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Networking Linux

Microsoft Working For Samba Interoperability 221

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this'll-end-well dept.
JP writes "Andrew Bartlett of Samba fame has written a document describing their recent collaboration with Microsoft's Active Directory team. In brief, it would seem that the sky is falling, as Microsoft's engineers seem to be really committed to making Samba fully interoperable with AD. They have organized interoperability fests and have knowledgeable engineers answering technical questions without legal or marketing drones getting in the way. However according to Andrew the Samba AD team is currently very short on manpower, so if you have network experience, now is the time to get coding."
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Microsoft Working For Samba Interoperability

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  • What does this mean? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GuloGulo (959533) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @10:53AM (#25482075)

    "In brief, it would seem that the sky is falling, as Microsoft's engineers seem to be really committed to making Samba fully interoperable with AD"

    The bolded part is a euphemism for "disaster in progress".

    Forgive my naivety, but isn't this a good thing (as much as MS collaboration can be)? Why is this a "sky is falling" situation?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by postbigbang (761081)

      Snowballs are making it through hell, is what I believe was implied. Pigs are flying.

      AD must not be the holy grail anymore, but I'm not complaining. Openness to the FOSS community isn't a Microsoft trait, but as long as they have this deal with Novell/SUSE that's making them a mint, why not try and make it work? After all, they can look inside SAMBA with no obstacles to learn about their own code.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This is not a new thing. They have been working with samba for a couple of years at least.

        http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/search.aspx?q=samba&p=1

        They even try to think about how it will work with OLDER already released versions that are in firmware that will never be updated again.

    • This guy asked a relevant wuestion, albeit mking a minor html mistake in the process, and some jackass mod comes in and carpet bombs him? I want to know the same thing, this seems like a good thing, but submitter makes it out to be something else with his terminology. So, is it a good thing or not? And to whomever modded this guy down, you're a jerk and you owe him an apology.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Slash.Poop (1088395)
      The sky is falling.....

      .....simply descibes the level of cynicism and bias that slashDot and a vast majority of it posters have toward anything Microsoft. They don't believe that Microsoft does or creates anything good. So when Microsoft does do just that, it must mean that the sky is falling.
      • by partenon (749418) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:42AM (#25482743) Homepage

        Right, and they are doing that because they are good, right? I know that nobody RTFA, but here is an excerpt, just for you :-)

        In September 2007 Microsoft lost it's appeal of the 2004 anti-trust
        Decision by the European Commission. As as result, Microsoft was
        required to make protocol documentation available to competitors.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Right, and they are doing that because they are good, right? I know that nobody RTFA, but here is an excerpt, just for you :-)

          In September 2007 Microsoft lost it's appeal of the 2004 anti-trust
          Decision by the European Commission. As as result, Microsoft was
          required to make protocol documentation available to competitors.

          MS has a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, bankers, and every other stakeholder. For them not to defend their IP would open them up to lawsuits from their stakeholders. And for that matter, giving away their IP as others have suggested would also create the same outcome.

          You see, business decisions are not black and white; good or evil; or your typical adolescent binary reasoning that prevails here on Slashdot. If some company that I invested my retirement savings into decided one day to give a

          • by partenon (749418) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:56PM (#25484741) Homepage

            For them not to defend their IP would open them up to lawsuits from their stakeholders. And for that matter, giving away their IP as others have suggested would also create the same outcome.

            The thing is: they are not giving away their IP. Their products are *not* being opened. Only the protocols their products uses needs to be documented. And let me show you another excerpt of TFA, as it seems you didn't read as well:

            The EU mandated a set of minimum terms (now known as the WSPP) that the Samba Team (and others) would be able to access the documentation
            under. By early 2008 the Free Software community gained access to this documentation under NDA, and by May 2008 Microsoft made all their protocol documentation public.

            That means: their trade-secrets are still protected. They are forced to change only their monopolistics acts.

    • by partenon (749418)

      In which perspective? From Microsoft's POV, the "sky is falling", because they now have to provide information to other companies/projects as part of their EU antitrust lawsuits. And this situation (provide competitors with documentation) is tragic to them :-)

  • WTF?! (Score:5, Funny)

    by cosmocain (1060326) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @10:54AM (#25482081)
    There's no car analogy to describe my deranged stare.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not even the Multipla?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)
      Me too. Where is BadAnalogyGuy when you need him?
      • Re:WTF?! (Score:5, Funny)

        by ColdWetDog (752185) * on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:02AM (#25482199) Homepage

        Me too. Where is BadAnalogyGuy when you need him?

