Microsoft tightens open-source links with server biz
The Microsoft group dealing directly with open-source projects is joining the company's server business.
The Open Source Technology Center is to work more directly with Microsoft's Windows server and solutions division under corporate vice president Bill Laing.
The move comes as the person who oversaw OSTC, Microsoft's director of Platform Strategy in Microsoft's Server and Tools organization Sam Ramji, said he is leaving Microsoft for what he called personal reasons. Ramji joined Microsoft in 2004 from BEA Systems, where he'd been a director of market development.
Ramji noted Microsoft is actively recruiting a replacement to lead the overall platform and server strategy. The OSTC itself will continue to be directed by Tom Hanrahan, formerly the Linux Foundation's director of engineering, under Laing.
A Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg that OSTC: "Is becoming more closely integrated with the Windows Server engineering team."
That sounds like the work the group did making Linux and open source work on Windows will now be more directly related to the engineering work building Microsoft's Windows products. Under Ramji, Microsoft worked with community projects and developers to tune PHP, JBoss, MySQL, SugarCRM, and others to Windows Server.
The company realized a while back that ignoring open-source and failing to improve the way open-source code runs on Windows would leave the ground open to deployments on Linux, thereby hurting its Windows business.
Recently, OSTC in particular developed three Linux drivers to enhance the performance and management of Linux running as a virtualized guest on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V server.
The drivers encapsulated this work. Released to the GPL, the drivers also landed the company in hot water for apparently being in breach of the GPL's terms. ®
A Knock at the Door...
Your friends at Microsoft sent you this giant wooden horse as a gift. Where would you like us to put it?
Open Source on Windows
Okay it's great that you can get open source apps on Windows, but really why would you want to run something like MySQL, Apache etc seriously on Windows?
First of all, you've got the GUI sitting there running (which surely takes up some CPU cycles and memory), and then you've got the god awful Windows Updates (which at least on Windows 2003 Server) generally requires a reboot whereas on Linux (not sure about BSD) you can update and restart services without having to reboot.
I've lost track of the times I've had to do Windows Updates on servers out of hours (which eats into my at home time) because a few users couldn't live without their e-mail for a few minutes while a server reboots. Not so bad when I'm being paid double time for out of hours work, but a bit annoying when you're not and have to stay up until the early hours due to the server being constantly used.
I think I'll stick to running Open Source server apps on Linux myself. Although I haven't had it myself, I have heard of long uptimes of going on 2 years without a reboot.
The Cuddly New Microsoft?
All this new-found friendliness towards Open Source is because Ballmer thinks it's something he can put on his burgers.