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Microsoft Cloud Open Source Linux

Will Linux Innovation Be Driven By Microsoft? (infoworld.com) 335

Adobe's VP of Mobile (and a former intellectual property lawyer) sees "a very possible future where Microsoft doesn't merely accept a peaceful coexistence with Linux, but instead enthusiastically embraces it as a key to its future," noting Microsoft's many Linux kernel developers and arguing it's already innovating around Linux -- especially in the cloud. An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: Even seemingly pedestrian work -- like making Docker containers work for Windows, not merely Linux -- is a big deal for enterprises that don't want open source politics infesting their IT. Or how about Hyper-V containers, which marry the high density of containers to the isolation of traditional VMs? That's a really big deal...

Microsoft has started hiring Linux kernel developers like Matthew Wilcox, Paul Shilovsky, and (in mid-2016) Stephen Hemminger... Microsoft now employs 12 Linux kernel contributors. As for what these engineers are doing, Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman says, "Microsoft now has developers contributing to various core areas of the kernel (memory management, core data structures, networking infrastructure), the CIFS filesystem, and of course many contributions to make Linux work better on its Hyper-V systems." In sum, the Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin declares, "It is accurate to say they are a core contributor," with the likelihood that Hemminger's and others' contributions will move Microsoft out of the kernel contribution basement into the upper echelons.

The article concludes that "Pigs, in other words, do fly. Microsoft, while maintaining its commitment to Windows, has made the necessary steps to not merely run on Linux but to help shape the future of Linux."
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Will Linux Innovation Be Driven By Microsoft?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    You know the drill.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      No I don't. What is the drill? Assume that a company that has wholly changed from actively attempting to squash competition on the desktop to being a cloud based services provider who already has close to 100% market share on the desktop still follows a strategy from 20 years ago?

      EEE takes a lot of time, money and effort. So why would they do it? What is their incentive?

      The desktop? Nope. They've shown to be able to fuck users quite badly without losing marketshare to Linux, so that's not a threat to them.
      T

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Their incentive is that small devices might suck the oxygen out of MS. They know it, the rest of us hope for it. Stop trusting them, they don't trust you.

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        On what basis do you claim that Microsoft has changed? While this particular story says that some people within MS want to take advantage of Linux, other stories paint a very different picture of other actions. I see no reason whatsoever to trust them.

        Please note that it is quite possible for certain individuals within the company to be enthusiastic supporters of Linux, while management continues to plot to tear it down. There is no contradiction there, and management determines corporate policy. (It's

    • Yup, and pushing garbage ideas like "enterprises that don't want open source politics infesting their IT" is part of that.

    • by stooo ( 2202012 )

      Adobe and MS want to do things on Linux?
      Run away ! FAAAAST !

      Yes, Pigs can fly, but only once and downwards.
      It usually ends with sausage-ready meat.

    • Microsoft, while maintaining its commitment to Windows,...

      What commitment to Windows? These days, Windows has become exceedingly slow on my laptop while logging in, and also while opening and closing programs. Windows 10 Mobile has been badly crippled - WiFi is now undetectable.

      While this laptop is currently working w/ Windows 10, when it dies, I'll get a mac. I have the TrueOS laptop as well, but updating it has so far proved elusive

  • MS has backed up it's words with c#, .net core, Microsoft code editor, SQL server, and Git VFS all ported to Linux. Also Ubuntu for Windows 10 is coming along nicely as well.

    Competition is good and since it's now the 2010s I hope most slashdoters realize as Microsoft's new CEO realized. That the 1990s are over.

    I feel MS is really worried about losing web developers which explains Ubuntu for Windows as well as Android emulators and Python into VS 2017 (no folks you did not misread that.)

    Time will tell

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You hot the nail on the head: Microsoft is worried. That is their motivation. Not a true, well meant change of heart. And as soon as they think they can get away with it, they'll revert to being the big, mean Microsoft on the outside, too, again keeping everything to themselves once more and extinguishing as much of others as they can.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Do you find that convincing? I don't. Those things don't help Linux, they only help MS. What license are they under?

      P.S.: I found .net.core is basically useless without the rest of it. I looked at using it when they announced it was released. Most of the others I haven't even looked at, and don't intend to. C# could be interesting, but the last time I looked it wasn't, I don't remember the details of why, but it had to do with the interesting parts being tied to MSWindows.

      So basically that list of th

    • Yet MS still does things that make us question them. Windows 10's misleading and forced upgrades happened this decade if you want to ignore that.
  • Same old story (Score:2, Insightful)

    We have seen this so many times from Microsoft. This strategy made them a successful megabillion dollar company, so it's completely understandable why they keep using it.
    1. Embrace (you are here)
    2. Extend
    3. Extinguish
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      Came here for this, did not leave disappointed. Yeah sure, EEE makes sense if you're completely blind to what MS has done in the past 10 years, but it fails the sniff test and also doesn't make sense if you apply any thought at all.

