Feeds

Linux distro daddy goes to Redmond

More management?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft has recruited the father of a popular Linux distribution, under a continuing mission to further understand - some would argue "extinguish" - the open source operating system.

Daniel Robbins, founder and chief architect of the Gentoo distribution, is moving to Redmond to help Microsoft "understand open source and community-based projects" according to OSNews.

Robbins' recruitment comes as Microsoft makes increasingly friendly noises towards Linux. According to reports, Red Hat chief executive and prez Matthew Szulik has been courted by Microsoft and even joined chief software architect Bill Gates for lunch at an exclusive New York eaterie earlier this year.

Linux fans will likely suspect the latest moves are another example of what critics say is Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy.

In this case, that could mean taking elements from Linux and open source that help advance the Windows architecture and ecosystem of developers, rather than doing something radical like build a version of Microsoft Office for, say, Red Hat.

Robbins, who actually left Gentoo in 2004, certainly brings the benefit of his experience in software management, which could support Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) strategy for autonomic computing and self-managing systems. Gentoo uses a software distribution system called Portage that updates the distribution via a simple command and combined "Portage tree" that is capable of creating and installing latest Gentoo packages.

Gentoo will also build customized packages to fit users' specifications, optimized for hardware and requested features. Gentoo, which describes itself as a "metadistribtion" for PCs, games and embedded systems, runs on x86, AMD64, PowerPC, UltraSparc, Alpha and MIPS processors.

Interestingly, the recruitment of Robbins follows last year's release by Microsoft of the WiX command line tools for installation of Windows from XML packages to the community. WiX is now reportedly being used in MySQL 4.1 to generate binaries for deployment of the open source database to Windows. Microsoft also last year released its FlexWiki and Windows Template Library (WTL) to SourceForge.®

Related stories

Less Office, more family for Microsoft DSI program
Ballmer: Interoperability, interoperability, interoperability
The rise of the $99 consumer Linux distribution

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.