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Microsoft Linux Business Novell

Microsoft Sells Linux To Wal-Mart 245

Several readers wrote in to let us know that Wal-Mart is planning to buy SUSE Linux vouchers from Microsoft in the course of building out its infrastructure. These are the support vouchers that Microsoft must distribute to hold up its end of the bargain with Novell. Wal-Mart has been a customer of Red Hat Linux. CBR Online notes that the deal is not entirely unexpected because Microsoft's COO, Kevin Turner, is the former CIO of Wal-Mart.
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Microsoft Sells Linux To Wal-Mart

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  • by xenocide2 ( 231786 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @07:30PM (#17730454) Homepage
    Fantasy land material. Wal-mart's data centers would eat MS products alive. Recall that every transaction is being logged there. About seven years ago, my university recieved a donation of one of their district processing mainframes: something like an 82 way pentium 2 setup. Fantastic sounding stuff, but it was a) too slow for their (regional) needs, and b) too damned hard to make fast (NUMA).

    If Walmart was dissatisfied with Linux, somehow I think Windows would be their last pick. Which makes me wonder, what are they using now? Linux? Solaris?
  • Long time coming (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @08:27PM (#17731064)
    I used to work for wal-mart 5 years ago when Kevin was the CIO. There are many linux fans at wal-mart but they have been reluctant to start large implementation because of the ongoing IBM vs SCO lawsuit. Walmart didnt want to get involved. And they have never done business with Red Hat. Walmart will not implement a product without support, period. Since they currently have so much leverage with Microsoft as it is, and no leverage with Novell, this pretty much comes at no surprise.
  • by KutuluWare ( 791333 ) <kutulu AT kutulu DOT org> on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @08:44PM (#17731244) Homepage
    My company has done some minor contract work with Walmart. Most of it involved receiving data from their systems for post-processing, particularly print jobs. Based on how their lpr behaves I would guess they are running some form of SVR4-based UNIX, probably HP-UX... of course, I don't work *for* them so I've never logged in to check :)

  • by oatworm ( 969674 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @10:05PM (#17731984) Homepage
    Actually, the Apple model would be about right.

    "Classic Mode": A Windows sandbox for legacy apps (definitely Win9x apps, probably NT/2000/XP and some Vista).
    "Carbon": Apps based on shared Windows/Linux APIs - think Mono & WINE, only with M$ putting some real programming heft into the WINE project. Seeing as Novell is already a big supporter of Mono, this might not be far off. Microsoft would have a heck of a time getting Vista's APIs ported, but they do have the advantage of having all of the source code and insanely deep pockets. It also wouldn't need to support EVERY Vista API - many of them are for backwards compatibility. Just port enough for most important Vista applications (think DirectX 10 and the DRM schemes, for example) to work and whatever calls more obscure APIs can just run in "Classic Mode".
    "Cocoa": Apps strictly for Windows X or whatever they call it. This would be the set of APIs and the runtime environment that, in theory, would 'add value' to a Linux-based Windows, so that people don't just take WINE and SuSE and make their own Windows X.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @11:20PM (#17732808)
    Walmart has the world's second largest relational database that runs on Solaris 8 and Oracle 9i. The first largest database in the world also runs Solaris 8 and Oracle 9i and is located at Stanford (
  • by AHumbleOpinion ( 546848 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @11:28PM (#17732890) Homepage
    I suppose Walmart wants a stable 100% OS to run their system on ...

    Wal-Mart installed UNIX-based systems in their stores in 1991. They use common systems and platforms in all their stores world wide. From an IT perspective Wal-Mart has been a pioneering and aggressive user of technology since 1969.
  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @12:26AM (#17733430) Journal
    "Which makes me wonder, what are they using now? Linux? Solaris?"

    As a former Arkansan (Fayetteville, ab't 15 minutes south of Bentonville/Wal-Mart HQ) I remember a buddy of mine who worked there, and IIRC he mentioned AS/400's... a whole farm of them.

    Mind you, this was 1998/1999, but it makes sense that they would use 'em for that time frame. No idea what they're using now, though.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @03:09AM (#17734754)
    It's no secret that "System V" is NCR MP-RAS, and WalMart runs on Teradata. Thought you should know.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @12:24PM (#17738704)
    MSFT used to sell the Xenix version of UNIX in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It performed poorly because UNIX was too bulky for x86 CPUs of that era. At that time MSFT was mainly a languages company and toying around with the OS biz. We all know where that went. They transferred PC-UNIX rights to SCO around 1983.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann