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Another Microsoft Patent Deal, No Linux Though

Posted in Asia, Deals, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft patent deals such as this latest one would not be worth mentioning under most circumstances. However, interestingly enough, it is a Chinese company that pays for imaginary things, which almost contradicts de facto law and practice in that nation [1, 2].

Microsoft Corp. and Beijing Komoxo Mobile Software Inc. today announced a patent licensing agreement on text-input technologies for mobile devices. The licensed patents allow Komoxo to integrate Microsoft’s statistical language modeling methods into its next-generation text-input engine for reduced keypad and touch-screen devices, and deliver new mobile innovations to consumers around the world.

“Statistical language modeling methods” sounds like mathematics. Is China buying permission for writing algorithms? We are in danger of approaching a state where there is too much binary or digital collision between computer programs and the patent system is then rendered moot or makes a chaotic sea of lawsuits. Several days ago we mentioned an article from The Economist, wherein almost a million patent lawsuits are predicted, in China alone.

For the record, Xomoxo seems to have nothing to do with Linux, based on a basic Web search.

Microsoft is not the only company to be accused and it’s important not to be IPocrities. Google too is now patenting behaviour and algorithms for studying it.

Since not every single one gets clicked on, Google’s ads might be considered less than perfect. A new patent application would make behavioral targeting a central part of improving them.


Meanwhile, it’ll be worth watching Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Ask, and every other search company to see if they pursue similar paths. Patent applications sometimes spill the beans, so to speak, and set off a race even as businesses try to stay in the clear legally.

Patenting behavioral things, eh? Next best thing to patents on stem cells.

Wither Web Standards? (The Adobe and Microsoft Threat)

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Standard at 11:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Web was created to become (and remain) a fully transparent framework that is built using open components. There were some threats in the past to its openness, namely ‘objectification’ in HTML (embedded media players, Shockwave, etc.) and disobedient companies that ‘extended’ things in a variety of undocumented ways (e.g. ActiveX, IE-specific/Office-esque ‘HTML’).

Back in December, not so long after the anti-Ogg fiasco, we said we would significantly reduce the use of YouTube (Flash) for videos, but this promise has been hard to keep as ripping tools (YouTube -> Ogg) continued to break. Where does that leave us all?

We have explained before why Microsoft’s Silverfish [sic] is more harmful than Flash, but all in all, both are harmful. Mozilla too is now warning about them. [thanks to an anonymous reader for the headsup]

ZDNet.co.uk is reporting that at the Internet World Conference in London, Nitot warned that companies like Adobe and Microsoft might have an agenda with their Flash and Silverlight technologies. Even though at the moment these technologies are free to download, this might change in the future. “But maybe they have an agenda,” Nitot said, “they’re not here for the glory; they’re here for the money.” He also warns for the dangers of these companies withholding products from certain markets. As examples, he mentions Internet Explorer for the Mac/UNIX, and Adobe’s refusal to provide up-to-date binaries of Flash.

The reader who E-mailed this to us called it “decomodization [sic] of web standards.” This isn’t the first time that Mozilla talks about this serious issue publicly [1, 2]. The significance here is rather high especially if you consider the role of the Web browser, which many continue to consider the ‘new O/S’, at least in the sense of its presence and role (not the technical sense).

While the current generation of browsers and SAAS applications offers plenty of choice but some security concerns, the next generation could turn this on its head, providing greater security but less choice. That’s because we are quickly moving to a type of Web application that will no longer be delivered to a general-purpose Web browser but will instead be deployed to something dedicated to that specific SAAS application.

This is the world of single-site browsers and rich Internet applications.

In this world, users don’t open a Web browser and then use a bookmark or link to access their important Web applications. Instead, these Web applications are installed and deployed almost as if they were desktop applications. Users launch them from their Start menu or desktop, and the SAAS application runs in its own single-purpose browser window.

Recent articles of relevance include:

So, as you can probably see, Web-based applications are not going away any time soon. The question to ask is, how will they be built? Will they be based on open standards? Open source code maybe? Or will there be proprietary blocks controlled by a single company (semi- or seamlessly-integrated a la WPF)? It is no secret that Ajax is seen as a competitor to Adobe and Microsoft, for example. As such, the news about Sony mixing Java and Flash is not too encouraging.

Sony Ericsson is planning to offer developers the opportunity to embed Flash Lite applications inside J2ME midlets, in the hope that two mobile phone application platforms will prove better than one.

Flash, however, is not the greatest issue at hand, especially when combined with GPL-bound programming.

Remember the Library of Congress and the plan to push aside Web standards? Microsoft, unlike Adobe, has more reasons to do it because it can stifle online competition (notably Google) and platform competition in this way. The other day we mentioned the poor reporting from Ina fried, who uses very deceiving headlines to promote Microsoft in a fanboyish fashion. It completely ruins CNET, rendering its credibility almost worthless (and worse than it has ever been).

In the same vein, we have received the following thoughts from a different knowledgeable reader: “I’m seeing some fresh activity from old astroturfer accounts. The volume is prodigious compared to weeks or months back. The style has changed, suggesting new staff behind the accounts and the ‘quality’ of the trolls has improved. It’s still bad but better put together than before.

“Microsoft literally paid a government department millions of dollars to abandon Web standards and exclude Microsoft’s competitors.”“If I were to take a wild guess I would think that it is to draw attention away from several other things like attacking KDE 4 from the inside, spreading silverfish infestations, and touring the governments again in prep for the summer.

“Looks like a lot of illegal or at least questionable deals are going on to get silverfish infestations in as many places as possible

Look back at the Library of Congress story, which we have already mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Microsoft literally paid a government department millions of dollars to abandon Web standards and exclude Microsoft’s competitors.

Another reader points out that “refusing OGG/Vorbis/Theora as HTML5 standard was a real shame. (Thank you for nothing, Nokia).” Remember that the guy from Nokia who was partly responsible for this is actually a former Microsoft employee.

“And yet another demonstration that software/business models/pure idea patents are a really bad idea,” concludes this reader.

South Africa Gets an Offer Too Hard to Refuse, Taken Over by Microsoft Lobbyists

Posted in Africa, ECMA, FUD, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 10:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hubris-infected anti-ODF brigadiers

The other day we mentioned South Africa because of its decision to embrace OpenDocument format. Shortly afterwards we spotted Microsoft's plan to pay a little visit to this country. Coincidence? Maybe.

Look what comes from Rob Weir at the moment — or rather — what comes from Microsoft lobbyists at this moment, specifically in South Africa. Andy Updegrove spotted this rather bizarre press release from the home of Mr. "you are well paid, shut up".

Another neo-colonialist press release from Microsoft’s CompTIA lobbying arm, this time inveighing against South Africa’s adoption of ODF as a national standard. One way to point out the absurdity of their logic is to replace the reference to ODF with references to any other useful standard that a government might adopt, like electrical standards.

Microsoft can never let things just rest, can it? Will someone be bullied again? We have already seen CompTIA and Microsoft doing their tag-team act in Malaysia, which is moving to ODF and OpenOffice.org. To be fair, even former Microsoft evangelist, Robert Scoble, is now dumping Microsoft Office, amid times of sinking sales for Microsoft’s cash cows.

My Microsoft Office trial is over. I am not spending $450 just to get Outlook. Gmail and Google Calendar win this game: big time.

South Africa is not just being approached by Microsoft’s lobbying arm. Sun has just offered South Africa StarOffice for virtually free (it’s already free in Google Pack).

As government begins its move to the Open Document Format (ODF) standard, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz has offered President Thabo Mbeki as many copies of StarOffice his office requires for a total cost of just $1.00.


Beveridge explains that the biggest implemetation project currently underway within the South African government is the move to ODF.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to choice — the choice between applications and vendors based on price and value. It’s not about choice of standards (which are about universality, not diversity of standards that basically beat their own purpose). The world already has a standard and it’s called ODF. Perception and marketing play a role here and the false belief that Microsoft Office is indispensable is only further perpetuated by blind (or blinded) journalists like our ‘old friend’ Rich Tehranim who sill writes for TMCNet. Consider this old story a nice analogy.

