Re: [FoRK] Linux has won — long live the rest of the indemnified stack
Jeff Bone <
jbone at place.org
> on >
Sun Nov 5 16:01:01 PST 2006
Hmmm, where's that FoRK post from several years back when I predicted
that eventually M$ would embrace (and extend) Linux --- and from
which point on I ceased worrying about M$ and the general problem of
anti-trust vs. my libertarian ideals, through recognition that the
market *always* corrects... just not as fast as we'd like. :-)
On Nov 2, 2006, at 10:17 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> "Microsoft just said "uncle" on Linux."
> November 2, 2006
> Linux has won — long live the rest of the indemnified stack
> Posted by Dana Gardner @ 5:56 pm
> Digg This!
> Welcome to the "Linux Everywhere" world. Microsoft now loves Linux,
> even if Steve Ballmer wouldn't don a penguin suit.
> Yes, Linux, I think we can safely say, has won. Oracle wants to get
> it to you cheap. Microsoft wants to let you choose how to deploy
> your applications — on Linux or Windows instances, perhaps on the
> same machine or blade rack. Intel, AMD, Dell, HP, IBM, Sun — they
> all just love Linux.
> Linux has never been in better shape, as long as Microsoft doesn't
> think you're abusing their intellectual property. Microsoft today
> with its Novell agreements is essentially offering Linux
> indemnification when Windows and Linux play together. But you will
> pay for it. Want to be safe using Linux and Windows together?
> Better buy SuSe support from Novell. That's the message.
> Of course, Oracle is also offering indemnification. So is Sun. IBM
> and HP seem to, too. So what gives? Is Microsoft making idle
> threats? Will they back the threats up by suing their own
> customers? Will they sue big customers? ISVs? They will need a
> whipping boy, or the implied threat is a bluff. The SCO thing
> didn't really work out. No fear there.
> SCO or no-SCO, Microsoft needs a Linux-Windows TCO story that makes
> legal risk the difference between SuSe Linux TCO (with a Windows
> mingle) and the TCO of the rest of Linux (with a Windows mingle).
> And what's the big difference here from yesterday? It used to be a
> FUD threat of Microsoft, or proxy, bringing on legal wrangles if
> ANY Linux were used. Now, it's only non-SuSe Linux that might peeve
> Microsoft's lawyers.
> As the Peggy Lee song says: "Is that all there is?"
> Tactically, this was not the really big show that the lead-up to
> the announcement suggested. For those shops really worried about
> getting sued by Microsoft, they ought to go SuSe. Fine. Still, I'd
> say that the threat is mostly hollow. And I'll stay with that
> position until Microsoft sues a Fortune 500 company for
> intellectual property transgressions, which will just push
> enterprises into a pure Linux play.
> But strategically there is a big, big story here. Microsoft just
> said "uncle" on Linux. They had to save face, so they did it behind
> a smoke screen of indemnification malarky. The bigger story is that
> the software game has changed to one of a battle between the
> "friends of Linux."
> In other words, it's now a world of "our stuff" plus Linux against
> "your stuff" plus Linux. Microsoft knew that virtualization and SOA
> were going to make moot most distinctions between applications/
> services supported by a Linux kernel or a Windows instance. They
> saw that developers increasingly prefer to build, test, and deploy
> on open source … and then let someone else worry about porting to
> Windows, if necessary. This is especially true for SaaS and service
> provider ISVs — where cost is super critical.
> I do think the timing on this is curious, and had to have something
> to do with Oracle's Linux move.
> In any event, now that Microsoft loves Linux, too, the open source
> vs. commercial battle moves up the stack. Yes, it's clearly a stack
> world now, and the next battle ground is … middleware. Linux is a
> must-have commodity within any stack — a Windows stack, an Oracle
> stack, an IBM stack. You name it. Microsoft says so.
> The real end-game for open source then is the rest of the stack,
> right up to and including the business applications. The new
> questions are: Will the JBoss model be repeatable and allow Red Hat
> to successfully move up the stack? Can they do it without IBM and
> Oracle? Will SOA emerge as a strong open source alternative? Will
> the hardware providers begin to give away the software, ala Sun, to
> pressure the non-hardware software players on price and make the
> profit from the hardware alone? Will the SaaS providers squeeze the
> business applications profits even as the profits in the Linux
> bottom of the stack wither?
> Even as these questions are resolved, the ISVs and the enterprise
> developers now know: Design, build, and deploy on Linux, and have
> low risk, low cost. And may the best services within the rest of
> competing stacks win — on both quality and TCO, be they commercial,
> open source, or commercial open source.
> Oh, one more thing … Should we expect Microsoft to also soon offer
> indemnification protection when one mingles Windows with Unix?
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