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  • Microsoft has developed its own Linux

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    Last edited by Ice Tea; 21-03-17, 09:29.

  • #2
    Surprisingly logical of them. I think they long ago accepted that Linux is not something they can just 'kill off' though, I wouldn't be surprised if it's widely used internally already.

    At the very least they would be crazy not to be reviewing the world of open-source software in depth, where it relates to their own efforts.

    Linux and Windows aren't really in competition in any major way, even though people often portray them as such. They have both really claimed entrenched positions in their respective markets, i.e. Windows for Enterprise / Corporate environments and user-friendly non-mobile computing in the home, and linux for pretty much everything else.

    Windows' real competitors for home use nowadays are Android and iOS as part of the gradual platform shift to mobile computing. Though I think even that gets over-hyped, the death of the home PC / laptop was greatly exaggerated as really there are a hell of a lot of things which technically you can do on a tablet/smartphone but no sane person would want to.

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    • #3
      Windows and Linux are very much in competition:
      Android / Ubuntu Phone / etc == Windows Phone
      Debian / Ubuntu Server / SLES / RHEL / etc == Windows Server / Enterprise Server / etc
      DSL / TinyCore / etc == Windows CE etc
      Openfiler / etc == Windows Home Server
      Ubuntu / Mint == Windows desktop
      OpenElec / XBMCbuntu == Windows Media Centre (though I think that's now defunct?)

      What's more surprising about this report is that MS didn't opt for BSD instead:
      • It's a more permissive licence so they can close and resell,
      • It's got a faster TCP/IP stack so better for the networking infrastructure described in that El Reg article,
      • It's a more permissive license so MS can close and resell,
      • It's largely compatible with Linux (read POSIX) so there is a lot of scope for code reuse,
      • It's already has just as much corporate attention (Sony Playstation, Apple, Netflix all use BSD on their backbone),
      • And it's a more permissive license so MS can close and resell.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ice Tea
        My concern would be if they threw tons of Money at it then it would result in their own interests such as aggressive Digital Rights Managements.
        DRM is a non-issue here since this is a networking OS not a consumer desktop OS.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cold fusion View Post
          Windows and Linux are very much in competition:
          Android / Ubuntu Phone / etc == Windows Phone
          Debian / Ubuntu Server / SLES / RHEL / etc == Windows Server / Enterprise Server / etc
          DSL / TinyCore / etc == Windows CE etc
          Openfiler / etc == Windows Home Server
          Ubuntu / Mint == Windows desktop
          OpenElec / XBMCbuntu == Windows Media Centre (though I think that's now defunct?)
          • Windows Phone = lol failure. It would be as generous to Microsoft to say they 'compete' here as it would be to say that linux competes on the desktop. In both cases it's not really competition so much as a massacre.
          • Second one you are right, but I think that actually the real threat to Microsoft here is the move to cloud hosted software-as-service models, rather than linux. I mean obviously they largely run linux under the hood anyway, but the real threat is the paradigm shift which allows companies to more easily migrate away from the standard AD / Exchange / MS Office setup. Once your business processes are in the clouds the operating system which runs the web applications concerned is no longer something you really care much about, as you're paying other people to worry about it.
          • Windows CE? Dead product really.
          • Windows Home Server? Dead/Niche product which barely anyone uses.
          • Windows Desktop - honesty, linux is further than competing on this front than ever imo. It's just not where linux excels, and 'linux on the desktop' is not really what true die-hard unixbeard linux enthusiasts have ever wanted. Desktops are for nublets anyway. It's all about shells and config files .
          • Last one I think XBone is really where Microsoft is going in this arena, and away from Windows.


          Technically if you're going to be picky of course they are in competition. But my main point was that really that's always been exaggerated and they both have their own natural 'home territories' which haven't really changed much over the years, and that Android / Mobile / Cloud Computing are the real threats to Windows.

          I agree that one of my first thoughts was that I was surprised they didn't go BSD instead.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by andyn View Post
            Surprisingly logical of them. I think they long ago accepted that Linux is not something they can just 'kill off' though, I wouldn't be surprised if it's widely used internally already...
            I seem to remember reading somewhere that microsoft uses linux servers for pretty much everything they need servers for... Great vote of confidence in their own server OS
            Why did the chicken cross the road?
            To get away from the Canadian poultry farmer with loose trousers.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FunkY View Post
              I seem to remember reading somewhere that microsoft uses linux servers for pretty much everything they need servers for... Great vote of confidence in their own server OS
              AFAIK they don't run Linux (or not heavily anyway). Microsoft did used to run their own release of UNIX called Xenix and that was used quite heavily in Microsoft until NT really took off. And sometimes Microsoft servers get misreported as being Linux due to CDN services (such as Akamai, who do use Linux) proxying connections to MS. But if you query Microsoft servers directly they always serve Windows metadata (eg IIS HTTP headers)
              Last edited by cold fusion; 23-09-15, 14:11.

