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09.13.08

Microsoft May Be Buying Its Competitors (Xen)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows at 4:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We will do some buying of companies that are built around open-source products.”

Steve Ballmer

According to a Microsoft MVP (part of the family) who specialises in this area of virtualisation, Microsoft is poised to scoop up Citrix, along with XenSource which was acquired by it.

Last but not least I have to ask myself will this open up a space for companies like Ericom and Provision Networks as an alternative to Microsoft? I have to believe that those people who “hate” Microsoft, for whatever out of control reason, will use a non Citrix (Microsoft) solution to provide access to the Windows based applications they need. Not to mention that it would be interesting to see how the open-source world thinks about the XEN hypervisor being owned (sponsored) by Microsoft…. Heck, Red Hat your 107 million acquisition of Qumranet might be an even better buy than you imagined.

Maybe that’s the interesting announcement Crosby has promised.

All those who scolded us for suggesting Microsoft had ‘hijacked’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] or taken Xen away from GNU/Linux might owe us an apology.

For the record, Novell’s market cap is much lower than that of Citrix. Novell stands at $1.99 billion, whereas Citrix is valued at $5.29 billion. However, as stated earlier, Novell is more useful to Microsoft when people perceive it as an open source company, so they permit Novellers to deform or poison GNU/Linux.

Novell acts as somewhat of a Microsoft insider beyond the borders where it’s still trusted by many. Whose patches and guidance should developers accept?

Antartica

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50 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 5:01 am

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    Just out of interest, why does it matter who “owns” Xen?

    It’s free software, and increasingly parts of it are in the mainline kernel. As far as I’m concerned, Microsoft paying people to work on it can only be a good thing (they already do that for other free software that everyone, authors of this site included, uses).

  2. aeshna23 said,

    September 13, 2008 at 8:38 am

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    Alex has already asked my question, but in a different tone. I see in Linux and Microsoft in a zero sum game. Thus, my assumption is that if Microsoft buys something in virtualisation its intention is to hurt Linux. So, my question is what is Microsoft’s strategy?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 9:29 am

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    It’s to demote Linux, just as it already does with Novell (Windows is host and Novell customers pay Microsoft for imaginary patents). It’ll:

    1. Make GNU/Linux perform poorly (Windows-dependent for uptime, system tuning against GNU/Linux)
    2. Make GNU/Linux ‘more expensive’
    3. Permit Microsoft to control setups and deployments
  4. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 10:57 am

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    @aeshna: to see it as a zero-sum game is to misunderstand the market. It’s very much not zero sum; you can tell that easily because the market didn’t even exist a couple of years ago.

    @Roy: but none of those things is true by “owning Xen”

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 11:08 am

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    There’s more to Xen than Xen.org.

  6. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 11:11 am

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    Care to elaborate on what you’re talking about, then?

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 11:27 am

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    Try this for starters.

  8. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 11:41 am

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    Right, you’ve linked me to a proprietary product which is nothing to do with Xen, other than the fact it shares the name. By that measure, Java is also proprietary.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 12:12 pm

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    Don’t try to counter “x is bad” by saying “y is also bad”. Again, this is reminiscent of Microsoft trolling techniques (“Google is a monopoly”, “Apple is abusive”, “ODF is just about IBM”). Try to address the point we were discussing.

  10. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 12:22 pm

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    I wasn’t countering anything: I was exposing the flaw in your logic.

    You’re saying that “Xen” is bad somehow because “Citrix XenDesktop”, which is an entirely different product unrelated to virtualisation, is proprietary.

    My point is that just because they share a part of a trademark in common doesn’t mean that they share anything else in common: as stated, “Foo Server” being free software doesn’t say anything about the freeness of “Foo Desktop”.

    Xen is free software and you’ve shown absolutely no evidence of it being affected by the corporate machinations of its current “owners” or otherwise. It’s GPL: once something is under the GPL, it cannot be removed.

  11. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 12:31 pm

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    By the way, it’s hilarious that this page is plastered with Citrix and Xen adverts. Nice touch ;-)

    (Yes, I know they’re “nothing to do with you”…)

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 12:40 pm

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    Xen is free software and you’ve shown absolutely no evidence of it being affected by the corporate machinations of its current “owners” or otherwi

    Check what Virtual Iron has to say about it.