      They have zero incentive to extinguish Linux. It isn't costing them even a spec of market share. For all the fucking over of users, for the privacy invasions, for the forced updates, for the unusable hardware... their desktop market share has given up but a rounding error to Linu

      • Re:Same old story (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Sunday September 17, 2017 @05:05AM (#55213077) Homepage

        This is why you don't get a bad reputation. Microsoft knew what they were doing and didn't care. A lot of people in tech, including me, suffered under their reign. If the stench of their foul deeds follows them for decades, well, that's their own fault. Following that strategy made them into the megabillion dollar success that they are today. And here they are following the same strategy again. Have they apologized? Showed remorse? Paid reparations? If not why should anyone believe that the tiger changed its stripes?

        "I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense - I deserve it."
        -- Jean-Louis Gassee, CEO Be, Inc.

      • Re:Same old story (Score:4, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday September 17, 2017 @07:28AM (#55213341) Homepage Journal

        Yeah sure, EEE makes sense if you're completely blind to what MS has done in the past 10 years,

        You mean like force spyware on users? Microsoft is still the same gang of shitlords they have always been.

        They have zero incentive to extinguish Linux. It isn't costing them even a spec of market share.

        Who told you that? Why did you believe them?

        For all the fucking over of users, for the privacy invasions, for the forced updates, for the unusable hardware... their desktop market share has given up but a rounding error to Linux.

        So what? Linux has cut into the server market, and it's cutting deeper still every day. And the non-desktop is cutting into the desktop market, and Linux leads the non-desktop market in the form of Android.

        On the flipside the single most profitable part of their business (cloud services) are incredibly dependent on Linux with over 1/3rd of Azure instances running the OS.

        And that's why Microsoft is scared. As that ratio grows, Windows looks less and less compelling. At the point at which you're not using Windows any more, why would you need Microsoft? You can run your Linux VMs anywhere.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Yeah, the threat to Microsoft is not that Linux is taking over the desktop, it's that the desktop is in considerable decline from 365 million to 270 million [businessinsider.com] units/year. And it's in absolute decline in a booming market where at the same time you've gone from selling 472 million to 1.5 billion [statista.com] smartphones a year. The same trend is confirmed by browsing statistics [statcounter.com]. It's not dying, but it's not the future. And I don't understand how you can say their server platform is not threatened and at the same time say 1

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )
        Microsoft doesn't get the benefit of the doubt and I sacrifice nothing by just avoiding them entirely. Microsoft only cares about Linux as long as it's profitable or until they can find a way to displace it with some product they can sell you. Their interests do not inherently align with mine, they just happen to overlap somewhat at the moment.
        • Microsoft doesn't get the benefit of the doubt

          Didn't give them any. Just pointed out that EEE doesn't make sense in their business context.

      • 1)Active Director + 2) Sharepoint + 3) Exchange.
        1) LDAP, dozens of implementations
        2) git, SVN etc.
        3) mail standards like iCalc/MIME, SMTP, POP, IMAP.

        Sorry, but you are _indeed_ an idiot.

        And everything above can be backed up with standard tools. Sharepoint not so much.

        • Sorry, but you are _indeed_ an idiot.

          hahahahahahah. Oh myself, Microsoft and all the Fortune 500 companies which use none of your solutions are laughing at this. Thanks for the Sunday night comedy. hAHahaha mail standards = exchange. Oh that's a good one. I'll have to remember that for my next stand-up routine.

          No seriously though, it's clear you don't work in IT and have never touched exchange, sharepoint, or Active Directory. It's not your fault that you're completely ignorant as to their deep integration with Windows and Office on a level th

  • by Casandro ( 751346 ) on Sunday September 17, 2017 @03:53AM (#55212969)

    We now have a huge rush of people conditioned in a Windows world transferring the ideas they learned there to the userspace. Ideas like complex service management, binary log files or the ability for a normal userspace program to disable system shutdown.

    The result are monstrosities like ConsoleKit, Pulseaudio and SystemD.

    • The result are monstrosities like ConsoleKit, Pulseaudio and SystemD.

      Which developers behind those projects have come from the Windows world?

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      We now have a huge rush of people conditioned in a Windows world transferring the ideas they learned there to the userspace. Ideas like complex service management, binary log files or the ability for a normal userspace program to disable system shutdown.

      The result are monstrosities like ConsoleKit, Pulseaudio and SystemD.