In the May edition of CTI (Computer-Telephone Integration) magazine, publisher Rich Tehrani paints a slick, simplistic view of the CTI industry. He claims that CTI is moving from a proprietary set of vendor-oriented platforms, to an “open” PC-based architecture. He praises this supposed openness, saying, “There’s open, and then there’s OPEN!” However, Mr. Tehrani is hiding the truth. That depends on what meaning of the word open is.


With devious publishers like Rich Tehrani dominating the CTI magazine publishing space, forcing out writers that support real openness and real freedom of choice, most buyers of CTI technology have no idea that they are being maneuvered and hoodwinked into supporting a closed, choiceless world. It’s coconspirators like Rich Tehrani and his TMC (Technology Media Publishing) that make Microsoft’s greed and power lust work effectively to kill consumer and business choice.

How little things have changed.

“There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.”

Bill Gates

Number One Lobbyist Gets Tax Breaks, Government Deals, Innocent Children

Posted in Europe, Finance, Fraud, Microsoft at 9:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The content of this post typically fits better under the daily lump of links because it escapes our main points of focus. However, since there are some bits here which are worth citing in the future, here are some news items worth commenting on, in turn.

The other day we wrote about tax evasion and the following article from Red Herring not only reveals that Microsoft leads the pack in terms of lobbying, an unethical multi-billion-dollar industry, but it also uses it for tax breaks.

Microsoft is leading the tech industry’s charge up Capitol Hill, according to statistics released Monday.

The world’s largest software company spent $9 million on lobbyists to make its case in issues including taxes and trade, according to statistics compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Keeping Microsoft's considerable influence on the United States government in mind, also watch this news:

Tax benefit helped Microsoft’s 3Q earnings

Turns out Microsoft and Uncle Sam have been going back through the company’s books from 2000 to 2003. Not knowing how that would end up, Microsoft had “over accrued” its tax provision in past quarters, said Colleen Healy, general manager of investor relations. With the review settled, the company was able to reduce that provision.

For those curious enough, the following was posted in a Web forum last night in order to give just a few more examples:

Accounting Fraud and Misrepresentation of Profits:

Tax Evasion:

What we have here is probably systematic and we wrote about this in details not so long ago.

On we move to another item which is a comment that showed up in some Linux feeds. It speaks about the Newham fiasco that we wrote about several times in recent weeks [1, 2, 3, 4].

This is the same man who originated the term “doing a Newham” – ie the process of feigning interest in Linux to get, ahem, ‘preferential arrangements’ with Microsoft.

This is the same man who, in line with Newhams MoU with Microsoft, starred in Microsoft’s “Get the Facts” roadshow.

As Dr John Pugh MP has stated, “Microsoft is *very* close to the UK Government, and they intend to stay there”.

Richard Steel’s appointment as President of Socitm is a very canny play from the multiply-convicted monopolist.

Of course the contractual obligation to promote Microsoft in the UK Public Sector will not affect either his credibility, or his bias-free ability to perform this new role, nobody could possibly think that, could they?

A day or so later came this announcement which seemingly suggests British children will be ‘adopted’ by Microsoft, at least in the digital sense.

As part of a long-term strategic partnership, Microsoft, learndirect, UK online centres and OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) have launched the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum.

It’s probably not needed to merely repeat the dangers of children turned into a Microsoft workforce, becoming dependent using freebies. All of these things continue to fascinate those who fear commercialisation of education, whereby corporations are permitted to control the minds of future generations and shape their perceptions accordingly, to fit an agenda. Microsoft even speaks about it in its latest SEC filing and now offers pro-intelletucal monopolies lessons for young children.

Corporations are, by nature, unethical, due to the nature in which they are run. Some European politicians fail to see this and merely follow the money.

Last but not least, consider old articles about ways in which Microsoft uses influence in government to control education and expand the monopoly.

Of course, some of the states giving these monopolies to Microsoft are different from those suing Microsoft and it is different parts of government — namely education officials — who have granted the software monopolies versus those parts of government — namely Attorneys General — who are investigating the company.

Who could ever forget academic kickbacks? There is some more information about such plots in this old article which goes well beyond that.