  13. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 12:45 pm

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    I would check that out if you offered point of view and a citation. You’ve done neither; so what’s your point?

    Please, don’t just quote URLs and/or words at me and expect me to understand a. what point you’re trying to make, and b. why you think the reference you’re giving in any way supports the point.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 1:08 pm

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    You’re a clever guy. You can probably catch up based on the following sequence I’ve put together for you.

    Citrix, Virtual Iron Duke It Out

    A war of words has erupted between two bitter opponents in the Xen open source-based hypervisor (define) market. Citrix, which owns XenSource and drives the Xen project, has insulted arch-rival Virtual Iron, saying, among other things, that it owns the hypervisor while Virtual Iron just consumes the product.

    This fired up Virtual Iron’s chief strategy officer Tony Asaro, who slapped back by saying Citrix chief technology officer Simon Crosby is out of line because Virtual Iron has been a substantial contributor to the Xen project and Xen belongs to the open source community.

    A fuming Asaro told InternetNews.com “the dangerous thing Simon said is that Citrix owns the hypervisor. That’s wrong; Citrix bought Xen and sells the Citrix commercial product and are the drivers or owners of the open source project, but it’s the community that works on open source.”

    Crosby’s “irresponsible statement about the open source community is counter to the philosophy of open source which he’s the biggest proponent of,” Asaro added.

    Citrix opens Xen for business, still Linux shy

    Xen may have become the de facto virtualization platform for Linux, but, ironically, don’t expect to see Citrix applications running natively on Linux any time soon.

    “It’s market driven and we never got the uptake on Linux,” Willis said. “Our focus for XenApp (formerly Presentation Server) is as a Windows application which we recommend customers run on bare metal for performance reasons.”

    Willis said Citrix has partnered with Microsoft to develop Linux extensions for its Hyper-V platform.

    Ubuntu picks KVM over Xen for virtualization

    KVM will be built into Ubuntu’s next version, called Hardy Heron and due in April. “For the Hardy Heron release, we’ve really picked up the virtualization ball. Virtualization is making its way into data centers and onto developer workstations everywhere. Even ‘regular’ users are using it to run Ubuntu on Mac OS X all the time,” Hansen said. “Virtualization has been on our agenda for a long time, but it became a top priority at UDS (Ubuntu Developer Summit) in November. We could see that demand for it was growing.”

    Citrix strays far from XenSource’s original open source mission

    “Citrix is not a virtualization company,” said Phil Montgomery, Senior Director of Citrix’s Virtualization and Management Division. “We’re not trying to be another VMware. Citrix is an application delivery software company.”

    In spite of that new positioning, XenSource is — or was — a virtualization company. But the competitive equation is now Microsoft + Citrix versus VMware, Montgomery told ZDNet last night.

    Citrix strips XenSource of virtualization, open source…everything

    Citrix either got completely snowed in the acquisition or, much more likely, it’s getting pressure from its bosom-buddy, Microsoft. What it’s not getting is much value for its $500 million.

    Microsoft, Citrix grow alliance

    Microsoft Corp. and Citrix Systems said they have expanded their alliance to deliver and market joint virtualization products with Windows Server 2008.

    Citrix Systems Tops Estimates

    Citrix completed the acquisition of open source virtualization developer XenSource about halfway through the quarter. It added $2 million to Citrix revenue. XenSource is expected to generate $50 million in revenue for 2008 and about $50 million to $60 million in expenses.

    For 2009, XenSource is expected to contribute $200 million to the top line. The bulk of that will come from its server products, CEO Mark Templeton said. XenSource desktop virtualization products will initially be used in corporate pilot programs.

    “We think we can build in the server virtualization market the same kind of symbiotic relationship with Microsoft (MSFT – Cramer’s Take – Stockpickr) that we had with [the Citrix] Presentation Server,” which works atop Windows Server, Templeton said. “We’ll be the third player in server virtualization” after VMware (VMW – Cramer’s Take – Stockpickr) and partner Microsoft.

    Microsoft targets VMware with new strategy

    Citrix is developing a software tool that helps Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization feature in the upcoming Windows Server 2008 to work more easily with Citrix’s XenServer product.

    [...]

    Microsoft has acquired a start-up company called Calista Technologies and expanded its alliance with Citrix Systems, targeting VMware’s early lead in virtualization technology.

