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Microsoft Linux

Microsoft Hires Director of Linux Interoperability 238

Posted by kdawson
from the over-to-the-dark-side dept.
AlexGr sends us to Todd Bishop's blog in the Seattle PI for news that Microsoft has brought someone aboard to serve as its Director of Linux Interoperability and head up the Microsoft/Novell Interoperability Lab. "...his name will be familiar to people in the open-source community. In an e-mail late Thursday night, a Microsoft representative said the role will be filled by Tom Hanrahan, who was most recently the director of engineering at the Linux Foundation, the group created through the recent combination of the Free Standards Group and the Open Source Development Labs."
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Microsoft Hires Director of Linux Interoperability

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  • no... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:39AM (#19438241)
    Judas ! Go to the creationist museum where you belong.
    • Reminds me of "We're from the government and we're here to help." To which the reply goes, "You're confusing me, which is it? You're from the government, or you're here to help?"

      Microsoft having someone with the title of "Director of Linux Interoperability" is one of those euphemisms. He's not going to improve interoperability, but he'll be addressing interoperability. Much of the interoperability between Microsoft operating systems and Linux have happened despite Microsoft, not with Microsoft's help. Th
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Alioth (221270)
        With the FAA, it was: "Hi, we're from the FAA and we're not happy 'till you're not happy!"

        Pretty much the same with Microsoft.
      • Exactly.

        "Microsoft Hires Director of Linux Interoperability"

        translates as

        "Fox wants to interoperate with henhouse". All in the name of efficiency, of course. For the fox.

        In my opinion, there is a lot of misunderstanding about Microsoft. People get confused, and think Microsoft is a software company that is abusive. But maybe a better explanation is that Microsoft is an abuse company that uses software as its vehicle to deliver abuse.

        REAL managers can make a profit without being adversarial.
    • This is like Microsoft Works(tm), isn't it?
  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:40AM (#19438255)
    NOW things will finally start getting better between MS and Linux!
    • Re:Finally (Score:4, Funny)

      by hahiss (696716) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:08AM (#19438795) Homepage
      Great---*now* I will be able to get MS Office and Windows Media Player! And we can replace the standard *nix shells with cmd.exe.

      I hope they will release .deb files for 'em. . . .
    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

      by walt-sjc (145127) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:23AM (#19439111)
      Seriously, what this means is that MS will become more compatible with Linux, not making Linux more compatible with MS products from an interoperability standpoint.

      For example: better NFS client / serving from Windows server, Office being able to read (not write) ODF, running Linux applications on Windows, stuff like that. Things that help people migrate OFF Linux. There may be a side effect that some things in Linux will work better with MS, but that is a side effect and not intended behavior.

      If MS was serious about working with Linux in a positive way, they would be releasing proper documentation on their file formats and network protocols with no strings attached (such as massive license fees.) Unless forced to do so (by the EU) this will NEVER happen.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ThumpSlice (812760)

        Seriously, what this means is that MS will become more compatible with Linux, not making Linux more compatible with MS products from an interoperability standpoint.

        Why change MS software to increase compatibility with Linux when they can just change Linux? Watch for a corresponding increase in commits from "new" sources.

        This will be just like Microsoft's extinguishing of Novell in the 1990's, except this time Microsoft can change their competitor's code directly.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by G Morgan (979144)
          Because any old random person can make commits to repositories. Why have they bothered competing? All they had to do was use the admin privileges in subversion that are open to all and wipe the code off the face of the Earth.
      • by HalAtWork (926717)
        Unless the only way they plan on making them interoperable is where MS has a Server and Client component, and Linux only has a Client. MS will look better on the server, Linux will look like it has low-functionality in MS/Linux environments, so anyone who has a mix will just "standardize" on MS. They could easily "extend" the MS server version so the OSS server protocol implementations are "lacking" and Linux appears only useful as a client, but lacks other MS software to integrate with it.
      • You have to understand what "interop" means.

        The idea is a simple one. You want to lock people into your own platform while providing a migration path away from the other platforms. In short you want your customers to see all other platforms as legacy systems.

        This is the entire process behind SUA, Identity Services for UNIX, and the like.

        It is also the idea behind Samba, WINE, Mono, etc.

