Linux

Microsoft keeps trying to kill Linux, but the hydra has many heads


Microsoft's recent $100-million investment in Novell's SUSE Linux certificates may not look like a shot at the open source movement, but according to some, it is just that. Microsoft seems to be hoping that SUSE can unseat Red Hat and, with the cross-licensing agreements Microsoft has in place with Novell, tie the Redmond-based giant into an open-source revenue stream. Novell has not even come close to removing Red Hat from the top of the Linux heap, but their product is definitely inexpensive and customers are buying it.

Microsoft Ups Its Anti-Linux Crusade by $100 Million (News.com)

Some customers are trying to run both products on the same machines on the desktop side for a variety of reasons, but this trick is nowhere near the mainstream, requires several products to run in parallel, and takes a fairly sophisticated techie to implement. At least one prominent columnist, John Dvorak, thinks that a partnership of Adobe, Google, and a Linux vendor could put together a special-purpose machine that could make headway against Microsoft in industries that depend on Adobe's Creative Suite, but this initiative isn't even vaporware yet. Unfortunately, even in organizations that want to switch partially or fully to Linux, the resistance to actually implementing these switches is formidable.

Linux and Windows: Can't We All Just Get Along? (ComputerWorld)

Would Linux Help Adobe Pummel Microsoft? (News.com)

What It's Like to Switch to Open-Source (ComputerWorld)

Despite the localized successes of open source, it is unlikely that the masses will be switching anytime soon. Most people simply do not want to learn enough to be able to run Linux full time, they just want to be able to use their computers as they always have. Even through the crashes, Vista fiascos, and bloat that Microsoft is famous for, they do put out a product that works well most of the time, is familiar to users, and generally does the job. Have you started initiatives to switch users to Linux?

26 comments
mhorany
mhorany

I think people fail to realize that Novell actually just took a lot of heat off of other Linux distributions that Microsoft wanted to fight legal battles with. Understand, that I believe Microsoft to be rather annoying from time to time with this "Holier Than Thou" act they always portray, but not Novell. Novell is simply doing what they need to do to keep their SUSE/OES2 products alive in the market and let customers know that it is a viable solution to their enterprise. Red Hat is cool, but it isn't he only thing out there.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Overly biased pile of crap. First off, I don't buy teh title, especially after drillign down a couple of articles to fidn the original comment that stated MS was trying to kill Linux. The comments abotu Novell are SOMEWHAT accurate but also obviously written with careful effort of a true RedHat fan. They offer SOME stats, but nothing to support them other than a few scant numbers here and there. The rest is all just biased opinion and assumption. Novell doesn't really sit in the shadow of Windows Server on anythign except final sales numbers. As an NOS, Novell often sits BEHIND Windows Server or MANAGES a Windows server and therefore the numbers are going to be lower but the need for Novell is still seen as imperative for a lot of organizations running MS desktops and servers. But this really isn't about Novell either, it is about some RedHat fan trying to make Red Hat appear to be more of a threat to MS than it really is. If MS/Novell's partnershoip allows them to sell a widespread SUSE installation base, then they have captured the best of all worlds, Novell, MS and Linux. But I dont't see this as posturing to beat out RedHat, that's a lot of money and effort to take out a small player in the OS market. Maybe MS will actually be forced to release a good product to keep up!

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

I am tired of companies like Intel and Microsoft using their mass and momentum to force garbage like Vista down my throat. I have started the move to Linux and not looking back. Of course, Microsoft is singing the praises of Vista, like most OSes a butt load of money has been sunk into it and Microsoft has the ability to force it on people no matter how bad it is because of their strangle hold on the market. Well, if you don't want to be in this position, do what I did. Buy a Mac and use Linux on your Microsuck WinBlows machines.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

.. you might find your comments taken in a better light if you avoid using miss-spellings of various brand and company names though. Also, if you think of the various linux distributions as seporate OS you'll have an even easier time learning the new platforms as "Linux" is not all one OS but a small common part among many different OS. Debian is not Ubuntu which is not Mandriav which is not Red Hat.. and so on. It clarifies a lot of things when you distinquish. If you have any questions with your varous OS, many here can help though so post 'em all. Off hand, what distribution are you using?