We’d already learned that Microsoft hands out cash rewards to professors willing to tout Microsoft products in their academic programs, and offers a $10,000 stipend to “Microsoft Scholars” who “advise” Microsoft on how to win academic accounts. But these efforts directed towards replacing educational integrity with corporate opportunism are almost benign in comparison to those being undertaken in Idaho, Texas and Indiana.

A web site at Idaho State University’s Business School offers free course materials to instructors wishing to teach Internet site development. Ironically, the home page displays “junk” characters at the bottom of the left-hand frame — not a good example for a site that purports to offer materials on proper design.

What’s disturbing about the site, however, is the statement on the main page that the course material has a “focus on Microsoft technology” and is “sponsored” by Microsoft. The main page also contains Microsoft’s advertising “buttons” for Internet Explorer and BackOffice. Since when do academic sites at public institutions carry advertising?

To summarise, what we have seen here is that control of governments permits one to receive financial benefits, escape financial fraud with minimal scrutiny and expand the monopoly through contracts that rarely (if ever) involve a tender.

Quote of the Day: Interoperability Means “First Benefit Microsoft”

Posted in Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Quote, Servers, Virtualisation at 9:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Standards Mean “First Benefit Consumers”

This one comes from Joe Wilcox.

Interoperability: First Benefit Microsoft


The way I see it, interoperability is for Microsoft a means to an end, the end being competitive gains more than customer benefits. Microsoft is the first beneficiary of its interoperability efforts. The new management tools clearly show what interoperability really means to Microsoft: increasing its footprint in heterogenous platform environments. That’s going to be most important in established markets like the United States, where most companies that need servers have them already.

The news that he refers to we have commented on in [1, 2]. Keep this quote in mind when Microsoft calls OOXML “interoperable”.

Links 30/04/2008: Half a Million Windows Web Servers Compromised; High Morale for Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Ballmer's Mac

Courtesy of/via

Microsoft Plays Unfairly on The World Wide Web Again

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Virtualisation, Windows at 7:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I am convinced we have to use Windows – this is the one thing they don’t have. We have to be competitive with features, but we need something more — Windows integration.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft

What?!?! Using Windows Vapourware™ (7) as an anti-competitive tool against next-generation threats such as Google? Microsoft got plans!

We brought up this issue in the past and appended supportive references. Now comes another update from Mary Jo Foley in the form of an internal memo from Microsoft.

Microsoft internal memo details Windows 7-Windows Live ties


The memo — an internal planning document for what Microsoft calls “Windows Live Wave 3 — dates back to August 2007. In it, Chris Jones, Corporate Vice President of Windows Live Experience; David Treadwell, Corporate Vice President of Live Platform Services; and Brian Arbogast, Corporate Vice President of Mobile Services share their vision for how Windows Live will evolve to be more tightly linked with Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, MSN and Live Search.

This seems like another case of making people’s choices — on ‘their behalf’ — at OEM-level. Remember the crucial role of the OEMs? Microsoft understood this even a decade ago. People are virtually forced to buy Windows and whatever comes along with it, be it Internet Explorer (to eliminate Netscape), Media Player (to eliminate Real Networks) and in the future maybe a hypervisor too (to weaken or eliminate VMWare). Windows can’t even be given away or returned for a refund.

I own that copy of Windows, just like I own a book. I can decompile it, I can sell it (so long as I don’t sell multiple copies or otherwise violate the copyright laws). I can install it on multiple machines (again, so long as I don’t run more than one copy concurrently. See the copyright laws for details on what is and is not allowed).

Microsoft has acknowledges by now that a lot of the future is tied to the network and it continues to play aggressively in order to catch up. In addition, further to its abuses with online media (e.g. BBC to its rescue!) and after pulling some ActiveX disasters comes yet another failure from the BBC. It’s reportedly discriminating against Mozilla Firefox again, which is interesting because of the BBC’s partnership with Microsoft.

The redesigned BBC News website is struggling to work with the Firefox browser.

Might they have hired some Web developers from Microsoft, just as they recruited for their media division? The BBC must really be watched after getting as close as it has to this abusive (and convicted) monopoly. That’s the same company that might soon be embargoed in Europe for endless bad behaviour. Never let the sweet talk lead to trust.