    Microsoft Pushes Virtualization

    Microsoft announced that it competed acquisituion of Calista Technologies, a San Jose, Calif.-based start-up that makes computer graphics for virtualized computers, and an expanded partnership with Citrix Systems (nasdaq: CTXS – news – people ), a VMware competitor based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Microsoft and Citrix will jointly market services that “virtualize” computers, operating systems and applications.

    Microsoft’s shot across the bow at VMware is inevitable as companies throughout industry shift to Web-based services. “Microsoft needs to get something into the market quickly,” says Roger Kay, president of technology research firm Endpoint Technologies Associate. “Windows Office has 10 years to burn, but it will become less relevant.”

    [...]

    A Microsoft-Citrix combination could present formidable competition to VMware, he suggests. Buying Citrix, however, would be a significant deal: The company has a market capitalization of $6.4 billion.

    For Citrix, Target Acquired

    You said earlier this year that Citrix is an “admirer” of Microsoft for its innovation, Adobe for its strong brand and Apple for its easy-to-use products. After watching your swift acquisition pace and the kind of companies you target for acquisition, I would argue Citrix is patterned more after Cisco Systems. Do you think that’s a reasonable argument?

    You are thinking of the acquisition point of view instead of the comments I made. Those were about role models. Cisco has not been a role model for our acquisitions. They are a fabulous company. We love Cisco. When I talk about Microsoft, Adobe and Apple, they are role models for the things I cited.

    I happen to be a huge believer in role models. It’s pragmatic: If someone does something really well, study it and translate that into your own business. I think it applies to companies and people. The way you better yourself is to find someone you want to be like and try to be like them. That impacts the way we work at Citrix.

    Ballmer: Microsoft Will Buy Open-Source Companies

    “We will do some buying of companies that are built around open-source products,” Ballmer said during an onstage interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

    Is Microsoft Hijacking Open Source?

    What really worries me is what looks like an emerging pattern in Microsoft’s behaviour. The EU agreement is perhaps the first fruit of this, but I predict it will not be the last. What is happening is that Microsoft is effectively being allowed to define the meaning of “open source” as it wishes, not as everyone else understands the term. For example, in the pledge quoted above, an open source project is “not commercially distributed by its participants” – and this is a distinction also made by Kroes and her FAQ.

    In this context, the recent approval of two Microsoft licences as officially “open source” is only going to make things worse. Although I felt this was the right decision – to have ad hoc rules just because it’s Microsoft would damage the open source process – I also believe it’s going to prove a problem. After all, it means that Microsoft can rightfully point to its OSI-approved licences as proof that open source and Microsoft no longer stand in opposition to each other. This alone is likely to perplex people who thought they understood what open source meant.

    [...]

    What we are seeing here are a series of major assaults on different but related fields – open source, open file formats and open standards. All are directed to one goal: the hijacking of the very concept of openness. If we are to stop this inner corrosion, we must point out whenever we see wilful misuse and lazy misunderstandings of the term, and we must strive to make the real state of affairs quite clear. If we don’t, then core concepts like “open source” will be massaged, kneaded and pummelled into uselessness.

    Will Microsoft Buy the New Citrix?

    VMware, holding some 85 percent of the market, with its VI3 technologies offers a fully integrated stack and represents a third generation of virtualization technology, while Viridian and Xen-based products, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, XenEnterprise and Virtual Iron, remain second-generation products, the report stated.

    Heady Days for Virtual Systems

    The former Microsoft general manager is now vice president of XenSource, a Palo Alto, Calif., virtualization company with a growing outpost in Redmond, Wash.

    What the XenSource deal says about open source

    This is what Citrix is paying for. That and a close relationship with Microsoft that looks likely to get closer. “We will be building dynamic virtualization services and management tools on top of Viridian,” Levine added. “We will build the same set of products we’ve built on top of Xen for Viridian. We’ve already hired a team to go do that up in Redmond.”

    While Citrix maintained it will continue support for the Xen project, this deal is not about a proprietary vendor getting open source religion. It’s about grabbing an emerging player in a rapidly expanding sector of the market.

  15. Jose_X said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:08 pm

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    AlexH, do you not know the difference in having copyright ownership vs. a GPL license? I’m sure you do, so what are you getting at?

    aeshna23, I don’t know the various components of Xen, but as for the GPL source code, the immediate benefit of owning Xen would be access to that source code under any license. Actually, it wouldn’t be a license, you’d simply be able to do anything with the code. You can extend what the community achieves without sharing back. To make your proprietary product better (and secret) than the FOSS might be a goal. You can also license the code to others as other than GPL for bucks (mysql/sun does this).