        Sitting in his garage, on the floor, slack jawed in wonder.

        His attempt to put the engine from a Caterpillar D9 into his Miata were ... somehow successful.

        (Well, you did ask for a bad analogy, didn't you?)

      • by kesuki (321456)

        ah but there is a good analogy. this is like Ford chugging along making model Ts suddenly realizing that this upstart, General motors is making a move on your core business making cars and you design the model A. but after 20 years you realize that the model A just isn't cutting it, and you hire a real design team and start offering cars in colors other than black, because 'design' of 'models' of cars is 'popular' just as network file transfer interoperability is becoming 'popular' for people who say use a

    • Re:WTF?! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ThePhilips (752041) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:11AM (#25482331) Homepage Journal

      You seem to not read carefully the most important part: "Microsoft's engineers seem to be really committed to making Samba fully interoperable with AD"

      M$ engineers are normal folks like you and me. Well, probably not me. The all cr*p breaks loose when M$ management gets involved and start pushing its political agendas.

      If cooperation between AD and Samba folks would be successful, rest assured some M$ managers would try to stick themselves into the project to get a free share of credit for the success.

      • Re:WTF?! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Toll_Free (1295136) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:17AM (#25482409)

        Due to NDA's, MS Engineers are probably not being helpful without management.

        Whether or not management CONTINUES to allow them to be helpful, remains to be seen.

        You DID bring up a good point, though.

        --Toll_Free

      • by partenon (749418)

        Yes, they are normal folks. But they have to do what their company tells them to do. If your employer forbids you to provide documentation to competitors, would you do that?

        Microsoft is doing that only because they *have* to do that. That's the reason why the Microsoft engineers are allowed to be so nice with Samba team.

    • Re:WTF?! (Score:5, Funny)

      by sorak (246725) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:57AM (#25482969)

      There's no car analogy to describe my deranged stare.

      What if you saw a car humping a camel while Lindsay Lohan mud-wrestled Oprah Winfrey in the back seat? Would that be a good car analogy for this occurance?

      • Ok, you have succesfully forced me into a state of having a deranged stare... Thanks.

        Oh, and your analogy, while quite the analogy, doesn't seem to help in this situation, unfortunately...

        Now to go burn my eyes out with liquid lye, thanks.

  • about time.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Markspark (969445) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @10:54AM (#25482089)
    and this will probably be of some benefit to Microsoft, since playing well with other operating systems must always be an advantage.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Definitely about time. I'd much rather have a viable/free exchange server to remove the last vestiges of Windows Server infestations, but a bulletproof samba certainly helps the cause too.

      A few windows clients, I can live with....

      Cheers,

    • by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid@g m a i l . com> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:02AM (#25482193) Homepage Journal
      since playing well with other operating systems must always be an advantage.

      Heh, I don't know about always. I don't recall having many advantages when networking win2k and win98 machines back in the day.
    • Re:about time.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by internerdj (1319281) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:04AM (#25482233)
      Why not? I don't think a for-profit company is ever going to get far from compete mode. I wouldn't expect Apple or Palm or Redhat for that matter to play well with others if it wasn't an advantage either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bsane (148894)

      Or they'll just wait until their ideas are fully integrated with samba, and then threaten anyone who uses it with patent lawsuits...

      I have a hard time seeing any other outcome.

      • by TomorrowPlusX (571956) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:43AM (#25482763)

        They haven't done this to Mono yet, as far as I know. They're even helping Mono with Moonlight.

        I'm not a Microsoft fan, but you know, it's *possible* they're not as evil as they used to be.

        • Re:about time.. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ryanvm (247662) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:17PM (#25483247)

          Not only have they not tried to sink Mono with patent lawsuits. I can't think of ANYONE they've EVER attacked with patents.

          I'm tired of hearing this lame FUD scenario from the Slashdot crowd every time MS dabbles in open source.

