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Microsoft Cloud Education Linux Business Open Source Linux

Microsoft Offers Linux Certification. Yes, Really. (dice.com) 200

Nerval's Lobster writes: Former CEO Steve Ballmer once publicly referred to Linux as a 'cancer.' Not content to just let Ballmer blow up about it, company also spent a good deal of money and legal effort on claiming that open-source software violated its patents. A decade ago, the idea of Microsoft creating a Linux certification would have seemed like lunacy. But now that very thing has come to pass, (Dice link) with the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) Linux on Azure certification, designed in conjunction with the Linux Foundation. Earning the Linux on Azure certification requires tech pros to pass Microsoft Exam 70-533 (Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions) as well as the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam, which collectively require knowledge of Linux and Azure implementation. Microsoft evidently recognizes that open-source technology increasingly powers the cloud and mobile, and that it needs to play nice with the open-source community if it wants to survive and evolve.
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Microsoft Offers Linux Certification. Yes, Really.

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2015 @03:37PM (#51096363)

    They're seemingly doing everything right, expect for Windows 10 spying. Heck, even their HW is good now (Remember Zune, Ballmer's brainchild?)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      To be fair, their peripherals were always top notch and the zune got way more flak than it deserved.
      • by Adriax ( 746043 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @06:59PM (#51097547)

        Yeah, and that may be the forgotten lesson the new CEO is embracing. Even if you have really good, if not the best, of something in a sea of competition, if you try to force a monoculture you are going to drive people away.

        Windows didn't require a microsoft brand mouse in order to function and they still made a hefty profit on both hardware and software.
        But the times they did require a monocultire, like C#/.NET for most of its life, they found a lot of people just walked away and stuck to arguably inferior products.

        Just look at hololens, their big ball of holyshitthisisawesome. They have competition in the hardware department already, but they're helping asus instead of trying to block them. Now there's going to be two AR headsets running windows 10 instead of an all microsoft one and a competitor that would probably run a custom linux.

        • Yeah, and that may be the forgotten lesson the new CEO is embracing. Even if you have really good, if not the best, of something in a sea of competition, if you try to force a monoculture you are going to drive people away.

          Not even that, just trying to push your product into a saturated market period, and hoping that throwing enough money at it somehow improves your chances of gaining consumer mindshare.

          The only reason xbox worked was because Nintendo was giving the middle finger to third party developers, while Sega failed to gain interest of third party developers, leaving just Sony, giving Microsoft room to be a second platform in the rule of three [wikipedia.org]. Nintendo and Sega both ate shit that generation because when it comes to p

          • Perhaps another factor is that Nintendo insists on keeping all the games for its systems family-friendly; that means that there are gamers who will never be content with a Nintendo product. (They will not approve ESRB AO games and are very selective about M games, E games are the heart of their lineup.) But it hasn't worked out all that badly for them; they've had a successful niche with their handhelds and the Wii, avoiding going head-on against the XBox and the PlayStation.
      • Their mice & trackballs are/were first rate.