    The simple way to handle Xen and similar owners gone astray, assuming you value their existing project code, is to fork. It’s simple and would lead to a bad investment on the part of Citrix, Microsoft, or whomever since they would not own future code contributions from the community. This means, they’d only have a GPL license for all new additions within the fork. As the fork diverges significantly, this becomes a problem if they had intended to use the product for proprietary purposes.

    Another benefit is to pick up the developers from the company and put them to work on something else. If they are experts, this can be a way to deplete the community while picking them up for your own work. They can even stay with the project and use what is contributed by the community (assuming no fork) but not contribute back much instead to focus on proprietary additions and on integrating the community contributions.

    If the devs don’t want to stay on board, the investment also takes a hit.

    There are other properties besides the Xen source code that were included. This includes regular business relationships, intelligence, contracts, brands, and other source code.

    Any company owning copyrights can deal with (eg) Microsoft, so one should keep that in mind.

    Also, not all projects are run such that the contributions from outsiders are donated to the project (either copyrights transfered or a license to allow relicensing or something similar).

    RS posted a link to a dispute with Virtual Iron. if that was serious, I see a fork coming. Citrix is clueless.

  16. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: repeating a list of stories and asking me to “figure it out” is not putting forward a point of view. Either state it, or stop throwing mud at yet another free software project that you’ve decided to take aim at.

    @Jose: I understand full well the difference, but still, what’s your point? You also want to throw mud at Xen because… what?

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:38 pm

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    You don’t want to listen, Alex, so I have given up.

  18. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:42 pm

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    No, I am listening. You are not talking.

    I asked you specifically what your problem with Xen is. You posted a quip about “Virtual Iron” and then a load of new stories some of which aren’t even about Xen.

    I really welcome debating this with you, but you’re not putting forward a point of view other than “Xen, Microsoft, beware!”

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:43 pm

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    As the stories clearly show, Xen’s wheel is being diverted in Windows’ direction.

  20. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:46 pm

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    Except that Xen doesn’t run on Windows and can’t ever run on Windows without Microsoft’s help?

  21. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:49 pm

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    If Microsoft makes a bid to acquire it on Monday, that can (and probably will) change.

  22. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:54 pm

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    Leaving aside the whole idea of Microsoft extracting Xen from Linux and spending months porting it even though they already have virtualisation software, still, so what?

    Xen is free software. Like any other free software, the author can lose interest, sell it, or otherwise stop developing it. That doesn’t stop it being free software. That doesn’t stop anyone else continuing to develop it (like Virtual Iron threaten to, or like any number of other Linux distributors would be able to).

    You’re throwing mud at yet another project because you fear Microsoft might buy them. I agree that Microsoft buying them would be a set-back for the project. But that doesn’t stop it being free software, nor is that any reason for the thousands upon thousands of Xen users to stop using it.

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:56 pm

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    So suddenly you admit that Microsoft taking over would be bad. I see you’re softening.

  24. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 4:01 pm

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    Oh, good grief. A corporate sponsor pulling out of any free software project is a set back; I know that much better than you do. That’s not the point.

    The point is that there is no reason to besmirch a free software project because of that. In fact, all the more reason to encourage people to get involved with it to ensure that it continues and is successful: particularly in the case of Xen where it provides a feature set unmatched by other free software and in use by very large numbers of people.

    In fact, Xen is crucial to the “cheap Linux web hosting” market and is one of the main reasons why that is now so insanely popular.

    You should be encouraging people to get involved in Xen, not trying to scare them off it.

  25. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 4:03 pm

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    We already have KVM. It’ll be on par or ahead and Linux-oriented under Red Hat’s wing.

  26. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 4:04 pm

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    Um, no. KVM and Xen are fundamentally different technologies. They are different tools, and Xen works in places KVM cannot.

    Red Hat continue to support Xen too, just FYI.

  27. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 4:06 pm

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    Yes, I know. But pointing out the games being played around Xen is no FUD if it’s substantiated. Knowledge, even if detrimental, is a friend, not a foe.

  28. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 4:08 pm

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    “The games” don’t matter, because Xen is free software and no-one can take Xen away from us.