Related readings (external):

Of OpenSUSE, Xandros, and Microsoft…

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows, Xandros at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We probably ought to post this as an update to a previous post which claimed that Microsoft excludes everyone but its software patent partners, at least this time around. Although the claim was made based on some shallow fast-checking and Matt Asay’s rather hasty conclusions-jumping, an early comment posted in Matt Asay’s blog begs to correct him and say that the beta from Microsoft supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 too. Mary Jo Foley’s post seems to concur.

For what it’s worth, here is the story Xandros tells (press release appended below) and the story Microsoft tells (also appended. It’s mainly Microsoft’s software patent partners that speak up in the press, which may prove deceiving.

In other more-or-less interesting news, mind this post about contributing to an agenda of ‘control freaks’ that foster a so-called community of developers.

I agree – letting go of control is hard. And I’ve seen many companies struggle with it – Xara, Wengo, Sun, to name a few, and other companies skirt the issue by unashamedly keeping control – Trolltech, MySQL, Alfresco, JBoss, SugarCRM come to mind. It’s a question of expectations. When a company says “sure, we’re happy to work with you, on our terms”, you know where you stand.

But starting a project on Sourceforge, putting 4 years worth of code on there, telling your team of (proprietary) software developers “now you commit there”, and then expecting that Poof! like magic little Code Gnomes start appearing from out of nowhere to make your project better is unrealistic. It really is the difference between “organic” (grown from scratch, by developers for developers) and “non-organic” (code is liberated en masse) projects. If you have absolutely no governance guidelines whatsoever, who’s the maintainer? The manager who manage[ds] the development team in your lab? How well does that work?

We mentioned in the past — on several occasions in fact — just why OpenSUSE volunteers are simply being used, exploited (more details in Groklaw, which calls it “Brains for Sale”).

It now turns out that that Novell's principal booster (and community manager of OpenSUSE) was in Seattle, just like some other people who changed significantly after their journey [1, 2, 3, 4]. Here is just the gist of it.

Sitting in the Seattle-Tacoma airport now waiting for a flight, I’m wishing the weekend hadn’t flown by quite so quickly. I look forward to being here again next year.

Shortly afterwards came the longer post:

The announcement went out today that Novell and Microsoft are collaborating around the OpenPegasus project and other system management tools.

Thanks to Novell, Microsoft is going to be contributing to several open source projects — and making Linux easier to manage. Yes, you read that right. It will also make Windows easier to manage using Linux tools — which is going to be a breath of fresh air for Linux admins tasked with managing Windows boxen as well.


Microsoft will also be submitting some code under one of its OSI-approved licenses.

It’s not the GPL of course and NetworkWorld’s Microsoft Subnet is already poking some fun at what it calls “open source advocates” (link omitted intentionally). It will be interesting to watch how close the leadership of OpenSUSE is bound to grow to Microsoft.

Xandros Debuts Heterogeneous Systems Center Capabilities at Microsoft Management Summit

Xandros, Inc., a leading provider of mixed-environment management tools, intuitive Linux solutions, and Scalix e-mail services, today announced the beta presentation of Xandros BridgeWays Management Packs at the Microsoft Management Summit. This release is the first in a series of BridgeWays Management Packs designed to help extend the capabilities of the Microsoft System Center to heterogeneous environments. The new management packs will enable system administrators to monitor and manage Apache and MySQL on Windows, Linux, and Solaris from within the Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager 2007. Developed under the broad collaboration agreement between Microsoft and Xandros announced in June 2007, the management packs released today will be followed by others for such key data center applications as Oracle Database, Oracle Application Server, IBM WebSphere, and VMware.

“Xandros’ expertise in open source and its delivery of management packs, which utilize the Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions for the management of Apache and MySQL on Windows, Linux and Solaris, provides key functionality for extending the benefits of System Center across the heterogeneous enterprise,” said Robert Reynolds, director of System Center product management at Microsoft Corp. “The rapid pace at which Xandros was able to deliver these offerings and its road map for future solutions will provide our mutual customers with a wide variety of options for managing applications across their environments through a single management experience, and we look forward to our continued work together.”