        Thus, from a Linux perspective, while it would make my life easier to have more UNIX/Linux interop from Microsoft, what w
      • Maybe it means that Windows will get EXT2/EXT3 file system support in order to read Linux partitions. Maybe it means that Linux will get a Microsoft approved NTFS file system support for Linux so it can finally write to NTFS partitions. Maybe it means that Microsoft can take the core of Linux and make it available as a virtual machine under Windows to run Linux programs under Windows. Maybe it means that Novell can write their own version of WINE for SuSE using Microsoft technology to make it run more Windo
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Zonk (troll) (1026140)

          Maybe it means that Windows will get EXT2/EXT3 file system support in order to read Linux partitions.

          That support is already there [fs-driver.org]. Though it would be better if it was in Windows by default.

          Maybe it means that Linux will get a Microsoft approved NTFS file system support for Linux so it can finally write to NTFS partitions.

          That also is possible [ntfs-3g.org], and it works quite well.

    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Funny)

      by ciroknight (601098) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:36AM (#19439375)
      In other news, we got our hands on an early version of this press release:
      HELL, Earth. June 8th, 2007. (NASDAQ: HELQ) Hell has Frozen Over.

      In a shocking event, Hell has taken on an icy interior today. Says one demon, "It's actually quite nice, what with the flying bacon and all." Operators of the Infernal Furnace spoke to us briefly: "All the sudden our computers froze", "We were installing a Microsoft Service Pack and all the sudden a penguin came on the screen and the whole environment changed." Hell has scheduled a press conference to happen later this week where we will receive an update on this situation.

      Representatives at Microsoft were not available for comment.

      Contacts:
      Lucifer,
      666-666-1234
      lucifer@inhell.com

      Steve Ballmer,
      666-666-1233
      therealdevil@inhell.com
  • Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

    by nametaken (610866) on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:40AM (#19438271)
    Can you imagine how bad that guy gets razzed by his coworkers?!
    • by cyberianpan (975767) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:01AM (#19438677)
      And Brad Smith, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Microsoft, is rumoured to have gotten quite concerned about this development. After reading case law on "duty of care" that an employer ought extend to employees he has arranged for Tom Hanrahan to immediately go on advanced "object avoidance course" which will be taught by crack martial arts instructors. Microsoft is refusing to confirm rumours that Hanrahan is currently in a Seattle gymn with 10 instructors & a number of pieces of "office furniture".
  • his name will be familiar to people in the open-source community. In an e-mail late Thursday night, a Microsoft representative said the role will be filled by Tom Hanrahan,


    Are you sure you don't mean... SATAN!???
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:42AM (#19438293)
    ...back in those days, it amounted to little more than a means to migrate from Netware to an NT domain. The Unix compatibility stuff that exists now amounts to about the same. I wonder what Microsoft has in mind with all this? It would be weird if it was more than "one way" compatibility.
  • Great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dwiget001 (1073738)
    Yet another Linux person that will work at MSFT for a short bit, then get the heck outta Redmond once he sees how screwed up things really are from the inside.
  • hehe (Score:3, Funny)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:43AM (#19438341) Homepage Journal

    here's an InternetNews.com interview with him from December 2004.
    Couldn't get a quote huh? Gee, I wonder why. I bet if you did get a quote out of him it would be all about his best intentions and how he's going to change things at Microsoft, etc. Give him 6 months, the optimism and naivety will fade away and he'll say repeating the company line.

    Evil is insidious.
    • Re:hehe (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dan Ost (415913) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:09AM (#19438803)
      How about we wait until we've actually heard from him before we jump to conclusions. It's always possible that he'll either be marginally effective or that he'll bail out once he decides he can't accomplish anything useful.

      No need to assume he'll become evil.

      Not yet, anyway.
      • It's always possible that he'll either be marginally effective or...

        Dan, we're talking about Microsoft. "Anything is possible", but if history can predict future trends, Hanrahan will tow the company line.

        ...that he'll bail out once he decides he can't accomplish anything useful.

        Depends on what he feels is useful. A fat Microsoft paycheck will certainly be very useful to him. Perhaps he thinks it's time for him to feather the nest and live the easy life?