        • I prefer Logitech's mice. But if Logitech were wiped off the face of the earth, Microsoft's would be a more than acceptable substitute.
      • There was nothing wrong with the Zune other than some questionable color choices. (Brown, really? I've been waiting all my life for a brown tech gadget, said nobody ever aside from somebody on the Zune team.) If it had debuted into an iPod-less market it probably would have been a hit. But as it was there was no compelling reason to buy one instead of buying an iPod, so hardly anybody did.
    • The Zune wasn't bad. For the most part it was a decent MP3 player. To compete against Apple's iPod it would have to be great. Yes some of the choices like crippled "squirting" capabilities didn't help. But the main problem was it late and was entering a market when Apple was leaving it for the smartphone market. The death knell for the Zune was the iPod Touch which had nearly all the features of the Zune and an ever growing library of 3rd party apps. Zune would never be able to close that gap and was goin
      • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @11:29PM (#51098571)
        Most days yes, but on that one day a year on a leap year it's the classic example of an utterly stupid newbie mistake that would have failed a high school programming assignment in 1985.
        Files with an expiry date beyond which the music would not play meant it needed to know the date so a calendar was thrown in as an afterthought without even the most simple tests being applied - so on the last day of leap year the Zune would not work at all. A failure so epic that it is one for the textbooks and will be remembered long after anything else about the Zune.
        • iPods from the same era as the first generation Zune had an identical bug, but Apple turned out OK.
          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            Really? I missed that one. I believe you but do you have a link in case I want to mention it to others?
            • I can't find it anymore for some reason, but this was covered on Slashdot. The Apple bug was exposed later than the Zune one. I know I yelled at someone with "Mac" in their username for saying "The Apple bug is no big deal" and posted examples of them shitting on Microsoft for the Zune bug. (Slashdot had three stories on the Zune bug, by the way, but one on the Apple bug.)
              • by dbIII ( 701233 )
                Thanks I'll keep it in mind and look out for it. It shows how little testing is done on these products that such a pre-newbie mistake can get through - a high schooler would be given a hard time for making such a stupid mistake.
                Of course the MS fanboys blamed it on outsourcing and it's possible that Apple did that too, but that is no excuse for a company not properly testing something with their name on it before release.
        • But surely being able to squirt songs at each other on the other days made up for that?

    • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @06:53PM (#51097515) Homepage

      "They're seemingly doing everything right, expect for Windows 10 spying."

      That's like saying "my son is doing a great job living a life of good morals, ... except for those rapes".

    • It's understandable why you would post that msg anonymously :)
    • by ruir ( 2709173 )
      Maybe you live in alternate universe, because despite this misguided adverts "hey we are cool, we use linx too", they seem more lost than ever.
    • by flacco ( 324089 )

      I have seen many attempts in public forums suggesting that Microsoft "has changed" and to otherwise rehabilitate its image.

      "Seemingly doing everything right [except] for Windows 10 spying." Oh, is that all? Forcibly installing surveillance software on its users' hardware, and unsetting explicitly set privacy settings in the process? Is that all?

      Yes, Microsoft has great respect for its user base, and is seemingly doing everything right.

  • by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @03:38PM (#51096375) Journal
    They could make a killing selling support for a Linux distribution . Lots of IT people are locked into Microsoft as a vendor and this would give them a good option.
    • They could make a killing selling support for a Linux distribution . Lots of IT people are locked into Microsoft as a vendor and this would give them a good option.

      That is an interesting point of view...

      Would I pay $100 for a "Microsoft-supported" copy of Linux that they provided certified updates for and driver support for?

      Yes, I probably would.

    • seriously. They're just slow on their usual tricks...

    • They could make a killing selling support for a Linux distribution . Lots of IT people are locked into Microsoft as a vendor and this would give them a good option.

      Particularly if they write drivers for any hardware that has missing support

    • What would be nice about an MS-supported Linux distro is that it could finally get Windows off of ATMs and other places where it really doesn't belong.
  • Now need to memorize which mouse clicks in gnome3 for non related work items and obscure powershell cmd let's for Linux no one uses in the real world for a high quality and respected cert

  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @03:49PM (#51096447) Homepage Journal

    I can imagine the day when Windows is built on top of Linux, similar to how MacOS is built on top of BSD. That will be the year of the Linux desktop!

    Maybe in 2020, Windows version 12.

    • by fisted ( 2295862 )

      MacOS is built on top of BSD

      What?

    • Not going to happen. Microsoft won't do an Apple and break backwards compatibility with previous versions of Windows all for the sake of switching what is currently a well maintained and stable kernel for something else.

      Their only flirt with the idea (Windows RT) was a colossal flop. I don't see them repeating that, and I definitely don't see them doing so without providing an alternative in the process.

