02.01.08

Assault on GNU/Linux or Web-based Groupware

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mail, Microsoft, Open XML, Protocol at 11:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The key to adoption of GNU/Linux in the enterprise involves virtualisation in the back end and also groupware solutions. There are numerous other important considerations, but we do not consider them here.

“These are great threats to Microsoft’s own technology because they facilitates cross-platform interaction and deployments of GNU/Linux on the desktop.”We have tirelessly covered the situation VMWare is in and moments ago we also discussed Zimbra and Hula. These are great threats to Microsoft’s own technology because they facilitates cross-platform interaction and deployments of GNU/Linux on the desktop. Apart from Exchange servers and Outlook, another mention-worthy component would be SharePoint; both of which are enormous lock-in-based threats. There are several others such as OOXML and Silverlight, but again, we needn’t really consider them in this context because they increase argument complexity.

The following new interview with Aaron Seigo of KDE sheds light on this issue.

I started out doing mostly server-side stuff and as I got involved more and more I started to realize if client side software is not taken care of well we will lose the server. Everything is leveraged from what the end-user uses so it’s a real challenge.

[...]

Now Microsoft with SharePoint is taking that to the next level with Office. We need to have client side software that works well with it. I’m not sure that is appreciated by the Linux distributors, and if they did, they wouldn’t waste time with things that don’t work. I love Compiz Fusion and I think we need bling on the desktop, but let’s be honest, that doesn’t attract developers or get free software out to the world. People are stuck with things like file formats, proprietary protocols and hardware. We do need to address the online Web 2.0 world, but again, that keeps the client side relevant but it doesn’t get more free software clients out there.

The message to be taken from this is that Microsoft hopes to leverage desktop-bound lock-in (Windows-tied proprietary protocols) to knock Linux off the server room. Things that allow this to happen include OOXML (with SharePoint tags). The European Commission is hopefully watching this [3, 4]. In particular, the regulators must be aware of the effect of Microsoft eliminating shareware rivals, essentially paying someone off to dismantle risk. This is far from new; au contraire — it’s a pattern.

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2 Comments

  1. SubSonica said,

    February 1, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Gravatar

    Zimbra!!! If the Microsoft-Yahoo! merger is finally successful, there’s no doubt that Zimbra will be one of the first products Microsoft will kill. There must be a fork organized by the community asap in order to save the project!!!

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 1, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Gravatar

    I wonder how the Zimbra open-source licence works. For all I know, It was never OSI-approved, so I don’t know how the rules work.

    I was among the first people to test Zimbra when it was still experimental and just got unveiled.

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