this anti-Microsoft stupidity has gone way beyond prejudice to the point where it has become, as Linus pointed out, a mental illness. The suggestion that "Shuttleworth was a M$ plant" is so totally insane that not even Fox News would give amgt10 a hearing.

    Posting laughably stupid comments not only makes individual Linux bigots look ridiculous, it damages the credibility the whole movement.
    Jack Schofield
  • Have you considered, Jack, restricting comments to only your friends and immediate family? Then maybe you'd get posts that are more to your liking.

    Just maybe, mind...
  • @BrownieBoy

    They'd at least be rational. Seriously, don't you think cretinous fanboy comments reflect badly on the "causes" these people claim to support? Why do intelligent F/OSS supporters (and yes, I know there are plenty) stand idly by instead of correcting the sort of rubbish that is giving the movement such a bad name?

    That Ubuntu supporters ought to at least try to live up to the Code of Conduct should go without saying. Instead, schoolyard-style insults and bullying are the norm.
    Jack Schofield
  • * "bigoted conspiracy theorists"
    * "irrational trolls"
    * "cretinous fanboy"
    * "clueless Linux bigots"

    So where were we, Jack? Oh yes, you were decrying the use of schoolyard-style insults and bullying....
  • @BrownieBoy

    Not so much insults as factual observations, but while you are ducking the point at issue, how do you think I should refer to "clueless Linux bigots" exactly?
    Jack Schofield
  • Gee, that's a tough ask, Jack. Let's throw it open to the community.

    Can anybody out there help the cantankerous, narrow-minded Microsoft shill? He wants to know how he should refer to "clueless Linux bigots".

    (Not nice, is it?)
  • @BrownieBoy

    Sadly for you, my description of clueless Linux bigots is accurate (and is precisely why Ubuntu has a Code of Conduct), and your presumed description of me is both libellous and untrue.

    Again, you've ducked the question. You appear to be too much of a coward to face the truth.

    Or perhaps you do know the truth for once, but you just can't help being a troll....
    Jack Schofield
  • @Jack

    Wrong end of the stick again, Jack. I used a deliberately offensive description as an example of how posters ought *not* refer to each other and you choose to interpet it literally. I really don't know how I could have spelled it out any clearer for you. Did the "not nice, is it" comment at the end not give it away? Apparently not.

    As for ducking your question about how else you might refer to "clueless linux bigots". I'm flattered that you should ask me how to do your job, but really, I wouldn't know where to start. Not with a person who believes his opinions of others to be objective facts. Such a person cannot be argued with in any real sense.

    As for "coward", "troll" etc. Sticks and stones ...
  • @BrownieBoy

    Understood you perfectly, old chap.

    Otherwise, sorry to hear you don't have any useful advice on dealing with the sort of Linux bigots who, as a matter of fact, call almost every tech journalist a "Microsoft shill", including Linux specialists. There are abusive clown sites like TechRights that specialise in it, and it's often the first resort of the thicker end of Linux idiot fanboyism.

    There was an interesting piece at Linux Insider a while ago, illustrating the scale of the problem:
    Shill-Shocked: The Dark Side of Community Discussion http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/67729.html

    Clearly we're dealing with a sick society here, and I think people like you are failing the community by not fighting against it.
    Jack Schofield
  • Jack is right in that excessively negative and irrational posts and comments are harmful for Linux, not just here but elsewhere too. Linux is a mature system but you don't have to search very far for immature discussions and comments. Industry and commerce must surely be put off considering open source when they observe all this.

    However, it does always seem that Microsoft's actions are extremely 'unsympathetic' to open source software, and the upstart Linux in particular, and they have over the years acted accordingly. Consequently there is a lack of trust and huge frustration in many parts of the Linux community, leading to strong feelings. It is as much in Microsoft's hands to alleviate this situation.

    However, not all conspiracy theories are without justification. As we have seen over the last few years, the morals of big business don't match the Quaker philosophy or indeed any true faith based philosophy, I exclude fundamentalists.

    In writing this, I do not wish to offend my long standing friends on ZDNet.
    The Former Moley
  • @Moley

    > Industry and commerce must surely be put off considering
    > open source when they observe all this.

    Yes, absolutely agree on that....

    > However, it does always seem that Microsoft's actions are extremely
    > 'unsympathetic' to open source software,

    Obviously Microsoft should be *completely* sympathetic when rabid ideologists slag off its products and attempt to replace them with free (as in beer) alternatives. It's most unfair of Microsoft if it just tries to keep writing and selling products that customers rely on, while employing hundreds of thousands of people, supporting a vast ecosystem of partners, and generating wealth and taxes.... ;-)

    Seriously, what do you expect?

    Microsoft withstood a concerted attempt by IBM to destroy it, so do you think it's going to sit idly by while assailed with a barrage of insults and lies? (See comments above.)

    Would you? Would your company? Would your employees?

    By the way, your assertion isn't true. Microsoft has had its own open source licences for years, it runs an open source CodePlex, it has supported many open source products and languages, launched an open source company, contributed code to the Linux kernel, and is now hosting Linux on Azure (see my story above). Just read http://blogs.technet.com/b/port25/ for many more examples.

    Of course, Microsoft is trying to do what's best for Microsoft in its support for open source, but that's exactly what IBM does, and Sun tried to do, and Oracle should do (but doesn't).

    If you're going to hate all software companies, which Richard Stallman does, that's up to you. Hating Microsoft uniquely -- regardless of the facts, and to the exclusion of other "badly-behaved" firms -- is what makes it particularly nasty. And I don't mean that it's bad for Microsoft, which just laughs it off: it's bad for open source.
    Jack Schofield
  • @Jack

    I give up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The Former Moley
  • Moley :

    "...it does always seem that Microsoft's actions are extremely 'unsympathetic' to open source software, and the upstart Linux in particular, and they have over the years acted accordingly."

    I couldn't agree more. And for those of us that use Microsoft and open source (GNU/Linux) products on a regular and everyday basis in the real world, we see how Microsoft can be harmful to end users, which also seems to carry on without any regret or concern for the users themselves (i.e. Microsoft's complex licensing scheme, software limitations, software patent deals, vendor lock-in, etc.). These are issues that open source is not subject to, so I guess it's probably no surprise that Microsoft doesn't like this.


    What about Microsoft employees who post comments, which are just as nasty? There have also been internal and highly confidential reports and inside emails leaked over the years, indicating that Microsoft is indeed concerned with open source (GNU/Linux).

    I don't see conflict among Microsoft and open source as harmful. Having engagement among the two creates ideas and gets information out there. Good old fashioned competition is a good thing. Both parties are guilty of stealing ideas from the other.

    Sure, Microsoft is a top target of "badly-behaved" firms, because they are one of the largest and most exposed players. Apple, Oracle, and others are big players but aren't directly seen by the common consumer as much as Microsoft is.
  • "If you're going to hate all software companies, which Richard Stallman does, that's up to you."

    Many companies which release proprietary software have become bloated and greedy, and abuse their customers. Richard disagrees with this, and if you read his work, you will find he's very honest with his opinions which are often times right on the money. His presentations are also excellent, by the way.