Tearat
Tearat

To me I like to think of an OS as the minimum, the smallest part that can be used to execute or run a single file program Like DOS without the command processor Most of what we have come to call an OS is a package of programs and files Most of which we do not want or need But something you pay for when buying your next OS or PC with and OS For Linux I think it is the kernel plus the minimum need to load and run the user interface That includes the hardware drivers It may include networking but at the minimum needed level Most of the rest are OS extensions and applications But I may just be getting old and remembering the old days Note some were good some you just want to forget This is off topic but I was just wondering Anyway it?s just my opinion Not worth an argument

Tearat
Tearat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOS It talks about dos and its unnamed kernel It as so covers the history of MS DOS and other versions of x86 DOS I could be safe in saying that the DOS OS was the kernal

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

.. but then I also have a rather wonderfully filthy mind. ;) drat.. couldn't spot the identification of the MS-Dos core with a ten second pass over the page but I'll read it later in detail. It seems more on the microkernel level though with TSR and drivers loaded into memory to support the hardware directly; if the program you ran couldn't use the driver directly, it wasn't going to work. I once worked with an old school hacker that clearly remembered having to patch Dos and command.com after installing it cleanly back in the day.

Tearat
Tearat

I was told to just ask if you were male or female Don?t know why but I thought boxfiddler was male Me I am a good ol kiwi bloke Just encase you missed my first name its Steve No not Steve the rat But I do have a cat The only squeaks around here are wheels on my chair I have an oilcan but don?t know where Yes its so funny how all Windows are Windows so all Linux are Linux It is amazing how some of the Win fanboys will defend their favourite package version of Windows Saying how it is so much better the any other package version of Windows Then go on to say how Windows is much better than Linux Without saying which Linux and which Windows packages The even forget to include which service pack sometimes I don?t know how they can include Win ME for one thing But ME was not a NT based package, which was its main problem The Win32/Dos kernel was so underpowered by then I see they make the same mistake with the Apple OS It?s a shame some people get dragged down to the dumbest level Used to do things with Apple but that was a long time ago The DOS kernel? This page may help http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_(computer_science)#Early_operating_system_kernels It looks like you will need to cut and past that line into the Navigation Toolbar Not all of the DOS OS was loaded from a disk It was an extension of the BIOS Or installed extensions to the BIOS They were called an operating system first Kernel came later Servers do have a different history though If I remember right the C64 had an OS they called a kernel in ROM Kernel is not exactly right Its layers not a core and shells The kernel is also layered so its not really the core But we do have many funny names in IT IT is it Right? What is IT You know IT?s the thing with computers WHAT The Linux versions don?t work well together That would never happen with Windows Well if you take out Vista XP ME 2K 98 NT 95 they do Bugger forgot 3.0 3.1 .3.11 and more Damn those silly sixteen bit OS Damn it I forget is 3.11 16 or 32 bit? And I forgot Vista and XP are 64 bit as well Have you tried the latest Mandriva yet? Sorry if that?s a question you have answered somewhere else I have checked and all my hardware is supported I will be trying it soon Downloaded the DVD ISO files last week Will try things on both 32 and 64 versions I don?t experiment as much as I use to I see people write about having to type commands for Linux Really? In this day and age? How often do you do that? I haven?t had too much since the old red hat 6.2 days You could call cars carriages Without the horseless part it works It?s the wheels that get you where you want to go There is motor vehicle and automobile That should do for most ?My motivation is to provide clarity rather than further confusion among people who haven't studied or read a bit about software architecture.? Sometimes I wonder if we should just shoot the architects and start again With an Engineer? Nope Manager? Hell no Salesman? Pray they never get that desperate User? Lol that?s a joke Tradesman Yep that?s the one Use the poor buggers who have to fix them

