10.16.08

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Embrace, Extend, and Apache

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It’s part of a continuing behavior pattern by Microsoft that I think it’s fair to call “dirty fighting.” GoDaddy was using Apache (I assume on Linux) because it was a great technical solution. They didn’t switch to IIS on Windows Server 2003 for any technical reason. The switch was accompanied by a press release by GoDaddy, containing Microsoft promotional language. Now, I’ve changed many servers from one thing to another, but I’ve never made a press release about it. GoDaddy wouldn’t be doing that unless Microsoft had offered them something valuable in return. There has been talk in the domain business that Microsoft has been offering the large domain registries a wad of cash to switch their parked sites. There is no other reason to do this than to influence the Netcraft figures.”

Bruce Perens

APACHE HAS BEEN GAINING at the expense of IIS for several consecutive months now, despite dirty tricks from Microsoft. It’s an important ongoing discussion because Apache is a FOSS poster child. Microsoft just can’t stop this project, so it may be opting for a different strategy.

Just as Microsoft tried to gain control over ODF (blame all the luring, it seems to be have just approached and obtained partial control of Apache now that it’s cleared to commit code to it.

Few will have noticed, but Microsoft’s Jim Kellerman just announced that he and a Microsoft colleague have “been cleared to contribute patches again” to Apache, and specifically to the Hadoop project.

Microsoft is desperate to intervene with Apache’s direction [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Why is that? Might they be trying to earn the privilege to add Windows-only/Microsoft-oriented extensions, just as they contributed patches for SQL Server around the time of their Apache announcement (payment for a free pass)?

“They merely isolate competing projects from their other competitors.”To Apache, “GNU/Linux vs. Windows” is not an important debate. It’s clear enough that Microsoft, being another reckless for-profit business, will attempt to increase installations of Apache atop Windows Server. So, is this really good news, as Matt Asay tries to put it?

Microsoft engineers are not foolish. They merely isolate competing projects from their other competitors. They divide their rivals (divide and conquer). Without the neutrality of GNU/Linux, which enjoys a so-called ‘Switzerland status’, projects are left at the mercy of Windows, i.e. Microsoft.

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée

“Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that.”

Bill Gates

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21 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    October 16, 2008 at 11:00 am

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    You seem to be confused. Hadoop != HTTPD.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 16, 2008 at 11:03 am

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    I did not speak about HTTPD.

  3. AlexH said,

    October 16, 2008 at 11:09 am

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    No, but you talk of “Apache” when you mean “httpd” when it’s convenient to your argument. You said:

    APACHE HAS BEEN GAINING at the expense of IIS for several consecutive months now, despite dirty tricks from Microsoft. It’s an important ongoing discussion because Apache is a FOSS poster child. Microsoft just can’t stop this project, so it may be opting for a different strategy.

    Just as Microsoft tried to gain control over ODF (blame all the luring, it seems to be have just approached and obtained partial control of Apache now that it’s cleared to commit code to it.

    The Apache in the first paragraph is not the same Apache as the second paragraph, and a casual reader will not realise this is FUD.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm

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    Give them time and you’ll see them moving onwards.

    Remember POI, for example:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/03/26/microsoft-buys-moox-support/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/03/20/ooxml-deception-pr/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/07/25/dividing-with-osp-oem/

  5. AlexH said,

    October 16, 2008 at 2:35 pm

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    You can’t prevent people from writing free software nor is it wrong to accept free software from Microsoft.

    The beauty of free software is that it doesn’t matter where you get it from; your freedoms are already in the license.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 16, 2008 at 2:38 pm

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    There remain some loopholes such as platform discrimination and software patents.

  7. AlexH said,

    October 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm

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    Platform discrimination is in the eye of the submitter. Go ask the BSD people about GNU/Linux sometime :)

    Apache is protected from software patents with the v2 license in basically the same way as GPLv3. That is why those licenses are now compatible.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm

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    This was a reference to a broader set of projects, not just Apache.

  9. AlexH said,

    October 16, 2008 at 3:06 pm

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    “Not just Apache” is incorrect; you mean “Not including Apache”.

    You’re trying to scare people into believing there is some problem with the Apache project; there is none.

    You may as well just state on the front page that you will never give Microsoft any credit for doing anything. Here they’re contributing free software – which you claim to support – to a prominent free software project, and all in Java, not .net, and with a license that includes a software patent protection clause. And Hadoop doesn’t even support Windows as a production platform.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 16, 2008 at 3:20 pm

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    Perhaps that’s something they would like to change. Seen the news today?

    Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Still Makes Sense, Ballmer Says
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aK6VdgpZiLvI&refer=home

    Remember who owns Hadoop.

  11. AlexH said,

    October 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

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    Who “owns” Hadoop, in your opinion? :D

    This is just FUD; silly scare-mongering FUD about another good free software project. If this is going to be your standard tactic for any project which takes contributions from Microsoft, I’m afraid you’re going to be left with very little software.

  12. Betto said,

    October 16, 2008 at 5:05 pm

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    Are people supposed to take Perens’ claim at face value, or are you planning to also paste a link to some sort of proof?

    You know, proof.

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 16, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ve personally heard from Web hosts who were approached by Microsoft, which offered discounts and even hardware subsidies

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_pricing

  14. twitter said,

    October 16, 2008 at 5:16 pm

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    M$ is indeed interested in subverting Apache.

    http://apache.slashdot.org/apache/08/07/25/2135202.shtml

  15. Betto said,

    October 16, 2008 at 6:24 pm

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    Oh, twitter from Slashdot is also here. Everyone should read this page, just in case:

    http://slashdot.org/~SockDisclosure/journal/

    @Roy,

    Another one of those “private communications” I gather? One of those “oh if only I could publish what I know but my life is in danger” situations? Like the mostly out of context quotes you paste on to your whack jobs, linking to some Wikipedia article is useless. But what the heck, here are some links of my own:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zealot
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_exhaustion
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_verbosity
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shill
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalomania

    Enjoy :)

  16. Jose_X said,

    October 16, 2008 at 6:29 pm

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    Betto, I am not going to offer you proof.

    Microsoft has plenty of money and access to users to inflate numbers if they wanted to do so. Other companies can do the same. It does make sense, if you are after marketing points, to go after the biggest bang for buck and that would be with domains that were parked.

    In fact, Microsoft is proud of their cost-saving move:
    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/mar06/03-21GoDaddyPR.mspx

    “Go Daddy to transition all its parked domains from Linux to Microsoft.”.. straight from the horses mouth, if you will.

    I guess that was proof. Sorry. I didn’t think it would be that easy.

    boycottnovell is not meant to be the alpha and omega. They post leads and discussion that many find useful.

  17. Betto said,

    October 16, 2008 at 6:49 pm

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    I’m sorry, I must have missed the part where that became evil, or somehow supports what Bruce “buy my FOSS patent insurance” Perens said. Can you clarify?

  18. Jose_X said,

    October 16, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Gravatar

    The numbers and that move in particular are sold by some as indicative of the tech quality of linux vs windows server platforms.

    BPerens is saying that the reasons were for a business deal and not for tech reasons. What part of what he says bothers you so I can maybe look at that part closer?

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 16, 2008 at 7:23 pm

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    Betto, have you consideeds asking Perens himself?

  20. Betto said,

    October 16, 2008 at 8:50 pm

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    Ask Perens? Why, exactly? You’re the one using that quote to support your (bogus) argument.

  21. Betto said,

    October 16, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Why would something Perens said bother me? He stopped “bothering” me the day he started selling patent insurance.

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