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Microsoft’s Weapon Against Google: A Lot of GNU/Linux, Apparently

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 10:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The number of developers working on improving Linux vastly exceeds the number of Microsoft developers working on Windows NT.”

Paul Maritz, Microsoft

It is no secret that Microsoft uses a lot of GNU/Linux in house and we covered some examples of this in the past. Even just a week ago Microsoft acquired yet another company (Farecast) for over 100 million dollars and that company has merely everything based on Free software, including GNU/Linux. It brags about it in its Web site.

“Is Microsoft unable to find and purchase any successful companies that use its own stack?”It’s interesting to find that a much larger acquisition — the purchase of FAST to be specific — involves UNIX and Linux yet again, not to mention Yahoo possibilities (it’s the same story as far as underlying technologies are concerned). Many of these acquisitions are of services that compete directly with Google (or the likes of Google). Is Microsoft unable to find and purchase any successful companies that use its own stack? If so, what does that tell us about Microsoft’s products? Does that inspire much confidence?

Watch the following couple of news articles and pay particular attention to snippets which talk about FAST becoming a “Microsoft subsidiary”. This is interesting because it’s precisely the same term which is sometimes used to talk about Novell (even Bruce Perens said this). Maybe it’s an unnecessary exaggeration to pay attention to semantics, so judge for yourself and see what it all means.

Microsoft Completes FAST Purchase

“There’s a significant part of the [FAST customer base] that have chosen to run their systems on Unix and Linux,” said Jared Spataro, director, Microsoft Office SharePoint. “Many people thought we would err on the side of cutting those programs.”

Microsoft plans search software for Linux and Unix

According to the press release issued by Microsoft today, Fast will now become a Microsoft subsidiary, presided over by John Markus Lervik, who will move from his current role as Fast’s CEO to new the job of corporate VP of enterprise search at Microsoft. Working at a new “dedicated enterprise research and development center” in Fast’s home base of Oslo, Norway, the new Microsoft arm will also develop “further innovation” across “Windows as well [as] Linux and Unix.”

The new subsidiary will work on development of a “comprehensive portfolio of enterprise search offerings,” to include a new product called Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and Fast’s existing ESP product, which already runs on Linux and Unix.

This is definitely one to watch because Microsoft hasn’t good history when it comes to co-existing with rivals’ technology, Hotmail being just one example. It often just tries to exploit the situation somehow. as we have witnessed many times inside Novell. Consider work against HTML and ODF, for starters.

For what it’s worth, Apple is hardly any better because Steve Jobs objected to using Linux for the iPhone, despite his engineers’ research into the possibility at earlier stages of development. For future reference:

The most interesting part on Wired magazine’s revelation was during iPhone’s software development. On a very tight deadline to finish the iPhone right on time, Apple software engineers looked carefully at Linux, since it had already been rewritten for use on mobile phones. But, Linux on iPhone was denied by Steve Jobs for the reason that he do not want to utilize someone else’s software. Just imagine the endless possibilities had Steve agreed.

They often try to label Linux users “a seclusive cult”, but as we find when transparency is forced by the courts, it’s not just a case of hypocrisy. It’s a lot more than that.

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  1. DOUGman said,

    April 26, 2008 at 7:10 am


    “But, Linux on iPhone was denied by Steve Jobs for the reason that he do not want to utilize someone else’s software. Just imagine the endless possibilities had Steve agreed.”

    Wow….Linux is not “owned” by anyone, that the beauty of it. I an can imagine the possibilities, I can guarantee you that iPhone sales would have gone up even more had he chose Linux instead. I would have bought one then, and just imagine Ubuntu on the iPhone then.


  2. LinuxIsFun said,

    April 26, 2008 at 9:01 am


    apple should atleast support linux…maybe not use it official. lot of hackers would have got iphone just to install linux

  3. LinuxIsFun said,

    April 26, 2008 at 9:04 am


    yeah right !! others software…


  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 26, 2008 at 9:20 am


    Microsoft’s greatest headache is not Apple… but Linux, for a variety of reasons (IPR, cost, corporate relationships, software such as Office and so forth). It has admitted this for years. People in the west typically misunderstand this because they forget that only wealthy countries can buy Macs, let alone new PCs. Modern Linuxes work gracefully on antiquated machines.

    As for Apple, Linux is a threat to it too, but especially at the low-end segment. Apple is in a situation similar to that of Microsoft, but whereas Microsoft is at the “fight” stage, Apple is still at “ignore” (not even “ridicule”).

    Here is a very recent good post:

    Where are the Mac to Linux ports?