      • by Dunkirk (238653)
        Why not six months? IIRC, that's about how long Daniel Robbins (of Gentoo fame) lasted at Microsoft.
        • by Dan Ost (415913)
          That seems like a reasonable milestone for reserving judgement. If we haven't heard anything at all by then, it'll probably be a safe assumption that nothing good will come of it.
  • Itsatrap (Score:2, Funny)

    by pembo13 (770295)
    You never hear stories of angels going down to hell to spruce things up, do you?
  • re (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:47AM (#19438423)
    Bill: Tom, I am your father.
    Tom: Really?
    Bill: No, but I hve tons of money for you!
    Tom: Dark side it is!
    • by Shotgun (30919)
      Funny thing is, "It doesn't matter!!"

      So, they take RandomDeveloper in for a few years, due to his excellent work on FooProject, and pay him lots of money. A few years later, he gets tired of riding on his laurels and bails from the company. He's richer. Someone else has taken his place has taken his place as Head of Foo, or the project has branched off into FooBar. The source is still there, having been improved upon in the interim. He might have improved his skills and actually have more to offer, and
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HiThere (15173)
        Well....actually, he can't rejoin the project, or anything similar to anything that he worked on while at MS. It would be too dangerous to accept his contributions. I suppose that he could do documentation...but I don't think it would even be safe to accept his comments on possible improvements to the user interface.

        Still, outside of that you're correct. The star system tends to highlight one particular individual out of a large number of nearly equal merit. If the star leaves, an understudy is likely t
  • Typo. (Score:5, Funny)

    by guffe (771664) on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:48AM (#19438431) Homepage
    I believe the title should be: Microsoft Hires Director of Linux Inoperability Slashdot should read through their posts more carefully in the future, so that typos like this doesn't happen.
  • ODF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:48AM (#19438439) Journal
    That is what Microsoft would do if they were serious about interoperability with anyone. They'd support ODF -- natively, not through some third-party open source plugin. They'd drop OpenXML. And they'd stop lobbying governments who want to stardardize on a real document format.

    Or, hell, send some developers over to the Wine project.

    Since none of this is happening, I can only assume that this "Linux interoperability" guy is either a complete hypocrite, or is going to have no real power within the company.
    • Re:ODF (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bert64 (520050) <bert@s[ ]hdot.fi ... m ['las' in gap]> on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:18AM (#19438997) Homepage
      They want windows desktops and servers to interoperate with linux servers...
      Why? because linux has a significant server marketshare, and they are FORCED to interoperate with it or face losing marketshare themselves.
      Linux however has very little desktop market share, so it's more profitable for microsoft to ignore it and thus make it harder for people to migrate to linux.

      Ever noticed how a lot of the interoperability between windows and other os's centers around those os's implementing proprietary protocols from windows, rather than windows implementing standards from other os's. There have been a few other cases where microsoft have been forced to implement standards to interoperate (tcp/ip, image formats etc) but they have always preferred to force their own proprietary implementations on people if they will stick (netbeui, bmp etc).
    • Re:ODF (Score:4, Funny)

      by hxnwix (652290) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:38AM (#19439417) Journal

      They'd support ODF -- natively, not through some third-party open source plugin. They'd drop OpenXML.
      How much more open could the be? OpenXML is an open standard! Look, in order to parse an OpenXML document, you simply open Microsoft word and ...
  • He doesn't have to anything at all
  • Connections (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gryle (933382) on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:51AM (#19438491)
    I have no idea why, but for some reason "Director of Linux Interoperability" brings to mind the US Drug Czar and the War on Drugs
  • by democrates (1055572) on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:57AM (#19438591)
    Cut the guy some slack, they're probably holding his family hostage. Seriously though, MS issue recruitment staff with MIB memory blanker gizmos. You meet, POOF!, and then believe them when they say "We are your friends! Ak. Akak Ak Ak!"
  • by pjviitas (1066558) on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:57AM (#19438603)
    ...Vista is just another Linux distribution. Buying Novell was the first step in establishing IP claims on Linux. The suits have already arrived to take away Linux...we just don't know it yet. This of course won't stop those of us who really know how Linux came about...but when Microsoft is done they will have the masses believing they invented it. Just my 2 cents. Hedghog
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BosstonesOwn (794949)
      You know maybe finally by some stroke of genious , MS realized the real money is not in selling the OS but the apps that lay on top of the OS.