  29. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 4:10 pm

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    I sure hope so, but it goes back to an earlier point of this discussion where a caveat was raised.

  30. AlexH said,

    September 13, 2008 at 4:11 pm

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    Also, I find it hysterical that you think the FUD you are peddling is “substantiated”.

    You’re speculating on Microsoft buying Citrix (uncertainty), closing up Xen and stopping development (fear) and trying to get people to be afraid of using Xen (doubt).

    None of this has actually happened, of course, so this is just classic FUD.

    And you’re doing this to free software. Some friend.

  31. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm

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    Do you not believe that an announcement will come next week?

  32. AlexH said,

    September 14, 2008 at 1:59 am

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    I would be a bit surprised if Citrix are bought; yes – this rumour has been doing the rounds for over ten years, I don’t see why MS would buy them right now.

    But still; it makes no difference. Xen is a very small part of what Citrix offer, and their other software is based on Microsoft-licensed code. Citrix buying Xen hasn’t caused Xen any problems – in fact, now it’s undergoing a major transition into paravirt ops, lead by VMware, so that mainstream Linux kernels will support it.

    Microsoft buying Citrix would also have little effect on Xen. Maybe the Xen engineers employed by Citrix would be laid off or otherwise reassigned; it doesn’t matter – there are other people working on Xen.

    All there is here is uncertainty. There is no need to fear this deal even if it does happen, because Xen is free software has no value for Microsoft.

  33. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 14, 2008 at 2:35 am

    Gravatar

    See this new post.

    The relationship between Microsoft and Citrix is much like that of a man who has been serially dating the same woman for 15 years, but never seems to be able to consummate the deal. He’s afraid of commitment, or perhaps like that old expression goes, why would he buy the cow when he can have the milk for free?

    [...]

    Flash forward one year later to September, 2008. Red Hat shocks many in the Open Source and virtualization communities with its $107 million dollar purchase of Qumranet, an Israeli start-up formed by one of XenSource’s founders. Qumranet brings to the table the open source KVM hypervisor, as well as a high-performance thin-client protocol that gives Citrix’s ICA a run for its money and then some, as well as a remote desktop provisioning platform that rivals both XenDesktop and VMWare VDI. Suddenly, Red Hat is poised to challenge both Citrix and VMWare in desktop virtualization. Now, guess who recently released a new high–performance bare metal hypervisor and has no desktop virtualization solution at all? Do you all see where this is leading?

    To battle VMWare and Red Hat, Microsoft and Citrix need to finally consummate the marriage.

  34. AlexH said,

    September 14, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Gravatar

    Yeah. That’s still “rumour” and offers no new facts, and still relies on Red Hat only supporting KVM: which is nonsense, they’re active Xen developers too.

    The basic fact remains: Xen is *free software*.

  35. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 14, 2008 at 7:44 am

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    Is anyone else sensing a pattern here? Roy seems unable to distinguish between rumor and fact.

  36. Jose_X said,

    September 14, 2008 at 8:30 am

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    >> You also want to throw mud at Xen because… what?

    AlexH, free software is free software, agreed. A branch (ie, fork) that diverged from the branch Microsoft would most likely be able to exploit is where I would put my focus. I don’t expect to follow Microsoft’s lead/influence neither through product use nor through contributions. The names involved (Xen, Citrix, …) is not the focus. Mud is irrelevant. The focus is the branch. And all facts won’t ever be clear to everyone (so I suppose some mud might cloudy the picture after all).

    >> In fact, all the more reason to encourage people to get involved with it to ensure that it continues and is successful

    I would encourage contributions as above but not otherwise. Ie, I think it would be damaging to FOSS to have quality contributions go towards giving Microsoft any further advantage beyond what they already have.

    Microsoft can make use of many things, but I draw the line of support where I expect that Microsoft will gain more than the rest of us.

    >> Is anyone else sensing a pattern here? Roy seems unable to distinguish between rumor and fact.

    Dan, RS brought to our attention a rumor that he argued has a decent chance of panning out. The reason he gave: the source’s apparent confidence and justifications, plus recent activities around virtualization involving key players.

  37. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 14, 2008 at 8:32 am

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    Douglas Brown: “Microsoft to Buy Citrix – Announcement Coming Friday or Monday???”

    The guy linked to us before, so I suppose he knows something that we don’t.