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              • #8
                It could well have been something to do with Akamai actually. I've been trying to find the article I originally read and the closest I've found is about them hiding behind akamai servers...
                Why did the chicken cross the road?
                To get away from the Canadian poultry farmer with loose trousers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by andyn View Post
                  • Windows Phone = lol failure. It would be as generous to Microsoft to say they 'compete' here as it would be to say that linux competes on the desktop. In both cases it's not really competition so much as a massacre.
                  • Second one you are right, but I think that actually the real threat to Microsoft here is the move to cloud hosted software-as-service models, rather than linux. I mean obviously they largely run linux under the hood anyway, but the real threat is the paradigm shift which allows companies to more easily migrate away from the standard AD / Exchange / MS Office setup. Once your business processes are in the clouds the operating system which runs the web applications concerned is no longer something you really care much about, as you're paying other people to worry about it.
                  • Windows CE? Dead product really.
                  • Windows Home Server? Dead/Niche product which barely anyone uses.
                  • Windows Desktop - honesty, linux is further than competing on this front than ever imo. It's just not where linux excels, and 'linux on the desktop' is not really what true die-hard unixbeard linux enthusiasts have ever wanted. Desktops are for nublets anyway. It's all about shells and config files .
                  • Last one I think XBone is really where Microsoft is going in this arena, and away from Windows.


                  Technically if you're going to be picky of course they are in competition. But my main point was that really that's always been exaggerated and they both have their own natural 'home territories' which haven't really changed much over the years, and that Android / Mobile / Cloud Computing are the real threats to Windows.
                  It's not about being picky though. Microsoft have stated that they want to destroy Linux; Ballmer has specifically called Linux "a cancer". They've openly slated Linux and the open source movement on numerous occasions. So it's pretty clear that "old Microsoft" (ie pre-Nadella) not only saw Linux as a competition; but even as a big threat to their monopoly.

                  Granted Microsoft have since eased up on their hate somewhat. Even going so far as supporting Linux (MS SQL now runs on Linux, Visual Studio Code runs on Linux, etc). But as much as you might argue that that each of those specific fields discussed above tend to be dominated by either Linux or Windows, or whatever yours or anyone elses biases might be, Microsoft and Windows are competing for business in the same fields of IT thus they are technically and quite literally in competition with each other.

                  Even with the Xbox example, there's Linux competitors (eg Steam OS). We can see that Microsoft take this competition seriously because Microsoft's new APIs (Universal Windows Platform - UWP) has been purposely designed to lock people into the Windows ecosystem (inc Windows Store) and away from not only Valve's app store (Steam), but also from any non-Windows OS. Since UWP is aimed to leverage gaming across all Windows platforms, that would mean Microsoft still very much see Windows Phone as a viable platform - which means they are still very much competing against Android and iOS. Let's also not forget that "Metro" on the Desktop was purposely forced on users (Windows 8+) to promote their tablet and phone platforms (again, direct competition with iOS and Android).

                  Originally posted by andyn View Post
                  I agree that one of my first thoughts was that I was surprised they didn't go BSD instead.
                  This is actually the main reason I bumped this thread. There's some new information being released about this "Microsoft Linux" and it's actually less exciting than it sounds. Their Github repo says:
                  > Q. Is SONiC a Linux distribution?
                  > A. No, SONiC is a collection of networking software components required to have a fully functional L3 device that can be agnostic of any particular Linux distribution. Today SONiC runs on Debian
                  and from what I can tell, SONiC is based on Cumulus, and one of their devs has commented about the reason Debian was picked:
                  Microsoft isn't a huge Debian fan, they just chose it because our (Cumulus) distribution is based on Debian, and so our patches are against it.
                  Porting them to another distribution would be work.
                  Still interesting stuff though. Even if it's less dramatic than El Reg had reported (though in some subsequent licences they speculated that SONiC would be MIT licenced, which would be GPL incompatible and thus legally impossible. So I wouldn't trust any Register articles on this topic.
                  Last edited by cold fusion; 10-03-16, 10:32.

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                  • #10
                    Is anybody seriously contemplating running MSSQL on Linux ?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by oneman View Post
                      Is anybody seriously contemplating running MSSQL on Linux ?
                      No idea. I agree with you that it seems a really odd thing to do as Windows licences are a fraction of the cost of enterprise MS SQL licences; that Windows + MS SQL is proven (unlike Linux + MS SQL); and that if you already have Linux sysadmins / devops on staff then they'd likely go with MySQL / mariadb or PostgreSQL. Heck, maybe even Oracle RDBMS. Porting MS SQL to Linux seems insanely pointless. But who knows what the IT industry might look like in 10 years time.

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