          • Re:about time.. (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:28PM (#25483403)
            Camera/flash memory makers and the FAT32 file system.
            Not saying it's a big deal or even a trend, but it's not "never."
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            No, but they've threatened to. According to MS Linux infringes on upwards of two hundred patents, and MS has claimed to have considered bringing up patent lawsuits against those who use Linux. This way companies will stick with MS rather than risk being sued to death.

            In some ways it's worse to just threaten than actually going ahead with the lawsuit because once they've made it clear where the infringements are they can be dealt with (F/OSS being quite flexible and what not), but with their FUD they can h

          • Re:about time.. (Score:5, Informative)

            by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@NoSPaM.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:09PM (#25484027) Homepage

            They don't attack people with patents outright. They say "Hey, Novell... we've got patents covering shit you're doing. It'd be in your best interests [techdirt.com] to work with us on the terms we specify". Microsoft doesn't need the money from the lawsuits, they aren't looking at it as a revenue stream. They look at it as a pointy stick to get people to do what they want, and license the patents BEFORE the lawsuits happen.

          • Re:about time.. (Score:5, Informative)

            by segedunum (883035) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:16PM (#25484129)

            Not only have they not tried to sink Mono with patent lawsuits. I can't think of ANYONE they've EVER attacked with patents.

            It hasn't stopped Ballmer and others at Microsoft talking about it incessantly, and it hasn't stopped them and won't stop them grabbing patents on fundamental .Net technology and telling everyone they need a patent grant. Most of Microsoft's patents thus far quite cleverly tell you that it applies to anything running within a CLR at the top, which means that they are not the general things everyone tells you they are when this is brought up. The only reason why the ECMA stuff is made available under RAND terms is because the ECMA requires it, but there is no guarantee that things will stay that way at all.

            That's the state of play. Once .Net has reached critical mass they have the luxury of killing off any compatibility through technological changes, telling everyone that they now need a license grant, and if push comes to shove, patents that apply to .Net technology and nothing else if it needs to be enforced. Microsoft does not want people using their technology unless money ends up flowing into their coffers, and Microsoft employees on more than one occasion have called this a give-get scenario, where you give now and get more later. I am aghast that people haven't grokked that yet.

            I'm tired of hearing this lame FUD scenario from the Slashdot crowd every time MS dabbles in open source.

            Heh. Regardless of what the Slashdot crowd says, I don't know if you've noticed but Microsoft has had a certain degree of scepticism, and at times, outright hostility to this whole open source thing from their own lips. Are you seriously trying to tell me that you haven't noticed that yet and are you seriously wondering why people are sceptical right back?

        • by Daimanta (1140543)

          There are 3 possible mods for this post:

          1) +1 Funny
          2) -1 Flamebair
          3) -1 Microsoft employee

      • Re:about time.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gbjbaanb (229885) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:43AM (#25482775)

        I suppose its all about realisation that Linux is making it into corporate environments, and Microsoft now has to do something to keep themselves there.

        MS are saying that if you really, really must have a Linux server in your IT shop, they'd better make it so it can connect to the one true corporate user account register, before the people who put the Linux server in decide to try a different LDAP server, maybe even one supplied by Novell.

        It makes sense for MS to start doing this, in this way they can keep their dominance in the corporate IT structure, by letting the lowly Linux boxes play in the same playground. The important thing to understand here is that even MS has realised linux is making it big in businesses, that kinda give Linux the seal of approval from MS, not even the most pro-MS, anti-OSS PHB can say its not a valid OS anymore.

        Next: an Outlook client... MS won't mind that as it allows them to keep their Exchange systems ... until someone builds an Exchange replacement to go with it, and then watch MS share price tumble.

        • by Zak3056 (69287)

          Next: an Outlook client...

          Evolution already does this, and quite well--it's been around for years (the first time I used it with my Exchange box was four or five years ago, and I had no issues with it.) Once upon a time, you had to pay for a piece of middleware to handle the MAPI connection, but that became part of the base package when Novell bought Ximian.

      • It's REALLY hard to hide your intentions.

        If they are in earnest working towards interoperability (it's documented that they are), then it's just that more difficult for them to prove infringement later on.

      • Samba is GPL 3 [samba.org] licensed. I think Microsoft would have a hard time with any patent suite in light of that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Read this :

        http://www.samba.org/samba/PFIF/PFIF_agreement.html [samba.org]

        for details on patent issues. It's not as black as you paint it.