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The technical definition; Operating System is the minimal programming code that sits between hardware and the rest of the software to manage resources and pass the messages back and forth between the two sides. Linux is an OS in that the kernel enables the rest of the software to interact with the hardware. The Windows kernel is an OS in that it does the same for the win32/64 code on top of it. Hurd; an OS by technical defintion. Dos; an OS with some minimal user space included (not sure what the actual kernel of Dos is). I agree totally and stick to that when I'm talking with sofware architects that make that destinction. This is most notable when I look at gaming; I want hardware kernel + hardware drivers Game. Anything more than what is minimally required to make the game run is bloat (example; Windows). In terms of general discussion, I go with the expanded definition of OS meaning kernel + minimal user space. This because most people come from a Windows background and assume that "Windows" is the OS rather than *an* OS that includes some userspace wrapped around it. It's all "Windows" and the general population get's confused when there are more than two "Windowers" versions to pick from. That confusion translates to "you mean there are more than two "Linuxus" to choose from and they all don't just work together? It must be broken and crappy and confusing." More so on the techy side, they complain because a Debian package won't drop into there Red Hat distribution installation just like that; they're different freaking OS/Userspace, what did you expect? WinXP software doesn't work so well with Vista. I wouldn't expect to drop a GM V8 engine (kernel) into a Corolla; the engine is meant for a Truck chassis. This has lead me to focus more on differentiating by using the brand name for a distro or "Linux based OS" when speaking more generally. Each distribution is an OS and library of userspace but it's seen as an OS by the average users. Debian is not the same as Mandriva though they both use the same commodity parts and refering to them both as "Linux" ignoring the user space and differences only surves the detractor's desire to confuse people back into there own fan camp rather than understand the different options and make educated decisions. The example I've used a few times now is refering to all cars as "cylindars". They all use combustion engines after all so why differentiate between a car or truck or types of cars and trucks. "I'm going to go jump in my cylindar and drive over to the store for milk." I am in agreement fully that by technical definition, OS is the thin layer between hardware and the program the user is actually using. Further, the OS itself should be invisible between both the layers. My motivation is to provide clarity rather than further confusion among people who haven't studied or read a bit about software architecture. (I don't usually go looking for arguments but the last few weeks they seem to have found me.)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Why is the Microsoft / Novell deal seen as anti-Linux? "Most people simply do not want to learn enough to be able to run Linux full time, they just want to be able to use their computers as they always have." It's nice to see somebody gets it. "Even through the crashes, Vista fiascos, and bloat that Microsoft is famous for, ..." Oops, looks like I spoke too soon. For every case of anti-Linux FUD, there are corresponding out-of-date accusations of Windows crashing like demolition derby. This just isn't true any more. As to Vista, there aren't that many people that have made the jump, especially on the corporate side. For every Vista fiasco there's a Linux user still trying to get his laptop wireless or high-end graphics card to work. Okay, bloat I can't argue with. "... they do put out a product that works well most of the time, is familiar to users, and generally does the job." Once again, you get it. And no, we have neither started nor plan to start deploying Linux to non-tech users. We do have some application developers that use it for our proprietary, single-function product applications, but no 'regular' users.

ToadWiz
ToadWiz

Politics? I don't know whether to blame Microshaft or HP, but the last machine I bought was DELIBERATELY rigged to make it difficult to remove Vista and accompanying malware. I did finally get it removed only to find that HP denied me access to operational Win2000 drivers. (How do I know this? Just after I switched to Linux, I finally got the drivers from a third party who bought the same computer.) M$ or HP (take your pick) are the ones who convinced me to use Linux. I'm not a cash cow for them. A big company with a huge hardware investment can afford to buy whatever M$ puts out, and can afford to replace it whenever M$ decides to produce a new OS and drop support for the old one. *I* cannot afford this ... well, I can, but I'm not letting M$ pick my pocket because they need the money. Your mileage may vary, but as I have said before, if you like what you are using, KEEP USING IT. What is it about some people that just HAVE to criticize someone else's choice? I know that's how you make your living, but really, you have no right to complain about Linux fanboys when you are so clearly a M$ fanboy.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

What is it about the MS / Novell deal that is so abhorrent to some Linux supporters? I could agree with you about the withholding of XP drivers by hardware manufacturers, but yo specified W2K drivers. I'm not surprised HP didn't offer W2K drivers for a new system. They probably didn't offer W98 or W95 drivers either. Nobody offers W2K drivers for new systems; unlike XP, MS hasn't offered W2K in years. Why should hardware manufacturers develop drivers for obsolete operating systems. I suspect your friend hooked you up with XP drivers since they often work with W2K systems. Out of interest, why did you choose W2K over XP? As to Linux fanboys (your term, not mine), please quote the phrasing I used that you interpreted as my complaining about them. I asked why some Linux advocates are upset about what to me looks like a business deal; is asking a question defined as 'complaining'? As to being my being an MS 'fanboy', I'll take your length of membership and the number of threads you've participated in under consideration before I take your accusation to heart. You're a total stranger whom I'll likely never meet, so your opinion of me doesn't bother me. In the meantime, you may want to withhold judgment on any member until you've been around here more than a couple of months. You never know when you'll want to post a question.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I asked what I said that could be interpreted as pro-Windows, and you responded. "...there are corresponding out-of-date accusations of Windows crashing like demolition derby. This just isn't true any more." Stating the truth doesn't mean I'm pro-MS. I can say Detroit cars are getting better mileage, but that doesn't mean I'm going to buy one. I'm not sure what you find pro-MS in my calling Vista a fiasco. As to picking sides in a flame war, many of us are trying to discuss the subject without allowing it to deteriorate in flames. We agree that this discussion could have been phrased in a less inflammatory way.

