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Microsoft Businesses Red Hat Software

Microsoft and Red Hat Team Up On Virtualization 168

mjasay writes "For years Microsoft has insisted that open-source vendors acknowledge its patent portfolio as a precursor to interoperability discussions. Today, Microsoft shed that charade and announced an interoperability alliance with Red Hat for virtualization. The nuts-and-bolts of the agreement are somewhat pedantic, providing for Red Hat to validate Windows Server guests to be supported on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization technologies, and other technical support details. But the real crux of the agreement is what isn't there: patents. Red Hat has long held that open standards and open APIs are the key to interoperability, even as Microsoft insisted patents play a critical role in working together, and got Novell to buy in. Today, Red Hat's vision seems to have won out with an interoperability deal heavy on technical integration and light on lawyers."
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Microsoft and Red Hat Team Up On Virtualization

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  • Re:It is a good sign (Score:5, Informative)

    by von_rick ( 944421 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @02:29PM (#26875023) Homepage
    No moon? Then where does Moonlight [] come from?
  • by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @02:35PM (#26875099)
    Virtualisation has been a bit of a curveball that Microsoft hasn't liked for some time. It gets people off the hardware and upgrade churn, whilst sill upgrading their real hardware, and allows people to run previous versions of Windows and applications pretty much indefinitely. It also gives the potential to outflank Windows technology by bypassing it in the virtual machine itself and surrounding Windows with non-Windows systems. Additionally, ubiquitous, freely available virtualisation is going to end up ruling, and ultimately that means an open source host running something like KVM. I suppose Microsoft had to try and do something. They want to try and get into all of this somehow, and I suppose it does mean they sell more Windows licenses and Red Hat gets to run Windows certified on their platforms which should please some people.

    It's a real kick in the teeth for Novell. This is a perfectly straightforward deal of certifying each other's systems on their virtual platforms that Novell couldn't get right. In practice, Microsoft is providing no help whatsoever to Novell in running Windows on their virtual platform (which I don't think Red Hat is expecting itself really) and they sold themselves down the river by agreeing to some elaborate coupon scheme that saw SLES servers totally surrounded by installations of Windows Server and AD domains. I don't think they even realised what they'd signed up to. At least Red Hat gets some marketable press out of this without conceding anything.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @02:44PM (#26875203)

    Theres an interesting read over at the 360 blog here []., which covers the debate/fight between these 3 giants quite nicely.


  • Re:It is a good sign (Score:3, Informative)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @03:34PM (#26875901)

    Why you would want to run Linux under the MS Hypervisor is the strange question, unless you just wanted a Linux "sandbox" for some reason. I suspect to get the MS stamp of approval for Windows under Linux they required the reciprocal agreement from RH.

    Its not that strange. My first home linux servers ran as VMs under windows, primarily for comfort reasons. I've since gotten comfortable enough that its now linux on linux.

    And at work, we have a linux spamassassin VM running on a windows server, simply because that was the simplest deployment option. (We already had the light load Windows Server. Sure we could have installed a linux host, and then run both the Windows Server and spamassassin as VMs under it, (and we would have if we were building the box from scratch), but there wasn't any real point doing that given the windows server was already running just fine.)

    And on the desktop... you want the host system to be your primary OS, and VM the others. I personally need windows enough that it would just be silly to run Linux and then VM XP or Vista. And I don't foresee being able to flip them around anytime soon.

  • by thomascameron ( 686477 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @03:36PM (#26875913)
    Yeah, sure, cause MSFT does all of their development in the F/OSS community and gives away their technology for free just like RHT does with the Fedora Project. And MSFT has open sourced (or kept open source) all of their acquisitions like RHT did with Sistina (GFS and Cluster Suite), JBoss, Qumranet, Netscape Directory Server, Netscape Security System and others. Oh, and MSFT has paid for legal counsel to testify *against* patents in front of the EU and the US. Yeah, I can see how Red Hat is *just* like Microsoft.
  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @03:41PM (#26875995) Journal

    There are a lot of "niche" products that run on Windows without an open source alternative. Take a look at "The Raiser's Edge" It is the number one fundraising software in the world and is used by non-profits of all shapes and sizes, from the Red Cross on down. There isn't a FOSS equivalent. For the little niche world I work in, take a look at The Museum System. It is the number one collections management database used by museums all over the world, from the Tate, to the Guggenheim, Smithsonian, etc. Again, there isn't an open source equivalent. Those are just two examples from my current job. When I was consulting, I ran into all sorts of little programs without an Open Source equivalent. A client of mine was in the waste management business, there were three different software packages target to that industry and all of them ran on Windows. Another client was a city government and their licensing / permit database was Windows based.

    All of the above mentioned softwares could be recreated in open source, but doing so is an up hill battle. The companies that use them don't have the revenue streams to do the development in house. Potential developers aren't going to target small niches where they have to reinvent the wheel because the competitors already have a huge head start.

  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @03:50PM (#26876091)

    ...Why you would run Windows on top of Linux, given not only the stability history but also since now there are now FOSS alternatives for almost anything Windows can provide, without taking a huge hit to the "total cost of ownership".