      And that's because userspace isn't simple.

      How would you handle the following use case, using ALSA and scripts? You may not close the application in use, either.

      Current setup: 1 sound card (

      • Uhm...

        a) That's a very constructed setup
        b) That's only an argument for _an_ audio daemon, not for one that's pseudo modular and virtually undebugable. The concept of an audio daemon can be done competently.

        Besides all of that could be avoided by sticking with the unix philosophy. Would we just have extended terminal emulators to support GUIs, we wouldn't have the problems of X11 and audio. You'd have a sort of "Window manager" which can arrange your terminal windows on your screen, and also manage the audio

  • It is hard to imagine a time where MS is offering Office for Linux. For me, and no doubt plenty of others, this is the reason I do not use Linux as a primary OS. For my work Office is required. Not something which "sort of" works with office documents either. Part of my work includes making vba macros for several of our sites, all of which are on office 16. This of course works only with excel and nothing else.
    A few years ago, gaming was also the reason I still used Windows. I do still game from time to tim

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      Well, Office for Mac works.....sort of. I'm sure they'll get the bugs and interoperability worked out Real Soon Now.

    • Re:MS Office (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday September 17, 2017 @04:47AM (#55213047)

      It is hard to imagine a time where MS is offering Office for Linux.

      I have no problem opening up Office 365 on Linux. Before you say it's not "Office" remember that if you search Microsoft Office on any search engine or go to Office.com or go to the Microsoft store the first thing you will be greeted with is Office 365.

      To say they aren't pushing a desktop version would be disingenuous, they are actively hiding it. So their "premier" Office product most definitely runs on Linux.

      • No, Microsoft's "premier" office product runs on their servers. Whether those servers run Linux is irrelevant: the important factor is that the core logic does not run on the end user's computer. If you're not sending whatever data Microsoft wants to Microsoft, you can't use their "premier" office product.

        • No, Microsoft's "premier" office product runs on their servers.

          A distinction that no end user cares about save for a few people.

  • has been pushing development of linux partitions on its mid-range and mainframe devices for years.

    A bit unlikely, but smart - run your favourite OS as one or more partitions on this high-spec hardware. They still rule the market for high-uptime hardware.... with an appropriate price tag, of course.

  • by John Allsup ( 987 ) <moostyle,martial ... dancer&allsup,co> on Sunday September 17, 2017 @04:37AM (#55213035) Homepage Journal

    Think of a peloton in the Tour de France. Think of the bizarre cathedral on magic wheels we now have rolling along. If Microsoft want to take a turn pulling the magic penguin train along, we should embrace them, welcome them in, be friends and comrades in the game of MakeTheBloodyMachineWork. We have nothing to fear from them, the can embrace us, and extend us all they like. They will never extinguish the flame of our inner penguin.

  • The new licensing each core in the cluster will drive people away from windows and not only that each server must have at least an 16 core license for it even if it has less then that.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Sunday September 17, 2017 @06:32AM (#55213245)

    Microsoft doesn't innovate, they copy.

  • Microsoft and Poettering, Scylla and Charybdis.

    Isn't it nice to have choices?

  • Microsoft Linux, the distribution you can trust with your desktop and enterprise systems.
  • Microsoft is as committed to Windows as they were in the past. The company is not as reliant on that lockin any longer since the future for the company is Azure and online services like Office 365.

    Outside Windows Server for specific tasks and in-house applications/data centers, I don't think they are as fiercely protective of the OS.

    I've often said they should just consolidate the Windows desktop to one version and give it away free (they practically did for Windows 10 free upgrades already).

  • ... how much more damage can Microsoft possibly do to Linux distributions?
  • Hell no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tietokone-olmi ( 26595 ) on Sunday September 17, 2017 @10:28AM (#55213893)

    This is Microsoft we're talking about. The company that engages in behind-the-scenes extortion of Android device brands and manufacturers using their (seriously aging) VFAT patents. I'm sure they're able to say "b-but, we're the good guys now!", but in dealing with people like these one must always understand there's nothing stopping "the bad guy" from saying that as well.

    On a practical level, collaboration with Microsoft causes companies to die. Look at Nokia: it never had a chance. I only hope that Red Hat lets Microsoft in balls-deep.

  • This comment brought to you by Betteridge's law of headlines [wikipedia.org]. Saving you from having to read TFAs since 1991!

  • If he's so interested in developments in Linux, could he maybe have a word or two with other VPs in his own company?

    Adobe software is the only thing keeping me on Windows, all other software I use professionally has Linux versions.

  • Isn't this one of Microsoft's proven methods of killing things? (buying them)

  • I am looking forward to read his kind answer!

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