  38. AlexH said,

    September 14, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Gravatar

    @Jose: I’m afraid you’re speculating wildly on a subject I don’t think you’re very well informed about:

    A branch (ie, fork) that diverged from the branch Microsoft would most likely be able to exploit is where I would put my focus. I don’t expect to follow Microsoft’s lead/influence neither through product use nor through contributions. The names involved (Xen, Citrix, …) is not the focus. Mud is irrelevant. The focus is the branch.

    Have you actually looked at the Xen source code? If Microsoft bought Citrix/XenSource, do you know how much of Xen would be left if you removed the material that they didn’t have copyright over?

    Do you realise that Xen is a Linux patch, albeit a large one? Do you realise that XenSource is one contributor amongst many (IBM, Red Hat, et. al.)?

  39. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 14, 2008 at 12:18 pm

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    Red Hat is reducing its reliance on Xen. I’m not sure about the rest, but Ubuntu left it in the corner as well.

    Linux does not need a large and inelegant patch when it has KVM merged in.

  40. AlexH said,

    September 14, 2008 at 12:23 pm

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    Your comments on its “inelegance” are duly noted, but as I’ve said before, Xen does things that KVM does not, is more performant than KVM, has more users and thus is going to stick around a long while. I don’t think you’re technically competent to judge its “elegance” anyway, you rely on the remarks and rumours of others.

    Xen is still in both Red Hat and Ubuntu, by the way. And it’s still free software.

    If you don’t like it, fine. But please stop throwing your baseless FUD at it.

  41. Jose_X said,

    September 14, 2008 at 4:33 pm

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    >> Have you actually looked at the Xen source code?

    I have not looked at the source code. Are you saying that a fork is not a reasonable action because there would be little to gain.. little for the code to be developed further?

    >> If Microsoft bought Citrix/XenSource, do you know how much of Xen would be left if you removed the material that they didn’t have copyright over?

    I wasn’t suggesting removing anything. Though over time I suppose old code would get rewritten.

    Say Microsoft decided to keep a public project but took it in direction X, then we’d move in direction Y (if move anywhere). Note that you don’t have to try and make Y different from X. If the branches are maintained separately and independently this should happen automatically.

    >> Do you realise that Xen is a Linux patch, albeit a large one?

    So Citrix, an excellent Microsoft partner, appears to find significant value in being able to manage Linux through Xen?

    Yup, I’d stay away from Novell’s Linux. The lines seem to be converging near where Microsoft attempts to become the top Linux reseller. At least the lines are near enough to there to keep one’s guard up.

    I would not consider Opensuse until some time after it had forked. Other people might, but I don’t like to contribute 3 mL (or more) to giving Microsoft any sort of added advantage [1 or 2 is OK].

    This is no loss to me because there are so many other distros and many more to get developed. Contribute to distros you want to succeed and be tops rather than to those you don’t. Using is contributing. We have choice in Linuxland. Promote distro foundations that don’t give monopolies extra gain or traction.

    I actually don’t worry much about distros nowadays because I expect to start cranking new distros (not by myself) through a system that hopefully will keep the distros related. This is hobby talk: something that I gain from just from attempting. It isn’t a pre-announcement of a product or anything that is likely to be of interest to most other people at this point in time. I mention it to give some more insight into the opinions I am sharing.

    >> Do you realise that XenSource is one contributor amongst many (IBM, Red Hat, et. al.)?

    This could speak well for the future development of the patch if the total contributions outside Xen are significant. Who owns the copyrights? If it’s distributed then this was not much of any issue anyway. In which case, the forking is not applicable to the Xen project.

    BTW, I think you were suggesting through the earlier quoted text that Xen owns most of the code, right? In any case, new code copyrights don’t need to be donated to Microsoft or to its strong partners.

    Whenever possible it’s good to keep a distance from Microsoft, as this makes it less likely that they can have their cake and eat it. They’d move to leverage their monopolies so as to be able to manage outsiders (do our job for us) while we couldn’t do theirs.. displace others while maintaining their unique indispensable position.

  42. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m seeing some more details in CW (IDG):

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/that_microsoft_buying_citrix_rumor_pops_up_again

    ‘Citrix did not reply to a request for comment. Microsoft’s no-comment comment? “Microsoft and Citrix have been partners for 18 years and the partnership has proven to be valuable to us, customers and the channel. We won’t comment on rumors or speculation,” wrote Patrick O’Rourke, group product manager for core infrastructure marketing in Microsoft’s server & tools business.’

