Microsoft and interoperability with Linux

Stephen M. Webb stephen.webb at
Sat Mar 1 13:50:36 UTC 2014

On 02/28/2014 12:51 PM, Georges Rodier wrote:
> What was not said, but seems clear to me from other sources, is that such deals will include a provision that there
> be no other type of server other than those from M$.

A few years ago I was with Xandros (a Linux distribution and moral predecessor to Ubuntu) working on Microsoft server
interoperability tools.  Two things were evident at the time.

First, Microsoft recognized that they did not have a controlling position in the server market and that they needed to
play nicely with others in the heterogeneous server room.  Not only did they welcome plug-ins to their Management
Console product to enable remote operation of Linux servers, but they had teams within their organization dedicated to
providing the necessary information and verification infrastructure.  Those people were highly enthusiastic and
knowledgeable about Linux right up into the management level.  They played nicely with the communities involved and
were certain it was in their best interest to do so.

Second, Microsoft is a huge organization.  Massive.  Often the left hand in one building on campus has no idea what
the right hand in another is doing.  One of the biggest problems that organization has had since Bill Gates left is
the lack of a rudder to steer everyone in the same focused direction.  We had Microsoft sales people putting down
their own product out of ignorance, just because they still had the taste of the previous Kool-Aid in their mouths.

My advice is to drink the pop and eat the pizza they provide but take anything a promoter says (and there is no doubt
the VLUG presenter was a promoter) with a large grain of salt.  The same goes for car sales, condo sales, vacuum
sales, snake oil sales, and a host of other sales pitches.  It doesn't mean the product is crap (and doesn't mean it's
not) or the organization behind it is bogus, malicious, or intent on global domination (although the latter is the
basis of free market competition in a capitalist economy, so technically it's true).  It means the promoter has a job
to do and is using classic rhetoric to do it.  Don't let it rile you.  Respond with cool reasoning.

Oh, and by the way, "MS" also stands for Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu.  Typing 'M$' instead of Microsoft is
nothing but a cheap and cliché shot; there's no reason you can't type out the name of the company.  Not doing so
labels you as a fanboi and your evident lack of respect closes a lot of minds to anything else you have to say.

Stephen M. Webb  <stephen at>

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