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Linux-Microsoft Lovefest at LinuxWorld Expo

For open source backers who love to bash Microsoft (and other proprietary software companies), this LinuxWorld was not for you.At the conference in San Francisco, key industry figures emphasized the need for respect and cooperation between open source companies and Microsoft because of the reality that customers will be using a mix of open source and closed source software in their organizations.
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor on

For open source backers who love to bash Microsoft (and other proprietary software companies), this LinuxWorld was not for you.

At the conference in San Francisco, key industry figures emphasized the need for respect and cooperation between open source companies and Microsoft because of the reality that customers will be using a mix of open source and closed source software in their organizations.

Jim Zemlin, director of the Linux Foundation, said the platform industry has evolved into a  “duopoly” led by Windows and Linux and urged attendees to learn from Microsoft’s success rather than focus on its failures.

“We should respect Microsoft,” Zemlin said, citing Microsoft’s marketing prowess and ability to build a massive ISV community as well as generally accepted industry standards.  He also pointed out that the Redmond, Wash. Software company is aggressive in business but said it should not be demonized. “It’s not that big of a deal. It’s in the interest of [Microsoft] to slow the growth of competitors.”

Meanwhile, during his keynote Thursday morning, Mendel Rosenblum, founder and chief scientist at VMware, said the Palo Alto virtualization giant has a special relationship with Linux because many in the open source community participated in early beta versions of ESX and helped improve the code.

He acknowledged that Xen and KVM will be open source virtualization competitors, but delivered a warm and cozy message to attendees at LinuxWorld 2007. “VMware feels at home in the Linux community,” said Rosenblum. “People say [we are] another operating system competing with Linux and the answer is not really because we don’t support applications directly and Linux is a great one to fill that position."

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