Realising they don’t go away, Microsoft seeks to control them
This old and tiresome story about invasion and subversion has not reached its end yet. For quite some now we have kept track of Microsoft’s approach towards a variety of companies/projects (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]) whose presence, prevalence and products empower the remainder of the Free software stack, GNU/Linux included. Needless to say, Microsoft worries about this because it immediately puts at jeopardy two of its cash cows, albeit one only by association.
As we continue to explore and find new stories, we also learn more about the methods with which Microsoft 'charms' the innocent and — dare we say — naive.
Microsoft shows Django running on IronPython
This is a huge step for the team, to be able to run a widely-used framework, such as Django, on a dynamic language running on the .NET Framework. Django is a mature web application framework written for Python and intended to create applications very fast with a clean and pragmatic design. It is a framework developers normally use on Linux or some other platform where Apache and Python are found but this demo showed Django running on Microsoft’s DLR, the IronPython language and SQL Server 2005.
Some observers choose to view this as benign. O’Grady from RedMonk, for example, thinks that this self-serving illusion openness is genuine while also acknowledging that Microsoft is setting up new barriers in the process by warping a rule or two.
As some of the attendees of the Microsoft Technology Summit have noted, Microsoft is making some genuine, good faith efforts to evolve its attitude about and work more effectively with open source. From Apache to Eclipse to Mozilla, Microsoft is working – and working effectively, by most accounts – with some of the more important open source projects on the planet. Projects, notably, that in every case compete directly with Microsoft products.
The point that he misses or perhaps feels comfortable with is that Microsoft simply wants to improve those products so that they run better on Windows (or in turn run only on Windows). It’s a question of optimisation and development focus, not just a simple matter of compatibility. Watch this picture again and remind yourself of how Microsoft views open source projects. It wants them to be the vassals of the monopoly and a small dependable portion of the proprietary Microsoft stack. And that’s not good for anyone, except Microsoft. █