      • With their inner knowledge of Windows and the various system calls and such it uses how hard would be be for Microsoft to perfect WINE?

        Didn't early versions of OS X allow running OS 9.x applications?

        • Didn't early versions of OS X allow running OS 9.x applications?

          Yes. It was called "Classic" mode; the only caveat was that you had to have MacOS9 install media. Otherwise, it ran practically any MacOS 9.x compatible application without a hitch.

        • With their inner knowledge of Windows and the various system calls and such it uses how hard would be be for Microsoft to perfect WINE?

          Didn't early versions of OS X allow running OS 9.x applications?

          With their knowledge of all that what is the business case for even attempting to do something like that?

          • Just like apple did, break away from old crufty OS for a fresh start, but not piss off your existing customer base - let them keep older versions of their apps for a OS cycle or two

            • Just like apple did, break away from old crufty OS for a fresh start, but not piss off your existing customer base

              That's Apple, a company that has zero problem with breaking compatibility, switching architectures, screwing around coders. Microsoft on the other hand knows that backwards compatibility is one of its biggest strengths and the amount of effort they put into keeping old shit running on their platforms is simply astounding. You're comparing a company which tells people how it is, to a company which makes sure the old stuff will keep running with every new version.

              Also if you don't think that Apple pissed off

      • Not going to happen. Microsoft won't do an Apple and break backwards compatibility with previous versions of Windows all for the sake of switching what is currently a well maintained and stable kernel for something else.

        In Apple's case, they provided a compatibility layer to allow programs compiled for classic Mac OS to run on Mac OS X unmodified. They did phase the compatibility layer out, but after ample opportunity was given for developers to produce actual OS X versions of their software. In Windows' case, there is the massive amount of unmaintained legacy software that many businesses rely on to take into account, but the answer there is to keep maintaining the compatibility layer. As it is, Microsoft put some effort

        • That's more because Windows RT is essentially Windows for ARM CPUs, and basically no Windows software is compiled for ARM CPUs. There are ways of dealing with that, such as what Apple did when they changed CPU architecture from PowerPC to Intel - a compatibility layer that's essentially PowerPC emulation. That's not such a realistic option for running x86 software on ARM - not if you want reasonable speeds, anyway.

          Windows NT had versions running on DEC's Alpha processors. DEC released an emulation layer called FX!32 [wikipedia.org] to allow x86 programs to run on Alpha NT machines*.

          While such an emulation layer wouldn't provide great performance on a WindowsRT machine, a lot of programs are not that processor intensive. Any amount of backwards compatibility could increase interest in the WindowsRT platform. With more interest, it might persuade more developers to cross-compile to ARM versions of Windows.

          Unfortunately Microsoft was t

          • FX!32 couldn't stop the performance of such programs from sucking on Alphas, and taking away the one advantage the Alpha had. Microsoft did the right thing by not going that route. iOS is a single processor OS - on Apple's A series, while Android is essentially an ARM OS, even though it might have some modicum of support for x64 and MIPS
          • There actually is an x86 emulation (well, dynamic recompilation, which is faster) layer for Windows RT. It's unofficial and only runs on jailbroken devices, but it's there. App compat isn't that great yet, because it has to shim all Win32 calls from the x86 version to the ARM version (this is much faster and has a smaller install footprint than emulating a full x86 Windows, and makes it possible to optimize the translation a bit, but means each Win32 API needs to be shimmed and there are a huge number of th

    • I would say that is the only future that makes any real sense. Then we get BSD or Linux with a fully developed GUI for regular people who don't do CLI and we get MS Office on Linux without having to use some fucked web based version that requires a subscription.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @03:55PM (#51096491) Homepage

    Maybe Microsoft will one day spin-off the Windows division, so it becomes just another operating system that their cloud service supports. If they start writing their services to use .NET, then they could use Roslyn and .NET Core to make all their services portable. One could run IIS or Exchange on Linux. If it meant more sales for Azure, they could profit from it.