    No. There aren't. Period. There is no FOSS alterantive for LOTs of things, and even when there is switching is cost prohibitive and pointless.

    accounting: nope. And migrating to a linux alternative even if one existed would be monstrously expensive for any business of size.

    photoshop/illustrator: nope. sure there is the gimp etc, which is all fine and good. But you need to integrate with a workflow where you are exchanging files with other businesses etc you have to use the tools they are using.

    microsoft access, filemaker pro, 4D... millions of highly custom applications exist for these to fit business needs. Even if an alternative "application building framework" exists on Linux, the cost of migrating and reimplementing these applications is prohibative. Companies that rely on these won't even consider switching until FM, 4D, etc run on linux natively.

    sql server - lots of businesses rely heavily on this. And even if postgresql or mysql, etc could do the job, again, its a massive amount of work to migrate from one to the other.

    exchange - nothing needs to be said.

    visual studio - sure linux alternatives exist, and you can even just use vi or notepad, but VS2008 is REALLY good.

    The above isn't a small list of niche products or categories that only affect a handful of businesses. Millions of businesses rely on multiple of them.

    Oh, and at home, there are games blocking a lot of people from leaving windows.

  • by pdabbadabba ( 720526 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @03:59PM (#26876199) Homepage

    Or, on the desktop, name any Adobe product - Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign._

  • by neowolf ( 173735 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @05:07PM (#26877189)

    One word: Outlook

    There just isn't anything in Linux that comes close in a corporate environment, period. I could have everyone in my office on Linux and/or Macs if it wasn't for that. It doesn't run (very well or at-all) under Wine or CrossOver, and there is no native Linux alternative that works reliably (or at all with Exchange 2007).

    Evolution tried, and failed. I don't really blame them though- Microsoft will probably NEVER release their internals for the Outlook/Exchange marriage, and will continually change the way they communicate just to throw off any competition that tries. Microsoft knows that Outlook is one of the only things keeping many businesses from moving to Linux right now, especially after the Vista fiasco.

    That said- I would much rather see Red Hat support existing solutions that already work well in Linux, like xVM/VirtualBox, than sign any kind of agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft's visualization solutions are garbage compared to VMWare and xVM. Sure- it would be nice if they supported Linux, but who would really want to run Linux on a Windows host except to "play" with it? When I'm running virtual machines- I like to have the host OS be rock-solid, not the other way around.

    So- a lot of Linux people run Windows VMs just to use Outlook, because their home office tells them they have to. There are also still a few other Windows apps that there are no good Linux alternatives for, but that list keeps getting shorter. There are also still brain-dead companies that insist on writing all of their online applications using .NET and M$ DRM. If you are stuck dealing with such companies- a Windows VM is a necessity.

  • by Michael Hunt ( 585391 ) on Monday February 16, 2009 @08:54PM (#26880373) Homepage

    Accounting: I'm surprised that there are no real FOSS contenders in this space; at least on the low end, such packages are perfectly suited to a subscription model (hey, those tax tables don't update themselves.) This is a niche, however, where people probably feel better paying for a bit of piece of mind (nobody ever expects an audit...)

    Photoshop/Illustrator: GIMP is 90% there for 90% of people. Opens PSD files, so it would seem to fit into most folks' workflow. I'm honestly not sure where Inkscape is at, but it's only going to get better.

    Access/etc: If your business depends on Access or something similar, you're almost better off running it on Windows. When you scale it, you can scale it onto a better platform.

    SQL Server: I think you'll find that Postgres can 'do the job' significantly better than SQL server under almost all workloads. Mysql is, of course, a running joke amongst anyone who knows what they're talking about. Obviously, if you're going to migrate to a new DBMS, there's going to be pain. SQL 2005 to Postgres is no more or less painful than Oracle 9i to SQL 2005.

    Exchange: There are umpteen trillion unix-based (OSS, free beer, AND payware) 'groupware' suites. Most of the better ones have an Outlook plugin if you're still using Office.

    Visual Studio: The choice of an IDE is INCREDIBLY subjective. I have /never/ liked Visual Studio, although that's not to say that others aren't more productive using it than using any other IDE. Developers, ultimately, need to be able to choose their own IDE; as long as it integrates with the higher level workflow and speaks the same language dialect as the rest of the team, who really cares? I know some people who swear by Eclipse (which I tried at the start of last year and didn't like much,) and some people who won't code using anything except nvi. For what it's worth, I find that Code::Blocks has a great feature:heft ratio.

    You're right about one thing, though: games. At home, the ONLY use I have for windows of any stripe is the (sadly, more than) occasional reboot into XP64 to play Farcry 2 or Fallout 3 or the depressingly bad port of Saints Row 2. This will change, however, and not in the direction that most people are hoping. Consoles are already in the process of murdering PC gaming to the point where all we'll get given to us are bad console ports (Saints Row 2 was the most egregious example, on a 4-way 3.2GHz machine with a GTX260 the framerate fluctuates between 3 and 85fps) loaded up with DRM and other nonsense. Of the three games I mentioned, only Fallout 3 considered the PC to be a first-tier platform, and that's most likely because of Bethesda's history as a PC development shop and the fact that the Fallout 3 engine is a direct descendant of the Morrowind engine.

    After the next generation of consoles, I'd expect gaming on Windows and Linux to be roughly at parity, and I'm not expecting anyone to port too many more games to Linux. Wine will run the bad ports well enough, and there will be a thriving third party aftermarket for keyboard/mouse connectivity kits for consoles.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"