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Microsoft Software Linux

Microsoft and Novell Open Interoperability Lab 113

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-in-the-skeptic-camp dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention that the Microsoft and Novell Interoperability Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts opened today. The lab is supposed to allow both Novell and Microsoft developers to work together for better interoperability between SUSE and Windows Server. "Located in Cambridge, the 2,500-square-foot lab and workspace will be home to a combined team of the best and brightest Microsoft and Novell engineers focused on making Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise work better together. The first priority for the lab team will be to ensure interoperability between Microsoft and Novell virtualization technologies. Additional work will include standards-based systems management, identity federation and compatibility of office document formats."
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Microsoft and Novell Open Interoperability Lab

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  • itsatrap? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @12:10PM (#20575343)
    I predict that this will get tagged as "itsatrap"--Microsoft has a history of joining efforts only to undermine them later. (E.g. "embrace, extend, extinguish")

    Having said that, Microsoft, like many gigantic corporations, has several "personalities" in the sense that different divisions may be operating on different guiding principles that don't necessarily mesh with each other. In this case, for instance, I'm willing to believe that the MS engineers joining this interoperability effort will genuinely do good work towards making MS products work with Linux in a smart and efficient way. So, I can see a lot of good coming out of this.

    Yes, we should be wary of any attempt by MS higher-ups to subvert this process and use it to break interoperability (or to make Linux look "unfit for business" or whatever)... but to some extent I'm willing to give MS another chance here.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @12:27PM (#20575637) Journal
    Microsoft has been trying to create a secure OS for over a decade. They have also been trying to dominate the desktop market at every opportunity. They have not done either very well. It arguable that they dominate, but that was not done in a lab, it was done in a marketing team meeting room.
  • Re:Mhmm! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @12:40PM (#20575859) Homepage
    Actually yes. You forget another mantra "I love standards, so many to chose from".

    I suspect that they have learned the lesson from SOAP that having an interoperable standard does not necessarily decrease business. It increases it if the standard complexity is above a certain threshold.

    So some of them have seen the light of more revenue on the horizon already. It is a matter of the rest of the company following suit.
  • Re:itsatrap? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @12:41PM (#20575873)
    You failed to mention the money dangled over the trap.

    This lab is the result of the Microsoft-Novell FUD agreement.

    And at 2500 square feet, I.E., a 50x50 foot room,
    the techs don't have a lot of room to interoperate.

    It's a farce to appease the EU.
  • Re:itsatrap? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @12:46PM (#20575991) Homepage Journal

    I'm willing to believe that the MS engineers joining this interoperability effort will genuinely do good work towards making MS products work with Linux in a smart and efficient way. So, I can see a lot of good coming out of this.
    Um, no. They will do work towards making Linux work with MS products. Whether this work will be good or not remains to be seen, but their track record does not speak well for them. No doubt much of this work will be closed-source proprietary software designed to run on Linux. And I have no doubts that one of their first jobs will be porting WGA to Linux.

  • Re:Hmmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hitmanWilly1337 (1034664) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @12:50PM (#20576087)
    Ok, samba is a bad example since it's whole purpose for existence is TO network with windows machines, as most other operating systems support unix style networking. And as far as my os of choice, you really mean to tell me that ms doesn't try to force people on to windows? If that's the case, what cave have you been living in for the past decade? Maybe if ms really wants to promote interoperability, they should start adopting some open standards in windows instead of trying to force the community to hack around their ridiculously insecure, and just plain lousy, setup.
  • Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:41PM (#20576935) Homepage Journal
    ``The first priority for the lab team will be to ensure interoperability between Microsoft and Novell virtualization technologies.''

    That is definitely not the place I would start. First of all, I hardly think interoperability in virtualization is the most important, and secondly, as far as I know, we already _have_ interoperable virtualization.

    Instead of virtualization, I would start with file formats and move to protocols from there.

    Of course, neither of these would be issues if there were standards and both parties adhered to them.
  • Re:Write it down. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frumious Wombat (845680) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:47PM (#20577035)
    Unix underpinnings + Windows GUI + .Net, etc would not be a commodity, and they would be following the Apple route. They could build on top of OpenBSD, and return to cross-processor compatibility fairly easily. However, there's no need to. They have the VMS underpinnings from NT, and what they need to do is return to the earlier implementation, force backwards compatibility with 95/98, etc, into Virtual machines, and otherwise undo insecure solutions designed to work around programs that expect the end user to be the superuser. Release it as Vista-enhanced, and there you go. If they fixed MS-Kerberos, adhered to a standard or two in the process, and adopted techniques such as NSF4 or proper queueing in the process, so much the better.

    Maybe they can straighten out Novell on Wordperfect + Non-Power-User installations. There really is not a lot wrong with modern Windows, other than too many marketers making technical decisions, visual clutter in the GUI, and problems brought on by maintaining compatibility with the single-user consumer Windows such as 98. Sandbox those, and a lot of issues would go away, while maintaining compatibility (or perhaps improving it) for people who still have programs for 98 or Dos 6.22.

    That being said, I'm still not going back to the OS of the Beast, but I would tone down the anti-Redmond rhetoric.
  • Re:itsatrap? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @02:01PM (#20577239)

    Yes, we should be wary of any attempt by MS higher-ups to subvert this process and use it to break interoperability (or to make Linux look "unfit for business" or whatever)... but to some extent I'm willing to give MS another chance here.
    I am also hopeful. But I am also highly skeptical. Such an outcome is very possible but would go against a long standing history. At this point, it would take some extraordinary steps on Microsoft's part to demonstrate that there is no trap. I believe it is entirely possible for them to do it. After all, IBM of all entities has made such leaps. A key to their credibility is the license and projects they work with.

    Microsoft has learned a lot about business from IBM in the past. Let's see if they can follow those footsteps going forward. I hope they do.
  • Re:Peer or puppet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by projectmalamute (1146867) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @02:05PM (#20577297)
    I would assume the changes will mostly be on the Suse side. All of the information MS needed to interoperate with Linux has been openly available for years, if MS wanted to play nicely with Linux they already would.
  • Dead or Alive (Score:2, Insightful)

    by decriptor (762523) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @02:24PM (#20577603) Homepage
    The advantage to a lot of this is that its open source. If Novell was to be killed off as a result, we still have the code to go through choosing the pieces we want.

    So if some is tainted, then through it away. People act like they don't care, but seem to. I guess in a way, who cares if Novell dies, we have their code, right? But at the same time, who is going to pick up all of the coding that will stop if they disappear?

    Although, I am one of those that hopes, ad mist the flaws/bad choices, that they continue to produce some good things. XEN for example.
  • Re:itsatrap? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @03:03PM (#20578253)
    The ISO should be the only interoperability lab needed, at least if everyone plays it fair. This is just Microsoft and Novell admintting they'd rather fragmentate the market further by sharing trade secret behinds closed doors rather than advocating open standards.

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