      Linux for years now has become a server competitor , unix was the main server os for awhile , and small servers are dominated by windows. Maybe they finally got the hint that their os is insecure by nature.

      I would love to see a windows rewrite from the ground up. Completely based on security and some of the fundamentals that make windows so easy to use. It is possible
  • by Black-Man (198831) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:00AM (#19438645)
    As director of Linux sue-ability?
    • by phrostie (121428)
      oh come on!
      that was funny.

      where are my mod points when i need them.
      *looks around for missing points*
  • by Locutus (9039) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:18AM (#19439003)
    Didn't Microsoft and Sun sign a deal to "interoperate" a few years ago? Where has THAT gone?

    BTW, Microsoft does not want to interoperate with Linux and OSS. They want it gone, so any "talk" about deals and smoke-mirror agreements will only flounder, stall, and drag on forever. Anybody who believe otherwise is just fooling themselves.

    LoB
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by huckamania (533052)
      Fortunately, it's not a zero-sum game. I think MS understands this, probably better then the average slashdotter.
      • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

        Fortunately, it's not a zero-sum game. I think MS understands this, probably better then the average slashdotter.

        I wouldn't be so sure. Look at history... look at what's going on now... and then see who believes in zero-sum gamesmanship. I'm not sure what you consider an average Slashdotter but it seems to me that when Microsoft is accused of being "evil" it is about their strategy of forcing a zero-sum game - of engineered incompatibilities and product lock-in (with the exception of their recent legal

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Locutus (9039)
        the aspect of the "zero sum game" where only one winner can exist is exactly how Microsoft plays the game. There's where the similarities to Microsoft's 'game' and the "zero sum game" end. They don't play the none-zero-sum game either since they've shown that their partnerships ends with Microsoft taking the partners business, ie, only one winner.

        There is just so much history of this that anybody who would even consider a partnership with Microsoft must be playing out their exit strategies for their busines
  • by mattgreen (701203) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:19AM (#19439035)
    I can't wait to read all sorts of interesting theories on how this will really work from people who have never been inside Microsoft, yet feel the need to 'enlighten' us with their ignorance. In order to help us positively identify people most participating in groupthink, please use one or more of the following memes so we can divvy out moderation points faster:

    * Ballmer throwing chairs
    * Embrace, extend, extinguish
    * Clippy hate
    * Funny BSOD jokes

    In the meantime, I'm curious who took the job, because people will hate them for no reason now. Ah zealotry, without thee, what would I do on this site?
    • by oGMo (379)

      I can't wait to read all sorts of interesting theories on how this will really work from people who have never been inside Microsoft, yet feel the need to 'enlighten' us with their ignorance.

      We needn't work at Microsoft, just look at history:

      • Microsoft vs CP/M
      • Microsoft vs DR-DOS
      • Microsoft vs Lotus
      • Microsoft vs Stac
      • Microsoft vs Netscape
      • Microsoft vs DOJ

      The list goes on. SCO? EU? IE and Media player bundling? As there is no evidence of change in attitude, it doesn't take much to be skeptical.

  • I'm really disappointed in the lack of "itsatrap" comments and tags...slackers
  • by CodeShark (17400) <ellsworthpc@yaGI ... minus herbivore> on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:28AM (#19439211) Homepage
    Would some of those who seem to have a brain built for more than just Pro Linux or pro Linux or anti- whatever rants PLEASE comment on whether they think this will be a good thing or a bad thing and why? because I don't know a thing about this person.
    • "Would some of those .. PLEASE comment on whether they think this will be a good thing or a bad thing"

      It'll be good for MS and bad for the Linux Foundation. It's like when the Nuclear industry used to hire on as consultants top people in the anti-nuclear lobby. The opposition is diluted and you get a potential vocal critic silenced.

      Re:Forgive my ignorance but...
    • I know nothing about this person either but I think this'll be like Daniel Robbins working for Microsoft--his job title was nominally "to help Microsoft understand Linux and the open source community" or something like that. We have no idea what Robbins actually did while there but this guy will probably end up doing something similar.
  • Smoke and mirrors (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fishfinger (685260) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:33AM (#19439315)
    If Microsoft were serious about interoperability, the solution is simple, just release (patent free) documentation for file formats and protocols.