        Jeremy.

    • by SnarfQuest (469614) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:44PM (#25483643)

      Microsoft needs a working version of this code to "innovate" into their next version of Windows.

  • Open source labs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sammyo (166904) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @10:56AM (#25482111) Journal

    I could probably make some small contribution but have neither the time nor inclination to set up the dev and test environment.

    For projects of this magnitude a site that could be ssh'd to, 'check out' a dev environment slice would make it a whole lot more practical for folks to work on a small bug or enhancement.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @10:59AM (#25482177) Homepage Journal

    Seems like a good time for some of the larger distros to help Samba out.

  • I don't want to sound like I'm pulling the rug out from under the Samba team, who has helped to make SMB a truly interoperable protocol - but there is a big part of me that just wants it to go away. It's really not very good. And very complicated. And inefficient. Oh I hope that somethin' better comes aloooong!

    • You are confused. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:26PM (#25483369)

      You have confused SMB, NMB, and SMBX, which Microsoft calls CIFS.

      SMB is not all that different in how it works from FTP. Its a TCP Protocol that operates on Port 139.

      NMB (NetBios Message Block) is how Windows provides SMB with services like Name Resolution. It also handles things called Browser elections which determine who the Domain Controllers will be.

      Windows NT4 and 9x is hard Coded to only allow use of NMB to resolve SMB names. This was a horrible lockin tactic for Windows NT4 Server. Windows 2000 on can use NMB or DNS.

      SMBX operates on port 445, and acts independantly of NMB and SMB.

      Linux machines from Samba 2.2 on could use DNS to resolve SMB paths. Even though Windows machines are hard coded not to allow that.

      Another lockin tactic with SMB was the use of the UNC (Universal Name Convention) which was FAR from Universal. The proper URI for smb is smb://. Konqueror has it right.

      So, that should clear that up.

      The worst offense Microsoft ever did was when they added the PAC to Kerberos. If there is a beacon shining in the night why the GPL is superior to the BSD liscence, the Kerberos PAC that has kept Active Directory Dominant for almost ten years should be a becon in the night. MS Kerberos PAC is incompatible with virtually EVERY SINGLE Kerberos server out there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:12AM (#25482345)

    This seems roughly akin to two soldiers from opposing armies suddenly having brunch and discussing the finer points of shooting people.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ColdWetDog (752185) *

      This seems roughly akin to two soldiers from opposing armies suddenly having brunch and discussing the finer points of shooting people.

      Sigh. This is actually a pretty good analogy. The soldiers being the programmers just do what they are told to do by their superiors. Somebody in the upper echelons of Microsoft said quit shooting. The programmers, being programmers, revert to talking shop with their comrades-in-arms.

      Fail.

  • by Toll_Free (1295136) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:16AM (#25482395)

    If MS is truly working with Samba to get it 100 percent, what I'd REALLY like to see (and I won't believe they ARE working with SMB until then) is non-encrypted passwords.

    SHARE the SMB password system, make it available, so not every friggin windows machine has to do unencrypted passwords across the network to access SAMBA shares / printers / whatever.

    That's always been my BIGGEST stumbling block. Linux is touted as being so secure, but then it has to use unencrypted passwords to chat with the desktop clients for sharing.

    I KNOW it's an MS problem (their authentications schemas are proprietary), but if they claim to be trying for interoperability (which, they probably are), this was / is my biggest hurdle to accepting *nix in a windows shop.

    --Toll_Free

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zombie Ryushu (803103)

      Use Kerberos to authenticate. I do.

      • Thanks for the tip.

        I was going to respond again, but figured, my point was made in my response to the guy above you...

        And again, I'll check into that.

        I can't wait for it to just "work", though. No adding anything, no having to configure anything. Just make it like installing win server (insert version here), and it will work. No installing other authentication mechanisms or anything else. Just install, configure your Lusers, and it works.