“The System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions have already delivered exciting results for Xandros. They enabled us to cut our expected development time in half as we created our management packs for Apache and MySQL running on Linux and Solaris, resulting in quicker time to market and delivery of betas to our customers today,” said Andreas Typaldos, CEO of Xandros. “This new foundation from Microsoft enabled us to focus on the development of high-level management functions for applications, with the knowledge that the Cross Platform Extensions were providing the necessary underlying interfaces to System Center Operations Manager, enabling heterogeneous management from a single location across customer environments.”

Showcased at Microsoft Management Summit

Previews of the Xandros BridgeWays Management Packs for Apache and MySQL are showcased at the Xandros booth at the Microsoft Management Summit at Las Vegas, Nevada, April 28-May 2, 2008. The beta software is also available as a free download for testing and review from the Xandros web site at www.xandros.com.

About Xandros

Xandros, Inc. is a leading provider of mixed-environment BridgeWays management tools and intuitive Linux solutions including SMB and enterprise servers, consumer and business desktops, OEM products, and mission-critical applications. Xandros subsidiary Scalix provides the premier e-mail, calendaring and messaging solutions based on open standards and open source. Xandros and Scalix foster Linux adoption with graphical products that leverage existing skill sets while providing seamless Windows-Linux interoperability. Xandros server and management tools feature workflow automation and centralized remote deployment and administration. The company is headquartered in New York with research and development facilities in Ottawa, Europe, and Mumbai, and sales and support offices worldwide. For more information, please visit www.xandros.com.

Xandros® is a registered trademark of Xandros, Inc. All other trademarks and/or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Xandros Contact:
Xenia von Wedel
Terpin Communications Group
Email Contact

Xandros sales and other inquiries:

Microsoft Expands Datacenter Management Offerings With Advanced Heterogeneous and Virtualization Capabilities

New Microsoft System Center solutions for management of multivendor virtualization, operating systems and applications available for customer evaluation.

LAS VEGAS, April 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Today, before an audience of more than 4,000 IT professionals and partners at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2008, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft Corp., outlined the next phase in the company’s strategy to enable dynamic IT organizations. As part of this strategy, Muglia announced technology innovations that are designed to expand Microsoft’s virtualization capabilities and introduced its use of open source technologies and industry standards to broaden its ability to deliver automated management of heterogeneous IT environments.

“At Microsoft we are helping redefine what it means to do IT management in the enterprise with the new capabilities we are announcing today,” Muglia said. “By taking our knowledge of the Windows environment and expanding it to address heterogeneous management needs across platforms, applications, hardware and virtualization, we are opening up a new level of opportunity for companies to drive greater efficiency, responsiveness and value for their business.”

As IT environments grow more diverse and complex across desktops, datacenters, physical and virtual deployments, and heterogeneous infrastructures spanning Windows and non-Windows environments, Microsoft has worked closely with customers to deliver a comprehensive enterprise strategy for an integrated management solution. The announcements today build on the strong, existing Microsoft System Center presence in the datacenter with key additions in the areas of cross-platform, expanded interoperability and multivendor virtualization management solutions, which are further extended by the contributions of a strong and growing partner ecosystem.

Extending Cross-Platform Management for the Datacenter

Microsoft today announced the availability of a public beta for System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions, which build on the existing Operations Manager 2007 technology and capabilities and are designed to help customers extend the value of their Microsoft System Center investments. Providing customers with a comprehensive management solution, this new end-to-end IT systems monitoring capability incorporates industry standards and proven open source technologies, including Web Services for Management (WS-Management) and OpenPegasus, extending the capabilities across both physical and virtualized Windows and non-Windows operating systems and applications. Microsoft delivers the core foundational cross-platform support out of the box for HP-UX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sun Solaris and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating systems so that partners can focus on adding their deep domain expertise in the form of management packs. Companies such as Novell Inc., Quest Software Inc. and Xandros Inc. have demonstrated their support by working to deliver monitoring abilities for applications made by organizations such as The Apache Software Foundation, MySQL AB and Oracle.