    Anything else is just smoke and mirrors.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ash-Fox (726320)

      If Microsoft were serious about interoperability, the solution is simple, just release (patent free) documentation for file formats and protocols.

      I don't really get how releasing information like "The .doc format is a basically a memory dump of certain parts of Microsoft Word" would be useful...

      The problem is, we understand the file formats, they're just small pieces of memory dumps of what Microsoft Word uses internally. In order to implement them correctly you would need to emulate the DESIGN of what Micr

    • by ratboy666 (104074)
      It's not that simple.

      If Microsoft releases the information, it would require incorporation into MANY operating systems (Linux, Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, and more).

      These operating systems *interoperate* with a number of standards.

      What would be MUCH MORE useful would be if Microsoft actually implemented those standards. As a start:

      - use NIS (NIS+) for signon, hosts, services, etc.

      - support NFS

      - support SUN automounts

      - support LPD (CUPS)

      This would allow Microsoft based workstations to "just work" when put into netw
      • by otomo_1001 (22925)
        use NIS (NIS+) for signon, hosts, services, etc.

        Not even unix admins want NIS or even worse NIS+ aka: The Phantom Menace of network login infrastructure. MS not including this is a good thing! Hell even Sun provides migration tools off of NIS.

        If anyone is wondering why NIS sucks, be happy and move on. Don't worry about it. Keep your sanity.

        • by ratboy666 (104074)
          NIS (NIS+) support is crucial for automount. We are talking about heterogenous networks.

          And, if needed for automount, it *should* be supported for login.

          Now, other options may be supported as well for login, but NIS should be there.

          Why does NIS suck? It is simply a service that provides key/value lists from replicated servers. And, in Linux, the options for nsswitch naming services are: NIS, NIS+, or HESIOD.

  • Pesky tags... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dr00g911 (531736) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:48AM (#19439605)
    I know that yes/no/maybe/haha weren't entirely useful as tags except for a quick laugh (not debating the inherent usefulness of tags at all, which I feel debatable).

    itsatrap would be completely apropos here.

    Just sayin'... the tagging system currently may as well be a checkbox list of categories. Not exactly user generated.
    • by MrNemesis (587188)
      Not only that but in this case the tags get -1, Redundant.

      Tags as of now: linux, microsoft
      Keywords in the article headline: linux, microsoft, interoperability

      Not they've been effectively neutered, the tags not only fail to give any contextual/interprative information (such as itsatrap) but actually provide less factual information than the headline. If the current system is going to stay, it should be renamed "categories" rather than tags. Oh wait, doesn't /. already have a categories thingy?

      Yeah, yeah, -1
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's like advertising: by generating news related to both Microsoft and Linux nearly every day they want people to make an automatic association between the two names; since Microsoft didn't succeed in destroying Linux, they're trying to get the role of Linux's most important authority in the world, taking away public attention from true Linux distributors.

    I'm pretty sure this is one of their main goals; don't know if it's the first or a secondary one though.
    • by mormop (415983)
      Whilst at the same time taking control of interoperability to pre-empt the EU from forcing them to open up protocols and APIs involuntarily at which point they wouldn't have their hands on the wheel and would have no control.
  • Hanrahan's first task will be to come up with a catchy slogan to summarize Microsoft's position on Linux...
  • Quick Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seraphim_72 (622457) on Friday June 08, 2007 @01:25PM (#19441443)
    Tom, if you happen to read Slashdot, just how many of Novell's 30 pieces of silver do you get?

    Sera
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tough Love (215404)

      Tom, if you happen to read Slashdot, just how many of Novell's 30 pieces of silver do you get?
      Actually, I'm not unhappy Microsoft got Tom, he was a largely ineffectual paper pusher at OSDL, with little community contact, empathy. I don't doubt that Microsoft's real agenda is to find new ways to inhibit Linux interoperability, and Tom is just the man to fail at that.
  • "Hanrahan! What are you doing?"

    "Nothin!"

    "Well, keep it up, you're doing a great job."

  • In other news:
    * War is Peace
    * Freedom is Slavery
    * Ignorance is Strength
  • Funny, I was expecting them to hire ex-FEMA director Michael Brown for this position.

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