  • My memory tells me Ballmer referred to the GPL as a cancer, not Linux.
    But hey, I'm too lazy to even check on Google as it's monkeyboy we're talking about, so who cares...

    • He said "Linux is not in the public domain. Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works." [1 [google.com]].
  • ...hell's temperature just dropped to that of liquid nitrogen.

    • That would be when MS Office runs on a linux desktop. (Which many workplaces would love.)

      • That would be when MS Office runs on a linux desktop. (Which many workplaces would love.)

        No, when that happens, hell's temperature will drop to that of liquid helium.

    • by aitikin ( 909209 )
      Yeah, I heard the devil calling the local HVAC place looking to install a furnace.
  • What if Microsoft taught everything wrong?
    • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @04:19PM (#51096671) Journal

      Welcome to your first Microsoft Linux Certification class. Today we're going to learn about the command line.

      The first command we will try is

      sudo rm -rf /

      Please try it now.

      Good job. The course is over. You are now all Certified.

    • Well the new MCSE/MCSA certification track it is not hte training I do not trust.

      It is the silliness of the questions. MS are very very hard. Not in a technical sense. But more of memorizing which mouse click and knowing 3 ways to do everything with every obscure option in 1. gui 2. Netsh and 3. Powershell. It is never something you ever used in the real world and MS adds another gui tool for each task in each new version of server. So there can be 8 ways to setup a static IP, DNS, name, and adding the dc t

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        1. gui 2. Netsh and 3. Powershell. It is never something you ever used in the real world

        I think you'll find that if you manage real-world Windows servers you will use at least one of the three.

        • I do use it but the question is asking for silly things like which column do you use for managing y in tool z when an admin uses z for something else. Or which out of 50 arguments would you select in powershell when no one uses that command anyway for that kind of task . admins typically do it with another command 95% of the time and would use get help anyway or PS ESE etc.

          Tests are a joke.

    • Not much to their certification... It only covers how to replace the Linux boot loader...

      "bootrec /fixmbr"

      That's it, you are now Microsoft certified in Linux...

      .

      .

      For you shills out there, I'm making a joke..

  • Hell's temperature has become a lot more tolerable lately, but now we've got to crouch all the time to avoid the pigs.

  • If you think about microsofts strategy, namely copying things from other companies, it starts making sense. Who has microsoft tried to beat for so long? apple. The ipad begat the surface, the iphone the zune, its all so obvious. Microsoft believes Linux is a cancer, and the only way to cure that cancer is to duplicate Steve Jobs homeopathic natural medicine cure. So expect in about 3 weeks microsoft to have finally vanquished linux, or the entire company to be reported as completely bankrupt and gone.
  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @04:55PM (#51096905)
    I just got my MS BCCT (Balmer-certified chair thrower) certification. Who wants to hire me?
  • Increasingly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeathElk ( 883654 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @05:19PM (#51097043)

    Increasingly? INCREASINGLY?? Open source isn't "increasingly" powering Internet services, IT'S BEEN THE BENCHMARK SINCE DARPA. FFS, Microsoft was the cancer, trying to force proprietary standards down everyones throat.

    • Hah! Reminds me of the late 90's when MS was fighting the internet and tried to co-opt the acronym "DNS" for Dynamic Network Systems or some such.

    • Increasingly? INCREASINGLY?? Open source isn't "increasingly" powering Internet services, IT'S BEEN THE BENCHMARK SINCE DARPA.

      This is only true if you fail to distinguish between the modern definition of open source (OSI's definition) and proprietary but source-available

      The ARPANET started running on the Sigma 7, running BPM. Various other operating systems ran other early nodes, but all of them were proprietary. Many did provide source code to the operating system when you bought the machine, but they were still proprietary. Later, Unix rose in popularity, but Unix was also proprietary. BSD eventually became truly open source,

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