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Microsoft Pressures for WAMP While Novell Helps ‘Infect’ AMP

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 10:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Windows advantaging and patent encumbering

TWO DAYS ago we explained why Microsoft had invaded Apache, its competitor. It’s about benefiting the Microsoft stack through various enhancements. Yesterday we showed Microsoft's latest move toward Windows-isation of AMP, which is a strategy that Microsoft's internal documents expose as well.

Glyn Moody, taking both developments into account, reaches the same conclusions. This could be an “Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish” move.

This is how it will go. Purely in order to “improve” the performance of Apache and Hadoop on the Windows platform, Microsoft will helpfully offer some really cool hacks….which will of course only work on the Windows platform.

This will effectively fork the Apache/Hadoop/whatever code – all for the good of their communities. Of course, there may be some “patented” technologies in there, but Microsoft will promise never, ever to sue anyone using this “optimised” open source – cross its heart and hope to die. Look for Microsoft to get involved with other leading open source projects in the same way.

This was predicable. They have already done the same thing to PHP (the “P” in LAMP) after a deal with Zend in 2006.

Another trend worth highlighting is Microsoft’s attempt to sway developers in .NET’s way. Novell is helping Microsoft's cause. This has various motivations, but one of them stands out. “[It's] all written in .NET, just for patent ambush purposes and infection,” says one knowledgeable reader. Only Novell customers are said to be 'protected' and, according to this reader, “all the “free tools” that Microsoft releases are strangely written in .NET for infection purposes.”

Do not allow this to happen. Microsoft and Novell rely on people’s ignorance — for now.

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

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  1. AlexH said,

    October 18, 2008 at 11:33 am


    FUDding Apache, PHP and Novell all in one fell swoop. Amazing.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 18, 2008 at 11:37 am


    It is not FUDding, it’s informing. According to this definition of yours, Glyn Moody FUDs Free software too. Does he?

  3. AlexH said,

    October 18, 2008 at 11:44 am


    Well, let’s look at this rationally.

    He calls it “Apache/Hadoop/whatever code” – that’s a bizarre nomenclature if ever I’ve seen it. It suggests he doesn’t know what Microsoft are contributing to.

    He then says:

    Of course, there may be some “patented” technologies in there, but Microsoft will promise never, ever to sue anyone using this “optimised” open source – cross its heart and hope to die.

    Actually, they will do better than that. They will grant a royalty-free perpetual license, and if anyone sues the project or user of the project they will terminate it.

    The fact that Glyn doesn’t know these things makes me think he’s at best uninformed. Sowing fear of patents where there is nothing to be afraid of is classic FUD.

  4. Shane Coyle said,

    October 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm


    "They will grant a royalty-free perpetual license, and if anyone sues the project or user of the project they will terminate it."

    That’s the right way to do it, which is why I hated so much their deal with Novell that grants some sort of protection to only Novell ‘customers’, and any contributions to opensuse.org that make it into SLE, since Novell has agreed to pay a royalty already.

  5. xISO_ZWT said,

    October 18, 2008 at 1:46 pm


    The idea that microsoft will change for the better, is a waste of time. Anything ms does has to be looked at with a lot of suspicion. Anything it touches, it corrupts.

    You can take a sow and clean it up, but a sow will always return to the slough. You can’t change what is totally corrupt and infected by wishing it not to be.

  6. AlexH said,

    October 19, 2008 at 4:22 am


    @Shane: agreed entirely.

    That’s why I think it’s important not to knock situations like this, where everyone can agree that it’s a good idea.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 19, 2008 at 5:39 am


    I disagree. How quickly we forget a historical pattern, do we? Don’t have too much trust, especially given the subject.

  8. AlexH said,

    October 19, 2008 at 6:38 am


    @Roy: you don’t think it’s a problem that you’re “informing” people with data which are factually incorrect though?

    I’ve already demonstrated why this “patent” FUD against Apache is ill-informed.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 19, 2008 at 7:00 am


    It’s not about patents. The patent part is separate from Apache because it refers to another layer of the stack.

  10. AlexH said,

    October 19, 2008 at 7:01 am


    It’s not about patents, yet you quote someone making the patent argument as support for your position?

    So, what exactly is the problem with Microsoft contributing code to Hadoop, then?

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 19, 2008 at 7:03 am


    I will expand on that later today.

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