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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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  • Great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dwiget001 (1073738) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:43AM (#19438319)
    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.
  • ODF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <> on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:48AM (#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.
  • Connections (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gryle (933382) on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:51AM (#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
  • Re:hehe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dan Ost (415913) on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:09PM (#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.
  • Re:Once again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) <> on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:10PM (#19438833) Homepage Journal
    It would be good news.

    If we lived in that universe where "Director of Linux Interoperability" actually meant what you think it means. Unfortunately, out in the REAL WORLD, that title actually means "Director of increasing the perception of interoperability with Linux system while actually making them less compatible."

    So yeah, keep living in your dream world.

  • Re:ODF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@sl[ ] ... m ['ash' in gap]> on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:18PM (#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:Once again (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:19PM (#19439017)
    cash being injected is NOT a problem. Trying to kill Linux or trying to make it subservient is. If you think that is an attempt to provide interoperability and not part of the EEE plan, well, then you do not know your history.
    In addition, on your next post, please spend at least 1/2 of the time talking about the subject rather than about your mod points. For all of that whining, you should be modded down.
  • by mangu (126918) on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:22PM (#19439101)
    I still think MS will have a linux variant by 2015.

    I'd say much sooner than that. These days Microsoft's cash cow is Office, not Windows. As GWB is having some trouble in maintaining his Google bomb [], Microsoft will soon realize that MS-Office in Linux is a better business model for them than OpenOffice in Linux.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by walt-sjc (145127) on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:23PM (#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.

  • Smoke and mirrors (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fishfinger (685260) on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:33PM (#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.

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

    by dr00g911 (531736) on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:48PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:52PM (#19439669)
    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 huckamania (533052) on Friday June 08, 2007 @12:58PM (#19439783) Journal
    Fortunately, it's not a zero-sum game. I think MS understands this, probably better then the average slashdotter.
  • Re:re (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn@earthlink . n et> on Friday June 08, 2007 @02:02PM (#19440959)
    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 to show up. The partial exceptions are the coders who are excellent and original coders and also good project leaders. There aren't that many of them, so they're harder to replace. Some times no replacement shows up in time, and the project folds. It may be restarted, and it may not.

  • Quick Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seraphim_72 (622457) on Friday June 08, 2007 @02:25PM (#19441443)
    Tom, if you happen to read Slashdot, just how many of Novell's 30 pieces of silver do you get?

  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by G Morgan (979144) on Friday June 08, 2007 @02:47PM (#19441883)
    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.
  • 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 we really need to help Linux along is better Windows interop for Linux. This means Samba 4 (with AD DC support), ideally a DCE/RPC implementation that is network compatable with DCOM, better support of Word Documents in Abiword and OOo, and the like. In short, Linux needs to be able to interop with Windows on every level, while forcing Microsoft to play catch-up in this game.
  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by walt-sjc (145127) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @06:17AM (#19449411)
    It's not "what Linux is doing right", it's "what can we add to Windows to make Linux unnecessary?" It's all about market share, and doing whatever it takes to make your product more attractive. Personally, I find Windows as attractive as an oil refinery, but when you are dealing with a corporate CIO mentality that everything must be single platform, it will become harder to get Linux / Solaris / BSD in the door when Windows can do what those OS's can do.

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.