ToadWiz
ToadWiz

I am not at all interested in joining one side or the other in the various flame-wars going on. I have absolutely no idea who is on which side, except for 007 and Neon Samurai. However if Neon Samurai says something I think is stupid, I'm not going to sweat pointing it out. You got the salient point, "... any Big Player knows to beware of MS." Palmeto said, "For every case of anti-Linux FUD, there are corresponding out-of-date accusations of Windows crashing like demolition derby. This just isn't true any more. As to Vista, there aren't that many people that have made the jump, especially on the corporate side. For every Vista fiasco there's a Linux user still trying to get his laptop wireless or high-end graphics card to work." It sounded like cover for MS to me, so I responded. As I look back, I expect the initial post to have been troll-bait, "MS keeps trying to kill Linux..." Arguably true, but worded in the way most likely to draw fire. No personal remark to anyone intended. I find it amusing, and I expect MS finds it amusing that people get into huge arguments about which is better, when the final decision will be made by the market. In my opinion, the more the market fragments into pieces, each with it's own problem to solve, the more likely Linux will prevail. M$ can't pay attention to every niche market, and the niches could add up. Let everyone be satisfied with whatever choice they make.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

Palmetto is far from an MS fanboy. And he did ask a good question! Speculating on his choice of OS based on his post is absurd. What he did was mention that if you are going to throw around assumptions about others, maybe you should research them a bit first -- which isnt a bad idea, but is highly missed anyway.. I feel the same way, why are so many people up in arms over this. It APPEARS so far, to be a boon to the Linux Community. However, I also share some concern, and I am sure that many at Novell do as well, MS F**ked over Novell several times. And any Big Player knows to beware of MS. As for this deal, I do not have too much knowledge on it, however, those that have more info are not the ones stating it is a bad deal for Linux. All I have seen is speculation and people without access to that information as the ones with the loudest voice against it. I for one like SUSE for many things. Sure it's bloated like a Win system, however it runs nicely and does what I want it to do.

ToadWiz
ToadWiz

1976 Microsoft sold exclusive rights to their BASIC to MITS, then sued in court to be able to resell to someone else. 1994 M$ steals Stac's disk compression software and includes it with MS-DOS 6.0. Stac wins $120 million in court, but goes out of business and is forced to license their software to M$. 1997 Borland sues and wins over deliberate code in Win 3.0 to exclude Borland compilers. 1998 M$ licenses NT to AT&T, but refuses to provide updates. M$ loses lawsuit. 1998 Spyglass licenses a browser to Microsoft, which became Internet Explorer. Microsoft agrees to pay royalties as a percentage of each sale. Microsoft starts giving IE away for free and Spyglass sues for deception. Microsoft bought out the suit for a one-time fee. 2001 Sun licenses Java to M$. M$ "extends" Java to break it, loses twice in court. 2003 M$ added an ?innovative improvement? to the Kerberos authentication protocol developed by MIT, but intended to break interoperability. MIT's lawsuit forced M$ to back down. MANY more examples are available. In case it isn't OBVIOUS, the moral of the story is, "He who sups with the devil needs a long spoon." Regarding HP, it's their right to withhold drivers they developed. I know Win2000 drivers existed, because I did finally get them, through many back channels. Nevertheless, it's their right to withhold any proprietary software as they choose - and my right to say that if you developed it, and if your reason for withholding it is to keep me locked into Vista and the Malware you put on the machine, then it's my right to install Linux. Win2K over XP? When XP first came out, every time you changed the hardware, you had to call M$ and beg for another activation code. It's no longer that way, but it left a VERY BAD TASTE in my mouth. I will say that the best thing about Vista is that it made me realize that XP wasn't as bad as I've thought over the years. As far as who you are or who I am or whether length of time here is some kind of criteria for telling the truth or posting a valid opinion, I can't believe you said any of that. Are you really that insecure? No, that is not an accusation, any more than anything else I wrote was. I'm just a philosopher, giving an opinion, expecting no more of it than anyone else should. I do think that some people clearly are protecting their livelihood in their posts - i.e. that the post serves THEM, instead of serving the reader. As I said earlier, if you like M$, be happy with your choice. Let everyone be happy with the choice they make. Have a good day!

