Feeds

MS un-denial leaves Linux option open

Feasible

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Meta Group has made a bold prediction that Microsoft will deliver some server-side software to run on Linux beginning next year, but Redmond's official "denial" leaves the option wide open. It revives a rumor that's been doing the rounds for two years.

Starting with .NET, thinks Meta Group, Microsoft will eventually move SQL Server and Exchange to the OS, too.

"Microsoft will not be engineering server software expressly for Linux," was the official line from Peter Houston, a senior director at Microsoft's server business.

Which leaves several options un-denied, if you like. One is that since .NET's common language infrastructure (CLI) has already ported to FreeBSD, Microsoft doesn't need to be doing any engineering "expressly for Linux." .NET contains a PAL, or "Platform Adaptation Layer", and UNIX build environment and toolchain.

The second, rather more obvious option, is that even if Microsoft isn't doing the engineering itself, it might be supporting someone else who is.

This is how Microsoft approached the FreeBSD CLI port, with the help of Corel. It's how it's traditionally done Unix ports. Microsoft had a close relationship with Bristol Technologies which ended acrimoniously in litigation: see Official: it's legal to screw Unix - MS beats Bristol rap - a must read.

Microsoft had promoted WISE (Windows Interactive Source Environment) as an "open system" but then deprived Bristol of the source code it needed to ensure compatibility going forward for its Wind/U toolkit.

Developers trusting that NT4 would be "just fucked", said Gates when he discovered Bristol's claims. The two settled in February 2001. Bristol won punitive damages and legal fees under a Connecticut trade practices act. Bristol continues to develop WIND/U, allowing developers on Win32 to target Linux and other UNIX platforms, plus VMS and OS/390. (When Corel agreed to undertake the BSD work, it signed a "Convenant Not To Sue" with The Beast.

Microsoft's preferred partner for this kind of work nowadays is MainSoft, which recently joined the ECMA committee standardization process for cross platform .NET components.

And let's not forget Mono, Ximian's implementation of the .NET run-time, libraries and C# compiler. Miguel de Icaza admires the architecture and elegance of .NET and many folk who have little admiration for Microsoft agree with him. Others don't - quite strongly.

So a Linux port of what Meta rather sweetly describes as its "proprietary application enablers" is entirely feasible, and might not be too far away. But Exchange on Linux?

"Back to Disneyland with you," was how we described the Office on Linux rumors two years ago, and that would be the most sensible reaction to the prospect of seeing native Linux SQL Server or Exchange any time soon. ®

Related Scaries

Microsoft Linux apps rumours resurface
Why it pays to embrace and extend .NET - de Icaza
Gnome to be based on .NET - de Icaza
BETRAYAL! .NET clones and GNOME in the firing line
Call my bluff - how smart is reverse engineering .NET?
Anders Heljsberg on what's next for C#
Official: it's legal to screw Unix - MS beats Bristol rap
MS could still be found guilty in Bristol antitrust case
MS trial hell will never end: Bristol verdict turns to dust

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.