        (I know, the proprietariness of SMB isn't linux's fault, it's MS's

    • http://linux.ittoolbox.com/documents/popular-q-and-a/how-to-set-up-a-samba-server-with-encrypted-passwords-2278 [ittoolbox.com]

      Samba has supported LM, NTLM, NTLM v2, and kerberos authentication for quite a long time (since v2.2 at least). Your gripe with "unencrypted passwords" is only valid if you want to use PAM for password authentication (which requires the password to be sent over the wire to be "applied" at the server side as if you typed it into the login prompt) and you are not using kerberos or LDAP, as you should

    • by Jeremy Allison - Sam (8157) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @08:33PM (#25491385) Homepage

      > SHARE the SMB password system, make it available, so not every friggin windows machine has to do unencrypted passwords across the network to access SAMBA shares /
      > printers / whatever.

      Troll. This hasn't been the case since Samba 1.x.

      Jeremy.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:16AM (#25482397) Homepage

    I work for a company that does a lot of integration for enterprise customers. Sometimes there are spaces for Microsoft products in an otherwise Unix environment. Our customers happen to be pretty set on using Unix in general, so for Microsoft, it makes sense to make sure that their products can fit into an environment like that without any hassle. After all, a small sale is better than no sale.

    • by dave562 (969951) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:34AM (#25482617) Journal
      You're right on target. All OS zealotry aside, there are some applications that are simply better on Windows. Conversely there are some applications that you'd never want to put anywhere near Windows. In the real world there is a middle ground. Maybe your ERP system needs to output some numbers for the managers to play with in Excel. It can toss them onto a Samba share and everything is good. That's just an example off of the top of my head. I'm sure there are hundreds of others.
  • ... and yet the Cubs still can't win the World Series. :(
  • If the sky is falling, where will our beloved pigs fly?

  • They're really doing well without Microsoft as it is. Taking into account the conflict of interest on MS's end to help out a competing product, what would be the incentive for the SAMBA team to work directly with those who may not have their best interests at heart?
  • Long ago, being having compatibility with Microsoft's file sharing backend would have been a big win, but the target has moved and, let's face it, Samba still isn't very easy to set up.

    In this case, Microsoft knows the knife is cutting both ways. The low-end license buyers won't bother paying for a Linux admin, so it doesn't harm Microsoft one bit.

    Microsoft's biggest customers buy the whole mess that includes their mail server and a bunch of other back office crap that remains totally closed.

  • Brilliant Marketing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ngarrang (1023425)

    This is just an extension of the MS mind set. No, not the chair-throwing, but making sure that at least THEIR technology is being used, and not some open standard. Microsoft would rather folks run pirated copies of XP than install Linux. Just extend this to AD on SAMBA. Microsoft can still lay claims to number of AD nodes and such.

    • by Shados (741919) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:05PM (#25483063)

      Normally I'd agree, but right now it seems there's more to it than that. Microsoft is trying to stop the whole "getting sued to oblivion because of their monopoly" thing.

      -They open source .NET (notice I'm not using capital letters here. Its not real open source, but you can see the code)
      -Silverlight running on multiple platform, and they're helping out the Linux version, plus are funding efforts to make a cross-platform eclipse-based set of tools.
      -Many of their new .NET projects are fully open source (for real)
      -They are packaging and distributing open source (even GPL in some cases) apps in easy installers (not code they control: the installer pull it from the original web site, so its not "extended)
      -They are embedding LGPL (I think thats the license) stuff in some of their core products (jquery in Visual Studio)
      -There's more that I forget.

      All of this aside the first one happened in the last couple of -months- (weeks in many cases). The first one is fairly recent.

      Part of it, like I said, is because of all the lawsuits over their monopoly. Another part (some of the above fit in that category) are from the inside: some of MS' own employees with influence want to see better open source integration.

  • Linux is a growing very fast as a server os. They will still make money on the clients. I mean they are even giving out SUSE vouchers. Next thing you know, they will port MS Office to SUSE.

  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon&gamerslastwill,com> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:48AM (#25482827) Homepage Journal

    The samba team already made sure it was interoperable. You can use samba/ldap as an AD replacement.

    I have done it.

    MS just wants to save some customers by doing this. I say it's not going to work all that well.

    Those customers are probably not going to ditch windows desktops for linux anytime soon though.

    • by Shados (741919) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:00PM (#25483001)

      Its already interoperable, but the MS AD team isn't going to stop adding features just because its going to break the desktops of people who don't pay them. But if they break things too much, they get sued to death over their monopoly. Their only solution is to make sure the Samba project keeps up, so its what they do.