acadamis2000
acadamis2000

I totally agree that there will never be a time that non tech users will be using Linux. Most of us including myself have had the beginning support job in the industry. Supporting users to use Windows is hard enough as it is. Then think of telling a non tech user that they need to chmod a file to change the command and to actually maybe have to read the man pages to learn something. This type of thing just doesn't happen. I say that Microsoft investing money in Novell is not a shot at Linux, considering a lot of companies are paying money for Enterprise Licenses for it already. I think that they might be able to do great things with it and combine technologies to make a fairly stronger backbone of the network.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Aan appliance user is never going to chmod anything. How many resasign NT file permissions to another user? You shouldn't asociate our struggle with what's under the hood, with user could not find steering wheel.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I saw the first sentence and never got past it. You're right. Non-tech users don't use many of their existing Windows tools. Whether they would use the corresponding Linux tools is irrelevant.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"I totally agree that there will never be a time that non tech users will be using Linux." i don't know who you're agreeing with, but it isn't me. I didn't say Linux would 'never' penetrate the non tech user market. I said we aren't using it and aren't planning to. That could change at any time. Our European ownership could decide to give Redmond the finger (or whatever Italians do) and mandate the corporation go to OSS next year. I don't use the words 'never' or 'always' when discussing IT.

Jaqui
Jaqui

religion? which cesspool of vitriol do you want to disturb? anything that sounds like making nice with the "evil empire" will bring it out. personally, I could not care less about MS' deal with Novell, it was about patents, and as far as I am concerned software patents are illegal and whichever patent office issued them needs to be closed, via nuke. [ hint: the first software patents were issued in the U.S. so it's the U.S. to blame for the destruction of law and order, they couldn't even obey their own patent laws ]

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Jaqui, America doesn't follow ANY of its own rules, values or laws; you should know that by now! 'Practice what you preach' is not in their vocabulary.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It's really that simple for some people. MS long history of predatory practices remains a warning looming over anything Microsoft does. The values and goals are in too great a conflict. MS, as a business that happens to sell software, must bow the ultimate goal above all others; profit margins. That's not to excuse MS, just to understand it's motivation. Any business exists to make money but other businesses find more of a balance between profits and product quality or consumer benefits. On the other side, the FOSS community values product quality and end user benefits above profit margins. It is not about maximizing profits by minimizing expense, it's about producing something usefull and releaseing it early then releasing updates for it often. Focusing on profit margins detracts from that basic principal. Many of the developers and community have or still do work for "for profit" motivated companies and have often seen projects cut short becuase they where "good enough" to convince someone to open there wallet or had to meet a synthetic deadline like a release date. They've seen how the perception of a companies marketing image far outweighs the truth of a companies products. While there are also those who are angry just because it's big, bad MS, they are a minority hell bent on killing the software dictatorship. That's not the majority any more than the anti-corporate hippies are the majority of the general public. It is also rather shallow thinking if the only reason for using something other than Microsoft is to stick it to Bill. Mostly, it's Microsoft's history; no "partner" of Microsoft's ever got out unharmed. You dance with the devil, you get burned; it's that simple. Now, Novell is also a business and a rather big one also motivated by making money. They must be good at it too as they are still around even after loosing the network OS market once dominated by Netware. The problem was that the partnership was imidiately spun as justifying Microsoft's patent claims against libre software. MS used it spun to there benefit, the FOSS community in turn used it spun to there own view. Suse still carries on and if Suse dies, OpenSuse source is already out there and won't climb back in the genie's lantern. Yeah, it's mostly politics fueled by historic presidents. The real developers just keep on keeping on with there own code and leave the market alone to play it's market games. As Mr Torvalds says; Windows is simply not interesting too me, not bad, not good.. just not interesting.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

it is on a sliding scale, however if SUSE becomes a prominent desktop system in businesses, Novell will have to pay MS more. Currently though, MS is paying Novell quite a bit more. Right now this is GOOD for the Linux community, for several reasons. MS is showing signs of recognition for Linux, which they have shunned in the past. It shows that MS realizes that Linux IS a threat, however small at this time, but has Potential to become a much larger threat! 2. Helping to allow Linux INTO the MS environment. This is a HUGE boon for Linux all together and should not be discounted lightly. Just my take. However I havent seen it as being a 'bad thing' yet. I may be wrong overall.

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

There are plenty of data centers with Linux in production, but far fewer user installations. Have you started any non-techie user trials?

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

We have some users at my current employer that use Linux for financial scenario modeling software (custom created application). Previously, I was part of a team that rolled out Linux + Open Office to line workers in a manufacturing environment. All they needed to do was check e-mail, look at Word formatted instructions, and do some minor stuff in spreadsheets. Just as most people don't notice the type of car a taxicab is that they jump into (they just want to make it to the airport safely and in time), a good deal of users wouldn't notice what was running on their systems, as long as they were able to do everything they needed to do. Partnerships like the one mentioned (Adobe +Go ogle...space intended) are intriguing to that end.

Editor's Picks