    I’m not talking about Apple’s own apps. Apple would surely like to pretend Linux doesn’t exist. No, wait, scratch that. Apple DOES pretend Linux doesn’t exist. And they have good reason to. Just like Microsoft, they don’t want to offer aid and comfort to the enemy; and what with OS X being based on BSD, they probably think it would open the door to someone figuring out how to run Leopard’s GUI on the Linux kernel. And they might be right.

    Apple isn’t worth worrying about at this stage because it helps in diversifying the market and ridiculing Microsoft (e.g. with Mac ads). It demotes and gradually dethrones the monoculture in some areas. In a way, Linux has a similar healthy impact on Apple in the embedded and HPC sector where it reigns. This prevents further Windows growth.

  5. CoolGuy said,

    April 26, 2008 at 11:15 am


    M$ downright sucks. M$ makes really pathetic products. Only thing they are good at is knocking down competition using unfair and cheap tactics.

    No one wants them…

  6. CoolGuy said,

    April 26, 2008 at 11:49 am


    M$ afraid of Linux coz it run on every hardware out there – that directly cuts into their own market. No more lockin for M$ anymore.

    Ballmar would going nuts today hearing all the doom and gloom surrounding M$ today. All their years of exploitation has come to an end finally.

    Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds are our Messiah !!!

  7. stevetheFLY said,

    April 26, 2008 at 12:29 pm


    CoolGuy, you obsiously have NO serious experience with anything outside the Linux realm. Vista may suck speedwise, but the security framework is very OK; Excel is really unmatched. Hm. Well, I guess there are some other worthwhile Linux-products, but I cannot recall any… *grin*

    But anyway, my point: You are a clueless ignorant; just the one I WOULDN’T trust with lobbying for Linux – because you simply have no idea what you’re talking about. Ignorance makes good believers but bad advocates of the right cause.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.



  8. stevetheFLY said,

    April 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm


    Oh, and BTW, Apple sells an OPERATING SYSTEM! The only reason that they opened their computer platform for Windows was that it helped their sales enormously.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.



  9. Robert Millan said,

    April 26, 2008 at 5:19 pm


    “But anyway, my point: You are a clueless ignorant”

    and I guess you are a blatant troll ;-)

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 26, 2008 at 6:10 pm


    stevetheFLY, please don’t insult readers. You have been trolling here since the start and your IP has me suspecting that you’re ‘eet’ (who insults readers too).

  11. on snap said,

    April 28, 2008 at 6:37 am


    The reason Steve Jobs did not want to use Linux on the iPhone was to ensure he locked down the environment. We have all witnessed his failure at this attempt but if it would have been a Linux core the amount of apps and changes to the iPhone would be almost limitless.

    He would quickly lose all the control of vendor lock in, firmware updates, etc. Steve Jobs is far from an electronics messiah and actually quite the opposite, but in a world dominated by Microsoft people are willing to ignore his insane control schemes.

    Don’t ever expect Apple to be an open source advocate in any way other then to promote itself, for itself, by itself.

    Steve Jobs = Apple; Will be interesting to see where the company goes when he is gone.

  12. Victor Soliz said,

    April 28, 2008 at 6:58 am


    CoolGuy, you obsiously have NO serious experience with anything outside the Linux realm. Vista may suck speedwise, but the security framework is very OK; Excel is really unmatched. Hm. Well, I guess there are some other worthwhile Linux-products, but I cannot recall any… *grin*

    Oh sorry , how could how we doubted about Microsoft’s products quality? They pay our wills, man, we shouldn’t offend our benevolent IT world leaders! I am gonna send a love letter to our majesty Steve Ballmer.

  13. CoolGuy said,

    April 28, 2008 at 11:32 am


    I **REFUSE** to slave under proprietor software no matter how bad or good they are specially from the predatory and evil m$

    I choose my freedom and values of sharing over anything else.

    Bill Gates and Ballmer are cursed to hell. They are the incarnate of the satan and his team of evil doers.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 28, 2008 at 12:31 pm


    Oh sorry , how could how we doubted about Microsoft’s products quality?

    It has products? That’s news to me. ;-)

    “Asked about these problems, Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager, told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the code itself has pieces missing.
    “Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products. It’s not a bad
    product, but bits and pieces are missing,” said Edelmann.


    To be fair, Google is no better,

  15. masteroblaster said,

    April 29, 2008 at 6:57 am


    [quote=coolguy]I **REFUSE** to slave under proprietor software no matter how bad or good they are specially from the predatory and evil m$[/quote]

    Gawwwd; HOW old are you?

    Anyway, not cool at all, coolguy! ;)

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