    [...]

    ‘Actually, and here’s the second point, Microsoft had a stake in Citrix going way back. Between 1991 and 1995, Microsoft put in a total of $2.4 million in Citrix, taking 6% to 7% of the company. ‘

  43. AlexH said,

    September 14, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Gravatar

    @Jose: you took a while, but you got there eventually :D

    Who owns the copyrights? If it’s distributed then this was not much of any issue anyway. In which case, the forking is not applicable to the Xen project.

    This is precisely why I asked if you’d looked at the source code. If you look, you’ll see that the copyright is mostly owned by the likes of Intel, HP, IBM, Red Hat, and of course the various contributors to Linux.

    There is no need to fork, no danger to Xen, and the whole thing is just a load of FUD thrown up by this site.

  44. Jose_X said,

    September 14, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Gravatar

    >> There is no need to fork, no danger to Xen, and the whole thing is just a load of FUD thrown up by this site.

    Forking could be important in this case, my bad. It’s not an issue in terms of copyrights ownership, but, as I said, I wouldn’t want Microsoft or partners guiding the direction of the project.

    So for leadership purposes, I imagine it would be important. In other words, it’s important who determines what gets in and what does not.

    When you asked: “If Microsoft bought Citrix/XenSource, do you know how much of Xen would be left if you removed the material that they didn’t have copyright over?”, I actually thought you meant the opposite, that Xen owns most of it.

    >> you took a while, but you got there eventually

    what do you mean?

  45. Jose_X said,

    September 14, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Gravatar

    >> … and the whole thing is just a load of FUD thrown up by this site.

    More important than what makes it to this site for the first time is what survives (morphed or intact) after discussion. You introduce (ie, RS introduces) and then you (we all) debate and analyze beyond Roy’s initial write-up.

    This site is great because of the conversation it wants to have and everything that is gathered. That the initial write-ups are not always perfect doesn’t take away from this. I think enough people believed from information that surfaced early on that Novell was up to “no good”. BN is one place where we talk about it.

  46. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 14, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Gravatar

    @Jose_X: the problem is that not everyone reads the comments and so reputations of people/projects that Roy attacks in his articles get hurt even though they were not guilty of the FUD Roy writes.

    Roy also continues to link back to articles that were disproven as “evidence” to support his new FUD attack articles and to the average reader who doesn’t follow all the [1][2][3][4]… links, they assume that the evidence supports the claims, however most of the time this is not true.

    Let’s also not forget that just because someone doesn’t disprove a claim made in an article written by Roy doesn’t mean that it must be true, all it means is that no one bothered to refute it.

    It’s not harmless discussion if it hurts real people who are not guilty of the “crime” they are being accused of.

  47. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 15, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Gravatar

    I’ve just found this:

    http://blogs.the451group.com/opensource/2008/09/11/choosing-virtualization-sides/

    “…It’s interesting to see Novell so vigorously supporting Microsoft’s Hyper-V, and this may be part of what accompanies the partnership with Microsoft and its purchase of SUSE Linux coupons…”

  48. AlexH said,

    September 15, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Gravatar

    @Jose,

    I wouldn’t want Microsoft or partners guiding the direction of the project.

    If they bought Citrix they would be buying a seat at the table, much like the way Microsoft are involved in ODF TC. They aren’t buying leadership, nor could they: everyone else can happily ignore them.

    I think you’re looking for problems where none exist, to be honest.

  49. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 15, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Gravatar

    Another update on this:

    Why Douglas Brown and John C. Dvorak are 100% wrong about Microsoft buying Citrix

    Last week Douglas Brown shook things up with this article claiming Microsoft was days away from acquiring Citrix. Of course this rumor has been ongoing for 10+ years, and it resurfaced in a big way this past January, but it’s been pretty quiet since then.

    http://www.brianmadden.com/blog/BrianMadden/Why-Douglas-Brown-and-John-C-Dvorak-are-100-wrong-about-Microsoft-buying-Citrix

  50. AlexH said,

    September 15, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Gravatar

    So an old article got accidentally reposted, Google News burped it back up and people took it as Gospel… there’s a shock.

    Maybe the Xen FUD can be dropped now an MS takeover doesn’t look imminent?

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