    • by dave420 (699308)
      It's nowhere near as easy to set up as AD, though.
    • by PPH (736903)

      The samba team already made sure it was interoperable. You can use samba/ldap as an AD replacement.

      I have done it.

      I've never had to trouble myself with the Windows side of this problem, but I've done Samba/LDAP as well. My impression is that the Windows people have to install a client, or at least tweak some settings on the desktop to make this work. That violates the Microsoft policy that basically states, "We will do whatever it takes to hide from our desktop customers the fact that huge IT departments are laboring to keep their precious systems running and connected."

      MS just wants to save some customers by doing this. I say it's not going to work all that well.

      The 'customer' in this case being some PHB with a

    • by raddan (519638)
      Did you replace a fileserver, or did you replace your entire AD? In my opinion, Samba still has a lot of work left to do on the latter part, but it excels at the fileserver role.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GoRK (10018)

      Did you replace AD with it or did you create an NT4 style domain? IMO I have never been able to achieve the AD replacement piece despite my best efforts with OpenLDAP and Kerberos and early releases of samba4. The first time anything expects to operate against a "real" active directory be it some remote software trying to authenticate, a NAS/filer, or software that "integrates" with AD, the setup has always fallen on its face. After a few attempts is simply becomes cheaper to deploy AD.

      The problem now is th

  • How much are you going to pay me?

    I mean, if I am going to enable to 'Embrace' part of the borg, I might as well get paid.

    Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

  • by alexborges (313924) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:55AM (#25482925)

    I cannot believe the samba team is down to ONE full time developer.

    Its a HUGE project to undertake.

    When I buy my Red Hat, Suse or Ubuntu thingies for money, Im thinking some of that money goes to helping FOSS developers.

    Hey, it better be that way guys: put some dough into Samba.... NOW!

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:02PM (#25483025) Homepage Journal
    Remember when IBM was the Microsoft of it's day? Now it's a darling because it learned a valuable lesson....

    Ultimately companies that create standards will eventually have to transition to a company that contributes to them.

    I'm no M$ fan at all and that goes back a ways for me. On the other hand, Microsoft seems to be showing signs that they have accepted open source as something that's here to stay (although they hate it).

    Next up on the radar? Google

    Once they became a publicly traded company, responsible for only making a profit for their shareholders, it appears more and more like their motto should transition to "We do less evil than everyone else"
  • by joeflies (529536) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:07PM (#25483109)
    They have organized interoperability fests and have knowledgeable engineers answering technical questions without legal or marketing drones getting in the way.

    Wouldn't this be a GOOD time to have legal drones getting involved? No, not Microsoft's lawyers, the ones that will protect the interests of the Samba intellectual property?

  • Engineer nature (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Godji (957148) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:20PM (#25483299) Homepage
    Duh. Good engineers with no PHB supervision will tend to to great things. Even the ones at Microsoft.

    What makes Microsoft Microsoft is the fact that engineers are very rarely left under little or no PHB control. When they are, news like that will follow.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    With MS increasing 'interoperability' with FOSS, many Universities are standardizing on MS products...

    e.g. Oxford University, UK http://blogs.msdn.com/ukhe/archive/2008/10/22/oxford-university-and-microsoft-launch-it-collaboration.aspx

    In the past, one of FOSS's heartlands was in higher-education, where linux systems do a lot of science work, producing thousands of graduates with linux experience.

    Today, academics in faculties can no-longer demand the use of open, standards-based systems from their central IT

  • When Microsoft does something which does nothing to protect their position in the market and is more likely to do the opposite, they do it at a snails pace and kicking and screaming all the way. For example, JDBC drivers for MS SQL Server in the late 90s as Java was picking up steam. Microsoft eventually said they'd do it but the release date was 18 months out. Another recent example is the OLPC version of Windows XP which has taken over a year. They don't want to do these things and make more of a PR stunt

  • by boyfaceddog (788041) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:01PM (#25483913) Journal

    MS will release Open Source AD compatible Samba - which everyone will use and will come with some weird license that everyone will argue with and MS will simply wipe out all products that use the MS AD Samba.

    Embrace, extend, extinguish.

    How hard is this to understand?

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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