Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

M$ to boost compatibility with OSS?

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS

Microsoft is bowing to pressure from users to improve compatibility between its systems software and open-source technology.

The company has run extensive advertising campaigns promoting its products against open-source rivals and chief executive officer Steve Ballmer has denounced Linux as inferior to the Microsoft Windows platform.

But at its head office in Seattle, Microsoft has established a testing lab containing 400 Linux and Unix servers in order to test compatibility with its own systems and management tools.

The company has actively recruited a team of engineers, headed by former IBM open-source head Bill Hilf, to learn from best practices of the open-source community and develop interoperability.

In an interview with Computer Weekly, Hilf, director of platform strategy at Microsoft, said, "We do not compete with the open-source community. We have some open-source projects out there."

Hilf said he valued the transparency and honesty of the open-source community and the way it could communicate with users.

He has hired Daniel Robbins, founder of Linux distributor Gentoo, to help Microsoft understand more about how the open-source community works.

Some open-source initiatives are already finding their way into Microsoft practices, said Hilf. "In our shared-source programme, 99% of [the code] is fully modifiable and distributable," he said, mirroring an open source-style licence.

He also said that Wix, the Windows installer, has been licensed under the open source common public licence in the open source web resource, SourceForge.

Hilf is encouraging third-party software providers to develop integration products that will allow Linux and Windows to co-exist.

Earlier this month at Microsoft's European Tech Ed conference in Amsterdam, a number of companies demonstrated Linux/Windows integration. One company, Vintela, showed an agent for Microsoft Systems Management Sever, to allow administration staff to manage Linux servers and desktops. And Centrify has developed authentication software that enables Linux users to be authenticated via the Microsoft Active Directory.

At LinuxWorld in San Francisco next month, Hilf is planning to demonstrate the Indigo technology in Longhorn, the next version of Windows, which he said provides standards-based communications to Microsoft and non-Microsoft systems.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

[GNU IceCat] browser is (finally) on Fedora

GNU Icecat will be available on Fedora updates-testing repositories for some days. That’s right time to test harshly this new web browser (really it’s not so new considering it’s a fork of Firefox) and leave a positive/negative karma or open a bug. Read more

today's howtos

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Ryan Icculus Gordon On The Linux Action Show
    Ryan Icculus Gordon has just recently been on a guest on the excellent Linux Action Show to talk about Linux gaming. Ryan Icculus Gordon is the name behind a number of big ports, and you can see here just what he has done. Hint: It's a lot.
  • Empire: Total War Looks Close To A Linux Version, Pokes Fun At Linux Gamers
    We already knew that Total War: Rome II would come to Linux which sadly didn't come out when expected early this year, but now it looks like the original Empire: Total War will come to Linux too.
  • Another (Linux) game added to the Humble Jumbo Bundle 2
    - Legend of Grimrock: Old school and modern gaming combines in this thrilling dungeon crawler RPG from Almost Human Games. A group of prisoners are sentenced to certain death by exile to the secluded Mount Grimrock for vile crimes they may or may not have committed. Unbeknownst to their captors, the mountain is riddled with ancient tunnels, dungeons, and tombs built by crumbled civilizations long perished now. If they ever wish to see daylight again and reclaim their freedom, the ragtag group of prisoners must form a team and descend through the mountain, level by level.