Further demonstrating support for its commitment to OpenPegasus, Microsoft also announced today that it will be joining the OpenPegasus Steering Committee and contribute code back to the open source community under the Microsoft Public License, an Open Source Initiative (OSI)-approved license.

“The System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions have already delivered exciting results for Xandros,” said Andreas Typaldos, CEO of Xandros. “They enabled us to cut our expected development time in half as we created our management packs for Apache and MySQL running on Linux and Solaris, resulting in quicker time to market and delivery of betas to our customers today. This new foundation from Microsoft enabled us to focus on the development of high-level management functions for applications, with the knowledge that the Cross Platform Extensions were providing the necessary underlying interfaces to System Center Operations Manager, enabling heterogeneous management from a single location across customer environments.”

Microsoft also delivered a beta of the updated System Center Operations Manager 2007 Connectors, based on many of the same extensible open source technology and industry standards as the Cross Platform Extensions, which provide an integrated administrative experience and the ability to interoperate and exchange System Center monitoring data with third-party management offerings such as HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console.

Single Pane of Glass for Managing Virtualized and Physical IT Assets

Also delivered today was the public beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (formerly code-named “Virtual Machine Manager vNext”), which enables customers to configure and deploy new virtual machines and to centrally manage their virtualized infrastructure, whether running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 or VMware ESX Server.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 tightly integrates with Operations Manager 2007 to deliver a new feature called Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO). Using deep knowledge of the IT environment including operating systems, applications and hardware, Operations Manager identifies opportunities for more efficient physical and virtual resource allocation and generates “PRO tips” within the Virtual Machine Manager console. Administrators can implement these PRO tips and dynamically optimize their datacenter based upon pre-defined policies and the real-time, changing demands of users. When used in conjunction with the broad System Center management suite, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 enables customers effectively to manage both their virtualized and physical servers and applications across their desktops and datacenters with a single set of consistent, compatible tools.

“Deploying, monitoring and managing applications across a heterogeneous IT infrastructure can present many challenges and complexities, all of which are compounded when consolidating servers, optimizing desktops and applications, or creating business continuity solutions using multiple virtualization solutions,” said Jerry Phillips, senior director of Systems Operations at Clear Channel Communications Inc. “Our experience with System Center solutions has demonstrated that Microsoft not only recognizes our need to manage our Windows datacenter infrastructure, but also non-Windows and virtual servers from other vendors. Being able to do so through a single administrative console will provide improvements in productivity and reductions in our cost of IT operations, enabling us to improve overall organizational contributions.”

A number of partners, including Brocade, Dell, EMC Corp., Emulex Corp., HP, NetQOS, QLogic Corp. and Quest, announced they will deliver management packs enabled for PRO. These management packs enable partners and customers to integrate their domain-specific knowledge directly into Virtual Machine Manager and further integrate physical and virtual management.

“Dell’s focus is to simplify IT for our customers and drive complexity out of the datacenter, and virtualization is a key technology driving this effort,” said Laurie Tolson, vice president of systems management at Dell Product Group. “By working with industry leaders like Microsoft on advances in systems management between Dell OpenManage and Microsoft Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and Windows Server 2008, we’re able to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual management spaces, providing an optimized solution that helps our customers get the most out of their hardware and virtualization investments.”

“New ways to lower energy costs, reduce server sprawl and optimize datacenters are provided by the collaboration between HP and Microsoft as virtualization goes mainstream,” said Scott Farrand, vice president of Industry Standard Server Software at HP. “Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager used alongside HP Insight software on HP ProLiant servers, and HP Server Automation software, allow customers to seamlessly manage physical and virtual environments. The combined solutions also allow customers to maximize availability, performance and flexibility of physical host servers, virtualized guest operating systems and workloads.”

Beta software of System Center Operation Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions, Connectors and Virtual Machine Manager 2008 were made available to attendees at the conference and can be downloaded at http://connect.microsoft.com. Customers interested in finding more information on the System Center offerings or in evaluating them through trial offerings can visit http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter and the System Center blog at http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft NASDAQ: MSFT is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Website: http://www.microsoft.com//

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